Engren Officially An Admiral

We broke the story that he arrived at the Bradley Center during Saturday’s game.  And it’s official now — goaltender Atte Engren has been assigned to the Admirals.

Here’s the Preds’ press release, but I wanted to highlight this quote from Assistant GM Paul Fenton.

“We’re going to let things play out, but Atte’s ability should allow him to get a chance down the stretch here for Milwaukee.  After winning the championship last year, it took him probably about half way through the season until he got his game back together, but since the midpoint of the season he’s played very well. He signed with us this summer, so that gave us the flexibility to bring him over after his season was done in Finland. His size and athleticism led to the thought that we should bring him over and give him a prelude potentially for next season, if he does decide to play in North America next season.”

AH-tay EHN-grehn.  #35.  Get used to it.

With Dekanich a free agent after this season, the pairing of Smith and Engren may be our tandem in Milwaukee next year.

So Roundtable, how would you like the playing time to be divided the rest of this season?  For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that Dekanich won’t be back until the playoffs.

How would you divy up the last 11 games?  Keeping in mind a 3-in-3 stretch this weekend…

Also, is this officially the end of Chet Pickard’s chance with the organization?  Or has that day long since passed?

12 thoughts on “Engren Officially An Admiral”

  1. I see the organization listened to me. I’m kind of a big deal! Yeah, I think Chet’s done, did he even get a start with Dex being out? I don’t believe he did, and now they’re going to put in a different kid who hasn’t played a single minute of North American hockey…I think that kind of says something. If I were Lambert, I’d let him start against Rockford, I know it’s only game 2 of 3, but they’re the worst team and would be the best opportunity for Engren to get his chance.

  2. Dex is a restricted FA next year, he’s not a street FA. That’s an important difference to make. SOMEONE has to tend goal in Cinci. Chet is not the answer, even there. I think you see Chet hit the road. I see Dex in Nashville to back up Rinne. I see Lindback in Milwaukee with Smith. That leaves Atte in Cinci to start the season. Given injury and trades, that picture may not stay stable, but I have a hard time seeing Dex walk after the season he’s had. Nashville is blessed and cursed with depth at goalie. Now they have to slot these guys.

  3. I’d give Atte maybe three games. Depending upon the outcome of those, give him more, otherwise stick with Smith. Going into the playoffs, we need a hot goalie. Swapping two goalies going in won’t benefit either one unless they both stay hot! Assuming we’ll ride Dex through the playoffs, give Atte one game in the first 3 in 3 series, then let him play on the 30th or 1st, and finally the second game in the last 3 in 3. Let Smith get in the groove for the rest of the games so he can get ready for playoffs until Dex is back.

    If Smith bombs, go 50/50. If Atte starts getting hot, give him a few extra starts, again until Dex is ready.

  4. I think Engren’s playing time in the short term will probably have some kind of correlation to how well he practices. I figure he’ll get in one of the games this weekend.

    But it’s an interesting decision Lane has to make….go with the guy you know, or go with the guy that your higher-ups want to know about.

    Looking forward to his debut — whenever it ends up being.

  5. I’m going to disagree with the majority. I don’t think Chet is done. I think he works more with Mitch Korn and bounces back next year. The talent is there. Tough to get confidence when they don’t let you play.

    I also think Dekanich is gone. Just don’t see him in the big picture and I think he will want to go somewhere that he can be in the NHL. But you just never know…

  6. I think Chet will be with us next year. Whether it’s Cincy{most likely} or an Admiral.
    He’ll be 22 next November so he’s still a spring chicken. However if they could get a draft pick in a trade for him, that’s a different story.

    I think he has to much upside just to cut loose with him. You’ve got a spot in Cincy for him, hold on to him. Dex is a different story. Nashville has two world beater goal tenders all ready. Do you trade one of the Euro-butterfly guyes,and have Dex be number two. Which he has no NHL experiance ,to know if he’s ready.

    Maybe a Dex trade in July so a team can do a deal with him before he hits the streets. Nashville has done quite a few, of those deals lately.

  7. There is no way the Preds let Dex walk as a FA. He’s got the best Save% in all of the AHL. At worst, they trade him sometime next year. But they can’t let him walk and there’s no way they would let it come to that.

    He’s a good citizen, a good representative of the organization, and a good player. Can’t let a guy like that pick up and walk.

  8. The Preds won’t have a choice whether Dex walks or not… unless they trade him after playoffs are over. He is an unrestricted free agent starting the first week of July.

    He doesn’t have any NHL experience because despite being called up for almost two months total, the Preds never gave him the opportunity to start a game. Do you think a goaltender with the best save percentage and third best GAA in the AHL (he was also an all-star) is going to sign a deal with a team who refuses him NHL experience? He will definitely sign with someone else unless the Preds throw major money at him (which they are not known for doing) aka Atlanta/Chicago paying players $200,00+ to play in the minors.

    Lindback will pull the “I’ll go back to Europe” card if he isn’t with Nashville next season (Jamie Lundmark anyone?) so that leaves Smith and Engren in Milwaukee and Chet in Cincy. Nashville has been all about giving the youth their chance so maybe they will leave things the way they are and let Dex walk. It just leaves a sketchy situation in Nashville if Rinne or Lindback gets hurt. Who do you call up? Other than a last minute trade, there is not much else they can do.

  9. I bet they trade Dex for a late round pick, or some kind of conditional pick after the season. The only other option would be to talk him into believing he’ll get a chance to fight for the backup to Rinne next year and sign a one or two year deal. As has already been said, regardless of his performance, he has no NHL experience. No NHL club will offer big money to an unproven. The only negative Nashville has in this situation is Rinne. Even if Dex wins the spot, he’s playing behind Rinne who will get a majority of the starts (assuming he plays like he did this year). There may be clubs that give him a better opportunity for playing time.

    Either way, Nashville is stacked with prospects so in terms of Milwaukee, we should be fine. I’ll hope for Dex back in the organization (Milwaukee or Nashville) but am not counting on it.

  10. Dex is a RFA, not an UFA, after this season. So there’s more to it than letting him walk away to a team he wants.

  11. As a restricted free agent (RFA) the Predators can tender him a qualifying offer to stay and they have the right to match an offer he gets. If they don’t give him the qualifying offer then he becomes an unrestricted free agent (RFA). So if the Predators are done with him (maybe he joins MacIntyre in Chicago), he could sign with anyone he wants.

    Personally I don’t see him back next year. The Predators are set at the NHL level and they have other prospects with greater potential (e.g. Smith, Engren, Pickard). Dex looks set to be the next AHL journeyman goalie.

  12. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Dex is in the NHL as a backup somewhere within the next 2 years. Admittedly, it is unlikely to be with the Preds. But I’ll also take action on Dex getting traded before he walks as a UFA. He certainly has trade value, at the very least.

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