Gaustad on joining Predators: “I’m going to keep my ears open and my mouth shut”

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While newly acquired Nashville C Paul Gaustad has yet to play a game for his new team — he sat out Tuesday’s loss to Carolina with an upper-body injury — he’s already undertaken the process of integrating himself.

How? The old-school way, preferring to be seen rather than heard.

“The character in here already has shown, and I’ve been impressed with how the guys communicate with each other and how close they are,” Gaustad told The Tennessean. “I’m going to keep my ears open and my mouth shut as much as possible and just try to take it in and fit in.”

Gaustad doens’t know much about the Predators. Other than once fighting Bryan McGrattan and going after Jordin Tootoo, the majority of Nashville’s roster is unfamiliar to him — not surprising, given Gaustad’s spent the last 10 years in Buffalo and the Sabres and Predators rarely play each other.

That said, Gaustad is looking forward to learning more about the Music City.

“One of my goals here is trying to learn something new about Nashville every day,” he said. “It’s a town that has a lot of history and it’s going to be interesting, so I kind of want to get into the culture here a little bit and learn my way around town.”

As for where Gaustad will fit in the Nashville lineup — he’s practiced once with the club and could play Saturday in Florida. There’s a chance he could replace Nick Spaling at center on a line with Tootoo and Colin Wilson, or fill in for rookie Craig Smith and skate with wingers Matt Halischuk and the newly-acquired Andrei Kostitsyn.