NHL trade rumors are running rampant as we count down the hours until Monday afternoon's deadline, and while we've all read about names like Ales Hemsky and Jeff Carter being tossed around, I thought it might be worth indulging in a quick survey of some other forwards who could help the Nashville Predators. Consider this a "quick hit" exercise to work some other names into the mix, besides the ones which have dominated the conversation lately.
To be perfectly clear - these aren't players I think the Predators are pursuing, but are instead ones who I think could help the team immediately (and in some cases, for a few years), from teams which might have reason to make such a trade. This is based on pure, 100% speculation.
So after the jump, let's examine a few names out there for consideration (presented in no particular order)...
#22 / Right Wing / Washington Capitals
Jul 04, 1972
Salary: $2 million, UFA this summer (per NHLNumbers.com)
|2011 - Mike Knuble||56||3||9||12||-15||28||0||0||0||71||4.2|
Upside: He's on the outside looking in for the Capitals, but I'd rather see Knuble on the power play as the backup option to Patric Hornqvist, than Brandon Yip. And let's be honest, we do need a backup option, as Hornqvist is currently on IR and hasn't exactly torn it up in the playoffs previously.
Downside: Is there any tread left on those tires?
#23 / Right Wing / Los Angeles Kings
Nov 04, 1984
Salary: $3.5 million per season through 2013-2014
|2011 - Dustin Brown||60||14||17||31||+5||43||5||0||5||161||8.7|
Upside: No, I haven't seen him talked about on the trade circuit, but I'd place a few calls with Dean Lombardi just the same (who knows, maybe they'd be interested in California boy Jonathon Blum). The Kings have failed to live up to expectations for a few seasons now, and may be open to rebuilding. If such a shift is to be made, the captain is often the first to go. He'd be a great addition to the Preds, however, and the guy draws penalties like crazy, which would put Nashville's suddenly-effective power play on the ice more often.
Downside: None, really.
#26 / Center / Colorado Avalanche
Dec 27, 1985
Salary: $6.6 million through 2013-2014
|2011 - Paul Stastny||57||14||23||37||-7||28||5||0||1||142||9.9|
Upside: He's topped the 70-point mark three times in his six NHL seasons, which is something nobody on this edition of the Nashville Predators has even done once. It could also be argued that he'd benefit from playing in front of a better group of defensemen than he's enjoyed in Colorado so far, so there could be untapped potential here.
Downside: That $6.6 million salary is a lot to swallow, but we keep hearing all this talk about the Preds spending more next season...
#29 / Center / Dallas Stars
Aug 19, 1982
Salary: $3.3 million this season, then $3.2MM through 2013-2014
|2011 - Steve Ott||54||9||18||27||+1||115||4||0||2||87||10.3|
Upside: Coaches love to use the phrase "tough to play against" to describe a good playoff team, and nobody makes life more miserable for opponents than Ott, who is pretty much despised everywhere outside Dallas. He's like a Jordin Tootoo, but contributes about twice as much offensively, and is one of the league's better faceoff men.
Downside: He takes a few more penalties than you'd like, but 55 of those penalties minutes are for fighting and misconducts, which don't put your team on the PK.
#9 / Center / Buffalo Sabres
May 04, 1983
Contract: $4.5 million, then $5.5 million in 2012-2013
|2011 - Derek Roy||58||13||21||34||-6||44||2||1||0||128||10.2|
Upside: Like Stastny, he would give the Predators three lines with real offensive punch, but has one year fewer on his contract (at less of a salary, too), which may gel better with the development of Craig Smith. He's also another guy to line up next to Francis Bouillon, Jordin Tootoo, Jack Hillen, and Ryan Ellis with Hal Gill in the middle. As for Buffalo, after this train wreck of a season they may need to make some significant changes.
Downside: None that I can think of.
So what do you think? Would any of these guys present a realistic option to bolster the Preds' playoff chances this spring, and/or position them well for 2012-2013?