In an effort to bolster the team and make a strong push for the playoffs, the Nashville Predators had acquired Andy McDonald to center the top line. However, after only three games played with the Predators, McDonald suffered a serious spleen injury that left him out indefinately.
Even though the Predators regrouped and had a good streak, placing them in 7th place in the Western conference, GM Tremblay didn't want to take any chance in regards to the playoffs: "We didn't want to sit on our hands and leave all the pressure on the guys competing hard, so we felt more actions were required to fill out the team before the deadline."
This is how RJ Umberger landed in Nashville, where he will center the top line and should help improve the team's penalty killing unit. Going back to Colombus was a 2012 2nd round pick along with a young defenseman in Cameron Gaunce. "We had to sacrifice a couple of young players and picks in order to improve the team," said the team's GM, "but our pipeline is still looking thick and we still have 4 picks in the upcoming draft that should be in the top 75."
The Predators also moved young star John Carlson and winger Anthony Stewart for Viktor Stalberg, Keaton Ellerby and Brian Dumoulin. Asked about the trade, GM Tremblay was candid: "John Carlson's going to be a top defender in this league for years, but you have to look at where he fits on your team and we felt we had to pick between the many good young defensemen that we have. Ryan McDonagh is set to have a good raise next year and then in a few years Justin Faulk will want top dollars as well. Since we've got to keep money to pay our forwards as well, we decided to move Carlson. In return, we got a rocket on skates in Stalberg along with a big defenseman in Ellerby and a good prospect in Dumoulin."
Looking ahead to the playoffs, the Nashville Predators hopes to have this healthy lineup:
McDonald - Umberger - Stewart
Latendresse - Brassard - Rolston
Smyth - Korpikoski - Brouwer
Ponikarovsky - Mauldin - Stalberg
Lidstrom - Giordano
Rozsival - McDonagh
Woywitka - Ellerby