The Original Predator is no more.
For the Predators, this was the right move as the 33-year-old Legwand was going to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and didn’t seem to be in Nashville’s long-term plans. With their playoff hopes almost nonexistent, the team was better off shipping him away to stock the pantry with picks and/or prospects. Legwand led the team in points (40) and was enjoying a very good year, which only boosted his trade value.
General manager David Poile already went through a dance like this before with Ryan Suter in 2012. However, not trading Suter can be forgiven because, at the time, the Preds were gearing up for a deep playoff run. Even though they lost in the second round, the assumption was Suter was going to re-sign in the offseason. He didn’t, and the Predators lost on of their best players for nothing.
That couldn’t happen again, especially with where the Predators are in the standings.
Legwand is a Detroit native and will immediately bolster the Wings’ center depth where they have had several injuries. Detroit does not want to see their amazing playoff appearance record end this season.
Eaves is another UFA at the end of this season, and whether he fits into the team’s plans remains to be seen. Prospect Calle Jarnkrok has mixed reviews, but he could round into a regular NHL player. He has 36 points in 57 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. With the number of other forward prospects Nashville has in the AHL, he should be another good asset for the future.