A struggling Nashville Predators team that has dropped four straight games might be on track to get some good news this week, as at least one injured player may return for the lineup in time for Thursday’s match-up with the Calgary Flames. Defenseman Hal Gill will be the first player to return, while forward Patric Hornqvist has started skating and may not be far behind. There is still no timetable on the returns of Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad, but things at least seem like they’ll get better for the Predators before they get worse.
Gill’s return would be a big boost to a defense that has struggled in the absence of Ryan Suter. While he doesn’t contribute much offensively, Gill is a big body that can help shut down opponents. He last played on Feb. 23 and averaged nearly 13 minutes of ice time before being sidelined with a lower-body injury.
Hornqvist has only appeared in 14 games this season, scoring three goals and adding five assists. He has been sidelined twice, limiting his ability to really get things going offensively. Wilson was leading the Predators with seven goals and 19 points before suffering an upper-body injury two weeks ago.
The Predators put forward Zach Boychuk on waivers earlier this week, so there is a roster spot open for someone to come off injured reserve. Boychuk appeared in five games for Nashville, scoring one goal but not doing enough to impress coach Barry Trotz. He was re-claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes, the team he started the season with.