The more official end to the 2015-16 season came to pass on Wednesday morning as General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette spoke on the Nashville Predators recent campaign.
Laviolette opened with his recap of the season, in particular mentioning the passion of the Predators fan base and the sting he and his team still feel after losing in Game Seven to the San Jose Sharks.
Next, Poile briefly looked back on the 2015-16 campaign before outlining his plans for the 2016-17 version of the team.
Included in the updates to the Predators roster for the upcoming campaign are center Paul Gaustad being allowed to leave via free agency and the likely buyout or trade of winger Eric Nystrom. It was also mentioned by both Laviolette and Poile that Mike Ribeiro will need a hard-working offseason to earn his spot back in the top-six forward group.
Poile said he will look to re-sign most of Nashville's restricted and unrestricted free agents, including: Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Gabriel Bourque, Cody Bass, Petter Granberg and Carter Hutton.
Due to the high number of players Poile hopes to re-sign, the GM said it likely means he will not make a big splash in free agency, but added that he could make a change or two via the open market. He also voiced his excitement at the Predators having a first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Both the GM and head coach of the Preds believe their team was incredibly close to advancing to the Western Conference Final and more; and with a sprinkling in of youth and maturity of the rookies from the 2015-16 season, bigger things are on the horizon in 2016-17.