Thursday, September 29, 2011

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

One of the central tenets of Obamacare was that health care costs would go down if we implemented this version of socialized medicine. How is that working out, you ask? Not good. Health care costs have doubled over the last decade, averaging annual increases of just over 7%. And it is not just the cost of health care that is rising, but the cost of insurance is increasing dramatically. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation in a survey released Tuesday, insurance premiums for family coverage  have jumped 9% so far in 2011, to $15,703. This comes on the heels of a 3% increase in 2010. Why the big increase? Insurance companies know that they are going to have to increase their coverage and the new enrollees will typically be those that are dealing with more health problems. However, under Obamacare, the insurance companies will not be able to price coverage in a way that covers the the projected level of claims, nor will reimbursements from the federal government be sufficient to cover this projected shortfall. So like any other economic entity in the free market, insurers have done what is reasonable: they have covered their costs by other means. Unfortunately for those that are working and have insurance, this means that they are shifting costs to us. That is why you have seen the significant jump in premiums this year, which takes more out of each employee's paycheck as companies share this pain with their workers. In the history of the world, socialized medicine can be guaranteed to generate the following outcomes: higher costs; greater inefficiencies; and compromised quality of health care. These price increases are a harbinger of things to come unless this travesty of a law is repealed.

Deep down, I am really shallow.

Inflection points occur when there is a catalyst for change. Something creates the need to change course or do something differently. Our nation is nearing an inflection point. This is evidenced by the recent data released by the Gallup organization from their latest poll. According to the Gallup organization, 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed. 65% of Democrats and 92% of Republicans view the current direction of the country negatively. An amazing 82% of Americans have a negative perception of Congress and 69% of our citizens say they have "no confidence" in our Congressional leaders. Gallup reports that 57% of Americans have no confidence in the federal government to effectively address domestic problems. Perhaps most strikingly of all, 49% of Americans believe that the federal government has become an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Friends, this is quietly becoming the basis for one of the biggest political revolutions in our nation's history. Our federal government has become remarkably out of touch with the majority of the American people. The fact that we are facing an inflection point of this nature can be frightening. It certainly will be tumultuous and can be painful. This is, however, an opportunity for citizens to take back their government and force it to become more responsive to the needs of our nation as a whole. More importantly, it is our opportunity to get our leaders from both sides of the aisle to put the needs of the nation ahead of their individual re-election chances. It is up to us a citizens to be engaged in the process and force the change of direction that this inflection point presents.

Every have one of those days where every thing goes right? Can someone tell me what that is like?

Each of us should pay particular attention to the Simpson Bowles Deficit Commission. This is the group that has been appointed to make recommendations about reducing our deficit spending and total national debt. Here is what you should know about the recommendations they have made. The Commission has proposed a "balanced approach" which is a combination of tax increases and budget cuts. The Commission has said that spending would be 21% of our GDP. The problem is that under President Obama's leadership, spending has averaged 24% of GDP and shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, the Commission has recommended raising taxes in 2015 and have made the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will have expired and will not be renewed by then. In essence, there will be a tax increase when the Bush tax cuts expire and then another tax increase in 2015. A tax increase on top of a tax increase. Just what a struggling economy needs! Furthermore, the Commission projects that revenues (read: taxes) will be 21% of GDP. Know this: taxes have never been 21% of GDP in the history of our country. EVER! Not even with the massive outlays of funding World War II. In fact, tax revenues at their highest have been 18.2% of GDP. Friends, our federal government has a spending problem that is continually growing and shows no signs of abating. The "solutions" proposed are a grab of more of your money to continue to perpetuate unnecessary and wasteful government spending. In the paragraph above, I spoke of an inflection point. This is what that inflection point is all about: forcing the federal government back into manageable levels and getting them out of areas that are creating an unnecessary drag on the economy. It will be painful and contentious, but this inflection point will determine the direction of our country.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

And that, my friends, is my view.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Predators Capitalize on Opportunities, Defeat Caps 4-1

The Nashville Predators defeated the Washington Capitals by a 4-1 margin at the Bridgestone Arena in a pre-season contest that saw both teams field squads that had a lot of veterans on the ice. Both teams played without some key players, as the Predators did not dress Mike Fisher and the Capitals were without Alexander Ovechkin.

Some thoughts about the Predators after this contest:

The young guys have some talent.

I liked the way that Craig Smith, Gabriel Bourque, and Mattias Ekholm play and the way they skate. These young guys showed they have good compete levels and there is an abundance of raw talent. They will be solid contributors for the Predators. That being said...

The young guys need to season

Running into some top line defensemen showed that the young guys need to continue to develop their game and get a bit more stronger. What worked in juniors or at the collegiate level is not necessarily going to work at the NHL level. The potential is there; the game just has to mature.

This is a squad that can do some damage

The Predators skated well and showed that their team game can dominate another team. The success of the Predators will hinge on two factors: players that are expected to produce HAVE to produce; and they must stay healthy. Production has to come from Colin Wilson, Marty Erat, David Legwand, and the veterans that are expected to produce. Nick Spaling has to step his game to the next level. Niclas Bergfors will hopefully develop into this year's Sergei Kostitsyn. And the aforementioned Kostitsyn has to take the next step in his game. If, and it is a big if, the guys can do this, the Predators will enjoy success.

Pekka Rinne is Pekka Rinne

Rinne will once again be called upon to carry the team on his back. He showed tonight that he can do just that. What will be critical is that Anders Lindback can give the team some quality starts and give Rinne adequate rest. Lindback will need to give the team 10-15 quality games throughout the course of the season to give Rinne a break and keep him fresh.

The young D will be OK

Remember back several years ago when there was concern about the young defense core? An unproven pair of defensemen- Shea Weber and Ryan Suter- were called upon to play some critical minutes and the concern was about their ability to handle the workload. Well, we all know how that turned out, don't we? I think this young D corp will turn out to be just fine for the Predators. Will they make mistakes? Yes. But they will learn. Quickly. And they will be solid contributors.

As the pre-season winds down, it will be interesting to see how the battles for the final roster spots will play out. The competition for those spots will be fierce. And it will benefit the Predators.

Both in the pre-season and in the regular season.

Hockey Gets Into Full Swing in Smashville with Preds Fest this Weekend

That most wonderful time of the year, the start of hockey season, shifts into high gear this weekend in Smashville. The Predators have announced the schedule of activities for the third annual Preds Fest, a three day celebration of hockey in Nashville. Here is the release from the Predators with details of the upcoming events:

The Nashville Predators are gearing up for their third annual Preds Fest, a fan-appreciation celebration from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 featuring several unique experiences to mark the start of the hockey season in Smashville.

“We are ready to drop the puck on another season of Nashville Predators hockey and I know our fans are chomping at the bit as well,” Nashville Predators President/COO Sean Henry said. “That’s why we’ve created three full days of programming to satisfy their hockey hunger – with the centerpiece being a plaza party and an exciting preseason match-up against the Carolina Hurricanes. From open skates, to autograph signings to free merchandise and game tickets, Preds Fest holds something special to get every fan ready for a fantastic season in Smashville!”

Preds Fest begins on Friday, Sept. 30 with a Kids Club Members-Only Skate at Bridgestone Arena from 5:30-6:30 p.m. To sign up for the Kids Club, presented by Delta Dental, visit The ice then opens up for a Public Skate from 7-8 p.m. Concession stands will be open and the Sixth Avenue garage (on the corner of Sixth and Demonbreun) will be free and open to the public for parking. Fans must bring their own skates as there will be no skate rental available on site. Fans should also be on the lookout from noon through 2 p.m. for Predators staff handing out free merchandise around town. During that time, mascot GNASH will be at the Daily’s gas station in Joelton (1284 Jackson Felts Rd.) greeting fans, signing autographs and helping fans pump gas.

Day Two of Preds Fest begins on Saturday, Oct. 1 with an Open House from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., providing fans the chance to tour Bridgestone Arena, ask questions and personally select seats for the upcoming season. Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. there will also be player autographs on the main concourse. Fans in attendance who open a Fifth Third Checking account receive $100 off any season ticket. Also on Saturday morning from 1-3 p.m. will be a Youth Hockey Clinic featuring former Nashville Predator Cliff Ronning. This clinic is open to any youth hockey player aged 10-12 that plays at house or travel skill level. Registration may be accessed at Clinic viewing is open to the public.

Preds Fest kicks into high gear on Saturday afternoon with a pregame party on the Bridgestone Arena plaza from 4:30-7 p.m. featuring youth hockey rinks, inflatable activities, games, live music and concessions. Day Two also features a FREE preseason game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Secure free general admission tickets by visiting (while supplies last). During the first intermission of Saturday’s game Preds forward Mike Fisher and defenseman Francis Bouillon will be signing autographs on the main concourse with Alum Cliff Ronning signing during second intermission (players subject to change without notice). Fans are also encouraged to bring school supplies for a collection to benefit LP Pencil Box – a free school supply store for educators that provides learning materials for impoverished students in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Make sure to stop by the PatrĂ³n Platinum Club after the game for the Daily’s post-game radio show on 102.5 The Game.

Preds Fest concludes on Sunday, Oct. 2 with an open-to-the-public High School Hockey Jamboree at Bridgestone Arena from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. featuring a day filled with 12 Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey League games. Games are open the public and free to attend. Sunday also features an appearance at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s We Care for Kids Day from 2-4 p.m., including games, prizes and an appearance by team mascot GNASH.

The Nashville Predators close out their eight-game preseason schedule this week with a trip to Winnipeg bookended by home games. The Preds host the Washington Capitals tonight at 7 p.m., before jetting to Winnipeg for the first of back-to-back contests on Friday night at 7 p.m. The preseason culminates with the annual Preds Fest Game on Saturday when the Carolina Hurricanes come to town. Games then start counting on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 with back-to-back road contests to open the 2011-12 regular season against Central Division foes Columbus (7 p.m. on FOX Sports Tennessee) and St. Louis (7 p.m. on FOX Sports Tennessee). The Preds home opener comes the following Thursday, Oct. 13 when the Phoenix Coyotes come to Smashville (7 p.m. on SportSouth).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

President Obama has proposed to close the nation's deficit by raising $3 in new taxes for every $1 in federal spending cuts. "This is not class warfare, this is math. The money has to come from somewhere." said President Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony on Monday. Frankly, what has been proposed by the current administration just boggles the mind, for not only is it class warfare of the highest degree, but it a $1.5 trillion tax increase on workers and an economy that is already limping badly. The President has said that his proposal will save $4.4 trillion over the next decade. Here is what you should know about that: $1.1 trillion comes from savings on a reduction of force in Iraq and Afghanistan; $1.2 trillion was already mandated by last month's debt deal;  $480 billion by projected lower interest payments on our debt; $580 billion by lower entitlement spending by eliminating over-payments and waste; and $450 billion in proposed but not enacted tax increases. President Obama's plan has been described by his advisers as his ideological vision for our country rather than a political maneuver. Well, Obama's ideological vision is frightening; it is one where the  taxes continue to rise exponentially to meet the insatiable spending appetite of the government. The proposed cuts are either already required or based on suppositions; the tax increases are based on the rapacious appetite of the federal government for more of your wealth. You're right, President Obama, it is math, and your math doesn't add up.

In some countries, people pray in the streets. Here, we call them pedestrians.

The liberal Left's party line is that everyone must pay their "fair share" and that the wealthiest people are getting away with not paying as much in taxes as they should. Obama has famously touted the "Buffett Rule" that says millionaires shouldn't pay less in taxes than their secretaries. Here is what you should know:  Warren Buffett, after whom the rule is named,  is disingenuous in saying he has been coddled. Buffett has made conscious decisions to shelter himself from the confiscatory hand of the government by donating his Berkshire Hathaway stock to three charitable foundations. Who runs those foundations, you might ask? His kids, who all draw handsome salaries for doing so. Buffett has made legal tax avoidance decisions. He hasn't been coddled. Here is the other fact that is relevant to the dialogue that is going on now in Washington: those millionaires that supposedly don't pay their "fair share" paid over 20% of the total taxes collected in 2009 and over 29% of their income in taxes, compared to 15% for those that make between $50-75,000. The top 1% of American taxpayers paid 38% of all federal taxes. So the question is "What is fair?" Should the government make them pay 50% of the total taxes? 75%. The point is that the government does not have a collection problem. It has a spending problem. And any reasonable person will, as the venal Warren Buffet has done, legally avoid taxes to keep more of their money.

I was wondering if mimes observe a brief moment of talking when another mime passes away?

Let us suppose for just a moment that the liberal Left is correct, that the government does not collect enough of our money and does not provide enough services. If Washington, or any central government, only had more of our resources, there would be nothing but blue skies and rainbows and the lion would lie down with the lamb. Oh, really? Here is a sampling of the tax rates from countries around the world that includes both their income tax (IT) rate and the Value Added Tax (VAT) and their total tax rate:

Greece     IT 40%  VAT 25%  Total  65%

Portugal    IT 42%  VAT 20%  Total  62%

Spain        IT 45%  VAT 16%  Total  61%

Britain       IT 50%  VAT 17%  Total  67%

So how are all these high taxes  and more government working out for these countries? A real utopian society, huh? What's that... riots in the streets? Crumbling infrastructure? Realistically bankrupt?  The fatal conceit of those in power is that they- and only they- know best how to manage the resources of a country. We are seeing how years of  fiscal ineptitude in Washington are unfolding now, and if we are not careful, this drama could take a more Grecian turn (not to be confused with a Grecian urn) and lead to more civil strife and unrest. The fact is that in most instances, a centralized government has a growing appetite for your money and it is not frugal in how it spends your funds. Just ask a citizen of one of these countries I have listed above.

My physique is like the Supreme Court- no appeal.

And that, my friends, is my view.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Predators Pre-Season Preview: The Wrap-Up

Our blogger panel has been talking all things Predators, and as we wrap up the round table, I have asked each of the bloggers to give their projected Central Division final standings for the upcoming season and to give a one word description of this year's team. Here are their responses:

Kris Martel

Oooh, this is a fun one. I always always always project the Predators as the Central Division champs at the beginning of the season, for whatever strange reasons I have, however I'm going to be more realistic this

1)     Detroit Red Wings

2)      Chicago Blackhawks

3)      Nashville Predators

4)      Columbus Blue Jackets

5)      St. Louis Blues

I believe 4, if not all 5, of the Central Division teams will be in this season's Stanley Cup playoffs.

One word to describe the Predators: Intriguing

Ryan Porth

1. Chicago;

2. Detroit;

3. Nashville;

4. St. Louis;

5. Columbus

One word to describe the Predators: Inconsistent

Jeremy Gover

1. Nashville Predators (98 pts)

2. Detroit Red Wings (97 pts)

3. Chicago Blackhawks (94 pts)

4. St. Louis Blue (out of the playoffs)

5. Columbus Blue Jackets (out of the playoffs)

One word to describe the Predators: Dramatic

The View says Kudos to Jeremy for not only including the final projected standings, but points as well.

Amanda Dipaolo

1. Detroit

2. Chicago

3. Nashville

4. Columbus

5. St. Louis

One word to describe the Predators: Young

Patten Fuqua

Basically, as long as Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen are in Detroit, I'll pick this the same way. Columbus and St. Louis should both be better this season, but it's a tough division. I have St. Louis in last, but they could still be in playoff contention late in the season:





St. Louis

One word to describe the Predators: Underrated


1. Nashville (this is the season!)

2. Chicago

3. Detroit

4. St. Louis

5. Columbus

One word to describe the Predators: Golden (in more ways than one). Wait, that's six words. Damn...

Dirk Hoag



St. Louis



One word to describe the Predators: Intriguing

Buddy Oakes

Nashville                105

Chicago                 102

Detroit                    99

St. Louis                 95

Columbus               85

Again, another bold prediction with points included from Buddy

One word to describe the Predators: Resilient

Where have we heard that one before?

Jim Diamond

1. Chicago

2. Detroit

3. Nashville

4. St. Louis

5. Columbus

One word to describe the Predators: Resilient (said in best Barry Trotz voice)

So there you have it friends. The blogging community generally agrees that the Predators will be in the thick of the division race and will contend for a playoff spot. I tend to agree, especially if the young guys can make the jump to the next level of play.

This should be an exciting season for the Predators, and one that holds a lot of promise. The ability of the young guys to contribute will be key.

Thanks to our panel of bloggers for their contribution and insight. Be sure and check out their work for great insights into the Predators as the season unfolds.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

According to information that the Census Bureau released for 2010 on the 13th of September, things are getting worse in this country. Much worse. Here are the grim facts: poverty in the United States hit a 27 year high, with 46.2 million people reported at or below the poverty level. That is 1 in 6 Americans. The number of people without health insurance also reached a new high of 49.9 million people. Many of the people that fall into this category are those that have lost jobs during this recession. Also, the Census Bureau reported that median household income fell in 2010 to $48,445, a decline of 2.3%. This dreary picture points out the necessity for all of us to be honest- government efforts to "stimulate" the economy have not worked. There needs to be an honest discussion about how to create an environment where businesses are confident enough to hire new employees and put more people to work. The anti-business, more taxes, more government regulation rhetoric out of Washington has had the opposite effect. Government cannot create jobs, but it certainly can prevent jobs from being created. The numbers from the Census Bureau bear this out.

I'm using a new shampoo that promised me extra body. So far, I have gained 3 pounds.

As mentioned above, real wages fell significantly last year. Why is this problematic? The drop in real wages comes after three years of grueling layoffs and slowing of the economy, a perfect storm that has now caused many to deplete their savings and other cash resources. Couple this desperate economic scenario for many families with the fact that there are 6.86 million fewer jobs in the U.S. from their January 2008 peak, and more individuals are taking reduced wages just to have a job. Real wages are perhaps the best indicator of economic well being for the work force as well projected levels of consumer spending. The downward trend points to the fact that employers have the upper hand in setting wages and that economic growth in this country is going to remain anemic until that trend is reversed. Although another round of stimulus has been proposed by the White House, many economists do not believe that it will help in the long run since many businesses are loath to hire, knowing that the money will run out and that demand will not be there to support adding new personnel. Until the economy allows companies and individuals to feel confident about future prospects, no amount of stimulus is going to reverse this downward spiral.

I once had a job at an origami factory, but it folded.

President Obama has proposed a $447 billion dollar jobs bill to try to reverse the downward trends that we have been discussing. In presenting the bill, he has said that it is "fully paid for", which to any rational person should mean not that money is be reallocated from other areas of government but that instead your taxes are going up. The bulk of the revenue for this bill will come from taxes being raised on households that earn more than $250,000 or individuals that earn more than $200,000.  Another portion would come from eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies for money they spend for exploration. Additionally, the bill proposes giving a $4,000 credit to companies that hire individuals that have been unemployed longer than six months. Here is the problem with this proposal: families that have earned income are seeing their taxes go up, which further curtails their spending, which in turn causes the economy to continue to languish. Outside of the federal government, one of the few sectors of the economy that has shown strong gains in jobs is the oil and gas industry. This bill removes their tax incentive to continue to explore and develop new energy sources and will slow their  hiring in these areas. And that $4,000 tax credit for new hires? It is completely divorced from reality, as the cost of adding a new hire to a payroll right now is running approximately $15,000. Friends, if we are going to begin to reverse our economic situation, the first step will be to admit that the government is not the solution to our problems, but is responsible for many of them. Bills such as the one that has been proposed to "create jobs" serves as an impediment to real job creation.

I tried using invisible ink once, but drew a blank.

And that, my friends, is my view.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Predators Pre-Season Preview: The Bloggers Talk Shea Weber

All of Predator nation is familiar with the contract arbitration proceedings that occurred with Captain Shea Weber this summer. Weber was awarded a one year deal after the arbitration hearing. The question that our panel will address is "Will Weber's arbitration affect the team in this upcoming season? Will team cohesiveness be affected and will Weber's ability to lead be compromised?"

Buddy Oakes

Team cohesiveness will be the number one challenge of the coaching staff this season as it is every year. The “Predator Way” requires that everyone be “All In” all season, with no nights off. I think if any staff can pull a team back together it will be Barry Trotz and his coaches.

Weber fully understands the situation in Nashville and is not going to “waste” a year or two without giving 100% while he is playing with the “big three”. He wants to win and he is in the prime of his career. He wants a Cup ring and as captain to hoist it first. Given a choice, he  would rather have the ring with the Predator on it as that is the only organization he has ever known and he would go down in hockey history as the team leader. He has two years to be convinced that will happen in Nashville so I don’t foresee it being an issue.As tragic as the death of Wade Belak has been, it appears to have put an end, at least temporarily, to all the discussion about next year’s pending free agency. I have a gut feeling that Belak’s passing may bring the team closer together as they have suffered the loss of a friend as a group and that help keep them focused on matters on the ice as opposed to in the press.

Dirk Hoag

You won't see anyone on the team admit that, but it simply has to. If the Preds struggle and fall outside of playoff position, you'll hear constant questions about whether he really wants to stick around or not.
Just as we envisioned a strong foundation by having Shea locked up as captain in a long-term deal, the flip side of that coin is that despite all the talk, when it came to the critical decision point, he and the team couldn't even agree on a one-year contract and had to go before the arbitrator. How can all those months of "I want to play in Nashville", and "we'll get a deal done" commentary not undermine his credibility, when matched up with the events which took place?

That's a toughie. It's difficult to assess what the common mentality of the Predators' team might be in regard to Shea Weber's stance in the negotiation of his deal. No one can deny the fact that Weber has handicapped the team's ability to re-sign the core players that everyone assumed he'd do everything he could to help retain. Has he sent a clear signal to his teammates that he's not as enamored with Music City as he so vocally claimed? That's certainly an easy interpretation to come away with. That could certainly affect the perception of his leadership commitment to this team.

On the other hand, are we as observers overreacting? Are the players substantially better tuned into the business aspect of life in the NHL than we give them credit for or allow them to be?

I think it boils down to what percentage of Weber's teammates see the move as selfishness and how many regard it as an admirable business decision. Personally I would think that the answer lies somewhere in the

It will also be extremely important to see how Weber follows up his hardline at the negotiating table with his performance on the ice. Nothing less than his best output in nearly all areas of his game will
absolve him from criticism in all corners. It'll be a tough road to hoe for The Captain this season. He's left himself little-to-no wiggle room in that regard. No more flying under the radar for Webs; not even a little bit.

Patten Fuqua

Shea Weber has never seemed the kind of player to be a "locker room cancer" and I don't see him becoming one this season. While no one expected his case to reach arbitration and while there might be some hard feelings out there, I have a hard time believing that Shea Weber will not be playing to win and will not be trying to lead by example to motivate his teammates to win. Titan Sports Management is not in that locker room - Shea Weber is.

Amanda Dipaolo

I want to say no to both prongs of this question, but only time will tell. I would assume the players are mature enough to understand that there is a business part to the game and that a player of Weber's calibre may show the harsher aspects of the business in order to get the right deal for the player.  If the players understand this to the fullest then the cohesiveness of the team should not be affected by the hearing.

Jeremy Gover

I don't know if the cohesiveness will be affected but, if the Preds do their typical "early season struggle," look for the Shea Weber contract issue to become a real distraction in the locker room. Media in every NHL city will be asking about it before and after every game if they're given an excuse to. A sluggish Predators team would be the perfect excuse.

Ryan Porth

That's one big question heading into this season.  Trotz and company cannot let Weber's situation become a distraction.  This is a young team that hasn't really gone through this before.  It could be natural for those youngsters to have doubts about Weber's commitment to the team after this summer's stalemate.  For Weber's leadership ability not to be impaired, he may want to rally the troops, per se, and let his teammates know just how committed he is and to not worry about his the off-ice situation until a later time.

Kris Martel

That's really a tough question to answer. One would think that all of this heavily publicized arbitration deal could be a huge deterrent to the organization, however what went on was strictly business between
Weber and the Predators, that much has been vocalized by both sides of the arbitration.

I don't think Nashville will lose any of its cohesion, they're a team that has always been defined by what they do on the ice rather than what happens off the ice (just like all the relocation talk/team sale/fire sale that went on a few years ago). Shea's leadership ability isn't compromised either in my opinion. The players still trust him and they all know that this arbitration is just one side of this business, sometimes it happens.

Jim Diamond

Directly - no. Indirectly - yes. It is already a tight team and I do not expect this to change based upon the arbitration. The players all respect Weber and him going to arbitration this summer will not affect how he and the team interact with one another. Indirectly, Weber and the rest of the team will again have to field questions all season about his progress on a long-term deal as well as the contracts of Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne. I think that the players will quickly grow weary of the contract questions each time they go to a different city to play a game. I do not expect Weber's leadership ability to be impaired at all. He plays the game the right way and his teammates recognize and respect that in him. Weber wants to win a Stanley Cup and will do everything in his power to do so. The other players want the same thing and know that Weber is the best player suited to try and lead them to that goal.

There you have it, friends. All agree that Weber has invited more scrutiny after the arbitration proceedings, but it is the feeling that Weber's mates will realize this is the business side of hockey. I do agree with the sentiment that if this team struggles, Weber will be opened up to scrutiny as a leader.

In our final post from the round table, we will look at the projected Central Division standings and a one word description of the Predators team.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Predators Pre-Season Preview, Part 3: Blogger Roundtable

Time to bring back our bloggers once again and get their opinions on two questions: who will be the biggest surprise (good or bad) of the upcoming season; and who of the recently departed players will the Predators miss the most?

So guys, who will be be the biggest surprise for the team?

 Amanda Dipoalo

I think everyone is hoping for Bergfors to be this season's Sergei Kostitsyn. Of course, that would be a good thing -- a very good thing. I think Kostitsyn continues to be the surprise as this season his production will equal if not surpass that of last season's making him the star in the NHL he kept telling Montreal he was ready to be. While last season was considered a breakout season for the youngster, Kostitsyn broke his toe at the start of the season and never found his stride until almost December.  

 Jim Diamond

Nick Spaling in a positive way. With all of the departures up front, and with Spaling being a guy Trotz and company trust, he will inherit a lot of minutes outside of what we have seen of him so far in Nashville. He put up big offensive numbers in juniors and has the ability to score goals. I don’t see him potting 30 or anything, but I do expect to see him contribute on the score sheet more than others may think he is capable of doing based upon his first 100 or so NHL games.

Dirk Hoag

I'm surprising myself a bit when writing this, but I'll go with David Legwand. With a full season of having Mike Fisher in the lineup, I could see Leggy benefitting from softer matchups and having one of his better seasons


My bet is that Mike Fisher will have a near-career season for the Preds. What most commentators (and fans) have under-appreciated in my opinion, is that Fish played the entire second half of the season with a painful shoulder injury, suffered while he was still with Ottawa. That's what he underwent surgery this summer to have fixed. I think he's gonna come back to the ice like gangbusters this year and make General Manager David Poile look even smarter for acquiring him last season. And again, just one guy having a better-than-average offensive season could create a cascade effect for the rest of the guys who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders to be the offensive producers. I think Fisher is the one key veteran to the team's success. (hey, no pressure there, Fish, just sayin...)

Buddy Oakes

I will pick Sergei Kostitsyn going both good and bad. He is a real wild card as I think the Preds clearly overpaid him as a result of the bungled contracts. What he did last season was a bonus based on his salary. If he does not progress and show up in the playoffs, he will be a bust.

On the flip side, I do not expect a progression so if he does improve, It will be a surprise to me. For what he is being paid, it is time for him to step up and take more of a prominent role in the offense by shooting the puck more often.

Jeremy Gover
Nick Spaling will rediscover the scoring touch he had in junior when he inherits Joel Ward's spot on the second line. If Martin Erat and David Legwand can actually find the box score before the month of December, that line could be lights out and send all three players on to career years. 

Patten Fuqua

I expect the surprise player for this season to be Colin Wilson. After a decent rookie season, he spent the majority of last year in Barry Trotz's doghouse. It's a little surprising to find out that he played in all 82 regular season games last season since he appeared to be absolutely nonexistent after February (and obviously during the playoffs when he was a healthy scratch for the majority of the games). If Wilson wants to stay in Nashville, he needs to step his game up this season and I think he will. Otherwise, I think he'll be out the door around the trade deadline...and probably for not very much in return.

Ryan Porth

I don’t know if this qualifies as a ‘surprise’, because everyone expects him to eventually break out.  But I think this is the year Colin Wilson starts to put everything together.  He played all 82 games last year and then was benched in the playoffs.  That could spark something in Wilson.  We’ve all seen his talent on display, but in an inconsistent fashion.  This is a big year for Wilson and I see him stepping to the forefront as a key offensive player.

Kris Martel

I think Nashville is going to get a pleasant surprise from Jordin Tootoo this season. Tootoo had a great season last year and is starting to solidify himself as not just a hard hitter, but with an offense presence and a very strategic mindset. Tootoo has the ability in himself to score goals and cause his opponents to take unnecessary penalties. After his voluntary stint in the NHL’s Substance Abuse program last year that caused him to miss nearly a quarter of the season, Tootoo came back in what you can only describe as the BEST Jordin Tootoo the Nashville Predators have ever seen. Combine a clean Jordin Tootoo with him being in a UFA contract year? I would expect an explosive 8th season from the “Tootoo Train”.

The View says that it is interesting to see several of our particpants say Nick Spaling. At the Skate of the Union, GM David Poile said that Spaling was poised to have a breakout year and be a star player.

And now on to our second question, "Who will the Preds miss the most?"

Kris Martel

Steve Sullivan. One of the oldest members of the team last year and still able to contribute 22 points in a injury-shortened season of 44 regular season games, the Predators aren’t just losing one of the veterans, but a natural left-winger which is hard to come by for the Predators now-a-days.

Now, without Sullivan (who, mind you, could have been re-signed for cheap), the Predators will be with two natural left wingers (unproven Bergfors and team-leading scorer Kostitsyn) and an obvious hole in their lineup. Of all the players that Nashville decided not to bring back for next season, Sullivan is in my book the one loss that will come back to bite the Predators.

Ryan Porth

Shane O’Brien.  David Poile opted not to re-sign SOB and failed to replace his spunk on the blue-line.  O’Brien does a lot of the dirty work on defense and sticks for his teammates.  He was valuable on the penalty kill, which was shown in the Anaheim series.  Also, he’s a great character guy and was popular in the Preds’ locker room.  The Preds aren’t going to miss his occasional turnovers, but they’re going to miss everything else.

Jim Diamond

Joel Ward. Although he did not put up the goals last regular season, his consistency in all facets of the game will be missed. He does a lot of things that do not necessarily show up in the statistics, but as a fixture on the team’s shutdown line the last few seasons, his role is one that the Predators do not likely have someone ready to step into right away.

Jeremy Gover

Marcel Goc. You could plug that guy in anywhere and he'd make an impact. Joel Ward had a down season until his gangbuster playoff, JP Dumont was no longer effective at $4 million per year, the time had come for Steve Sullivan to move on and Cody Franson was expendable because of the four blue chip prospects on their way up. Now, an argument could be made that the loss of Shane O'Brien will hurt the most now that Francis Bouillon has had a setback in his concussion symptoms. The Preds really don't have a guy to replace Bouillon now that O'Brien's gone and that could hurt the toughness on the blueline.

Buddy Oakes

I have no issues with any of the subtractions other than Shane O’Brien. I said last October when he was acquired that he added the perfect grittiness that the team needed. That role has now been left with Jordin Tootoo, who I think will be focusing more on his offense in his contract year, or possibly Zack Stortini if he can play well enough to earn starts.

The days of having a true enforcer with no particular puck skills are quickly passing but grittiness is still a much needed attribute for any team that plans to make a playoff run.

Amanda Dipaolo

 Shane O'Brien's toughness on the blue line is going to be missed the most. O'Brien was for the most part of very responsible defenseman, and was also the first to stick up for teammates on the ice. Nashville also lost Franson on the blue line and Francis Bouillon won't be ready for the start of the season making Nashville's usually strong defense a very green one this upcoming season. O'Brien's experience will be missed.

Patten Fuqua

Joel Ward will probably have the biggest impact on the team. Ward brought a strong work ethic and was extremely consistent in the numbers that he produced. While I don't remotely believe that he was worth the amount of money that Washington paid for him, I believe he'll be the same kind of hard working player there that he was here. Players like Ward, who did their jobs and were rarely noticed unless they ended up on the score sheet, are not always easy to come by. Without him on the ice, someone will have to step in and fill that role.


Cody Franson will be missed, but not tremendously; I believe he was actually the most logical of all the Preds' young blueliners to move in order to break the organizational logjam. Steve Sullivan's leadership will be missed, but it will also provide the opportunity for someone like a Ryan Suter or a Mike Fisher to step up and fill that role more so than they could have with Sully in the lineup. However I think most would agree that Joel Ward was the costliest loss for the team, but not from an offensive standpoint; Wardo wasn't going to be a 20-goal scorer for this team, but he was one of the biggest cogs in the Head Coach Barry Trotz's defensively-minded system, and it will be interesting to see if anyone can immediately fill that role as well as he did.

Dirk Hoag

I think it's Joel Ward, by a long way. While his offensive numbers weren't great, he was consistently thrown on the ice to help with key defensive-zone faceoffs, and managed to help the Preds escape their zone and push the play up-ice more than anyone else. The only other winger on the team who has demonstrated that sort of ability is Martin Erat, but if you saddle him with that kind of work, that could hinder his offensive production.

There you have it, friends, the perspective of some great Predator bloggers as to who will be missed the most. Fairly evenly divided between Joel Ward and Shane O'Brien. I do think, as Patten said, Wardo was a valuable cog in this machine last season, but not at the price Washington paid. O'Brien's loss will hurt from a depth and swagger standpoint, but I think that loss is not insurmountable

In part 4, we tackle a tough question: did the Shea Weber contract situation affect this team? The group has some interesting responses.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Petey's Party 2011

Brent Peterson hosted "Petey's Party" in conjunction with the Nashville Predators Foundation, an event that has grown in magnitude from the first gathering of just over 100 people to a grand night at the Bridgestone Arena with over 900 people in attendance.

The event was a dinner on Thursday night and a golf tournament the next day to raise funds for Parkinson's research and to fund the Predators Foundation, which contributed over $300,000 to various community organizations this past year.

As most know, Brent has Parkinson's disease which, as he poignantly stated at the dinner, took away his opportunity to be a head coach. Those that know Brent know that he is a competitor and a fighter, and just as he did in his playing days, will not back down from this fight. The funds that are raised by his foundation are directed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be used to support research into finding a cure for Parkinson's.

Brent Peterson speaks during the program
The dinner was held on the floor of the arena, which had the new glass and the boards in place. A view before the event began.
And the floor of the arena after dinner was served
A number of players were there, along with friends of Brent and the Predators. Their presence not only shows the heart of these individuals, but their support of Brent, his cause, and the Predators Foundation.

You know hockey season is getting near when  Terry Crisp is back in town
The Grim Reaper, Stu Grimson, visiting with guests
Denise and Paul McCann

Cal O'Reilly and Patrick Hornqvist. Cal said he is completely healed and anxious to get the season started
 Jerred Smithson was in great spirits, saying he had a very good summer and was glad to be back in Nashville
 Brent has drawn support from athletes in different sports that also suffer from Parkinson's. The View with Brian Grant, who had his NBA career with the Portland Trailblazers cut short by Parkinson's. Standing next to Brian is one of the few times I feel small. Brian is 6'9"
Coach Peter Horachek makes a bid on some of the auction items
There were numerous auction items, including a number of the new gold jerseys signed by the Predators players

In addition to support from the sports community, the Nashville music community has joined Brent and the Predators Foundation by donating a number of items, including a gaggle of guitars signed by various performers.
There are always some unique items that are up for bid. This is the penalty box that was used last season, and it was to be signed by all the players and coaches. I was very interested, but couldn't figure out where I could fit that into my house.
 Gnash stylin' in the new gold jersey
 George Plaster did a masterful job as the emcee of the night's program
Parkinson's is indiscriminate in attacking its victims. Young, old, athletic, or infirm, anyone can suffer from this terrible disease. One young man that spoke during the night was former professional baseball player Ben Petrick. Petrick, like Brian Grant, had his career with the Colorado Rockies cut short when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. He has undergone surgery to implant a deep brain stimulation device, and the results are remarkable. Before he spoke, a video was shown, and his ability to control his muscle movements in his upper body was almost non-existent. Seeing this young man walk almost effortlessly to the podium to speak was awe inspiring.

Ben Petrick speaks at the dinner
Jeff Allen entertained the audience with a hilarious comedy routine
Barry Trotz introduced Brent with a humorous and heartfelt introduction
There was a very touching and well done tribute to Wade Belak at the start of the program, along with a memorial to the Lokomotiv Hockey team and the three players that had played for the Predators that lost their life in the horrific plane crash
Mrs. Mike Fisher, known to most as Carrie Underwood, closed the program with a beautiful performance of "Jesus Take the Wheel"
This event is fast becoming a must attend event, not only for the fun and fellowship, but for the support of two great causes, The Predators Foundation and Peterson's Foundation for Parkinson's. The support of Predators fans, the Nashville entertainment community, and athletes from all sports across the country is indicative of the respect each has for Brent and for the Predators organization.
Kudos in particular to Rebecca King, who did a magnificent job coordinating the event, and for all the volunteers and support staff that helped to make it a great night.
We had fun, but this is a serious fight for Brent and fellow Parkinson's sufferers. 
You have our love and support, Coach.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Predators Pre-Season Preview, Part 2: Blogger Roundatable

Welcome to part 2 of our blogger round table, where we have asked some of the bloggers covering the Predators to give their opinion some critical aspects of the team. In part 1, we asked the group to give an overview of their expectations for the upcoming season.

In part two, we ask the group if the young players are ready to step into more prominent roles. Here is their response:


I do. I believe Blake Geoffrion will be a standout. I've thought since this time last year that Nick Spaling will be a special player for this team; I think we really see that becoming evident starting this year. And like a lot of other observers, I anxiously await the potential impact of Ryan Ellis and/or Mattias Ekholm. I really don't see the team missing Cody Franson all that much with these two coming aboard. They may not be real difference makers, but they will provide enough of their own special sauce that the veterans will be able to relax and shine as they should (read: Mike Fisher, David Legwand, Marty Erat).

Jim Diamond

Coming from Europe, juniors, college, or even the AHL, it is difficult to project whether a player is ready to step into a role in the NHL. Training camp will go a long way toward telling whether they are ready to advance, but even preseason games are not an accurate predictor of what a player will go through during the 82-game grind of the NHL season. Of the young players, I'd say that Roman Josi is the most NHL ready, but Craig Smith's showing at the World Championships gives hope that he may have a chance at sticking out of camp.

Dirk Hoag

I guess it all depends on the role; I'm excited to see what someone like Roman Josi can bring on the 3rd defensive pair, but with Francis Bouillon hurting, who's going to work the penalty kill? You'd rather not
put more of a burden there on Shea Weber & Ryan Suter, who are needed offensively. Up front, I can see a kid or two working their way in, but I'm skeptical of some of the talk that Nick Spaling will add significant
contributions offensively, or that Matt Halischuk could develop into a Joel Ward replacement. The major pressure is on Colin Wilson, who should be ready to take the training wheels off and demonstrate that he was
worthy of a Top 10 pick at the NHL Entry Draft.

Patten Fuqua

If there was going to be any season that was prime for a "youth rising", it's this coming season. Having seen the steps Ryan Ellis made in junior in the last season and after seeing the way he performed during Prospect Camp, he looks like he could become a franchise player. He simply appears to have the makings of an elite skill set. In addition, there are several other talented defensemen that are primed to make a run to the big time - namely Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Teemu Laakso. On the other hand, Nashville doesn't appear to have the same sort of depth in the ranks at forward. While Gabriel Bourque has the makings of a future NHLer, most of the others are a few years off. The big question mark is with Blake Geoffrion. If Geoffrion continues to progress and the game "slows down" for him in time, he could become a monster. It happened for him at Wisconsin and it happened in Milwaukee. All of a sudden something "clicks" with him and he becomes an extremely reliable and consistent's probably more of a question of "when" than "if".

Amanda Dipaolo

Towards the end of last season, Jon Blum and Blake Geoffrion proved they were ready to step up for Nashville and play in the NHL. This season, it appears that Nashville will have an extremely young
roster. Whether or not all the youth are ready to assume that role, we will soon find out, but consistency might be the key to whether they do succeed at the NHL level. During training camp last season, Colin Wilson
talked about needing to work on being more consistent on the ice. Geoffrion, Halischuk, Blum as well as many other young players may be faced with a similar struggle, playing 100% every shift. 

Jeremy Gover

The young forwards are the biggest question mark. Blake Geoffrion performed really well in his first 12 NHL games but he disappeared after that. And, while he does the little things right, he's not ready for
full-time duty. Matt Halischuk may be able to provide some scoring depth on the third or fourth line. He consistently found the score sheet in big games last season and then, of course, went on to become a playoff
overtime hero for the Preds. Colin Wilson needs to show he can adjust his attitude in order to play big minutes and be at his best. So while most people will focus on the young defense (the third pairing, in
particular), this team needs to score goals and the young forwards are going to be relied on to do that.

Ryan Porth

I do.  From what we saw out of Jonathon Blum and Nick Spaling late last year, they're ready to step up. Blake Geoffrion may need more AHL seasoning, but he's close.  Ryan Ellis could be the exception to Barry
Trotz's rule that the 'road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee'.  Matt Halischuk looks like a Trotz-type player.  So yes, I do think the youngsters are ready to take their game to the next level.

Kris Martel

Oh absolutely! If you don't think so, you really need to take a look at the players on the active roster, their ages, and what they have already accomplished. Players like Hornqvist/Kostitsyn/Bergfors haven't even hit
the prime of their careers and they are leading the team in scoring. Spaling, Halischuk, Mueller, and Geoffrion were great additions to the team throughout last season as well. Not to mention, without Spaling, who knows if Nashville would have made it out of the first round? You may think that is a silly question, but Spaling was a huge factor for the Predators first round series against the Ducks. And can anyone forget Halischuk's double-overtime game winner against Vancouver? It'll go down as one of the biggest goals in Nashville Predators history, coming from a 23 year old kid we got for Jason Arnott.

Buddy Oakes

The Predators are going to rely on younger players to step into prominent roles this upcoming season. Do you feel the young talent in the organization is ready to do so?The Predators have been ranked number one in prospect talent for the last two years by Hockey’s Future. The team has slowly migrated players into the system and has one of the highest percentages of home-grown talent in the NHL.This year is no different. Spaling has firmly established himself on the team. Blum, Geoffrion, O’Reilly, and Halischuk have the chance to make a full transition to the NHL level this year.Depending on whether another veteran defenseman is added, I expect that two or three of the group of young D-Men will play significant minutes with the team this season. Teemu Laakso, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and Mattian Ekholm have the best chance to stick with Laakso and Josi as my front-runners. Ellis is the x-factor with his play at camp being make or break for him. He will have to stand out significantly to force the team not to send him back to Milwaukee.Of the forward group, Craig Smith will be given every opportunity to stick with the team. However his he cannot earn second or third line minutes he will start on the top line in Milwaukee. Taylor Beck and Gabriel Bourque may also see time in Nashville before the season is over.

So there you have it. I would consider this group cautiously optimistic about our younger players, but all in agreement that the forwards will be the biggest question mark. I concur, and if some of the young guys can make the next step, Predator fans will be pleasantly surprised.

In the next installment, the group is going to answer two questions: who will be the biggest surprise (good or bad) this season; and which of the recently departed players will the Predators miss the most.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

No smiling dog for this blog. I felt the bear hiding his eyes was more appropriate. It is how I have felt this week.

For those that follow hockey in particular, this summer has been a summer from hell. The tragic and horrific loss of life in our hockey families has shaken us to our foundations. So this week, there will be no economic discussion, no political commentary, no snark from me.

Instead, I invite all of you to take a moment and separate yourself from the frenetic pace of the daily routine and ask, "What is really important?"

Is it the next meeting with a client, the newest electronic gadget to be purchased, the next promotion?

For far too many of our hockey friends, that question has taken on an entirely new and sorrowful dimension over the past few days and months.

But it is not just our hockey family that suffers. Look around and you will find that everyone is carrying a burden or struggling though a tribulation or battling a demon of some kind.

And it is not easy.

Especially when that burden, that sorrow, or that demon is borne alone.

In today's electronically connected society, we have become more disconnected as people, even with those that are in a physical proximity to us. I may "tweet" with a bunch of folks; I can send messages on Facebook or IM: but can I look them in the eye and see the pain they feel when they physically hurt? Do I know when their heart is broken? Do I know them well enough to know when something is not right with their life?

Perhaps the more important, the more fundamental question is, "Do I want to?"

Caring for someone is tough, messy work. And it is work. That is why it is often so easy to keep relationships superficial, at arm's length. Getting involved means seeing another person for the mess they are, and revealing oneself to be quite a mess as well.

The reward for opening yourself up to another and caring for them is priceless and precious. My words cannot adequately describe the joy that is in that type of relationship, but most of you know.

There are now many in our midst that have had that type of relationship ripped away in a tragic instance. The person they cared for is no longer in their life, and there is an indescribable void that for now is being filled with unimaginable heartache. And they will never have another opportunity to share a caring, loving moment with someone who was precious to them.

So my call to you dear friends is simply this:

Take time to care, to love those that are close to you. Look into their eyes and see if they are okay. Walk a little closer to them. Tell them you love them.

Every chance you can.

And that, my friends, is my view.

Predators Pre-Season Preview Blogger Roundtable

With players returning to nashville and the start of training camp just days away, it's time to look ahead to the upcoming season. What better way to do that than to ask some of the best bloggers that cover the Predators to participate in a preseason blogapalooza.

The View is pleased to welcome Amada Dipaolo of Inside Smashville; Jim Diamond of the Nashville Examiner; Buddy Oakes of Preds on the Glass; Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck; Jeremy Gover of Cellblock 303; Pattten Fuqua of; Kris Martel of The Predatorial; Ryan Porth of RLD Hockey; and AJ of Pull My (Fang) Finger as particpants. Each of these fine writers offers an unique perspective on the Predators, and I encourage my readers to regularly view their blogs.

So what do you say we jump right into the deep end and ask this group "What do you expect out of the Predators this season?"

Jeremy Gover

I expect the Predators to challenge for the Central Division crown. The Chicago Blackhawks can score a ton of goals but they also give up a lot of them too. The Detroit Red Wings are getting older and have to hit a wall at some point. Plus, their starting goaltender Jimmy Howard suffered through some nagging injuries last year and it'll be interesting to see if he can stay healthy. The St. Louis Blues will be better but may still fall just short of the playoffs. And the Columbus Blue Jackets..... they'll be picking first in the 2012 NHL Draft. In short, the Preds will challenge for the Central.

Dirk Hoag

I think this will be a transitional season for the team, with so many rookies and 2nd-year players being asked to assume major responsibilities. While I could see them scoring about as many goals as they did last year, my concern is on the defensive side, and whether there's enough experience up and down the roster to play a typically disciplined style of Predators hockey. It will be up to Pekka Rinne to do the heavy lifting once again, as at least in goal, Nashville will have an edge on the rest of the Central.

Buddy Oakes
I actually expect the Predators to have the best season in franchise history. If you look at the process of the transformation of the team since the lockout, with few exceptions they have progressed each year.

In 2010, the team should have gotten past Chicago and to a man, they realized that it was their own fault that they didn’t. Last year, after winning the first round, they were not ready for game one against Vancouver and that loss (plus Ryan Kesler’s best series ever) sent them home for the summer, but more lessons were learned.

If you look at the natural progression of the players that they have on the team headed into camp, they should more than adequately compensate for the players that left for higher salaries through free agency.

Patten Fuqua

The coming season is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma crossed with a riddle. While the Predators have lost several key players - notably Goc, Ward, Franson, O'Brien and Sullivan - they have not made any outside moves of much significance. While picking up Niclas Bergfors might have been the steal of the offseason, it appears that most of the players that departed will be replaced from within. Of course, we've been down this road before. The leading scorers are still around...and many people tend to forget that Sullivan and Goc were hurt for a large portion of the latter part of the season. Considering that, I expect the Predators to squeak into a 7th or 8th place playoff spot.

Amanda Dipaolo

The Predators are a team that continuously do a lot with a little. I expect no different this upcoming season. That said, for a team that prides itself on being predominately a home-grown team, I would hope some of the Predators youngsters step up to replace a Steve Sullivan or a J.P. Dumont, both one-time key players to the organization.


Ah, a pregnant question from the get-go! Well, what we expect and what get  from the Preds are often governed by one thing and one thing only: injuries. Last year's squad clearly out-kicked their coverage in making it into the playoffs, due to the inordinate number of injuries they sustained all season long. If they can repeat that ability to be resilient and overcome obstacles, I expect nothing less than another second round appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However this will be  a younger team from the start and that could have a major effect on their response to adversity. nonetheless I expect the experience the entire organization had from last season will give them an expectation for success like never before, and that too could be a huge dynamic in the team's performance

(The View claims no responibility for the paternity of the question)

Ryan Porth

The same we have seen over the last three or four years.  I am a believer in that playoff success one year doesn’t translate to regular season success the next.  In all likelihood, the Preds will be on the bubble all year, make a move at the trade deadline and barely survive the Western Conference to claim the 7 or 8 seed.  For the Preds to compete for the division crown, Pekka Rinne will have to perform like he did last year and every single forward will have to (a) be at their best and (b) stay healthy

Kris Martel

I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised this season. Nashville is essentially bringing the same players back this year as they had last season and they all know how close they were to going much further in the playoffs a few months ago. A bounce here or a bounce there and Nashville would have most likely dispatched Vancouver in the second round. Did they? No, but Nashville is definitely on the right track.

The youth that Nashville has in their organization mixed with the current veteran presence that is already established in the club makes the Predators one of those teams that could possibly have “all of their ducks in a row”, if you know what I mean. Are the Predators a Stanley Cup contender? I don’t believe so with their current lineup, however I feel that they are definitely a playoff contender and probably ONE single puzzle piece away from being that Cup contender.

Jim Diamond

I expect more of the same from the 2011-12 Predators as we have seen in recent seasons past. While the goaltending and defense will again be strong, this team will struggle to score goals and that will leave them fighting for one of the last couple of Western Conference playoff spots at the end of the season.

So there you have it. The view of this group is that the Predators can be anything from contending for a playoff spot to making a deep playoff run. I agree with the concensus that this team can make the playoffs. I do think Ryan has hit upon a key point, and that this team will have to stay healthy to be in playoff contention.

Up next in part 2 of our roundtable will be a discussion of whether or not the young guys are ready for prime time.