There is a sign inside the Predators’ dressing room at Centennial Sportsplex.
It reads, “Work Ethic: There Is No Substitute For It. It Is The Foundation For All Success. It Is The Ingredient That Gets You From Good To Great.”
By looking at the rink Tuesday, it’s clear the Predators are continuing to live the message.
Training camp doesn’t officially start until Saturday but every veteran Predator was present during an informal skate at Centennial. There is not one straggler, no one running a couple of days late to Nashville.
“It’s commitment,” Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne
said. “Everybody came early and ready for training camp. It almost feels like it’s a regular practice out there.”
After the most successful season in Predators history in 2010-11, the players said they were itching to get back to work.
“It was a long summer for a lot of us after what we did in the playoffs,” Predators forward Jordin Tootoo
said. “We just have to look at it from a positive and move forward. It’s great that we have everyone back in town. To see familiar faces is always a plus. I think the energy we bring in the dressing room just feeds off each other. I’m sure you can tell on the ice, everyone is eager to get the camp started.”
“It’s a long summer when you play two rounds of playoffs and then after that everyone goes home,” Rinne said. “There are a lot of European guys and you don’t see each other during the offseason. You start missing these guys. It comes August and you are already wanting to come back. Obviously it’s really nice to be home, too. But it’s nice be back here and see everybody. I think most of the guys feel the same way.”
The informal skates have been anything but slow paced and veteran David Legwand
has been directing the players.
“Our pace is always right up there,” Predators forward Jerred Smithson said. “It’s go, go, go non-stop. Guys are motivated and you see that from the skates out here and how they’re going. They’re bearing down, laughing and working hard. That’s a huge part of it.”Note:
Rookie camp is scheduled to end Wednesday and all players – rookies and veterans alike – will be given a mandatory day off Thursday. Off-ice testing and medicals will be performed Friday before training camp begins on Saturday.