As the NHL comes to the trade deadline, PuckScene will take a look back at every trade made in Nashville Predators franchise history. Each part will represent a season. For the purposes of these stories, a season runs from July 1 to June 30.
David Poile stayed busy in the 2001-02 season, removing pieces from the puzzle so that the organization would be able to move forward with its own homegrown talent. The year saw the departure of the team’s first captain and one of the team’s first superstars.
July 31, 2001: Nashville made yet another trade with their favorite trading partner when they acquired Andy Delmore from the Flyers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2002 Draft. Delmore would spend the next two seasons on the Predators roster, playing in 144 games, scoring 34 goals and collecting an additional 38 assists while having a plus-minus of negative-30. He led the team in both shots and power-play goals during his two seasons. In addition, his 14 power-play goals in 2002-03 remains tied for the single-season franchise record.
October 9, 2001: Acquired Nathan Perrott from Chicago for a conditional selection in the 2003 Draft. In his two seasons in the Predators organization, Perrott appeared in exactly one game and collected a fighting major against future Predator Jamie Allison.
November 1, 2001: Acquired Petr Tenkrat from Anaheim for Patric Kjellberg. Tenkrat would play 58 games with the Predators in 2001-02, scoring 8 goals and 24 assists. On December 15, 2001, Tenkrat became just the third Nashville Predator to record a hat trick, doing so against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. He was claimed in the 2002 Waiver Draft and left to play in Europe. Kjellberg had been on Nashville’s roster since the team’s inaugural game in 1998. Over the next two seasons, he would play 141 games with the Ducks, scoring 8 goals and 19 assists before retiring after the 2001-02 season.
December 18, 2001: In yet another trade with a southern California team, Nashville acquired Brett Hauer from the Kings for Rich Brennan. Hauer appeared in 3 games in the 2001-02 season for Nashville. Brennan, on the other hand, spent the remainder of the year in the AHL, but would appear in 7 games for the Bruins in 2002-03.
January 11, 2002: Nashville once again did business with its favorite trading partner when the Predators acquired Petr Hubacek and Jason Beckett from the Flyers for Yves Sarault and a conditional selection in the 2003 Draft. Sarault was the only player involved in the trade with any prior NHL experience, but none of the involved players would appear in the NHL after the trade.
February 6, 2002: Acquired Steve Dubinsky from Chicago for future considerations. Dubinsky appeared in 26 games for the Predators for the remainder of 2002, scoring 5 goals and adding 2 assists.
March 1, 2002: David Poile was wheeling-and-dealing when the month of March started in 2002. The first trade as the deadline approached involved Nashville quickly turning around one of the pieces.
- Acquired D.J. Smith and Marty Wilford from the Maple Leafs for Marc Moro. Smith’s time with the Predators may be the shortest of any player in franchise history and Wilford never played a game with the team. Moro would spend the next 5 seasons in the Maple Leafs organization. While he only played two games with the NHL club, Moro would become captain of Toronto’s AHL-affiliate, the St. John’s Maple Leafs and their successor, the Toronto Marlies.
- Acquired a conditional draft selection from Colorado for D.J. Smith. The draft pick was used to select Matt Davis, who never played past college. Smith, who had literally just been acquired, would appear in 34 games with the Avalanche the following season and record his only career NHL goal.
March 13, 2002: The original “biggest trade in franchise history” only remained so for three days. On March 13, Nashville acquired a fourth-round selection in the 2003 Draft, which they would later trade away, and future considerations from the Blackhawks for team captain Tom Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was the original captain of the Predators organization and recorded the first penalty in franchise history. He would play 221 more NHL games for the Blackhawks, Bruins and Maple Leafs before moving into the front office with the Pittsburgh Penguins and winning a Stanley Cup in 2009 as Assistant General Manager.
March 16, 2002: It only took three days for David Poile to top the Fitzgerald trade and again, the news was the player leaving. The Predators acquired Jere Karalahti and a conditional selection in the 2003 Draft which would be used to select Teemu Lassila from the Kings in exchange for Cliff Ronning. At the time, Ronning was the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and actually still led the Predators in scoring in the 2001-02 season despite being with the Kings for the last month. He only scored 5 points for the remainder of the season with the Kings, but surged back in 2002-03 with the Wild, scoring 48 points. He played his final season in 2003-04 with the Islanders, appearing in 40 games and scoring 24 points.
Lassila never played for the Predators, but Karalahti turned into a nightmare. Karalahti already had a documented history of substance abuse. After playing the final 15 games with the Predators in the 2001-02 season, Karalahti failed an offseason drug test and was suspended for 6 months. Instead of returning to the Predators, Karalahti opted to return home to Finland. In 2008, he was convicted of smuggling amphetamines.
March 17, 2002: Acquired forward Jukka Hentunen from Calgary for a conditional selection in the 2003 Draft. Hentunen played exactly 10 games with the Predators in the remainder of the 2001-02 season, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. At the end of the year, he returned home to play in Finland.
March 19, 2002: Acquired Peter Smrek from the Rangers in exchange for Richard Lintner. Smrek would spend two seasons with the Predators organization, but never made it out of Milwaukee. Lintner, who had been on loan to Modo in Sweden for the 2001-02 season, would return to North America in 2002-03, play 10 games with the Rangers before playing 19 games with Pittsburgh after being traded to the Penguins as a piece in the Alexei Kovalev trade.
May 15, 2002: Acquired Steve Parsons from the Penguins for future considerations. Parsons would make no appearances with the Predators or Admirals and was a member of the Providence Bruins when the following season commenced.
June 22-23, 2002: A busy draft weekend saw David Poile make five trades for draft picks.
- Acquired a third-round pick in the Draft from Anaheim for future considerations. The pick would be traded later in the day.
- Acquired a third-round pick for the 2002 Draft and a second-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (Konstantin Glazachev) from Buffalo for a second-round selection in the 2002 Draft. The third-rounder would be traded later in the day. The second-rounder for 2003 would be used to select Konstantin Glazachev, who has yet to play in North America.
- Acquired a third-rounder for the 2003 NHL Draft from the Capitals in exchange for forward Petr Sykora. The pick was used to draft Paul Brown (not the NFL Hall of Fame Coach). Brown never played in the NHL. Sykora , who had been in the Czech Republic since the 1999-2000 season, made a brief foray back into the NHL, playing 10 games with Washington in 2005-06.
- Acquired a conditional third-round selection in the 2003 Draft from Toronto for a third-rounder
in 2002 Draft. The Predators would use that pick in 2003 to select Alexander Sulzer. Sulzer managed to appear in 53 games with the Predators, scoring a lone goal in Edmonton. A large majority of his last year in Nashville was spent as a healthy scratch
- Acquired a third-round selection in the 2003 Draft from the Red Wings for a third-round selection in the 2002 Draft. The Predators would select Grigory Shafigulin, who would stay in Russia. The Red Wings, on the other hand, selected Valtteri Filppula. To date, Filppula has played in over 400 NHL games and scored over 200 points. In that time, he has scored 18 points (6 G, 12 A) against Nashville.
June 29, 2002: In a trade that sparked “Did You Know?” style questions, the Predators made a move to acquire a future NHL Hall of Famer. On this day, Nashville acquired Cameron Mann and Ed Belfour from the Stars for David Gosselin and a fifth-rounder in the 2003 Draft. Mann would play four games for Nashville, while Gosselin would never suit up for the Stars and at some point in the 2008-09 season actually played for a team sponsored by a radio station. “Eddie the Eagle”, meanwhile, would sign with the Maple Leafs on July 2, spend the next 3 years there and one in Florida before hanging up his skates in the Elitserien. In 2011, Belfour was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame
June 30, 2002: On this day, Nashville picked up one of the most well-known enforcers in NHL history, acquiring the rights to Tie Domi from the Maple Leafs in exchange for an eighth-round pick in the 2003 Draft. Unfortunately, for the Predators, they were unable to close a deal with Domi and he resigned with the Leafs, finishing his career in Toronto in 2006.