NASHVILLE TN - NOVEMBER 13: Cal O'Reilly #16 of the Nashville Predators scores a shootout goal against Marty Turco #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Our Predators jersey series moves right along to number 16. There are not any players that stand out in this set of candidates, yet what is interesting is most of them spent the majority of their time playing for the Milwaukee Admirals and not for the Preds themselves.
Spending most of his time in various European leagues, the Finnish forward periodically returned to the NHL throughout his career. After playing for a year for Västra Frölunda HC of the Swedish Elite League, where he was the best pointman (scoring 51 points in 49 games), Peltonen returned to the NHL to play for the expansion Nashville Predators in 1998. His return was very promising, as he scored 10 points in his first 14 games. However, a serious shoulder separation put him out of action for the remainder of the year. The following season, Peltonen returned to the Predators lineup, with an NHL career high of 6 goals and 28 points in 79 games. Nevertheless, the next season for him would not be as prolific at the NHL level, scoring only 4 points in 23 games with the Preds before being reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals for the remainder of the season, where he scored 27 goals and 60 points. That season, he was selected to play in the AHL's All Star Game. After the conclusion of the 00-01 season, Peltonen became a free agent and returned to his home country to play for Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League.
For anyone who happens to have NHL Center Ice and is keen on watching Toronto Maple Leafs games, you may have seen Moro as an analyst on Leafs TV. Before becoming a media personality, Moro spent some time with the Nashville Predators. Moro was dealt to the Nashville Predators along with Chris Mason for goaltender Dominic Roussel at the start of the Preds' inaugural season. Moro spent the majority of his time with the Predators organization at the IHL level with the Milwaukee Admirals. In 258 games with the Ads, he accumulated 9 goals and 36 points, climbing the ranks to team captaincy in the 99-00 season. In the 01-02 season, Moro was called up to the Predators as an injury replacement for 12 games before being traded at the trade deadline to the Toronto Maple Leafs for D.J. Smith and Marty Wilford.
Having proudly donned 16 on the back of his jersey, the Finnish defenseman also wore 13. In our piece on the best #13 in Preds history, we describe Karalahti's career in greater detail. The readers deemed Nick Spaling to be the best #13. How will Karalahti fair against these candidates?
Before coming to the Predators, Pederson became very familiar with the New Jersey Devils defensive program of the late 90's (which eventually carried them to their second Stanley Cup in 5 years) and transformed into a very effective defensive forward. The Predators signed him as a free agent in the 2002 offseason, and Pederson only spent half a season during the Predators' 02-03 campaign, amassing 4 goals and 10 points in 43 games. He would then travel overseas to compete with Eisbaren Berlin of the German League before returning to the NHL in 2006, when he was signed by the St. Louis Blues.
The third, and certainly not the last Russian of our jersey series, Shishkanov was the 33rd overall selection of the Nashville Predators in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Shishkanov perfected his game in Russia before making his North American debut, winning gold with Russia's World U-18 team in 2001 and gold with Team Russia at the 2003 World Junior Championship. Shishkanov was immediately assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals in the 03-04 season and made his North American debut with them. He was instrumental in helping the Admirals catch the Calder Cup title that year, scoring 23 goals and 43 points in the regular season and 2 goals and 8 points in the playoffs. He would never be able to reach those numbers again in North America. Throughout the next three years, Shishkanov saw very limited action (2 games) in Music City before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues for Mike Sillinger halfway into the 05-06 season.
After the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Hordichuk came to the Predators from the Florida Panthers and recorded career-highs with 7 goals, 6 assists and 13 points (and a remarkable +9) in his first season with the team. He holds the team record for most PIM and most hits in his first season (163,150), Hordichuck's presence never failed to be noticed and was key in the Predators' journey to finally clinching a playoff bid in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, after becoming a free agent during that offseason, his rights were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2008 fifth-round draft pick on June 19, 2008. He was not able to come terms with the Hurricanes and instead signed with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1st.
O'Reilly was selected in the fifth round, 150th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Predators, and he would proceed to join the Predators organization at the tail end of the season by playing for the Milwaukee Admirals. He continued with the Ads for two consecutive seasons, impressing the Preds' upper management by recording 34 goals and a total of 144 points. O'Reilly was recalled by the Predators the following season, playing only eleven games (3G-2A) before being reassigned to Milwaukee for the rest of the season, accumulating 13 goals and 69 points. The Predators gave O'Reilly another chance in the 09-10 season. He split his time with the Preds and Ads and managed to score his first NHL goal against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on March 28, 2009. The next season O'Reilly played the most games with the Predators that he had every played (38) and managed to score 6 goals and 18 points. On July 7, 2011, O'Reilly signed a one-year contract with Preds, but at the start of the season, O'Reilly was traded from the Predators to the Phoenix Coyotes for a 4th-round draft pick in 2012 (the Preds ended up choosing Zachary Stepan).
Who is the greatest #16 in Nashville Predators history?
Darcy Hordichuk (316 votes)
Jere Karalahti (7 votes)
Marc Moro (4 votes)
Cal O’Reilly (99 votes)
Denis Pederson (5 votes)
Ville Peltonen (62 votes)
Timofei Shishkanov (5 votes)
498 total votes