Nashville Predators: Players to Target as Trade Deadline Nears

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 20: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) during a first round Stanley Cup Playoffs game between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues, on April 20, 2019, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 20: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) during a first round Stanley Cup Playoffs game between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues, on April 20, 2019, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Mo. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

As the Nashville Predators are in a midseason battle with a new head coach, the NHL trade deadline is nearing as we wonder if they’ll be in the playoffs.

We have seen it all this season. ,Is it a tank job or will the Nashville Predators fight to make the playoffs for a sixth-straight season? It really shouldn’t be this way with the talent on the roster, and some are even calling out GM David Poile.

Poile has nothing to do with the players underachieving and the team that now has a small margin for error the rest of the way. They did get a massive win last night over the division rival Winnipeg Jets.

Also as the team hits the trade deadline later in February, there are gonna be some really good moves and some really bad moves. But most importantly what can this team, and most importantly Poile, bring to the table.

Here  are some key players that the Nashville Predators could go for at the trade deadline to try to boost their team over the hump. Once a team gets in, anything can happen.

Player #1: Dustin Byfuglien

Now this would be a really big pick up for the Predators. Yet with him being out due to ankle surgery and a concussion, and with his contract expiring after next season, rumors have it that the Jets are terminating his contract, per NBC Sports and TSN. He’s been out of the fold since September.

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Keep in mind as the Predators move into crunch time of the playoff push, they need bigger players that can play the puck better than what they have now. There’s a lot of room for improvement in this area.

In 42 games last year with the Jets he scored four goals and 27 assists for 31 points. With a plus/minus of plus-4.  In the playoffs he did relatively well scoring two goals and six assists. The Jets were eliminated by the Blues.

Now you may be wondering why do they need Byfuglien when he hasn’t played in almost a year? It’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition. The Predators have had some good luck in the past such when added like this such as Brian Boyle last season.

Byfuglien could really bolster this lineup up and be plugged into the bottom-six. He’s worth keeping an eye on as a possibility for Nashville to explore.

Player #2: Shayne Gostisbehere

Gostisbehere would be a really good pick up for the Predators. Even though he’s struggling right now with the Flyers, putting him on the trade block. I think the Predators would be able to pick him up and turn him into a beast as he has been for the last couple of years.

This season he’s played in 40 games he’s scored just five goals, but this can be a case of Gostisbehere finding a new team and flourishing. Sometimes highly-talent players need a change of scenery, just like Byfuglien with the Jets.

What Gostisbehere has to bring to the table is  very good defensive skills, which is what the Predators desperately need right now. He could really help the playoff push by boosting up the defensive depth, especially after Ryan Ellis returns from IR.

Player #3:  Erik Gustafsson

Gustafsson has been a really good player for the Chicago Blackhawks lately. In 51 games he has six goals and 18 assists. He’s been a really solid defender for the Blackhawks this season, most recently on their second defensive pairing.

The Predators should explore picking him up because this would be a low-risk, high-reward deal with what he brings to the table.

Gustafsson has really good defensive skills and is a really solid puck moving defender who can bring a fairly good checking presence. This is what the Predators are lacking. More defensive prowess in the defensive zone to clear pucks and make life easier for their goaltenders.

Gustafsson really brings a lot of good things to the table as he’s a young player who keeps developing as we speak. He’s a former draft pick in 2012 and is currently in his fourth season with the Blackhawks. Keep this guy on your radar.

What could happen during the trade deadline?

Anything and everything can happen during the days and hours leading up to the trade deadline. These three players would have really good potential with the Nashville Predators if a deal were to be made. I could see them being a top star in Nashville, and possibly even eventually re-sign with the team.

These are just possibilities and players to watch out for. Anything can happen, and a lot can change based on how the Predators perform in their next nine games leading up to the deadline. It looks likely that the Predators will be both buyers and sellers at the trade deadline, meaning it’s going to be busy day.

The Predators are most likely not good enough with their current roster to go anywhere deep. They need to make moves and be creative, and that’s going to be a challenge for Poile. He’s shown he can be masterful in these situations before.

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Targeting these three players mentioned are good ideas that would help the team. We’ll cover players currently on the Predators that will be on the trade block in the coming days.