NHL Trade Deadline: Nashville Predators Make Blatant Push for Stanley Cup Glory

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 28, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 04:  Paul Gaustad #28 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 4, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Sabres defeated the Islanders 4-3 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If the Nashville Predators are to win the Stanley Cup this season, they certainly aren't going to sneak past anyone.

After dealing for Hal Gill earlier this month, the 36-19-7 Predators made two trades before Monday's deadline.

The Predators not only acquired left winger Andrei Kostitsyn in exchange for a 2013 second-round pick, they also grabbed center Paul Gaustad for a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 fourth-round pick.

As the fifth seed in the Western Conference, the Predators knew they had some work to do at the deadline if they were to realistically make a run at the title this season.

They did some work, and then did some more.

Gaustad in particular was a hot commodity before the deadline, but there was speculation that the Buffalo Sabres wouldn't deal him given they were six points away from a playoff spot. But a 5-3-2 mark in their past 10 games may have been the icing on the cake.

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The Predators can now pair Gill, Kostitsyn and Gaustad with one of the top goalies in hockey, Pekka Rinne. Gaustad figures to have the biggest impact and should add grit up front, but don't be surprised if the enigmatic Kostitsyn shows off his talent in his new home.

Fans have to be excited about the effort the Predators organization put forward before the deadline on Monday, but I also wonder if it will be enough to make a legitimate run at the trophy. The Predators gave up a lot, including a first-round pick, to upgrade their roster. They better hope the new pieces, particularly Gaustad, pay off.



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