Nashville Moves Could See Two Joining the Admirals

(Photo Credit: John Russell)

Viktor Stalberg will be joining the already stacked Milwaukee Admirals on a conditioning assignment. What will his presence add to an already hot team? (Photo Credit: John Russell)

The Nashville Predators have made some roster moves this afternoon. Matt Cullen has been removed from the team’s injured reserved and will be active for the team’s upcoming six-game road trip. To make room for this, the team has placed Rich Clune on waivers in the hopes that he clears and is able to reach the Milwaukee Admirals. In addition, Viktor Stalberg will be coming to the Admirals as part of a conditioning assignment as he recovers from a lower-body injury.

Press Release via Nashville Predators:

The Nashville Predators will activate forward Matt Cullen off of injured reserve, making him available for the team’s upcoming road trip that begins Wednesday night in Edmonton.

Cullen skated on a regular forward line at Monday’s practice, setting him up for his first game action since suffering an upper-body injury Sept. 24 during a preseason game against Tampa Bay.

“We’re anxious to get Matt back in the lineup, as he is a veteran who can contribute in a number of situations,” General Manager David Poile said.

To make room for Cullen’s addition to the roster, the club has placed forward Rich Clune on waivers, with the intention of assigning him to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.

“Rich is a character guy in our locker room,” Poile said. “We are hopeful that Rich will clear waivers and be available for recall in the future.”

The Predators have also assigned forward Viktor Stalberg to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment. Stalberg suffered a lower-body injury during training camp, missing the entire preseason schedule and first three games of the regular season. He has skated in five games this season.

“Viktor has had some unfortunate injury trouble during his last two training camps,” Poile said. “We want Viktor to have some time in Milwaukee to fine tune his game and we look forward to having him back in Nashville.

“Both Rich and Viktor have seen limited playing time this season at the NHL level and we feel that they will benefit from the additional ice time that they will receive in Milwaukee.”

These moves leave the Predators with 22 skaters – 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders – in advance of Wednesday’s game at Edmonton, the first of a season-long, six-game, 12-day road trip. Nashville’s primary developmental affiliate, the AHL’s Admirals, receive a further influx of talent to a team that has already started with a franchise-record six consecutive wins to start the 2014-15 season.

“Having to send Viktor and Rich to Milwaukee exemplifies the depth we now possess in the organization,” Poile said. “We have a great deal of flexibility at the forward position, which should benefit us moving ahead.”

The question will be whether or not Clune clears waivers in the first place to reach Milwaukee. Should he do so, I’m doubting his ability to factor in all that much to the team’s current setup much the same way Mike Liambas didn’t factor into the team’s last two games whilst healthy.

With Stalberg also en route to Milwaukee, it pushes Liambas on the outside again to make it into upcoming games. The way the Admirals have been playing it seems as if the rich will be getting richer with another offensive minded talent, an NHL one at that, joining the team in the midst of a franchise record best start to a season.

So, what would this end up meaning for the likes of Clune and Liambas? Should we end up seeing the Nashville enforcer and Twitter extraordinaire – it could mean that Liambas would end up with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL purely from a “this role is now taken” standpoint.

UPDATE: Rich Clune has cleared waivers and will be assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals.

What do you make of today’s roster moves by the Nashville Predators? What happens to the forward lines with the inclusion of Viktor Stalberg? What becomes of Rich Clune and Mike Liambas? Are we seeing the end of the prototypical enforcer in hockey?

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8 Responses to Nashville Moves Could See Two Joining the Admirals

  1. Jim Zeirke says:

    Any idea on how long Stalberg would be here? The wording of the statement makes it seem that it could be for a stretch. Yet, aren’t conditioning assignments limited to a couple games? I agree, it seems that Liambis has a very limited role with the Ads now, if any role at all. He’s not that good of an offensive weapon and more of an enforcer. But we have one with Grant who can also do more offensively than Liambis. Perhaps not quite the end of the enforcer but rather the enforcer has now got to add scoring potential, among other things, to the offensive mix. With the enforcer only type on the ice, you didn’t have to worry about him being that big of a scoring threat. Now, you have to be aware that the enforcer is a threat to score anytime that they get near the puck.

  2. Jim: NHL/AHL conditioning stints last a maximum of fourteen days.

  3. Daniel,
    Thanks for the great update on the latest from Nashville. To answer your question Jim, I will defer to Jonathan Garcia of On the Forecheck, who sounds like he expects a decent amount of time for Viktor Stalberg in Milwaukee: “The Stalberg move gives him time (no longer than two weeks) to get back to game shape from his injuries, as well as work on the fundamentals. Critics of Stalberg are no doubt ecstatic about this.”

    This is a really good stretch of games for this option to be utilized for Stalberg. Milwaukee plays on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, then enjoys a four days off until another home game on Friday, Nov. 7. Meanwhile, Nashville begins a brutal six-game road trip on Wednesday against Edmonton, concluding on Nov. 8 against St. Louis.

    Because of the NHL’s rules on conditioning assignments, Milwaukee’s Nov. 12 game against Iowa would be out, as the two-week stretch begins begins today. Therefore, I would expect Stalberg to stay with Milwaukee through Sunday or the following Friday, depending on how well he responds. Nashville has games on Oct. 29, Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, before travelling to Winnipeg on Tuesday, Nov. 4. That game might be a logical target for the Predators to have him rejoin the team.

    Personally, I’m excited to see how he responds with the Admirals. The Predators need the 28-year-old to find his game for a team that is a little light as far as natural wingers.

  4. frontrowjon says:

    I think Clune makes it down and ends up seeing ice time. Mike will get sent to Cincy and possibly another player to make room for Viktor. If it’s a true rehab stint like in the past with Legwand or Pekka, stalberg will be here for Wednesday and maybe the weekend games then back to Nashville. I like the way the parent club has been operating this early on in the past Aberg, and Watson would have been called up after hot starts just to cool off in Nashville cause Trotz wouldn’t know what to do with them so kudos to the preds on that front for now. Let’s hope the extra additions bring us a 7th win Wednesday night!

  5. SmoothJazZ85 says:

    liambas will lose his spot with the admirals if clune comes here nashville is going with the way alot of teams have an tough guy in the minors not taking a roster spot

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