Anytime a player with an NHL pedigree such as Steve Begin’s gets assigned to an AHL club, the league’s fans get excited. These players offer the hardcore hockey fan a name they can recognize and not a prospect they have to do their homework on.
But for the Admirals supporters who don’t know much about Steve Begin, let me shine a little light on the subject. At 32-years old Begin is no rookie. His best offensive days (10 goals in 2003-2004 and 11 in 2005-2006) are behind him, yet Begin proved effective in his checking role with the Boston last year. This was especially true during the playoffs when Begin took advantage of expanded ice time as the Bruins lost key players to injuries. During the off-season Begin likely would have resigned in Boston if the Bruins weren’t so strapped by salary cap issues.
Despite his limited offensive game, Begin remains an effective two-way forward and a menace to play against. The Quebec-native is a constant competitor on the ice, who skates with a work ethic that makes him easy to coach.
Therefore Begin seems a natural fit in blue-collar organization like Nashville, a team that prides itself in playing a gritty style. Begin’s time in Milwaukee will involve conditioning to get his NHL legs back under him after he missed all of training camp as an unsigned free agent.
However, if an opportunity on the Predators third or fourth line appears, expect Begin to be one of the first players General Manager David Poile inquires about.
(Author’s Note: Steve Begin played his first game with the Milwaukee Admirals Sunday at Chicago, picking up an assist, while centering the team’s starting line with Chris Mueller and Gabriel Bourque. He also took a controversial penalty late in third period that effectively ended Milwaukee’s comeback hopes. To hear coach Lane Lambert thoughts on the call, check out Andy Grebe’s game recap Blog, Wolves Fend Off Ads 4-3: http://admiralsroundtable.com/2010/10/24/wolves-fend-of-ads-4-3/)