Preds Send Granny to Pittsburgh Like a Thief in the Night
It is quite humorous to see Pittsburgh Penguins fans lose their minds over sending Nashville a 2nd-round pick for the offensively slumping Mikael Granlund. I don’t blame them.
This is just cunning work by Poile and Trotz to find a trade partner for Granlund, who let’s be honest, just wasn’t working out with the Predators anymore. I just had my doubts that they were going to be able to find anything more than a mid to late draft pick.
Getting another 2nd-round pick, and in this upcoming draft in Nashville, is huge. And they move another hefty contract off the books with Granlund’s $5M AAV that has another two years left on it.
I don’t understand this at all for the Penguins, but hey, I’m not complaining. This leaves space for Luke Evangelista to maybe stick around a little longer, and also should ensure that Philip Tomasino remains in the NHL as well.
For whatever reason, Granlund just fell off a cliff on the offensive end. Most notably just refusing to shoot in high-danger scoring areas. Even in his last game with the Predators he was gun shy.
One thing that is going to hurt for the Predators is losing Granlund’s presence on the penalty kill. Couple that with losing Jeannot, Niederreiter and Ekholm, and the penalty kill is probably going to go through some hard times over the rest of this season.
However, in the long-term with all of this draft capital and salary cap space created, this has been a glorious lead-up to the trade deadline for the Nashville Predators. They identified their objective as sellers and didn’t shy away from it.
Final Conclusion and What’s Next
Okay, so now to round this out with the speculation of trading away Juuse Saros. You’re still not going to convince me that this is a wise move unless I see a generational centerman in return.
Franchise goalies don’t just fall out of the sky, and I’ve always said that the Predators should always count their blessings for getting gifted with Pekka Rinne for all of those years, and now Saros.
Rolling the dice on Yaroslav Askarov living up to the hype in a few years scares me, as does relying on some unnamed goaltender to be the bridge until Askarov is fully ready to be the everyday starter. Is it really Kevin Lankinen? Maybe, but it still terrifies me to part ways with Saros.
We will see if the Nashville Predators have one more major splash left by dealing Saros or someone else. Overall, it’s been a very productive few days of building for the future.