The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline has arrived – and by 2 p.m. CST Monday afternoon, the music will have stopped and teams around the league will be forced to carry their rosters into the stretch run and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You will be able to hear coverage of the deadline all day on ESPN Nashville.
The annual deadline got us thinking: Who are the Top 5 most impactful trade deadline acquisitions in Predators history? Here’s the list:
1. Steve Sullivan
Acquired from Chicago in 2004, Steve Sullivan helped lift the Predators to their first-ever playoff appearance. Sullivan scored a hat trick in his Preds debut and went on to compile 30 points in 24 games before scoring a key goal in a Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 4 victory against Detroit. Sullivan spent the next six seasons as a featured player on the Preds despite missing almost two years of action with a back injury. His impact on the Preds was immeasurable over his tenure in Music City.
2. Filip Forsberg
When we have this conversation 5-10 years from now, Filip Forsberg may be at the top of this list. Forsberg was acquired on Deadline Day in 2013 when Predators GM David Poile was forced to be a seller instead of a buyer. The Preds traded away Martin Erat and Michael Latta to Washington in exchange for Forsberg. Two years later, his 26-goal season aided the Preds’ return to the playoffs. This season, Forsberg has matched that career-high goal total and leads the team in goals following a pair of hat tricks in the last three games.
3. Mike Fisher
The Predators were once again in playoff contention in 2010-11, but needed a late-season jolt to put them over the top. In came Mike Fisher, acquired from Ottawa for a 1st- and 3rd-round draft pick. Fisher’s impact on both ends of the ice helped the Preds not only clinch a playoff berth in Game 81 of the season, but also defeat the Anaheim Ducks and give the franchise its first-ever playoff series victory. Now in his fifth full season in Nashville, Fisher has proven to be a valuable Swiss Army knife by playing in all situations – first line, third line, power play, penalty kill.
4. Peter Forsberg
The headline in The Tennessean said it all: “The Best Just Got Better.” When the Predators acquired Peter Forsberg from Philadelphia in February of 2007, they led the NHL in points. Adding a future Hall of Famer to an already-loaded roster seemed to be the final ingredient for a run to the Stanley Cup. An array of injuries caused the Preds to limp to the finish line, lose the division lead and get bounced in five games by San Jose in the first round. Forsberg compiled 15 points in 17 games for the Preds down the stretch. Poile has always said he’d make the trade for Forsberg again despite no tangible results in the standings and playoffs.
5. Jan Hlavac
Compared to the two seasons prior, 2007-08 wasn’t a pretty campaign for the Predators following the off-season mayhem that almost resulted in a franchise move to Ontario. However, the Preds found themselves in the playoff hunt on Deadline Day when Poile made two minor acquisitions to add depth. One of those additions, Jan Hlavac, provided more than just depth despite being acquired for just a 7th-round pick. Hlavac tallied 13 points in 18 games and was a solid contributor to a Preds team that gave top-seeded Detroit a run for its money in a hard-fought first round series.