NASHVILLE – In just a seven-day span, forward Mikael Granlund was traded for the first time in his career, became a father and returned to Xcel Energy Center to face his former teammates.
“I don’t know if that kind of week is ever going to come up again,” Granlund said.
But the milestones kept rolling in Tuesday, as Granlund made his home debut with the Predators at Bridgestone Arena — yet again against the Wild after reuniting with the team Sunday in St. Paul during a 3-2 shootout victory for Nashville.
“It’s been a pretty crazy week,” Granlund said. “But thank God everything has gone well. Now it’s just get in here and get used to everything here.”
It was just nine days ago Granlund was still with the Wild but shortly before the trade deadline expired Feb. 25, he was sent to Nashville in exchange for winger Kevin Fiala — a move that surprised him initially.
“But it’s part of the business, and it’s not that big of a deal,” Granlund said. “But obviously I’m going to miss a lot of guys from that team, and it’s been a huge seven years in Minnesota. But I’m very excited about being here with this team.”
Drafted by the Wild ninth overall in 2010, Granlund will remember Minnesota as where he developed as a player and how “the whole state” was friendly to his family — which now includes son Milo, who was born Feb. 26 — the same day Granlund turned 27.
During Sunday’s action, Granlund received a standing ovation from the crowd at Xcel Energy Center after the Wild acknowledged his return with a video tribute. He was also able to catch up with former teammates after the game, but Granlund is glad that first visit back to St. Paul is over and he can focus on his future with the Predators.
“I have a lot of lifelong friends from there,” he said. “Right now, obviously I’ll miss those guys. But now it’s a new chapter. I’m really excited about it. This team seems really good and a lot of good guys, and I’m really happy about this.”
Returning as a visitor
It was strange for Fiala to report to the visitor’s locker room Tuesday inside Bridge-stone Arena after spending part of five seasons down the hall in the home setup, but the 22-year-old is getting more comfortable with his new situation.
“It’s been a week,” said Fiala, who packed another suitcase Monday night to take with him. “So I feel actually really good in the locker room.”
What has helped ease that transition is the handful of familiar faces from his time in Nashville; Fiala played alongside defensemen Brad Hunt and Anthony Bitetto and winger Pontus Aberg.
“Even the assistant coach, Dean [Evason], was my head coach in Milwaukee,” Fiala said. “So that helps me for sure to feel more at home.”
Up and down
The Wild returned winger Matt Read to Iowa of the American Hockey League after recalling him on an emergency basis Monday while the team continues to monitor winger Zach Parise’s status.
Parise missed Saturday’s game against the Flames after blocking a shot with his foot Feb. 26 in Winnipeg, but played Sunday and remained in action Tuesday.
“He’s always day-to-day with his situation,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Defenseman Greg Pateryn was back in the Wild lineup against the Predators after missing Sunday’s game with what Boudreau described as a personal issue.
The Wild signed prospect Connor Dewar to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Dewar is in his fourth season with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League and has 34 goals, 41 assists and 75 points in 54 games while serving as team captain. The 19-year-old was drafted in the third round, 92nd overall, in 2018 by the Wild.