Nashville Predators News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
About Nashville Predators
2/25/15: The Nashville Predators continue to roll through the regular season and now must be thinking about winning the President's Trophy. That honor is bestowed on the team that finishes the regular season with the best record. It also means home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. As of last Saturday, the Predators stood at 85 points, tops in the NHL by a solid four points. Home ice could be especially advantageous for Nashville as they have only lost three games at home this season. That will be bad news for anyone unfortunate enough to draw the Predators at anytime in the playoffs.
2/18/15: Any thoughts that the Nashville Predators' lead in the Central Division at the All Star break was a fluke should be completely whitewashed by now. The Preds continue to play great hockey and survived without star goaltender Pekka Rinne for eight games. The team is expected to be active around the trade deadline with General Manager Scott Piole admitting that he has made some calls and is 'planting seeds' for trade deadline movement. The Predators actually did make their first moves, acquiring both Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Olli okinen, Brendan Leipsic and a 2015 first round pick.
2/11/15: Well, so much for the notion that the Nashville Predators were only in first place because of goalie Pekka Rinne's stellar play this season. It turns out that they are just a really good team - though Rinne makes them elite. Rinne is now back from a knee injury that kept him out for eight games. Nashville got along just fine during that time, compiling a 4-2-2 record to keep them on top of the Central Division. They were fortunate that the injury coincided with the All Star break, which did limit the games missed. In any case, the Preds are for real and are a fun team to watch.
2/5/15: Nashville is still sitting in first place in the Central Division, but their hold on the lead spot is tenuous at best. The St. Louis Blues are hot on the Predators' tail, and even beat Nashville in a shootout last week. The issue continues to be the ongoing injury to goaltender Pekka Rinne, who should be considered as an MVP candidate. Nashville will still likely make the playoffs in a couple of months - they are simply too talented not to, but they are a different team when Rinne is in net. They have a tough stretch this week, hosting Anaheim on Thursday, the Rangers on Saturday and at the Panthers on Sunday.
1/28/15: Both the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues will have multiple players in the All Star Game, but both teams probably should have had more considering that they rank 1 and 2 in the Central Division. Goaltender Pekka Rinne was selected, and rightfully so, but he is out with and injury. However, rookie Filip Forsberg was added to the squad as an injury replacement for Pittsburgh's Evegni Malkin. Forsberg is tied for the team lead in goals with 15 and leads all Predators players with 40 points. This is likely the first of many All Star Games for the youngster.
1/21/15: The Nashville Predators have been probably the best team in the NHL over the last six weeks or so, and that is reflected with status as the top team in the league. The team, as a whole, has played very well and there is no effort here to disparage that. At the same time, starting goaltender Pekka Rinne has been otherworldly this season and is due consideration for the league MVP. Unfortunately, he sprained his knee last week and is out for about a month. The Predators will not lose their playoff station in that time, but will need to come together to avoid losing ground to Chicago and St. Louis.
1/14/15: The Predators are now halfway finished with their season and they have racked up an NHL best 60 points. Obviously that would stretch out to 120 points if the trend held for the next few months - and that is a tremendously large number of points. The Preds are dominant at home at 16-2-1, and are winning on the road with a solid 12-7-3 record. The Preds have created some space between themselves at the top of the Central and the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. They host Washington on Friday before hitting the road to play in Detroit on Saturday and Montreal on Tuesday.
1/7/15: There are surprise teams in the NHL each and every year; some good, some bad. The Colorado Avalanche are an example of a bad surprise as they are bringing up the rear in the Central Division. The Nashville Predators, conversely, are a good surprise. They are holding their own in the race for the top spot in the division with Chicago Blackhawks. At the start of 2015, they trail the Hawks by just one point, but have two games in hand. No one in the league has been stingier than the Preds in allowing goals, as they have a microscopic 2.17 goals against average. They have a great home test on Thursday when the surging Dallas Stars and their potent offense comes to town.
12/3/14: There was always a sense of concern about how the Predators would generate goals this season. The Capitals drafted Filip Forsberg 11th overall in 2012, but now he is paying off for Nashville. He scored in six straight games and had nine goals overall in the month of November, keeping the Preds at the top of the Central Division. Now, the NHL has named him Rookie of the Month. At 20 years old, he has a lot of hockey left to play in his career and the Preds would be wise to hang on to him unlike the Washington Capitals.
11/19/14: Nashville did not have a very good season last year, though many may have forgotten that once goalie Pekka Rinne returned late in the year, they were a pretty good team. They have continued to build on that late-season success and are battling the St. Louis Blues for superiority in the Central Division. They dominated the Blues a couple weeks ago, but the Blues got the best of the Predators last week to reclaim the top spot. Expect this to continue for a while, as these two teams are showing that they are the class of the Central Division.
11/12/14: The Nashville Predators are showing that they are a team that should be respected this season. They seized the Central Division lead with a 2-1 victory over the Blues in St. Louis last Saturday night. The win ended the Blues win streak at seven games and put the Preds at 20 points versus the Blues' 19. St. Louis took the early lead but the Preds tied it in the second period. James Neal scored the winning goal with about six minutes remaining to win the game. Nashville is back in St. Louis on Thursday, then home on Saturday to face the surprising Winnipeg Jets.
11/5/14: How good is goaltender Pekka Rinne? Well, he missed much of last season with a hip injury and then infection. Once he returned, the Predators were one of the better teams in the Western Conference, but the early season hole was too big to overcome. He is fully healthy this season and the Predators are the best team in the Central Division so far. He has started eight of nine games, and only lost one. He also has a .936 save percentage, which is pretty darn good. Nashville plays good defense and scores when they have the opportunity - and that is a recipe for success in the West.
10/29/14: The word "phenom" is thrown around in sports way too often. It seems any time that a young participant has early success he or she gets that label. It can be tough to live up to, and often times, years before the true potential is reached. But the Preds may have phenom on their hands. Filip Forsberg is only 20 years old and is taking the NHL by storm. After just six games this season, the 20 year old is on the first line and is tied for the team scoring lead with five points. The Predators are tied with the Anaheim Ducks for first place. And that question about being able to score - well, that is not a concern right now.
10/22/14: Congratulations goes to the City of Nashville and the Nashville Predators. The NHL announced last week that the team will host the 2016 All-Star Game and associated festivities. Nashville, both the city and team, have been lobbying the NHL for premier events over the last couple of years. While Buffalo was awarded the NHL Draft next June, the Predators got the bigger of the two events with the All-Star Game. The 2015 game will be played in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus was to host the 2013 game, but that was cancelled due to the lockout. There was no 2014 game because of the Winter Olympics, so having the All-Star Game in consecutive years is a rarity (at least over the past decade).
10/15/14: It is generally believed that Nashville is going to have a tough time scoring this season with few other offensive options than James Neil. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is back - his absence due to a hip injury and subsequent infection cost him much of last season (enough to legitimately keep the Preds out of the playoffs) - and the Predators have a strong defense. The team opened up the 2014-15 season with 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Expect more low scoring games like this one. Nashville goes on their first road trip this week with games at Winnipeg and Chicago.
10/8/14: And this is why the Nashville Predators are among the best teams in the league at community relations. Nashville is a relatively small southern city without a hockey tradition, so they have been very strong in reaching out and connecting with the community to build goodwill and fans. Last week, as part of a Community Relations Day, center Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm stopped and joined an impromptu game of street hockey with young kids. Imagine how cool it would be if two NHLers showed up on your street and joined in a game. They probably made life-long fans of the youngsters and impressed well upon the parents.
10/1/14: Certain NFL coaches like to be coy about the extent and location of their players' injuries, but they cannot hold a candle to the NHL. The league allows designations like upper-body or lower-body injury, which could include a wide variety of body parts. That is what the Nashville Predators have done with Viktor Stalberg. The forward appeared to suffer the vague lower-body injury in practice. He is expected to miss two to four weeks recovering. Stalberg is heading into the second year of a four year, $12 million deal and is looking to bounce back from a sluggish year last season.
9/24/14: One way to combat top notch offensive talent is to have a top notch defensive unit. So while there are still many questions on how the Nashville Predators are going to score goals this season, they are putting out a pretty good defensive unit. So good that they have been able to get Brian Lee to come to camp on a professional tryout basis. The defenseman has played in more than 200 games and can hold his own on the blue line. That kind of tough defense - he is not guaranteed a roster spot - may be the way to solve the rest of the West and get back to the playoffs.
9/17/14: The Predators seemed to be at the mercy of goaltender Pekka Rinne's health last season. They struggled mightily without him, but did pretty well when he was in net. Rinne is healthy again and should be ready to go for training camp and the regular season. That could mean that the Preds may surprise a lot of people. They will have a new offense from new head coach Peter Laviolette, which could bring surprising results - especially with some new offensive weapons on board. It is easy to believe that the Predators could be the surprise team of the 2014-15 season.
8/28/14: For the first time in team history, the Predators made a coaching change by letting go of Barry Trotz and hiring Peter Laviollette. The coaching move also comes with a change in playing scheme. Lavy is far more offensive minded than Trotz, which should open up the scoring opportunities somewhat. Trotz rarely had prolific scorers, but did play great defense. He usually did not have a guy like James Neal (acquired from Pittsburgh). No player scored more for the Penguins over the past three years than Neal - including Sidney Crosby. The Preds hope he brings that type of game as the team tries to regain relevancy in the Western Conference.
8/21/14: Word came out recently that Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins recently visited the Dallas Cowboys training camp and head coach Jason Garrett. The purpose of the trip was to learn how to manage a large coaching staff, as NHL staffs have grown in recent years. Do not expect Preds' head coach Peter Laviollette to make a similar trip - he is decidedly old school. He will have two assistants on the bench: Kevin McCarthy and Phil Housley. For Lavy, less is more - he won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with Carolina using the same coaching strategy.
8/14/14: Some recent research into the Nashville Predators' 2013-14 season shows a strange trend. The team had more regulation and overtime wins than any other non-playoff team with 36. That is pretty impressive. However, Nashville was just 2-9 in shootout. Put another way, had they simply been average in shootouts, then they may have made the playoffs. The problem was that Nashville did not have any highly skilled forwards last season. Two defensemen accounted for five of their nine shootout goals. The addition of veteran Mike Ribeiro may help that out - or at least get them a few more goals in shootouts.
8/7/14: The sports world is often very predictable - we can figure out who is going to start games and who may be going where in free agency. Then, sometimes, something very unexpected happens. Last week, it was former Predator sniper Alexander Radulov praised former coach Barry Trotz, saying that Trotz helped him 'become a hockey player'. Trotz and Radulov did not appear to have a good relationship when they were together and Trotz even benched him in a key playoff series for violating team rules. In the end, though, it looks like Radulov respects Trotz, which many may find surprising.
7/31/14: The Nashville Predators have done a remarkable job in their 15 years of existence. They have managed to compile a team that is usually competitive in the hyper-competitive Western Conference despite being in a small market. They have also been able to motivate a fan base in a non-traditional hockey town. But they have their challenges as well. For example, the Preds brought in Simon Moser from the Swiss league last season for six games. He wants a raise to stay in Nashville, and will only consider the Predators an option if they give him one. The alternative is to let hi go back to Switzerland, which may be the best option for all parties.
7/24/14: Nashville may have been hesitant to get back into the mix of bringing in Russian players because their last experience ended poorly. They drafted Alex Radulov in 2004, an extremely gifted forward that clashed with former head coach Barry Trotz. They also had Andrei Kostitsyn, who got into trouble with Radulov. Trotz suspended the two for the 2012 Wester Conference semis for missing curfew and they were gone the next season. But they have taken another chance with Vladislav Kamenev this year. The team claims they did their diligence and that Kamenev is committed to coming to North America. Hopefully it goes better this time.
7/17/14: The Nashville Predators continue to fill out their roster with solid role playing players, though they have not been able to land any big name free agents. That includes resigning defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a two year deal for just over $2 million. Ekholm will not be setting any records for defensive scoring as he notched only a single goal in one NHL season. That being said, he is a steady presence on defense and his job is to keep the puck out of net. The Preds now need to figure out who will be scoring for them, and they hope they can find that answer internally.
7/10/14: Just three years ago, the Predators were the number three team in the Western Conference behind the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues. The team has had a lot of turnover of key players since then, including their top two offensive threats as well as defenseman Ryan Suter. They are hoping their latest move will help reignite the team. They signed veteran center Olli Jokinen to a one year, $2.5 million deal. Jokinen is now 35 and past his prime, but did put up 18 goals and 25 assists last season in Winnipeg. If nothing else, he should be able to give around 20 goals and veteran leadership to a rebuilding team.
7/3/14: The Predators are trying to change up the roster somewhat this offseason and have been among the more active teams recently. Nashville made some noise by acquiring James Neal and tried to make a trade with Ottawa to land Jason Spezza. That offer was rejected. The Preds are also trying to trade young defenseman Micheal Del Zotto. Del Zotto came to Nashville mid-season from the Rangers and never really did much in his short time. He was even a healthy scratch at one point. The Predators keep trying and maybe they will be able to overhaul their roster.
6/19/14: Do not bother asking because it is not going to happen. That is what the Predators are telling the league about inquiring for defenseman Shea Weber in a trade. Weber is among the best defensemen in the NHL. He also has a young Seth Jones along with him, which can be the nucleus of a strong defensive unit going forward. The Preds were forced into giving him a very expensive long-term deal a couple years ago when the Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to an offer sheet that Nashville matched. There is concern that the Preds will not be able to afford it throughout the life of the deal, but, at least for now, are not willing to listen to any offers.
6/12/14: It is unknown if the city of Nashville is coordinating a campaign to bring high profile events to the area, but the name is getting out there. The Predators have submitted their bid to host the NHL All-Star Game (and accompanying event) for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. They would only get one of those, but there is a good chance they could get one. The NHL has not had an All-Star Game since 2012. There was a lockout in 2013 and the Olympics this year. Nashville has also talked to the NFL about hosting the NFL draft at some point, which may actually happen now that the NFL is looking to host in cities other than New York.
6/6/14: It did not take even a day for the Nashville Predators to follow the lead of the St. Louis Blues and sign a player from Swedish league powerhouse Skelleftea. The Blues signed Joakim Linstrom last Wednesday. That was followed by the preds inking defenseman Johan Alm to a deal. A couple days later the San Jose Sharks signed Melker Karlsson to a one year deal. Additionally, SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL in Russia signed Jimmie Ericsson to a deal. Basically, it has been a pretty bad week for Skelleftea, who had won back to back Swedish league championships.
5/29/14: The NHL draft is less than a month away, and it could be a great opportunity for the Predators to add some top end talent for the future. While it does not garner the same attention as the NFL or NBA drafts, it is still compelling to watch, and will be shown live from Philadelphia this year. Nashville had some luck on their side as the top defenseman in the 2013 draft, Seth Jones, fell to them at number four. They would be hard pressed to get the same fortune this year. At the same time, the Florida Panthers have the first pick and have shown a willingness to trade down.
5/22/14: Two years ago, the Nashville Predators were in the second round of the NHL playoffs and had just finished the best regular season in franchise history. They had a couple sniping forwards who could score, a great goalie in Pekka Rinne and two of the best defensemen in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. All but Rinne and Weber are gone, but the Preds got lucky in the draft last year when the best defenseman available fell to them (Seth Jones). Jones is still learning the NHL game, but he is doing well in the World Championships, scoring twice to lead Team USA to an overtime victory over Kazakhstan.
5/15/14: Nashville fired the only coach they have ever known, Barry Trotz, a few weeks ago, after the Predators missed the playoffs for consecutive seasons. Filling his shoes will be hard to do, especially in a small market hockey town in the South. But the Preds swung for the fences and hit a home run. They hired Peter Laviolette as their new head coach. He is best known for winning the Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes a few years ago. He was being courted by several teams and is probably the most accomplished coach available. Nice job, Nashville.
5/8/14: Two years ago, the Predators' roster (particularly their signature defense) took a huge hit when Ryan Suter signed a monster deal to join the Minnesota Wild. At the time, the Preds were coming off of their best year in franchise history and looked like a team on the rise. Since losing Suter, they have redoubled their attention on star D-man Shea Weber. Weber is one of the best defensemen in the NHL - there is no question about that. In fact, he is a finalist for the Norris award, given annually to the best defenseman in the NHL. But Weber needs some help on the blue line. He cannot paly 60 minutes a night, and the team will not be successful again until they get him some help.
5/1/14: Teams generally do not like their players (assets) playing in non-NHL games. In fact, there is a big debate going on about whether or not the NHL will let their players participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics (which requires the league to stop the season for two to three weeks). Those non-NHL games increase the risk of injury and tire players. But the Preds are taking a different approach. They are encouraging goalie Pekka Rinne to play in the World Championships. Rinne missed most of this NHL season with injury and infection, and the team feels it would be good for him to get back on the ice.
4/24/14: It's the end of an era in Nashville as the team relieved head coach Barry Trotz from his duties. Trotz is the only coach the Predators have had in their 15 year existence, and coached some pretty good teams. The Preds missed the playoffs this season, for the second year in a row. That can not really be pinned on Trotz, as he has not had the talent on his roster as he had in the past. It certainly hurt that goalie Pekka Rinne missed most of the season with injury and infection as well. Trotz may end up staying with the organization, though, as he has reportedly been offered a front office position.
4/17/14: When you have been knocked out of postseason contention, one of the few things left to hang your hat on is playing spoiler. That is exactly what the Nashville Predators did last Thursday to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes were fighting for the playoff lives, but the Preds shut them out 2-0, thus ending the Coyotes chances of making the playoffs. The star of the game was Pred's goalie Pekka Rinne who made 29 saves in the win. In doing so, he earned win 162, which put him in first place in franchise history for goalie wins, passing Tomas Vokoun.
4/10/14: The Nashville Predators are among the most fan-friendly franchises in the league. Some may argue that they have to be, considering they play in a small market in the South. There may be some truth to that, but their efforts over the course of their existence has garnered a loyal fanbase, and the Preds should be proud of that. Their latest effort included a contest to design Pekka Rinne's goalie mask. The winning entry featured a big guitar, some musical notes, and the Nashville skyline on the front, and another guitar on the back. It is actually a pretty nice mask. Rinne wore it for a game last week, and the winning designer got to keep it.
4/3/14: Nashville finds itself in a very difficult position heading into the final couple weeks of the season. They are tied with the slumping Winnipeg Jets, but that is a good nine points out of a playoff birth. On top of that, they have to over take Dallas and Vancouver as well. The Preds' season was pretty much washed out by the absence of goalie Pekka Rinne for most of the campaign - first a hip injury and then an infection. Lost in all of this is that star defenseman Shea Weber is having a tremendous year, one which the team carries over into next season.
3/27/14: It was going to be a tough road for the Predators, and everyone knew that when goalie Pekka Rinne went out for a second time this season - an infection that may have had its roots in his initial hip injury. The Preds played reasonably well following Rinne's return, but it looks like too little too late. To add insult to injury, head coach Barry Trotz made Michel Del Zotto a healthy scratch as he has struggled all season. The move allowed Nashville to play some other players, but that is generally done when the season is all but finished.
3/20/14: The Preds are probably playing some of their best hockey all season at this point - which is obviously a good thing for the team. They took down the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 last week, as a matter of fact. However, they are right at .500 for the year and only have a slight chance of making the playoffs. It looks like, from the outside, that goalie Pekka Rinne's hip injury and subsequent infection, which cost him most of the season, was too much to overcome. This may not be Nashville's year, but they will continue to fight and cause problems for other teams the rest of the way.
3/13/14: The Predators were another team that made a trade deadline move, joining so many other NHL teams on one of the busiest trade deadline days in recent history. Nashville is still clinging to hope that they can reach the postseason - a prospect that is more likely now that star goalie Pekka Rinne is back. But the Preds did trade away local legend David Legwand. Legwand was the Preds' first ever draft pick (second overall in 1998). The Detroit native waived his no-trade clause to go back to his hometown and play for the Red Wings for the remainder of the season.
3/6/14: The Nashville Predators have been snake bitten all year. The good news is that they may be on their way back up the NHL ladder. Star goalie Pekka Rinne has been out for most of the year. He had a hip injury that required surgery in the offseason. He played a few games earlier in the season, then had to be shut down because of infection. He is now in a rehab assignment in the AHL and should be back soon. More proof that this is not the Preds' year? GM Dave Poile, who was also the GM of the U.S. Olympic Team, got hit in the face by a puck and missed the Sochi Olympics entirely. Tough times in Nashville.
2/27/14: Nashville Predators GM David Poile deserves high marks for his moonlighting job as GM of the U.S. Olympic Team. Many people may be down about the Americans right now, particularly how they seemed to not show up for the bronze medal game against Finland (lost 5-0). However, the Americans were a force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament. The highlight, of course, was the 3-2 shoot out win over Russia, in which T.J. Oshie became a national star by scoring on four of his six shoot out attempts. The U.S. also gave Canada everything they could handle in a 1-0 loss. Fourth place may be bitter, but Poile assembled a great team that can compete on every level.
2/20/14: A very tough break for Nashville Predators and Team USA GM David Poile. Poile's trip to Sochi to watch the team he put together has been cancelled. Poile was struck in the face by a puck during a Nashville practice last week, and it turns out that the injuries are severe enough to require surgery. That means that he will stay in the States while his team competes for Olympic gold. Thanks for the effort, David, and best of luck to all the players representing their countries in the Winter Olympics this year in Sochi, Russia.
2/13/14: So we have reached the Olympic break, which means that Predators GM is far busier than other GMs right now. Poile is also the GM for the United States Olympic Hockey team, so he has had a big hand on who is in Sochi, Russia right now representing the country. Team USA is one of the favorites this time, especially having won silver in Vancouver in 2010 (an instant classic game against Team Canada in the gold medal game). Poile is a bit injured right now, as he was hit by a puck last week and taken to the hospital. No worries though, he has helped put together a great team for the U.S. for the Olympics.
2/6/14: The Predators seem to be playing better of late. Everyone knows that the team has been decimated by injuries this season, and the most notable is goal tender Pekka Rinne. Last Friday, no one knew if star defenseman Shea Weber would be able to play against the New Jersey Devils. Not only did he play, he dominated. Weber ended up scoring two goals, including the game winner in overtime, as the Preds won 3-2. He also played 26 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a guy that was pretty much a game time decision last Friday.
1/30/14: Predators' forward joined the ranks of Tyler Seguin, Tomas Hertl, and Martin St. Louis last week, as he became the fourth player this season to score four goals in a game. Unfortunately, like St. Louis, his team was not able to win, and lost 5-4. For Nystrom, his four goals were unexpected. The others to hit the milestone are prolific scorers. Nystrom had never even had a hat trick going into the game, having never scored more than twice in 457 career games, and only one goal in his previous 19 games. But congrats to the fantasy hockey players who had him on their roster that nght.
1/23/14: The Preds have been basically treading water for the last few months with star goalie Pekka Rinne out. They looked like they had the problem figured out with the strong play from goalies within their own system - and that worked for a while. But that faded and they had to go outside the organization for help. The Preds traded with the Edmonton Oilers for goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The interesting thing about this is that Dubnyk is a good goalie, but not a great one. In any case, the Preds have a starting goaltender for the rest of the season, in the case that Rinne does not return.
1/16/14: Nashville played well in the first several weeks of goalie Pekka Rinne's injury. The backup goaltenders stepped up and kept the team competitive, as well as kept the season alive. But, as is usually the case, there is a reason one man is the starter and the others are backups. The Preds have not been able to maintain their pace and are still developing. Lack of goal scoring is hurting the team too. In other news, the Preds have two Olympians on their roster. Defenseman Shea Weber (an obvious choice) and defenseman Roman Josi (who will play for Switzerland).
1/9/14: Predators' GM Dave Poile is pulling double duty these days as he moonlights as the GM for the U.S. Olympic Team. The team was announced at the Winter Classic and a notable snub was forward Bobby Ryan. Poile had to go into PR mode when comments arose that Ryan had no intensity. Poile quickly took accountability, saying there was a miscommunication between the team and embedded reporters, and that it was the Olympic Team's fault. He has apologized to Ryan publicly. Ryan was upset with the snub, but says he would gladly join the team as an alternate if the situation arose.
1/2/14: Give the Nashville Predators some credit for putting out a good product when their best player, goaltender Pekka Rinne, has been out with a hip injury for months. To be fair, the Predators are still hovering around the .500 mark, depending on the day. However, they are playing hard and earning some tough wins. Next season will be interesting though. The salary cap should rise to $71 million and the Preds have 18 players under contract. That means they will not have a big shopping list. However, they could certainly benefit from a couple more offensive playmakers and should have the cap space to add them.
12/26/13: Nashville's goaltending concerns have been quite well known for sometime. Once star goalie Pekka Rinne hurt his hip early in the season the organization had to find a replacement to hold down the fort. Carter Hutton has done an admirable job in net, and should not be admonished in anyway. He has kept the team right about .500 in a very tough conference. But the short-term fix is not a long-term solution, and cracks may be forming. Hutton was pulled against Boston earlier in the week for allowing two goals in the first six minutes of the game. Basically, the Preds need Rinne back soon.
12/19/13: Everyone in the league knew that the Predators would struggle offensively this season, especially after jettisoning their two best offensive weapons after last season. The team has not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2003, but are in danger of being on the outside looking in this season. GM Dave Piole says the team is staying patient. The Preds would trade if one becomes available, but Pioli also feels that some players have under-performed. The season is quickly slipping away and they need to find some scoring soon. Also, it would help if goalie Pekka Rinne made his way back to health.
12/12/13: Nashville can be a tough team to figure out. They have not lost a game by a single goal this season, but of their 14 losses, the average is over three goals. So basically, if they lose, they lose big. They also are having trouble scoring with a 2.23 goals per game average, which is tied with the New York Rangers for the fourth lowest in the league. There is no doubt that Nashville is struggling as they are the only team in the Central Division with a losing record. That being said, a couple wins and they are back on the plus side. And star goaltender Pekka Rinne should be back in a few weeks.
12/5/13: The Nashville Predators have quietly strung together a nice stretch of games and have move up in the Western Conference standings. In the span of 11 days, the Preds had six games and won five of them. These were not pushover teams either. Nashville beat Chicago, Detroit (on the road), Toronto (on the road), Phoenix, and Columbus (on the road). Their only loss was at home to the New York Rangers. Backup goalie Marek Mazanec has settled in nicely while Pekka Rinne continues to rehab, which is exactly what the Preds need considering Rinne may be out another month.
11/28/13: It is well known that the Predators' star goalie Pekka Rinne is out at least antoher month with a hip injury. His backups have not performed well and that is a big reason the Preds have dropped near the basement of the Central Division. They have only 24 points, while the division leaders all have at least 32 points. Nashville has reportedly inquired about Ducks goal tender Jonas Hiller. This would be a major move and may indicate that the Predators are not convinced that Rinne will be able to return soon or that they may be panicking about their place in the standings.
11/21/13: The Nashville Predators are doing what they can to stay above water while their star goalie, Pekka Rinne, rehabs from hip surgery and an infection. Objectively, the Predators are doing a decent job. They are .500 with a 9-9-2 record. They also destroyed the Chicago Blackhawks 7-2 in an impressive win. Hawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin started the game but left with injury. Corey Crawford came in and was thoroughly unprepared for Preds. Unfortunately, they are in last place in Central, making their climb to the playoffs a very difficult one, especially without their best player being available.
11/14/13: It is a rough road for the Predators as they try to weather the storm while star goaltender Pekka Rinne is out. The Preds have started Carter Hutton as their primary goalie in Rinne's absence, though the team is struggling mightily without him. Rinne had an infection in his hip and underwent surgery last month. He remains in treatment now and is expected to have an MRI in late November to check his progress. There is no timetable for his return but the Predators know that sooner is better if they are going to salvage the season.
11/7/13: Many believed that the Nashville Predators did not have much of a chance to make the playoffs this season, but what little chance they did have depended upon the strong play of goalie Pekka Rinne. Rinne is now injured and out at least a month, which really jeapordizes the team's hope for success this season. The backups available, Carter Hutton and Magnus Hellberg, have a combined five games of NHL experience between them. There is a big drop off from Rinne and the Preds will need to step up both their offense and defense to overcome this latest obstacle.
10/31/13: Nashville depends on goaltender Pekka Rinne to keep them in games. The team is not as offensively gifted as it was two years ago when they took third in the Western Conference and had 102 points. Their defense, however, is still strong. They showed that aspect of the game to the Winnipeg Jets last week, as back-up goalie Carter Hutton turned aside 34 shots as the Predators beat the Jets in overtime 3-2. A win is always good, but even better against a division foe. With goaltending like this, the Preds could find themselves in the playoff mix in a few months.
10/24/13: Nashville got a big and unexpected gift in the June draft when Seth Jones fell to them with the fourth pick. Jones was widely considered the best defenseman in the draft and the most NHL ready. On a sidenote, he is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Jones is already paying off for the Predators, who needed a replacement after Ryan Suter fled to Minnesota and the money a year earlier. Jones netted the game winner, in the third period, last week against Montreal, giving the Preds a 2-1 win. The win got Nashville over 500 with at 4-3-1 record.
10/17/13: Nashville is well aware that they may be in for a difficult season. The team has lost several of their key players over the past 18 months, including star defenseman Ryan Suter and their Russian offense. The Preds were able to draft Seth Jones back in June, though. Jones was widely regarded as the best defenseman on the board and many thought he would be the number one overall pick. Nashville lucked out that he dropped to them with the fourth selection and he is already paying dividends. He recorded his first NHL goal this past week as Nashville edged the Islanders 3-2.
10/10/13: The Nashville Predators are trying to prove the 'experts' wrong and show that they can be the elite team that played in the 2011-2012 season. The Preds finished second in the Western Central division that year, and third overall in the West with 102 points. The criticism is that they lack offense, and that showed in their opener against the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis won 4-2, but what was more alarming was that the Blues scored three goals on their first six shots - forcing Nashville to pull goalie Pekka Rinne only eight minutes into the game.
10/3/13: Nashville will have a new look offensively this season, and that was needed after the team tied for the lowest scoring average (with the Florida Panthers) last season at 2.27 goals per game. The Preds acquired center Matt Cullen as well as wingers Viktor Stalberg, Eric Nystrom, and Matt Hendricks in free agency. Cullen looks to be depth at center and Stalberg is a top six forward. Both are expected to score some points while adding a bit of toughness to the team. Pekka Rinne returns in net, starting the second of a seven year contract with the team.
9/26/13: It would be strange to see the Nashville Predators without Dave Legwand in the line up, but that may be where it is headed. Legwand was the first selection ever for the franchise in 1998 and holds the franchise record for most games played (894). But he is also 33 years old and the Preds have not committed to re-signing him yet. GM Dave Piole wants to see how the season starts before making any commitments. It may be that Legwand gets traded at the deadline to a contending team that needs a veteran presence in the locker room and on the ice.
9/19/13: The Nashville Predators of last season, or even this season, are not the same team that tallied 102 points in the 2011-12 season. The roster is not as deep. They dismissed several of their top scorers because they were a distraction off the ice, and lost their second best defenseman (Ryan Suter) to free agency over a year ago. That puts a lot of pressure on goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne underwent hip surgery in May. The good news is that he is a full participant in training camp so far. The Preds need him now more than ever, so his health is of the utmost importance to the team.
9/12/13: For those who not recognize the name Mike Fisher, he could also be known as Mr. Carrie Underwood. Fisher found himself in a tough scrap recently: Man vs. Chipmunk. The good news is that Fisher won that battle, apparently by 'turtlemanning" it - whatever that means. The bad news is that either Chip or Dale bit Fisher in the altercation. Of course, those that have nothing more to do took to social media to comment on the situation. More importantly, it is less than a month until the season starts and the Preds need Fisher to be playing rather than foaming at the mouth with rabies.
9/4/13: In an interesting twist, the past and future of the Nashville Predators were roommates at the U.S. Olympic Hockey camp. Former Preds star (now with the Minnesota Wild) Ryan Suter was paired with Preds' first round pick Seth Jones - who is expected to ascend to as the cornerstone defenseman in a few years. After initial surprise to both, they got along well and Jones was picking Suter's brain for advice. At first glance, the situation may seem rather odd, but upon further review, it should be noted that Nashville general manager David Piole is also the GM for the U.S. Hockey Team.
8/29/13: The one constant in Nashville has been stellar play of goaltender Pekka Rinne. His backstopping led the Preds to over 100 points and a playoff birth in the 2011-2012 season. With less talent on the roster than then, Rinne will be asked to shoulder more responsibility this season. Last season was an off one for Rinne. His stats plummeted as the team felt the effects of losing defenseman Ryan Suter. However, Rinne has a $7 million cap hit, so he bears responsibility of playing at a top level and getting the Preds back into contention this season.
8/22/13: The Nashville Predators have been a bit unlucky with defenseman over the past few years. They lost Ryan Suter to free agency (and a 13 year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild) and had to pay handsomely to retain their best blueliner Shea Weber. But the team got very fortunate that Seth Jones fell to them with the fourth overall pick in the June draft. Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Many expected him to be the first overall pick. He was not, and that is good for the Preds. Jones may have a chance to make the team this season, but it is more likely that he will play in the minors or juniors for a bit while he develops.
8/15/13: Jordin Tootoo has one of the best names in all of pro hockey, and he is a pretty good player as well. He was drafted and developed by the Nashville Predators, but is currently with Detroit. He has two years and $3.8 million on his contract and the Red Wings are trying to trade him to free up cap space. The Preds have over $4 million in cap space and are looking to bring back their prodigal son. Nashville could use him too. He can score a little bit and is tough enough to handle himself with the bigger teams like St. Louis and Chicago, which of course are in the same division as the Predators.
8/8/13: A year ago the Philadelphia Flyers forced the Predators' hand with Shea Weber - the team's top defenseman. At that time, the Preds had just lost their second best defenseman Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild and their $100 million offer. The Flyers put up a similar bid to then restricted free agent Weber, which the Preds matched - so they kept Suter. Suter is a great talent that the team can build upon, and they will need to lean heavily on them after losing their top scorers. Make no mistake, the Preds are in rebuilding mode at this point, but they can be happy that the Red Wings are out of the Division now.
8/1/13: The Nashville Predators came close two years ago. They inched into the fourth seed with 102 points and quickly dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. They lost in the second, and the team has not been the same since. They lost their best forwards and second best defenseman, and had to pay their best defenseman a king's ransom to retain him. Now they are rebuilding and are gushing about 18 year old Filip Forsberg as the next answer to their scoring woes. Forsberg may be a year or two away from making the team, but did show promise in the five games he played last season.
7/4/13: The Nashville Predators may have gotten the steal of the draft by selecting defenseman Seth Jones with the fourth overall pick. Jones was considered the best and most pro-ready player by many scouts, but the Avalanche passed on him with the first overall pick to get offense. More surprisingly, the Tampa Bay Lightning passed on him when they are in dire need of defense. Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. He may have a couple years before he reaches the NHL, but he is a good long term solution for the departed Ryan Suter.
6/27/13: Nashville general manager David Poile is expected to be named the GM of the US Olympic Hockey Team, a move that Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane endorses. Poile has been behind the scenes of the Olympic team for 15 years, and has helped picked several squads - including the team that won silver in 2010. Brian Burke was the GM, but was not asked back - presumably because he is not with an NHL team currently. The appointment is not official yet, but is widely expected. Both the GM and the head coach will be announced during the NHL draft weekend.
4/11/13: Nashville will not make the playoffs this year, for only the second time in the past nine years. The Preds have had an impressive run for almost a decade - far better than most people will give them credit for. Last season, they placed second in the Western Central Division with over 100 points, and even embarrassed the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs. They were shut out again this week, 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues. Nashville only managed 15 shots on goal, and even went on one stretch where they were outshot 12-0. Goalie Pekka Rinne kept them in the game, but without any offense, there is no way to win.
3/21/13: Nashville is an offensively starved team, so the decision by head coach Barry Trotz to bench one of their top offensive players is no small feat. Sergei Kostitsyn, playing the point on the power play, let a pass slip by. He tied up an Oiler fore-checker for a moment, then inexplicably quit on the play and went to the bench for a change. Edmonton scored about four seconds later, which proved to be the winning goal. Trotz decided to bench Kostitsyn (as a healthy scratch) for the play. While Trotz was irate, Kostitsyn was remorseful for the play.
3/7/13: The Predators are mired in mediocrity this season - a far cry from the 102 points they posted last year. The Preds are 9-9-5, which is simply not going to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference. Nashville made a couple of moves in the past week, trading away fan favorite Brian McGratten for Joe Piskula of Calgary. Piskula was immediately assigned to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Nashville also claimed Bobby Butler off waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Nashville was down to just 20 players since Hal Gill was placed on the injured reserve earlier.
11/15/12: The Nashville Predators front office understands where the team stands in the Tennessee/Southern sports hierarchy, which is somewhere between the University of Tennessee women's basketball team and the Memphis Redbirds AAA baseball team. So the franchise works hard at gaining publicity and developing a long-term relationship with the community - a rarity in professional sports. Last week, the team organized a flash mob (or as they called it, Smashmob) to perform unexpectedly at a local pee-wee hockey game. While it is not 2007 anymore, it is good to see this kind of effort to grow the appeal of hockey in the South.
11/8/12: The Nashville Predators are doing their part as hockey ambassador by hosting sessions for adult players. For only $15, amateurs can lace up and scrimmage at Bridgestone Arena, and that includes parking and donuts. Some Predator coaches may be on hand to help out as well. While hockey is not big in the South, the Predators should be commended for their efforts to get eyes away from college and pro football in the Nashville area. The team is well supported with a strong fan base, which is growing as the team gets better and better each season.
11/1/12: The Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues have had a brief but feisty rivalry. Many thought the two teams were on a collision course and would meet in the Western Conference Finals last year, with the winner going to the Stanley Cup. However, both were upset in the second round so there was no series. Now the two organizations are teaming up for an Alumni game with proceeds going to Hurricane Sandy relief and Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital. The game will be played at Vanderbilt University on Saturday November 10, and a $5 dollar donation is suggested.
10/18/12: Since losing star defenseman Ryan Suter to free agency, the Preds re-signed their other star defenseman Shea Weber to a long term contract (actually having to match a monstrous offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers). They also signed 23 year old forward Craig Smith to a lucrative four year extension in the land-grab rush during the days leading up to the lockout. Smith signed with a Finnish team during the lockout, but his contract will keep him there until the Christmas break. The team is owned by current NHL players Scott Harnell and Kimmo Timonen, making for a strange Boss's Day. Smith does have an out clause, so he should be expected back should the lockout end before Christmas.
10/4/12: Predators players are fleeing Nashville as if a hurricane were coming through. In the last week, Craig Smith, Pekka Rinne, and Patric Hornqvist have all agreed to play overseas during the lockout. Smith signed with KalPa of SM-ligna, a Finnish team that is owned by NHL players Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Rinne, one of the true elite goaltenders in the NHL, is going to Russia to play with Dinamo Minsk. Finally, Hornqvist is headed to Sweden to play with Djurgarden - alongside Gabriel Landeskog of the Avalanche and Douglass Murray of the San Jose Sharks.
8/16/12: Like seven other teams in the Western Conference, the Avs look to get back into the playoffs next season. They were close last season, and look to make that long-awaited leap. The big questions are 1. Is Joe Sacco a good enough coach to get the most from his players, 2. Can Landeskog avoid a sophmore slump, 3. Will the acquisition of PA Parenteau and the emergence of Steve Downie and Jamie McGinn provide enough offense, and 4. Can Erik Johnson regain the form that made him the No. 1 overall pick a few years ago. If the Avs can successfully solve these challenges, then they will be playing in May.
8/2/12: Nashville matched the megadeal offer sheet by the Flyers for star defenseman Shea Weber - an 14 year, $106 million deal, thereby retaining the All-Star. Weber says there are no hard feelings between he and the Predators, which is contrary to suggestions that Weber's agent made that he wanted to be in Philadelphia. But the loss of Ryan Suter will be hard to replace, and the Preds are trying to find another defenseman. Supplies are limited and other teams (like St. Louis) are searching as well. Nashville is in the Shane Doan sweepstakes, however, it is unlikely that Doan will land in Tennessee.
7/26/12: Losing All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter in free agency to the Minnesota Wild was a big shock to the Preds, so Nashville did everything they had to do to retain their other All-Star defenseman Shea Weber. Weber entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning the Preds could match any offer and keep Weber. Many experts thought that no one would make an offer sheet and the Predators would have another year to negotiate a long-term deal. But the Flyers made Weber a 14 year/$110 million offer, forcing Nashville to match. They did, and Weber will likely be in Nashville the rest of his career.
Star defenseman Shea Weber signed a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers. A couple of days later the Nashville Predators matched the offer. The contract is the largest in the history of the Predators organization and second largest in NHL history. With All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter gone (signed with Minnesota), the Predators chose to match the offer on their leader. Weber has been the team captain for two seasons. He finished second in voting for the Norris Trophy in those seasons and tied for the league lead in goals by a defenseman with 19 last year. He has spent his entire career with the Predators, since being drafted by them 49th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft.
5/22/12: Like division rival St. Louis, Nashville was eliminated quickly in the second round without predjudice. After compiling over 100 points and the #4 seed in the West, the Predators looked ready to make the jump from 'very good' to 'elite' with a strong postseason run. All the pieces were in place: Excellent goaltending from Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne was as good as they come in round 1 against Detroit. Wayward son Alexande Radulov returned from Russia to generate offense, and Ryan Sutter was playing at an elite level. Without games, the team must focus on how to keep their talent and move to the next level.
5/16/12: The Nashville Predators' season came to a startling halt, as the #3 seeded Phoenix Coyotes beat the Predators in five games in Round 2. Nashville earned a lot of respect, finishing with over 100 points, a 4-seed, and a first round demolishing of the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings. But the Coyotes' opportunistic scoring and stellar goaltending were simply too much for the Preds. Nashville hopes to return essentially the same team next year. However, Ryan Suter is both an elite defenseman and an unrestricted free agent, and his demands may be more than Nashville can afford to commit to a single player.
5/11/12: The Predators gained league-wide respect this year because they had a terrific season, made aggressive moves to bolster their line-up throughout the year, and eliminated the Red Wings in 5 games in the first round. However, all the good feelings are waning away inside the lockerroom since the Phoenix Coyotes dispatched Nashville in five games in the second round. Long-time coach Brian Trotz made the controvercial move to scratch the Predators' top two scorers Alexander Radulov and Alexei Kostitsyn for not one but two games (games 4 and 5) during the Phoenix series for a violation of team rules.
5/3/12: After eliminating Detroit in the first round in only five games, Nashville was name the prohibitive favorite to represent the West in the Stanley Cup by several experts. However, the Phoenix Coyotes took the first two games of the second round by outplaying the Predators and taking them out of their defense-first game. The Predators will be without two of their more gifted scorers, Alexander Radulov and Alexie Kostitsyn. The pair were suspended prior to the third game by the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Jordin Tootoo and Craig Smith are likely to replace the duo, though neither has offensive skills.
4/25/12: Nashville claims they modeled their team and operations after the Detroit Red Wings, and proved that by defeating Detroit 4 games to 1 in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. Simply put, Nashville dominated the series, owning the boards, scoring when they had the opportunity, and not giving Detroit much to work with. Goaltender Pekka Rinna was outstanding, as he has been all year, allowing 1.81 goals against/game. Late season rejoinee Alexander Radulov led all scorers with five points, and Gabriel Borque added three goals and an assist. The Predators will play the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round.
4/17/12: Nashville took a 3-1 series lead by taking two games in Detroit. The Predators, relying heavily on goaltender Pekka Rinne won 3-2 on Sunday and followed that up with a 3-1 win on Tuesday. Rinne has been outstanding in net 81 of 84 shots in the two games at Joe Louis Arena. The Preds have a chance to send the Red Wings to the golf course on Friday, at home. Should Nashville win the series, they will likely face the number 8 seeded LA Kings, who have President's Cup winner Vancouver Canucks on the ropes with a 3-0 series lead.
Nashville Predators Tickets -Team History
Nashville Predators tickets allow fans the opportunity to see one of the NHL's youngest franchises rise in the Western Conference. Established in 1997, the Nashville Predators joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team. The Predators play their games at Bridgestone Arena and have called the venue home since 1998. Watch as the Preds build a new legacy and work to bring a Stanley Cup to Music City!
Nashville Predators Tickets -Season InfoThe Nashville Predators have come a very long way in such a short amount of time. With playoff appearance four of the last five seasons, the Predators have certainly given the fans hope for big things in the near future. With star players like newly minted captain and All-Star Shea Weber leading the charge, Preds fans can expect to see their squad in playoff contention year after year. The Predators had a relatively quiet offseason in 2011 but that never stops them from contending year after year. The Predators will once again have one of the best defenses in the league led by Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. They also have one of the best goalies in the league in Pekka Rinne. The Predators will look for Colin Wilson to build on a solid rookie season and lead the team in offensive production.
Nashville Predators Tickets -Ticket InformationNashville Predators tickets ensure that fans see the Predators playing top contenders throughout the entire NHL season. The Predators have their work cut out for them in a tough Central Division. With matchups against great teams like the Detroit Redwings and Chicago Blackhawks and non-divisional meetings with Zdeno Chara's Boston Bruins, the Predators are sure to be tested all season long. Grab your Preds tickets now and don't miss the action!
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|Feb 28, 2015||Detroit Red Wings vs Nashville Predators|
|Mar 2, 2015||Nashville Predators vs New York Rangers|
|Mar 3, 2015||Nashville Predators vs New Jersey Devils|
|Mar 5, 2015||New York Islanders vs Nashville Predators|
|Mar 7, 2015||Winnipeg Jets vs Nashville Predators|
|Mar 9, 2015||Nashville Predators vs Arizona Coyotes|
Nashville Predators Past Games Schedule and Nashville Predators Scores
|Feb 26, 2015||Minnesota Wild - Nashville Predators||4 - 2|
|Feb 24, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Nashville Predators||2 - 5|
|Feb 22, 2015||Nashville Predators - Buffalo Sabres||2 - 1|
|Feb 21, 2015||Nashville Predators - Philadelphia Flyers||2 - 3|
|Feb 19, 2015||Nashville Predators - New York Islanders||2 - 5|
|Feb 17, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Nashville Predators||1 - 5|
|Feb 14, 2015||New Jersey Devils - Nashville Predators||1 - 3|
|Feb 12, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Nashville Predators||1 - 3|
|Feb 10, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Nashville Predators||2 - 3|
|Feb 8, 2015||Nashville Predators - Florida Panthers||3 - 2|
|Feb 7, 2015||New York Rangers - Nashville Predators||2 - 3|
|Feb 5, 2015||Anaheim Ducks - Nashville Predators||5 - 2|
|Feb 1, 2015||Nashville Predators - Pittsburgh Penguins||4 - 0|
|Jan 30, 2015||Nashville Predators - Colorado Avalanche||0 - 3|
|Jan 29, 2015||Nashville Predators - St. Louis Blues||4 - 5|
|Jan 27, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Nashville Predators||3 - 4|
|Jan 20, 2015||Nashville Predators - Montreal Canadiens||1 - 2|
|Jan 17, 2015||Nashville Predators - Detroit Red Wings||2 - 5|
|Jan 16, 2015||Washington Capitals - Nashville Predators||3 - 4|