The Nashville Predators surprised everyone by picking up pugilist Nick Tarnasky this afternoon. Since the trade of Darcy Hordichuk to Vancouver, the Preds appear to be building a collection of grinder line type tough guys. In a very odd move today, David Poile traded a conditional 2009 sixth round draft pick to the Lightning for enforcer Nick Tarnasky.
Tarnasky was the victim of numbers in an overcrowded field of high dollar bodies in Tampa. Why the Preds helped ease their burden is anyone’s guess at this point. He averaged about 7 minutes per contest in 157 games over the last two seasons for Tampa.
Saturday night’s game against Columbus appeared to be a contest where Josh Gratton and Triston Grant were auditioning for the enforcer spot on the team. Both were impressive in separate bouts and held their own on the ice. Rookie Kelsey Wilson didn’t fare as he fel victim to a one round knockout in his session on Thursday night after getting quickly pummeled by one of the Thrasher beasts.
So why now do the Predators have three enforcer types in a group of 19 uninjured forwards competing for what you will assume will be 14 positions on the 23 man opening day squad? Will they all play on the same line? Will it be like the return of the Hanson Brothers line? That would be fun! Hopefully, we will hear the wisdom of all this stockpiling of brute talent soon.
For now, I am baffled.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass