Nashville Predators: We have a love/hate relationship with the roster news

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Cody McLeod Makes the Roster – Hate So Much

The Nashville Predators started out sluggishly last season. They battled injury after injury, especially from their top D corps. Through it all, the locker room still felt like it was missing something-veteran leadership. The Predators were, and still are, a young team. After trading away their captain, Shea Weber, there was a big hole to fill in leadership. Mike Fisher filled in very nicely, but it was a Shea Weber-sized hole. So, the Predators traded for Cody McLeod from the Colorado Avalanche. McLeod was basically on his way out-of-town anyway, so David Poile felt it was worth the relatively inexpensive cost to grab a guy who could add some veteran presence as well as physicality.

McLeod started his Predators campaign with a goal in his first game, against his old team no less. For the remainder of the season, McLeod provided penalties and fights to protect his teammates. He even managed to score 4 goals in his 31 games with Nashville. He only scored one goal in 28 games with Colorado.

Much to my chagrin, McLeod played a total of 15 games in the playoffs. He was mainly there to face the much bigger St. Louis Blues, as well as the Anaheim Ducks. However, the playoffs are usually where you see enforcers dressed in suits, not in jerseys. For whatever reason, Peter Laviolette felt like Salomaki wasn’t far enough back from his injury to play plus minutes in the playoffs.

Throughout the preseason, I expected McLeod to not make the NHL roster. He is part of a dying breed in the NHL. The game is all about speed and offense now. They have changed the rules so much to limit the reckless play that McLeod excels at. He works very hard when he is out there, but hey, I could work just as hard as him. That doesn’t mean I should have an NHL roster spot.

There are too many young players in the Predators organization for Cody McLeod to have a roster spot. Plain and simple. The fourth line is potentially going to have Austin Watson and Miikka Salomaki on the wings. They both know how to use the body. Watson also has gotten into his fair share of fights. In the end, both can hit and they both are very good in the offensive end. All McLeod can do is somewhat hit and put in the occasional greasy rebound. I cannot believe they decided to keep him.

Next: Young defensive star Girard earns opening day spot

In the end, the roster is set. Hockey is back in this week! The Predators have a chance to make it far this season and many years to come.