So what do you expect from the trade deadline? The anticipation is killing me. I want to see the Preds take a turn for the better. I think they can do that by staying the course. No trades are truly necessary for them to simply get a little bit better. They will be better simply on rest from the Olympic break and 50+ games of getting used to each other again as well as the coaching style. .500 hockey was the norm for everybody going into break so I would expect the gains in consistency to be nullified by the gains in other teams for the same reasons.
So where does that leave us? What moves make the most sense?
1st and foremost I would look for a taker for Paul Gaustad. His contract is terrible, his shoulder is gimpy, and he is the most unproductive center on the roster. This is no real knock on Goose, just that he is unproductive in this system and is overpaid by a large margin. Spaling offers way more value since the face off percentage is not paying off in more goals or better defense. I like Goose but he belongs in Buffalo for say, Drew Stafford along with a 2nd round pick or AHL player. Stafford would be nice addition.
2nd would be Stalberg. He may find a partner here depending on the trades. But is if there is a taker, take. He does not fit this system unless we get a new coach. He belongs in Winnipeg for Andrew Ladd and probably a 2nd rounder. Talk about a Legwand complimentary kind of player.
Cullen would be a great Goose replacement. He wins FO's and is a bit more productive. He is also a true physical fitness specimen for his age. Unfortunately, he is old by hockey standards and will be even older next year. He belongs in a place like Detroit or Carolina where his value can be truly appreciated based on passed performance and ability to fit into any system seamlessly. A 2nd round pick would be nice but I would not give him up for salary dump AHL player.
Mike Fisher only if he is retiring for real and wants a shot at the cup. The man has played himself into 'ask and ye shall receive' status and if he wants a shot at the cup, I would take the highest bidder with the best shot at the cup. San Jose has a real shot and probably one of their last shots with their aging roster...
Colin Wilson sadly needs a change of scenery. Trotz has killed his upward projection on Nashville. That's not really a dig at the coach, but Wilson was supposed to be the next big thing and has yet to deliver the goods. He could be worth a Yakipov or Gagner but is more likely a chip added to a package for something like Louie Erickson (hopefully) or Matt Moulton.
Which d- man or none? Ellis could fetch a fair return and we need a stay at homer or forward. He could be headed to Philly whenever they realize Weber is not available (they need newer, albeit, not as well rounded Kimmo Timonen)
Dubnyk, meh. If he plays and gets a shutout, great. It increases his value to maybe the NYI, and Buffalo if they trade Miller. Also Florida if they trade Thomas.
Nostrum has been Mr. Intangible. Overpaid but necessary. Clune...well...he is entertaining, if nothing else.
Does any of this give us a legitimate top line? No, but it may get us a few good options.
Oh, Legwand. I'd sign him, but I'd get at least a Forsberg equivalent if I traded him.