2017 NHL All-Star Roster Announced

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Image Source: NBC Sports

Moments ago, the NHL released the final roster of the 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles January 28th-29th. Not surprisingly, Nashville has only one player on said roster: P.K. Subban, who was voted by the fans as the Central Division Captain. And, with his upper-body injury slated to be healed by the All-Star Weekend, Subban may have to relinquish his captain duties to someone else for safety’s sake.

– CENTRAL DIVISION

  • P.K. Subban – Nashville Predators
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets
  • Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars

 

– ATLANTIC DIVISION:

  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins
  • Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Shea Weber – Montreal Canadiens
  • Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
  • Frans Nielsen – Detroit Red Wings
  • Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Vincent Trocheck – Florida Panthers
  • Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Kyle Okposo – Buffalo Sabres
  • Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

– PACIFIC DIVISION:

  • Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
  • Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks
  • Mike Smith – Arizona Coyotes
  • Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Ryan Kesler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
  • Jeff Carter – L.A. Kings
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Bo Horvat – Vancouver Canucks

– METROPOLITAN DIVISION:

  • Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals
  • Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Wayne Simmonds – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils
  • Seth Jones – Columbus Blue Jackets

What do you think about the roster for this year’s All-Star Weekend? Nashville isn’t the only team with one representative, but if you want to include former Preds (Ryan Suter, Devan Dubnyk, Seth Jones, and Shea Weber), then Nashville’s actually pretty well represented.

All joking aside, the big question is will Subban be healthy enough to participate? As mentioned, his 2-3 week recovery time ends at about the time of the All-Star festivities, but should not participate if it risks re-injury (thus keeping him out of the lineup even longer). Of course, that will be something the organization and Subban discuss as time gets closer.

 

 

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NHL names Rinne Third Star of the Week

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Worried about Rinne’s consistency? The NHL isn’t. Earlier today, the National Hockey League announced its Three Stars of the Week: Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins, Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets, and our very own Pekka Rinne.

Rinne’s 3-0-0 record over the past seven games are likely what earned him this honor, along with making 83 saves for a .975 save percentage. It’s no secret Rinne is no longer a spring chicken, but he has a lot more to bring to the table than most want to give him credit for. While Saturday was Rinne’s first shutout of the season, his performance in several tilts prior prove his record should reflect more.

The Predators are off to Canada to take on the 6-6-3 Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night at 6:30PM.

Vesey shuns Nashville; Seeks UFA

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

Image Source: Google

Say it ain’t so, Joe Jimmy! #VeseyWatch is officially over as the Predators’ third round 2012 NHL Draft pick has chosen to go the route of unrestricted free agency instead of joining Nashville. TSN reporter Bob McKenzie was the first to break the news:

As you can imagine, the Preds Twitterverse was raging at this news with some people showing no surprise whatsoever, and others completely baffled.

While I wasn’t too surprised by this announcement, it was still very disappointing. As much as I think the Predators are doing fine without him and – who knows – adding him might throw off the chemistry and kill any chance of a deep playoff run (the kid has never seen a slice of NHL ice time), it is still frustrating to know Nashville will get nothing for drafting him.

It became even more frustrating when David Poile called an impromptu press conference during the first intermission regarding Vesey’s choice to wait out UFA.

“On Wednesday, we received a call that they were thinking about free agency. This was the first time that had ever been told to anyone in our organization. At that point, we kind of asked why and they just said it was the attraction of free agency. I said that I felt that this was a complete 180 and that I’d to have a meeting with Jimmy, his family, and his representatives. [I] spoke with his dad, I believe it was on Thursday, who seemed to be very much in favor of his son signing in Nashville and agreed to have a meeting sometime when the season was over. We called the agents and told them that Paul Fenton (Assistant GM) and I would come up to the game with Scott Nichol (Director of Player Development) on Friday to cheer Jimmy on. We met with the agents for about an hour up in Boston where we went over all their feelings and they thought it was good that we came up. [We] talked about a lot of things. We asked for a meeting and they said they would talk to Jimmy about that and hopefully we would have a meeting.

Paul Fenton and I came back here [Nashville] on Saturday. Scott Nichol stayed there in Boston because we invited Jimmy and his family and his representatives to come to Nashville whether he was signed or not, whether it be Saturday, Monday. Or, if not, Paul Fenton and I were going to go back to Boston to meet with all of them Tuesday. There’s been a lot of conversations, but never once did we ever get together to have a meeting.

Every indication was that he was going to sign with us. His dad had told me, Peter Laviolette, Scott Nichol, and Paul Fenton that his son was going to sign with us. And Jimmy himself told Paul Fenton prior to the trade deadline, which was an important time for us because it was our last opportunity to change our team. We told him if he was going to sign with us we were going to keep a position available for him, and he told us that he was going to sign with us.

So, for whatever reason, and after all the time and resources that we invested in Jimmy Vesey’s development, we could not get a meeting with Jimmy, his family, and his representatives all together. That’s the only thing I asked for after Wednesday and they would not accommodate us on that.”

The last two paragraphs from Poile’s press conference are what you need to take away from this. Both Jimmy and his father told David Poile that he [Vesey] would be signing with Nashville. Although Nashville made a move early before the Trade Deadline with the Jones/Johansen trade, Poile’s comments indicate that the organization would have possibly made more moves before the deadline, but were going by Vesey’s word that he would sign with the team once his season was over with Harvard.

Another important quote to take away from this presser is:

Now, take this information with a grain of salt. This does not mean Toronto or Boston or whoever put a little bug in his ear, but – on the other hand – who is to say they did not. Unrestricted Free Agency is a tasty little deal, but there is no denying Jimmy would’ve been given the best deal if he signed with Nashville. An automatic top 6 position in the lineup, playoff time, and the chance to burn a year on his entry-level contract? Yeah, there’s no doubt – if Jimmy wanted the best deal – he received bad advice, but if it really is all about the idea of signing wherever he wants, then here’s to hoping every team grovels at his feet for him to join.

Hockey is a business and the kid certainly has the right to change his mind, even after making all these lovely promises to the Predators organization. However, with business comes reputation and well, this making promises then tucking tail and not facing the music is a bit… sleazy. If he did honestly change his mind, he and his agents needed to man-up and explain their case to Nashville. That’s just my opinion, but I have a feeling some others would agree.

Honestly, I cannot blame the kid for seeking a chance to go wherever he wants, but I do not like how the negotiations were handled – or lack thereof. Vesey may want to find another set of agents, because their actions can reflect poorly on him and his character.

David Poile and his team still have rights to Vesey until August 15th, so the Predators GM claims he will continue to persuade Vesey to join the Predators organization. In my opinion, Nashville has plenty of up-and-coming talent in Milwaukee that should have a shot a the NHL, especially since these guys have already shown commitment to the Predators organization. If Vesey really wants to stay in Boston or play under the supervision of his father in Toronto, I say let him. The toughest part for Nashville is this loophole where players can go off to college or Europe and, after four years, hit UFA. And what does that team get after drafting the kid? Nothing. But that, my friends, is fight for another day.

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.

Preds fall to Leafs in SO 2-1

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Despite notching seven goals against the Ottawa Senators and sealing the victory on Tuesday, Nashville just couldn’t seem to find the powers at be to win last night against the now 4-8-4 Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals for either team weren’t scored until the third period, thus leading to overtime, then five rounds of shootout action. Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, James Neal, and Craig Smith would all have their one-on-one chance with James Reimer, but it would be Pekka Rinne who would fall first and allow Peter Holland to notch the game-winner.

If you can recall from last season – November 18th, 2014 to be exact – the Predators completely derailed the Maple Leafs 9-2 in Toronto, only adding fuel to fire that is the Maple Leafs organization as of late. Last night shows how differently a season can change things. Although the Maple Leafs are still trying to piece themselves back together, they still came out and gave the Predators a run for their money.

Apparently, per Lupul and even some of the Nashville players, the ice was pretty rough last night, a comment not usually made about Bridgestone’s rink. Could that have been the cause for Nashville’s horrendous passes, constant puck whiffs, and overall inability to skate? Perhaps that, combined with just “one of those nights”, is the answer to our questions. Both teams were pretty even on SOG during all third periods and OT, ending the night with 23 SOG for Toronto and 22 for Nashville.

Looking on the bright side, the Predators did gain a point and can move onward to tomorrow’s game against the Winnipeg Jets with a little positivity. However, if it really was an ice issue, let’s get that fixed asap.

Other Notes:

In Milwaukee:

Preds Release Opening Night Roster

opening night

Yesterday afternoon, the Predators released the finalized 23-man roster for the 2015-16 NHL season. Without further ado, here are your Nashville Predators:

FORWARDS

Smith

Forsberg

Arvidsson

Bourque

Fisher

Gaustad

Hodgson

Neal

Nystrom

Wilson

Ribeiro

watson

51(1)

DEFENSE

Bartley

Bitetto

Ekholm

Ellis

Weber

Josi

Jackman

Jones

GOALIES

Rinne

Hutton

 

So, are you surprised by who made  the roster? We certainly are happy to see that Austin Watson made the cut, as that kid has been working something hard in the AHL. The same can be said for Viktor Arvidsson, who is definitely ready for his light to shine this season.

The 2015-16 NHL season opens tonight with the Maple Leafs vs. the Canadiens, the Blackhawks vs. Rangers, the Flames vs. the Canucks, and the Kings vs. the Sharks. However, Nashville opens the season tomorrow at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Preds sign Calle Jarnkrok

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

There’s a good chance the young 23-year-old Swede is smiling from ear to ear today as Calle Jarnkrok and the Predators organization come to terms on a one-year deal worth $735,000. Here’s a little excerpt from the official press release:

Jarnkrok, 23 (9/25/91), has amassed 27 points (9g-18a) in 86 career NHL contests since making his debut with the Predators on March 21, 2014 vs. Calgary. During his first full NHL season in 2014-15, the Gavle, Sweden native suited up for 74 regular-season games (7g-11a-18pts) and all six playoff games (2a), recording assists in each of his first two career Stanley Cup Playoff games. In his first two months upon being acquired from Detroit on March 5, 2014, Jarnkrok posted nine points (2g-7a) in his first 12 NHL games, including five points (1g-4a) in the first five contests of his NHL career, the second-longest point streak by a Predators player in the first games of their NHL career (Marek Zidlicky, six games, Oct. 9-23, 2003).

Perhaps I made I good choice in purchasing his practice jersey at the Used Equipment Sale after all.

…And then there were two (RFAs) left…

  • Colin Wilson – July 28th
  • Craig Smith – July 20th
  • Gabriel Bourque – 1 Year, $866,250 (Qualifying Offer)  – 7/2/2015
  • Anthony Bitetto – 1 Year, $665,000(NHL)/$60,000(AHL) – 7/13/2015
  • Calle Jarnkrok – 1 Year, $735,000
  • Taylor Beck – Traded to Toronto for Jamie Devane – 7/12/2015
  • Taylor Aronson – 1 Year, $605,000(NHL)/$65,000(AHL) – 7/16/2015
  • Magnus Hellberg – Traded to NY Rangers for 6th Rounder 2016 Draft – 7/1/2015

Yeah, we’re looking at you, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith.

NSH trades Beck to TOR for Devane

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Say “so long” to Taylor Beck as he is officially headed to the Maple Leafs in exchange for forward forward Jamie Devane. Here’s a little info from the organization:

Devane, 24 (2/20/91), has spent the majority of his three-season professional career at the American Hockey League level, posting 15 points (6g-9a) and amassing 253 penalty minutes in 118 games with the Toronto Marlies. The Mississauga, Ont., native also appeared in his first two NHL contests with the Maple Leafs during the 2013-14 season.

Source: Torontoobserver.ca

Okay, so don’t let the knowledge that he’s spent a good portion of his career in the minors bother you. 2014-15 was the first season where Taylor Beck spent the majority of his time with the Predators and not in Milwaukee. Though Beck experienced his best season last year, whether or not he’d have a roster spot for the upcoming season was definitely up for debate. The Predators extended a qualifying offer to Beck, along with seven other players (Bourque accepted his, Hellberg was traded to the Rangers), but Beck and his agent opted for an arbitration hearing instead. Set for July 24th, the Predators avoided facing a possible hearing by successfully dealing Beck to Toronto.

Whether he pans out for the NHL right away or not, Devane will be a good replacement for someone else within the Admirals organization who is ready to make the switch to the big times. Enter, Austin Watson or Miikka Salomaki. Who knows? Maybe Devane will impress the judges enough to spend a little more time in the big leagues. Either way, Toronto will enjoy having Taylor Beck in their repertoire, there’s no doubt about that.

Also, for those interested (which I bet you are), here are the arbitration dates for Colin Wilson and Craig Smith:

  • Colin Wilson: July 28th
  • Craig Smith: July 20th

Preds Trade Updates

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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?