Alright guys, bear with me here, this is my first time blogging so I may make some mistakes here and there, but I figured, hey, why not start out with a topic that I love? That topic being the Nashville Predators.
Now, moving on to the specific topic itself:
In my honest opinion, I believe the Predators have positioned themselves quite well so far this offseason. We’ve taken the typical ‘Nashville Predator silent approach’ to this year’s version of the free agent frenzy, focusing more on our internal components rather than bringing in a new face or two to mix up the roster for next season. However, as the free agent signing period grows older, many names still linger on the market, waiting for the right situation to unfold. Some of these guys are looking for a change in scenery. Others are waiting to be offered what they feel to be their respective monetary value. Hell, some are even just hoping to find themselves on an NHL roster for next season. I believe that a number of these remaining free agents would fit quite nicely within our organization. I’ll start by naming a few:
1) RW Maxim Afinogenov – I’ve seen many Pred’s fans calling for a sharp look at this guy, and why not? He’s had some impressive seasons (22-51-73 in ’05-’06 and 23-38-61 in ’06-’07) and he is still at a fairly young age of 29 years old. Sure, he has struggled to keep himself up the past two seasons, but if the price is right, why not take a shot? Maybe all he needs is a change of scenery.
2) C Brendan Morrison – I’ve always liked watching this guy play the game. Once again, this is another guy who has put up some impressive numbers over his career. Also, we all know how the injury bug seems to hit the Predators at all the worst times. Morrison has played in all 82 games in a season 6 different times, and last year he played 81 games with the Ducks and Stars (16-15-31). How about shifting Leggy to the wing and letting this guy fill in?
3) RW Petr Sykora – I believe that this guy still has what it takes. Of course, there will be those who say he’s lost it and that he only performed in Pittsburgh because of the likes of Crosby and Malkin. However, this guy would bring in a good deal of the offense that we seem to be lacking. He’s had 7 seasons of 50+ points in the scoring department and has had 9 seasons with 20+ goals. Sounds impressive enough to take a closer look at. Definitely an option for the Preds in my book.
Some other names that could interest the Preds are Alex Tanguay (29 years old with a knack for scoring) or Miroslav Satan (another RW who could fill in on the second line and still has some scoring left in the tank). David Poile has the money and has not completely ruled out the possibility of signing a free agent to fill in the void in the Pred’s top 6.
However, as stated above, Nashville can turn to other options to find the right lineup to begin the 2009-2010 campaign. I don’t know anyone else’s thoughts on this, but Colin Wilson is an absolute beast. I’ve heard nothing but positives so far, and I can say without a doubt that I would be content to see him on the big league roster in October. Also, Nashville has other options in the likes of Nick Spaling, Mike Santorelli, and Cal O’Reilly (whom I believe deserves a spot on the final roster). Only time will tell how Poile decides to factor in these young guys.
On to another aspect that has been mentioned in several of Paul (McCann)’s blogs: trades. He has mentioned on more than one occasion that a trade is possible between Tampa Bay and Nashville, which would include Dan Ellis. I think a trade could very easily lure in a top 6 forward for the Preds, considering the immense depth we have coming up with our goalies and defensemen. Poile has clearly stated that a trade is definitely an option at this point. Again, only time will tell how Poile decides to play the hand he’s been dealt.
Now to the defensive front…. (Oxy Moron)
Wow! Talk about depth! We are absolutely stacked defensively and I can’t wait to see how some of these guys pan out in the future. Jon Blum, Cody Franson, Alexander Sulzer, Roman Josi, Teemu Laakso, and still adding with Ryan Ellis and C-O Roussel. The sky is the limit for the number of options Poile has to set this season’s defensive corps. Many people have speculated that the Predators would for sure sign a veteran blueliner to help guide these younger guys in their first encounters in the NHL, but a signing still has yet to be made. With Jay McKee exiting the market earlier today to sign with the Penguins, we lost what seemed to be our biggest target to this point. With our defense still consisting of 2 unclaimed spots, it should be interesting to see how the young guys battle it out and whether or not Poile sees it fit to add a veteran D-man. How about Ossi Vaananen? Rhett Warrener? Kyle McLaren? If not, we may be looking at one of the, if not the, youngest defensive corps this team has ever seen. No doubt that situation would be somewhat exciting, but at the same time, risky.
We have a few million dollars we could spend before Poile meets his set budget.
Our system is bringing in both talented and exciting prospects that should please for years to come.
We have the assets that would make us an attractive trade partner for almost any team.
Let’s see what Mr. Poile has in store for the remainder of this offseason! Should be interesting. Thanks to all who read me through! Feel free to comment on the blog or comment your thoughts on the remainder of the offseason for the Preds. God bless!
Scratch Brendan Morrison from that list of forward possibilities for the Preds. He would've looked good in a Nashville sweater but I'm sure he'll turn out to be a good signing for the Caps. My top target, if I'm David Poile, is Petr Sykora.