Who wants to be a Pred? Potential Offseason Targets
A new bench boss is on duty in Smashville and the Nashville Predators are likely to play a different style in the upcoming season.
It’s well known that the Predators need some help at the forward position when it comes to scoring and it is highly probable that some type of roster change is coming this summer with this need and coaching changes. David Poile will get a hollywood take two after last years under perfoming free agent class. Nystrom was a nice pickup for the Predators. Hendricks was traded a few months later and who he was traded for was put on waivers a few weeks after that. It appears that Stalberg and Cullen will probably get another shot at living up to what Poile should expect of them, with a new boss in town. I’m not sure many Preds fans are holding their breath though.
Many Predator fans are looking at adding names like Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek, and Marian Gaborik. Sure it’s fun to dream and speculate, so why not? The Preds could very well land one of the top 3 2014 free agent targets and pay a ton of money in the process. However, if it was my money to spend and i had my pick of the litter, it would be Paul Stastny.
Stastny has decent size at 6’0 205 and more importantly plays the center position. He can move the puck, score, and be the consistent offensive threat the Preds need in the worst way. He doesn’t come with injury history or questions about his work ethic. He also did not disapear when it came playoff time in 2014, putting up 10 points in 5 games. Stastny has also shown to have good chemistry with fellow american and current Predator Craig Smith.
Some realistic more salary friendly FA targets for the Nashville Predators that in my opinion could come in and make a positive offensive impact are forwards Radim Vrbata, Matt Moulson, Milan Michalek, and Benoit Pouliot.
-Radim Vrbata: 32y/o 6’1 194-has put up 40 points or more in 4 of the last 5 seasons. He can also help in the shootout logging 26 shootout goals in the last 5 seasons. 2014 season stats: 20goals/31assists/51points/ averaging 17:57 minutes a game.
-Matt Moulson: 30y/o 6’1 200- has never put up less than 40 points in a full NHL season. Moulson has put up 30+ goals 3 times in the last 4 seasons. 2014 season stats: 24goals/30assists/54points/ averaging 17:58 minutes a game . It’s also worth noting that Moulson is rarely injured. He played in all 82 games from 2009-2012. Moulson missed 7 games in 2013-2014.
-Milan Michalek: 28y/o 6’2 216- is capable of putting up 60+ points and has done so two times, latest being the 2011/2012 season. He has also put up 50+ points twice and 30+ four times. 2014 season stats: 17 goals/22assists/39points/averaging 17:35 minutes a game. Michalek could be a high risk very high reward addition bringing some size to a top line.
-Benoit Pouliot: 27y/o 6’3 197- has put up 30+ points in the last 3 full seasons and produced 20 points in 34 games during the 2012-2013 lockout shortened season. 2014 season stats so far: 19 goals/26assists/45 points averaging 13:26 minutes a game. Pouliot could be a value steal for the Predators and could be a productive player for less money than the names mentioned above.
It should be an interesting and very important offseason for the Nashville Predators Organization and GM David Poile.