The Nashville Predators are only four points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. That is the nice way to look at things if you’re the Predators. The other way is to say that the Predators are dead last in the Central Division.
Now, given they are in a tough division that includes teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild. However, the Predators have a history. For the years from 2000-2010, the Predators were a perennial playoff team. Nowadays, they’re lucky if they’re in contention.
John Manasso of Fox Sports Tennessee has a suggestion to help out the Preds: Trade for Thomas Vanek, currently of the New York Islanders.
Manasso notes that scoring is a must in the Central Division as Chicago and St. Louis are the top two scoring teams in the NHL. As we all know, Nashville has a severe problem when it comes to scoring. Even when they were making the playoffs, it was on the strength of their defense and goaltending. Manasso thinks that Vanek could reverse that trend in Nashville.
Manasso notes that the asking price for Vanek is three assets as the Islanders want to recoup the assets they traded to the Buffalo Sabres in order to acquire Vanek. Manasso suggests sending Viktor Stalberg, a young defenseman such as Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis and the Predator’s first-round pick in this year’s draft. However, that is only if they can get Vanek to sign a long-term deal.
On top of the benefits that Vanek would bring to the Predators themselves, Manasso also suggests that they should do it also to keep Vanek away from other teams in their division. He notes that Vanek has been linked to the Wild. If he were to end up there, it would be really bad for the Predators as the Wild currently hold the Western Conference’s first wild card spot.
Could Vanek end up in Tennessee? Maybe, but this is just speculation.