After a lot of side deals that were made with Vegas didn’t exactly work out for the other team, some have wondered if there will be less of those this time around. Some general managers have suggested their intentions is just to lose who they lose and be done but that isn’t the case for Nashville. In an appearance on ESPN 102.5 The Game (audio link) following the Viktor Arvidsson trade on Thursday, GM David Poile indicated his preference would be to get a side deal in place:
Ideally, if we could strike a deal to determine a certain player who we would lose, I’d like to do that.
They effectively had an opportunity to make an arrangement with the Kraken with Arvidsson who Poile acknowledged would have been left unprotected and selected by Seattle had it not been for the trade with Los Angeles. In the end, his preference was to get some assets in return for the veteran and they did just that by picking up second and third-round draft picks.
Nashville is in a situation where they will almost certainly want to protect four defensemen, limiting them to just being able to protect four forwards. With that in mind, they’re likely to leave high-priced veterans in Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen. Making a move to clear one of those contracts off the books would certainly help free up some extra flexibility but with both signed long-term at $8MM apiece, a trade like that isn’t the most realistic.
Arvidsson’s departure now allows them to protect someone like Calle Jarnkrok which would then push Nick Cousins and Rocco Grimaldi to the forefront of likely exposed forwards with veterans Matt Benning and Mark Borowiecki the notable blueliners that would be available. On the surface, a side deal doesn’t appear to be needed as none of those are core players but evidently, Poile would like to have some more certainty surrounding who he’s going to lose. With the expansion draft being less than three weeks away, time is quickly ticking for him to make a deal to get that certainty in place.