December 8, 2011; Columbus, OH, USA; Nashville Predators center Jerred Smithson (25) during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Nashville defeated Columbus in overtime 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-US PRESSWIRE

A Fond Farewell to the Absolute Predator, Jerred Smithson


There was nothing flashy about Jerred Smithson. Just a tough-as-nails guy who did what the coach told him to do. Not the most talented, not the fastest, you get the idea… he was a pure grinder. Smithson was there at the turn of the franchise. His first year in Nashville was that special 2005 team that following the lockout was a solid step forward under Coach Trotz, and guys like Smithson were the key to his style. Last year Jerred was depended on for leadership and stability, and he gave exactly that.

This year however, he’s largely been relieved of his defensive duties by Nick Spaling and company. His talents have been deemed surplus, and he’s been healthy scratched more and more after picking up Brandon Yip off of waivers, and even saw his minutes dip after the arrival of Gabriel Bourque.

With another chapter of the franchise about to be written, Jerred Smithson is moved to Florida to help a team built in a similar mold make the playoffs. We say good bye and good luck to a fan favorite in Nashville.

While not known as a devastating hitter, Smithson frequently leads the team in hits. Nothing special, he just finishes his checks. How many times do you year a coach preaching that?

And for good measure, this felt really good to see live.

 

and earlier this year…

On a team with Jordin Tootoo, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and now Brian McGrattan and Brandon Yip, Smithson’s checking will never be at the top of anyone’s list, but it was there. He was the drill sergeant keeping the kids in line, with Horachek and Trotz telling the kids “this is how it’s done”. He’ll be missed dearly in that department.

 

And of course, no Smithson tribute post would be complete without mentioning his timely scoring. His talents and game were always geared towards defense, but when the game simplifies that mentality serves well when a tough goal is needed. Why the Predators had him on the power play in this instance was because the other lines were playing terrible. Trotz sends out the energy line, and behold…

Naturally, we’re going to remember Jerred forever for two things he’s given to us; game faces (best in sports), and the finishing touches on the game that changed the attitude of a franchise, a city, and the rest of the league about that team in Nashville.

 

 

 

I never partied harder after watching a game on TV.

 

He’ll be a great fit in Florida, and will be part of a Panthers team that mirrors the 2009 Predators quite easily. It’s only fair for him to get minutes, which aren’t guaranteed in Nashville anymore. The Preds are marching forward, and doing it more and more with youth. Yip and Bourque have performed admirably and beyond expectations, propelling the bottom six to another solid year by playing a tough forechecking game with more offensive upside. That spelled the end for Jerred.

So tonight we wish him good luck, and to the Southeast division… brace yourself (for the SMITHSON FACE).

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