As Jason reported earlier today, defenseman Scott Ford has been reacquired, and Jani Lajunen has been sent to St. Louis/Peoria. Just as surprising to me is that Patrick Cehlin has been sent to Cincy in the ECHL (along with Taylor Aronson). Not surprising in that Cehlin deserved to be sent down….I’m surprised that he actually WAS sent down.
First…Fordo and Lajunen. Two guys that had been spending more time in suits than jerseys lately. Lajunen had been a healthy scratch since January 26th, except for the game on Saturday when Taylor Beck was a late scratch. Tough to look at his stats and argue that he was a victim of a numbers game. His game just didn’t take the step forward in this sophomore season that it needed to. He had one goal and four assists, and was -9 defensively in 40 games.
Fordo has played in just one game since January 23rd. The -14 defensive rating kind of jumps out at you, but look at that team….Only one of their D-men is on the plus side for the season right now. And if the D-men aren’t getting much cooperation from their forwards (Hensick -10, Nesbitt -9, Schwartz -14, McRae -11, Grachev -12), Ford’s numbers might take a dip like that. Sure he’s a year older, but I definitely don’t think he is as bad as that -14 suggests. Even with as many veterans as Peoria has on their roster, I was very surprised that they would bench their captain like they did. But good on them for moving him to a place where he’ll get the chance to play.
Taylor Aronson has exceeded my expectations this season, but I still feel more comfortable with Fordo back on the blue line. I look forward to seeing him back there.
It’s tough to say Patrick Cehlin hasn’t had chances to be an important part of the offense here. He’s had ice time with other guys that ARE producing. He has skated with the Mueller’s and the Beck’s. He’s been on the power play units. He had a three point night on November 9th, with a goal and two assists, and he’s scored just one goal since then. One goal in 36 games. Scoreless in the last 25. In addition to invisibility on the scorer’s sheet, he’s been prone to errant passes, poor decisions, and the tendency to pass up shots (although, he’s not alone in that last affliction).
Andreas Thuresson had a 30 game goal-less streak back in the 10-11 season. As a 4th year player, despite that monstrosity of a dry spell, I can imagine that a visit to the ECHL probably wasn’t an option on the table for him. For Cehlin as a rookie, a quick trip to Cincy I think is a much easier sell. He can go down there, try to get some confidence back, hopefully have some success, and he’ll come back with the “Dexshow Bump”. (TM)
Easier sell, sure. But I’m still surprised they actually went through with it.
I suppose if there ever was a time to do it, now would be the time. The team is as healthy as it has been in awhile, and new players are popping up every week it seems. Winchester, Liambas, McGrattan…. Assuming the Predators bring McGrattan back up after the conditioning assignment is done, Cehlin may be on his way back to town at that point. He just needs to take care of business while he’s playing with the Cyclones…or it might be Jack MacLellan instead!
The other moves: According to the AHL website as of 3pm on Tuesday, Zoltan Hetenyi and Andre Bouvet-Morrissette were sent to Peoria as well. Zoltan assigned to Orlando, ABM loaned to Evansville. I have no analysis for this. It happened. The end.