2008/09: 40-34-8, 88 points (5th in Central, 10th in west)
Arrived: Marcel Goc (SJ), Ben Guite (COL), Peter Olvecky (MIN), Ben Eaves (Finland)
Departed: Radek Bonk (KHL), Vernon Fiddler (PHX), Greg Zanon, Ville Koistinen (FLA), Antti Pihlstrom (Sweden), Scott Nichol (SJ), Jed Ortmeyer (SJ),
One of these things is not like the other. The Predators were the only team from the Central Division to miss the postseason last year, finishing just three points out the 8th and final spot. Expect much of the same from the Predators this season, the reason being their offense. Sure, Jason Arnott and Jean-Pierre Dumont are good for around 70 points each, but after that there isn’t really anyone else providing an offensive punch other then Steve Sullivan, who is surrounded with question marks after coming back from back surgery. Its too bad because they have Shea Weber and Ryan Suter on the blueline, and both are capable of 50 point seasons. If Nasville is to find a way into the playoffs this season it will likely be due to the guys in net. Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis are both very capable of being the number one guy and that should provide some healthy competition in the Predators net this season.
FANTASY WORTHY FORWARDS
Jason Arnott -Arnott has been quietly hovering just below a point per game for the past 4 seasons. The problem with Arnott is that he has never played 82 games in 15 NHL seasons and has only broke 75 games in 4 of those 15. If he can stay healthy he should finish right around 30 goals, 70 points and 50 PIMS.
Jean-Pierre Dumont -Dumont has turned out to be a great signing by the Preds. He is averaging 22 goals and 68 points in his 3 seasons in Nashville and has only missed 2 games in that time. 25 goals and 70 points, but could have more if the Preds some more offensive pieces this season.
Steve Sullivan – As noted in our Exposing Yahoo’s Draft Rankings article, Yahoo has Sullivan ranked at 406 overall. Of course injuries are a concern, but Sullivan showed he can still play, putting up 32 points in 41 games after missing ample time to back surgery. A point per game is not out of reach and Sullivan has late-round sleeper written all over him this year.
FANTASY WORTHY DEFENCEMEN
Shea Weber – 17 goals, 40 points and 60 PIMS was impressive as a sophmore, but 23 goals, 53 points, and 80 PIMS last year was even more impressive. Should be one of the first 5 defencemen picked if you’re league counts penalty minutes.
Ryan Suter – If you are playing the point with Shea Weber on the powerplay you are bound to get assists, although Suter would likely do it anywhere. His point total has increased every season (45 last year), but the max is likely 50. Suter has averaged 72 PIMS the last two seasons in Nashville.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Pekka Rinne/Dan Ellis – The goaltending situation in Nashville, barring a trade or injury, is likely going to be 1a-1b with coach Barry Trotz playing the hot guy. Both are capable of being the number 1, but I expect to see Rinne getting the nod to start the season. Don’t count Ellis out though, he proved his worth in the 07/08 playoffs with an impressive series against the Red Wings. If you end up having Ellis or Rinne on your team, be sure to check out our Between the Posts section to see who’s starting in goal everyday, once the season starts