Following a 3-1 loss Tuesday night to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Nashville Predators entered Trade Deadline day dead last in the Central Division and six points out of a playoff spot. According to SportsClubStats.com, Nashville's playoff chances fell to 1.4%. You might say, that "Oh! Well that's a win streak away from being a playoff contender"! However, when looking at the other four teams battling for the playoff spot (Dallas, Phoenix, Winnipeg and Vancouver), leaping them in the standings is going to be extremely tough to do.
With this being taken into account, general manager David Poile elected to not make any "major moves". Poile did, however, trade away franchise center David Legwand and goaltender Devan Dubnyk Wednesday.
After clearing waivers earlier this week, Dubnyk was on the trade block with Pekka Rinne returning to the team. In an assumed massive effort to get rid of him, Dubnyk was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for "future considerations". The term future considerations can be defined as just about anything — prospect, draft pick, or maybe even cash.
Dubnyk was acquired by the Predators on January 15 from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Matt Hendricks. The thought process of this move was to dump Hendricks' bad contract and get a goaltender on the cheap to take over the starting role before Rinne returns. That plan unraveled quickly, as Dubnyk was playing horribly in the two starts this season in Nashville. He gave up 5 goals in a regulation loss to Colorado and 4 in a shootout deficit to Calgary.
The second, and final, move of the day was not surprising. Legwand was shipped away to the Detroit Red Wings to play in his hometown. In return, the Predators received forward Patrick Eaves, prospect Calle Jarnkrok, and a 2014 3rd round pick.
Although Legwand will forever have a rich history with in Nashville, being the first ever Predator, being the team's first draft pick at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. The 33 year old led the Preds in scoring with 10 goals, 30 assists in 62 games. Legwand, who has a $4.5 million cap hit, was set to become a unrestricted free agent this summer.
David Legwand expected to debut for #RedWings Thursday vs Colorado, between Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) March 5, 2014
Here is a statement from Poile…
“We thank David Legwand for being a pillar of this organization since he became our first-ever draft pick in 1998. David has been a part of some of the greatest moments in our franchise’s history since he made his NHL debut in April of 1999. He has scored big goals, played an integral part in all of our playoff series and helped lead the franchise through our greatest triumphs and trials. While today we say goodbye to one of this club’s most unforgettable players, we wish him the best in his career going forward and all of his future endeavors.”
So, let's take a look at what the Preds got…
29 year old winger Patrick Eaves is in his 8th season in the NHL. Eaves has spent 25 games this season with Red Wings and 9 with the Griffins. In the 25 games, Eaves has 2 goals, 3 assists. Below is a scouting report from The Hockey News…
|Assets:||Owns solid penalty-killing qualities. Is an excellent skater and forechecker. Anticipates plays well at both ends of the ice, and displays some all-around acumen. Can play either wing position.|
|Flaws:||Is somewhat prone to serious injury. Isn't a natural goal-scorer. Lacks the ideal size and strength to thrive at the National Hockey League level. Could use more fine-tuning in all aspects of the game.|
|Career Potential:||Solid defensive but somewhat fragile winger.|
Not much is known about 22 year old forward Calle Jarnkrok. He was drafted 51st overall by Detroit in 2010. Jarnkrok has spent the entire season in the AHL, with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 57 games. Below is a scouting report from Elite Prospects…
"A very skilled center that will get the job done on the wing as well. Järnkrok's main asset is his outstanding hockey sense, which allows him to be the great playmaker that he is. Overall a very smart player with good positioning in all zones. Also quite shifty with soft hands and impressive puckhandling skills. Not a physical player, but plays pretty well through heavy traffic although in need of gaining strength and muscles. Good character. Often used as pointman on the man advantage, but can still improve his release. Is a good skater, but there is still some room for improvement in that department."
Poile appears to have made an outstanding trade, at least compared to New York Islanders GM Garth Snow's trade of Thomas Vanek to Montreal. All Snow received in return was a 2nd round pick and elite prospect Sebastien Collberg. Sure, that isn't bad, but the Islanders could be sitting with more than what they received from the Canadiens.