Nashville and Florida are set to go on the aggression at the trade deadline
As we know, the trade deadline is rapidly approaching and teams are beginning to decide their plans of action. The Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers are expected to be two teams on the aggression come February 29th.
The Nashville Predators currently sit one point out of a playoff spot behind the Colorado Avalanche and two points behind the Minnesota Wild. Anaheim and Vancouver are knocking on the door behind them by three points, but the Pacific Division makes it a weird case.
Despite already pulling off the biggest trade of the year with Ryan Johansen and Seth Jones, the Predators are expected to continue trying to add pieces over this next month. Granted, they’ve found themselves out of the playoff picture partly due to Pekka Rinne’s poor play (.906 SV%), but the team still needs to add offense.
Loui Eriksson has been a name that has popped up there recently. He is looking for a long term deal with a lot of cash, so he’d likely be a rental over anything. Another player the Predators should explore going after is Teddy Purcell from Edmonton. Purcell currently has 29 points in 50 games for the Oilers. He would be one of the cheaper options.
I wonder what Nashville is going to do with college standout Jimmy Vesey. He is set to be able to become a free agent this summer and Nashville still hasn’t signed him. He is tearing it up in Harvard as he has the past few years. Would he be a good trade chip if teams are willing to risk losing him? The Predators don’t seem to be in a good position to sign him as of now.
The Panthers are in a similar boat to Nashville although they are poised to be even more aggressive. Everyone, including most recently Pierre LeBrun, have pegged them as a perfect landing spot for Andrew Ladd. Reports out of Florida indicate that they have no interest in him, but I’m not so sure you can buy into that. He would come at a hefty price, but Tallon knows him from Chicago and he has only gotten better since then.
Vancouver and Calgary also pose intriguing options with Radim Vrbata and Jiri Hudler respectively. Both players are set to be free agents this summer, however both teams can still squeeze out a playoff birth in the Pacific, Vancouver more likely. These next few weeks will determine whether these two men make it to the market and I would not expect a deal to be made before February 29th.
This trade deadline is set to be an exciting one, not just for Panthers and Predators fans. We should have a lot to talk about.