Nashville Predators News & Notes
Pekka Rinne to the coaching staff of the Young Lions: "I go to work full of enthusiasm" | Finland Hockey
Pekka has a new job as the goalie coach of Finland's U20 team, his first major hockey endeavor since retiring at the end of the 2021 season. I'll say this... those young Finns are going to have a hell of a mentor to look up to as they go through the program.
Why the Tampa Bay Lightning are betting on — and not buying out — Philippe Myers | The Athletic
The focus on the article is Myers going for a bounce-back year with his new team in Tampa Bay, but it does include a blurb from John Hynes about Myers's struggles here in Smashville last season.
“It was a transition for him,” Hynes said. “He got traded, and sometimes that’s hard for young guys to adjust. And on the right side, we had some guys that played really well, like Dante Fabbro. It was more of a competition, and those guys had a head start because they had been there, they know how we play and what we do and they played really well. He got beat out and we didn’t have a lot of injuries, so it was hard for him to get a steady 10-12-15 games in a row where he he could play well, or make mistakes and stay in the lineup.”
I did think Myers had some potential when he arrived in Nashville, but as Hynes mentioned, there was just no way you could justify giving him minutes over the top six guys in that defensive corps. The Lightning -- who have won Cups with the likes of Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, and Kevin Shattenkirk on their blueline -- seem to be high on making Myers their latest reclamation project.
After three consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearances, who am I to argue with Tampa's eye for talent.
Kemell motivated as Predators' surprising 2022 first-round draft pick | NHL.com
I doubt the Preds expected Kemell to be on the board when they drafted 17th, but they're sure glad he was. He'll likely be back in Finland for at least one more season.
Other Hockey Happenings
Who are the top NHL prospects under 23 years old? Scott Wheeler ranks top 50 | The Athletic
Kemell is the only Predators prospect on the list, with Wheeler ranking him 19th. Evangelista was listed as an honorable mention.
Tkachuk wants to play for Panthers 'for the rest of my career' | NHL.com
The Panthers certainly went for broke in getting Tkachuk to South Florida (a *bit* of an overpay in my personal opinion, but I know many of my OTF brethren disagree). That said, I'm a big supporter of teams being aggressive to get a guy they truly think is a missing piece. Is replacing Huberdeau, an MVP candidate in his own right, with Tkachuk going to be that boost that gets the Panthers past that Tampa-shaped bump? We'll see.
With Weegar and Huberdeau open to a future in Calgary, Flames' re-tooling is underway | SportsNet
On the other side of that Tkachuk trade, the Flames' immediately future suddenly looks much brighter than it did just a few days ago. Huberdeau is a legitimate top-tier player in the NHL, and Weegar is an underrated top-four defenseman. We'll see if either stay with Calgary after this season (both are due to become UFAs), but for this year at least, the Flames should still be in the mix for being a top team in the Pacific Division.
Nazem Kadri’s decision looms large | Mile High Hockey
Kadri's case is an unintended consequence of remaining unsigned past the first few days of free agent frenzy. A lot of the top teams don't have the cap flexibility to give Kadri the deal he likely wants, and the teams that do may not be an ideal spot. The longer he remains unsigned, the more likely it is that he may find his way back to Colorado on a team-friendly deal.
Dubois says he hasn't requested a trade from Jets | TSN.ca
Dubois is a good player, but this is the second market he's looked poised to leave under dubious (or... dubois-us?) circumstances.
Laine 'pretty pumped' to have Gaudreau as Blue Jackets teammate | NHL.com
I don't know if the Blue Jackets will be good next season, but damned if they won't be at least be fun as hell.