Although some deals are still trickling through Central Registry, the 2019 NHL trade deadline has come and gone.
Unlike some years in the past, this deadline was a bombastic one. Plenty of elite-level, game-changing players were moved over the course of the day and the days prior. With all the commotion, though, only one team can be deemed a winner, and this year it was the Nashville Predators.
Starting with before the deadline, general manager David Poile acquired Brian Boyle in exchange for a second round pick in this year’s draft. A tough, journeyman center, Boyle provides even more depth down the middle for Nashville. The deal reminds me of one that Poile pulled off a few years ago when he acquired Paul Gaustad. Not a shiny player by any means, but one that will give you consistency to you bottom-six and penalty kill on each night.
The Predators were not done shoring up their middle there, though. On Monday afternoon, Poile and former Predators Assistant General Manager, Paul Fenton, now with the Minnesota Wild, pulled off an unexpected deal.
The trade sent Finnish center Mikael Granlund to the Predators for Swiss winger Kevin Fiala. Grandlund, drafted 9th overall in 2010, is on pace for his third-straight 60 or more point season. He is an elite level playmaker that oozes hockey sense.
Fiala, drafted 11th overall in 2014, had a career high in points last season with 48. This year, he is on pace for 41. Although he trails behind Granlund in production, there is still plenty of time for the 22-year-old to round out his game.
Perhaps Fenton knows something that the rest of the hockey world does not in regards to Fiala, but regardless, this feels like a huge win for Nashville. Entering the playoffs, they have Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris, Mikael Granlund, Nick Bonino, and Brian Boyle all ready to play down the middle.
And, just when you thought that deal was the end of it for Nashville, Poile struck gold again.
As the clock ticked towards 3 p.m., Poile acquired Wayne Simmonds in exchange for Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth round pick, which turns into a third round pick if Nashville wins one playoff round.
Simmonds price tag seemed higher in the days leading up to the deadline. Although he has struggled in the past two seasons, he had four straight seasons of 50 points or more before that.
He is the exact prototype of a player which you want on your team for the playoffs, and giving up just Ryan Hartman and a low pick for him is fantastic.
Many, including myself, had doubts about the Predators chances moving forward due to the ramped up push of the likes of San Jose, Vegas, and Winnipeg.
But now, Poile has washed away all of those fears, and Nashville looks like it is ready to make a playoff push once more.