The Nashville Predators made a big splash at the last minute of the NHL’s trade deadline. After acquiring Mikael Granlund from the Minnesota Wild for Kevin Fiala, they sent Ryan Hartman and a 4th round pick to Philadelphia for Wayne Simmonds.
Both of these were confirmed by big name pundits in the NHL:
Mikael Granlund from Minnesota to Nashville for Kevin Fiala.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 25, 2019
Pending a trade call, Wayne Simmonds is headed to Nashville
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2019
Mikael Granlund is really solid two-way forward who is one of the better defensive forwards in the league. He can also put up points in the offensive end: he has 49 points in 63 games this year for the Wild, after putting up 67 and 69 points in the two prior consecutive seasons.
Wayne Simmonds is an excellent power play specialist and physically intimidating forward. He’s had double digit power play goals for five straight seasons for the Flyers, to go along with multiple 50 point seasons at all strengths.
Big targets, reasonable cost
The cost for the Preds was not insignificant. Kevin Fiala has been a highly touted scoring winger since he was drafted in 2014. Ryan Hartman was acquired for a 1st round pick and more last season. Both figured to be in the plans for the future as pending RFAs this summer.
But the Preds needed to gain some more skill and size and did so with both Granlund and Simmonds. And when you consider what they didn’t give up for these two players, the trades become that much better.
-4th round pick
-1st round picks#Preds
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) February 25, 2019
Here’s what your forward lineups could look like with these changes:
Forsberg – Johansen – Arvidsson
Granlund – Turris – Smith
Jarnkrok – Bonino – Simmonds
Boyle – Sissons – Grimaldi
We still don’t know when Craig Smith will be back, but that’s a much bigger, much stronger, much more skilled lineup than what the Preds had been putting out there. Simmonds and Granlund improve the Predators at both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice.
For the moment it looks like David Poile pulled off yet another stunner.
— Featured image via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports —