FanPost

Where Are They Now?

I actually stole this post idea from an article I read earlier tonight on Hockey Wilderness called Former Player Tracking: All Stars? Anyone? Bueller? The title pretty much says it all, but if for some reason you are confused or don't understand what this article was about, it basically peeked at and briefly reported on the current performances of several ex-Wild players, such as ex-Pred Andrew Brunette and Martin Havlat (who I mention specifically because it allows me to share the fact that in December, he injured himself by falling over the boards... REALLY??). Anyway, I thought HW's article was a neat idea (kudos to author BReynolds), and it got me thinking about our own ex-players. We have quite a few recently-departed, ex-Preds roaming around the NHL this season, and I became curious about what they are up to so far this year and how much I miss them playing for Nashville. I was interested in looking a little bit more in-depth than the original HW article, so I started typing up what I was finding to keep it all organized. I then thought that you all might also find this interesting as well, so I decided to stick it in a fan-post. Very, very late at night. Because I keep stupidly ridiculous hours.

Enjoy!

Joel Ward -- Washington Capitals

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2012 - Joel Ward (RW)

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Other than perhaps appearing slightly happier in his Caps headshot, Joel Ward doesn't seem to have changed much, and is doing just as well as he did in his last few years as a Predator. He's on pace for fewer points this year, but I don't think it's too big of a deal. He can do some crazy stuff when you least expect it (see: playoffs last year). Ward just isn't the kind of guy who puts up astonishing numbers anyway. Instead, he goes digging around in the corners like a Honey Badger, flinging out scraps for others to feast upon. While I do miss Ward, guys like Hustlechuk have filled in for him nicely. It's great to see Ward doing what he does best in Washington! Keep on keepin' on, buddy.

Cal O'Reilly -- Phoenix Coyotes Pittsburgh Penguins

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2012 - Cal O'Reilly (C)

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Well, Cal certainly looks... older? different? than when we released him a few months ago. There's something weirdly uncomfortable about his new picture (not that his old picture is really all that flattering), but I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps it's the combination of nicely coiffed, yet scruffy hair and 5 o'clock shadow? Who knows. Anyway, Mr. O-O-O-O'REILLY! has continued to put up rather abysmal numbers this year, just in Phoenix, and thankfully not Nashville. He's on pace for a grand total of 12 points. Twelve. Eesh. I always felt like Cal had a decent amount of potential. I kept waiting for it to show up, but unfortunately he was never able to get the ball rolling. I've always wondered what could have been in the remainder of the 2010-2011 season, during which he broke his leg with 18 points in 38 games. Not amazing numbers by any means, but they were (and continue to be) career-high numbers for Cal. Poor guy. He tries, but I can't imagine Coyotes fans are very pleased with him.

Breaking news! (From several days ago...) Cal was picked up off of waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins and played in his very first game with them this morning (February 5th). From a quick glance, it looks like he played mostly on the third line, centering Tyler Kennedy and... Steve Sullivan! Cal and Steve played a lot together in Nashville, so it seems logical to place them on the same line in Pittsburgh. He assisted on the Pens' first PP goal, had 15:40 TOI, 29% FO, and was -1 by the end of the game. Not fantastic, but not terrible either. Maybe Cal will be able to blossom in Pittsburgh, now that he is playing with his old teammate... they certainly gave him the chance to show his stuff today!

Marcel Goc -- Florida Panthers

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2012 - Marcel Goc (C)

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I swear, every year Marcel Goc looks more and more like Bela Lugosi. It's seriously creepy. Not a whole ton to say here, but I always liked Marcel. He was a decent forward who worked hard every game and put up decent numbers. Seems like he's doing similar things in Florida. Woohoo.

Cody Franson -- Toronto Maple Leafs

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2012 - Cody Franson (D)

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Aw, our little Fruit Cup has grown up! He doesn't look like a 15 year old anymore! Franson's doing well this year, and yes I'm still bitter about his trade. Before Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis arrived from Milwaukee and sort of helped saved our collective rears, our D-corps seemed to be (and is still kind of) missing somethin'. (Hint: it rhymes with Branson.) Cody would have been perfect. He's young (24), but has enough experience in the NHL (3rd year) to be a reliable Dman. Hillen isn't DEAD awful, but I'd pick Fruit Cup over him any day. Franson's Relative Corsi is 11.1, which is 3rd best in Toronto, and would be 5th best on the Preds (behind Weber's 12.1). Cody is definitely one ex-Pred I was sad to see leave, and really want back. I feel like he could have a solid place back here in Nashville, paired with say... Ryan Ellis? It might be too much offense on a defensive pairing, but who knows... it could be brilliant. Come back, Fruit Cup! I miss you.

Matthew Lombardi -- Toronto Maple Leafs

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2012 - Matthew Lombardi (C)

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Kevin Kline has more points than Matthew Lombardi. Aaaaaand SCENE!

Shane O'Brien -- Colorado Avalanche

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2012 - Shane O'Brien

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The first picture deserves to be bigger because it's awesomer. Also, I want SOB back. He took a lot of bad penalties, yeah, but then Barry got mad. And when Barry got mad, he stopped. End of story. He's a solid, don't screw-with-me-or-my-team defenseman that was perfect for the Predators. Oh WHY oh why did we get rid of Shane O'Brien?! He's also on track for 20 points this season, which is the second-highest total in his career (21 with Tampa in 07-08)! AND he's doing that in Colorado. Just think what he could be doing here... with us... SOB is definitively THE worst trade the Preds made this year. I want him back. Our defensive pairings could look like this: Weber-Suter, Josi-Klein, Franson-Ellis and Bouillon-SOB. That's fantastic (well, the last one might not be fantastic, but we can work on it). Plus, no one will come after Pekka Rinne ever, ever again...

Steve Sullivan -- Pittsburgh Penguins

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2012 - Steve Sullivan (LW)

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How could I forget Sully?! Shame on me. I was sad to see Sully go just because he was so likable, had made himself so at home here in Nashville, and truly seemed to love the city. However, with his chronic injuries (backs are extremely difficult to fix at all, not to mention fix well) and subsequent up-and-down production (pts: 30... 68! 60! 32... 51! 22...), I was glad to see him off the payroll. He's on pace for 38 points this year, which is respectable for someone who is playing in his 17th NHL season. Just for kicks, here's another way to look at the length of Sully's career: he started playing in the NHL when I was in Kindergarten, and I'm now in grad school. Crazy, right? Especially considering the back injuries he's endured, he was well-deserving of the Masterson Trophy he won a few years back! And Sully STILL looks like he has a few more years in him (if his back is on good behavior)! Anyway, I think we got ahold of him right at the end of his prime, loved him while he was here, and sent him to a team that needed him at the perfect time. I will always love Sully, and I'm glad to see he's producing nicely up in Pittsburgh, but it was definitely time for change here in Nashville. Best of luck buddy!

So, where are we now?

I miss Franson and SOB. Everyone else is fine where they've ended up... decent, but not terrible, forwards playing decent, but not terrible (except maybe Cal), seasons. Sounds good enough to me.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/admin/entries/new?community_id=208&entry_type=FanPost" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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