Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Premature? Not if a very close friend’s prediction holds merit. A second look at this team is needed just to see the chances of them bringing Lord Stanley south.
The Predators biggest signing has to be the acquisition of the speedy and talented Paul Kariya. Okay, he is coming off a sub par season with the Colorado Avalanche, battling injury and amassing a mere 36 points in 51 games, but potential, people! Scott Hartnell adds grit, talent and size to a somewhat small lineup of forwards.
A quick look at their defense shows one of the smallest groups of blueliners in the league. They are not without skill though. Kimmo Timonen has shown himself to be a top offensive defender. The addition of Danny Markov from the Philadelphia Flyers is sure to be of benefit.
In goal, Tomas Vokoun has joined the ranks of one of the elite starting goaltenders in the league. It goes without saying that he needs to have a stellar season and can expect to play many minutes this season. His backup, Chris Mason, is anything but a proven National Hockey League netminder.
The fans in Nashville, season ticket holders and walkups both, should expect an exciting season of the fastest game on earth, but should they expect to see the gleam of hockey’s Holy Grail? Maybe not. Sorry dear friend!