The Nashville Predators have had some very untimely setbacks in the off season, especially considering veteran forward Mike Fischer is going to be out of the lineup heading into the season.
However, GM David Poile quickly reacted to the setback with two signings that will help balance out the loss of Fisher.
Much needed additions
These signings will give head coach Peter Laviolette some much needed scoring options. Mike Ribeiro will need to work very hard to start accumulating points consistently again for his team. The player only tallied 16 goals and 31 assists throughout his time in the desert with the Coyotes.
Ribeiro struggled with personal issues, injuries and string after string of cold streaks last season. However, the 34 year old veteran is confident he still has plenty to offer the Predators and at a price of just over $1 million, the team can afford the risk.
Ribeiro has lost his speed, but still has exceptional faceoff skills and is a decent set up man as well. I believe he’ll spend most of his time killing penalties for the Predators.
Derek Roy is coming off another average season. With the arrival of Paul Stasny to the Blues, St. Louis chose to drop Roy who accumulated a total of 37 points for the Blues last season.
Roy is the most likely candidate to take over for the injured Mike Fisher. The extra ice time will hopefully allow Roy to provide more points for the Predators at the beginning of the season.
Both these players are looking to have bounce back seasons with Nashville. The question now becomes will these players be able to adjust to Laviolette’s style of play.
Making it in Nashville
I believe Roy will be able to hold down the fort until Fisher returns to the lineup. Plus, recently acquired veteran Oli Jokinen and superstar James Neal will give this team a much needed offensive boost as well.
The verdict is still out for me with regards to Ribeiro. I believe he’ll do a great job killing penalties for the team. But the likelihood of scoring more than 20 goals this season seems unlikely.
I believe he’ll start on the third line but will most likely be rotating with Oli Jokinen between the third and fourth line. Regardless, getting two players for just over $2 million total is a major steal no matter who the players are.
I really hope at least one of these players has a bounce back year. I can’t wait to see how Laviolette plans to get the most out of these additions to his team.