Summer Ramblings, Vol. 14

Scott Ford has played 366 games over the course of six professional playing seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals. Was the 2013-14 campaign his last in Milwaukee? (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

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?

9 thoughts on “Summer Ramblings, Vol. 14”

  1. As I stated before the admirals without Ford is like the packers without Rogers. Maybe the night against the marlies was just a bad night. There are older guys still playing and the ads could use his experience on and off the ice. Maybe he’s just the type of leader to help bring these youngsters to finally winning another cup. The admirals shouldn’t be so fast in dismissing experience over youth. Ford should continue as captain.

  2. Here’s my two cents on the Scott Ford situation. If I was the Milwaukee Admirals/Nashville Predators, I would sign him to be the team’s 7th defenseman, team assistant captain, and veteran presence. This also might be known as a player/coach, which many players have taken on as a role in the past. The Ford situation may become more clear after Nashville/Milwaukee’s training camps, but simply put the organization has a huge stockpile right now of prospect defenseman, including a whole slew of talented rookies, and there just not be space for the Sheriff.

    In its recent past Nashville’s brass has been supplying Milwaukee with younger than average AHL talent. This year the Admirals have the potential to ice one of its youngest ever teams and certainly its youngest ever blueline (a far cry from veteran-laden Texas or Toronto of last season). Part of that has to do with where Nashville currently stands as an organization. The recent restocking of the Predators has involved an impressive amount of prospect acquisitions by GM David Poile and AGM Paul Fenton. With all of those prospects available, jobs in Milwaukee and Nashville have become all that much more competitive, which should make for amazing training camp battles (I can’t wait to watch). At this point it will be up to Mark Van Guilder, Joe Piskula, Triston Grant, etc. and the coaching staff, to step up as leaders and point all of that young competitiveness in the right direction toward AHL wins.

    If Ford is in shape I would relish seeing him compete alongside those prospects for a roster spot if that opportunity was available. Perhaps a tryout invitation might be an option. Perhaps it might not. But if this indeed the end of Scott Ford’s run as a player in Milwaukee and the AHL, I would be the first to say that his jersey should be retired in recognition of how much he’s given the Admirals organization in his remarkable professional career.

  3. I agree with Jason, while Ford has lost a bit from his peak, who hasn’t. His leadership would be an important part of making the playoffs again. Bring him back as a player coach & absolutely when his career as a player is over #4 should be in the rafters….

  4. I acknowledge the facts, Fordo is getting older, has lost a step and chances at a real shot at the NHL are rather slim but he still has valuable leadership abilities the crowd in Milwaukee and Cincinnati are making it all but confirmed he won’t be back in Admirals blue. I guess Joe Piskula will get the C and be the veteran presence on this squad. While joe is solid he too made some real questionable Blum like decisions with the puck late in the season and playoffs with him having no real appeal in Nashville deapite a two way deal he be a good pick to be the new full time captain
    MVG should be playing 3rd line center mins in the NHL he’s a poor man’s Jarrett Stoll and deserves a chance. So I raise a beer to Scott Ford and thank him for his time and service here in Brew City it’s sad to see him ride off but hopefully we see him here again one opening night for his number retirement. Ride on Sheriff ride on!!!!

  5. I think there is no doubt MVG should be the captain of the 2014-15 Milwaukee Admiral’s. Scott Ford is a great guy and did a excellent job in his time with the Admiral’s. I think will see him play one more season in the AHL with somebody out east. Whatever happens continued success to SF4.

  6. While I would normally think having a solid vet in the #7 d-man role is a good idea, do the Ads really want to use their “super vet” exemption on a guy that won’t play every night?

    I can see Paul Fenton sitting Ford down and telling him thanks for his service but also to stay in game shape should Milwaukee/Nashville have an injury bug. I think the playoff weakness Ford showed last year may make him undesirable over here. I’m sure if he still wanted to play that he could find a slot in Europe (although most of those leagues are just about done setting their rosters). I hate to see him go, but I think his playing career is just about done.

  7. The reason why I like the 7th defenseman option is because it has the potential to be a great option for any team (let alone Milwaukee with Ford) to utilize considering the make up of an AHL schedule.

    Consider how many 3-in-3s there are in a usual AHL season (often 10 or more weekends). Ford could step into the lineup for the Saturday night game, step in a slot for the Sunday game (which often lacks fresh players), or join the lineup against an especially physical opponent. He would still attend every practice and stay in shape, and then travel with the team on the weekends, even if not playing. College players coming into the AHL transition from playing approximately 30-40 games a year to 76+, European leagues often have less than 76 games, while junior players step up into a league with the same full schedule, but against much tougher, stronger, and more mature opponents. It would be better for a veteran to utilize that option of being a black ace, as opposed to a younger player who needs to be playing as often as possible to encourage development.

    All-in-all considering the usual injuries, scratches, suspensions, and the like, that scenario would be looking at about a 20 to 30-game schedule for Ford if everything went to plan for Milwaukee, or more like a 40-game schedule if the injury bug really hit hard to the blueline, especially during road trips. That would offer Ford enough games to be still be a leader and part of the team, but also to keep his older body more fresh for his appearances in an Admirals uniform.

    If I was Scott Ford and I got a fulltime offer to play with another AHL team in despirate need of veteran leadership, I would probably jump at it. If my only playing option was the scenario I spelled out, I would probably jump at that option, especially if I had plans of getting into coaching/staying in the game in the future, because that scenario would offer the opportunity to begin the transition into coaching and would look good on a coaching resume.

    For now that is purely a spectulative scenario. We can all only wait and see what happens.

  8. he should come back he would help out the young d that milwaukee has right on hus number should be retired

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