The Nashville Predators made some very interesting moves this afternoon.
First, they shipped UFA to-be Dan Hamhuis to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional pick in 2011 and Ryan Parent. Secondly, they sent captain Jason Arnott to the New Jeresey Devils in exchange for winger Matt Halischuk and a second-round pick in 2011. Lastly, they resigned defenseman Francois Bouillon to a two-year $2.7 million contract.
So, in one afternoon, the Predators traded away two major players and reupped one 4th/5th defenseman.
Looking at the Arnott trade, the Predators unloaded a veteran who probably has a few more solid seasons left for a young winger who split time between the NHL and AHL in his second professional season. Halischuk adds depth and youth to the Predators line-up, but he doesn’t bring the leadership or big-game experience Arnott has. Arnott scored the Cup-clinching goal in 2000 for the Devils
. You don’t get much more experience than that. For the Devils, they receive a familiar face that should bring them more offensive grit and sandpaper in the corners. The easy winner of this deal is the Devils.
The Hamhuis trade really gets me steamed. For two reasons, I really can’t stand the Flyers (sorry Flyers fans) and the Sabres could have easily made this trade happen to instantly upgrade their blue-line. The Flyers will surely sign Hamhuis in the coming weeks and their blue-line will be full of ultra-talented defenders. With Brayden Coburn being an RFA, I wonder if he will no receive a tender from Philly. However, a top-four consisting of Coburn, Hamhuis, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen is a scary thought. The Predators actually make out like bandits in this one. They weren’t going to sign Hamhuis and now they get a serviceable defenseman plus a pick. I would imagine the pick will be a mid-round selection depending on Hamhuis getting signed and for how much he gets paid.
But, why couldn’t the Sabres bring this guy into the fold? You mean to tell me Chris Butler, Andrej Sekera, Marc-Andre Gragnani or even Mike Weber could not have gotten this trade done. Hell, Butler and Sekera are, at least, equally talented as Parent is. And, for my money, Mike Weber could have sealed it without the conditional pick. It goes to show the Sabres are still too close minded when it comes to other players in the league. Now, if they go and grab Kaberle, I will be impressed and will retract my previous statement. But, Hamhuis could play on the power play and would have made the Sabres so much stronger in their own end.
Just to touch on the Bouillon signing; it was a good choice to keep this guy in the fold. He has been around (over 500 games) and is a strong enough d-man for the Preds. Hopefully they have plans for free agency because they are looking pretty weak at the moment.