Preds expected to acquire highly coveted free agent forward

This move could take place sooner rather than later... and it's not who you expected.

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When the Nashville Predators made the shocking move of bringing back retired former captain Mike Fisher into the lineup, fans and experts were not only stunned, some believed general manager David Poile would stop looking for a boost up front ahead of the trade deadline.

The Preds have been quite active in the recent trade chatter going on about Ottawa Senators' Mike Hoffman, Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty and New York Rangers' Rick Nash. So, everyone has been waiting for Poile to shock the NHL world again with a blockbuster trade, but something more minor may be taking place behind the scene. 

According to Jason Botchford of The Province, the Vancouver Canucks could be sending veteran winger Thomas Vanek to Nashville. Vanek, who is used to moving around close to the deadline and is a pending free agent, has heard his name in many trade speculations in the last few months. 

"If you’re looking for potential suitors for Vanek, one place to circle is Nashville. Even with Fisher coming back, the Preds could use a winger, a scoring winger," Botchford writes. 

Vanek would be a cheaper option for the Predators, despite the fact that he has managed to become the second-best scorer on the Canucks team with 15 goals, behind young untouchable rookie Brock Boeser. In 55 games, Vanek has also amassed 22 assists for 37 points. 

By tweaking the forward depth, the Predators could manage to hold on to promising prospects and make a long playoff runs with Vanek as a rental acquisition.