The Nashville Predators entered the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs as the second wild card team in the Western Conference.
When the postseason was over, they were two wins away from a championship, sweeping Chicago in the opening round and beating St. Louis and Anaheim to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
Along the way there was the breakout campaign of Viktor Arvidsson while on a top line with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg; the emergence of a dangerous top-four group of defensemen following the acquisition of P.K. Subban last summer; a fishy hockey tradition and playoff atmosphere that garnered national headlines, and the recognition of general manager David Poile for his efforts in putting together a Stanley Cup contender that will remain in its window to win next season, and likely for a few more years given the age of their core players.
There have been changes in Nashville this summer.
James Neal was selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Mike Fisher announced his retirement. Colin Wilson was traded to Colorado. Phil Housley, an assistant coach responsible for Nashville’s group of blue liners, took the head coaching job in Buffalo.
To bolster their club at center, the Predators signed Nick Bonino to a four-year, $16.4 million contract — just a few weeks after his former team, the Penguins, hoisted the Stanley Cup in Nashville. They also signed veteran forward Scott Hartnell and acquired defenseman Alexei Emelin.
Today at PHT, we’ll dig into the big storylines surrounding the Predators ahead of training camp next month.