The Nashville Predators as of now sit in the top Western Conference Wild Card spot. With that in mind, their path to the playoffs is not guaranteed with a month and a half remaining in the season. A group led by Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, and the potentially outgoing Filip Forsberg, could use some reinforcement. Even if the Predators won’t be a team making the biggest moves on the market, they should still be looking to improve this roster. Both for this year and down the road. Another interesting caveat is the status of Forsberg, whose current deal expires after this season. If the two sides cannot reach an extension in the next week, could the 31 goal forward exit Nashville prematurely, despite the team’s buyer status?
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Current Record: 31-21-4
Division Standings: Fourth in the Central
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
It’s no secret that the Arizona Coyotes will be open for business come next week. The veteran Kessel would prove to be a good value pick-up for this Predators team if they want to make a postseason push. While he has a dismal six goals to his name this year, Kessel also has 29 assists, which trail only Clayton Keller for the team lead in Arizona. Another reason this would be a worthwhile move is the playoff experience. Kessel of course had a pair of great postseason runs with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they won the Stanley Cup in 2015 and 2016. The veteran enters free agency this summer which could help out their cause. If not, Nashville has a spare third-rounder from the Viktor Arvidsson deal to entice Arizona.
Another veteran add that would make sense for the Predators is Staal. The longtime New York Ranger currently is with the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, who would be smart to recoup some form of assets for the impending free agent. The middle of the main Staal Brothers would most likely stick on the third pairing, but his veteran presence and postseason experience would make for another great rental move.
If someone beats the Predators to the punch on Staal, a good backup option would be the former longtime Boston Bruins captain. Chara, still playing at 44 years old, is getting over 18 minutes a game currently with the New York Islanders. Big Zee is one of the NHL’s all-time postseason warriors and would provide instant leadership for a Nashville team looking for a postseason run. His age almost certainly makes him a cheaper option than Staal as well. Not to mention that the Islanders are at rock bottom with no reason to say no to an offer.
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