Originally written on Fang Faction  |  Last updated 10/29/14
As signings and trades are starting to settle down around the NHL, the focus is onto the Free Agent Market. There is not to much available, plain and simple. The Nashville Predators are still in need of a top six forward and a Ryan Suter replacement at defense. Both of those needs haven't been met yet, and time is ticking.

Getting a replacement for Ryan Suter is at the top of David Poile's list, right now. Or at least it should be. Currently, the Predators are very young and don't have skilled depth. 

Roman Josi is the leading candidate to replace Suter and be paired with newly re-signed captain, Shea Weber. Head coach Barry Trotz is very high on Josi. He played very well in the playoffs as a composed rookie defenseman who has never experienced it before. Josi is an all-around defenseman that could become the next big thing in the organization.

However, Josi can not fall into the same sophomore slump as Jonathan Blum did last season. Blum spent most of the season with the Milwaukee Admirals, in the AHL, due to his lack of performance. Being paired with Weber will help Josi in his development.

Mattias Ekholm is another defenseman that could pan out into something special, in due time. At 22 years old, Ekholm will try to make the team at the start of the season. At the start of last season, he was playing his best hockey and was in Trotz's dog house. Ekholm was sent to Sweden to play with a club in the SEL (Swedish Elite League).

This season, Ekholm should more mature in the way of he plays. The Predators and Poile are expecting big things from him this upcoming season.

21 year old phenom, Ryan Ellis has won everything a defenseman can win in the Ontario Hockey League two seasons ago. Last season, Ellis was sent to play with the big boys in the AHL, then soon enough, the NHL when the Predators needed him. Ellis needs to start using the skill and will from the OHL and put it into the NHL. He will be a big part of this upcoming season on the power play and in specialty situations. 

The Nashville Predators have four defenseman on the roster that will be between the ages of 21-23 years old, while they also have three other defenseman (Weber, Klein and Gill) who are the veterans at defense with the ages of 26, Weber; 27, Klein; and 37, Gill. There is a lack of veterans on the team right now, no question. The Predators need that one extr veteran defenseman to add depth.

As stated earlier, there are not to many options out there for Nashville. There are three defenseman the Predators have to look into signing. They are Scott Hannan, Michal Roszival and Carlo Colaiacovo. All three of them have been in the NHL for a while and are a stable option. Plus, they can play the much needed, 20 minutes a night. Don't expect any more than a one-year deal with either of them.

Michal Roszival makes the most sense for the Predators because he played in almost the exact same system with the Phoenix Coyotes. At 33 years old, he is aging and won't be able to play all 82 games. Last season he only played 54. Roszival will not be a scorer, but rather a third line depth defenseman.

Many Preds fans are familiar with Scott Hannan because of the two times the Predators played the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs in 2006 and 2007 seasons. Hannan played 78 games with the Calgary Flames. Out of the UFA defenseman, Hannan has the highest "Time On Ice" average. Signing Hannan is not a bad signing and, as a plus, is used to the West Coast teams more than the rest of the current Predators roster.

Carlo Colaiacovo is another defenseman that Predators fans are familar with because he plays with the Central Division rival, St. Louis Blues. Signing Colaiacovo is a huge risk due to his injury history. However, he is at the prime of his career and needs to prove to other teams in the NHL that he is worth something. 

The Predators should not sign Colaiacovo, unless he is their last option in adding depth. He is a high risk-low reward player.

There is no question the Nashville Predators have to add depth at defense. Those three players are capable third line defenseman. It will be interesting to see what David Poile's camp will do to get that Suter replacement. Trade or signing? Trade would be the best option because in return will be a better player.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Starting at QB again is a dream come true

Red Sox to reportedly target Pablo Sandoval in offseason

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

Dan Gilbert asked if he 'deserved' to have LeBron back

Brady: Maybe at Manning's age I'll be playing that well

WATCH: Amar'e sings with Swift for in-arena video bit

WATCH: Randle offers money for massage in jailhouse video

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

Robert Griffin III to start against Vikings

WATCH: Navy raps about Notre Dame, set to ‘Anaconda’

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay $3.9M debt

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Tom Brady talks Peyton Manning

Best Game 7s in World Series history

NFL, MLB spend on mid-term elections

Gurley suspended four games

Gordie Howe suffered stroke

WATCH: Kobe and Dwight get into it

Notre Dame WR will not be punished

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.