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Paul Nicholson
Product/Brand Manager at Dell. Social media junkie, strategist, and app idea guy. Hockey fan, photographer, and father to 2 awesome boys.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

post-mortem

I was planning on posting about the end of the Predators season at some point, but i just read the horrid article over at the Tennessean that 2-bit writer John Glennon did. Most of the article was calling the Forsberg trade in to question...that got me riled up enough to post a response on their message board...so that, with a few modifications and pretty pictures, will be my blog post for the season ender:

One of the things Nashville needed this year (besides playoff wins) was respect around the league and in Nashville. Peter Forsberg paid off in that respect before he even put on a Nashville sweater. Much like the LA Galaxy with Beckham, I would be willing to bet that the Predators made back what they paid for Foppa's salary in the flood of merchandising and extra tickets that he brought in, not to mention the flood of media coverage and respect it garnered from national media and fans. The trade was worth every player and draft pick we gave up for it. Having said that, i wouldn't make the smallest effort to re-sign him. He will command too much money for the 40-game seasons that his body has left in it.

As for all the free agents (Kariya, Hartnell, Timmonen): Kariya i'd love to keep, but if we do, we MUST get another trigger man, even if young/cheap, to go with him. Kariya, Sullivan, Forsberg, Kimmo...they are all great assist guys. Amazing passing and puck moving skills. We need more guys like Radulov (and to a lesser extend Dumont and Hartnell) who have a shoot-first mentality. There were far too many games this year where D-men lead the team in shots on goal. To that point - keep Kimmo. Don't over pay him, but he's a strong offensive d-man and we've had too much success with him and Zidlicky playing that style. Back to the trigger man issue: i think it is worth it to keep Hartnell as well, even with the extra salary he will demand. He's also a fan favorite, so that helps soften the blow for...

The coaching staff. I love Trotz. He is Good People. But he obviously can't make the adjustments needed in the playoffs. After game 4, he said during his post game interview that what they were doing should be working (which i couldn't argue with), and will work, they just have to keep trying it and wait for a different result. Last time I checked, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Trotz is a great coach at doing a lot with a little, but given an all-star roster, he couldn't win 2 home playoff games, much less a road-game or the series. We need a coach that can make adjustments and motivate the team. While we're at it - a captain that can motivate as well. Kimmo is a fabulous player and I want him back on the blue line, but he and Trotz both are almost too even keeled. I don't know about the European captain curse (I'd take Foppa as captain) but Kimmo didn't fill that role well.

And as for all the worry about the city supporting the team if we don't succeed - our best season attendance-wise was the 2000-2001 season, when we went 34-36-9-3 and missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight year. We'll be fine. We just need Dell to step up and sponsor the Arena to complete the San Jose rivalry (they play in the HP Pavilion). Then all discussion of them ever leaving town would cease.

Lastly, the Tennessean needs to hire a real hockey reporter that hasn't just been watching the NHL as long as we've had a team. The fact that most of the media covering the Predators (Pete Webber, Terry Crisp excepted) are not hockey people is making the community involvement level worse. The coverage is horrible, so only people that actually make it to a game and fall in love with the play on the ice ever get excited about it. Fortunately, there have been a lot of those people, especially in the last few years. But the media coverage MUST improve. (Note: I think Channel 5's coverage did improve dramatically and I give them full marks for the effort. They are about 80% of the way there now, which is better than the 40-50% for the rest of the TV, newspaper, and radio in town.

Here is Christy's post on the end of the season.

1 comment:

Predjoe said...

You make a great point that the people covering the sport have learned with the city. What we need are real hockey people who know and understand the game.

Great post!