I had the chance to speak with Admirals assistant coach Ian Herbers earlier today. Herbers is in Nashville for the Predators training camp.
Ian said camp is going great. With the depth the Predators have this preseason, the team is scrimmaging much more than it has in the past. That’s because there are a lot of players considered to be close to equal in abilities. The coaches want to see the players react in game situations. Last season, the team spent a lot of time on drills.
As has been stated here many times this offseason, the depth the Preds have accumulated will only help Milwaukee. Coach Herbers is quite excited about Milwaukee’s potential roster.
Herbers said goalies Chet Pickard and Anders Lindback have both looked very strong. So has Jeremy Smith.
Amongst the forwards, Herbers reports Kelsey Wilson arrived to camp in great shape and is being given a good opportunity to win a job in Nashville. He also stated Matt Halischuk has looked very good. Blake Geoffrion has picked up right where he left off in the playoffs with Milwaukee last season and Nick Spaling is nearly perfect on the details and is showing more offense in his game.
Ryan Flynn has been a great surprise. “He’s moving his feet and skating very well. He’s also been showing his strength with puck possession,” said Herbers.
When I informed Coach Herbers that fans have been wondering about the team’s toughness, he had a good answer.
“We’ll (Milwaukee) be much faster than we were last season which will make us hard to play against. We also have many more players that will use their speed and finish checks when on the forecheck.” Herbers thinks the team will battle hard and stand up for one another. “Kelsey Wilson, (Brett) Palin, Flynn and Scott Ford are all willing to drop the gloves if necessary.”
The first Milwaukee training camp practice is next Tuesday.
Bad news for Preds prospect Roman Josi (and for Milwaukee, too): Josi will be out with a broken wrist for 4-6 weeks.
All-time great Admirals defenseman and former coach Kevin Willison has a new head coaching job in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Olds Grizzlys.
Former UW head coach Jeff Sauer will join us on Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice Monday at 6pm on WSSP (1250 AM). He’ll talk about what Penn State’s entrance into college hockey means for the sport.
Congratulations to former Nashville Assistant GM Ray Shero who received a five-year contract extension to remain GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here’s a nice story about former Admirals goalie Dov Grumet-Morris.
There may be some kids reading this (at least I hope there are). I found this in the online version of The Hockey News. Mark Malinowski visits with former players and asks a variety of questions. Saturday’s featured athlete was Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. Kids, here’s a great comment on life from Mr. Hockey. (The bold type is the question from Malinowski, the answer follows from Howe):
Most Treasured Possession: "Memories. Memories covered so many things."
I leave you with former Milwaukee Sea Gulls forward Hank Blade, the USHL MVP in his lone season in Milwaukee.