Archive for June, 2008

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Can’t Stop Thinking About Barry

June 25, 2008

Ever since the news of the return of Barry Melrose was announced I can’t get it out of my head. I just find it odd. I think Barry made a fine contributor to ESPN’s attempt to cover the NHL but there was something about the bloodshot eyes and the Suave hair product dripping from his mullet that have me wondering if this is the right move by Tampa.

A few questions I have:


Will the players respect Barry?
This is a question that I have pondered here in Nashville when the ‘fire Barry Trotz talk’ would surface because people would always throw Terry Crisp’s name into the ring. I wonder once a guy is away from the bench for so long and is more friend than mentor to the player can the relationship/or assumed relationship change? I think the right person can change it but it may take a while. There could be unneeded growing pains.

How is he with his X’s and O’s? Despite hearing him breakdown games I have never really thought of Barry as an X’s and O’s kind of guy. Tampa has some great young players and one incredible talent in Steven Stamkos and these players really need someone who can teach them the ins and outs of the NHL game. Maybe Barry can do that but that doesn’t strike me as his strong suit.

What does Tampa expect from him? Does Hollywood producer and new owner of the Lighting Oren Koules want to put a little star power behind the bench? Do they think they need an ESPN figure to help sell seats? If Stamkos alone doesn’t sell an extra 2,000 in season tickets then you have a problem. Yes, I know Barry has won at every level and even took the Kings to a final but does anyone else say ‘but he had Gretzky on his team’ when that is brought up?

Don’t get me wrong Tampa fans. I wish you and Barry well. I think getting some new/old blood back behind the bench is a good idea. We’ve seen the same players on the coaching carousel for a while now…bringing back someone like Melrose could be good for hockey in Tampa and might be good for some good sound bites as well.

If Eklund is right and Barry is looking at trying to bring in Ray Emery I think it’s a great idea. Ray has talent. He is a freakin head case but he has talent. I would like to take a chance on a guy who is trying to prove to the entire league that he belongs!

Now that I’ve talked about this I feel better…thanks for listening and letting me talk about something non-Preds related.

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Weber Signed

June 23, 2008

The Tennessean is reporting that Shea Weber has signed a three year 13.5 million dollar deal to remain a Predator. Great signing…David Poile continues to work his magic and get things done. This sets up our blue line for the next three years. Weber and Suter are just going to get better and better!

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Draft Over…Now What?

June 23, 2008

The first big hurdle in the hockey off-season took place this past weekend as giddy teenage hockey players felt like Cinderella at the ball getting drafted by NHL teams. Not sure if they were as nervous as I was prior to my 4th grade class kickball draft but I’m sure the kids had some butterflies!

Overall I feel really good about the Preds draft. I am not a prospect geek…I spend some time on boards and looks at player rankings but by no means am I an expert. I especially liked the Preds first pick, Boston University Center Colin Wilson. The part that made me smile was when I heard on of the analysts say during the draft that when Colin was asked if he could play at the NHL level next year he said “yes.” Barring an unbelievable camp Wilson will, more than likely, go back to Beantown. He may be part of the extended roster come playoff time if the Preds elect to sign him at the end of the year like they did Legwand.

I’m a big sap (some of you may remember my tears during the first extended standing O near the end of last season) so seeing boyhood friends get drafted by the same team (both first rounders) was pretty cool! How awesome would that be to be having the best day of your life and be able to share it with your best bud who is also having the best day of his life!

Some Pred fans have made issue with drafting a goalie so high (Chet Pickard with the 18th overall pick). I did not have issue with it at all. Yes we have Ellis locked up and yes we have Pekka but we have to look beyond the next two or three years. The careers of goalies are quite a roller coaster…the more top notch talent you have to pull from the better.

The Tennessean reports
that the Preds are close to signing Shea Weber. I am hoping that the deal looks similar to that of Ryan Suters in length…would love to lock Shea up for four more years. Having that tandem locked up is key to our success over the next few years.

What will the Preds do come July 1st? There have been some rumors floating around (I guess we can put the Olli Jokinen rumors to bed now) but I have begun to try not to get too excited. I am hopeful that the Preds are active in the free agent market as we are still looking for that ‘face of the franchise’ that will but some butts in the seats and get this football town excited about a true star. I would hope that they make a play for Hossa at least. What do you guys think?

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Draft Day Begins With A Bang!

June 20, 2008

David Poile should play poker professionally. He should. I saw him on local news tow nights ago saying “I am not confident at all that we will be able to sign Dan Ellis. I think he wants to test the free agent market.”

Well…I’ll be jiggered if he didn’t go and pull off a deal that cleared the way to get Ellis to sign by trading Mason away to the St. Louis Blues. This is a good deal for the Preds…while I am a bit sad to see Mason (I’ll never forget our meeting Chris!)leave he really seemed to lose a step last year. Not sure what it was but he did not look like a number one goalie. Somehow Poile talked St. Louis into thinking that he was and that he is worth six million over the next two years. Ouch!

I think the tandem of Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne will be perfect for the Preds heading into next year. Dan played great all last season and seemed to thrive under the pressure of the playoffs. Pekka is, hopefully, our goalie of the future and if we can get him 20-30 starts next year that would be perfect.

It was also sad to see Preds tough guy Darcy Hordichuk get traded to the Hurricanes. Darcy has been a class act during his time with the Preds. I hope that the Canes can use him a bit more than the Preds did last year. I know he could not have been happy with his lack of starts but he never let it show.

What else does draft day hold? Will anything come of the “preds interested in Cheechoo” comment that is floating around. It’s going to be an exciting day.