July 26, 2012

Coming back to Nashville the 'best thing' for Wilson

By Jesse Connolly

Colin Wilson (Greenwich, Conn.) admitted he had some doubts about whether Nashville was the right place for him to continue his career after the 2011-12 season wrapped up. After the way things played out, he certainly had good reason to.

For the second-straight year, the former BU standout saw his role get diminished in the second half of the season. This time around, it was because of trade-deadline acquisitions, as the Predators reeled in forwards Paul Gaustad and Andrei Kostitsyn.

Wilson was on track to crush his previous career-highs offensively, but minimal playing time and stints as the team’s healthy scratch down the stretch deflated those hopes. He finished the regular season with 15 goals, 20 assists and 35 points, just barely topping the 34 points he collected the year prior.

Come playoff time, the 22-year-old forward was once again the odd man out. He didn’t see action until the second round, where he appeared in four games and buried his first career playoff goal in what would prove to be the final period of the Predators’ season in Game 5 against Phoenix.

But after doing some serious reflecting, Wilson has decided that he’d like to continue his NHL career down in Tennessee. He signed a three-year deal worth a total of $6 million on Tuesday.

“I think at the end of the season, there were definitely some thoughts on both sides,” Wilson told examiner.com. “When I had my year-end meeting, we were talking about my future with the organization. Obviously both sides, after having some time to think about it, decided that the best thing was for me to come back and keep playing with the organization.

“Regardless of whatever thoughts we had at the end of the season, I think when everything settled we both realized that the best thing was for me to come back to Nashville.”

Nashville has reached the second round of the postseason two years running and, after retaining captain Shea Weber – as Nashville matched a massive offer sheet their captain signed with Philadelphia – Wilson believes the Preds will be contenders again in the upcoming season.

“Having gotten Shea now, who is one of, if not the best defenseman, and (Pekka Rinne) who is one of, if not the best goaltender, so we are looking good on the defensive side,” Wilson said. “Offensively, our top couple of lines are basically going to be the same that they were last year. The core is going to be the same, so I expect us to have a lot of success this year.”

Wilson will assuredly be pleased to play a big role – hopefully from start to finish – in that success next season.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.