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Now Starring for Preds, Turris Set for Ottawa Return

Nashville Centerman Will Face Senators for First Time Since November Trade

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Kyle Turris admitted he hasn't thought much about returning to Canada's capital.

It's tough to blame him - a grueling schedule with games every other day at the very least, and travel in between, doesn't necessarily allow the mind to wander away from the present.

But when he steps foot in Canadian Tire Center on Thursday night in Ottawa, a rink he called home for the parts of seven seasons before an early November trade brought him to Nashville, the memories that include being one game away from reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Final will undoubtedly come rushing back.

"We loved Ottawa," Turris said Wednesday from the dressing room in Toronto, a day before the Preds headed north to face the Senators. "We have great memories and it's going to be a lot of fun to play in there."

It's been enjoyable for the Preds to play just about anywhere the last three months, and Turris is a big reason why.

Since joining the Predators on Nov. 5, 2017, Turris has posted six goals and 22 points in 37 games, including a seven-game point streak to begin the month of December. But it might just be Kevin Fiala who has appreciated the arrival of Turris more than anyone else.

Video: NSH@NYI: Fiala, Turris combine for smooth tally

Before Turris stepped foot in the Nashville locker room? Zero goals in 14 games for the 21-year-old forward. After Turris started centering a line with Fiala on his left, a pair that has predominantly been together ever since? How about 17 goals, a mark that was tied for the team lead entering Wednesday's contest in Toronto.

"He's just a very explosive, creative, skilled player that I just try to give the puck and get open," Turris said of Fiala. "He is a very good player. Very fast."

Just as nimble, Craig Smith is the winger who has been flanking the ride side with Turris and Fiala, someone who has continued to enjoy his bounce-back season with No. 8 in the middle. Both former Wisconsin Badgers, Smith had heard of the skill Turris possess for a while, now he just has a front seat every night.

"He's smart out there, he's poised with the puck, and I think he has a good sense of where me and Kevin are at times," Smith said of Turris. "He gives us time to move into different pockets, and after that, he's a great passer, so we have to keep our sticks down. But I think it's been great working with him."

Turris's disposition has also been a welcomed addition in the room as well - a relaxed, veteran influence who has his share of postseason experience, which will come in handy soon enough.

"He's just a calm guy, extremely humble, a good family man," Smith said. "He's a really good teammate and he's a really good person, so I think that goes a long way."

Nashville is finally beginning to feel like home for Turris now that his wife and three children have all settled into the Music City, a process that was certainly tedious to handle in the midst of an NHL season.

Perhaps now he'll have more time to scout out a new favorite dessert, among other ambitions, while continuing to play an integral role in not only where the Preds are heading in the present, but also the future.

"We have a great opportunity here this year, and for the years moving forward," Turris said of the Predators being a Stanley Cup contender. "It's exciting, but at the same time, we have to take advantage of it. You don't get this opportunity very often and we have to build off of it, get hot at the right time and take advantage of it."

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