The Nashville Predators are expecting big things this year from Colin Wilson in his second year as a pro. He has been given every chance to succeed in the preseason playing mostly on the wing with Matthew Lombardi and Marty Erat.
At the beginning of last season he was hobbled by a chronic groin problem and had only 2 points in 10 NHL games. He was sent to Milwaukee to rehab where after a slow start, he performed at a point a game pace.
Wilson was recalled by the Predators in early February and played in the Predators last 25 games, scoring seven goals and picking up six assists. His minutes were reduced in the playoffs when he played all six games and picked up a lone assist.
Over the summer, Wilson continued to rehab from his groin injury and incorporated much more stretching into his workout routine. He indicates that his groin is much improved, "It's doing really good, It definitely feels a lot better than last season. I still feel tweaks here and there but that is a part of the game."
After the Olympic break last season, there were times when Wilson appeared to be the best player on the ice and then he would fade into background and go unnoticed for a while. When asked about this he explained, "Yea that's what learning to be a pro is all about. You have to be consistent."
Wilson continued, "It's a cliche to be never too high or never too low but sometimes I got too satisfied with myself after having a really good period or really good game and I would come out and not be quite as focused so I'm definitely striving to be more consistent this year."
"It's a mental approach, just learning the game, learning about yourself, and learning that you have to be focused all the time."
Like everyone else on the team, Wilson's ultimate goal for the year is to win the Stanley Cup. As an individual, he hopes to "become a regular NHLer with the Preds and score as many goals as possible and contribute to the team."
In the preseason, Wilson played in five of the Predators six games and picked up two assists and was plus 2 on a team that only scored 13 goals.
Once the season is underway, it seems plausible that if Wilson continues to play on one of the top lines, that a 20 goal, 50 point season is within the realm of possibilities, which would be considered a successful campaign for the one of the Preds' top prospects for the future.
For those who missed us having POTG Radio last night, I will be a co-host on today's RLD Hockey Talk at noon central. Guests are scheduled to be Chris Johnson, the Canadian Press and Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy. This will be Ryan's last preview show as we look at the Northeast and Pacific Divisions.
In Pred Nation...
The Predators Meet the Team Party for season ticket holders was a huge success last night. Several thousand folks were in attendance for autographs and a sampling of food from the concessionaires. There appears to be an optimism for the season beyond anything seen before in Nashville. It was fun seeing friends and meeting a bunch of folks for the first time as we wandered the hallways, taking it all in. Here is an article and photo gallery from the event at Preds.com.
Puck Daddy catches up with Matthew Lombardi and discusses a wide range of topics.
SabresForecheck came up with an interesting discovery. With Arnott gone, the Preds are the only team without a player that has won the Stanley Cup.
Bryan Mullen has the story of what a healthy Joel Ward will mean to this year's Predators.
David Boclair discusses the fast start that is expected from Pekka Rinne this season.
Yesterday, the Twitterverse was ablaze with a rumor that started in Los Angeles that the Predators were expected to claim Eric Ersberg on waivers. Josh Cooper spoke with Barry Trotz after practice and he claimed that the Preds had no interest in Ersberg and were happy with the tandem of Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback.
Jeremy at Section 303 comments on the potential of the Predators claiming Erik Ersberg off of waivers and the issues that it would cause for all the goalies in the system.
In light of the Ersberg uproar, Chris Burton explains the waiver process.
The Odd Man Rush returns with a few thoughts on Alexander Radulov and the new NHL-KHL transfer agreement and also checks in with his thoughts on the potential Ersberg waiver claim.
Robby at Hockey Night in Nashville shares his hockey history. As with so many folks, it started with the Mighty Ducks movies.
Aaron Sims has an article on Nick Spaling who probably wasn't hoping to be back in Milwaukee at this point.
Nick Brunker reports on Day 4 at the Cincinnati Cyclones camp.
Predator Game Time Changes...
We got an updated release from the Predators yesterday noting time changes for five road games. Please make note of the following:
Nov. 6 at Los Angeles From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT
Dec. 8 at Detroit From 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CT
Jan. 24 at Calgary From 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT
Feb. 9 at Detroit From 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CT
March 1 at Edmonton From 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT
Around the NHL...
The NHL and the Officials Association have come to terms on a new four year deal that will avoid any labor unrest as the season begins.
Major breakthrough in the cold war from @drosennhl: NHL & KHL have agreed that contracts in both leagues will be honored, no more Radulov-like stories. ESPN has more on the matter.
Ryan Porth has his Central Division preview as well as the one for the Northwest. Ryan also plays over and under with the odds on NHL point totals. He's pretty good on picks so you may want to pay attention.
ESPN released their first Power Rankings of the year. The Preds start in thirteenth place.
The Hockey News has its first Top 10 list of prospects for the 2011 NHL Entry draft.
Hockey's Future has their top 10 prospects list and also has a look at Alabama-Huntsvile and Atlantic hockey for the coming season..
Adrian Dater is not happy with the "bush league" tactic of burying bad contracts in the minors.
From @mirtle: Cammalleri suspended one game and will forfeit $32,258.06 salary. He'll miss Thursday's game against Leafs.
Jeremy Roenick is starting a new feature on Yahoo where he will do a short video with his impression of the prior night's Battle of the Blades. This looks like a good show for Versus to pick up in the States.
Neil Bristow interviews talk show host Jason Gregor about the Oilers season. I'm surprised Gregor made it through the piece without taking a shot at Launy "The" Schwartz.
From the RT @NHL: GameCenter Live coming to Verizon mobile. Also internet connected devices: PS3/Roku/Sony Bravia TV-Blu-ray. ipad browser expected late 2010.
NHL Network has 78 live games on this season including the Predators at Chicago on January 16. Steve Lapore has the complete schedule. Steve also reports that there may actually be some bidding on the NHL's next TV deal.
Elliotte Friedman looks at the Leaf's new philosophy and has his 30 thoughts, that we always enjoy.
The Calgary Flames signed Brendan Morrison to a one year deal after he was released by Vancouver. Calgary has been hit with injuries up the middle so this signing makes sense.
Manny Legace left the Islanders camp and is looking for work. Would the Preds be interested? Probably not.
It appears that Bill Guerin is also looking for work somewhere other than Philadelphia.
November 15th is the deadline to apply for Media Credentials for the World Junior Championships in Buffalo.
Odds and Ends...
Folks always like hearing about a "message in a bottle" being found. This one went from Melbourne, Florida to Ireland.
It's deer hit season for your car. West Virgina continues to lead the nation in the number of deer hits on an annual basis. Worst times to be driving are an hour before and after sunrise and sunset.
A new report from the Journal of Sexual Medicine details the sex lives of Americans. It appears that AIDS awareness programs are working better than expected.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass