Nashville Predators acquire depth piece Erik Gudbranson from Senators at NHL trade deadline

Mike Organ
Nashville Tennessean

Nashville Predatorscoach John Hynes said the manner in which the team has turned its season around has put it in position to "play some real meaningful games down the stretch."

The Predators will be able to continue that stretch and their playoff push with the same players on the roster they've had since winning 12 of their past 15 games after making only one depth move Monday at the NHL trade deadline.

The Predators acquired defenseman Erik Gudbranson, 29, from Ottawa for defensive prospect Brandon Fortunato, 24, and a 2023 seventh-round draft pick.

"Erik is a veteran player; he's a big physical defenseman that falls into the identity that we want our team to play," Predators general manager David Poile said. "We've been very banged up all over in our lineup and especially on defense, and Erik certainly gives us some good depth as we head into the last 13 games of the regular season."

This was Gudbranson's first season with the Senators. He has played in 36 games and registered three points (one goal, two assists). He led the Senators defensemen in hits with 92 and was third in blocked shots with 51.

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The 6-foot-5, 217-pounder was the third overall pick in 2010. He has played for Florida (2011-16), Vancouver (2016-19), Pittsburgh (2019-20) and Anaheim (2019-20).

The Predators are  19-9-1 in their past 29 games. Nashville won a 3-2 shootout over Dallas on Sunday night and plays defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena. 

The Predators were in fourth place in the Central Division with 47 points entering Monday night's games. The Chicago Blackhawks, a team the Predators are 5-0 against this season, are in fifth with 43, and Dallas has 41.

"I'm glad we were a buyer today versus a seller; that's always a good sign for your franchise in terms of our belief," Poile said. "That clearly shows you believe in the players. It's a reward for the players, the coaches, the fans that you didn't trade anybody away and that you actually added to your team. It's been really good and exciting the last three weeks, and let's hope it continues that way."   

Several of the players who have been injured have started to return, and that is another factor that could help in the playoff push.

Poile said the hot streak the Predators have been  on came close to convincing him not to give up any of his key players long before Monday's deadline.

"I was listening because that's free," he said. "But I had pretty well made up my mind a little while ago based on how things were going that it would have to be something that would be really different than anything I had heard of or had been brought up to me that would make me want to change where we are right now." 

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