Posted By: Aaron Sims
The Admirals parent club made some bold moves this past weekend that frees some money and gives others the chance to shine.
For those of you that haven’t heard, team captain Jason Arnott was dealt to the New Jersey Devils for Matt Halischuk and a 2nd round draft choice in this year’s draft. Dan Hamhuis, who played 144 games for the Admirals, was sent to Philadelphia for Ryan Parent. Parent was moved to Philly from Nashville a few years ago when the Preds acquired Peter Forsberg. You’ll recall Parent played his first pro games with the Admirals in the 2006 playoffs.
There’s no doubt that Shea Weber will replace Arnott as captain of the Predators. It’s a deserved honor for one of the best defensemen in the league.
Cal O’Reilly should be the beneficiary of the spot in the lineup vacated by Arnott. O’Reilly factors into Nashville’s plans and was expected to play a bigger role for the team in 2010-2011. Now Cal should get the chance to show his stuff on one of the top three lines in Nashville and on the power play unit.
The Preds got a very solid defenseman and a guy they know well by reacquiring Parent. With the resigning of Francis Bouillon, Nashville’s d-corps is almost set. Weber, Ryan Suter, Kevin Klein and Bouillon are in. Cody Franson and Parent are both restricted free agents and should sign. That means the Predators have a spot for one defenseman. There’s a very real possibility that Alex Sulzer could be in Milwaukee again if Teemu Laakso, Jon Blum or Ryan Ellis impress in training camp.
Hamhuis and Arnott were big money guys that the team couldn’t afford anymore. I think it’s amazing that Nashville found a team willing to take Arnott’s contract and the Preds got a quality player like Parent in return for Hamhuis’ expiring deal.
People are already leaving the Preds for dead. That’s a mistake. “Experts” do that every season and Nashville is always in the hunt. I expect they will be this year, too.
With 11 forwards already under contract and restricted free agents Patric Hornqvist and Dustin Boyd, one would guess that Matt Halischuk would start the 2010-2011 season in Milwaukee. Hockey’s Future gives him a glowing review
Claude Noel was officially named the head coach of the Manitoba Moose at a press conference Monday morning in Winnipeg. Manitoba’s fine play-by-play announcer, Brian Munz, called me Saturday and asked for some information on the former Admirals head coach. As radio announcers, we like guys that are willing to talk and be frank. We also like the guys that expand on their answers and give a good interview. It’s also important that they realize there are times when a tough question needs to be asked. I’m not here to railroad a guy, but if the team’s on a losing skid a question needs to be asked. I told Brian I’ve been the luckiest guy in the world to have worked with two head coaches, Claude and Lane Lambert, who are phenomenal to work with and understand that I have a job to do. Claude will bring much “joy” to Winnipeg, that’s for sure.
That brings me to another point. I’m excited for Claude that he’ll work in a legitimate hockey market. No offense to Columbus or Milwaukee, but Winnipeg is all about hockey whereas it’s at least 75% football, if not more, in Columbus and Milwaukee. It’s neat for hockey players and broadcasters in this league to go to Canada for games. There are several reporters and TV stations at the morning skate looking for interviews every game. It’s a cool environment. That doesn’t happen anywhere in the U.S., maybe Hershey, at this level.
I leave you with a little self indulgence, one of my favorite players of all-time…Bobby Smith
. Smith played for the Minnesota North Stars and Montreal Canadiens in a career that lasted 15 years. When I was a kid, there was a debate in Minnesota as to which was the best line in the Twin Cities: Smith, Al MacAdam and Steve Payne or the University of Minnesota’s Roseau Line of Neal and Aaron Broten and “Butsy” Erickson.