According to Justin Bradford, the Nashville Predators will not be re-signing veteran forward Paul Gaustad this offseason.
Gaustad played parts of five seasons with the Preds after he was traded to Nashville from Buffalo along with a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (Juuse Saros) in exchange for the Predators first-round pick in 2012. That first-round pick (Mark Jankowski) was later traded to Calgary so that Buffalo could move up in the first round of the 2012 draft.
The grizzly veteran finished the 2015-16 season with six points (2g-4a) in 63 games for the Predators – adding 46 penalty minutes. While he’s never been the most offensive player, his six points this season was his lowest total since 2012-13 when he had five points in just 23 games.
In 12 NHL seasons with Nashville and the Buffalo Sabres, Gaustad has 231 points (89g-142a) in 727 regular season games. He also has 68 games of playoff experience – ranking him 122nd among active players in playoff games played.
The 34-year-old was originally taken 220th overall in 2000 by the Sabres. While he doesn’t seem to be a fit with the Predators anymore, Gaustad’s aggressive play and big frame could make him an asset for another team looking for a depth fourth-line player. He’s a good veteran presence and he’s strong in the face-off circle.
His leadership and ability to kill penalties should earn him a shot somewhere in the NHL this offseason.