Mid Summer Report: Nashville Predators

download (20)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Nashville Predators

Last Season’s Finish:  41-27-14, 96 pts, 4th in the Central Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D P.K. Subban (Trade)
  • D Yannick Weber (UFA)
  • D Matt Carle (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Cody Hodgson (UFA)
  • F Gabriel Bourque (UFA)
  • F Eric Nystrom (UFA)
  • D Shea Weber (Montreal)
  • D Barret Jackman (UFA)
  • G Carter Hutton (St. Louis)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Colton Sissons
  • D Petter Granberg
  • D Anthony Bitetto

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $67,585,831
  • Current salary cap space: $5,414,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, Ryan Johansen, Colin Wilson, Mike Ribeiro, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson, Colton Sissons, Cody Bass, Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson
Defensemen
PK Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Matthew Carle, Petter Granberg, Anthony Bitetto, Yannick Weber
Goalies
Pekka Rinne, Marek Mazanec

 

Outlook:

Nashville made a huge splash this summer by being part of the trade of the year in the NHL.  Two days prior to free agency opened on July 1, the Predators traded defenseman Shea Weber for Montreal’s P.K. Subban.  It has been a very unpopular move so far with Montreal fans, as Subban was a fan favorite there, as well as their best defenseman by far.  Well, Weber now goes to Montreal and assumes the undisputed #1 defenseman role, but he is 4 years older than Subban.  Subban was a controversial figure in Montreal, as apparently, the upper brass with the team felt he was becoming bigger than the team, and there is no room for that.  Subban comes to Nashville, and his individuality will not only be accepted, but encouraged.  In a non-traditional hockey market like Nashville, Subban will singlehandedly put butts in the seats, not that they need help.  This team has been very strong for several years now, and fan support has been strong as a result.  They should continue to be a strong team this season, and with Subban on the team, they will be even more fun to watch.  The only thing left for Nashville to do is finally advance past the second round of the playoffs, which is something they have yet to accomplish.