A lot’s happened since the last hockey game at Bridgestone Arena. The Nashville Predators have made so many roster moves, you may not recognize the team.
Okay, that’s a little over dramatic.
Truthfully, there have been some moves since January 5 and here they are at a glance in order to help get you up to speed before tonight’s tilt between the Preds and the visiting Minnesota Wild.
TRADE: Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones (January 7)
I’m sure David Poile took a deep breath, paused and then said “Okay” when he acquired Johansen from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Reason being, it cost him a future franchise defenseman in Jones. Johansen — the first true top line center in franchise history — wasted no time in scoring for his new club and now has six points in his first four games as a Predator.
REASSIGNED: Viktor Arvidsson (January 13)
Arvidsson played 20 games since being recalled from the Milwaukee Admirals in late November but, despite playing well at times, mustered just four points (and none since December 21). He was also prone to taking the occasional offensive zone penalty, putting his team — the League’s third worst penalty kill unit — down a man unnecessarily.
WAIVERS: Cody Hodgson (January 13)
Hodgson, a veteran winger just two years removed from a 20-goal season, was put on waivers by the Predators after a disappointing campaign. Sans last year on a terrible Buffalo Sabres team in which nobody put up numbers, Hodgson appeared to be 35-point guy during his career. As a result, Poile and the Preds signed him to a low-risk one-year deal worth just over $1 million this past summer. The thought was 25-35 points on the third line could really help the club. Unfortunately, the experiment did not work out well as he mustered just eight points in 39 games. He would clear waivers and report to Milwaukee the following day.
INJURY: Colin Wilson (January 13)
The hits just keep on comin’ for Wilson. After starting the season with just one goal in his first 28 games, he was finally putting it back together, accumulating seven in his last eight. Unfortunately, he was put on injured reserve with a lower body injury retroactive to January 8 and will have to claw his way back once again.
RECALLED: Kevin Fiala and Cody Bass (January 13)
In an effort to increase the offense, Nashville recalled 2014 first round pick Fiala from Milwaukee. He struggled early on this season because he was one of the last cuts in training camp and had his hopes set on sticking with the big club. As a result of his demotion, he tallied just six points (and one suspension) in the opening two months of the AHL season. Once the calendar flipped to December though he seemed to refocus. He notched 15 points in his last 19 games with the Ads and earned his first call up of 2015-16. Like Johansen three games earlier, Fiala wasted no time — less than a minute, actually — in scoring.
Bass was also recalled in order to provide some bottom six minutes. He had been recalled earlier in the campaign and logged two games then.
TRADE: Patrick Mullen for Conor Allen (January 14)
A swap of minor league defensemen. Allen had six points in his 31 games with the Admirals, a lackluster total considering he had two 30-point seasons at the AHL level under his belt. In exchange, the Predators organization acquired Patrick Mullen, a right-hand shooting blueliner who has notched 16 points this season with the Binghamton Senators.
TRADE: Stefan Elliott for Victor Bartley (January 15)
Bartley had a career year for Nashville last year, amassing 10 points (all assists) in 37 games worth of fill-in duty. This season, however, he only found himself dressed for a single game and became expendable once the Predators claimed Petter Granberg off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bartley was exposed to waivers, cleared and assigned to Milwaukee. Elliott has seen some time with the Arizona Coyotes this season, playing in 19 games and grabbing six points in the process. If the Preds make a decision to put Anthony Bitteto and/or Granberg in the AHL, Elliott is a guy who’s reliable enough to act as the seventh defenseman at the NHL level.
That gets you caught up on all the roster moves the Predators made between their last home game and tonight’s contest.
Unless, of course, Poile’s not done yet.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua