The Chatterbox, Vol. 75

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

This is Kevin Fiala seconds before a skate caught him in the high neck area. He is a lucky lucky man that he only needed five stitches and nothing more. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

Since the month of February the Milwaukee Admirals are 7-11-3-1 with only one win from their last eight games. Think about it. Eleven regulation losses. That is as many as the Admirals suffered the entirety of the 2014 portion of this season.

The real reason why this stretch has been so difficult to watch is that there have been so many positives accomplished during these games but the results are not coming. With the Admirals 4-3 loss last night there was yet another case of the way things have been going lately. The Ads score not just an equalizing goal but a highlight reel goal that made the crowd explode.

It was a phenomenal goal. Individual brilliance. And then the puck drops. The Stars are instantly in attack mode. Goal allowed in less than a minute. It’s a crushing thud of disappointment.

The Admirals outshot the Stars 41-23. They’re putting pucks to the net and generating offense but the team isn’t finishing or generating second and third chance opportunities off of those shots. The offense is coming up empty and the power-play is a hot mess. The Admirals are 0/35 in their last nine games on the power-play. The way that the Admirals make mistakes and get burned off of them? That’s precisely what a power-play is designed for and the Admirals are earning these chances on the power-play (good) but not converting (bad). As I said. It’s a hot mess. The chances are there though. They just need to be capitalized on.

After the game there was a story that developed which I will either find out later on or not at all. This is all that I know that happened. Typically, we media folks jog on down outside of the locker room for the post-game interview with Admirals head coach Dean Evason before going into the locker room for player interviews. Evason was outside the locker room the moment I arrived after walking across the ice. Not unusual, but staying there as long as he did was. He then proceeded to walk behind the curtain and, as far as I heard, went to the AHL officials room and had a conversation with league officials. I’m certain that I saw the on-ice officials leave during the time I waited. And I waited for just about an hour before getting the polite request to call it quits for post-game interviewing.

I’d have loved to hear from Evason as to what was discussed because I have no idea what could have been discussed at an hour’s length in regards to last night’s game. We media types generally get around five minutes of a Q&A with Evason after the game to dissect the game and all its intricacies. I can’t even begin to speculate what happened, what was said, or what was being discussed. I’d love to find out. Though, I wouldn’t be that surprised if I never do either.

In place of the Admirals head coach tonight it was the assistant coach Stan Drulia stepping in at the hour waiting’s mark on Dean Watch 2015. Also, Austin Watson and Kevin Fiala were able to chime in. Here is what everyone had to say following the game.

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Late Drama Not Enough; Admirals lose 4-3

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

Kevin Fiala is really good at hockey. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

The Admirals lost 4-3 against the Texas Stars Saturday night. This was another just another game in which the Admirals did all the right things that they needed to get the result but ultimately lost.

After Triston Grant and Austin Watson were both sent to the box, the Texas Stars were able to score from a five-on-three power-play via Greg Rallo’s twenty-first goal of the season. The Stars were cycling the puck heavily along the right wing before Travis Morin passed to his opposite wing for Rallo who buried his one-timed shot past Magnus Hellberg.

Kevin Fiala threw his name in the hat for the Admirals Goal of the Season in the first period. Fiala was matched up one-on-one with Jamie Oleksiak and burned him with a crafty move that turned the defenseman inside out and put Fiala in all alone on Jack Campbell. The finish was just as good as the deke before it. Fiala calmly out-waited Campbell off the left wing before pulling in a shot on the forehand for his ninth goal of the season.

Mentioned in the rant column of today’s “Scouting the Enemy” was a section on Admirals mistakes. Allowing teams to answer back so quickly after scoring was one of those mistakes and it struck again after the crowd was in a frenzy for Fiala’s highlight reel goal. Only forty-three seconds after the Admirals scored a defensive breakdown had Devin Shore alone in the slot for a one-timer that knuckled through Hellberg to put the Stars right back into the lead. It was Shore’s first career goal as a pro.

In the second period Stars captain Maxime Fortunus scored his eighth goal of the season to make it a two-goal game. A puck kicked out from the left wing faceoff circle right back for Fortunus who hammered a shot immediately. The puck fluttered clean past Hellberg on the glove side.

The Admirals third period push would come in the closing minutes with an extra attacker on the ice. With 3:03 remaining they emptied their net. With 2:07 remaining they used their timeout. And then, with 1:52 remaining, Austin Watson scored his team leading twenty-second goal of the season as the Admirals crashed numbers on Campbell in net.

It felt like when Scott Glennie put away the empty net goal with a minute remaining in the game that the drama was all over. That just wouldn’t be the case. Mark Van Guilder batted a puck out of the air in front of Campbell to score his ten goal of the season with 0:44 seconds remaining in regulation to make it a one-goal gap yet again.

For all the pressure that the Admirals put on the Stars in the closing seconds they had one last chance to send this game into overtime. Watson very nearly sent this game past regulation with a wrist shot that buzzed through traffic and narrowly missed hitting its intended target. It didn’t. And the Admirals, who once again performed quite well, fell short.

Ramblings: Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Felix Girard (upper body) and Jimmy Oligny (healthy). Jonathan Diaby made his return to the ice after being a healthy scratch for the Admirals last three games. Tonight marked the return to Milwaukee ice for Scott Ford for the first time since game two of the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs when the Admirals lost to the Toronto Marlies 5-2 on 4/26/14. After the game Kevin Fiala received five stitches after a skate hit him high on the neck. The Admirals power-play went 0/6 tonight and are currently on a run of 0/35 over their last nine games. The Grand Rapids Griffins point streak of nineteen games finally came to an end with a 4-3 loss on the road to the Lake Erie Monsters.

Thoughts on tonight’s game? What is wrong with this Admirals power-play? Is it safe to tip your cap to Jack Campbell in net and move on to the next game?

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The Chatterbox, Vol. 74

Fordo-BOX-1

The Sheriff is back in Milwaukee tonight. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

How about a pre-game treat? Prior to tonight’s game I spoke with the newbie from Dartmouth Eric Robinson and the relie from Fort St. John Scott Ford. Rather than wait through tonight’s game and tag them ahead of the post-game audio I say instant satisfaction! Here is what both had to say prior to tonight’s game.

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Stars: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro)

This is Scott Valentine. Hi Scott Valentine! (Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro)

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig. The Milwaukee Admirals season long six-game road trip is finally and -mercifully- over. With the Admirals going 1-4-1-0 on that road trip a return to home ice out to be a sight for sore eyes.

~Rant~

I would really like to stress something on the Admirals before going into this very brief edition of Scouting the Enemy (we only just played these Texas folks a week ago). I don’t think the Admirals have played all that bad during the road trip. The power-play is something I certainly won’t attempt to defend. It’s woeful. Yet when it comes to five-on-five play I think the Admirals have performed very well. They’ve wanted badly to generate shots and have goaltenders working for their saves. On the road trip they outshot teams 188-172.

The problem there? Goaltenders who were up to the task with defenses forcing Admirals out of the garbage areas around the net that minimized follow-up opportunities. The result was the record above and a road trip scoreline of Admirals 13 – Opponents 23. At least that’s the “offensive” issue.

If there was any other issue that detracted from the solid play of the Admirals during the road trip it was the amount of mistakes that took place that led directly to goals. Let’s run those down in order of appearance as they took place on the six-game roadie: (1) Falling asleep defensively and allowing the Oklahoma City Barons to score fifty-three seconds after they had taken their first lead of the game to make it a two-goal lead. (2) Joe Piskula and Kevin Fiala botch defensive zone exit that instantly gets converted to a Barons goal. (3) Shorthanded goal allowed to the San Antonio Rampage for the game’s opening goal. (4) Taking a retaliation penalty, failed penalty kill clearance, and opening goal allowed off a Texas Stars power-play. (5) Another failed/soft defensive zone clearance that put the defense in scramble mode before allowing a quick goal. (6) Equalizing the Stars opening goal only to concede another goal fifty-nine seconds later. (7) Defensive brain lapse allowing Stars to score forty-nine seconds after scoring another goal. (8) Johan Alm falls asleep and allows Barons to nullify icing to score late to make it a one-goal game. (9) Taking a penalty with under four minutes remaining in a tied game.

Alright, that is a laundry list of bad. No doubt about that. But here is the counter. Those are all avoidable mistakes and they are all mistakes that need to be part of this team’s learning process. I much prefer the Admirals have a stretch as they’ve been on now than in the playoffs. There’s plenty to be ironed out but they are more niggling here and there lapses within games than major glaring unsolvable problems. Learn from the mistake. Get on with the game. Sights set on the next game. Simplicity is the Admirals greatest strength when they’ve been successful this season. The cure to their mistakes bug shouldn’t be any different.

~Short & Sweet~

The Texas Stars enter tonight’s game with a record of 30-18-13-1 (74 points). They are third in the West Division and, since we last played them, have leapfrogged the Admirals in the Western Conference standings. The Stars are sixth and the Admirals are seventh with a single point separating the two but the Ads having played an extra two-games at this point.

Since we last met the Stars have been rolling. They won 3-2 in a shootout over the Lake Erie Monsters and then secured a 3-0 road shutout in Rosemont over the Chicago Wolves. The Stars are currently on a six-game point streak and are 6-1-3-0 in their last ten games.

Expectations tonight? Will home ice cure some of the recent road woes or will the Stars keep bringing the pain like last weekend? How important is this homestand to restore confidence?

Be sure to follow Admirals Roundtable on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and see our photos on Instagram.

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Late Power-Play Goal Sinks Admirals; lose 3-1

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

Magnus Hellberg put in another solid night’s work. Sadly for him and the Admirals that effort wasn’t translated into a winning result. (Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

The Admirals lost 3-1 on the road against the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night. Despite a solid effort for the Admirals it is yet another game on this road trip where a mistake came back to haunt them. The Griffins had a late power-play and scored with under two minutes remaining to see the Admirals off on their season long six game road trip with a record of 1-4-1-0. I imagine that bus can’t get from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee fast enough.

Joe Pendenza scored his eighth goal of the season to kick off the scoring in the first period. Austin Watson’s work on the forecheck was key as he freed up a puck, passed to the low right wing faceoff circle, and allowed Pendenza to get a quick shot off in a prime scoring position. Tom McCollum made the initial save on Pendenza’s shot but the puck flipped up and off of his back and in for the goal.

With 1:38 remaining in the first period the Griffins were able to level the game at 1-1. Andreas Athanasiou broke down the right wing, cut across Jimmy Oligny, and then passed off to Martin Frk on the opposite wing for the one-timed finish. It was an impressive shot for Frk. The Athanasiou pass was skipping the entire way and alluded the intercept of Taylor Aronson before getting to the tape of Frk who scored his fourth goal of the season.

The game wouldn’t get another goal until late in the third period and it would turn out to be the game-winner. With 3:12 remaining, Johan Alm flipped a puck up into the stands and was called for a delay of game. Then, with 1:57 remaining in regulation, Athanasiou hammered a slap shot low along the ice that had enough force on it to keep on motoring through the wickets of Hellberg and slide in. It was Athanasiou’s fourteenth goal of the season.

The Admirals emptied their net and brought on the extra attacker at the 1:30 mark. Yet, Kevin Porter was able to jar loose a puck off of Kevin Fiala on the high right point off of a faceoff win for the Admirals. Porter proceeded to race down and throw in the empty net tally from the Admirals blueline to close this game at 3-1 on Porter’s twelfth goal of the season.

There can certainly be finger wagging after a game like this. Truth be told, the Admirals played an outstanding game. As has been the story of this road trip though it was a mistake that overshadowed the great effort produced by the Admirals. The Griffins went 0/2 on the power-play in the first period. They were then given a chance late in the game and capitalized off of it. The Admirals on the other hand went 0/5 on the power-play tonight and have a current run of 0/29 over its last eight games. Mistakes get punished. The Admirals missed their chance to do so tonight. And the Griffins late power-play gave them all they needed to steal a game from the Admirals tonight.

Ramblings: Prior to tonight’s game the Nashville Predators recalled Viktor Arvidsson under emergency conditions. In addition, the Milwaukee Admirals signed Dartmouth right winger Eric Robinson to an ATO contract. Tonight’s scratches for the Admirals were Felix Girard (upper body) and Jonathan Diaby (healthy). The win tonight for the Griffins extended their current point streak to nineteen games, 15-0-3-1. The Admirals, with results from yesterday and today, are now seated seventh in the Western Conference behind the Texas Stars.

Despite the result, are you pleased by the performance that the Admirals put in tonight against the Griffins? What is the problem with the power-play? Are you getting worried about the Admirals playoff chances at the moment?

Be sure to follow Admirals Roundtable on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and see our photos on Instagram.

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Admirals Sign Eric Robinson to ATO

(Photo Credit: Melissa Wade)

Eric Robinson should be the first of a few Milwaukee Admirals ATO signings at the tail-end of this season. (Photo Credit: Melissa Wade)

With the season grinding along towards the finish one, myself included, could almost forget that it is ATO season. The college and junior playing seasons are coming to an end. That means bringing in new recruits. It worked well for the Milwaukee Admirals and Joe Pendenza last season. And we have our first ATO signee this season with Dartmouth College right winger Eric Robinson.

Robinson was selected in the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft by the St. John’s Fog Devils. Rather than go the junior route he opted for a lengthy five-year stay in college. In his time at Dartmouth he played 124 career games and scored 79 points (35 goals, 44 assists), had a plus/minus of +15, and 76 penalty minutes.

There hasn’t been official word on this signing as of yet but Aaron Sims has said as much and will have him on tonight’s pre-game show. That’s good enough for me.

~Update~

Darmouth College has now confirmed the move with a lovely article that also gives some more insight on Mr. Robinson.

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Viktor Arvidsson Recalled By Nashville

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Welcome to Smashville, Viktor Arvidsson. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

Ahead of tonight’s game the Nashville Predators have announced that Viktor Arvidsson has been recalled from the Milwaukee Admirals under emergency conditions. It is Arvidsson’s first career NHL call up.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (March 20, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the Predators have recalled forward Viktor Arvidsson from Milwaukee (AHL) under emergency conditions. He will wear No. 38.

Arvidsson, 21 (4/8/93), currently leads the Admirals, is tied for the AHL rookie lead, and tied for 10th among all AHL skaters in points (20g-31a-51pts) while playing in all 63 of the team’s games this season. The Kusmark, Sweden, native is also second among all rookies in goals and fourth among first-year players in assists, as well as ranking second among rookies in power-play goals (7), and tied for fourth in game-winning goals (4). He also leads the entire AHL in shots by 28 (237).

A 5-11, 176-pound right wing, Arvidsson – selected 112th (fourth round) by Nashville in the 2014 Draft – ranked ninth in the Swedish Hockey League in points (16g-24a-40pts) during the 2013-14 season, then helped Skelleftea win its second consecutive SHL title by tying for second in assists (12) and ranking third in points (16) during the postseason. During the title-winning season of 2012-13 he tied for fourth in playoff goals (6) and was named Swedish junior player of the year and a finalist for the SHL rookie of the year award.

Arvidsson tied for eighth in goals (4) at the 2013 World Junior Championship, helping Sweden to a silver medal, and also earned silver at the 2011 Under-18 World Championship, playing alongside Predators forward Filip Forsberg on both squads.

The Nashville Predators, who have an 11-3-0 record versus Eastern Conference opponents on home ice this season, take on the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena (7 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.5 The Game). Saturday’s game is the second of three consecutive home games for the Preds; Nashville closes out the home stand on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Without Arvidsson this move could well signal yet another game in which an Admirals defenseman has to play the forward role. Félix Girard has missed the Admirals last two games after getting injured in his fight with Scott Valentine. And, as far as call ups go, Josh Shalla was placed on reserve yesterday by the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Jonathan Diaby is healthy. He could come back and push a defenseman out on a third or fourth line capacity for tonight.

~Update~

I love when I go into full-on speculation mode only to find out there is another solution. That solution turns out to be the Admirals first ATO signing of the season: Eric Robinson of Dartmouth College has just signed.

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Griffins: Scouting the Enemy

(Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

No Admirals-killer Petr Mrázek? That’ll mean Tom McCollum or Jared Coreau tonight. I can hear the Admirals forwards exhaling all the way back home in Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Mark Newman)

The Admirals season-long six game road trip ends tonight with a match up with the Midwest Division and Western Conference leading Grand Rapids Griffins. To date, and results-wise, this road trip has not gone well. The good news? The Admirals have had good stretches within those bad results and came good with their 4-2 win over the Oklahoma City Barons. The good-er-er news? The Griffins could well be set for a fall tonight with some top talents up in the NHL.

~Short & Sweet~

The Griffins enter tonight’s game with a record of 37-17-6-2 (82 points). As mentioned above they lead both the division and conference. This comes thanks to the surge that is this astonishing eighteen game point streak: 14-0-3-1. The last time that the Griffins lost in regulation came on home ice at the hands of the Admirals in a 4-0 shutout.

~Lacking Star Power~

When looking at the Griffins roster tonight your spirits will be instantly lifted when you see the names Teemu Pulkkinen and Petr Mrázek are absent. Both were recalled to the Detroit Red Wings over the past two weeks. So what does their lack of presence mean tonight? Only good things!

Pulkkinen has been the AHL’s top scorer for a solid chunk of this season. If not for his NHL recalls he’d probably still be the AHL’s scoring leader. I’m sure he doesn’t mind the NHL time. Still, no Pulkkinen takes a major nuclear level weapon off the battlefield for Grand Rapids. He has scored 61 points (34 goals, 27 assists) this season. No one in the AHL has scored as many goals as him and the next closest is Shane Harper with 28 goals. Someone else for the Griffins will need to do the damage tonight.

I hope that Mrázek’s recent AHL spell was a warning shot across the bow of the Red Wings and potential NHL suitors everywhere. He pulled in six straight wins out of seven starts, recorded three shutouts, and had a ludicrous 1.39 goals against average and 0.956 save percentage. No offense to Tom McCollum or Jared Coreau but they are not Mrázek and I am therefore not as concerned heading into this game. Please ignore the fact that Coreau has played great against the Admirals and McCollum won his last start against the Admirals as well.

~That Other Bloke~

So, no Pulkkinen? Who should the Admirals fear the most on the Griffins now? Andy Miele. He hasn’t had an NHL chance yet this season but someone should take notice of the great season he has put together for Grand Rapids. Miele is tied for third in the league in scoring with 58 points (20 goals, 38 assists). Against the Admirals he has 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists). You might remember those goals specifically as well. He was the initial 0.4 second man before Viktor Stålberg took his gimmick and improved it with a hat trick and NHL call up.

~More Blokes~

Landon Ferraro is the leading scorer for the Griffins in this match-up. He has 5 points (4 goals, 1 assist) against the Admirals this season. He does trail the duo of Colton Sissons and Viktor Arvidsson though: Sissons, 7 points (6 goals, 1 assist)… Arvidsson, 7 points (0 goals, 7 assists). Ferraro might well be the trigger-man that the Griffins need in place of Pulkkinen as he trails him for the team lead in goal scoring with 23 goals this season.

One other player worth mentioning is first year pro Anthony Mantha. His season started with an injury but he’s managed to really get with the program and put in a productive season for the Griffins. He has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists), a plus/minus rating of +11, and 53 penalty minutes in 51 games. Like Pulkkinen, Mantha’s slap shot is a powerful one and he can range from the wing to the point on the power-play effortlessly. He has scored 4 power-play goals this season for the Griffins. Yet another gem of many in the Red Wings system.

Expectations for tonight’s game? Which streak hits nineteen tonight, the Grand Rapids point streak or Scott Ford‘s ECHL/AHL winning streak? Should Magnus Hellberg be given the net over Marek Mazanec tonight?

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Admirals Snap Skid; win 4-2

(Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro)

This big guy game up big in the third period for the Admirals. (Photo Credit: Christina Shapiro)

The Admirals won 4-2 on the road against the Oklahoma City Barons Tuesday night. A three goal third period was the catalyst to the Admirals snapping out of their five game losing streak. In the space of five minutes Kevin Fiala, Mark Van Guilder, and Triston Grant scored to give the Admirals space to survive a late flurry for the Barons.

Kevin Fiala opened the scoring in the second period with his eighth goal of the season. The goal came after Anthony Bitetto and Andrew Miller were sent to the box to make it four-on-four. Johan Alm slid over to Fiala who was all alone on the inner half of the right wing faceoff circle. Fiala hammered a one-timer through Laurent Brossoit to make it 1-0.

Triston Grant went to the box after some extra shoving in front of the Admirals bench. During his roughing minor, Jason Williams had a stick failure on his slap shot attempt and sent Mark Van Guilder off to the races shorthanded. The Admiral veteran went forehand to backhand and beat Brossoit for his ninth goal of the season.

The moment Grant exited the box from his roughing minor he skated into the Admirals attacking zone and was given a gift courtesy of Dillon Simpson. The Barons defenseman was being heavily pressured and turned the puck over right in front of the net to Grant. Brossoit went into full-on panic and desperation mode and sprawled for a diving poke check but came up empty. Grant threw a shot up and over the downed netminder and scored his eleventh goal of the season to make it a 3-0 Admirals lead through two periods of play.

It wouldn’t be the Admirals if not for a bit of anxiety, right? That anxiety came in the third period in the form of Bogdan Yakimov. With 8:01 remaining, after an in-zone faceoff, Joshua Winquist teed up Yakimov in the high left wing faceoff circle for a one-timer that he blast past Magnus Hellberg high glove side to make it 3-1.

Before the Barons even had to pull Brossoit for an extra attacker Yakimov did it again. Williams was able to win a race to negate icing against the Barons as he beat Johan Alm to the puck and, after some pinballing behind the net, it fell kindly in the slot for Yakomov to score his second goal of the third period and twelfth of the season.

With Brossoit on the bench, and the Barons bringing the extra attacker on, the Admirals scored an empty netter to finally allow themselves to exhale. Fiala competed along the left wing and Rich Clune had the initial chance for the empty cage but missed off a post. The follow up would be cleaned up by Austin Watson to record his twenty-first goal of the season to finish the game up 4-2.

Hellberg was great in net tonight for the Admirals. He made thirty-one saves and was up to the task with Oklahoma City throwing as much as they could at him in the third period when they fired sixteen shots. It’s Hellberg’s first win in over a month’s time.

Ramblings: Prior to the game the Milwaukee Admirals signed Scott Ford to a PTO contract and released Ian White from his PTO contract. It is Ford’s first game in the AHL since being part of the Admirals team that were swept from the playoffs last season by the Toronto Marlies. He had been a member of the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL up until this PTO contract. Per Aaron Sims, Ford is the fifth Admiral all-time to play parts of seven seasons with the franchise. Tonight’s scratches included Felix Girard (upper-body) and Jonathan Diaby (healthy).

Thoughts on tonight’s game? Compared to the previous two outings against the Barons what changed for the Admirals tonight to see the result change? How did Scott Ford look in his return to not just the Admirals but the AHL?

Be sure to follow Admirals Roundtable on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and see our photos on Instagram.

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Scott Ford Returns; Ian White Released

Ford-Feature-1

The Sheriff is back. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

How about a nice jolt to the system to kick off your Tuesday afternoon? The Milwaukee Admirals have signed former-captain and long time Admiral defenseman Scott Ford to a PTO contract. In addition, the team has released defenseman Ian White from his PTO contract.

Press Release via Milwaukee Admirals:

Milwaukee, WI–The Milwaukee Admirals announced today that the team has signed defenseman Scott Ford to a Professional Try-Out Contract (PTO). Ford will meet the team in Oklahoma City and be available for tonight’s 7pm game against the Barons.

A veteran of 366 games with Milwaukee, Ford rejoins the team after playing this season with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL where he has a goal and four assists, 82 penalty minutes and a +14 rating in 40 games. The Stingrays are currently riding an amazing 19-game winning streak.

The Fort St. John, BC native has spent parts of the past six seasons with the Admirals, including two as team Captain, and has played the second most games since the Admirals joined the AHL, passed only recently be center Mark Van Guilder.
Overall with the Ads Ford has 14 goals and 29 assists for 23 points, a +41 rating and 563 penalty minutes–second most in team AHL history. Ford (+24 in 2011-12) and current Captain Joe Piskula (+20 in 2013-14) are the only defenseman since 2003-04 to finish the season +20 or better.

In addition, the Admirals have released defenseman Ian White from his PTO.

Milwaukee continues a season long six-game roadtrip tonight when they face the Barons at 7pm in Oklahoma City. The Admirals finish the trip on Friday in Grand Rapids before returning home on Saturday night to host the Texas Stars at 7pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Sheriff was not only signed today but is in fact in Oklahoma City tonight and ready to roll. This move feels rather reminiscent of the 2012-13 season when Ford was a member of the Peoria Rivermen and was brought back to the Admirals to provide a leadership role to the group.

As for White, this news comes as a slight bit of surprise when you consider how well he has plugged into the Admirals defense. He produced 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists) with a plus/minus rating of +4 and 13 penalty minutes in 34 games for the Admirals. Earlier this season White had played for the Providence Bruins on a PTO contract where he tallied 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 8 games. I imagine the move comes as a swap of veteran defenseman for veteran defenseman that has the additional trust of the coaching staff and a solid chunk of the locker room the instant he joins the team.

Happy about the return of Scott Ford to the Milwaukee Admirals? Are you disappointed to see Ian White released? What will Ford provide that White couldn’t?

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