It is a known fact across the National Hockey League: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is known for making bold moves. And yes, this is the typical cue to the summer of 2016 when Poile managed to pry out Montreal Canadiens star defenseman P.K. Subban in a blockbuster deal in return for then captain Shea Weber. You remember, we remember - Poile certainly does, so, is it now time for another monster move in Nashville that we can then talk about for years to come?
According to NHL insider Darren Dreger, who was on the air of Montreal’s TSN 690, the Predators might be getting ready to get quite creative from a salary-cap perspective and by moving significant players in order to land one important key forward. New York Islanders captain and superstar forward John Tavares is set to become the most coveted free agent to hit the open market in a long time. You know it, Tavares will be eligible for free agency on July 1st, after playing the first nine years of his career with the Isles, who selected him first overall back in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Now Dreger believes the Predators could be a suitor for Tavares if they can manage to move pieces around to be able to absorb the massive contract and annual value he is expected to land as the most coveted agent on the market.
“I look, and I might surprise you with some of these names, I look at Nashville as being a potential player for John Tavares. Now Nashville, from a cap perspective, would have to get creative. They’d have to move out some pieces."
There were recent trade speculations that the Preds might be considering moving Subban, who landed in Nashville just two years ago. Last week, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 and co-host Rhett Warrener asked him if Subban could once again be traded. Warrener wondered if it would be crazy for the Predators to contemplate trading Subban, while making some stunning comments on the defenseman.
“I think he wears out his welcome with guys,” said Warrener, as reported by Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports Network. “I think he gets (under) people’s skin in the room. I think his value is huge around the league because he is that talented. Any chance they would consider making that sort of move.”
Moving Subban amongst others would certainly free up some cap space. However, Dreger mentioned other teams that are in the running to land Tavares and have the space to absorb his expected massive salary for seasons to come. Dreger believes the Vegas Golden Knights, St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks could be among the bidders.
"I look at Vegas as a contender for John Tavares. Why wouldn’t Tavares consider the Vegas Golden Knights, given how things have gone this year. And then I look at the St. Louis Blues. I know that Doug Armstrong is willing to throw everything he’s got at John Tavares. And the San Jose Sharks have been consistently in that speculation as well.”