Irresponsible Rumormongering

Exploring the Nashville Predators as a trade partner (for more than minor trades)

The Nashville Predators are in win-now mode. They are also one of the most well-run teams in the league. They have cap space, good contracts for good players, a halfway decent farm system, and all of their first round picks. They also need some forward depth up front, specifically in the middle-six.

The Cody McLeod –and Cole Schneider– trade aside, which doesn’t move the needle for the Preds, the Rangers have three interesting pieces that would fit their needs in Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, and Mats Zuccarello. Sick about hearing about these three in trade rumors? Don’t worry, after Monday you won’t, at least not for two of them.

The Predators actually have solid depth at center, so my guess is they’d be looking at top-six wingers. That may leave Kevin Hayes off their target list, and focusing on either a pure rental in Zucc or two playoff runs with Kreider. It is worth noting that Kreider for two playoff runs at 50% retained has some pretty massive value.

Rumors are abound that the Predators are willing to part with Eeli Tolvanen, who was the prized prospect last year. He’s had an admittedly slot transition to the North American game, which is causing some concern. The numbers aren’t sexy, but it’s not all about the transition.

There is no denying Tolvanen’s skill. As noted above, it’s highly unlikely that Tolvanen is on the table for Zucc, and landing him in a Zucc deal is a huge win. I’d imagine he’d be the main piece in any Kreider deal though, along with a first round pick. Or, and just spitballing here, Tolvanen could be the centerpiece of a Zucc/Hayes package to Nashville.

Beyond Tolvanen, there’s Dante Fabbro, currently with BU. He’s a very smart defenseman with great vision and passing ability. He compares out to early Anton Stralman, with the skating and passing to transition the play, but may not have the offensive impact that Stralman had with Tampa.

While Fabbro isn’t quite NHL ready, Frederic Allard, currently playing well with Milwaukee –Nashville’s AHL affiliate– could be a closer to ready target. He’s certainly more offensively inclined that Fabbro, but less adept in his own end. He’s a right-handed shot as well.

Anthony Richard (LW, 21 years old) currently leads Milwaukee in scoring. Patrick Harper (LW, 20 years old), Fabbro’s teammate at BU, is small but has potentially elite level skill. He’s more of a project acquisition. The rest of the system is filled with bottom-six and bottom-pairing potential.

Nashville’s eyes are likely on Winnipeg and what they do, and Jeff Gorton has an interesting opportunity to pit the top two teams in the West against each other at the deadline. Gorton is on record saying he has no problem waiting until Monday’s deadline to make a move, so we shall see if the Preds and Rangers hook up for a third time in three months for a trade.

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  • Best trade targets for the Rangers: Preds, Jets, possibly Calgary. All 3 teams have good prospects in their systems. Avs would be on the list too, but they have said that they are not trading their top prospects for rentals. Maybe that changes.

    To our good friend Mint, I told you that term would be the reason that Hayes would not be back here. I’m hearing that Hayes wants 6-7 years and Zuc 5 years. Adios.

    My only hesitation the last month or so was that the Gorton would cave and give it to Hayes, especially. I guess and I hope not. Brooks appears to say that Gorton will not do it. Bravo. Now, get what you can for them. Duchene and Stone have to get traded first, I believe, for the Rangers to get max for Hayes and Zuc, meaning to the teams that do not get Duchene and/or Stone.

    • Tony

      FYI, isn’t it you who wanted us to trade for Charlie Coyle? Well he was traded yesterday to the Bruins……..

    • I would never give that type of deal, (6-7 years), to any player that wasn’t an elite sniper that scares the popcorn out of the opposing team.. Richter, I agree with you….adios amigos…..

    • I would give Hayes 6 years as long as the last 2-3 years have no NTC or a very limited (for the player) NTC. I’m scared of 7-8 year deals to 28+ year olds, but taking Hayes or a guy like Kreider to 32-33 doesn’t give me pause.

    • T, add the Sharks in the mix, they have been checking up on the Rangers, they have at least two prospects i would take from them. Vegas looking for a C and RW as well. Jets are the best actually, they have three really solid D-men prospects, Dylan Samberg, Logan Stanley, and Sami Niku, that Gorton should try to get, this is why the Jet fan last year at the Garden told you they do not need Trouba. Regarding the Preds, one prospect not mentioned in this article is Alex Carrier. Keep in mind, Quinn knows the jets prospect- Dylan Samberg from the NCAA.

  • I Ike your thought process here a lot. If you can get Tolvanen and Fabbro or Allard plus a first for Kreider and Zuccarello you have make that trade. Although I am not sure you need to retain cap space on Kreider. Nashville mange’s the cap well. It certainly won’t hurt but we may need salary retention options for other players so I’d use that wisely.

    • Kreider stays, unless there is an unbelievable offer, and the prospects you mention would have to be in the deal, for sure.

      • …..and I told you before the season I wanted Hayes to stay…but now, at 6-7 years, no senor, hasta la vista. Btw, Zucc would def be in play for Fabbro, for sure. Why TB is looking at our defenseman, I’m not sure, but Kreider is going nowhere. This all seems like it will go down to the wire on Monday; getting nervous. Coyle for Donato and 5th – wow.

  • ” It is worth noting that Kreider for two playoff runs at 50% retained has some pretty massive value”.

    Andy above made the very point I wanted to make, why in the world would we want to retain anything for these team’s who need some of our players? You want what I have, you pay for it! We get too hyped up for a name, and then get cavalier with other peoples money by suggesting we retain. My question to anyone who supports this thought, would you be willing to pay out of YOUR pocket? Didn’t think so….

    Now that I vented, I don’t believe we are trading Kreider any time soon. He has been our most consistent scorer for the last few years, and is a leader. I can see Zucc being traded, who will be missed, and Hayes who I don’t care if he is traded today. If Hayes is so wonderful, we should get a haul for him, let’s see what the returns turn out to be. I suspect with both of the Sens on the market, Hayes value just went down the toilet!!!!!!!!

    • Cap space is an asset. Since we have it, it is in our best interest to use it.

      Trade Kreider and retain nothing, you get Player A in return.

      Trade Kreider and retain 50% salary, you get Player B in return.

      What if Player A was a 21 yr old Jimmy Vesey and Player B was a 21 yr old Filip Forsberg? I think we all would hope that the Rangers decided to retain salary.

      • Hatrick

        Your assuming that we get that sort of quality back, but I suspect that won’t be the case, so why retain? My point is we shouldn’t be so ready to do so just to get a deal done!!!!!

    • Walt,
      I think Salary retention’s should be kept for Smith and also Shatty. Like it or not we need to move them out. Smith is not movable without retention. Shatty’s value is not where anyone would have hoped it would be at this point in his contract and in order to move him you need to cut that salary in half.(not sure you could move him without retention either) 3 play off runs with him and a cap hit of $3.325 mill would go a long way with say Toronto who’s about to go into cap hell. I also think you could swing a deal with Edmonton for him, assuming they are not on his NCM of M-NTC list. We only have 2 retention’s left and It’s my view that we need to save those for the guys who are going to be tough to move. Kreider’s on a great contract for the cap hit.

      • Andy

        Now let me get this right, we still are paying for the Girardi contract, people want to buy out Staal, we retain money for Smith, and Shatty, and we want to sign Panarian, and Stone, as well as Hayes to big contracts. I have one question, where is all this money coming from to do all of this. The cap hell we can find ourselves in would be terrible.

        We should only retain cap space for players that will be great down the road, or are entering their prime, that are currently great, and at that I’d still be reluctant. If we follow the plans proposed would be like the guys found ourselves in Viet Nam, one hand tied behind our back because the politicians wouldn’t give us the green light to do our jobs, or tools like bombing a village where fire was coming from, but we had to get permission from the village chiefs. How else would we field a team on the ice that can compete with their hands tied behind their backs do to cap hell. I could be dead wrong, OK, but those are my feelings about retaining money just to make a trade, NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • I hear you Walt. But retaining is better than buyouts…and we have some bad contracts and players filling those spots. If we could have talked Tampa to take Girardi with salary retained we would have been better off than the buyout..unfortunately he had 3 years left and they only took a flyer on 2 years…but your point is duly noted!

      • Remember, only allowed 3 retained salary trades at any one time. Better to use those on players who are UFA or UFA-1 after the deadline rather than being locked in for this year & 2 more.

    • So we are going to trade away Kreider and then retain 50% of his salary?

      Uh – NO!!!

      That is idiotic.

      Replace Kreider with Staal and I bite….

    • King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!!King Sieveqvist!! King Sieveqvist!! says:

      I hear it’s a 5 year offer at 32 mil , which was about what they offered him last year! Way to high IMO , 5.5 max

  • “but it would be much more difficult on the organization if Hayes (who, other than for a handful of shifts on the recent four game trip that ended with Tuesday’s 2-1 victory in Carolina, seemed like he was already somewhere else)”

    Quote from Brooks today above. I said earlier in the season that Hayes was dogging it, seems to be an issue that’s raised it’s ugly head again. Come on now Mint, tell me how off the wall I am with this!!!

    • You know what Walt? I’ve been attending and watching Rangers hockey games for over 50 years now, as you have too. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t remember a player with as much talent as Hayes that just seems like he doesn’t give a $hit most of the time. 6 or 7 million a year for 6 or 7 years…. NO THANKS!

        • I said the exact same thing to Richter a couple of months ago.

          Imagine what e could do if he did give a $hit?

          • Hayes, even with all his talent, will never be the heart and soul of this or any other team. But he wants to be paid like it. Apparently, the contract year put a little more effort in his game this season. Are the other GM’s aware of it too? …. if so we’re screwed.

          • In my mind, this reason is enough to trade Hayes. He’s a good player who seems like a complacent fella, early in his career he was often underprepared for the rigors of the NHL. Not to say he should suffer for his brother’s sins, but Jimmy Hayes partied his way out of a promising NHL career. Always have heard Kevin likes the nightlife too.

        • Lol – seriously? And exactly how does he look? Based on “the way the guy looks” – because after all – that’s all that matters! LOL!!!!!!!!! Boy, would Jean Ratelle and Carol Vadnais be in trouble today….:)

          • In five years, have you ever seen Hayes really use his size and hit someone? Or stand up for a teammate? If you answer yes to question 2, you’re a liar.

    • Hate to disagree Walt, but Hays may have dogged it but so did Zucc and it seams you forgave him and so did the most of the team. The only one trying really hard was Fast and couldn’t score a thing. You are going after a talented monster and you can’t teach monster, and don’t say anything about Listless Fast who does least in the east offensively. Hays is a mix of Jagger and Pete Townsend. You may never like his face but the music is great. I would quit on the not so wonderful coach who’s line combinations is worse than pond hockey.

      • What makes you think I forgave Zucc, or anyone else for dogging it??????? I love Zucc, but I want him traded as well, because of the return we would get!!!!!!!!

  • Trading Kreider seems to make no sense unless a wonderful offer is made. They would need a winger in return because the club has a serious lack of them.

    I’d prefer to keep Hayes because I don’t think the Rangers will get enough in return to replace the value he adds to the team, but if he wants a contract that is 6 or 7 years long as Richter reports, then they should do the best they can in getting decent picks or a prospect plus picks for him.

    At Zucc’s age, anything longer than three years is not smart for the club. If he wants more, I’d wave goodbye to him too even though I love the guy and even though they need wingers.

    • Peter

      I suspect that we won’t get near the value perceived on this site for Hayes. People are lining up for Matt Duchene, and Mark Stone, along with the Breadman, but where’s all the interest in Hayes? He will be the poor man’s version of these guys, hence the return won’t be as great. I’ll bet you right now that Wayne Simmons gets a better return than Kevin. The rest of your post is spot on my friend!!!!!

  • Not sure Krieder goes unless there is a hefty offer. Zucc and Hayes are now no brainers. They need to sit soon. If I am either of them, I would ask for the sky too. Watch when a perennial playoff team offers Zucc 3 years, he jumps at it. Or the Bruins offer Hayes 4 years at 6.2, I think he jumps too.

    The writing is on the wall for the Rangers – we are in full rebuild and there is no place for a 28 y/o on the roster unless you are cost controlled. Team needs to get young and talented in 2 years. Then we add the elite piece to push us over the top. I fear at least another year or two of no playoffs in front of us.

  • I’d really prefer more of deal along the lines of Zibanejad/Brassard that Gorton pulled a few seasons ago. Probably not for Hayes as he has more value. But I don’t understand why it all needs to be picks. That was a great deal for the NYR, and would love to see JG try to land a similar deal for Zucc.

    • It is because whomever gets Hayes is getting a rental and could lose him in the off season if they cannot sign him. Therefore, he has less value in a trade than Brassard had at the time.

      • I was looking at a few of the Ranger contracts and years remaining…ugh..Staal and Smith contracts are neck killers…..Magic has to be performed to make those contracts disappear……we do however, have money being extracted soon….but wouldn’t it be grand to make those two go away

  • I am just betting that when all this is done, we walk away with a first, a second and a decent prospect or two. Nothing that will change our team into a contender next year unless we somehow move our picks for a top 5 pick. We will have some money to spend, which needs to go towards the backline. I think either Skjei or Smith goes in a trade as well.

    I wish we were in a position where a deal would come our way with some teams number 1 prospect, but I don’t see it happening.

    • Wrong as usual, Fabbro should be a decent pro defenseman. Maybe change your name to Baron von Incorrectus.

      • Fabbro is a second pair *at best*. Saw him his draft year and they had him play every other shift. Was good for that level, not great.

        The best I could write about him was that maybe his problem was that he was making plays that his teammates weren’t smart enough to be ready for. It’s been a continuing trend.

    • Tolvanen had 3 great months in the KHL, hit the wall in December, never came back. A perimeter player with a great shot, but that’s about it.

      Just a guy

  • I was big on trying to keep Hayes but no way for anything more than 4 years. Send him out West – See how he like the Calgary night life.
    Question – I don’t understand the caps/contracts that well. It looks like Tony D (and Boo for that matter) current contracts runs out this Spring; 1.2M per and 708K respectively.
    Are they free agents come July 1st? What does a ‘restricted’ free agent mean? Thanks.

    • An unrestricted free agent is a player that is free to negotiate and sign with any team

      An restricted free agent is where the player can sign an “offer sheet” with another team. His current team has the right to keep him by matching the contract terms of the offer sheet. The current team can also choose to let the player go to the new team but if they do, they are entitled to draft pick compensation based on the value of the offer sheet.

      Restricted FA signings have been rare due to the draft pick compensation wrinkle. However, as there are a number of elite young players in the league there has been some chatter that one may occur. has all sorts of info on contract terms, salary information, and free agent status.

      DeAngelo will be a restricted FA.

      Boo is in a unique class known as a Group 6 FA. This allows a player age 25 or greater with three professional seasons to become unrestricted FA if they have not played 80 NHL games.

      Nieves had played 56 games prior to this season and has played 27 this year putting him over the 80 game threshold. Thus we will also be a RFA.

  • I’m not sure what Ritcher1994 Is talking about..?


    The GM is of course going to weigh his options. As the old story goes, even the great Wayne Gretzky wasn’t untouchable. JG said that he expects this to go down to the wire. A deal has been in place and it sounds like Hayes can work with w/e offer that they gave to him. Reports said that he wanted a 6-7 year contract. Last season the NYR were willing to go 5. If the money is squared away along with the clauses than I would think that Hayes camp could come down to 6 yrs. He was in a prove it contract year and they were willing to give him north of 5.5 for 5 years. One would think that 6 years and 6+ mill isn’t to far off the negotiation table.

    I can’t get a read on the Zucc side of things. Reports say that he was asking for a 5-6 year deal. 3 yr deal would almost be useless. I think they could go meet in the middle and go 4 or 5 in term and try to extend the window.

    JG is flexing through the media. The fact that he already offered Hayes a 5 yr contract before this season told me that there’s no hesitation of him being apart of this potential core. That was a classic indirect message of how JG talked said that this core can grow together. This could go down to the wire because he’s going to let both camps hash it over on one last go. I’m sure he explained to them that the longer it could take, the more danger that a potential buyers calls with a deal he can’t refuse. Bruins already shot their shot with the Coyle trade, they probably got wind of a re-sign by Hayes and didn’t want to miss their chance at adding depth.

    • Sorry Mint but I can’t believe Zucc wants 5-6 years, sounds like BS to me considering how much he wants to be here. Zucc is one thing, reasonable … make him a fair offer of 3 years @ $5m per and I say he grabs it.

      • Agree Tanto.
        Plus, Zucc will be 35 in Year 4 – no way…..
        With Hayes, he will be 30 in Year 4. Why not stay on Broadway for 6M per?
        He will have put ~ 30 million away in five years (with his current 5.2M). Cry me a river.
        No more deals more than 4 years……

  • My dark horse trade destination: A pick, Kreider, Vladdy and Staal.

    To the Rangers: Cam Atkinson, Josh Andersson and Dubinsky.

    Maybe they threaten Staal that he’s going to get bought out? He would wave his clause and go to a coach that he felt he would last with. He also wouldn’t move across the country for the time being.

    Atkison could be a cheaper and better scorer. We all know that Kreids will ask for 6.8×7 years.. This could be a alternative if they decided to keep Panarin for one last run while adding muscle and a different dynamic. Rangers would pick up someone who is a Boston alumni, a winger for Hayes to play with 5v5 and on the PK. He is also cool with Panarin so that might help attract him over here.

    • This is typically idiotic and disadvantageous to the Rangers, nice work again Mint. Get ready to enjoy rooting for another team come February 26th.

  • The other thing is why isn’t Fast’s name getting bandied about when someone like Hags went for a 3rd?

    Every practice is a maintenance day, has missed games(never played a full season;) are the wheels about to fall off?

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