Nashville Predators: Looking Back at the Dramatic Ryan Ellis Trade

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) skates with the puck during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) skates with the puck during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 offseason was a tough one for the Nashville Predators, as in an effort to get younger and give the team a newer look, they parted with several beloved players, including Ryan Ellis.

Ellis was shipped off to the Philadelphia Flyers with the entirety of his contract.

In return the Predators received Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick, who was flipped to the Vegas Golden Knights for Cody Glass as part of a three-way trade.

Glass was and still is supposed to be one of the high end prospects that solidifies the Predators’ bottom-six and gives them a bright future, while Ellis was supposed to be the top-flight defenseman that would make the Flyers a complete team.

While Glass has not made much of an impact yet, Ellis’ first year in Philadelphia was riddled with injuries and malcontent, and the less said about Myers the better.

Just looking at that, you can say that the trade has been a dud for both teams so far, but even in such a short time, the results have evolved greatly. Let’s just say that one team is in a significantly more favorable position than the other after this move.

Nashville Predators are the early winners of the Ryan Ellis trade

Looking at this from the Flyers’ perspective, the decision has blown up in their face in ways that nobody saw coming. The first part is not super shocking, as Ellis’ injury history caught up with him and he only played four games throughout all of the 2021-22 season.

Last we checked the team is still unsure of how ready he will be for the upcoming season, so his long-term health is still a major question with training camp right around the corner.

Quite possibly more concerning than that are the apparent rumors from last season about him not truly wanting to play for the Flyers. Who knows if that is still the case now, but his future in Philadelphia has all kinds of questions and he is on the books for just over $6M per year for the next five years. Not great.

The Predators, on the other hand, are in a very good spot when we look at the complete ramifications of this move. Again, it did not look that way in the beginning, as Myers flamed out from the start and very quickly fell out of the team’s current and future plans.

Luckily for General Manager David Poile and the Nashville Predators, they made the trade for Ryan McDonagh and were able to flip Myers in the process.

McDonagh too carries the question of a lofty contract like Ellis does, but does not carry the same injury concerns or those to make you believe the move would hurt the Predators like the Ellis trade has hurt the Flyers.

When you now look at the full results of the original trade, Poile essentially turned Ellis and Grant Mismash, who was part of the McDonagh trade, into McDonagh and Glass. For as much heat as Poile has deserved over the past few years, that right there is phenomenal asset management.

Speaking of Glass, this year figures to be a critical one when it comes to establishing himself as having a legitimate future in the NHL. He of course played almost all of last year in Milwaukee, but had a few games and did not look bad at all.

As long as Head Coach John Hynes does not hold Glass back and replace him with someone like Michael McCarron, he will get his first true shot in the NHL this year. He of course will not be relied to play top-six minutes, but he has to show that he belongs and is worth the hype, and accomplishing that will be enough.

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How Glass performs will undoubtedly go a long way to determining if it truly benefits the organization, and if he does not pan out, it will be a disappointment. That being said, as critical as he was for the Predators, they got out of Ellis’ contract before things really went south, and that in itself is a win no matter what else.

However, they still desperately need Glass to work out, as if they are dealing with another situation where a move helps them but it really does not fully, they will never elevate themselves to the upper echelon of teams.

The Nashville Predators are banking on Glass being a key part of their future, so all eyes will be on him to get a glimpse of if their current expectations are realistic. If Glass explodes into a dynamic player, then this will be one of the better trades the front office has made in a while.