Preds make first cuts

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 2:37pm

The Nashville Predators made the first cuts of training camp this morning returning eight players to their junior clubs or to Europe.

The players designated were forwards Patric Hornqvist, Mark Santorelli, Nick Spaling and Viktor Sjodin; defensemen Teemu Laakso, Robert Dietrich and Jonathon Blum and goaltender Jeremy Smith.

Coach Barry Trotz announced that goaltender Chris Mason will start Thursday night against the Atlanta Thrashers at 7 p.m. at the Sommet Center. Mason is expected to play two thirds of the game. Trotz will choose between Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis as the back-up to Mason this season. All three played this morning's in a scrimmage.

Defenseman Alex Henry sustained a groin injury in the scrimmage, but is not expected to be sidelined.

Team captain Jason Arnott went down after what Trotz called an equipment problem.

“He is more embarrassed than hurt,” Trotz said.

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