David Legwand has the final say in whether or not he will be traded within the next eight days.
As of late last week, though, the veteran center said he had not heard word one from anyone in Nashville Predators management regarding his future, either with this team or any other.
“No one talked to me so I haven’t thought about it,” he said. “I thought we would have had a conversation already but – nothing.”
The NHL resumed regular business operations Monday following the Olympic break. Nashville, for example, recalled forward Simon Moser from Milwaukee, where he played briefly following his participation with Switzerland at the Olympics.
Teams are free to trade players as well and with the league’s trade deadline set for March 5 (a week from Wednesday) activity in that regard is likely to increase in the coming days.
Legwand has been the subject of trade speculation for much of the season, particularly since the Predators have been outside of the Western Conference’s top eight almost the entire time. He is 33 years old, has close to 1,000 games of NHL experience and through 59 games is Nashville’s leading scorer with 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists).
Plus, he is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season. Legwand is in the final year of a six-year, $27 million deal that has paid him as much as $5.5 million in a season. His 2013-14 salary, $3.5 million, is the smallest of any of the six seasons.
All of those factors make the first draft pick in franchise history (second overall, 1998) a viable candidate to be dealt.
However, his deal also includes a no-trade clause. Before he goes anywhere, therefore, he must be willing to sign off on the deal and waive that clause.
“Obviously it’s up to me,” Legwand said. “It’s a decision in my hands and my family’s hands so we’ll make it when it’s the point in time to make it.”
The Predators played better prior to the Olympic break and moved to within the eighth spot in the conference standings. Any desire the team had to move him probably decreased as a result.
Still, his expectation is that he will go somewhere even if it does not happen before the end of this season. Just as he and franchise leaders have not talked about trade possibilities, they also have not discussed a new deal once the current one runs out.
“You always have options,” Legwand said. “Obviously, the ball is in your court. They haven’t said anything all year. Do they really want me here? Or do they want me gone? I don’t know. If they wanted me here, they’d say something. They haven’t said anything.”