GM David Poile met with reporters today in the wake of Nashville’s first-round playoff elimination to Chicago and, in doing so, admitted his big trade deadline move — acquiring Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from Toronto — simply didn’t work out.
Franson, a pending UFA, was a major disappointment for the Preds (partially because they surrendered a first-round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic to acquire him). The 27-year-old had six goals and 32 points in 55 games at the time of the trade and was averaging more than 21 TOI per night — upon pulling the trigger, Poile called Franson “a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations,” adding he’d “seamlessly fit into our team.”
But that didn’t happen.
Franson saw his ice time slowly dwindle after making his Nashville debut on Feb. 21, to the point where he was a virtual non-factor by April.
Franson then missed Game 1 of the Chicago series and, while he drew back in for the final five contests and recorded a pair of assists, his ice time still hovered between a mere 14-15 minutes per night — and that was after Shea Weber exited the series in Game 2.
Looking ahead, it seems as though Franson’s second go-round with the Preds is over. The club sounds unlikely to offer him a new contract, which means that — despite this poor spell in Music City — he’ll still be one of the more coveted free agent defenseman hitting the market on July 1.
Shea Weber suffered a “subluxed kneecap” during Game 2 of Nashville’s first-round series versus the Blackhawks, the Predators announced today.
Weber underwent an unspecified “medical procedure” and is expected to make a full recovery within 4-6 weeks, the club said.
Today’s update follows last week’s announcement that Weber “did not suffer an ACL injury,” despite reports to the contrary.
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in today’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Capitals at Islanders, 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC
Saturday could mark the final NHL game at Nassau Coliseum. The New York Islanders are on the brink of elimination following a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 on Thursday night. New York’s offense has dried up. After scoring seven goals in the first two games in the series, the Islanders have just four goals in three games. Washington starter Braden Holtby has stopped 98 of 102 Islanders shots after missing Game 2 due to illness. Chris Cuthbert and Joe Micheletti will have the call of Game 6.
Red Wings at Lightning, 6:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Tampa Bay will look took to take a 3-2 series lead after erasing a 2-0 deficit in Game 4 to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in overtime on Thursday tying the series 2-2. Bolts forward Tyler Johnson has four goals and an assist through the first four games of the series picking up the slack for captain Steven Stamkos, who has just two assists in the series. John Forslund and Andy Brickley have the call of Game 5.
Predators at Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
The Nashville Predators will look to stave off elimination once again tonight as the series shifts back to Chicago’s United Center for Game 6. The Preds will be without captain Shea Weber for the remainder of the series due to a lower body injury. Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling gets the start tonight as Chicago looks to advance to the second round for a third consecutive season. Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire are on the call.
Canucks at Flames, 9:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Like the Preds, the Vancouver Canucks will need to win on the road tonight to stave off elimination and force a Game 7. The Calgary Flames are looking to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004 when they came one win shy of capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. With their loss in Game 5, the Flames have lost six straight games when they’ve had an opponent on the brink of elimination. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake will have the call of Game 6.