The regular season is a kind of a monster of its own. Long, hard and competitive, it can be tough to keep a good pace, move forward and get the end line and ultimately into the playoffs. Sometimes a losing streak is all that is required to go from a comfortable spot in the standings back to the bloody pool of teams fighting to make the playoffs cut-off.
Right before the New Year, the Predators were hit with injuries and fatigue which led the team into a period of struggles. With a 10 games stretch record of 2-4-4 (.400), Nashville was in need of a serious boost or else could be on the verge of falling down the standings. With the cap room that had been preserved to start the season, GM Tremblay looked for a veteran that could add leadership to the team.
After weighting the different options before him, the Predators were able to agree with the Flyers on their first NEFHL trade. Nashville acquired Shane Doan, a veteran winger that plays an aggressive style of hockey, for a 2nd round selection and cash. Since then, Doan has been placed on the Predators top line to make it harder for opponents to defend.
The trade seems to have increased morale as the Predators won three of their four games with Doan inserted in the lineup. The team is also hoping that Doan will help lead the teams further in the playoffs at the end of the year.
With 60 points in 48 games, the Predators are aiming to finish the year with over 100 points, which should position them well for the ice home advantage for the playoffs. According to the team’s general manager, the Predators may not be done yet on the trade front. GM Tremblay stated the team will have close to $4M available in cap space come the deadline to possibly add another player to the team. More news should come out of the music city closer to the deadline as needs for a playoffs run are currently being evaluated by the team management.