The Predators got their man this weekend. James Neal, who was acquired in a trade with the Penguins on Friday during the NHL Draft, will no doubt help Nashville's offense.
Now the attention turns to free agents. Prior to the Neal deal, the Predators were not exactly an attractive option to strong forwards looking for a new home. They had good and gritty two-way players, but no enticing offensive stars to play with.
Now the Predators have that type of player. If I'm Paul Stastny – the prime unrestricted free agent who also happens to be a playmaking center – why wouldn't I want to at least give Nashville a serious look? Free agency begins July 1.
"I have to think it makes us more attractive to the free-agent centers out there to have a guy like Neal to play with," general manager David Poile said on Saturday after the draft. "Whether it's through free agency or trades, I'm trying to upgrade our forwards. It's one step at a time."