Nashville Predators: D-Core Gets Younger With Trade For Myers

Mar 22, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers (5) gathers the puck against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers (5) gathers the puck against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

GM David Poile is finally pulling the trigger and bringing a youth movement to the Nashville Predators. It may not have happened when most fans wanted it to, but the core team that had been together since the 2017 Stanley Cup run is no more.

Poile had promised that changes were coming to the Predators, and so far, he has followed through in big ways. Significant changes have happened, and further changes are likely coming.

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In a bombshell trade, just four days after Pekka Rinne announced his retirement and sixteen days after the Viktor Arvidsson trade, Poile announced that Ryan Ellis had been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ellis, a fan favorite, had spent his entire career in Nashville and was considered by many an untouchable player who would be protected in the expansion draft.

To inject some youth into his team and shake up a core group of players that had been together for several years, Poile traded Ellis for Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick. Patrick was then traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Cody Glass.

Beginning last season, Poile made it clear that the Predators were adding a more defensive stance to their game. Signing the 6’5″ Myers is a clear indication that Nashville is staying on that path.

Welcome To Smashville

Myers, a 24-year-old from New Brunswick, just wrapped up his third season in the NHL. Before being traded to Nashville, Myers had spent his entire career with the Flyers organization, signing with them as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

In his 115 NHL games, Myers has scored 29 points (6 goals, 23 assists). In addition, his Corsi rating has steadily improved during his three years in the NHL and sits at 52.2.

The Predators included Myers in their protected player list for the upcoming expansion draft. Poile must feel that Myers can make a big impact in Nashville with his size, youth, and ability to help shut down other teams offensively.

What Myers Will Mean To The Nashville Predators

Myers will add considerable size to the Predators blueline and give them an option other than some of their prospect defensemen who may still need some time to improve before leaping to the NHL.

Myers also brings some playoff experience to the Predators. He played in 16 playoff games for the Flyers in 2019-20, scoring 3 goals and an assist. This invaluable experience is a definite plus, especially for such a young player with only three years of NHL experience.

Myers will more than likely find himself on the bottom defensive, pairing with Matt Benning or Mark Borowiecki. Fellow defenseman Alexandre Carrier proved his worth last season and could find himself on the first defensive pairing with Captain Roman Josi. Dante Fabbro will also look to have a better year than last and reclaim his place on the second pairing with Mattias Ekholm.

With a fairly solid defensive core now in place, Poile can focus his attention on finding some forwards in free agency who can score or calling up Nashville’s prospective forwards who will be looking to make an impact in the NHL.

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This trade for Myers and Glass clearly signals that Poile is looking to shed longer contracts, gain cap space, and make some moves in free agency. He shed $6.25M of cap space per year on a contract with six years remaining by trading Ellis.

With a flat salary cap and the possibility of a Shea Weber retirement, Poile is making moves to ensure that the Predators have plenty of flexibility. He will need that flexibility to offer contract extensions and procure the players necessary to move the Predators forward and away from the stagnation that has plagued them for the past three seasons.

Even though trades of this nature are extremely uncomfortable, Poile is making the necessary moves to set up the Predators for future success. And while some believe that Poile could have gotten more for Ellis, he gained exactly what his team needs at this time, youth and cap space.

The Predators may be in for a bumpy ride next season, but growing pains have to be expected. Fans clamoring for changes are getting exactly what they asked for and what has needed to happen for at least the past two seasons.