The day has finally arrived. The NHL Trade Deadline is 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time today. What can we expect from the Nashville Predators?
The countdown is on. Time is ticking down to the trade deadline. Any and all moves to acquire players must be completed by 3:00 p.m. today. Front offices for NHL franchises will be aflutter with activity trying to find the perfect fit for their rosters, or dumping salaries to start rebuilding. The Nashville Predators already sent Pontus Aberg to Edmonton for a draft pick in a three-team deal including Columbus.
Will there be activity from the Predators today? Yes. We know Mike Fisher will be signed today. Reports state the Predators will offer $1 million pro-rated contract, meaning he will receive approximately $260,000 plus any bonuses. For Fisher to be part of the team during the playoffs, he must be signed today. That will happen.
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Also, just to clarify, Eeli Tolvanen does not need to be signed today. He is already on the Predators’ 90-man reserve list and hold his rights. When Jokerit is finished with the KHL playoffs, Tolvanen can sign and play in Nashville.
The true question remains will the Predators make another move. Honestly, I do not believe they will. But that is my opinion. With a fantastic team in place, adding Fisher brings leadership and skill to the fourth line. It is the most talented Predators teams in recent history, if not ever. The goaltending tandem is the best in the NHL, the defense generates offense as well as suppressing shots. I do not believe the team needs anything else.
But, a move could be made. The Nashville Predators have been linked to defensemen Erik Karlsson, though the price will be astronomical. Are the Predators willing to part ways with two prospects and a player like Ryan Ellis? While Karlsson has another year on his contract, the price is not worth the risk.
Evander Kane is still available, but talks seem quiet around him currently. While he is a talented forward, his attitude and demeanor in the locker room are a concern.
Mike Green and Tomas Tatar are being dangled by Detroit. Many Predators’ fan voiced support for acquiring Tatar has his $5.3 million contract provides team control for three more years. Adding a solid forward to the Predators third line is nothing to sneeze at right now. But, would Tatar be willing to take that spot? As for Green, he ranks fifth on the Red Wings in points. He would be a rental for the rest of the season but would be great in a third defensive pairing.
As of this morning, Patrick Maroon has been linked to the Predators. Maroon is having a great season, following up a solid 42-point year in 2016-17. He is an unrestricted free agent next season, but his price tag may be within the Predators’ budget. This year, his base salary is $1.5 million. Certainly, with two 40-point seasons in a row, $4 million is not out of the question. If the Predators land him today, he could sign long-term, making the forward lines stellar.
Give it away
What would the Nashville Predators lose in any transaction? A draft pick will be sent to a team. The Predators have five picks in the 2018 Entry Draft, without a second or a sixth-round selection. They do have seven picks in 2017, including two in the fourth round. After a pick, teams will require a prospect. David Poile state Eeli Tolvanen is not to be part of any deal. Offering someone like Dante Fabro or Emil Petterson is a possibility.
Any deal for players mentioned will require a player from the 23-man roster in the package. Only a few players are truly considered by the Predators to be expendable. Miikka Salomaki and Colton Sissons are two such players. Both are young and talented. For a rebuilding team, they could both perform well on a third line.