The Nashville Predators had a full year of ups and downs. The team barely made the playoffs after a late season rally but was swept in the first playoff round.
The Nashville Predators did ride Jarome Iginla's success all year long, and that included the playoffs. While Iginla had a slow start, the team stayed amongst the worst clubs for the first quarter of the year. Then, when Iginla started to turn it on, the Predators slowly moved up the rankings with Iginla scoring the bulk of goals for the team. Unfortunately, the Sharks keyed in on Iginla during the first round, and the Predators were unable to contend, getting swept in four games.
All year long, both the on ice team and management saw mixed results. Early on, the revenues at the gate were not good enough to cover for team expenses and the management had to make a move to make sure the team would end the year in the black. Martin Gerber was traded for Jussi Jokinen, who came in to fill the role of 2nd center. The move helped moneywise and Jokinen fit in on the second line, but left the Predators without an experienced back-up.
Stats wise, Iginla had an incredible season with 58 goals and 106 points, his best NEFHL season so far. Patrick Sharp was a bright spot as well with a 76 points season, supporting Iginla in scoring. Jussi Jokinen had a good half season with the Predators, scoring 16 goals in the 37 games he played with Nashville. Chris Campoli sported a good season as well, putting up 34 points and finishing with +20.
The team now looks ahead to the draft, where it will pick once in the first round and three times in the second round. It will look to bolster its youth pipeline at every position.
The Predators should contend once again for the lower playoff spots next year, as the young team will lack depth once again. Since the team has some cap room and cash to spare in the bank, the management may want to sign one or two high profile UFAs to help the team's chances of qualifying for the playoffs and then make some noise post-season.