It's getting to be that time of year when the so-called "experts" are beginning to make predictions for the upcoming NHL season. By most accounts from Nashville fans, the Predators had a good off-season. By most accounts from Nashville fans, the Predators have gotten better this off-season. We seem to be the only ones who think so.
The Hockey News is picking the Predators to come in 10th this year in the Western Conference. 10th. After the off-season we had, we're apparently supposed to drop 3 spots. The reasoning behind their prediction is because the Preds apparently are cutting costs, losing Arnott, Hamhuis, and Ellis, and they've only replaced them with Lombardi, Kostitsyn, and Ryan Parent.
First off, I wouldn't neccisarily say we're cutting costs. I would say that we're clearing cap space so we can re-sign Shea Weber after, or during, this season. As for losing Arnott, Hamhuis, and Ellis: Really? Losing Arnott was bad? Arnott was the laziest player in the history of the franchise. He was a terrible captain. Replacing him with Lombardi was one of the greatest moves that David Poile has ever made. As far as Hamhuis, I really don't even have to say anything. If you're a Preds fan, you'll already know how much we'll miss Hamhuis............Ellis, while a solid goaltender and a good guy, is gone for a reason. Pekka is simply better. That's why we signed him and not Ellis. The best part of the entire prediction was when they said "You can never underestimate the Predators, but this edition will find the Western Conference a tough trek." Right. You can never underestimate us, as you put us 3 spots behind what we finished last year.
Is there a solution to all of this? Yes, and a simple one at that. Win. Win during the season, and into the post-season and you'll be surprised how much respect is gained in such a short period of time. There is always going to be doubters and cynics when it comes to Nashville and hockey, both on the ice and off. Winning will shut all of them up very quickly though.