Nashville Predators: Cool the Jets On Trading For a Forward

(Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

To trade or not to trade

As I mentioned earlier: David Poile really likes Matt Duchene. Other Predators fans have mentioned finagling a deal out of Montreal for Canadiens forward, Alex Galchenyuk. Both are phenomenal players that the Nashville Predators would be lucky to have. But, not if it means giving up Ekholm or Ellis.

At the crux of my argument is an article done by former NHLer, Greg Desjardins. He wrote, “Replacement Level: How Many Wins Do Injuries Cost?” The reason it applies here, even though we are talking about trades, is because he’s considering a team losing its best forward or defenseman for an entire season. If the Predators trade a defenseman, they will be without him for the remainder of the season.

The purpose of his exercise was to determine what would happen if a team had to replace one of its top of forwards or defensemen for an entire year due to injury. He ran some calculations, which he explains in his article, and came to this result:

"Teams can expect to lose four extra games if one of their top two blueliners goes down for the season, while losing a first-line forward appears to cost just one and a half losses…it’s clear that losing a defenseman is a bigger deal than losing a forward."

Hockey analytics expert, Rob Vollman, broke down what Desjardins found into goals. Remember, the only statistic that matters is goals. In his book, Stat Shot, Vollman explains that in today’s NHL, it takes roughly three goals scored to get a win. So, he took the average points added to the standings that Desjardins discovered for both forward and defenseman, and multiplied them by three goals. So, Vollman claims that a top line forward adds around 10 more goals than the rest of the team could muster up in the season. But, a top-line defenesman amounts to 26 more goals prevented than the rest of the team could do without him.