by Jas Faulkner, Nashville Correspondent
How far can you jump sideways on one leg? How fast can you skate? These are two of the many questions the Predators had to answer as they went through their pre-training camp medical examinations today.
Head Coach Barry Trotz assured the press who had gathered to watch the speed trials, medicine ball tosses and side jumps that the bulk of the exam was fairly routine but added an apologetic note that the specifics beyond what everyone was seeing were proprietary to the organization.
The mood at the ‘Plex was happily laid back and when asked, the general response was one of good feeling about this coming season and a wish for it to start. “Drop the puck!” was the common refrain heard in the stands, among the press corps and from veteran left wing, Steve Sullivan. Drop the puck indeed. Seeing jumps that would easily clear a dozing Yao Ming and speed trials that would make a soul wonder if Nashville’s Finest were going to show up with radar guns in hand would make the most jaded hockey fan (Is there really such a thing?) long for the start of the season.
When asked for a prediction, a smiling JP Dumont laughed as he headed for the ice and said, “I predict Steve Sullivan will be faster than me.”
Even though the veterans have been skating together for the better part of the last two weeks and the rookies have been here since Wednesday, today’s proceedings had the giddy feel of a homecoming . The tests present a return to routine that in turn signals another chance at taking the Predators further than they have ever been before. A few reporters asked about last year. They wanted to know if anyone was still feeling the sting from what happened at Game Five of the playoffs. While it’s a fair question, the Preds Faithful will tell you that such talk is going to peter out once the rested, revamped and ready to take all comers Predators hit the rink. The Preds you thought you knew? Time to get reeducated.
What’s next? Coverage of training camp, I talk to a slew of bloggers you’ll want to follow, and you’ll get to meet the men who educate and entertain the fans during the game. In the meantime, see you at the ‘Stone, on Twitter and on Facebook.
Jas Faulkner is a minimally socialised writer and artist who lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. She hearts her attitude problem.