NHL Trade Deadline Ramblings

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Pekka Rinne will start in net for the Nashville Predators tonight. Is this return the start of a playoff push or a guise for moves to be made in the hours after? (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The NHL Trade Deadline is 2:00 pm (CST) tomorrow. With the return of Pekka Rinne to the Nashville Predators net tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins – it begs asking: what will the organization do?

In my gut right now – I honestly feel like the Predators organization will not move a single player come the deadline. And, for those who didn’t catch the dialogue from Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile yesterday, it should be enough to tell you why my gut might be right.

“Getting Pekka back and seeing how we’ve played just before the Olympic break and in the last two games, even though we lost one, I feel as encouraged as I have all year.” David Poile

“So there’s a lot of factors that look to me like David is going to be here. The most overriding one is that we’re only four points out of the playoffs, we’re getting Pekka Rinne back and I believe we’re playing the best we have all year. So it feels right now that David is going to be here.” David Poile

It could just mask the inner workings of some potential moves but, really, I doubt it. The top target is David Legwand. Poile makes a claim such as that and I’m thinking he only moves if the perfect deal comes to them. They won’t be the ones actively selling him. They will be sitting back looking for a buyer.

Will this scenario change? We’ll find out come deadline day. I feel the position will be patiently awaiting buyers to come calling – they will certainly be listening – but a move comes only if it impacts the team long-term future (think Filip Forsberg‘s trade last season).

If there were suddenly a change of heart and the team suddenly became a buyer in the wake of Rinne’s return to Nashville – what could that mean in terms of Milwaukee?

Should things turn that way, I feel players along the lines of Colton Sissons, Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson, and Taylor Beck all become attractive options for teams looking to build on future NHL talent. I don’t feel any of these players are untouchable by any means. Still, talking from that gut again, I have a hard time seeing the future take a backseat to the present.

When looking at the goaltending situation for the Admirals – they may well have Devan Dubnyk in the mix very soon. He was officially put on waivers by the Predators yesterday afternoon and is in the last year of a 3.75 million dollar contract. With how he performed this season: (Overall) 11-18-3 record, 3.43 GAA, .891 SV%, 2 shutouts… (Nashville) 0-1-1 record, 4.35 GAA, 0.850 SV% :I very much doubt there’ll be that many teams interested in paying that price for that output in net.

That would mean having one expensive back-up on the Admirals bench (possibly). I highly doubt you would see Dubnyk, if he makes it to Milwaukee, take development and game action time from the likes of Marek Mazanec, Magnus Hellberg, or Scott Darling.

I feel as though Hellberg will return to the mix in a matter of two weeks or so from his lower-body injury. He should head to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL to return to game speed and test himself physically when he comes back. For Darling, this was a three-game process after his lower-body injury. If it goes the same way – the Admirals will be left to decide an odd man out. If Dubnyk ends up within that mix – the Admirals will be left with the possible decision to send down two goalies, both proven in the AHL, to the ECHL.

The long story short, too late, is that this is a wild and wacky time to sit back from our side of things and await the news to come – or not come. I really expect minimal moves from the Nashville organization come this deadline. There are some decent names on the market right now. Ryan Kesler, Ryan Callahan, and Martin St. Louis come to mind. Are they capable of making a run at any of them? I highly, highly doubt it.

If you were David Poile – what do you do? Should the Predators be buyers or sellers? Who do they buy? Who do they sell? Are there any Milwaukee Admirals who should be feeling anxious as this deadline approaches?

20 thoughts on “NHL Trade Deadline Ramblings”

  1. I’ll be the jerk that uses hindsight to point out that the trade for Dubnyk was probably a bad idea. Sure, Hendricks wasn’t doing much, but now there’s a scramble to place a square peg into a round hole. End of the day Nashville is paying a ton of money for, most likely, an AHL goalie. An AHL goalie that will probably find himself playing for a team other than MKE. Which if that’s the scenario, may not be terrible for the Ads if NSH can do a loan type deal to bring us somebody with a little offensive firepower, a la Zach Hamill (sp?) of 2013!

  2. Mark, I would argue you are incorrect. The Preds got rid of Hendricks’ contract for the price 3.75 million (or whatever Dubnyk is getting paid). Hendricks’ contract was much more. They overpaid him and he didn’t deliver. The Preds are better off without his contract on the books.

  3. The other possibility, kind of remote that it is, is that once Dubnyk clears waivers (my assumption), Nashville could place him on re-entry waivers. If a team were to pick him up then, say if a Minnesota strikes out during the NHL trade deadline shopping spree, they would be only on the hook for half of his remaining salary. Nashville would chew up the rest. That would be an a much more attractive option for a longshot insurance policy. That being said my opinion of Devan Dubnyk hasn’t changed since two or three years ago–he’s just not an NHL-caliber goaltender.

    It’s hard to predict what the Predators are going to do because they’ve managed to get rid of some of their “worst” contracts already, meaning veterans on long term deals. I’m curious if Michael Del Zotto is in play. If he signs somewhere else next year Nashville would get some minor compensation, perhaps as much as if they traded him. Other restricted free agents on the Predators include Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Nick Spaling and Simon Moser. I would expect all of them to stay and resign.

    Carter Hutton is a low-impact UFA (they might willing to trade him for a low-round pick). David Legwand is a pending UFA, but he’s got a no-trade clause, and that fire seems dead. If Nashville’s brass decides to do some retooling on the fly, perhaps Matt Cullen is traded for a middle round pick. Paul Gaustad is another player other teams might covet. But I just don’t see many fits as far as trade options unless Nashville is willing to trade one of its prospects. With the Predators, the future is probably better than the present.

    Like Lavender said, I just don’t see too much going down as far as movement for Nashville, unless some team wows the Predators with a great offer.

  4. One way you could look at it is Pekka Rinne is the Nashville Predators best trade deadline addition they could make.. Rinne could give them the best chance to close the 4 point / 4 team gap that is currently keeping the Predators out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference..

    I think NHL Nashville would trade Colin Wilson if they received the right offer.

  5. Claim Cory Conacher and stay silent at the deadline. No reason to tear the team apart theres a lot of talent there. The team just needs some fine tuning and maybe a coach.

  6. A few minor trades today already to report:

    1) Dustin Penner has been traded to Washington. Not sure who is moving the other way.
    2) Florida traded defenseman Mike Weaver to Montreal for a fifth-round pick.
    3) Edmonton traded Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota for a fourth-round pick.
    4) Ottawa placed defenseman Joe Corvo and forward Cory Conacher on waivers.

    Sounds like goaltender Viktor Fasth is going to Edmonton from Anaheim and defenseman Stephane Robidas is going to the Ducks from Dallas.

  7. A 4th round pick is going Anaheims way for Penner…..Seems like not enough to me. He’s having a solid year.

  8. I haven’t been keeping up with Minnesota Wild news. Why did they acquire Bryzgalov? Do they not expect Harding to return this year? Is Backstrom going to be out indefinitely? I wouldn’t think Bryzgalov would be an upgrade to Backstrom?

  9. Also, I am really shocked by how small the return was for Viktor Fasth. I’d have expected a far better deal to be out there on the market than what the Ducks received: 5th round pick in 2014 and a 3rd round pick in 2015 from the Oilers.

  10. CreedFeed,

    As far as the Wild, it seems like Minnesota are moving forward under the assumption that Harding is done for this season. There is nothing I’ve read on the contrary. It’s a really tough situation considering he was having a career year in the first half. Backstrom, for whatever reason, has been awful this year and also injury prone. It looks like the Wild went looking for some short term insurance.

    On the Fasth trade I just think the goalie market this year is just tough. As Marek Mazanec told me on Sunday, there are a lot of great goaltenders right now in the AHL/NHL. Every team knew Anaheim was trying to sell as the Ducks (prior to the trade) had a least four NHL-caliber goaltenders. Plus there just isn’t a whole lot of goalie buying teams out there looking for short term fixes.

    I’m under the full asumption that St. Louis was bidding against itself in the Ryan Miller sweepstakes. Edmonton likely would have traded for Miller earlier in the season, but he held full veto power over the Oilers. Prior the Olympics, I thought the Blues would be fine with Halak, but he was just dreadful for Slovakia. St. Louis gave up a ton for a player in Miller who can leave at the end of the season, especially with no other real competitors trying to acquire him.

  11. Philadelphia has bolstered its blueline by adding Andrew MacDonald from the New York Islanders for a third-round pick in 2014 and a 2015 second-round pick.

    Trade deadline Tuesday might trump trade deadline Wednesday at this rate.

  12. It seemed weird when Roberto Luongo didn’t play Sunday in the Heritage Classic vs. Ottawa. Now we might know why. Vancouver didn’t exactly get a huge haul in this trade, so this makes you wonder about the future of the Canucks.

  13. The Washington Capitals have traded forward Martin Erat just one year after acquiring him.

    The Capitals traded Erat and forward John Mitchell to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday in exchange for defenceman Rostislav Klesla, forward Chris Brown and a fourth round draft choice in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

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