Summer Ramblings, Vol. 27

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Today I would like to get the conversation rolling on a topic I expect to be brought up frequently in the early goings of the upcoming season: the coaching staff.

The ending to the Milwaukee Admirals 2014-15 season was gruesome. The team went 4-14-5-3 after February 15th and proceeded to miss the playoffs for the first time since franchise’s debut AHL season in 2001-02. Whether or not it is a topic all agree upon the simple fact is this. The coaching staff gets put under the microscope just as firmly as players who might not be living up to potential. Should the 2015-16 start for the Admirals look a whole lot like the previous end to the season equally as many questions will be asked of the coaching staff as the players on the ice. In short, Dean Evason and his crew begin this season in the hot seat.

I’ll be honest with you all. I read many comments across different platforms last season calling for Evason to be fired. In fact, it happened really in two waves: December and practically from late February until the season ended. Getting to speak with him, as well as hear feedback from players on their thoughts on last season’s struggles and thoughts on the coaching staff, I never really bought into last season’s faults as errors directly as a result of poor coaching or game preparation. I instantly throw back to what Rich Clune had to say of the coaching staff late last season:

“I don’t want to say it is a disappointment because I think that the coaches did an amazing job with this group. I think that we didn’t handle the roster turnover as well as we should have but to say that we did something, made a colossal error in any era, would be wrong. It was unfortunate the way everything shook down and it is definitely not fun. There’s nothing we can sit here and say the players neglected one area. I mean, the power-play wasn’t clicking for a long time but we were given every chance to succeed. The ball was in our court for a long time. The coaches prepared us. This is the most I’ve ever seen a coaching staff prepare a team since I’ve been playing junior hockey. It just didn’t fall in our favor.” ~Rich Clune

Clune, 4/17/15:

The players are the ones ultimately responsible for delivering results. We all know that. Is it fair to kick dirt at the coaching staff and call for their heads when the results aren’t coming despite no one knowing who or what is the exact reason for points not being hauled in by the team? No, but it is way easier. Sadly that can be how sport operates in general as coaching staffs can often, regardless of previous track record of career success, can a rough patch on the chin and get the boot. It’s easier to ship out and ship in a new coach than an entirely new team after all. It doesn’t make it right. But that is essentially the cloud that hangs over Evason and his coaching staff before this AHL season even begins.

deanevasonI think it is safe to say Evason’s standing within the organization is pretty good. I’m sure if they really wanted to the Nashville Predators could have aimed to go in a different direction when Peter Laviolette was brought in last off-season. It would have made sense seeing Laviolette aim to either get someone with similar coaching philosophies or someone whose advice he trusted brought into the AHL ranks to communicate players that could help at the NHL level or developmental progress. Did that happen though? No. Did it happen after the Admirals poor 2014-15 season? No. That tells me a lot about the communication levels between everyone being very professional and, frankly, good for all parties involved. That’s not to say I’m retracting any “short leash” remarks in saying that. I’m simply pointing out that there is a good reason why Evason will be back for the start of this season with the Admirals. I think he has the trust of Nashville and the respect of the players that he coaches.

Evason’s three season career with the Milwaukee Admirals has him at an overall record of 113-80-18-17 in the regular season and 1-6-0 in two playoff appearances. It’s not too bad but the playoff results and lack of playoff hockey last season doesn’t look pretty one bit. Truth be told, there are similarities from last year to this year with the team being as young as it is. The hope will be that those that were new to the AHL last season will take a big step forward and that new faces make the team function much better. Early results will do wonders for not only players confidence but as far as taking a weight off of the coaching staff’s shoulders. It will be important that the Admirals have an electric start as they did last season and be able to avoid big slumps. If the team opens the 2015-16 season spinning in place, unable to not only get results but take positives from early contests, then I fear for the longevity of the coaching staff this season.

What is your take on the Milwaukee Admirals coaching staff? Are you confident in Dean Evason as a coach? How long would you allow the Admirals to sputter at the start of the upcoming season before you feel a coaching change should be required?

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Posted in Ramblings | 2 Comments

Mark Van Guilder Signs With Ritten Sport

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Cheers for the memories, Van. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Mark Van Guilder‘s incredible run with the Milwaukee Admirals is officially over. The Admirals all-time leader in games played in the AHL era of the team has signed for Italian hockey club Ritten Sport who play in Italy’s top tier Serie A.

Van Guilder was an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame who joined the Admirals in 2008-09. He spent the majority of that season as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL before splitting the deck between Milwaukee and Cincinnati the following campaign. In 2010 he started the first of five full playing seasons for the Admirals. In total, he played 383 games with Milwaukee and scored 138 points (61 goals, 77 assists) over the course of seven seasons. The only other player in the Admirals AHL era to play seven seasons with the team is the man Van Guilder narrowly eclipsed to become the all-time games played leader last season, Scott Ford (378 games).

I feel the lasting memory of Van Guilder’s tenure with the Admirals was seeing him finally make his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season. To have watched someone battle from being undrafted, to the ECHL, to the AHL for so long, and finally make the NHL was phenomenal. It may have only been one game but for so many players sometimes all you could ever want is that one and only game to say you played a game in the NHL. It wasn’t just a reward for his service. He earned it.

What is your favorite Mark Van Guilder moment? Are the Admirals in need of veteran help for this coming season?

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Admirals Pre-Season Schedule Set

(Photo Credit: Daniel Lavender)

Good ol’ MSOE’s Kern Center is hosting yet another pre-season showdown between the Admirals and IceHogs. (Photo Credit: Daniel Lavender)

Here is a news item to get everyone excited. The Milwaukee Admirals have just announced that they will be playing two pre-season games including one at MSOE’s Kern Center on October 2nd against the Rockford IceHogs. The second pre-season game will be a roadie against the Chicago Wolves the following night. The full AHL schedule is yet to officially drop so it’s great to have a second date set on our Admirals calendars next to the home opener which is on October 16th.

Press Release via Milwaukee Admirals:

Milwaukee, WIThe Milwaukee Admirals announced today that the team will play two pre-season games during their training camp prior to the start of the 2014-15 season.

The Admirals will play their only home game of the pre-season on Friday, October 2 when they host the Rockford IceHogs at 7:00 pm at the Kern Center on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Tickets are just $10 and are on sale now. Fans can order advance tickets in person at the Admirals office at 510 W. Kilbourn Ave, via phone at (414) 227-0550, or click here. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Kern Center the night of the game.

Milwaukee will conclude their pre-season schedule the following night, Saturday, October 3rd when they take on the Chicago Wolves at Triphahn Center Ice Arena at Hoffman Estates at 7 pm. Ticket information for that game can be found at www.chicagowolves.com.

The Admirals will kick off their home schedule on Friday, October 16th at 7 pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and classic rock legends Foreigner will perform in a post-game concert on Saturday, October 24th.

Season tickets for the 2015-16 season are now on sale for as little $185 and can be purchased by calling the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550 or online by clicking here.

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Summer Ramblings, Vol. 26

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

MAN OF THE YEAR! (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Let’s start this Monday off with the obvious and point at how slow news has been. The Nashville Predators did a decent bit of business once free agency opened up but, outside of some quick re-signings when the season ended, we’ve yet to see the Milwaukee Admirals make a signing of their own. Other AHL teams have been active during this time period getting players into the squad. Is that to say the current amount of bodies in the Predators AHL and ECHL pipeline is deep enough to not require it? I don’t think so but it is a bit odd to me that business has been this slow or that they would be waiting so long to come to grips with adding someone.

~DANGER Eric Robinson DANGER~

The first player that comes to mind in terms of an Admirals signing is Eric Robinson. He signed on with the Admirals late last season on an ATO contract once he finished up at Dartmouth College and attended the recent Rookie Development Camp in Nashville. It seems like he’s destined to be signed. The only question could be whether Nashville are the ones looking at signing him versus the Admirals. Either way, it feels like it would be a slam dunk adding Robinson to the mix for how he looked in Milwaukee late last season. Even if he spent the majority of his time with the Cincinnati Cyclones as an AHL level winger on standby it works. Why has that deal not been stamped out yet or announced? Not sure.

~The Other Guys~

That brings me to another topic which has been amusing to follow the last few weeks. Mark Van Guilder, Zach Budish, Josh ShallaScott Ford, and Gary Steffes are all still free agents. I hazard to guess whether some of those names are just sitting tight for North American deals or if a leap to European ice could be in the cards but the fact that they remain stationary is intriguing. I was thinking of doing a résumé for all of them just to help them out. Instead, here is a small pro and con list to you Admirals Roundtable reading general managers out there!

Van Guilder
Pros: Face-offs, penalty killing, experience that provides on and off ice leadership
Cons: Age, numbers declining

Budish
Pros: Coming off best season in pro career, stayed healthy and performance reflected the results of that, defensively sound, won “Man of the Year” for the Admirals last season
Cons: Still split time between the AHL and ECHL last season, at the age of 24 he might be at his ceiling

Shalla
Pros: Scores points
Pros: Scores points in the ECHL

Ford
Pros: A natural leader/captain, battle tested on the ice, is still in great shape for someone who will turn 36-years old before Christmas
Cons: He turns 36-years old before Christmas, he was reduced to ECHL hockey last season and might not be quick enough for the AHL anymore

Steffes
Pros: Scored 61 goals in all competitions and contributed to the Allen Americans ECHL Kelly Cup win last season
Cons: Did majority of goal scoring damage in the ECHL, 28-years old, despite age hasn’t played in the AHL often

I get the feeling all have a home for hockey before the start of the 2015-16 playing season. The question simply becomes, where? I wouldn’t be shocked to see Van Guilder head to Europe like Darren Haydar did. Budish should get an AHL deal but could just as easily make the leap to Europe. Shalla could well be finding himself in a “turn up to an AHL pre-season camp to impress” mode but is likely only seeing ECHL interest if that. Ford took awhile before getting a deal with an ECHL team last season and wasn’t bad. I do really wonder if he, and Steffes for that matter, could be on the Admirals radar. At the very least, especially between those two, it is Steffes who earned an AHL contract and shot for this coming season. I fully expect Steffes to be an AHL player this season simply based on his outstanding offensive production last season alone. Someone will give him a shot. I’d rather it be the Admirals than *cough* Rockford or Toronto.

~Hold On, Comrades~

If you’re like me you are probably excited about some of the new prospects that we’ll be getting to kick back and watch this season here in Milwaukee. Juuse Saros is the one I’m really giddy about. After a year of waiting I really want to see Max Görtz play for the Admirals. And then Vladislav Kamenev should be here after being released by his KHL team and signing his entry-level contract with the Predators. At least he should be here, right?

Well, tartar sauce. I will say that just because that sort of news item exists doesn’t make it some sort of set in stone fact. Perhaps there is even something lost in translation as well. Kamenev really stands next to no chance at being on the Predators opening day roster but could easily be part of the one for the Admirals.

What would be fascinating to see happen is if Kamenev gets loaned back to Russia for this coming season to allow for better breathing room at the center position in Milwaukee and let the Russian teen get one more year of KHL senior team experience under his belt before taking to North American ice full-time. Think about the current center role for the Admirals at the moment. Counting all centers, including those who can alternate from wing to center or center to wing, there are eight options right now that aren’t named Kamenev destined for the Admirals: Cody Bass, Frédérick Gaudreau, Félix Girard, Joe Pendenza, Max Reinhart, Miikka Salomäki, Colton Sissons, and Austin Watson. It wouldn’t hurt the Admirals at all if Kamenev were to be loaned for the season. It’s really more of a question to Nashville whether they feel Kamenev’s development should be accelerated to North American hockey right now or give him more time in Europe.

Equally, I’m reminded of Kevin Fiala‘s 2014-15 season. Fiala signed his entry level contract in July before being loaned back to HV71 in Sweden where he played until January when the Predators assigned him to the Admirals to finish out his playing season. In other words, Nashville have all the options in the world when it comes to Kamenev and pretty much any way they went with works just fine for all parties. It comes down to how Nashville want to develop him is all.

Do you find it at all strange that the Admirals haven’t snapped anyone up to AHL contracts in free agency? Is the team set and where it needs to be right now? Where do you think Van Guilder and the rest of the 14-15 Admirals free agents end up next season? What should the Predators organization do with Kamenev?

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Posted in Ramblings | 1 Comment

Nashville Signs Jack Dougherty to Entry Level Contract

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28:  Jack Dougherty of the Nashville Predators poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 28: Jack Dougherty of the Nashville Predators poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky // Getty Images)

The prospect pool keeps getting deeper as the Nashville Predators have announced yet another entry level contract signing in the form of defenseman Jack Dougherty. The 19-year old was selected in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft and played for the University of Wisconsin last season.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (July 24, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has signed 2014 second-round selection Jack Dougherty to a three-year entry-level contract. The 6-1, 186-pound defenseman is expected to play his first season with the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks in 2015-16.

Dougherty, 19 (5/25/96), spent the 2014-15 season at the University of Wisconsin, tying for fourth among Big Ten freshmen defensemen in points (2g-7a-9pts) and ranking fifth in power-play points (1g-3a-4pts) among first-year blueliners. Prior to his lone collegiate season, the St. Paul, Minn., native played the 2013-14 season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, ranking second among team blueliners in goals (6), and fourth in points (22). He helped the United States win its fifth gold medal in a six-year span at the Under-18 World Championship in 2014, and led Team USA to a silver medal at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

Nashville’s third choice, 51st overall (second round), in the 2014 Entry Draft, Dougherty played two seasons of Minnesota High School hockey with St. Thomas Academy in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and helped the Cadets captured their third consecutive Class A state title in 2013. The sixth current or former Portland Winterhawk in the Predators organization, Dougherty is on Twitter @jackdougherty2.

As stated at the end of the opening paragraph of the Predators press release – he is expected to play for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL this coming season. For those that don’t follow junior hockey too closely just know that -that- team in Portland has a great reputation with prospects and, recently, defensemen: Matt DumbaDerrick Pouliot, Seth Jones, and Joe Morrow.

I would anticipate Dougherty to kick up around Milwaukee at the end of his junior playing seasons these next two seasons. Per junior eligibility I don’t believe he would capable of playing a full AHL season until the last year of this three-year entry level contract. If I’m wrong on that the clarification would be splendid. No matter, I stand by what I pointed to up above. He’s in good hands right now with Portland.

Update:

Sounds good enough to me. It’s not exactly the wackiest thing to see someone get their entry level contract now and not kick straight to the AHL or ECHL system either. Max Görtz signed his entry level contract last season but stuck around Sweden. And, even more recently, Yakov Trenin signed an entry level contract not too long after being drafted.

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Summer Ramblings, Vol. 25

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Happy Monday, Roundtable. Last week brought lots of excitement to the world of the Milwaukee Admirals: Anthony Bitetto and Taylor Aronson were both re-signed by the Nashville Predators, the Predators extended their affiliation agreement with the Cincinnati Cyclones to keep them as the ECHL club for the 2015-16 season, and the Admirals unveiled a brand spankin’ new identity. I can only suspect this to keep escalating on and on until the season actually begins! That or there will be slow news week after slow news week until the schedule gets unveiled and pre-season starts up. Either/or. I’m good.

~Website Maintenance~

First matter of business I would like to let you all be aware that in the next few weeks I will be playing around with Admirals Roundtable’s overall look and layout. If you come to the site and it looks different or crazy… it isn’t you.. it’s me. I’m hoping to make things look as clean as possible. Any and all comments, suggestions, or ideas for updating the website I’d really appreciate to hear your feedback. If I can make this website all the more fan and user friendly it would be great. You providing your ideas can make it that much better.

Again, the website will be undergoing some changes here and there. When things are completed and I’m satisfied with the overall package I will let you all know. Until then, I’ll be playing around with various items in WordPress to see if I can’t not spruce up the place to go along with the Admirals new look. Which brings me perfectly to the first bullet point story.

~The Last Poll~

Now that the weekend is complete I can go back to our poll to tally up your grades on the new look of the Milwaukee Admirals. I think it was a great reflection of what I heard from fans in-person when the “All Aboard” event launched the new logos and uniforms. It is thumbs up. Thumbs way way up.

A: 72.25% (151 votes)
B: 19.14% (40 votes)
C: 7.18% (15 votes)
D: 0.96% (2 votes)
F: 0.47% (1 vote)

(209 total votes)

Entertaining that the grades even fell out perfectly in order of A, B, C, D, and F. As for that one fan who gave them an F? …joke is on you buddy (I kid, I kid, thanks for voting your honest opinion).

What’s great to see how many have taken to them straight away. I feel once the Admirals take to the ice and these uniforms and logos have some in-game use it will be interesting to go back to doing another poll to see if there is a change. Frankly, I was expecting mid-tier to “B” grades with most fans warming up to the new look once the season got going. I’m not everybody but I expect seeing these logos and uniforms in a game will make me love them even more than I do now. That word “evolution” on the new look from the old one sums it up for me. It’s not too different but different enough. I really like that and, evidently, so do you fans.

~Veteran Needed~

The hard hitting piece to today’s edition of Ramblings is all about the Admirals defense for next season. This is a topic that started up with a season ticket holder at the event last Wednesday and it is one I’m hoping gets addressed before the season starts.

The Admirals defense was rather sloppy last season and did so with someone like Joe Piskula playing great on one of the three defensive pairings. He’s gone now. And the next oldest veteran defensemen that take that mantle are Conor Allen and Anthony Bitetto – both of whom are six-years younger than Piskula. The defensive group might be deep as it stands right now -but- the youth in this team is going to be equally as punishing as it was last season unless a real anchor is brought back into the mix.

Were Piskula still around? I feel pretty good about how the Admirals stack up defensively to help out Marek Mazanec and Juuse Saros. Without him? I feel like it forces players like Taylor Aronson, Johan Alm, and Jonathan Diaby to really step up to the plate with far greater seasons than last year. That presents a solid question. Can they?

Aronson only just completed a full AHL season last year, was good offensively, but hit and miss on defense. He will not only need to prove that the 2014-15 season wasn’t a flash in the pan for him but that he is ready to take another step and be an NHL caliber player – something Bitetto pushed for last season. Aronson garnered enough respect last season to be re-signed by the Predators for another season. Should he fail to meet anything less than doing more than last season he would be letting the Predators, Admirals, and himself down.

Alm seemed to be a really great find by the Predators when he signed as a free agent last summer. Now it feels like he needs to prove that to be true. He’s not only one of the older of the ‘young’ defense but he’s perhaps the most seasoned by having played 135 games of pro hockey in Sweden prior to making the North American trek last season. His debut as an Admiral was problematic and some of which wasn’t all his fault. He suffered an injury that sidelined him for much of the first half of the Admirals season and didn’t seem to start finding a groove until later in the season. And that’s not saying much because his groove late in the season was an eleven-game stretch in March where he tallied 5 assists with an even plus/minus (+1, -2, E, E, E, +1, -3, E, E, E, +3). Much like Aronson I think Alm is in a do or die sort of season. Does he flourish and perform up to the same standards that saw Nashville sign him or does he head back to Europe like Joonas Järvinen?

Diaby is a player I have some real high hopes for thanks in-part to his experience last season. There specifically was a stretch in February when injuries hit Nashville and Milwaukee and it forced Mike Liambas to substitute in as a defenseman from his left wing role with the team. In that time Diaby was thrust into the top defensive line and looked great while there. He’s not the scoring type. He’s the big and physical d-man that can make putting pucks past and pucks to the net difficult. It’s honing in on those skills for him that could make him a great second or third line defenseman this season. If he can be really consistent it takes a massive weight off of Bitetto or Allen to be “the man” defensively.

All that said, and there are still the likes of: Jimmy Oligny, Garrett Noonan, Jaynen Rissling, Mikko Vainonen, and Kristian Näkyvä. All equally have question marks. Can Oligny be solid enough all season to not be scratched? Will Noonan be polished enough to stick in the AHL all season? Can Rissling continue off of a good Rookie Camp and push his way out of the ECHL? Will Vainonen stick around or be shipped back home like last season? Can Näkyvä adapt and be a hit in North America?

My simple message here is look at the amount of question marks as red flags. Are those red flags worth taking a risk on seeing answered on the fly? Let the prospects be prospects, make mistakes, win as a team, lose as a team, etc. It’s essentially where the Admirals stand at this present and if a veteran defenseman were added it would just be a more comfortable environment that could take some of the weight off of those questions.

Do the Admirals need more veteran players added to the team? Would you be in favor of letting the prospects play to let them make mistakes and learn from them? Surprised at all by the poll results regarding the Admirals rebranding?

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Posted in Ramblings | 9 Comments

Poll: Grade The Admirals New Look

2015-Logo-1

SKELETOR SAYS DROP THE PUCK ALREADY

A full day has passed since the Milwaukee Admirals unveiled their brand new identity. For some that is still not enough time for the logos, colors, or uniforms to sink in. To be honest, I might even still be in the boat waiting to see how the team will look like when they take the ice in the new uniforms. I think everything looks pretty sharp. I just need that kicker to make it feel like that’s well and truly the Admirals.

The word I heard so often from the higher ups in the Admirals front office was that it is an evolution of the previous look. They’re absolutely right. It’s honestly not that different from what the Admirals had before but different enough that it pops and feels very vibrant.

When considering how each step in the Admirals logo history has been very drastic this one somehow manages to meet that without hitting you over the back of the head. I really feel from a design perspective that’s like threading a needle.

So what then of a grade? For me, the pro’s far outweigh the con’s across the entire board of what the team has hauled out. My initial reaction was mixed. Some time has passed and it has already grown on me. My grade for right now is a B and I think it’ll go up once the team takes to the ice.

What is your grade? What are your likes and dislikes about the Milwaukee Admirals rebranding? Are there anythings you would like to see changed, tweaked, or removed?

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Posted in Numbers, Ramblings | 9 Comments

Predators Extend Affiliation Agreement with Cincinnati

(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

(Photo Credit: Cincinnati Cyclones)

Great news to all of our ECHL readers. The Nashville Predators have extended their affiliation agreement with the Cincinnati Cyclones to be their ECHL outfit for another season. The Cyclones have partnered up with the Predators since the start of the 2007-08 season.

Press Release via Cincinnati Cyclones:

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2015

CYCLONES EXTEND PARTNERSHIP WITH NASHVILLE

Teams to Continue Affiliation for Ninth Season

CINCINNATI, OH- The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the NHL’s Nashville Predators, have announced that the two organizations have extended their affiliation agreement, making the Cyclones the official ECHL affiliate of the NHL club.

“We look forward to continuing to work with such a class organization that creates a winning environment for our players to develop,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said. “Led by President Ray Harris, the Cyclones have been a model of consistency the past eight seasons and have been critical to the success of the Milwaukee Admirals and the Nashville Predators.”

The Cyclones have served as the ECHL affiliate of Nashville since 2007-2008. In that time, the ‘Clones have reached the ECHL postseason seven times, claiming Kelly Cup championships in 2008 and 2010, and reaching a third Kelly Cup Final in 2014. The Predators have participated in the NHL’s second season five times during that span, finishing second in the Central Division in four of those five playoff seasons.

“We are excited to extend our relationship with the Nashville Predators,” said Cyclones General Manager Kristin Ropp. “They are a staunch supporter of our program and a solid support system for our coaches.”

Seven Nashville prospects suited up for the Cyclones last season alone, while six players with Cyclones experience have seen time with the Predators since the affiliation agreement began.

The countdown to the 2015-16 First Face-Off is underway! The Cyclones will return to U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, October 17 when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:30pm. Between now and then, be on the lookout for several offseason events like Meijer Concrete Clones! 2015-16 Season Ticket Packages are available NOW! Call 513.421.PUCK to reserve your seats. Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the offseason on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram!

It nearly goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyways. It’s remarkable how long Nashville has kept its AHL and ECHL affiliates for so long whilst so many other organizations get crazy with changes on a nearly year to year basis. From Fall 2007, the pipeline has been Nashville – Milwaukee – Cincinnati. It’s like a constant in the world we can all rely on.

There have been many members of the Admirals who’ve clawed their way up the ladder from the Cyclones: Ryan Maki, Mark Santorelli, Mark Van Guilder, Jeremy Smith, Mike Liambas, Taylor Aronson, Kevin Henderson, Ben Ryan, Charles-Olivier Roussel, Scott Darling, Zach Budish, Vinny Saponari, and this list goes on and on into the future.

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Taylor Aronson Re-Signs With Nashville

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

The Milwaukee Admirals defensive nucleus just got a little bit stronger. Taylor Aronson has agreed to a new one-year two-way contract with the Nashville Predators.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (July 16, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that defenseman Taylor Aronson has accepted his qualifying offer and signed a one-year, two-way contract with the club worth $605,000 at the NHL level and $65,000 at the AHL level.

Aronson, 23 (12/30/91), tied for 12th among AHL defensemen, and ranked second on the Milwaukee Admirals, in assists (29) during his first full season at the level in 2014-15. The 6-1, 196-pound native of Placentia, Calif., also led Milwaukee blueliners in points (32), and tied for third among league blueliners in power-play assists (16) a season ago; he earned his first career NHL recall on Feb. 12, 2015. In 2013-14, he helped the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) reach the Kelly Cup Final, tying for third among ECHL defensemen in assists (32) and ranked seventh among league blueliners in points (38) during the 2013-14 season.

Nashville’s second choice, 78th overall (third round), in the 2010 Entry Draft, Aronson played two seasons with the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) from 2009-11, recording 67 points (10g-57a) in 142 games. One of five Portland Alumni in the Predators organization, Aronson is on Twitter @TAronson37.

Aronson is coming off the best pro playing season of his career. He spent all of the 2014-15 season with the Admirals at the AHL level and ended the season as the team’s highest scoring defenseman: 32 points (3 goals, 29 assists) in 73 games. Prior to last season he was up and down (mainly down) between the AHL and ECHL. As it stands right now, much like this time last season, he is the only right handed shooting defenseman in the mix for the Admirals.

Happy to have Aronson back for this season? Do you feel like last year was a breakthrough effort for him or a flash in the pan? What will his signing mean for the likes of other defensemen currently at the AHL/ECHL setup and who is looking to be the odd men out of Milwaukee?

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The Chatterbox, Vol. 81

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

This is Jonathan Diaby. He is really good a being a tall person. This jersey must be massive. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Happy Thursday, Roundtable. What’s new? Oh.. everything? True. In fact I feel like the line “Welcome to the New Age” can be used ad nauseum right now. If it wasn’t enough that the Milwaukee Admirals were going to be sporting a very exciting, young, and talented team for the upcoming 2015-16 season they went ahead and nuked the old look in favor of something new.

I have to say, whether it was seeing the Roundtable Twitter feed blow up or the in-person responses I heard, this seems like a massively popular new look for the Milwaukee Admirals. Purely a guess: 98% positive response based on all the feedback I’ve read on Twitter, Facebook, and from people at “All Aboard” yesterday. When I look back to the poll I conducted not too long ago it was mainly split between those wanting a new look or not wanting one at all. The latter of that group sounded pretty into it when the new logos flashed in the jumbotron unveil. So, I think everyone is a winner in this little rebranding. Especially the Admirals merchandise sales – which you can help skyrocket right here.

At the event I was lucky enough to chat with a pair of Jonathans. One is tall dark and handsome. The other is the team president. Here is what both had to say in regards to the new look for the Admirals and more.

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