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The Weekender: The “Mailing It In” Edition

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US Postal Service Ramps Up Mail Processing For Holiday Rush Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

I’m traveling back to the white sand district this weekend, so I won’t be giving you the full Weekender treatment. Full apologies, see the bursar for a refund.

Let’s get to what brought you here...

We're almost to the halfway point of the season

What teams out of the central and pacific should we be concerned about facing in the playoffs? Where I’m sitting in the cheap seats I don’t think we’re going to have it as tough as we did last year coming out of the west. However, as sure as I say that out loud we’ll get swept by an Arizona team that somehow beyond all odds makes the playoffs.


Aside from sharp goaltending, there are two team features that give the Preds troubles:

  • Teams with huge defensemen that force Nashville’s shots to the outside
  • Teams that can play on the counter with success

There aren’t too many teams that have both of those, but a series with Calgary in the first round would possibly be more trouble than it should be. And Winnipeg showed that they don’t need the puck for too long in order to score.

what do you say to people who think the refs screwed watson/the preds last game due to them being canadian and playing in canada?


I think the ref saw the hit impact, with the player Watson hit doing a body varial in air, and threw the book at Watson (who does have a recent suspension). Watson hits like a truck, and plays like a man who doesn’t know his own strength. With the talent Calgary has, that penalty could’ve swung the game.

Evander Kane

Do you think Poile is actually kicking the tires on him? McKenzie mentioned San Jose, St. Louis, Anaheim and Calgary as being interested, might Poile be calling as well?

And if not Kane, might he be looking at a similar top six winger rental to add even more depth?


I doubt there will be a move for Evander Kane, mostly for this reason: the long game. Where teams shorten their title window in the long run are making rental deals. Kane won’t likely won’t be re-signed, largely due to the 2019 summer that’s getting more important with every goal Kevin Fiala scores. Nashville is set up for a run over the next few years, and making a move that’s only for this spring doesn’t serve a team that’s set the table for a sustainable run.

We joke about James Neal returning, but we can’t rule that out. Why? He hasn’t sold his place in Nashville, and while Vegas is good... a win-now player who has been on good teams likely isn’t signing an extension in Vegas. George McPhee may opt to hold on to him through their playoff run, but he could fetch a good bit for him at the deadline (along with David Perron). Poile has moved big at the deadline before, with mixed results. He’s added too much into the locker room, and had it fall apart. There’s a comfort with Neal, who Laviolette trusts and the locker room knows.

Neal may be more expensive to acquire than Kane, but he shouldn’t be. Kane is younger. The trouble is Kane’s previous stops featured some public episodes involving teammates, social media, and a track suit. It’s fun to think about smashing the piggy bank and going “all-in”, but Nashville just traded an NHL-ready defenseman and their highly regarded center prospect for a key piece of the lineup.

If not Neal, it would be someone cheap. Who is this year’s P.A. Parenteau? Let’s keep an eye on Calgary, and hope Paradise Park has room on their Mullet Wall of Fame.

With everyone asking for Neil...

Are there any rules with respect to the expansion draft that would prevent us from re-acquiring him?


James Neal? Pierre LeBrun brought that up a while ago...

(Yes, I’ve held on to that for six months)


Daly confirmed the league had to feel confident a deal between teams wasn't worked out prior to the draft in a bid to sidestep rules. However, there is still a rule in place that prevents any players traded in advance of the expansion draft from being traded back to their original teams before Jan. 1.

I’ll just be over here listening to Joan Jett’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and watching hateful Neal goals until then.


If you were going to buy one current, non-NHL hockey jersey (to display or wear), what team and player would it be? Tolvanen’s Jokereit sweater has to be up there, along with the Ads’ Preds-tribute jerseys linked below, but I’m curious if there are any other epic team jerseys worth buying… Pictures and honorable mentions are encouraged.



National teams’ jerseys are usually more subtle (until recently when Nike took some molly in their design room), and the good ol’ Tre Kronor is superb. And I really really want the “blood jerseyn” even if it meant advertising for some European telecom company, or Skoda. It’s always Skoda. The Islanders’ white SUV is possibly the only automobile against the glass in all of hockey that’s not a Skoda.

Who's next up into the goalie pipeline?

We’ve got picks from the last three drafts keeping goal in Karel Vejmelka (2015 draft, 21 y/o, Czech League), Konstantin Volkov (2016 draft, 20 y/o, Russian Juniors), and Tomas Vomacka (2017 draft, 18 y/o, headed to college).


Vejmelka, but goalie development ain’t like buying a tree from Home Depot. It’s more like buying bamboo seeds. When you buy one of those trees in the spring, you have an expectation of the growth, maturity, and know what to expect. You don’t get the guarantee, but some picks are safer than others. In case you didn’t listen to Derek Dooley, bamboo development can be puzzling.

I’m going with Vejmelka, largely because of his name. Other than Dan Ellis, Nashville starting goalies have had names with debatable pronunciations. Was it Mike “Dunnam” or “dun-HAM”? “Thomas” or “Toh-MAS”? “Yoo-see” or “Yoo-say”? Vejmelka... I’ll take that one.

What's your favorite movie of 2017?

And if it’s different, what was the best movie of 2017? What do you like about it (or them)?

Only the hard-hitting questions here.

Garon B

I’m seeing The Last Jedi this weekend at Pier Park, and that will be my annual trip to a theater this year.

It’s dull, but I’m a total homebody anymore. I started looking through my Instagram the other day and noticed that the recent entries are more stuff I’m working on or in my home as opposed to just going around Nashville. I’ll have some vacation photos, but that’s about it. I usually catch up on shows and movies during the summer once the Orioles are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

It takes a lot to get me to a theater. I got off the Marvel train after Iron Man 3/Thor 2, mostly due to timing and effort. I tried watching the second Avengers movie while aboard a cruise ship, and had no idea about what was happening in the first few minutes. I turned it off, and found something else to do on the boat. I haven’t watched another Marvel movie since.

When it comes to comics, I own the entire Civil War event, as well as a few other Marvel events on my computer. But they’ve cranked out these movies so fast that I’ve been left in the dust. I’ll probably binge them all on a snowday, like I’m doing the Harry Potter movies on December 26th.

[Editor’s note: THANK YOU. I am so tired of the force-fed comic book movie. The perceived desire of what the public wants from Big Hollywood is an AYCE buffet of tired cameos and escalating, ridiculous plots. It’s getting to the point where I am expecting every single movie to have an appearance from Thor or Batman or some raccoon on a jet pack. Not my thing.]

I’m not much help here. I prefer Netflix/HBO/Amazon Prime, consuming a beverage, and not wearing pants.


Under the current contract, and once Assoc. Capt. gets readjusted to full time.

Are you comfortable with Alex on the 3rd with (__________) < fill in the blank?


Yannick Weber. If Emelin can be moved for a pick, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. There’s a level of trust with Weber’s game. If the third pair becomes Bitetto and Weber, I’m cool with that. Emelin does have a different skill set, but if Nashville wants to keep the puck... he’s not the best option.

Best Christmas gift you've ever received.

As a kid or adult


As an adult: probably a plane ticket to Fort Lauderdale. The greatest gifts you can give or receive usually are the ones that the recipient would never buy for themselves.

Or puppies. Those are awesome.

If you had an unlimited supply of money

what would you still never buy or pay for?


I hate paying for self-parking. I would rather take Lyft, walk from Nissan Stadium to the arena, or dine at the Omni and have them valet it. Case in point: I have a hotel booked on Miami Beach for 2 nights, and we’re coming in from the Fort Lauderdale airport. We’re not renting a car. Why? Parking. It’s $30 a day to park near the hotel, PLUS any parking charge for the Heat game. I’m sure I’ll end up paying through the nose on rideshares, but I’ll be rumdrunk. It’s the principle.

Parking in urban environments is not fun, especially in those lots that get taken over by the parking companies that disregard the spaces painted on the concrete. Why? To fit 2 more cars in.

I hate parking downtown, but paying for it makes it worse. I have a backup camera, and don’t mind parallel parking. So if you see a car circling the area around TPAC with a Tampa Bay Lightning sticker and a Finch’s Country Store front plate, say hi.

Will the NHL

Ever see another female player? Especially considering the NWHL’s existence. Shameless plug for the NWHL, the games are fun to watch and anytime you can watch any team affiliated with Boston lose is a good time in my book.


Law of averages would say yes, though the NWHL could curtail that. I’m pulling for a NWHL/CWHL merger, and some support from the NHL. If the NHL wants to keep growing the game, a viable and strong women’s league would be a huge help.

I make this analogy quite a bit involving NASA. If the government decided to stop space travel, think about the trickle down effect with students. All children of the 80’s and 90’s knew about the Space Shuttle. Most of us dreamed about being an astronaut, and that carrot coaxed plenty of us to go down technical and scientific paths.

The NWHL model is far from perfect. The CWHL isn’t perfect either. The NHL has plenty of warts. But if they choose to, they can work together and create a better model.

As an adult, best and worst part of Christmas?


Other than parking? The Holidays can bring out a real indifference in people. You also add in the people who have zero awareness in crowds. It’s a rough mix, and plenty of things can go wrong. Amazon and other online retailers make life a lot better, but there are certain things you need to see in person. That’s the worst part.

The best part is making your family smile. I don’t see my family much, so I love using this as an excuse to take care of them. I enjoy dragging them further and further into the world of household electronics. My dad’s voice is pure Tennessee, and the Amazon voice recognition software battles it like a champ.

An underrated part: Home Depot & Lowe’s. Tools are expensive, and this is the time to stock up. Who cares if it’s a gift set? You need those clamps eventually. You won’t find a better deal on sockets. Of course you’re going to want that toolbox. Rather than making that rage trip to the store months from now, stock up. Plus, their holiday decor is awesome.

  • Do your best to love your neighbor all throughout the year, not just December.
  • A good bit of advice for you at your job: keep something delicious at your desk. I keep hot sauces at my desk, and keep ginger snaps stocked during the holidays. It is a great way to meet people in your office, and build rapport around the building.
  • The MLS is coming to Nashville. Job number one is to support the USL team, and start building our brand. While we might not all like the road that got us to this MLS expansion, few folks would say no to the idea of the MLS coming here. Is it perfect? No, it’s not. The venue area will be a test of the infrastructure, and that’s the biggest worry I have. That being said, people do turn up by the thousand to see AAA baseball north of downtown. When the rail solution is in place, this location could look even better since it’s right in between 4th (Nolensville) and 8th Avenues. As it stands now, Wedgewood Avenue/8th Avenue South is a fun area, and the soccer world better embrace the hell out of Santa’s Pub.
  • Jadaveon Clowney called Blake Bortles “trash” after Bortles and my the Jaguars beat the Texas to the tune of 45-7. Jaguar fans have used Amazon Prime to send trashcans to NRG Stadium and the Texans HQ. Amazon Prime has unlocked a brand new level of banter. So the next time Nashville plays Anaheim in the playoffs, we can send the Ducks boxes of wart cream.
  • Dick Enberg had the best voice you could ask for, and could call any event. Whenever I get the “you don’t sound like you’re from Tennessee” remark, it is likely because I grew up listening to Bob Costas, Pat O’Brien, and Dick Enberg.

On to the next one.