|AP Photo/Mike Carlson|
The Nashville Predators completed their first trade of the summer Friday. Forward Bobby Butler was sent to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman T.J. Brennan. Brennan, 24, is a restricted free agent. Nashville General Manager David Poile must give him an offer sheet before July 5, or he becomes a UFA.
Butler is also an RFA, but Poile and his agent likely couldn't work out a new deal to keep him in Nashville. Towards the end of the season, Butler turned on his game. In 20 games with the Predators, the Marlborough, MA native posted nine points (3g, 6a).
It seemed like Butler was finding a place under Barry Trotz, but that is no longer the case.
Brennan is an offensive defenseman with upside. At 24, he played 29 games in the NHL this season between the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers. In those games, Brennan scored ten points (3g, 7a) with a -9 goal differential.
In 2007, Brennan was drafted 31st overall by the Sabres.
I haven't seen much of anything from Brennan, so here is a scouting report from The Hockey News…
Assets: A good skater who possesses very good offensive ability, he can be a major asset on the power play. Also moves the puck with aplomb.
Flaws: Makes mistakes when he's pressured with the puck. Needs to avoid taking bad penalties in the defensive zone, as well as polish up his play without the puck.
Career Potential: Offensive defenseman with some upside.
With this deal, what does it mean to RFA Jonathon Blum, who also is an offensive defenseman? It could mean that Blum will be moved sometime this summer if he receives an offer sheet.
This is a very questionable move by Poile, unless he has something else in store.