Colin Blouin’s Pick – @colinblouin
I think the player most likely to succeed outside of Nashville is Craig Smith.
Smith may not have been able to win the ultimate prize, but overall he carved out a solid career with the Predators. He was an ironman in a sense, playing all 69 regular-season games before the pandemic in 2019-2020, as well as the playoff qualifiers.
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Moving between the second and third lines at times, Smith brought tenacity that made him beloved in Nashville, and his grit will take him far.
Smith joins an already incredibly talented team in the Boston Bruins that was highly competitive in 2019-2020 and will definitely be a contender in 2021. Not only is he going to get a change of scenery, with some strong players around him, but he got paid…to the tune of $9.3 million over three years.
That isn’t to say it’s a crazy wealthy contract, he’s not making, ya know…Kyle Turris money (bitter), but it’s not a number to scoff at by any means. Drinks on Smitty (and dinner on Turris).
With the talent around him, the change of scenery, quality coaching, etc., Smith is the player I think will be most likely to succeed after leaving the Predators, joining what already could be a Stanley Cup contender. Honestly, I already miss him.