The Chatterbox, Vol. 36

Locker Room-1415
The calm before the storm. The season officially starts with a pre-season game at the MSOE Kern Center tomorrow night. (Photo Credit: Milwaukee Admirals)

The Admirals training camp shifted from Nashville to downtown Milwaukee today. I was on hand to get my first looks of the 2014-15 squad. Here’s what I saw.

When I arrived at the MSOE Kern Center I turned up 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled practice time of 1pm. That meant seeing Patrick Cehlin and Brendan Leipsic‘s lone involvement for team practice today. Both were working light shooting and skating drills with the goaltending trio of Magnus Hellberg, Marek Mazanec, and Rob Madore. Cehlin and Leipsic did not take part in the more than hour long practice that followed.

As far as line combinations were concerned, there was a lot of mixing and matching on the defensive side of the puck. Example, I saw Jaynen Rissling play on three different combinations. The forwards were a little less strenuous on the eyes.

Pontus AbergColton SissonsAustin Watson
Miikka SalomakiMark Van GuilderFelix Girard
Mike LiambasFrederick GaudreauTriston Grant
Josh ShallaJoe PendenzaZach Budish

Plenty of line hopping going on later in practice as well but these were the combinations I saw on the ice together the most frequently. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a lineup close to this for tomorrow night’s pre-season opener. You can view the full roster details from today’s practice here.

Following practice I spoke with head coach Dean Evason. I actually talked with him long enough for all the players to escape the Kern before I could pull them aside as well (whoops). That being said, there was a lot to ask the man going into his third season as the Admirals head coach. Here’s what he had to say after practice.

Dean Evason on all the new faces on the roster:

Evason speaks about the high skill level of the forwards:

Evason’s thoughts on Taylor Beck earning a one-way contract:

Evason discusses what it has been like with Peter Laviolette in charge of Nashville so far:

Evason’s feelings in regards to Scott Ford no longer being with the team:

Evason on how to fill Ford’s leadership and veteran presence on the team:

Evason on team leadership, continued:

The team will have a practice yet again at the MSOE Kern Center tomorrow from 10am until 11am. That will be followed by the first pre-season contest at 7pm against the Rockford IceHogs – again, at the Kern Center.

Thoughts from practice? What do you make of the line combinations? How will the team function defensively with so many left handed shots on the point? Who becomes the next captain of the Milwaukee Admirals?

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5 thoughts on “The Chatterbox, Vol. 36”

  1. I have to disagree about it being a crappy thing to do to Ford. Was he a great leader? Yes. Was he a great ambassador for the Ads? Yes. Was he a great hockey player? No.

    We can all agree he was a fan favorite, played hard and never gave up on the team. Heck, he was one of my favorite players on the Ads. But you have to remember hockey at this level is a business. You also have to remember that the primary purpose of the AHL is to be a developmental league for the NHL. Look at how many defensemen the Predators have on their roster or designated for the Ads. There just isn’t room for an almost 35 year-old defender who you could tell was getting seriously outpaced by opponents last season. Just take a look at the playoff series with the Marlies last season if you need a reminder.

    Players come and go, the team is still here. Just be happy we have the Ads as NHL tickets are ridiculously expensive and not having any hockey team would be sad. Ask the people of Peoria. They lost their AHL team and were ecstatic to even get an SPHL level team (not that the SPHL is the worst possible outcome, just quite a bit lower in terms of talent level than the AHL).

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