Today’s rambling is going to focus on a recent report which suggests that Scott Ford will not be back with the Milwaukee Admirals this coming season. The story has quotes from the Admirals captain stating the following:
“I’m looking to get a contract right now. I don’t know if it’s going to be back in Milwaukee this year. With Nashville being our NHL affiliate and stuff like that it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out,” he said. “It’s one of those things where I’m in a pool of free agents looking for a contract. It’s a waiting game right now. Obviously there’s a bit of anxiety right now but also excitement as well maybe with a new chapter and transitioning to another organization and maybe get an opportunity there.”
“If not it may be time to search elsewhere and do other things. I’ve been pretty privileged to have a career that’s lasted ten years. It’s been fantastic. I have a ton of friends, a ton of memories. I’m just mentally or physically ready to be done with it yet. I’m still working hard with a lot of the guys that come back to the community here,” he explained.
What I take from that dialogue out of Ford is the following. (1) Nashville is content with seeing their young defensive prospect pool get AHL playing time next season. (2) That means a roster spot for Ford just about went out the window the day the Predators re-signed Joe Piskula on a two-way contract. (3) If Milwaukee aren’t willing to sign him – will anyone really be willing to add a defenseman that will turn 35-years old this coming Christmas Eve?
I have my doubts that there will be another team out there looking for a defenseman such as Ford. He is an outstanding leader on and off the ice but, as a defenseman, looked very much his age against the Toronto Marlies in the opening round of last season’s playoffs. He was getting turned inside out, often slow to react, and even slower to keep up with pace that was flying down the wings. I would argue that his presence as an Admiral, knowledge of the team and city, would still make him an asset to keep for another season. Yet, it appears that things are going in a more youthful approach starting this season when up to six rookies will make up the Milwaukee defensive nucleus: Johan Alm, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, Garrett Noonan, Jimmy Oligny, Jaynen Rissling, and Mikko Vainonen.
My questions to all of you, to which I have a few I’d love to hear opinions on, are: Will we see Scott Ford back with the Milwaukee Admirals? If not with the Admirals – will he land with another AHL team (and who)? Will the Sheriff officially retire prior to the start of the season if there remains a lack of interest around the league? Who becomes the next captain of the Milwaukee Admirals if Ford does indeed not return?
For my money, I can see him returning to the Admirals midway through the season in a similar way to Brad Winchester two seasons ago or -at the very least- staying on with the organization in some capacity. The closer we get to the season starting up a lot more of this speculation should become more of a reality. Mark Van Guilder for captain, anyone?