Yesterday the Admirals essentially traded players via loan deals with the Texas Stars. Admirals pick up Francis Wathier – who remains under contract to the Stars. And the Stars pick up Kevin Henderson – who remains under contract to the Admirals. Both will remain with their new teams until the end of the season.
There were some quotes gathered up on Wrong Side of the Red Line by Wathier following the trade. This is what he said after the announcement of the loan deal.
“I just got the news this morning that they made the move. I was never informed or close to anything like that before (today) … I talked to the coach and GM (in Milwaukee) today and I’ll be on the first flight tonight, I’m excited. It’s a chance to reinvigorate my career and Dallas wasn’t going to be that chance.” Francis Wathier
“It was never an easy decision for any of the parties. There are a lot of good players who are vets. A breath of fresh air will be good and they don’t have a vet issue (in Milwaukee.)” Francis Wathier
By all accounts that I’ve read, the Admirals are gaining a very well respected player that has solid leadership qualities. Someone made comment with this move that it is comparable to last season’s pick up of Brad Winchester – and that’s really not a bad comparison.
I felt last season’s turning point came in three forms (1) the signing of Brad Winchester (2) re-acquiring Scott Ford from the Peoria Rivermen (3) Magnus Hellberg getting on a serious roll. These last few weeks saw the Admirals run into the ground, hit rock bottom, see Pekka Rinne turn up, Calle Jarnkrok gets added, 25 goals in a 4-game winning streak, and now a veteran looking for a breath of fresh air. This could be just another brilliant addition to the Admirals – and at the time where they can use it most: playoff push. There is a lot to be happy about from these recent games. With Jarnkrok and Wathier getting comfortable in the Admirals system things could only get better when games get more and more crucial.
To boot, if you reflect on these last two games against the Rockford IceHogs, I think Wathier will fit right into this team. Why?
Any guy who has the guts to fight Scott Ford twice – I want him on my team.
What do you think of this addition for the Admirals? Did they need some additional muscle and grit?