The Nashville Predators announced on Tuesday afternoon that they matched the offer sheet submitted to team captain Shea Weber. The 26-year old signed the 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday. Weber is now unde
r contract with the Predators for the duration of the contract.
In what the Predators called the “most important transaction in history,” Nashville also just entered into the largest contract in franchise history, making Weber the highest paid player in the NHL for the 2012-13 season. Weber’s $14 million is $2 million more than Brad Richards, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Tyler Myers who are all set to make $12 million next season. The deal is also the second largest contract in NHL-history behind only Alex Ovechkin’s $124 million contract.
General Manager David Poile always maintained that the Predators would match any offer sheet signed by the captain, but when the $110 million contract included a $13 million signing bonus for each of the next four years, the Predators issued a statement acknowledging receipt of the offer sheet, adding “Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.”
The offer sheet was so front-loaded that it was easy to assume the contract was designed to make matching it difficult for a small-market club like Nashville. Weber will make $68 million in the first six years of his contract, just in bonus money. The huge contract sees Weber making $14 million in the first four years of the deal, followed by $12 million in years five and six. Years 7 through 10 will see Weber locked in at $6 million each season. The contract wraps up with $3 million in the eleventh year of the deal, dropping off to $1 million for years 12-14. (more…)
After taking Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night, Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz decided to stick with the same lineup in Game 4 as the team looked to even their series on Friday night at Bridgestone Arena.
While the team got another solid goaltending performance from Pekka Rinne in nets and were able to limit the Coyotes scoring chances throughout the night, the Coyotes took the lead late in the 1st period and relied on Mike Smith and a no-goal call down the stretch to win Game 4 by a 1-0 final, taking the series back to Phoenix for Game 5 on Monday night looking to eliminate Nashville and move on to the Western Conference Finals.
Slow Start - Getting off to a quick start and establishing their forecheck early was a key to success for the Predators in Game 3 that they hoped to replicate on Friday night. Having to go on the penalty kill just 1:30 into the game was not what they wanted to do and gave Phoenix early momentum in the contest. (more…)
Waking up Monday morning, the Nashville Predators find themselves staring squarely into the face of adversity down 2-0 in their best of seven Western Conference Semifinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes after dropping Game 2 by a 5-3 final on Sund
ay night in Glendale, Arizona.
For the second game in a row, the Coyotes got off to a quick start scoring the opening goal. As they did in Game 1, however, the Predators answered back and the teams headed to the locker room tied 1-1.
The difference in Game 2 was in the 2nd period, where the Coyotes got an early lead and then scored back-to-back goals for the first time in this series to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the night. Nashville was able to score twice more, but were unable to sustain momentum and fell down to a 2-0 series deficit.
It is said that a series does not begin in the Stanley Cup playoffs until a team loses at home. The Predators will need to avoid doing just that as the teams drop the puck on Game 3 Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena. (more…)
Coming off of a week sitting back and watching NHL playoff hockey take place around the league, the Nashville Predators were back in action on Friday night facing off against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in the opening game of their Wester
n Conference Semi-finals series.
The rust showed early for the Predators as Phoenix frustrated Nashville with their defense and got out to an early lead using their counterattacking style to draw a penalty off a turnover in the neutral zone. On the ensuing power play, the Coyotes worked the puck around to Radim Vrbata standing in the faceoff circle to the right of Pekka Rinne. Holding onto the puck, Vrbata skated down towards the goal line looking for passing options until putting the puck on net beating Rinne with a wrist shot over his right shoulder. Despite continuing to struggle to find their game, the Predators took advantage of a bounce off the stanchion when Brandon Yip deposited Francis Bouillon’s dump-in that ricocheted out to the slot into a vacated net to send the teams into the first intermission tied at a goal apiece. (more…)
By Seth Lake
A full week after becoming the first team to advance to the Conference Semifinals round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 4th seeded Nashville Predators will open up their second round series on the road Friday nigh
t facing the 3rd seeded Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Playing an opponent coming off their first playoff series win since moving to Phoenix in 1996, the Coyotes, like Nashville, are built from the net out with strong goaltending, a smothering team defense, and a solid work ethic. The Predators should see a team in the position they were last season entering the second round against the Vancouver Canucks. While on paper, the edge likely goes to Nashville, the game is played on the ice within the confines of a 200’ x 85’ rink where things are never as clear.
Solving Mike Smith– While the league is familiar with two-time Vezina trophy nominee Pekka Rinne manning the nets for Nashville, many are just beginning to recognize Mike Smith in Phoenix. Boasting an unbelievably quick glove hand like Rinne and a large frame in the net, Smith has come into his own this season after joining the team from Tampa Bay last summer. (more…)
By Seth Lake
After defeating the Detroit Red Wings in Games 3 and 4 of their 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinal series earlier this week, the Nashville Predators returned home with the opportunity to end the series in front of a sold out crowd at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night.
With a revamped lineup, the Predators came out of the gates firing on all cylinders scoring the first goal of the game late in the 1st period, the game-winning goal on the first shift of the 3rd period, and played a solid brand of team defense in front of Pekka Rinne all night long to win Game 5 by a 2-1 final and clinch the series 4 games to 1.
- Predators Find New Formula In Win – Through the first four games of the series, the winning team in each game had scored first, been outshot, and scored three goals in the game. In Game 5, the Predators found a new formula to get their 4th win of the series. (more…)
By Seth Lake
Entering Sunday afternoon’s game at Detroit, the Nashville Predators were winless in six previous trips to Joe Louis Arena playing against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Leaving Detroit on their flight Tuesday night, they are undefeated at Joe Louis Arena in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs taking a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 3-1 victory.
Through the first four games of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series, the Predators had seen a number of trends develop for the winning team in each game. On Tuesday night, they took advantage of those trends, following the formula to success thus far in the series.
Score First – The team that has scored first in each of the games in this series has gone on to win the game. Scoring first gives the team momentum. It allows them to loosen the grip on their sticks a little bit and play their brand of hockey. Both the Predators and Red Wings have a defined style of play that suffocates and frustrates their opponent.
By Seth Lake
Looking to rebound from their loss in Game 2 at home, the Nashville Predators entered Sunday’s matinee at Joe Louis Arena having yet to defeat the Detroit Red Wings on the road in the playoffs in their previous six attempts.
Nashville got off to a strong start earning an early power-play attempt that they were able to cash in on to take the lead, got a strong penalty killing effort early in the 2nd period that turned into a Kevin Klein highlight reel goal, and got the game-winning goal late in the 3rd period on a 3-on-1 opportunity to support Pekka Rinne’s 41 save performance and take back home-ice advantage in the best of seven Western Conference Quarterfinal Series.
- Power Play Comes to Life – After going a combined 0-for-12 in the first two games of the series, the Predators got an early opportunity to break out of their slump when Drew Miller went to the box for goaltender interference after crashing into Pekka Rinne in his crease on a rush up the ice just 1:35 into the game. Starting with Andrei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, and Alexander Radulov up front with Ryan Suter and Shea Weber at the points due to Mike Fisher’s line being on the ice and at the end of their shift when the penalty was called, the Predators power play quickly established possession in the Detroit end of the rink with a faceoff win and went to work eventually setting up Weber for a slap shot from the point that broke Pavel Datsyuk’s stick. Radulov jumped on the rebound and worked the puck into Kostitsyn standing at the top of the crease who quickly spun and tried to elevate the puck over Jimmy Howard in close. The puck deflected off of Howard and high into the air where coming in from his point position Weber was able to find it and bury his chance through Datsyuk’s legs and into the open net to give Nashville an important 1-0 lead. In this series, the team scoring the first goal of the game is 3-0 thus far. During the regular season the Predators were 35-3-4 when scoring the first goal of the game. (more…)
By Seth Lake
The Nashville Predators had an opportunity to take their first ever 2-0 playoff series lead on Friday night, but were unable to capitalize on their chances.
While the line of David Legwand centering Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov were strong, the Predators other half of the top-six forwards, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn remained off the scoresheet.
With the series tied at 1-1, the Predators now travel to Detroit for Games 3 and 4 before returning back to Bridgestone Arena for Game 5 which will be held on April 20th. (more…)
By Seth Lake
When the No. 4 seeded Nashville Predators take the ice against the No. 5 seeded Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, it will be the seventh meeting between the two teams this season and third meeting of the teams in the NHL postseason. Both teams are familiar with each other, their personnel, and their systems.
Having finished ahead of Detroit in the standings for the first time in franchise history this season, the Predators will have the advantage of playing at home for the first two games of the series where they went 26-10-5 during the regular season. With each team featuring an aggressive forechecking style of play, a strong team defense, and an all-star caliber goaltender, Nashville head coach Barry Trotz will look to the details of the game to prepare the Predators to win the series. (more…)