Predators: News and notes

By Brian Roe

Jim McKenzie, member of the 2003 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, has been signed by the Nashville Predators to serve as a tough guy and enforcer. He is also expected to fill a leadership role for the Predators protecting and teaching the young players excepted to be in the Nashville line-up during the 2003-04 season including Jordin Tootoo, Scottie Upshall, and Timofei Shishkanov. Tootoo has posted over 200 penalty minutes in three of his past four seasons. Upshall had 113 penalty minutes in 42 games with Kamloops in 2002-03. McKenzie has racked up more than 1,600 penalty minutes in 819 NHL contests over the past 14 years.

Jordin Tootoo was recently featured on the Front Page of the Sports Section of USAToday. In an article from Tuesday’s edition, reporters Kevin Allen and others investigate Tootoo’s unique lifestyle. The Nashville prospect talks of his personal hometown workouts, raw fish and the death of his brother, Terence. Tootoo, from the distant territory of Nunavut, is expected to be the first Inuit to play in the NHL.

Andrei Mukhachev signed a two year deal with the Nashville Predators last week. The 2003 seventh round draft choice will remain in Russia for the 2003 season, however. Mukhachev is expected to compete for a roster spot at training camp in 2004, barring an NHL work stoppage.