The Nashville Predators made two trades today, both acquiring forwards who add physicality to the roster. They need it.
For much of the season, fans of the Nashville Predators have speculated about trades to help the team. With injuries plaguing the roster, the team has been in flux more of the year. Chemistry has not been build consistently as players moved from line to line in order to fill in the gaps from those missing time.
The season started off strong, with the Predators leading the NHL in points and winning their first eight games on the road. Then, Viktor Arvidsson went on the IR. Then P.K. Subban, Kyle Turris, and Filip Forsberg. Even Pekka Rinne missed several games for injury. Since the injuries, the Predators have struggled to stay above water.
Still, they are second in the Central Divison and in striking distance of the Calgary Flame who hold the top spot in the Western Conference. However, there is still a long way to go. After home losses to Winnipeg and Dallas, Nashville felt a need to make some changes. And losing Austin Watson for an undetermined amount of time does not help.
More from Predators News
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Luke Schenn
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Roster Officially Announced
- Nashville Predators Rookie Camp will Showcase Loaded Prospect Pool
- How Crazy Would Signing Phil Kessel be for the Nashville Predators?
When you look back at the second-round series against the Jet last season, you notice the amount of physically play demanded in the playoffs. Dustin Byfuglien pounded the Predators forwards all series. And Patrik Laine‘s large frame kept him active in all games. Size and physicality are needed to beat the Jets.
That is just what David Poile acquired today.
Finally! One of the moves many fans wanted to see take place. The Nashville Predators added veteran depth at center and a strong power play presence. Brian Boyle is in the final year of a contract, making $2.5 million per year. He is in his 12th season and has 111 playoff games under his belt.
At 6’6″ and 245 pounds, Boyle adds size to a small roster. Ryan Johansen is the skater with the most size on the Predators but is 3 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than Boyle. His 88 hits are second on the Devils and he has 36 blocks. With Watson out of the lineup, Boyle can fill the team’s need.
Additionally, Boyle has 13 goals on the season, which is fourth on the Devils and fifth on the Predators. Five of his goals have come during the power play. We don’t need to document how that could help Nashville, do we?
There was another trade that made many scratch their heads.
Yes. David Poile reacquired Cody McLeod. And he is happy about it.
Now, let me say this first. Cody McLeod is metrically one of the worst players in the NHL. This move was not about the math. It is purely about attitude and physicality. Teams believe that if you can be physical with the Nashville Predators’ forwards, you can beat them. The Predators do little in terms of retaliation when these moments happen. It is how the Jet beat Nashville in the playoffs. That changes now.
McLeod is not afraid to use his body and lay an opponent out. He reminds me of Pedro Martinez. You may through at one of his teammates, but Pedro would give it to one of yours.
Both Boyle and McLeod are expected in Nashville soon, and could even suit up tomorrow against the Stars. Are these additions all the team needed? We have three weeks to find out.