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Old
08-18-2009, 11:34 PM
  #1
echlfreak
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Defense

Does anyone find it strange that our team only has 5 one way defense signed right now? With no real sure fire NHL ready prospect coming up.

You have:

Franson who based on the amount of time that he has developed should be ready. But speed is still an issue. 52 points in 76 games and a -1 rating pretty solid.

Laakso who is coming off of surgery and a season where he scored 2 goals and 7 points in 42 games

Sulzer on a one way with 3 games NHL experience. Also coming off a shoulder surgery.

Blum fresh out of Junior and didn't really blow the doors off in his first AHL action.

Ellis way to small and young right now.


Is DeVries the answer at a lesser deal? In a mentor type role?

Will Poile really pick up a player off waivers this year after or during camp?

Or do we just make sure that Weber and Suter never leave the ice. God help us if Weber and/or Suter get injured.

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08-19-2009, 12:10 AM
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Seth Lake
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Sulzer is ready and is slotted into the top 5 currently.

Laakso is a defensive defenseman, so judging him based on his offensive output is ridiculous. Franson clearly has to be the favorite entering camp, but I think either Laakso or Blum could take the spot from him with a good camp.

Ellis is definitely headed back to juniors this season and isn't even in the equation.

I can see one veteran defenseman being brought to camp on a tryout deal to add insurance and depth pending the performance of the three battling it out for that last spot.

Also, I do not foresee us carrying a 7th defenseman with the present group. There would be no point in having any of our prospects sitting in the press box instead of spending quality minutes in Milwuakee.

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08-19-2009, 07:14 AM
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We will probably bring in a training camp invite, and I agree with SLake, Franson is probably the favorite here. Laakso will likely get sent down if the two are close due to the recent surgeries. Plus, I think Franson could take on a big role on the 2nd pp unit which would be very advantageous for a guy that is probably only going to get 10-12 minutes of even strength ice time.

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08-19-2009, 09:13 AM
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My worry in Franson is that he could turn out to be Ville Koistinen 2.0. If his offense doesn't translate to the NHL (as VK's didn't,) he's a complete waste of a roster spot.

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08-20-2009, 03:19 AM
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Laakso also got zero PP time. You can check how many ES points Sulzer and Franson had (especially goals). But yeah, if they want offense out of their 6th guy in case the other five aren't offensive enough (mild sarcasm perhaps), they will surely go with Franson.

Laakso has played against men for over 4 seasons now, and is definitely ready for the next step (depending on his recovery of course). Whether he has a place or not, is a different issue. Usually the bottom pairing d-men have been defensive guys like Laakso, but it seems like the trend these days that you have to be offensive minded and offensively talented to get ice time on certain teams. In any pairing.

Blum, stylistically, is probably the best choice as his sort of a mix between Franson and Laakso. Well, that is to say that he brings the offense, but is better than Franson at defense. That said, he's still pretty weak physically and I don't understand what possible reason the Predators would have to rush this guy in basically straight from junior. He'd benefit more from playing with the Admirals this season.

Playing Franson and/or Laakso this year could also improve their trade value a bit (assuming they are used in the right situations and play well), which could be useful when they eventually need to be gotten rid of to make room for Blum and Ellis etc. Contract year for both guys too, I think, so they might want to give them at least a taste if they have any plans of resigning them. I know they're both RFA, and Franson will probably resign anyway, but Laakso might just rather come back to Europe if he feels like nothing's happening.

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08-21-2009, 02:56 PM
  #6
rmp
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Originally Posted by echlfreak View Post

Or do we just make sure that Weber and Suter never leave the ice. God help us if Weber and/or Suter get injured.
You're not giving Hamhuis enough credit. He's about as important as those guys and can play any role.

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08-21-2009, 05:16 PM
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Hamhuis is awesome, just gets overshadowed by Suts and Webs.

Laakso is more than ready to get er done in the NHL I feel. As above mentioned, if we do not utilize him, he may just take back off to Europe.

Ellis is not way to small!! I agree a bit of height would be nice, but he projects to be an amazing defenseman when ready. He just has such great vision, hockey sense, and hands. If he were 6 feet tall, he would have been a top 5 pick without a doubt! Probably top 3. He will be great I believe. Who knows, maybe down the road we throw him on forward, I hear he has played it before, and he is very talented offensively. But will need a few years still.

And if we invite ANYONE to camp, it better be a forward that can score and set up players, NOT a defenseman! We let De Vries go for a reason.

let the young guys have a shot, why not? We should do the same on offense more too. Forget these Guite's and Olvecky's.

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08-27-2009, 12:01 AM
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Speaking of our defense....

Weber, Preds defensemen proving their worth

Quote:
Hockey Canada Associate Director Ken Holland said it himself recently: "Nashville, with Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Dan Hamhuis, has probably the best young defense in the NHL."

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08-27-2009, 06:41 AM
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Seth Lake
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You want a veteran...

Predators show interest in acquiring Chris Chelios

Hmm...at least they are ready to pull the trigger if the rooks don't step up to fill the holes...

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08-27-2009, 07:03 AM
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braindead
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Who could resist the opportunity to chant "Chellios is a sisss-ssy" every night. The building would be packed.

In a certain way he might be a good 7th d-man for our young group... kinda like an additional coach. God forbid that he plays in more than 15-20 games though.

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08-27-2009, 07:06 AM
  #11
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Well, at least we know who'd get the extra mancrush minutes this season.

Does he have a patented penalty shot move?

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08-27-2009, 07:41 AM
  #12
worstfaceoffmanever
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I would be completely fine with that, especially now that Klee has retired and Vaananen signed with Minsk. It makes no sense to carry a young player as a 7th defender and deny him the developmental time he could use in the minors. I could see Chelios rotating with Sulzer or, if he makes the team, Franson. He'd also be a great mentor for Klein, as I think Kevin plays a similar style to Chelios at his peak.


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08-27-2009, 08:08 AM
  #13
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Why would he want to play in front of a bunch of hillbillies? Was that the term he used a while ago?

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08-27-2009, 10:11 AM
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crossxcheck
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speaking of the defense. anyone else notice something wrong with this tidbit from nhl.com?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg preds.JPG‎ (18.5 KB, 34 views)

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08-27-2009, 10:17 AM
  #15
quartermaster29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossxcheck View Post
speaking of the defense. anyone else notice something wrong with this tidbit from nhl.com?
Wow! Ryan Suter is Canadian? When did he accomplish that?

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08-27-2009, 10:35 AM
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BigFatCat999
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Wow! Ryan Suter is Canadian? When did he accomplish that?
He didn't and if he did his uncle would kick his ass.

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08-27-2009, 10:59 AM
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He didn't and if he did his uncle would kick his ass.
that really made me laugh!


ok so, Chelios?! really? it would be interesting but..geez what has this world come to?! It would be great for the entertainment value just to have him around yelling at refs and pissing Mark Howard off, but we gotta win some games here too.

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08-27-2009, 01:47 PM
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FallsForItEveryYear
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how do you feel about Andrew Ference. 1.5 mil solid veteran starter. i think boston could be looking to move ference and kobasew to make room for kessel and then signing or trading for a 6th d-man making 1mil or less. i understand you guys dont think you have much room under your self imposed cap but can something get done here?

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08-27-2009, 03:37 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by FallsForItEveryYear View Post
how do you feel about Andrew Ference. 1.5 mil solid veteran starter. i think boston could be looking to move ference and kobasew to make room for kessel and then signing or trading for a 6th d-man making 1mil or less. i understand you guys dont think you have much room under your self imposed cap but can something get done here?
The problem with adding Ference to our roster is that it will probably reduce the ice time of our younger guys, and they will never develop. If we do add another vet dman, it will probably be a #6 or #7 guy that we can scratch often, but will still provide veteran leadership. Ference is too good to be scratched. Plus, we could save a million bucks by signing someone for league minimum.

It's an intriguing offer though, and if we didn't have so many prospects looking to make the big team this year, I would probably do it.

worstfaceoffmanever came up with a trade of Dan Hamhuis for Kobasew and Ference which would give you a good upgrade on defence, but only gives you about 1.7M in cap savings. That would probably work better for us.

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08-28-2009, 01:04 PM
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Weber played most of the camp playing with Niedermayer, Pronger played most of the camp with Dan Boyle.These four got most of the press.

Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, Mike Green and Brent Seabrook were hoping for more press but didn't receive it.

If you read between the lines the top four defense has been picked, the remaining three spots are looking for a real battle?

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08-28-2009, 05:28 PM
  #21
jstreet
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Originally Posted by Upchuck19 View Post
Weber played most of the camp playing with Niedermayer, Pronger played most of the camp with Dan Boyle.These four got most of the press.

Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, Mike Green and Brent Seabrook were hoping for more press but didn't receive it.
If you read between the lines the top four defense has been picked, the remaining three spots are looking for a real battle?
did anyone catch the Red and White game? Seabrook fell down, turned the puck over, and watch Marleau score in one fell swoop. I felt bad for him.

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08-30-2009, 03:22 PM
  #22
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I honestly think our overall defensive play will be improved this season. Last year we had 7 d-men play regularly not counting the 2 games Sulzer played before getting injured. With the losses of Zanon, Koistinen, and De Vries (whom I pray will not be brought back for cheap) we've got three spots to fill...

Sulzer I think is a shoe-in considering he was looking to get some time at the end of last year. With two good years in the AHL both offensively and defensively I think it's about time for him to be given a spot on the team.

Franson I think has to be considered in the lead to round out the starting 6. He made the AHL all star team last year and was one of the best offensive d-men in the league. Oh and he's 6'5 and 220 lbs. As for his defense, it could definitely be improved but his +/- numbers haven't been all that bad and I think his potential contribution to the PP and passing skills could offset this. ( Let's not forget Suter was a -16 last year but because of his assist totals and point production we all seem to overlook this number)

The 7th d-man or insurance defenseman if u will has to be between Blum and Laakso with a slight edge to Laakso only for the reason that Blum could use the time down in Milwaukee. I think Laakso could provide the preds with a steady defensive defenseman if anyone were to go down which let's face it, will happen. Blum getting the call if and only if he starts off the year with a bang in Milwaukee, which I doubt.

Klein will be counted on much more heavily this year as he only played about 13 mins. a game last year and was to all my accounts a very solid player who could use more mins. I'm looking forward to see what he can bring to the table this year.

Overall, they may be a young group with some question marks but I can definitely see the potential. We'll have more offensive help from the backend with speed and passing than last year which should translate to more scoring chances and if we're lucky, more goals. The only possible negative this year will be who other than Hamhuis and Weber is going to step up and be a defensive stopper and fill the role vacated by Zanon? (I hate that he had to go) I'm afraid that if this doesn't happen, we won't be able to rely on Pekka to win games for us like he did last year as we will probably play a little bit more of an offensive style game this year as opposed to last year. We lost too many games last year due to lack of scoring...

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08-30-2009, 05:10 PM
  #23
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Hamhuis is awesome, just gets overshadowed by Suts and Webs.

Laakso is more than ready to get er done in the NHL I feel. As above mentioned, if we do not utilize him, he may just take back off to Europe.

Ellis is not way to small!! I agree a bit of height would be nice, but he projects to be an amazing defenseman when ready. He just has such great vision, hockey sense, and hands. If he were 6 feet tall, he would have been a top 5 pick without a doubt! Probably top 3. He will be great I believe. Who knows, maybe down the road we throw him on forward, I hear he has played it before, and he is very talented offensively. But will need a few years still.

And if we invite ANYONE to camp, it better be a forward that can score and set up players, NOT a defenseman! We let De Vries go for a reason.

let the young guys have a shot, why not? We should do the same on offense more too. Forget these Guite's and Olvecky's.
Just out of curiosity, what holes in your team need to be filled or strengthened? How much cap room or self-impossed cap room do you have left? Is the team looking for older, more experienced players or NHL ready players just coming up from the minors? Obviously more experienced players will have higher salaries than less experienced players, but expect young players to make lots of costly mistakes for a few years. For forwards do you need to find top six players or bottom six? Same type of question for defensemen.

I'm looking for reasoned, adult level answers, not childish or unrealistic replys.

Towards the end of training camp, Vancouver is going to have a number of options available to Gillis. We likely will trade a couple of forwards and also maybe some defensemen and goalies. Depending on your needs, Nashville and Vancouver could be good trading partners. There has been a couple of trade suggestions involving the two teams made in the last month or so, but there could be many others that also may make sense.

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08-30-2009, 06:11 PM
  #24
Seth Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-wayman View Post
Just out of curiosity, what holes in your team need to be filled or strengthened?
Top-six forward, veteran 6th/7th defenseman

Quote:
How much cap room or self-imposed cap room do you have left?
Probably around $1-$1.5 mil at the absolute max. Must stay below the mid-point of the cap at 48.8 mil and stay low enough that we could call up Colin Wilson or others during the season if they prove they are ready or we have injuries.

Quote:
Is the team looking for older, more experienced players or NHL ready players just coming up from the minors? Obviously more experienced players will have higher salaries than less experienced players, but expect young players to make lots of costly mistakes for a few years. For forwards do you need to find top six players or bottom six? Same type of question for defensemen.
If we add a defenseman (which I think we will), we'll be looking for an experienced vet at the tail end of his career that can serve as a mentor to our young defensive corps and not be a locker room distraction if he is called upon for only 30-40 games max this season. Guys mentioned this week that make sense would be Chelios, Klee (if we convince him to not retire), and possibly the return of DeVries.

The open position at forward is a top-six forward to play with Legwand and Erat. Legwand can move to the wing and Erat plays both wings, so position is not so much of a concern as is the contract (salary and most importantly one-year deal only), preferably the addition would complement Legwand and Erat's skill sets and be able to either insure that both of them are over 20 goals scored this season or can score 20-25 goals themselves.

As for the age factor, we built up our organizational depth this summer with younger, second-chance players already. If we add another forward, they need to be someone with NHL experience and a chip on their shoulder (ie: Sykora, Afinogenov, etc).

Quote:
Towards the end of training camp, Vancouver is going to have a number of options available to Gillis. We likely will trade a couple of forwards and also maybe some defensemen and goalies. Depending on your needs, Nashville and Vancouver could be good trading partners. There has been a couple of trade suggestions involving the two teams made in the last month or so, but there could be many others that also may make sense.
I agree. I think that Vancouver and Nashville will definitely be talking throughout training camp and probably into the start of the season if necessary. The strengths and needs of the organizations are a good fit for each other and will definitely be something to keep an eye on.

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Old
08-30-2009, 06:13 PM
  #25
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Just out of curiosity, what holes in your team need to be filled or strengthened?
Biggest hole is a winger to play with Legwand and Erat. Though, management is going into camp with that spot open and to be filled by young guys already in the system. Poile keeps saying if they don't like what they see in camp, there will be teams looking to unload players that we could nab. There also may be a spot for a 7th veteran dman that can be scratched often.

How much cap room or self-impossed cap room do you have left?
All we know for sure is that our salary at the end of the year cannot exceed the cap midpoint ($48.8M). However, our self imposed cap is likely lower than that for reasons unknown to us. Capgeek has our salary at $43M with 22 players, so that only gives us a couple million to play with at most, as we need room for call ups and flexibility at the trade deadline.

Is the team looking for older, more experienced players or NHL ready players just coming up from the minors?
For forwards, youngish, but not completely new. No long term projects or old, questionable players. They must also be good at defense.
For defensemen, old and experienced (it's been reported that we are interested in Chelios).


Obviously more experienced players will have higher salaries than less experienced players, but expect young players to make lots of costly mistakes for a few years. For forwards do you need to find top six players or bottom six? Same type of question for defensemen.
With the addition of Goc, that pretty much rounds out our bottom six forwards. We could still use a 7th dman. However, we may go with what we have in the system, or even just roll 6 dmen and make call ups as needed.

I'm looking for reasoned, adult level answers, not childish or unrealistic replys.

Towards the end of training camp, Vancouver is going to have a number of options available to Gillis. We likely will trade a couple of forwards and also maybe some defensemen and goalies. Depending on your needs, Nashville and Vancouver could be good trading partners. There has been a couple of trade suggestions involving the two teams made in the last month or so, but there could be many others that also may make sense.
Everyone agree with this?

I'd be personally interested in Shane O'Brien. Not sure what his value is, but maybe a pick or midish level prospect.


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