With David Poile putting the final touch on the opening day roster for the Predators on Tuesday with the acquisition of gritty defenseman, Shane O'Brien, the Nashville Predators open the season with the best lineup in franchise history.
The move was a clear sign that this is a team built for a long cup run. Any pieces that are revealed to be missing will be taken care of with the abundant cap room before the trade deadline.
The team is thinking the same thing. Yesterday, Barry Trotz told Section 303's Jeremy Gover, "Maybe it doesn’t make sense for Saturday, but it makes sense for maybe May and June.”
No Predator team has ever done anything in May or June but vacation or play in the World Championships. Those plans will be put on hold this year because the Preds will be busy.
One of the highlights of my lifelong love of sports was the "worst to first" run of the 1991 Atlanta Braves. A big difference then was that the expectations were low at the beginning of the year but the team was built in similar fashion.
The Braves had plenty of young homegrown talent. Management went out and picked up a few key pieces in Terry Pendleton, Sid Bream, and Deion Sanders. The additions plugged a few holes, the team meshed, and then went to the World Series.
This year's Predators team was built the same way. The Preds have an abundance of young talent and David Poile added Matt Lombardi, Sergei Kostitsyn, and now, Shane O'Brien to add speed, playmaking and grit to an already solid line up.
The Predators will take the ice on Saturday with three balanced scoring lines and a quality energy line. On the backside, they now have three solid defensive pairs and Pekka Rinne, who was one of the best goalies in the league down the stretch last season.
Things have never looked better in the 13 year franchise history. All that is left to do is drop the puck and let the season play out.
Yesterday I was again privileged to co-host Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio show that had Puck Daddy's Sean Leahy and the Canadian Press's Chis Johnson on as guests. Anthony Curatolo also co-hosted the lively discussion that previewed the Pacific and Northeast Divisions.
Also on BlogTalkRadio tonight will be The Inside Hockey Edition of The Program. Several folks from Inside Hockey will be stopping by beginning at 7 p.m. Central.
I was one of the few folks who initially thought the Parent/Andersson for O'Brien/Gendur trade was a good move. Here was our initial take.
Josh Cooper talked to O'Brien on the phone and he said that he was legitimately happy to be coming to Nashville. Josh also sorts through the trade to try to make sense of it.
Bryan Mullen has the final story on the matter in this morning's Tennessean. He also discussed the trade with David Poile yesterday.
After putting pen on paper with his stats, Dirk Hoag feels a little better about the SOB acquisition. Defensively, Parent had some horrible numbers.
In the Preds blog world, comes thoughts from Ryan Porth at RLD, Jeremy at Section 303, Dirk Hoag the Forechecker, Amanda at Predlines, The Odd Man Rush, and Sam at Predsblog.
David Boclair calls the trade a move for the present.
PHT gives their take and wonders if Barry Trotz will deal with O'Brien's penchant for penalties.
The Province has a story that O'Brien left Vancouver with a bang, bad mouthing the coaching staff. The Vancouver Sun has a similar piece that includes a trade between Tootsies and the Roxy Nightclub. If there was ever a player that need a friendly press, it appears to be SOB.
In Pred Nation...
Jim Diamond has the news of the team having a well deserved day off today as well as continuing issues with the flood at the arena. I really hope they can get back into their locker room sooner than later.
Mark at The View from 111 has his Central Division preview.
Here are a few pictures from yesterday's Predators Face off Luncheon.
Kevin Allen has a preseason primer that includes favorable predictions for the Predators.
Preds Snapshot debuted last night on FS TN. If you missed it, there will be at least four more showings.
Yesterday from @NHLPredsInsider: #Preds do a little team bonding with a softball game at Lipscomb this afternoon. They could have used Shane O'Brien to even things up.
Sports Illustrated has the Preds as the 24th best goaltending tandem in the NHL. Whatever, SI. Let's drop the puck and see what happens.
Forechecker has Admirals Short Shifts latest update on the Milwaukee situation. He also has the sad news that Predators' 2010 draft pick, Anthony Bitetto, was arrested for assault at Northeastern University.
Phillip at Hockey Night in Nashville follows Robby's lead and gives his formal introduction. I really enjoy seeing new Preds blogs come on to the scene that was a vast wasteland only a couple of years ago.
Nick Bruner has day five at the Cincinnati Cyclones camp.
On Goal Analysis looks at the Preds first 10 games (along with other non-traditional teams) and what to expect.
Around the NHL...
TSN has their Top 50 Player list with Crosby at the top and Shea Weber at number nineteen.
The Hockey News has the ten youngest NHL captains. Shea Weber is number four.
The Rat Trick has the story of Eric Gundbranson making the Panther's team and then being sent back to juniors over a contract dispute.
Michelle Kenneth, and her two ducks, give you a view of Ireland on the first stop of her European vacation.
Ryan at the RLD is down to four teams in his elimination series of who will win the Stanley Cup.
Tim Rosenthal has five key storylines to watch in the coming season.
Former Pred and fan favorite, Vern Fiddler will be the part time alternate captain in Phoenix this year. I enjoyed hearing that.
Andreas Lilja was sent packing by the San Jose Sharks yesterday and may have to leave the US. He has had a rough go of it ever since he rankled Shea Weber two seasons ago.
Chris Botta has a look at the "Hockey Operations" conference call that was held yesterday. From what I hear, the highlight was probably a couple of prank calls which seems to have become a trend.
So what is an NHL practice like the day after a nasty loss. Justine Bourne has the inside story.
It is amazing how much the Leafs have changed since opening night last season. General Borschevsky has a great comparison.
Funny guy, Kirill Kabanov plans to make his return to junior hockey and discusses his past problems in a post at Buzzing the Net. I can't wait to see this guy in the NHL.
Hidden from the home viewers was Georges Laraque getting his forehead sliced in the Battle of the Blades. The Montreal Gazette has a link to the video.
With the season on the verge of beginning, Adrian Dater looks back at all the fond storylines of summer.
There's no hockey in the new NHL ad campaign. Here is the story of the ads from the Globe and mail.
Steve Lapore has the complete US national TV schedule for the NHL season. He also has Versus's plans for the near future.
Scotty Wazz has an interesting perspective on hockey nicknames.
Frozen Notes has a great picture that says it all on the satellite provider controversies.
An AHL video package will be available again this year to those who want to watch the Admirals and others play.
The Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets have quietly been claiming NHLers off waivers to restock for future teams. Intent To Blow explains.
Odds and Ends...
In case of emergency, this Blackberry app could save your life. It keeps all your emergency and contact info in one place so first responders can find it. The best thing is that it is free.
Carrying minimum auto limits may save you money but could cost in the long run.
Here is a way to get a free room from The Palms for next year's NHL Awards Show.
How do you "discover" a new language?
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass