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Kyle Turris Logs First Practice, Set for Saturday Debut

Preds Practice Ponderings for Nov. 9: Turris Centers Second Line, Bonino Close to Return

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

After skating in his first official practice with his new team on Thursday, Kyle Turris stated he not only enjoys country music, but is also a big fan of the Nashville-based rock band Kings Of Leon, a favorite of many of his Predators teammates.

As if he wasn't already a good fit.

Day two in the Music City saw Turris join the rest of the Preds at Ford Ice Center for an hour-long skate, the first opportunity for Head Coach Peter Laviolette and his staff to see their new centerman up close.

Wingers Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith flanked Turris during line rushes on Thursday, the first trio Laviolette may elect to try this weekend. If so, the bench boss believes Turris will be a benefit to whoever he sees the ice with, especially Fiala, who is still searching for his first goal of the season.

"He's going to help whoever he plays with," Laviolette said of Turris. "He's certainly going to help power play, help your offense, comes in as a guy that can make plays, score goals - I think he does both well… But if somebody gets a chance on that line, I think [they instantly] have a chance to become a more offensive threat, just because of his presence out there."

It's a perfect time for Turris to join the team, too - with three days at home before they next try for two points in a Stanley Cup Final rematch with Pittsburgh, the schedule offers ample time for Turris to not only familiarize himself with the X's and O's of the game, but also simple things like finding his way around the rink and meeting those he'll be working with.

"[For Kyle to] come in today and talk about systems and what we might be trying to do on the ice, to have two good practices as a team with everybody out there, that's really important," Laviolette said.

Video: Laviolette discusses the addition of Kyle Turris

Just as one center joins the team, the Preds could also be getting another back in the lineup soon. Nick Bonino, currently on Injured Reserve, has been skating with the team for a week now and did so once again on Thursday.

Center depth has been a hot topic since the acquisition of Turris on Sunday evening, and with the addition of one, and possibly two, back into the lineup, the possibilities are plentiful.

"We've had [the center depth] here really for three years since I've been here, but this year, we haven't had it with Kyle not being here and Bonino being out of the lineup and [Frederick Gaudreau] hasn't been here the whole time," Laviolette said. "I think it's easier for a center to go play wing, but more difficult for a winger to come in and play center. To have those extra centermen in the lineup can always be a benefit."

The game Laviolette and his team are preparing for comes Saturday night in Nashville against Pittsburgh, the first meeting back at Bridgestone Arena since last June's outings. While the Preds are certainly aware of the opponent, returning after a four-game, eight-day road trip is more of what the home team has top of mind.

Video: Turris tries on Preds Gold, skates at first practice

And one player will undoubtedly enjoy the Kings Of Leon song that begins the Predators warm-up mix.

"I'm sure [playing Pittsburgh is] going to be a story, but for us, we have to continue to play well and try to push for points here," Laviolette said. "It's good to be back home. I think that's probably first for me, it's good to be back home in our building, in front of our fans. I think our guys are excited about that."

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