Nashville Predators

Team News
Predators winger James Neal scored a hat trick on Thursday against the Blackhawks. | 10/23/2014 10:53 PM
News
Predators winger James Neal scored a hat trick on Thursday against the Blackhawks.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Neal scored the only goals of the game for Nashville, but it was enough for a 3-2 victory. Neal was all over the ice with six shots on net. He now has five goals on the season.
Penguins center Nick Spaling scored his first goal as a Penguin on Wednesday. | 10/22/2014 10:43 PM
News
Penguins center Nick Spaling scored his first goal as a Penguin on Wednesday.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Spaling had a goal and an assist in what was easily his best fantasy day of the young 2014-2015 season. Spaling was also plus-two, but Pittsburgh lost, 5-3.
Nashville center Mike Ribeiro notched two points on Tuesday night against Arizona. | 10/21/2014 10:52 PM
News
Nashville center Mike Ribeiro notched two points on Tuesday night against Arizona.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
He had a goal and an assist, and now has five points on the season. James Neal and Ryan Ellis also tallied for the Predators.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored a power play goal on Saturday for his third score of the season. | 10/19/2014 10:08 AM
News
Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored a power play goal on Saturday for his third score of the season.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Weber also had two penalty minutes, three shots and two hits. He has three goals, four points and a plus-five rating five games into the season.
Penguins right winger Patric Hornqvist scored two goals in Pittsburgh's, 3-1, victory over the Islanders on Saturday. | 10/18/2014 9:42 PM
News
Penguins right winger Patric Hornqvist scored two goals in Pittsburgh's, 3-1, victory over the Islanders on Saturday.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Hornqvist scored on a deflection off a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin on the power play. His second goal came was an empty-netter with less than two minutes left in the game. Hornqvist registered 12 shots on net and was minus-one. He also had an assist.
Penguins right winger Patric Hornqvist scored two goals in Pittsburgh's, 3-1, victory over the Islanders on Saturday. | 10/18/2014 9:39 PM
News
Penguins right winger Patric Hornqvist scored two goals in Pittsburgh's, 3-1, victory over the Islanders on Saturday.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Hornqvist scored on a deflection off a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin on the power play. His second goal came was an empty-netter with less than two minutes left in the game. Hornqvist registered 12 shots on net and was minus-one.
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne shutout the Jets on Friday. | 10/17/2014 10:45 PM
News
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne shutout the Jets on Friday.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
He stopped all 29 shots faced, and is well on his way in rebounding from an injury-plagued 2013-14 season. Rinne has potential to be an elite goaltender this season.
Nashville winger James Neal scored his first goal as a Predator on Friday against Winnipeg. | 10/17/2014 10:41 PM
News
Nashville winger James Neal scored his first goal as a Predator on Friday against Winnipeg.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
He added the insurance goal in Nashville's 2-0 win. Neal will most likely be unable to produce the way he did in Pittsburgh, but should be around the 50-point mark this season.
Nashville left wing Viktor Stalberg (lower body) has been activated from the injured reserve. | 10/17/2014 3:17 PM
News
Nashville left wing Viktor Stalberg (lower body) has been activated from the injured reserve.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Stalberg totaled just 18 points in 70 games last season and has little value to fantasy owners even when healthy.
Predators forward Craig Smith had two assists on Tuesday against the Flames. | 10/15/2014 10:40 AM
News
Predators forward Craig Smith had two assists on Tuesday against the Flames.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Smith finished plus-two on the day with two penalty minutes and five shots on goal. Nashville, however, came back to tie the game and won in a shootout.
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to start on Tuesday night according to thepredatorial.com. | 10/14/2014 6:24 PM
News
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to start on Tuesday night according to thepredatorial.com.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
The Nashville defense is doing a good job of limiting the shots Rinne has faced to start the season. Rinne faced just 20 shots on Thursday and then 18 on Saturday.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 17 of 18 shots en route to a 4-1 victory over Dallas. | 10/12/2014 12:49 AM
News
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 17 of 18 shots en route to a 4-1 victory over Dallas.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
He looks healthy after the hip issues of a season ago. Rinne's 2-0 in his return and his solid net play should help all Nashville players improve on their plus/minus rating.
Penguins new right winger Patric Hornqvist scored a goal and assist Saturday night. | 10/12/2014 12:45 AM
News
Penguins new right winger Patric Hornqvist scored a goal and assist Saturday night.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Hornqvist also took a stunning nine shots. The 27-year-old scored a career-high 53 points last season, and we expect him exceed that total playing with Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored a goal in the season opener against the Senators on Thursday. | 10/09/2014 10:44 PM
News
Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored a goal in the season opener against the Senators on Thursday.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Weber gave the Predators a 2-1 lead about halfway through the third period. Weber scored on a backhanded shot set up by Ryan Ellis and Paul Gaustad. The defenseman also had two penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. Nashville held on to win, 3-2.
Nashville left wing Viktor Stalberg (lower body) has been placed on the injured reserve. | 10/07/2014 1:16 PM
News
Nashville left wing Viktor Stalberg (lower body) has been placed on the injured reserve.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Stalberg was expected to miss 2-4 weeks from the time of the injury and could return after another 10 days or so. he totaled just 18 points in 70 games last season and has little value to fantasy owners even when healthy. Nashville is a bit short-handed on the left side with Matt Cullen also sidelined.
Nashville forward Matt Cullen has been placed on injured reserve. | 10/07/2014 1:13 PM
News
Nashville forward Matt Cullen has been placed on injured reserve.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
The 37-year-old Cullen (10 G, 29 A) has fallen on the depth chart and shouldn't expect to see a lot of minutes this season. His fantasy value, therefore, is minimal.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne looks healthy after the hip issues of a season ago. | 10/02/2014 12:02 PM
News
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne looks healthy after the hip issues of a season ago.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Rinne's return should help all Nashville players improve on their plus/minus rating. We have him winning 31 times with a 2.42 GAA and 0.916 save percentage.
Nashville defenseman Roman Josi should be paired with Shea Weber which will help him continue to post solid fantasy numbers. | 10/02/2014 12:00 PM
News
Nashville defenseman Roman Josi should be paired with Shea Weber which will help him continue to post solid fantasy numbers.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Josi scored 13 goals and added 27 assists in 72 games last season and the 24-year-old should be able to at least match the 40-point total in 2014-15.
Nashville center Olli Jokinen is getting up there in age and the once 90-point scorer will be lucky to put up half that total in 2014-15. | 10/02/2014 11:57 AM
News
Nashville center Olli Jokinen is getting up there in age and the once 90-point scorer will be lucky to put up half that total in 2014-15.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Jokinen is expected to play between Gabriel Bourque and Craig Smith on the second line to start the season, but the Predators are solid up the middle and there is no guarantee he'll be there all season particularly after Mike Fisher returns from an Achilles injury.
Nashville forward Craig Smith put up career-best numbers last season and could continue to improve in 2014-15. | 10/02/2014 11:52 AM
News
Nashville forward Craig Smith put up career-best numbers last season and could continue to improve in 2014-15.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Smith should see plenty of ice time on the second line with Olli Jokinen and Gabriel Bourque and also on the power play where his speed is particularly useful with more open ice.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber has always been a top scorer and that won't change in 2014-15 | 10/02/2014 11:47 AM
News
Predators defenseman Shea Weber has always been a top scorer and that won't change in 2014-15
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Weber posted 56 points last season and we have him with another 54 points in 2014-15. We see an improved plus/minus rating with the return of goalie Pekka Rinne.
Predators Colin Wilson is expected to play on the first line with Mike Ribeiro and newly-acquired James Neal. | 10/02/2014 11:44 AM
News
Predators Colin Wilson is expected to play on the first line with Mike Ribeiro and newly-acquired James Neal.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Wilson is more of a assist guy than a scorer, but could develop into a 15-20 goal winger.
Nashville center Mike Ribeiro could end up being the top line center in between James Neal and Matt Cullen this season. | 10/02/2014 11:36 AM
News
Nashville center Mike Ribeiro could end up being the top line center in between James Neal and Matt Cullen this season.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Ribeiro blamed off ice issues in Arizona for last season's weak production (16 goals, 31 assists) and we do believe he'll rebound.
Nashville winger James Neal will be in for a shock when he looks to his center and it will no longer be Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. | 10/02/2014 11:33 AM
News
Nashville winger James Neal will be in for a shock when he looks to his center and it will no longer be Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Neal's fantasy value has to take a hit depite being on the Predators' top line. We have him with 28 goals and 50 points starting alongside Mike Ribeiro and Matt Cullen. he posted 61 points in 59 games last season.
Penguins new right winger Patric Hornqvist is poised to be one of the biggest fantasy sleepers this season. | 10/01/2014 11:46 AM
News
Penguins new right winger Patric Hornqvist is poised to be one of the biggest fantasy sleepers this season.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Hornqvist is expected to skate on a scoring line with Evgeni Malkin and the team's top power-play line. The 27-year-old scored a career-high 53 points last season, and we expect him exceed that total by 10 points or more. Hornqvist could also challenge his career-high 30-goal mark he set back in 2009-2010 with Nashville.
Seth Jones focused on bulking up this summer | 07/21/2014 9:49 AM
News
Seth Jones has been working with Predators strength and conditioning coach David Good to bulk up over the summer.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Jones has already added five pounds, which brings him up to 210. "Physically he needs to mature more," assistant coach Phil Housley said. "He has to get stronger on his feet. He has to get more leverage, starting with the basic foundation of his legs up. That's just going to come with maturity and having seasons of working out as he grows. Mentally, I think he's mature." Jones had 25 points in his rookie season, but he was also minus-23.
Craig Smith excited about new Nashville coach | 07/20/2014 4:24 PM
News
Expectations are high in the coming season for forward Craig Smith of the Nashville Predators.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Smith is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL and scouts throughout the league have expected high numbers from him in the past couple of years. Last season, he was solid with 24 goals for the Preds and 52 points in 79 games. In the coming season, though, his statistics could be sky-high. The reason? New Nashville coach Peter Laviolette, who is promising to implement a fast-paced, wide-open offensive system. Smith can take advantage and he's excited about Laviolette's arrival in Nashville. "He's a pretty high-octane, high-powered offensive coach," Smith said. "He wants to outscore the other team versus trying to win 1-0, so I like that type of run-and-gun style. . ."
Derek Roy joins Gary Roberts' fitness program | 07/19/2014 10:37 AM
News
After three sub-par years, Derek Roy knew his training needed to change and he knew he needed to work on his nutrition.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
So this summer the veteran center, who signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Predators last Tuesday, enrolled in Gary Roberts' fitness program in Toronto. Roberts, a former NHL forward, is renowned these days for his intense fitness regimen. He has mentored many NHL players, most notably Tampa Bay Lightning All-Star Steven Stamkos. Roy hopes being in better shape will help him avoid some of the injuries that slowed him down in recent seasons. "I wanted to come in the best shape I could possibly coming into the season, and that's why I sought out Gary and his workout program," Roy, 31, said. "I'm feeling great right now and hopefully at the end of the summer I'll be feeling better and not focusing on injuries. From a nutrition standpoint and working with some of the best athletes around has been good. It has been good for my health." Roy had only 37 points in 75 games with St. Louis last season.
Poile on Derek Roy: This is his last chance | 07/16/2014 9:54 AM
News
Nashville Predators GM David Poile thinks he's offering Derek Roy his "last chance" to prove that he can still be a top-tier skilled forward.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Roy is still only 31, so we think he'll get other chances, at the same time, it is certainly true that he might never get another opportunity to rebound that's as good as the one Poile's giving him. The Predators are shifting philosophies to one that favors offense, but they lack skilled forwards. That's put Roy in a position to serve on one of the Predators' top two lines and get plenty of power-play minutes. He had just 37 points in 75 games last season, but there was a time when he would consistently get over 60 points per campaign.
Mike Ribeiro opens up about recent problems | 07/15/2014 10:47 PM
News
Mike Ribeiro admitted that he was dealing with marital problems last season that he believes impacted his performance.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Ribeiro said that those issues resulted in him not being committed to his job with the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes inked him to a four-year, $22 million contract last summer, but GM Don Maloney decided to buy him out in June, citing "real behavioral issues" that the team "could not tolerate." Ribeiro is now a member of the Nashville Predators on a one-year, $1.05 million contract. "I had a chance to really focus on myself and really learn about myself," Ribeiro said. "That's why I'm comfortable. What Mr. Maloney said - it shocked some people, my wife wasn't happy about it. I sat down, thought about it. I'm comfortable with myself now. I'm open with what happened or didn't happen with our marriage issues, and really I think I'm comfortable with it and not trying to hide it." If he can put all this behind him, then Ribeiro would be a serious candidate to record 60-70 points in 2014-15.
Predators ink Kevin Fiala to entry-level deal | 07/15/2014 5:46 PM
News
Kevin Fiala has inked a three-year, entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Fiala was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 17 Swedish league games last season and finished with three goals and 11 points. He'll enter training camp with a chance of making the team's opening game roster, but it wouldn't be surprising if he needs some time to adjust to North American hockey before he's ready to compete at the NHL level.
Viktor Arvidsson agrees to entry-level deal | 07/15/2014 5:19 PM
News
Viktor Arvidsson has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Nashville.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Arvidsson had 40 points and 59 penalty minutes in 50 games in the Swedish league last season. He was selected with the 112th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Derek Roy signs one-year contract with Preds | 07/15/2014 12:28 PM
News
Derek Roy has inked a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Nashville also signed Mike Ribeiro to a one-year, $1.05 million contract Tuesday morning. Like Ribeiro, Roy could prove to be a big steal for the Predators, but there's also a reason why he would sign at that price. Roy has seen his production decline significantly over the last few years and he just had 37 points in 75 games with St. Louis in 2013-14. Still, he's just 31 and will probably start the season on one of Nashville's top two lines. Combine that with the Predators desire to put a greater emphasis on offense next season and the stage seems set for Roy to bounce back.
Nashville signs Mike Ribeiro to one-year deal | 07/15/2014 12:03 PM
News
The Nashville Predators have signed Mike Ribeiro to a one-year, $1.05 million contract.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
The fact that Ribeiro will earn just $1.05 million after commanding a four-year, $22 million contract last summer speaks volumes to how severe his fall from grace has been. Ribeiro didn't have a particularly good season, but the Coyotes said they bought him out due to "behavioral issues" rather than performance ones. Perhaps that scared off other suitors, but the Predators needed a center that was worthy of playing alongside James Neal and when he's at his best, Ribeiro certainly qualifies. This could be a big bounce back season for him.
Predators will be cautious with Kevin Fiala | 07/11/2014 10:00 AM
News
The Nashville Predators won't rule out the possibility of Kevin Fiala making the team's opening game roster.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
At the same time, they want to exercise some caution after selecting him with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. For his part, Fiala gets that this might be a process. "My goal is NHL, and I want to do it right now. But I think step-by-step, and if I don't do it this year, I'm going to work hard and do it step-by-step and hopefully do it next year," he said. Fiala has plenty of offensive upside, which is something the Predators are desperately after.
Filip Forsberg should benefit from Laviolette | 07/10/2014 9:50 AM
News
The Nashville Predators hiring of Peter Laviolette could benefit Filip Forsberg.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Laviolette is expected to put more of an emphasis on offensive play than the Predators have had in recent years, which should play into Forsberg's strengths. "I've heard a lot of good things about him and talked to a couple of guys that he has coached before. They told me good things too, so I'm looking forward to working with him this season," said Forsberg. "I'm just trying to play the type of game I've always been playing and have been pretty successful with so far. Hopefully that's a game he likes and wants to have on his team in the future." He had 15 goals and 34 points in 47 AHL games in 2013-14. He also had five points in 13 NHL contests, but he was limited to 11:24 minutes per game.
Mattias Ekholm inks two-year deal with Preds | 07/09/2014 9:58 AM
News
Mattias Ekholm has agreed to a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators.
Elliotte Friedman on Twitter

Impact
Ekholm was a restricted free agent and had filed for salary arbitration. His cap hit will reportedly be just below $1.1 million. He had a goal and nine points in 62 games in 2013-14.
Anthony Bitetto agrees to two-way contract | 07/08/2014 1:41 PM
News
Anthony Bitetto has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with Nashville.
Renaud Lavoie on Twitter

Impact
Bitetto had 36 points and 85 penalty minutes in 73 AHL games in 2013-14. He was taken by the Predators in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Predators center Mike Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the next four-to-six months, according to predators.nhl.com. | 07/07/2014 10:07 PM
News
Predators center Mike Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the next four-to-six months, according to predators.nhl.com.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
While Fisher isn't great, he's the Predators top center and was expected to play with newly acquired winger James Neal. Either Matt Cullen or Colin Wilson will play with Neal while Fisher is out. Obviously, both are a big step down from Evgeni Malkin.
Predators center Mike Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the next four-to-six months. | 07/07/2014 10:06 PM
News
Predators center Mike Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and will miss the next four-to-six months.
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
While Fisher isn't great, he's the Predators top center and was expected to play with newly acquired winger James Neal. Either Matt Cullen or Colin Wilson will play with Neal while Fisher is out. Obviously, both are a big step down from Evgeni Malkin.
Mike Fisher (Achilles) will miss 4-6 months | 07/07/2014 5:17 PM
News
Mike Fisher suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon while training.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Fisher will miss the next four-to-six months as a result. In other words, Fisher isn't expected to return until November at the earliest and he might end up missing half the season. Even if he does end up missing just the first month, this will probably have a significant impact on his offseason training regimen, so we wouldn't be surprised if he struggles once he is back.
Nashville Predators sign Anton Volchenkov | 07/07/2014 4:55 PM
News
Anton Volchenkov has agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Volchenkov became a free agent after the New Jersey Devils bought out the last two seasons of his six-year, $25.5 million contract. He's a defensive defenseman that will probably end up on Nashville's third-pairing.
Time as UFA should wake up Del Zotto | 07/07/2014 9:47 AM
News
Columnist Larry Brooks feels this summer should serve as a wake-up call for Michael Del Zotto.
New York Post

Impact
Not only did Nashville not bother to qualify Del Zotto, but he is still looking for work a week into the unrestricted free agent market. It wasn't long ago that the Rangers were giving Del Zotto top-four minutes, but now he needs to prove that he's worthy of simply playing in the NHL. He should eventually find a team that's willing to give him a one-year "show me" contract and then the pressure will be on for him to bounce back.
Offensive-minded coach appealed to center | 07/06/2014 9:47 AM
News
Veteran center Olli Jokinen says he decided to join the Nashville Predators as a free agent because of their new coach's offensive-minded approach.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Peter Laviolette purshed for Nashville to pursue the 35-year-old. "Obviously with the excitement and the passion about the game and ideas of how he (Laviolette) was going to coach this team, that was one of the biggest reasons I decided to come here," Jokinen said. "Speaking with him, I got excited. I wanted to start playing tomorrow." Jokinen has never played for Laviolette, though his best years in Florida came when Laviolette was a divisional foe as the Carolina Hurricanes' coach. "I think playing against his teams, as a player you were like `I'd love to play for this guy. I'd love to play for his teams,' " Jokinen said. "His teams have always been high-tempo with good skating and they create a lot of chances and a lot of offense. At the same time his teams were hard to play against. They were very organized and stuck with their game plans." Jokinen had 18 goals and 25 assists last season in 82 games with the Jets.
James Neal wants to learn from past mistakes | 07/05/2014 6:37 PM
News
James Neal sees the Predators as his opportunity for a fresh start.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"Your emotion gets the better of you," said Neal. There were things that have happened in my game that you regret. I have to change and be better for it. I've changed as a player, I've grown as a player. I'm still young, I have a very long way to go. Mistakes happen and I'm going to be better for it and move forward and not let that stuff happen again." He has some character issues and the tendency to run around on the ice, looking for trouble when things aren't going his way. If he can take that aspect out of his game then he will be better for it. Neal has an excellent release and one-timer, which he used to score 40 goals in 2011-12. He has surpassed the 20-goal mark in each of his six NHL seasons.
Mattias Ekholm signs up for arbitration | 07/05/2014 2:08 PM
News
Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who is a restricted free agent, has registered for salary arbitration.
Ken Campbell on Twitter

Impact
He is coming off his entry-level deal with the Predators, which carried a $900,000 cap hit. Ekholm appeared in 62 games last season and he contributed nine points.
Olli Jokinen could be Preds' #1 center | 07/05/2014 11:20 AM
News
There is a good chance that Olli Jokinen could be the Predators number one center this upcoming season.
USA Today.com

Impact
If that should come to pass, he would almost certainly play alongside newly-acquired James Neal which would increase his fantasy value from what it was last season. Nashville GM David Poile alluded to the possiblity of Jokinen skating on the top line. "Arguably you could say we are putting him in a more important position than he has been in the past couple of years," Poile said. Keep an eye on how the Preds use Jokinen in training camp.
Joe Piskula signs two-way contract with Preds | 07/04/2014 8:27 PM
News
Nashville signed defenseman Joe Piskula to a one-year, two-way contract on Friday night worth $550,000 at the NHL level or $150,000 in the AHL.
Nashville Predators

Impact
The 29 year-old Wisconsin native spent most of last season with Milwaukee in the AHL, accumulating three goals and 23 points in 73 games to go with a +20 rating.
Nashville likes Olli Jokinen's versatility | 07/03/2014 12:56 PM
News
Nashville feels the addition of Olli Jokinen gives them roster flexibility.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
GM David Poile envisions using him at center, but he notes that Jokinen can play on the wing as well. He can contribute offensively and he provides leadership. "With all the young players we have here, I think adding that veteran forward presence was the right thing to do," Poile said. "I was in full concert with Peter Laviolette on this decision."
Olli Jokinen signs with the Predators | 07/02/2014 6:21 PM
News
Olli Jokinen has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
NHL.com

Impact
Jokinen is far from an ideal choice to serve as a top-line center at this stage of his career, but the 35-year-old was serviceable with the Jets last season. He had 43 points and 62 penalty minutes in 82 games in 2013-14. If the Predators end up putting Jokinen on the same line as James Neal, which is entirely possible given their options, then Jokinen might surpass the 50-point mark.
Predators don't land top-line center Tuesday | 07/02/2014 10:47 AM
News
The Nashville Predators weren't able to fulfill their objective of signing a top-line center on July 1.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
They need someone to match up with James Neal after acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Penguins. "To me it's about signing the right player at the right time for the right price," Predators GM David Poile said. He added, "July 1 is the starting point. In the past, we've signed free agents well past the July 1 date and there may be some other options to pursue, and we're going to continue to improve our team when the correct opportunity presents itself." However, there isn't much talent left on the market to grab. Certainly no one that's a clear cut number one center is available as an unrestricted free agent at this point, although there are some fallback options like Mikhail Grabovski left.
Predators in the hunt for a center | 07/01/2014 10:34 AM
News
The Nashville Predators are entering the free agent period with the goal of signing a center.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
The Predators would ideally like to lure someone over that wouldn't look out of place playing alongside James Neal. Nashville is aggressively trying to improve offensively after averaging just 2.61 goals per game in 2013-14. The Predators might pursue Paul Stastny, but they're more likely to get Derek Roy or Mikhail Grabovski, if they get a center at all.
Report: Add Michael Del Zotto to the UFA list | 06/30/2014 4:57 PM
News
Michael Del Zotto will not get a qualifying offer from Nashville, which makes him an unrestricted free agent.
Bob McKenzie on Twitter

Impact
The Predators rolled the dice by acquiring him in exchange for Kevin Klein, but he didn't make a smooth transition. It was thought that he might get a chance to bounce back under new coach Peter Laviolette, but now he'll be looking to do that with another team. Del Zotto produced three goals and 16 points in 67 games with Nashville and the New York Rangers last season.
Report: Isles looking at Michael Del Zotto | 06/30/2014 9:55 AM
News
The New York Islanders reportedly have an interest in Michael Del Zotto.
Larry Brooks on Twitter

Impact
It's believed that Del Zotto will either be dealt by Nashville or he will not be qualified on Monday. The Predators don't feel that the former Rangers blueliner is a fit with their organization, so they are expected to cut ties with him shortly.
Predators hope getting Neal will attract UFAs | 06/29/2014 10:53 AM
News
The Nashville Predators are hoping that acquiring James Neal will make top-end forwards more interested in signing with them.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Predators GM David Poile confirmed that he's still in the market for skilled forwards. If nothing else, a guy like Paul Stastny, who is projected to enter the unrestricted free agent market, will know that they'll have a great linemate to work with in Nashville.
Report: Predators trying to trade Del Zotto | 06/28/2014 7:43 PM
News
Michael Del Zotto is being shopped by the Predators, according to TVA's Renaud Lavoie.
Renaud Lavoie on Twitter

Impact
Del Zotto played 25 games with the Predators after the trade with the Rangers. In 67 games last season, he recorded 16 points, not exactly the type of numbers you want to see from a guy who is of the offensive-defenseman mold. Del Zotto is a restricted free agent who earned $2.9 million last season. Only 24, there should be interest around the league, though the Predators probably shouldn't expect a big haul in return.
Fiala likely to return to Sweden this season | 06/28/2014 1:16 PM
News
Although he has an abundance of talent, Nashville first-round pick Kevin Fiala will likely return to Sweden this upcoming season rather than play in the NHL.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
The small but skilled winger only played 17 games in the Swedish Hockey League and will likely need more seasoning. If all goes well, look for him to make his NHL debut in 2016.
Preds looking for center to pair with Neal | 06/28/2014 1:09 PM
News
Now that they have acquired a top left winger in James Neal, the Predators may be in the market for a top-line center to pair with him.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Nashville is said to be looking at the Sens' Jason Spezza, However, Spezza would have to waive his no-trade clause to Nashville to make a deal work. The Preds could also puruse UFA Paul Stastny if he does re-sign with the Avalanche. If Nashville doesn't get a top pivot, look for Mike Fisher or rookie Calle Jarnkrok to play alongside Neal this upcoming season.
Jack Dougherty drops to Nashville in Round 2 | 06/28/2014 12:21 PM
News
Jack Dougherty fell to the Nashville Predators at the 51st overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
There were quite a few mock drafts that had Dougherty going in Round 1, but he dropped to a late selection in Round 2. Dougherty possesses good offensive instincts, but his defensive side is still more mature. He has become a better two-way defensemen over the past few years, in part because he's gained confidence with the puck and in his understanding of his offensive reads. An NHL scout described him as someone who is "tough to get around" on defense, and he has great gap control. Doughtery likes to play a physical, tough game and doesn't shy away from body contact, whether that's in front of the net or in the corners. While he is a smooth skater, he is not speedy, though he is intelligent and strong positionally. Dougherty is set to attend Wisconsin in the fall, a place that has churned out a number of quality NHL defensemen in recent years.
Predators grab Vladislav Kamenev at No. 42 | 06/28/2014 11:23 AM
News
Vladislav Kamenev went to the Nashville Predators with the 42nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
He played with Magnitogorsk in Russia's junior league and Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL during the 2013-14 season. NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards says, "He's creative and physical. He handles the puck very well and makes several great passes through traffic."
The Penguins have traded James Neal to Nashville for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. SOURCE: Darren Dreger, TSN | 06/27/2014 10:53 PM
News
The Penguins have traded James Neal to Nashville for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. SOURCE: Darren Dreger, TSN
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Neal's fantasy value will never be higher than it was in Pittsburgh where he got to play alongside MVP winners Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Despite a weaker supporting cast, Neal is still a talented player and should score his fair share of goals for the Predators next season.
The Penguins have traded James Neal to Nashville for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. SOURCE: Darren Dreger, TSN | 06/27/2014 9:34 PM
News
The Penguins have traded James Neal to Nashville for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. SOURCE: Darren Dreger, TSN
sportsnetwork.com

Impact
Neal's fantasy value will never be higher than it was in Pittsburgh where he got to play alongside MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Despite a weaker supporting cast, Neal is still a talented player and should score his fair share of goals for the Predators next season.
Preds take winger Kevin Fiala with 11th pick | 06/27/2014 8:22 PM
News
The Nashville Predators have selected winger Kevin Fiala with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Fiala is a slick-skating Swiss forward who can break open a game with his elite offensive skills and excellent determination. The 5'9, 178 pounder is a slippery skater who controls the puck exceptionally well and has a wealthy arsenal of shooting tools. Fiala is a gritty player who drives into the dirty spots for scoring chances, but has a lot of work to do before breaking into professional hockey in North America. Fiala needs to get stronger, improve his defensive game drastically and learn how to better play a coaches' system rather than acting on his own. But a few more years of productive seasoning will set Fiala up for a solid NHL career. Nashville, which has sorely lacked offense, has the potential for a game breaker in Fiala.
Nashville acquires James Neal from the Pens | 06/27/2014 8:06 PM
News
The Nashville Predators have acquired James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Darren Dreger on Twitter

Impact
The Penguins give up a high scoring winger and they get Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in return. Neal will line up on the top line with the Preds and will take a big hit fantasy-wise as he will not be playing with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin but rather Mike Fisher or Colin Wilson.
Predators likely to draft a forward | 06/27/2014 10:33 AM
News
Look for the Nashville Predators to take a forward with the 11th overall pick.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"There are two, maybe three forwards we think will be there at the 11 position," Predators GM David Poile said. "I don't think I will extremely disappointed if it's any one of those three forwards." Nashville has also expressed interest in dealing the selection for a top-six forward if such a trade is an option.
No contract talks with Michael Del Zotto yet | 06/26/2014 4:07 PM
News
Michael Del Zotto and the Nashville Predators haven't started contract talks yet.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"Nothing to report, no discussions yet," said agent Mark Guy. Assuming Del Zotto is still in Nashville's plans, he'll get a qualifying offer from the club sometime before the June 30 deadline. He will be a restricted free agent next week, but there doesn't appear to be a rush to get him under contract.
Preds, Nick Spaling negotiations going slowly | 06/26/2014 4:01 PM
News
Contract talks between the Predators and Nick Spaling have been "very slow to date."
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Agent Pat Morris added that negotiations have been occurring "regularly." He's a restricted free agent next week and the deadline for extending qualifying offers is set for June 30.
Weber continues to fall shy of Norris Trophy | 06/25/2014 10:56 AM
News
Shea Weber has now fallen just shy of winning the Norris Trophy three times.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Weber finished third in the voting in 2014 after coming in second in 2011 and 2012. He had a terrific season and excelled offensively with 23 goals and 56 points in 79 games. He should remain one of the league's top defensemen for years to come.
Paul Gaustad remains in Nashville's plans | 06/19/2014 1:35 PM
News
Nashville GM David Poile still thinks highly of Paul Gaustad.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"Paul does what he does. He's a checking center, best in the league at faceoffs and penalty killing," said Poile. "To me this is the good and bad news. Paul Gaustad is way more effective when our team has a lead, way more effective on our team as a shutdown guy. Give us the leads in the third period and the leads out of the gate and I think his role is better." Gaustad still has two years left on his current deal, which carries a $3.25 million cap hit. He contributed 10 goals and 11 assists in 75 games last season.
Predators won't sign Eaves to a new deal | 06/17/2014 2:49 PM
News
The Nashville Predators won't ink Patrick Eaves to a contract extension.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Nashville got Eaves from Detroit as part of the David Legwand trade. Eaves, 30, had two goals and five points in 30 contests in 2013-14.
Preds looking to trade 2014 pick for forward | 06/17/2014 2:47 PM
News
The Nashville Predators is interested in trading the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft for a top-six forward.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Predators GM David Poile said he's already been approached, but nothing has been finalized. Regardless of whether or not he can trade the pick, Poile will be looking to bolster Nashville's offense after they scored just 2.61 goals per game in 2013-14.
Preds hire Vanderklok as goaltending coach | 06/12/2014 6:28 PM
News
Nashville has hired Ben Vanderklok to serve as the team's goaltending coach.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
"Ben has worked closely with all the goaltenders in our organization and has been integral in their development and success while learning from one of the best in Mitch Korn," GM David Poile said. "This is a natural fit to have Ben transition into the lead role, and his relationship with Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton will make this process seamless."
Poile: 'No, we are not trading Shea Weber' | 06/12/2014 3:26 PM
News
Nashville GM David Poile is not looking to trade Shea Weber.
NHL.com

Impact
"We're keeping him, we're building our franchise around him," Poile said Wednesday in an attempt to put an end to any lingering rumors. "I think we've got one of the best young defenses in the league. I think he's got an excellent chance of winning the Norris Trophy in 11 or 12 days from now. Why wouldn't we build our team around him? That's exactly what we're doing." Weber is a finalist for the Norris Trophy and he led the team in scoring with 56 points in 79 games.
Joonas Rask signs with HIFK of SM-liiga | 06/09/2014 5:37 PM
News
Joonas Rask has inked a contract to play for HIFK of Finland's SM-liiga.
HIFK.fi

Impact
In 58 games with AHL Milwaukee during the 2013-14 season, he produced four goals and 14 points. He was a seventh-round pick of the Predators in the 2010 draft.
Nashville Predators bid on an All-Star game | 06/07/2014 8:53 AM
News
The Nashville Predators will bid to acquire an All-Star Game in either 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
The 2018 season is unlikely as the NHL will celebrate it's 100th anniversary and it's likely that Toronto will be awarded the game. However, it is time that the city of Nashville gets a game so do not be surprised if the NHL gives them one game of the four they are inquiring about. "We're pretty optimistic that we're going to have one in the very near future," Sean Henry the COO of the arena said during a budget hearing for the Metro Sports Authority. "We should be hearing some positive news, I think, in the next few weeks."
Predators sign Carter Hutton to 2-year deal | 06/02/2014 4:39 PM
News
Carter Hutton has agreed to a two-year, $1.45 million contract with the Nashville Predators.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
He will earn $700,000 in 2014-15 and $750,000 in 2015-16. Hutton posted a 20-11-4 record with a 2.62 goals-against average, a .910 save percentage and one shutout this past season. He earned the starting job for the team with Pekka Rinne on the sidelines and will serve as Nashville's number two netminder in 2014-15.
Nashvilled signs prospect Max Gortz | 06/02/2014 3:11 PM
News
Max Gortz has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
In 40 games between Frolunda and Farjestad of the Swedish Hockey League, Gortz notched eight goals and 10 points. Gortz was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft by the Predators.
Coaches think they can help Stalberg, Wilson | 06/02/2014 12:11 PM
News
Nashville Predators assistant coach Kevin McCarthy believes bench boss Peter Laviolette can get more out of Viktor Stalberg and Colin Wilson.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"Guys like Stalberg and Wilson can learn from that offensive system that we use," McCarthy said. "It's basically a lot of hard work and precision and doing things at the right time. You need to have skill for that, and they certainly have it." Stalberg accounted for just eight goals and 18 points in 70 games in his first season with the Predators.
Laviolette: Jones will be 'something special' | 06/02/2014 12:05 PM
News
Nashville coach Peter Laviolette was impressed with Seth Jones at the World Hockey Championship.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"To be able to help be a part of his future and watch him grow and develop into the player he's going to be is going to be something special for all of us," said Laviolette, who also coached Team USA. "For me, and for you, and for the city of Nashville, just a tremendous talent." Jones was named the best defenseman at the tournament after he amassed nine assists and 11 points in eight games. The young blueliner should get plenty of opportunities to create offense under Laviolette's more attack-oriented system.
Pekka Rinne is great in World Championship | 05/30/2014 2:48 PM
News
Pekka Rinne had a strong showing at the 2014 World Championship.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
Rinne had a 1.88 GAA and .928 save percentage in eight games with Finland. He led the team to a silver medal in the tournament. After a rough campaign that was derailed by hip problems, it's particularly encouraging to see him start his offseason on a strong note. He's a great bounce back candidate for 2014-15.
Undrafted prospect Johan Alm signs with Preds | 05/28/2014 3:38 PM
News
The Nashville Predators have signed Johan Alm to a two-year, entry-level deal.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Alm went undrafted, but the 22-year-old has established himself in the Swedish league. He had seven points and 14 penalty minutes in 30 games with Skelleftea AIK in 2013-14. Look for him to start his North American career in the minors.
Reports: Capitals close to hiring Barry Trotz | 05/24/2014 10:44 PM
News
Barry Trotz is close to being hired by the Capitals as their next head coach, according to multiple reports.
Gary Lawless on Twitter

Impact
Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press says that the deal is "close but not complete." ESPN's Pierre LeBrun says talks are "intensifying," while HNIC's Elliotte Friedman says that Trotz is "closing in" with the Capitals. Trotz interviewed with Capitals owner Ted Loensis and team president Dick Patrick on Tuesday. It seems inevitable - probably by early in the week - that the former Predators bench boss will officially be named the coach in Washington, D.C.
Pekka Rinne shuts the door again at the WHC | 05/24/2014 2:46 PM
News
Pekka Rinne had another impressive showing at the 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championship on Saturday.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
He stopped all 20 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic. The shutout was his third in eight games during the tournament. Rinne owns a 1.49 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. The win propels Finland into the gold medal game against Russia on Sunday.
Mattias Ekholm advances Swedes into semifinal | 05/22/2014 4:39 PM
News
Mattias Ekholm went from potential goat to hero in Sweden's quarterfinal victory against Belarus.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
He hooked Alexei Kalyuzhny late in the third period and the play resulted in a penalty shot that Anders Nilsson stopped. Shortly after that, Ekholm scored the game-winning goal on a great rush to give Sweden a 3-2 lead. He has two goals and four assists in eight games at the tournament.
Pekka Rinne guides Finns past Canada at WHC | 05/22/2014 4:21 PM
News
Pekka Rinne made 36 saves in Finland's 3-2 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the World Hockey Championship on Thursday.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Rinne has had a strong tournament. He entered the match with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. Former St. Louis Blues prospect Jori Lehtera recorded three assists in the victory.
Report: Washington interviews Barry Trotz | 05/21/2014 1:51 PM
News
Barry Trotz has reportedly been interviewed by the Washington Capitals.
CSN Washington

Impact
Trotz has previously expressed an interest in Washington's coaching vacancy, although he's got other potential suitors. The Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes are all considered potential destinations for Trotz.
Roman Josi played well for SUI at Worlds | 05/20/2014 12:25 PM
News
Roman Josi earned an assist in Switzerland's 3-2 win over Latvia to close out the preliminary round of the 2014 World Hockey Championship.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
However, the Swiss team won't be playing in the tournament's playoff round after they claimed the fifth spot in Group B. Josi led the team in scoring with six points (one goal, six assists) in seven games.
Radek Bonk announces his retirement | 05/19/2014 6:18 PM
News
Radek Bonk has decided to hang up his skates.
hcocelari.cz

Impact
Bonk was taken by the Ottawa Senators with the third overall pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to score 194 goals and 497 points in 969 career games with the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Nashville Predators. His last NHL season was in 2008-09, but he's spent the last five campaigns in Europe, playing primarily for Trinec Ocelari HC in the Czech league.
Ryan Ellis scores game winner for Canada | 05/18/2014 12:05 PM
News
Ryan Ellis scored the overtime winner to lead Canada to a 3-2 victory over Sweden.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
The win gives Canada first place in their division heading into the quarter-finals of the World Championship. They are tied in the standings with Sweden but will take first place due to the win. Brayden Schenn and Kevin Bieksa also scored for Canada who were down 2-0. Linus Klasen and Joakim Lindstrom gave the Swedes the 2-0 lead.
Jones playing well at IIHF tourney | 05/17/2014 12:41 PM
News
Seth Jones has been one of the better American players at the IIHF World Hockey Championships.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
The 19-year-old defenceman leads the U.S. in scoring with seven points in five games and has been a positive player despite the U.S.'s disappointing play thus far. Sunday will pose an interesting challenge for Jones. He will face Predator teammate Pekka Rinne who tends goal for the Finnish team.
Pekka Rinne stops 15 to blank Belarus | 05/15/2014 5:56 PM
News
Pekka Rinne posted his second shutout of the 2014 World Hockey Championship on Thursday.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
He stopped all 15 of the shots he faced in a 2-0 win over Belarus. Rinne has two shutouts in three appearances in the tournament so far.
Laviolette has already impressed Seth Jones | 05/15/2014 1:23 PM
News
Seth Jones is getting a taste of what playing under coach Peter Laviolette is like in the World Hockey Championship with Team USA.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
"He has been great," Jones said of Laviolette, who was recently hired to be the head coach of the Nashville Predators "He's a great speech-maker. He knows how to motivate us. He wants to win, and that's the most important thing. We came here to win a tournament." Jones also likes that Laviolette encourages his defensemen to jump into the rush and he's looking forward to the 2014-15 season.
Pekka Rinne helps shuts out Germany | 05/13/2014 3:05 PM
News
Pekka Rinne made 20 saves in a 4-0 blanking of Germany on Tuesday.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
The win was Finland's first of the 2014 World Hockey Championship after losses to Latvia and Russia. Rinne missed most of the regular season with a hip infection, so getting some extra action before the off-season should help him get ready for next year.
Barry Trotz is interested in Caps, Canucks | 05/12/2014 6:23 PM
News
Barry Trotz has expressed interest in the coaching vacancies in Washington and Vancouver.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Trotz doesn't think he'll be hired until the end of May or early June though. That's partially because he's waiting for teams like the Capitals and Canucks to hire new general managers so that the process can proceed. Florida and Carolina have also been cited as potential suitors.
Craig Smith registers assist in U.S. win | 05/10/2014 12:37 PM
News
Craig Smith registered an assist in the U.S.'s 6-1 win over Belarus at the IIHF World Hockey Championships.
IIHF.com

Impact
Smith had a very solid 2013-2014 campaign with 24 goals and 52 points in 79 games. We think he is a player on the upswing. Don't forget about him on draft day.
Kostitsyn suspended for hit at WHC | 05/10/2014 11:03 AM
News
Andrei Kostitsyn was suspended for one game at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Belarus.
IIHF.com

Impact
Kostitsyn, who is playing for the host country Belarus, checked American Kevin Donovan from behind and delivered a two-handed cross-check to the head and neck area in Friday's 6-1 loss to the U.S. Kostitsyn's NHL rights are owned by the Panthers.
Laviolette preaches offensive-minded style | 05/07/2014 6:43 PM
News
New Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette reinforced that he'll promote a more offensive playing style than the team has had in the past.
Joshua Cooper on Twitter

Impact
"If we play offense more, we won't have to play as much defense," Laviolette said. The team plans to play a fast, aggressive style, which should make the Predators' forwards more desirable from a fantasy perspective.
Pontus Aberg signs entry-level contract | 05/07/2014 4:52 PM
News
Pontus Aberg has agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal with the Nashville Predators.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Aberg had 15 goals and 16 assists in 52 Swedish games in 2013-14. The Predators took him with the 37th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Preds might score more goals under Laviolette | 05/06/2014 6:56 PM
News
The Nashville Predators might get an offensive boost from new coach Peter Laviolette's style of play.
Pro Hockey Talk

Impact
Under former bench boss Barry Trotz, only three players broke the 70-point mark over 15 campaigns, although Paul Kariya did it twice. Starting with 2008-09, no player has recorded more than 65 points in a season while wearing a Predators' uniform. Part of that is a matter of the players Trotz was given to work with, but Laviolette should promote a style that's more favorable offensively.
Preds hire Peter Laviolette as new head coach | 05/06/2014 1:07 PM
News
Peter Laviolette has been hired by the Nashville Predators to serve as the team's new head coach.
Predators.nhl.com

Impact
Laviolette will have big shoes to fill as the man who is replacing Barry Trotz, the only head coach the franchise ever had up until now. Still, Laviolette has plenty of experience to fall back on. He's previously served as the bench boss for the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers. He has a 389-282-25-63 regular season record, has been to the Stanley Cup Final twice, and won it all in 2006 with Carolina. The Predators have also hired Kevin McCarthy as an assistant coach.

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