Predators visit Jackets with major additon coming soon
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Nashville Predators will play their first game on Tuesday night since landing center Kyle Turris in a blockbuster deal that involved the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche.
Whether Turris makes his Predators debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena was still to be determined as of Monday night while the team worked out immigration issues.
It is more likely that Turris will be available for a home game on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"I'm not sure how long the immigration process is going to take," Turris said. "I'll definitely be in Nashville by middle of this week for sure and hopefully get a few practices in before the game on Saturday."
In the meantime, the Predators (7-5-2) are in Columbus for the first meeting of the season between the longtime rivals. Nashville last played on Saturday night in Los Angeles, coming away with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Kings. The Tuesday game wraps up a four-game road trip.
On Sunday, Nashville general manager David Poile pulled off a major coup that strengthens the Predators up the middle for years to come with the addition of Turris as part of a three-team trade. The other major player in the deal was forward Matt Duchene, who went from the Avalanche to the Senators.
Colorado received goaltender Andrew Hammond, a protected first-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft, a third-round pick in 2019 and forward Shane Bowers from Ottawa. The Predators shipped young defenseman Samuel Girard, forward Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick in the 2018 draft to the Avalanche.
Before the trade was completed Turris signed a six-year, $36 million deal with the Predators through 2022-23. His contract was set to expire at the end of this season.
The acquisition of Turris was widely acclaimed throughout the league. He will add to a talented corps of forwards that includes Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson, Calle Jornkrok, Filip Forsberg, Nick Bonino, Kevin Fiala, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau.
"Since the franchise started 20 years ago, our skill and depth at the center position has always been something that we've coveted and continually searched for," Poile said. "With the acquisition of Kyle Turris, we are now as skilled and as deep at the center position as we ever have been."
Turris, who had three goals and nine points in 11 games for the Senators this season, is expected to center the second line behind Johansen and bump Bonino to the middle of the third line.
The 28-year-old Turris scored a career-high 27 goals during the 2016-17 regular season and helped the Senators reach the Eastern Conference finals with four goals and 10 points in the playoffs. In seven years with Ottawa, he led the team in goals with 117 and was second in points with 274.
Another Nashville newcomer definitely will be in Columbus for the Tuesday night game. Veteran forward Scott Hartnell, who joined the Predators in the offseason after the Blue Jackets decided not to re-sign him, has four goals and seven points in 14 games for Nashville this season.
The Blue Jackets (9-5-1) limped home from the second game of a back-to-back after a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. They blew two leads and gave up three power-play goals in the third period.
"Tough night for the kill," Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky said. "We need to get back to work and try to have a short memory here. Obviously, we're not happy with it. It sunk us tonight."
The Blue Jackets completed a three-game road trip with a 1-1-1 record, but the bigger issue is mounting injuries. The latest casualty is gritty forward Matt Calvert, who is out three to four weeks with an upper-body injury sustained during the Saturday night game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Calvert's absence was noticeable on the power play against the Rangers. Third-period penalties also hurt.
"Couldn't kill one off," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "When you take stupid penalties, you don't kill them off. We're a dumb hockey team tonight. We (threw) one away."
Updated November 7, 2017