Best Future Nashville Predator: Eeli Tolvanen
We’ve been following the Nashville Predators’ first round draft pick closely since his debut in the KHL. His first game resulted in a hat trick, and he hasn’t cooled off much since. He’s already had one of the best KHL seasons in history of any player under the age of 19.
Tolvanen is currently participating in the World Juniors Championships for Finland, He’s recorded three assists in three games played. Notably, Tolvanen has the most shots on goal of any player in the WJC with twenty-two. Shooting is what he does.
His next stop could be the Winter Olympics. Even more could be in store, as David Poile has floated the possibility that Tolvanen could appear in Nashville sometime this season. Whenever he arrives, expect the Predators’ shot numbers to go up the standings.
Best Off-Ice Story: Captain Roman Josi Gets Engaged
It might be “Worst Off-Ice Story” to female Nashville Predators fans. Me? I love a good love story.
Congratulations to the happy couple, but let’s face facts: Ellie’s got a very tough role to fill as the new Nashville Predators Captain’s wife. Carrie Underwood filled that role last season as well as anyone possibly could have. Following in her footsteps won’t be easy.
Most Annoying Opposition: Vegas Golden Knights
The city of Las Vegas has long deserved a professional sports team. For years, leagues avoided putting a team in Sin City. Finally, the NHL took a chance and gave Vegas a team. And took $500 million as an expansion fee. That $500 million did get Vegas a heck of a team though. The Golden Knights had their pick of the litter & built a team good enough to contend in the Western Conference right away.
I’ll admit to a little bit of jealousy. The Nashville Predators, along with other NHL expansion teams in the late 1990s, had to build a roster from the scrap heap. The other franchises didn’t give a hoot about new markets. The players available were players their own teams didn’t want. The old, the useless, the overlooked. There wasn’t anybody like James Neal exposed in those drafts.
Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus & Minnesota did the best they could with what other franchises would let them have. Each of these new franchises faced struggles early on. Nashville’s team nearly moved to Canada. Atlanta’s team did. Columbus & Minnesota are still looking to make a deep postseason run.
Vegas was born on third & thinks they hit a triple. Their cocky Twitter account was cute at first, but has jumped the shark. Taking shots at Nashville media was exactly what you would expect from those folks. Losing to them in an entertaining game during this month makes the hatred flow stronger.
It’s ironic. During the summer, NHL fans were mad at Nashville fans for having fun while watching
hockey. Now there’s a newer kid on the block not respecting their elders. Predators fans can now look down on them. Everybody hates the people that come along after them. Wouldn’t it be funny if Nashville vs. Las Vegas became a rivalry that defined the Western Conference?
It just might happen.