Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 10/31/14
Continuing with our season previews, our hot button topic will be the Nashville defense or the “what will Nashville be like without Suter?” column. The quick turnaround for a training camp has David Poile very pleased with the Predators chances this year since there is hardly any turnover from last season, except for the departure of Ryan Suter being the biggest factor. Poile enlisted a new member of the Gold-clad warriors in Scott Hannan while you should look for Ellis/Blum to fill in the final defensive spot of the opening night roster. Here’s our preview of what to expect from the D-core of the Predators. SHEA WEBER – (2011-2012 stats: 19G, 30A, 49P, +21, 46PIM) A huge contract and being without his long time defensive partner has put the responsibility of keeping Nashville a defensive stalwart solely on the shoulders of Weber. The feared blueliner was a Norris trophy finalist last season and his 19 goals tied for the league lead for a defenseman (with Erik Karlsson). It currently looks like his partner will now be Roman Josi, a very skilled player with a likeness in play to that of Ryan Suter. It is this season that Predators fans will finally see if Shea made Ryan a better defenseman or vice versa. I’d put money on Weber to show why he’s considered a generational superstar the likes of Scott Stevens. ROMAN JOSI – (2011-2012 stats: 5G, 11A, 16P, +1, 14PIM) Josi will have to man up pretty quickly from last season as it is almost certain he will be the balance of the top defensive line for the Predators. It’s sink or swim for the young defensive prospect and Roman Josi seems up to the task. He has been playing overseas and in interviews appears to be very comfortable with being called upon for the yeoman’s work with Weber. KEVIN KLEIN – (2011-2012 stats: 4G, 17A, 21P, -8, 4PIM) Klein became a monster after his bout with the flu midway through the season last year. His play in the playoffs would have put him high on the MVP balloting if the Predators would have made it past the second round. Klein has been the whipping boy for far too long but if he can continue his solid play coming off last season and the playoffs, look for Klein to be one of the best value defenseman in the NHL. And yes, that does say only 4 PIM. Pretty impressive. SCOTT HANNAN – (2011-2012 stats: 2G, 10A, 12P, -10, 38PIM) Hannan will more than likely start out with Klein on the second D pair. He brings loads of experience and a hefty workload of shot blocking, something the Predators sorely miss since letting go of Zanon. Hannan is the definition of a utility defenseman and can take on some heavier ice time helping out to fill the vacant spot of Suter. HAL GILL – (2011-2012 stats: 1g, 12a, 13p, -3, 37PIM) Hal Gill has been an absolute joy to watch and possibly the best role model that the Predators could have for tutoring the younger players in the system. He plays excellent defense and uses his size to push people off the puck. He has Stanley Cup experience and his demeanor is a locker room attribute. Gill will head up the 3rd line on defense, but the bigger question will be who gets paired with him. The Admiral Possibilities RYAN ELLIS – (Current 2012-2013 stats: 2G, 7A, 9P, +2, 6PIM) The top prospect and the one many feel will crack the opening night roster due to his play with the Predators last year, Ellis has all the potential in the world. His play is that of a Letang or Gonchar: great ice awareness, using his speed to make up for his size and a classic slap shot that finds it’s mark. JONATHAN BLUM – (Current 2012-2013 stats: 1g, 11a, 12p, -3, 16PIM) Blum started out last season very poorly with the Predators posting a horrendous -14 before being sent down for the rest of the season to Milwaukee. Blum is doing so-so for the Admirals this year but his numbers have yet to impress. Notice how Blum’s stock started to slip after the trade of his defensive partner Cody Franson. I still think if the Predators could have hung onto Franson that Blum/Franson might have been a forthcoming version of Weber/Suter. MATTIAS EKHOLM – (Current 2012-2013 stats: 4g, 10a, 14p, -2, 16PIM) Ekholm is on the shelf right now with an injury but many expect Ekholm to be with the Predators in the very near future. Tons of upside to this prospect and he continues to develop his game overseas and in the AHL. When he gets healthy, expect him to be the first call-up if the Predators get hit with any defensive injuries. VICTOR BARTLEY – (Current 2012-2013 stats: 6g, 12a, 18p, +7, 16PIM) While it doesn’t look like Bartley will get a sniff at the Predators training camp, he has been one of the best blueliners in the Admirals system. He plays great defense, is a nightmare for other teams on the PP, and has a great way of sneaking down the opponents boards for the odd shot on net or a rebound (sounds like Ryan Suter). However he may get another look as an injury call-up. It’s worth mentioning that he has stayed the healthiest of all the defensive core in Milwaukee.   DEFENSE PRE-SEASON GRADE: B The Predators defense is solid through all three lines. The only reason they don’t get the full on “A” is due to the loss of Suter and the uncertainty of Josi and in turn the rest of the defense stepping up to cover the absence of a great defenseman. The tools are there for Coach Trotz, but in this shortened season where points will come at a premium, it’ll be a trial by fire to see if Josi, Ellis, Blum etc. can further their development and rise to the occasion. —————– Follow us on Twitter @ThePredatorial and @Preducated Stay HardCore…

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations


Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.