A lineup with many possibilities
There was no consistency within the lineup last season, and that has to change going into 2021. The Predators have to find what works the best and hopefully avoid long-term injuries to their core players.
That first lineup reveal on Day 1 of training camp will be interesting. Will the classic JoFA line be kept intact? Where will the new free agents pick-ups fit in? What will the power play and penalty units look like?
There’s predictions galore out there on how the lineup will be assembled. It’s going to be a work-in-progress early on. That much is pretty certain.
At least in the early going I expect Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson to stay together on the top line. They’ve built undeniable chemistry over the years and it would be a classic case of overthinking it to break them up.
See if you can capture that old magic with the JoFA line. Who Hynes initially pairs with Matt Duchene is what has me intriguing the most. Eeli Tolvanen, Mikael Granlund, Luke Kunin and even Philip Tomasino are possible candidates.
How these players perform in training camp is something to keep a close eye on to see who ends up initially on the second line.
The bottom-six doesn’t have nearly as much intrigue around it, but I’m excited to see how the newcomers look, most notably Erik Haula. His net presence and tenacity is something that can possibly replace the loss of Craig Smith.