Deja vu all over again. The Nashville Predators have acquired Cody McLeod from the New York Rangers for a 2020 seventh-round pick. It was just over two years ago that the Predators acquired McLeod from the Colorado Avalanche for a late-season push and playoff run that got them all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The team also announced that Zac Rinaldo will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, explaining perhaps the need for McLeod.
McLeod, 34, certainly isn’t being acquired for his goal scoring ability. The veteran forward has carved out a 769-game NHL career but has just 72 tallies to his name, including just a single goal in 56 games with the Rangers since being claimed off waivers last year. Instead, his leadership and toughness will be welcomed into the Predators locker room as they look towards another long playoff run.
Speaking with the media today, Predators GM David Poile indicated that the team has suffered from the loss of leaders like McLeod, Mike Fisher and Scott Hartnell over the last year. That was part of the reason the team has brought in veteran names like McLeod and Boyle, but there is also obviously a need to be filled after Rinaldo’s injury and Austin Watson’s suspension. You can bet McLeod will be put into the playoff lineup if the team feels as though they’re being pushed around, and a distant seventh-round pick is just about the smallest asset you can give up.
Still, for the Rangers this looks like a pretty handsome reward when compared to what McLeod has actually done for them. The team snagged him for free off waivers last season and has now turned him into an asset, however small. The Rangers are still stockpiling for the future, and they’ll happily take another lottery ticket to add to that prospect cupboard. After all, they have a seventh-round pick on the roster that has put up quite the career.