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special teams and as a blocker at fullba 
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Post special teams and as a blocker at fullba
NASHVILLE -- Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne cant wait to test himself in a game. The Predators, who announced Wednesday that they are sending Rinne to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, are cautiously waiting to see if the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist can help them chase down a playoff berth. Both Rinne and the team will have a better idea of where he is after the conditioning assignment for games Friday and likely Sunday in this latest step in his recovery from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip. Rinne has been limited to only nine games this season. Coach Barry Trotz said the Predators will be monitoring Rinne after each practice and game. "Hes at a point where weve got to find out where he is game-wise and also body and mind," Trotz said of Rinne. The Predators start a five-game home stand Thursday night hosting Tampa Bay just four points back of the Western Conferences eighth and final playoff spot with 23 games remaining. They missed the playoffs last year for only the second time in nine seasons. How quickly Rinne rejoins them depends on how he fares in Milwaukee. Rinne practiced with the Predators on Wednesday before travelling to Milwaukee, and he called this a big day with doctors giving him the green light for the latest step in his long recovery. He has been sidelined since Oct. 24 for an infection in the hip surgically repaired May 9, and Rinne said hes focusing on getting his game back and help the Predators. "So far I feel really comfortable," Rinne said. "Im happy how things have gone in practice and how things have gone so far. I think Im actually a little bit surprised its been going so well. But like I said, its still a process but for sure I feel like Im really close to game shape and now its just a final couple of games before I jump on the ice with the Nashville team." Rinne, 31, is sixth in the NHL with 152 wins since the 2008-09 season and has 30 shutouts since 2008-09, which leads all goalies during that time. He hasnt played since Oct. 22 in a 2-0 loss at Minnesota. He is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. The Predators have played four other goalies this season trying to make up for Rinnes absence. Currently, Carter Hutton is their starter, and he is 13-9-4 with a .904 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average. Trotz said what theyve been missing without Rinne is a game-changer who can mean the difference in as many as 20 points in the standings each season. "Hes an elite goaltender and steals games maybe when you dont deserve it," Trotz said. "He can steal points." Trotz said theyre not sure what theyll see from Rinne. "Its not about Pekka coming back and being a saviour," Trotz said. "I think its Pekka coming back and adding to our mix. And if he can get his game to the level close to what hes capable of, were a better hockey team plain and simple. To me, its about Pekka for hopefully the next five or six years. Hes a difference maker." Captain Shea Weber, who practiced with the Predators on Wednesday after helping Canada win the Olympic gold medal Sunday in Sochi, said the Predators are definitely excited about the prospect of Rinne returning to the lineup as they try to chase down a playoff spot. "Weve been through a lot this year and to see what position we put ourselves in here four points out coming in its not going to be easy by any means," Weber said. "If anyone can do it, we can." Kamalei Correa Jersey . Team officials did not indicate the extent of the injury Saturday, simply listing Rose with "left knee soreness." Rose has played two preseason games without any sign of problems. The first NBA game in South America now will be missing its biggest star. Ronnie Stanley Jersey . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted Monday morning that Callahan - who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is now open to a six-year contract at less than $7 million per season. http://www.ravensjerseyscheapauthentic. ... ck-jersey/. Goins is the early favourite to win the starting job at second base. Pillar is an outsider to secure a role off the bench, which becomes an even more difficult spot to win if the number of back up jobs is reduced by one. That happens if the Blue Jays decide to start the season with an eight man bullpen. Austin Howard Jersey . The team made the announcement after Saturdays 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. RHP Kenny Giles will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill Adams spot on the roster. Eric Weddle Jersey . - Derek Wolfe says hes finally healthy after suffering a seizure in November that doctors now believe was related to the spinal cord injury he suffered in the preseason.The Calgary Stampeders have re-signed non-import fullback Tim St. Pierre. As per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. St. Pierre, who had been eligible to become a free agent on Feb. 15, played 14 regular-season games for the Stamps in 2013, seeing action on both special teams and as a blocker at fullback. He recorded eight special-teams tackles and scored his first CFL touchdown on July 20 at home against Montreal. He also played in the Western Final. "Tim is a hard-working player who has been a great asset to us on special teams since joining us three years ago and who has done a great job of making the transition to fullback," said head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. "He is a consummate professional and I am pleased that he chosen to continue his career in Calgary."t; St.ddddddddddddPierre first joined the Red and White in 2011 and converted to the offensive side of the ball after spending three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos as a linebacker, long-snapper and special teams standout. He was Edmontons nominee for the Special Teams Player of the Year award in 2010. In six CFL seasons, he has registered 51 special-teams tackles, 14 defensive tackles and two catches for 14 yards and a touchdown. "Re-signing was a pretty easy decision, especially since everyone seems to be on the same page and so many players have already signed contracts to come back," said St. Pierre, a 27-year-old native of Hamilton, Ont. "This is a good group of guys and Im looking forward to another season. This is year seven for me but Im just as excited as I was for year one." 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Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:32 am
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