There's a multitude of players who have been subjected to trade rumors in recent months, and on Wednesday afternoon Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli added another big name to the list.
In a recent article written by Seravalli listing 25 players who could be on the move prior to the trade deadline, a notable new addition was Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm. Despite only being in the first year of a four-year, $25-million deal, Seravalli says general manager David Poile is in a tough spot due to the team's regression in 2022-23.
"Yes, it was just over a year ago that Ekholm signed a 4-year deal worth $25 million with the Predators, mainly to avoid a situation like this one — where he is on the market," Seravalli wrote. "But Predators GM David Poile has some uncomfortable decisions to make as Nashville has regressed to a likely non-playoff team saddled with expensive, term-laden contracts."
Seravalli added that Poile could make a number of other players on the Predators available ahead of the deadline, but it's clear that Ekholm is currently at the top of that list. The 32-year-old has been a rock solid blueliner in Nashville for his entire 10-season career, but has been the subject of plenty of trade rumors in recent times. His new extension was expected to change that, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
For teams in need of blue-line help, Ekholm would be an extremely interesting name to entertain. Throughout his career he's always been an incredible player in his own end of the ice, but has also been able to provide some offensive punch. Though his best offensive days appear to be behind him, he posted a respectable six goals and 31 points in 76 outings while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time in 2021-22.
Those numbers — along with the majority of his teammates' — have regressed this season, but should pick back up if Ekholm is moved to a playoff-caliber team. His cap hit sits at $6.25 million through 2025-26.
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