The present took precedence for David Poile over the past – or even the future – Tuesday.
Four days before the regular-season opener the Nashville Predators’ general manager acquired defenseman Shane O’Brien and a minor league forward from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Ryan Parent and forward Jonas Andersson.
O’Brien will immediately step in to Parent’s spot on the Predators’ third defense pairing alongside Cody Franson. However, he probably will not join the team before Friday because of the necessary immigration issues.
“Not to knock Ryan Parent because I still think he’s going to be a good player someday, but getting this player makes us a better team right now,” Poile said. “He’s bigger, he’s stronger and he has a good skill level.”
Parent and Andersson each were one-time top prospects who returned to the organization this season. Parent, Nashville’s first-round pick in 2005, spent the past three seasons in Philadelphia but was reacquired in a trade. Andersson, a second-round choice in 1999, spent the last six seasons playing in various European leagues.
O’Brien (6-foot-3, 224 pounds) is a 27-year-old with 299 games of NHL experience with three different teams and is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $1.6 million this season, which is nearly equal the combined salaries of Parent and Andersson ($1.525 million).
He’s also someone Poile has watched for some time. Vancouver exposed him to waivers earlier this week and once he cleared, the Canucks contacted the Predators about a trade.
“He’s a player I’ve liked and we had some talks about him, but I couldn’t take on his salary,” Poile said. “(Monday) night they called and we had a brief conversation and then (Tuesday) we talked again and we made this deal.”
The deal included 23-year-old forward Dan Gendur, who is expected to split time between minor league affiliates Milwaukee (AHL) and Cincinnati (ECHL).
“With (Parent) there’s still some issues with his confidence, but I do believe his best days are ahead of him,” Poile said. “(Andersson) is someone I thought would be a very good addition to the team but for whatever reason he didn’t seem to fit in or, in fairness to him, get much of an opportunity.
“This is a deal that makes sense for us now.”