More and more by the day it looks like the Nashville Predators are going to hold strong with what they have and move past the trade deadline with not much action.
Winning like they have been as of late will do that for you. The Predators have hit a lengthy hot streak that no one really could’ve saw coming, except for the players themselves who had to know this team always had it in them.
The Predators have impressively won ten of their past 12 games, dating back to March 14 when they shockingly took down the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 final score behind a monster night from Pekka Rinne.
Since then, the Predators have dropped just two games, with those losses coming to the Florida Panthers and the Dallas Stars, respectively.
Let’s examine the pros and cons to being idle for the trade deadline, which is just five days away and much more difficult during this shortened season that’s still going on under a global pandemic.
The pros to staying the course for the Nashville Predators
This just seems to be the likely scenario that’s going to play out for the Nashville, Predators, but we could be in for a major surprise. You just never know what kind of tricks GM David Poile has up his sleeve as the experienced man in charge who is an expert at his craft.
Once I saw the speculation that Mattias Ekholm‘s price is too high for teams to make an offer to the Predators, it became obvious that Poile isn’t giddy to move top players. At least not Ekholm, who was the main trade piece for so long before the hot streak.
Credit to Alex Daugherty of AtoZSports for his perspective on the Predators not looking like they’ll move Ekholm after all:
The obvious pro to moving forward with what you have is you’re winning with this current group and conventional thinking says don’t mess with that. Stay the course and hope that this carries into a first round playoff series with a very difficult opponent, and likely the Central Division winner.
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If the Predators’ injury luck can turn around over the last weeks of the regular season, then suddenly the team has built quite the impressive amount of depth to make things interesting if they do indeed make the playoffs.
Who’s to say that the youth of this roster doesn’t keep getting better with each regular season game they play, and additionally the veterans bring their top performances in playoff crunch time?
If you’re rolling the dice that this current group has what it takes to not only make the playoffs, but actually succeed in the playoffs, then this is the right path to take. But again, this is a risky proposition for Poile to take.
Furthermore, trading away the likes of a Mikael Granlund, or someone else, that’s already starting and playing key minutes for you could also force you to bring another newcomer into the lineup and disrupt chemistry.
The way I feel about doing nothing at the trade deadline is you’re taking the conservative option and hoping this carries over into a first round playoff series.
The cons to doing nothing at trade deadline
Poile is really risking this team getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs once again, and in return losing some players for basically nothing.
There’s no guarantee whatsoever that Granlund is going to return to the Predators next season, although that would be a top priority in the offseason.
Ekholm is a player that could possibly be lost in the upcoming expansion draft, which would also string quite a bit if the Predators missed the boat on getting something large in return for him now. Especially if all you get out of it is a first-round playoff exit.
We’re all probably on the same page that making the playoffs just doesn’t mean much anymore. Would it be cool to see this team get in considering where they were just a month ago? Sure, but at what cost if we’re jeopardizing the long-term future?
Despite all of the winning and outstanding play from this entire team, I’ve held firm that being soft sellers needs to happen. Even if it’s moving on from smaller pieces like Erik Haula, Nick Cousins or Brad Richardson.
Perhaps the only con that matters to this ordeal is sacrificing what could be some solid returns for current trade pieces just to get ousted in the first round of the playoffs yet again.
If you’re a huge believer in this team’s chances to pull off the upset over the likes of Tampa Bay, Carolina or Florida, then by all means moving ahead with what we have is an intriguing option for you.
I’m not convinced that the Predators can pull that off, as much as I hope I’m wrong. The Predators have shown they can consistently beat the bottom half of the division with teams like Detroit, Columbus and Chicago. Even Dallas is a team that the Predators have matched up fairly well against, but it gets dicey after that.
If the Predators claim a first round playoff series win and catch that postseason fever that was similar to 2017, then I’ll gladly eat crow on my current stance. Let’s see how it all shakes out after April 12th’s deadline.