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An old friend

Thursday, 11.8.2007 / 3:28 PM CT / Features
By Kevin Wilson  - Nashville Predators
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An old friend
MacInnis (Left) and Trotz (Right) back in their junior days in Regina.
When the Hockey Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2007 this weekend in Toronto, it will include an old friend of Predators head coach Barry Trotz. Defenseman Al MacInnis, considered to have one of the hardest shots in NHL history, will attain “legend” status 28 years after rooming with Trotz as a member of the Regina Pat Blues of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

“Al MacInnis is the same person today as he was as a 16-year-old kid in Regina,” Trotz said. “He has the same respect for the game and has the same approach to the game, and that is giving it his total effort all the time.”

Trotz saw the young MacInnis’ commitment to the game from the very beginning.

“When we went into that season, everyone said he wasn’t quite fast enough,” Trotz said. “But we weren’t far into the season and there was noticeable improvement. We knew then that he had the capability to become a great player.”

While Trotz took the coaching trail, first in Baltimore and Portland of the American Hockey League before coming to Nashville in 1998-99, MacInnis broke into the NHL with the Calgary Flames in 1981-82. He won a Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) in 1989, then went on to St. Louis, where he collected a Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman in 1999.

Despite going their different ways, their paths crossed often – on 26 occasions MacInnis played for the rival Blues with Trotz behind the Nashville bench. Injuries forced him to retire, but MacInnis reemerged within the St. Louis organization prior to the 2006-07 campaign when he was named Vice President of Hockey Operations.

“He is a guy that will continue to learn, and I can see him being a general manager or assistant general manager down the road,” Trotz said. “What I know of Al, he won’t be satisfied being good at what he is doing, he wants to be the best. It doesn’t matter what it is.”
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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 55 33 19 3 151 129 69
5 SJS 54 29 20 5 158 144 63
6 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
7 COL 59 29 26 4 156 164 62
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 55 25 24 6 144 168 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 140 158 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 139 169 50

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 56 11 31 0 42
F. Forsberg 56 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 56 15 21 -2 36
M. Ribeiro 56 6 30 3 36
J. Neal 56 21 14 19 35
M. Ekholm 56 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 55 6 16 2 22
C. Jarnkrok 55 11 8 2 19
C. Smith 56 11 7 -1 18
R. Johansen 16 4 12 6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 6 2 1 .924 2.10