Juuse Saros has been the backbone of the Nashville Predators since Pekka Rinne retired, and it was surprising when the Finnish star's name began swirling in trade rumors earlier this season.

The Preds have been on the bubble for most of the 2023-24 campaign, but after six straight wins — and the second wildcard spot in a competitive Western Conference — it looks like playoff hockey will be returning to Smashville.

And general manager Barry Trotz all but confirmed that his starting goalie would be remaining in Tennessee after the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline.

“I think he’ll be playing net for us this year,” Trotz told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday. “I don’t suspect anything coming. … We’re pretty safe in saying he’s going to be here.”

Saros is signed through next season, and looks to be safe in Nashville — at least until the conclusion of this campaign.

Saros safe, but Alexandre Carrier, Tyson Barrie might not be

Although the Predators have played themselves into potentially being buyers at the deadline, two defensemen could be dealt on or before next Friday. Both Alexandre Carrier and Tyson Barrie will be trade chips.

“I still think that’s there for him,” Trotz said of potentially trading Barrie. “He’s been outstanding. He was a bit frustrated early, but since that time, he’s been all pro and has worked very hard on a daily basis. I still think if there’s an opportunity out there for him … I want to do right by him. Anyone who knows Tyson, he’s a quality player and he’s a quality person. He would be great for any team in the National Hockey League.”

With both Barrie and Carrier set to become unrestricted free agents on Jul. 1, it makes sense that Trotz will at least listen to offers on the two D-men. That's especially true after Barrie requested a change of scenery back in late 2023.

And although Juuse Saros is safe, Trotz made it clear he wants to make the team better for the stretch run, and will listen to everything.

“I think there’s still some things internally that we can do with our team for tweaks,” he explained. “I would say there is an opportunity out there to possibly move a guy or two if needed, just to give us, I’ll say, some flexibility in our lineup. We’re in a position for the playoffs and I would never waver from that. It’s very hard to make the playoffs in this league. People don’t realize how hard that is to do.”

Now 33-25-2 and holding the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference, the Predators will look to make it seven in a row against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.