Tuesday Practice Round-Up

(Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Miikka Salomäki. I have to believe his on-ice absence has been a huge blow to the Admirals this season. (Photo Credit: Scott Paulus)

This morning I made the trek into practice at the MSOE Kern Center. I’m currently in the process of a feature story on European players and their transition on and off the ice. Main purpose for going in today was to finish up with interviews but, while I’m there, I thought I would take a look at practice as well.

Grant-Van Guilder-Robinson

Alm-Noonan (Diaby)

Those were the line combinations this morning. There was some flipping around here and there. Austin Watson and Joe Pendenza alternated between center and right wing. Garrett Noonan and Jonathan Diaby alternated on a line pairing with Johan Alm.

A lot of practice today seemed focused on fast paced puck retrieval and defensive zone exits. There were lots of drills pinpointing that aspect of the game with forechecking pressure. If you think of the current run the Admirals have been on that area of their game has either been sloppy or sluggish. Can’t say I’m surprised to see the transition of defense to offense getting tested the way it was. Admirals have needed to speed that aspect of their game for awhile.

Some of the highlights from practice included: a spin-o-rama backhander from Diaby that beat Magnus Hellberg glove side, blown tire by Alm during dump and chase drills that had him sliding on his butt from the faceoff circle to the end boards (most couldn’t help but laugh at it), and Viktor Arvidsson nearly stickhandling clean through everyone on five-on-five drills to score.

I’m not sure when this feature story will drop but I can say that it will include a pleasant surprise of Miikka Salomäki being involved. I was able to catch up with the Finn after practice today and talk with him about his recovery from surgery performed to his right shoulder.

Salomäki on how he’s been and how he was injured:

Basically sounds like it was a check gone wrong that caused a dislocated shoulder. He made a return to game action after it first happened and played in two games before getting re-injured. The option was surgery or attempt to let it heal on its own, get back in game action, and risk potential re-injury. The smart option was taken after the latter was put to the test the first time around. He should be completely 100% come training camps in Nashville for the 2015-16 season.

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2 Responses to Tuesday Practice Round-Up

  1. frontrowjon says:

    Can’t wait to read the piece, should be interesting stuff as always! :) i read a couple interesting articles about the whole “Tank for McDavid Derby” this year and what if anything can be done to prevent it. Me being a Buffalo fan (i know i know it’s been a harsh couple seasons) found an interesting option: Relegation. A possible 10team relegation league with top 3 moving up and bottom 3 moving down. Seems intriguing and i feel it would give prospects in the A more ice time to flourish and grow and some vets the next level chance they need to break through to the NHL specifically net minders, guys like McIntyre or Smith might get a nod on a relegation team. Plus expansion of the game to other cities like Seattle and KC would only make for more fans!!! Thoughts?

  2. frontrowjon: Gosh does that sound like European football’s format of multi-tier leagues with promotion and relegation fights. As fun of a theory as that is it would never work with the way things have been established. There is a huge difference between how players are developed in club football youth academy systems that can make promotion/relegation make sense because there are no things as drafts to bring in talent. That just isn’t the case with something like the NHL. You would need to deplete and rebuild how teams are structured and organized system-wide to facilitate something on that grand of a scale.

    Think of the Nashville Predators as Manchester United. Their youth academy, under-21 team, etc etc are the Milwaukee Admirals or Cincinnati Cyclones. If the Admirals were promoted to the NHL and someone like the Buffalo Sabres were relegated to the AHL how do you work around the developmental aspects of that prospect pool?

    The idea of extra leagues in that sense, or relegation/promotion in and out of the NHL, seems way out of the realm of possibility. I think if teams are willing to cut their *bleeps* off in order to fail so hard for the hopes of one specific player in a draft, which is dictated via lottery so it isn’t even a guarantee, than let them gamble with long term failure. You hate to say that a Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel could be a bust but they’re both kids, both prospects, and you don’t even know whether that gamble if it succeeds in getting them will be worth it in the long run. It’s not exactly like the Edmonton Oilers nonstop first overall selections in the NHL Draft have made them world beaters. I think teams gutting their teams to tank are setting their teams back about three to four years before they can be close to competitive again. Tanking might be dumb to view for the fan bases of the teams that do it but there’s probably more cons than pros to doing it in my opinion. If you can scout well, structure a team well, and develop well I don’t think it should matter where in the draft you draft. Look at the Detroit Red Wings and their ability to ease through generational gaps of core players on the team and still be as competitive as they are.

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