As the Predators head north to battle the Red Wings, the chatter around next week’s trade deadline ramps up around the league.
Nashville Predators News ’n Notes
A lot can change in a week, obviously. But honestly, Poile is in a better spot this year compared to last year’s deadline (which feels like 32837823678 years ago, at this point). With respect to guys on expiring deals — like Granlund, Cousins, or Haula — Ekholm and Forsberg are the two guys who are going to give you the biggest haul to help with a rebuild. Both have term left on the deal, which means Poile has time.
I know there’s an argument out there that they’d have way more trade value for two playoff runs as opposed to just one full season, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true this year, given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in (expansion looming, flat cap, escrow and teams potentially losing money if they make the playoffs, etc.). There are few teams with the ability to pull off an Ekholm-like trade right now, and even fewer with the desire to.
If the Preds do wind up falling back down to Earth over the next month, the Ekholm move will still be an option on the table later this summer, potentially with more teams in a better spot to pull a trigger on a trade.
But also, let’s be honest; best case scenario is Ekholm remains a Predator long term. He’s too important to the team right now.
Grant Mismash signs with the Nashville Predators | Grand Forks Herald
A look at the Mismash signing from the perspective of the local folks who covered him at North Dakota. OTF’s own prospect guru Eric did his own breakdown last week of where he sees Mismash fitting in with the organization.
If nothing else, maybe we get to see more of this interaction.
Nashville Predators Prospects Report: March | On the Forecheck
Speaking of prospects, and Eric, he gives us a look at what a few of the other kids in the Preds’ system were up to in the month of March.
Other Hockey Happenings
On the Preds, Boylen writes:
It’s always important to get to the playoffs, but that could mean a first-round meeting with Tampa Bay and it’s hard to see them putting much of a run together. Will seeking futures still be a priority at this point, or is Poile going to reward them and give the team another chance to make magic?
In recent years, we’ve seen teams like Columbus, Carolina, and — yes — the Nashville Predators themselves “sneak into” the postseason on a hot note. The Lightning may be the best team in the NHL, but as they’ve shown over the past three weeks or so, they’re not invincible either. I’m of the old-school belief there’s no downside to making the postseason… in any sport, in any situation.
Do any ‘most likely to be traded’ forwards fit for the Penguins | PensBurgh
No Preds forwards on this list, but if Hooks gets his wish, a few of Smashville’s rivals might be moving out to Allegheny County.
We know what Kyle Dubas has said about the trade deadline — what is he actually doing? | Pension Plan Puppets
Hot take, but the Leafs may be a goalie away from being a Cup favorite. (I said A, not the. Chill.)
Teams would ‘throw themselves’ at Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton | Broad Street Hockey
Laughton’s going to potentially wind up being someone’s Blake Coleman/Barclay Goodrow-esque addition this Summer.
Canadiens’ Gallagher suffers fractured thumb, expected to miss weeks | SportsNet
“Shame,” said a smirking Pekka Rinne.
Eric Staal scores game-winner in Montreal debut as Canadiens down Edmonton Oilers in overtime | TSN.ca
Good things happen when you stop playing for the Sabres.
College Hockey World Crosses Fingers as Teams Travel to Pittsburgh | College Hockey News
If you’re face-palming at that headline, you’re not alone. The fact that we have to “cross our fingers” in hopes of having a Frozen Four should be a pretty clear cut indicator that the NCAA has completely butchered the planning of this year’s tournament. That’s pretty damning considering the relative success of both the Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments.
Today’s Soundtrack to Get You HYPED
In honor of tonight’s showdown between the Preds and Red Wings up in Detroit, I feel the need to shout out one of the best bands to ever come out of the Motor City.