Predators off season so far
As July 1st approached and all of Preds nation waited to see what their GM would do after their most successful season in history there was excitement in the air. Many thought that Poile would dive in to the pool of FA and sign some big players as the team made it clear offense is necessary. While 3 days later, Predators fans have been left confused and still waiting.
On July 1st Predator fans did what they always do, sit and watch as players that they thought their team could sign get grabbed by other teams. Fortunately this year some of the signings were ridiculous and I am glad that Poile stayed away from the frenzy. It wasn’t till the 3rd that Poile did something and it wasn’t the best of moves.
Poile made a deal with the Leafs trading Franson and Lombardi for Lebda and Slaney. Now just looking at this screams, “WTF POILE......AAHHHHH.” And that was my initial reaction as well. I actually found out form a friend who called me and told me and I said that there is no way that he was telling the truth. Sadly he was, so I had to find out the reasoning behind this. It seemed as though Poile wanted to dump Lombardi’s salary and Franson was the cost that Burke wanted to take the salary. Now while for leaf fans this is a huge gain, it isn’t a huge loss to the Preds. Franson played only about 15 minutes a game and was sheltered a lot by Trotz; he is in the strictest sense an offensive defenseman. He is not very fast and has trouble in his own end of the rink.
The Predators have tons of defensive prospects that can step up and take his role very easily as most of our prospects are offensive defenseman and one named Ekholm is a very similar mold in size, strength and ability and is quite better at skating. Now with Lombardi’s salary off the books Poile now has more money to spend on offense and players that will actually play a game this year as well as on Weber and possibly Suter. All in all while we did acquire two players that are awful, it doesn’t really matter as we gave up a player that may never play again and a defenseman that with our prospects is replaceable.
Now its just up to Poile to use that space that Lombardi freed up and get some players that can make a difference.
Than Poile made a good move in signing Bergfors to a one year deal. He could easily be the next Kostitsyn, as he has offensive potential and may be a bargain and if not he can help the AHL team for close to nothing. It’s a low-risk/high-reward type of signing the Poile is known for that mostly works out for the Predators.
Finally the arbitration hearing for the Predators RFA`s is on the 8th so everything will be settled than. Poile has stated that he`s comfortable with the situation and that this doesn’t change anything. Well I guess we will see what happens.
Greg Duley (@G_Duley)