It may not seem like it most of the time, but the writers and contributors to On the Forecheck are people too. People with emotions and sometimes even feelings.
We were just as stunned as all over you when the Nashville Predators announced they had acquired Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones. So we've called to order a meeting of the minds to really flesh out and expel all the thoughts swirling around in our heads.
OH MY GOD POILE ******* DID IT. HE GOT US A 1C.
I can't say I'm totally surprised, because I figured these would be the two pieces involved (who else would it be?), but still... holy crap. I really, really, really hope Johansen is as good as everyone says he is, because I honestly haven't watched him that much (I've just looked at his stats). I'm still sorta in shock. I didn't really want to give up Jones, but that return... Oh man that bodes well. Maybe this will be the shock we need to get going again. So much potential here. I'm excited.
I am more than pleased that David Poile had the stones to finally trade the embarrassment of riches on the blue line for a true #1 center. I know it was hard for him to trade his boy away, but we are well pas the point where this team needed a top talent to play with James Neal and Filip Forsberg while pushing the talent we have down to the lines where they would be most effective.
As Aldo Rains would say "Damn good deal".
My initial reaction was definitely NSFW. I think it was something like "Bleep yes, it's about bleeping time."
For real though, I think this move makes so much sense, not only on the ice, but also as a business move. The RFA sheets were already starting to pile up for this upcoming offseason. We know the Preds are going to have to lock up Forsberg... It would have been difficult (though not impossible) to ensure that Jones was also extended. And now Calle Jarnkrok looks like an important piece as well. As it stands now, Poile can focus mainly on Forsberg this offseason, knowing the team already has 4 premier defenseman locked up and now a top center under contract through next year for $4 million.
And if all goes well (and I think it will) the Preds can look at locking up Johansen after the 2016-17 season, making him a franchise player for the Predators.
My initial reaction was shock. Not so much that Poile made the trade, but the fact that he gave up Jones. I honestly didn't think he would give him up for anything.
Now that I've had some time to let everything settle in, I'm over the moon excited about it. Nashville finally got the number 1 center that they've been looking for for years. Not only that, but with Johansen in place, Nashville now becomes even more of an attractive destination for free agents. I'll miss Seth Jones, but the Predators have always drafted well at defense. Overall, this seems to be a home run trade on paper.
After having walked in dazed circles in my kitchen when the news broke as I was cooking dinner:
I'm absolutely shocked. I didn't expect Poile to actually bite the bullet and trade for a center not named Staal. I have some reservations, like his "fatigue issues"--how is that going to affect him playing in the Preds system? How bad defensively is he actually? What about his rumored attitude issues? But overall I'm very happy.
I'm going to miss watching Jones skate the puck up the ice, though.
I'm elated! Losing Seth Jones is extremely sad considering how well he fit in with his teammates and how active he was in the Nashville community but it was well worth it. Johansen is a big body who can shoot and score and win face offs. That, right now and in the future, is what the Predators need. I'm looking forward to Johansen next to Neal in the hopes that he can get closer to that level of production he had with Malkin in Pittsburgh.
Other than Johansen's work ethic issues (which I think will change on a team that is not last in the league and that has good leadership,) one problem to consider is that Laviolette will have to figure out how to deploy both he and Ribeiro, who are not known as very defensive players. They either need to offensively stack the top two lines and role them heavily in the offensive zone or (as a wild card option that might be worth trying) move Ribeiro to Fisher's wing. No complaints, though, because THE PREDATORS FINALLY HAVE A NUMBER ONE CENTER!!!
I've advocated so much for Seth Jones lately I'm a tad disappointed that he was traded. However I knew it would either have to be him or Weber and Poile wouldn't trade Weber if he had a gun pointed to his head. Johansen may not be having the greatest year, but he's easily the best center on the team by a country mile. He's already nearly tied for the team-lead in points for a forward and he's have a "down year". I mean, come on
Honestly, my first reaction was just a twinge of sadness because I really like Seth Jones as a player and he's always seemed like a great guy whenever I've been around him. My wife got to escort him on the gold carpet on opening night last year, and it's a moment she'll never forget. Couldn't stop talking about how nice he was. Any "reservations" any of us had about drafting him had nothing to do with him as a person or his talent as a player...it was strictly about focusing on an area of need over an area of strength. That was still the case prior to today's trade.
There's probably more than a few people who would've rather traded Weber, and I get that. I just don't think it's possible. One, he makes a ton of money, and not many teams can or would want to take on that salary. We're probably riding that one to the end, for better or worse. Also, would ownership/management want to deal him after they've already paid most of the painful part of that contract? It's something I'm willing to consider...it's not my money, after all.
I feel great about Johansen, and I can't wait to see what he can do for this lineup. Everybody gets to slide down and play a more appropriate role and that's a good thing. You have to at least worry a tiny bit about the "conditioning issues" and scratches in Columbus, but I'm going to just chalk it up to Torts being an insane person and move on. Clean slate. Poile finally got a 1C, which most of us have been demanding for quite a while. It stings, but I'll get over it if this team finally wins something. And so will you.
My first reaction was, "Of course, they waited to do this while I am driving home!" With all the rumors going around about Nashville and Columbus talking, and with Jones continuously being brought into the mix, I definitely wasn't surprised when it was finally announced. Personally, I hate to see someone like Jones get traded; he young with plenty of potential and is great guy on and off the ice.
However, Nashville needed some serious help in the offensive department and Poile - I feel - proved he took this need seriously by putting Jones up for trade. I do hope that he does well in Columbus, but I am looking forward to seeing what Johansen can do. He has proven himself in the past and hopefully, in this new environment, he'll reignite that spark. Overall, I think this was a great trade for both Nashville and Columbus.
I am Bobby Heenan.