The 2014 NHL draft and free agent frenzy has passed and with that came a lot of change to the Nashville Predators roster. Now that a few weeks have passed and the dust has settled is GM David Poile done with his off season makeover?
Michael Del Zotto
So are the Nashville Predators a better team going into the 2014-2015 season? If you look at size/skill/experience/potential you have to say yes.
Line 1: Neal-Ribeiro-Wilson
Line 2: Stalberg-Roy-Smith
Line 3 Forsberg-Jarnkrok-Jokinen
Line 4: ?-Gaustad-?
Can this lineup compete with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, and Minnesota? Well, that is going to be a heavy load square on the shoulders of the forwards acquired by Poile this off season. Poile appears to be making the Nashville Predators a rehab destination for players looking to save their career. Derek Roy has suffered with injuries and hasn’t lived up to expectations for years and Mike Ribeiro was bought out by his former team and trashed by the GM to the media. So Poile who has lived on ”high character guys” for years decided to go high risk/high reward for under 3 million when his job is on the line.
The funny thing is Mike Ribeiro the most talented FA signing so far called GM David Poile about interest in playing for the Nashville Predators. Poile is not new to the sit back and let them call you tactic. In 2006 Jason Arnott did the same thing as Ribeiro. Arnott went on to be a very nice addition to the Nashville Predators for several years.
You have to commend Poile for spending money wisely and not spending stupid money on average players like teams such as the Oilers, Panthers, and Islanders have done this summer.
-Derek Roy/Mike Ribeiro -under 3 Million
-Teddy Purcell/Benoît Pouliot- 8.5 Million
-David Bolland- 5.5 Million
-Nikolai Kulemin/Mikhail Grabovski-Over 9 Million
Poile had fun with the checkbook last year and you see how that turned out. He made it rain on 3rd/4th line talent and it backfired horribly. Fast forward to this offseason. Even though a player had to call him and he was saved from doing something stupid by another one turning Nashville down. He appears to be finding his way to some short term solid moves.
Poile still has decisions to make with the future of the Nashville Predators and the line up going into the 2014-2015 season.
Will Mike Fisher play at some point this year? How effective will he be after it has been rumored he has been thinking over retiring after this year and coming back from a major injury?
Is Colin Wilson going to get close to living up to expectations?
Taylor Beck, Austin Watson, Colton Sissons seem be NHL ready where do they fit in?
What place on the team does Gabriel Bourque, Rich Clune, and Eric Nystrom have?
It should be interesting to see what happens at training camp this year in what should be an epic battle for roster spots. Something the Predators players have not had in a long time while under Trotz.
At worst if Poile rehab project does not work out he has a ton of veteran players on 1 year deals that he can unload to desperate teams looking to make the playoffs at the deadline.