Preds, Poile Know When to Hold ‘Em
Leap Day made its quadrennial appearance, and with it, much anticipation with the NHL Trade Deadline. For most of us hockey fans, yesterday was the equivalent of the beginning to March Madness. We toiled around our workplace pretending to look busy, constantly refreshing our Twitter timeline until 3pmEastern (and beyond) eagerly waiting for the blockbuster deals to push through. Yeah, not so much.
Out of the few meaningful trades that actually went down on deadline day, it seemed teams were overpaying for d-men and underpaying to acquire forward depth. The big names like Drouin, Eriksson, Hartnell, etc remained with their teams, thus deflating much of the energy surrounding the day’s events.
The Predators, outside of acquiring AHL d-man Corey Potter, stood pat. After all, the team is hotter than it’s been since the first half of last season and finally seems to have found some consistent mojo. Not to mention they already made the biggest trade of the year when they moved young Seth Jones to Columbus for Ryan Johansen about 7 weeks ago. That addition has given the Preds enough depth down the middle to have legitimately 3 lines that can score on any given night.
There’s also that million dollar question of whether Jimmy Vesey will sign with Nashville once his collegiate season is done with. Poile has made no bones about the fact he wants him on board for the playoffs. If Vesey indeed signs, the team will be as deep as ever up front. Even if you leave the top two lines alone, the Preds would likely boast a third line of Fisher, Arvidsson and Vesey, thus moving Wilson down with Gaustad and Salomaki. I don’t think anybody would complain about that scenario and still feel we need more scoring depth.
Remember also that when you’re a buyer at the deadline, only two teams make it to the Final and would consider themselves ‘winners’ of their deals. I need not go back into our playoff history to illustrate how mortgaging picks and prospects for a run at the Cup have backfired on this organization.
Yes, it would’ve been real easy for Poile to overreact at the deals made by Chicago and overpay to try and keep pace, but he’s made splashes before and it’s never worked out. The right move was to hold.