In the most curious move of the day for General Manager David Poile, the Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Alexei Emelin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a third round pick in 2019.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Knights retain $1.2 million in salary.
Most think this is the domino that’s required in order for the Predators to finally swing a deal to the Colorado Avalanche for center Matt Duchene. Others think it could be a piece in an eventual deal with the Montreal Canadiens (Emelin’s former club) in order to get center Alex Galchenyuk. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes he was acquired to actually play with Nashville. Only time will tell which is correct.
There’s another possibility that Preds fans don’t want to think about. What if the injury Ryan Ellis suffered in the playoffs is worse than we know? Friday night, after the Development Camp Game at Bridgestone Arena, Poile said Ellis had a procedure done on his knee and that he’s “optimistic that he should be ready for training camp.” Then, when Adam Vingan of the Tennessean followed up, Poile mentioned the procedure on his knee was unrelated to the mysterious injury he suffered in Game 5 — and Nashville has yet to explain — of the Cup Final. Could Emelin be a safety net for Ellis?
Emelin is a former teammate of PK Subban’s in Montreal. While the two were only paired together a handful of times, they know each other quite well and logic would suggest they could play together if it were to come to that.
Poile is no stranger to seeking out roster flexibility. Regardless of how long he’s a Predator (a few years or a few days), this is yet another example of that.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Gansky (used with permission)