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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 16

Cody McLeod is "Pumped" to Join Team; Preds Joined by Mario on the Road

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The way Cody McLeod plays the game - that physical, hard-nosed, in-your-face style - can take its toll on the body. But the 32-year-old, now in his third full day as a member of the Nashville Predators, sure isn't feeling the effects at the moment.

A 10-year NHL veteran, McLeod got into a fight and scored a goal in his Predators debut on Saturday, which just so happened to come against his former team in Colorado. All things considered, it couldn't have gone much better.

"It was kind of a crazy couple days there, and all the guys in here were great when I got to meet them before the game," McLeod said. "The icing on the cake was getting that win, especially in Denver. The guys have been great and made it an easy transition."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 13

Preds Trade for Veteran McLeod; Nashville Sees Subban, Neal Take the Ice

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

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."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 11

Josi Discusses Overtime Winner; Bitetto Celebrates Weber's Milestone

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Roman Josi was sure of one thing.

After playing an integral role in killing off a 4-on-3 Vancouver Canucks power play in overtime for more than 90 seconds, Josi corralled the loose puck - after he'd just blocked a shot in front of his own net - and steamed up ice with everything he had, Calle Jarnkrok joining him on the right side.

Once he knew he had Jarnkrok along for the ride, Josi only had one objective.

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Preds Ready to Face Shea Weber for First Time

General Manager David Poile is Looking Forward to Seeing His Former Captain

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

When the Nashville Predators took to the ice at Ford Ice Center in preparation to host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday evening, there were a few more people in the building than usual.

For one, fans of the Preds came out in force to get a glimpse of their favorite players on Monday during one of the team's annual practices at the suburban Nashville facility. But perhaps just as noticeable was the addition of a handful of television cameras and reporters on hand to document the next chapter of one of hockey's biggest trades of all time.

Former Predators captain Shea Weber will make his return to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, his first game against his former club since being dealt to Montreal on June 29 in exchange for P.K. Subban. Unfortunately, one side of the story will be absent from the contest, as Subban is on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 1

Subban Placed on Injured Reserve; Bitetto (IR) Practices Again

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The Nashville Predators rang in the New Year with a practice on Sunday afternoon, but they did so without one of their top players.

It was announced Sunday that defenseman P.K. Subban, who has missed the past seven games with an upper-body injury, was placed on Injured Reserve and will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks. The update means Subban will not be able to play Tuesday against his former team, the Montreal Canadiens, who come to town for the first and only time this season.

Although the Preds would prefer to have No. 76 in the lineup, they've been making adjustments in his absence for the past two weeks, and Head Coach Peter Laviolette has confidence that his group can continue to handle the void left by Subban on the backend.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: December 28

After Scoring in His Second Game with the Preds, Reid Boucher is Finding His Comfort Level

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

When Reid Boucher skated in his first game as a member of the Nashville Predators, he wasn't quite comfortable just yet. Plus, he was running out of things to wear.

"We were on a road trip with New Jersey at the time, Nashville was our last game and I was running out of clothes pretty quick," Boucher said with a laugh after Wednesday's practice. "So I just got the call to tell me I got picked up by Nashville, and I just stayed here. It's been a very exciting time for me, and I had my girlfriend drive all my clothes and stuff down from Jersey."

Claimed on waivers from the Devils on Dec. 3 - the Predators opponent that afternoon - Boucher didn't have far to go to join his new team. He was inserted into the lineup the next evening against Philadelphia after receiving a crash course on the Preds system and what was expected of him on the ice.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: December 14

Neal Makes Donation to Make-A-Wish; Rinne Hits 250 Wins

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Less than 24 hours after scoring the goal that started his team's miraculous comeback, James Neal was doing his part once more.

Thanks to his second annual hockey clinic this past September to benefit Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee, the Nashville Predators assistant captain presented the organization with a check totaling more than $12,700 to go directly toward helping Make-A-Wish grant the wishes of those who deserve them most.

"I've loved my time in Nashville here, and to be able to give back, to be involved with kids and hockey is special for me," Neal said. "It's fun to do and the way hockey's growing in Nashville and how the fans embrace us here in the city is great. It's always a nice day when this happens."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: December 12

Ryan Ellis and Colton Sissons Nearing Return as the Preds Begin Their Next Home Stand

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

After dropping two games on the road, the Nashville Predators have returned to town looking to get back on track this week, and they could be getting some assistance.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Colton Sissons, both still on Injured Reserve, participated fully in Monday's practice at Centennial Sportsplex, as they look to return from their upper-body injuries. Sissons took rushes on the fourth line alongside Austin Watson and Calle Jarnkrok, while Ellis saw time paired with Roman Josi on defense, signaling a return could be coming soon.

"Hopefully," Ellis said on his prospects of playing Tuesday against St. Louis. "Every day is getting better and better, but we'll talk to the [trainers], talk to the coaches and see what they feel."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: December 2

Whether or Not He Enters the Lineup, Mike Liambas is Making the Most of His Time with the Preds

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Mike Liambas isn't sure if he'll see any ice time for the Nashville Predators this weekend, but if he does, he has a plan in place.

"If I do get in the lineup, maybe I'll almost play head games with myself, pretend I'm still playing in Milwaukee so I don't get nervous," Liambas quipped. "But I'm just going to keep doing what I do."

What he's been doing during his time with the Admirals this season earned him a recall from Milwaukee to Nashville last Saturday, the first such in-season transaction of his career. Liambas is hoping to see his first regular season NHL action sometime soon, but for the 27-year-old, just the experience alone has been well worth his time.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: December 1

Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros Both Receive Monthly Accolades, plus Preds Injury News

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

No one was surprised to learn of Thursday morning's news. Well, maybe except for the honoree himself.

Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was named the NHL's First Star for the Month of November after going 9-1-2 with a .949 save percentage and a 1.49 goals-against average. The goals-against and save percentage were his best in any calendar month of his career.

"It was a nice surprise when I got to the rink and [Head Coach Peter Laviolette] told me the news," Rinne said of the honor. "It does feel good, but it is also a credit to my teammates. We had a month of October that wasn't great for us, and then [November was] great for us, and for me personally, too. It is a team effort, but when you get recognized, it does feel good."

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