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After Whirlwind Week, Granlund Ready to Do Something Special with Preds

Nashville's Newest Forward Set to Make Debut Friday in Winnipeg

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

Simmonds, Granlund Join Preds

Simmonds, Granlund log first practice with the Preds

Wayne Simmonds and Mikael Granlund join the Predators for their first practice with the team

  • 06:36 •

It sounded so nonchalant to hear Mikael Granlund say it.

On Monday, he was traded from the Minnesota Wild to the Nashville Predators. On Tuesday - also his 27th birthday - his fiancée gave birth to their first child. Wednesday saw him get a few things in order in Minneapolis, pack a bag and fly to Tennessee. And on Thursday morning, he was on the ice for practice with his new teammates for the first time.

So, what has he thought of his week this far?

"That's the way it sometimes goes," Granlund said following the skate at Centennial Sportsplex.

Indeed, it does, if you happen to be a professional hockey player.

The next chapter of his career has begun now with the Preds, and while the trade from the Wild came as a surprise, there's nothing but enthusiasm to continue the journey in Music City.

"It's been pretty crazy and special," Granlund said of the past few days. "Our first baby, the trade and lot of things going on, but I'm pretty happy right now and excited to be here.

Video: Preds practice footage of Granlund, Simmonds

"I've played a lot against these guys, and this is a really good team with a lot of good players. It was fun to be out there, and hopefully we can make something special happen."

The Finnish forward is glad to have three fellow countrymen - Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros and Miikka Salomaki - on his new club to assist with the transition, and he won't have to wait long for a homecoming of sorts with the Preds set to face the Wild on Sunday evening in Minnesota before hosting them again next week.

"I had an unbelievable seven years there," Granlund said of his former club. "I've grown a lot, and I'll miss a lot of people there. I have a lot of good friends and it'll probably be emotional to go back there, but that's hockey. Now, I'm here, and I'm really excited about this."

He'll undoubtedly be able to have a visit with his fiancée and infant over the weekend as well, a fact someone like Predators General Manager David Poile would be glad to see. When addressing the media on Monday, Poile said he told Granlund to worry about his family first and that he would "see you when I see you."

Video: Simmonds, Granlund log first practice with the Preds

That time has now arrived, with Granlund set to make his Predators debut against the Jets in Winnipeg on Friday night. It'll be Nashville's first look at the crafty playmaker, who they hope will be wearing Gold for at least as long as his first stop in Minnesota.

And perhaps his next child will come on a day with a bit more stability.

"Everybody's healthy back home and everything went well," Granlund said. "It was easy to come here and now you just start playing with your new teammates and new team. That's the easiest way is to just go out and play, and I'm really excited to be here."

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