The Predators open their six-game preseason schedule tonight when they host the Atlanta Thrashers at Sommet Center (7 pm start), the preseason opener for both teams.
Preds Projected Roster* for Tonight's Game
Dan Ellis & Dekanich
Defensemen: Ryan Ellis
Wilson *roster subject to change
Today is the first day of Preds Fest, a three-day fan-appreciation event featuring several unique experiences to be held at the Sommet Center, September 17-19. Today's activities include the unveiling of the Preds new third jersey in a ceremony just prior to the start of tonight's game.
MEET THE NEWEST PREDATORS
During the offseason, President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile added three free agents with NHL experience to compete with up-and-coming prospects for roster spots in 2009-10. Here is a breakdown of the newest Predators, all signed to one-year, two-way contracts:
No 9 Marcel Goc – The highest German-born player ever selected in the NHL Entry Draft, going 20th overall (first round) to San Jose in 2001, Goc has played 265 career games with San Jose since 2005-06, posting 54 points (20g-34a) and 76 penalty minutes. In 2008-09, the 6-1, 200-pound center led the Sharks, and ranked fifth in the NHL, in face-off winning percentage (58.2%) among those taking at least 500 draws. Goc has also seen action in 37 playoff games (3g-5a-8pts), and made his NHL debut during the 2004 postseason. He has played in 13 international competitions for his homeland since 2000, including the 2006 Olympics in Torino and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. The Calw native is a front runner to represent Deutschland again at the 2010 Vancouver games in February.
No. 24 Ben Guite – A 31-year-old native of Montreal, Guite has suited up for 168 NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche over the past three seasons, registering 45 points (19g-26a) and 93 penalty minutes. In 2008-09, the 6-1, 211-pound center paced all Avalanche skaters in plus/minus rating (+2), and ranked second among Avalanche forwards in both average shorthanded ice time (2:21) and face-off efficiency (51.5%). The Montreal, Que., native posted career highs in games played (79), goals (11), assists (11) and points (22) two seasons ago, in addition to dressing in all 10 of Colorado’s 2008 playoff contests. Guite’s first and only NHL game outside the Avalanche organization came with Boston in 2005-06.
No. 38 Peter Olvecky – The youngest of the three newcomers at just 23, Olvecky split the 2008-09 season between the Minnesota Wild and the Houston Aeros, posting seven points (2g-5a) in 31 NHL games and 23 points (6g-17a) in 41 AHL contests. The 6-2, 195-pound winger was drafted 78th overall (third round) by Minnesota in the 2004 Entry Draft, and spent his first three North American seasons with the Aeros from 2005-08, amassing 92 points (43g-49a) in 197 games. The Trencin, Slovakia played for his homeland in 2009 World Championships this past spring, and like Goc, is candidate to head to Vancouver for the Olympics in February.
CAMP ROSTER REDUCED TO 44
The first roster reduction of 2009 training camp took place on Wednesday morning, as 12 players were removed. 2009 draft picks Taylor Beck, Gabriel Bourque, Michael Latta and Charles-Olivier Roussel were returned to their junior teams, while Scott Brannon, John Decaro, Mike McLean, Jacob Muzzin, Brock Sheahan, Arvid Stromberg, Pierre-Alexandre Vandall and Mark Van Guilder were released from Professional/Amateur Tryout Agreements.
PREDATOR ROOKIES SPLIT PAIR OF GAMES IN ATLANTA
A 20-man unit of Nashville Predators rookies traveled to the Duluth IceForum outside Atlanta to take on a squad of Thrashers rookies on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, and returned home with a split. After falling 6-3 on Monday, the Predators used a combined 28-save shutout by Chet Pickard and Jeremy Smith to blank the Thrashers, 3-0. The line of Colin Wilson (2g-1a), Nick Spaling (2g-1a) and Taylor Beck (1g-2a) were Nashville’s standout offensive performers during the two game set, with each prospect tallying three points.