h1

PredJoe…Back In The US of A!

September 4, 2008

Nashville – When his plane touched down in Nashville a tired and weary PredJoe looked around as if to be expecting a welcome committee. There was none there. No signs. No banners. Nothing to welcome him home after months in Russia trying to live his dream as a hockey blogger.

“It was something I had to try or I would regret it the rest of my life,” said an unshaven PredJoe. “When Radulov went to Russia I felt a calling. Something primal in me called me there. Not sure what it was but it could have been the vodka.”

PredJoe seen earlier this month in Ufa

PredJoe seen earlier this month in Ufa


Now that Radulov is suspended by the Predators and he seems intent on staying and playing in his native land PredJoe was forced to make a decision. Stay and continue to work as a Vodka vendor at the arena where Radulov would play or return to the states and attempt to revive his blogging career. The choice was simple.

“I woke up one day to the sound of my roommate Sergei mixing a vodka and orange juice and I knew it was time to go. This was no place for me. I was done,” said PredJoe.

While PredJoe continued to blog while in Russia he never was able to get published or to find internet access anywhere. To make ends meet PredJoe worked as a vodka vendor at the arena. “We no think we make mistake when we hire PredYosef. He had big head and strong body. We know he pour good vodka,” said Ufa executive Yiri Kachkayev. “Now we know he just another weak American looking for his dream in our country. He is quitter!”

It was not a good life for the young hockey blogger. Not the romantic Russia he longed to live in. Not the fairy tale he saw he and Radulov living out together. PredJoe now finds himself back home and looking ahead to the next chapter in his life.

“I will begin blogging again. I hope that my readers come back to me. They were so loyal to me and I hope I can regain their trust. I just want to write about hockey,” said a tearful PredJoe as he climbed into a waiting car and drove off.

Stay tuned…it’s gonna be a great season!

Advertisements
h1

Where Is PredJoe?

July 22, 2008

Many Predator fans have been wondering where Pred’s blogger PredJoe has been this off season. This article pulled from wire reports answers this question.

Ufa Russia – While the international dispute continue over young Alexander Radulov and his NHL and KHL contracts one American is also seeing if he too can strike gold in Russia.

PredJoe has been blogging about all things Predator for the past two seasons on his own blog site http://www.predjoe.wordpress.com as well as the popular Hockeybuzz.com site but saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I too could make some big bucks by coming over here,” said PredJoe.

So he packed up his bags and he moved to Ufa Russia where he found life a bit different in the Republic of Bashkortostan than that in his home state of Tennessee.

“Well the first thing I noticed was all these long lines. At first I thought it was to see the new Batman movie until I saw people walking away from the line with blocks of cheese and toilet paper,” said PredJoe.

Still having a dream PredJoe began knocking on doors asking for a Radulov type payout. First he stopped by the local paper where he was refused job because he did not speak Russian. “I really thought that they would think outside the box and see the opportunity that I was bringing them,” said PredJoe.

Next he stopped by the local TV station hoping that his good American looks could translate into a big Russian payday but there too he was met with resistance.

“Apparently in this part of Russian having two eyebrows is looked down upon,” said PredJoe after leaving the TV station.

PredJoe would not be denied though and searched on for his millions. He went to any media outlet he could find begging for an opportunity to strike it rich but was finding nothing but rejection until he met Yiri.

“When I met PredYosef I knew that he would be the perfect fit for our firm,” said Ufa executive Yiri Kachkayev. “He has strong mind and big head so we offer him job right away.”

So with that the hockey blogger from Tennessee had his gig in Ufa. Although not exactly what he wanted when he arrived and far from the millions he expected to find in the land of plenty PredJoe is living his dream.

“I will be working daily with Radulov at Ufa Arena where his team plays. Right now I am director of fan satisfaction but it is just the first step of what promises to be a lucrative career here,” said PredJoe as he loaded another tray full of cheap Vodka for the vendors to sell in the arena to the rabid hockey fans. “Me and Rudy will make good team.”

While PredJoe believes he is living his dream this reporter was saddened by the quality of life this young blogging star will living under in Ufa. He did not find his millions but seemed content sipping an occasional Vodka while pouring them for fans at Ufa Arena. Hopefully, someday soon, PredJoe will realize that Russia is no place for dreams to come true. No place for poor men to become rich. No place for bloggers to blog.

h1

What Does The Day Hold?

July 1, 2008

Honestly when the season ended last year I didn’t think we would be sitting in such a good place right now. I didn’t think we would have signed both Suter and Weber and am a bit surprised that we were able to lock up Dan Ellis as well. Add to those pieces the resigning of Martin Erat, the resigning last year of Jordin Tootoo and the big extension given to David Legwand and these Preds are in good shape.

So that begs the question…”what will David Poile do next?” What bit of magic does he pull out of his hat next?

I really feel that Marek Zidlicky is on his way out. I cannot get anyone in the organization to confirm that but I believe that the Preds believe his salary (3.3 a year for two more years) could be better used elsewhere. Puck moving d-men are a great asset and I am sure Poile has had his phone ring on more than one occasion. I don’t foresee any of our young D going anywhere at this point unless the deal was just too good to pass up…but I don’t see that happening.

Much has been written about the Preds needing a big tough guy. I couldn’t disagree more! Take a look at the Red Wings for instance…who is their tough guy? Can you name their goon? Can you name their Hordichuk who’s sole purpose was to get out there and fight and maybe just maybe contribute a goal or two? I thinks the Preds should focus on feisty and not goons. Give us some guys with some spunk like Nichol, Tootoo, Weber…guys that will go if they need to but who will help you when they are on the ice too. I sure hope the Preds don’t waste their time trolling for one of the ‘tough guys.’

Who knows what Poile has planned…he keeps all his moves close to the vest and never seems to disappoint.

h1

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.

h1

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!

h1

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?

h1

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.