OK I think I know who our "Top 6" forward (that we may or not be getting) may be. And it's a fantasy I concede that, but it's fun to think about. But first, I have to give you the set-up, bear with me. Scroll down if you must.
I think it's obvious by now that the Predators marketing team over the last season has been nothing short of phenomenal. There are many reasons and I won't get into them all, but they all shared a common theme. Nashville was pushing the niche markets - thinking outside the box. Mike Fisher was a solid investment, but the marketing that came out of that was targeted to a specific demographic - suddenly the Predators are on E news - not an accident.
They marketed Blake Geoffrion to death last year, a marketing tactic that at the same time markets to the entire NHL as well because of the history. I remember seeing the NHL Network spot about Howie Morenz about 100 times last season.. and while I'm talking about the NHL network, I see the "This is Shea Weber, you are watching the NHL network" a whole lot more than I used to.
And just for laughs maybe the whole Shea Weber fiasco was yes, a sports agent, but a sports agent who was willing to play ball and drag us to arbitration for the sole purpose of marketing. It's a far out theory I know, but the day of the ruling Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators were on every hockey website in the world.. again I don't think that is accident.
Now let's consider some of the "smaller" things that have happened that from a marketing standpoint appeal to a niche demographic and see if we can't draw some conclusions.
Mattias Ekholm and Nicholas Bergfors? Oh yeah they both played on the Swedish team together.
Kirk Muller. And yes he makes our organization better but he comes with a marketable demographic, and its all starting to look like a pattern.
There are even more niche markets overseas for the Nashville Predators that are being explored and marketed to.
Which brings me to my prediction.
Teemu Selanne, 1 year 2.2 mil. or somewhere thereabouts..
Imagine the marketing angle. Peks has said many times that one of his favorite players is Selanne. I imagine after those two went to battle in the playoffs that there was a little more than respect exchanged, especially being countrymen.
I remember during the playoffs the Finnish media were starting to talk about Peks more and more. And however small that market is, you are advertising Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators. What if they were on the same team?
Here's a quote from Randy Carlyle after our playoff series win. "Nobody tried harder, nobody cared more, nobody did more in this series than Teemu Selanne, and it's an emotional time for him right now because of what happened," Carlyle said. "There is always that looming, `Is this the last one,' and I'm sure he doesn't want to go out feeling the way he does right now."
Feeling like your team is a bunch of dicks? Or how cool it would be to play for a structured, disciplined team with an obvious focus on character who has Pekka Rinne in goal?
Teemu is coming off of knee surgery and at 41 said he'll decide next month is he wants to continue to play. He is an UFA and has said that the Ducks are the only team he would play for.
Can't hurt to try. It is a smart hockey move and a smart marketing move. And if this crazy prediction pans out it's only because I am 4 months behind DP and the Preds marketing team, and that would only bode well for us all.