The Nashville Predators were busy on Saturday, as they traded away two of their better players for, well, not that much. They’ve traded defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with a conditional draft pick, for defenseman Ryan Parent. Additionally, they’ve sent Jason Arnott back to the New Jersey Devils for right wing Matt Halischuk and a second round draft pick.
Hamhuis is a solid defenseman who, while he doesn’t score a ton of points (never more than seven goals or 38 points) he is good defensively and has averaged about 22 minutes a night throughout his NHL career. Parent, meanwhile, played in 48 games last season, scored three points and was a minus-13. Sure, he’s only 23 but he doesn’t exactly have a high ceiling.
The reason for this trade, however, was purely financial. Both Hamhuis and Parent are free agents, and the Predators clearly did not think they could re-sign Hamhuis, so they tried to get anything for him. “Anything” turned out to be Parent. If they knew they couldn’t re-sign him, kudos to them for not going away empty handed. Still, it’s clear who got the better part of this trade. Hamhuis will bolster an already very impressive Philadelphia blueline corps. Now, about their goaltending situation…
As for Arnott, he’s had injury issues the past couple seasons, but was still one of Nashville’s top scorers. In 63 games last season, he managed 19 goals and 46 points, and the season before in 65 games he had 33 goals and 57 points. The Devils really needed offense, and even at this point in his career Arnott will definitely provide a boost for New Jersey in that department. It is definitely a nice move from their point of view.
As for Nashville, that can’t really be told yet. Halischuk is a 22 year old with only a couple games of NHL experience and that second round pick has not been spent yet. Maybe this trade ends up working fine for the Predators. All I know right now is that a team that had trouble scoring last seasons just traded away one of their better offensive players. Sure, they have a few notable RFAs to re-sign, so hopefully this is where the money they saved is going. If they keep defenseman like Cody Franson and Denis Grebeshkov, maybe they don’t miss Hamhuis. However, on offense I really see struggles in their future without improvement. After these two trades, Nashville definitely looks worse to me in the present. Maybe they can still make the playoffs, but they’re pushing it.