There are only a few hours left until the NHL trade deadline and teams are getting desperate. Prices are sky high. I want the Preds to be in the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year as much as anyone, but at the prices some of these guys across the league are going for, I just don't see how Nashville can keep Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau is having a good season, but this is the first season of his career in which he has scored more than 20 goals. He's an unrestricted free agent after this season and just fetched a first, second and third round pick from the Islanders. If that's the going rate for guys today, what could Nashville get for somebody like Craig Smith, who already has five 20-goal seasons?
The same goes for Mikael Grandlund, whose numbers don't jump off the page, but who has been playing noticeably better for the Preds in the last few weeks. Both he and Smith are likely gone after this season, but you have an opportunity to turn them into something right now before they leave for nothing in July.
I don't want David Poile to go full fire sale — which it certainly appears won't happen, given the fact we are nearing the deadline — but I think it would be borderline irresponsible to keep both Smith and Granlund in a season in which even making the playoffs is dicey and making a real run at a championship is pretty unlikely. Plus, Nashville's best forward this season has probably been Rocco Grimaldi. There's no reason not to trade these guys and see what else you have in the system, because it's not like Nashville's stars are carrying it this season anyway.
And to be completely honest, it seems that even after the coaching change, the Preds' locker room still needs some other sort of wake-up call. So if there's a team out there that blows Nashville away with an offer for Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson or somebody like that, I think the Preds' front office has to seriously consider it.
It's possible there's another Martin Erat for Filip Forsberg deal waiting out there from somebody today. It's Poile's job to go find it.