The verdict on Predators’ many new faces? Very little impact so far

By John Glennon

  It wasn’t a complete transformation the Predators underwent prior to this season, as most of the team’s key cogs – like Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson, Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm – returned for 2021.

    But Preds general manager David Poile did add a number of new faces to the roster, in the hope of bettering a team that was bumped from last year’s postseason even before the “real” playoffs began.

    In a perfect world, the Preds’ new players would have had the benefit of a full training camp and a full regular season to show their worth. But the sports world is hardly perfect these days. That’s certainly the case in the NHL, which featured an abbreviated 2021 training camp and is now in the midst of a condensed 56-game schedule.

    That’s another way of saying it was especially important for the Preds’ new additions to make a quick impression this year.

    With nearly 30 percent of the NHL season complete following Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Columbus, however, we’ve seen very little impact from a half dozen Preds who were not in the organization last year: forwards Nick Cousins, Erik Haula, Luke Kunin and Brad Richardson, along with defensemen Matt Benning and Mark Boroviecki.

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