Preds Trade Smithson To Florida Panthers For 6th Round Pick
Friday, 02.24.2012 / 4:28 PM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
|Instant Analysis: The Smithson Trade
|Right off the top this trade is a strong indication that Patric Hornqvist has received clearance to return to the lineup. It also indicates David Poile intends to be aggressive heading into the Trade Deadline. With Hornqvist and McGrattan both on the verge of returning the Preds would have 14 forwards – two more than they can dress for a game; adding additional forwards would have made for a crowded locker room and would have made it difficult for players to get into game rhythm. Now at 13 forwards it is easier for Poile to add a forward before the Deadline --- if the right fit presents itself --- and not disrupt the locker room.
As for Hornqvist, it seems very likely he will be back in the lineup tomorrow night vs. San Jose. The Preds had 12 healthy forwards for last night’s game against St. Louis; Hornqvist’s return – had the Preds kept Smithson -- would have given the Preds 13 forwards, pushing one out of the lineup. Apparently Smithson was going to be targeted as the odd man out. The development of young forwards like Nick Spaling and Craig Smith at center moved Smithson to the wing. The play of Gabriel Bourque, Matt Halischuk, Jordin Tootoo, Colin Wilson and Brandon Yip in the two-way winger role made it tougher for Smithson to force his way into the lineup. And more reinforcements are on the way in Milwaukee with Chris Mueller and Kyle Wilson along with emerging first-year pros Taylor Beck and Micheal Latta.
“Jerred has done so much for our franchise,” Preds GM David Poile said. “He’s one of the longest tenured players in our history. He was part of that group of players who helped bring us from expansion team into a competitive era. Obviously he’s been a big part of our playoff success in recent years and in my mind scored arguably as important goal as any in franchise history – that overtime winner at Anaheim in Game 5. His role has started to diminish more this year with a lot of the younger players doing some of the same things – Spaling playing center ice, Smith playing a lot of center ice; guys killing penalties like Bourque and Halischuk and Spaling. I think we’re helping Jerred and putting him in a better place in his career and at the same time we’re offering an opportunity and a challenge to our existing players that they can now play a little bigger role here.”
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
The Predators now have nine draft picks for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to be held June 22-23, 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. – their own picks in the first, and fourth through seventh rounds, in addition Toronto’s third-round pick, Phoenix’s fourth rounder and both Florida and the New York Rangers’ sixth-round selections.
Smithson, 33 (2/4/79), suited up for 497 regular-season games for the Predators from 2005-12, the sixth-most in franchise history, amassing 86 points (36g-50a) and 313 penalty minutes. The Vernon, B.C., native has appeared in each of the Predators last five playoff appearances as well, and ranks fifth in the franchise’s postseason games played list (31). On April 22, 2011 in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. Anaheim, he scored the first overtime goal in Predators postseason history, helping Nashville win its first ever playoff series the following game.
The Predators finish off their final extended homestand of the season with visits from the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (7 p.m., 102.5 The Game, McDonald’s Family Four Pack) and the L.A. Kings on Monday (7 p.m., FS-TN, 102.5 The Game, Dollar Dog Night). When the Sharks come calling on Saturday, the Predators will also be honoring former Associate Coach and current Hockey Operations Advisor Brent Peterson with a Brent Peterson Appreciation/Parkinson’s Awareness Night. Peterson will be recognized for his contributions to the organization, and courage for taking his battle with Parkinson’s to the public. To purchase tickets, visit nashvillepredators.com, ticketmaster.com or call 615-770-PUCK (7825).