by Thomas Sarver
When the Preds acquired Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod there was no denying that Preds no longer needed grit. In addition to that added grit, the Preds also got a boost on the powerplay with Boyle coming in with six powerplay goals on the season. That made him the team leader in powerplay goals.
While Cody McLeod only has one-real dimension to his game, it is a bone-crushing one. In fact, McLeod’s mere presence as a player in the game makes opposing players have second thoughts when it comes to delivering a big hit.
Those reasons alone are the reason that these moves fit the Preds needs really well, but what are some pieces that the Preds should avoid acquiring.
#5 Micheal Ferland
With the smallest cap hit among rentals of his caliber, Ferland is automatically a very attractive rental. But unless you are willing to shell out a lot of money in the offseason to keep him, that is all he is, a rental. Ferland has a tremendous on-ice impact with his physicality and scoring ability.
While those qualities are very important, the Preds now have that impact with Brian Boyle. When you factor that in with the amount of interest there is in him all around the league, I’d expect the price to be sky high. Carolina has to make up for getting fleeced when they trade Jeff Skinner somehow right?
#4 Jakob Silverberg
A player that the Preds know all about, Silverberg is a mid-line goal scorer, which is a need for the Preds who have had trouble with secondary scoring this year. A hang-up though is that the soon to be rebuilding Ducks have not for sure declared that they are selling.
However, with buzz picking up around the league about Anaheim possibly trading long-time captain Ryan Getzlaf, I think it’s safe to say they will be selling sooner rather than later. If Anaheim pulls the trigger on going full rebuild, I expect them to express interest in Kevin Fiala. Fiala’s age and experience is something that Anaheim may want in order to limit their rebuild to only a couple of seasons.
While this all looks really attractive to fans as well since Fiala has been heavily criticized this season for not recapturing his goalscoring form from last year. Trading him for a goal scorer sounds ideal, but if Fiala is to be moved, it has to be for the right player, and Nashville can leverage Fiala to get a much more impactful player than Silverberg.
One of only nine active players who average at least a point per game, not much needs to be said about what Panarin brings offensively. Any team in the league could use a player with that game-breaking ability. The problem here, however, is the price.
The Blue Jackets are wanting fair value for their star winger, which is a lot. That makes this situation a big gamble as Panarin has been very insistent on which markets he wants to sign in.
Unfortunately, Nashville was not on the list, which makes him the best rental available, but at the end of the day, just a rental. So, with all of that in mind, the Blue Jackets would likely want this year’s first-round pick and Eeli Tolvanen for Panarin. The question is, would Panarin be the final piece?
My oh my has Matt Duchene made a comeback. Since arriving in Ottawa in the same three-team trade that sent Kyle Turris to Nashville, Duchene has been an elite player for the Senators.
Is Duchene only elite because Ottawa has a lack of weapons? When he was in Colorado, on a team with plenty of scoring options, he started to regress as the team added more and more weapons. He practically vanished.
Due to that, I have three concerns when I think about the Preds possibly trading for Duchene. Would Duchene be able to adjust well on a team where he would be the seventh or eighth scoring option instead of being the first or second?
If he can’t adjust well, would he be an upgrade over Turris or Bonino? Lastly, would a possible third line player be worth a first round pick, plus?
My heart wants this. I want to see Kovalchuk in a Preds jersey, I won’t lie. I would prefer it if it was 2012 Kovalchuk though.
A six-year hiatus in the KHL has returned a very different Kovalchuk than the superstar we saw leave. The one thing that is not different though is his high salary. At $6.250 million a year for two more years, this contract is more than concerning enough to sink Kovalchuk’s trade value.
It gets even worse when you factor in that he is a 35 years old athlete who is adjusting to a smaller rink than he is used to playing on. That being said, even though his return was way overhyped, his on-ice play hasn’t been terrible and makes you wonder what would happen if he was on a better team.
If it wasn’t for the term on his contract, Kovalchuk would be the ideal rental player for the playoffs this year.
To be completely honest, I would be more than happy with the Preds not making too many trades as we did not have a single pick in the first three rounds of last years draft. As important as acquiring the big pieces for the playoffs is, having young players to replace them the next year is just as important.