The Hockey Writers Nashville Predators staff writer Colin Fitts will evaluate the performance of each player on the 2014-15 Predators roster every weekday in alphabetical order. You can follow Colin on Twitter, @FittsTHW.
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 210lbs
Stat Line: 7 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, -1 +/-, 7 PIMS, 9 hits, 3 blocked shots, 11:46 AVG TOI
*Points at Home vs Away: None
*Giveaway/Takeaway Correlation: 3 giveaways, 1 takeaway
Contract Status: Restricted free agent ($605,000 NHL cap hit in 2014-15)
Highlight of the Year: In Anthony Bitetto’s first career NHL game in Nashville on February 10, he dropped the gloves with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett Connolly to defend teammate Craig Smith. There is no better way for the home crowd to remember your name than getting into a fight and no better way to get respect from your teammates than sticking up for someone.
Strengths: Bitetto is a physical defenseman not afraid to hit or drop the gloves.
Weaknesses: He has yet to show any offensive prowess at the NHL level despite having a hard shot.
What to Expect Next Season: With the recent signing of defenseman Kristian Nakyva, who played in the Swedish Hockey, general manager David Poile will re-sign either Taylor Aronson, Bitetto or Joe Piskula to solidify the depth with their AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals. Bitetto is the more likely of the three to be re-signed having played more games this season than the other two. If that is true, Bitetto will remain in Milwaukee as the 8th or 9th defenseman in the organizational depth chart.
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Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.