As far as logistics are concerned, it may be the easiest transaction in quite some time.
The Nashville Predators acquired forward Cody McLeod from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in exchange for forward Felix Girard, looking to add toughness and leadership to the lineup. Conveniently, McLeod won't have to worry about packing his bags quite yet, as the Preds are coming to him, set to face his former team in Denver on Saturday afternoon.
A veteran presence, who has racked up 1,359 penalty minutes in 659 career games, McLeod is the classic example of a player a club would much rather have on their side than the other.
"You never like going into Colorado and getting matched up with his line," defenseman Ryan Ellis said of McLeod. "He's a big guy, physical, plays the game the right way and plays hard. He gets in your face, it can get intimidating, so it's nice to have a guy like that on our side."
"Cody is one of those players that you love to have on your team," Preds Assistant Coach Kevin McCarthy said. "We've been talking about him for quite a while as a group. We were looking for a guy of his caliber that could come in and play right away, play some important minutes and bring an element to our lineup that we feel that we really need."
McLeod had served as an alternate captain in Colorado for a number of seasons, another element that the Preds hope will be just as well served in their locker room as it is on the ice.
"He's a veteran guy, he's been around a long time," forward Austin Watson said. "I'm sure he's played in a lot of key games, in a lot of situations like that. Anytime you add a veteran player like that, it can only do good things for the room."
Watson has actually scrapped with McLeod earlier this season, but that won't be an issue in Saturday's matchup. Instead, the Preds are looking forward to adding another element to their lineup, as they kick off a five-game road trip.
"We're looking at it one game at a time," Watson said. "We're going in here to Colorado tomorrow in the afternoon and looking to get two points… The way we're playing, we want be better and get on the attack a little bit more, but guys are really working hard right now and we're getting the results."
Josi and Wilson to IR:
Predators forward Colin Wilson (lower-body) and defenseman Roman Josi (upper-body) were both placed on Injured Reserve on Friday morning by the team. Wilson has missed the past three games with his ailment and Josi was injured on Thursday against Boston after taking a high hit from Anton Blidh.
"You can't replace a guy like Roman Josi," McCarthy said. "You try to put guys in positions where they can have success, and obviously there's guys that will have to play some big minutes that haven't gotten those minutes [before]. But we feel confident the group of six that we have can get the job done."
Preds forward James Neal and defenseman P.K. Subban, both on Injured Reserve, participated fully in the team's optional practice on Friday.
Cody McLeod will wear his usual No. 55 with the Predators. As a result, defenseman Alexandre Carrier has changed his jersey number to 73.