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Predators' Weber skates, 'feels good' after knee injury @NHL

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber participated in an informal skate Thursday and said he "feels good" after last season ended prematurely because of a knee injury.

Weber, a three-time Norris Trophy finalist and the Predators captain, sustained a subluxed kneecap during Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks. He missed the remainder of the series, which Chicago won in six games, and had surgery in April.

"It's exciting to be back," Weber told the Predators website. "As more and more guys roll in here, it's just going to get more exciting and feel like we're ready to go for the season. It's good seeing familiar faces and try to get back into a routine."

Weber, who turned 30 on Aug. 14, had 15 goals and 30 assists in 78 regular-season games, helping the Predators finish second in the Central Division with 104 points. He said it was difficult to watch his teammates fall short in the first round of the playoffs, but the goal now is to build off what Nashville was able to accomplish in 2014-15 in its first season under coach Peter Laviolette.

The Predators open the season Oct. 8 against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena.

"I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been," Weber said. "[The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year. We know we're capable of doing anything we put our minds to, but we also can't take our foot off the gas. There are a lot of teams that were in the playoffs a year before, and they're going to be looking to get back in there as well."

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