Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Look Back at the Predator's Captaincy at Season's End and Thursday's Thoughts

With the dead of the off-season setting in, it's time to head to the archives of unused video. Today, with the clarity of 20/20 hindsight we look at a couple of clips from Shea Weber and Barry Trotz from the last week of April.

On Wednesday, April 28, Barry Trotz was named one of the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award which is given to the coach of the year in the NHL.

After the announcement, Barry appeared on NHL Live and Stan Fischler asked Trotz about Jason Arnott as the Predators captain. Barry's answer was somewhat awkward and included a comment that Arnott was "uncomfortable" as captain and then started talking about the team's young leadership group.

Later that afternoon, I talked to Shea Weber and asked him a question about the "young leadership group." Here is his answer.

The next day, on Thursday, at the Predator's final press conference with David Poile and Barry Trotz, I asked Barry to elaborate on his comment from the day before on Arnott's captaincy. Here is that answer.

The discussion seemed even more awkward in the elaboration. A firestorm of speculation ensued and John Glennon asked the question "Will Arnott Wear the C Next Season?" Word spread throughout the hockey world, and multiple theories sprouted as how and when the heir apparent, Shea Weber, would take over the captaincy.

The one scenario that I never heard discussed, was Jason Arnott getting traded. On June 19, when I was waiting at the airport to board the plane to the Awards Show in Las Vegas, I heard about Arnott's trade to New Jersey and I was astounded.

With a year left on Arnott's contract and a hefty $4.5 million salary hit, I never considered that another team would be interested. The master GM, David Poile, had pulled off another coup when he convinced Lou Lamoriello that Jason's return to Newark was what the Devils needed to go deeper in the playoffs next season.

Whether Trotz's answers about the captaincy in April were planned or simply off the cuff, we later learned that informal discussions had been ongoing with Arnott late in the season about a possible move during the offseason. Looking at the video now, Trotz's answer makes much more sense.

After his return from the Olympics, gold medal in hand and without any fanfare, Shea Weber was quickly growing into the leader that will lead the Nashville Predators to the next level and possibly to an eventual Stanley Cup Championship.

Last week, when fans went to the "Skate of the Union," there was not a person in attendance that did not realize that Weber was the home-grown leader that would be the next captain. Hopefully, before the puck is dropped in October, Shea will have a new contract that will make him the face of the franchise for years to come.

In Pred Nation...

Michelle Kenneth, who will co-host next Monday's POTG Radio with special guest Kevin Weekes, gets in on the campaign for Nashville to sign Kevin for the coming season. She and Kevin have known each other so based on her post, she should have some interesting ground to cover on the show Monday night.

Dirk at On The Forecheck is not into the Kevin Weekes for Backup mode as explained in a note yesterday.

Predsblog is rather harsh on the Weekes idea. Kevin did have a couple of shutouts in the 2002 playoffs and generally played on poor teams during his career. He also posts some ideas on the PK unit for the Predators.

Jim Diamond continues to mine his Development Camp efforts with a nice feature on Joonas Rask (yes, Tuuka's little brother).

Blake Geoffrion did not win an ESPY Award last night but based on his tweets he appeared to be having a great time.

Jas Faulkner has her view of the Pred's Development camp over the weekend and even has a picture of the Team Yellow pose at center ice after they captured the camp championship on Sunday.

Puck Daddy has Patric Hornqvist as a potential one hit wonder if he can't follow up on his break-out season last year. The original article that this was based on is here.

Puck Report has excerpts from his interview with Barry Trotz at the NHL Awards Show.

Interesting quotes from Buffalo in an interview with Pete Weber about Duke McGuire.

Last Friday was Preds Prospect Day in the community. As part of the Predification of the prospects, the team shows the players how the organization is a part of the local community. This is a really cool idea that is a great example of the "Predator Way."

Around the NHL...

Today's Kovalchuk story comes from Patrick Hoffman and asks the question "Who does he think he is?"

As the NHLPA meetings that ended on Wednesday, there were no announcements about a new head or constitution. There is a video of Donald Fehr on the NHLPA site.

Ryan at the RLD gets the calendar out and starts circling days on next year's schedule.

What do BP and the NHL have in common? Matt Reitz has the answer.

The Business of Sports looks at the fact that traditionally there are no professional league games on the day after the baseball All-Star game. The other day with no games is usually Christmas Eve.

The official "Day in the Life of Alexander Ovechkin" will be released in the fall. I wonder if it will look anything like this post at Better Living by Bradley.

George Malik has a mixed bag of news including Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating listing his favorite locales to travel to and of course it includes Nashville. if you took a survey of players and media, Nashville would always be near the top of the list.

Michelle Kenneth has an updated list of NHL players to follow on Twitter.

Justin Bourne looks at the minor league player's side of making choices in free agency. It's something that you don't think about and gets lost in all the press about million dollar deals.

Dee Karl has an interesting post about language barriers with some prospects. I saw evidence of this over the weekend with a couple of Preds prospects who weren't fluent.

The CBC has an interesting story about George Steinbrenner's interest in owning an NHL team in the early 80's.

Adrian Dater has his list of ten best NHL goalies. How could he leave Peks off?

Odds and Ends...

News that new episodes of Beavis and Butthead are in development. Mike Judge must have been watching my two boys for inspiration.

The part of teenager's brains that seeks pleasure matures earlier while "regions that help with abstract thinking, decision-making and judgment are still maturing, and therefore less likely to inhibit the pleasure-seeking behavior." Who knew? I bet someone got paid the big bucks to figure this out.

The first Special Olympics Surf School was held by Ron Jons in Cocoa Beach and appears to have been a huge success.

As usual, Google has an answer for everything including a possible better was to manage your social networks.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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