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.
Welp, the results are in for who will be in the starting lineup in the KHL All-Star Game and it looks like Sergei Kostitsyn has made the cut.
Sergei Kostitsyn is just one of three forwards starting for Team East, paired alongside Evgeni Malkin of Metallurg and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Traktor. Defense on Team East includes Ilya Nikulin of AK Bars and Sergei Gonchar of Metallurg MG. The starting goal is Michael Garnett of Traktor.
The starting line up for Team West is a bit more starstruck, with Alexander Ovechkin of Dynamo Moscow, Pavel Datsyuk of CSKA, and Ilya Kovalchuk of SKA rounding out the forwards. Zdeno Chara of Lev Praha and Alexander Ryazantsev of Severstal make up the defense of Team West, with Semyon Varlamov of Lokomotiv in goal.
One name that was not named in the lineup (who held a lead up until the end of the voting period) that is a bit surprising is Predators goalie, Pekka Rinne. However, with his recent groin injury, it explains why he did not make the starting lineup. It also brings up the speculation of if his injury is more severe than we know. Hopefully not.
The KHL All-Star Game will take place on January 13th, 2013 at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
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)
The playoffs and hopes of a Stanley Cup in Nashville are over for the Predators, but for some of the players, a chance at a championship isn’t quite over. As teams have slowly but surely been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL players have been packing up and heading to Europe to compete with their country’s national team for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship.
Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Yevgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh) quickly joined up with Team Russia once eliminated, along with notable Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara joining Team Slovakia. Corey Perry (Anaheim), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Patrick Sharp (Chicago) and Alexandre Burrows (Vancouver) hopped aboard Team Canada, along with Jimmy Howard (Detroit) and Bobby Ryan (Anaheim) joining Team USA.
With sixteen countries represented, almost all have some support from an NHL player, minus France, Latvia, Italy, and Kazakhstan. If you’d like to check out who’s representing who, check out the IIHF website. However, since being eliminated on Monday night by the Phoenix Coyotes, members of the Nashville Predators have been stepping up for their respected national teams and continuing their time on the ice.
The rookies have proven they aren’t ready for off-season, with defenseman Roman Josi jumping on board with Team Switzerland and forward Craig Smith joining Team USA. Martin Erat is in the works with joining Team Czech Republic, along with Andrei and Sergei negotiating with Team Belarus. More Predators players are suspected to join their respected countries as the week goes on.
The IIHF World Championship tournament is going on now until May 20th, in both Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Update: Just as we expected, another Predator has joined the IIHF for the World Championship. Patric Hornqvist has hopped on board with Team Sweden. We will keep you updated as new players join their country’s team.