Preds Trade Updates

PicMonkey Collage

Now that the dust has settled any many folks have weened themselves off the trade deadline oxygen (keep it close by, it isn’t March 2nd yet), let’s go back and see what all has happened today.

Besides the all important news of David Poile trading Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic, and a 2015 first round draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for former Preds Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli, there was other news abound within the Predators organization. For one, Anthony Bitetto was reassigned to Milwaukee this morning. This comes as no surprise as Mattias Ekholm has returned to the lineup. Second, Viktor Stalberg was placed on waivers… again.

Viktor Stalberg has had one heck of a ride this season, I guess you could say. Placed on waivers back on December 18th, Stalberg was cleared and enjoyed a nice conditioning stint with the Admirals. He has been collecting frequent flier miles ever since. Now it’s looking like – if he clears – Stalberg could be used in a trade scenario. Though you would think if a team wanted him, they’d snag him off of waivers; however, because this is coming down to the deadline, many teams will want to see if they can strike up a trade and get something else with him in tow.

So, back to the initial trade, how do Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli feel about returning to Nashville?

Also, it looks like the last pieces of Martin Erat’s legacy are officially gone:

…And what are others saying about the trade?

…And lastly, here’s what David Poile has to say on his trade:

So what are your thoughts on the trade? Do you think Poile should end it here or keep stirring the pot?

NSH acquires Franson/Santorelli from TOR

Toronto

Well, hope no one had their heart set to meet Olli Jokinen tonight at the GnashVegas Gala, for he, Brendan Leipsic, and a future first round draft pick have been traded over to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Cody Franson (my personal choice) and Mike Santorelli.

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Sunday that the team has acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Nashville’s first-round selection in the 2015 Draft, and forwards Brendan Leipsic and Olli Jokinen.

Franson, 27 (8/8/87), was selected by the Predators 78th overall (third round) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and was a member of the 2010-11 Nashville club along with current Preds Shea Weber, Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Pekka Rinne, that won the first playoff series in franchise history. Hailing from the same hometown as Weber – Sicamous, British Columbia – Franson has amassed 32 points (6g-26a) in 55 games this season for the Maple Leafs, and 165 points (34g-131a) in 377 career NHL games. From 2007-09, he played with Nashville’s primary developmental affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, and from 2009-11, he posted 50 points (14g-36a) in 141 regular-season games and seven points (1g-6a) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Predators.

Santorelli, 29 (12/14/85), was selected 178th overall (sixth round) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, 80 picks and two rounds before the Predators selected Rinne. The 6-0, 190-pound forward posted a 20-goal, 41-point season with the Florida Panthers in 2010-11, and has 29 points (11g-18a) and a +7 rating in 57 games for Toronto in 2014-15. In 314 career NHL games, the Vancouver native has 116 points (54g-62a). Santorelli posted three points (2g-1a) in 32 games with the Predators from 2008-10, in addition to amassing 74 goals and 171 points in 207 AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2007-10.

Yes, David Poile sought out two former Nashville Predators to trade for, which is great since all the organization lost was A.) Olli Jokinen (who was bound to be worked into a trade somehow), B.) Brendan Leipsic (a forward for the Admirals who has been stuck in a limbo), and C.) a first round draft pick (the only true stab in this trade).

Nashville adds power to their defense with the addition of Cody Franson, who currently has 32 points this season with the Maple Leafs. Santorelli will add some spice to the offense, with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) this season. Unfortunately, the future for Olli Jokinen is looking pretty bleak:

Yes, Olli Jokinen’s career may be shot, but you can’t blame him for being disgruntled. He just lost his shot at winning the cup (no offense, Toronto). Brendan Leipsic, on the other hand, may have just gotten the deal of a lifetime. A bit small, but certainly feisty, Leipsic brings a lot to the table and just hasn’t had the opportunity to move up to the NHL level in Nashville. Honestly, we wish both of these men well in their careers (and that first rounder without a name yet). However, Jokinen’s wife has a different outlook on this move:

Ouch, but that’s the business, babe.

Preds take Lightning 3-2 with OT Winner

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Has it decided that the Predators love the game so much they just have to beyond regulation? Or am I – and everyone else – just suffering from a case of déjà vu? Either way you slice it, the Predators are coming out with the two points — whilst doling a point to their given opponent. The Tampa Bay Lightning are just as their name perceives – lightning fast and that trait has helped boost them to the top of the Eastern Conference and fourth in the league (tied at 74 points with the Blues who have one less loss than the Bolts). The Predators have more of a “if I can setup the play, I’ll just dump it” mentality, which has gotten better this season than in the past, but with a in-your-face team like Tampa Bay, the Predators needed to be a little more risqué when it comes to shooting the puck… at the net.

SCRATCHES: Mattias Ekholm, Colin Wilson, Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • For the third game in a row, neither team was able to get one in the net during the third period. Chalk this one up to both Pekka Rinne and Andrei Vasilevskiy just being on point. Rinne blocked ten shots-on-goal while Vasilevskiy blocked his eight shots. I mean, look what this kid did to rob Mike Ribeiro:

SECOND PERIOD:

  • In only his second NHL Career game, Anthony Bitetto – who was called up to fill in for the injured Mattias Ekholm – dropped the gloves against Brett Connolly. Bitetto did so to defend fellow player Craig Smith, which made a fairly good impression on his teammates – that, and Bitetto clearly won the bout.
  • Seth Jones would finally get the blood flowing at 8:31 with his 6th goal of the season. Viktor Stalberg (4) and Anton Volchenkov (5) nabbed the assists.
  • Just four minutes later, Taylor Beck would put Nashville up 2-0 at 12:47, his fifth goal of the season. Paul Gaustad (9) and Eric Nystrom (5) would tally the assists.
  • Nashville would own the second period, sending 11 shots-on-goal compared to Tampa Bay’s eight.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ah, but the Lightning weren’t going down without a fight. At just 1:20 into the third, Brett Connolly made up for losing his bout with Bitetto and sent a wrister whizzing past Rinne, his 10th of the season.
  • And, just seven minutes later, Nikita Kucherov would tie the game at 7:50 with a slapshot, his 21st of the season.
  • The Predators just couldn’t muster up another goal (nor could Tampa Bay) so thus the déjà vu of bonus hockey returns.

OVERTIME:

  • In what everyone deemed was going into a shootout, James Neal had other plans. Breaking the puck away with less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Neal connected on a wrister to win the game, his 18th goal of the season. Roman Josi (28) and Matt Cullen (7) assisted in the winner.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • Viktor Stalberg, who was called up to fill in for the ailing Colin Wilson, saw 11:43 of ice time walked away with one point (assist).
  • With the trade deadline fast approaching (March 2nd), will Nashville make a move? No doubt they will, but in order to get something good, you’ve got to trade something good in return (whether that be a player, draft pick, or a combination of both). With no word on Ryan Ellis’ return (and the fact his jersey has no appeared in the GnashVegas auction), my guess is Ellis will be up for trade bait. Yes, he did just recently sign a five-year, $12.5M contract, but remember, we traded Patric Hornqvist off during his five-year contract extension, too (just one year after he signed it).
  • Colin Wilson may be ready to return within the next game or two, as he was practicing with the team yesterday morning.
  • With just ten more wins, Nashville can secure a playoff spot. That, and they are just two points from being the first team to reach 80 points this season. Me gusta.

If you missed last night’s game, then you surely don’t want to miss tomorrow’s against the Winnipeg Jets, a division rival that’s clawing for a playoff spot. Winnipeg is twelve points behind Nashville, but has won their last two; they’ll be looking to knock of the league leader for sure tomorrow night.

Ribeiro’s 3rd Period Goal secures Preds Win 3-2

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After losing the Western Conference lead to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night, the Predators needed the boost from regulation win against the New York Rangers to regain some momentum Saturday afternoon. The Rangers, who were 30-15-4 coming into yesterday’s bout, were riding confidently on a three game winning streak & hoping to extend that to four. Without King Henrik in the net, could the Rangers pull off the win? Or would Pekka Rinne’s return hold off the Blueshirts?

SCRATCHES: Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The first period saw plenty of pressure from both sides, but neither team could capitalize on their chances. The Rangers out-shot the Predators 10 to 8.
  • By no surprise, the Predators welcomed back former Predator Kevin Klein with a nice tribute video. Klein, who was drafted by Nashville 37th overall in the 2003 draft, spent his entire NHL career with the Predators up until last season when he was traded to the New York Rangers for… sigh… Michael Del Zotto. You can watch the tribute video here.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The Rangers struck gold first, capitalizing on the powerplay from Rick Nash (33) at 11:49.
  • Roman Josi would respond at 18:39, collecting his 10th goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque (5) and Calle Jarnkrok (9) would pick up the assists.
  • Shea Weber (12) would give Nashville the lead 2-1 at 19:20 with his signature slapshot past Cam Talbot. Roman Josi (27) and Matt Cullen (6) would notch the assists.
  • The Rangers took to out-shooting the Predators during this period as well, this time 12 to 10.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ryan McDonagh wasted no time tying the game early into the third; his fourth goal of the season.
  • But it was Mike Ribeiro’s seemingly angry slapshot at 12:46 that sealed the game in favor of Nashville 3-2. Seth Jones (14) and Filip Forsberg (30) tallied the assists on Ribeiro’s 11th goal of the season.
  • The Rangers would – yet again – out-shoot the Predators, this time 10 to 5, but Nashville would come out as the victors.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • With his 11th goal of the season, Mike Ribeiro has now tallied his 700th career point. Ribeiro, who has been pretty consistent this season and lead the team in points for a good while, hasn’t had a point since January 29th against the Avalanche (picked up an assist). Chalk it up as patience towards that 700th point.
  • Colin Wilson sustained an injury during the first period and did not return to the remainder of the match. It was later released that he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
  • Filip Forsberg continues to slap the NHL with his Calder Memorial Trophy contingency as he continues to lead the Predators in points and in every category that a rookie can (minus goaltending). Forty-seven points in 52 games? Yea, you can’t ignore that.

As usual, the Predators have no time to rest. Today, the team is in Sunrise, Florida to take on the 23-17-10 Panthers who are currently sitting pretty in 5th in the Atlantic Division. With Colin Wilson out, there’s a good chance Olli Jokinen will be off the scratched list and, due to being a back-to-back, Carter Hutton will start in net.

Carter Hutton Shines as NSH blanks PIT 4-0

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After being shutdown by the Colorado Avalanche Friday night 3-0, the Predators retreated to the City of Brotherly Love in search of a win against the 28-13-8 Penguins on Sunday afternoon. However, the last meeting between these two ended poorly for Nashville, as Pittsburgh entered the Music City and wiped the floor with the home team 3-0 (on the James Neal bobblehead night, no doubt). But the woes of being shutout aren’t the only thing nagging at the Predators; the St. Louis Blues are on a hot streak and have their sights set on taking the Central Division lead.

SCRATCHES: Pekka Rinne, Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Roman Josi put Nashville on the board at 4:05, sending a slapper by Marc-Andre Fleury, his ninth of the season. Filip Forsberg (26) and Shea Weber (24) notched the assists.
  • At 6:38, Gabriel Bourque sent his own slapshot towards the net, tallying his third goal of the season. Bourque’s slapper needed no assistance.
  • Nashville only had two more SOG than Pittsburgh, giving Carter Hutton some much deserved credit (NSH, 7; PIT, 5).

SECOND PERIOD:

  • In what looked like a goal-less period, Eric Nystrom gave the Predators a 3-0 lead at 19:19, his sixth of the season. Taylor Beck (5) notched the assist.
  • Again, props to Carter Hutton as this time the Penguins tallied eleven SOG compared to Nashville’s seven. Oh, and Nashville took four penalties during the second, giving the Penguins too many man-advantages.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Nashville’s only goal during the third would come from Mike Fisher’s wrister on the powerplay at 8:20, his twelfth goal of the season. Filip Forsberg (27) and Roman Josi (24) would collect the assists.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • Filip Forsberg surpassed Mike Ribeiro to take the lead in points amongst the team. Ribeiro, who is one point shy of his 700th career, has 43 whereas Forsberg now has 44.
  • Not only was this Carter Hutton’s first road win of the season, it is also his first shutout (second career shutout).
  • Predators continue to hold first in the league (again) at 70 points. The Ducks, too, are at 70 points, but alas, they have lost one more regulation game than the Predators.

So there you have it: Shutout by Colorado on Friday, retaliated against Pittsburgh on Sunday and blanked them 4-0. Nashville also held off St. Louis taking the Central Division lead as well (NSH has 70 pts, STL has 68). It’s no doubt the Blues are hot right now (won the last five) and are, at this point, biting off Nashville’s heels for the lead. Chicago isn’t too far away, either; they sit a comfortable six points back, but that hasn’t stopped them before.

Want to see the Predators in action? Well, February is your month as Nashville has more home games on the schedule than I know what to do with, starting tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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.

Noteworthy Notes: Montreal Calling

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

After a disappointing loss to Detroit 5-2 Saturday, the Predators hit the road to Montreal for one more game before the All-Star break this weekend. Though Nashville handled themselves well last Friday against the Washington Capitals with Carter Hutton in net, bringing him in back-to-back the next night proved fatal; though Detroit was on point that night no matter who was guarding Nashville’s net. So, what’s been going on since the defeat?

  • As fast as he came, Anthony Bitetto was reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals after his NHL debut and first career call up. Bitetto tallied 11:01 of ice time for his first shot at the big time.
  • Viktor Stalberg might as well live out of a suitcase due to being reassigned to Milwaukee once again.
  • That being said, Eric Nystrom will make his return after a hiatus on the IR tonight in Montreal.
  • But… that leaves Olli Jokinen out. The lines for yesterday’s practice amongst forwards were: Forsberg-Ribeiro-Smith; Wilson-Fisher-Neal; Cullen-Jarnkrok-Bourque; Nystrom-Gaustad-Beck.
  • Ah, but this morning, practice amongst forwards fell as: Forsberg-Ribeiro-Smith; Wilson-Fisher-Neal; Cullen-Jarnkrok-Bourque; Nystrom-Gaustad-Jokinen with Taylor Beck as the odd man out. All the speculations!
  • Fun Fact: The Predators hold a 6-5-(1)-4 all-time record against the Montreal Canadiens.

WORLD WIDE WORLD OF TWITTER:

Noteworthy Notes: Welcome Back, Trotz!

barry

Unless you live under a rock and are just now crawling up from underneath it, you know that a certain someone who helped establish Nashville as a legitimate hockey town will be making an appearance tonight on the opposing team’s bench. Yes, Mitch Korn will be here also but I’m talking about former Predators head coach (and now head coach of the Washington Capitals), Barry Trotz.

If you were lucky enough to score tickets to tonight’s match up (the game sold out a few days ago), you’ll be certain to get a little teary-eyed with a touching tribute video to the former coach who helped Nashville in so many ways both on and off the ice. But don’t you dare forget this man is here to collect two points and hit the road and what better way to continue their three-game winning streak than to knock out the league leader?

  • Forsberg-Ribeiro-Smith, Wilson-Fisher-Neal, Cullen-Jarnkrok-Jokinen, and Bourque-Gaustad-Beck were today’s lines during practice.
  • Eric Nystrom skated with the team this morning (his second straight practice), but since he is not listed in the lines above, don’t expect him in the game tonight.
  • If you missed any information yesterday, Pekka Rinne will be out for around 3-5 weeks due to his sprained knee injury.
  • Marek Mazanec was called up from Miwaukee to backup Carter Hutton in Rinne’s absence.
  • As a stark reminder of how you should have some faith in Carter Hutton, one year ago today he made one of the most incredible (very Pekka-esque) saves ever… well, made:

From the World Wide World of Twitter:

Preds tally Win over Wild 3-1

fisher

After capturing the top of the league on Thursday night, the Predators would need to continue with a win in St. Paul to hang onto that title just a little bit longer. The Wild, who have been having some rather interesting issues, are hurting for a win, and what better way to knock the best team in the league for a loop?

SCRATCHES: Mark Arcobello
NOTEWORTHY: Update on injuries, Ryan Ellis will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break (January 24-25), which means he’s out for at least two weeks; he has also been placed on the IR with an lower-body injury. Also, Eric Nystrom’s injury has gone from undisclosed to classified as an upper-body.

First Period:

  • Mike Fisher would get the ball rolling early in the first period with his seventh goal of the season at 4:01. Colin Wilson (14), who has been on fire this season (to say the least), picked up the lone assist.
  • Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle would tie the game at 14:14 for his fourth goal of the season.
  • The Wild would outshoot the Predators 14 to 8, pointing out just how incredible Pekka Rinne really is.

Second Period:

  • Both the Wild and the Predators would take nine shots on goal, but none could make their way past the opposing goaltenders during the second period.
  • Nashville took four penalties during the second period alone, including one from Pekka Rinne (served by Craig Smith). Even more proof on why Pekka Rinne is the best goaltender in this league this season.

Third Period:

  • Calle Jarnkrok would collect his fifth goal of the season at 3:48 after being in the right place at the right time whilst Niklas Backstrom was distracted. Olli Jokinen (3) and Shea Weber (19) tallied the assists.
  • At 8:47, Colin Wilson would notch his 12th of the season with the unassisted game winning goal.
  • Though Wilson sealed the game winner within the first ten minutes of the period, the game certainly wasn’t over. With just a few minutes left in the game, Matt Cooke decided cross-checking Shea Weber in the face was a good idea. It wasn’t.

    B7HPM8eCYAIi_BF

    Source: TheScore.com

    As the wise Antoine Dodson once said:

    antoine_dodson_you_are_so_dumb-14245

Needless to say, Angry Shea reared his ugly head and beat Matt Cooke to a pulp. Here’s the video of said beat-down:

And, if watching his teammate get his butt kicked wasn’t enough, Nate Prosser stepped up to duke it out with Mike Fisher with just a minute and a half left in the game:

And, as you can see from the video, Angry Mike also made an appearance after Prosser took a cheap shot at Taylor Beck.

After kicking the Wild’s keister not only physically but numerically as well, the Predators secured another day as the leaders of the league and improved their record to 28-9-4. The Predators welcome in the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday and then Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals on Friday night.