Are we going to hear more talk around here about trading a defenseman? The Nashville Predators have been all over the NHL news lately as to whether they should trade Shea Weber. We gave our take in this article. It was amazing how an article by Josh Cooper of Yahoo Puck Daddy saying it was time to trade Weber took on a life of its own.
Soon there were multiple articles all over the internet giving the pros and cons of trading the Captain of the Preds. As recently as last week Pro Hockey Talk ran a poll asking for opinions on whether he should be traded. (54% said no). They also ran a poll that day asking if the Preds had the best defense in the NHL. (56% Top Five, 23% Best in League, 19% Top Half)
Things finally seemed to simmer down a bit but an entire new can of worms may have been opened today. Eklund on Hockey Buzz threw out one of his rumors on Twitter that the Predators are at least listening to the Boston Bruins who are talking about offers for a defenseman.
On his page he went on to say:
“For the last week or so, I have been hearing the Bruins are shopping hard for a D-man and may be offering up some “serious” scoring in return…Now today I am hearing the Predators, arguably the deepest team defensively in the league, are at least listening…
More info as it becomes available…
Rumors are what they are, especially at this time of year when there isn’t a ton of NHL Hockey news. And Eklund is known for throwing a few out there. At first glance this might make some sense. The Predators are always on the lookout for a premier first line center and they do have what many think of as the best group of defensemen in the league.
It’s funny because we just sent out an article earlier about how Ryan Ellis could be a top defenseman on any other team but he is destined to be in the middle of the Predators defense because of the wealth of talent on the team. He is often mentioned in trade talks by both media and fans of other teams as they see where he fits in with the Preds and how much he could help their team.
The biggest problem I see with this particular trade is that after trading Milan Lucic to the Kings and Dougie Hamilton to the Flames because of their bad salary cap situation they don’t have a whole lot of serious scoring. According to General Fanager they are still pretty much up against that cap and I sure can’t see them willing to take on Shea Weber’s $7.8 million cap hit.
I also don’t see the Predators trading up and coming stars Roman Josi or Seth Jones. Barret Jackman isn’t what the Bruins are looking for in an offensive defenseman and that brings us back to Ryan Ellis. Does Boston have enough to pry him away from the Predators?
Their best scoring bets are Patrice Bergeron a 30-year old center who had 23 goals and 55 points last year, or Brad Marchand a 27 year-old center who went 24-18-42 last year. I don’t really see either of those two being a huge upgrade over our two top line centers although they are both a little younger. There would have to be some prospects coming with them.
The one player that would piqué my interest would be David Krejci, another center who is just turned 29. He has had a few injury issues including last year when he only played 47 games but has scored over 60 points four times in his time with the Bruins. He would probably only be available because of his $7.25 million cap hit through 2019-2020 as he is their top line center when healthy. His real claim to fame is how he is even better in the playoffs where he has posted 21 goals and 49 points in 47 games.
Even though last year’s trade with Toronto for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli didn’t work out in the end it was heralded around the league as genius when David Poile made it. He has a history of some pretty good trades and I trust that he won’t give away a valuable defenseman for nothing. One way or another it makes some interesting August Predators talk.
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