Predators already changing plans for training camp

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:07pm

Barry Trotz and his staff had roughly four months to plan exactly what they wanted to do during training camp.

Just two days into that plan the Nashville Predators coach has decided to make a change. It is not likely to be the last.

“We’ve planned everything out but we’re going to reevaluate after every two days,” Trotz said Monday following the first on-ice session of the abbreviated camp, which runs through Friday. “…We planned out the whole week and we’re adjusting it from day-to-day. I told the guys … ‘This is what I envision but it’s subject to change.’ The subject to change may be: a venue change.”

The schedule is for all of this week’s work to take place at the team’s practice facility at Centennial Sportsplex.

With the first two games of the season set for Bridgestone Arena, beginning Saturday against Columbus (7 p.m.), the thinking now is that it might be best to conduct some of the week’s later practices – likely beginning Thursday – there.

After all, outside of an informal workout Saturday, the players have not been on their home ice since May 4, 2012. That was when they lost the critical fourth game of their Western Conference playoff series with the Phoenix Coyotes.

“The boards are a little different,” Trotz said. “… It could be effective for our players just to get reacquainted to being at home and to make it feel like our spot.

In addition to where, what happens during some of the workouts might not go according to plan either.

“One of the things we looked at is maybe a little bit more of a scrimmage setting and maybe a little more time in our rink, just from an ice standpoint,” Trotz said. “After the first two days we’re really evaluating, ‘OK, what do we have to cover?’ I really believe that if you try to cover everything you’re not going to be good at anything. Let’s get good at a number of key things, foundation things and then we’re just going to have to keep building.”

Early last week, in the wake of the announcement that negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHL Players Association had concluded, Trotz talked about the impact of the lockout on training camp preparations.

So many meetings had taken place over the previous weeks, he said, that the final planning session took far less time than usual. All of that effort, though, ultimately did not produce a plan that was set in stone.

“We want to be good at certain things [by the first game],” Trotz said. “We want to play fast, which is a Nashville trait. We want to play strong defensively, which is a Nashville trait. And we want to have everyone involved in terms of our whole game in all three zones.

“… We’re trying to make sure we’re covering everything but we may not get to everything until 10 days into this process instead of five days. So we’re going to have to adjust a little bit.”

As often as every two days, if that’s what it takes.