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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 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
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10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
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12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33