Predators Sign Nick Bonino
Album Equivalent: Future- 56 Nights
Standout Song: 56 Nights
The story behind the title of Future’s smash mixtape is the story of his DJ, DJ Esco. In case you didn’t know, DJ Esco is the coolest DJ in the world. He spent 56 nights in a Dubai prison. Thus, this mixtape, hosted by Esco, is a return to glory for the DJ. Bonino spent the last 2 years winning Stanley Cups with that team that I won’t mention. His opportunity with the Preds is to build his own glory with more responsibility.
The sound of the album matches the grit of Bonino. Future showcases his distinct yet versatile flows. I expect versatility to be a strength of Bonino in his time with Nashville. He’ll move up and down the center lineup and might move to wing if Fisher returns.
Predators Sign Scott Hartnell
Album Equivalent: Juicy J- Blue Dream & Lean 2
Standout Song: I’m Sicka
Scott Hartnell is an OG Nashville Predator. He may not be a Tennessee OG like Juicy J, but he had some memorable moments in a Preds uniform. The soundtrack to Hartnell’s return to Nashville should be Juicy J’s return to the Blue Dream & Lean series.
Predators Trade for Alexei Emelin
Album Equivalent: DMX- …And Then There Was X
Standout Song: Party Up (Up in Here) (The Power Play Jam)
And then there was… AleXei Emelin. I don’t think X is gonna give it to us this year. The trade for Alexei Emelin still does not make much sense to me. He has experience playing with P.K. Subban, and the idea of Matt Irwin and Emelin as a 3rd pairing makes me feel very comfortable. For every Emelin mistake, there would be an equal and opposite safe defensive reaction from Matt Irwin. That give and take I see from an Irwin-Emelin 3rd pairing is the kind of give and take DMX has faced in his career. Before he faced serious hardship and saw a resurgence with his placement in the Deadpool movie, he was once at the top of the rap game. Emelin was once on the 1st pairing with PK in Montreal, with all the spotlights on them. Emelin cracked. DMX might have smoked crack.
Predators Trade Colin Wilson to Colorado
Album Equivalent: The Avalanches- Since I Left You
Standout Song: Frontier Psychiatrist
Okay, I’m kind of cheating here. The Avalanches are not a rap group. They are an Australian group of producers that make sample-heavy, collage-like music. However, the combination of artist name and album name lent itself to this comparison too well.
The album Since I Left You goes through extreme highs and lows emotionally, maintaining a level of chaos throughout. Colin Wilson’s time in Nashville was very up and down, but he was a reliable middle-6 forward. It will be interesting to see how he performs in Colorado and how the Predators do without him.
Predators Lose James Neal in the Expansion Draft
Album Equivalent: SZA- Ctrl
Standout Song: Pretty Little Birds (feat. Isaiah Rashad)
SZA’s Ctrl is an album largely about cheating, and seeing James Neal in that Vegas Golden Knights jersey will be an experience much like being cheated on. Neal was a key cog in the core of the Preds roster. He turned out goals with a consistency that few can match in the NHL. I have a feeling he’ll be the star of that Vegas roster (for a year).
The silky smooth TDE production and R&B elements remind me of James Neal’s silky release. Imagine Neal’s OT winner in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals being the bombastic closer on the album, “20 Something.”
Predators Trade for Cody McLeod
Album Equivalent: Wu-Tang Clan- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Standout Song: Protect Ya Neck
I’m not sure how much we’ll see of Cody McLeod in 2017 with GMDP bolstering the forward depth. However, he brought a level of grit to this team I hadn’t seen since the days of Brian McGrattan. Of course by grit, I mean pounding an opponents face to a pulp. The strength of McLeod’s hook matches the lyrical strength of all 10 Wu-Tang Clan members. RIP Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Predators Trade for Filip Forsberg
Album Equivalent: Chief Keef- Finally Rich
Standout Song: Love Sosa
2012 was an interesting year in rap. Perhaps the most influential rap album of the year was Chief Keef’s Finally Rich. Filip was on his entry-level contract when he was traded to the Predators in 2012. Thus, Forsberg wasn’t really “Finally Rich”when he got to Nashville, and he didn’t sign a massive contract like he could have demanded after his breakthrough. Forsberg will be a league-wide superstar, but don’t expect him to put up the eye popping goal scoring of vintage Stamkos or the facilitation of his linemate Johansen. However, expect him to demonstrate the level of consistency achieved by Chief Keef over the last few years of his career. Once again, Forsberg will be a star, and one day, he will Finally be Rich.
Stars Sign Alexander Radulov
Album Equivalent: UGK- Ridin Dirty
Standout Song: 3 in the Mornin’
He went home. To… Dallas? Dallas will regret this decision probably. The contract exceeds the production from Radulov. However, the Boba Fett of Nashville Predators history will be ridin’ dirty in Dallas. A great local duo, made up of Pimp C and Bun B, released one of their best albums, Ridin’ Dirty, in 1996, the year Vladislav Kamenev was born. Maybe he’ll be listening to the chopped and screwed version.
Predators Trade Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen
Album Equivalent: Jay-Z- The Blueprint
Standout Song: Izzo (H.O.V.A.) (No link because Tidal)
Jay-Z’s The Blueprint was his 6th album. Neither Ryan Johansen nor Seth Jones had played six full seasons in the NHL when they were swapped. Seth Jones demonstrated great promise, but the depth on defense was too much for him to develop. Johansen gave the Preds something they’d never had before: a number one center. David Poile laid down the blueprint for success that would lead the Preds to their first Stanley Cup Final berth.
Predators Trade Shea Weber for P.K. Subban
Album Equivalent: Jay-Z- The Blueprint 3
Standout Song: Real as it Gets (feat. Young Jeezy)
It’s only fitting that the Preds chose “Run This Town” as their playoff hype up anthem (along with that one that goes GLORIOUS I WILL DEFEND I WILL DEFEND UNTIL I’M VICTORIOUS). In 2009, Jay-Z came through with the commercial smash, The Blueprint 3.
P.K. Subban changed the DNA of this team. The shift from a team captained by Shea Weber to a team with P.K. Subban on the 2nd pairing was an incredible thing to watch beginning to end. The Predators had a rough fall of 2016. Yes, Pekka was the 1st star of the league in November. However, overall it was a rough time. Nothing seemed to click. In 2017, the Predators got better and better. As players got healthy and embraced their roles, the Preds developed into a dangerous wild card team.
Feel it coming in the air. And the screams from everywhere.