Monday, July 11, 2011

Pieces still in place for Preds

In an off-season of turmoil and uncertainty, the Nashville Predators have faced hard criticism from their fan base. From new jerseys to criticism over certain players being traded away, it hasn't been the easiest summer for David Poile and his staff. However, if you look closely, you'll find that the current roster for the Preds isn't that much different than last year's team.

Nashville's roster for Game 6 of last year's playoffs against Vancouver is as follows:

Forwards: Blake Geoffrion, Martin Erat, David Legwand, Mike Fisher, Nick Spaling, Jordin Tootoo, Matt Halischuk, Jerred Smithson, Patric Hornqvist, Joel Ward, Colin Wilson, and Sergei Kostitsyn.

Defenseman: Cody Franson, Shea Weber, Jon Blum, Kevin Klein, Ryan Suter, and Shane O'Brien. Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback were the goaltenders.

Out of all of the forwards who played in Nashville's last playoff game, only Joel Ward is gone. On defense, Franson and O'Brien are the ones who won't be returning next year. Franson and O'Brien made up Nashville's 3rd defensive pair.

After looking at the situation, Nashville hasn't made any drastic changes. Poile has acquired other players, like Nicolas Bergfors, who will add to the lineup in the 2011-12 season. Younger defenseman will get their opportunity to shine on Nashville's 3rd defensive pairing. While another scorer is certainly needed, things aren't as bad as they have been made out to be.

There is still a lot of off-season left for moves to be made, and for negotiations to continue with Shea Weber. Make no mistake about it, Nashville is still a playoff team. The rest of the off-season is about forming a team that can contend for a Stanley Cup championship.