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.
As insurance, they recalled center Chris Mueller from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. Mueller had been sent down a day earlier. (They also recalled defenseman Ryan Ellis.)
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:
Sergei Kostitsyn - Paul Gaustad - Bobby Butler
Taylor Beck - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Matt Halischuk - Nick Spaling - Brandon Yip
Rich Clune - Chris Mueller - Craig Smith
Shea Weber - Roman Josi
Kevin Klein - Victor Bartley
Hal Gill - Jonathon Blum
Scratched: Ryan Ellis
Injured: Mike Fisher (hand), Gabriel Bourque (upper body), Colin Wilson (upper body)
Vinny Prospal - Artem Anisimov - Marian Gaborik
R.J. Umberger - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Colton Gillies - Brandon Dubinsky - Derek MacKenzie
Matt Calvert - Mark Letestu - Cam Atkinson
Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson
James Wisniewski - Adrian Aucoin
Nikita Nikitin - Dalton Prout
Scratched: Blake Comeau
Injured: Jared Boll (upper body), Tim Erixon (upper body)