A Fresh Start
Posted By: Aaron Sims
Another day and another player is gone from the 2009-2010 Milwaukee Admirals team.
Mike put up some great numbers with the Milwaukee Admirals over the past few seasons. He scored more than 20 goals in each of his pro seasons and led the Admirals in scoring the last two campaigns. Certainly, he was looked to be a sniper for the big club.
Mike had a great opportunity last season to play in the NHL with Nashville. The Predators informed him prior to last season they’d like to see him at right wing. With his speed and ability to score, Mike should do well on the wing and help the Predators fill a deficiency. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Mike struggled to put the puck in the net, scoring just two goals in 25 games.
Before I continue, let me stress a very necessary point: I like Mike Santorelli a lot. I think he’s going to have a very good career in the NHL.
You won’t find a bigger fan of Mike than Nashville Assistant GM Paul Fenton
. Paul drafted Mike for the Predators and really championed his cause with the organization. He took great pride, as he should, in Mike’s development as a player.
However, with Mike being a free agent, I’m sure he wanted a contract Nashville wasn’t willing to give out. My guess is Mike wanted a one-way deal, meaning he’d get paid the NHL minimum whether he plays in Nashville or Milwaukee, probably $600,000. With all the moves Nashville made this offseason (Halischuk
) and the possible promotions of others (O’Reilly, Spaling, Thuresson, et. al) there was no way Nashville could guarantee a roster spot to Mike. Since that’s the case, the Predators did not want to give Mike a one-way deal.
Also, since Mike would likely be sent back to Milwaukee, Nashville did well to get something for him. The former 6th-round pick fetched a possible 5th-round choice. If Santorelli were to be sent down from Nashville, he would have had to clear waivers. I don't think that he would have cleared. He could have been playing for another team and Nashville would have been left empty-handed.
Mike will probably get the opportunity to play center with Florida
. The Panthers acquired a few wings in the offseason: Chris Higgins, Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner. David Booth is already there on a wing. The centers in Florida include Stephen Weiss, Marty Reasoner and former Badgers star Steven Reinprecht. With that group, Santorelli could be the first or second center.
Mike gets a fresh start with an organization that needs what he can bring to the table. Nashville needed it, too. Now the onus is on Mike to deliver, something he couldn’t do with the Predators.
I'm glad Mike Modano is still playing
. He can still bring something to the table. My freshman year in college, my dad and I were flying from Minneapolis to Grand Forks. Flying standby, we had to be at the airport very early. I decided to kill some time by playing Ms. Pac Man
. After successfully clearing the first two boards, the game was setting up the next board. You'll recall the little skit on the Ms. Pac Man game that says "Act 1: They Meet"
. It was at this moment I turned around. Walking through the airport was my favorite NHL team, the Minnesota North Stars
. The North Stars had played the night before in Los Angeles and had just arrived. Leading the pack were Neal Broten
and Brian Bellows
with a couple others. Lagging behind was youngster Mike Modano. Instead of running after them to get an autograph, I decided to play it cool (I also had to finish my game). My eye caught Modano's. I gave him a nod, acknowledging I knew who he was but, at the same time, letting him know I wasn't going to bother him. He nodded back as if to say, "cool." Play forever, Mike!
It was great to see so many fans when we unveiled the new black jersey yesterday
. Other than that introduction, my favorite part was when a little girl was selected by Roscoe
to play a game with us before the pig races. I asked her name and she replies, "Aaliyah." I then asked where she was from and she said, succinctly, "My mom."
I'm very excited for the radio show, "Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice" this season. You can hear it every Monday night at 6 pm on Sportsradio 1250 WSSP
. The show begins in earnest Oct. 4. Until then, there's a few more summer specials. The next one is Aug. 23. This season, we'll have a great addition to the show. I can't wait to tell you.