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.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.