The Nashville Predators finished off last season third in the overall standings, many people expected them to make it deep into the playoffs, if not win the Stanley Cup altogether. The Predators faced the red hot San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Western Conference Quarter Finals and even with a trade deadline acquisition of Peter Forsberg they lost in a 4-1 series which was mostly dominated by the Sharks.
We're now nearing the end of June and already the Predators have made some big off season splashes that may or may not have something to do with a possible relocation of the team. First, the Predators dumped their team captain and star defensemen Kimmo Timonen along with a rising star in Scott Hartnell and they went to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the first round pick that they had previously dealt to the Flyers in the Forsberg deal. This move was followed by a big draft day deal that sent the Predators starter goalie Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for a first round pick in 2008 along with two second round picks in either one in 2007 and the other in 2007 or 2008.
Questions still remain, do these moves have something to do with the future of the club or are they simply to clear up cap space to sign bigger priority players? Does this mean we'll see Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg back in Predators jerseys next season? If they let them go become unrestricted free agents, does it mean we'll see a whole new team in the 2007-2008 season? All these questions will be answered in the coming weeks and I look forward to seeing whether or not the Predators will keep trading their superstars for draft picks, letting their free agents walk and try to rebuild an already great team that, now, seems to be on the verge of crumbling. Also, I'm interested to see whether or not this team will stay in "Music City" because maybe, just maybe, this whole movement is a part of a bigger picture that isn't clear as of yet but will be soon enough.