Preds Make or Break: Deadline Day Options?
Through the first 30 games or so, the Preds have looked both dominant and pathetic on the ice. In their defense, injuries have plagued the year so far, keeping at least one or more major players on the IR at any given time. This injury bug has bit the Predators, but it has also shown where they need to add depth.
In this article, we will be mainly looking at players whose contracts expire in the next two years, with an emphasis on wingers and defensemen…. Sorry, Dan Hamhuis and Mikka Salomaki.
1 Tyler Toffoli
A Canadian winger from the Los Angeles Kings, Toffoli has been an effective scorer and looked like a key piece to LA’s future in past seasons. That was in the past though. In the seasons being referred to, Toffoli had 49 and 58 points in consecutive seasons. Since then, he has had a 34 and 47-point season, which is similar to the pace he was scoring when he entered the league, but with LA trading Tanner Pearson, who has had a similar career to Toffoli, it would make sense for LA to continue to shake up the core. At 26, there is still upside, and halfway through a 3-year contract that pays him $4.6 Million, Nashville could be willing to part with a draft pick to add an extra punch on the wing.
2 Mikkel Boedker
This name may sound familiar because he was part of the huge Erik Karlsson trade at the beginning of the season, but he got sent to the laughing stock of the league (Ottawa). Quite frankly, like most players there…. he is too good to be there. In a league where speed kills, Boedker is lethal. He is well aware of his surroundings on the ice and knows when to “turn on the jets” in order to get a high danger scoring chance via breakaway or two on one. When being the primary option, things don’t go so well, but being on a team with the firepower that Nashville has, Boedker has an opportunity to turn into a crucial role player. All for $4 million a year for this year and next.
3 Tomas Vanek
How many times do we, as fans of sports in general, see a once elite player go for the cup one last time and get it? Thomas Vanek has scored 40 or more goals in a season twice in his career, that alone makes him attractive to any team wanting to add offensive production at the deadline. Partner that with a huge resurgence last season, and you have the makings for the player who has the biggest post-trade deadline impact in the league this year. Vanek, the current Detroit winger, has a one-year contract with an NTC (No Trade Clause) but Nashville is one of the most booming cities in the country right now, partnered with the recent success of the Predators, making it the place to go.
4 Mike Green
Another player with the potential to move from the Motor City to the Music City, Green is an NHL veteran who would help the Preds lockdown the third line and provide powerplay support while he is at it. Looking at Green’s career, he has had a solid impact on the offensive side of the game. Green carries a 5.375 million a year contract that expires after next season. This would be a huge commitment, but the potential boost that Green could bring to the Preds makes this a move that David Poile would conceivably pursue at the deadline.
5 Artemi Panarin
The playoff rental to end all playoff rentals. Artemi Panarin is the offensive weapon that could turn any possible playoff team into an official contender. Normally, any team with the assets or cap space would be chomping at the bit to acquire a player of this caliber. Worth noting, however, is how unsettled the Breadman is at the moment, and his well-known desire to go the Big Apple during free agency this summer. All of these are things that damage a player’s value. Since it is Artemi Panarin though, any possible trade would require a big package of players, prospects, or draft picks. This makes acquiring him the most “all in” move a team can make and because of that will warrant caution, which all in all, makes him extremely unlikely to get moved.
After all the injuries, the Nashville Predators have had a very troublesome start to the season which has fans calling for personnel changes *Cough Cough* Mikka Salomaki. That, in addition to how aggressive David Poile has been on the deadline in recent history, makes it likely that the Nashville Predators will make another move this year.