Per HFboards- the Nashville Predators have signed Finnish forward Antti Pihlström. An up-tempo player with great speed, a decent shot, and a hard right, Pihller complied 16 goals and 23 assists along with a +11 and 63 penalty minutes in 56 games last season with Hämeenlinna. He's been drawing comparisons to Ville Nieminen and Sami Kapanen.
From what I can gather, this was a good move by the organization... except for one thing. Pihlstrom is only 5'10" 190 lbs. The Predators need to get BIGGER up front, not smaller. But methinks this will be a solid addition to the Predators lineup, and if he doesn't hack it and wants to stay in the States he should have a good deal of success in the AHL.
Click here to watch Pihlstrom and Vaclav Varada destroy each other.http://youtube.com/watch?v=BmLfwsnBGco
I try my best to make every blog a two-part blog... well, not really, but it happens anyway.
Just recently, when the fan uprising against Jim Balsillie was still the dominant mood, I was directed to a highlight video on YouTube. And right now, with the turbulent times this team is going through, I think this should be required viewing for ALL Preds fans.
I must admit, the soundtrack does a good job of stirring one's emotions. But now I want to take some time to talk about the player showcased the most in this video:
If you'll remember, waaaaay back around the time I was born in 1990, a young Russian named Sergei Makarov was tearing the NHL apart alongside the high-powered Calgary Flames. He went on to win the Calder Trophy, becoming the first Russian to do so. (Though the Edmonton Oilers won their most recent Stanley Cup to date, but that's a different discussion entirely.) He made history and paved the way for a decade's worth of Russian players- the Bures, Sergei Fedorov, the ill-fated Vladimir Konstantinov, Nikolai Khabibulin, and so on.
15 years later, Alexander Ovechkin has done the same thing. He is the Sergei Makarov of this generation of Russians; Evgeny Malkin is the Pavel Bure; and Alex Radulov is the Sergei Fedorov of this generation of Russians(and yes, I know they play different positions, but this is an analogy so bear with me)- eclipsed by the others, but still incredibly talented and may eventually out-do both of his superiors(though it's admittedly hard to top a guy like Pavel Bure).
And I guarantee that by the time all is said and done, Alexander Radulov will make Sergei Fedorov look like a hack.
Never before have I seen the combination of energy, heart, and skill that Radulov has. Never. He's brimming with energy and emotion and it's out there for everyone to see. And that energy is just the spark this team needs to get over the proverbial hill that will get them to the Promised Land(no, not Kitchener :-P). I get pumped up just watching the guy. His English may not be the best, but he has a wrist shot and a determination that speak volumes.