The Fansided NHL Network, that SenShot is proud to be a member of, is embarking on its NHL preview. Each day in September, one of its members will be posting a preview for their club. SenShot will look at their preview, and let you have a look. After that, we will provide our own perspective. Jared will handle the Western Conference teams while Tony will look at the East.
Today, we’ll preview our the home of former Senator favorite Mike Fisher, the Nashville Predators.
The Predators are one club that would have to consider the 2010-11 season a success, as they advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, before bowing out to the Canucks. What have they done to build on that success and ensure an even deeper playoff run in 2012?
Dan Bradley from Predlines presented his preview of the Predators today on their website:
Without a doubt, this is the turning point for the Nashville Predators. The Three marquee players are entering their contract years. Of the 12 marquee rookies this year listed by SI.com, four will be wearing the fangs this year. The kids have the keys to the car this year. With revenue up, and the new ownership possibly about to add another partner which could even further stabilize the team and anchor them permanently at 501 Broadway, it’s within the realm of possibility this could be the last year Nashville hangs around the midpoint. That is, if the front office wants to keep all three of Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne, and Shea Weber.
This will always be what many view as the weakness of this team, but it may be a position of strength this year if the youth comes through. Sure, Joel Ward is now fat and happy in D.C., Steve Sullivan will be protected in Pittsburgh, and Marcel Goc will now be able to work on das tan in South Florida. But with their absence opens opportunity. And for a franchise that’s finally ready to churn out some forwards, here’s their chance. Veteran presence still resides up the middle with David Legwand and Mike Fisher; a pair of solid defenders who do possess decent playmaking skills. No one was happier than Legwand when Fisher arrived last season, and it showed in the postseason. Martin Erat and his beautiful hair will still be turning circles in Music City, and to be honest his defensive skills really shined this past year.
You can read the rest of the preveiw HERE
SENSHOT’S TAKE ON THE PREDATORS
The Predators made very few changes in the off-season in terms of bringing in new talent. Steve Sullivan (PIT), Joel Ward (WSH) , Marcel Goc (FLA), and Cody Franson (TOR) are among those contributors from last season who have found new homes either through trade or free agency. Long-time Pred JP Dumont also will not be brought back, as his contract was bought out.
More will be expected from the young players that have been developed in the system, such as Blake Geoffrion, Jonathan Blum, Colin Wilson and maybe even young Ryan Ellis. Roster spots have been opened up for these players, and it is time for them to step up.
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter continue to be the stalwarts and along with Pekka Rinne the foundation of the franchise. With one of the league’s lowest payrolls and its top 3 players all looking for new long-term contracts after this season, the window of opportunity might not be open very long unless ownership is prepared to do something is hasn’t done a lot in the past: write a fat cheque or three.
Will the Predators make it back to the post-season? Yes, they have the defense and goaltending to carry them to the playoffs. What they do there will depend on how the young Preds can step up in the limelight. I don’t know if they are deep enough or experienced enough to take another step forward like they did last year.
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