After three straight early playoff exits, the Predators have embarked on somewhat of a reset this summer that saw long-term pieces Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis head elsewhere. Speaking with Gentry Estes of The Tennessean, GM David Poile indicated that he wants to avoid the dreaded middle and is okay with taking a step back to move out of that spot in the standings:
We’ve made the playoffs, which is a good thing, but we haven’t been able to win a playoff round. I’m proud of the fact that we’ve made the playoffs, but if that’s all we were being judged by, then all these moves that I made, I probably would not have made. Because we don’t want to be in this middle. We want to be better. When I say better or worse, I want to be better, but I understand the consequences of these trades.
While the Preds did re-sign Mikael Granlund, their other moves have certainly been made with an eye on getting younger and giving opportunities to some of their younger players, a strategy that will likely hurt them in the short term but help in the long run.
More from the Central:
- Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz has fully recovered from the lower-body injury that caused him to miss all of last season, reports Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now (Twitter link). The 31-year-old has just one full NHL season under his belt but clearly, Colorado is comfortable with the expectation that he’ll be able to return at a similar level as 2019-20 as they didn’t add any extra depth between the pipes although they did re-sign Jonas Johansson who briefly served as their backup last season.
- Although Marco Rossi missed all of last season after being diagnosed with myocarditis following a bout with COVID-19, Wild GM Bill Guerin told Michael Russo of The Athletic in an interview on KFAN (audio link) that he’s not ruling out the possibility of the 19-year-old breaking camp with Minnesota this season. Rossi, the ninth-overall pick in 2020, suited up for Austria for their three games in the Olympic qualifiers last month, notching an assist.