Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators: Adding Some Much Needed Physicality

Earlier today, the Nashville Predators made two trades.

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile was busy today as he was actively working the phones. After working the phones, Poile was able to land Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils and re-acquired Cody McLeod in a trade with the New York Rangers. Fortunately for the Predators, they didn’t have to cough up any roster players or any prospects. Instead, Poile dealt future draft picks. In the Boyle trade, he dealt the Predators’ second round draft selection (2019 draft). Afterwards, Poile traded the Predators’ seventh round draft selection (2020 draft) to the Rangers for McLeod.

Adding Physicality

With the Predators acquiring Boyle and McLeod, they’ve added some much needed depth. The Predators organization needed to make moves to acquire bottom six forwards.

In specific, they needed to acquire players who aren’t shy when it comes to being physical. Per FoxSports.com, the Predators are one of the worst teams in the NHL when it comes to Hits/Game (H/G). At this point in the regular season, they are averaging 18.1 H/G. Oddly enough, they are also taking quite a bit of penalties. They are currently averaging 8.5 Penalty In Minutes/Game (PIM/G). So, the Predators needed to add players who can be physical, but who tend to make legal hits. 

With the additions of Boyle and McLeod, they are adding players who play with grit, but don’t sit in the box too often. After 47 games played, Boyle has 88 hits and 22 PIM.

On the other hand, McLeod has 96 hits and 60 PIM in 31 games played. While McLeod’s PIM is a little high given the amount of games that he’s played, he’s proved last season in his 25 game stint with the New York Rangers that he can be physical and not commit many penalties. In his 25 games in Manhattan, he posted 39 PIM. That’s not too bad. If McLeod can revert back to play from last season and just focus on legal hits, the Predators will be made in the shade. Worst case if McLeod is taking a lot of penalties, Poile didn’t cough up a lot to land the 34 year old and he can just waive him.

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Boyle Could Be A Dark Horse

Going back to Boyle, he’s got some other talents up his sleeve. Not only can Boyle be a physical asset, but he’s also on pace for his second best season from an offensive perspective. 

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To date, Boyle has 13 goals, 6 assists and 8 power-play points in 47 games. The remarkable thing is that Boyle has posted 19 points with depleted New Jersey Devils roster and with him only logging an average of 13:49 time on ice. 

Right now, Boyle won’t need to play a big role in the offensive zone, but should the Predators have some injuries emerge, they’ll have a centre who could step up into a bigger role. 

stats from FoxSports.com, hockey-reference.com and NHL.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals