Nashville Predators Make Odd Waiver Pickup with Veteran Luca Sbisa

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Luca Sbisa (5) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Luca Sbisa (5) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Just when you thought the Nashville Predators were done making roster additions, they had another one up their sleeve just before the season-opener.

I’m all for giving a newcomer a chance before piling on him and criticizing, but this latest pickup by the Nashville Predators has me scratching my head.

The Predators have made a waiver claim on Luca Sbisa, a 12-year NHL veteran who has been on five different teams and has only recorded more than 14 points in a season once in all of that time:

Sbisa was waived by the Winnipeg Jets, but some probably expected him to clear and return to the team. Instead, the Predators add another defenseman to their arsenal.

This move is just a questionable one due to the logjam it will create for up-and-coming younger players who need to get that NHL time. I can’t understand the move after the Predators have already added Mark Borowiecki and Matt Benning over the offseason to help with the defense.

Not to mention, Jarred Tinordi is still out there to go along with Alexandre Carrier as taxi squad options.

Sbisa could very well be a veteran who never really gets used and the Predators just wanted a safety net in case some things go wrong down the road. He’s logged a lot of NHL minutes over the years, but that’s really about it as JFresh Hockey outlines here:

Where does Sbisa fit?

I hate the thought of a player like Sbisa who is long past his prime to take away valuable NHL experience and reps from younger players who are going to be counted on in the coming seasons.

You can’t knock Sbisa for not being a dynamic scorer or offensive player as you’re not looking for that necessarily with your bottom-pairing defenseman, but what else is he really going to bring that a Carrier, Yannick Weber or Jeremy Davies can’t?

As of now, the starting defensive core looks to be Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Dante Fabbro, Borowiecki and Benning. But perhaps that could change later today.

The taxi squad will be announced later this afternoon, and we’ll update you as the news comes out on who those players are.

The regular season-opener for the Nashville Predators against the Columbus Blue Jackets is this Thursday and will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee and on 102.5 The Game.