David Poile has had a busy week locking up his restricted free agents, and while the biggest and baddest of them all still remains in Shea Weber, there's also that pesky issue of a Top 6 forward which is sorely needed. With guys like J.P. Dumont, Joel Ward, and Steve Sullivan all having left the team this summer, there's a gaping hole up front that the kids aren't ready to fill at this time.
The problem, however, is that the free agency ranks have pretty much been picked clean. You've got perhaps Corey Stillman (but I thought we were moving away from aging, undersized wingers) and Nikolay Zherdev (who can't seem to keep his coaches happy), but nobody who jumps out at you as a surefire performer for 2011-12.
That then, raises the specter of trading for such a player. But the question then becomes, who goes? Cody Franson was already sent packing in order to get the Maple Leafs to take on Matthew Lombardi's contract, so you'd have to think that in order to bring in a difference-making forward, it might require the Predators to part with another young blueliner.
Or are there other assets which might work in such a deal? I doubt Poile would part with another 1st-round draft pick after sitting out this year's opening night of the draft, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on who, realistically, the Predators could part with in exchange for a Top 6 forward.
Feel free to delve into that question in the comments below, after reading your morning hockey news...
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Nashville Predators News
Nashville Predators Dancers Auditions - Nashville Predators
The Preds are holding auditions for the 2011-12 edition of the Nashville Predators Dancers, with preliminaries on Sunday and the finals on July 24. Head over here for all the details if you've got what it takes...
Around the NHL
Kings' Dean Lombardi blasts Edmonton Oilers over Ryan Smyth trade - latimes.com
The L.A. GM is mad because Colin Fraser, who he acquired from Edmonton, apparently has much more severe injuries (and a blood disorder) than he was led to believe when the trade was made.
Video: Tallon, Santos intro a gaggle of new Cats - Litter Box Cats
Sorry, no Marcel Goc, J.R.
Cautious NHL bosses play nice on Stamkos, Doughty - The Globe and Mail
Offer sheet, schmoffer sheet.
The Best of the Rest: Should the Flames Gamble on a Risky UFA? - Matchsticks and Gasoline
I keep waiting for the total teardown & rebuild to take place in Calgary, but they're piecing together the pieces to try and contend once again. Would a guy like Marek Svatos or Nikolay Zherdev make the difference there?
Marleau-Thornton-Havlat??? That’s not exactly how things are envisioned at the moment | Working the Corners
Martin Havlat won't simply be a plug & play replacement for Dany Heatley in San Jose...
Lowetide: Get Bob?
A fine read about goalies in general, then specifically whether Edmonton should trade for Philadephia's Sergei Bobrovsky.
Washington Capitals trade Eric Fehr to Winnipeg Jets - Capitals Insider
Fehr's was a name which cropped up often in the comments here as someone the Preds should consider trading for, but the Jets nabbed him.
Secondary Six Linkorama - Western College Hockey Blog
The second tier of college hockey programs are left scrambling right now in the wake of the creation of a Big Ten hockey conference.
And lastly, while we're still pondering scoring help for the Preds, how about Britain's Prince William? He played a little street hockey while touring Canada recently...