The Nashville Predators end February on top of the Central Division. Barely. We look back at the best & worst of the shortest month of the year.
The Nashville Predators end the month of February on top of the Central Division by one point. It’s mostly by default though, as the Winnipeg Jets have played three fewer games overall and managed to have a worse February than Nashville did. The Jets went 4-6-2 while Nashville went 7-6-1.
Another team in the Central went 12-1-1 and is only five points behind Nashville right now. We’ll get to them in a little bit. It’s time to bust out the monthly Nashville Predators awards!
Best Performance in the last seconds before the Trade Deadline: David Poile
There’s nothing like a Trade Deadline to ramp up the drama in a sport. Usually, all that drama is for naught. You get your hopes up for big things, and they don’t happen. Anybody that watched the Nashville Predators the weeks heading into the deadline knew that something needed to happen. As the roster stood, they weren’t going to get past Winnipeg in the Conference Semi-Final, and sure as heck wouldn’t get past whoever in the Conference Final and Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Final.
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David Poile was in a really tough spot. Either he would do nothing and write off this season, or he would give up too much and hurt the franchise in years going forward. It didn’t seem like there was a middle ground. As the hours went by, we all got more impatient. Other teams were doing things while the Predators weren’t mentioned. We were all waiting for some kind of move.
We got it, finally, 15 minutes before the deadline. A rare 1 for 1 deal, with Mikael Granlund & Kevin Fiala trading places on Central Division rivals. Sounded pretty good, though TSN TradeCentre couldn’t spend much time on it since Vegas traded for Mark Stone a couple minutes later. Stone was the main trade piece that day so it was tough to blame them.
Then, after the deadline, we found out that Nashville had worked a trade for Wayne Simmonds, one of the other top pieces considered available. Vintage David Poile, working deals when nobody expects it. Through the process, the Predators gave up Fiala & Ryan Hartman, two fan favorites. Few would argue that Granlund & Simmonds aren’t upgrades on them.