The Preds Leadership Group
Sunday, 02.05.2012 / 9:43 AM
This past week the Nashville Predators faced off against two former captains in Kimmo Timonen and Jason Arnott, and it brought me to the team's current leadership corps of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Mike Fisher. Nashville has a good set of players in place who lead by example on and off the ice and really do well to lead the team in a positive direction night in and night out.
Much like his head coach, Shea Weber doesn't seem to get out of balance very often. Never too high, never too low, Weber is most likely to react to a bad situation with grim determination and sheer force of will. When you couple that with his extraordinary physical gifts, it's a scary combination if you're on the opposing team. Weber might not be the guy who will stand up and give a rousing "win one for the Gipper" speech, but he will show the way clearly with his play.
Suter is a player who is also more on the "show don’t tell" side and is simply steady and supremely capable every single time out. Young players on both defense and offense can learn a lot from his style, which never seems to have a panic button to press – even when everyone else in the building is clearly jamming their collective finger on it! Being able to remain calm in those situations really does help everyone around him do the exact same.
Fisher being one of the few players not home-grown for the Preds and one of the older players on the squad brings the experience of a Stanley Cup Final with the Ottawa Senators and the ability to handle the big-time pressure of the national stage in Canada. In having had to deal with that type of exposure he will certainly continue to show Nashville's developing players how to handle themselves professionally in a pressure situation.
That said I like where Nashville's leadership is at the moment. They form the core of a team that has been playing well, having fun together, and winning games – sometimes improbably. Perhaps this is the right mix with the right combination at the right time. And it all starts at the top with Weber, Suter and Fisher.