I know we haven't posted in awhile, but this is worth my time. I posted this on the Preds boards over on HFboards.com and naturally.....here we go on here.....
In my 13 or however many years of being a Preds fan I've never felt so.....I don't know....disappointed maybe? Hopeless?
1998-2001ish: Expansion mode. Success would be fantastic but it was against all odds, and we knew it was unlikely.
2001ish-2004: Never had success before but we knew we were shedding the expansion status and better things were likely on the horizon. Didn't know what winning was like yet, but we could feel it coming around the corner, especially with the 2003-2004 playoff berth.
2004-2005: Lockout but at the same time knew that a small market like us was being fought for and hoped that we would be able to compete with the "big boys" when the lockout ended. We did.
2005-2007: Man were we a good team. 4th place both years, although should've been higher because of the playoff format, and despite running into the Sharks both years we established ourselves as a franchise that was learning to win and make a name for ourselves in the league.
2007-2008: What a roller-coaster of a season. Began with the sale/Balsillie garbage and "Save Our Preds" rally, ended with a playoff berth against all odds.
2008-2011: Although missing the playoffs in 2008-09, we still had guys flourishing into established veterans and future key pieces. 09-10 was the infamous first round exit but we were more solid than in years past, and of course last year we reached heights we never had before. Fantastic ride and we couldn't wait for the future of the club to unfold.
Present: Well, July 1st (opening of free agency) came and went. Predictably we didn't do much....in fact we did less than nothing. I was afraid of this as I saw the likes of Ward, Sullivan, and yes even Dumont and Goc leaving. Then Franson and Lombardi (who we all were cautiously hoping would come back at some point during his lengthy contract) departed via trade and we got almost literally nothing in return. I didn't know how this was going to work but I figured it would, as it always had in the past. Well....here we are, 7 points in 8 games, and have been out played in arguably all eight of them. Youngest team in the NHL....only team in the league to be outshot in each game.....and hard-pressed to find any kind of offensive productivity in any consistent form, and we're forced to either be A.) forcefully optimistic, or B.) incredibly disappointed that just five months ago we were at the peak of our franchise.
Do we have potential on the roster? Of course we do. Every team in the NHL should have potential on their roster. I just think it's personally sad that we've sunk this low after last season. I realize that we were trying to "save money" for Weber, Suter and Pekka after this season, but there had to be a better way to do it.
I'm as big of a fan as anyone.....and I hope like hell I'm wrong.....but wow does this ever have the makings of one. long. season......