The Nashville Predators have made yet another deadline deal. Here’s the press release:
Nashville, Tenn. (February 27, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired forward Paul Gaustad and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft from Buffalo for a first-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Gaustad, 30 (2/3/82), has 17 points (7g-10a) and 70 penalty minutes in 56 games for the Sabres this season, in addition to ranking 10th in the League in face-off efficiency (56.8 percent) and eighth among forwards in average shorthanded ice time (2:52). The 6-5, 220-pound center has finished among the NHL’s Top 10 in face-offs each of the past two seasons (third in 2010-11, 59.8 percent and sixth in 2009-10, 57.4 percent). In 479 career games with Buffalo, the Fargo, N.D., native has amassed 181 points (71g-110a) and 585 penalty minutes. The seventh-round selection (220th overall) by Buffalo in the 2000 Entry Draft also has eight assists in 38 playoff games.
The Predators look to finish off their final extended homestand of the season on a high note when the L.A. Kings make a stop in Smashville tonight (7 p.m., FS-TN, 102.5 The Game, Dollar Dog Night). The Predators then hit the road for the rest of the week, making stops in Carolina on Tuesday (6 p.m., FS-TN, 102.5 The Game) and Florida on Saturday (6:30 p.m., FS-TN, 102.5 The Game), while the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament takes over Bridgestone Arena. Limited tickets are available for remaining Nashville Predators home games; to purchase, visit nashvillepredators.com, ticketmaster.com or call 615-770-PUCK (7825).
Read more for thoughts:
The Nasvhille Predators are serious about making a run, on two counts.
Monday’s NHL trade deadline was a busy day for the Nashville Predators. Only hours after rumors first circulated that the Predators were going to be a major player at the deadline, Predators GM David Poile got busy acquiring first Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal for a second round pick in 2013 as well as a conditional fifth-round pick (acquired in the Hal Gill trade a couple of weeks ago).
Hours after this initial trade went down, Nashville traded a first-round pick (2012) to Buffalo for Paul Gaustad and a fourth-round pick (2013).
What does this mean? Well, these two trades combined make two things very clear: The Predators want to compete for the Cup this season and they want to make Nashville a viable long-term destination for Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.
There had been rumblings that these two (among others) may not want to remain in Nashville for the long-term because of reservations about whether or not the team was committed to winning a Stanley Cup.
These trades should go a long way to quieting those concerns.
And more importantly than that, the trades make Nashville a much more formiddable opponent. Gaustad adds toughness and grit to Nashville’s group of forwards. Also, he is a face-off specialist, which is always needed. Because the Predators did not have to make any major sacrifices in the present to acquire these players, their depth will be helped greatly.
Gaustad has 7 goals and 10 assists in his 56 games this season (his 7th season in the NHL).
It’s a very exciting day for Predators fans, as the franchise is going all-in on being a top-tier team and the front office is showing that they’re serious about winning now and about locking up the team’s big-time players to long-term deals by appeasing them with the best-assembled team as possible. We will likely have more thoughts about the two trades in the near future.