Let’s first talk about that logo, its awesome.
Alright now that we got that out of the way let’s talk about the actual team. I would be remiss to not first mention the blockbuster trade that Nashville pulled off with Montreal this offseason. Nashville acquired PK Subban in return for Shea Weber. At first everyone thought that Nashville won that trade but looking more closely it seems to be a fair deal. Nashville gave up a little bit in the short term in return for a longer term asset.
Subban has his spots but in general is average in his own zone and can change the game offensively. Weber is great in his own zone and can also change the game with his heavy shot from the point. Regardless of what happens if you’re Nashville you do that trade 10 out of 10 times. This trade gives us a sense of the situation Nashville is in, long term focused while trying to compete. It is a tough line to draw but if Nashville is smart they can pull it off.
This season Nashville is 3rd in the Central with a +10 goal differential with their strength being their 9th ranked goals per game figure compared to an average rank of 14th goals against per game.
Nashville is strong up front with a nice mix of youth and veterans leading the way. Their youth movement is led by two studs down the middle in Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. Nashville has been great with trades acquring both these young talents. Johansen was acquired for Seth Jones, a win for both teams, and Forsberg was acquired from Washington for Martin Erat and Michael Latta. This was a huge win for Nashville both at the time and in hindsight.Viktor Arvidsson is extremely underrated and rarely discussed nationally. I was shocked to see how many points he’s accumulated this year at only 23 years old. Arvidsson has 21 goals on the year that no one is talking about.
James Neal and Mike Fisher provide good veteran leadership while also contributing on the ice. Neal has 33 points, 18 of which are goals and Fisher has 25 points, 15 of which are goals.
On the back-end Nashville is stacked. The reason they were able to trade Seth Jones for a true #1C is because of their defensive depth. Besides the aforementioned Subban they have youth on their blue line. Josi, Ekholm, and Ryan Ellis are all 26 years old and all play 23:53 a night or more. Those 3 plus Subban are workhorses and unless Nashville gets a deal they can’t say no to, will be on the blue line for years to come. They also are all signed for at least 2 more years, Ellis with one of the biggest steals of a contract at $2.5MM per year.
In Goal they have Pekka Rinne who has always been a strong goalie. He’s signed for $7MM for the next two years. They also have Juuse Saros who has been a revelation in goal. Saros has appeared in 15 games and sports a 2.21 GAA and .929 SV%. He could be the future in net as he is only 21 years old. I’m not sure what Nashville does with Rinne but this could be a Fleury-Murray Situation developing. Maybe something happens at the expansion draft.
Trades: I do not see Nashville doing much this season as they are taking a longer approach to things. They have the ability to make a move as they have a ton of cap space ($17MM) and virtually all of their draft picks
2017: All picks besides their own 4th round pick. They have an additional 6th round pick
2018-2019: All of their own picks
I don’t see Nashville doing much besides long-term moves so lets look at some blockbuster targets
Matt Duchene/Landeskog: The two Avs are rumored to be on the move this trade deadline so why not Nashville. Duchene is set to make $6MM over the next 2 years after this one and can play up the middle or on the wing. If he played up the middle that would give Nash tremendous depth to build around for years to come. One of these guys would cost prospects plus draft picks.
It would be interesting if Nashville traded for both of these guys. What if Nashville gave up Josi or Ellis or Ekholm plus some draft considerations for Duchene and Landeskog. It may be a little out there but Nashville has the cap space, they have the young roster to build around, and they are so deep on the back end. This wouldn’t disrupt any issues regarding the expansion draft either. Plus Nashville is a great place to live.
Leon Draisaitl: The Edmonton Center is a future star in this league and actually leads the Oilers in goals. Again Nashville could rely on their defensive depth and trade someone like Ekholm to EDM for Draisaitl. I’m not sure EDM goes for that trade but it stabilizes the back-end with Larsson and drops their other defenseman down to a more manageable role. This would be a pure hockey trade.