As expected, the American Hockey League took harsh actions toward four of the participants in the April Fools Day brawl with Rockford.
Admirals forward Michael Latta and goaltender Jeremy Smith each received suspensions, with Latta’s time off set at three games (both games against Charlotte and Saturday’s game against San Antonio). Smith will be forced to sit out Thursday’s game against the Checkers (surprisingly not Tuesday’s game). Rockford’s Rob Flick and Shawn Lalonde each received three-game sentences from the AHL, matching Latta’s sentence.
Both Ice Hogs coach Ted Dent and Admirals coach Ian Herbers were not suspended, but both bench bosses plus their organizations received fines.
Certainly the AHL’s Tuesday actions came as little surprise considering the extent of affairs on Sunday afternoon at the Bradley Center, but they do nothing to sooth their impact on the Admirals as they make the trek to Charlotte for the final time this season. Both Latta and Smith will be sorely missed from the Admirals lineup this week as Milwaukee embarks on its longest road trip of the season.
Heading into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Checkers, Milwaukee stands at 34-28-2-4, good for 74 points. The Admirals are currently four points behind 8th place Peoria and five behind the three-way log jam for fifth place, which includes Charlotte, Houston and San Antonio. Check out the AHL’s playoff primer here.
In other somewhat unrelated news, Nashville general manager David Poile announced today that Chet Pickard has been assigned to the Predators. Pickard recently completed his season with Cincinnati, going 14-12-2 with a 3.12 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage, while posting one shutout. Pickard was also called up to Nashville at the end of the 2010-2011 season.
So Roundtable . . . What is you assessment of Tuesday’s suspensions? Did you think Latta would receive more/less games? What about Smith sitting out Thursday, but not Tuesday?