The Nashville Predators have had a busy off-season. After a disappointing 2012-2013 season the Predators front office is making the changes necessary to make a run at the playoffs. Not only did the Predators bring in new talent, they made a coaching change, and let go of a trainer. It is clear that a repeat of last year is not going to sit well with ownership, or GM David Poile.
- Draft, and sign 4th overall pick (D) Seth Jones. “He provides Nashville with a young, puck-moving defenseman and fills a high-priority off-season need. (Drafted by Nashville 2013)
- Sign (F) Viktor Stalberg, 4 years $12 million. “We like his speed, he’s a big guy and we have a lot of faith in his offensive abilities.”
- Sign (G) Carter Hutton, 1 year two-way contract. “We needed a back-up goaltender and we believe Carter Hutton is ready for that role, Trotz said. “
- (F) Matt Hendricks Signs a 4 year $7.4 million contract. This is a home-coming for Hendricks who was drafted in 2000 by Nashville. “I moved on and they moved on. But I couldn’t be happier to get a chance to come back to play for the Preds and live in a great city like Nashville.”
- Yet another (F) signs with Nashville. Eric Nystrom gets 4 years $10 million. “Obviously, grit, character and work ethic are really important to having a successful team,” Nystrom said. “I think we have targeted some really good guys.”
- The Predators added some more veteran leadership by signing Center Matt Cullen to a 2 year $7 million contract. “I’m really excited to join the Predators,” Cullen said. “I have a lot of respect for the way they play the game, and a lot of respect for those in the front office and those on the coaching staff. I am really excited about this new chapter.”
The Predators are retooling, they have addressed most of their needs in one off-season. While I don’t think this will solve their entire problem it will help give them some toughness, and valuable leadership. Nashville has gotten tougher, faster, and added young top rated Jones to their blue line. Signing Hutton should allow Pekka Rinne to get some much needed rest during the regular season.