Thursday, July 18, 2024

Korked Bats

That Funny Sports Blog

I’m Afraid The NHL Let The Nashville Predators Get Hot

Bad news for the rest of the league. I’m afraid the NHL just let Nashville get as hot as their chicken. Don’t ask me how, but the Preds signed Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, and Brady Skjei. If you’re one of those folks who “doesn’t really do hockey” well, let me hit you why this is massive for the Preds.

Who Are These Guys?

First off, let’s meet the newest Nashville transplants. The only one’s who moved to town for something other than country music.

Steven Stamkos: Picture Tom Brady on skates. Or at very least John Elway on skates. Stamkos is a two-time Cup champ and has a knack for scoring goals like it’s his day job – which it is, but like he’s really good at it. Dude, can light the lamp like a clap-on. And after he does, you’ll get your clap on.

Jonathan Marchessault: Think of him as the underdog from your favorite sports movie. He might not have been a household name, but boy, does he also know how to light the lamp. He’s the kind of player who sneaks up on you and before you know it, he’s scored a hatty.

Brady Skjei: Pronounced “Shay” (yeah, hockey names, man), he’s the guy who stands between the puck and the net. A solid defenseman with the grace of a dancer but the toughness of a linebacker. Should the Titans look to sign him to sure up their linebacking corps? Look, people are asking.

Why Is This a Big Deal?

This is your favorite band adding three more rockstars overnight. Like if Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Scott Stapp from Creed, and whoever the lead singer of Hinder is all decided to join forces with your favorite band Imagine Dragons. This is the Dodgers grabbing Freeman, Ohtani, and Betts. But in hockey. Three of the top 5 free agents this summer will now be rocking gold. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Goals Galore: With Stamkos and Marchessault, it’s like adding extra hot sauce to your already spicy chicken. Imagine a top line with them and Fil Forsberg, who is coming off — oh yeah, just the franchise record for goals scored in Preds history. Frankly, we might see the puck in the opposing team’s net more than we see it out of it.
  2. Solid Defense: Brady Skjei is like that friend who always has your back. His job? Stop pucks, hit hard, and look cool doing it. Solid defenders is nothing new to Predators lore, but expect to add his weird-ass name to the long list of Preds defensemen greats.
  3. Star Power: These are household names for a team that’ll be just 8 years removed from a Cup run that rocked Lower Broad, people are still talking about it.

The Barry Trotz Effect

Now, let’s not forget the mastermind behind this wizardry – Barry Trotz, the Predators’ General Manager. He’s the king Midas of hockey. Everything he touches turns to gold. I don’t want to get out ahead of my skates here, but every move he has made has worked. And worked well. If hockey were a cooking show, Barry Trotz would be the chef whipping up a Michelin-starred meal out of a few basic ingredients and a lot of magic. And we should all just stand back and watch Chef Trotzy cook. And this triple signing on the first day of free agency, just before a long holiday weekend is like your dad stepping back from the grill and saying “Hold my beer,” while he puts another steak on the grill. Or three of them.

What’s Next for the Preds?

Now that the Predators have assembled the Avengers, I’m sure there will be a bit of a learning curve. Your top line has 120-plus goals between them, and last I checked, they still only play with one puck. But the fire on 5th and Broadway is most certainly back. I just hope the Preds don’t continue to outprice the diehards. But I know I’ll be watching closely from Chicago.

So, Why Should You Care?

Even if you’re just here for the nachos, beer, and intermission bands, the Predators’ new signings mean more fun for everyone. More goals, more wins, and more reasons to high-five strangers and chant “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!” at opposing goalies.

Just let me warn the NHL one last time: do not let the Nashville Predators get hot!


Austin hosts a country music morning radio show in Chicago after nearly a decade in sports talk radio (The Jim Rome Show, Steve Gorman SPORTS!) Colin Cowherd and Smash Mouth follow him on Twitter and he wears pants every day.