Archive for June, 2007


Money To Burn

June 30, 2007

Sure we don’t have an owner (that’s a minor detail right?) but the Preds have money to burn in the free agent market. With the NHL announcing the new salary cap numbers yesterday the Preds, like it or not, will find themselves being buyers just to reach the 34.3 million dollar minimum.

At this point the Preds sit with 14 players under contract for a total cap hit right at 24 million. This means that the Preds have to spend a minimum of 10 million.

With all this money to spend one has to wonder what happened with Paul Kariya? Rumor has it that Paul turned down a two year deal at 4.5 million per. That would have been the exact same deal that brought Paul to Nashville. While I think the price is in line I think that Paul has seen some of the deals (Kimmo Timonen getting EIGHT million the next two years in his front loaded deal and Scott Hartnell getting 5.2 next season in his front loaded deal) that have happened so far and thinks with the new salary cap sitting at over 50 million some team may offer him in the 5.5-6 million neighborhood. I think some team will do that and when they do I think they just overpaid.

While the uncertainty with the ownership is troubling for fans it has to be more troubling to Daivd Poile who is trying to sell would be Preds on coming here. In the past we had a story to tell. Long tenured coach (who now is on a one year deal that could be the end if they do not go deep in the playoffs), great town, great fans and other marquee players who chose to make Nashville home. Now with Paul, Kimmo, Scotty and Peter Forsberg all exiting stage left one has to wonder what story Poile will be telling now?

The bottom line is the Preds have money that they must spend and when they do I believe David Poile will, once again, find some diamonds in the rough that will bring Nashville back to a contender once again.

UPDATE: The Preds resigned Scott Nichol to a one year deal worth $750,000. Scotty is a key role player and brings a ton of energy to each shift he takes. I hope he can play within himself this year and not take stupid penalties that lead to suspensions.


Living In The Unknown

June 22, 2007

Life is better when you know things. Even if it’s bad…at least you know. When you are living in the unknown it can drive you crazy. Thats why, in the midst of the biggest news to strike this Predators franchise since it’s inception, I have been (for the most part) silent. Quiet.

For example in the past 48 hours rumors have swirled about a possible Vokoun trade, Bettman saying the deal is ‘far from done,’ Preds GM David Poile saying Kayria still wants to stay here, a group of local investors who are trying to make a run at the Preds, not to mention the ‘fire sale’ talk that grew after the Kimmo and Hartnell trade. You can easily see why one’s head might spin. Where do I start? What can I say?

Living in this unknown does make me know one thing for sure…tomorrow will bring with it a new batch of rumors. I will try to find a way to write on some of these things but know that my silience is not due to lack of interest but due to the lack of solid ground for me to stand on.

Go Preds! Ugh…even that was hard to type right now!


Preds Say Goodbye To Two

June 18, 2007

Hartnell and Timonen are gone. The Preds have traded the rights of All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen and physical winger Scott Hartnell to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a first round pick.

Well…all those in Nashville hoping the Kimmo would retire a Predator are a bit disappointed in this deal. For me I am bummed to see Scotty go. Word was that he was a bit of a ‘cancer in the locker-room’ but on the ice I think he was only scratching the surface of the type of player he can be. The good thing about this trade is the fact that he will be in the east and not a team like Detroit, or St. Louis that we would have to play eight times a year.

On the surface I like the deal. Obviously these are two guys that we were not going to resign. Philly thinks (or maybe has agreed in principle) that they can so they gave up a first rounder…hmmm…A first rounder…didn’t we trade one of those away to team out east a few months ago? Oh yeah! We did…and it was to…ummmm…Philly! The only reason I don’t like this deal is if it signals some kind of fire sale here at the Preds. A ‘we’re going to build for the future’ kind of thing. That would make me hate this team and it’s new owner.

Speaking of ‘new owner’ it appears that his application has been returned to him for being incomplete (thanks Jason). Huh? How in the H – E – double hockey sticks do you turn in an incomplete application to make your dream purchase? Did he think that his money could once again buy him out of this as well?

I will do my best to keep track of all this…

Looks like the Flyers ahve inked Kimmo and Hartnell to deals that will make both of them very rich men!

Timonen gets 6-year deal woth $6.3 million against the cap; Hartnell same years but $4.2 vs. the cap.

Actually shocked at the length of each of these deals…six years is a long time. I think Hartnell will end up being worth it but Kimmo will NOT be a 6 million dollar man in four or five years.


Preds Sale Update

June 12, 2007

From the Tennessean:

Jim Balsillie has submitted a formal application to buy the Predators.

Balsillie’s lawyer, Toronto-based attorney Richard Rodier, said the application was sent to the NHL late Monday.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league received the application Monday night.

The application, which includes a purchase agreement, is a step that’s necessary before the NHL’s Board of Governors would review Balsillie’s bid to purchase the Predators from current owner Craig Leipold.

Balsillie is hoping that bid will be reviewed at the board’s June 20 meeting, but Daly said that’s not likely.

What does this mean? well quite simply it means that Balsillie is moving ahead with the purchase of the team. Those holding out hopes that Leipold would retain the rights should begin looking for something else to hold onto. Daly saying it’s ‘not likely’ that the potential sale would make the June 20th agenda is not good news. That means that the Preds could still be in limbo come July 1st which is beginning of the free agency period. Even if David Poile has permission from Leipold and Balsillie to spend top the cap Nashville may not be appealing to players who want to know their is some stability in the franchise.

For those who pray…pray that the pending sale gets added to the agenda. For those who don’t pray…start or the Predators may not look to good come October.


Time Is Of The Essence

June 11, 2007

We are getting down to crunch time here. Free Agency begins July 1st and right now the Predators are not 100% sure who will own the team at that time. In order for a sale to happen the prospective buy Jim Basillie needs to appear before the NHL board of governers. A meeting is scheduled for June on June 20th…while it is not too late to get on the agenda time is running out.

Let’s break each scenario down:

Balsillie presents to the NHL and gets approved on June 20th…the Preds are his: This, in my opinion, is the best option for Pred fans. Balsillie ahs said (through his attorney since he is honoring the agreement that he made with Leipold to remain silent until the deal is done) that money will not be an issue. He has bought this team with a goal of winning a Stanley Cup. For Preds fans this was welcome news.

“We want to give David Poile a very generous budget to build the team however he wants, having regard only to the league salary cap and not to any budget restraints imposed by ownership,” Balsillie’s lawyer Richard Rodier said. “This is about winning, buying a team that has a shot at winning the Cup in our view.”

Wow! Who would have dreamt that we would have an owner of this team who was willing to lay it all out there like that. If this happens we can look for Nashville to make some VERY big moves in free agency. Start making the wish list ’cause Santa Claus is coming to town’ boys!

The team is not sold by July 1st:
This would not be good in any way. If the Preds are not able to resign some of their key UFA’s and are not able to play ball the first week of free agency then leftovers is all we’ll get. Guys who, though talented, may be asking way above market price forcing us to pay them too much or guys we just don’t want. This is not good for the team, fans or whoever the owner ends up being. Remember we have made some big splashes early in the FA period that last couple of years. First Paul Kayria and then last year signing Jason Arnott.

I hope that Balsillie and Leipold work hard to get this deal done on June 20th.

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