The phrase "good pro" easily rolls off of Barry Trotz's tongue when discussing some of his top players. Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne and Mike Fisher have all garnered such praise.
The Predators coach also uses the term when discussing J.P. Dumont — but for a different reason. For the past four games, Dumont, who has 812 games of NHL experience and 521 points, has been a healthy scratch.
Trotz's phrase has a slightly different meaning when applied to Dumont. It's because the 32-year-old forward has taken the demotion in stride and turned into something of a mentor for younger players and a cheerleader off the ice during games.
"It's the time of the season that … it's hard, you want to be a part of it," Dumont said. "Now it's just get ready for the playoffs and when I'm going to be in I'm going to be ready. That's the way I have to look at it."
Watching games in street clothes isn't something to which Dumont is accustomed, but a drop-off in production forced Trotz to go with younger players.
In 60 games this season Dumont has 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists). This comes just two seasons removed from a 65-point campaign and three years removed from his career highs in points (72) and goals (29).
Instead of sulking, Dumont has been one of the first players on the ice and one of the last players off the ice for practices.