Preds/Ads Add Joe Piskula, Send McGrattan to Calgary

Some curious news out of Nashville/Milwaukee today.

The Calgary Flames have sent defenseman Joe Piskula to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Brian McGrattan. What makes this decision “curious” is the fact that McGrattan was available via the waiver wire earlier in the week, therefore on the surface its easy to wonder why the Flames didn’t just put a claim in for McGrattan, who was assigned to Milwaukee on Wednesday.

On factor could be the Reserve List, which I will let Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck explain.

No matter what the reason, McGrattan failed to make much of an impact with either Milwaukee or Nashville this season. The physical forward registered no points and four PIMs in his six games with the Admirals (his last being Sunday against Hamilton).

In Piskula the Admirals receive an immediate upgrade to their blueline, picking up a defenseman with two goals, 10 points and a plus-five rating, combined with 51 PIMs in 46 games this year.

Though the 28-year-old’s best shot to play in the NHL might be behind him (the Antigo, Wisconsin native has earned 10 games in the show to date, registering no points and eight PIMs with a minus-eight rating), Piskula remains a top defenseman in the AHL. In his five AHL seasons with Manchester and Abbotsford, Piskula has always played as a plus defenseman, averaging a rating of +7.4 at that level, while collecting eight goals and 62 points.

Admirals fans might remember him as the player who was a plus-three with Abbotsford against Milwaukee in a three-game playoff sweep last spring. I will always remember Piskula as a top blueliner on the Wisconsin Badgers’ most recent NCAA championship team (which claimed the title at the Bradley Center). Piskula then bolted to the Los Angeles Kings after his junior season.

As Ryan mentioned below, to replace McGrattan’s vacated spot on the Admirals roster, Milwaukee recalled talented forward Josh Shalla from Cincinnati. Shalla owns 21 goals in 37 games with the Cyclones, but has just three assists in 11 games with the Admirals so far this season.

So Roundtable . . . How would you like to welcome Joe Piskula? Can he be an impact defender with the Admirals, or even Nashville? Were Milwaukee’s recent changes to their blueline necessary considering the unfortunate rash of blowout losses over the last few weeks?

10 thoughts on “Preds/Ads Add Joe Piskula, Send McGrattan to Calgary”

  1. The need to go get a defensemen….makes you wonder if the Fordo injury is pretty serious. I’m definitely okay with McGrattan being shipped elsewhere. Rather have a guy who can play some productive minutes.

    Shalla recalled too. Leading the Cyclones in goals. Hopefully he’s got some confidence and will have an impact in Milwaukee this time around,

  2. I think the need to get a blueliner stems from not only Ford’s injury, but far too inconsistent play (think odd man rush here…waaaaaaaaaaaay too many), and a non existent PK. That another experienced D-man is being brought in tends to point at Moore not being the end all be all he was pumped up to be at the beginning of the season.

    I wish McGrattan well. He fought his own demons, helped Tootoo fight his, and was a tutor to the young toughness on the team while he was here.

  3. Brian, well said about McGrattan. When I said he did not make much of an impact, that was only the scoresheet. I think he was a big mentor to a lot of players within the organization. Its easy to forget that McGrattan played in 30 games with Nashville last season and was well-respected. In his early years, there was not a tougher or more feared player in the NHL, and I know I was very excited to see him play in Milwaukee this season. Calgary had McGrattan for a season back in 2009-2010 and I think that was part of the reason why they reacquired him.

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Aaron Sims say on the pregame show on Tuesday that McGratton could have remained with the Ads and even played, but opted to return to Nashville until he cleared waivers? If that’s actually true, I say good riddance because that makes it seem like he didn’t even want to be here?!?

    I’m with Ryan on this one – I bet Ford’s injury is more serious and they needed a replacement.

  5. He could not have played for Milwaukee during that 24 hour period to clear waivers, and was after all, property of the Preds as he was here on a conditioning assignment. That he was traded by the organization for Piskula verifies this.

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  6. I’m also guessing BMG came to Milwaukee with an overnight bag. If he was coming back to Milwaukee for the rest of the year, it would make sense to go back to get more stuff. If he was being claimed by another NHL team, same thing.

  7. I was just asking about what I remember Aaron Sims saying on the broadcast… I also thought what you said – if a player is put on waivers, they must clear again before playing again… but I swear Sims said that he could have played Tuesday night but opted to return to Nashville. Either way, it’s done with so…

  8. I’m pretty excited by the acquisition of Piskula. If he can play in Milwaukee what his stats have been that should help on the defensive end. I just hope it wasn’t done because Ford’s injury is serious and/or long-lasting. I was hoping to see him at the first home game this Friday night since he came back to the team! I guess that won’t be happening.

    Still need some goal scorers.

  9. So much for my McGratten rant eh? Shalla has been scoring like a madman in Cincy maybe it can carry over to the Admirals. Piskula is a nice pickup although I have to agree that it probably spells bad news for Ford.

  10. From what I gleaned from the latest Ford interview, there is no severe damage. Even if there was, here is the thing…Ford coming back is a bonus, at least to me it is. As the Ads stood 2 weeks ago, he was never in the equation, so to suddenly think they made the Piskula acquisition to make up for the Ford injury seems suspect.

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