As we all expected, Nashville Predators Captain Shea Weber was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy. This is Weber’s third time being nominated for the James Norris Memorial Award, given out to the League’s top defenseman who displays the greatest efforts in the position. Being the only player with 20+ goals (23), 150+ hits (169), and 150+ blocks (173) over the past nine seasons, is this finally Shea Weber’s year? Is the third time really a charm? We hope so. His competition for the Norris? Boston’s giant, Zdeno Chara and Chicago’s Duncan Keith. Chara won the Norris back in 2009 and was nominated in both 2011 and 2012 for the award. Keith has also been awarded the Norris Trophy in the past, collecting the award in 2010.
The city of Nashville hosted its Sportsfest at the Nashville Convention Center yesterday, bring some of the greatest names in sports to speak. But for Predators fans, the conference involving Brent Peterson and Pete Weber peaked the most interest.
Peterson made some interesting comments including the possibility of bringing back Hal Gill, the “60/40 chance” of Ryan Suter re-signing with the team, and his thoughts on Erik Karlsson winning the Norris Trophy over Shea Weber (not favoring Karlsson, of course). However, one particular subject perked just about every ear in the convention center, hockey fan or not.
When asked about Jordin Tootoo, Brent Peterson stated that the Predators offered the popular enforcer a “sizable” three-year contract, but declined and is expected to hit the market on July 1st. After his tear-jerking speech from his ‘Tootoo on 2’ finale, stating that Nashville is his home and he wants to bring the Stanley Cup to the city, many fans couldn’t fathom as to why he would turn down a decent offer to stay.
Perhaps Tootoo has been getting some ideas from Ryan Suter. However, besides being teammates, that’s where their similarities stop. Ryan Suter has value on the market and teams are willing to drop what he wants for his rights. Not that no one would want Toots, but if he is thinking he can get more from another team, he might be gravely mistaken. Sure, some team will pay him well, possibly more than what Nashville offered him, but will this new team be as tolerant to his behavior as Nashville has?
We aren’t saying Toots will make another run for rehab, but what if he does? Will this new team stand behind him through thick and thin like Nashville has? Welp, there’s only one way to find out and that’s exactly the road he’s heading down.
Don’t panic, Tootoo fans; Until Jordin officially signs with another team, don’t count it all as lost. Unlike Ryan Suter, we think Tootoo will return this upcoming season in Predators gold. Though “sizable” to us means a good deal, in all honesty, it could mean anything so Toots could be holding out for a better deal.
We can only hope what he said in that final ‘Tootoo on 2’ was the truth and that he wants to bring the Stanley Cup home to Nashville.
Yet another disappointing NHL Awards for Nashville Predators fans.
Okay, so we can’t call it a complete loss; Mike Fisher did win the NHL Foundation Award thanks to his charitable work within the Nashville community. The NHL even donated $25,000 to Room in the Inn, a local non-profit that serves the homeless of Nashville. As residents of the city of Nashville, we are proud to have someone like Mike Fisher in our community and to us, this is the greatest award the Predators could have received…
HOWEVER, as proud as we are and excited for Mike Fisher, we still are a tad bit bitter.
Pekka Rinne fell short to Claude Giroux for the NHL13 cover, which completely baffles anyone involved with hockey (we’re pretty sure even EA Sports was confused by the announcement). However, according to EA Sports, it was decided “by less than a one percent margin, in what was the closest matchup of the entire campaign.” Hmm… as much as we were stunned by the announcement (I mean, jaws hit the floor), we can always cover the NHL13 box with this awesome photo:
- Surely, with the performance Shea Weber made this past season would edge him over Erik Karlsson and Zdeno Chara for the Norris Trophy, right? WRONG. Offensively, Karlsson deserved the trophy, but did anyone note Weber’s penalty kill moments? Not the NHL, obviously. Weber came in second to Erik Karlsson by just 12 points.
- David Poile came in third between Doug Armstrong and Dale Tallon. Armstrong, who won GM of the Year, possibly won due to the fact he took over for the fired Ken Hitchcock, who enviably won the Jack Adams Trophy. We are exactly sure, but even after being praised for his Trade Deadline moves, Poile had no chance for the GM of the Year.
- Second time Pekka has been robbed of the Vezina, Henrik Ludqvist (who was so happy he dropped the F Bomb) stole the spotlight from the deserving Finn. Okay, so we didn’t have too much faith he’d win this one, but the bitterness of the video game cover still stings. Lundqvist did lead his team to the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, so no surprise that the Swede was given the Vezina.
Yes, we’re a bit bitter with the losses, but hey, Mike Fisher snuck by and nabbed an award, and an award to be proud of at that. Congratulations, Mike Fisher!
Friday begins the 2012 NHL Draft, in which Nashville gets two 2nd Round picks and the Predators Prospect Camp starts next Tuesday at Centennial Sportsplex. We’ll keep you updated on the trades and signings as they come in. And yes, Chris Mueller was signed to a one-year, $550,000 contract this morning.
Thanks to Gene Vestal for the video. Sums up all Preds fans thoughts exactly.
(Mike Fisher photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)