Former Admirals forward Ryan Jones used to harass Nick Spaling in practice. A lot. Jones is a very funny guy and, being a few years older than Spaling, ribbed the rookie quite a bit. He’d push him around, shoot pucks at him…things like that. It really seemed like a relationship between an older brother and a younger one. Spaling seemed to enjoy it for the good-natured play it was intended. He soaked it all in and scored 35 points in 79 games with the Admirals as a rookie.
Last December, a slightly older and wiser Spaling received the call to the NHL for the first time. He appeared in 28 games and contributed three assists.
Spaling has been revered for some time as a player that does ALL of the little things right. He kills penalties. He’s never out of position. He hits in the corners. This year, I think we see the offense from him.
Admirals head coach Lane Lambert told Dave Boehler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I think Spaling needs to have more of an offensive year.” He’ll certainly get the chance. Today in practice, Spaling played with the very skilled Linus (pronounced LEE-nus) Klasen and Andreas Thuresson. Matt Halischuk, one of Spaling’s linemates with OHL Kitchener, is here now as well.
Spaling’s been in town for a few days since being assigned by parent club
I don’t expect Spaling to be here all season. He’s too well-versed in coveted roles for NHL teams. I do expect this season, his third professional season, to be the one where he breaks out offensively.
Last week I listed several people to follow on Twitter. I missed a very good one: @SLakePreds. He’s been doing a great job covering training camp in
Tonight on Milwaukee Admirals Center Ice on Sportsradio 1250 WSSP, our guests are head coach Lane Lambert, G.M. Paul Fenton, Liz Cahill from Lee Jeans and new Predators beat writer Josh Cooper of The Tennessean. Listen at 6 pm. There will be a Thursday edition of the show, too.
I leave you with a great all-around athlete, former Milwaukee Sea Gulls forward Eddie Leier.