First off, let me just say that Eklund's rumours have some truth to them. The truth lies in that, assuming his sources are good, a certain team has interest in a certain player and has contacted the player or the team owning the rights to that player. Whether talks or counter-offers are part of it will up the rating on the "E system". For example, when the rumours of Ovechkin to the Preds in 07/08 had surfaced, we know that the Preds contacted McPhee about a trade and probably made an offer. I doubt anything more happened and the rumour was reported as an E3 by Eklund. He does have an official way of describing how the system works but this is a different way of interpreting it. Of course, you have to take it all with a grain of salt.
Now moving to the reported rumours by Ek on the Preds being in on Tanguay. There is no doubt in my mind that David Poile has contacted Alex's agent. Its pretty clear that there is quite a bit of interest in him. Even Pierre LeBrun, one of the most reliable and respected sources out there for rumours and inside information has confirmed this. How far they go with this is the big question.
The bottom line is that the Preds would love to add a top 6 forward. Personally, I think Tanguay would bring that explosive playmaking ability that the team has not seen since Paul Kariya was around. PK has incredible chemistry with Legwand and Erat and that same kind of chemistry could be brought back if Alex Tanguay is brought into the fold. I would be surprised if Tanguay took less than $3 million from any team. With the powers of the free market, he should get between $3.5-5 million in a multi-year offer. Do the Preds go out and hand a contract like that to him? No. This team should be thinking Tier 2 or even Tier 3 UFA's and should have thinking like that from the start. Players like Sykora, Satan, Pyatt, etc. would be good fits for the Preds given cost and production. This market cannot handle another big name player given the future fragility of the salary cap. The team will also need to free up cash and space to re-sign the likes of Weber and Rinne when the time comes. Short-term, cheaper options are the better signings for this team.
Eklund also reported a pre-signing trade rumour that would see the Preds ship out Hamhuis and more to get Frolov. I like Frolov but I start to get nervous now about Russians joining the Preds and who wouldn't?
The bigger question is: Do the Preds have the depth on defense right now to make this trade? You have to take into account that the "and more" part of the trade is more than likely going to be a defensive prospect. The Preds do not have the depth right now to trade away Hammer. Laakso, Franson and Blum have not yet played a game in the NHL. Sulzer has played 1 and got injured just a few minutes into his 2nd. A trade like this would make Kevin Klein, a guy who has played just one full season in the NHL, the team's 3rd defenceman on the depth chart. He would be followed by Sulzer, Laakso and so on. The team would need to sign or make a move for a temporary, veteran defenceman after a deal like this. Not to mention that the team needs to fill out its roster without draining Milwaukee of its top talent who all just happen to be solid Pred prospects.
I like the possibility of adding a top 6 forward, a need that the team needs to fill. However, you have to consider cost and the fact that the team has $6 million in payroll room before hitting the proposed budget of $45 million. I'm not saying that they shouldn't make a move but rather that they be wise with what they spend and who they get for that money. After all, being wise is something David Poile specializes in and we best need not worry about that.