Free agency often brings caution and calculation from the Predators.

With the exception of last year, when they tried to re-sign defenseman Ryan Suter and bring in forward Zach Parise, they often are shrewd in their decisions.

When the clock hits 11 a.m. today — the point at which NHL teams can sign free agents — the Predators might find themselves with a little bit more of a cavalier attitude.

Asked whether he has the financial flexibility to reel in players on his wish list, specifically at the forward position, general manager David Poile quickly said, “I know we do.”

The Predators have close to $11 million in salary cap space and have contracts dedicated to 20 players, according to capgeek.com. Cap space could balloon to $16 million if defenseman Hal Gill’s contract is bought out and forward Sergei Kostitsyn’s deal is terminated as anticipated.

Still, there are different factors at play in terms of signing the right player.

“It’s a combination of, is it the right guy? How much do you want to spend exactly, number of years?” Poile said. “It might be a situation where a guy for one to two years may be a better fit than someone for five years.”

At the top of Nashville’s wish list is a top-six forward, a position of need for many years, but one that has eluded the Predators in free agency. Also, a backup goaltender is needed in order to give starter Pekka Rinne a rest as he recovers from hip surgery.