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The Weekender: Wired for Sound

Broadcasting Radio Station Set In Nepal's 'Hidden Kingdom' Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images

The views and opinions expressed in this piece may not reflect those of the rest of the staff at OnTheForecheck.

I’ll do my best to set my bias aside.

Over the last few years, there has been no better friend of mine behind the microphone than Charlie Saunier. He gets the business, he’s worked on both sides of the board, and no one works harder than him. He’s strong on many subjects, and warrants microphone time. If he’s wrong on a take, I’ll tell you. His take on Tuesday was not. (Start at the 42:00 mark)

Part of me understands that hockey may not be the best sports radio topic, but the lack of effort being shown by entities and individuals that should care more is angering to most Predators fans.

It’s real easy to sit back and paint with a broad brush on certain stations, but that’s the lazy way out. Kevin Ingram & Mark Howard have always been knowledgeable on the Preds. Willie Daunic & Darren MacFarland provide a very smart brand of sports talk that does cater to the hockey fan. Johnny Franks & Jeff Diamond also know the game, aren’t above bringing in hockey guests when the situation allows, and don’t dumb down their show for anyone (Diamond is a former NFL executive, and he knows a thing or two about hockey).

Remember 5-6 years ago when 104.5 was doing all they could to avoid talking hockey in the midday and afternoon? They now have Subban on weekly, and their midday show is taking more of an interest. Adding to that, our friend Kris has a show over there as well as consistent radio spots. Alex joins Mark and the crew on the Wake Up Zone once a month or so. We’ll take it. When the flagship station for the Titans and Vols is stepping up their hockey coverage, that’s a great sign.

The fact that as many people complain about hockey content on the Preds flagship station should be a red flag to management. Charlie is dead right about the access that station has. Their show emanates from the arena on home gamedays. The fans’ frustration isn’t that 102.5/94.5/97.5/95.1 lacks good people on hockey, it’s the core Preds audience WANTS to listen to them in the afternoon for legit Preds talk... and the station refuses to provide it on a consistent basis. Instead, we get months of NFL Draft coverage that’s the audio equivalent of a t-shirt cannon firing cans of expired pasta at a catapult, expecting the catapult to fling them back. There are people on both sides of the board at Cromwell that could put out better content on the Predators.

There’s nothing wrong with the Predators’ flagship station spending plenty of time covering the Titans, but if the demand for tickets is similar to the demand for coverage... people in this market will be expecting the station priority to be the championship caliber hockey club. Having the hockey coverage taking a permanent backseat due to the hosts’ lack of knowledge and lack of effort to put forth good content rubs fans the wrong way, especially when the audience knows you can do better.

But until then, people are going to continue to clown the [censored] out of that program.

This hit warranted a two game suspension.

Two games.

Also, we learned on Thursday that Shea Weber tore a tendon in his foot, and he’s done for the year. Get well, Shea.

The Nashville Predators still have yet to play a game at full strength. Keep practicing, Mike.

Let’s start with our wunderkind, Eeli Tolvanen. If I told you in 2013 that the Nashville Predators would be holding the number one prospect in hockey a year after making a run to the cup final AND in position to make another run, you might have told me to refrain from narcotics using some colorful language. But that’s where we’re at. Tolvanen is showing out in the Olympics, and is making the idea of trading him for the faded memory of Rick Nash looking more and more foolish.

Let’s also give some love to the Fox Sports crew, and their improved television product. Chris Mason is growing into his role quite nicely, and this segment is a fine example.

Chris Mason’s style lends itself better to television than radio, and he’s been an asset to the coverage team.

Lastly, we have to talk about the big fellow.

Pekka Rinne, in addition to being a very good hockey player, has been a great human being and a pillar of the community around Nashville. With any luck, Rinne’s final win count will rank among the top 20 of goaltenders. And after watching Mason’s video again, you believe he’s got more to give.

Tee hee.

I go through mounds of crummy trade tweets each week. Tolvanen’s name is always mentioned with Rick Nash.

BTW, I’m kinda surprised none of you have zoomed in on the graphic for this section.

Rental or Term?

Go for a cheaper 1 year rental, and hope Tolvanen is ready for the jump


Get someone with 2 or so years of term and allow Tolvanen to continue development in the KHL for another year?


Either way, getting a rental to avoid playing Tolvanen is a novel idea... if the fit is right. The trouble I’m seeing is that the big names that could move (Nash being the most likely) don’t fit exactly in Nashville’s top six. The exception would be players like Hoffman and Pacioretty, which aren’t looking as likely. I do think the organization wants Eeli Tolvanen in the fold sooner rather than later, and the lure of having a left-handed shot with top-six potential being added at the end of the year without spending any assets outweighs the future hardship.

Let’s consider a few options: Gustav Nyquist representing the extended rental, and Tomas Tatar representing the “hockey trade”. Nyquist’s contract expires at the same time as the contracts belonging to Ellis and Rinne. Unless he turns into something spectacular, he’d be priority #3 on that quick list. Tatar is due $5m in cap hit for the near future, and his contract is laced with clauses that would force him to be protected in a draft. A rental makes sense if Nashville wants to keep their core together. It’s a hard ask to convince me that Tatar is worth the roster trouble and salary he’s locked into.

Detroit’s salary situation is a sad one. They bet hard on their young players living up to some well-above average contracts. This summer is going to be one to watch in Detroit, as in order to pay Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha (who looked great against Nashville), Tyler Bertuzzi, Martin Frk, and Andreas Athanasiou this summer. As of right now, they have $0 projected cap space (per CapFriendly). Mike Green won’t be returning, but they will need to ship off a contract. Tatar’s no-trade clause kicks in this July. Nyquist’s is already in affect. Justin Abdelkader’s deal is bad as is, but he’s got a full NTC until 2020, then it’s a modified NTC. Darren Helm has a full NTC for the rest of his deal, which expires in 2021. And those are just their forwards.

Follow up:

if we do get a 1 year rental, do we still try to get Tolvanen over for the playoffs?

How crazy a lineup would this be?



Goalvanen Bones Jarnkrok

Nash Fisher Watson/Sissons/Salo


I wouldn’t. But that’s me. This team is going to be together for next year, and if Poile and his merry men want to save some bullets for next year which could be Pekka’s last ride... let’s do it in style. Nashville fans should not be excited about the next expansion draft.

And let’s be real, if Nashville brings in a rental to boost the fourth line, Nashville shouldn’t have made the move. Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala are having very good years.

Are we going to see NHL players in 2022?

Bc that USA Czech game last night was atrocious. How do you have an OT powerplay and not even attempt a shot?


We should. Olympic hockey anchors the games for many of the target demographics NBC wants. NBC likely knew the ratings for these games were going to be down, and the 2022 games won’t be much easier to watch live in Beijing. I’d bet on 2026 being the next chance.

It’s taken the World Baseball Classic a few renditions to get some traction, and most would admit that the latest tournament was very good television. The World Cup of Hockey needs to work some kinks out, and not feel like a preseason NHL tournament.

You’re hosting a Stanley Cup playoff viewing party for some friends

You don’t want to spend all day preparing food, but want to put out a nice spread of snack type items that are not store bought. What is your menu?


Depends on who is playing. If it’s Nashville, I’d likely fry some chicken tenders and start from there. If the cup final contains Pittsburgh again, I may make some sandwiches, make them exotic by putting fries in them, and lie to everyone about how great they are.

Last year for the World Series, I made plenty of Tex-Mex and did some copycat west coast burgers. If you own a dutch oven, you can make some pretty great shredded chicken for nachos, enchiladas, tacos, flautas, everything.

-Place a skillet and dutch oven on medium heat, and apply some cooking spray (olive oil based if you can)
-Once the skillet gets warm, brown some chicken thighs (boneless/skinless) in the skillet for about a minute on each side
-Then dump the thighs into the dutch oven, along with red salsa, green salsa, and Worcestershire sauce (Herdez cooking sauces also work great)
-Let this simmer for 25 minutes, stirring after 15
-Pull apart with forks, as it will have the consistency of pulled pork

From there, you can use that as the base for nachos, especially paired with black beans. When gringos like me enjoy Tex-Mex without smothering it in cheese or cheese sauce, it’s probably pretty good.

What make and model of baseball gloves do you and your girlfriend have?


The correct answer would be a Wilson A-series for most people. But for a pair of folks who just chuck the ball back and forth on the beach or at a park, a pre-owned Rawlings Longhorn LH125 does the job just fine. I’ve been using that one for well over a year now. But as a lesson to you fellas out there: if you express some affection towards a garment or any item of clothing/equipment based on it’s comfort, it will soon be hers. I snagged a first baseman’s glove off eBay earlier this month, and easing that into my rotation. I also keep some extras in the bag, including a lefty for her sister when she visits, etc.

I’m still trying models with her. She was using an old Fernando Valenzuela glove (also eBay), it was giving her hand trouble.

what is the best way to eat beef?

my preference is steak tartare, does that gross you out?


Blackened beef tenderloin. Coat with butter, season, and cook on a dry skillet with medium-high heat. And that’s only because I don’t have 12 hours to do a brisket properly.

Beef is pretty great. The texture is good for eating rare, but the cuts containing more fat are superb when smoked or blackened. Super raw stuff doesn’t gross me out, but the cut of a tenderloin/filet mignon lends itself better to being cooked.

Do you eat cough drops when you don’t have a cough?

I do.


The black labelled sugar-free Halls are hard to find, but they are the lord of all cough drops. The blue label is okay, but that black label will clear your sinuses.

  • The rumors involving Karlsson to Nashville are funny. Part of me thinks it’s a great bluff that forces a move from an opponent, but it’s hard to know with David Poile.
  • Viktor Arvidsson’s contract is looking better and better.
  • Rather than make a comment on Mayor Barry, I’ll defer to the great Jim Diamond.
  • What’s more scary: a team with two 30 goal scorers OR a team with four 25 goal scorers? Arvy, Filip, Smith, and Fiala can all get to 25. With over 20 games remaining, it’s possible both scenarios happen.
  • Since his suspension, Filip Forsberg looks a little more timid on the ice. It’s understandable, and it’s temporary. Once he hits someone and doesn’t get reprimanded, he’ll be back to normal.
  • They won’t be trading Eeli Tolvanen.
  • Philly making a trade for Mrazek relieves Detroit of a mistake, but the Wings still need to clear some numbers to keep their rebuild on.
  • Calle Jarnkrok’s contract also continues to look better and better. He’s added some weight, and his game is a bit more complete this year.
  • There was only one part of the San Jose game I didn’t care for: Miikka Salomaki was on a seek & destroy mission in garbage time during the third period. The Sharks aren’t a bad team, but they caught a Nashville team that was motivated (contrary to some, Nashville wasn’t going to show up half-assed for a game against the team that humiliated them in game seven two years ago with a chance to get Pekka his 300th win). Nashville may see the Sharks again, as soon as the first round. The rest of that game was near perfect, and a great warning shot to the rest of the conference.

On to the next one.