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Will Preds be active at deadline?

At any moment, this story could become outdated. That’s the nature of the trade deadline, which will come and go today at 2 p.m. central. This day can sometimes be a clunker, other times offer some shocking deals that alter the landscape with the playoffs on the horizon.

Will Nashville Predators GM David Poile be active in any form or fashion? His team is currently tied for eighth place in the Western Conference, but St. Louis has three games in hand on the Predators.

At this point in the season, it’s more about what needs to be done instead of what has been done in the standings. The projected point total for the eighth and final playoff spot is 54 points. The Predators would need 16 points (an 8-3-0 or 7-2-2 record) in their final 11 games to reach that goal, which appears to be a tall task.

That puts Poile in a quandary. An extra productive forward could be the boost the Predators need down the stretch. Contrarily, this is a team that hasn’t been able to string together wins against good teams all season and their schedule in the final 10 games is tough.

The question often comes up: Will the Predators be a buyer or a seller? My response: Why do they have to be one or the other?

I don’t think they have done enough to be considered a buyer. Parting ways with any valuable assets for a rental player wouldn’t be a wise move by Poile, and I wouldn’t expect him to be looking in that direction unless something is available for cheap.

Other teams around Nashville in the standings, most notably Dallas and San Jose, have sold off veteran pieces but continue to fight for a playoff spot. That presents a case for why the Predators could be a seller. But what do they have that they can realistically sell? Very little, if anything.

So, the safe bet is that the Predators won’t be too active on this trade deadline day.

That said, Poile does have a history of being active at the deadline. He’s made late-season additions to the team in each of their playoff seasons. In 2008-09, with the Predators sitting in seventh place in the West on deadline day, Poile stood pat and the team missed the playoffs.

If a rental pickup is out of the question, I don’t think Poile would be opposed making a trade that would improve the team with next season (and beyond) in mind. Why wouldn’t he?

A situation to watch is what happens in Buffalo. After another disappointing season, they may be looking to modify their core and are reportedly dangling forwards Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek in trade talks. All can put the puck in the net; all are under contract beyond this season; and all would presumably catch the eye of the Predators. According to the Buffalo News, Pominville submitted a list of eight teams to which he wouldn’t accept a trade.

I wouldn’t get hopes up about the Predators being active today, though. Hockey trades (player-for-player, not player-for-picks) that could potentially happen today can wait until the off-season when teams have a better idea of their salary cap situations. And with the cap coming down, there could be a bevy of activity this summer.

Activity? Today? On 501 Broadway? Don’t count on it. But as deadline day has taught us over the years, don’t count out anything.

 
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