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The Weekender: Where the Boat Leaves From

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Clearwater Beach Florida USA Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

The NHL All-Star Weekend is upon us, and our team will be well represented.

There are plenty of times this silly hockey team still makes the most pessimistic person among us smile. Much like how the city Nashville transformed itself from a dingy city best known for sad songs and fishing into a thriving cosmopolitan destination while never changing out of its boots, the local hockey team went from a band of lovable try-hards and a goalie to one of the most entertaining teams in the league. Between some sharp trades, a change in leadership, and a refined philosophy, the Nashville Predators changed their perception for the better without spending years waiting on the lottery.

Every single game he plays, Filip Forsberg does something that makes you pay attention.

Every single game he plays, P.K. Subban finds a way to do something you or his opposition wouldn’t expect.

You can say similar things about Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Johansen, Kyle Turris, and Pekka Rinne. More nights than not, they find a way to do something that gives you a smile.

That’s the stuff that happens on the ice. It’s been good to great the past two seasons.

What we’re all still getting used to is having a team that’s interesting off the ice as well.

Subban absolutely shined on the Daily Show, and he’s a better ambassador for the game most of the folks NBC keeps pushing us to like.

It may be a bit under the radar to the trendy crowd, but Trisha Yearwood’s show on Food Network featured Forsberg, Johansen, Colin Wilson (!!!) and some good game day recipes.

Silly Food Network doesn’t allow for embedding, but here’s the link. It’s video number 12, Trisha on Ice.

A great freeze frame of Forsberg is also appreciated.

That’s where we’re at now with this team. It sure beats the Outdoor Life Network’s postgame show talking about the Copps Coliseum hosting games.

The Nashville Predators still have yet to play a game at full strength.

Tampa Bay may have scored the overtime win, but Nashville fans should still be excited to play them in a series, should things work out like the coaches believe they will. When Nashville had trouble scoring in last year’s playoffs, it was due to large defensemen guarding their own net. When Nashville had trouble defending during last year’s playoffs, it was largely due to breakaways and accounting for the oppositions giant and talented centers. Tampa Bay may have plenty of skill, but there were plenty of times where Nashville looked much sharper. Viktor Arvidsson hasn’t made a pass like that since his first rookie camp, and it ended up behind Saros. The power play looked like the Rohirrim cutting through the Urak-Hai on their way down the mountain to Helm’s Deep. And that’s coming from a man who has a Bolts sticker on his car.

A matchup with the Bolts is exactly with this stupid league needs. Yes, I’m biased. But unless the Caps can ever figure out how to win a conference final, I trust the Lightning to represent the East.

What you’re about to see is the NHL doing its best to mimic the NFL’s “Is it a catch?” phenomenon.

Seems pretty clear that Anisimov is all up ons Andersen here.

Yep, watch Anisimov’s stick actually move Andersen’s mask.

They counted it.

Every team can point to an example of their own side getting a favorable call, and being on the wrong end of this call (I hope). It’s one of the more insufferable parts of watching a game these days.

“At least they actually reviewed it.”

-Colton Sissons, probably.

Prepare your mind.

Pekka Rinne is 35.

Rick Nash to St. Louis for their 1st round pick that wasn’t as good as Eeli Tolvanen. Rick Nash to Nashville for Kevin Fiala; an aging player with an expiring contract that pays him $7.8m for a player that has another year left on his ELC with one less goal this season.

On a scale from Jarny Celly to Nealer Hate Goal Celly

How excited are you about the McLeod waive?

ThunderKiwi

Considering that the roster spot means the return of Forsberg (or other movement coming inwards from Finland), I’m closer to the Neal celebration.

Calle’s been known to let loose a little.

Cody McLeod was a good guy, and did what was asked of him. He didn’t quite have the skill set to adapt with today’s game. Let’s hope he has a good spell with the Rangers.

Who will be the Jaguars QB next year?

And will they make the playoffs?

musamonster

Probably Blake Bortles to start the year, at least. He’s due a $19 million option next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jags released him, and then offered him much less. I don’t see too many teams lining up to pay him. They would be foolish not to draft a QB. Chad Henne ain’t the answer.

Honestly? I don’t know if the Jags make it back next year. Watson will be healthy for the Texans, and Andrew Luck might have something he’s been missing since Bruce Arians left: solid leadership. He’s still a mongoloid who can’t stay healthy in a league with Clowney, Campbell, and some other nasty defensive stars.

Since we’ve split the Turris line, which pair of FiTS is most important to keep together?

Turris – Fiala?

Turris – Smith?

Fiala – Smith?

lomn

Turris and Smith. Kevin Fiala makes things happen on the ice all by himself. Craig Smith needs a bit more space on the ice.

Put together a realistic trade package(1 Each Player Listed) that would land us 1) Pacioretty. 2) Hoffman. 3) Kane.

Since the Red Wings suck and seem to be in a cap crunch is there any chance of Poile hosing Detroit for a different winger.

Dennis.K.Morgan

1 and 2 would likely have to include at least two of Aberg, Gaudreau, Trenin, and some draft picks if Nashville doesn’t want to part with a defenseman. If our guy Tolvanen has a good showing in the Olympics, Poile might be less likely to pay a high price for Hoffman or Pacioretty.

But the Red Wings are in a different situation. Their cap number is way too high, and they’re out of the last playoff spot by a mile. If there is a team that would be shedding a top 6 player for a non-roster player, it would be the Red Wings just based their upcoming contracts. If there’s one team that can’t execute a proper contract extension that doesn’t handcuff the team, it’s Detroit. And if there’s one player you’d want from Detroit, it’s Gustav Nyquist. He doesn’t give you the bang for your buck the way Hoffman or Pacioretty does, but he would cost less in acquisition assets.

D-man

Would you look at someone like Mike Green in addition to a forward before the deadline?

(Can’t remember if we’ve discussed here.)

Murphy MacManus

Mike Green’s scooter would’ve looked much better in the arena garage 7 years ago. Defense isn’t a worry.

What do you most want OTFers to know about you?

Gnash4President

That I view hockey, and other sports, like a reality TV game show. I just pay to see it live more than actual game shows.

How great would a film about David Poile & The Nashville Predators be?

Context: I’m currently watching “Draft Day” for like the 8th time and love the whole underdog makes bad ass moves story.

Swiss Pred

Let’s imagine a first-person narrative similar to Narcos, Casino, or a Guy Ritchie movie. I would have it start with a montage during the early years, and pick up during the winter of 2012. The actor playing David Poile (Aaron Eckhart) would celebrate getting Paul Gaustad and Andrei Kostitsyn before luring back Radulov to finish out his NHL deal. “Once we shook hands with Detroit, we felt unstoppable. It was our year.”

“...f*** Mike Smith.”

Dejected, Poile walks out of the Westgate Town Center to his rental car, and drives across the soulless desert landscape to the airport. “I knew then that we would have to change, and that we could no longer live with the slim margin of error. If we were going to win, we had to do more than just outlasting other teams. We had to leave no doubt.”

“The next two years were a grind. Thankfully, we sucked so bad that we completed a five-year turnaround in 18 months. And I finally had an excuse to get a new coach. Meet the lovable and cuddly... Peter... Laviolette.”

“GET YOUR *** UP THE ****EN ICE.” -Lavy

“Yep, that’s him. If you needed to diagram a subway system, Laviolette could do it. He loved explaining how things worked. He also loved explaining to younger players how and why they weren’t working hard enough. Hell, we burned through 20 timeouts during the regular season his first year because the time wasn’t doing exactly what he said. But you know what? It worked.”

I had to make myself stop writing the script.

Is it too early to think about the Draft?

What position do the Predators need to target in the 2018 Draft, presuming they keep their first round pick? I know it’s early, but after reading Eric’s prospect report, it seems like most of our prospects are middling-average or just disappointing…with the exception of Tolvanen/Ejdsell.

Rachel K

Being a scout in the NHL doesn’t sound like a ton of fun. Most of these kids we don’t hear about until after they’ve been drafted, which is different than the other major sports in North America. Average prospects are the cost of winning, but players like Arvidsson, Josi, and Tolvanen are examples of how well this team scouts Europe. Just like Dr. Seuss says: it’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.

Here’s the good news: there aren’t many holes to fill.

Here’s the better news: they have plenty of time to fill them.

With Paul Kariya in town, there was conversation about what his signing meant to the franchise. In 15-20 years, what will be said about PK Subban and his impact based on what has happened since the trade?

rpnociti

The Subban trade made this team on and off the ice. How many hockey trades in history have done that? With one trade, Nashville got a new image and suddenly became one of the teams to watch in hockey. Subban is a name that’s very valuable outside of hockey, and has made the Preds more valuable since his arrival.

I was living in Florida at the time of Kariya’s arrival. We can play it down now, but there were some dark clouds hovering above the league and the franchise during that time. It was fun, but it felt like the deep breath before the final plunge. It worked in the long run, and those teams showed the potential ownership how much a competitive sports franchise could be worth in Nashville. I remember calling up friends and being excited about Paul Kariya, but when this current chapter is in the history books and we’re all old men & women hanging around the bowling alley... we’ll agree that the Subban trade was the one that made the Nashville Predators more than just a team supported by Nashville.

  • If the Winnipeg Jets could swap uniforms with another team, you’d be more afraid of them.
  • Tampa is a great place to visit, and the suburbs are pretty great. The setup at Clearwater Beach is amazing.
  • Carter Hutton has pushed Jake Allen out of the starting job in St. Louis. That’s not satire.
  • Montreal might want to blow it up sooner rather than later while Price still has prime years left.
  • Same with New York. I don’t believe wise choices were made along the way, but their situation is a bit better than the Habs’. Nash could fetch some pieces at the deadline, and they do have some hefty raises coming due this summer. They opted to trade Stepan instead of Nash, which makes sense for a rebuild.
  • For as much hell as Poile caught over the Rinne contract, it expires after next year. Lundqvist may be the better goalie, but he’ll be on the Rangers’ books until 2021 at $8.5 million.
  • They won’t be trading Eeli Tolvanen.
  • The NBA All-Star Game also features a fantasy draft. Instead of televising it, it’s done weeks in advance... on a conference call. Three points to House Bettman.
  • Pay close attention to the NBA’s interest in legalized gambling. This could change everything in North American sports as we know it.

On to the next one.

-Dan