We are one week into “Phase 2” of the NHL’s Return To Play plan. Nashville Predators captain, Roman Josi, and others are planning on training together soon.
Other topics covered were time away from family when the playoffs start, excitement about an actual training camp with Coach John Hynes, and his desire to win a Norris Trophy during his career.
Josi is a front-runner this year and should win over Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson for his first Norris Trophy of his career.
One interesting note is Josi appeared to confirm that he has been skating with a few players that are still in Nashville. He also confirmed that there are about ten Predators who are still in the city, per Brooks Bratten:
— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) June 17, 2020
Josi said they are discussing being able to get into Bridgestone Arena to skate in that facility. Still, he’s satisfied with individual workouts and small group skates at the moment.
The captain stressed the importance of the individual workouts that players are doing. He said it’s like the personal work that you do in preparation for a regular season training camp.
Josi stated that he would also take the lead in getting players back to Nashville so that they can participate in the voluntary practices as much as possible.
Once all players are back in Nashville participating in the voluntary workouts, they would have a couple of weeks of practice before training camp opens.
With this exciting news, we can speculate on who is still in Nashville and who Josi may be working out with.
Who Isn’t In Nashville
Through some social media sleuthing, we can deduce who may not be in Nashville at the moment.
Rinne was in Nashville, but I believe he flew home to get some ice time, possibly. Duchene started the pandemic in Nashville but has since flown to Canada with his family.
At last check, Korbinian Holzer flew home to Germany as well. He was posting to Instagram from Germany at the end of May but may have returned to Nashville since then.
By following social media, we have been getting glimpses of the players working out individually where ever they are currently. With the exciting news about training camp beginning on July 10, we should start hearing more about players as they arrive back in Nashville.
Who Is In Nashville
Obviously, Josi confirmed in the video conference that he opted to stay in Nashville. I have seen social media posts from Rocco Grimaldi and his wife confirming that they are in Nashville as well.
Kyle Turris and his family opted to stay in Nashville. His wife Julie confirmed this on the Ida and Julie podcast. We have also seen several video posts by Kyle himself, including the infamous “ketchup in mac and cheese” video.
The most exciting part of all of this is that the players that remained in Nashville have been working out and skating in preparation for training camp.
While we know that Bridgestone Arena isn’t quite ready to host the team, the fact that the Predators in Nashville have been able to skate is excellent news.
There are a few players that I hope have been getting together with Josi to skate and are beginning to get back into the swing of things.
One of my favorite lines this year consists of Nick Bonino, Craig Smith, and Rocco Grimaldi. These three played very well together and are considered the workhorse line of the team.
If all three are in Nashville, it would be to their benefit to put in some extra time together to cement that line and come back even better than before.
Although I’m unsure of his whereabouts, another player that I hope is skating with Josi is Ryan Johansen. This time off has been a gift to Johansen that has hopefully allowed him to reflect on his game and make the necessary mental adjustments to get him back on track playing-wise.
Lastly, I am hopeful that Ryan Ellis and Josi have started skating together or that they will be soon. It will be good to see one of the best defensive pairings in the NHL take the ice together.
As the countdown to playoff hockey begins, it is exciting to start getting news about the team. We, as fans, can take comfort in the fact that the Predators have a plan in place and that they are working individually and in small groups, paving the way to training camp.
The Predators have a lot to prove in the coming weeks and the qualifying round.