Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Preds Don't Budge at Trade Deadline; Rely on Youngsters

David Poile and the Nashville Predators didn't make any moves on the day of the NHL trade deadline on Monday. Prior to the deadline, the Preds had already acquired Mike Fisher and traded away Alexander Sulzer. Rumors were flying through the air all morning long as to what the Predators might do. The main one that I heard was the rumor about the Predators possibly acquiring Ales Hemsky and Ladislav Smid from the Oilers, which would have made for an interesting swap considering the Preds play Edmonton tonight.

The trade deadline came and went and nothing happened for Nashville. Poile held a press conference at 3:00 on Monday and went on about how the asking price for players he had wanted was too expensive. Poile is hoping the youngsters can step up and contribute for the team down the stretch run.

There seems to be two ways that you can go on this one. One, you can raise hell about Poile and give him the old "You've got to pay to win" routine. Two, you can take him at his word and trust his judgement that the players were, indeed, too expensive to add and hope that the young players like Geoffrion and Blum can help this team down the line.

As for the first response, a fan could make a valid point. It's no secret that the Preds are in need of more scoring. Hemsky would definitely have provided an offensive talent that the Preds don't currently have on their roster. Smid would have provided the Preds with a veteran defenseman that could be useful down the stretch run.

A fan could also make a good argument for the second response. Poile is one of the best general managers in the NHL. We have no idea what the asking price for these trades were, and it's possible that the team the Preds have right now can have some success. I'm sold on Jon Blum. I think he's ready for the NHL and he's proved it in the first few games that he's played. Geoffrion still needs a bit of work but hasn't done anything stupid.

The emphasis down the stretch run is going to be on the guys who are paid to score. Mike Fisher, David Legwand, Martin Erat, and J.P. Dumont are all going to have to step up offensively on an extremely consistent basis. The defensemen will put the puck in the net every now and then, but that's not going to cut it if the Predators want to make the playoffs. The "March" to the playoffs begins tonight as the Preds take on the Edmonton Oilers to open their road trip. The puck drops around 8:30 P.M. and will be televised on FS-Tennessee.

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