Wednesday's notes: What should the Predators go shopping for?

Last night during the pre-game radio show, Willy Daunic opened the floor to discussion on the Bobby Ryan trade speculation which has gripped the hockey world over the last two days. While much of the focus has been on "what would you give up for such a player", the question I was interested in was whether the Nashville Predators should even pursue a star-quality forward in the first place.

Personally, given the model the team wants to build upon (two stud D and a franchise goalie), I see the more prudent path to success being the addition of greater depth among the forward ranks, not loading up the top end with more talent. Put simply, I'd rather see 3 lines featuring legitimate two-way players backed up by a checking/PK group (say, Spaling-Smithson-Tootoo/Halischuk) than acquiring a star forward, especially if such a trade cost one of the Nashville's current top wingers as part of the deal.

One could also make the argument (as Willy did) that the Predators need a solid 2nd-pair defenseman, as the current situation has Shea Weber & Ryan Suter putting up stellar results, while the rest of the group scrambles. I know it's premature, but I'll be very interested to see over the coming weeks if Roman Josi helps shore things up there.

Where do you think the most urgent need lies with the Nashville Predators this season? Sound off in the comments below after reading your morning hockey notes...

NHL's online store gives $20 discount off $100 orders | Hockey Gear HQ
A new, short-term sale at Shop.NHL.com can save you $20 while doing holiday shopping for the hockey fans on your list.

Nashville Predators News

Forget Bobby Ryan, Let’s Focus on the Bigger Prize… | The Predatorial
Kris would rather see the Preds make a play for Jarome Iginla.

The Curious Case of Bobby Ryan - Predlines
I don't think he's getting younger, is he?

Where art thou, Sergei Kostitsyn? - The Hockey Writers
SK74 has been pretty lackluster of late, even though he did fire two shots on goal last night.

Herbers Wins Debut In Style | Admirals Roundtable
The Ian Herbers era in Milwaukee got off to a rollicking start, featuring a Chris Mueller hat trick.

Boclair: Buyer beware | Nashville City Paper
David Boclair puts in stark highlight the differing situations for Chris Johnson with the Titans, and Pekka Rinne with the Predators.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper warns that the Preds risk falling back from the playoff pack.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Now That You're Covering Anaheim, It's Time for Some Truthiness - Anaheim Calling
Jen sets the record straight on a few items regarding Bobby Ryan.

Ducks' Ryan knows he might be the one to go - The Orange County Register
Well, this will keep those speculative fires burning.

Bruce Boudreau, former Washington Capitals coach, denies rift with Alex Ovechkin - ESPN
Um... really?

The Winningest Franchise In Hockey - The Copper & Blue
Derek looks at combined NHL & AHL performance so far to see how overall organizations are performing.

The Stars, Caps & Funny Math In The Scorer's Box - The Copper & Blue
The latest evidence on why Hit totals aren't worth the pixels they're printed on.

Realignment debate: Quick fix or shakeup – USATODAY.com
Get ready for another round of realignment talk, as owner meetings are scheduled for next week.

Eaves Injury Proves We’re All On Same Team - Octopus Thrower
It is refreshing to see hockey fans set aside rivalry to show respect and concern when a player gets hurt.

Yzerman expecting an emotional return to Detroit - NHL.com
It's not often when a visiting GM can look up and see his jersey hanging from the rafters.

Blue Jackets At Canucks Recap ; None Shall Pass (4-1W) - Nucks Misconduct
Vancouver easily dismantled Columbus in this one. But a Monty Python reference is usually worth the click.

Recap: Blues 2, Caps 1 - Japers' Rink
Sure, Washington lost, but then Dale Hunter cheap-shotted Ken Hitchcock after the game was over (I kid, I kid...).

Senators win 6-4 over Jets in back-and-forth matchup - Silver Seven
The on-again, off-again Ottawa Senators may be on again after winning a wild affair.

Panthers top Hurricanes late, start road trip with 3-1 victory - Litter Box Cats
The Florida Panthers aren't just leading the Southeast Division, they're the only Southeast team in the East's top 8 right now.

Rangers Vs. Penguins: Rangers Earn Big Win Over Pittsburgh Penguins - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers are rolling again, with 10 wins in their last 12 games.

Islanders 2, Sabres 1: Al Montoya Shines, Preserves Rolston Winner - Lighthouse Hockey
Break up the Islanders, they've won two in a row!

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