Nashville Predators Could Do Nothing at Trade Deadline and Still Make Playoffs

Sometimes the best action is inaction.

Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

We've been debating back and forth, what will the Nashville Predators do at the 2024 NHL trade deadline in two weeks?

The Predators have the assets if they want to buy, and they've also got players to sell off if they decide to rebuild. Based on the standings, and the current situation facing the team, the Predators could easily do nothing, still make the playoffs, and be in a position to improve the team.

Historically speaking, the Predators have never gone too heavy as buyers before the trade deadline, with the exception of a few years. Maybe they don't do much of anything this time around, either?

Making the Playoffs Will Boost the Team's Profile

The Predators made a few splashes in free agency last offseason, but there was a theme amongst the signings. They were all veteran players who the Predators probably overpaid for. When General Manager Barry Trotz decided it was about bringing in high-character players, he quickly signed Ryan O'Reilly, Luke Schenn, and Gustav Nyquist.

Finding success with those players, and having seven expiring UFA contracts, not counting Mark Jankowski, means the Predators will have spots to fill if they want to.

With the town continually getting good press from everyone who comes to play here, fantastic attendance (somehow over 100% according to The Athletic ) plus it wouldn't be a Tennessee sales pitch without mentioning the lack in income tax! All that said, the Predators are a pretty great organization to be a part of, and accelerating a rebuild into being a contender makes it even more attractive than before.

Draft Picks Coming and Still To Come

The Predators have 18 picks in the next two drafts. They could have a dang near new team if that's what they'd like. Sure all of them won't work out, but there are bound to be few new NHL players amongst the bunch.

Then you take into account the players coming up in the Predators system. 2021's draft looks ready to start paying dividends. The 19th overall pick Fedor Svechkov is putting up numbers in the AHL (33 points in 45 games) as a 20 year old in his first North American season. With his adjustment ahead of schedule he'll have a real shot at the NHL roster next season.

The 27th pick was Zachary L'Heureux, who is also a 20-year-old ripping up his first AHL season. His first 43 games have resulted in 33 points and 117 penalty minutes. Sandpaper with a scoring touch can be used in every NHL lineup.

Zachary L'Heureux a Prospect Most Deserving of Getting Called Up Next. dark. Next. Zach L'Heureux

Ditto for Joakim Kemell, who in his first full AHL season and is at 27 points in 42 games. The Admirals are a great squad having a historic year, and their talent might just carry over to the big club, not to mention the chemistry being built.

From last year's draft, Tanner Molendyk, Matthew Wood, and Kalan Lind are all a summer from being pro ready. Development camp and training camp next season for the Predators should be incredibly competitive.

Trotz and Brunette will have good trouble with the current prospect group. Trading away some of these future assets for help in the immediate future would be shortsighted at best, and possibly lead to a lot of "man if only we kept him" in the long term. Next year's team has a chance of being better simply by default.

The Competitors Just Aren't As Good

When it comes down to it, the other teams lining up to be wild-card contenders aren't as good as the Predators. St. Louis just put two of their defensemen on the IR, and one of them was Justin Faulk, their current minutes leader. They also fired their head coach this season. That's a tough loss to fight through.

The Los Angeles Kings have also fired their coach, and have teammates publicly blasting each other in the media. They don't score as much as the Predators and have survived to the tune of 10 overtime losses this year. The Predators only have two OT losses and have not reaped the rewards of the loser points quite like LA. They also rely on a goalie tandem of Cam Talbot and David Rittich, which will run out of steam sooner rather than later.


Who else? The Seattle Kraken are a decent team in a muderous division. that can't score. They are 28th in the league in goals. They've also managed 11 overtime losses. The Calgary Flames are a similar story. They are a decent team in a tough division, who are in selling mode. They are one trade away from dropping out of the race.

The Minnesota Wild are clinging to the race, despite losing Jared Spurgeon for the season, having two goalies with save percentages under .900, and missing their toughness in Pat Maroon and Marcus Foligno, both on the IR.

The Predators status quo is a better situation than anyone they are in a wild card battle with. If this team decided to keep on keeping on and can avoid disaster, there is no reason why they shouldn't take a wildcard spot, and should eventually find themselves in the higher of the two seeds.

The NHL season is a very long grind. The Predators might just be staring down a situation that they can grit their teeth through, and come out the other side with a shot to win it all in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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