Is J.P. Dumont on the trade block? Tuesday's notes

You've got to admit, the guy rocks a mean mustache.

Hot on the heels of Jim Diamond's report on possible Montreal-Nashville trade talks, fans have begun speculating about possible deals between the two teams. Many of these theories involve J.P. Dumont getting traded, based on a few glaringly obvious reasons - his offensive production has plummeted over the last year, his salary ($4 million per season through 2011-12) is among the highest on the team, and of course he's a French-Canadian from Montreal, so there's the homecoming angle at work, too.

But is he really a guy that the Nashville Predators are looking to get rid of?

Follow after the jump as we ponder the question of J.P. Dumont, and then stick around for your morning hockey news...

It's a busy week in Smashville with San Jose coming in Tuesday, Vancouver on Thursday, and Phoenix on Saturday, so take the OTF Discount on Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game!

One of the things I'm finally getting around to is cobbling together my own database of game-by-game NHL data, so here's a look at J.P. Dumont's ice time per game (orange is even-strength, purple is power play) for this season, and the last two. The black lines are 20-game moving averages, to point out the trend:

Jp_dumont_ice_time_medium

Notice that while J.P.'s even-strength ice time took a dive in the 2nd half of last season (and continues to decline), his work on the power play has maintained steady around the 2:00 per game mark. If Dumont were truly in deep disfavor with Barry Trotz, I'd expect to see his PP time slashed as well, and/or some games spent watching from the press box as a healthy scratch. But neither of those things have happened, nor have we heard one peep about J.P. acting disgruntled; by all accounts he's a good teammate, and a solid pro.

Could it really be that Coach simply wants to leverage J.P. the best way he can within the overall team concept? His long-standing criticism has been that Dumont has a tendency to become passive, following the play rather than moving his feet and creating it. Limiting his 5-on-5 work would seem to make sense, then, while the power play would still represent an opportunity to leverage J.P.'s offensive skill set without worrying so much about defensive liabilities.

Simply put, I would propose that J.P. Dumont isn't quite as dispensable as many Predators fans seem to think, and when combined with his No Movement clause, it would seem incredibly unlikely for J.P. to moved at this year's Trade Deadline. Impossible? Of course not. But highly, highly unlikely.

While you're reading this morning's news, listen in to Cody Franson's appearance on the Thom Abraham Showfrom yesterday afternoon:

Cody Franson on Thom Abraham Show 20110214 (MP3)

Nashville Predators News

Preds On The Glass: The Circus is Over So It's Time to Get Serious in Nashville and Tuesday Tidbits
Buddy's ready to get down to business, there are key games to be won!

Gameday Thoughts – Sharks VS Predators: Game 57 | The Predatorial
Kristopher's preview admonishes the Preds to stay out of the penalty box tonight... a fine idea against one of the top PP units in the league.

Early Playoff Predictions – An Awesome Cup Final | The Predatorial
Um... whatever they're smoking over here, I hope they brought enough to share.

Paul McCann - Game Night in Smashville
Hey, that's not fair! Paul notes that San Jose's coming in here with pretty much a healthy lineup.

Preview #57: Sharks Make Final Visit To Music City - Predlines
Amanda's preview notes what San Jose rookie Logan Couture's been saying on Twitter.

Smashville Tradition Gets ‘Credit’ For Weekend Win - Predlines
Was it the TV Timeout Standing O that foiled the Avalanche?

Nashville Predators Launch Suite Week - NashvillePredators.com
Are you following the Preds on Twitter and Facebook? You'd better, as you could win a suite rental in their upcoming giveaway.

Sullivan's fast start still ranks as most impressive Predators' debut | Nashville City Paper
Sully's set the bar pretty high when it comes to guys playing their first game in Nashville.

Preds look to separate from tight Western Conference - The Tennessean
I have a feeling it's going to be a close race for 4th to the finish, however.

Around the NHL

Darkest Day in Avalanche History? - All Things Avs
After watching Peter Forsberg retire in the afternoon, the Colorado Avalanche came out on home ice and got whacked by division rival Calgary 9-1, including a 5-0 first period. Ouch.

Mario's message good for NHL, plus 30 thoughts - Elliotte Friedman
The Mike Fisher trade figures prominently in Elliotte's weekly must-read.

McKenzie: Lemieux losing big in court of public opinion
Bob McKenzie notes how Mario Lemieux's comments fell flat with his colleagues around the league.

Sharks Gameday: Another Big Game In A Long Line of Big Games - Fear The Fin
Tonight looms large in San Jose, as well, where they're worried about defensive consistency.

Odds and ends that didn’t make the cut when writing about how the Sharks have turned things around | Working the Corners
David Pollak, beat writer covering the San Jose Sharks, covers a number of issues here, including a much more complicated version of the "3 is the magic number" line that Barry Trotz has used lately.

Recap: Coyotes 3, Capitals 2 - Japers' Rink
So much for the Capitals providing any help last night.

Canucks' Andrew Alberts Breaks Wrist -- NHL FanHouse
Vancouver (which comes into Nashville on Thursday) loses another defenseman to injury.

Video: Kris Versteeg talks about leaving Toronto, joining Flyers - Broad Street Hockey
Did the highest-scoring team in the East really need another sniper? I guess they did, as the Flyers picked up Versteeg from Toronto for a 1st- and 3rd-round draft pick.

Down Goes Brown: A brief history of hockey brawls
You've gotta love this one: "December 23, 1979 - Mike Milbury climbs into the stands and beats a fan with his own shoe, in what everyone now agrees is probably the fifteenth or sixteenth dumbest thing he's ever done."

The Rorschach: Live by the bounces, die by the bounces - Houses of the Hockey
Regression to the mean has a funny way of turning storylines upside down.

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