The Nashville Predators have almost always lacked having one or two star forwards on their roster throughout their nearly 15-year existence.
Now they believe that's what's kept them from achieving real success in the National Hockey League the way the Chicago Blackhawks have.
“What is the difference between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks?” assistant general manager Paul Fenton asked, per The Tennessean. “To me it’s two players: it’s the first overall pick in Patrick Kane and the third overall pick in Jonathan Toews.”
The Blackhawks picked up Toews in 2006 and Kane in 2007, and shortly thereafter, the team's chemistry and success turned around. The two have won two Stanley Cups together to become one of the league's best duos.
But more often than not, teams have to go through the bad times if they want to get to the good; it's how you land those high draft picks aside from making significant trades.
The Blackhawks went through that slump, but the Predators never sunk low enough to land high picks. To date, Nashville's had just two top-five picks with their most recent being the No. 4 overall selection in 2013 they used to land defenseman Seth Jones.
“If you match up our lineups [with Chicago] from [Kane and Toews] on out, it’s pretty even,” Fenton said. “Sometimes you have to be really bad to get them.”
Whether they're one or two stars away from achieving what the Blackhawks have remains in question, but the Predators are ready to do whatever it takes to find out.
They'll be entering the 2014 draft with the 11th overall pick, but don't be surprised if they trade up to land a "big-time forward" general manager David Poile is targeting.