Predators trade F David Legwand to Red Wings

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm •  Published: March 5, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — David Poile remembers only too well not getting anything out of Ryan Suter in 2012 when the Nashville general manager couldn't sign the defenseman to a new contract.

He didn't let it happen again.

The Predators made their biggest move this season at the NHL trade deadline Wednesday sending David Legwand, known as the original Predator, to his hometown Detroit Red Wings for two forwards and a draft pick in June.

"I certainly didn't like the fact going back a few years the Ryan Suter situation when we didn't get anything for an unrestricted free agent," Poile said. "I think we need to try to manage our assets as best possible and the fact that David was going to be unrestricted and we have no guarantee we'll be able to sign him after the season, (trading) made a lot of sense for the organization and for the future."

Suter signed with Minnesota in July 2012.

Legwand, who turns 34 in August, was the expansion Predators' first pick in the 1998 draft as the No. 2 overall selection. He was tied with captain Shea Weber for the team scoring lead with 40 points. But his contract also is up at the end of this season, and Poile said he couldn't give Legwand a commitment for the future.

The forward attracted attention from a few teams, according to Poile. Legwand was involved in the decision because he had to waive his no-trade contract.

"We probably found the best fit for David and gets to go play in his hometown for the Detroit Red Wings," Poile said.

Nashville got forwards Patrick Eaves, 29, and Calle Jarnkrok, 22, along with a third-round draft pick that becomes a second-round pick if the Red Wings make the playoffs for the 23rd straight time, according to Detroit general manager Ken Holland. Legwand played in a franchise-record 956 games for Nashville.

Legwand gives the Red Wings someone to plug in as their No. 1 center on a banged-up roster. Holland said Legwand likely will center the top line with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist on Thursday night in his Detroit debut after the Red Wings retire Nicklas Lidstrom's jersey in a pregame ceremony.

The Predators had hoped Legwand could appear at their news conference, but the forward was busy packing for his trip to join his new team.