Two items on the NHL news wire this morning show that there are some talented, yet flawed wingers available on waivers if the Nashville Predators desired to pursue them. As we've seen before, however, the Preds can be very picky about the players they acquire, even if they don't cost anything in terms of players or draft picks in exchange. Miro Satan slipped through the waiver wire at the 2009 Trade Deadline, for example, so just because a guy is available doesn't mean the Preds are interested. But should they be?
Each of these situations comes with its own pros and cons, so follow after the jump as we look at the options...
Marek Svatos signs with St. Louis
Another team wracked by injuries up front, the Blues have reached out to the former Colorado Avalanche forward who has played in the KHL this season. That means that he'll have to clear waivers before joining St. Louis, so the Predators could grab him. The contract is a two-way deal worth $800,000 at the NHL level (per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun), so money shouldn't be an issue here.
Svatos isn't exactly the sort of two-way battler that the Predators are known for, and his durability is a concern. At age 28, however, there should be some gas left in the tank here.
New Jersey assigns Brian Rolston to AHL
Brian Rolston had some very productive seasons before he returned to New Jersey in the summer of 2008, hitting the 30-goal mark each of his three campaigns in Minnesota (not exactly a high-scoring outfit). The issue here is that he's 37 years old and has another year left on his contract. When the Devils put him through re-entry waivers (which is expected soon), teams can claim him and split the remaining salary with New Jersey, meaning he would cost the Preds about $1.35 million for the rest of this season, and $2.5 million next year.
Perhaps the opportunity here might be a "claim & trade" swap, in which the Preds agree with New Jersey to claim Rolston, along with a separate trade which sends a bit of salary to the Devils in exchange for some future hockey value, like prospects and/or picks.
Just thinking out loud here, but consider Joel Ward as a trade possibility. Sending him to New Jersey in such a deal would cover about 60% of Rolston's cost this season, making the deal more affordable for the Predators. The Devils get a defensive forward in return who might fit in well for Jacques Lemaire, but doesn't impact their payroll for the 2011-12 season, leaving their options open as they struggle to deal with a salary cap mess.
So what do you say, Predators fans? Should David Poile shop around on this Island of Misfit Toys?