As I see more and more people on pages commenting that the Nashville Predators need to make a move, I’ve also seen Roman Josi’s name thrown up more and more, which is unexpected given that he is the captain of a team currently in a playoff position.
That being said, if a move were to happen, it goes without saying that the pro’s and cons to the trade would be significant, but what exactly would they be?
CON: Roman Josi is the captain
Trading a captain is always a difficult decision regardless of the team’s record. Even stripping a captaincy from a player draws a lot of attention. We can look at San Jose as an example of that when they stripped future NHL Hall of Famer Joe Thornton of his captaincy prior to the 2014-2015 season, a season where they did not make the playoffs.
This is just one of many examples of how much of an impact the changing of a captain has on a team, whether it is via trade or just stripping the player of the title, it causes tremendous stress on a team and their performances. Even more so if it happens mid-season.
PRO: Trade Value
If your team is not named the Nashville Predators, the San Jose Sharks, or the Tampa Bay Lightning then you can always upgrade on the defensive end of the ice. Having a shot at a high-quality player who is in his prime is more than desirable. Especially when you factor in that Josi only makes four million dollars a year.
That low cost makes him an easy player to work into the cap. It also helps Josi’s value, that in September, the Canadiens set the market for teams trading their captain when they traded Max Pacioretty for Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and a 2nd round pick. That is an excellent return for a captain, as Tatar is a scoring winger, Suzuki is a high-level prospect, and a 2nd round pick is always nice.
It gets even better when you factor in that Josi is better and is a younger player than Pacioretty because then it is reasonable to think that the Preds could probably get more.
CON: Impact for the Preds on ice
Roman Josi was given the captaincy and it surprised a lot of people because the last three captains in the franchise history had a very common trait…. Physicality. Jason Arnott, Shea Weber, and Mike Fisher.
Roman Josi, however, is not a “physical powerhouse” what he is though, is an efficient playmaking star. That has led to him being a nominee for the Norris trophy for each of the past four seasons. Josi also has a huge impact on the play of Ryan Ellis and makes that pairing one of the best in the league. Part of that is because he is just as deadly when he is quarterbacking a play from the blue line, and when he is driving the play deep into the offensive zone with his elite skating ability.
This flexibility opens the ice more, that partnered with Josi’s passing abilities, which rival Ryan Johansen’s, makes him one of the most important players on the ice.
PRO: Expansion draft answers
Unfortunately, with the addition of the Seattle franchise, we need to think of the implications each trade may have on the upcoming expansion draft. That’s one thing that trading Roman Josi would solve.
No longer would the Preds have to question giving up a quality player for free to a brand-new team and instead can keep another core piece on the team such as Eeli Tolvanen, Craig Smith, Calle Jarnkrok or any other players the Preds acquire in the future.
Trading Roman Josi would be an exciting and unexpected move, and it would solve the Preds expansion draft worries, But Josi’s role on the ice and in the locker room makes him too valuable to trade unless the package was an apparent fleecing.
So, it’s very unlikely that Josi gets moved unless David Poile is able to make some magic happen, or another losing streak occurs but this time worse….much worse.