The NHL Trade Deadline primers head to Nashville next to look at the Nashville Predators. What do they need? What do they need to avoid? Let’s take a quick look at what things may look like for David Poile and company.
NHL Trade Deadline — Nashville Predators — Facts and Figures
Nashville stands entrenched in second place as far as the Central Division. This January and February swoon is no surprise. Injuries, poor second-line play, and an inept man advantage have impacted the Predators. As far as cap space, Nashville has $23.74 million in current cap space and little performance bonuses to pay out. Kevin Fiala is eligible for a $500,000 bonus but that is insignificant.
The top line and top-four defensemen can only carry this team so much along with goaltending. There are needs which Nashville could help itself. Last season, David Poile made six trades in February. Those included moves for Ryan Hartman and Kyle Turris. Would it surprise anyone if Poile was busy again?
Who might Nashville dangle as far as potential moves? Let’s take a look.
Nashville Predators trade assets to dangle and needs
Again, Nashville has its first-round pick for 2019 and 2020 along with eight total picks for this June’s draft. Dante Fabbro faces a daunting challenge to bump any of Nashville’s top-seven defensemen. Fabbro carries a good deal of value on the market but not the only asset. David Ferrance and Frederic Allard could be decent chips to trade as well. They would not garner the return of a Fabbro, however.
Rem Pitlick is another name that has popped on but Anthony Richard may be the surprising gem on this list. Richard leads the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville’s AHL affiliate) in scoring and could crack some team’s rosters. Nashville has quite a few forwards with a minimal cap hit that can make some impact. Even Kevin Fiala would not cost that much if Nashville chose to go that route for their second line.
Needs include a top-six winger(s) and a depth winger. Nashville is among the three worst teams on the power play. Also, there is a huge gap in talent between their first line and the rest of their forwards.
What Nashville may target…
Wayne Simmonds — Some pundits have argued for a couple years that Nashville lacks that punishing forward that can muck in the middle of the man advantage. Everything is too cute. That may be true. Simmonds may not possess the same skill set before injuries but still enough to play in the middle-six. The only question for Nashville would be cost. Is Simmonds worth a first-round pick? If a bidding war ensues, that may be what it takes. Could David Poile go a different route?
Micheal Ferland — With Mark Stone likely not on Nashville’s radar, maybe Ferland would be. He is cheap and may not cost quite the amount most think. That is provided Carolina still wants to move the forward. Ferland could help on the power play as well as even-strength. Unfortunately, there is a concern with concussions but that may help as far as price. Ferland likely does not cost a first-round pick. The key word is likely.
Gustav Nyquist — Nyquist is as streaky as they come but when he is on, he is on. Detroit likely wants the moon for him and that probably is not his true worth. The Tomas Tatar deal will not occur this trade deadline because of the number of sellers.
As for Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider, those are question marks. Kreider likely sticks around in New York. Furthermore, Zuccarello may even get extended as well. Talks are obviously ongoing so wait and see there.
Would Nashville swing big?
Never count out David Poile. That is the message here. Could and should they see about Artemi Panarin? That answer is absolute. Besides Mark Stone, Panarin presents the next best choice for Nashville. It just appears the cost of doing business will be too high. One never knows what quite to expect. The trade deadline is around a week away. How do prices swing and does supply and demand sway unexpectedly? If it does, expect David Poile to pounce.