According to the latest NHL trade rumors, the Nashville Predators are open to moving forward Mikael Granlund, who will be a UFA on July 1.
The trade market is started to heat up as the NHL trade deadline is roughly a month away. According to the latest NHL trade rumors, the Nashville Predators are open to trading forward Mikael Granlund, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. This report comes from Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun.
Granlund was acquired at last year’s trade deadline for Kevin Fiala. The trade has not worked out too well for the Predators. Since the trade, Granlund has 9 goals and 21 points in 57 games for the Preds. Meanwhile, Fiala has 12 goals and 34 points in 62 games with the Minnesota Wild. It was a controversial trade at the time and it really hasn’t gone the Predators’ way.
This season, Granlund has 8 goals and 8 assists for 16 points in 41 games. Fiala has 9 goals and 18 assists for 27 points. Hindsight is always 20/20 but it’s safe to say the Predators would take back the trade if they could.
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When the Predators traded for Granlund, he was on pace to get his third straight season with at least 20 goals and 60 points. However, he’s never really been a fit in Nashville. Granlund has just 5 points in 16 games last season with the Predators and added 2 points in 6 playoff games while the Preds got knocked out in the first round by the Dallas Stars.
Extension talks between the two sides have never materialized. The Predators didn’t seem too anxious to re-sign him after last season and Granlund didn’t want to rush things, hoping to bank on a better season in 2019-20. However, that better season didn’t happen, or at least it hasn’t happened yet.
It will be hard for the Predators to find a taker for Granlund. He has a cap hit of $5.75 million, which makes him a bit expensive, especially since most contenders are pretty close to the salary cap ceiling. Moreover, Granlund is in the midst of his least productive season as a professional hockey player. His 0.37 points per game rate, as of Jan. 20, is the second-lowest of his career, trailing only his rookie season, during which he only played in 27 games.
Predators general manager David Poile made a very bold move in trading for Granlund last year. He gave up a promising young player who hadn’t put it all together yet in Fiala. The gamble did not pay off for Poile, who hasn’t made too many great moves as of late. Sure, he signed Matt Duchene, but it cost him P.K. Subban. There’s also the Wayne Simmonds trade and the Ryan Hartman trade, which cost him a first-round pick, as well.
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Poile’s worst move in recent years might be trading for Granlund. He would have been better off sticking with Fiala, who has been more productive with the Wild than Granlund has been with the Predators.