1) As a few of you Roundtablers have already reported, Linus Klasen has indeed taken his game back to Sweden. Klasen has signed to play for the Malmo Redhawks, who are a member of Sweden’s No. 2 league (Not the Swedish Elite League as some other sources have reported).
Though Klasen’s game never really fit with the Nashville brand, Linus did manage 22 goals and 45 points in just 47 AHL games, which was good enough for second most on the Admirals. Though we will never know the answer, you have to wonder that if Klasen was healthy late in the season, could he have provided an offensive boost in the games where Milwaukee only had a limited shot production? All season long Klasen was the Admirals only true home run hitter, for better or worse.
I have a feeling that Klasen is looking to refind his offensive game back in Sweden and audition for another shot in the NHL. From my various interviews with him this season, I know that he really wants to be a full time player in hockey’s top league.
(Read my early season feature on Klasen here)
2) No doubt more defections from the Admirals will occur in the coming months, but that cannot take away from what Milwaukee accomplished in 2010-2011. This week I wrote a feature recapping the Admirals successful campaign on milwaukeeadmirals.com.
3) So far the Eastern and Western Conference AHL finals are not going anywhere near to my predictions. Thanks to Hamilton’s 8-1 win last night, I still have the Bulldogs alive, but just barely. Charlotte has already checked out, getting swept by Binghamton. I really wanted to pick the Senators, but I figured the Checkers had something special brewing after knocking off both Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. I guess goalie Robin Lehner had other plans. Houston has really surprised me so far, but I know Hamilton can play better.
4) The Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg seems imminent, so much so that Manitobans were seen partying in the streets last night. However, both the NHL and the new owners have yet to confirm the transaction.
5) Finally, I would like to express my thanks to everyone involved with the Roundtable for a great 2010-2011 season. First to our commenteers, Admirals fans never cease to amaze me. There was lots of intelligent hockey conversation on this blog and I loved every minute of it. You are truly the heart of this site. Second of all, a special thanks to Ryan Miller who put this production together and allowed me the freedom to write up just about anything I wanted to (so if there was any of my posts that you didn’t like, you can blame him). Thanks to Sutty for writing provocative game stories and to Andy for making them sing with great audio.
Finally, thanks to Charlie Larson, Kevin Wilson and others who setup my numerous interviews this season. Coach Lane Lambert always seem to have time for me and he always provided thoughtful and expressive commentary. Players and coaches from the entire Nashville organization were friendly and more than willing to talk to me no matter what my request was about. As a writer that is truly appreciated. I especially enjoyed my first ever visit to a Predators game, which was facilitated by both the Nashville organization and the Anaheim Ducks. What a tremendous experience!
Have a great summer everyone!