Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/16/16 at 07:20 PM ET
from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
Six weeks after pulling off the biggest trade of the year, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile was expecting more.
Not from Ryan Johansen, whom the Predators acquired on Jan. 6 in a one-for-one deal from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenceman Seth Jones, but the rest of the team.
“We felt doing the trade would get us to a higher level,” said Poile. “So far, we haven’t been able to find that higher level. We’ve been OK. We’re still a playoff team but we’re not playing to the level we did last year and the level we know we can get to.”
So far, Johansen has been every bit the player Poile knew he could. He has 16 points in 17 games (he had 26 points in 38 games with the Blue Jackets). He has a plus-5 rating (he was a minus-4 in Columbus) and he is becoming the No. 1 centre Nashville has coveted ever since the NHL expanded to Tennessee.
But while Johansen is holding up his end of the bargain, the Predators are 7-7-3 and continue to tread water as a wild card team in the Western Conference standings.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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