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.
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."