Predators look to build off team’s 1st Presidents’ Trophy
LAST SEASON: 53-18-11, 117 points. Won first Presidents’ Trophy. Lost Game 7 to Winnipeg Jets in Western Conference semifinals.
COACH: Peter Laviolette (fifth season, 17th NHL season).
ADDED: D Dan Hamhuis.
LOST: C Mike Fisher, F Scott Hartnell, D Alexei Emelin.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Pekka Rinne. He turns 36 in November and is in the final year of his current contract coming off a season where he won the Vezina Trophy after being a finalist three other times. Rinne carried the Predators to their first Presidents’ Trophy going 42-13-4 with eight shutouts, a 2.31 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He also earned his 300th career victory on Feb. 22.
OUTLOOK: The Predators’ goal remains winning the Stanley Cup that has eluded them the past two seasons after a loss in the Stanley Cup Final followed by a Game 7 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference semifinals. They kept their core together with their biggest offseason moves signing defenseman Ryan Ellis, backup goalie Juuse Saros, forward Ryan Hartman to extensions. Nashville is expecting more growth from center Ryan Johansen, forwards Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala and rookie Eeli Tolvanen to keep the Predators competitive in the deep Western Conference.
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