Trade rumors are everywhere. We all know the Nashville Predators have been rumored to be interested in Matt Duchene in Colorado. Well, just one day ago, they are now rumored to be looking to getting in on Evander Kane in Buffalo. This was most recently reported by Eklund on Hockeybuzz.com. With all the rumors flying around this time of the year, I thought I would take a look at what I think GM David Poile wants, what he needs and what he could use for the team.
What The Predators Want
It goes without saying that Matt Duchene is a want. There is just too much smoke for there not to be fire. As I have said in previous articles, I would love to have Duchene, I am just not sure that paying the asking price is wise for this team to do at this point.
Yes, he is a game changer, no doubt. Getting him without giving up one of your top 4 defensemen would be the goal here. The Predators have some really good young defensive prospects like Dante Fabbro, Samuel Girard and Alexandre Carrier, so there is a chance to get him cheaper. Obviously, that will be up to Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, so we shall see if this want, actually comes to Nashville.
What The Predators Need
A couple of weeks ago, I would have said the Predators needed a little more grit and sandpaper to their lineup. However, they remedied that by acquiring Cody McLeod from Colorado and Vern Fiddler from New Jersey. That leaves another scoring forward as a need.
Aside from Duchene, there are others out there Nashville could pursue. They could go and get a rental player like Patrick Sharp in Dallas, Radim Vrbata in Arizona and Thomas Vanek in Detroit. For me, this is the route to go. The offer would not have to break up your roster and you should get the added scoring punch you are looking for from guys like this.
The other option is going for a younger forward that would not cost as much as Duchene would. A name that has surfaced in rumors tied to Nashville is Evander Kane. This is an interesting one for me. He is one of those players that can be a force on the ice.
This season he is back on the 30 goal pace; currently he has 21. However, there are some off the ice issues with Kane, that make him less appealing for a team trying to keep a good chemistry for a playoff run. Would he help on the ice? Yes, but off the ice he could hinder this team.
What The Predators Could Use
First, I think a veteran defenseman that would be a 7th D in case of a major injury would be nice. I love Anthony Bitetto, but let’s be honest, he is still unproven. God forbid Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis or P.K. Subban go down right before the playoffs and Bitetto is our only answer for that. That could be devastating.
Now, this next one is going to get a lot of people all riled up. Nashville could use a veteran backup goaltender. I can hear it now. “Jusse Saros is the man, we don’t need anyone else, he is the future!” I agree, he is very good and getting better all the time, but the key part of that is he is the “future”.
Let’s be honest here, we haven’t exactly been on a tear when Saros has been in net. The team is 7-5-3 in games he has played this season. Yes, his numbers are great for a rookie goaltender, 2.21 GAA and a .929 SV%, which is awesome. However, the NHL playoffs are a different animal all together.
Let’s just say if he had to step in and play because Pekka Rinne was hurt, the pressure of being the guy in the playoffs could back fire on him. Last thing we want is for his confidence to take a hit in any way. All I am saying is it would be nice to know that the guy on the bench has been through those wars should he be needed.
Let me know what you think. Also, follow me on twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet. I will be trying to live tweet from the games.
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