Summer Ramblings, Vol. 31

(Photo Credit: LiPo Ching // Bay Area News Group)

When the AHL schedule was released these guys of the Pacific Division took some heat in some of the comments I read. I can’t say that I blame you. (Photo Credit: LiPo Ching // Bay Area News Group)

How much longer until you get to see the Milwaukee Admirals in action? The pre-season game at the MSOE Kern Center is 32 days away. The season opener is 40 days away. And the home opener is 46 days away. Soon, folks. Very soon. In fact, there are players already trickling into Nashville. Which sounds about right considering Rookie Camp and the Rookie Tournament begin in just about a week and a half. That will be a great time as plenty of familiar faces meet back up, the new blood gets to know their surroundings, and Dean Evason should get some ideas as to who he sees being impactful for him this season.

~Uniform Debut~

The new Milwaukee Admirals uniforms made their on-ice debut recently courtesy of the Junior Admirals.

The uniforms and new look already won me over. Seeing them on the ice like this, especially given that the all navy road setup was the one I was a little iffy on, I’m completely sold on the re-design. It just looks sharp. Cheers to Eddie MacDonald for the photography seen above. You can follow the Junior Admirals on Twitter and via their website as well.

~Rumor Mill~

Per NBC Sports, it sounds like the Buffalo Sabres are interested in signing former Milwaukee Admirals and Nashville Predators defenseman Cody Franson. The short and sweet of it: acquiring him from Toronto last season didn’t work for Nashville. Actually, the fact that he remains a free agent probably says enough about how that spell really hit Franson. Buffalo is in a revival period and it might be a good landing spot for him.

~Roundtable Mail Bag~

As if you couldn’t tell, these Ramblings have shortened and shortened the longer summer has dragged on. The good news? The season is almost here. The bad news? It still isn’t.. really. What I would love to do for next week is feature a mail bag of any and all questions you might happen to have related to the Admirals, Predators, or even Cyclones. I’m up to the task of rounding them up and answering them. Have questions? Ask them all! Want to say something snarky about the Pacific Division? Me too! I’m here to hear you out.

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The 2015-16 Milwaukee Admirals Schedule

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Happy Days, everyone! The AHL has just released the 2015-16 regular season schedule. The Milwaukee Admirals season opener is October 10th on the road against the Chicago Wolves, the home opener is on October 16th against the Charlotte Checkers, the home finale is April 15th against the Bakersfield Condors, and the regular season finale is April 16th on the road against the Rockford IceHogs. You can view the entire Milwaukee Admirals 2015-16 schedule via our website.

Plenty of great looking things in regards to the schedule. From a business perspective, it looks as if the Admirals have plenty of solid weekend dates at the BMO Harris Bradley Center: 25 out of the Admirals 38 home games occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. In addition, it seems like the dreaded three-in-three bullet has mainly been avoided. There are four ‘three-in-three’ scenarios this season with one in November, one in December, and two on back-to-back weekends in March. It seems as if the three-in-three has given way to more of a ‘weekday game and Friday-Saturday’ vibe more than anything: eight of those throughout the season (discounting the three-in-three varieties).

The area of the schedule I want to get everyone glued to is December and January because they appear to be polar opposites. The month of December is the almighty monster of the Admirals 2015-16 regular season schedule. There are fifteen total games and seven of those are on the road. Sounds hectic right? The team could either hit stride and cruise or hit a wall and crash. Regardless, the month of January is rather laid back. There are ten games. Of those six of them are on the road but they happen to be incredibly spaced out. December should be a marathon. January should be a bit of relief.

There are other fun things to point out: We’ll be seeing Joe Piskula and the San Diego Gulls stroll into Milwaukee on November 21st. The Manitoba Moose make their return to Milwaukee on October 29th. For a nice change the Admirals Texas road swing of the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage has been divided up into two head-to-heads instead of a Stars-Rampage roadie followed later in the season with yet another one (who doesn’t love the intensity of playing the same team twice so close together). The Admirals once again take to Charlotte for a two game road trip -but- this season the Admirals also get to host them for a two-in-two. The Admirals have three games in the AM this season including a 10:30 AM start time at home on Wednesday November 11th against the Lake Erie Monsters. In fact, they have two 10:30 AM start times in less than a week. I’m not sure if that’s ever happened before in team history.

Plenty more to chat about and discuss. I’ll be happy to hear all of your takes on the schedule. Let me know what your thoughts are on the schedule, some of the dates that excite you the most, or some of the areas that puzzle you.

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Summer Ramblings, Vol. 30

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

The Nashville Predators Rookie Camp opens up September 10th. It’s nearly time for hockey to mercifully be re-introduced to our lives with the off-season schedule almost at an end. Until then, this is what I like to think of as the hardest part of the off-season. It’s almost over. The new season is in sight yet so far away at the exact same time.

~Projecting Line Combinations~

For the sake of amusement I thought I’d throw out a guess as to how the Milwaukee Admirals lines might look come opening night. I’ll preface this by saying I won’t include Vladislav Kamenev in the event he winds up being loaned back to Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL rather than play in the AHL this coming season. There is no confirmation of that move going down but it’s a good possibility. I’d wait until Nashville’s main camp gets rolling along before anything of that sort could take place. He could well go the way of Kevin Fiala last season: head across the pond to start with his old team before making his North American pro hockey debut in Milwaukee mid-way through the season.

Also, despite taking part in this summer’s Rookie Development Camp in Nashville, Eric Robinson still hasn’t signed or been confirmed to have signed an NHL/AHL contract to keep him in the Predators or Admirals system. I feel that news will turn up and Robinson will be an ECHL role player that contributes for the Cincinnati Cyclones this season while getting some looks back up in the AHL.

That all said. Here is what I’m expecting the Admirals to closely resemble on the opening night of the 2015-16 AHL season.

Viktor ArvidssonColton SissonsMiikka Salomäki
Pontus ÅbergMax ReinhartAustin Watson
Joe PendenzaCody BassMax Görtz
Jamie DevaneFélix GirardFrédérick Gaudreau

Conor AllenAnthony Bitetto
Jonathan DiabyJohan Alm
Jimmy OlignyTaylor Aronson

Marek Mazanec

That’s a rough outline for now. I’m feeling more and more than Fiala’s season starts in the NHL with the Predators. Plus, I feel Garrett Noonan might still be down the pecking order to the likes of Diaby and Oligny. Depending on how the defensive competition for roster spots play out it could come down to Noonan, Jaynen Rissling, and Kristian Näkyvä being that extra body that stays up with Milwaukee and gets healthy scratched and rotated in here and there out the starting blocks.

Then there is that Juuse Saros kid. What quickly comes to mind is Magnus Hellberg‘s talk about the adjustment to the North American game being a challenge in net.

“People go so much harder to the net here,” said Hellberg. “They actually shoot more for rebounds. You have to think where you put the rebounds. You have to fight through a lot more traffic than you have to do at home. Obviously the ice is much bigger home so they have more time and they maybe skate around and hold the puck more but here it’s more like a straight game where people put the puck to the net and just go hard. It took awhile to managed some of the aspects of that.”

Of course we are talking about two completely different goaltenders. Mazanec’s transition to North American ice didn’t seem too bad in his first five starts with the Admirals. Perhaps the same will be said of Saros. Who knows? What will be smarter for all involved though is to integrate Saros in slowly at the start of the season and let him be as prepared to succeed as possible before launching him into the thick of it. There will be plenty for Saros to process but, with some time, I think he could compete for the number one role with Mazanec by season’s end.

Again, that’s a rough outline right now. I’m still feeling as if more pieces should be introduced at some point – as the lone extra forward, should Kamenev dart back to Russia, isn’t even a confirmed signing yet (Robinson). The forward depth still needs help and I’m a bit surprised why it’s taking so long to address. Tommy Veilleux? I don’t know – but more bodies are needed.

Thoughts on the projected Milwaukee Admirals line combinations? Disagree with them? Submit your own line combinations and explanations below in the comments section.

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Question of the Day: What Is Your Ultimate Admirals Lineup?

Haydar-RedBulls-1

Is Darren Haydar the best player in the history of the Milwaukee Admirals? (Photo Credit: EHC München)

The Milwaukee Admirals have rolled out some incredible talent in the history of the franchise. Whether it be the USHL, IHL, or AHL era of the team there have been names that have left a great impression. That got me thinking about who you would select for a starting five and goaltender fantasy lineup?

Danny LecoursFred BerryDarren Haydar
Marc MoroScott Ford
Pekka Rinne

Certainly loads of options. Toughest for my line combination comes at center and defense. I could have gone Mark Van Guilder, Cal O’ReillyTony HrkacVern Fiddler, Mark Mowers, or Phil Wittliff. Plus, defensively, there’s anywhere from Shea Weber, Sheldon Brookbank, Greg Zanon, or Ken Sabourin. I may have gone a wee bit sentimental on the Rinne choice in net. Richard Sirois or Wade Flaherty are other solid options.

What’s your ultimate Admirals lineup? Will you be the one to give Juuso PuustinenSimon Gamache, or Chris Mason a starting spot?

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Summer Ramblings, Vol. 29

(Photo Credit: John Russell)

Reminder: Miikka Salomäki will be 100% healthy when the 2015-16 season begins. (Photo Credit: John Russell)

Happy Monday, Roundtable. The Wisconsin State Fair is now in the past. So there is another item off your “Countdown to Hockey in Wisconsin” checklist. Hope you folks had the chance to stop on by the Milwaukee Admirals booth in your time at the State Fair and stocked up on all that new logo merchandise for the upcoming season. Speaking of which…

~Uniform Delivery~

The moment this re-branding went down for the Admirals I instantly picked up a customized home jersey. It arrived late last week and now I’d like to get to talking about that new look uniform all over again.

Lavender-Home-1

Lavender-Home-2

Having it in hand now – I’m sold. I love this. It’s quite seriously not that different from what the Admirals just had and, if anything, it ditched the old Reebok Edge uniform template and went for something that’s entirely unique to the team. For those that know me well you’d know how much I like the Pittsburgh Penguins baby blue retros. This color scheme, while a slight bit different thanks to the splash of silver trim here and there, works.

It’s worth pointing out some highlights of this jersey for those of you thinking of making the purchase via the Admirals Online Store

(1) Depending on your name – there is a good chance that your name will spill on to the shoulder yolk like mine did. Perhaps down the road the letters will rest on a white nameplate instead (I fully expect the on-ice uniforms to have that and the screen printed style name and numerals like last season). Regardless if that’s a big deal or not, it looks fantastic.

(2) Speaking of the name and numerals. Curious about that silver application on the new Admirals jersey? It’s not too shiny or anything ADHD inducing. As for the shoulder numerals they are quintessentially the exact same color palate as before. Only difference there is the new font being used.

(3) The shoulder patch appears to be a simple iron on. I’m not sure if it is just me but it feels a lot tougher than my previous Admirals jerseys bone anchor shoulder patches that were applied the same way. Different material? Not sure, but hopefully that toughness element stays true for everybody and it stays on nicely. Curious what the on-ice shoulder patches will be like: screen print or actual stitched on patches?

(4) Now to get into nitpicking area. That silver line that flows up into the collar. I didn’t really think much of it when I saw the uniform before the launch or after seeing it modeled at the launch. Seeing it up close it’s just weird to me. If the collar was left as is without the silver line bleeding straight up in through it I think it’d be fine. Instead it looks sort of sloppy. The good news? It is me nitpicking on a heck of a small detail on what is an awesome new jersey.

Enough fashion talk. Simply steer yourself to the Admirals shop or call them up and chat with their Manager of Merchandise and Purchasing, Kim Salli, and pick one of those bad boys up!

~AHL Schedule~

The NBA finally got their crap together and launched their schedule. That means teams in the American Hockey League can now leap to wiring in dates to get their schedule finalized. It sounds as if that should take around two weeks to get done. Plus, good ol’ Ryan Miller had the following notes in regards to how the Milwaukee Bucks schedule might mean a more relaxed weekend schedule for the Admirals this season:

Sounds promising for fans and the business side of things for the Admirals as well. It’s not shocker that weekday crowds aren’t exactly big for the Admirals. The AHL is a weekend league and if the buzz that the Bucks are generating means they’re happy to set up shop during those weekdays while allowing the Admirals a chance to host on those Friday, Saturday, Sundays – then I think we’re all winners.

Last note on the AHL schedule. They had a nice article on their website talking about how the schedule gets puzzled together. Curious about how that big process goes down? Read up.

~Kevin Fiala and Nashville vs. Milwaukee~

It’s really an old news story but I did get enough comments back from it that I feel the need to touch base on it.

“At the end-of-the-year meetings when [Head Coach] Peter Laviolette and I are talking to players, we’re usually the ones doing 90 percent of the talking,” Poile said. “So we did the talking to Kevin and then he says, ‘What do I need to do, I’m going to be playing for the Nashville Predators next season. I’m not going to [AHL affiliate] Milwaukee, I’m going to be playing [in Nashville].”

When that is said it isn’t Kevin Fiala taking a shot at the Admirals or the city of Milwaukee. He simply wants to be where a player of his talent and skill level wants to be, the NHL. I’ve found it a bit odd hearing that people interpret that as if Fiala would reject a move to Milwaukee at the start of the season out of some kind of spite towards the Admirals or AHL level hockey. It isn’t. He just wants to be in the NHL playing with top level talent against top level talent in the best league in the world. The AHL isn’t that.

Were Fiala to start the season with the Admirals I suspect him to come to the team with the right attitude, in a locker room with faces he would be familiar with, and looking to earn an NHL spot while playing top line AHL minutes doing it. It worked for Filip Forsberg. It would work for Fiala if the Predators felt the need to have him play in Milwaukee to start the season or for longer.

It’s in saying that where I go right back to all I ever said about Forsberg to the awaiting Nashville public: patience. He’s good. In fact, he might be good enough and driven enough to be with the Predators right now. If not? It isn’t the end of the world to have him hone in his all-around game and be “the guy” for the Admirals.

If I had any concern here it would be if Fiala were to start the season with the Admirals and take that as a slight by the Predators and provide a sputtering display of what he can actually do. I heard instances in Sweden where Fiala sounded like he could be a handful with his attitude but I never heard or saw any of that last season whatsoever. He wants to be an NHL player. Should he be in the lineup for the opening game of the Admirals season I think that is still his mentality with a focus of doing what is needed to be done in Milwaukee for him to get up to Nashville.

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Summer Ramblings, Vol. 28

Cehlin-Such-Fighter-Wow-1

Remember that one time Patrick Cehlin facepunched Jon Blum and then got ejected? (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

This weekend saw the return of the English Premier League and this Thursday marks the first Green Bay Packers pre-season game. You know what that means? We’re finally starting to get there.

The painfully long hockey off-season is coming down the final stretch and one month from today the Nashville Predators Rookie Camp opens with the Rookie Tournament starting up two days later. The official Predators training camp starts September 17th and before you know it there are pre-season games. I suspect a good amount of Milwaukee Admirals talent to be factoring in early and there could well be some names still up with Nashville when the Admirals pre-season calendar starts.

There’ll only be two pre-season games for the Admirals and the one and only pre-season home game will occur Friday October 2nd at the MSOE Kern Center. The very next night they’ll have a road pre-season game against the Chicago Wolves at Triphahn Center Ice Arena at Hoffman Estates. The AHL schedule has still yet to drop but the Admirals home opener date is set for October 16th at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the band Foreigner will be making up for their post-game concert cancellation last season on October 24th.

For those feeling like a soda bottle that has just been given a good shake and are about to explode. Relax. That hockey we’re all jonesing for is literally a month away.

~Once An Admiral, Always An Admiral~

Remember that Jon Blum fella? Well it turns out we won’t be having to deal with him as a member of the Iowa Wild this coming season – or any other AHL team for that matter. Yesterday he signed with Admiral Vladivostok of the KHL to mark the first time in his hockey career that he won’t be playing in North America.

Blum played for the Admirals from 2008-09 until the 2012-13 season before joining the Minnesota Wild organization on a two-way deal. He played 19 games in the NHL the past two seasons and 120 games at the AHL level. Looking at this Russian team he signed for it appears that he has the easiest name to pronounce by miles.

So there you have it. Jon Blum, once again, an Admiral… just not in Milwaukee or Wisconsin or the United States or North America or the Western Hemisphere… but an Admiral again none the less.

~Fun Fact~

Remember that trade last season that the Predators made? You know, the one where they ‘landed’ Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli in exchange for Brendan Leipsic, Olli Jokinen, and a first round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Draft? Would it amaze you that someone the likes of Charles-Olivier Roussel has found a home for the 2015-16 season before both Franson and Santorelli have? Because it amazes me.

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Off-Season Q&A with Aaron Sims

Aaron-Sims-Dusty-Rhodes-1

Aaron Sims (right) and the late great “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes (left).

This past week I had the chance to sit down and chat with the voice of the Milwaukee Admirals, Aaron Sims. It was great to catch up with Aaron and get some of his perspective on this year’s off-season as well as his thoughts on the season ahead for the Admirals. Here’s a transcript of our conversation – as a Chatterbox containing the audio would have been roughly a half hour (we’re good at talking about things we like).

~Q&A~

Daniel Lavender: First things first, the Admirals brand news logos, colors, and uniforms. What do you think?

Aaron Sims: I love the new logo. I love the new uniform. I love, and it sounds like I’m in the minority here from what I’ve been reading, but I like the M-A. I like that bone M-A. I think that’s really cool. I think it’s great. We spent nine years with the other one and it’s time for a change. I’m all for it.

DL: I think my initial impression when I looked at it all was, “yeesh,” but the more I actually looked at it… it wasn’t actually that different from what they just had.

AS: No. It’s what Harris [Turer] said, “an evolution.” Yeah, I like it. And then the response from like a lot of people, the [AHL], and all of that it has been really positive. That’s pretty cool to see.

DL: I thought the turn out for the unveiling event itself was great. There were tons of fans and the instant reaction to the logos was strong. That had to be satisfying to everyone involved in the re-design process.

AS: We had no idea. I asked them, “how many you think are going to show up?” And we really didn’t know. You just put it out there and, yeah, that many people showing up was pretty sweet. It was cool. I wish more former players could have made it but it was cool to have a few of the legendary guys: Phil Wittliff, Danny Lecours, and Fred Berry. I’d love to see a full blown Admirals Fest. That would be tough to do but it would be great to do I think.. June or July.. have as many people as you can come back.. I don’t know, teams used to do the old timers game, I’m not a big fan of that because those guys don’t want to get hurt and that’s the last thing anybody wants. Just to hang out and and make it like a baseball card type of thing that would be fun.

DL: In terms of this off-season’s moves it feels almost like a mass exodus of faces everyone is familiar with. Guys like Mike Liambas, Mark Van Guilder, Magnus Hellberg, Joe Piskula. What have you made of these moves?

AS: It’s just part of the thing. Year in and year out you kind of brace yourself for all of this stuff. I know Mike Liambas was a guy that didn’t necessarily want to go but he would have been foolish not to see what’s out there for free agency. Mark Van Guilder is at a point in his life where he gets to see the world. Everybody always talks about Nashville having to run it through the draft and all of that stuff. Every team has to run it through the draft. So then you piece the right free agents in there. I don’t know anything about Conor Allen but I’m anxious to see him. All I know is what I see in the numbers because we never see any teams out East. But I’m really excited and have been an admirer of Cody Bass for awhile. I’m really excited to see him on our team because he’s a tough guy, he’ll stand up for his teammates, from what I’ve seen – heard – and read he is a good man in the community. I’ve always like him. I’m really jazzed to see him. I’m anxious to see how Félix Girard progresses. If you think about it, we kept talking last year about a young team. They’re all going to be in their second year, so they’ll have a year of experience, and then you throw in an Allen.. Bass.. Jamie Devane I’m excited for. I’m looking forward to this. We’re in the [AHL]. If guys are here for two-years it’s a shock. To have those guys three, six, seven years is pretty amazing.

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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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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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