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.

 

 

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Memories & History Made: Remembering the 2017 Predators Playoff Run

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Image Source: NHL.com

As Garth Brooks once (and probably still does) sang, “I could’ve missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.” And what a beautiful dance it was for the Nashville Predators; one might even use the word “GLORIOUS” (all caps needed) to describe the unbelievable run that was the road to the Stanley Cup. Alas, the dance was abruptly cut short just two wins shy of the ultimate prize. And while it is easy to be bitter – be it termed salty nowadays – one cannot look back and be disappointed. The Predators barely scratched their way into a playoff spot – number 16 of 16 to be exact – and somehow defied the odds (and the experts) by sweeping the Blackhawks, bashing the Blues, defeating the Ducks, and landing in the Stanley Cup Final. This postseason brought more than just a city together, it brought a state, a region – one could even say – an entire hockey nation together. It certainly put Nashville in a spotlight that couldn’t be ignored and, once exposed, there was no returning that (saber tooth) cat to the bag.

It’s taken me three days, but I’ve gathered some of the best memories of the Nashville Predators’ outstanding push to the Stanley Cup Final. It’s funny what can be forgotten over a period of two months, so reflecting back on all of it kind of took the sting out of watching Crosby hoist the Cup in Bridgestone Arena on Sunday. So please enjoy this trip down Memory Lane with me and be warned, some of the video clips have not been censored. This is hockey, after all.

  1. The Sweeping of Chicago

The experts were all against us. Everyone was prepared for an early Nashville exit. Everyone except for the Predators. Sweeping a divisional rival is pretty huge to begin with, but having it be a team like the Chicago Blackhawks? This sweep was only the beginning to Nashville’s historic playoff push and it couldn’t have happened in a better fashion. No Chelsea Dagger was ever heard.

And of course, after the historic sweep of Public Enemy #1, people began to wonder where Jordin Tootoo disappeared to after making this comment before the series even began:

2. Fiddler, McLeod & Harry Z: The Heroes Nashville Needs

Three unlikely heroes were born during this postseason. Their names? Vernon Fiddler, Cody McLeod, and Harry Zolniercyzk. While you expect multiple goals from guys like Johansen, Subban, Forsberg, and the like, it was these three guys who played significant roles this postseason to push Nashville to its first Stanley Cup Final.

3. #DoItForKevin

Kevin Fiala has a bright future in Nashville and boy, did he light that fire during the playoffs when he was given the chance. No one can forget it was Fiala who helped Nashville sweep Chicago with his beautiful overtime goal. Sadly, his playoff run was cut short in the second round against the St. Louis Blues when a slam into the boards resulted in a fractured femur. The team made sure to fight on in honor of their young winger, taking out the Blues in six games.

4. This Corey Perry GIF

No real reason other than I truly enjoy watching this over and over.

5. Pekka being Pekka

“Rinne Wall”, “The Eraser”, “ImPEKKAble”. Whatever you call him, Pekka Rinne is a gift from somewhere else (see Finland) that tends to defy gravity and all human logic when it comes to minding the net. Here are a few examples of Rinne’s inhuman abilities caught on camera (along with a cameo from #MonsterBlock):

6. Captain Ellis (@Ellis4Captain)

Unless you are living under a rock (or just haven’t joined Twitter), there’s no way you missed the absolute gold from this parody account. The tweets are posed as a Civil War soldier writing to his mother on the front lines of battle, which magically paired well with its hockey theme. The comically Photo-Shopped images that accompany the tweets only further solidified this account into Twitter history.

7. #TEAMTN Love

The Tennessee Titans have not shied away from showing its love its professional counterpart across the Cumberland, with players appearing throughout the regular season taking in a match. However, it was the postseason that really brought that love out in the open, especially with the Titans Offensive Line. But beyond the beer chugging, catfish loving NFL players, the Memphis Grizzlies expressed their support, along with the Nashville Sounds. The #TeamTN love even extended to Atlanta, where the Braves sent their support as well. Sorry, diehard (clingers) Thrashers fans.

8. Ilya Bryzgalov

The Bryz. Where to begin with that guy? To avoid going to deep into the cosmos with everyone’s favorite Russian (feel free to look up anything involving the universe and bears with his name attached), let’s just say his visit to Nashville during the Stanley Cup Final was everything we could have ever dreamed of. Check out his videos below and – again – I encourage you to YouTube him for even more hilarity.

9. Instrument of Crime

Will we ever be able to associate catfish with anything else ever again? Let’s be honest: Pittsburgh had this coming. By baring folks with Tennessee licenses from purchasing catfish at local markets, you pretty much asked for it. Jake Deveral, better known as Catfish Jake, just happened to be visiting family in nearby Ohio when it occurred to him that he’d be in the area during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Purchasing a catfish in Nashville, Jake transported the mudcat up to Ohio and then over to Pittsburgh in his britches. Using Old Spice to cover the smell, Jake was able to smuggle the contraband into PPG Paints Arena and chuck it onto the ice. Deveral was escorted promptly from the building, but not all was over. A Pittsburgh judge slapped Catfish Jake with fines, which included “possession of an instrument of crime”. Long story short, the charges were dropped, but not before “Instruments of Crime” became a part of Predators history.

10. These Poor Penguins Fans

We won’t go into that “pumped in noise” conspiracy as these two fine Pens fans are a clear example of that bull-honky.

11. Best in the West

Bitter as you may all still be, there are plenty of good things to recall from this playoff run including that your Nashville Predators – coming in as the 8th seed – are officially the Best in the West for the 2016-17 season. Awarded the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl on home ice after defeating the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6, the Nashville Predators will officially have their first banner at Bridgestone Arena at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. While the ultimate goal was not met, one cannot dismiss this history-making moment.

12. Ryan Johansen

Yes, Ryan Johansen needed his own segment. Whether he was chirping with Kesler or notching goals, Johansen’s presence on the ice (and off) was exactly what Nashville needed in this postseason. We could pull the “what-ifs” about where Nashville would be at this moment had he not suffered from acute compartment syndrome, which required emergency surgery after Game 4 against Anaheim. Even after being sidelined for the remainder of the postseason, Johansen’s presence in the locker room kept the team on its toes. You just can’t help but love him and wish he had been around to help Subban get under Crosby’s skin in the Final.

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Photo Source: @PKSubban1

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Photo Source: Brooks Bratten, Nashville Predators

13. The Beautiful People

Oh, they tried, but no other NHL team was able to produce the star power that Nashville was able to garner throughout these playoffs. While some were new to the program, most of Nashville’s “beautiful people” didn’t just jump on the wagon in April. Notable names like Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood (obviously), and Kelly Clarkson have been active at games for years. Let’s also not forget to mention Rex Ryan, of all people, is a season ticket holder. While we didn’t include all the famous folks here, it is safe to say there was definitely a FOMO about Nashville.

14. Listerine Fights Bad Breath

Let’s begin by saying, when P.K. Subban was asked by a reporter as to what he and Sidney Crosby were chatting about on the ice, do you honestly believe he would repeat what was actually said? No. For one, it’s an in-the-moment conversation (if you want to call it that) and two, it isn’t for the faint of heart. Being a quick-on-his-toes kind of guy, Subban casually mentions that Crosby just didn’t care for his breath. Needless to say, the story took on a life of its own and Listerine got a nice little plug it didn’t expect. It is fair to say there was a Listerine booth outside Bridgestone Arena before Game 6 last Sunday.

15. Lavi Fist Pumps

No explanation needed as to why this made the list. BOOM.

16. #FireMilbury

To avoid firing myself up, I will not go into detail as to why Mike Milbury needs to be fired from NBC Sports, because I have a feeling you probably know why as well. There are many speculations as to why Milbury does not care for Subban and none of them are good enough to stand a solid reasoning. Whether it’s because he’s “old school” or what have you, his comments are not good for the growth of this sport, especially when it comes to minority viewers. Predators fans (and fans of other teams) made their opinions of the “shoe beater” known with signs and special words after Game 6.

17. Knoxville

While cities across the state hosted watch parties and cheered on the Predators, including Cookeville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Lebanon, etc., it is Knoxville who deserves a blurb on this list. Some have chalked up the enthusiasm as the city was just hungry for a championship (see 1998), whatever it was, Knoxville came out swinging in support of its brother to the west. As TV ratings began to come out after games, Knoxville continuously appeared in the top 5 cities watching the series, hitting double digits. Perhaps the combination of that winning hunger and the fact that the Predators and the Knoxville Ice Bears have such a great relationship helped open the eyes of many of our East Tennessee brethren to the greatness that is NHL hockey.

18. Dennis K. Morgan

Again, this is another topic that needs to be on the list, but I don’t particularly feel obligated to go into details about. Apparently approached by The Tennessean, regular anthem singer, Dennis K. Morgan, expressed his displeasure in being passed over by “A-List” singers during the playoffs. Needless to say, there weren’t many fans that came to his rescue and there’s a highly good chance the Predators will be searching for a new anthem singer for the 2017-18 season. If you missed this moment or want to relive the head-smacking, read the article below:

19. Goodwill amidst the Battle:

Although the Stanley Cup was the main focus, one cannot forget to mention the goodwill that came about throughout the postseason as well. During Round 2 against the Blues, the city of St. Louis was hit by historic floods. As a city that once faced our own thousand-year flood, it was only understandable that Predators CEO/President Sean Henry would partner with his Blues counterpart to help collect funds through auctions to assist in the relief. One particular feelgood moment that you may have missed was when Matt Irwin replaced a kid’s hockey gear after he heard that it had been stolen. Another heartfelt moment came just last week when Mike Fisher and Roman Josi visited their tiniest fan who was battling cancer. Sadly, the young boy passed away on Monday.

20. Good Gravy Goals

While some other good gravy goals have been scattered throughout this list, here are a few that didn’t fit anywhere else but are just too good to pass up and forget.

21. GLORIOUS

The word ‘GLORIOUS’ (again, all caps needed) has become almost synonymous with the Nashville Predators’ playoff run and I am betting it will be on the level of “All I do is Win” and “Run this Town” for future seasons. Nashville’s Game Ops enjoys their wrestling theme songs, but this one more than just stuck, it took on a life of its own. In my understanding, it was first played at Bridgestone Arena after Bobby Roode, the wrestler for whom this song belongs, performed in a Predators jersey against another wrestler donning a Blues jersey. Don’t quote me on that, but ever since that match, “Glorious” became Nashville’s anthem as they marched towards the Cup.

22. Hockey History

There’s no doubt this was a history making postseason for the Nashville Predators. While compiling all of the history would take a post of its own, here are a few notable records that Nashville broke and look to break again next season.

23. The 7th Man

And last, but certainly not least, we want to celebrate you, the 7th Man. You are what not only blew the minds of the hockey world, but the globe in general. There is no denying that Nashville is a hockey city; you just can’t argue it. While some have certainly tried, their negativism has been easily drown out by the Standing O and the thousands of fans outside of the arena. While we know the chants created by Cellblock 303 are nothing new, it came as a rude awakening to many an opposing fan, player, and members of the media. And while some were disgruntled by our “nontraditional” fan base, the majority were completely amazed and overwhelmed by your passion. Below are just some of the moments you blew the rest of the hockey world out of contention.

Looking back, it is amazing to see everything the Predators were able to accomplish in a matter of a few months not only for our city, but for the hockey world as well. NBC certainly can’t be mad at what Nashville brought to its ratings, and nor can the NHL. While this chapter in Predators history comes to a close, it certainly isn’t the end of the book. The Predators have the recipe in place to create another historic Stanley Cup run and we cannot wait for October to get that party started.

Hat Trick, Empty-Netters, and History: The Nashville Predators are Stanley Cup Bound

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Photo Source: Tom Willis, Nashville Predators

I can’t see it, but go ahead and raise your hand if you woke up with that ‘Glorious’ song in your head and a ringing in your ears. The dance continues for the Nashville Predators as they eliminated the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 to advance to the franchise’s very first Stanley Cup Final. Whether you witnessed the historic event in the arena, outside on Broadway, or in the comfort of your own home, there’s a good chance you will remember this night for years to come.

Preds fans have been pretty notorious for being the loudest fans in the National Hockey League, prompting officials from Guinness World Record to venture to Nashville last night to test the decibel levels. As of right now, no official word has been released as to if Smashville blew the previous record into the water, but considering my left ear feels like there’s something blocking it tells me we got pretty darn close.

To recap the game a little bit, Nashville came out on fire… for the first ten minutes of the game (or so). Austin Watson wasted no time by deflecting one by Jonathan Bernier at 1:21 for his third goal of the postseason. Colton Sissons would collect his first of the night (third overall) at 8:47 to give Nashville an early 2-0 lead. However, the remaining of the first period would be heavily dominated by the Ducks, even with a five minute power play in favor of the Preds (due to Nick Ritchie boarding Arvidsson and picking up a game misconduct).

The second period remained in favor of Anaheim, with Ondrej Kase earning the only goal of the period, but a goal to keep the Ducks in the running. Although the Predators’ defense was on point (brushing off two penalty kills), readjusting to Ryan Johansen’s offensive absence was painfully noted. However, just like on Saturday night, key players stepped up to fill the missing role and, three minutes into the third period, Colton Sissons would notch his second of the night, lifting Nashville to a 3-1 lead.

But the Ducks weren’t just going to sit back and watch. Just two minutes later, Chris Wagner would slip a wrister by Brickwall Pekka Rinne to keep Anaheim in the game. And, at 8:52, Cam Fowler would silence the home crowd (momentarily) with a slap shot to tie the game. If you weren’t freaking out at this moment, you are lying to yourself.

But, as I always say, “Win a period. Win the game.” And Colton Sissons must’ve had that same thought process because, at fourteen minutes exactly, the 23-year-old would notch his third goal of the game, a hat trick in the Western Conference Finals.

With Sissons propelling the Preds up 4-3, there was no stopping the home team. Moments after Bernier was pulled from the net, Filip Forsberg would send the puck sailing into the net. 5-3. Then, at 18:26, Austin Watson would further seal the coffin on the Ducks with another empty-netter. 6-3. The Nashville Predators are the 2017 Western Conference Champions.

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Photo Source: Tom Willis, Nashville Predators

And no, they did not touch the Clarence Campbell Bowl after all. But let’s be honest, they aren’t after a bowl; they are after a Cup.

If you are still in shock after last night, you aren’t alone. Sorry, Music City Miracle, but this was definitely the most important sports moment in the history of, not only Nashville, but the state of Tennessee. Yes, that even includes the University of Tennessee winning the National Championship in 1998 (because that actually happened in Arizona). This team’s run for the Stanley Cup has not only brought the city of Nashville together, but the state and across the country. Please review Captain Ryan Ellis on Twitter for a good understanding of the magnitude of how many people are standing with the Preds.

Is it a Cinderella story for Nashville? Maybe to some, but the team and organization probably doesn’t believe so. The first 16th seed to advance to the Stanley Cup Final? That’s just another notch taken off the history belt. This franchise is aware of what must be done to reach the ultimate goal and they are now on their way to (further) solidifying themselves in NHL history.

The Predators will have plenty of time to rest up for the Stanley Cup Final, as the first game is set to start on Monday, May 29th. Now, who will they face for the Cup? Tonight, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, will have a chance to eliminate the Cup-hungry Ottawa Senators. Like the Predators, this modern Ottawa Senators team has not won a Stanley Cup, so if they can win out tonight and force a Game 7, we could be looking at a brand new Stanley Cup winner. If you would like to see the entire schedule, check out our schedule page.

Take a deep breath and take it all in, Preds fans. The Nashville Predators have come so far and have one round to go. Be ready, 7th Man.

Lastly, please enjoy this photo:

 

Preds defeat Canucks in OT Stunner

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Image Source: NHL Public Relations

Overtime. More specifically, 3-on-3 overtime. Nashville’s nagging nemesis. Since it was introduced last season, the Predators have had a difficult time finding success after regulation ends. But last night, Calle Jarnkrok decided to change that 0-3 OT record (not including SO losses) to 1-3… with 1.5 seconds left in OT.

But let’s first talk about the game before this overtime craziness. While the score sheet notates that there were no goals recorded in the first period, don’t tell that to Filip Forsberg. Early in the first, Forsberg blasted one by Ryan Miller, but was immediately waved off by the officials as being played with a high-stick. After a quick review, it was still determined to have been played with a high-stick and the score remained at 0-0.

Austin Watson, on the other hand, made up for the missed goal just 35 seconds into the second period for his third goal of the season. Mike Fisher (14) and Roman Josi (16) assisted in giving Nashville the lead early into the second.

Nashville would maintain that lead until Miller was pulled towards the end of the third period. And guess what? That extra attacker move proved successful for Vancouver, as Brandon Sutter slipped the puck by Rinne to tie the game. With 49 seconds left. Woof.

It’s no surprise that most Preds fans feared the worst as time ticked down to zero in regulation. Again, overtime hasn’t exactly been Nashville’s strong suite (to put it nicely). Needing these points, the Predators would have to figure it out or push it to a shootout.

One advantage Nashville had over Vancouver last night was its overall game. It wasn’t hard to see that the Predators were the stronger team throughout regulation, but when it comes to overtime, that doesn’t really matter. However, Nashville did take that momentum into overtime, with it looking like the Predators would win it early with a goal from Roman Josi. However – yet again – Nashville’s goal was waved off, this time due to goaltender interference by Viktor Arvidsson.

When it seemed like all hope was lost, Roman Josi and Calle Jarnkrok sent the crowd into a victorious roar. Rushing down the ice, Roman Josi made the methodical pass to Jarnkrok who “put the biscuit in the basket”.

Glory. Pure glory. Of course, now Nashville will have to beat Vegas off with a stick (no Swedes in the expansion draft). With this amazing GWG and OT goal, Jarnkrok knocked off a few franchise records, too:

But let us not forget the guy who should’ve gotten a shutout last night: The Eraser himself. Rinne stopped 29 of 30 shots-on-goal, including some pretty close calls from the Sedin twins:

Last night’s performance was a step in the right direction for Nashville in order to keep the playoff hopes alive. However, was this an example of what’s to come or was it just another bout of inconsistency? You can find out tomorrow as the Predators welcome in the 22-17-5 Boston Bruins. A win against Boston could finally push Nashville down the path they’ve been struggled with all season.

Preds Release Opening Night Roster

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Yesterday afternoon, the Predators released the finalized 23-man roster for the 2015-16 NHL season. Without further ado, here are your Nashville Predators:

FORWARDS

Smith

Forsberg

Arvidsson

Bourque

Fisher

Gaustad

Hodgson

Neal

Nystrom

Wilson

Ribeiro

watson

51(1)

DEFENSE

Bartley

Bitetto

Ekholm

Ellis

Weber

Josi

Jackman

Jones

GOALIES

Rinne

Hutton

 

So, are you surprised by who made  the roster? We certainly are happy to see that Austin Watson made the cut, as that kid has been working something hard in the AHL. The same can be said for Viktor Arvidsson, who is definitely ready for his light to shine this season.

The 2015-16 NHL season opens tonight with the Maple Leafs vs. the Canadiens, the Blackhawks vs. Rangers, the Flames vs. the Canucks, and the Kings vs. the Sharks. However, Nashville opens the season tomorrow at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Three Notable Names on Preds Roster Cut

Image Source: Google Images

What’s up, everybody? Yes, it is still preseason for me, too; I am working on getting back into the flow of posting after a long off-season hiatus. So what’s been going on: Well, the Predators are down to their final preseason game, which comes up this Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then? Well, then the real fun begins. But before the season can officially kick-off, the Predators need to reduce the roster and, after Kevin Fiala was sent down to Milwaukee, it was interesting to see who else would be joining him.

Well, it looks like Colton Sissons, Steve Moses, and Juuse Saros will be joining Fiala for the time being. Moses comes as the biggest surprise from this latest cut, as 9 out of the 12 of us joining in on the On the Forecheck “Ask the Staff” post agreed that he’d be the one with the most ice time out of him, Gabriel Bourque, Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, and Kevin Fiala.

Of course, as the organization explained in the reasoning behind Fiala being cut, I believe Moses will have more of an opportunity to develop while with the Admirals and will have more of a leadership role, which will make him prime pickings for filling in a roster spot in Nashville. Or, as Laviolette put it so sweetly:

The Predators roster is now set at 25 – fifteen forwards, eight defensemen, and two goaltenders. You can see the current roster here.

Trevor Murphy signs ELC with Preds

Image Source: OHL

The Predators kicked off training camp today and went ahead and signed Trevor Murphy to a three-year, entry-level contract while they were at it. Here’s the official word from the Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (September 17, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the team has signed defenseman Trevor Murphy to a three-year entry-level contract.

Murphy, 20 (7/17/95), has spent the past four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League split between the Peterborough Petes (2011-12) and the Windsor Spitfires (2012-15), amassing 140 points (42g-98a) and 296 penalty minutes in 235 games. Serving as an alternate captain for his hometown Spitfires in 2014-15, the Windsor, Ont., native ranked third among OHL defensemen in goals (24), tied for fourth in points (63) and ranked fifth in assists (39). The 5-10, 175 pounder was also one of just two OHL blueliners to post at least 40 points and 100 penalty minutes during the campaign.

A teammate of Predators forward Austin Watson with Peterborough in 2011-12, Murphy attended Predators Development Camp in July, Rookie Camp last week, and is currently in attendance at Training Camp.

Murphy has some pretty stout numbers for a defenseman with the OHL, so it’s no surprise the Predators want to see how he fairs in the minors with Milwaukee. I’d say he is definitely worth keeping an eye on for sure.

 

NSH trades Beck to TOR for Devane

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Say “so long” to Taylor Beck as he is officially headed to the Maple Leafs in exchange for forward forward Jamie Devane. Here’s a little info from the organization:

Devane, 24 (2/20/91), has spent the majority of his three-season professional career at the American Hockey League level, posting 15 points (6g-9a) and amassing 253 penalty minutes in 118 games with the Toronto Marlies. The Mississauga, Ont., native also appeared in his first two NHL contests with the Maple Leafs during the 2013-14 season.

Source: Torontoobserver.ca

Okay, so don’t let the knowledge that he’s spent a good portion of his career in the minors bother you. 2014-15 was the first season where Taylor Beck spent the majority of his time with the Predators and not in Milwaukee. Though Beck experienced his best season last year, whether or not he’d have a roster spot for the upcoming season was definitely up for debate. The Predators extended a qualifying offer to Beck, along with seven other players (Bourque accepted his, Hellberg was traded to the Rangers), but Beck and his agent opted for an arbitration hearing instead. Set for July 24th, the Predators avoided facing a possible hearing by successfully dealing Beck to Toronto.

Whether he pans out for the NHL right away or not, Devane will be a good replacement for someone else within the Admirals organization who is ready to make the switch to the big times. Enter, Austin Watson or Miikka Salomaki. Who knows? Maybe Devane will impress the judges enough to spend a little more time in the big leagues. Either way, Toronto will enjoy having Taylor Beck in their repertoire, there’s no doubt about that.

Also, for those interested (which I bet you are), here are the arbitration dates for Colin Wilson and Craig Smith:

  • Colin Wilson: July 28th
  • Craig Smith: July 20th

Highlights from Today’s Presser

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile answers questions at a news conference Monday, April 14, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators announced earlier in the day that head coach Barry Trotz's contract won't be extended and they will begin looking for a new head coach. Trotz is the only head coach the NHL hockey team has had. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Predators General Manager David Poile met with the media today regarding free agency, the recent draft, and… you know, little stuff here and there. I’ve compiled some of the thousand tweets from media and condensed them for your reading pleasure:

In case you missed it, the NHL passed the new 3-on-3 overtime. As Poile mentioned, there’s a good chance we’ll see less shootouts now.

If you needed official word on Clune and Stalberg’s departure, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth. Stalberg’s buyout will cost the Predators $4.67M over the next four years. Yay.

As you recall (or if you missed it), Austin Watson was just signed to a two-year deal yesterday. It’s been a long time coming for the 2010 draft pick and it will be interesting where he’ll mesh in as far as the lineup goes.

Again, straight from the horse’s mouth himself. Take a deep breath and remember: patience is a virtue.

Yes, the Predators and David Poile have extended an offer to Mike Ribeiro. Please also remember the whole “innocent until proven guilty” motto. You know, the law.

Not much to commentate on as this information was made known much earlier.

We should all expect to hear whether or not Ribeiro accepts the Predators’ offer by this evening or early tomorrow morning.

Okay, here’s the statement everyone should read and set down their pitchforks. The NHL is involved, along with law enforcement. Poile would not have moved forward with offering Mike Ribeiro a new deal if he felt like this was going to continue imploding. This isn’t Poile’s first rodeo as GM, my friends.

Be ready for an explosion on Twitter and the Predators’ Facebook account.

No surprise that Volchenkov will be left to wander to greener pastures.

Another no surprise, Poile mentioned that the organization is actively seeking a trade involving goaltender Magnus Hellberg. Hellberg is definitely ready to move up to the NHL (or somewhere he’ll get the chance) and Nashville is overrun with netminder potential at this point. You know, especially after signing Saros the other day.

Honestly, I forgot he was injured. Good news – he’s doing well.

And, last but not least, Adam Vingan has this statement regarding the Ribeiro civil lawsuit. Maybe it will help lower the amount of torches and pitchforks a little, yes?

So, there you have it. Trust me, this is a condensed list of tweets from today’s presser. Free Agency starts tomorrow, July 1st. It should prove for an interesting day. I hope.

 

 

Preds sign Watson to Two-Year Contract

Source: Frederick Breedon

Source: Frederick Breedon

Welp, free agency has begun and I may be a little busy with these posts for a while (hopefully). First to be signed is forward, Austin Watson, Nashville’s first round draft pick back in 2010. Here’s a little info from the official press release:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Austin Watson to a two-year contract. The deal is a two-way contract in 2015-16 paying him $575,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, and a one-way, $575,000 contract in 2016-17.

Buyout Updates:

  • Sorry, Clune fans – it’s official (as of yesterday): Rich Clune’s contract will be bought out by the Predators. Clune tweeted this heartfelt thanks last night:
    https://twitter.com/richclune/status/615276388648513538
  • Also on the chopping block is Viktor Stalberg, who was just added to the unconditional waivers list along with Cody Hodgson of the Buffalo Sabres. If he clears, the Predators will also buyout his contract.