On day one of Free Agency, David Poile was busy working the phones trying to make tweaks and improvements to a team that was 2 wins shy of a Stanley Cup. After losing James Neal in the expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights, Poile had to look elsewhere to fill the void.
Here is a look at the trades and signings that were done that day.
Colin Wilson to the Colorado Avalanche for a 4th in 2019
This is a player I had high hopes for when the Predators drafted him 7th overall in 2008. Wilson has been a consistent 30 to 40 point guy, with a career high of 42. He also had two very strong playoff seasons. For all the underachieving that he did on the ice, off the ice he was a great person. Wilson was involved in youth hockey in a big way in Nashville and always ready to lend a hand to a kid that needed it. For that, he will be missed. I wish him well in Colorado and hope that a new start is just what he needs.
3rd round pick in 2019 to the Vegas Golden Knights for Alexei Emelin
Emelin is a big hitting defenseman that played 6 seasons in Montreal. Points are not what he brings, he brings the body. He has compiled over 1200 hits in 380 games. This deal has brought about a lot of speculation as to why Poile would make this move. Is he a pawn in another deal? Is Ryan Ellis hurt worse than we thought? It is hard to make heads or tails of this deal. I cannot see him being used as a pawn in a deal, as anyone could have done what Poile did to get him. This makes me wonder if Poile is now considering moving one of those coveted top 4 guys. I sure hope not.
Nick Bonino (C), 4 yrs, $16.4 million
I like the addition of Bonino if only because he is a younger Mike Fisher. However, I am not sure he is the second line center they may hope he will be. I will say, he did score 18 goals from the 3rd line last season in Pittsburgh, so maybe there is some hope that moving him up in the lineup would produce more. We will have to wait and see on that. While I like the signing, I still think the Predators need to look at a better 2C option.
Scott Hartnell (W), 1 yr, $1 million
This is the perfect bargain signing. Yes, Hartnell is 35, but he is coming back to play in a system where he was his most productive. Does this mean he is instantly going to come in and score goals? No, but if he could add 20 goals to this team and be a net-front presence on the power play, he is well worth a million dollars for that. Plus, we all love Scotty!
Anders Lindback (G), 1yr, 2-way deal, $650K / $100K
Nashville needed some goalie depth in the system, I like this from strictly from that aspect. Hopefully, Lindback will be a good influence down in Milwaukee.
Matt O’Connor (G), 1yr, 2-way deal, $650K / $75K
O’Connor is a product of the Ottawa Senators system. Right the Preds just need some goalie depth until some kids get ready to give it a shot.
All in all, not a bad day one from David Poile. Now we wait for all our unanswered questions around the Emelin deal to be answered.
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