Thread: News Article: (THW) Nashville's Free Agent Flops
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07-13-2013, 05:12 PM
Zemgus Da Gawd
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Originally Posted by WartracePred View Post
One thing Trotz has mentioned in at least two interviews since FA was the need to protect Jones and more importantly Forsberg. He wants players on ice with these future franchise players who will deter other teams from taking cheap shots. The only negative critique I've seen of Jones' game is his lack of a "nasty streak". I think protecting Forsberg is especially important for his development. Throwing him on ice with Spaling and Halischuk is akin to throwing him to the wolves. Only Clune and Goose have the ability to keep guys like Tootoo from running him. And those two don't have the offensive ability or instinct to help Forsberg develop.
Nystrom is the only guy of the new additions who can skate with scoring lines and fight, and neither his fists or his hands are particularly notable. If getting deterrents who could actually play with the kids was the priority you're making it, Stalberg and Cullen don't make much sense as priority signings.

Last year the Preds were a small, soft team that struggled moving the puck out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. So Poile and Trotz got bigger, stronger, and tougher players in FA to help his young skill players. Since they acquired these players via FA, they had to overpay.
Again, neither of the toughness elements Poile got will spend much direct time with the kids, and none of the additions address the Predators' issues with possession or transition beyond replacing AHL/NHL tweeners with actual NHL bodies.

Will Trotz's team-oriented, defense first formula work with these FA acquisitions? Time will tell. I will say that outsiders are almost always surprised at Nashville's success considering the lack of skilled forwards.
It's not the lack of point production that worries me, it's the lack of any kind of production, especially under adversity. Stalberg's possession stats are more correlation than causation, and are the only positive numbers of the group, Nystrom's the only notable PKer and the Stars kill has been mediocre. Cullen's only good offensive year during his last contract came on the verge of the Minnesota top six after the Parise/Suter acquisitions.

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