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Offseason Report: Nashville Predators

Jul 22, 2012, 10:50 PM EDT

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators Getty Images

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

48-26-8, 104 points. Second in the Central Division, fourth in the Western Conference. Lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals to Phoenix (4-1).

Additions

Mike Moore, Chris Mason

Departures

Ryan Suter, Alexander Radulov, Jack Hillen, Tyler Sloan, Francis Bouillon, Jordin Tootoo, Kyle Wilson, Anders Lindback, maybe Shea Weber, likely Andrei Kostitsyn (who is still an UFA)

2012 Draft

Didn’t have a first-round pick. Took Pontus Aberg with the 37th overall selection and Colton Sissons with the 50th pick.

Looking back

This has been a rough summer for the Predators. After a disappointing end to their playoff run, Nashville watched a number of players go, including Ryan Suter. On top of that, Shea Weber agreed to a massively frontloaded 14-year, $110 million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Predators GM David Poile took Suter’s decision hard. Among other things, he said that he “will never, ever” understand why Suter would choose to pass on the opportunity to spend his career playing alongside Weber.

After Suter left, Poile said, “[Weber] believes in us, sees himself as the leader of our hockey club, and I think he, a lot like us, is disappointed with the outcome with Ryan.”

Poile then turned his attention to signing Weber to a long-term contract, but obviously that hasn’t gone the way he hoped either.

Looking forward

First and foremost, the Nashville Predators need to either match Philadelphia’s offer sheet or let him play with the Flyers and accept the draft picks as compensation. If they chose the latter option, they might then trade some or all of those picks back to Philadelphia for established players or prospects.

Either way, that won’t be the last thing Nashville does this summer. Sergei Kostitsyn has an arbitration date set for Aug. 2. On top of that, Nashville is still well under the salary floor, so they’ll probably make a move to address that issue.

Their blueline will be an obvious concern next season, but for a team that just lost Ryan Suter and maybe Shea Weber, the situation isn’t quite as dire as one might suspect. They do have some promising young defensemen Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Jonathon Blum that are expected to play bigger roles next season.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Predators’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

  1. Brian - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Honestly, why would you guys do the Predators today instead of waiting until after the deal is done on Weber, one way or the other?

  2. flyersgoalscoredby88 - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Nashville trades the Flyers’ picks to someone other than the Flyers? They don’t HAVE to trade them back if they’re going to opt not to match.

    • gohawksgo2012 - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:31 AM

      who said they had to trade them to Philly, or would even want to?

  3. chasemutley - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    No. No one ever considered that. Anywhere. Very astute thinking. Get Poile on the phone. Then Take the rest of the night off. You’ve earned it.

  4. mikeincmn - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    If they lose Weber, they will miss the playoffs and and I think it could be by a pretty large margin. If they keep Weber and a couple prospects take solid steps forward, I think they can make the playoffs though it would likely be one of the bottom seeds.

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:46 AM

      I seriously doubt Weber being the Messias he is pictured to. Obviously he’s a very good player, but he got also benefit from playing beside Suter. I’d take the picks, move on and get one or two decent, affordable D for that first rounders (i.e. trade for Streit? He’s in the last year of his contract).

  5. charleslouis99 - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    if Weber leaves Nashville will be absolutely ravaged coupled with bad free agent resignings

  6. tbbolts91 - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Thanks for Lindback guys

  7. broadstbully33 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    you got it backwards, suter thrived next to weber.

  8. ravenscaps48 - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    This is Karma for David Poile… 23 Years Ago in Washington, he let Scott Stevens walk to the St. Louis Blues after they signed him to a 4 Year, $5 Million Offer Sheet…. I do feel bad for the Predators Fans though. You would think that your GM would be smart enough to not let the best defenseman in the league walk free via an offer sheet… Who Knows?

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Smart enough? Read this and remember it’s a business.

      http://www.crossingbroad.com/2012/07/shea-weber-will-likely-collect-all-of-the-predators-ticket-revenue-next-season-if-they-match-the-fly.html

  9. DED - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Sergei is back.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=10689

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Harding (1557)
  2. C. Anderson (1551)
  3. B. Bishop (1539)
  4. C. Price (1487)
  5. M. Fleury (1424)
  1. D. Alfredsson (1401)
  2. A. Ekblad (1399)
  3. M. Staal (1372)
  4. J. Giguere (1329)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1243)