Numbers back it up
So, our best case scenario is adding 10 goals to the team if we had one of those two guys and kept all of our defensemen. But, that is the key. We can’t keep all of our blue-liners if we want to obtain either of those guys. To trade for Galchenyuk or Duchene, the Nashville Predators would have to give up Ekholm or Ellis. A good way to see how Ekholm and Ellis played last season compared to league average is through their Hero Charts. Take a look below.
As you can see, Ekholm is one of the best in the entire league at suppressing shots. Shot suppression is another one of those advanced statistics with goals as the foundation behind it. The more shots that are suppressed, the less chance the opponent has at scoring a goal. Ellis, although less defensive than Ekholm, still suppresses shots at an above average level. On top of that, Ellis potted 16 goals last season from the back-end.
Since, on average, a top-pairing defenseman keeps an extra 26 goals off of the board, we can assume Ekholm prevents at least that. I would venture to say he is even closer to 30 considering how good of a defensive specialist he is. For Ellis, since he is closer to average in suppression and a little more geared offensively, we can safely put him between 20-23 goals prevented. But, keep in mind, Ellis scores way above average for a defenseman. So, the net value of goals prevented plus goals added would be close to 30 as well.
Another thing that would make the trade even harder is salary. Ekholm and Ellis are on very team-friendly deals. Ekholm is locked up for another four seasons, while Ellis is a bargain at $2.5 million per year according to CapFriendly. Trading Ellis for Galchenyuk or Duchene would result in an increase of cap hit to the tune of $2.4 million and $3.5 million respectively. That would put a huge strain on Poile’s budget for the offseason.
As you can see: Even though the Nashville Predators would definitely score more goals with adding Galchenyuk or Duchene, they would also be allowing a lot more as well. By these calculations, there is just no way you can make that trade.
I am sorry Nashville Predators fans, our offense is as prolific as it is going to get.