This morning on 102.5 The Game, Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz joined the morning crew in studio to get the pre-season hockey conversation rolling, with talk of young prospects like Seth Jones and Filip Forsberg, the challenge of returning the Preds to the playoffs, and a look ahead to the new Central Division. Unfortunately, it also included a serving of sour grapes:
"We've got to start new rivalries, like us and Minnesota. They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and simple."
I know it was a casual remark, but Trotz is an experienced coach, and he knows that people pay attention to his words. This attitude that somehow the Predators were wronged by Suter doesn't reflect well at all on either the team or the fan base, especially when it's voiced by a leading member of the organization.
Personally, I'd rather hear talk about how the Preds plan to wrest the Central Division crown from Chicago than settling personal scores with a team that merely aspires to qualify for the playoffs.
You can listen to the entire segment below, and make sure you stick around to the end when Trotz talks about an upcoming fundraiser for Best Buddies:
Look Ahead, Not Back
There are plenty of reasons to look forward to the upcoming season. Yes, I've been critical of a few of the free agent signings this summer, but this will be a fascinating team to follow as they enter a new era. Who will step forward as the leaders up front? Will Colin Wilson put together a consistent 82-game performance? How will Matt Cullen and Viktor Stalberg fit into the Smashville system? Can Craig Smith rebound from an awful 2013 campaign? Will talent overcome youth & inexperience to give the Preds a productive and reliable blueline? Can Pekka Rinne work his way back into the Vezina Trophy race, and how will the backup goaltending situation shake out?
These and many more questions will consume our attention in the months to come. Whining over a guy leaving as a free agent only distracts from the job ahead.
What do you think, am I overreacting here or does the team need to move on?