The Nashville Predators have never been known as an offensive team. In fact, their lack of goal scoring has left analysts and columnists scratching their heads as to how a team with little to no offensive firepower has managed to make the playoffs five of the last six seasons.
Preds General Manager David Poile is well aware off his team’s offensive deficiency.
“When you evaluate our team, we always get pretty good marks for our goaltending, our defense and our defensive play,” said Poile. “One of the areas we fall short on is our forwards, and specifically our offense.”
In order to help bolster that area of their game, Poile went out and acquired veteran center Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick. The Senators also will receive a conditional 2010 draft pick depending on how the Predators fare in the playoffs. If they win one round, the Senators will get a third-round pick; if the Predators advance the Western Conference Finals, it will be a second-round pick.
The deal may come as somewhat of a shock to some around the league, seeing as how Nashville has always had a do-it-yourself attitude, never really relying on a blockbuster trade or a key free agent signing to improve the overall performance of the club. Staying true to Predator form, Poile emphasized that the acquisition of Fisher is a long-term move.
“He plays hard, he scores pretty good, four of the last five seasons he’s scored 20 goals. He plays in all situations, power play, penalty kill. He’s appeared in 75 playoff games, that’s more than any current Predator player. What I really like is this is not a rental. Mike is signed for the next two years. This is a deal that will hopefully help us down the stretch this year and for more years to come.”
With all of the injuries that Nashville is still battling, Fisher will make an immediate impact as a No. 1 center. His 14 goals and 24 points this season show a dip in his production, but since Nashville’s team scoring is currently rated 26th in the league (2.53), they need all of the offensive help they can get.