Preds of the World(s)

worlds

Now that the season has officially ended (whether we want to cope with it or not), some of the Predators aren’t finished hitting the rinks just yet. Six – thus far – of Nashville’s players will be taking off to the Czech Republic to represent their home countries in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Here’s who we have thus far:

TEAM SUOMI (FINLAND): PEKKA RINNE
Pekka+Rinne+St+Louis+Blues+v+Nashville+Predators+lU_OAyWhMXml

  • Pekka was named to the World Championship All-Star team in 2014 and also won MVP that year as well.

TEAM SUISSE (SWITZERLAND): ROMAN JOSI & KEVIN FIALA
swiss

  • Kevin Fiala may be young, but he is no stranger to Team Switzerland. Fiala has competed for Suisse in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Roman Josi has a number of accolades from participation with Team Switzerland, including IIHF World Champion MVP, Silver Medalist, Media All-Star Team, and Best Defenseman in 2013.

TEAM USA: Seth Jones
hi-res-185715087-seth-jones-of-the-nashville-predators-skates-against_crop_exact

  • Seth Jones, like Kevin Fiala, is no stranger to the IIHF Worlds for Team USA. Jones helped lead Team USA to gold medals in 2011 (WJC18), 2012 (WJC18), and 2013 (WJC). He played alongside teammate Craig Smith last year and helped bring Team USA to 6th place.

tre kronor (sweden): filip forsberg & mattias ekholm
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  • Filip Forsberg has never seen less than second place while suited up for Tre Kronor, winning the silver medal in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Forsberg helped lead his World Juniors team to overall victory in 2012. In 2014, Forsberg was named World Junior Best Forward and MVP. Surprisingly, this will be Forsberg’s first bout away from World Juniors.
  • Mattias Ekholm has had as lucrative of a career with Tre Kronor has Forsberg has, but he did help Sweden collect the bronze medal last year.

Since the tournament officially begins Friday, I do not if any other Predators will be added to their country’s rosters, but who knows.

As I mentioned, the tournament kicks off Friday with Team Latvia vs. Team Canada (4:15PM) and Team Czech vs. Team Sweden (8:15PM) in the O2 Arena and Team USA vs. Team Finland (4:15PM) and Team Russia vs. Team Norway (8:15PM) in the CEZ Arena. Let me elaborate on those puck drop times, too. Those times would be relevant to those within the Czech timezone; the Czech Republic is seven hours ahead of the Central Timezone. Needless to say, the first games would start at 9:15AM our time, and the second games would start at 1:15PM. Here’s a TV listing of where you can view the games:

Date Game Network Game time (CT)
Fri., May 1 Team USA vs. Finland NBCSN (live) 9 a.m.
Sat., May 2 Team USA vs. Norway NBCSN (delay at 10 p.m.) 1 p.m.
Mon., May 4 Team USA vs. Russia NBCSN (live) 9 a.m.
Thur., May 7 Team USA vs. Belarus NBCSN (live) 9 a.m.
Fri., May 8 Team USA vs. Denmark NBCSN (live) 1 p.m.
Sun., May 10 Team USA vs. Slovenia NBCSN (delay at 2 p.m.) 10 a.m.
Tue., May 12 Team USA vs. Slovakia NBCSN (live) 10 a.m.
Thu., May 14 IIHF Quarterfinals NBCSN (live) 8 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 9 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 10:30 a.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 12 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 1 p.m.
IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 10:30 p.m.
Sat., May 16 IIHF Semifinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 8:30 a.m.
IIHF Semifinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 12 p.m.
Sun., May 17 IIHF Bronze Medal Game Live Extra app, TV TBD 11 a.m.
IIHF Gold Medal Game NBCSN (live) 1:30 p.m.

I’ll update this list if anything changes or if any new players are added to their country’s rosters.

The Age of Swede (in Nashville)

Getty Images/Zimbio.com

Getty Images/Zimbio.com – Left: Calle Jarnkrok, Right: Filip Forsberg

With the regular season coming to a close, most Preds fans have given up on the hopes of clinching a playoff spot. Though mathematically, the Preds still have an itty bitty, miniscule chance, but unless you are a betting man or an overly optimistic person, you’ve pretty much come to terms that, for the fifteenth year, the Predators will be Cup-less. It has also been excruciatingly difficult to handle (as a fan) the onslaught of opposing fans over-running the Bridgestone Arena, bashing the home team and drowning out the voices of the remaining faithful. But alas, that is a story for a different time. Right now, I am here to relay some optimism; optimism in the form of 20-something Swedes.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch to say ice hockey is pretty popular in Sweden. Tre Kronor (Team Sweden) is a dominant force when it comes to IIHF World Championships (9 gold medals/19 silver/16 bronze since 1920) and the Olympics (2 gold medals/3 silver/4 bronze since 1920) and those figures do not include the junior or women’s teams over the years. Surprisingly though, there aren’t as many Swedes in the NHL as you would think. There are (as of 9:44am on 3/27/14 & not including farm teams) 51 Swede holding roster spots amongst the 30 teams in the NHL, which averages out to about 2 Swedes per team (that has a Swede). Detroit should be renamed Stockholm as it employees the most Swedes at nine. Everyone but the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Penguins, Stars, Oilers, Panthers, Kings, and Sharks have Swedes. Nashville has had its fair share of Swedes in the past fifteen years, with Viktor Stalberg, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Ekholm, and Calle Jarnkrok holding roster spots at the given moment; Filip Forsberg and Patrick Cehlin currently round out the Milwaukee Admirals roster.

While a veteran like Patric Hornqvist remains at the top of his game (14 goals, 25 assists 2013/14 season), it’s young-guns like Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg who will continue the tradition of Swedish dominance. Both Filip Forsberg and Calle Järnkrok were acquired within trades – Forsberg was claimed from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in April 2013 & Jarnkrok (along with Patrick Eaves) was picked up from the Detroit Red Wings for David Legwand – and, you can disagree with many of David Poile’s choices, but the man clearly got the better deal in both trades.

It tends to be frustrating to fans that Filip Forsberg spends more time on planes than on the ice, constantly being called up and sent back down to Milwaukee. His outstanding performance in the World Juniors tournament had fans threatening a mob if he wasn’t brought back to Nashville (4 goals, 8 assists/silver medal), but alas, he has still flipped back and forth. It is sometimes hard to remember that Forsberg is only 19-years-old and made his NHL debut with Nashville last season (Detroit won 3-0); he still has plenty of time to adjust to the system and I would almost put money on a bet that he’ll have a more permanent roster position with the Predators next season. With the Admirals this season, Filip Forsberg has 10 goals and 17 assists.

Calle Jarnkrok is the newest Swede to board the dingy that is the Predators organization, but he’s come out blazing with three assists in the three games he’s appeared with Nashville. He’s quick, but controlled; his puck-handling skills put Colin Wilson to shame. He also does not shy from pressure what-so-ever. Usually Craig Smith or Matt Cullen, Jarnkrok was given the task of first at bat for the shootout against the Colorado Avalanche last Tuesday. Though Nashville eventually lost to the Avs (thanks to another Swede – Gabriel Landeskog), Jarnkrok scored in his first NHL shootout. He may share the same love of hairstyle with Sergei Kostitsyn, but he is a far cry from that Belorussian blunder.  Hopefully, Jarnkrok can teach fellow Swede, Viktor Stalberg to slow his roll and control his speed and the puck. I also hope the ‘Way of Trotz’ does not seep into the youngster, killing his game altogether.

You know their names: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Niklas Backstrom, Gabriel Landeskog, Henrik Zetterberg, Peter Forsberg, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Lidstrom, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and so forth. The Swedes are here to stay in the NHL and Nashville needs to collect as many as they can get. Along with an IKEA; we need one of those, too.

——

Med den ordinarie säsongen närmar sig sitt slut , har de flesta Preds fans gett upp hoppet om att fästa en slutspelsplats . Även matematiskt , de Preds har fortfarande en Itty Bitty , världsdelen chans , men om du inte är en vadslagning man eller en alltför optimistisk person , du har ganska mycket komma till rätta som för femtonde året kommer rovdjuren bli Cup – mindre . Det har också varit otroligt svårt att hantera ( som en fläkt ) angrepp av motsatta fans över kör Bridgestone Arena , bashing hemmalaget och drunkna ut röster återstående trogna . Men tyvärr , det är en historia för en annan tid . Just nu är jag här för att vidarebefordra viss optimism , optimism i form av 20 -någonting svenskar .

Det skulle inte vara en långt sträcka att säga ishockey är ganska populärt i Sverige . Tre Kronor ( Team Sweden ) är en dominerande kraft när det kommer till IIHF-VM ( 9 guld medals/19 silver/16 brons sedan 1920 ) och OS ( 2 ​​guldmedaljer / 3 silver / 4 brons sedan 1920 ) och dessa siffror gör inte inkludera junior eller damlag under åren. Förvånansvärt Men det finns inte så många svenskar i NHL som man kan tro . Det finns ( som av 09:44 på 3/27/14 & exklusive jordbruks lag ) 51 Swede håller rosterfläckar bland de 30 lag i NHL , som i genomsnitt ut till ca 2 svenskar per lag ( som har en svensk ) . Detroit bör döpas Stockholm eftersom den anställda flest svenskar vid nio . Alla men Islanders , Blue Jackets , Penguins, Stars , Oilers , Panthers, Kings och Sharks har svenskar . Nashville har haft sin beskärda del av svenskarna under de senaste femton åren , med Viktor Stålberg , Patric Hörnqvist , Mattias Ekholm och Calle Järnkrok håller rosterfläckar vid given tidpunkt , Filip Forsberg och Patrick Cehlin runda för närvarande ut i Milwaukee Admirals deltagarlistan .

Medan en veteran som Patric Hörnqvist är fortfarande på toppen av hans spel ( 14 mål , 25 assist 2013/14 säsongen ) , det är unga – gevär som Calle Järnkrok och Filip Forsberg som kommer att fortsätta traditionen av svenska dominans . Både Filip Forsberg och Calle Järnkrok förvärvats inom handel – Forsberg hävdades från Washington Capitals för Martin Erat och Michael Latta i April 2013 & Järnkrok ( tillsammans med Patrick Eaves ) plockades från Detroit Red Wings för David Legwand – och , du kan inte håller med många av David Poile s val , men mannen fick klart bättre affär i båda branscher .

Det tenderar att vara frustrerande för fans som Filip Forsberg tillbringar mer tid på plan än på isen , ständigt ringde upp och skickas tillbaka till Milwaukee . Hans enastående prestanda i World Juniors turneringen hade fans hotar en pöbel om han inte kom tillbaka till Nashville ( 4 mål , 8 assist / silver ) , men tyvärr , han har fortfarande bläddrade fram och tillbaka . Det är ibland svårt att komma ihåg att Forsberg är bara 19 år gammal och gjorde sin NHL-debut med Nashville förra säsongen ( Detroit vann med 3-0 ) , han har fortfarande gott om tid att anpassa sig till systemet och jag skulle nästan sätta pengar på en satsning som han kommer att ha en mer permanent roster läge med Predators nästa säsong . Med Admirals den här säsongen , har Filip Forsberg 10 mål och 17 assist .

Calle Järnkrok är den nyaste svensken att gå ombord på jolleseglare som är Predators organisation , men han har kommit ut flammande med tre assist i de tre matcher han dök med Nashville . Han är snabb , men kontrollerad , hans puckhanteringfärdigheter satte Colin Wilson på skam . Han gör dessutom inte blyg från tryck vad – så – någonsin. Vanligtvis Craig Smith och Matt Cullen , Järnkrok fick i uppdrag att först på slagträet för straffar mot Colorado Avalanche i tisdags . Även Nashville till slut förlorade med Avs ( tack vare en annan svensk – Gabriel Landeskog ) , Järnkrok gjorde mål i sin första NHL- straffar. Han kan dela samma kärlek till frisyr med Sergei Kostitsyn , men han är långt ifrån det vitryska blunder . Förhoppningsvis kan Järnkrok undervisa karl svensk, Viktor Stålberg att sakta sin rulle och kontrollera sin hastighet och pucken . Jag hoppas också att ” Way of Trotz ” inte tränger in i unge och dödade hans spel helt och hållet.

Du vet deras namn : Henrik Lundqvist , Niklas Kronwall , Daniel och Henrik Sedin , Niklas Bäckström , Gabriel Landeskog , Henrik Zetterberg , Peter Forsberg , Oliver Ekman – Larsson , Daniel Alfredsson , Niklas Lidström , Alexander Steen , Loui Eriksson , och så vidare . Svenskarna är här för att stanna i NHL och Nashville måste samla så många som de kan få . Tillsammans med en IKEA , vi behöver en av dem också.

 

Roman Josi & Simon Moser added to Swiss Olympic Roster

Top: Roman Josi, Bottom: Simon Moser

Top: Roman Josi, Bottom: Simon Moser

While there won’t be any Predators on Team USA, Roman Josi and Simon Moser will be represnting Nashville on the Swiss Olympic team in Sochi this February.

Josi already has experience in the Olympics, being named to the roster back in the 2010 Winter Olympics and has represented Switzerland in multiple IIHF tournaments, including being named MVP and Top Defenseman of the 2013 IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Simon Moser is new to the Olympic roster, but has been quite impressive for Nashville’s farm team this season, the Milwaukee Admirals. Moser has, thus far, 15 points with six goals and nine assists. Though no experience with the Olympics, Moser was apart of the 2012 IIHF Swiss team, but tore his ACL and ended his season as quickly as it began.

Hockey Season Officially Ends for the Predators

Surely SK74 and Patric Hornqvist aren’t going at it? Picture from the 2010 Olympics.

With Slovakia ending the Czech Republic’s run at the championship 3-1 in the semifinals, all of Nashville’s players have been eliminated from the IIHF World Championship. The Predators had a good amount of players who jumped on board after the post season, despite going into Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here’s a final rundown of who played for who:

Team Belarus – Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn
Team Switzerland – Roman Josi
Team Sweden – Patric Hornqvist
Team USA – Craig Smith
Team Czech – Martin Erat

Andrei, Sergei, Roman, Craig, Martin, and Patric

Team Belarus and the Kostitsyn brothers were first to be knocked out of the tournament, falling to Team Canada 5-1 on Tuesday, May 15th. Sergei Kostitsyn did manage to collect a goal during his short run in the tournament. Also on Tuesday, Craig Smith and Team USA eliminated Roman Josi and Team Switzerland 5-2. On Thursday, Team Finland overthrew Team USA to advance 3-2, knocking out rookie Craig Smith.  Martin Erat, who notched a goal against Team Sweden, eliminated Patric Hornqvist and Tre Kronor 4-3.

As of yesterday’s game between Team Slovakia and Team Czech, Marty “Party” Erat was the only Predator left in the running for the gold. Unfortunately, Erat was sidelined early in the semifinal game, leaving the ice during the 1st Period after a shoulder check by Slovakia’s Libor Hudáček. Here’s the video from the game:

It was announced by Czech GM Slava Lener that Martin Erat does have a concussion, which could potentially affect the Predators in the upcoming season. Although the 2012-13 season is a little over five months away, concussions are a bit of mystery when it comes to treating them properly. That, and Martin Erat’s history of concussions is virtually unknown, so the way his body handles the healing process of a concussion will be on a day-to-day basis.

Martin Erat, though his a bit more serious, was not the only player injured during the World Championship. Sergei Kostitsyn dislocated his shoulder during the match between Team Canada after being hit by Kris Russell, a currently St. Louis Blues defenseman. As stated, although not as serious as Erat’s concussion, Kostitsyn will have to sit back a while to let it properly heal.

UPDATE ON ERAT CONDITION:
Martin Erat’s agent, Mike Deutsch has just announced that, despite what Czech GM Slava Lener stated earlier, Erat did not suffer a concussion and is simply suffering from a ‘stiff neck’. Good news for both Martin Erat and the Nashville Predators, but we will keep you updated in case the story changes once again. 

Hockey has officially ended for Smashville, but hockey altogether is still chugging along, wether our favorite players are on the ice or not. Now that all is done, it’s now time for the part of the off-season everyone dreads: Who stays and who goes…

Martin Erat being helped off the ice.

Sergei Kostitsyn seeks Long-Term Contract with Nashville

Sergei taking a break during practice.

Sergei Kostitsyn, or SK74 as he is affectionately called, is what is known as a “young gun, rebel” type… or, at least, he was. Sergei has worn the Predators jersey for two seasons now and, although they’ve heard the many of rumors, Nashville has never seen the rebel, immature side of the 25-year-old Forward from Belarus.

A 7th Round Pick in the 2005 Draft at the tender age of 18, Sergei was a bit of a diamond in the rough. The potential was clearly there (he wouldn’t have even been considered for the NHL if it hadn’t), just a little masked by insecurity and a lack of confidence in himself. SK74 was drafted by the  Montréal Canadiens, the same team that found potential in older brother, Andrei Kostitsyn.

As most former Habs players have admitted, finding the perfect fit in Montréal is a bit challenging, and with his lack of confidence and insecurity, Sergei found himself fighting to stay above water. In frustration, Kostitsyn did whatever he thought would get himself more attention, and potentially more ice time. However, acting out and bad behavioral issues wasn’t the direction the young Forward wanted to walk down, especially alone.

Missing the bus to a preseason game in 2009, being suspended for not reporting to Montréal’s AHL farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs; Sergei and fellow teammate, goaltender Carey Price even got into an argument about Sergei’s lack of effort and commitment to the team. Montréal and Sergei Kostitsyn were clashing, and both the NHL and the KHL were watching.

Though his behavioral issues out-shined his potential as a great player at times, one team saw past the frustration and immaturity that comes with being a young, ice-deprived hockey player. The Nashville Predators traded Dustin Boyd and Dan Ellis in the off-season of 2010, giving the Belorussian a chance at a fresh start.

Both Coach Barry Trotz and General Manager David Poile worked with Sergei, highlighting both his strong and weak spots, instead of letting him fall the the wayside like he had with the Habs. Two seasons later, Sergei Kostitsyn found himself on the top line along with Mike Fisher and Martin Erat, and notched his first career Hat Trick on January 1st.

However, Sergei still had his off moments in both the 2011-12 season and post season. Lack of confidence still plagues the young Belorussian, causing him to miss key passes, shots, and goals. Although he performed well during the Detroit series in the playoffs, SK74 struggled in the Phoenix series, being replaced on the top line by Colin Wilson.

After two season, Sergei Kostitsyn has expressed his desires to be signed to a long-term contract by Nashville, the one team who he was nestled with soundly. No word if SK74’s agent has met with the club yet, but the deadline to tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents is June 29th, giving both sides a little over a month to come to a decision.

Recently, both Sergei and older brother Andrei jumped on board with Team Belarus for the IIHF World Championship. Although Belarus was recently knocked out by Team Canada, Sergei was able to score a goal in his short time with his country’s team. However, Sergei collided with Team Canada’s Kris Russell yesterday, separating his shoulder. Team Belarus Head Coach, Kari Heikkilä stated that Sergei will be all right, but will need to rest for one to two weeks.

Looking back at his issues with Montréal, it’s clear why Sergei wishes to stay with the Nashville Predators. Not only has Nashville worked one-on-one with SK74, tweaking and fine-tuning his value, the club has become both a home and family to Sergei. Nashville has just begun polishing this diamond in the rough, and Sergei Kostitsyn wants to shine brighter.


Here’s a highlight video of today’s (15 May 2012) IIHF tournament games. You can see Sergei’s goal against Canada at the beginning of the video.

Predators seek Ice Time in IIHF World Championship

Roman Josi will hit the ice with Team Switzerland.

The playoffs and hopes of a Stanley Cup in Nashville are over for the Predators, but for some of the players, a chance at a championship isn’t quite over. As teams have slowly but surely been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL players have been packing up and heading to Europe to compete with their country’s national team for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship.

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Yevgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) quickly joined up with Team Russia once eliminated, along with notable Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara joining Team Slovakia. Corey Perry (Anaheim), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Patrick Sharp (Chicago) and Alexandre Burrows (Vancouver) hopped aboard Team Canada, along with Jimmy Howard (Detroit) and Bobby Ryan (Anaheim) joining Team USA.

With sixteen countries represented, almost all have some support from an NHL player, minus France, Latvia, Italy, and Kazakhstan. If you’d like to check out who’s representing who, check out the IIHF website. However, since being eliminated on Monday night by the Phoenix Coyotes, members of the Nashville Predators have been stepping up for their respected national teams and continuing their time on the ice.

The rookies have proven they aren’t ready for off-season, with defenseman Roman Josi jumping on board with Team Switzerland and forward Craig Smith joining Team USA. Martin Erat is in the works with joining Team Czech Republic, along with Andrei and Sergei negotiating with Team Belarus. More Predators players are suspected to join their respected countries as the week goes on.

The IIHF World Championship tournament is going on now until May 20th, in both Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Update: Just as we expected, another Predator has joined the IIHF for the World Championship. Patric Hornqvist has hopped on board with Team Sweden. We will keep you updated as new players join their country’s team.