The Predators and their fathers head west to Phoenix today where they will play tomorrow night. They will then play Friday night in Colorado. At the beginning of the season no one would have ever envisioned this trip as would be involving the third, fourth, and fifth place teams.
The Predators have had success in past fathers trips as they have become one of the highlights of the year for the players and their dads.
Barry Trotz explained the reasons why, "Traditionally, our father's trips have been successful. No one wants to be rooming with their day when they lose a hockey game. The dad's have been supportive but they also help coach you too. The guys prefer to win and everything's good. Hopefully the dads will be the lucky charm as usual."
In Preds Nation...
John Glennon has a story about Joel Ward's billet who will serve as his "father" on the Pred's father's trip. Joel's dad died when he was 14. John also has news from practice that Nick Spalling will stay with he Preds even after Tootoo returns on Thursday. Will this mean an end to Wade Belak's game streak?
David Climer has a piece on Barry Trotz's longevity at the Preds head coach.
Kevin Klein has been locked up to a three-year deal which appears to be fair for both sides. Speculation is running rampant about Dan Hamhuis' future with the Preds. One thing that Dirk the Forechecker shows in his statistical analysis is something Pred fans have observed all year and that is the Hamhuis-Klein pairing can be a recipe for disaster at times.
Dirk has an audio clip of Pete Weber's visit to the Thom Abraham Show yesterday. This is a must listen. He also has a link to an interesting Curling story. Yes, it 'tis the season.
Preds101 writes about the bright spots in Monday's loss to Toronto. I agree, while we lost the battle, it was a step forward in other ways.
The Canadian Press has a story of Ryan Suter and his family in Olympic history at NHL.com.
Hockey's Future has an update on the Predators prospects that are playing college hockey this year. None are having really big years.
Speaking of prospects, Taylor Beck was named the OHL Player of the Week for last week's play. His five point game (2 goals) was shown on Rogers SPortsnet to a national audience eon Sunday.
How could this happen? Before Monday's tragic loss to the Leafs, the Preds made it to #3 in the Hockey News Power Index. That's high cotton for a team THN rarely will acknowledge actually exists.
The CBC has an interesting look at the hidden gem in the Crosby draft... our own Patric Hornqvist.
Around the NHL...
Michelle Kenneth has her mid-season hockey hate list. What would you think is number one? What is your number one?
The NHL Network in the US will have the CHL/NHL Prospect game tonight at 6p.m. CST. The home page for the event with all the facts and figures can be found here.
Michael Tam is now out of the hospital after being hit by Patrice Cormier on Sunday night. If you haven't seen the hit, go here.
Michael Peca announced his retirement through the NHLPA. It's kind of sad to see a long time player go out so quietly and not from a particular team.
Machael Langlois at Vintage Leaf Memories has an interesting story about a meeting with King Clancy in simpler times. He also has nice things to say about the Predators.
Steve Lapore reports that Jeremy Roenick will hang with NBC through the Olympics. He was the one bright spot in NBC's first weekly game.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass