The Nashville Predators are still being mentioned in trade rumors around the league.
The recent trade of Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen seems to have worked well for both teams. Johansen has nine points and three goals in his eight games with the Predators and after a slow start the team seems to have picked up steam with three wins and an OT loss in their past five games.
Since the trade, GM David Poile has been quoted several times in interviews both on the radio and in articles that he may not be done with this team including this article from Pierre LeBrun. There are still several places that the team could upgrade for the stretch run and the playoffs. They could still use more scoring, they haven’t settled on a defenseman to replace Seth Jones and many feel that a capable backup goaltender could give Pekka Rinne more rest.
As always, we must say that you have to take rumors for what they are. They can come from many sources including players agents and different websites but they are always fun to talk about. Our readers seem to enjoy them and we try to only include things we hear from credible sources. The honest truth is that no one really knows about rumors. That being said, here are some of the things being floated around about the Predators.
In an article from Todays Slapshot, they quoted Elliotte Friedman on Radio 630 CHED in Edmonton:
"On if he still sees Nashville looking to add more offense via trade:“Yes, I do. I think they absolutely will be. I know some people have linked them in with a potential guy like Loui Eriksson. I think that is something that makes a lot of sense. I know that David Poile has indicated that they’ve talked Jonathan Drouin. That makes a lot of sense for them.“This is a season where Nashville is hosting the All-Star game in a week. They’re going to go for it. The thing about Ryan Johansen is he makes sense because he gets term for them. Drouin is another guy who will get term for them. I could absolutely see the Predators adding some more offense because they need it.“There’s a lot of teams in that division – St. Louis is a team, they’re in it to win it. Nashville is in it to win it. Nobody wants to go backward there. As far as I’m concerned, I look at that and I will say that the Predators are definitely going to add because missing the playoffs, to them, is not an option.”"
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One of the players that Friedman mentioned, Jonathan Drouin has been linked on and off to the Preds since it was first announced that he wanted to be traded. This week, the Lightning suspended him when he didn’t show up for a game with their minor league affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. HockeyBuzz has reported that the Preds are not interested in him and other sites say that they are. He would definitely be an interesting acquisition although rumored to be quite expensive trade-wise.
We’ve seen the Loui Eriksson rumors a few places and talked about him fitting with the Preds way back at the beginning of the season in this article. The Bruins would like to move Eriksson because they are so hard against the cap.
There are some that ridicule Eklund of HockeyBuzz because he has so many rumors out there but he WAS the first that was out with the Seth Jones – Johansen trade. He mentioned this trade in his January 22nd column:
"On Tyler Bozak…Tyler Bozak continues to draw some very big interest and for the first time I am hearing a team may venture a first round (lottery protected) pick. There are four teams to which to look: Nashville, Anaheim, Calgary, and Ottawa."
It appears that the Maple Leafs may be big time sellers at the Trade Deadline. This article on MyNHLTradeRumors.com mentions that in addition to Bozak they may be looking to trade as many as eight players including Roman Polak, PA Parenteau, and Shawn Matthias as well as Daniel Winnik and goaltender Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer too. There are a couple names there that the Preds could be interested in.
We still hear rumors of Eric Staal possibly being moved to the Predators. It seems they are linked to almost anyone who could add scoring including Steven Stamkos and several players from the San Jose Sharks including Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and even Thomas Hertl.
It all makes for interesting talk and conjecture but the best thing would be if the team could take this current streak and turn it into a long-term improvement that might mean that they don’t need to make any more trades. If everyone played up to their potential they might be ready as is.