#4: Mattias Ekholm
Remaining Contract: 3 Years, $6.25M AAV
Mattias Ekholm isn’t higher on my list because I just can’t fathom General Manager David Poile bringing himself to dealing a stalwart veteran defenseman. It would truly mean he was throwing in the towel and saying “You win, I’ll finally commit to a full-on rebuild”.
With that said, Ekholm is probably your most valuable and tradeable asset right now. You could get a rather generous return package from a competing Stanley Cup team right now.
Ekholm was originally on Frank Seravalli’s first trade market board for Daily Faceoff, but since has dropped to No.25 on his list. He’s the only Predators player on Seravalli’s current trade market board.
The problem is Poile still sees that glimmer of hope that this doesn’t have to be the end in terms of some of his coveted core veterans like Ekholm is. Dealing him would undoubtedly make this team worse in the short-term, but finally signal a fresh approach to the long-term future viability of this franchise.
If we see a bad stretch like losing seven or eight of the next ten, then the calls will get louder to trade Ekholm and get a large return. I just have my serious doubts.