Preds Close Out Day With Addition of Big Center Paul Gaustad
Monday, 02.27.2012 / 2:47 PM
Nashville wrapped up its NHL Trade Deadline with a deal that saw the team bring in Paul Gaustad after acquiring Andrei Kostitsyn earlier in the day.
At 6-foot-5 and 212 pounds, Gaustad is an imposing presence up the middle for the Predators and currently ranks 10th in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 56.8%. He’s also third in shorthanded faceoff victories this season and is a very good penalty killer; he played almost three minutes per game on the PK with Buffalo this season.
Right away you can see Gaustad fits in to a role where Jerred Smithson most recently skated, bringing faceoff acumen and a big body plus a total of 17 points this season. Last year Gaustad posted 31 points, close to his career best 36 in 2007-08.
Sometimes shoring a club up defensively doesn’t just mean a big body on the blue line like Hal Gill, but it also means forwards who play the two-way game and can make a difference while shorthanded or in key defensive situations late in games too. Gaustad will give the Predators size and weight, something that you desperately need as the playoffs wear on.
At the end of the day Nashville accomplishes two things it set out to: first is to not meddle with the current room chemistry by deleting players currently working well together; second was to make the team stronger and deeper for the playoff run. Adding Kostitsyn and Gaustad has done just that. Now the Predators can put the pedal down in the playoffs.