Skip to main content

Who's up for a nice, juicy contract?

In a blog post this afternoon, the Tennessean's John Glennon makes the point that with some of the Nashville Predators key players receiving contract extensions (David Legwand, J.P. Dumont, Jordin Tootoo), it's high time for David Poile to sign up the coaching staff long-term as well.  On first blush, this looks like a slam-dunk argument; despite a salary purge last summer that had most experts picking Nashville to miss the playoffs, Trotz & Co. have the Predators in prime position for a Western Conference playoff berth.  Based on points, Nashville is in 5th currently, just two points behind 4th-place Anaheim, although if one uses winning percentage (to accomodate for Games Played) the Predators sit in 6th. 
Either way, they've climbed ahead of several teams that were supposed to surge past them in the NHL standings, such as St. Louis, Chicago and Colorado.  The Preds have earned 33 points since January 1st, tops in the league, so naturally optimism is riding high and many would believe that locking up that coaches is imperative so the coaches can focus on the job ahead.
Lest the team make a long-term decision based on short-term performance, however, it's worth considering one area of the team that has consistently underperformed, and might well be addressed by a change within the assistant coaching ranks; the power play.  Part of the problem, as noted here a few days ago, is that Nashville ranks dead-last in the NHL at winning faceoffs while on the power play, wasting precious seconds as they attempt to regain possession and set up in the offensive zone.  Nashville sits 26th in power play effectiveness, after a switch was made in the offseason to hand it over to Brent Pederson, who was going to dictate a "shoot early and often" policy.  In 2006-7 the team ranked 18th, and in 2005-6 they were 10th, so clearly things are headed in the wrong direction.  Yes, the loss of Kimmo Timonen and Paul Kariya might be blamed for a part of that dip, but by now that should be overcome with the talent available.  Despite the recent overall team success, this ineffectiveness with the man advantage remains a cause for concern, especially with the playoffs approaching.
Perhaps, then, Poile could sign Barry Trotz to a multi-year extension, and address the rest of the coaching staff this summer after evaluating how things turn out.  In the larger sense, Trotz still clearly has the attention of his players.  He's adjusted to the changing talent in the locker room, and has iced a competitive squad on the shoestring budget that Poile had to work with.  He's taken a stern approach in awarding ice time to Alexander Radulov that's seen the young Russian improve his defensive awareness, earning him 20+ minutes a night lately and leading the team in goal-scoring (24).  It's been an outstanding effort that's definitely worth consideration for the Jack Adams Award, but I'd give a second thought before handing out contracts to everyone standing behind the bench...

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…