Tonight the Predators hosted the Skate of the Union at Bridgestone Arena, an event has turned into a nice annual addition to the list of summer activities in Smashville. Here are a few news and notes from tonight’s festivities:
– The big news of the night was the announcement of a new two-year, $8.4 million extension for Mike Fisher. The 32-year-old was set to be entering the final season of his current contract before tonight’s news. We will have more on this tomorrow.
– Speaking of Fisher… I asked him about his thoughts on the Predators’ pursuit of free agent forward Shane Doan. Fisher’s response:
“Everyone would love a Shane Doan-type guy. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well and he’s a great teammate and leader. In a perfect world, having him here would be unbelievable for us up front. We’ll see what happens with the Phoenix situation, but it would be awesome.
“I’ve talked to him. He’s obviously just waiting out the situation to see what’s best for him. I think he would prefer to stay in Phoenix, but I’m trying to persuade him a little bit.”
– Last Friday the Predators signed defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year deal. What can the team expect from him?
“He’s a solid defensive defenseman. He plays hard and does his job. I think he’s going to fit well here,” said Paul Gaustad. “He’s an honest player and plays his role and executes it well. I’ve always had a hard time playing against him.”
– Chris Mason on the decision to return to Nashville, aside from his preexisting relationship with the organization:
“There are a lot of things that went into the decision. Nashville as an organization has put themselves in a position to win the Cup. You start with Pekka and Shea. In my opinion, Pekka is the best goalie in the world and Shea is the best defenseman in the world. When you have those guys as leaders on your team, that’s a pretty good place to start.”
– Speaking of Mason… Predators associate coach Peter Horachek stated tonight that starting Mason for 20-25 games this season would be “ideal.” That said, Horachek admitted that “ideal” doesn’t always work out. Last year, Pekka Rinne started 72 games.
– David Poile was asked during the Town Hall Meeting whether he’d do anything different in regards to the Alexander Radulov/Andrei Kostitsyn situation in the playoffs. Poile’s response:
“If you were in our shoes you would have done the very same thing. It was just a very disappointing situation as a team, and the whole team felt it – from the coaching staff to the players. The players wanted to do it as much as I had to do it. It was very unfortunate, very regrettable. It should have never happened and possibly hurt us, but it was the right thing to do … Someday we’ll be rewarded for that decision.”
– During the player Q&A session, Colin Wilson was asked about his off-season conditioning. Wilson responded by saying that he has been working out at Jonathan Toews’ gym but added, “I don’t like him; I just use his gym.”
– CEO Jeff Cogen mentioned that he expects the season ticket base for this upcoming season to be north of 10,000.