It has been a bit of a tough start to the season for the Predators. While they sit fourth in the Central entering today’s action, they’re among the lowest-scoring teams in the league, ranking 29th in goals scored at the moment. With that in mind, they may have to look outside the organization to try to add some scoring help. One possible option is to move a defenseman and in his latest column for the Toronto Star, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports that Nashville GM David Poile would like to move a defenseman, suggesting that Dante Fabbro could be had for the right price.
The 24-year-old locked down a regular role in 2019-20, logging over 19 minutes a game and it looked as if the Predators had found yet another quality young defender that they could mold into a core piece. However, he hasn’t really progressed much since then. His playing time continued to hover around the 19-minute mark until this season as it’s down to just 16 minutes a night while he has just four assists in 19 games.
While he’s still holding down a regular role, his usage has dipped to that of a number six defenseman which, at a $2.4MM price tag, is a bit pricey for that spot on the depth chart. Notably, Fabbro will be owed a qualifying offer this summer at that same price point while also being arbitration-eligible and if he rides out the season in the role he has now, he could very well be a non-tender candidate in the summer. Accordingly, moving him now might make sense.
Among Nashville’s other defenders, it’s safe to say that Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, and Ryan McDonagh aren’t going anywhere. Jeremy Lauzon has three years remaining after this one on his deal at a $2MM AAV which could be intriguing to some teams if they feel he can be more than a third-pairing option while Alexandre Carrier has taken a step back this season after a breakout 30-point campaign last year. Veteran Mark Borowiecki is currently injured so he’s unlikely to move either.
That makes Fabbro the logical choice to move if Poile decides that he wants to move a defender and while his trade value has undoubtedly dipped compared to what it would have been a few years ago, it’s also possible that it drops even further if they get to the offseason with him being questionable to be given his qualifying offer. If they feel that Jordan Gross (who presently is with AHL Milwaukee but has two goals in three NHL games this season) can fill a similar role that Fabbro is now, Fabbro certainly could be an interesting addition to the trade market in the coming weeks.