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.
I've got a [email protected] for another team coming to Canada, but if I was a member of the Preds scouting and developmental staff, I'd be disgusted at the way ownership is ripping apart the team that took what 10 years to build?!?!
there is no mystery. nashville is owned by an owner that doesnt want to be an owner anymore.why would he want to be paying salaries if he can dump them.As well .. as far as the sale of the team. its still on. he just doesnt want to be paying lawyer fees until all the paper work is signed... and it will be soon.. to bad mr. wertz and mr. jacobs.. your influence is slowly dissipating
Not sure how many times it needs to be pointed out that the Hartnell and Timonen trade was not a dump. Even if Leipold was planning on spending more than he was gonna make for another year or two we would have NEVER paid either of them that much money. Poile was intimating after the season ended for us that maybe one or two guys don't come back for not using their heads well. Hartnell was one of those two. Don't think that Kimmo was. Somebody else was gonna sign both of them to some serious money and we got a first round pick out of the deal. It was a pretty brilliant move.The Vokoun trade was a salary dump. The sale, if this one ever happens, isn't going to happen in time for the Free Agent Frenzy. The possibilty that Leipold is going to be stuck paying salaries for at least some of the next season is why the team is moving towards the Salary Cap Floor. Moving Vokoun wasn't really what anybody wanted, but it was the easiest way to get the salary down before his no-trade clause kicked in on July 1. We got some good picks out of it and some room to resign Kariya, which might be happening very soon. Don't look for any other high dollar players to be signed though.List the guys we still have. Tell me we didn't have an embarassment of riches here last year. We have a lot of good players here still. Tickets are being sold. The 14,000 line will likely be crossed killing the cure clause in the lease. And go read famousjon's blog entry from Sunday here on the site. It helps clear up lots of things.