2-years ago the Nashville Predators made the playoffs for the first time. They took the Hated Detroit Redwings, who at the time had 2 players whose combined salaries smoked the predators whole payroll, including the concession stand workers... to a six-game street-fight.
2-years ago the Predators were seen as a young, hard working team with a big upside.
Then there was the Lockout.
Coming out of the lockout everyone knew the small-market teams like the Preds were gonna get a big boost...and they did. The Predators, without making any significant personell changes found themselves looking like one of the best teams in the NHL.
While the big name teams... Detroit and Colorado in particular, were scrambling to bust up their dream teams and fit under the new salary cap, the Predators seemed happy to just watch the carnage and laugh. They were in the catbird seat now.
But they pulled one over on us. While we all thought the Preds were happy as clams with their lineup... they decided to do us one better.
Ladies and Gentlemen... Paul Kariya is now a Predator.
For those of you who don't know, Kariya is an all-star. He was one of the most sought after free-agents on the market. For him to choose Nashville over the bigger markets is a major shot over the bow. Stick a fork in the SS Detroit. The dynasty of the Hated Redwings is over.
Teams like Detroit and Colorado are gonna have to lineup and go toe to toe with the Predators... and this time... the talent's on the other side of the ice.
Timonen.. Kariya... Vokoun... Scott Walker... David Legwand.. Steve Sullivan...
You hear that boys? MR! Red! You listenin'??? Nah.. you ain't listenin'... You're off hidin' under a table somewhere... lickin' your wounds... clickin' you're heels together and hopin' you're gonna wake up back in Kansas...
Nashville Predators: Standley Cup Champions. Got a nice ring to it don't it?
Welcome to Oz boys. Enjoy your stay.