Apparently there was a trade that went down yesterday in Nashville . A deal that has just a few people discussing the impact for both teams. If you’ve been camped in your basement with no interaction with the outside world, we can fill you in. The Nashville Predators completed the biggest trade in their franchise history by shipping away Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen.
This day may have felt like it was never going to come for the franchise. Nashville has a proven top line center,and this isn’t a drill. The rumors and clamoring for such a player have finally been answered. The missing puzzle piece has likely been found.
It didn’t come without hurting a little by saying goodbye to the ultra talented Seth Jones, but that’s the cost of business in the NHL. In addition, it seems Jones is at peace with decision and wants the extra responsibility/ice time he was likely not going to get as a Predator. Good for him and wish him all the best in Columbus.
Now for what the addition of the 23-year-old Johansen will bring to the team. The talent and skill level are clearly present. He compiled 71 points last season with limited talent around him as a Blue Jacket. Yes, he isn’t having a stellar year, but his 26 points is tied for the lead at the forward position in Nashville. A new scenery with marginally better talent at the wing positions will in all likelihood get him back to his previous top form.
An equally positive impact with Johansen coming into town is the decreased pressure and better matchups that will greet the likes of Ribeiro, Jarnrkrok, and Fisher. The Central division is loaded with elite center talent, and the Predators were always behind the eight ball in that capacity. However, the likes of Toews and Benn can now be combated with a proper center in Johansen instead of the overwhelmed centers the Predators were currently using in those situations.
Johansen isn’t just going to bring goals and playmaking ability to his linemates, but the entire lineup will feel the trickle down effect and likely see their numbers begin to rise against more favorable competition.
Even though a pipe dream due to contract obligations and current lineup configurations, the lines below put every player in a position to succeed with their current skill set.
Again, it’s very unlikely that Jarnkrok will keep his center position instead of moving to wing. Plus, Nystrom and Gaustad have locked down fourth line positions, but hey it’s pretty to look at. Adding to that, perhaps one Jimmy Vesey slides into a winger position on the third line by season’s end.
Back to reality. The truth is any combination of forwards moving forward is an improvement after the trade Wednesday.
The drawback of this will be felt on the defensive end, obviously. The Predators were attempting to lower the workload of Weber and Josi this season by having the luxury of rolling three very effective pairs at any time. That strategy takes a hit with the likely Bitetto-Jackman pairing needing to play sheltered minutes for much of the game.
All in all, the positives outweigh the negatives by a substantial margin. The team now has all the tools to climb the standings and more importantly make serious noise in the playoffs if everything falls into place. Dreams have become a reality for the Predators organization and fanbase. The #1 C position has been filled.