The Predators started the morning off at Centennial Sportsplex for their second practice as one combined team. The main focus of practice today was 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 situational play.
Veteran free agent defenseman Francis Bouillon
made an appearance at Camp today. Bouillon, in camp on Pro Tryout Agreement, ran through a series of on-ice drills today. His addition increases the camp roster to 35 players, including 11 defensemen.
Both General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Barry Trotz voiced their anticipation for Bouillon to not only play but be a great attribute and mentor to the team this season.
“I think at his age, the inexperience of our defense and the youthfulness of our defense, I think he could come in and play a tremendous role both on and off the ice. I think leadership-wise he could jump right in there and be a mentor for a lot of these young guys,” Poile stated.
Poile and Trotz alike are looking for the NHL veteran to bring experience to the defensive end of the ice. Trotz initially had this to say about the addition of Bouillon, “He’s a really up-beat guy. He can play, he can distribute the puck, he gives us more depth and more experience. Having another veteran’s presence is always great to have.”
Bouillon has been in the league since 1999 spending the majority of time with the Montreal Canadians. Bouillon did however have a short visit to the Nashville roster in the 2002-03 season. While excited about being in Nashville once again, Bouillon voiced that he hopes this stay is a little longer. “I’m a hard player, I’m fast. It’s a young team and I know I can help that team be better, I’m going to do it. I had a few offers and I chose Nashville.”
Bouillon, still nursing a groin injury sustained late last season, will likely play in one of this weekends preseason games however it will be dependant on how his groin feels. Trotz would like to see him skate this weekend but is more concerned about the 82 games ahead rather than preseason exhibition games.
Wade Belak, Ben Eaves, Cody Franson, Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward, and Colin Wilson
did not skate with the team today and are not expected to play in tomorrow night’s preseason game at Atlanta, but are likely to skate during the team’s practice at Centennial Sportsplex tomorrow morning.