Now that the NHL lockout is done and training camp has begun, NHL power rankings have begun to appear on websites around the land. Some of them like Nashville’s chances, some of them think the team will reel from the loss of Ryan Suter, and some of them think the Preds are more like the Toronto Maple Leafs than the playoff contender we’ve seen in years past. In other words, there’s some good, some bad, and some ugly. Here’s a rundown.
The Puck Doctors rank Nashville 5th, but the only explanation we get is that “[w]ith the absence of a true trade deadline, they won’t be able to trade a first round pick for an average player.” Not sure what to do with that.
ESPN NHL Power Rankings
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun says the Preds will discover their identity now that the Radulov experiment is done, and says they’ll cover the Suter departure because they “draft and develop like nobody’s business.” He has Nashville behind St. Louis but ahead of the rest of the Central. He’s also the only writer on this list who admits to having spent time in Nashville watching the team, which makes me like his NHL power rankings even more.
TSN NHL Power Rankings
TSN likes Nashville’s balanced offensive attack and likes Nashville’s chances of filling the hole left by Suter’s departure with young defensemen, though they show they haven’t been paying close attention to Nashville when they include the injured Mattias Ekholm in the mix along with Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi. TSN ranks Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis all ahead of the Preds.
Too Many Men On The Site
Fansided’s own Billy Bryson like the Preds’ chances with Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne around for the long haul, though he pegs three other Central Division teams ahead of Nashville in the league’s top 10. Billy ranks Nashville behind the other big three Central Division powers.
The Hockey Writers NHL Power Rankings
The Hockey Writers’ Jameson Cooper thinks the departure of Ryan Suter will have a big impact on Nashville’s fortunes. But he likes the defensive strength of Weber and Rinne, and expects David Legwand and Mike Fisher to lead the offense. Cooper has Nashville behind all the other Central powers.
Bleacher Report NHL Power Rankings
28-year-old Kevin Klein, who has five full seasons on the Nashville blue line under his belt, is referred to as a “young” defenseman who needs to “play above his head” if Nashville is to keep up with the Central. Also, the Preds’ uniforms aren’t gold, but “yellow.” I kind of feel bad even linking to this one.
Covers.com NHL Power Rankings
In just three sentences, Covers.com’s Sean Murphy plays the old “not enough talent to win” card and says the only thing the Preds did right was hang on to Shea Weber. Here, the Preds are ranked one spot ahead of the Maple Leafs and one below the Avalanche. Yikes. Say it ain’t so, Sean!