Preds sign KHL Forward Steve Moses

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Source: Google Images

Ahem… moving forward from Tuesday’s disastrous lose to the Colorado Avalanche (we see you, refs…), the Predators announce that they have signed KHL forward, Steve Moses to a one-year, $1 million contract for the 2015-16 season. Moses, who is 25-years-old, is best known for setting the Kontential Hockey League’s goal-scoring record in 2014-15 for Jokerit, a team based in Helsinki, Finland. Here’s a little more info on the newest addition:

The 2015 KHL All-Star also tied for seventh in KHL points this season (36g-21a-57pts, 60gp), helping Jokerit to a 40-win campaign. The Leominster, Mass., native spent his first two professional seasons with Jokerit, then in the Finnish Elite League, in 2012-13 and 2013-14, amassing 61 points (34g-27a) in 97 games. In 2012-13, Moses led the league in game-winning goals (7), and paced all rookies in goals (22).

The 5-9, 172-pound winger played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire from 2008-12, recording 98 points (47g-51a) in 148 collegiate games, including 22 goals in 37 games as a senior in 2011-12, which ranked him among the Top 15 in the NCAA. Moses played his junior hockey with the Boston Junior Bruins of the EJHL from 2005-08.

The Predators finish out their regular season home game tonight against the Minnesota Wild and boy, do they have to have a few things going for them in order to gain home ice advantage. The Predators will need a regulation or OT win along with a regulation loss for Chicago tonight in order to gain home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Pekka Rinne: “I feel 100 percent and feel ready to go.”

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Image

Well, that was fast! Official word has arrived from the Nashville Predators themselves! Pekka Rinne will be in net against the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow night! Here’s an excerpt from the official press release:

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is set to return to action Thursday, three weeks after suffering an injury in the third period of a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 13. The Finnish netminder was diagnosed with a sprained knee and given a three-to-five week recovery period following the incident and has progressed steadily the past 22 days. Rinne has participated in the team’s morning skates since Jan. 29, and is expected to start against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. “I feel really good,” Rinne said. “I feel 100 percent and feel ready to go. It’s never a good time to be injured, but I’m feeling good.” The NHL’s leader in wins with 29, Rinne holds a 1.96 goals-against average, second in the NHL, and a .931 save percentage, also good for second among League goaltenders. Rinne was named to the 2015 All-Star Weekend in Columbus, but was forced to miss the festivities due to the injury. Preds netminder Carter Hutton started in Nashville’s previous meeting with Anaheim on Jan. 4, recording 30 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Ducks. Hutton has seen a bulk of the action with Rinne out of the lineup, including a 4-0 shutout win over Pittsburgh on Sunday and a 4-3 victory over Toronto on Tuesday. “That’s great for Huts, he played a really strong game against one of the top teams, so that’s a big win,” Rinne said of Hutton’s shutout performance in Pittsburgh. “There’s been big wins [with Hutton in goal], the same against Washington at home [a 4-3 win], a big point in St. Louis [5-4 shootout loss], but there’s been big wins and big points.”

Funny to note that, despite being out for three weeks, Rinne still leads the league in wins (29) and is second in Save Percentages at .931. Will he be rusty against Anaheim? Who knows, but there’s no better time than now to get him back in the net. Now you may celebrate!

Hutton Shines but Preds fall 2-1 in OT to Habs

Source:  John Mahoney

Source: John Mahoney

Are you still a little hot under the collar after last night’s game? You should be. Though the Predators came out with one point, they still lost in what could be the worst way possible: terrible calls from the officials. Both goals awarded to Montreal were brought on by fluky penalties called on Craig Smith (first a holding, then a tripping in OT). The Predators also lose their record of no back-to-back losses this season. Very frustrating, indeed.

Things to take away from this game:

  • Taylor Beck was indeed the odd man out for last night’s bout against the Canadiens, meaning Olli Jokinen is safe for another day.
  • Eric Nystrom, as expected, returned to the ice last night after being placed on the IR back on January 8th. Nystrom saw 13:41 minutes of ice time.
  • Mike Ribeiro notched his 10th goal of the season off a tip-in deflection from a Seth Jones shot. Ribeiro was drafted 45th overall by the Canadiens in the 1998 NHL Draft and spent the 1999-00 through 2005-06 seasons (including a few stints with Montreal’s AHL team and a stint in Finland during the 04-05 lockout) with Montreal. Needless to say, last night’s goal for him hit the sweet spot for this native of Montreal.
  • Seth Jones collected his 11th assist of the season on Ribeiro’s goal, along with Filip Forsberg who picked up his 25th assist. Forsberg know has 40 total points this season and continues to lead rookies in all categories.
  • Carter Hutton had his best game this season, hands down. Sure, he hasn’t gotten to see too much ice time, but with Pekka out, he has certainly stepped up when it mattered most. Check out this save below:

  • Though his record states 1-4-3, you cannot argue that this is truly a stat that undermines the true skill behind Carter Hutton. He blocked 25 of 27 shots, most of which were very Pekka-esque. Luck, sadly, just hasn’t been on his side so far.
  • Peter Laviolette had some choice words for the officials last night after that botched tripping call that lead to Montreal’s victory in OT. If you read lips, you know what the head coach is barking about (and he has every reason to do so):
  • Mike Ribeiro also went on record to express his feelings towards the refs:

The Predators are now 30-10-5, which – on the bright side – is a feat to be proud of in its own right. Unfortunately, it stings a little more when you’ve gotten spoiled on multiple victories. A game like Detroit’s on Saturday should’ve hit Nashville right in the gut – now that was a face-plant. Last night’s in Montreal, however, can be dealt to the zebras; the Predators dominated that entire game and did not pull a “Green Bay” and drop the ball in the last few moments of the game.

The Predators get a much needed hiatus due to the All-Star break and will be back here at home on Tuesday, January 27th to welcome in the Colorado Avalanche.

Preds sign Olli Jokinen to One-Year Contract

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The Internet’s most gifed (sp?) hockey player (IMO) has landed in the arms of the Nashville Predators. David Poile dipped his feet into the Free Agency Waters this afternoon, after missing out on the likes of Paul Stastny, who ended up going back home to St. Louis during yesterday’s debacle. Jokinen, who scored 18 goals & posted 43 points last season with the Winnipeg Jets, isn’t the first free agent that came to mind yesterday when free agency finally took effect; but don’t count him out as a David Poile dud. Jokinen, though 35, has a lot of spunk behind him and is still going strong, despite his numbers dropping (but hey, that’s what happens when you get older). And, if things don’t end up working out, DP got the waffle-loving center for only $2.5M and a one-year contract. Don’t shut down the computers yet, Preds fans; we have a feeling DP is still testing the water before the day’s over. Until the next move, here’s the infamous waffle gif of your newest Nashville Predator:
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Craig Smith joins SM-Liiga

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With no end in sight for the lockout, more and more players are making the jump to Europe, and now you can add Craig Smith to the list.

The Predators’ rookie phenom announced that he will be joining Finland’s SM-Liiga while the NHL and NHLPA continue to duke it out.

Smith is the fourth Predator to head overseas, including Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne, and Patric Hörnqvist.

Predators nab Nine Picks in 2012 NHL Draft

2012 NHL Draft

Though once thought a complete loss for the Predators, David Poile was able to work his magic at the last minute and seal Nashville with a few key draft picks in both the second and third rounds. Thanks to his maneuverability, the Predators picked up nine potential players yesterday in the 2012 NHL Draft. Here is a quick rundown of who Nashville nabbed and what they could bring in the future:

Pontus Aberg

Pontus Åberg – Predators first draft pick (37th overall)
Thanks to Poile’s slick trade move with Tampa Bay, the Nashville Predators were able to snag this young forward who is said to be the ninth best skater in the draft. Per scouting reports, Aberg has killer shooting accuracy, tremendous puck handling skills, and tends to pass the puck well (Trotz will like that). However, reports on consistency issues have been brought up, bring certain current players to mind (SK74). But, keep in mind, Aberg is tied to Swedish team Djugarden through the 2013-14 season, so the 19-year-old has plenty of time to outgrow any issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colton Sissons

Colton Sissons – Predators second draft pick (50th overall)
With their second pick in the draft, the Predators stepped away with another forward, this time Canadian Colton Sissons. Scouting reports have nothing but praise for this young Center, acknowledging his strong skating and defensive style, along with unique offensive characteristics. As the captain for the Kelowna Rockets, the trait of leadership shines with this kid, proving he’ll fit in just fine when he’s eventually called to Nashville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Vesey

 

 

 

Jimmy Vesey – Predators third draft pick (66th overall)
The Predators chose an Ivy League bounder with their third pick, nabbing Left Winger and Boston native, Jimmy Vesey. Vesey is slated to play for Harvard this upcoming season, but don’t let his brains fool you; the kid broke the EJHL single-season scoring record (48-43-91), winning league MVP, and taking home the Bruins’ John Carlton Award for combining exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence. In his recent draft interview, Vesey stated that he looks up to Mike Fisher and has a thing for Country music. Sounds like, once makes his move to the NHL, Vesey will do just fine here.

 

Brendan Leipsic

Brendan Leipsic – Predators fourth draft pick (89th overall)
The Predators did a little trading with the New York Rangers to get their fourth pick, trading their 3rd Round pick in next year’s draft for a Canadian Left Winger, Brendan Leipsic. Currently on the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks roster, Leipsic is known for three attributes: speed, skating, and energy. However, similar to Aberg, Leipsic is prone to a bit of inconsistency at times. But, with his aggressive style and physical nature, Leipsic is bound to be a top forward at some point in his career.

 

 

 

 

Zach Stepan

Zachary Stepan – Predators fifth draft pick (112th overall)
Does his last name sound familiar? If you’re a fan of the New York Rangers, perhaps it does. Cousin to Derek Stepan, Zachary is blazing his own trail, even stating that he has been following the Predators for about two years now, impressed with how far the franchise has come. Stepan has trained under the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program, the same one that brought up Sidney Crosby. Speed, strength, and control keep this kid flying high on the radar, despite his small frame. His aggressiveness towards bigger players reminds us of a one, Francis Bouillon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikko Vainonen

Mikko Vainonen – Predators sixth draft pick (118th overall)
With a name like Mikko, you must have guessed Nashville’s sixth draft pick hails from Finland. As Nashville’s first defenseman pick of the draft, Vainonen brings a lot to the table as defenseman go. At over 200 lbs, slow and steady is not an option for this Finn; Speed and his excellent stickwork make this kid a force to be reckoned with. However, as far as scouting reports go, most do not see this 18-year-old as more than just a puck pusher, but (being the age he is) he will have plenty of time to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Fernholm

Simon Fernholm – Predators seventh draft pick (164th overall)
Yet another Swede to add to the Predators potential roster is defenseman, Simon Fernholm. At 187 lbs, the young Swede will need some time to grow into his defenseman position, but again, time will help build his character as an NHLer.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Görtz

Max Görtz – Predators eighth draft pick (172nd overall)
…And the Predators pick up another Swede with their eighth pick, Right Winger Maz Gortz from Swedish team, Färjestad. Gortz is a large forward, with a good release and solid technical skills. He will stay with Färjestad at least another season.

 

 

 

 

Marek Mazanec

Marek Mazanec – Predators ninth draft pick (179th overall)
With the parting of Anders Lindback, the Predators chose, with their final pick of the draft, a goalie from the Czech Republic by the name of Marek Mazanec. At 6’4″, we’re pretty positive this Czech goalie is well on his way to fitting in just fine amongst the organization’s goalies.

 

 

 

 

You won’t have to wait too long to see how these nine draft picks match with one another, as the Predators Prospect Camp starts this week at Centennial Sportsplex. All in all, we would conclude that Nashville had a very successful draft day and that maybe, just maybe, David Poile should get a little pat on the back.