It took a long time to get here, and there were many hurdles, but the Nashville Predators open their 2020-21 season this Thursday.
It is hard to believe that we will finally get to watch the Nashville Predators take the ice for regular-season games.
Since the NHL paused the season in March, we have only seen them play as a team in an exhibition, four Stanley Cup Qualifier games and two scrimmages.
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There have been many changes to the roster as GM David Poile conducted a mini rebuild of sorts during the offseason.
Some old friends moved on, while Poile brought new friends into the fold.
“Grit,” “toughness,” and “the Predator way” are all terms getting thrown around a lot during this offseason.
It’s now time for the Predators to implement their new play style in real game situations.
The majority of all of the free agents that have signed on with the Predators are known for playing tough, competitive games.
Toughness has been lacking in this Predators team for a few years. Head Coach John Hynes will now have an opportunity to right the ship and get them back on track.
In a strange season that will see realigned divisions, taxi squads, and free-agent Mikael Granlund returning to the team, we are all buckled in for what should be an exciting, albeit short season.
This week we look at the 2020-21 roster, two players who shined in the scrimmages, and a new defenseman signing.
Predators Release Opening Night Roster
On Wednesday, Poile released the opening night roster for the 2020-21 season.
After weeks and even months of speculation, we finally know who will take the ice for the beginning of the season, as well as who will be on the taxi squad, at least initially.
The roster looks pretty much as expected. The next thing to wait for is the opening night lines.
In an interesting move, the Predators announced that they would only be carrying five players on the taxi squad.
One interesting note is the fact that Philip Tomasino will be sent to the AHL. Under normal circumstances, he would have to return to the OHL.
Since the OHL’s season is in question, concessions have been made so that OHL players can get the opportunity to play somewhere.
The Predators open their season this Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 13, 2021
Two New Predators Make A Big Impact In Scrimmages
Predators fans got their first look at two of the most talked-about free agents signees when they took the ice in two planned scrimmages.
The Predators acquired Kunin via trade with Minnesota on draft day. Cousins was a free-agent with Vegas.
Both scored two goals apiece in the scrimmages. Kunin scored one in each scrimmage, while Cousins scored his two in the final scrimmage.
It’s good to see these two creating offense. Hopefully, that will give them some momentum going into the season opener.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 11, 2021
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 10, 2021
Just When You Thought It Was Over
On the day that the NHL required teams to turn in their rosters, Poile added another defenseman into the mix by claiming Luca Sbisa, who had been placed on waivers by the Winnipeg Jets.
The 13-year veteran has 113 points (20 goals, 93 assists). Throughout his career, Sbisa has spent time with Philadelphia, Anaheim, Vancouver, Vegas, New York Islanders, and Winnipeg.
Welcome to Smashville, Luca!
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 12, 2021
Predlines Stories For The Week
Here are the links for all of the Predlines stories for the past week to get you caught up.
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The Predators have an excellent social media team. They do a great job keeping the fans up to date on team news and what they are up to.
The NHL season is finally upon us. We will be watching the Predators closely to see how they will perform once the season is in full swing.
Stay tuned for more Predators news as the season unfolds.