Huge changes are coming to Nashville as it is believed the Predators are unhappy with the current season and hoping to shake things up by putting several players on the trading block.
Pierre LeBrun reported on last night’s Insider Trading on TSN that the Predators are becoming sellers and some obvious names and some more surprising ones have landed on the market. Here is how he explained it:
“I don’t know that the Predators have outright decided that they are sellers, but they’re right on the brink. And there’s some obvious names… Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula, they’ve signed one-year deals and will be UFAs at the end of the year. Those will be your pure rentals, but there’s a more intriguing name when I talk to teams around the league that they hope will be on the market and I think there’s an absolute solid chance that the Predators at least listen is top four defenceman Mattias Ekholm who has been a long-standing member of that organization. He’s got a year and half left on his contract at a real bargain price of $3.75 million. He does not have any no-trade protection and again this would really be about the Predators perhaps seeing what’s out there and if they don’t like it than keeping him. Think of the Jake Muzzin deal from a couple years ago where he had a couple years where he had a year and half left on his deal. Alec Martinez last year, he had a year left. That top four D that has a couple playoff runs in him can be appealing to a contender. That would be an intriguing name.”
The Preds’ slow start has placed them in an unusual possession as they have been a perennial playoff team for nearly a decade now.
This also prompted Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet to talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ interest in one of the Predators’ potential trade baits.
“Granlund is the forward I guessed Toronto would consider. They contacted him about his interest during the off-season, but the money didn’t work. I still believe the Maple Leafs will look for a top-six winger, We will see where it goes.”
It would make sense. The-28 year-old Granlund is on a one year, $3.75 million contract and has been one of the few Preds’ forwards this season to play with consistency. He has put up three goals and seven points in 12 games this season after a relatively disappointing 17 goal and 30 point campaign in 2019-20. His career high came in 2016-17 with the Minnesota Wild when he potted 26 goals and 69 points in 81 games. The cost of acquisition would likely be low for the Leafs and if he doesn’t work out… well he’s a pending free agent.
Worth a shot?