NHL Rumors: Buffalo Sabres, and the Nashville Predators
How to fix the Buffalo Sabres? Nashville Predators GM David Poile on the trade deadline and pending UFAs
© Christopher Hanewinckel – USA TODAY Sports
How to fix the Sabres?

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News: The Buffalo Sabres will miss the playoffs again. What can be done this offseason to turn things around for them?

Offense – Jeff Skinner is having a down year but has a history of bouncing back. They have a bunch of players coming off the books, They could look to re-sign Wayne Simmonds for his leadership and toughness. Aside from Taylor Hall, free agency doesn’t provide a lot of big-named offensive/scoring options.

The penalty kill – Two UFA options to improve the Sabres PK could be Derek Grant and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Goaltending – Carter Hutton has another year left at $2.7 million and maybe they could find an interested team. Linus Ullmark could be the starter with Jonas Johansson as a backup. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen could be their AHL starter.

If looking at the top pending UFA goalies, would Robin Lehner consider returning? What if Jacob Markstrom doesn’t re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks? Term may factor in for Markstrom and you may not want to block Luukkonen if/when he’s ready.

Predators GM on the trade deadline and pending UFAs

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic: A Q&A with Nashville Predators GM David Poile. Poile on an unusually quiet trade deadline for the Predators.

“Right, I found it was unusual, I didn’t know how to be a seller (smiles) so to speak. We set values for the players that we thought we might want to trade or what have you. At the end of the day, I was happy that we basically didn’t do anything.”

Poile on future of pending UFAs Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith, both who were in the rumor mill ahead of the trade deadline.

“Well, we’ve had conversations with both of their agents. We’ve talked about the future. Obviously, if we could have done something, we would have. But we didn’t.”

Poile said that he’s spoken with many in the organization about his future, and he’s likely to remain for a couple more years.