The Predators need a player with size on their penalty kill. They need a player who has enough experience in shorthanded situations to read plays and prevent scoring chances.

And coming off three straight losses and five defeats in the past six games, it wouldn’t hurt to have a loud, joking personality in the locker room.

The Predators have a player who meets all the criteria. The only problem is that Hal Gill has missed the past four games with a lower-body injury. He is expected to resume skating with the team this week.

Both on the penalty kill and in the locker room, Gill is sorely missed.

“When you get a guy like that, you expect him to help your PK,” captain Shea Weber said. “When he’s out of the lineup, he can’t, so right now we have to try to find a way without him to stop the bleeding.”

Last season, after Nashville acquired the 6-foot-7 Gill on Feb. 17, its penalty kill hummed along at 89.3 percent. This year it hasn’t hit that number, but it has been noticeably better with Gill in the lineup.

This season with Gill, the penalty kill is at 82 percent. Without him: a woeful 69 percent.