Preseason- What's The Point?

The NHL preseason is right around the corner- for the Predators and their fans, that means just two weeks until the 2019-2020 season faces off.

But the existence of the preseason seems to just be to tease fans with the prospect of seeing Preds hockey be played. In reality, the NHL preseason is largely a dud of excitement for all of the 31 teams.

Much like the MLB's Spring Training and the NFL's preseason, the games that are played serve primarily as opportunities for the team's prospects to show how well they can translate their skills to the pro level. They line up with, and against, select seasoned roster members (e.g., Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne) to give coaches a basic idea of their NHL readiness. For the Preds, it'll be interesting to see if there's chemistry between, say, Daniel Carr and Viktor Arvidsson, Eeli Tolvanen and Matt Duchene, or Dante Fabbro and Roman Josi.

Daniel Carr, then with Montreal, outskates Viktor Arvidsson on January 3, 2017. Credit: Getty Images


They really do all sound like perfectly valid reasons to have a preseason, but when it comes to fan accessibility to these "incubator" games, it's slim to none. Unless you have tickets to see these games live, the best you're going to get is keeping track of it on Twitter. Preseason games aren't televised, so outside of the arena, there's essentially radio silence. Granted, most fans could pass on watching games that, a) don't expressly affect the regular season, b) are being played by comparatively no-name players, and c) just aren't all that riveting to watch in the first place.

For the more analytical fan, however, it can be extremely frustrating to know that your team and its prospects are playing and you have no way of watching it.

Credit: Memphis Daily News

Hearing that the highly anticipated defenseman Frederic Allard scored from the point from a tweet leaves out the juicy, between-the-legs deke he performed masterfully to shed his defender. There is no way of seeing with your own two eyes how much Tolvanen's questioned speed has improved without reading reports a day later. And you may as well forget getting that first peak we all so desperately want at Matt Duchene before the home opener on Oct. 3.

It doesn't help that teams dangle the preseason in front of fans like a carrot on a stick. They create countdowns to the first preseason game- it's like counting down to the day before your birthday. If you are not physically inside Bridgestone Arena for those games, just get a good night's sleep and save the game recap to procrastinate at work the next day. At least that's what this Nashville-to-Chicago transplant Preds fan will be doing until October.

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