The NHL Trade Deadline is officially over and as for the Nashville Predators, they did exactly what they hinted at for the past few weeks. They sold, and they sold a lot, parting with four players in order to gain valuable assets for the future.
This is new territory for the organization and its fans, and although many fans wanted it, seeing some franchise faces go is surreal when it actually does happen.
It is a tough thing to deal with, but it is not like this is the first time even in the recent few years that the Predators have said goodbye to some of their more beloved players.
They parted with some longtime staples in the summer of 2021, which was believed to signal the start of their rebuild. That obviously never came to fruition, and even though you never truly know if the Predators are going to go any farther than what they did this past week, they have done way more to prepare for the future than they did two summers ago.
Nashville Predators have gained way more future assets than in 2021
Back in 2021, the Predators traded Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis, lost Calle Jarnkrok to the Seattle Expansion Draft, and Pekka Rinne to retirement. Jarnkrok is the least notable of the players, but was still a valuable depth piece for several years, and seeing those players go was a moment in which significant changes seemed to be looming.
Glass’ progression since coming to Nashville has been admirable and he looks like an important piece for the future, but Myers was later flipped in the Ryan McDonagh trade, and given the ways in which Jarnkrok and Rinne departed, the Predators did not gain any assets for them.
That overall return is not enough for a team entering a full-blown rebuild, and with Mikael Granlund also re-signing that offseason, the team was, in hindsight, in no-man’s land as it pertained to the direction of their franchise.
When you look at it now though, there is no question that the Predators are preparing for the future. The haul of draft capital and prospects they got at the recent trade deadline is astronomical compared to what they got back in the summer of 2021.
And there is a good chance that they are not done. Colton Sissons, Yakov Trenin, Tyson Barrie, Dante Fabbro, and Kevin Lankinen are all players who have a realistic chance of getting dealt between now and next year’s deadline, and it would be shocking if that did not happen to at least a few of them.
The Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Los Angeles Kings — teams who have recently been successful at the rebuilding approach — showed that not all of your trade pieces just go at once, and it can take a few years of unloading before it is truly finished.
The Predators have a bounty of possibilities with all of the futures they have acquired, and are likely to have even more throughout the progression of the next calendar year. Fun times!
Preds don’t have to get rid of every single player during this rebuild
A common narrative during a team rebuild is that every single person not under the age of 25 should be gotten rid of, or else you have not done your due diligence. Let me tell you that that is not going to happen with the Predators, and not only that, but it usually never happens anywhere.
It did not even happen with the Avalanche, Rangers, and Kings.
The Rangers kept Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Henrik Lundqvist for years after they announced they were blowing it up, and Zibanejad and Kreider remain with the team today as they are among the favorites for the Stanley Cup. The Kings did the same with Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick, and it was not until just days ago that Quick was dealt from the team.
And as for the Avalanche, their only big trade during their down years was with Matt Duchene, and in no draft during that stretch did they get the first overall pick.
The Predators are unlikely to trade their superstars like Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, and Juuse Saros anytime soon, but they honestly do not need to with all of the picks and prospects they have gotten and will continue to get.
And even if they do not tank their way to the first overall pick, which they could never just rely on especially with the nature of the NHL draft lottery, the amount of future capital they have gotten puts them in a great spot to turn the state of their franchise around.
They can use all of their draft picks as it stands right now, or they could use them to trade up for higher picks or proven superstars as their contending window re-opens, which is more likely.
The bottom line is that even though the Nashville Predators are unlikely to burn absolutely everything to its ashes, they are in a great spot as far as being able to fully turn their intentions to the future.