Preds Re-Sign Forward Cody Bass

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Image Source: The Tennessean

Earlier this afternoon the Predators organization and Cody Bass came to a contract agreement to re-sign the 29-year-old forward to a two-year, two-way deal. Here’s the official word from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday that the club has signed forward Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2016-17, and $650,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2017-18.

Bass, 29 (1/7/87), split his first season in the Nashville organization between the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals (39gp, 4g-5a-9pts, 84 PIMs) and the Predators (17gp, 0pts, 17 PIMs), while also suiting up for six of the team’s seven games during their Round One series victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The 6-foot, 205-pound forward has appeared in 66 career NHL contests with Nashville, Ottawa and Columbus since 2007-08, posting five points (2g-3a) and 88 penalty minutes, and 370 career AHL games with Milwaukee, Binghamton, Springfield and Rockford, posting 98 points (41g-57a) and 794 penalty minutes. The Owen Sound, Ontario, native has served as an alternate captain at the AHL level in five of the past six seasons, and won the 2011 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as presented annually to the AHL’s man of the year for service to his local community. He also helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

Bass’s return to the Nashville hockey club comes as no surprise; at least to some of us.

With the departure of veterans Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom, Bass will play a pivotal role as younger wingers make their move up to the big league meaning I do not believe he is the solution, but rather an answer for the time being. However, Bass does provide a positive feel amongst his teammates, which is always a good thing for sure. Of course, while he is a friendly little fellow in the locker room, we are mostly familiar with his enforcer-like attitude on the ice:

How could we forget when former Nashville Predator Rich Clune poked the bear because we was irked Bass took his old number?

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Preds defeat Hawks 3-1

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Source: The Tennessean

Let’s start by discussing how successful this road trip has been for the Predators, shall we? After the devastating loss at home against Los Angeles last Saturday, the Predators needed all the help they could get going into a three-game road trip to Canada and Chicago. Sitting pretty in a Wild Card position, Nashville was going to need as many two-point games as they could muster, and Montreal, Chicago, and even second-to-last in the league Toronto weren’t going to go down without some kind of a fight.

Back-to-back games are tough on any team, but Nashville made it look easy by first coming away with two points in a shootout against Montreal (yes, the Predators made it through an overtime) 2-1. Pekka Rinne has been playing exceptionally well, along with his cohort Carter Hutton. Of course, the highlight of this particular game was Craig Smith and his… well, Craig Smithy-ness and then his redemption SO goal.

Moving onward to Tuesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs (who are battling with the Edmonton Oilers for last in the league) have already beaten the Predators once this season, claiming the two points in Nashville in a 2-1 SO victory back on November 12th. After a little jawing between Cody Bass and former Predator Rich Clune, the Predators notched a 3-2 victory over the floundering Maple Leafs.

Apparently, Rich Clune was not happy that Bass is wearing his former number. I guess Nashville was supposed to retire it after you were waived?

Riding high on their two victories in Canada, it was time for the Predators to face a divisional opponent and not just any divisional opponent – a divisional opponent that has had the upper-hand on Nashville this season. The Predators have loss seven straight games in the United Center so there’s no doubt there was some tension going into last night’s game. Chicago, who is ten points ahead of Nashville and is one point behind tying Dallas for first in the Central Division, wasn’t expecting to lose this game. So much so were they to win, the NBC Sports broadcasters chose to cover the Blackhawks instead of both teams (before anyone says anything, I am aware the Blackhawks were the home team, but come on. It’s on a neutral network. At least try to cover both teams equally).

Pekka Rinne was a force to be reckoned with last night, something we haven’t seen from him in a long time. When I say a long time, I mean he’s starting to find that “Pekka-esque” groove again, which has been absent due to injuries over the last few years. Since allowing Carter Hutton more ice time, it has almost given Rinne a rejuvenated feel. That, and with Hutton finding his fire, it is great to know that, no matter who is in the goal for that given match, it will be well defended.

Viktor Arvidsson is certainly making a name for himself with the big boys, getting Nashville on the board last night to tie the game after Seabrook’s initial goal. The young Swede notched his seventh goal of the season, his second in just five games.

Pekka Rinne would keep the prying Blackhawks at bay until around 1:30 left in regulation when another young Swede would come to the rescue and give Nashville the 2-1 lead. That Swede? Calle “Ironhook” Jarnkrok.

His twelfth goal of the season, Jarnkrok has become a threat in his own, being in the right place at the right time in most situations. For this goal, Mike Fisher setup the initial chance, which Jarnkrok easily took advantage of for the game winning goal.

Extending the Swedish dominance was Miikka Salomaki, who sunk the empty-netter to give Nashville the 3-1 lead and the overall victory as time expired.

Being a divisional rival, a league and division leader, knocking off the Blackhawks in their own arena should be a huge morale boost for the Nashville Predators; there’s no way it couldn’t be. The Predators hit their slump mid-season, but it has seeped into their playoff chances for sure. It’s now or never to kick it into gear and start collecting points. Some might say, “but they already have a wild card spot”. Yes, but that isn’t permanent and there are plenty of other teams who want that coveted spot as well. Plus, who wants to just settle with okay?

Nashville is back home Saturday for a rare 2PM puck drop against the 35-19-9 St. Louis Blues. This will be another game that Nashville will need to push hard for the two point victory.

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.

 

 

Preds sign Watson to Two-Year Contract

Source: Frederick Breedon

Source: Frederick Breedon

Welp, free agency has begun and I may be a little busy with these posts for a while (hopefully). First to be signed is forward, Austin Watson, Nashville’s first round draft pick back in 2010. Here’s a little info from the official press release:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Austin Watson to a two-year contract. The deal is a two-way contract in 2015-16 paying him $575,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, and a one-way, $575,000 contract in 2016-17.

Buyout Updates:

  • Sorry, Clune fans – it’s official (as of yesterday): Rich Clune’s contract will be bought out by the Predators. Clune tweeted this heartfelt thanks last night:
    https://twitter.com/richclune/status/615276388648513538
  • Also on the chopping block is Viktor Stalberg, who was just added to the unconditional waivers list along with Cody Hodgson of the Buffalo Sabres. If he clears, the Predators will also buyout his contract.

Preparing for Game 5

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Game 5 is upon us, ladies and gents and from here on out, it’s do or die for the Nashville Predators if they intend on hoisting that big silver Cup in the end.

I am not going to go into what the Predators need to do to win tonight (and those two other possible games); no, we know and the players, coaches, and whatnot know, too. It’s just a matter of getting the job done. Scott Darling is not invincible; he truly is all that has stood between the Predators and taking Round One. Chicago should be kissing his feet right about now because, without him, they’d be facing a quick exit out of the playoffs themselves.

Here’s what’s been happening since Tuesday/Wednesday’s Game 4:

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Predators recalled nine players from Milwaukee. No need to panic, everyone; this is not regular season so there is an unlimited amount of players you can have on a roster. Some may see some ice time, but really, they are just here for emergencies and/or experience. The players chosen? Joe Piskula, Rich Clune, Marek Mazanec, Magnus Hellberg, Anthony Bitetto, Johan Alm, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, and Viktor Arvidsson.
  • No surprise, the Blackhawks have chosen to go with Scott Darling as their starter for tonight’s game.
  • No need to panic – Kris Martel quickly reported that Wilson did show up to the locker room looking fine.

  • Speaking of those participating in practice…

    Though Fisher was a game time decision Tuesday (and didn’t play), knowing that he’s back out there again is a good sign. Also, long time no see, Eric Nystrom! Though I am doubtful of his magical return for tonight’s game, his presence brings hope.

  • Anaheim becomes the first team to advance to the second round, sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. However, Jets fans stood tall with the sinking ship, giving their team an affable standing ovation for a tremendous season.

  • The Ottawa Senators live to see another day game, shutting down the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 last night.

I have been on edge all day so far and I hope you have been, too. The love for hockey is crazy like that, I guess. It’s going to be deafening in the Bridgestone Arena tonight; I hope you got your tickets. To say this game is huge for either team is an insane understatement.

Go Preds.

 

Roster Movement: Clune, Cullen & Stalberg

threeIt was only a matter of time. The Predators have finally started to click on many levels and within all of the given lines, but with Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen on the verge of returning, someone would be having to take a backseat or ship out altogether. Rich Clune has seen maybe five minutes of ice time during this season, with the remainder of that time spent on the Scratched list. Though Victor Bartley has also been sitting pretty on that list, enforcers tend to get the boot before players who don’t spend their time patrolling the ice (the same can be said for the Calle Jarnkrok argument). If you were at all a fan of former Predator, Brian McGrattan, you knew that, by seeing Clune’s name listed under scratches game after game was going to end poorly.

Cullen suffered an upper-body injury back in the pre-season against Tampa Bay, but yesterday he skated amongst the top line with Craig Smith and Derek Roy. With that, Cullen was deemed ready for activation from the IR, meaning some roster changes were needed to make the room. The first move? Placing Rich Clune on waivers, with the intent that he clears as so he can be assigned to Nashville’s farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. The second move? Viktor Stalberg being sent down to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment. Due to an injury caused in the pre-season and missing the first three games of the season, the organization felt Stalberg would do better getting some ice time amongst the AHL.

The Milwaukee Admirals – with the welcoming of Stalberg and potentially Clune – now has a full house, which will cause them to do a little shifting of their own. The Ads, who are currently undefeated at 6-0-0 and sitting pretty at the top of the AHL Western Conference, may have a challenge on their hands, but we’re sure they’ve got this down to a science.

Preds fall to Flames 3-2 in the Shootout

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Image Source: Zimbio

Ahh, the victories were short-lived, weren’t they? It is hard to argue against the fact that Nashville came out on sluggish note last night against the Calgary Flames. It was an all-around a sloppy game with too many mistakes and, although Calgary made a few of their own, they ate up every chance Nashville gave them and slipped by with the win in the shootout. But, all is not lost as the Predators did squeeze a point out of Calgary by sending it into overtime. Lest we not forget, there were some other slick moves that brightened last night’s loss that highlighted the potential within some certain players.

Scratches for Nashville: Rich Clune, Victor Bartley
Note: Sadly, Calgary scratched Brian McGrattan, a former Pred – though his time short – made a lasting impression on Nashville.

First Period:
– Unlike the first two games of the season, Nashville put a point on the board first with a goal from Filip Forsberg, his first goal of the season. Derek Roy (3) and Craig Smith (1) picked up the assists.
– Calgary didn’t give Nashville a chance to gain momentum as not even two minutes later, TJ Brodie skirted one by Pekka Rinne for his second goal of the season, tying the game.
– Nashville was given two chances on the powerplay during the first, but couldn’t garner the stability to capitalize on either one.

Second Period:
– Calgary would take the lead at 5:19, capitalizing where the Predators could not on the powerplay. The Flames took advantage of the powerplay within seventeen seconds.
– However, barely ten minutes later, Nashville would tie the game at 2 with a sheer luck tip-in from Mike Ribeiro, his first of the season and first as in Predators’ gold. Colin Wilson (1) and Craig Smith (2) garnered the assists.
– Derek Roy saved the Predators from possibly a complete loss with his ridiculous reflex skills, deflecting the puck from clearing the net while Pekka was distracted. Check out the gif below:
yxdZ1e– Toronto reviewed the play, but miraculously called it a no-goal. From the video angle in the .gif, it definitely looks like it passes that sweet red line, but if Toronto says no-goal, we’ll take their word… for once.

Third Period:
– Both the Flames and the Predators would scrap back and forth, though Calgary held onto the puck just a wee bit better. Neither team would notch a goal during the third, thus sending the game into overtime.

Overtime:
– Since this ends in a shootout, you can guess no one scored during the overtime “action”.
– Nashville took one shot on goal during overtime to Calgary’s two shots.

Shootout Summary:
Nashville – Derek Roy: Save
Calgary – Joe Colborne: Goal
Nashville – James Neal: Save
Calgary – Jiri Hudler: Save
Nashville – Olli Jokinen: Save

Three Stars of the Game:
Mark Giordano – Calgary
Karri Ramo – Calgary
Craig Smith – Nashville

Karri Ramo was on point last night and for that, we have to give him props. Any chance Nashville had where they managed to gather themselves into shot mode, Ramo was there with what we’d like to call “Pekka-like reflexes” to thwart the Preds.

A question we heard last night was, “What was up with that interference/embellishment call [on Engelland and Forsberg]?”
1377665821442Why can you not have both an interference call & an embellishment call on the same play, Susie? Because it doesn’t make sense; it’s that simple. It is almost impossible (with how NHL rules are set up) for you to call interference and embellishment on the same play. You either have one player interfere or you have the other player called for “diving/embellishment”. Sadly, it’s just one of those quirks in the NHL that no one bothers to address and still happens on occasion, much to the delight of those who enjoy yelling, “Ref, you suck” at any given moment.

No brooms for this home stretch, but Nashville has started out on the right foot this season, even with this mark on their record. We’ve seen some great potential from both our new guys and the old ones, which is a great sign for Laviolette and his staff.

The Preds head North to Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets on Friday at 7PM and then catch a flight to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Saturday night. Wee.

Preds Outrival Stars 4-1

Image Source: Zimbio.com

Image Source: Zimbio.com

The Predators continued their home stand last night by rolling out the carpet to divisional rival, the Dallas Stars. During the off-season, Nashville and its citizens were given a new reason to despise our neighbors to the West, due in part to a little nah-saying from a new member of the Stars, Jason Spezza. The Center made it verbally clear before being traded from the Ottawa Senators that he would not want to come to Nashville and join the Predators. Welp, I sure hope you don’t need that bridge one day, Mr. Spezza, as you not only lit the match, you torched the entire viaduct. Good job.

Anywho – enough about that guy – after slipping past the Senators Thursday with a win, how would Nashville fair against a tougher opponent with Dallas? Smoke ’em, that’s what. Here are the highlights:

Scratches: Rich Clune & Victor Bartley
Starting Lineup: Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Eric Nystrom, Paul Gaustad (A), Taylor Beck, Pekka Rinne

First Period:
– The Stars took control early in the first with a goal from Antoine Roussel at 7:14.
– Gaustad would drop the gloves with former Predator, Vernon Fiddler at 11:37
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Second Period:
– With less than one minute left in the second period, the Captain would notch his second goal of the season at 19:19 to tie the game at 1. Filip Forsberg (3) and Derek Roy (2) would collect the assists on Weber’s goal.

Third Period:
– Just like on Thursday, the third period would be Nashville’s waking point, with Paul Gaustad sinking his first goal of the season at 8:33. Taylor Beck (1) and Eric Nystrom (1) would pick up the assists.
– After collecting an assist, Eric Nystrom would go a step further and pick up a goal at 9:54, his second of the season. Gaustad (3) would nab the assist.
– Roman Josi would finish the beating with an empty-netter at 19:57 for his first goal of the season, with Eric Nystrom (2) collecting another assist and Shea Weber (1) picking up his first of the night and season.

Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star – Paul Gaustad
2nd Star – Eric Nystrom
3rd Star – Shea Weber

The Predators wrap up their first home stand Tuesday night as they welcome in the Calgary Flames.

Roster – Preseason vs. Lightning

c3c4736eda313461a153118a09e33706Earlier this afternoon, the Predators released who will be hitting the ice tomorrow night for the first preseason game on home ice.

DEFENSE:

PicMonkey Collage

On Defense: Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Johan Alm, Joe Piskula, Mattias Ekholm, and Anton Volchenkov.

FORWARDS:
PicMonkey CollageqList of Forwards: Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, Calle Jarnkrok, Filip Forsberg, Gabriel Bourque, Kevin Fiala, Paul Gaustad, Olli Jokinen, James Neal, Taylor Beck, Vanilla Ice Mike Ribeiro, and Rich Clune.

GOALTENDERS:
PicMonkey Collage2Goalies: Pekka Rinne and Marek Mazanec.

Noticeable players taking the night off are:
– Colin Wilson, who collected an assist on Filip Forsberg’s wrister.
– Derek Roy, who assisted in Craig Smith’s goal.
– Craig Smith, who picked up a goal in yesterday’s game in Tampa Bay.

Schedule: Preds Training Camp

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Hola! Long time, no read! Eh, I’ll be back to posting a ton more once the season starts, so please bear with me. Now that Rookie Camp is over and done, it’s time for the big boys to return to town and get ready for the all important official start to they 2014-15 NHL season! Training camp began this morning at Centennial Sportsplex, but was not open to the public. Tomorrow, on the other hand, and the following days will be open to the public for your viewing pleasure (and beneficial for optimal lunch hour hockey time). Here is the on-ice schedule to follow in order to get your maximum hockey allowance before pre-season begins *gasp* next Tuesday.

Friday, September 19th:
– 8:45AM – 10AM
– 10:45AM – 12PM
– 12:45PM – 2PM

Saturday, September 20th:
– 8:45AM – 10AM
– 10:45AM – 12PM
– 12:45PM – 2PM

Sunday, September 21st:
– 10:30AM – 11:30AM
– Scrimmage @ 12PM
Monday, September 22nd:
– 9:45AM – 11:15AM
– 11:45AM – 1:15PM

Tuesday, September 23rd:
– 11AM – 12:15PM
6:30PM – @ Tampa Bay Lightning

Wednesday, September 24th:
– 10:45AM – 12:15PM
– 12:45PM – 2:15PM

Friday, September 26th:
– 9:45AM – 11:15AM
– 11:45AM – 1:15PM

Tuesday, September 30th – Friday, October 3rd:
– 11AM

Team White:

  • Defense – Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Joe Piskula, Jaynen Rissling, Anthony Bietto, Jimmy Oligny
  • Goalies – Magnus Hellberg, Rob Madore
  • Forwards – Olli Jokinen, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Paul Gaustad, Viktor Stalberg, Brendan Leipsic, Viktor Arvidsson, Joe Pendenza, Justin Kirkland, Mikka Salomaki, Zach Budish, Jon Puskar

Team Silver:

  • Defense – Anton Volchenkov, Taylor Aronson, Victor Bartley, Mike Little, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, Aaron Irving
  • Goalies – Pekka Rinne, Devin Williams
  • Forwards – Tristan Grant, Eric Nystrom, James Neal, Pontus Aberg, Gabriel Bourque, Tommy Veilleux, Mike Ribeiro, Felix Girard, Matthew Campagna, Colton Sissons

Team Blue:

  • Defense – Mattias Ekholm, Seth Jones, Johan Alm, Garrett Noonan, Brian Lee, Mikko Vainonen
  • Goalies – Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec
  • Forwards – Craig Smith, Matt Cullen, Rich Clune, Derek Roy, Mark Van Guilder, Colin Wilson, Frederick Gaudreau, Josh Shalla, Austin Watson, Michael Liambas, Kevin Fiala

If you’ve never attended a training camp before and you don’t see your favorite player on the ice in the allotted time slot your chose to show up at, don’t panic; unless it’s Ryan Ellis (that deal is still floating in the atmosphere somewhere). No, there’s no need to panic. There will be different players in each time-slot, so you may see James Neal at 10:45AM – 12:15PM, but not at the 12:45PM – 2:15PM slot. Another thing to remember if you’ve never been is to arrive early. Centennial Sportsplex is bigger than the Ford Ice Center, but it’s no Bridgestone Arena. If you have little ones that want to be up against the glass (or you yourself), pack a brunch and get your booty to West End.