Another day, another Nashville Predator leaves the Music City for another organization. Defenseman Shane O’Brien has bolted for Colorado, signing a one year, $1.1 million contract.
In the grand scheme of things, this decision isn’t exactly a significant one. O’Brien is a 4th-to-7th defenseman in the NHL and those players are somewhat interchangeable, especially in an organization like Nashville that is so deep on the blueline.
However, how this becomes a factor is in the Predators’ organizational depth. The vacated roster spots formerly occupied by players such as Ward, Franson, Sullivan, Goc and O’Brien will have to be filled. Some replacements like Niclas Bergfors and others have been added, but overall this seems like a perplexing trend for an organization that is coming off a breakout year.
I know better than to doubt Nashville G.M. David Poile and the Predators’ grand game plan, which likely has cornerstone defenseman Shea Weber under a long term contract as its centerpiece, but I think something needs to be said about what kind of AHL team the Nashville organization will be placing on the ice in Milwaukee next season.
So far Nashville is looking at a minimum of three-to-five bodies that it is going to need to replace on a permanent basis from within. Again no surprise for the Predators.
However, does that mean that players like Blake Geoffrion, Chris Mueller, Teemu Laakso and Gabriel Bourque might not be back to Milwaukee by default? Are these potential Admirals ready for the next stage of their careers? Who steps into Milwaukee next year to fill their void?
Roundtable, what do you think about the current makeup of the Nashville organization as a whole?