Nashville Predators

For a team that doesn’t have a stable fan base and responsible ownership, the Predators have done very, very well. An unstable ownership group, embroiled in controversy from Jim Balsillie to Boots Del Baggio, has managed to retain a stable management group, as David Poile and Barry Trotz have remained the franchise’s only GM and coach in history. While the Preds don’t make much noise during the season, they’re always a force in the playoffs. What the Preds lack in talent and skill they make up for in hard work and discipline, a strong characteristic of a Trotz team. The

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Quick Hit News

Old news, but Mathieu Schneider is now a Thrasher, pending physicals on Brad Larsen and Ken Klee, the players going the other way. Klee and Larsen are in the last years of their contracts and were not part of the Thrashers’ plans going forward. Schneider makes the Thrashers defense better, but they won’t be making the playoffs anytime soon. It also means that perhaps Atlanta isn’t too interested in finish first in the draft sweepstakes. Don Waddell was not interested in Schneider through waivers saying he was too expensive and wasn’t the right fit. The Thrashers’ payroll increased by about

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Catch Me If You Can

Alexander Radulov took the money and bolted, enjoying a much lucrative contract from Ufa while the NHL, KHL, and IIHF attempted to sort out the mess. The Predators, who own Radulov’s rights, announced yesterday that they have suspended their young winger indefinitely without pay (not that it really bothers him any). Radulov’s sudden departure left a sour taste in the NHL and Nashville’s mouths and have cried foul over Alexander Medvedev‘s dealings, but once again the IIHF lacks any real teeth in either league and the KHL doesn’t feel pressure to return Radulov to the NHL, where he has one

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THN Rankings – West

The Hockey News’ Rankings in the Yearly Yearbook were released, and for the West they’re as follows: 1 Detroit Red Wings 2 San Jose Sharks 3 Minnesota Wild 4 Dallas Stars 5 Anaheim Ducks 6 Edmonton Oilers 7 Chicago Blackhawks 8 Calgary Flames 9 Nashville Predators 10 Phoenix Coyotes 11 Vancouver Canucks 12 Columbus Blue Jackets 13 Los Angeles Kings 14 Colorado Avalanche 15 St. Louis Blues Detroit at the top is an absolute no-brainer. They won the Cup and somehow got better by adding Marian Hossa. They’ve got Pavel Datsyuk locked up for awhile, and it’s hard to see

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Koules Satisfied, Parrish Likes Vancouver

Despite the fact that the Lightning defense still seems a little suspect, boasting little veteran presence or even a big name, Oren Koules maintains that he is satisfied with his current defensive corps. The Lightning still have to get under the cap enough to ensure that they can accommodate Steven Stamkos‘ cap hit, which would be 3.75 should he reach all performance bonuses. Remember that this upcoming season is the last year of the current CBA agreement, and that there will be no performance cushions. Nashville, as noted in the article, remains a very enticing trading partner, with 13 draft

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Nashville Wants More Punch, Doughty Signs

Mark Parrish and Glen Murray may find a new home soon. The Predators counted on Alexander Radulov entering the season as one of their main scoring threats, but now that the emerging sniper has returned to Russia, it leaves a big hole on their offense. Although the Preds have decent offensive punch, without Radulov they really lack a game-breaker forward. Even with Steve Sullivan back, their wingers remain largely undersized and only above average. The Preds have never blown teams away with their offense, but rather with their grit and determination (losing Darcy Hordichuk will hurt, trust me), deep defense,

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Central Division Preview

Chicago Blackhawks Strengths: -Two prime young prospects in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. -Good talent with Martin Havlat and Tuomo Ruutu Weaknesses: -They added Sergei Samsonov -Lack a quality top pairing defenseman -Lack depth up front -Khabibulin makes way too much money. Question Marks: -Can Ruutu and Havlat stay healthy? -Are Jonathan Toews and especially smallish Patrick Kane ready for the NHL Outlook: -With a couple of high draft picks the past two drafts the Blackhawks have added a couple of quality young prospects in Toews and Kane which gives Blackhawks fans something to be optimistic about down the road

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Western Conference Team Rankings (Updated)

I was going to write up team by team reports, and I may still do that for some teams, but I decided to first post some numerical evaluations of each team in nice and easily readable table format. I have divided each team up into Forwards, Defense and Goaltending and then divided each of those groups into Talent, Depth and Experience/Leadership and ranked each of those nine categories based on a score out of 10. I then summed up all 9 categories to get an overall team score. Below are my results for the western conference. Let me know what

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Kansas City vs Hamilton: Saving Bettman's Babies

I just heard Doug MacLean be interviewed on Team 1200 here in Ottawa. He said Columbus was top 10 in attendance, top 10 in corporate support but near the bottom of the league in local TV revenue. He said that what he made all season in local TV revenue, the Leafs make in 3 games. That’s crazy. He then talked about advertising rates. A 30 second TV ad in Columbus nets $220, in Detroit $1250. He mentioned that he believes that the average TV ad rate for Kansas City is below that of Columbus. That means, even if the people

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Don't read too much into Bettman's words

Yesterday Bettman had his state of the NHL press conference and two big topics were covered, or at least generated the most media interest. First is the sale of the Nashville Predators and whether they are going to move. Second is the possibility of an NHL team in Winnipeg. In both instances some in the media are misinterpreting what he said. First let’s talk about Nashville. He did his best to try to persuade everyone that the Predators are going to stay in Nashville talking extensively about how they have a 14 year lease and the city if it chooses

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