Preds release NHL Expansion Draft Protected List

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UPDATE: More players have been added to the exposed list as of 11:20AM CST.

After pushing the release of the lists back by thirty minutes, the NHL officially allowed us commoners to see who teams protected… and who they did not. By no surprise, the great debate between James Neal and Calle Jarnkrok has left the Real Deal exposed along with a few others that were expected.

Exposed Players:

  • James Neal
  • Matt Irwin
  • Colton Sissons
  • Craig Smith
  • Colin Wilson
  • Cody McLeod
  • Yannick Weber
  • Marek Mazanec
  • Pontus Aberg
  • Cody Bass
  • Vernon Fiddler (UFA)
  • Mike Fisher (UFA)
  • P.A. Parenteau (UFA)
  • Adam Payerl
  • Mike Ribeiro
  • Miikka Salomaki
  • Trevor Smith
  • Austin Watson
  • Harry Zolnierczyk
  • Taylor Aronson
  • Anthony Bitetto
  • Stefan Elliott
  • Brad Hunt
  • Andew O’Brien
  • Adam Pardy
  • Petter Granberg
  • Jaynen Rissling
  • Scott Valentine

Protected Players:

  • Viktor Arvidsson
  • Filip Forsberg
  • Calle Jarnkrok
  • Ryan Johansen
  • Mattias Ekholm
  • Ryan Ellis
  • Roman Josi
  • P.K. Subban
  • Pekka Rinne

If you are freaking out about Neal (or anyone else) being exposed, as I mentioned in my previous post, that doesn’t automatically mean he’s headed to Vegas. Now that the exposed players have been released, teams can negotiate trades between the Golden Knights to attempt to protect these particular players. However, David Poile will more than likely have an uphill battle when it comes to negotiating with Las Vegas General Manager George McPhee (see Erat/Latta for Forsberg trade).

Wondering about Nashville’s other players? Here’s the list of the Predators’ exempt players from the Expansion Draft:

  • Kevin Fiala
  • Frederick Gaudreau
  • Vladislav Kamenev
  • Juuse Saros

UPDATE: It has now been acknowledged that Pontus Aberg, Mike Fisher, P.A. Parenteau, Vernon Fiddler, and Petter Granberg are not exempt from the expansion draft. It is important to note that Fisher, Fiddler, and Parenteau are all free agents, which means Vegas could go ahead and sign these players (the rest of the league has to wait until July 1st). However, if Vegas were to sign one of Nashville’s free agents, that would count as their expansion draft pick leaving the rest of the exposed players (like Neal, Watson, and Aberg) to stay with Nashville.

To see who the other teams in the league protected and exposed, here is the list from the NHL. So, what are your thoughts? Do you think GMDP can manage to work out a deal to save Neal? Whatever the case, there is no denying that George McPhee has the best seat in the house for this expansion draft and is soaking up every second of it.

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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.

OT woes continue to plague Preds in 2-1 loss against MTL

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Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Although it was a bittersweet night with the return of Shea Weber to Nashville since being traded to Montreal for P.K. Subban in the off-season, it wasn’t how the Predators had hoped to start 2017 and the second half of the season. The 3-on-3 OT format has been in place since last season, and while the rest of the league has generally figured it out, Nashville just hasn’t seemed to get it down. In fact, Nashville’s OT/SO record since the start of last season is 7-20. Woof.

However, it’s that continuous inconsistency that forces the Predators into that all too familiar scenario that is the overtime loss. Nashville’s lone goal was notched by Kevin Fiala with less than a minute left in the second period, his sixth of the season. Fiala’s backhander was assisted by Ryan Ellis (9) and Roman Josi (15). It wouldn’t take long before Shea Weber would come knocking, collecting his 10th goal of the season with the assistance of former (and not so welcomed) Predator, Alexander Radulov. It’s almost like he doesn’t know how not to score in Bridgestone Arena.

While Nashville would push Montreal beyond regulation (which used to be considered a good thing), overtime would yet again deny Nashville of the much needed win and two points. Captain Max Pacioretty would seal Nashville’s OT fate for his 16th goal of the season. Let it also be known that Radulov assisted on this goal as well (his 20th overall).

Despite this loss, Nashville’s penalty kill looked rather decent, with the Predators denying the Habs four times throughout the match. Montreal gave Nashville three chances at the man advantage, but prevented them from ever getting a chance at net. Oh yeah, and Carey Price is a stud. And yet, so is Pekka Rinne. As Peter Laviolette mentioned after the game:

Of the 45 shots on net from Montreal last night, Pekka Rinne stopped all but two. Carey Price only faced 24 from Nashville. While some would rather argue that Juuse Saros should be given more ice time (and I don’t disagree – to an extent), Rinne is still Nashville’s veteran and starting goaltender; and pardon my French here, but he’s still damn good. Saros will be an outstanding successor for Rinne but for now, he’s just that; the future. He probably should see a little bit more ice time, but that’s a debate for another day.

Nashville has no time to pout about their former captain stealing the show; it’s onward to Florida to face the 19-16-4 Tampa Bay Lightning. At this point, the Predators have no time left to revel over poor performance; just time to recoup and continue seeking the solution to their inconsistency before the playoffs are out of reach.

Let me leave you on a rather heartwarming note with Nashville’s tribute video to Shea Weber. A TV timeout just wasn’t enough time to convey what Weber has done for Nashville and the growth of hockey in our city. So many lives have been impacted positively by your actions both on and off the ice. Truly, there are not enough thank yous that can be said to express how grateful we are. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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Saros earns first NHL career shutout; blank Blues 4-0

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As I mentioned previously, the Predators needed to feed off the frustration that mounted in last night’s loss against Chicago and boy, did they.

While the first period saw no net action, Nashville did prevent St. Louis from advancing on two power play chances thanks to some handy penalty kill work. Nashville would begin its onslaught of goals in the second period, starting with Yannick Weber at 4:52 for his first goal this season (and within the Predators organization). Craig Smith (7) and Mike Ribeiro (16) would assist on Weber’s first goal.

Filip Forsberg would answer the call at 7:26 on the power play to give Nashville a 2-0 lead for his 8th goal of the season. Mike Ribeiro (17) and Ryan Johansen (20) would pick up the assists.

While Weber and Forsberg’s goals were wonderful gifts from the hockey gods, it would be Viktor Arvidsson’s dirty wrister that would steal the show:

Viktor Arvidsson, who was been quite the shining star for Nashville, earns his 10th goal of the season, assisted by Matt Irwin (5) and Mike Fisher (10).

Carter Hutton was brought in at the beginning of the third period to relieve Jake Allen between the posts, but could not stop Colin Wilson from netting his 6th goal of the season on the power play at 8:08. Wilson’s wrister was assisted by Filip Forsberg (15) and Ryan Ellis (8).

While St. Louis would be given one extra power play chance at 13:14, rookie goaltender Juuse Saros would keep the Blues at bay, earning his first career NHL shutout. Saros, who has shined as Nashville’s backup, further proved tonight that he will be the future between the posts for the Predators. But leave it to Pekka to have us all a little misty eyed as he congratulates his apprentice on his shutout:

After a tough loss against the Blackhawks last night, tonight’s shutout against the Blues certainly has the potential to set things straight for Nashville and its hopes for a playoff run. If anything, it is a great way to end the first half of the 2016-17 season and, likewise, opens up the Predators to a fresh start in 2017.

Next up, Shea Weber and the Montreal Canadiens come to town on Tuesday, January 3rd at 7PM. Hopefully, P.K. Subban will be ready to face his former team as we celebrate Nashville’s former captain and defensive rock.

 

Off-Season Presser: Who’s In, Who’s Out

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

While Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay duke it out and St. Louis and San Jose press on, here in Nashville our thoughts are focused on off-season changes. General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette met with the media today to address trials and tribulations of the 2015-16 season, post season, and what should be expected from the organization through the off-season and into the next season.

Both Poile and Laviolette addressed the disappoint Game 7 loss against the San Jose Sharks, but praised the city of Nashville for the passion shown for the team throughout the playoff push:

While the disappointing loss still stings just a wee bit, most have moved onto more pressing matters such as the status of certain players. From the presser today, this is what we know:

  • Paul Gaustad will not be returning. A 34-year-old UFA, it was only a matter of time before Gaustad was replaced with a younger center.
  • Colton Sissons may be that replacement. Totted as Gaustad’s “heir apparent” in the conference today by David Poile, Sissons notched four goals and two assists this past season, which earned him some playoff time as well.
  • Eric Nystrom will either be bought out or traded. Yes, the Nystrom Show will have to find another host (and another name) next season. While in his first season he notched 21 points (15 of which were goals) in 2013-14, the past two seasons haven’t been as fruitful (just 19 points combined). Needless to say, Poile would like to attempt a trade with another organization, but will not hesitate to buy out the 36-year-old to free up space for someone younger.
  • Poile would like to keep Carter Hutton. Well yeah, me too, Poile (thanks for having me guys), but thinking from a hockey standpoint, it may be time to bring up either Marek Mazanec or Juuse Saros to possibly become – dare I say – Pekka’s replacement. It wouldn’t be the worst decision ever if Poile and Hutton’s agent can come to an agreement, but anything more than a year might be pushing it for the young guns lying in wait.
  • Contract negotiations: Calle Jarnkrok. David Poile mentioned that he hopes to begin contract negotiations with Jarnkrok “right away”. Jarnkrok, who was Nashville’s gain in a trade with Detroit for David Legwand, has proven his worth within the organization; perhaps it’s because he’s Swedish. Swedes are good. I mean, the kid missed one game in the regular season and totaled 30 points. Saying he’s worth having around is truly an understatement.
  • Contract negotiations: Filip Forsberg. Well, there’s no doubt somehow, someway, David Poile and Filip Forsberg will come to an agreement on a contract this off-season… and possibly a lengthy one at that.
  • Gabriel Bourque has an update. Yes, Gabriel Bourque. Injured back in November, Bourque has been working hard to get back into the lineup but a persistent UBI has kept him sidelined. Per Poile, Bourque has seen some improvement (noted that he could’ve hit the lineup if the Preds had made the Western Conference Finals) and hopes to find him a place with the team in the future.
  • Cody Bass will be re-signed. With Nystrom and Gaustad out of the future picture, Bass will be needed to fill that void on the fourth-line. Not exactly known for being a huge scorer, his presence is certainly felt both on and off the ice in positive aspects, so – as mentioned – he will be needed in the near future.
  • Ribeiro has some work to do. David Poile noted that Mike Ribeiro will need to have the “summer of his life” this off-season. I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Poile.

So, there you have it. Hopefully that was enough Predators information to last you for a little while until your cravings start to hit again. If you aren’t too familiar with the off-season, it stays rather busy. The 2016 NHL Draft will be held on June 24-25, which will bring plenty of buzz before and after the picks are in.

Preds slide by Oilers 4-1

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Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After starting off the road trip 1-0-0 on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, the Predators moved onward to “Oil Country”, hoping to extend that victory streak. Though two wins in a row doesn’t sound like a big deal, Nashville hasn’t notched a back-to-back win since December 19th against the Wild and December 21st against the Canadiens. That’s over a month. Not fun. But the Predators were in the right frame of mind last night, tackling the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Considering the last road trip ended 0-3-1, which was two weeks ago, last night’s win against the Oilers may be the boost Nashville needs to power out of their rut. Let’s hope so.

Goaltending has been a concern as of late for Nashville as they struggle to find the source behind this immeasurable rut and Pekka Rinne’s performance – or lack thereof – has been a bit of a head-scratcher. Of course, goalies are subject to losing their “groove” just like any other player would, but goalies tend to fall under the microscope the most, given that they are the last line of defense for your respective team. If your goaltender is struggling, the rest of the team has to step up by a ten fold. Unfortunately for Nashville, the Predators are notorious for counting on Rinne to erase their mistakes (i.e. the nickname “The Eraser”), so when he’s down, so too, can the team. While Carter Hutton is a decent backup, if the Predators continue to rely so heavily on his (Rinne) performance, it might be time to start the process of prepping a solidified backup. Juuse Saros and Marek Mazanec are both lying in wait, but one of them – preferably Mazanec – will need to be conditioned before making the transition from the AHL  to the NHL for good.

But, to everyone’s relief, Pekka Rinne found his groove last night and stopped 23 of 24 shots-on-goal, giving Nashville the 4-1 victory. Again, if we are feeling relieved when Rinne does well, does that ultimately mean the organization knows there might be a goaltending issue?

But, let’s not jump too far down that rabbit hole just yet. Perhaps we are just slapping a band-aid over a gaping wound, but for now, it suffices. However, this issue will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Moving onward, Mattias Ekholm led the charge last night, scoring two of the four goals – one that tied the game and one that gave Nashville the lead. With those two goals, Ekholm reached a career high in points (7g, 13a), something this Swede undeniably deserves.

Speaking of Swedes, Filip Forsberg also hit a milestone by notching his 100th career point (he gained 17th assist on Ekholm’s power play goal and notched the empty-netter). Rounding out the goals, Mike Fisher collected his sixth of the season on the 4×4.

As I mentioned previously, this road trip is turning out to be much better than the last (even if they lost the last two games, it’d still be a better outcome) with this 2-0-0 count. The Predators now move onward to British Columbia to take on the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at 9PM (lots o’ coffee for Wednesday).

Preds Rookie Camp Details

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Image Source: Google Images

Happy last Friday of August, everyone! As this month comes to a close, we are just a few weeks from the most glorious time of the year converging amongst us! But first, let’s talk Rookie Camp, which opens on Thursday, September 10th. Here’s a little info from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that Nashville Predators prospects will report to town on Thursday, Sept. 10 before heading to Estero, Fla., the following day for a Rookie Tournament against teams from the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals from Sept. 12-15 at Germain Arena.

The Predators team, comprised of signed and unsigned draft picks, free-agent signings and free-agent tryouts, will be coached by Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) Head Coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Stan Drulia. Among the 24 players scheduled to participate are first-round pick Kevin Fiala (11th overall in 2014), second-round selections Pontus Aberg (2012), Jack Dougherty (2014), Vladislav Kamenev (2014) and Yakov Trenin (2015), as well as goaltending prospect Juuse Saros making his North American professional debut.

The games and camp will precede the opening of 2015 Training Camp, which occurs Sept. 17, with physicals and team meetings. The Predators’ first day on the ice will be Friday, Sept. 18 at Centennial Sportsplex and they will play six preseason contests from Sept. 20-Oct. 3, including four at home (Sept. 20 vs. Florida (doubleheader), Sept. 23 vs. Tampa Bay and Sept. 29 vs. Columbus).

And now, onward to the schedule of events:

  • Thursday, September 10th – Centennial Sportsplex – 1PM
  • Friday, September 11th – Centennial Sportsplex – 10AM
  • Saturday, September 12th – Germain Arena – 7PM (Game against Tampa Bay’s prospects)
  • Sunday, September 13th – Germain Arena – 2PM (Game against Florida’s prospects)
  • Tuesday, September 15th – Germain Arena – 9AM (Game against Washington’s prospects)

Listed in bold are the practices that you can attend. I mean, if you are in Estero, Florida during these dates then by all means, get yourself to these rookie tournaments.

 

 

2015 Preds Development Camp Schedule

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It’s July and that means it’s time for the Nashville Predators Development Camp! Though some of the schedule is open to the public, a good chunk of these sessions are not. However, all on-ice sessions are – for certain – open to the public. Keep an eye on the Predators social media sites for any changes in the schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 7th – On-Ice Testing – 7:30-11:30AM – Centennial Sportsplex
  • Tuesday, July 7th – 3:00-7:00PM – Workout/Breakout Session – Bridgestone Arena
  • Wednesday, July 8th – 7:00-10:00AM – Bike Testing – Bridgestone Arena
  • Wednesday, July 8th – 9:00-12:15PM – On-Ice Sessions – Bridgestone Arena
  • Wednesday, July 8th – 3:00-6:00PM – Workout/Breakout Sessions – Bridgestone Arena
  • Thursday, July 9th – 9:00-10:00AM – Yoga – Centennial Sportsplex
  • Thursday, July 9th – 10:30-11:30AM – Player Presentation – Centennial Sportsplex
  • Thursday, July 9th – 12:30-2:30PM – Community Activities – TBA
  • Thursday, July 9th – 4:00PM – Team Building – Camp Widjiwagon
  • Friday, July 10th – 7:00AM – Track Training – Vanderbilt University
  • Friday, July 10th – 9:00-12:15PM – On-Ice Sessions – Bridgestone Arena
  • Friday, July 10th – 3:00-6:00PM – Workout/Breakout Sessions – Bridgestone Arena
  • Saturday, July 11th – 11AM – Rookie Game – Ford Ice Center

Saturday, July 11th at the Ford Ice Center has its own fun-filled schedule before and after the rookie game, too:

  • 9AM – Used Equipment Sale (Season Ticket Holders Only)
  • 10AM – Used Equipment Sale (General Public)
  • 11AM – Future Stars Game
  • Post Game – Autograph session with select players and open skate.

For those wondering who you will see at the development camp, I have another list for you!

FORWARDS

  • Pontus Aberg
  • Kevin Fiala
  • Viktor Arvidsson
  • Fredrick Gaudreau
  • Max Gortz
  • Vladislav Kamenev
  • Justin Kirkland
  • Tyler Moy
  • Thomas Novak
  • Emil Pettersson
  • Anthony Richard
  • Eric Robinson
  • Nick Saracino
  • Zach Stepan
  • Yakov Trenin
  • Jimmy Vessey

DEFENSE

  • Alexandre Carrier
  • Jonathan Ismael-Diaby
  • Jack Dougherty
  • Aaron Irving
  • Teemu Kivihalme
  • Joonas Lyytinen
  • Trevor Murphy
  • Kristian Nakyva
  • Garrett Noonan
  • Jimmy Oligny
  • Jaynen Rissling
  • Mikko Vainonen

GOALTENDERS

  • Janne Juvonen
  • Juuse Saros
  • Evan Smith
  • Karel Vejmelka
  • Brandon Whitney

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.

 

 

Predators Sign Juuse Saros

0405saros

Image source: Google images

Moments ago, the Nashville Predators announced that they have signed 2013 draftee, Juuse Saros to a three-year, entry-level contract. Due to this deal, he is expected to begin his North American career during the 2015-16 season. Here is word from the official Predators press release about the Finnish goaltender:

Saros, 20 (4/19/95), appeared in 47 of HPK’s 60 Finnish Elite League (SM-Liiga) contests in 2014-15, ranking among the league’s Top Five in shutouts (6), minutes played (2773:53), save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (2.14) in his second full season in the league. He was named 2013-14 Finnish Elite League Rookie of the Year after ranking second among the Top Three in goals-against average (1.76), and save percentage (.928) becoming just the fourth goalie to win the award in its 40-year history. During his final Finnish junior league season in 2012-13, the Forssa, Finland, native was named best player and recipient of the Jorma Valtonen Award as the league’s top goaltender after leading all netminders in goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.933).

The 5-11, 176-pounder represented Finland at both the World Championship and the World Junior Championship for the second consecutive year in 2015, backing up Predators netminder Pekka Rinne at the 2015 World Championship and stopping all 22 shots he faced in his lone appearance of the tournament against Slovakia to record Finland’s third of four consecutive shutouts. At the 2014 World Junior Championship, he led Finland to its first Gold Medal at the tournament since 1987, receiving Media All-Star Team honors after leading all goaltenders in save percentage (.943) and goals-against average (1.57) in six games. He was also named Best Goalkeeper of the 2013 Under-18 World Championship and one of Finland’s three best players of the tournament in helping them claim the bronze medal.

With Saros’ signing, that ultimately means someone has to go. You have Rinne and Hutton on the NHL level, and Marek Mazanec and Magnus Hellberg in waiting with Milwaukee. Well, it has already been stated that Carter Hutton isn’t going anywhere (definitely not Rinne, either), and Mazanec has been goalie-in-waiting. Though Hellberg is good to have in the system, it’s time for this kiddo so spread his wings and get some ice time elsewhere.