The trade deadline came and gone for the Nashville Predators without a whole lot of fireworks. But they did make a minor change on defense.
No ground-shaking moves were made by GM David Poile and the Nashville Predators today. They decided to move forward with their current roster, with the exception of moving Matt Irwin.
Irwin has been in and out of the lineup and interchangeable on the third defensive pairing. His replacement will be Korbinian Holzer, who is bigger physically, but doesn’t offer much else that’s enticing.
The Predators also give up a late-round 2022 draft pick in the trade with the Anaheim Ducks:
— ESPN 102.5 The Game (@1025TheGame) February 24, 2020
Nothing to get excited about
It’s hard for me to get on board with this trade, or even make much sense of it. Perhaps Holzer comes in and mildly impacts the penalty kill, but that’s where my optimism stops.
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I hate giving up a draft pick for a player that’s probably going to make little to no impact on the playoff push, or what they’ll do when and if they make the playoffs.
Holzer has a bigger frame than Irwin and will hopefully bring more in the way of creating resistance and taking up space.
In the end, these two bring the same mild impact, and I’d rather keep Irwin and retain the draft pick.
Furthermore, Holzer’s career numbers are pretty underwhelming in 203 career games. His Corsi percentage is around 40, and he has just 27 points over that time. He has already set a career high in games played this season with 46 and counting.
As for Irwin, he’s headed to Anaheim after playing four seasons for the Predators and managing 31 points.
He struggled to find a permanent spot on the troubled third defensive pairing this season, so Poile probably saw moving him for Holzer as at least a minor upgrade.
Poile also called this acquisition in his presser a “small deal” but one that he thinks will obviously be an upgrade over Irwin. Watch the full press conference here at the team’s official website.
Maybe Holzer can provide at least a little more stability, throw his body around and be more of a physical presence than Irwin.
The numbers certainly suggest he will as Holzer has 90 hits and 85 blocked shots, which is way more than Irwin in those categories.
We’ll see if Holzer can bolster up the third pairing with Dan Hamhuis or Yannick Weber. With Ryan Ellis finally back in the mix, hopefully we can start seeing some gradual improvement over the last 20-plus games.