The Nashville Predators made a strong impression at the last minute of the NHL trade deadline. After acquiring Mikael Granlund of Minnesota Wild for Kevin Fiala, they sent Ryan Hartman and a 4th round pick to Philadelphia for Wayne Simmonds.
The big two have been confirmed by big names in the NHL:
Mikael Granlund from Minnesota to Nashville for Kevin Fiala.
– Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 25, 2019
Waiting for a commercial call, Wayne Simmonds heads to Nashville
– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2019
Mikael Granlund is a strong two-way forward who is one of the league's top defensive strikers. He can also score points on offense: he has collected 49 points in 63 games this year with the Wild, having scored 67 and 69 points in the previous two seasons.
Wayne Simmonds is an excellent power games specialist and a physically intimidating striker. He has posted double-digit power play goals for five consecutive seasons with the Flyers, which go hand in hand with several 50-point seasons at all levels.
Large targets, reasonable cost
The cost for the Preds was not negligible. Kevin Fiala has been a popular winger since recruiting in 2014. Ryan Hartman was acquired for a 1st round pick and more last season. Both were in the plans for the future as requests for applications pending this summer.
But the Preds needed more skills and size, both with Granlund and Simmonds. And when you consider what they did not give up for these two players, the exchanges have improved.
4th round of choice
1st round choice#Preds
– Alex Daugherty (@ AlexDaugherty1) February 25, 2019
Here's what your front alignments might look like with these changes:
Forsberg – Johansen – Arvidsson
Granlund – Turris – Smith
Jarnkrok – Bonino – Simmonds
Boyle – Sissons – Grimaldi
We still do not know when Craig Smith will be back, but it's a much larger range, much more powerful and more competent than the Preds. Simmonds and Granlund improve the Predators at the offensive and defensive ends of the ice.
For the moment, it seems that David Poile has managed another amazing blow.
– Image selected via Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports –