The Nashville Predators had a fine 2015-16 season, but that didn’t stop them from making a huge splash this summer.
After finishing the regular season with 96 points and making it to the second round of the playoffs, the Predators shipped captain Shea Weber to Montreal in exchange for P.K. Subban.
Preds GM David Poile isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on blockbuster deals. If we rewind to the start of last season, the Preds had both Weber and Seth Jones. Today, neither one is part of the organization.
We know what Subban can do on the ice, but it’s the bold personality he has away from the rink that makes this move even more intriguing for a non-traditional hockey market like Nashville.
As a whole, Nashville’s defense is solid. It’s the strength of their team.
Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis are one of the best group of defensemen in the NHL.
It’ll be interesting to see if the forwards can do enough to make Nashville an elite team.
The Preds will expect big things from center Ryan Johansen and wingers James Neal and Filip Forsberg. Those three players will need to carry the bulk of the offensive load for the Preds to be successful.
Nashville will also need Pekka Rinne to bounce-back in a big way after his disappointing 2015-16 season.
The Subban for Weber trade is the biggest move of the off-season, but it wasn’t the only move the Preds made.
Poile wasn’t active in free agency. He signed defensemen Matt Carle and Yannick Weber to low-risk contracts.
Most of Poile’s off-season work came in the form of re-signing some of his own players. Nashville gave Forsberg and Calle Jarnkork a pair of six-year contracts. Forsberg signed for $36 million, while Jarnkrok will make $12 million.
It’ll be interesting to see if the acquisition of Subban can put the Preds over the top.