Nashville Predators Say Goodbye To Calle Jarnkrok

Oct 29, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19) lines up for a face off against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19) lines up for a face off against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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All of the speculations came to an end last night as the NHL Expansion Draft was finally held. The Nashville Predators say goodbye to veteran forward Calle Jarnkrok.

The Seattle Kraken selected Jarnkrok from a wide range of candidates that were left unprotected by the Predators, including Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene. Other notable unprotected players included Yakov Trenin and Colton Sissons.

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With Nashville being the only team to go this route, GM David Poile protected five defensemen and only three forwards from Seattle, a clear signal that the organization didn’t have much faith in their group of forwards.

Poile’s protection list surprised some when he included Tanner Jeannot instead of Jarnkrok. Jeannot’s addition to the list was further proof that Poile aims to rebuild this team, a process that he should have started a year or two ago.

Origin Story

The Detroit Red Wings drafted Jarnkrok in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Predators in a trade for David Legwand in 2014.

In 508 games with Nashville spanning eight seasons, Jarnkrok scored 211 points (94 goals, 117 assists). He also scored 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists) in the playoffs.

Known as an extremely versatile player, Jarnkrok consistently helped the Predators in many situations and provided 26 or more points for six straight seasons. Jarnkrok proved year in and year out that he could be counted on no matter the circumstances.

The Nashville Predators Say Goodbye To A Veteran

Losing Jarnkrok will be tough on the Predators, and whoever steps into his role will have some big shoes to fill. Poile knows how hard it will be to carry on without Jarnkrok but felt that the youth movement is the path that he had to stay on.

"I have to look at it in a two or three-year situation in terms of not only asset value but where I think [players] will be with their careers. I really believe that younger players like Carrier and Jeannot are just getting started… Again, I wish we would be able to keep [Jarnkrok], but I think there was a price for expansion."

The Predators will now be relying on younger players to step up and fill the roster. There is a chance that Poile could try to woo a high-profile forward once free agency starts, but he went all-in on the younger players and will be counting on them to produce.

Poile’s confidence in the younger players is high, and rightfully so after their spectacular showing last season. Many questioned leaving a player of Jarnkrok’s caliber unprotected, but Poile recognizes that youth is the key to Nashville’s future.

Related Story. Nashville Predators: Protecting Tanner Jeannot Was the Right Call. light

The Predators and fans alike will all miss Jarnkrok. But, like Viktor Arvidsson, Pekka Rinne, and Ryan Ellis before him, it will be hard to look down on the ice and not see “Ironhook” in a Predators jersey.

Even though moves like this hurt, they are necessary and, at this point in time, the only way the Predators can grow and become a team that can compete for a Stanley Cup. Poile has taken and will take even more flak for the moves he has made this offseason, but he must stay the course.

And while we miss Jarnkrok and the others, the moves that Poile makes now will make them a better team in the long run. We just need to brace ourselves for the growing pains and the possibility of a bumpy season ahead.