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, 220 lbs
Stat Line: 46 GP, 0 G, 7 A, 7 PTS, +4 +/-, 14 PIM, 93 hits, 48 blocked shots, 13:10 AVG TOI
Playoffs Stat Line: 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, 0 +/-, 2 PIM, 0 hits, 1 blocked shot, 13:51 AVG TOI
*Points at Home vs Away: Home – 0 G, 4 A | Away – 0 G, 3 A
*Giveaway/Takeaway Correlation: 16 giveaways, 13 takeaways
Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent ($1 million cap hit in 2014-15)
Highlight of the Year: Not much was memorable about Volchenkov’s first season with the Predators. The only thing of note for Vochenkov was receiving a four-game suspension for an illegal hit on Calgary Flames forward Michael Ferland on Oct. 31.
Strengths: Nashville was missing one thing on their defense core entering last season — a physical presence. They addressed the void in the lineup by signing Volchenkov as a free agent. He placed second among Predators defenders in hits with 93 last season. In a Nov. 20 game against the Ottawa Senators, Volchenkov recorded a career-high 11 hits. As a more defensive-defenseman, Volchenkov logged an average of 1:05 shorthanded time on ice per game.
Weaknesses: What you see is what you get from Volchenkov. As a third-pairing defenseman, Volchenkov plays a simple, reliable game. It was a shame the Predators did not dress him often because he was a difference maker physically.
What to Expect Next Season: It is apparent general manager David Poile will not be re-signing Volchenkov to another contract. With the exception of the 2012-13 shortened year, last season was the lowest amount of games played for Volchenkov since 2003-04 with Ottawa (19). Volchenkov can take on a bigger and better role elsewhere.
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