Making The Case for the Nashville Predators Selling at 2024 Trade Deadline

It's really hard to admit, but it might just be for the best if the Preds commit to being hard sellers right now.
Nashville Predators v New York Rangers
Nashville Predators v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Nobody wants to call themselves a seller. GMs like to talk about being active and looking for ways to improve the team in any way possible. While that is kind of true, sometimes a team is in a position where they could be buyers or sellers. A place where they could think about holding their assets or even trying to push for a playoff spot. The Nashville Predators are in one of those will they won't they spots. They might benfit most from being sellers.

You Can Get First Round Picks

The market has been set so far for the 2024 trade deadline. For Elias Lindholm, Vancouver sent Andrei Kuzmenko, a 1st round pick, a conditional 4th round pick, and two prospects to the Calgary Flames. Lindholm is a very consistent scorer and good player, but Kuzmenko scored 74 points in his first NHL season...last year. He's not having the same success this season, and he's 27 but he's a top-six forward plus a first round pick and two extra players at a minimum.

Sean Monahan also scored Montreal a first round pick from Winnipeg. He's a good player sure, but the likelyhood is that he won't get Winnipeg over the hump. The Predators have players who could maybe fetch a 1st round pick, especially once we get closer to deadline time. Alexandre Carrier is a commdity. He's a defenseman with an expering contract that can fit into nearly any defense core. Its possible that he could fetch a late round first from a contending team that needs a playable defenseman.

The big chip is Juuse Saros. The goaltender is among the best in the league and there are very few goalies he isn't an upgrade over. He's also under contract at a very reasonable $5 million for next season. If you're a team who thinks their window is this year and next year Saros is worth a first-rounder and more.

Let's See Some Of The Young Guys

At some point Tyson Barrie is getting traded. Maybe Carrier goes as well. It would be interesting to see an extended look at Spencer Statsney or Marc Del Gazio over a 15-20-game stretch. The same could be said for Egor Afanasyev, who is a point-a-game player in the AHL. Fedor Svechkov has shown some really good productivity, and I'm sure you want to get some NHL time for a 2021 first-round pick sooner rather than later. Liam Foudy probably could use one more extended NHL shot.

Barry Trotz and Andrew Brunette need to see these guys in real NHL situations. The AHL is still probably the 2nd best league in the world, but the Show is a whole different animal. Some really good AHL players don't work out, and finding that out sooner rather than later is important. It also factors into roster construction and development. Take Mark Jankowski as an example. Great AHL player who is probably an NHL'er in a different organization. For this organization he is a guy helping the developmental talent shine and a defactor first or second guy up in a pinch. We know that because he's played a 50-game stretch in Nashville.

Indecision Is Worst Than No Decision

If this is a stuck in the middle with your kind of team, that's ok. Even making a move to improve or to sell might not change that. What it will do is at least help the organization have a direction. A team that does nothing and kicks the can to the offseason starts the 2024-2025 season on the wrong foot.