The arms race is on in the Central Division. After the Winnipeg Jets traded for Kevin Hayes, the Nashville Predators were on the clock. Like Winnipeg, the Predators were in on Mark Stone. Instead, the Predators went in a different direction.
First the Nashville Predators made an interdivisional trade with the Minnesota Wild acquiring Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala.
Soon after the Predators would trade for Wayne Simmonds from the Philadelphia Flyers for Ryan Hartman and a conditional fourth round pick in 2020. That fourth round pick becomes a third if Predators win at least one round in the playoffs.
NHL Trade Alert: Nashville Trade for Simmonds and Granlund
From a Nashville perspective, the Predators clearly got better. Adding players like Granlund and Simmonds boosts a power play that ranks dead last in the NHL. With all that fire power, it is weird to see the Predators 31st in anything.
Along with helping the power play, Granlund can play in a top 6 role for the Predators. That is the type of player that he was in Minnesota. Nashville is trying to compete with the Jets in the Central Division and adding a guy like Granlund clearly does. He can match up with anybody on any team.
Not only do the Predators get Granlund for this season, but next season as well. This is an ideal situation as Granlund has one more season left at a $5.75 million cap hit. He will definitely bolster this lineup.
On the other hand, Simmonds is a big, physical, and skilled player. Another player that will drive opponents crazy. Simmonds will fit nicely with the Predators as he can park his big body in front of the opposing goalie, especially on the power play.
Even though Simmonds is set to become an unrestricted free agent this season, Nashville knows it is about winning now and competing in a tough Central Divisions. Simmonds can fill a void left by Austin Watson when he got suspended.
From Minnesota’s perspective, GM Paul Fenton, who announced the Fiala draft pick, gets a guy he loves. Fiala, is only 22 years old, that has speed. Fenton believes he can be a steady 30 goal scorer in the league. Not only that but Fiala is set to be an RFA this season, so the team has control over this player come the summer time.
The Fiala-Granlund trade was a hockey trade that will suit both teams. Though it may sting for a couple of years for Predators fans.