The Nashville Predators are bit sturdier today than they were a few weeks back.
“I think organizationally, our expectations have gone to a different level and our commitment level is much higher to (win the Stanley Cup) than ever before,” coach Barry Trotz told the Tennessean newspaper after his team acquired Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal. “This move was made for the long haul. We’re hoping we can be one of the teams that goes deep."
Look at the players who landed with the Preds:
Hal Gill, D: This massive blue-liner arrived from Montreal to give the Preds a match-up defenseman to play against the rival power forwards. Ryan Suter and Shea Weber are no longer going it alone. Young Roman Josi loves playing with Gill.
“He’s so strong defensively,” Josi told the Tennessean newspaper. “I know he’s going to be back and make the right plays. That helps me to jump up a little bit.”
Andrei Kostitsyn, W: The brother of Nashville forward Sergei Kostitsyn should play on one of the two scoring lines for this offensively challenged team – assuming that the family reunion delivers the desired result. The former 26-goal scorer should add skill and heft after arriving from the Canadiens.
“We added a little bit of weight, we got a bit older and I think it will be a really good add,” Trotz said. “It worked out with Sergei and we’re hoping it will work out with Andrei as well. We have a strong group and a real special group that likes each other and has fun and plays hard. That’s all we’re looking for, is guys who will fit in and play hard for us, and Andrei is a talent.”
Paul Gaustad, C: He is a super-sized matchup center and an excellent faceoff man. But his limited offensive ability (seven goals, 10 assists this season) and pending unrestricted free agency makes him a pricey addition. The Predators spent a 2012 first-round pick to get Gaustad and a fourth-round pick.
That price got the attention of Yahoo! Sports blogger Greg Wyshynski:
Nice player, that Gaustad. Truculent. Defensively sound. Great for depth up the middle. A $2.3 million cap hit that expires after this season, as he's an unrestricted free-agent.
But for a first-round pick?
This deal spoke to the high deadline day prices that scared off most NHL GMs.