Perhaps the biggest change for the Milwaukee Admirals next season has just been triggered. The Minnesota Wild have announced that Paul Fenton will be their next General Manager. Fenton has been with the Nashville Predators since their inception as a franchise and has acted as General Manager of the Milwaukee Admirals in his time as Assistant General Manager to David Poile.
The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Filip Pyrochta to a two-year entry-level contract. The 21-year old spent last season in his native Czech Republic with Bílí Tygři Liberec. He also played two seasons in the QMJHL with both Victoriaville Tigres and Val-d’Or Foreurs. He was teammates with Anthony Richard in 2015-16 with Val-d’Or.
The American Hockey League (AHL) have approved of it’s divisional alignment for the 2018-19 season. The Central Division as we know of it from this past season is changing. The Cleveland Monsters will officially move out and join the North Division in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Yet, their departure is minimized with the additions of both the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage who switch over from the Pacific Division.
It is unclear as of yet if the arrival of the Colorado Eagles to that Pacific Division will finally mean a league-wide 76-game regular season schedule or if that division will continue to play a 68-game regular season schedule. Though, based on alignment, one can hope that is he case and that the age of “points percentage” can end. All teams that worked a lesser schedule are now grouped together.
The Nashville Predators have reassigned Frédéric Allard, Brandon Bollig, Tyler Gaudet, and Emil Pettersson back to the Milwaukee Admirals. The Predators currently trail the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in their second round match-up. Game 6 is Monday night at 8:30 PM CDT and will take place at the Bell MTS Place.
When the 2017-18 season was lining up and getting ready to go: I was highly concerned about the Milwaukee Admirals goaltending situation. It had been years upon years of a prospect or two rolling in, both with a decent ceiling to reach for, and often enough they would so quality spurts of great work in net. That wasn’t what this season was going to be. There were going to be three gambles, two potential projects, and one attempt of a revival project.
What happened early pretty much summed up the way things would be in net. Anders Lindbäck was the man. It made you look at his recent history and wonder if it all served to build up to it clicking with the Admirals in an AHL season that could boost him back to an NHL opportunity. He was the foundation from which the Admirals did everything well this season and night in and night out gave them a chance to succeed on certain evenings when they probably shouldn’t have had a chance. And he is without question our selection for the 2017-18 Most Valuable Player Award.
The Nashville Predators have announced this morning that they have signed goaltender Miroslav Svoboda to a two-year entry-level contract. The signing of the 23-year old Czech native comes not too long after the Predators had also signed Finnish goaltender Niclas Westerholm to a three-year entry-level contract. With Troy Grosenick under contract for next season it could well be that the 2018-19 goaltending picture for the Milwaukee Admirals has already been set.
2017-18 marked the first time that the Milwaukee Admirals lacked a 50 point scorer since the 2012-13 campaign. The 216 goals scored this past season was the fewest scored in a regular season by the Admirals since 2014-15 when they last missed the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. It wasn’t that the forward group was poor by any means. In fact, of our end-season awards at Admirals Roundtable, this choice is by far the most difficult.
I feel that there are six forwards who could rightfully get the nod for the Admirals Roundtable’s 2017-18 Forward of the Year Award. Yet, I can only decide on one. And that one is Anthony Richard.
The ups-and-downs of the 2017-18 season from the Milwaukee Admirals mostly reflected a very young defensive core struggling to find consistency. It’s not to say that there was a lack of high points or stellar efforts. It just wasn’t on display near enough to make a difference.
When looking at the field of contenders for Admirals Roundtable’s 2017-18 Defenseman of the Year Award I feel as though many can have a different opinion on who would be most deserving and that opinion wouldn’t really be wrong. For myself, I can’t help but keep coming back to the efforts and growth of Petter Granberg this season. He was a force on defense in a season when that element was badly needed.
This is the Admirals Roundtable Award that I have been chewing on for the past week. According to the AHL, to be considered an AHL Rookie, a player must not have played a total 100 regular season games in any European Elite League. So, as much as I want to consider Emil Pettersson in his first professional playing season in North America as him being an AHL Rookie, I can’t.
That means looking elsewhere to the debutant 2017-18 class. By the time the season was coming to a close I felt one started to really remind all in Milwaukee how much he grew in his first pro season. Admirals Roundtable’s 2017-18 Rookie of the Year Award belongs to defenseman Frédéric Allard.
As far as the “Admirals Roundtable Awards” season goes? Let’s start with the simple choice. In retrospect, it’s incredible to think at season’s start that goaltending was something of an alarming mystery. The beginning three options all had certain red flags upon entry to the Milwaukee Admirals. Now that 2017-18 has come and gone our choice for Goaltender of the Year Award belongs to Anders Lindbäck. And that decision was as easy as it gets.