The NHL’s trade deadline is two weeks away, and the Nashville Predators have lost their last two games leaving GM David Poile with tough decisions as to whether he should be a buyer or seller in this year’s trade market. In the current standings, the Nashville Predators are in 10th place and out of the playoffs if the season ended today. The Nashville Predators have struggled to put pucks in the net all season, and one must wonder if some trade deadline acquisitions could help lift the Predators goals per game average and make them a serious playoff contender.
Some of the offensive players that would be on the Predators’ list of possibilities are Jaromir Jagr, Mike Ribiero, and, in a dream world, Corey Perry. Although Jagr is a little old, he leads the struggling Dallas Stars in both goals (10) and points (18) this season and would be a pretty low risk acquisition for the Nashville Predators. Mike Ribiero, on the other hand, is a solid center and could really help the Predators who recently lost Paul Gaustad for the last couple of games to his second injury of the season. Ribiero’s contract is up after this season, and the Capitals disappointing season so far has put them a little out of reach in the playoff hunt and possibly a little more in the selling mood.
Last is Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks. Although this trade is a little farfetched, it could greatly benefit the Predators offensive struggles. Perry is playing very well right now for the Anaheim Ducks that are currently in second place of the Western Conference. Perry is in the prime of his career, and a lengthy contract could really help secure the Predators offense for seasons to come.
If the Predators decide that they should be sellers instead of buyers, they should definitely move some of the deadweight they have acquired over the last two seasons. Two players that come into mind are Hal Gill and Scott Hannan. The Predators are already pretty stacked on Defense, and they could use these to maybe get some draft picks. Hal Gill was a rental from last season’s playoff run, and he has done little to nothing this season for the Predators. Scott Hannan is another player that has been really mediocre this season and could benefit another team that is looking for some extra help on defense going into the playoffs.
Over the summer, GM David Poile matched Shea Weber’s offer sheet and the never-ending 14-year contract. By doing this, David Poile showed that he was willing to implement long-term solutions to Nashville’s immediate problems and to think about the team’s future in a more long term way. Although Jaromir Jagr would be the safest bet for the small-market Predators as far as solving the problems on offense, the Predators should look for a long-term solution to their current scoring problems whether that is in Ribiero, Perry, or some player yet to be determined. If not, then the Predators should get rid of some of their deadweight and let some of their prospects cut their teeth in the NHL. Although the Predators have picked up some players on the waiver wire over the last couple of weeks, waiver pick ups are no way for a GM to show that he is willing to do what it takes to win the Stanley Cup. Whatever the Predators decide to do, they should look to avoid quick fixes and keep the long-term future of the team in mind.