NHL 2016-17 Central Division preview: How quickly can P.K. Subban change the way the Predators play?

NHL 2016-17 Central Division preview: How quickly can P.K. Subban change the way the Predators play?

CSN Chicago will unveil a preview each day for every Central Division team leading up to the NHL's season-opener. Next up: Nashville Predators.

One-third of the craziest 23 minutes in National Hockey League history involved P.K. Subban being traded to the Predators from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for captain Shea Weber in a one-for-one swap. It shook the hockey world.

The move signaled the Predators' desire to change to an up-tempo style of hockey, which is becoming the new norm, while the Canadiens are looking to build around the best goaltender in the world in Carey Price.

How quickly will it take for the Predators to make that transition, though?

This team has the potential to win its first division title in franchise history, but it will be a tough road to climb when you factor in the competition in the Central and the amount of time it may take to gel.

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016-17 season, Blackhawks fans!]

The Predators are so used to playing from Pekka Rinne on out and now it's the complete opposite. For as long as Weber anchored the back end, it was all about playing tight defense, and even with that style, Rinne had a career-worst save percentage of .908 last year. The quality of shots he'll face this year will get much tougher as they may not be as structurally sound in their own end.

On offense, Filip Forsberg and James Neal combined for 64 goals last year. Weber also accounted for 20 of them, and that's asking a lot out of both Forsberg and Neal to surpass what they did a year ago while counting on Subban to score 20-plus goals when his career-high is 15.

The Predators were also a top-four puck possession team last year, so while their attack should be much stronger with Subban leading the rush, the numbers can't improve by much.

The Predators don't have as deep a forward group as other teams in the division, and their second- and third-line centers are manned by 36-year-old newly-appointed captain Mike Fisher and 36-year-old Mike Ribeiro, who scored just seven goals last year which was the lowest mark of his career since 2002-03. Not exactly guys that can fly.

Subban will certainly change the way the Predators play — and for the better — but it may take some time getting used to. 

Other previews: Colorado Avalanche | Dallas Stars | Minnesota Wild

Podcast: Eddie O discusses what went wrong for Blackhawks this season


Podcast: Eddie O discusses what went wrong for Blackhawks this season

Eddie Olczyk joins Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Jamal Mayers to discuss what went wrong for the Blackhawks this season, and what changes could happen this summer to get the team back into the postseason.

Listen to the entire HawksTalk Podcast here:

Amazing news: Eddie Olczyk is cancer-free

Amazing news: Eddie Olczyk is cancer-free

Eddie Olczyk is cancer-free!

The beloved Blackhawks broadcaster provided an update on his health after a battle with cancer and had the best news possible.

His scan scheduled for early-April was moved up and the results brought good news:

"I'm proud to stand here before everybody and you [Pat Foley] — my partner and my friend — that all the cancer is gone," Olyczyk said. "We beat this thing, and I say 'we' because it has been a team effort. Not only from the great doctors, but from this organization, from Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Jay Blunk, Coach Q, hockey operations, these great trainers, our broadcasters, you partner for all the texts and visits daily, the National Hockey League, all my friends and my family: my brothers Ricky and Randy, my mom and dad, and of course, my four kids — Eddie, Tommy, Zandra and Nicky and my beautiful wife Diana. If it wasn't for them, there's no way I could've gotten through this.

"So I believe we all beat this and I'm so thankful for all the support and prayers. They worked. I'm proud to stand here before everybody and let them know that we beat this thing. I've had enough crying to last me a lifetime, partner, and I'm just so excited that I got that call on March 14th at 5:07 p.m. letting me know that my scans were clear. I've never heard a better phrase in my life.

"I'm now 10 days on with the rest of my life and that's the way I'm looking at it."