After making the playoffs a year ago, the Predators added a pair of key veterans in Ryan McDonagh and Nino Niederreiter in the hopes of trying to take another step forward. However, they’ve gone in the wrong direction and find themselves three points out of a playoff spot heading into tonight’s action. Speaking with Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean (subscription link), GM David Poile acknowledged that while he wants to do something, the lack of success in the playoffs gives him some pause so he’s not sure what his plan is yet leading into the trade deadline:
In the last few years we’ve been in the middle, been making the playoffs. But we have not been able to be successful in the playoffs, (which) causes me pause in terms of where the team is headed, where we should go. This next month before the trading deadline is critical to our thinking and in our planning.
We’ve been here for a few years, so I’d like to get out of that in some form or fashion. That means doing something. Does that mean buy more? Does that mean taking a step back? I don’t know the answer to that yet. That’s what we work on, think about every day.
If Nashville decides to sell, they don’t have much in the way of expiring contracts which is typically the currency at this time of the season; their most prominent pending UFA is goaltender Kevin Lankinen. Next up would be depth winger Cole Smith. Neither player is going to garner much of a return if any. Pending RFA defenseman Dante Fabbro has been a speculative trade candidate dating back to last season but he’s in the midst of a down year and is averaging just over 16 minutes per night; if they move him now, they’d be doing so at a low point in his value.
While they in theory could turn around and do a bigger selloff, Poile ruled out that course of action. Plus, this isn’t typically the right time to move out players with pricey contracts and long-term commitments.
Speaking of those commitments, with nearly $70MM on the books for next season already per CapFriendly, there’s not much room to add aside from rentals if Poile wanted to try to bolster his roster to make a late push at a playoff spot. That said, it’s fair to wonder if a non-playoff team should be adding rental players; that’s generally not a wise course of action to take.
If they sell, they don’t have much to work with in terms of typical trade deadline currency. If they buy, they’re going to be more or less limited to short-term rentals with no guarantee that they can get back into the mix. Either way, the Preds don’t appear to be in an ideal situation with the deadline now just five weeks away.
Dave Poile resist the urge to trade for a defenseman for 5 seconds challenge (impossible)
Hey when you have the opportunity to acquire Jeremy Lauzon for a 2nd rounder you just can’t let those deals pass.
Nashville’s offense is nonexistent and maybe it’s time to rebuild, The Preds are in NHL Hell, Which simply means not anywhere near a threat to win a cup and not bad enough for a lottery draft pick.
Preds need scoring. Scoring isn’t cheap. I was going to say Fabbro for Kuzmenko but Canucks resigned him so that’s out the window
He doesn’t even know what to do? What a clown.
Dear GMDP: Trade for Shea Weber’s contract.
Too many bad contracts ( Johansen, Duchesne) to move. I have a smaller deal to suggest maybe Fabbro to the Senators for Brannstrom in a deal for 2 struggling First Rounders both in need of a change in scenery.
If only Poile could find a player like that Tolvanen kid out in Seattle, the Preds offense might not be so bad. :/
That blunder alone should cost Poile his job, but that he doesn’t know what to do a month ahead of the deadline is almost as bad. The same problem they’ve had all season will be the same problem a month from now: they can’t score enough goals. They need a top 6 forward due to their inability to draft and then develop top 6 forwards.