Thursday, March 4, 2010

Predators Upgrade Roster at the Trade Deadline and Thursday Thoughts

The Nashville Predators made improvements at the NHL trade deadline that have them well prepared for the last 20 games of the season and their push to the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference.

With several moves, the Predators appear to have the strongest team that they have had since the major dismantling of high dollar players before the team was sold in the summer of 2007.

On Monday, the Predators obtained Russian Olympian, Denis Grebeshkov from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a 2010 second round draft pick at the NHL Entry Draft this summer.

Grebeshkov is a twenty-six year old defensman from Yaroslavl, Russia who has six goals and 13 assists this year with an Oilers team that is the worst in the NHL. Last season was his best when he had seven goals and 32 assists.

On Tuesday, playing against his former Oiler team, Grebeshkov became an immediate fan favorite when he scored a goal and added an assist in his first game with Nashville as he led the Preds to a 4-3 win.

On Wednesday, the Predators also picked up Dustin Boyd from Calgary in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in this summer's draft. In 6o games with the Flames this season, he has scored eight goals and added eleven assists.

The twenty-three year old center hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba and was a third round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. In 2006, he won a gold medal at the World Junior Championships while playing for Team Canada.

He has played four seasons with Calgary, and is known for gritty play, being a good penalty killer, and a quality man in the faceoff circle. Pred's Coach Barry Trotz compares him to ex-Predator, Vern Fiddler.

The Predators did lose Ryan Jones, who was was placed on waivers on Tuesday, in order for the Preds to get down to the twenty-three man roster limit before Tuesday night's game. He was picked up by Edmonton in a move that may have been related to the Grebeshkov trade.

Ryan Jones had seven goals and four assists for the Predators and did not appear to fit into the Predators future plans as the Predators have recently promoted Cal O'Reilly and top prospect Colin Wilson who will probably be with the team for the remainder of the season.

Leading up to the deadline, there was widespread speculation that defenseman Dan Hamhuis and goalie Dan Ellis would be traded in exchange for additional offense. However, Predator General Manager, David Poile held on to both players as few quality players were available in return.

Defensemen Alexander Sulzer and Cody Franson were sent to the Predators AHL affiliate in Milwaukee after the trade deadline passed to bring the roster down to 22 players.

The Predators return to the ice, Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings in the newly named Bridgestone Arena. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. Central.

In Pred Nation...

John Glennon has his end of day trade deadline wrap-up at Inside Predators. John also has another Hamuis story and one about Ryan Jones' reaction to leaving. The game at a glance for tonight's game is also available.

By the way, Ryan Jones had a shot and a penalty in 13:34 of playing time for the Oil playing Chicago last night. Here is the Edmonton Sun's story on Jones' addition.

Great news from @tndotcom: Our Preds beat writer John Glennon just joined Twitter this week. Welcome @glennonsports! Just in time for the trade deadline. this is long overdue. I'm really looking forward to getting faster information from a good hockey writer.

Bryan Mullen has a story about the Preds jump in ticket sales due to the Olympics.

Jim Diamond has the story of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber playing with visors at the Olympics. Both chose not to wear them in their NHL return.

The Tennessean also has the story about David Freeman being involved with a group interested in the Detroit Pistons that we had on Tuesday.

Dirk pegs the Coyotes as the big winners at the trade deadline. On the Forecheck already has their Preds-Kings preview available.

Section 303 has their review of Wednesday's activity.

The View from 111 says the Preds have 20 games to prove if David Poile's moves were correct.

Brandon Felder gives his thoughts on the day also.

David Climer gives props to David Freeman as Pred's savior.

Dirkmonster reports predatory pricing for Predator games by Central Parking due to shortages caused by the Convention Center construction.

Barry Trotz is hosting the "Best Buddies" charity event for special needs children.

Around The NHL...

In many folk's minds, hell officially froze over yesterday when Calgary and Edmonton made a trade.

Matt Reitz has every trade with a link to a site with detailed analysis of the deal.

For details on everything trade day related TSN has you covered. has a graphical listing of trades since January 31st.

Here is the complete official release from the NHL of all deals and comparative figures from other years.

Will Kozlov be the next jumper to the KHL?

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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