With much speculation of Connor McDavid wanting out of Edmonton, the Nashville Predators should be one of the many teams interested in acquiring his services.
The price may be steep, but bringing in Connor McDavid, who is amongst the league’s top players, will be worth that hefty price and the Nashville Predators have all of the resources available to make that trade happen.
Before we get into who the Preds might have to part ways with to gain his services, let’s take a quick glance at Connor McDavid’s resume.
McDavid was the first overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft and did not disappoint whatsoever since entering the league.
The 22 year old is a 3x All Star, 2x Ted Lindsay (MVP as voted on the league’s players) Award winner, 1x Hart Trophy (MVP as voted on hockey journalists) winner, he has led the league in scoring twice already in his four NHL seasons.
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McDavid has had 100 points or more in three of his first four seasons, only scoring 48 in his rookie campaign because it was cut short due to injury, including 116 this season. He is also a 2x 40 goal scorer, netting 41 in each of his last two seasons.
The NHL has not seen a player at this caliber on the trade market since Wayne Gretzky was dealt by the Edmonton Oilers (alongside Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski) to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings’ first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993.
Even then, the trade was mainly motivated by the $15 million in cash, so there is no telling what the Nashville Predators would need to give up in this trade, but I will try to use the Gretzky trade as a benchmark as to what exactly they will need to give up.
What The Nashville Predators Would Give Up
The first thing this trade needs, which the Gretzky trade lacked omitting the $15 million included in the trade, is an absolute superstar who can come in and help the Oilers immediately, which is where P.K. Subban would perfectly fit in this scenario.
The Edmonton Oilers defense is absolutely horrendous, so adding a 3x All-Star, Norris Trophy winning defenseman is a huge step in fixing that broken defensive core.
Subban, who is involved in trade rumors himself, is likely also the piece that makes this trade financially feasible for both sides, as his $9M salary being sent to Edmonton puts the Predators back under the salary cap (by a little bit at least), but the Oilers will be wanting more as well.
The second piece will serve in Martin Gelinas’ spot, as Gelinas was sent to the Oilers just after being drafted 7th overall in the 1988 NHL Draft, and for that, I will slide in Eeli Tolvanen.
The 20-year-old winger has a very high ceiling and has an absolutely beautiful wrist shot. He could be a young piece who could help the Edmonton Oilers immediately, which is why he fits perfectly in this trade.
The third player I will add to this trade will be Kyle Turris, who also takes another $6MM off the books for the Nashville Predators and be a solid second line center for the Oilers, as they hand Leon Draisaitl the reigns to their first line.
Turris, when he’s on, can get you about 50-60 points a season, which isn’t bad whatsoever for a second line center, and if the Oilers can pair him up with some solid wingers, he could see a raise in production.
Turris only had 23 points this season, but he was battling injuries and could most definitely have a bounce back season next year, which wouldn’t hurt the Oilers one bit.
Dante Fabbro would also be added to this trade, as he is a very high-quality defensive prospect who already proved he is ready for the NHL during the playoffs this season, which would be another key piece to an Oilers defensive core that desperately needs talent.
The 20 year old had a stellar season with Boston University, scoring 33 points in 38 games, which is very good for a defeseman.
The Nashville Predators will also take the contract of Adam Larsson, who could also potentially be a solid top four defenseman, filling the hole of P.K. Subban. Larsson was nothing special this year, scoring 20 points and having an abysmal -28 plus/minus, but maybe a move to Nashville would benefit him.
To wrap this trade up, the Predators will surrender their first round picks in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, one more first round pick than the Los Angeles Kings gave up in the Wayne Gretzky trade, especially because all four of those picks would be fairly late.
Sure, it’s a very hefty price for just one player, but Connor McDavid is a once in a generation type player who would most certainly push the Nashville Predators over the edge into playoff contention.
The league would not be ready for the destruction a line of McDavid, Viktor Arvidsson, and Filip Forsberg, a line full of guys who can basically do it all on the ice, and with the core they have around them the Nashville Predators will be competing for years to come.
McDavid already proved what he can do for an organization after leading an Oilers team barren of any supporting cast (other than Leon Draisaitl) to the second round of the playoffs in 2016-17.
There’s no telling what Connor McDavid could do with an elite supporting cast around him, which is why he is worth the hefty price the Nashville Predators will have to pay to acquire his services.