Who Will Wear The “A” This Year For The Predators?


The Nashville Predators are introducing a lot of new pieces into their organization this season; a new head coach, a completely different offense-oriented system, and five new faces that enter the season with plenty of expectations. The Predators have added plenty this off-season but they have also lost something; both of their alternate captains. In the team’s trade trade for James Neal the Predators lost alternate captain Patric Hornqvist and the team’s other alternate captain, Mike Fisher, is expected to miss four to six months with a ruptured Achilles.

Mike Fisher has worn the “A” on his chest for the past three seasons so it is somewhat safe to assume that when he returns to action he will retain the “A”. Fisher has played 212 games in a Predators jersey. He is 34-years-old and has been a face of the Predators franchise since his arrival to the team in the 2010-2011 season. Fisher had 49 points in 75 games a year ago.

Patric Hornqvist played five seasons with the Predators before he was given the “A” for the first time last season. Hornqvist is known for his gritty, front-net presence and he too was a very popular player among both the Nashville fans and the Nashville community. Despite only wearing the “A” for one season, I think most would agree that Hornqvist wore the “A” very well a year ago. Hornqvist had 53 points in 76 games last season.

With the vacancy in the alternate captain department the Predators have a decision to make. Shea Weber will continue to serve as the team’s captain, so it is safe to assume that Nashville won’t follow in the Montreal Canadians or Columbus Blue Jackets footsteps and assign four alternate captains opposed to having one captain and two alternate captains.

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So, who do the Predators assign as their alternate captains? Who fills the leadership role as Mike Fisher is recovering and who fills the void of Patric Hornqvist? Through training camp, in the locker room, and in preseason games everyone will be able to state their case through their performance for an opportunity of receiving an “A”.

Here are our predictions for alternate captains from each of us at Predlines:

Mark Harris

Eric Nystrom– Nystrom has only played one season with the Predators but seems to have a veteran-like leadership presence both on the ice and off. Nystrom is a vocal guy on the ice, does all of the little things and plays a tough-gritty game and expected to play on a tough-gritty line for the Predators this season. Nystrom, who has a record of remaining very healthy during the season, would be a prime candidate to wear the “A” for the Predators in my opinion.

Matt Cullen– Cullen, who also has only played one season in Nashville, is a 37-year-old veteran who has played the role of alternate captain before in his NHL career where he wore the “A” for the Minnesota Wild in the 2011-2012 season. Cullen also wore the “A” in a few games for the Predators last season due to Patric Hornqvist missing playing time due to injury. Cullen played under head coach Peter Laviolette earlier in his career and won a Stanley Cup with him in Carolina in 2006.

Daniel Lavender

Matt Cullen– Cullen is an experienced 37-year old veteran that has the leadership qualities that merit being an alternate captain. And he was able to stay healthy for 77 games last season and could well be a figure that remains on the ice to hold the “A” long enough until you see a Mike Fisher return.

Olli Jokinen– If you look at Jokinen’s track record he is a proven work horse that puts up respectable numbers and has done plenty of it as either alternate captain or team captain. He might be in on a one-year contract but I believe his role on the team should be an important one. What better way to put the stamp on that by sewing an “A” on the front of that jersey to remind him and the team of that.

Cutler Klein

Craig Smith– Smith has been with the team for a few years now. Amidst all the change in the organization, he’ll still likely get top-line minutes. Look for him to step up and become a leader.

Roman Josi– Josi is a bit of an understudy to Shea Weber on the Predators, but he is another “veteran” of the Predators system that will provide some leadership ability. Plus, a Captain Weber-Alternate Josi pairing only makes sense.

Noah Day

Matt Cullen– Matt Cullen has a year under his belt with the Preds and though new coach Laviolette is implementing a new system, he is an experienced player on this fairly young team and could help the young talent learn and develop.

Roman Josi– Josi is stepping into a leadership role after years of developing behind and alongside Shea Weber. Josi is an upcoming defensive stud.

Now, you have seen our votes and opinions for the alternate captain spots, now cast your vote below in our poll.

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