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Nashville Predators

NHL 15: Nashville Predators Guide

Written By: Wrxie

Nashville Predators

Year in Review:

The Predators drafted high in the 2013 draft. With the 4th overall pick, we drafed yet another defensemen, Seth Jones. It was a surprise that he was passed up and fell down to 4th, so Poile scooped him up. Jones came in the NHL at 6’3 and weighing 201 lbs. (But this summer he’s worked on gaining 10 lbs). By the age of 19, he has already reprsented the United States multiple times internationally – winning gold in 2011 and 2012 IIHF U18 and 2013 World Juniors, also being named an alternate C in the latter. In his final season with the Portland Winterhawks he scored 14 goals with 42 assists. In one year with the Predators, he ammassed 25 overall points, with 6 goals and 19 assists and 24 penalty minutes. We did not have a 2nd round pick, but in the 3rd round with the 64th overall we picked up Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, who at 6’3 and 220 lbs is another big defenseman to join in on Jones and Weber. In 12-13 season, he scored 4 goals and 22 asssits and finishing with 117 PIM in the QMJHL.

In the summer of 2013, we signed some people. We’ll just say that. We signed forward Viktor Stalberg and goalie Carter Hutton from the Chicago Blackhawks. Hutton took a one-year, $550,000 contract. Stalberg was a little more expensive, at 12 million for four years. We gave forward Richard Clune, who became our replacement for Jordin Tootoo, a two-year, $1.7 million contract. We also re-signed two defencemen – Roman Josi renewed to a 7 year, 28 million dollar contract and Victor Bartley to a 3 year deal, for $2 million.

This year was a little more interesting and exciting. As of right now, we still have not re-signed defenceman Ryan Ellis. We only signed one, yeah, you read that right, one defenceman this year – Anton Volchenkov, to a one-year, 1 million dollar contract, to replace Michael Del Zotto. Dare I say, we got better on the offensive front. Our biggest move of this summer was trading Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling to the Penguins in return for James Neal. Mike Fisher, our number one center, went down with an achilles injury which forced us to sign another three centers – Olli Jokinen, Mike Ribiero, and Derek Roy. You know, just in case the other seven centers we have don’t work out. And we gave Hutton a two-year, $2.5 million as well as re-signing Mattias Ekholm to a two year, $2.8 million.

Our 13-14 season started off hopeful. We didn’t make the playoffs in the shortened season, so we were looking for redemption. It wasn’t even a month in before our Finn went down with an E.coli hip infection. He had a hip arthroscopy in May. The infection sidelined him for almost 5 months. That left us with Carter Hutton. People expected a lot of him but forgot that before he stepped in for Pekka, he had played only one NHL game. One. We called up Magnus Hellberg and Marek Mazanec from the Admirals but really, no one was ready to fill Pekka’s shoes. Maz did win rookie of the month for November, however. It took Hutton a little while to find his game. It was after a Hurricanes game, after Trotz called him out and said he was not NHL caliber goalie for him to really come into his own. When Pekka did come back, it was obvious he needed some time to adjust (especially after being pulled from two games) and Hutton shined bright.

We also can’t forget our offensive struggles. There were games when we couldn’t figure out how to score a single goal. We were so consistently inconsistent. We would lose 4 then go on to win 5 and then lose 2. We went on to win our series against great teams like the Hawks, the Kings, Sharks, and the Red Wings but we had issues against teams like the Oilers, Flames and the Panthers. There was just no way to predict how it was going to go and which game we would win. Weber led the team with 53 points, 21 goals and 32 assists and had one of his best seasons yet. Craig Smith had an amazing year as well, coming in 2nd for most points with 52, 24 goals and 28 assists. Hornqvist was another producers that did well but nothing was exceptional or a stand out. Oh and don’t let me forget that two of our top shoot out scorers were Josi and Ellis, yep, the defencemen. Clune on the other hand pulled in the most penalty minutes in the entire league. Gabby Borque had the highest posessons last year. We did however end up setting a record for being the only team ever to not allow a short handed goal in an entire season. Even with our offensive and goaltending woes, we still ended up only 3 points out of a playoff spot. So maybe even James Neal being a tiny bit better at shootouts could help us and give us the small push that we need.


Highlights of the 2013-2014 Season:

Carter Hutton is super human.

Pekka gets pulled at 2:40

That time Eric Nystrom scored 4 goals in a game!

Seth Jones does a thing, pt. 1

Seth Jones does a thing, pt. 2

Josi wins us a shoot out

Weber beats Schneider

Rinne robs Kunitz

Ryan Ellis dives

And finally, Weber for Norris


Why the Nashville Predators Will Win the Stanley Cup This Year:

Our greatest strengths are unfortunately our weaknesses. Our back end is incredibly inexperienced despite Weber’s attempts to play all positions on the ice. Josi is injury prone and we picked up an aging vet who will be puffing away in the defensive zone while play is 200 feet away.

Rinne hasn’t shown he’s worth his contract since it was signed two summers ago, and with a goals for amongst the worst in the league, anything less than a stellar performance on his part will leave us floundering out of the playoffs. It took a reaming by Trotz and the acquisition of Dubnyk for Hutton to get his shit together last season, and it’s only another series of unfortunate events before we’re running with Saros in goal.

For a brief, panicky couple of days this summer, Olli Jokinen was our number one centre, and since then he’s been supplanted by a couple of bargain-bin picks in injury-prone Roy and issue-laden Ribeiro. If they wash out, which seems likely, none of the near-dozen centres in our lineup are qualified to center more than the third line. Laviolette’s system is a radical change that seems destined for failure since this lineup doesn’t compare with the firepower on either of his worst-to-first campaigns. And to add insult to injury, we’ll lose out on McDavid to Calgary or something.

In goal, Pekka Rinne is back in Vezina form after an incredible showing at Worlds where he backstopped Finland to silver even during games his teammates seemed determined to lose. Carter Hutton has a year of experience under his belt and finally seemed to adjust to the NHL toward the end of last season.

Over the summer we’ve acquired two centres with gas left in the tank and something to prove, as well as James Neal who is at least partially known for his goalscoring. Along with Craig Smith, coming off a season where he led the team in goals with very little help, Nashville is poised to compete with a more offensive system courtesy of new coach Peter Laviolette.


Why the Nashville Predators Won’t Win the Stanley Cup This Year:

Our greatest strengths are unfortunately our weaknesses. Our back end is incredibly inexperienced despite Weber’s attempts to play all positions on the ice. Josi is injury prone and we picked up an aging vet who will be puffing away in the defensive zone while play is 200 feet away.

Rinne hasn’t shown he’s worth his contract since it was signed two summers ago, and with a goals for amongst the worst in the league, anything less than a stellar performance on his part will leave us floundering out of the playoffs. It took a reaming by Trotz and the acquisition of Dubnyk for Hutton to get his shit together last season, and it’s only another series of unfortunate events before we’re running with Saros in goal.

For a brief, panicky couple of days this summer, Olli Jokinen was our number one centre, and since then he’s been supplanted by a couple of bargain-bin picks in injury-prone Roy and issue-laden Ribeiro. If they wash out, which seems likely, none of the near-dozen centres in our lineup are qualified to center more than the third line. Laviolette’s system is a radical change that seems destined for failure since this lineup doesn’t compare with the firepower on either of his worst-to-first campaigns. And to add insult to injury, we’ll lose out on McDavid to Calgary or something.

You can check out the Original Thread on Reddit Here:

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