Predators swap tough guys with waiver claim

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:07pm

The Nashville Predators pulled a tough guy shuffle Tuesday.

Nashville claimed 30-year-old Brian McGrattan off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks. A 6-foot-4, 235-pound forward, he is a veteran of 182 NHL contests with Ottawa, Phoenix and Calgary.

"We like those tough guys and we feel like we've had some success with guys like Jim McKenzie, Stu Grimson and Wade Belak," general manager David Poile said. "We feel that this is a player that makes sense for us."

To make room on the roster, Zach Stortini was placed on waivers with the intent that he would be reassigned to Milkwaukee. His 24-hour waiver period ends at 11 a.m. (CDT) Wednesday. The other 29 teams in the league have until that time to claim him and add him to their NHL roster.

McGrattan, who will join the team Wednesday evening and be available for Thursday's home-opener against Phoenix, has a little more size than Stortini (he is listed at 30 pounds heavier) but has less NHL experience.

Stortini had a fight in his lone appearance for Nashville in Saturday’s victory at St. Louis. He played just 4:53 in that contest.

"Zach did as good a job as he could do playing that role," Poile said. "McGratten is a true heavyweight."

He also comes with a slightly higher price tag. His two-way contract calls for him to earn an NHL salary of $600,000, $50,000 more than Stortini, who played in one of Nashville’s first two games this season.

McGrattan last was in the NHL in 2009-10, when he appeared in 34 games with the Flames and fought 14 times. The bulk of his experience was with Ottawa, for which he played 143 games over three seasons beginning in 2005-06.

He has 395 career penalty minutes, an average of more than two per game and has been treated under the league's substance abuse policy.

"This is about giving somebody a second chance," Poile said. "We really like what we saw out of him in training camp and the preseason games. I have a good feeling this is going to work out well for us."