The Nashville Predators have recently struggled with injuries, and surely the upcoming All-Star break will benefit the majority of the players, who will rest and get ready for the final playoff push. However, it is believed that the break will also benefit general manager David Poile, who is expected to pull off a major deal after the weekend's festivities.
First thing first: the Preds' priorities have been set. NHL insider Pierre LeBrun has reported that the Predators have set adding a top-six winger as a priority, but they have yet to make a decision if they’ll get into the bidding for Buffalo’s Evander Kane, Montreal’s Max Pacioretty or Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman.
LeBrun added that they are expected to wait until the return from the annual break to make their final choice. Poile has mentioned that the Predators still have a first round draft pick for the 2018 Draft when discussing trade options and this could be a game changer!
The asking price for players like Pacioretty, Kane and Hoffman are said to be youthful assets such as draft picks and either a promising young NHL player or a top prospect.
With the Predators considered a Stanley Cup contender this season, Poile might consider packaging his 2018 first-round pick for one of those forwards - which would make it a blockbuster deal of any team on the receiving end of this return.
Of cousrse, while the Canadiens would greatly benefit from adding a first round pick to their arsenal, the controversy of Pacioretty being shipped off to Nashville would be huge in Montreal. After trading star defenseman P.K. Subban to the Preds two years ago, Habs GM Marc Bergevin would face major criticism for another blockbuster deal.
However, since Poile has yet to make his decision, there is still time for Bergevin to find the perfect deal to quiet fans in Montreal and get the better end of the trade.
Do you think acquiring a top forward is the right move for the Preds?