Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is the longest tenured GM in the NHL, having accepted the position on July 9, 1997. In his role, he has led the Predators to a lot of success, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2017. He has also created for himself a reputation of being a trade master, having built a large percentage of the team’s current roster through trades.
With the 2019 Trade Deadline less than a month away, in the next couple of weeks I will be discussing what the Predators’ approach should be at this season’s deadline. But first, I wanted to go back in time and tell the franchise’s history at the deadline, describing the trades that were made and the impacts they had, both at the time and in the seasons that followed.
Early Deadlines in Franchise History
From the franchise’s first trade deadline in 1999 through the 2010 Deadline, Poile made a lot of deadline deals, 22 to be exact, and that’s without the 2004-05 season which was lost to lockout. However, despite the quantity of trades, very few would be considered ‘substantial.’
1999 Trade Deadline
At the 1999 Trade Deadline, the Predators were third from the bottom in the Western Conference and 19 points out of first place in the Central Division.
The Trade: Acquired Sergei Klimentyev from the Philadelphia Flyers for future considerations
The first trade deadline deal in Predators history occurred on March 23, 1999 and it reflected their place in the standings. They acquired Ukrainian defenseman Sergei Klimentyev for the ever-vague future considerations.
Klimentyev was in the Flyers system at the time and had been in the AHL ever since the Buffalo Sabres drafted him in the fifth round of the 1995 Draft. After the trade, the Predators sent him down to the Milwaukee Admirals. He never played in an NHL game in his career, and instead spent 10 seasons in Russia’s Superleague, the predecessor to the KHL. He retired from playing following the 2012-13 season. The future considerations remain as vague as ever.
2000 Trade Deadline
The 1999-00 season went even worse than their inaugural season did. At the time of the 2000 Trade Deadline, they were last in the Western Conference, although they were 27 points above the Atlanta Thrashers for last in the league. As a result, the Predators were sellers at the deadline.
The Trade: Acquired Pavel Skrbek from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Bob Boughner
Their first trade of the deadline sent current Florida Panthers head coach Bob Boughner to the Penguins. At the time, Boughner, a defenseman, was in his age-28 season and had played 62 games prior to the deadline. Following the trade, he had one goal in 11 games with the Penguins. He spent one more season in Pittsburgh and also played for the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche before retiring after the 2005-06 season.
In return, the Predators got Czech defenseman Pavel Skrbek who was 21 at the time. The Penguins had selected him in the second round of the 1996 Draft and had four NHL games to his name before the trade. Afterwards, he joined the Admirals and stayed in the Predators system one more season before departing for the Czech Republic during the 2001-02 season. He also played in Sweden before retiring after the 2017-18 season.
The Trade: Acquired Cale Hulse and a 2001 third-round pick from the Flames for Sergei Krivokrasov
Sergei Krivokrasov was originally the Chicago Blackhawks’ first-round pick in 1992 and the 1999-00 season was his second in Nashville. Prior to the 2000 Trade Deadline, he had nine goals and 26 points in 63 games and had a goal and 10 assists in 12 games with Calgary. Following that season, the Minnesota Wild claimed him in the 2000 Expansion Draft and he finished his NHL career with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He followed that up with six seasons in Russia before retiring from playing.
Cale Hulse, the roster player the Predators received, was the New Jersey Devils’ second-round pick in 1992 and had played in 47 games with a goal and six assists before the trade. However, an injury prevented him from playing any games after the trade. He played the next three seasons with the Predators and accumulated three goals and 18 points in 225 games. He signed with the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2003 offseason and also played for the Columbus Blue Jackets before being reacquired by the Flames at the 2006 Trade Deadline to finish his career.
Related: David Poile’s 5 Best Moves
The Predators used the third-round pick to select Russian left winger Denis Platonov 75th overall. He never reached the NHL and only played in three AHL games, instead playing the majority of his career in Russia. As of the 2018-19 season, he’s still in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
The Trade: Acquired Petr Sachl from the New York Islanders for a 2000 ninth-round pick
In a trade that refuted their status as sellers, the Predators also acquired a player at the deadline. Granted, it was for a ninth-round pick, but still. Peter Sachl, who was 22 at the time, was a former fifth-round pick of the Islanders. He split the 1999-00 season between the now-defunct United and West Coast Hockey Leagues and never reached the NHL. He spent two seasons in the Predators system and played in various Europeans leagues through the 2014-15 season.
The Islanders used the draft pick on Finnish defenseman Tomi Pettinen. He spent the majority of his time in North America with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, although he did play in 24 NHL games with the franchise and failed to tally a point. After the 2005-06 season, he returned to Europe and retired from playing following the 2011-12 season.
2001 Trade Deadline
For the third straight season, the Predators were sellers at the deadline. At the time, they were fourth in the Central Division and 28 points out of first.
The Trade: Acquired Bert Robertsson from the New York Rangers for Ryan Tobler
This is a trade I don’t understand. Bert Robertsson, a defenseman, was 26 at the time, and a former 10th-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks. He played in two games with the Rangers before the trade with no points and spent the majority of the season in the minors. He never appeared in a game with the Predators and they traded him to the Mighty Ducks in Dec. 2001 and he later spent time in the Penguins system. He returned to Europe for the 2002-03 season and remained their until he retired after the 2007-08 season.
The Predators dealt Tobler, a winger, after they signed him as an undrafted free agent in May 2000. He never reached the NHL with Nashville but had been quite successful with the Admirals. The Rangers kept him in the minors after the trade and he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in Aug. 2001 and appeared in four NHL games with them, the only NHL experience of his career. He spent the remainder of his playing career in the minors before retiring after the 2011-12 season.
The Trade: Acquired a 2001 second-round pick from the Canucks for Drake Berehowsky
The Predators also parted with defenseman Drake Berehowsky, whom they acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in Oct. 1998. The former 1990 10th-overall selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs played in 219 games with 20 goals and 73 points with Nashville, including 66 games, six goals and 24 points before the deadline.
He appeared in 14 games with a goal and an assist with the Canucks after the trade and stayed with them for part of the next season. He also played for the Coyotes, Penguins and another stint with Toronto before heading to Europe for two seasons. He retired after the 2005-06 season. He has since turned to coaching and is the current head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears, the Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate.
The Predators drafted winger Timofei Shishkanov with the second-round pick from the Québec Remparts. He appeared in three games with the Predators in 2003-04 with no points and remained in the team’s system until the 2005-06 season when they traded him to the St. Louis Blues. After that season, he returned to Russia and as of the 2018-19 season he is playing for the Tokohu Free Blades of the Asia League.
2002 Trade Deadline
The 2002 Trade Deadline again saw the Predators be sellers. They were, again, fourth in the division but 43 points out of first place.
The Trade: Acquired a 2003 fourth-round pick from the Blackhawks for Tom Fitzgerald
Six days before deadline day, the Predators moved right winger Tom Fitzgerald to the Blackhawks. He was the first captain in franchise history and had been a Predator for three full seasons entering the 2001-02 season. In total, he appeared in 307 games with Nashville and accumulated 42 goals and 88 points. He played in 15 games with Chicago after the trade and netted a goal and four points.
He joined the Maple Leafs after the season and played one season with the Boston Bruins before retiring after the 2005-06 season. Once his playing career ended, he turned to management and worked his way up to assistant general manager with the Penguins. He is currently in the same role with the Devils.
Poile traded the fourth-round pick he received for Fitzgerald to the Mighty Ducks, who used the pick on defenseman Nathan Saunders.
The Trade: Acquired Jere Karalahti and a 2003 conditional pick from the Los Angeles Kings for Cliff Ronning
Not only did the Predators trade their captain during the 2001-02 season, they also traded an alternate captain in Cliff Ronning. The veteran in his age-36 season had 18 goals and 49 points in 67 games before the trade and one goal and five points in 14 games with the Kings after. Following that season, the Kings dealt him to the Wild, with whom he played one season before finishing his career with the Islanders in 2003-04. His son Ty was a 2016 seventh-round pick of the Rangers.
In return, the Predators received Jere Karalahti, a defenseman, and a draft pick. Karalahti was 26 at the time and had one assist in 30 games with the Kings in his third NHL season. After the deal, he played in 15 games for Nashville and registered one assist in his final NHL season. He didn’t play during the 2002-03 season and returned to his native Finland for the 2003-04 season and remained in Europe until he retired following the 2015-16 season.
The Predators used the pick on Finnish netminder Teemu Lassila of Liiga’s TPS. He never made the jump to North America and is currently playing for Orli Znojmo of the EBEL in Austria.
The Trade: Acquired Jukka Hentunen from the Flames for future considerations
The 2001-02 season was Jukka Hentunen’s only one in North America despite it being his age-27 season. The Finnish winger had previously played in his native country. With the Flames, he had two goals and five points in 28 games and increased his production with the Predators to the tune of two goals and two assists in 10 games. At season’s end, he returned to Europe and played in Finland, Switzerland and Russia before retiring in 2013. Once again, I’m uncertain what resulted with the future considerations.
The Trade: Acquired Peter Smrek from the Rangers for Richard Lintner
In a continuation of Poile acquiring players who had short NHL careers, he traded for defenseman Peter Smrek at the 2002 Trade Deadline. Originally a 1999 third-round pick of the Blues, he had 28 NHL games, two goals and six points to his name before the Predators landed him. Just 22 at the time, Smrek was sent down to the Admirals after the trade and played one more AHL season before leaving North America. The Slovakian native played through the 2014-15 season, although did take a three-season break from 2010 to 2013.
Richard Linter, like Smrek was a Slovakian defenseman and his career is pretty interesting. The Predators acquired him from the Coyotes, along with Ronning, in Oct. 1998. He played in the minors in 1998-99, played 83 NHL games between the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons and then played in Sweden’s SHL in 2001-02. It was while he was in Sweden that the Predators traded him to the Rangers. He played 10 games with the Rangers in 2002-03 before they dealt him to the Penguins as part of a package for Alexei Kovalev. That was Lintner’s final season in North America and he last played in 2014-15 for HK Dukla Trenčín of the Slovak Extraliga.
2003 Trade Deadline
Things were slightly better for the Predators at the 2003 Trade Deadline. In ninth place in the Western Conference, they were one spot out of the final playoff position. While that may have been enough for some teams to buy at the deadline, their seven-point deficit on that eighth spot led to some trades that signified buying and selling.
The Trade: Acquired Wade Flaherty from the Panthers for Pascal Trépanier
The Predators entered the trade deadline needing goaltending help. Thomas Vokoun played well in a starter’s role, but there was little help below him on the depth chart. As a result, Poile acquired veteran backup/AHL starter Wade Flaherty. He had played 10 seasons entering the 2002-03 season, but had appeared in just 119 NHL games. Before the deadline, Flaherty had spent the entire season in the AHL with a 2.88 goals-against average (GAA) and .914 save percentage (SV%).
After the trade, he played in one game with the Predators and allowed four goals on 27 shots for an .852 SV%. It was his last game in the NHL. He spent one more season in the Predators system, along with four in the Canucks system and one in the Blackhawks system. He retired after spending the 2008-09 season with the China Sharks in the Asia League.
To land Flaherty, Poile gave up Pascal Trépanier, a defenseman with five seasons under his belt, including playing in 74 games in 2001-02. Before the 2003 Trade Deadline, he played in one game with Nashville and 52 with the Admirals. When he joined the Panthers, he played the remainder of the season with their AHL affiliate. He played the 2003-04 season in the Lighting system and later left and spent the final eight seasons of his career in Switzerland and Germany before he retired in 2012.
The Trade: Acquired future considerations from the Ottawa Senators for Bob Wren
Another trade that involved vague future considerations, however, this time it was the Predators acquiring said considerations. In return, the Predators sent center Bob Wren to the Senators. Wren hadn’t played in the NHL since the 2001-02 season when he appeared in one game with the Maple Leafs. He didn’t play for the Senators either, but their AHL affiliate. Following the 2002-03 season, Wren left for Germany and has largely played there since. As of the 2018-19 season, he is playing for EHC Klostersee of the Oberliga, Germany’s third-tier league.
The Trade: Acquired Alexander Ryazantsev from the Avalanche for a 2003 seventh-round pick
The last move Poile made at the 2003 Trade Deadline was acquiring defenseman Alexander Ryazantsev, the Avalanche’s sixth-round pick from 1998. Like other players acquired and dealt by the Predators, Ryazantsev never played in the NHL and was in the AHL at the time of the trade. He stayed in the AHL after joining the Predators and the 2002-03 season was his last in North America. Afterwards, he returned to Russia and last played for the KHL’s Amur Khabarovsk in 2014-15.
The Avalanche used the second-round pick to select forward Linus Videll out of Sweden’s SHL. He never left Europe and is currently a point-per-game player for Dinamo Riga of the KHL as a 33-year-old.
2004 Trade Deadline
For the first time in franchise history, the Predators were a clear buyer at the 2004 Trade Deadline. They were in eighth place at the time and just barely in a playoff position with a one-point lead over the ninth-place Blues. Poile’s moves that season worked, as the team qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
The Trade: Acquired Brad Bombardir and Sergejs Zoltoks from the Wild for a 2004 third and fourth-round pick
Four days before the deadline, the Poile pulled off the biggest deadline deal in terms of asset count in franchise history to that point. The deal added defenseman Brad Bombardir and center Sergejs Zoltoks, both 31 years of age. Bombardir broke into the NHL with the Devils and played three seasons with them before joining the Wild for the 2000-01 season.
He played three and a half seasons with the Wild before this trade. In 56 pre-trade games, he had a goal and two assists and went pointless in 13 games after. He played one AHL game in 2005-06 before retiring and has been the Wild’s director of player development since 2010.
Brad Bombardir and Paul Fenton on what impressed them during this week's Development Camp. pic.twitter.com/0MvquwDOZD
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) July 16, 2018
Zoltoks had a lengthy career prior to joining Nashville with 577 games, 110 goals and 256 points. He had 13 goals and 29 points in 59 games before the trade but just one goal and one assist in 11 games with Nashville. He played the next season for HK Riga 2000 in Belarus due to the NHL lockout and retired from playing following the 2004-05 season.
The Wild used the third-round pick on defenseman Clayton Stoner from the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. He played four seasons in the AHL before reaching the NHL in 2009-10 and stayed with the Wild through the 2013-14 season. Afterwards, he joined the Anaheim Ducks and the Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the 2017 Expansion Draft, although he never played for Vegas and is currently a free agent.
The Wild selected winger Patrick Bordeleau with the fourth-round pick from the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL. He never played for the Wild and didn’t reach the NHL until the 2012-13 season with the Avalanche. He is currently playing in the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey (LNAH), a low-level professional league in Quebec.
The Trade: Acquired Shane Hnidy from the Senators for a 2004 third-round pick
Defenseman Shane Hnidy played three full seasons with the Senators before the 2003-04 season. Prior to the deadline, he had five assists in 37 games and added two assists in nine games with the Predators after the trade. In July 2005, the Predators dealt him to the Thrashers and he played two seasons with them. He also played for the Ducks and Bruins before retiring in Sep. 2011.
The Senators used the third-round pick on Danish center Peter Regin. He joined the Senators for the 2009-10 season, and also played for the Islanders and Blackhawks before leaving to join Jokerit in the KHL where he currently captains the team.
The Trade: Acquired a 2004 sixth-round pick from the Lightning for Stanislav Neckar
However, in opposition to the buying moves, Poile also parted with defenseman Stanislav Necker, former second-round pick of the Senators in 1994. After stints with the Senators, Rangers and Lightning, the Predators signed him in Nov. 2003 as a free agent, however a groin injury held him to only one game with them. Poile traded him back to the Lightning and he appeared in two playoff games with them and helped them win the 2004 Stanley Cup. After the season ended, he played a season in the Czech Republic before concluding his career in the SHL in 2005-06.
The Predators drafted defenseman Kevin Schaeffer out of Boston University. He played four seasons with B.U. and never signed with the Predators. Instead, he played in the Bruins, Senators, Hurricanes and Coyotes organizations before retiring in 2011. He never reached the NHL.
2006 Trade Deadline
The Predators emerged from the 2004-05 lockout with a great start to the 2005-06 season. At the deadline, they were third in the Western Conference with 81 points and had an eight-point lead over the eighth spot. For the second-straight season, the Predators qualified for the postseason.
The Trade: Acquired Brendan Witt from the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech and a 2006 first-round pick
At the 2006 Trade Deadline, Poile added some grit and physicality with defenseman Brandon Witt, the Capitals’ 1991 11th-overall selection, when Poile was the general manager. Witt had spent his entire career with the Capitals before the trade and accumulated 626 games, 20 goals, 83 points and 1,035 penalty minutes. In 17 games with Nashville, he added three assists and 68 penalty minutes. He signed with the Islanders at season’s end and remained with them until he retired in 2010.
To acquire Witt, the Predators gave up forward Kris Beech and a first-round pick. Beech was originally drafted seventh overall by the Capitals in 1999 and became a Predator in Sep. 2005 when the Penguins traded him to them. He only played in five games with Nashville and tallied a goal and an assist before the trade.
Afterwards, he had a moderately successful run with Washington before concluding his career with stints in Columbus, Vancouver and Pittsburgh before he left North America to play in Sweden. His playing career ended in 2016 after a season with the Belfast Giants of the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League.
The big piece in this trade, however, was the first-round pick, which the Capitals used to select goaltender Semyon Varlamov with the 23rd-overall selection. He played parts of three seasons with the Capitals as Jose Theodore and Michal Neuvirth’s backup before he was dealt to the Avalanche in July 2011 for Colorado’s first-round pick.
2007 Trade Deadline
The Predators continued their climb up the league standings in 2006-07 and entered the trade deadline tied for first in the Western Conference and one point behind the Sabres for first in the league. It also meant that the team was best setup to go for it at the deadline.
The Trade: Acquired Peter Forsberg from the Flyers for Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall and a 2007 first and third-round pick
Looking for an added boost on an already-talented roster, Poile went after future Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg. After an initial nine-season stint with the Avalanche franchise in which he finished every season with higher than a point-per-game scoring average, he signed with the Flyers and was once again better than a point-per-game player in 2005-06. Although the Flyers made the 2006 Playoffs, they were last in the league at the 2007 Deadline. However, it has nothing to do with Forsberg who had 40 points in 40 games.
With the Predators, he had two goals and 15 points in 17 games and two goals and four points in five playoff games as the Predators were upset by the San Jose Sharks in the first round. He sat out the majority of the 2007-08 season before signing with Colorado in February and eventually retired in Feb. 2011. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
To acquire Forsberg, Poile parted with a large package of assets, including Scottie Upshall, the Predators’ sixth-overall pick in 2002. Although he debuted in 2002-03, he didn’t become a full-time player until 2005-06. He finished his tenure in Nashville with 11 goals and 29 points in 77 games, including two goals and an assist in 14 games in 2006-07 before the deadline. He played one full season with Philadelphia before they traded him to the Coyotes and he also played for the Blue Jackets, Panthers and Blues and is currently a free agent.
The Predators may have a history of hitting on defensemen in the draft, but that wasn’t the case with Ryan Parent, their first-round pick in 2005. He never played in a game with Nashville and only appeared in 102 over four seasons with Philadelphia. The Predators reacquired him in June 2010 before trading him to the Canucks in Oct. 2010. He last played in the NHL in 2010-11 and retired after 2015-16. He is currently an assistant coach with the Binghamton Devils, New Jersey’s AHL affiliate.
The Flyers kept neither of the draft picks the Predators dealt them. The first-round pick was sent back to the Predators in exchange for Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell and they used the pick on defenseman Jonathon Blum. The Flyers dealt the third-round selection to the Capitals who used it on center Phil DeSimone.
The Trade: Acquired 2007 fourth-round pick from the Sabres for Mikko Lehtonen
Poile also dealt Finnish defenseman Mikko Lehtonen whom he used a ninth-round pick on in 2001. The 2006-07 season was the first time he made the jump from Finland to North America and he appeared in 15 NHL games and 35 AHL games in the Predators system that season. After the trade, he also appeared in 21 AHL games in Buffalo’s system. He returned to Europe after the season and largely played in Finland’s Liiga before retiring after the 2013-14 season.
The Predators used the fourth-round pick on winger Mark Santorelli from the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL. Although he excelled in juniors, he struggled professionally and spent three seasons with the Admirals before leaving to play in Sweden. He also played in Italy and Austria before retiring after 2015-16.
2008 Trade Deadline
The Predators fell off from the 2007-08 season to 2008-09. They were in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, but just three points up on the ninth-place team. They still qualified for the playoffs at the end of the regular season.
The Trade: Acquired Jan Hlavac from the Lightning for a 2008 seventh-round pick
Although they were barely a playoff team, the Predators made a minor acquisition in 31-year-old winger Jan Hlavac. Originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round of the 1995 Draft, he didn’t come to North America until the 1999-00 season with the Rangers. Over the next four seasons he also played for the Flyers, Canucks and Hurricanes.
He left the NHL during the 2004-05 lockout and stayed in Europe for three seasons before signing with the Lightning for the 2007-08 season. He had nine goals and 22 points in 62 games with the Lightning and was successful with Nashville with three goals and 13 points in 18 games. He ultimately helped the Predators reach the postseason and added two assists in six playoff games. After that season, he returned to Europe and played in Sweden and the Czech Republic through the 2017-18 season and has yet to retire.
The Lightning traded the seventh-round pick to the Flyers who used it on goaltender Joacim Eriksson, who never signed with the team. He eventually made it to North America with the Canucks in 2013-14 and spent 52 games in the AHL that season. He also played in one NHL game and allowed six goals on 31 shots. He spent the entire next season in the AHL before returning to Europe. He is currently playing in Sweden and is on loan from the SHL to the Allsvenskan.
2009 Trade Deadline
Poile and the Predators didn’t make any moves at the 2009 Deadline and were tied for eighth in the conference at the time. They missed the playoffs that season with a fifth-place finish in the division despite having a winning record.
No trades were made
2010 Trade Deadline
After missing the 2009 Playoffs, the Predators were in a better spot in the 2009-10 season. They were seventh in the conference at the deadline and eventually qualified for the playoffs before they were ousted by the Blackhawks in six games in the first round.
The Trade: Acquired Denis Grebeshkov from the Oilers for a 2010 second-round pick
The Predators’ first move was to acquire Russian defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, the Kings’ first-round pick in 2002. The Kings dealt him to the Islanders in March 2006 and the Oilers acquired him in Feb. 2007. Before the deadline, he had six goals and 19 points in 47 games with Edmonton and only played in four regular season games with Nashville and totaled a goal and an assist. He also appeared in two playoff games and added two assists. That offseason, he joined the KHL and played there until he retired after the 2014-15, except for 2013-14, when he played another season in the Oilers system.
The Oilers used the second-round pick on winger Curtis Hamilton of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. He spent four seasons in the Edmonton system and appeared in one NHL game in 2014-15 before he left North America to play in Europe. He is currently a member of Graz 99ers of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga in Austria.
The Trade: Acquired Dustin Boyd from the Flames for a 2010 fourth-round pick
The Predators also added a depth forward in 23-year-old Dustin Boyd, the Flames’ third-round pick from 2004. In 2009-10 before the trade deadline, he had eight goals and 19 points in 60 games. Afterwards, he added three goals and five points in 18 games with the Predators and went pointless in four playoff games. The Predators dealt him to the Montreal Canadiens in June 2010. Boyd signed with the KHL’s Barys Astana and currently plays for them.
The Flames used the pick on center Bill Arnold of the U.S. National Development Program and he later played four seasons at Boston College. He played in one NHL game with the Flames in 2013-14 and spent two more seasons in their system before retiring after 2015-16.
From the 2011 Deadline Until Now
There’s a substantial difference between the deadlines between 1999 and 2010 and the ones that have occurred since. Apart from the acquisition of Forsberg, none of the Predators’ early deadline deals involved a prominent player nor a player who became a long-time member of the franchise. That immediately changed with the 2011 Trade Deadline.
2011 Trade Deadline
At the 2011 Deadline, the Predators found themselves in a familiar position: in a postseason position, but just barely as they were tied for eighth in the conference. The wound up making the playoffs and advanced a round for the first time in franchise history with a 4-2 series win over the Ducks in the first round. They ultimately lost in six games to the Canucks in the conference semifinals.
The Trade: Acquired Mike Fisher from the Senators for a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 conditional pick
The first move of the 2011 Deadline was to acquire center Mike Fisher from the Senators who were last place in the Eastern Conference. He was in his age-30 season after the Senators took him in the second round of the 1998 Draft. He finished his Ottawa career with 675 games, 167 goals and 348 points and helped them reach the postseason seven times. After joining Nashville, Fisher had five goals and 12 points in 27 games and spent the remaining seven seasons of his career there, including a season as captain in 2016-17 when the Predators reached the Stanley Cup Final.
The Senators used the first-round pick to select winger Stefan Noesen with the 21st-overall pick. In July 2013, they traded him to the Ducks to land Bobby Ryan and he was claimed off waivers by the Devils in Jan. 2017. He is currently in the NHL with the Devils. The 2012 conditional pick became a third-rounder that the Senators used on center Jarrod Maidens, who retired after the 2011-12 season as an 18-year-old due to post-concussion symptoms.
The Trade: Acquired a 2012 conditional seventh-round pick from the Panthers for Alexander Sulzer
The Predators also sent German defenseman Alexander Sulzer, whom they used a 2003 third-round pick on, to the Panthers. It took until the 2007-08 season for him to join the Predators and he spent the majority of the next three seasons in the AHL. He played in 31 NHL games in 2007-08 and tallied a goal and three assists before the trade.
He appeared in nine games and had an assist with Florida before he signed with the Canucks in July 2011. He later played for the the Sabres from 2011-12 through 2013-14 before he departed the NHL for Germany’s DEL where he currently plays for Kölner Haie.
2012 Trade Deadline
At the 2012 Trade Deadline the Predators were firmly in a playoff position as the Western Conference’s fourth seed with an eight-point lead on the fifth spot. They qualified for the postseason and once again advanced a round, this time by beating the Detroit Red Wings in five games in round one. But, also once again, they were eliminated in the second round, this time in five games by the Coyotes.
The Trade: Acquired Hal Gill and a 2013 conditional fifth-round pick from the Canadiens for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2012 second-round pick
The Predators’ blue line got a lot bigger at the 2012 Deadline with the acquisition of defenseman Hal Gill. The 36-year-old Gill already had a lengthy career at that point, having been drafted in 1993 and won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Penguins. Before the trade, he had a goal and seven assists in 53 games and added five assists in 23 games with Nashville.
He also appeared in five postseason games but went scoreless. He played one more season with the Predators and appeared in six games with Philadelphia in 2013-14 before retiring. He is currently the Predators’ radio color commentator.
The conditional fifth-round pick the Predators received alongside Gill went back to the Canadiens in a later deadline deal in 2012.
To land Gill, Poile sent forwards Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney to Montreal. Geoffrion, 23 at the time, is of hockey royalty as his grandfathers, Bernie Geoffrion and Howie Morenz are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Blake Geoffrion was drafted by the Predators in the second round in 2006 and he played four collegiate seasons prior to turning pro.
He reached the NHL in 2010-11, and in total, appeared in 42 games and scored six goals and 11 points with Nashville. He played the remainder of the 2011-12 season and 2012-13 in the Canadiens system before retiring and is currently the assistant general manager of Columbus’ AHL affiliate.
Slaney was 24 at the time and went undrafted after playing in the QMJHL. Prior to joining the Predators system, he played in the Maple Leafs system and never reached the NHL. He played 21 games with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in 2011-12 and then played in a semipro league and played two seasons of college hockey before retiring in 2015. The Canadiens used the second-round pick on defenseman Dalton Thrower and signed him, but he only reached the AHL. He is currently in the ECHL.
The Trade: Acquired a 2012 sixth-round pick from the Panthers for Jerred Smithson
This trade involved trading veteran defenseman Jerred Smithson for a low draft pick. Smithson was 32 at the time and had played nine NHL seasons before 2011-12, including six with Nashville. He finished his tenure with the Predators with 497 games, 36 goals and 86 points. He stayed one season with the Panthers before they traded him at the 2013 Deadline to the Oilers. He played the 2015-16 season in Denmark before retiring at season’s end.
The Predators selected Swedish defenseman Simon Fernholm with the sixth-round pick and never came to North America. Instead, he has remained in Sweden since and is currently playing for AIK in the Allsvenskan.
The Trade: Acquired Andrei Kostitsyn from the Canadiens for a 2013 second-round pick and a 2013 conditional fifth-round pick
The Predators landed 26-year-old forward Andrei Kostitsyn in what was his final NHL season after spending six full seasons with Montreal. He played in 19 games with Nashville with four goals and 12 points and added three goals and an assist in eight playoff games. Following that season, he returned to the KHL and is currently playing for Dinamo Minsk.
The Canadiens used the second-round pick on Swedish forward Jacob de La Rose. He left Sweden for North America in 2014-15 and played four seasons with Montreal and its AHL affiliate before the Red Wings claimed him off waivers in Oct. 2018. The fifth-round pick was originally Montreal’s selection that went to Nashville in the Gill trade. The Canadiens sent the pick to the Kings in April 2013.
The Trade: Acquired Paul Gaustad and a 2013 fourth-round pick from the Sabres for a 2012 first-round pick
In his 12-season career, center Paul Gaustad played for two franchises, the Sabres and Predators. He was 29 at the time of the trade and had 71 goals and 181 points in 479 games at that point. He finished the 2011-12 season with four assists in 14 games with Nashville and added a goal and an assist in 10 playoff games.
He remained with the Predators through 2015-16 and finished his tenure with them with 18 goals and 50 points in 248 games. The Predators used the fourth-round pick on netminder Juuse Saros and he joined the Predators in 2015-16 and is currently the backup to Pekka Rinne as well as the future franchise goaltender.
The Sabres flipped the first-round pick to the Flames who used the selection on Mark Jankowki.
2013 Trade Deadline
During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, the Predators struggled. At the April 3 deadline, they were tied for ninth in the conference and finished the season last in the division, 14 points back of fourth place. It resulted in them missing the postseason after being sellers at the deadline.
The Trade: Acquired a 2013 conditional seventh-round pick from the Sharks for Scott Hannan
As part of their selling off of assets, the Predators shipped veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to the Sharks, the team that originally drafted him. By the 2012-13 season, he was in his age-34 season and wasn’t bring much offensively at that point in his career. The season was also his only one in Nashville and he had one assist in 29 games prior to the deadline. After the trade, he played in four regular season games with no points and 11 playoff games with four assists. He played out the remainder of his career in San Jose before retiring after the 2014-15 season.
Because Hannan appeared in a playoff game with the Sharks, the pick became a sixth-rounder for Nashville. They used the pick on winger Tommy Veilleux out of the QMJHL. He never signed a professional contract and has since played in various lower level professional leagues. He is currently playing in the LNAH.
The Trade: Acquired Filip Forsberg from the Capitals for Michael Latta and Martin Erat
One of the league’s biggest trades in the past decade, the Predators fleeced the Capitals to land an 18-year-old Filip Forsberg, the Capitals’ 2012 11th-overall selection. He joined the Predators for five games after the trade, played the majority of 2013-14 in the AHL and has been consistent presence in Nashville’s top-six since. He is a consistent 25 to 30-goal scorer and signed a six-year extension in June 2016.
The Capitals, looking for a long playoff run, acquired veteran Martin Erat in his age-31 season. With four goals and 21 points in 36 games before the trade, he added a goal and two assists in nine regular season games and went pointless in four playoff games. He finished his NHL career with the Capitals and Coyotes before heading to Europe to play in the KHL and is currently in his native Czech Republic with HC Kometa Brno.
Michael Latta, the other player the Predators dealt, was their 2009 third-round pick who never played in the NHL with them. He carved out a semi-regular role in three seasons with Washington but was never more than a fourth-liner. Since 2015-16, he has bounced between various AHL teams and is currently in the KHL with the Kunlun Red Star.
2014 Trade Deadline
At the 2014 Trade Deadline, the Predators were once again near the bottom of the Western Conference and were sellers. They missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
The Trade: Acquired Calle Järnkrok, Patrick Eaves and a 2014 conditional third-round pick from the Red Wings for Dave Legwand
The Predators received a nice haul for veteran free agent David Legwand who had spent his entire career with them to that point after they drafted him second overall in 1998. With the Predators, he appeared in 956 games and scored 210 goals and 566 points. In 21 games with Detroit after the trade, he had four goals and 11 points and went scoreless in five playoff games. He signed with Ottawa in the offseason and finished his playing career in 2015-16 with Buffalo. He is currently the owner and associate coach of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting.
In return, the Predators received 22-year-old Calle Järnkrok and 29-year-old Patrick Eaves. Järnkrok has developed into a quality player for Nashville in a middle-six role. He signed a six-year extension in July 2016. Meanwhile, Eaves left the team via free agency at season’s end and has played for the Dallas Stars and Ducks since. The draft pick became a second-round selection because Detroit reached the postseason. The Predators traded the pick to the Sharks in June 2014 and they used it on defenseman Julius Bergman.
The Trade: Acquired future considerations from the Canadiens for Devan Dubnyk
Poile also sent goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who had played in two games and allowed nine goals on 60 shots with Nashville, to the Canadiens. He never played for Montreal and got his career back on track with the Coyotes before becoming an annual Vezina Trophy candidate with the Wild. Once again, it’s uncertain what the future considerations were.
2015 Trade Deadline
The Predators quickly turned things around from 2013-14 to 2014-15 and were tops in the league at the 2015 Trade Deadline. They got back to the postseason as well but were eliminated in the first round.
The Trade: Acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Maple Leafs for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and a 2015 first-round pick
Poile made just one trade at the deadline, but it was a big one as five assets were moved. He added defenseman Cody Franson who was 27 at the time and had been a consistent two-way blueliners with the Maple Leafs. The Predators were familiar with him as they drafted him in the third round in 2005. He netted a goal and added three assists in 23 games after the trade and two assists in five playoff games. The Sabres signed him as a free agent in the offseason and he last played in the NHL in 2017-18. He is currently playing for Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
The other player they acquired, Mike Santorelli, was also drafted by Poile, in the sixth round of the 2004 Draft. He bounced around quite a bit in his career and had two goals and 29 points in 57 games with Toronto before the trade. He matched Franson’s goal and three assists in the regular season and had one goal in four playoff games. He signed with the Ducks in the 2015 offseason and played in 70 games. He finished his playing career in 2016-17 with Genève-Servette HC of Switzerland’s NLA.
Olli Jokinen was a veteran of 16 seasons entering 2014-15. He played in 48 games with three goals and six points in his only season in Nashville. After the trade, he had one assist in six games with Toronto before they traded him to the Blues with whom he had one goal and two assists in eight games to finish his career. He is currently the head coach of a U16 team in Florida.
Brendan Leipsic was a 21-year-old winger at the time and had been with the Admirals. The former 2012 third-round pick played in six games with the Maple Leafs after the trade with a goal and three points. He played all of 2016-17 in the AHL and was selected by Vegas in the 2017 Expansion Draft. They dealt him to the Canucks in Feb. 2018 and he was claimed off waivers by the Kings in Dec. 2018. The Maple Leafs sent the pick to the Flyers who used it on Travis Konecny.
2016 Trade Deadline
The Predators were seventh in the Western Conference at the 2016 Trade Deadline and finished the season in that position. They qualified for the playoffs and beat the Ducks in seven games to win a round.
The Trade: Acquired Corey Potter from the Coyotes for future considerations
Poile added defensive depth by acquiring Corey Potter from the Coyotes after he didn’t appear in a game before the trade. After the deal, he played in one regular-season game with Nashville and didn’t register any points and also didn’t dress for any postseason games. He left North America to play in Germany and is currently an alternate captain with Germany’s Kölner Haie. I’m not certain what resulted of the future considerations.
2017 Trade Deadline
Nashville was in an even better position at the 2017 Trade Deadline as they were sixth in the conference. They qualified for the postseason as the 16th overall seed and upset the Blackhawks, Blues and Ducks to reach the Stanley Cup Final where they lost to the Penguins in six games.
The Trade: Acquired P.A. Parenteau from the Devils for a 2017 sixth-round pick
Winger P.A. Parenteau had bounced around a lot before the 2016-17 season and played for the Blackhawks, Rangers, Islanders, Avalanche, Canadiens and Maple Leafs. He signed with the Devils as a free agent in the 2016 offseason and he had 13 goals and 27 points in 59 games before the trade. He had one assist in eight games with Nashville afterwards and went pointless in five playoff games. No NHL teams signed him in the 2017 offseason and he played in the KHL in 2017-18 before retiring. He is currently an assistant coach with the University of Moncton.
The Devils traded the pick to the Rangers who used it on defenseman Brandon Crawley and he is currently with their AHL affiliate.
2018 Trade Deadline
The Predators were one of the league’s best teams at the 2018 Trade Deadline and were second in the conference and third in the league. By season’s end, they were tops in the league and won the Presidents’ Trophy. They defeated the Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated in seven games by the Winnipeg Jets in the conference semifinals.
The Trade: Acquired Mark Letestu from the Oilers for Pontus Åberg
The Predators acquired veteran center Mark Letestu after he had 60 games, eight goals and 19 points before the deal. He never played for the Predators. Åberg, the Predators’ 2012 second-round pick, had two goals and eight points in 37 games before the trade. He played in 16 games with Edmonton after the trade and added an equal two goals and eight points. In Oct. 2018, the Ducks claimed him off waivers and dealt him to the Wild in Jan. 2019.
The Trade: Acquired a 2018 fourth-round pick from the Blue Jackets for Letestu
The Predators wasted little time in moving Letestu by flipping him to the Blue Jackets, a team he had previously spent three and a half seasons with. He played in 20 games with Columbus and totaled one goal and four points and went scoreless in six playoff games. He’s currently in the Blue Jackets system.
The Predators used the fourth-round pick on Czech center Jáchym Kondelík out of the USHL. He is currently a freshman with the University of Connecticut and represented the Czech Republic at the 2019 World Juniors.
The Trade: Acquired Ryan Hartman and a 2018 fifth-round pick from the Blackhawks for Victor Ejdsell and a 2018 first and fourth-round pick
The big move Poile made was adding Ryan Hartman from the Blackhawks. The former first-round pick had appeared in 141 games with Chicago and totaled 27 goals and 57 points. After he joined the Predators, he had three goals and six points in 21 regular season games, along with two goals and an assist in nine playoff games. The Predators also received a fifth-round pick which they used on defenseman Spencer Stastney, currently a freshman with the University of Notre Dame.
To acquire Hartman and the pick, Poile sent two picks and a prospect to Chicago. The Blackhawks drafted defenseman Nicolas Beaudin with the first-rounder. He is currently playing with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. The fourth-round pick was used on center Philipp Kurashev, currently in the QMJHL. The prospect, Victor Ejdsell, is a 23-year-old forward whom the Predators signed as an undrafted free agent. Although he played in six NHL games with the Blackhawks after the trade, he is currently with their AHL affiliate.
Although Poile has been known as an active general manager throughout his tenure, he hasn’t been the most active at the trade deadline. Instead, he has made his biggest moves in the offseason and earlier in the season. I expect that to change this season. The Predators currently have a quality roster, but have needs to address to become a true Stanley Cup contender. In the weeks leading up to the Feb. 25 deadline, I plan to look at those needs and what players likely available would be good fits for the Predators.
My name is Kyle, and although I’m from Pennsylvania and grew up a Penguins fan, I cover the Predators here at The Hockey Writers. And while I would consider myself a Predators fan, I really enjoy watching all hockey and try to always take an objective approach to things. In addition to covering the Preds, I write hockey history and some statistical analysis pieces as well as book reviews.