If you thought the Nashville Predators were done making moves in the aftermath of acquiring checking-line forwards Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod, you're wrong: they are just getting started.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie and The Tennessean's Joe Rexrode, general manager David Poile has something up his sleeve. Something big ahead of the upcoming trade deadline.
Rexrode speculates a core player could be packaged with picks and/or prospects “for a larger scoring piece” and believes Columbus Blue Jackets’ Artemi Panarin, Ottawa Senators' Mark Stone or Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds could be on Poile’s radar. He even hints at the possibility of using Kevin Fiala, Craig Smith or Eeli Tolvanen as trade bait to make a blockbuster deal happen.
McKenzie, who commented Poile's latest moves on NBCSN last night, dares to add that a first-round pick could be in play for the right piece. And we all know Poile isn't afraid to pull a blockbuster move at the deadline.
“I could see David Poile trying to do some big game hunting. And whether that’s Artemi Panarin in Columbus, or if Matt Duchene or Mark Stone become available in Ottawa, at least give it a go to see what the cost would be.
“My suspicion is Nashville would have to be willing to part with a first-round pick and perhaps a real high-end prospect like Eeli Tolvanen or others if they’re going to get into the big game hunting. But I think that’s something Poile’s going to at least look at because he’d like to win that Stanley Cup sooner rather than later.”
The Predators are definitely in a win-now mode, which could push Poile to make this rumoured blockbuster move in the coming weeks. While the additions of Boyle and McLeod sure bring experience and grit to the Preds' lineup, it might just be the start of something much bigger.
Will Poile be willing to sacrifice the team's future in Tolvanen to get his hands of a rental player? It remains to be seen. One thing is sure: if he chooses to pull a deadline blockbuster, it will cost him. But it might be all worth it in the end if Poile can hoist the Stanley Cup.