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After making a couple of trades to bolster the team’s playoff chances over the past two seasons, the cupboard is beginning to look a little bare for the Nashville Predators.

The question for David Poile, Predators vice-president/general manager, is where to shop. Does he try to replenish the depth of the team through what is expected to be an average 2007 NHL Entry Draft or does he go down the free agent aisle? Or does he follow a third option and trade away some picks this season for extra picks in next year’s draft?

“The draft goes in cycles,” Poile said. “Everything is pointing to a really, really good draft next year. We are always open for a trade whether it is trading up or trading back or trading for next year.

“Part of it will come from the draft and part of it will come from free agency. Our farm club at Milwaukee has served us well for many, many years. We want to have a number of prospects in development and some depth players that can help us in Nashville if we need them because of injuries.”

The Predators have one second round pick, one third round, two in the fourth and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh. For the second draft in a row they are missing a first round pick, the biggest asset any team can have.

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