LAST SEASON: 38-32-12, 88 points. Missed the playoffs by finishing 10th in the Western Conference.
COACH: Peter Laviolette, 1st season with Predators, 389-282-25-63 overall.
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Pekka Rinne. Even with Ribeiro needing to prove his personal issues have been handled, Rinne is the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist who anchors Nashville's defense. He only played 24 games last season after an infection in his surgically-repaired hip needed more surgery, keeping him on crutches for weeks. Rinne went 3-0-1 in his final four games and was the MVP of the World Championships.
OUTLOOK: The Predators missed the playoffs by three points with Rinne missing much of last season. Laviolette is expected to boost the Predators' offense and take advantage of the experienced forwards added during the offseason, and general manager David Poile has made it clear they must reach the playoffs.