“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?