Predators might want to trade a forward or two


From a quality standpoint, the Nashville Predators have some serious questions on offense. GM David Poile made sure that the “quantity” category has been covered, though.

In fact, Poile would probably be wise to ship a redundant player or two out of town.

Cap Geek lists their NHL-ready forwards at 14 right now.

Central casting

One might best see the glut of similarly skilled players by looking at their candidates at center. The Predators added Matt Cullen and Matt Hendricks to a group that already included Mike Fisher, David Legwand, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad and Craig Smith.

Even if you believe that young forwards such as Wilson and Smith might be better off with fewer defensive responsibilities on the wing, that’s still quite an array of players who can line up in the middle.

Losing the Goose

The team could very well opt to stash players like Taylor Beck in the minors, yet it still seems like their forward group might be a little crowded. Can they really justify paying Gaustad $3.25 million per year if Hendricks bumps him to the fourth-line or if he even slides down to healthy scratch status, for example?

Maybe it’s a matter of assessing who fits best (and where) during training camp or finding the right trade partner at the right time, but the Predators would likely be served well to thin the herd a bit.

More from Predators day at PHT

Can Jones make the jump?

Nashville preys for goals

Is Barry Trotz an elite coach?

Pekka Rinne faces pressure to improve

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.