NASHVILLE -- One of the immediate problems the Nashville Predators found themselves with after trading longtime right wing Martin Erat to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday was they did not receive a roster player in return.
The Predators, who entered Thursday two points out of eighth place in the Western Conference, went into their morning skate for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with 11 healthy forwards.
Nashville now has 14 forwards on its active roster, but two of them are hurt -- center Mike Fisher and left wing Gabriel Bourque. Nashville coach Barry Trotz said he thought Fisher had a good chance to play Thursday, but Fisher said it would be a game-time decision.
Fisher was hit on the hand with a puck while blocking a shot against the Phoenix Coyotes on March 28.
"It's not fantastic by any means," Fisher said.
While Trotz was philosophical about Erat's request for a trade, and captain Shea Weber said he felt nothing personal about Erat's decision, Fisher had some of the strongest words for his former linemate for much of the past three seasons.
"We want guys here that want to play and want to be part of this team, that want to win, and that wasn't the case with Marty," Fisher said.
Trotz, asked what his lines would look like, said he likely would scramble them for the game.
Rookie Victor Bartley, who has become a second-pair defenseman, did not participate in the morning skate. Trotz said it was a maintenance day for Bartley, but the Predators did recall Ellis just in case.
Here are the projected lineups for the Predators and Blue Jackets:
Scratched: Ryan Ellis
Scratched: Blake Comeau