The Nashville Predators will be missing two new faces from the lineup when they take on the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night. Nashville was blasted with an ice storm Monday, but that is not the reason the Predators’s newly-acquired defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli will not be in town. The issue?
Franson and Santorelli, both Canadian natives, played for the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Predators on Sunday. As foreign born hockey players, they need P-1 visas, more commonly known as temporary visas, to reside in the United States while playing in the NHL.
As of now, they have yet to obtain their P-1’s.
The visa process typically takes a couple days, but with the weather circumstances in Nashville, the process could take longer.
The Predators begin a three-game road trip on Thursday against the New York Islanders, and if all goes well, Franson and Santorelli could be in the lineup then. Realistically, however, look for them to debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
A blog ‘Canadian Crossing‘ detailed the difficulties Chris Kelly experienced in 2011 after being traded.
Chris Kelly is a Canadian who played for the Ottawa Senators and was traded to the Boston Bruins — Canada to the United States. Getting traded from a U.S. team to a Canadian team — regardless of nationality — is pretty straight-forward; but Kelly was going in the other direction, and that was the problem.
Kelly needed a P-1 visa in order to play for the Bruins, well, to play games in the United States. Kelly stayed in Ottawa waiting for the paperwork and Boston played in Ottawa Friday night.
P-1 visas cover athletes and entertainers that have obtained “international recognition” — being in the NHL would qualify.
Kelly did get his P-1 visa and can play for Boston anywhere, even though ironically, the Bruins are on a trip in Western Canada. Kelly did miss one game against the Islanders.
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Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW.