Will the Predators be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?

By Ben Sundock
Feb. 03, 2020

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

General Manager David Poile made it abundantly clear when speaking with NHL.com on Monday morning: this four game Canadian road trip will determine whether or not the Nashville Predators are buyers or sellers when the NHL Trade Deadline rolls around in just a few weeks.

"All those teams were ahead of us in the Western Conference standings coming out of the All-Star break but were close enough (for the Predators) to be in the mix with them," Poile remarked. "These are all important games, classic four-point games for whoever wins those games. Undoubtedly, we will know a lot more about what our playoffs look like one we finish the West Coast trip."

The Preds have been in what I would call 'limbo' for the entire season and somehow someway are still right in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Four points back of the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference, this four game road trip is where the Preds either turn their season around to make a late push for the playoffs, or tank for a high draft pick and move onto next season in shame.

Poile is well known around the league as a deadline day buyer and seller, making it nearly impossible to predict what the next couple of weeks might hold.

I am downright confused why the Predators have struggled like they have especially considering the personnel is nearly identical to that of the 2017 Stanley Cup final team and the team that made it to the playoffs the two years after that.

There are a few places the Preds could use some help. The most pressing one has to be defensive depth. The team doesn't necessarily miss PK Subban, but having him on the second line alongside Mattias Ekholm was a luxury many overlooked.

While Dante Fabbro has played well in his first full NHL season, the drop off from the second defensive pairing to the third is not only obvious but one of the biggest problems with the franchise right now.

If Poile is smart - which I know he is - he will work closely with head coach John Hynes to target players that would improve the team and fit in nicely.