MVP Sports Channel

Predators Season Preview

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—hockey season!

For most of my life as a sports fan, I have thought that only one sport existed– football! But for the last several years, hockey—specifically the Nashville Predators—has become my sports obsession.  I will be sharing some thoughts on our beloved Predators here throughout the upcoming season.  Although I am not a hockey expert, I have great enthusiasm for this team, and hopefully can provide some insights from the perspective of a casual, but devoted fan.

In April of 2016, the Predators concluded their most successful run since the team’s inception by finishing the regular season with a record of 41-27-14. There was great optimism that the team had the talent and momentum to go deep into the playoffs.  That excitement continued as the Preds defeated the Anaheim Ducks in Round 1 of the Western Conference Playoffs in 7 thrilling games.  Then Round 2 saw the Predators take on a very tough and gritty San Jose team.  But after a grueling 7 game series, the Sharks eliminated the Preds, ending their best season in franchise history, and leaving fans absolutely breathless and eager for the off-season to pass by quickly.

Now that time has passed, and we begin the 2016-17 season with very high hopes and expectations.  During the off-season, several roster changes have taken place; the most notable being the departure of Captain Shea Weber, who was traded to Montreal. Other significant names missing from this year’s roster are Gabby Bourque, Paul Gaustad, Carter Hutton, and Baret Jackman.  However, the addition of new faces including Marek Mazanec, Kevin Fiala, and P. K. Subban has given fans cause for great optimism.  Mazanec can hopefully step into Hutton’s role as back-up goalie to Pekka Rinne and provide him with the opportunity for rest,as well as support when needed. Fiala is regarded as a potential big-time goal scorer alongside Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Craig Smith, and others.  However, the big news in Smashville is the arrival of defenseman P. K. Subban, whom we acquired in the Weber trade with Montreal.  A Norris Trophy award winner for top NHL defenseman, Subban has Preds fans anticipating great things and with sky-rocketing hopes for our best season ever!

Not only fans, but also many sports “talking heads’ and hockey analysts around the Nashville area and beyond see amazing potential for this year’s team, and some even consider the Preds to be legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup.

The roster is set, the ice is ready, and the Smashville faithful are pumped!  Come and join us for the ride.  It should be fun; I can’t wait!

Go, Preds!

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