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Catching Up With ... Preds Defenseman Ryan Parent

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
Defenseman Ryan Parent was one the Preds most significant additions this summer. A former first round pick by the Preds in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Parent was traded to Philadelphia as part of the Peter Forsberg trade during the 2006-07 season. Nashville re-acquired the physical defenseman this spring. caught up with Parent to talk about training camp and his return to Smashville. What is the biggest change in the Preds organization since the last time you were here?
Ryan Parent: To be honest, I was only here for two training camps. I was 18 and 19 and was not really exposed to much. As far as staff, everyone is still here, the GM is still here and most of his staff. Some of guys on the team are here as well. I don’t think a whole lot has changed. How has the training camp experience has been different this time around?
Parent: When I first came out I was young; I was new to everything. I didn’t really know what to expect. Now after being in the league for a few years, I felt more comfortable at camp and with the league. It was more or less just getting comfortable again with the team. What is the biggest change in your game since the last time you were with the Preds?
Parent: I didn’t really change to much, mostly just developed; I developed my role. I guess I still play the same way I did when I first came here I have just gained a little experience. You've been a part of some pretty deep, skilled defensive groups in Philadelphia, what are your impression of this year’s Preds defensive corps?
Parent: I think it is really solid. It’s pretty young too, but there are a couple of great guys: Weber, Suter and then you have Frankie Boullion keeping us in line. So I think it’s a good group of guys and our closeness is going to be good for us this year in the long run. What’s it like to play in front of Pekka Rinne?
Parent: He’s good. Actually before I came here I played with him some in the minors, we had a playoff run. So I knew him a little bit before. He was young then too but everyone kind of knew what kind of goalie he would develop into. So I am excited to be able to play in front of a goalie like that. Trades are always tough times on a player, but what was your first thought when you found out you had been traded for Peter Forsberg?
Parent: I was shocked. I was in juniors at the time, so I wasn’t even playing professional yet; so I didn’t really understand. But I wasn’t set in Nashville, it wasn’t like I had a house or family here, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But over the last few years I have always thought about what it would be like playing here. Then sure enough I get traded back here; it's a small world. In hockey you never know where you are going to end up. But I am happy to be back here." What was it like to play for the Stanley Cup last season in Philly?
Parent: It was pretty intense. It felt kind of surreal at times. Just something I grew up watching every year as a kid and then to be part of it was kind of hard to grasp at the time. When you look back at it even though we didn’t win, I was very happy to get there. It just gives me a more motivation to get back there again. You were a part of a pretty good draft class with the Preds; five of you in Preds Training Camp this year (you, Teemu Laakso-Round 3, Cody Franson-Round 3, Cal O’Reilly-Round 5, Patric Hornqvist-Round 7) and possibly four in the Opening Night lineup. When you came to Rookie/Development camp that first time did you think that many of you would be here in the NHL?
Parent: There is a big group of us that spent time here when we were younger during rookie camps in the summer. I met and became friends with a lot of theses guys. Obliviously I left, but when I came back it never really felt like I left. I am looking forward to playing with them all.

It says the organization is really big on developing young players and giving them the opportunities. I think that is something that is crucial and a whole team building way it great to have your veteran players and your young guys. Having the veterans showing the young guys the way and I think it is just a great way to build a team. When you signed your first pro contract, what was the first thing you bought?
Parent: Not much. I am kind of a quite guy. I was excited to sign. We did it over the summer time and it was kind of a relief to get that part of the business out of the way before I came down for camp. That’s just not something you want to be worrying about when you're at camp. So I was happy and relieved to get that done and over with. Actually when I signed I came down here to play in the minors; I was a little nervous because it was going to be my first pro experience.
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