The Nashville Predators are awaiting an update this week on the status of goaltender Pekka Rinne, who’s been sidelined for several weeks with a bacterial infection in his surgically repaired hip. His condition has fuelled speculation the Predators are shopping for help between the pipes.
Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch recently reported Predators GM David Poile could be interested in Anaheim Ducks starter Jonas Hiller and Florida Panthers netminder Tim Thomas. Both are unrestricted free agents at season’s end, making them good short-term option for the Predators. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson listed the Predators as a possible destination for Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
A lower-body injury to Ducks backup Viktor Fasth means Hiller is unavailable until January, while the Panthers hope Thomas can revive their flagging playoff chances. Poile is unlikely to pursue an expensive rental player like Miller. Read more
Nashville’s Thursday night was painful for reasons beyond being shutout 3-0 by Ilya Bryzgalov in his first start this season. The team lost captain and big-time minute-muncher Shea Weber when the defenseman took a puck to the face in the second period.
David Legwand is a man of few words, at least for this interview.
It’s understandable, though. He’s in his contract year and there have been no negotiations with Predators’ management since the pre-season. In 2007, the two sides negotiated during the season and had signed his current deal by December.
Which makes one wonder what Nashville intends to do with Legwand this time around.
The Nashville Predators have basically become the University of ‘D’ in the past few seasons, headlined by the departed Ryan Suter and current franchise cornerstone Shea Weber. But the Preds also have a next generation in full swing thanks to fourth overall draft pick and early Calder contender Seth Jones, not to mention highly decorated offensive threat Ryan Ellis.
As it turns out, Ellis and Jones are more than just building blocks for Nashville; they’re also roommates on the road.
With the new CBA dictating that only players on entry-level deals have to share hotel rooms, the camaraderie of road roomies on teams has been lessened considerably, but Ellis and Jones have lucked out on the Preds.
“We’ve gotten along very well so far,” Ellis said. “It’s nice to have a relationship like that with another younger guy. He’s very mature for his age both on and off the ice.”
Shock rang through the Hockey News office.
“They traded who?!”
It was April 3, 2013, a.k.a. deadline day. The late-afternoon announcement: Washington had sent Filip Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.
The Capitals were fighting tooth and nail to win the Southeast division and needed to enhance their top six forwards. But GM George McPhee had just traded one of his organization’s jewels. Forsberg, a, lanky scorer with soft hands, was drafted 11th overall in 2012. He was Washington’s No. 2 prospect in Future Watch 2013 and No. 21 league-wide. Yet McPhee sent Forsberg away for an NHLer who, while plenty useful, still sought his first 60-point season at 31, plus a third-round checking forward in Latta.
It was hard not to view the trade as a coup for the Predators, who were out of the playoff race. Not that GM David Poile would admit it.
Just in case the Buffalo Sabres didn’t already know, Paul Fenton is interested in being their next GM. Very, very interested. In a business where most people tiptoe around their prospects for future employment, the Nashville Predators assistant GM has done everything but hire a sky writer and fly it over the First Niagara Center.
Predators GM David Poile has already been in touch with new Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine to tell him of Fenton’s interest in the job. Fenton was in Toronto for the Predators game against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night, but said there was no side trip to Buffalo planned because LaFontaine has yet to respond to his entreaties.
“(Poile) was talking to them about me being interested in the job,” Fenton said. “And I would love to get an opportunity to talk to them.” Read more
When the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired right winger Marian Gaborik last season from the New York Rangers, they hoped he would replace Rick Nash, whom the previous management had dealt to the Rangers.
Currently sidelined four-to-six weeks with a sprained knee, Gaborik has managed only eight goals in 29 games with the Blue Jackets. He’s also in the final year of his contract, earning $7.5 million. Earlier in the season he was reportedly willing to re-sign, but his knee sprain should make Jackets management leery about a long-term investment in a scorer with a history of injury problems.
Gaborik’s performance prior to his injury prompted questions about his future with the club. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline took to Twitter to express his doubts about the Blue Jackets re-signing him, speculating they could move him by the March trade deadline “or sooner.” Read more
With 10 games on tonight’s slate, including a late-night (at least if you’re in the east) battle of big Bens, it’s a busy one across the NHL.
Here the rundown of games and night No. 2 of THN’s “best bet” picks, with all four of our experts looking to remain undefeated. Read more