No player last season had more than 51 points. So they traded away one of their best forwards (Jason Arnott) and expect newcomers such as Sergei Kostitsyn to pick up the slack.
The goalies didn’t look great last year, so the team traded away one of their best defensive defencemen in Dan Haimus because they weren’t able to sign him.
They have $10 million in cap space, but never made a significant signing or trade in the summer.
Yup, it’s going to be a long season for Nashville fans.
Best offseason move: Signing Matthew Lombardi. If healthy, Lombardi is a lock for 40 points, that much is guaranteed. But the Predators need him to do more than that. They need scoring help, and they’re hoping Lombardi can chip in with 20 goals and 55 points or so. Asking anymore is too much. But for what they’re paying (a cap hit of $3.5 million a year) is perfect for they can get. Anything else is a bonus.
Worst offseason move: Not winning a single trade. In essence, they traded Jason Arnott, Dan Hamhuis (who was becoming a free agent), Dustin Boyd, Dan Ellis and a seventh rounder for Matt Halischuk, Ryan Parent, Sergei Kostitsyn and a second rounder. The only place they improved was in the draft. Every place else, they’re worse off.
Dark horse trophy candidate: JP Dumont for the Lady Byng
Pool pick: JP Dumont. Last year, he had only 45 points, which was his lowest total in four seasons. In the three years previous to last season, he had 66, 72 and 65 points. Look for him to come close to those totals again. Who to stay away from: Martin Erat. He peaked a few years ago at 57 points. Look him to finish with about 45 this season.
Best hall of fame choice: Barry Trotz. The guy has coached his entire 11-season career with the Predators, and has a plus .500 record, which is pretty amazing considering he’s been there since they were an expansion team. The team routinely wins at least 40 games a season, which means if he continues coaching for a few more years, he should be able to get within 700 wins. Another decade of coaching could get him close to 1,000 games. (It also speaks a lot to this roster when the best chance for a hall of famer is a coach).
Blog to follow: Predlines
My Prediction: Fifth in the Central, 14th in the West
Famous celebrity from that city: Reese Witherspoon