Stortini Adds Leadership and Grit
By Jason Karnosky
In an American Hockey League stocked full of prospects and talented young players looking for their National Hockey League break, teams are always thin on experience.
Therefore, clubs like the Milwaukee Admirals can never have enough veterans to help navigate their ships through the highs and lows of a lengthy 76-game season.
So Milwaukee got a quite a boost on October 12th with the addition of Zack Stortini, a forward with 257 games of NHL hockey on his resume.
“It a great situation for me coming to a team with quality coaches like Kirk (Muller) and Ian (Herbers),” said Stortini, who joined an Admirals’ squad with just eight returning skaters. “They’ve really worked with me to get me better, while offering me an opportunity to play and get back into the NHL.”
However, Stortini’s road to the Admirals came at a significant price. After a strong training camp with Nashville, Stortini made the Predators opening night roster and would go on to dress in Nashville’s second game of the season—an October 8th contest at St. Louis. In the Predators’ 4-2 victory, Stortini racked up seven minutes in penalties and recorded one shot on goal in four minutes and 53 seconds of ice time against the Blues.
Sadly Stortini’s stay in Nashville was short lived. When the Predators claimed fellow veteran tough guy Brian McGrattan from the Anaheim Ducks off of waivers, Stortini was sent down to Milwaukee to clear up roster space.
But rather than mope around about the demotion, Stortini took the trip down to the AHL in stride, helping the Admirals to a 6-2-0-1 record in his first nine games with Milwaukee.