It looks inevitable that the Nashville Predators are going to sell of at least one of their forwards at the February 24th trade deadline.
The Nashville Predators have six games to maybe change their strategy at the trade deadline, but it appears they’re going to be more sellers at the trade deadline.
When you look at their current roster, you see a lot of players who don’t look like they’ll bring too much interested on the open market. Then there’s Nick Bonino.
Bonino is currently in his third season with the Predators as he’s compiled 46 goals in 207 regular season games, and added two postseason goals as well.
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Bonino is having an outstanding resurgence to his career this season. He’s up to 17 goals on the season, which matches his total last season and is just five short of his career high.
He’s not just doing it with scoring goals. His plus/minus is plus 15, his shooting percentage is soaring at 18 percent and he’s doing most of his damage at even strength situations.
Bonino has also led the third line for the Predators, which has been the most consistent line all season, shockingly enough.
The Predators are in a tough spot where they have to avoid falling into a rebuild mode. They need to acquire some draft picks and maybe acquire a player or two as well.
I don’t see any defensemen being moved, but anything can happen. And GM David Poile always has tricks up his sleeve.
This is the tough part of the business letting go of players who actually have exceeded expectations, left it all out there and brought high value to the team.
Bonino’s contract can easily be moved to another team and he’s played well enough this season for several teams to be highly interested in him. The Predators should be able to get a healthy return on him.
Bonino’s value on the market
Bonino probably holds the most value on the team when looking at all of the players who are realistically on the trade block for the Predators right now.
I’d come away pretty surprised if the Predators move a defenseman, unless it’s a bottom pairing player that another team takes a flyer on like a Yannick Weber or Jared Tinordi.
Going back to Bonino, he’s going to be very attractive to playoff contending teams that feel they’re just a piece or two away from being put over the top.
These types of teams usually have plenty of offensive weapons and top-six stars. A lot of them want guys like Bonino who offer defensive skills, passing, penalty killing and veteran playoff experience.
Bonino has Stanley Cup experience, has been around the league for a while and has a well-rounded game. He has certainly helped his price tag by his play this season for the Predators.
If the Predators feel like they’re not true contenders, even if they do make the playoffs, then selling off a player like Bonino for the right price is something they should entertain.
Losing Bonino would no doubt be a huge blow to the team’s chances for this season, but it honestly might not matter too much after these next six games.
Even if the Predators are narrowly in a playoff spot when deadline day gets here, I’m still pretty confident they’re going to sell off one of these forwards, and Bonino is at the top of the list with Granlund.