It’s been nearly 30 days since I last wrote an article on this website. Vancouver didn’t know it would be all over the news…for the wrong reasons, Steve Sullivan still wore #26, J.P Dumont still had one year left of a bloated contract after effectively going straight down hill in a matter of two years, Preds fans had no worries that their pending RFA’s would be re-signed or at least would have qualifying offers sent to them, and my life was starting to make a series of changes that Tom Clancy couldn’t have scripted better. Let’s talk about what’s happened in Predator-Land over the last 30 days:
June 15th – Teemu and Peter:
June 15th was the start of David Poile’s domino’s, in a matter of speaking, as he re-signed minor league (and hopefully future starting defenseman) Teemu Laakso to a 1-year $675,000 2-way contract. However they also promoted coach Peter Horachek to Brent Peterson’s old position of Associate Coach. Now, some (most) people know I don’t really have much of a like for Horachek, whether it’s because I’m not really sure what he actually “coaches” with the team or his previous inability to help a year-by-year struggling powerplay. However, he’s been promoted, for good or for worse he has been promoted. Let’s just all hope Trotz doesn’t have a “more hands-on role” with the powerplay and neither does Horachek, let’s pray they give it to Lambert and let him have his turn with it.
June 16th – Juuuuuuussso Puuuuustinen:
My first thoughts….who? Besides the man’s name having more U’s than a flock of female sheep, I’ll let this video do the talking:
June 18th – Shea Weber Goes To Arbitration:
A lot of people saw this and said “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”. Well, let’s put it this way, it’s not BAD news. This was a decision made by Predators brass to essentially protect Weber from any offer sheets that may have came his way come July 1st and to give the Predators a chance to get a definitive offer on his worth and either accept it or pass on it. I have 99.9% belief that the Predators will accept the judgement by the arbitrator and then give him a multi-year contract later on.
June 22nd – Predators reveal their new logos and get shut-out at the Awards:
Ok, let’s take a peek at them:
I, personally, am going to sorely miss the orange and steel colors that were in the original logo. I had become very complacent with them and I’m not a big stickler on change, however I will say that what they have done with the new logos is very very acceptable in my book. I love the new shoulder patch with the Tennessee stars in them and the simplicity of the colors is great.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Predators players/staff that were invited and up for awards were effectively shut out. Rinne wasn’t much of a shock as most people knew that Tim Thomas was going to win the Vezina and Weber not winning the Norris was kind of understood as well because it’s no longer named the Norris Trophy, but the Lidstrom Trophy. However, what I was most shocked about was Trotz yet again not winning the Jack Adams trophy. My only question…WHEN? What will it take for this man to win the award? Just wondering out loud I guess…
June 27th – The End of an Era, Part 1:
Steve Sullivan was officially announced by David Poile as not being targeted to return to the team for the next season, effectively upsetting quite a few fans. Most fans knew this was coming, but still, to actually HEAR the words was still a bit upsetting. Sullivan has been here with these team for over half a decade and seeing him leave after all he’s done for us is turning the page and effectively ending one chapter of this team.
June 29th – RFA-Gate:
Word came out in scattered reports through the day that the Predators were being investigated by the NHLPA for not getting their RFA Qualifying Offers in on time. If this being the case, the Predators were now at risk at seeing players such as Nick Spaling, Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt Halischuk, Andreas Thurreson and more slip out of their fingers as UFA’s instead. Arbitration is slated for July 8th, so they are still our property until then
July 1st – Free Agency Begins!!!:
July 1st (Part 2) – 4 Predators find new homes:
Joel Ward, Marcel Goc, Steve Sullivan, and J.P. Dumont will all be finding new places to live as they will no longer be in the traditional blue and gold with the Predators.
Ward leaves for Washington, effectively adding a bit of a punch to the Capitals “heart and soul” ammunition, as the Caps have trouble finding that in the playoffs (see: Alexander Semin).
Goc goes to Florida, where Mike Santos (a former employee of the Predators, mind you) has been doing a great job picking off the talent from the Predators to help build his own version of the Predators in a little city called Sunrise.
Steve Sullivan is going to be playing with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh. To be honest, this is a perfect fit for Sullivan. The Pens could always use an extra bit of veteran leadership around the team and a great team player that can contribute; Sullivan DEFINITELY fits the bill there.
And Dumont? Well…no one really knows where he will end up. Having the last year of his contract bought out by the Predators, J.P. will search for a new team to call his home. I wish things could have been different for J.P. as he is a real fan favorite (or was), but diminished point production and Trotz’s Perennial Healthy Scratch really sealed the deal for him.
July 2nd – Andreas Thurreson says HELLO to the Big Apple:
Andreas Thurreson was traded to the New York Rangers for another minor leaguer named Brodie Dupont. Don’t know who he is? Neither do I. But check out this fun video, he seems like a more offensively-potent enforcer:
July 3rd – Franson/Lombardi traded for Brett Lebda and Bergfors signed:
In what seems to be a salary dump (or a preventative salary problem in the future), Nashville traded stud defenseman Cody Franson and still-concussed Matt Lombardi to the Toronto Maple Leafs for veteran defenseman Brett Lebda. Lebda, who spent most of his years with the Detroit Red Wings will be coming over in a “Greg DeVries”-sorta role and just bolster an already strong defensive corp.
Losing Lombardi is ok and not ok at the same time. I’m depressed we never got to see him do well here and we ended up eating 3 or so million dollars in the process. Losing Fruit Cup though? *sigh* that hurts. Always loved the guy and he gave me some good quotes when I had my chances to go down into the locker room during the post-game.
Also some good news, the Predators did their best to try and make another Free Agency steal in picking up young forward Niclas Bergfors (who used to play in Atlanta). This is a great move and is extremely cheap as well ($575,000). SO, if he doesn’t pan out we can say “It was only $575,000″. If he DOES pan out, we can say “there goes David Poile again! What a genius”
SOOO, that’s where we are at in Predator-land…but why have I been away for over a month without any new posts?
That’s essentially the easiest way I can describe it. I’ve had to do my share of soul searching over the past few years and although my wife and children filled quite a large void in my life and I’m so thankful for them each and every day, there always seemed to be a little piece of me that was still missing.
During the week of the NHL awards, I shipped myself off with a group from my wife’s church (that I had been attending for about 2 years, just going with her) to El Salvador, to participate in a mission trip in what I thought was just handing out food to the less fortunate.
It turned out to be a bit more than I could have ever imagined. I learned so much while I was down in El Salvador from the people there.
I saw things that broke my heart.
I saw things that angered me about the selfishness of Americans and the way we lived.
I broke down at the Children’s Hospital, because even though the little goody bags we were giving the children would have been the equivalent of “nothing” to children here in the States (and that includes my children), it was EVERYTHING to these kids because they had nothing of their own.
And in a moment that I never thought would have been possible in my life. I found God. What I didn’t know at the time leading up to the trip to El Salvador was that this trip wasn’t just an opportunity for me to do good, but it was an opportunity to change my life as God was waiting for me when I got there.
This leads me to the real purpose of this post, I’m changing how things will be done with my blog and the frequency of it.
I’ve had a chance to go back and take some time to look at what I do and what I’m able to write. I’ve learned that in all of my extra activities (Predators Road Trips, Preds games, my web design business, my blog, etc.), I’m losing more and more time with my kids and wife as I never have a chance to spend time with them, so I’m re-organizing my priorities.
In this, I’m limiting my time with my blog to MAINLY the regular season. I can’t compete with the real news leaders for the Predators as they do a FINE FINE job and I can’t compete with what they bring to the table and how timely they deliver it. There are more and more blogs coming into the Nashville Predators market and I want to leave the REAL news reporting to the already established ones, SO if you’re looking for the most recent news for the the team and everything that is new with the Predators, I suggest checking out:
CellBlock303.com (Twitter – @CellBlock303, @goverjkg, @codeyh, @smashville)
PredsOnTheGlass.com (Twitter – @PredsOnTheGlass)
InsideSmashville.com (Twitter – @ADPreds)
Smashville247.net (Twitter – @RLDHockey, @Smashville247)
HockeyNightInNashville.com (Twitter – @hockeynightNSH)
MusicCityMindset.com (Twitter – @MCmindset)
UPDATE: I forgot one, OnTheForecheck (Twitter – @Forechecker, @OTFMarc, @Predatweeter, @PredsBlog, and @JRLind)
If I left you out, I’m sorry, it’s un-intentional, however these are the first ones that come to mind as the LEADERS for Nashville Predators news
What will I be doing do you ask?
I’ll be still posting on my website during the summer, HOPEFULLY once a week with an “Odds and Ends” kind of post like I did once during the season, however when the season starts up will be when my real job begins.
I had a ton of positive feedback from the way I managed my blog in the 3 months after I started it up in February. My format will be as follows:
Gameday Thoughts – Pregame write-ups on the day OF the game. With looks at each team, where they are currently at, how they are doing, players to watch, and a prediction (YES a prediction. I know a TON of people hate this, but use it for gambling purposes. I don’t get it right a bunch during the REGULAR season [pretty near unbeatable in the playoffs], but I’m going to get better :-))
Post-game Wrap-ups – Postgame review of the game AFTER the game has taken place with Special Team stats, Players of the Game, Synopsis, a look back at my prediction, quotes from the players, and more!
In-Game Live Tweeting – This was the main purpose for branching off my personal twitter account (@PredsFan_303) to a new twitter account (@ThePredatorial). If you can’t make the game or if you can’t keep tuned on the website, turn on your twitter and let me do it for you! I’d almost like to say my In-Game Live Tweeting is unbeatable and I intend to make it so during this season as it will be just as good as listening/watching the game!
I’ll post here and there with an “Odds and Ends” as necessary, but I’ll leave the news portion of the team to the real news folks and do what I do best.
So, everyone have a WONDERFUL summer and stay tuned at The Predatorial this season for all your Predators Gameday needs!
Thanks for reading!