Kukla's Korner Hockey
via The Tennessean,
The Predators have exercised the option years on the contracts of head coach Barry Trotz and his staff.
An official announcement is expected later today.
from the Tennessean,
Nashville will be without a first-round pick for the second consecutive season. It shipped its initial selection — as well as a third-round pick, forward Scottie Upshall and defensive prospect Ryan Parent — to Philadelphia for Forsberg a couple of months ago.
But the Predators are hoping their successful drafting in recent years, their ability to find talent in later rounds and their success in the free-agent market will help make up for the loss of first-round picks in two straight years.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The big issue in Nashville is not Trotz’s job security, but who will be on his roster next season when he returns. Even if the Predators keep the same budget, re-signing free agents will be difficult, and if the Predators lower their budget, it could be impossible.
Hartnell turned down a three-year, $6.2 million offer before the season and there will be teams that might overpay to land a younger forward with some bite.
If you are Timonen and you look at the economic landscape for defensemen, you are going to believe that you should get $4.5 million-plus a season, particularly when teammate Marek Zidlicky is getting $3.5 million.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
Predators General Manager David Poile said Tuesday he doubts center Peter Forsberg will play in the NHL next season.
Poile stressed that his opinion was not based on talks with Forsberg since the end of the season, but simply on all the wear and tear that Forsberg has gone through over the course of his 12 NHL seasons.
Poile’s initial response to a question of whether he thought the Predators would re-sign Forsberg was, “Honestly, no.’‘
*My thanks to KK reader Jeff-OklahomaWingNut for bringing this story to my attention in the comments of a previous post
from the Daily News Journal,
If we’re halfway intelligent about hockey, we must admit some performance demerits lie with head coach Barry Trotz, an average NHL coach who has been handed a championship roster.
Trotz has fallen short in getting his team psyched up. Too often, the Predators come out flat and stay that way.
The Preds also have a propensity to play stupid. How many times have we seen a Nashville player act like a knucklehead and take a needless penalty that killed momentum and cost his team dearly?
That is opposed to San Jose, which sent the Preds free falling into the off-season again. Trotz’s boys did not feature a creative offensive strategy, especially one that successfully utilized Nashville’s speed advantage.
from the Tennessean,
Owner Craig Leipold said Sunday the Predators have not decided whether to invoke a clause in their lease that could force the city to decide whether to pay for thousands of tickets at the end of next season or give the team a way out of its lease.
Leipold told The Tennessean the NHL team averaged about 13,500 in paid attendance for home games this season, which allows them to put the city on notice for next season….
One reason the Predators might invoke the clause is that beginning next season, the NHL is requiring teams to reach 13,200 in paid attendance to qualify for the league’s full revenue-sharing package. Teams must average at least 14,000 in paid attendance in 2008-09 to qualify for full revenue-sharing benefits.
from David Boclair of the Daily News Journal,
Following three straight first-round playoff defeats, many Nashville Predators’ fans are wondering aloud on radio and on message boards whether coach Barry Trotz ought to be replaced.
Somehow, general manager David Poile has been given a pass, but in many ways Poile did not give Trotz as much to work with as a year ago. In that way, Poile has had as much — if not more — to do with the current state of affairs as Trotz.
from Joe Biddle of the Tennessean,
“It’s very disappointing to play the way we did all year and then to finish the way we did. Very disappointing,’’ Vokoun said. “We just didn’t get it done. There were a lot of things we didn’t do.
“There was taking penalties, to not being able to score during key moments. It’s all kinds of things. It’s extremely hard. I’m a very competitive person and if I could have done anything to change the game … You don’t know how many chances you’re going to get like this against a team like that.’‘
The most glaring problem was the number of penalties the Predators incurred. It not only put them behind the 8-ball in Game 5, but most of the series.
It was a problem that never got corrected. Friday night they got hit with nine penalties worth 29 minutes.
from the Tennessean,
“You are a little bit (frustrated) in the fact that you added some pieces that you felt could get over the hump here,” Trotz said. “But for the most part the pieces that we have put in have had a better effect on this team, no question.
“San Jose might not admit it, but it’s a lot harder than they probably expected it would be based on the two teams and based on last year. They are fortunate right now … they have played very well.
“They are a solid hockey club and an elite hockey club, and I feel we are too. So we have to get a positive result, and if we do we will see what happens.”
From John Glennon at the Tennessean,
The Predators managed to thwart the normally potent San Jose power play yet again on Wednesday, holding the Sharks without a goal on five power-play chances.
But Nashville players and Coach Barry Trotz are starting to scratch over at least some of the calls that are sending the Predators to the box on a regular basis in this series.
Center Jason Arnott was particularly irritated by a somewhat mysterious hooking call on Jordin Tootoo in the second period. It appeared Tootoo had been impeded by Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo, but Tootoo wound up going to the penalty box.
Plus: A photogallery of the Shark/Preds series
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