Already desperate for center help, the Nashville Predators were dealt a pretty serious blow to their forward group. Center Mike Fisher will miss the next four-to-six weeks with a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury he suffered during a training session, according to general manager David Poile.
Fisher was one of the most productive forwards for the Predators last season, posting 20 goals and 29 points in 75 games. Nashville was already looking for major forward help this off-season, acquiring former 40-goal scoring winger James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins and also making a push for then-Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza. Spezza refused to be dealt to Nashville, was traded to the Dallas Stars, and left the Predators scrambling. They eventually settled on 34-year-old Olli Jokinen to help fill their center void.
And now, with Fisher set to miss at least the beginning of the 2014-15 NHL season, the Predators will be looking for even more forward help. Top prospect Filip Forsberg is expected to join Nashville full-time this season, but he’ll likely slide in at wing. Philadelphia Flyers center Vinny Lecavalier is reportedly on the trading block, and may be the Predators’ best option at this point to fill the void left by Fisher. As of right now, Nashville’s top-six forward group looks to be comprised of Neal, Forsberg, Jokinen, Craig Smith, Colin Wilson and either Gabriel Bourque or Calle Jarnkrok- not a group that scares many teams, particularly in a Central Division that features the likes of Jonathan Toews, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane, Matt Duchene and Jamie Benn.