Colin Wilson has been traded to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in 2019.
“There was some talk he was going to be bought out by Nashville,” Friedman said on the broadcast, “But now he gets a fresh start in Colorado.”
General Manager David Poile was very candid in his comments about Wilson.
“I don’t think there’s any way of getting around it,” he said. “Colin’s time here was a lot of ups and down’s. He had some fabulous moments, mostly in the playoffs. We had some meetings at the end of the year and I think both sides agreed that, if the opportunity presented itself and we could move him to another team, we would both be better off.”
In short, it was time.
“I had a really good conversation with Colin today,” Poile continued. “I think he’s very happy that we moved him. We thank him for what he did for the Predators and we wish him all the best in Colorado.”
Wilson’s annual cap hit was $3.9 million. Considering the Preds just signed center Nick Bonino for four years at $4.1 million per, this move seems to move some deck chairs around.
The 2008 first round pick played eight seasons for Nashville, amassing 237 points in 502 games. He’s battled with inconsistency throughout his career but became a modern day Claude Lemieux by playing his best hockey during playoff campaigns. In 2016, he was essentially a point-per-game player (13 points in 14 games) and, in 2015, scored five goals in the heartbreaking six-game first round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Aside from the aforementioned salary trade off, this move also opens up some roster space for guys who are faster, have more offensive upside than Wilson and who forced their names into the conversation with their performances these past two months. Pontus Aberg and Freddie Gaudreau really impressed during the playoffs but they wouldn’t be set up for success on the fourth line. Jettisoning Wilson creates an opportunity for one of those guys — or, if Mike Fisher returns, Colton Sissons could slide over to wing — to grab a full-time spot with the big club.
And then there’s the possibility of signing another free agent like the recently bought out Scott Hartnell. Does this transaction open up a spot for him to re-join the Predators after 10 years?
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua