Nashville Predators: Five Thoughts For Friday, October 6th

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

I’m so happy that the NHL season is here. It’s felt so far away for so long, but not anymore. The Nashville Predators are finally back!

Opening night on Wednesday was like finally arriving at an oasis after months in the torrid desert. But we made it, no matter who you pledge your allegiance to, we can all say that we made it. This week was almost rushed, in a way. Contracts and extensions were signed, rosters were cut, and coaches made some tough decisions. We’re so happy to have hockey back, even though the Predators were terrible for 55 minutes in Boston. It was still wonderful to see the “C” on Josi’s chest and the whole Nashville Predators squad together.

This may be just another week to normal people, but to Nashville Predators fans, this is one of the best weeks of the year. And of course, this special week left me with a few thoughts on the NHL and the Predators.

5. Jagr To Calgary

One of the oddest cases during the offseason was Jaromir Jagr. He was the center of rumors to what seemed like every team in the NHL, but in the end, he chose Calgary. Some Nashville Predators fans were hoping he’d end up here but I think the team is better off without him. Jagr plays a slow, heavy game that’s based off long offensive zone shifts. Whereas the Predators play a style that’s based around speed, passing, and covering for players (defencemen) jumping into the play unexpectedly.

Jagr would’ve been an anchor on almost any line, except maybe the power play. The Predators made a good move by not spending any of their cap space. Now they have some extra cap if a trade proposal arises. Smart upper management has been a staple of this organization for the past few years. And it’s good to see them continue to make good decisions.

4. Nashville Predators Roster Cuts

The Nashville Predators sent Vladislav Kamenev and Frederick Gaudreau down to Milwaukee on October 3rd. A move that was met with mixed reviews from many experts and fans alike. I don’t like the move but I see why management did it. Kamenev and Gaudreau are waiver exempt and can be called up at any time without risk of being claimed.

Personally, I don’t like the move at all. Cody McLeod remains an anchor on a fast and powerful roster. While Gaudreau would look great in that wing spot, but people love McLeod for whatever reason. But, we’ll talk about that later in this article.

I don’t like how the Predators are carrying eight defencemen. I like that Sam Girard is going to get playing time, albeit not last night. But it’s not imperative he gets NHL minutes at this point in his career. It’s a foregone conclusion that Girard won’t play an entire season with the Predators. I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with the eight defencemen if it meant that Gaudreau was in McLeod’s spot. Eight defencemen on a roster just seems like an odd way to start a season. Especially if you won’t immediately start the fifth best defenseman on the roster. I guess we’ll see how long Girard stays up though.

3.  Jack Eichel Nets 10 Million Per Year For Eight Years

Usually, I hate contracts for that much money, but Jack Eichel deserves it. It should give solace to Predators fan though. Imagine what Ryan Johansen might have asked for if this deal was out? Maybe eight and a half by eight years? Nine by eight years? It could’ve been worse than his current deal. And a million or two doesn’t sound like much money but it all adds up, especially when signing guys like Kevin Fiala or Ryan Ellis.

I, for one, feel weird to live in a world where eight by eight is a “steal” of a contract for a first line center. But if the cap keeps rising, this could be the case. Last week Elliotte Friedman reported that it could possibly rise by five million. But who knows. The NHL rarely works like how we predict.

2. Why is Cody McLeod On This Roster?

I literally cannot explain how McLeod has a job. He’s an older, slower, worse version of Austin Watson. I’m not Watson’s biggest fan but I understand how he helps the team. A developing player like Frederick Gaudreau would fit in way better on the fourth line and may actually produce some scoring.  Just send McLeod down and let him be claimed by another team. Then you have Kamenev as the 14th forward developing in Milwaukee.

Oh, I should also mention that it’s absolutely nuts that McLeod has a spot on the roster over Pontus Aberg. Why keep scoring out of your line-up in favor of fighting? Especially when you already have a fighter in the line-up? Aberg was supposedly silent through the pre-season, yet he posted 53.72 Corsi and 51.61 Fenwick scores. Also, his team had 2.94 shooting percentage when Aberg was on the ice!!!! That’s going to rise to at least seven or eight. Aberg losing his spot to Salomaki in the pre-season is odd but not unimagine. But Aberg losing his spot to McLeod is almost unforgivable in my opinion.

 1. Pray For Vegas

No matter how you feel about guns or the second amendment, we can all agree what happened in Vegas is an absolute tragedy. Something needs to change. Whether it’s gun control or mental health treatment or even both. I wish the NHL and all of their teams would wear Vegas sweaters during warm-ups as a sign of unity. Let’s use the love we share to make this community, country, and world a better place.

Next: Jarnkrok Deserves The Third Line Center Spot

Nevertheless, let’s pray for Vegas and take a moment of self-reflection to understand how we can make ourselves and our surroundings better.