- The Nashville Predators announced in advance of tonight’s game against the New York Islanders that forward Cody Glass would not play due to injury. Per the announcement, Glass is dealing with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day. The 2017 sixth-overall pick has three points in 14 NHL games so far this year and scored 62 points in 66 AHL games last season.
The Nashville Predators home game tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks will go on as scheduled after a water main break in the arena forced the team to postpone their Friday and Saturday night games. While team president Sean Henry said that “most fan-facing amenities will be functional,” he noted that the complete extent of repairs and restorations to Bridgestone will take months.
The league has yet to reschedule Nashville’s missed games against Colorado and Columbus, but Bridgestone will get a bit of a break on the hockey side soon. While there are occasional concerts there, Nashville’s home game against Anaheim is their last until December 9.
- According to the team, Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo didn’t suit up for tonight’s game against Columbus for personal reasons. Pietrangelo is having an electric start to his third season in Vegas with 21 points through 23 games. Hopefully, everything is well with Pietrangelo and his family.
- Jake Oettinger was expected to start tonight for the Dallas Stars, but he’ll be relegated to a backup role as he deals with an illness, according to the team. He’s run into a bit of a cold streak his past few games, with his season totals dropping to a still very respectable .917 save percentage and 2.52 goals-against average. He’ll likely start in Dallas’ next matchup against Anaheim on December 1.
It has been a bit of a tough start to the season for the Predators. While they sit fourth in the Central entering today’s action, they’re among the lowest-scoring teams in the league, ranking 29th in goals scored at the moment. With that in mind, they may have to look outside the organization to try to add some scoring help. One possible option is to move a defenseman and in his latest column for the Toronto Star, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports that Nashville GM David Poile would like to move a defenseman, suggesting that Dante Fabbro could be had for the right price.
The 24-year-old locked down a regular role in 2019-20, logging over 19 minutes a game and it looked as if the Predators had found yet another quality young defender that they could mold into a core piece. However, he hasn’t really progressed much since then. His playing time continued to hover around the 19-minute mark until this season as it’s down to just 16 minutes a night while he has just four assists in 19 games.
While he’s still holding down a regular role, his usage has dipped to that of a number six defenseman which, at a $2.4MM price tag, is a bit pricey for that spot on the depth chart. Notably, Fabbro will be owed a qualifying offer this summer at that same price point while also being arbitration-eligible and if he rides out the season in the role he has now, he could very well be a non-tender candidate in the summer. Accordingly, moving him now might make sense.
Among Nashville’s other defenders, it’s safe to say that Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, and Ryan McDonagh aren’t going anywhere. Jeremy Lauzon has three years remaining after this one on his deal at a $2MM AAV which could be intriguing to some teams if they feel he can be more than a third-pairing option while Alexandre Carrier has taken a step back this season after a breakout 30-point campaign last year. Veteran Mark Borowiecki is currently injured so he’s unlikely to move either.
That makes Fabbro the logical choice to move if Poile decides that he wants to move a defender and while his trade value has undoubtedly dipped compared to what it would have been a few years ago, it’s also possible that it drops even further if they get to the offseason with him being questionable to be given his qualifying offer. If they feel that Jordan Gross (who presently is with AHL Milwaukee but has two goals in three NHL games this season) can fill a similar role that Fabbro is now, Fabbro certainly could be an interesting addition to the trade market in the coming weeks.
3:16 pm: Not much of a surprise, the NHL has announced that tomorrow’s game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena has been postponed as well. Like today’s game, this one also has not yet been rescheduled. The Blue Jackets host the New York Islanders tonight, but will now stay home to take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. Nashville’s next game is currently scheduled for Tuesday at home against the Anaheim Ducks, but the team hits the road after. The NHL hasn’t announced a decision on Tuesday’s game just yet.
8:58 am: Happy Thanksgiving, Nashville – the rink is flooded. The NHL has announced that because of a water main break in Bridgestone Arena, today’s game between the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche will be postponed. There has not yet been a makeup date announced.
The “significant impact” on the event level has even put tomorrow’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in jeopardy, though the league has not made a decision yet on whether it will be held.
That means it could be a rather significant break for the Predators, who last played on Wednesday and wouldn’t again until Tuesday if tomorrow’s match is also postponed. With that much time off now, it just means that later down the road the schedule will be even tighter.
After losing on Wednesday, Nashville is now treading water with a 9-9-2 record and sit sixth in the Central Division.
Colorado, meanwhile, got the rare opportunity of spending Thanksgiving in a Nashville hotel – flying in, staying overnight and now leaving for their home game against the Dallas Stars tomorrow night.
Nov 23: While Hellberg was claimed yet again, both Simmonds and Sanford have cleared and can be sent to the minor leagues.
Nov 22: The NHL waiver wire is busy today, with three names available for claim. Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets reports that Wayne Simmonds of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Zach Sanford of the Nashville Predators, and Magnus Hellberg of the Seattle Kraken have all been placed on waivers.
For Simmonds, this isn’t much of a surprise. The 34-year-old has already passed through waivers once this season in early October. No longer a regular in the Toronto lineup, he has bounced up and down between the NHL and AHL whenever necessary, playing in just four games to this point. He’ll likely continue to do the same thing, but needed to have his waiver clock reset after 30 days on the active roster had passed.
Hellberg, meanwhile, will just have to hope he doesn’t have to move again. The veteran netminder signed with the Seattle Kraken but when the team tried to waive him early in the year, the Ottawa Senators grabbed him while they dealt with goaltending issues. While he was taken back by the Kraken, he hasn’t actually played for them yet and is now at risk of another claim. Given his success in the KHL and .935 save percentage in one game with Ottawa, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Hellberg on his way to a new team tomorrow.
It’s Sanford that is somewhat surprising among the three players, as this will be his first time on waivers. The 28-year-old signed a one-year, $850K contract with the Predators in the offseason after splitting last year between the Senators and Winnipeg Jets. In eight games so far he has just two points, and saw fewer than 13 minutes in last night’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. Notably, he took an interference penalty in a tie game with only 2:52 remaining that could have easily cost the Predators the game, though they would eventually kill it off and win in a shootout.
Because of his size, inexpensive contract, and history of success in the league – Sanford scored 16 goals and 30 points in 58 games during the 2019-20 season – there’s a reasonable argument to be made for a team to claim him. If he isn’t taken, though, clearing waivers will give the Predators a bit more roster flexibility.
If the season were to end today, the Nashville Predators would, for a second straight season, find themselves in the playoffs as the eighth seed out of the Western Conference. Last season, the team was rewarded for its efforts with a 4-0 sweep in the first round at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche. This season, should they make the playoffs, they’ll now have a new weapon: a veteran shutdown defenseman with Stanley Cup pedigree in that of defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who they acquired this offseason from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Though Nashville has had their struggles thus far, McDonagh has been the steady, reliable presence they’d hoped for, helping to keep them in the hunt early on.
However, as The Athletic’s Joe Smith details, there was a time when McDonagh was nearly on his way to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason. According to Smith’s discussions with McDonagh and agent Ben Hankinson, a deal to Columbus was rather close. But, on the morning of July 3rd, things began to change. As Smith writes, Lightning GM Julien BriseBois had set that day as a deadline to find a trade partner for McDonagh, who carried a no-movement clause on his contract. If they could not, Smith added, there was a chance McDonagh could have been placed on waivers. Instead, the story goes, Nashville and GM David Poile jumped into the mix that day and made the push to acquire McDonagh. Ultimately, it was the Predators who checked more boxes than any other interested team, McDonagh said.
- After Ilya Samsonov suffered a knee injury in a game against the Boston Bruins two weeks ago, many wondered how the Toronto Maple Leafs would resolve their issues in net, down both of their regular netminders. Toronto managed to bide their time, relying on Erik Kallgren, until Murray’s return this Tuesday, however they will need that pair to stay healthy for now, as Samsonov does not appear close to return. According to TSN’s Mark Masters, who spoke with Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, Samsonov did not skate Friday. As Keefe says, Samsonov is still healing and not yet at the point to push himself every day and make the push to return. Fortunately for Toronto, the comments don’t appear to point to any setback in Samsonov’s recovery, even if his return is not clear.
- NHL.com’s Chris Pinkert reports that St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko will not play tonight due to illness. It doesn’t appear that the illness is in any way COVID related. Skating in his place will be Alexey Toropchenko, who will play alongside Pavel Buchnevich and Robert Thomas. The 23-year-old Toropchenko has just one goal in 11 games this season, but a chance to skate in the Blues’ top-six could reignite the winger.
The Arizona Coyotes are about to get some reinforcements after an already impressive stretch of play, at least compared to expectations. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun and forward Nick Schmaltz are set to return to the lineup next Monday when the Coyotes take on the Nashville Predators, according to general manager Bill Armstrong, who spoke with PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan.
As previously reported, though, it seems like Chychrun won’t play more than a handful of games as a Coyote this year. Trade speculation around him has been constant for around a year, and as of the last notable update almost a month ago, the Coyotes’ asking price for the young defender remains on the high side. He’s missed the first month of the season with an ankle injury that kept him out of the end of last season, as well as a separate wrist injury sustained late last month. The 24-year-old is coming off a down season but had 41 points in just 56 games during the 2020-21 campaign. The 16th overall pick in 2016 is a legitimate top-four defenseman regardless, and players like him don’t come around on the trade market often.
Schmaltz, who had a resurgent campaign last year with 59 points in 63 games, left the team’s season opener in the first period. He’s been out since with an upper-body injury.
In an anticipatory transaction, the Coyotes today also sent down forward Laurent Dauphin to the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. The minor-league veteran played just one game with the Coyotes this year, but has eight points in eight games with Tucson.
The Nashville Predators have landed an interesting undrafted free agent, signing Nolan Burke to a three-year entry-level contract. The young forward is currently tearing it up with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, where he will remain for the rest of this season.
Burke, 19, has 15 goals in 16 games with Sarnia this season and appears to be a classic late-bloomer. After recording 13 total points through his first two years of OHL action, he exploded last year with 34 goals and 59 points in 64 games. Passed over twice in the draft, the Predators just couldn’t overlook his performance so far this season and have taken the gamble of an entry-level deal.
As CapFriendly points out, despite still being 19, Burke’s contract will not actually slide forward, meaning the first year will be burned in 2022-23. That’s because he turns 20 in December, meaning he will count toward the 50-contract limit right away. It will also mean that he isn’t eligible for this year’s World Junior squad, something that he potentially could have played his way onto with an incredible goal pace.
Either way, the young center now has an NHL deal in hand and an organization to join at the end of the year. Burke will likely join the Milwaukee Admirals for a short stint once his OHL season ends.
Juuso Parssinen’s strong start in the minors has earned him his first NHL opportunity as the team announced that they’ve recalled the forward from AHL Milwaukee. To make room for him on the roster, the Predators assigned defenseman Jordan Gross to the Admirals.
Parssinen is in his first full season in North America after getting a taste of AHL action late last season when he played in nine games during Milwaukee’s playoff run. The 21-year-old is tied for third in scoring for the Admirals with two goals and seven assists through his first ten games which is certainly appealing to a Nashville squad that has averaged just 2.71 goals per contest through their first 14 games this season while sitting 29th in power play percentage.
As for Gross, his demotion is a bit of a curious one. It’s not for a lack of production, as the 27-year-old has two goals in three games with the Preds this season while picking up seven points in six contests with Milwaukee. The move also leaves Nashville with just six healthy blueliners and 15 forwards on their active roster, a combination teams don’t like to stick with for long. Accordingly, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gross or another defender recalled in the coming days with a forward going down to balance things out a little.