Camp is Coming
Posted By: Aaron Sims
In less than two months, the Nashville Predators will open training camp. This year should be a very exciting one for the team because there are several players that are close to graduating from the AHL to the NHL. Plus, the team has brought in some intriguing players looking for a chance to stick in the NHL.
In speaking with Nashville Assistant GM Paul Fenton last week on Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice, it was apparent he, too, was quite excited for the competition between players for roster spots in Nashville. One of the great things about the Predators, they let players dictate where they play. By that, I mean if a player has a good training camp, he’ll make the team. If he doesn’t, he’s headed to Milwaukee.
I’m assuming the Predators will, once again, keep 22 players around for the season. That’s one less than the maximum a team can carry. This means the team saves money and there’s one less player sitting around when he could be playing in Milwaukee. With a player like Wade Belak on the roster, you have a little flexibility because he can play both forward and defense.
Assuming Patric Hornzqvist and Cody Franson will both re-sign, here’s what the squad may look like in Nashville:
Forwards (13): Wade Belak, J.P. Dumont, Martin Erat, Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Matthew Lombardi, Jerrred Smithson, Steve Sullivan, Jordin Tootoo, Joel Ward & Colin Wilson.
Defenseman (7): Francis Bouillon, Cody Franson, Kevin Klein, Ryan Parent, Alex Sulzer, Ryan Suter & Shea Weber.
Goalie (2): Pekka Rinne & Mark Dekanich.
This is a guess, obviously. Things can certainly change.
If you look at this list, especially in the names of the forwards, you don’t see the names of Nick Spaling, Cal O’Reilly, Andreas Thuresson, Kelsey Wilson, Jonas Andersson, Linus Klasen, Blake Geoffrion and many others.
Fenton did mention on the radio show that defensemen Jon Blum, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis all have a shot at sticking in Nashville. That could make Sulzer the odd man out.
Also, I really expect the Preds will find a backup goalie on the waiver wire. Phoenix has a couple intriguing possibilities in Al Montoya and Matt Climie. Yann Danis is still available as a free agent, too.
Former Admirals that signed (or re-signed) elsewhere this offseason: