Predators in position to add more players
The best thing about the preseason in the NHL is that there’s no wasting time before playing games.
Camp, happily short to begin with, started for the Nashville Predators with their first on-ice session last Saturday and then two days later they were suiting up for a preseason doubleheader in Florida.
All of which says that teams tend to know fairly quickly which players will make the opening night roster and which won’t and, significantly, where their holes are.
Last Friday on the eve of the first on-ice session of camp, Preds coach Barry Trotz said something very interesting about the team’s roster — namely, that the Preds are in a position to acquire. But before going there, let’s take a look back at Nashville’s offseason.
After the most exciting spring in the organization’s history, the Preds followed it up with what must have been one of the most underwhelming offseasons. It wasn’t like 2005 when, coming out of the lockout, the Preds signed Paul Kariya who averaged better than a point-per-game that season.
No, it was the summer of brooding about defenseman Shea Weber. And the brooding lasted about as long as it possibly could have. The Norris Trophy finalist and franchise cornerstone got under contract, but he did so via arbitration and a one-year deal worth $7.5 million, the highest cap hit of any player at his position in the NHL.
The move essentially tied general manager David Poile’s hands for the entire offseason. By the time the arbitrator made his decision, it was Aug. 2 and virtually all of the most desirable players on the free-agent market were gone.