When David Poile pulled the trigger and landed Mike Fisher yesterday, the Predators were a fifth place team in the Western Conference competing to stay in the playoff picture with an outside shot at chasing down the Detroit Red Wings for the Central Division title.
After the trade, they remained in the same position but the move showed that the Nashville Predators were committed to doing what it takes to not only make the playoffs but go deep into a run at the Stanley Cup.
In the preseason, when the Predators acquired Shane O'Brien, I wrote "The Predators are clearly saying that they are not planning on just making the playoffs or hoping to finally break into the second round. They are saying that they are not happy with the early exit last season and are building a team that is tough enough to make a run at the cup."
Ditto! on the same statement after the Mike Fisher trade. This move was for the Cup and nothing else.
On Wednesday morning Coach Barry Trotz told Nick Cotsonika, "“It’s not about survival. It’s about winning Stanley Cups now.” This trade further proves that point.
David Poile explained that Fisher was "not a savior," but clearly stated, "Mike’s playoff experience will be invaluable to our team and he immediately makes our team stronger and deeper."
"He plays playoff-style hockey all season long. He plays on the power play, kills penalties, is strong on draws and can match up against any opposing line."
I have had a clear understanding of the financial structure of this team and have always tried to keep focused on that aspect when considering moves the Preds have made. The reality appears to be changing on the financial front.
According to Cap Geek, the Preds are now at $51,013,844 in cap hit and are up to 21st in the NHL in salary rankings. They are closer to the limit than they are to the floor. This season is the first time that has happened since the mad dash to the President's Trophy and the subsequent salary dump in the summer of 2007.
A large part of the Predators' financial strategy has been based on revenue sharing and Poile does not feel this trade will have a negative effect, "The revenue sharing in Nashville is somewhat of a complicated situation in which there are different things that you qualify for and don't qualify for. The major thing that we qualify for is attendance, and as you know, our attendance has done very well and is trending for almost all of the points of revenue sharing we will hit this year."
When asked about other moves before the deadline, Poile claimed to be happy with the team right now but did not rule out other additions, "We're still trying to get a couple of players back from injuries and you'd like to see how Fisher fits in, how he plays, and how our lines are."
"The good thing is that we made this move a couple of weeks before the trade deadline so we have time to adjust and if something pops up we can address that at the time. I feel pretty good about our roster right now and I would hope for good health and keep it close to what it is right now."
Poile was questioned on how the additional two year commitment of $7 million dollars would affect the signing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, "This is a good thing that he is signed for two more years, His cap hit is $4.2 million but his cash is $4 million next year and then $3 million after that."
Finally, Poile said what all Preds fans want to hear, "Our ownership is demonstrating that they are willing to do whatever they can to not only make the playoffs but to hopefully win some rounds in the playoffs."
Again, just like the addition of O'Brien in the preseason was a sign, the Fisher trade is a continuation of the same drive and commitment in this organization, that was born in the first round loss to Chicago last season, and will not be completed until there is a parade down Broadway with the Stanley Cup in tow.
As Charlie Daniels might say, "Ain't it good to be alive and be in Tennessee" (or be a Predators fan).
Mike Fisher Round up...
Here is our audio of the David Poile conference call yesterday. Tom Callahan also talked to Poile in this video.
Coach Barry Trotz sounded like he was on the verge of being giddy in his interview with Bryan Mullen. Bryan also had the story with the headline that he had no control over aboiut "Carrie Underwood's husband,"
Here are thoughts on the Mike Fisher trade from Paul McCann, Dirk Hoag, Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Jeremy Gover, Jas Faulkner, David Boclair, Hockey Night in Nashville, Fang Finger Fever, and The Predatorial,
From the national media comes stories from Pierre Lebrun, Nick Cotsonika, Kevin Allen, Andy Strickland, Joe Yerdon (questions to Mike Milbury), The Globe and Mail, and Dobber Hockey.
Here is a transcript from the Ottawa Citizen of Bryan Murray's take on the trade.
Here is the video of Mike Fisher's last interview with Ottawa. Below it is several other players giving their reactions.
Dirk Hoag has the latest from People Magazine on the trade as well as where Fisher might fit in the Preds' lines.
Carrie Underwood called the trade an "exciting opportunity."
Finally, Kurtenblog has the best line on the story at the end of this piece.
In Pred Nation...
Looking ahead to tomorrow's game with Colorado, Peter Budaj is starting tonight in Columbus. Craig Anderson has gone home for personal reasons so it appears it will be Budaj or John Grahame against the Preds.
Patten Fuqua has a comprehensive look at David Poile's deadline history. It's a ride down memory lane for franchise long fans. I didn't remember that he Caps used a Pred pick to get Semyon Varlamov.
Paul McCann has a roundup of topics at Hockey Buzz.
Codey Holland is soliciting thoughts on the Predators' Pro Shop.
Mark Willoughby has his weekly "My View" and gets in to the "peak oil" debate. When I was a misguided young geography teacher at The University of Tennessee in 1980, I was preaching that we would run out of oil by 1990.
Sam from Predsblog joins the OTF crew and he makes the case that Alexander Sulzer should start over Francis Bouillon.
Here's the audio clip of Pete Weber on XM 204's Hockey this Morning yesterday. They also had Stu Hackle discussing the new TV deal for the NHL.
Around the NHL...
Travis Hair has the latest on the Phoenix sale. It looks like the bond sale to finance the whole thing is set for next Tuesday.
You rarely hear about a team bringing up four players at once but that is what the Penguins did yesterday.
This chart form Behind the Net doesn't bode well for the Blackhawks acquisition of Michael Frolik. They had better hope the new environment pulls him out of his slump.
The Hockey News has a list no one wants to be on, the top 10 most oft-injured players in NHL history.
Sidney Crosby is back from his vacation and told the media that he did expect to play again this season.
Steve Lapore has the latest hype from Versus on this year's ratings successes.
Round two in the NHL's worst rule contest pits the instigator rule against the loser point at Hockey Wilderness.
Quebec City officially announced that they would build their new arena to try to lure an NHL team to the city. If they had done this years ago they would already have a team.
Justin Bourne has a great take on Twitter tolerance that is a good read. Plenty of good comments too.
View from my Seats haw a wrap up of PuchChat # 12 that includes a lot of hate for Matt Cooke.
Odds and Ends...
It appears to me with soft sales of the Verizon version of the iPhone on opening day, that Apple waited too long to roll it out with a second carrier. Apple fans may say otherwise, but anyone who owns a Droid would never switch to the iPhone.
Blockbuster is for sale since creditors failed to approve on throwing more good cash after bad. I wish Netflix would buy them just so they could get an app that worked on the Droid.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass