Roster Moves; Everyday I’m Shuffling

Photo Credit: Scott Paulus

Some roster news ahead of tomorrow night’s game in San Antonio. The Admirals have just signed goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. Also in the news, the Nashville Predators have made a trade that will see goaltender Devan Dubnyk join from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Matt Hendricks.

So, as I suppose you’ll be thinking, what does this all mean?

The signing of Toivonen by the Ads is easy to explain. Yesterday the CCM/AHL Goalie of the Month in December, Scott Darling, was injured in practice. There is absolutely no time table or indication of what the injury is at this point. Only that it is enough to where the Ads needed to pull the trigger on Toivonen.

This should mean Magnus Hellberg gets the bulk of the upcoming games in net. Unless…

The Nashville Predators move makes things a bit more complicated to figure out the goaltending situation. Now with a proven netminder like Dubnyk around do we (A) see Marek Mazanec sent down in the near future to play more or (B) possibly see Carter Hutton test waivers and perhaps find his way into Milwaukee. It’s all very murky if you ask me. Lots of variables. Especially with that Pekka Rinne bloke looming in the background. Does this mean his season is done or just that they are tired of unproven goaltending between the pipes? For the moment, the Predators have three goalies in camp. That can’t last. Expect another move fairly soon.

Thoughts on the goaltending situation right now? What moves do you expect Nashville to make? Will Hellberg, with a chance to start consistent games, be able to find his form and carry the work load?

8 thoughts on “Roster Moves; Everyday I’m Shuffling”

  1. I think Devan Dubnyk represents a low risk, potential high reward option for Nashville as he is another big body goalie that the team seems to covet as of late. The only strange part is the timing, considering everything I’ve read states that Pekka Rinne is finally getting closer to coming back. If Nashville was going to make a goalie transaction, it’s just surprising that it did not come sooner.

    Toivonen seems washed up at this point of his career, but in his prospect days the Finn was viewed as future NHL starting netminder. The former first-round draft pick was amazing with the Boston Bruins on their terrible 2005-2006 squad, but has never been quite the same since sustaining a season ending upper ankle injury in January of that season:

    Nothing he’s done this year suggests this more than a short term fix for Milwaukee, but I’m sure Hannu could easily be playing out his career somewhere in Europe and likely making a lot more money doing so. Instead it looks like he’s trying to get back to the NHL somehow, so he’ll arrive in Milwaukee motivated, which is never a bad thing.

  2. Jason: Really well said. I’m not sure why Nashville waited so long to pull the trigger unless they were dead set on a second half of the season with Rinne before getting to the halfway point and realizing it won’t happen. I’ve read the same things that he’s getting close to returning. This tells me otherwise.

    I think Toivonen was brought in before the Nashville news. I’m curious to see if he even sits on the bench by the time the Ads are in Oklahoma City.

  3. The snake in the grass for Milwaukee in this Dubnyk for Hendricks swap is the loss of Matt Hendricks. Personally, I’m a fan of Matt Hendricks as a gritty player (though I was suprised the 32-year-old was signed to 4-year contract on a team with a lot of similar options), and I think he’s a great fit on the physically starved Oilers. However, all the forwards beyond the top lines in Nashville/Milwaukee move up slightly on the depth chart with him no longer on the roster. I’m curious if this shuffle will result in a Predators call up in the near future for either Watson, Sissons (both centers) or Beck? Did this move clear space for just that?

  4. Jason: It sounded like Edmonton picked up some of Dubnyk’s contract as well. So there was a good chunk of dough moved off the books (especially that 4-year Hendricks deal). I could see Beck and Watson up in the near future. Jury still seems to be out on Forsberg in regards to just how long they want to season him in the AHL.

    Elizabeth: I see Mazanec coming down. As good as he has been there is still time to mature and he can log the time he needs in net with the Ads.

  5. To me, the trade for Dubnyk means that even if Rinne could return this season, Poille won’t risk it. In my mind, Rinne has been essentially (if not officially) shut down for the season. As of today (1-19) the Preds are 10 points out of a playoff spot. With a contract of $7 mil per year for several more years on the table, Rinne is a big investment for the Preds to risk to just have their season end on April 13th anyway.

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