As we wind down our 2022-23 Nashville Predators Season Preview, let’s get to an important veteran to the defensive depth, Mark Borowiecki.
When it comes to the intangibles, leadership, and commnunity outreach you can’t ask for a better role model than Borowiecki. He has had his personal battles that he has documented, but he still always brings 100 percent for his teammates.
Borowiecki’s importance to Nashville Predators shouldn’t be overlooked
On the ice Borowiecki will be a vital piece to the depth, but it’s not clear just how much playing time he’ll see thanks to Ryan McDonagh being added to the team, and a four-year investment in Jeremy Lauzon.
Additionally, Matt Benning was let go this offseason, so it’s unclear how that will affect Borowiecki’s playing time. Either way, he should at least be a rotational player and called upon when players need maintenence days and inevitable injuries.
Borowiecki appeared in 57 games last season for the Predators while racking up an enormous 151 penalty minutes.
According to HockeyFights.com, Borowiecki was second in the NHL in fighting majors, hilariously enough only trailing his teammate Tanner Jeannot. Don’t expect that to change when he’s on the ice this season. Every team needs a player or two that brings the hammer down, and Borowiecki is perfect for that role.
The brawl late in the season between Borowiecki and
was one to remember. Lucic is a heavyweight and got the last solid shot in, but Borowiecki held his own sticking up for teammate
When the Predators need someone to step up to have the back of a teammate, Borowiecki is going to be first up if he’s on the ice.
Borowiecki averaged just over 13 minutes of average ice time, which was the lowest in his career since his third season in the league in 2013-14. He’s now 33-years-old and has one main objective. Kill penalties and do the dirty work.
If Lauzon struggles out of the gate, then the team will first turn to Borowiecki to step in. Lauzon has higher upside offensively and is much younger, but Borowiecki is definitely the Plan B for the third pairing and has shown in the past he can be counted on in that slot.
Of course we know about Borowiecki not being afraid to put his body out there in the line of fire to protect his goaltender. Despite playing in much fewer games, he was still fifth on the team in blocks with 79, and third in hits with 196.
Durability is a fair concern for Borowiecki. He has only reached 70 games in a season once in his 11-year NHL career. That’s to be expected with such a highly phsycial playing style that he plays.
The Predators’ season isn’t going to be won or lost by how Borowiecki plays. He’s not the vital piece to the puzzle that most of the other players we’ve covered in the previews, but with that said he is still important to the depth when and if somehow is out for a long period of time.
Prediction for Borowiecki in 2022-23
Ideally speaking, Borowiecki will be there to give guys rest and be a solid first man up off the bench to provide a spark. At the back end of his playing career, that’s a good role for him.
Modest expectations for Borowiecki this season. Obviously he’s not going to bring much, if any, offense. He’s never been that type of player, which is fine. If the Predators are relying on Borowiecki to provide offense, then we’re in a lot of trouble.
Cutting back on the penalties will be needed for the entire Nashville Predators team, and of course Borowiecki leads that. His penalty minutes will be high because of his fighting majors, but cutting back momentum crushing penalties that are more a lack of focus will be key.
This likely will be Borowiecki’s last season with the Nashville Predators. He re-signed to a team-friendly one-year, $900K deal back in February. After this season, the team will likely pursue calling up a prospect and getting younger.
I’ll say Borowiecki sees around 50 games and once again has an important role on the second penalty kill unit. We’ll see him drop the gloves plenty of times, and whoever is on the receiving end, god speed.