For the last couple of weeks we've all sat here and suggested the Predators needed that scoring touch. It's been in almost everybody's head that if we had that one piece we would be set, and as a team we would be set up very well for the future. Except...nobody has really talked about the opposite side, and yes believe it or not there is an opposite side. Can having a scoring forward actually end up hurting you? It can if you don't find a way to use him right, which at this point and time is something we as a team wouldn't be able to do. I've prepared some prime examples of how this can (and has in years past) gone horribly wrong.
Columbus got: Jeff Carter
Philadelphia got: Jakub Vorachek, 2011 First Round Pick, 2011 Third Round Pick
Anybody remember when Jeff Carter was traded to Columbus and then everybody got up into a panic because Columbus had some dynamic offensive toys? Then what happened...the season came around, and they sat down because they weren't able to stop pucks from going into the net. To make it worse, Carter never clicked in Columbus and after just 39 short games he was shipped to Los Angeles. Granted things have panned out way better for him in Los Angeles than in Columbus, but LA also has stud D-Men, they also have great forward depth, and guys who can play roles. Everybody serves a purpose...and that's kind of why it works. I believe fully Jeff Carter hated Columbus and wanted way the hell out of dodge so he wasn't locked in there for a long time. Can't say I blame him, but this wasn't the last time Columbus crapped the bed either...
Marian Gaborik, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets
You could say they'll get better when Nathan Horton gets back, but it's pretty hard to argue that the arrival of Marian Gaborik has been anything but impressive. They gave up a horde of players to acquire him, and in return have gotten some good production...just not where it counts the most. And let it not be mistaken, I believe if Gaborik wanted to stay, Columbus would resign him...except it just hasn't worked out yet for them. They're the whipping horse of the East, and they're not looking like they're getting much better any time soon. Considering Gaborik is out 4-6 weeks, and Horton himself won't return until about January from a shoulder injury (which has slowed Mr. Colin Wilson this season as well).
Alright, let's quit picking on Columbus, because we've got more examples.
Don't laugh too hard, but Scott Gomez was a prime example of a backfire. Think of it like this, for Scott Gomez he signed this massive deal with the Rangers, put up 128 points in 158, then was traded to the Montreal Canadiens who got a whopping 59 points in his first season with the team...okay, 59 isn't whopping but it is very respectable. After this Gomez limped his way into 50 points in 118 games. That would be bad if you were making 2.5 million dollars I guess, but this was a guy who had a 7.3 cap hit attached to his name. You're making that kind of bank you better be worth at least one point per game, otherwise you're overpaid (exception to goalies and defensemen).
Does it really stop there? Of course not. And this one is about to sting...badly.
It's hard to argue that the Predators of 2006-2007 weren't one of the most talented teams in the 2000s era of the NHL. Everywhere you looked that team had fricken talent and depth all around. Jason Arnott, Alexander Radulov, Dan Hamhuis, Scotty Hartnell, Martin Erat, Steve Sullivan, Paul Kariya, J.P. Dumont, Kimmo Timonen and David Legwand. Oh, and if that weren't enough you had Vokoun standing on his head in net...what could make it any better than that? How about getting a sure fire Hall of Famer who on average had gained a point per game in his career? That would be pretty sweet right? That would guarantee victory for sure right? Except...it didn't. We sent all we could away from the Predators without messing up the team...they got Upshall, they got Parent, and the Flyers got way more later on...
In return, your Predators received 15 points in 17 games and a very disappointing first round loss to the San Jose Sharks...now I know what you're thinking, the guy was 34 and had a foot injury...and while you are correct, what you're also forgetting was that was the Predators' team who was LOADED with scoring forwards yet we still couldn't get out of the first round of the playoffs. Later the implosion happened, Radulov bolted, Kariya left, Forsberg left, Hartnell and Timmonen were traded for what ended up being Jonathon Blum, Legwand & Erat resigned and neither of them were quite the same after that, and while Dumont, Arnott, Sullivan, Hamhuis, and others were here for a while after the big year the fact remains the team wasn't the same as it had been.
My point being, that just because we get a scoring forward doesn't mean we're winning much of anything. Considering what talent we had on the 2006-2007 Nashville Predators team and we still weren't able to win it all, well that just shows me that even if we did have the talent it wouldn't matter anyways because you've got to have balance on your team, you've got to have guys willing to block shots, and play the PK...everybody needs a role. Don't think getting just one piece is fixing this mess any time soon, in fact I would argue at this point it would take multiple pieces...and the right pieces to fix it. We're in the right direction, with Filip Forsberg, Colin Wilson, Austin Watson, and Colton Sissons being in the fold, but don't closet your thinking by believing it's one or two pieces away. Our defense is still very young and very weak, and our coaching is stale. Hold on my friends, we're in for a long bumpy ride, and while having a playmaking forward will go a long way in helping, adding a scoring forward will not solve the problem.