Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good Start to Free Agency for Preds

Hard to believe October is only 3 months away......
The Preds struck gold in getting Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward re-signed for 2 years and a budget friendly number. David Poile had to spend more than he wanted originally but he didn't have to pay outlandish money either. I am proud of the way the players and organization both handled the situation with class. Each side stated their reasons, negotiated fairly and were not offended with the final result.

* Kudos to Steve Sullivan who seems to really like the city of Nashville and was not money-hungry but just looking to get a fair market deal but stay in Nashville the entire time.
* Free agent needs- looks as if David Poile wants a veteran defenseman and another LW goal scorer going by conversations on local radio this week. In his usual fashion, he will watch the other deals and look to swoop in late and grab a $1-$3 million dollar player who seems to fall through the cracks once the big payroll teams are done spending.
* Alexander Radulov thoughts- with the world economy still struggling along, I think the chance of Radulov getting back over to the NHL gets better and better. Radulov has to play 1 more year for the Preds before a new contract can be negotiated, so he has to be weighing in his mind when is the best time to do so. Versus has the TV contract until 2010-2011. Radulov should consider playing this year and keep fingers crossed more player payroll money can come from the next TV contract if ratings still improve. With Ovechkin and Crosby becoming mainstream faces to the NHL, the future is looking better for the NHL as far as TV contracts go.
* Goal scoring need- I have said this before and still believe Antti Pihlstrom has another level of goal scoring in him. With his speed and toughness, he should be a 20-30 goal scorer. It may just be a confidence thing but if he was to have a hot streak of 3-5 goals in a 5-10 game stretch, I think it would catapult him into the 20+ goal scoring category.
* Trade bait- I know you are tired of hearing this. Dan Ellis=trade value. Pecca Rinne has arrived and is a clear #1 goalie. I know David Poile is holding him for the right time. Poile is weighing sign a free agent goal scorer vs. trading Ellis for someone under contract. Might be best to hang onto Ellis thru training camp to see if a top goalie gets injured. If the right large market team really needs a goalie for whatever reason, they will overpay and then the Preds/Poile can get crazy value for Ellis. Stay tuned.
* Hated to see Greg Zanon leave but it was all about $$$ for a small market club. We have young defensemen who can step up and our expendible cash had to go towards goal scorers Ward/Sullivan plus any free agent signing. It will be frustating though when Zanon keeps blocking all out shots when we play Minnesota.

Happy 4th everyone. Please comment if you want. Thanks to those who follow the blog.

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