Dave Scatchard missed the game so much he decided to make a comeback. Ever since, he has missed his family,
One of two players recalled by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday the 33-year-old forward believes he soon will have the best of both worlds again.
He was added to the roster to help provide a veteran presence up front a day after after Jason Arnott was placed on Injured Reserve.
“We are young, we have a lot of inexperience in key positions,” coach Barry Trotz said. “… Usually with inexperience comes a little bit of inconsistency, so you want to stabilize the group a little bit. I think with (Scatchard), he has over 600 games of NHL experience, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Scatchard and defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who also was recalled, will be with the team Thursday when it plays at Boston (6 p.m., Fox Sports Tennessee-Comcast Ch. 28) in the first of three road games in four nights.
Before long, though, Scatchard hopes to have his wife and two young children relocate from their current home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“My wife’s family is from (Knoxville),” he said. “So she’s very excited about everything. I haven’t seen my family in a month, and I miss them terribly. I think after this road trip, if things go well, I’ll at least get them here.”
Scatchard has appeared in 635 NHL games with Vancouver, the New York Islanders, Boston and Phoenix between 1997 and 2007. He played a total of 11 contests in the American Hockey League in 2007-08 and sat out all of last season.
He began a comeback this fall when he took part in Vancouver’s training camp under a Professional Tryout Agreement. He then signed a two-way contract with Nashville on Oct. 7, one day prior to the Predators’ season-opener, and spent the first part of the season with Milwaukee, where he had a team-leading three goals and 17 penalty minutes in four games.
“I really missed playing and I missed being part of a team and competing and trying to do something as a group – setting a goal and accomplishing it,” Scatchard said. “That’s what I really missed while I was gone.
“Every day that ate away at me, so I figured even though I had a nice life … I miss battling.”
To make room for Sulzer, defenseman Teemu Laakso was reassigned to Milwaukee.
Laakso played in each of the Predators’ first seven contests and averaged 10:48 of ice time, which was fewest among the defensemen. He had no points and two penalty minutes.
Sulzer, one of the final players cut in training camp, had six points (one goal, five assists) for Milwaukee. He played two games for Nashville last season.
“We’re in an area where we want (Laakso) to play a little more, so it’s really just a flip right now,” Trotz said. “I think Laakso needs to play. He’s been here a month, so let’s get his ice time up … but I was really happy with his camp and his play.”
The trip to Boston could not have come at a better time for rookie Colin Wilson, who planned to celebrate his 20th birthday by taking in the college hockey game between Boston University and Notre Dame on Tuesday.
Wilson spent the last two seasons at BU and helped that school win the 2009 NCAA Championship. When he decided to turn pro and sign with the Predators he forfeited his last two years of college eligibility.
“It’s my birthday, I’m coming back to Boston,” the Connecticut native said. “… I think it was pretty clear-cut after the second year that it was time to get out.
“(But) I miss college, I miss the guys, I miss the town. … You never want to look too far ahead, but this one has been circled on the calendar.”
Defenseman Dan Hamhuis (upper body) skated on his own Monday but not on Tuesday.
He, Arnott (upper body) and Jordin Tootoo (hip flexor) all will skip the road trip.