Preds extremely quiet on the first day of free agency
As of press time, Nashville is one of only four teams to not make any moves today.
David Poile has been aggressive this offseason. He hired a new coach, had a great draft, traded for James Neal, and attempted to trade for Jason Spezza and then Vincent Lecavalier. Those are just the moves the public knows about.
So far, though, Nashville's general manager has been radio silent throughout the first day of free agency. Other teams are still launching money at players, but the Predators have yet to make any moves. Perhaps the best thing I can say is Poile hasn't called a press conference to say they are done for the offseason. *knocks on wood*
The hope was to land a big time center, or a big scoring wing. One by one they started getting crossed off the list. However, looking at how everything has transpired, it's more a string of bad luck than anything else. Let's recap:
- Poile reportedly completed a trade for Spezza, (a trade that would have made everyone do backflips) but was blocked by his no-trade clause. Spezza then chose to go to Dallas (ouch) which was one of his preferred destinations. Nothing he can do there.
- Lecavalier was also reported to be coming to Nashville. The trade fell through when Philadelphia wouldn't eat two years of his contract. We don't know what was going to Philly, but considering how Vinny is on the downslide of his career, it was a wise decision.
- Thomas Vanek took a discount to play in Minnesota, where everyone knew he was going to be going.
- Mike Cammelleri is making $5 million for the next five years. He may have fit in Nashville, but he may not have.
- Brad Richards is already making oodles of cash to not play for the New York Rangers. He decided to makes peanuts (relatively speaking) to the second or third center on the Chicago Blackhawks. An attractive situation, given that Chicago will challenge for the Stanley Cup again.
Basically, Sam Page sums everything up:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Only players the Preds really missed out on are Stastny and Vanek, and they both took hometown discounts, of sorts.</p>— Sam Page (@samtpage) <a href="https://twitter.com/samtpage/statuses/484043477433716736">July 1, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The reason today is such a bitter pill to swallow is exactly because those division rivals seemed to sign or trade for some sort of high-end talent. But you don't want to sign a player just because other teams are signing players. Poile threw a bunch of money at free agents last season and has been ridiculed for it all year. Seems to me it makes more sense to sign players that want to be here AND that can help the team win.
There's nothing to suggest that Poile wasn't throwing money at Stastny (or others) to try to woo them to Nashville. We have no idea who he's talked to, who has turned him down, or who is still in the running to sign or be traded. The day is almost over, but there are still players who still need a team to play for. There are still teams above the cap ceiling that need to make a deal.
You can absolutely be mad that there haven't been any signings yet. Just remember: there is a long way to go before the season starts, and you never know what could transpire before then. Breathe in. Breathe out. Today is just one day, and they are still allowed to make moves beyond it.