Training camp is now officially in the books and with their final preseason roster moves complete the Nashville Predators are ready to take on the NHL season. When the Preds hit the ice tomorrow night, their lines will probably look very similar to these as sketched out by Josh Cooper from the final day of training camp:
Nashville Predators Roster And Lines
SCRATCHES: Jonathon Blum, Victor Bartley, Richard Clune
Some quick notes:
- Young defensemen Jonathon Blum and Ryan Ellis both made the cut. Not a big surprise there, really. Still, it’s good to see they’re done everything that was expected of them by Coach Barry Trotz and his staff. Blum’s in more of a pressure situation so it appears he has the coaching staff’s confidence after he worked on his strength to offset his size disadvantage during the offseason.
- Their Milwaukee teammate Victor Bartley, a call-up to camp on its second day, also made the cut. Word from the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper is that he’s being held out with “an elbow issue,” but it sounds like Bartley will be suiting up for his first NHL game in the very near future. My impression from seeing Bartley at training camp was twofold: 1) he has a powerful slapshot, and 2) he was working pretty hard. It’s nice to see a guy who went undrafted get this kind of opportunity through hard work. It would be even nicer to see him become a contributor, however niche the role he might be given.
- Gabriel Bourque was widely expected to make the team but was injured in Milwaukee just before training camp. He’s come back a little faster than expected, which is great news. He’ll be suiting up in Milwaukee for a couple of games before heading back to Nashville, which is possibly the best news the team has had this week given the way he contributed in so many different situations late last year.
- I don’t know many people who are going to jump for joy over that fourth line. McGrattan and Yip appear to be the fringe players on this squad and they will slide down the depth chart once Bourque and Richard Clune are inserted into the lineup in the next week or so. Clune is still a question mark, and it could be that he and Yip will be sort of interchangeable. (Barry Trotz was strangely fond of Yip late last season.) But obviously the organization sees something in Clune, so I’m withholding judgment for now. If nothing else he’ll change the dynamics of the bottom line.