Nashville has been in the mix any time anyone is talking about a significant forward asset going somewhere. Their scoring-by-committee routine isn’t working as well this season as it did last year. Their lack of an elite scoring talent and weakness down the middle has been a giant dangling albatross.
How obvious are their scoring issues? The team’s two leading scorers are Shea Weber and Roman Josi.
So it’s not surprising that trade talks between the Predators and Blue Jackets “have intensified,” according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch.
Columbus has at least two forwards that have been in the news as potential trade chips and the team has said that no one is untouchable in this lost season. A report this week revealed that Kerby Rychel has requested a trade out of town, and of course Ryan Johansen’s place with the team has seemed uncertain, to be charitable, after GM Jarmo Kekelainen brought in John Tortorella.
Both may make sense for Nashville, though if they’re really going big to fix the problems up front Johansen would be the obvious play for them.
Heading in the other direction would almost have to be some help on the blue line. It’s a place of great weakness for Columbus, and the Nashville blue line may be the deepest in the league, with an excess of right-handed blueliners. They almost automatically become a great trading partner for any team in the league looking to bolster their blue line through sending away offense.
Portzline is a beat writer who doesn’t deal in rumors, so him saying this gives serious legs to the idea that a significant trade could happen at some point in the 2015-16 season that doesn’t involve AHL players.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.