This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
What a year to be a hockey fan in Nashville. After years, and years of futility they finally make it out of the first round and give the eventual conference champions a couple good pops on the chin. Joel Ward and Pekka Rinne put themselves in the Conn-Smythe discussion, and they knocked off Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and the rest of team quack on their way. Then over the summer Ward departs and franchise icon Shea Weber is only signed to a one year deal.
Pekka Rinne emerged from undeserved obscurity last season. Apparently even being in flyover country can’t keep you off the medias radar when you put up a .930 GAA in a division with the reigning champions and Detroit Red Wings. Even when Weber failed to get a point in their six game tilt with the Canucks he never allowed more than three goals.
Shea Weber. It’s hard to come up with reasons to worry about his on ice performance when even a broken foot heading into the Olympic year didn’t slow him down. That said, no one with enough wit to find Nashville on a map can wonder how long Weber will stay. If he doesn’t feel the team is going the right way at the All Star break does he tell David Polie and encourage him to trade him for a fortune t0 a team that’s more able to spend money? It is unthinkable that there’d be more than three teams who didn’t at least put together a package for the Predators for him. How much will speculation about his contract status affect the team around him is another major question. Weber had the best season of any defenseman last season, regardless of who the award went to. Will he stay or go is the question, what is the return if he goes?