Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/25/11 at 10:18 PM ET
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
This is your sixth season with the Nashville Predators and, over that time, your team has excelled at drafting and developing players in the post-lockout NHL.
The Predators have also made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. And this year, to the astonishment of most observers, they sit fourth in the hyper-competitive Western Conference.
That, at least, is the good news. The not-so-good news is the Preds seem to be bumping their heads against a glass ceiling. Over the span of Weber’s career, they haven’t won a playoff series, they’ve ranked in the bottom third of the NHL in payroll every season but one and they’ve been drained of an extraordinary amount of talent — including but not limited to Dan Hamhuis, Marek Zidlicky, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Tomas Vokoun and Alex Radulov.
So here’s the choice if you’re Weber. Do you commit to the Preds, knowing they’ll always be competitive but they might lack the resources to rise to the next level? Or do you tell the organization, “Look, I’ve given you six good seasons. I’m going to be unrestricted in another season and I’d like to win. Why don’t you move me while you can still get something for me?”
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