The Nashville Predators activated defenseman P.K. Subban from Injured Reserve on Friday and expect him to play tonight in Edmonton.
"It's not easy being a player and knowing you have to come out of the lineup for an extended period of time," Subban said on Thursday at the team hotel. "Every day that went by, I was just itching at the opportunity to get back in there. I'm happy to be able to do that tonight.
"Every player goes through the season where there's a point that they can't do everything that they want on the ice. That's part of an 82-game season, you just grind through it. Usually that's what I've been able to do in my career until that point. So that's why it was tough to accept that I had to come out and be out for an extended period of time. At the same token, I think I took it a lot better than most guys would because I haven't had, knock on wood, too many instances where I've had to sit out for an extended period of time in my career so far. So I just hope that continues and that having a positive attitude around the team and trying to support my teammates, and doing the best that I could do with what I could do outside the lineup to help the team. I think, now being back in the lineup, I can do that on the ice now."
The 27-year-old blueliner has missed the previous 16 games with an upper-body injury. Subban had 17 points (7g-10a) in the Predators' opening 29 games before exiting with what he described in January as "a new injury."
"I think you come to the point where, it's a general consensus. It's not just on me, it's also on the coaching staff and the training staff," Subban said of returning from injury. "The one thing that this organization does, they do everything right, right from the start. Right from the day that I knew I was coming out of the lineup they took the right steps in making sure that we're moving in the right direction. Right from that moment, to getting me back as soon as possible, and more importantly, as soon as my body was ready to do it. I think giving them feedback on how I felt after workouts, how I felt after training. Then we came to a consensus this morning, I told them last night, I'll take the morning skate and see how I felt this morning and everything was good. So we all decided that I was good to go."
Adding Subban back into the mix will be a welcome addition for the Preds, who are also missing another franchise defenseman in Roman Josi (Injured Reserve; upper-body).
The Predators take on the Oilers for the first time this season tonight (at 8 p.m. CT on FS-TN and 102.5 The Game). Nashville will make their first visit to the new Rogers Place prior to hosting Edmonton twice next month.
"I think that it's a beautiful building," Subban said of Rogers Place. "It's not as nice as Bridgestone Arena, but it's pretty nice. They have some great players that have come into this organization over the past few years. We know how solid their fan base is here with the history of the team. They deserve it, and they got a new arena now and I'm sure that comes with a lot of energy every home game. They want to make sure that they show up and play the right way. For us right now, we're [2-1-0] coming into this game, and we have an opportunity to make this road trip a great one, and I think it starts tonight. How great would it be to get two points in this building?"
In 10 career games versus the Oilers, Subban has registered 13 points (2g-11a).