Rinne Wins Vezina – Finally

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s about darn time, y’all. After being nominated three times previously (2011, 2012, 2015), fourth time was the charm for our beloved Finnish goaltender.

Pekka knocked off Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and fellow Central Division goaltender, Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.

Congrats, Peks!

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Watson Arrested for possible Domestic Assault

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Image Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Earlier this morning, it was first reported via Predneck Nation that Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson was arrested over the weekend for a possible domestic assault incident.

Here is the arrest affidavit information released by The Tennessean:

According to an arrest affidavit, just after 7 p.m. that day, a Franklin police officer was flagged down by a witness for a possible domestic situation at the Shell Station on Murfreesboro Road.

When the officer responded, he noticed a vehicle at the station whose passenger was trying to “back away from being shoved away,” the affidavit states. “The passenger said ‘stop’ and was trying to cover her face.”

When the officer made contact with the driver, later identified as Watson, he said that he and his girlfriend, who was the passenger, were having an argument about her drinking and not being able to attend a wedding, the officer wrote in the affidavit.

At the scene, the affidavit continues, Watson admitted to pushing his girlfriend and the officer said he noticed red marks on her chest.

Yikes, Watty.

As expected, the Nashville Predators released a statement regarding the arrest as well:

“We are aware of the incident involving Austin Watson on Saturday night. We are still gathering facts and it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time, but this is a matter that we are taking very seriously and will cooperate fully with the investigation by law enforcement. The Nashville Predators have and will continue to stand side by side with AMEND in the fight to end violence against women.”

The AMEND Campaign is program created by the YWCA that, per their website, “seeks to end the epidemic of violence against women and girls by empowering young men and boys to become the catalyst for cultural change”. Unfortunately, Austin Watson played a major role in the promotion of this project and the video has since been removed from their site.

The NHL has also responded with their own response, as reported by Katie Strang:

I’ll be the first to admit, I do not keep up with the players and their relationship statuses so the confusion between if it was his girlfriend or wife raises many questions. To squash any rumors that this also involved a cheating situation, this is what we have gathered since this news first broke earlier this morning:

Because the first tweet was confirmed by the organization, take that as truth; as for this second tweet, take it as you will. But let it be known that this was not a cheating situation (not that it makes this accusation any better).

So what does this mean for Watson and his future with the Predators? Well, let us remind you that he has not had his day in court yet (6/28/18 at 1PM) and, as of right now, this is just an accusation. No, I am not defending what took place, but there is still much more to hear before judgement is cast. However, with what was detailed in the affidavit, it isn’t sounding too good for the young forward.

As more information is released, I will update this post with the latest. Until then, let’s all hope for the best and that this isn’t another incident like the Mike Ribeiro one.

 

 

Kamenev, Girard dealt in 3-Way Trade; Turris to NSH

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Image Source: Getty Images

Well, we all thought it was going to be a quiet Sunday evening, but Ottawa, Nashville, and Colorado all had different plans. You could be living under a hockey rock and still know that the Avalanche have been trying to deal Matt Duchene for some time now, but – also known – Joe Sakic just couldn’t quite get one together that wasn’t laughed at by the other GMs of the league. While this deal has been floating around all weekend, it was finally confirmed just moments ago:

Though it doesn’t happen very often, Colorado is currently on the ice in New York against the Islanders, which means Duchene was nonchalantly pulled from the ice and sent on his way. While that doesn’t sound like the most ideal way to be traded, it keeps the traded player from possibly getting injured if he were to continue to play and the news was presented after the game. But you aren’t here to know more about the Duchene/Ottawa trade, are you? Of course not. The real question is: What did Nashville give up for Kyle Turris?

Well, if you read the headline, you know it was Nashville prospects Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev. This did come as a bit of a surprise, as both these players were well on their way to finding a home amongst the Predators; heck, Girard had the potential to become a regular in the lineup. However, it’s important to note that Nashville did not give up any of its Top 4 defenseman in order to seal this trade, as that is what most of the rest of the league would prefer.

While most would have preferred Matt Duchene to Nashville, Kyle Turris is not someone to overlook. Let’s compare both Turris and Duchene’s stats for this season:

DUCHENE:

SEASON TEAM GP G A Pts
2017-18 Colorado Avalanche 13 4 6 10

TURRIS:

SEASON TEAM GP G A Pts
2017-18 Ottawa Senators 11 3 6 9

As you can see, Duchene and Turris are almost identical in stats this season and I would encourage you to compare the two in previous seasons. Nashville also signed the 28-year-old center to a 6-year, $36M deal, which means the Predators now have their needed Top 3 centers (Johansen, Turris, Bonino) locked for a combined 18 years, $116M.

Though we hate to see Kamenev and Girard part ways with Nashville (as their NHL potential has yet to be truly tapped), adding Turris to the lineup will bring a much needed positive impact on the Predators and its center depth.

To clarify this three-way trade between Ottawa, Nashville, and Colorado, the Avalanche now acquire Bowers, Hammond, Girard, Kamenev and draft picks from Nashville and Ottawa respectively. Ottawa now has Matt Duchene and Nashville has Kyle Turris.

Roman Josi named Predators Captain

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Photo Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As most expected, the Nashville Predators announced in today’s press conference that the 8th captain in franchise history would be none other than No. 59, Roman Josi.

Along with Josi, Ryan Ellis (who is currently suffering from a post-season injury) was named Associate Captain while Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg have all been given the roles of alternate captain.

Fun Fact: Roman Josi is the second Swiss-born player to be named a captain in the NHL.

For more information, check out the Predators’ official statement here.

Mike Fisher announces Retirement

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Photo Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After seventeen seasons and 1,088 NHL games, it is time for Nashville Predators Captain Mike Fisher to hang up his skates. Although it had been the talk since the Predators fell to the Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Fisher made his officially announcement this morning with The Tennessean.

Chosen in the second round (44th overall) in the 1998 NHL Draft, Fisher began (and spent the majority of) his tenured NHL career with the Ottawa Senators. However, on February 10, 2011, the veteran was traded to Nashville for the Predators’ first round draft pick in the 2011 Draft and a conditional pick in 2012. Of course, there was a little speculation that Nashville sought out Mike Fisher, not only for his due to being a superior Centerman, but because he – at that point – had just married Country superstar, Carrie Underwood. The reasoning behind this thought was the connection between Country music and hockey would essentially put more butts in the seats at Bridgestone. Whether that was the true case or not, Nashville gained not only a great centerman, but an effective leader on and off the ice. Fisher was even awarded the 2012 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is given to the NHL player who exemplifies the core values of hockey – commitment, teamwork, and perseverance.

Even as early as last year, rumors began to swirl about Fisher and a possible retirement. However, despite those conditions, the Nashville Predators named Fisher the 7th captain in franchise history on September 7, 2016.

“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I know I’ve made the right one. I’ve decided to retire from the NHL.

I kept praying for peace about the next step in my life. A peace that said this is God’s will for your future. A peace that said whether or not this was the right time to walk away.”

– Mike Fisher

I won’t post Fisher’s letter to the fans in its entirety in respect to The Tennessean, but you can read #12’s heartfelt message here.

But to Mike – thank you.
Thank you for everything you brought to our hockey franchise and to the city of Nashville as a whole. Your on and off ice contributions in our community will never be matched and we are better humans for knowing you. You will truly be missed on the ice, but I have a feeling you’ll still be around. Congratulations on retirement; you deserve it.

JOFA Line Back in Business: NSH & Johansen agree on Contract

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Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Happy birthday to me, y’all. Seriously, it’s my birthday and I am going to choose to believe that Ryan Johansen and his agent purposefully held out on a contract agreement until today. True story.

But for those of you who want the real facts, the Nashville Predators announced shortly after 2PM today that a special presser would be held at 3PM & almost everyone had their thoughts as to what it would be about:

Oh, but it did, Justin. It. Did. Shortly after Justin Bradford tweeted this, Adam Vingan of the Tennessean posted his article announcing that Ryan Johansen and the Nashville Predators had indeed come to an agreement on a new contract. Those contract details?

Eight years, $64 million.

cut

Image Source: Brooks Bratten/Nashville Predators

POW.

So with that news, it is official: the JOFA line is back in business. In case you aren’t sure who or what the JOFA line is, it consists of Ryan JOhansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson. Forsberg is already in year two of a six-year, $36M contract and Arvidsson just signed his seven-year, $29.75M contract on July 22nd.

In the presser today at 3PM, Ryan Johansen also announced that has recovered from his injury sustained during the playoffs (acute compartment syndrome) and is ready for a new season.

 

Poile named 2017 GM of the Year

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Just moments after it was announced that Predators forward James Neal would be the newest member of the Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville General Manager David Poile was awarded the 2017 GM of the Year Award. And, by looking at the votes, it was no contest:

1. David Poile, NSH 112 (18-6-4)
2. Peter Chiarelli, EDM 52 (6-5-7)
3. Pierre Dorion, OTT 46 (2-10-6)
4. Lou Lamoriello, TOR 36 (5-3-2)
5. Bob Murray, ANA 36 (3-5-6)

General Manager from the very beginning, it was high time GMDP was awarded this great honor, but it couldn’t have come at a more unpleasant time directly after Neal was lost. But, beyond that little sad nugget, congrats to David Poile! Despite this frustrating moment in time, you have to give props to ‘The Magician’ (see: Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban).

Preds lose Neal to Expansion Draft

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Image Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Well, as soon as it was announced that Calle Jarnkrok was protected by Nashville to leave Neal exposed to the Expansion Draft, we knew it would be coming. We could easily argue both sides of the coin, but let’s be honest: losing James Neal is a difficult pill to swallow. Even with young guns like Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons out in the water, exposing a veteran power forward with a ton of gas still left in the tank was just too tempting to pass up for the Vegas Golden Knights. The loss of James Neal will free up $5M in cap space for the Predators, but that doesn’t take the sting out, does it?

We will have more information from the organization once it becomes available.

 

Preds reveal new Adidas Jerseys

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Image Source: NHL.com

Or so we think. Although the original time frame for the new Adidas jersey reveal was sometime around 9PM, the Nashville Predators jumped the gun and released a video around 2PM. However, after making the rounds on social media, it was quickly pulled from the Predators website. Did someone accidentally hit publish instead of draft when working on it? Possibly (I’ve done it before), since it was eventually removed from the site. Seeing Nashville reveal their jerseys prompted the St. Louis Blues to release images of their new sweaters, but they, too, quickly removed the video from their site.

Whether it was an accident or not, we now know what Adidas has done to the Nashville sweaters from this point forward. And, as you can image, the reviews have been… not as positive as one would hope. For better comparisons, here is an image of the old Reebok jersey and the new Adidas brand:

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Image Source: @BackhandedDevil

The intent, I believe, was to simplify the look, but – in my opinion – it kind of looks like a long-sleeved t-shirt that sort of wishes it was a jersey. Don’t get my wrong; I actually do not hate it. I am trying to keep an open mind as I vaguely recall being turned off by the gold jerseys when they were first revealed with the ‘BEHOLD THE GOLD’ campaign, but it eventually grew on me. I believe these new jerseys will grow, not only on me, but on the majority of you all before you even realize it. But, for now, let’s enjoy some reactions from around the Twitterverse:

While all of those reactions come across as negative, we did get one positive opinion:

Although sarcasm is sometimes hard to detect via Twitter, so this could be all for not. Anywho, what are your thoughts on the new Adidas jersey? It will be an interest change, but definitely not anything fans could not get used to eventually. I am interested in seeing the league’s other jerseys once they are revealed.

 

Preds release 2017-18 Pre-Season Schedule

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Nashville Predators released some vital information for all you suffering from hockey withdraws: the 2017-18 pre-season schedule. Per usual (perhaps tradition), Nashville will face the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Columbus Blue Jackets to get ready for another bout towards the Stanley Cup.

  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 3:30PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 7PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Friday, September 22nd @ 6:30PM – Nashville Predators @ Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Sunday, September 24th @ 6PM – Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Thursday, September 28th @ 7PM – Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators
  • Saturday, September 30th @ 7PM – Tampa Bay Lightning @ Nashville Predators

And be sure to keep those calendars at hand as the full 2017-18 schedule will be released this coming Thursday. Pre-season tickets go on sale at 10AM this Friday, followed by a Fan Appreciation Draft Party at Bridgestone Arena from 4PM-10PM. For more information, visit the Nashville Predators site.

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