NASHVILLE -– For the first time since the Nashville Predators departed on a five-game road trip on March 11, defenseman Hal Gill and right wing Patric Hornqvist participated with their team on the ice.
Gill worked with Kevin Klein and looked like he had a chance of playing on Thursday against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena, but coach Barry Trotz said after the skate that Gill would not play.
Gill has missed 11 straight games with a lower-body injury and has only played in three since Feb. 10. The Predators could use his veteran presence as they have been icing, at times, a very young defense corps that includes Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, both in their second seasons, as well as Jonathon Blum, 24, who has only played 73 career NHL games, and rookie Victor Bartley.
Part of that is because veteran Scott Hannan also is out with an upper-body injury, and Trotz said Hannan would be out indefinitely.
"Hannan is indefinite, same with Gill, obviously, Gill's skating so he's getting a little bit closer in terms of a time frame, same with Hornqvist, no time frame on him," Trotz said. "Gaustad, obviously, hasn't been on the ice, so no time frame. It's indefinite for him, and Wilson is indefinite. He's the longest."
In addition, wing Sergei Kostitsyn will get back in the lineup, Trotz said, after serving his one game of penance as a healthy scratch against Columbus on Tuesday.
Kostitsyn earned a measure of infamy that transcended the hockey media in a loss against Edmonton on Sunday for his decision to give up on a play and go for a line change that allowed the Oilers to score on a shorthanded 2-on-1 situation. Nashville lost 3-2.
"Yeah, got to put Sergei back in," Trotz said. "He did the punishment and the crime, we need to get him back in. He's a very intelligent player. He can help us in a lot of ways: power play, penalty kill, 5-on-5. He's served his time, if you will, and he's going to go back in the lineup."