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O’Captain! My Captain!

Posted By Chris Rydburg On Jul 9 2010 @ 10:52 am In Nashville Predators | No Comments

Shea Weber was named the Predators’ captain last night at the annual Skate of the Union address. Weber became just the fifth captain in franchise history. Take a look at this list:

Tom Fitzgerald, 1998–2002
Greg Johnson, 2002–06
Kimmo Timonen, 2006–07
Jason Arnott, 2007–10
Shea Weber, 2010-present

As a fan, I couldn’t be happier with the pick. Weber is dedicated to this city and this fan base. He consistently brings the hurt every night and isn’t afraid to stand up for his mates (something that couldn’t be said about our former captain).

In other Predators news, Sergei Kostitsyn signed a one year deal worth $550,000. This is a low risk, huge reward move by Preds’ GM David Poile. I think Sergei views this as an opportunity to prove to himself and his doubters that he belongs in the NHL. I truly believe a small market like Nashville will help Sergei get his game back together after being under a microscope for so long in Montreal.

The Predators also welcomed the newest Predator, Matthew Lombardi into the fold yesterday. Lombardi signed a three year deal with Nashville ($3.5M a year). Lombardi is a solid two way player who will most likely see time as the 2nd line center behind Colin Wilson. Lombardi is a speedster with good playmaking ability, as well as a nice finishing touch. This is a very good deal for Nashville and I expect Lombardi to fit in nicely here. When he signed, Lombardi indicated that Barry Trotz had a big impact on him a few years ago and he wanted to play for a coach like Trotz. Welcome to the family Lombardi!

It has been reported that recently departed Dan Hamhuis made a joke about the Nashville attendance at the Canucks’ state of the union. All I can say is I hope Hamhuis keeps his head up when Tootoo takes a run at him next year. I truly believe the Canuck fans are going to be very disappointed in their BC boy. Not like I am going to complain or anything.

So let’s take a look at the plus and minus for all of this years offseason moves.

Minus- Dan Ellis.
Plus- Unknown
I think the locker room is really going to miss a quality guy like Ellis. I know I am going to miss his amazing tweets. Danny was a character guy that this organization can’t replace. I really hope he does great in Tampa. Now Rinne is the surefire starter. Can he handle 60+ games a year? We shall see.

Verdict: -

Minus- Jason Arnott
Plus- Matthew Lombardi
While the Predators lost his scoring touch, the Predators replaced him with the much younger, faster Lombardi. I think this is an even trade off. Nashville wants to be younger and faster. The addition of Lombardi does that. This will put substantial pressure on Lombardi and Legwand to produce. Hopefully those two are up for the challenge. Overall, I am giving a slight edge to Lombardi

Verdict: +

Minus- Dan Hamhuis
Plus- Ryan Parent

While Hamhuis had his worst defensive season ever, he is still better than the often injured Parent. The good news for Nashville is they are deep on the blue line. Hopefully someone can step up and take Hamhuis spot. With youngsters like Blum, Ellis, Laakso, Sulzer, Josi, and Parent, I think Nashville will end up just fine.

Verdict: EVEN

Minus- Dustin Boyd
Plus- Sergei Kostitsyn

At least in Boyd you know exactly what you are getting. Sergei is kind of a
wild card. If he can put it all together in Nashville, I think Sergei has the ability to be a stud. He will recieve good ice time here if he produces. I expect him to do much better than Boyd.

Verdict: +

Frankly, this has been the most exciting off season in recent history for the organization. There have been many moves made. The young nucleus of the team continues to develop. The blueline and goalie prospects are looking better and better. The future is bright for this team!

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