<a href='http://predjoe.wordpress.com/files/2007/07/radek1.jpg' title='radek1.jpg'><img src='http://predjoe.wordpress.com/files/2007/07/radek1.jpg' alt='radek1.jpg' /></a>
<strong>Center Radek Bonk is now a Nashville Predator</strong>
"For the most part our team is now set up,'' Predators General Manager David Poile said. "We'll still need to fill some depth, but in terms of our major league roster, we're in pretty good shape.
This was what Poile said after the signing of Center Radek Bonk and Defensemen Greg de Vries yesterday to two year deals. While none of this years signings provided the big splash of Jason Arnott, Paul Kariya or even J.P Dumont all three (see yesterdays post on forward Jed Ortmeyer) of our additions will, I think, prove to be solid additions.
While Radek Bonk has slowed down on the offensive side of things most experts agree that his defensive game is his bread and butter now. The Predators will not likely see Bonk reach the 20 goal plateau as he did with Ottawa four times we will see a steady presence as our third line center. We have been lacking a big man to center the third line and his production (expect 20-30 points from him) will be a huge boost there.
Greg de Vries is, in my opinion, just what the doctor ordered. A steady defensemen who is willing (like Greg Zanon) to throw his body in front of pucks and uses his size (6’2 220) to his advantage. Fellow Pred fan Jason told me this morning when we were discussing the recent additions that Barry Trotz has said in the past that de Vries was the one guy he wishes they never traded away…well Trotzy you’ve got him now!
What Poile has done with our free agent pick ups is, more than anything, fill key needs with solid players who can play well within a system. None of these guys are going to light the lamp for thirty goals but they will play solid two way hockey…something that Preds have missed a bit. I am excited about these pick ups and I think the Preds are positioning themselves for a great year.