Preds Trade Klein for Del Zotto

PicMonkey Collage

The Preds have made yet another surprising roster move, this time coming in the form of a trade between the New York Rangers. Nashville agreed to exchange defenseman Kevin Klein for New York’s defenseman, Michael Del Zotto this afternoon. Here is the official press release from Nashville:

Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein.

“Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside,” Poile said. “We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps.”

Del Zotto, 23 (6/24/90), has 11 points (2g-9a) in 42 games this season for the Rangers while averaging 17:44 of ice time. In 292 career NHL games – all with the Rangers – the 6-0, 195-pound native of Stouffville, Ont., has amassed 121 points (26g-95a), including 37 (9g-28a) in 80 games in 2009-10, being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Del Zotto has also appeared in 32 postseason contests over the past two springs, posting 12 points (3g-9a).

The New York Rangers’ first choice, 20th overall (first round), in the 2008 Entry Draft, Del Zotto posted 183 points (39g-144a) in 190 Ontario Hockey League games with Oshawa and London from 2006-09. He also represented Canada at the 2010 World Championships.

Though it sucks to see someone go who has been a face of the Predators like Klein, it was actually a very smart trade move by David Poile, whether fans like it or not. With both Weber and Jones being right-handers, it only makes sense for Nashville to trade for a left-hander so that it evens out (Josi is the other lefty).

What are your thoughts on this trade and do you think Nashville is finished trading?

Preds Finally Score; Fall to Islanders 3-1

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Positive news! Nashville earned their first goal since defeating the Colorado Avalanche two games ago!
Negative news! The Predators lost to the New York Islanders for the first time (in regulation) since April of 2002!

So they lost, but they got a goal in there and didn’t receive their third goose egg in three consecutive games; I’ll take that. It’s not fun to watch your team struggle, especially when they are actually worth a damn… when they want to believe in themselves. I won’t go into the usual list-like rundown, but just the major highlights from Tuesday night’s game:

  • Marek Mazanec was given the green light as the starting goalie, his first in the NHL. Though Nashville lost 3-1, Mazanec blocked 24 of 26 shots on goal from the Islanders. For his first shot as a starter, Mazanec shook the nerves and proved his potential.
  • Both teams took the same number of shots on goal at the end with thirty-three. Unfortunately, New York was just a little luckier than Nashville.
  • David Legwand enjoys elbowing people, as he was called for two penalties within three minutes of each other in the 2nd Period.
  • Rich Clune did his usual enforcer act, picking up a major shared with duking partner Matt Martin.
  • Patric Hornqvist notched his fifth goal of the season and the only one of the night at 14:30 in the 3rd Period. After his elbowing fix, David Legwand picked up his 11th assist & Shea Weber collected his fourth overall.

So, after 6 games on this 17-day road trip, Nashville now sits at 2-4-0 with Pittsburgh the last stop before welcoming the Blackhawks to town on Saturday. Back-to-back games tend to hurt even the strongest of teams, so here’s a tried & true test for the Predators.

Preds top Islanders; Jones nabs first NHL Goal

sethjonesSaturday was wedding day for us, but for all the other Preds fans out there, it was a day to celebrate. After a crushing 0-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, the Predators knew something had to change in order to not make that mistake again. And Nashville did not disappoint against the 2-1-1 New York Islanders. Here are the highlights from Saturdays game:

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Though no goals were collected for either side, Nashville took the reins and notched nine shots on goal to the Islanders’ four. However, similar to Nashville’s attempt on Toronto’s Bernier, Evgeni Nabokov just wasn’t letting the puck in the net.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • Thanks to a boarding penalty given to Casey Cizikas against Eric Nystrom 51 seconds into the period, rookie Seth Jones was able to collect his first career NHL goal at 1:03 with a slapshot assisted by veterans David Legwand (1st assist) and Shea Weber (1st assist). You can watch the goal here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Xaik3y_qA
  • The Islanders would respond at 12:39 with a snap shot past Pekka Rinne from Frederik Nielsen for his second goal of the season.
  • New York would jump ahead of the Predators at 15:28 with a wrist shot from John Tavares, his third goal of the season. For those interested, Tavares is also an amateur dentist. On Friday night, he didn’t even hesitate to yank out his own tooth after taking a puck to the face. Here’s a lovely .gif, if you don’t believe me (you may have to click on it to get it to go, but fair warning):

toothYea, we couldn’t help but put that in here.

  • Late in the second period, at 19:07, Patric Hornqvist tied up the game with a wrister for his first goal of the season. Colin Wilson and Ryan Ellis picked up the assist.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMZN-Bi0shs

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ryan Ellis would seal the deal for Nashville at 3:23 with his first goal of the season. Matt Cullen (2nd assist) and Craig Smith (2nd assist) would pick up the assists on the game winning goal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1P5kqws1qA

Was it because Viktor Stalberg jumped off the IR so quickly or maybe Gabriel Bourque’s return that boosted some Preds pride? We aren’t sure, but Stalberg’s offensive presence may have played a deciding factor in Saturday’s game. Both teams were given two powerplay chances, but surprisingly, Seth Jones was the only one able to capitalize on the opportunity (which is good for Nashville anytime).

The Predators welcome in the 2-4-0 Florida Panthers tomorrow, who are a little down in the dumps after getting shutout by the L.A. Kings 3-0 yesterday. But remember, the Predators lost to the Panthers during two of their preseason games (6 to 3, then 3 to 2 in OT).

But, let’s leave this post on an interesting side (wait, the Tavares tooth pull wasn’t good enough?); how about Ryan Ellis taking on new Predator, Eric Nystrom? Yes, little Ryan Ellis put up his dukes against Eric Nystrom, who was then with the Dallas Stars. Here’s the video:

We are sure there isn’t any bad blood left.