Well, the trade deadline came and went and for most teams, very little was done to address major issues. Gone are the days where GM’s traded away their future at the trade deadline. In the new NHL, the draft and the free agent deadline have become more important then the ability to mortgage your future for a rental player.
Never was this more true then the minimal changes initiated by David Poile concerning the Predators. For weeks we have heard that Dan Ellis and/or Dan Hamhuis were sure fire trades waiting to happen. Nashville was sure to trade both of them and pickup a top 6 scoring forward and a veteran defenseman.
Well, at the end of the day, Dave Poile decided to hold all his cards. Nashville did trade a 2nd round draft pick to Edmonton for Denis Grebeshkov yesterday and with the Oilers picking up Ryan Jones from waivers, basically ended up being Grebeshkov for Jones and a 2nd rounder. Today, the Predators traded their 4th round pick to Calgary for Dustin Boyd.
Most importantly for Nashville, they didn’t trade away any of their top draft picks or young talent. That appears to be the strategy that was in affect today by most of the GM’s. Personally, I like the way the team is setup with these recent trades. For the most part, the level of talent that was available this year as trade bait was significantly less then in recent years. There wasn’t that one player that everyone agreed would make a major impact to any team. The result was teams strengthening their role players.
Time will tell whether Grebeshkov or Boyd improve the overall chemistry and productivity of the Predators. Both are restricted free agents at the end of the year and thus give the Predators leverage if they decide not to resign them. The true value of these trades, though, may be that Nashville still has its core of young talent available to compete for roster positions next year. If they are ready, they will have a roster spot. If not, we have serviceable players in Grebeshkov and Boyd that could be resigned.
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Written by Mark Jasper