The Nashville Predators have scored 84 goals this season, 15 of them have come from defensemen. Nashville is among the elite in teams that boast defense corps which aid in registering goals with only Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington and Buffalo with more blue line tallies. For a team that lacks that Sidney Crosby or even Rick Nash-type star forward, the Predators are a much more dangerous team when the defense jumps into the play.
Last year 32 of Nashville’s 225 goals were scored by defensemen, 14%. Of course, that includes Shea Weber’s 16 tallies. This year, the Predators rank in the top ten for NHL scoring by defensemen, with 15 goals in 33 games, only five have come off the stick of Weber.
Head coach Barry Trotz notes that Nashville’s defensemen can all skate well and that makes it possible for them to jump up into the play to create odd-man situations. As a result, four of the Predators top six defensemen are on pace to break last years totals, and those totals may be smashed, not just broken.
Just four days before the puck dropped on the Nashville Predators 2010-2011 season, first round draft pick Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson were traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Shane O’Brien and minor league player, Dan Gendur.
Nashville fans are used to General Manager David Poile signing players and making trades at the end of the off season. Take last year for example. On August 20th, 2009, Marcel Goc signed a one-year deal with the Predators after spending four seasons with the San Jose Sharks. Francis Bouillon came to training camp on a professional tryout after Montreal chose not to offer the 5’8 defenseman a contract. Bouillon didn’t sign his one-year deal with Nashville until September 30th, just days before the start of the regular season.