Predators bring back one forward, send down another

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 3:14pm

The Nashville Predators recalled forward Mike Santorelli and reassigned forward Ryan Jones to Milwaukee on Monday.

Santorelli opened the season with the Predators but was held without a point in the first five contests. Most of his playing time in those games was as a wing on a line with David Legwand and Martin Erat.

He worked at center during Monday’s workout.

“I think that’s probably where we’re going to put him for now,” coach Barry Trotz said. “… He had a good (training) camp for us on the wing. He wasn’t able to produce – yet – there. So we’ll put him back in the middle and maybe he produces there.”

Santorelli was reassigned to Milwaukee and had eight points (four goals, four assists) in four games, including five points (one goal, four assist) in his first AHL appearance of the season.

“I asked Mike to go down and produce,” Trotz said. “I think he’s close to being a regular NHL player but he has to produce at this level. … We’re just trying to find the magic, if we can.”

Jones played in eight of this season’s 10 games and did not have a point.

A first-year pro in 2008-09, Jones had 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 46 games for Nashville last season. He was rewarded in early August with two-year NHL-only contract at $975,000 per season.

“(Jones) missed a good portion of the summer with a back injury … and he never really caught up,” Trotz said. “He’s in a position as a young player, that his game’s not where it needs to be for him to be an effective player for us right now.

“Obviously we have a big belief that Ryan Jones can play and is going to be a part of our hockey team. But when (a player) is not playing (well) you can keep pounding your head against a wall or you try to repair it.”

Briefly

• Defenseman Dan Hamhuis (upper body) and forward Jordin Tootoo (hip flexor) both skated with the team. Tootoo left the ice about midway through the workout.

Hamhuis is expected back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game at Minnesota. No timetable exists yet for Tootoo.

“You could tell that (Tootoo) is a ways off,” Trotz said. “He couldn’t sustain the pace for very long.”

• The day’s workout was a unique one in that it started at 4 p.m. and was conducted at A-Game Sportsplex in Franklin.

“It was kind of like a junior practice after school,” forward Steve Sullivan said. “But it’s great to see a lot of young faces watching us practice. There was a lot of energy.”

The session attracted a large crowd Afterward several players took part in an open skate with some of the fans in attendance.

“Hopefully this will help change things up a little bit,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “It’s early in the year, but still it’s nice to change up the routine a little bit.