How about all the movement between Nashville and Milwaukee? It seems like there have been more transactions in the first three weeks of this season than there were all of last.
The Predators have always been reputed as a team that drafts well. With injuries and a lack of offense early on, we’re getting to see how well the draft picks play. Patric Hornqvist leads the team in scoring. Because of an injury to Jason Arnott, Cal O’Reilly will get to center the team’s most dangerous offensive players: Steve Sullivan and J.P. Dumont. Alex Sulzer and Cody Franson will try to get a few minutes from Ryan Suter and Shea Weber on the blue line. Suter and Weber are playing almost half the game on average…that’s a lot.
Also, Dave Scatchard is getting a chance to stay in the NHL. Scatchard’s three goals with Milwaukee have come with him standing in front of the net. If he’s willing to work in the dirty areas in Nashville, he should be fine.
The reason Milwaukee is here is to develop talent for Nashville. In my opinion, it’s high time the Preds figure out if these guys can play. Now it’s up to the afore-mentioned players to prove Nashville was right to give them this chance.
On the flight back from Abbotsford, I sat next to a gentleman who served as the lead inspector on the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore case. He said he had to travel quite a bit to track down the Avalanche and get statements from a variety of players and coaches. On this trip, he happened to be heading to Washington D.C. to receive Secret Service training. He will serve as a security chief at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and his group will be around foreign dignitaries.
While playing in the German League, former Admirals defenseman Alex Sulzer was coached by long-time NHL stalwart Butch Goring in the 2004-05 season.
Congratulations to one of my favorite former Admirals, Rich Peverley, on officially becoming a million-dollar player in the NHL. Rich has worked very hard and has earned his success in Atlanta.
New Admirals forward Ben Guite told us on “Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice” that one of the reasons he attended the University of Maine to play hockey was then-assistant coach Grant Standbrook. Standbrook has been on coaching staffs that have won five NCAA Championships and been in the title game four other occasions. He won three of those titles at the University of Wisconsin and appeared in the title game two other times. Standbrook initiated weight training and off-ice variations of resistance training with his teams in the 1960s, well before such training methods were accepted by most in coaching circles.
Cal O'Reillys younger brother, Ryan (playing for the Colorado Avalanche), is the first player taken outside the first round to play in the NHL in his draft year since 2003 picks Patrice Bergeron (second round, Boston), Dan Fritsche (second round, Columbus), Lasse Kukkonen (fifth round, Chicago) and Esa Pirnes (sixth round, Los Angeles) did so in the 2003-04 season.
Until next time…Go Admirals!!!