PREDS SIGN SCOTT HANNAN
Nashville strengthened its blueline this week with the singing of Scott Hannan to a one-year deal.
Standing 6-1 and weighing 225 lbs Hannan is a solid, physical defenseman who isn't afraid to mix things up and can eat up ice time when needed as evidenced by his 20:21 TOI with Calgary last season. Hannan has also put up almost 200 points in his career and has shown wonderful durability, playing in more games than any other NHL defenseman over the last 10 seasons with 798 appearances. To pull that off, you not only need to be good enough to be in the starting lineup every night, but also strong enough to handle the mental and physical challenge of it all. That's a nice bonus for a guy who blocked 126 shots last year.
Hannan more than anything provides a very solid veteran presence to compliment Hal Gill, and with youngsters like Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Jonathon Blum, Mattias Ekholm etc. all pushing for jobs and maturing at different rates, one more "been there, done that" player to learn from will prove invaluable. It also takes some of the in-game teaching responsibilities and spreads it even a little more. Plus, it removes just a little more pressure from your captain and allows Shea Weber to concentrate on his game too.
So as we look ahead to the upcoming season, once again it appears that defense will be a real strength of this Preds hockey team, giving fans a familiar feel despite a few different faces. And for the Predators to head back to the post-season and do well, they're going to once again have to be among the league's stingiest teams.
Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.