Possible Call-ups This Week?

“Austin Watson & Taylor Beck are ready to play in the NHL right now. Are they ready to contribute on a nightly basis? Not yet.”

That’s a quote attributed to Barry Trotz, tweeted by Willy Daunic, who is the studio host for Preds Radio.  That quote came last night before the Preds were shutout by the Coyotes.

Before anyone gets to super-excited about that quote, re-read it.  It sounds like a backhanded compliment to me.  And it sounds vaguely familiar.

Remember Blake Geoffrion?  Sure you do.  Trotz said this as he was being sent down to Milwaukee for the last time…

“It was a pretty easy decision for me. Boomer hasn’t really had any production; he hasn’t scored in 31 games. There’s a lot of players that can play in the league. The difference between players that can play in the league and NHLers is that you have to produce. There was no production and there wasn’t enough impact in his game.”

So I don’t think his quote from last night suggested anything was imminent.  However….

Today, Trotz had more to say when talking to Josh Cooper of the Tennessean.

From Cooper’s blog post:  “Predators coach Barry Trotz listed three names as possible call ups from Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee, if the Predators decide to go that route to shake things up: forwards Austin Watson, Taylor Beck or Chris Mueller.”

Normally, I take the road-to-Nashville-goes-through-Milwaukee stance, and suggest that there’s more for a guy like Watson and Beck to gain here than there would be getting 5 minutes of ice-time with Brian McGrattan.

But if there’s ever a time to take a quick plunge on any of these guys….I say do it now.

We’re at a quirky part of the AHL schedule where the Admirals only have one game between now and Thursday February 7th (it’s this Friday against Chicago).  Meanwhile, the Preds play the 31st, 2nd, 5th, and 7th, before Milwaukee plays again on the 8th.

A guy or two can be called up to get some facetime with the coaching staff, maybe get some game action, and not miss too much stuff going on down here on the farm.

Maybe the quotes are meant to motivate the players already there.  Somewhat of a threat.  Maybe they are seriously considering bringing some guys up.  I’m inclined to lean towards the former, but because of the schedule, I won’t be surprised by the latter.

What do you think?

33 thoughts on “Possible Call-ups This Week?”

  1. I think they need to go with Mueller, he has been consistent and has played there before. Watson is also ready, I see him as a Colin Wilson like talent. Gone before season’s end. Maybe now, maybe not. Beck has talent, but is way too inconsistent.
    As a real red herring, they need to call up MVG, he would sure add some humor and spunk to the team. Great guy in and off the ice. Probably not in the plans for the moment, but he should be.
    Time to start the hash tag #mvgwatch heard it here first. ….

  2. I thought MVG was signed by the Admirals… i.e. he’s not under a Nashville contract?

    Now would be Mueller’s chance to play on one of the top offensive lines up in Nashville. I say give him the chance, and don’t play him 5 minutes on the fourth line. Stick him on the top two lines and see what happens.

  3. i agree with Creed, bring up Mueller and play him on the top 2 lines and give him a chance or trade him to a team that will play him. He has proven that he belongs in the NHL. He gives 100% all the time both ways on the ice.

  4. How many overtime/shootout losses does Nashville have? Seems they need someone that can score overtime goals. The Admirals just won in overtime. Who scored for them? Who was it…who was it? Oh yeah-Chris Mueller. As usual. Call him up!

  5. Saw this on twitter so I thought I’d put my two cents in. Mueller has become something of a fan favorite up here. He plays hard and smart and it’s obvious to many of us if he were given more ice time and better line mates he could start to parlay his AHL level success to the NHL. Many were extremely disappointed that he didn’t make the opening day roster in favor of Rich Clune who has managed to cross check a guy into the boards head-first, punch another guy in the back of the head, lose every fight he has embarked upon and picked his nose on the bench. Mueller is the clear choice. We are seeing Craig Smith struggle as he was thrown in too soon-let’s not make the mistake with Watson-who will be up here eventually. We need help NOW. We are happy and proud our guys go thru Milwaukee first. Mueller has paid his dues. It’s Mueller time, indeed.

  6. Oh, and I was having trouble ‘voting’ in your poll until my wife walked in and told me she already used up our computers vote. She picked Mueller as well-so, there you go. Preds fans need a little pick me up and seeing Mueller in the gold might be just the ticket.

  7. My vote is for Mueller. I suspect the reason Beck has so many assists is because he plays with Mueller. Mueller is ready. But in reality, I would love to see all of them to come up-lets really shake this place up. Lord knows we need it.

  8. ok I am not going with eveyone here – I say let your first round draft pick have a shot at showing why he is was chosen in the first round. If you watch his style he is not afraid to stand in front of the net, he forechecks and he can play wing and center. He has also exceded expectations. why not reward his work and let him have a shot. Plus if he gets sent back he doesn’t have to clear waivers. Just my 2 cents worth

  9. Well, if we are talking about rewarding someone’s hard work then it’s high time Mueller be sent up for good. Guy’s proven himself time and time again. Watson’s been here for half a season. Chris has been here for 2 and a half years. No offense.

  10. no offense taken but if he proved himself then why does he keep being sent back down??? What is he “missing”? I do not know that is why I ask. Ryan Ellis only stayed half a season and was called up – so what is the diffference? Maybe it was the need for defense last year?? I do not know. Watson is a first round draft pick and should be given a shot . He is leading in goals and is the youngest guy on the team. He is leading with little special teams time also. He is 15th in scoring amongst rookies. Other teams do not seem to be afraid to use their successful rookies. He is a big presence and not afraid to go in front of the net, in the corners etc. again – why not use him at a time when you only need someone short term and see what he can do? Especially if you aren’t sure Mueller will stick again and risk having him put on waivers a second time this season.

  11. smith?? That is your only reason?? he was drafted 98th overall not 18th overall. That usually indicates quite an ability and talent difference. it is sort of sad that fans are so unhappy but no one wants to break the mold and go for broke. If you do not give a first rounder a shot because a 4th rounder isn’t panning out doesn’t seem to be looking at the big picture. You are compairing an apple to an orange. At an even younger age Watson has done much more in his career and has been very successful. Craig Smith hasn’t come close to Watson’s performance. Smith is an 89 not performing – still. Watson is a guy they thought wouldn’t be ready for 2-3 years and Trotz says he is ready now. Sorry you will have to do better than that. :) hey here is a thought – sit the whole 4th line and pull up Mueller, Watson and Beck??? Gee maybe that would work well for everyone:)

  12. Exhibit A… Craig Smith? Oh the similarities are amazing. CreedFeed you really need to compare and contrast that Apple vs Orange Jolly Rancher comparison. Are you going to answer any of hockeyfan4life’s other points or are you just going to rest on your weak ” ’nuff said” conclusion? I love the idea of bringing up Watson, Mueller and Beck. Either work them into the bottom two lines or just make one line with all 3.

  13. An all Admirals 4th line is brilliant! Nice work hockeyfan4life. Except for Admirals fans. That would be pretty depressing losing Mueller, Watson and Beck in one fell swoop. Following up on the why hasn’t Mueller stuck question-it’s extremely valid but I think the answer is as simple as a numbers game. He isn’t a high draft pick. He was a free agent signing. He isn’t an on-the-radar prospect. He isn’t missing anything-he’s just as talented as Halischuk or Spaling or Bourque or Yip or any number of guys in the NHL. Just needs an honest to goodness chance and some good old fashioned puck luck.

  14. Craig Smith. Didn’t play a minute in the minors. Isn’t fully developed. Now sitting in Trotz’s doghouse. I’m sure Creed’s point is that the Preds have been burned in the past about bringing their young guys before they are ready. And that’s a legit reason not to bring Watson up right now.

    As for the rest of you cheerleaders in the Austin Watson booster club….Good God, where do I begin?

    Let’s agree to lose the fixation on when Watson was drafted. Looks good on the back of a hockey card, makes a great story, and great for contract negotiations. And Mel Kiper Jr. But that’s it. Nobody gets promoted simply BECAUSE they’re a first round draft pick. They get promoted because they’ve earned it. Fine, make the argument that he’s earned it (you always do….and it’s still the same song every single time), but enough of this first round draft pick argument. Brian Finley and Chet Pickard were first round picks too. Pekka was an 8th rounder. Erat was a 7th rounder. Hornqvist was a 7th rounder. Chris Mueller was undrafted. Doesn’t matter. Rich Peverley was undrafted and has a Stanley Cup ring. Nobody cares about their draft slot, and it’s certainly no reason to “Give him a shot now” as you suggest.

    Watson had a great juniors career. You’re right. So did Mark Santorelli. Mueller has had a great PRO career at this level. Watson is 14th in scoring among rookies? That’s not a selling point. Would you campaign for those 13 rookies ahead of him to get promoted too?

    Watson will get called up when he’s ready. He’s not entitled to anything. Neither is Mueller. I voted that Trotz is just making threats he has no intention to follow through on until there are more injuries. I assume you all saw what Trotz told Cooper today…. “Coach Barry Trotz said the Predators likely wouldn’t call up any players from the minors in advance of Thursday’s game at the Los Angeles Kings.” What a surprise.

    Ease up on the Watson instant gratification. Patience, grasshoppers. Patience.

  15. lol yonkfan – I guess that is where there is some frustration for me at least – many of those above Watson in rookie scoring have been playing . Drew Shore is Playing. Etem played last night, Saad has gotten a look. Zucker has played a bit. At least they got a chance. I know every team does things differently. Nashville is slow to bring up rookies. Yet as I said they had no trouble bringing up Ellis half way through his first season in MKE. What does a player have to do to prove themselves? He has more goals than anyone on the team in his first pro season with about 10 mins total of PP time ALL season. whether you like him or not – that is a fact. He is brushed off just because Smith is bad. It seems odd to punish a kid because someone else isn’t doing his job. I still think the best is calling all 3 of them up and letting them replace some of the lack luster performers in Nashville

  16. Well, calling all three up won’t be an option just simply due to the 23 man roster unless there are some drastic corresponding moves or that groin pull epidemic comes through. I don’t think Watson is brushed off because Smith has been bad lately….I think it’s just the way the Preds work. “The Road To Nashville Goes Through Milwaukee”. You can make a drinking game out of it, if management is talking about the prospects. That’s how much they say it. And historically….all the way back to the late 90’s….they really do tend to follow through with it. So the fact that Watson is in Milwaukee right now shouldn’t be interpreted as a slight. It should probably be interpreted as the system operating as designed. And the more he develops here, the better the final product will be in the NHL. That’s something everyone can cheer for.

    How’s that for diplomacy?

  17. Yonkfan basically summed up my point… that’s what I would have said if I wasn’t too lazy to type it all :P Draft position doesn’t mean anything unless you’re #1 overall (IMO). There’s several guys drafted ahead of Watson in the same draft year that haven’t had a shot either, and there’s only a couple of guys playing regular time up in the NHL – several of them are with St. Louis and Columbus (organizations who were terrible in the past and looking towards their younger draft picks and building upon them). As Ryan said, Nashville has never rushed a draft choice until Craig Smith and it bit them in the behind. Why rush Watson when they don’t have to? I’d rather see Watson play the entire year in Milwaukee and make his way up next year, for his benefit to round out his entire game. What benefit will Watson have playing 5 minutes of ice time? If you haven’t been following the Predators and Trotz, that’s how it goes with new callups. They get shafted on ice time.

    I didn’t follow Watson in juniors, but his stats show he started out slow, then became a point-per-game player the last couple of years. His best year (10-11) he had 68 pts in 68 games, but was a -38!?! I see the entire team was negative but still… doesn’t reflect well (and yes I know the +/- stat should be taken with a grain of salt)…

  18. Well if we are going to compare stats lets look at some of Mueller’s. Mueller played 4 years at Michigan State and never in any of those years was a point per game player. Watson in comparison was at least a point per game player in 3 of the 4 years he was in the OHL. The only year he wasn’t was in his first year of OHL play. Also to be noted is that last year in the playoffs Watson had 19 points in 17 games and was voted the OHL Playoff MVP. Not sure i have ever heard of Mueller being an MVP of anything. Mueller has never once been a point per game player at any point in his career from Michigan State all the way up to the present. Currently Mueller leads Watson by 2 points on this years Admirals team. Of course Mueller gets more ice time and has a lot more power play time. Mueller is 26 years old while Watson just turned 21 about 2 weeks ago. If you look at the tale of the tape Mueller is listed at 5’10” 180 and Watson is listed at 6’3″ 202. One benefit that Watson could gain up in Nashville other than playing time is regular practice time against NHL players. Mueller’s +/- over his career look pretty good but unfortunately the +/- stat isn’t listed for his time at Michigan State. Guess they don’t keep track of that in NCAA hockey? The stats I have listed here are all posted on Hockey DB just so no one would think that I was just making them up. As for your point about the new call ups getting shafted on ice time I believe Ryan Ellis has and is getting more than 5 minutes of ice time and I believe the same could be said for Bourque. In reference to Yonkfan here is a selling point for you. Watson leads the Admirals in goals while only regularly playing on the 3rd line and little power play time. That sounds like a scorer and an offensive threat which if you read anything about Nashville that is what all the fans say they are lacking.

  19. hockeyfever, seriously you want to compare division 1 hockey with the high scoring league of the OHL. Its so much harder to score and play in College Hockey.. It’s Mueller’s time, if not, trade him or put him on waiver’s so another team can benifit from his 2 way play. I beleive since he’ll be 27 soon he be an unrestricted free agent so give him a chance with the nhl.

  20. Mueller should have been in Nashville from the start. Clune stinks and McGratton is a waste of a roster spot. Don’t know what else he has to prove here.

    As for Watson, the Preds have rushed too many players in the last few years and I hope they don’t do this with him. Smith would have benefited greatly from a year in Milwaukee. Wilson and Geffrion I think were rushed as well.

  21. looks like maybe Mueller was called up?? Not sure but I saw that he is listed on the Preds roster. Anyone know anything?? I hope no matter who is called up the Preds get on the winning side of things.

  22. Tony of course we should compare the D1 hockey to the OHL. In fact I would argue that the OHL is harder due to more travel and about 30 more games played per year that NCAA hockey. I think that with those two things the OHL actually prepares you to play in the pros more than NCAA hockey.

  23. Mueller is listed on the Preds roster, but also surprising is Bourque is not listed there anymore….

  24. Don’t put much faith in the roster on the NP site. They don’t seem to be updating it much this season. Take a look at their prospects roster. They still list Anders Lindback. Borque isn’t listed on the team or prospects roster and hasn’t been for a few weeks, but he’s there.

    They aren’t updating the transactions or injuries on the NP site this season either.

    I’ve seen much of that info at http://www.ontheforecheck.com first this season.

  25. Well, I guess I will chime in here since you decided to disparage Mueller’s contribution during his college hockey career. Make no mistake about it-Chris Mueller was a force to be reckoned with. You are absolutely right that he wasn’t a point per game player. But that wasn’t the role he filled. When Chris was here, he was primarily a defense-first forward. Meaning, his number one priority as given by our coaching staff was to consistently shut down the other teams’ leading scorers’. Hockey is more than scoring. I will also tell you that the year they won the National Championship (yes, while Chris was here he was a huge reason for them winning the country’s top honor) he scored in every single game they won. As Chris Mueller went, the Michigan State Spartans went. He may not have scored every game but his leadership, two-way play, and overall tenacity went a lot farther to accomplishing the overall goal. And stating whether one route to the NHL is better or worse for all hockey players is, at the very least, over-reaching and entirely too general. I have no doubt that this Watson chap will be a consistent player in the NHL some day-no one is arguing with that.

  26. Ole Sparty thank you for the Michigan State-mueller info and that is good to know. He actually sounds just like Watson as Watson was asked to do and accomplished very well all the defensive things you mentioned as well against the opponents top line. This whole discussion seems to have really eroded with the Mueller lovers basically just wanting to somehow denigrate some other points of view. I personally think Mueller is a good player but I am not one to think that a player should be given a shot just because they are older and played in the AHL a while. The AHL has lots of guys who are older but will never be more than just very good AHL players which isn’t a bad thing. Younger players if they have shown ability should be allowed to progress and not held back because of their age. I will be happy for either player if they get called up and cheer for them. Good luck to both of them.

  27. Mueller has 3 assists in 18 games with the Preds. He got his shot but it sounds like he didn’t get much of a shot at that time. Call him up. He can’t be worse than what they’ve got. But at the same time none of these players are comparable. Geffrion may have gotten unfairly “dogged” by being called up prematurely. Same with smith. Bottom line is all of these players are different mentally, physically and talent wise. In 10 years we will all know who has/had the better stats and that still won’t really prove anything.

  28. hockeyfever i think you are reaching, me like olesparty (an Michigan State Fan) been watching mueller for a long time. i do believe that its a Numbers game at center in nashville thats the only reason why Mueller’s not up. On his face off percentage alone, whereever he’s played Mueller has always been way about the average. Ok on the OHL do you know that its kids that play in this league 16, 17,18 yr olds and up to 3 or 4 20yrolds. In D-1 College Hockey most of there players dont start til 19 and 20 and than play again men that are 23 or 24 yr olds. thats why u see BIG stats in the OHL . Hey i hope Mueller and watson both get to play for the Preds for a long time, i’m just saying it’s Muellers time Now, if not trade him or put him on waiver’s so another team gets him . I think he had 5 or 6 points in pre-season games and was surprised he wasnt on the Pred’s team out of camp.

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