The Nashville Predators hope to come to an agreement with the Seattle Kraken ahead of the 2021 Expansion Draft, which takes place on July 21.
« I’ve had a few conversations with them, » Predators general manager David Poile revealed in the ‘Darren, Daunic and Chase’ podcast on July 1. “Ideally, if we could come to a deal so that we can be sure of the player we’re going to lose, that’s what I would prefer. «
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The Kraken will select one player from each NHL team, with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, who are exempt from the process. Teams can protect seven forwards, three defenders and a goalie, or eight skaters (attackers / defenders) and a goalie. Professional first and second year players and unsigned draft picks are exempt.
Poile said some of the talks with Kraken GM Ron Francis were part of the reasons the Predators traded the forward Viktor arvidsson at the Los Angeles Kings on July 1. Nashville got in return a second-round pick in 2021 and a third-round pick in 2022 rather than risk losing it for nothing to Seattle.
“In my conversations with Seattle, I knew that if Viktor was not protected, he would have been chosen. He is the one we would have lost, Poile explained. We now have second and third round picks, which is a very good compensation for Viktor. Hopefully they can turn into some really good players in the near future. «
Poile admitted that he would continue to chat with Francis to get a better idea of which player the Kraken will target.
“I think he likes some of our defenders and some of our forwards, so we’ll have to talk to each other more,” Poile said. It does not guarantee that we will come to an agreement with them, but […] if it is possible to agree, that would be my preference. «
The experienced GM argued that the Arvidsson trade and the expansion Draft could spell the start of a busy offseason for Nashville, which finished fourth in the Center Discover section (31-23-2 ) and who made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a seventh consecutive season. The Predators lost in six games to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round.
“Several teams are having discussions among themselves and trying to make changes,” he said. And we are among those who want to make some changes.
“I was very happy with our second half of the season (20-7-1 in the last 28 games), but we weren’t good enough to beat a team like Carolina. So I think we have to think bigger. We have to take a somewhat different direction. I’m not saying we’re going to make a bunch of changes, but I think the time has come to tweak a few things. «