What a difference a year makes.
Last year, the Preds went into the year with a loaded but young defense and some good scoring wingers. They had Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, and a bunch of guys in gold sweaters that were "pretty good, and played hard." And that was the zenith of that team's build. There was no #1 center. There was no free agent knocking on the door. That was it. And the Preds charged into the season all the way to January before getting their ass kicked enough to do something about it.
As of June 2016, the Nashville Predators have possibly the best top-four defensemen in the league, a legit #1 center and winger both under 24 years old, James Neal (who is James Neal), Wilson and Smith who will likely give you another 35 goals, some grinders that are all mostly young and handsome, Mike Fisher, and some cap room. If Pekka Rinne returns to "average", this team is scary. Very scary.
Shea Weber was a great player for most of his time in Nashville, and he has a lot of hockey left. He was a good soldier for Nashville, even when times were grim. It's hard to harbor any ill will to the guy. Frankly, I'm shocked that they traded him. Even with as much as they loved Weber and that Subban is an upgrade, I'm a bit surprised that they moved Weber just based off of loyalty to the player. They knew what they had with Weber. There will be an adjustment period with Subban, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. And the team must have felt that the gain of trading Weber was greater than the gain of keeping the team captain.
P.K. Subban is a lot of what Shea Weber was, but with more speed, skill, and better in front of a microphone. And with Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Roman Josi... that's a set of players teams would kill to have. My request: appreciate this. With any luck, special days are ahead... but you are entitled to nothing. Cherish success, and rally around these folks. We as a city/region, have never won a major title of any kind aside from Vandy's 2014 baseball national title. The Preds have a window to do something special, and be something that they've never been: fun & interesting. Subban and Johansen grab headlines. Forsberg and Neal score goals and steal the show. Roman Josi could model watches and he plays hockey instead. Pekka Rinne does some great things when he's on his game. That's your team. And it should excite you. They happen to play in Nashville.
Cherish it. No one plays forever.
But if they do win the big silver thing, I'm totally getting arrested for "drunken disorderly conduct" during the parade. Been saving up for my bail for a while. It'll be great. Zito will probably periscope it.
Nashville Predators News & Notes
Subban feels ‘whole lot closer’ to winning Cup with Nashville, ‘a team that wants me’ – ProHockeyTalk
"I'm just happy to be in a situation where I can excel and feel good about myself coming to the rink every day."
Why the P.K. Subban trade may be the worst in Canadiens history - Sportsnet.ca
Berkshire nailed it. NAILED it.
Hell of a quote.
Subban, Music City a perfect fit | NHL.com
Lots of good stuff in here.
P.K. Subban is the kind of star who can change the Predators forever - CBSSports.com
This is exactly why some of us are overly excited about this move.
Other NHL News
Steven Stamkos staying with Lightning after agreeing to 8-year deal | Tampa Bay Times
If anyone had a more satisfying day than Nashville, it's Tampa Bay.
Stamkos signs eight-year, $68 million deal with Lightning - Article - TSN
The tears in Ontario/Buffalo are enough to salt the earth like Scipio did to Carthage.
NHL - Three big moves mean a win for teams in the Eastern Conference | ESPN
Agree with half of this.
The craziest 23 minutes in NHL history - Article - TSN
About right. Subban for Weber is a massive, massive deal.
Taylor Hall trade a tough sell for Oilers fans... for now - Sportsnet.ca
If there is any fan base that feels worse than Montreal, it's Edmonton.
The Braves Are Going To Ridiculous Lengths To Squeeze Every Dime Out Of Cobb County | Deadspin
But if you leave by the 7th inning, you can make it back to Tennessee before the game ends.