Today is trade deadline day, one of two days in the NHL’s calendar year that act as a mini version of Christmas (July 1st being the other). It’s the last day for general managers across the league to improve their teams before the stretch run and postseason. Will Predators GM David Poile be active prior to today’s 2 p.m. central deadline?
Most people expect Poile to be active today, whether it’s some sort of blockbuster or depth trade. It hasn’t really been Poile’s style to wait until the last minute to make a big trade. When you think about it, the Peter Forsberg and Mike Fisher acquisitions came one or two weeks before the deadline. But with the Predators possibly one piece away from being considered as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, Poile has been active in trying to find a deal that could possibly put his team over the top.
Recently we heard about the Predators’ suspected interest in Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth (who will not be dealt). This weekend it was confirmed by the Nashville City Paper that Poile had submitted an offer for prized forward Rick Nash out of Columbus (who may or may not be dealt). So, the signs are there that Poile is aggressive in trying to add another forward.
The big focal point in Pred Nation this month has centered around whether Poile should make a splash or not. Why shouldn’t he?
He has the assets to go get just about anybody on the market, including Rick Nash. If that “veteran forward” is not “available”, then Poile could go off the board and acquire a player that isn’t on anyone’s radar. We all know he plays his cards close to the vest. With his tradable assets, any player could be available for the right price. (To add to that point, who would have expected James Neal or Kevin Shattenkirk to be available last February?)
With Ryan Suter’s impending free agent status and unknown future with the organization, this is the time for Poile to go for it.
He has mentioned in the past how he (badly) wants to win the Stanley Cup. Most importantly, he and his management staff have steadily built this team into what it is today. If Suter decides to sign elsewhere on July 1st, this will be Poile’s best chance to win a Stanley Cup with this Predators team that he began constructing at the 2003 draft – in Nashville, no less.
Ten days ago, Hal Gill was acquired and viewed as a possible ‘final piece’. For the blue-line, yes. Gill was exactly who Poile was looking to add. But the Predators could still use a forward (or two) to put a scare into their Western Conference opponents come playoff time.
As Sergei Kostitsyn says, “there’s a time to shoot and there’s a time to pass.” For teams in any sport on days like today, there’s a time to play the conservative card and there’s a time to go for it.
This is the time, today, for Poile to go for it.