What is next for our beloved Preds? Just a fair warning, this article you are about to read is from the mind of a 21 year old college kid that loves the Preds but of course has a very bold mindset on what the heck is going on with this team.
Our season is over, but it didn’t mathematically end till about 10:30 PM on April 8th. In my mind, the season was over October 24th, 2013 when we all began crying as we read tweets/reports on Pekka Rinne’s hip infection. We then turned to Carter Hutton, who had the NHL goalie experience of some people reading this article probably. Hutton has been great as of late, Pekka not so much, but really, Carter Hutton? There is just no formula to win for this team, consistently, with Pekka not in the crease. But that problem is gone now and worked out well for the Preds because Hutton really seems to have turned a corner and IMO a great backup goalie.
Ok, enough of the whining and complaining about the season being over, time to move on. First things first, what is the "big move" that is going to take place this off-season with our Predators? I think about 80% or so want Trotz out of Nashville. There have been some great post right here on ontheforecheck and a great article that was released today by Jim Diamond. In my own opinion I am all in with letting go of Trotz and bringing in a new face. Many are suggesting Kirk Muller as the #1 target the Preds may go after, I am NOT all for this. Muller’s hockey style in the past has been no different than our friend Barry Trotz’s style; dump and chase, and dump and chase some more. I want updated hockey people, who’s with me?
PETER LAVIOLETTE is the answer. He has one a cup, lost in a cup final, turned a "non-hockey" town into CHAMPIONS. The word championship has not been muttered out of Nashvillian’s mouths in years. Not realistically at least since the Titans reaching the Super Bowl in ’99. Laviolette could be a "gamble" to some because he is not currently coaching right now and was fired this year by Philly after 3 lousy games, but come on, his results talk. I would throw everything, and then some, and then even more to get his be-hind behind the Preds bench next season. He brings updated hockey, evolving hockey, into the rink every day. Google his results and argue my thoughts in the comments if you want to, I want to hear you all’s opinions on this.
Ok, now for the players. Mostly everyone we saw on the ice this year is locked in as a Pred for at least one more season so a new coach and style is the only way they change, realistically, and that’s what we want. What happens if we don’t get that? Well, to put it lightly, in the words of "The Waterboy", "WE SUCK AGAIN." I personally like our roster, I like the mix of vets, and of course I love that guy that wears number 6, he’s pretty sporty. Seth is going to become an elite defender, Ekholm has been good defensively of late, Del Zotto should be playing over Bartley, Ellis is great offensively, and Pekka is going to Pekka. Wait, hold on, I just ranted and worshiped about 6 players and they were all D men and a goalie. THAT’S the problem people. We have no one on offense that is that absolute stud yet that we walk into Bridgestone Arena and are excited to go watch and score a guaranteed goal or at least put up points on a very consistent basis. Do not get me wrong some guys on the offensive side I love to watch and do have tremendous up-side. Guys like Smith, Jarnkrok, Forsberg, and even Borque I can see becoming great top-line O men in the league, but what is left? Wilson has been so weird this year, Fisher is rumored to be retiring soon and quite frankly do not blame him, have you seen his wife, she almost looks like a singer;) I would personally probably never leave the house. Stalberg is the one guy that I think would benefit the absolute most if Laviolette was brought into Nashville. He could turn into that very good forward he was in Chicago where he had 43 points in 2011-2012, this year he has a whopping 18 points. He IS the best skater on our roster and can score if in the right scheme of hockey.
Free agents this summer, yeah i would go hard after a couple there Mr. Poile. Vanek should be thrown millions, along with Statsny. Would it be great to get a guy like them, sure, would it surprise me at all if we do not land one single sort of big name all sumer, of course not. I think Shea Weber may need to be the head recruiter this summer, make some calls #6.
Ok, that’s enough from me. I want to hear you all’s opinions, comments, ideas, and BOLD strategies/predictions the Preds should make in the coming months. This is my first ever post, so do not beat me up too badly. Thanks for giving it a read ladies and gents.