Nashville Predators GM David Poile weighs in on how busy NHL trade deadline will be

Mike Organ
Nashville Tennessean

With the NHL trade deadline coming Monday, Predators general manager David Poile said there is not a lot of buzz at this point among teams.

The Predators at one point not so long ago were expected to be among the more active teams in play in terms of potential trades.

That likelihood has died down lately with the success the Predators have experienced, which has thrust them into the thick of the Central Division playoff race.

“Never say never, but I do think it has been a little bit lighter in overall conversation or ideas, seed-planting than before,” Poile said on 102.5-FM's "Darren, Daunic and Chase" program.

“I would say the next couple of days will be the time (when trade talk picks up)," he said. "But if I had my crystal ball I would say it’s not going to be anywhere near as active in terms of big trades or in terms of the amount of trades that there usually is during the last four or five days leading up to the trading deadline.”

Some of the circumstances surrounding the trade deadline, which could make for a light day on Monday, include the COVID-19 quarantine periods, a flat salary cap ($81.5 million) and a looming expansion draft.

Another key factor involves teams like Nashville, which has suddenly turned its season around and become a playoff contender. The Predators are less likely to make any substantial moves now that they are in the thick of the playoff race.

"If you would have asked me a month ago (about the Predators), I would have said, 'Oh yeah — big-time sellers,'" The Hockey News senior writer Ryan Kennedy said. "But now, it's like you're in a playoff spot. So what do you do? I think there's not as much stratification now as there was a month ago, and that could make things interesting in terms of movement because we probably won't see as much as we were initially anticipating."

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Something else that could play a roll, particularly for the Predators, is injuries. Nashville has been plagued with injuries that have sidelined some of its best players, including Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Alexandre Carrier, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Mathieu Olivier.

"What's going to happen in these next three or four games? Do you win? Do you lose? Do you get a significant injury?" Poile said on the radio show. "Any number of things could change. I can't speak for everybody else, but I'm doing my due diligence. I'm checking in with almost every team on a regular basis just to touch base and hear what they have to say and hopefully be ready for whatever comes our way."

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.