After last night's tough 3-0 loss to Chicago, the Nashville Predators are not sitting idly by. With the trade deadline looming and obvious needs glaring at David Poile the Preds appear to have started what may end up being their most active deadline in the team's history.
Many thought that the Mike Fisher acquisition a few weeks ago would be the extent of what the Predators would do at the deadline. Injuries that have cropped up and have not healed appear to have changed all that.
Three things happened almost simultaneously today that hint to the need to acquire a few skaters very quickly in order to fill out a full roster for the playoff run.
First, a Tweet from Pierre LeBrun we found out that Wade Belak has been placed on waivers by the Preds. In spite of his rare ice time, he has been an integral part of the team.
Then, we then heard from the Tennessean's Josh Cooper that Alexander Sulzer had been traded to Florida and that Steve Sullivan was headed to injured reserve, most likely with his ongoing groin problems.
With Marek Svatos being picked up on waivers by Ottawa yesterday, that only leaves 11 healthy forwards and six defenseman ready to play in this weekend's back to back games with Dallas and Columbus.
None of the bunch on injured reserve appear anywhere close to a return. Most likely, Matt Lombardi, Cal O'Reilly, and Marcel Goc are done for the year. There is no date for Frankie Bouillon and we can only assume that Sully is "day to day".
Therefore, the Predators will probably reach to Milwaukee once again for another forward. I expect to see a recall Matt Halischuk or Chris Mullen this afternoon as both performed admirably earlier this year in Nashville.
Longer term, that is probably not the answer for the Predators stretch run so I expect to see David Poile go searching for rabbits to pull out of his hat in the next 72 hours.
The quick two game emergence of Jon Blum as a viable NHLer made Sulzer expendable. He also will be a free agent at the end of the year and has a one way contract further adding to the case of him being traded.
Here is the release on the Sulzer trade from the Predators...
NASHVILLE PREDATORS ACQUIRE A CONDITIONAL SEVENTH-ROUND PICK FROM FLORIDA
- Send defenseman Alexander Sulzer to the Panthers -
Nashville, Tenn. (February 25, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft in exchange for defenseman Alexander Sulzer. Nashville will receive the seventh-round pick if Sulzer appears on the Florida’s Reserve List during the 2011-12 season.
Sulzer is one of a franchise-record 18 Predators draftees to appear for the club this season, posting four points (1g-3a) in 31 games. He was selected 92nd overall (third round) in the 2003 Entry Draft.
With just two games remaining in February, the Predators begin their “March” to the playoffs with a four-game road trip that will take them through Western Canada and make a stop in California before returning home to play 12 of their final 15 2010-11 games at Bridgestone Arena. With playoff hockey right around the corner, the Preds are offering a March to the Playoffs package so fans don’t have to miss a minute of the action. This special package provides fans four games for the price of three, a parking pass for each game and priority to purchase playoff tickets before the general public. Tickets for all home games are still available and may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-PUCK (7825) or online at nashvillepredators.com.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass