I believe that this is THE YEAR that we will be able to see the caliber of players that the Preds have down in Milwaukee. Admittedly, there aren’t too many spots that we need to fill; however the 3 or 4 open slots are of the utmost importance.
1) DMan: We all know about the 6th DMan hole that we need to fill. I predict, as most people do, that Jon Blum will claim the spot early on in camp. The first injury call up will be Ryan Ellis…after he bulks up a bit. He’ll be running our PP in the next 2 years.
2) Goalie: From what I see here, we have a 3 man race on this one; Mark Dekanich, Anders Linback, and Chet Pickard. Dekanich has probably got this one in the bag out of camp. He’s worked with Mitch Korn the longest, and since “the road to the Preds goes through the MIL”, the backup spot is his. First call up when he struggles: Linback, aka Peks Jr. Honorable mention: Jeremy Smith. He looked promising a couple years ago, but the numbers game has gotten him.
3) Winger: Too close to call with too many options to really predict this one. We all know Blake Geoffrion will get a call up in the first month of the season, but I don’t see him making the team out of camp. It’s just not Trotz hockey. I think ole Barry will go for a Santorelli brother, or Jonas Andersson. I’m really looking for a surprise here, honestly. From camp reports, Ryan Thang has stepped his game up…maybe Thang can Hang!
We’ve got a ton of reasons to be excited about this year. I think the boys have got a chip on their shoulders; and when Barry’s Bunch is pissed, good things happen!