Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gaustad Fitting into the Preds Lineup; Now They Add Radulov

Nashville still adding to its roster three weeks prior to the playoffs. It is interesting to see how new players fit into an existing team. Nashville, who already has looked impressive, has added Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline and now Alexander Radulov has returned from the Kontinental Hockey League.

The Tennessean published a nice piece on Paul Gaustad attempting to fit into the Preds already close team culture. Fitting into a new team

Some pundits now believe the Preds are the favorites to come out of the West and play in the Finals. Let's see what Radulov looks like first. It has been four years since he played in the NHL. Know this; the Predators will be competitive in any series they play and will have a chance to win against anyone.

Personally I believe teams often play a game of risk and reward when adding players this late in the season. In Nashville's case Gaustad is a solid guy that will fit in, and Radulov was there before. Nonetheless the Preds are changing a lineup that has been working.

Team chemistry is one of the trickiest, least understood, and most difficult things to achieve in sports. Once you have found it as a coach, you don't want to mess with it (can't help but add that is why I find Tim Tebow going to the Jets as very risky, what about the team's support of Mark Sanchez?).

How do you determine if a new player is going to fit in to your team?

First, is the team inclusive of new guys? Do they communicate with players called up from the minors? Do veteran players take new players and show them the ropes? A team that does not respond well to new players in the locker room likely will not handle a trade pickup very well, unless the player coming in is well respected and/or well known.

Second, is the player coming into the new situation a good locker room guy? Does he bring a team closer or divide a team? Is he willing to play a role? Is he interested in team success or his points and contract? Can he lead and be led? I would want to know the answers to these questions if I were bringing in a new player to my team.

It seems Radulov has the right attitude in returning to his old team.

It's good to be back here. I feel good and just looking forward to helping the team to be better. It's a good team. I know it's a young team. I know some guys from it and they're good friends of mine. I'll do whatever it takes to help the team to do better.
Read more about Radulov's return at

Nashville looks like they have added two quality players to their lineup for the playoff run. If the new players bond well it could be a seamless transition in Nashville. This only makes the Preds first round match up with either Detroit or Chicago more intriguing.

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