The Nashville Predators have several attractive trade assets for general manager Barry Trotz to sell off a little over a month away from the NHL’s March 8 trade deadline.
Defenseman Alex Carrier is one of those pieces, and his name was recently raised by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman as a possible deadline acquisition for the Edmonton Oilers, who ran off 16 straight wins and have the Vancouver Canucks in their sights as they gun for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
“There have been a lot of rumors about which defensemen they’ve been looking at,” Friedman recently said on “The Jeff Marek Show.” “Who could they be looking [at] … (Philadelphia Flyers defenseman) Sean Walker? Could they be looking at Alexandre Carrier?”
Friedman isn’t the first person to float Carrier’s name in a possible deadline deal. The Athletic’s Thomas Drance also named Carrier as a potential trade target of the Vancouver Canucks, who are also in desperate need of a right-handed defenseman.
Edmonton and Vancouver make sense as possible landing spots for Carrier given both have a need for a puck-moving defenseman to shore up the right side of its blue-line.
Both teams are also up against the cap — Edmonton has $1.34 million in current cap space, Vancouver has just $982,500 — and the Predators could possibly squeeze a better prospect and/or draft pick out of both should they help alleviate some of the financial burden of Carrier’s contract, though either team could try and wait until a little closer to the deadline to acquire Carrier when his cap hit will be approximately $510,752.
If Carrier were traded today, he would carry a $927,419 cap hit through the rest of the season. Edmonton’s cap space will actually increase slightly to $2.37M by the trade deadline while Vancouver’s won’t change.
While Trotz isn’t necessarily shopping Carrier per se, he’s made it known that he will listen to any offer for any of his players, just like he’s made it known that he expects to be busy near the trade deadline regardless of whether the Predators are in or out of the playoffs.
Trotz is actively working to find a trade partner for Tyson Barrie, who requested a trade from the team two months ago, and Friedman reported in mid-December that the Predators could trade multiple defensemen.
Sources have told Nashville Hockey Now this season that the team prefers Carrier over Dante Fabbro if forced to pick between the two; however, that could change for a few reasons.
Fabbro is two years younger, and with him heading toward restricted free agency at the end of the season, the Predators have a better chance of re-signing him than Carrier, who will be an unrestricted free agent and likely be seeking more money (both are making $2.5M this season).
Additionally, sources have indicated that the perception around the league is that Carrier is the better player, thus he could bring back more in a trade than Fabbro will.
While it’s very possible the Predators hold onto both players, the Carrier/Fabbro situation is definitely one Predators fans should keep an eye on.
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