**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Nashville Predators
2010-11: 99 points, #5 in Western Conference
Returning: Pekka Rinne, Anders Lindback
Arrivals: N / A
Departures: N / A
No changes in goal for the Preds, although the challenge will be locking up Rinne long term, who is a UFA in 2012.
Returning: Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Jonathon Blum, Francis Bouillon, Kevin Klein
Arrivals: Brett Lebda
Departures: Cody Franson, Shane O’Brien
Franson isn’t an impact player, but his departure hurts given that the player coming in is Brett Lebda. Another big loss will be that of Francis Bouillon if he is not fully recovered from his concussion. The reason this is not a -2 grade is because Nashville boasts one of the best group of D prospects in the entire league.
Returning: David Legwand, Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mike Fisher, Blake Geoffrion, Colin Wilson, Matt Halischuk, Nick Spaling, Jerred Smithson, Jordin Tootoo, Cal O’Reilly
Arrivals: Niclas Bergfors
Departures: Joel Ward, Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont, Marcel Goc
The Predators lost some very good depth players, although none would be classified as bona-fide top 6 forwards. The -2 grade could easily be a -1 or 0 provided Geoffrion, Wilson and Halischuk take on more prominent roles. Having said that, Nashville could definitely use a top line winger, and will definitely be monitoring the trade market should one become available.
OVERALL RATING: -3
2011-12 Prediction: #7-#9 in Western Conference
The Nashville Predators will be one of those teams fighting for a playoff spot all year, especially given how tough their division is. I suspect they will either just get in or just miss out – although Head Coach Barry Trotz always has his team performing above expectations.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.