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?