David Legwand is the original Predator. He was the franchise’s first draft pick the second overall selection in 1998. He has seen the Predators go through all their phases. He’s played 894 regular-season games with them but he might not reach 1000. Legwand is in a contract year and there are questions as to what the Predators and the veteran forward should do about their future. “There’s lots of considerations” general manager David Poile said. “Certainly Leggy has been a big part of our franchise and we would like to continue the relationship. I just want to see how the season starts.” Throughout his career the 33-year-old Legwand has been a strong two-way center who can chip in offensively. But he has never been the scoring star the Predators envisioned when they drafted him. His best season was 2006-07 when he notched 63 points in 78 games. Still even at his age Legwand is capable of a long-awaited offensive breakout year. In training camp he has shown that his top offensive skills — skating and deft hands — have not diminished. “He looks great” coach Barry Trotz said. “Leggy is engaged. He is playing fast. He’s playing hard. He’s running people over taking hits to make plays. He’s doing a lot of stuff. I’m really happy with Leggy. This will be a real big year for him and he looks good. He has prepared really well.” Will there be value for the Predators if they decide to re-sign Legwand? What type of deal they would look to give him. At his age it’s unlikely the Predators will give Legwand a long-term contract. Also the Predators are loaded at center with players under contract for next season — Matt Cullen Mike Fisher and Paul Gaustad. A shorter-term contract might fit Nashville’s plans better. “We want to find out where Leggy’s play is. Is he playing? Is he a top-two center or our third center” Poile said. “There are other considerations of course that every team has budget considerations and cap considerations. Are there other players who need to be signed? Are there guys coming up? All those types of situations.” For Legwand there might be value to hitting free agency — provided he has a solid season. The unrestricted free agent market for centers next season is scarce at best. San Jose’s Joe Thornton Colorado’s Paul Stastny and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin lead the summer 2014 crop. Washington’s Mikhail Grabovski and Toronto’s Dave Bolland also will be unrestricted free agents.
Predators, David Legwand cautious about future together
Tennessean | Sep 18