Ok...ever since our debate/discussion on Orpik vs. Hamhuis I started watching the Preds alot more than I usually did, just to REALLY compare the two players. I'd still prefer Orpik but that isn't the point of my post (and by a slim margin I might add....both of the two will be great players in this league-and Id take Suter over both ).
This team has really progressed greatly over the years. My point is that I would now consider myself somewhat of a Preds fan. They play an extremley exciting game, and after every one I have watched, I came away thoughroughly entertained.
They play hard every night, and have some incredible "team toughness".
The pick up of Steve Sullivan was a steal IMO. He has brought some much needed skill to your teams forward unit (not saying you didnt have skill before, but they could have used a little more).
I don't know how much damage you could make in the playoffs this year, but the solid nucleus is relativley young and you could start seeing the team make serious damage in the next year or two.
Sort of an off base idea I have is the thought of the Preds trading for Alex Kovalev (one of my favorite players). The only problem is he is a UFA at seasons end. If you could work out a deal with his agent, I feel Kovy could help make your team MUCH better for that playoff drive and for the next few years. He is a true game breaker (on any other team than the Rangers). At any rate I would at least inquire about him when he becomes a FA.
As for your defense, I would try to aquire someone to replace Allison in the top six rotation. IMO a guy like Jason Smith would be too expensive for a playoff rental (same problem with Kovy), so I would look at a few other guys.
Some guys I would consider are:
Sean Brown-NJ... Brown was on the right track to be a solid defensive D-man yet he had some injuries and is now coming back from them only to be stuck behind one of the most solid defensive units in the league. He could provide TOUGH play and good depth and would come cheap.
Keith Carney-ANA....Don't know if the Ducks would be willing to trade him, but his play speaks for itself. Might be a bit pricy though.
Boris Mironov -NYR... Kind of an all around guy who provides toughness,offense and leadership. The Rags would be willing to move him IMO. Don't know his contract status.
Denis Gauthier-CGY... Playing around 16-18 mins a night on your team, he could be the perfect fit for a playoff drive. Let's face it, your defense doesn't need any more offense and he wont bring it. But he will be clearing the crease, and doing some damage to the body of opposing players.
Dan McGillis-BOS... He has somewhat fallen out of favor with the B's fans and possibly management as well. He is tough, somewhat skilled and smart. A good man for any playoff drive, though may be costy depending on his contract status. He also brings valuable playoff experience.
Brad Brown-MIN... Ultimate team guy. Tough as nails and willing to do whatever it takes to win. Solid player who could help your team.
Sean Hill-CAR...I doubt with the Canes just trading Boughner they would want to get rid of Hill, but he too, could be a nice compliment to the Preds.
Other guys whom I could see moving are Brad Ference (cant stand that punk), Josef Melichar (from my Pens-tough D-man), Dan Focht (you dont want him...trust me), Aaron Ward, Nathan Dempsey, Alex Karpotsev, Biron...etc...but these last few guys wouldnt really be an upgrade.
Sorry so long, but just wanted y'all to know that I am really liking your team and good luck.
The more I think about it, I think that we're going to have a tough time acquiring a "big, tough, expirenced defenseman" at this point.
There are just so many teams looking for the same thing. To get what we're truely looking for (Carney, Smith), we're going to have to offer stuff we probably can't afford to give up.
I like the idea of Gauthier, but Calgary isn't going to trade him to us right now unless we massively overpay. I don't see us working as trading partners at all right now.
I see us picking up someone like Lyle Odelien or maybe Mironov, if we're desperate.
I certainly like the idea of Kovalev in Nashville, but I think it'll be a long shot given the kind of money he'll probably make (5+ million). I think our biggest concern (now and in the future) is the center position. Our real keepers are on the wings-- Walker, Sullivan (hopefully), Erat, Hartnell, Orszagh, Hall, Tootoo, and prospects Upshall and Shishkanov. I'm not sure how Kovalev would fit in there, especially considering his price. Can he play center? That would be ideal.
Dulzhok, I'd say you're pretty on top of things with your post. It's going to be difficult for Nashville to make any sort of trade especially after the Sullivan trade.
The one thing that Nashville doesn't want to do is trade our future for the short term. The Sullivan trade was a steal. Giving up 2 second rounders (one this year and one next) isn't much to give away. The Preds really don't want to give up any prospects or at least we don't want to give up any prospects that teams will be asking for. We also will probably never give up our first rounders.
In conclusion I'd say that the Preds won't make any more moves this season for two reasons. One, Poile doesn't have a whole lot to work with anymore. Those second rounders are as good as gone. Two, Sullivan has sparked an offensive explosion. The team is kicking some butt right now. And you know how the saying goes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Thats incredible. I posted this in another thread but it only recieved 2 views. Thought you might need to see it. As you can see, giving up 2 second rounders barely even hurts us. If Sullivan doesn't resign, then we would most likely recieve a comp. pick in 05 in the 2nd round.