Predators may trade to improve depth


With the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline less than a month away, the Predators are facing a couple of questions that are not necessarily related.

The first is whether the team should bolster its current roster for the stretch run, perhaps with a player that could add scoring depth or one who could aid the woeful penalty kill.

The second is whether the Predators should trade any of their potential unrestricted free agents, especially players that would appear too pricey to re-sign such as defenseman Dan Hamhuis and one of the two goalies — either Dan Ellis or Pekka Rinne.

It’s conceivable that a Predators’ need might be met by trading a potential unrestricted free agent, but most NHL deadline deals don’t work that way.

More often than not, a team that acquires a player for the stretch run is likely to part with assets for the future — such as draft picks or prospects. In other words, difference-making players seldom seem to be exchanged at the deadline.
Star availability limited

It’s almost a certainty the Preds wouldn’t be acquiring any kind of huge name — in part because of the team’s comparatively small payroll, and in part because Nashville wouldn’t want to surrender too much of its future without a high probability of a long playoff run.

But the Predators, 2-6-1 over their past nine games, could benefit from adding a depth player or two to fill a specific role.