Consider this signing clean out of left field. For all the conversation and chatter in regards to in-system moves regarding the goaltending position the Milwaukee Admirals have just added Brandon Whitney on a two-year contract. This report comes via the Victoriaville Tigres website.
Whitney was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft. While the photo above suggests otherwise he actually never played within their organization in his professional playing career. His junior career was entirely played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with both the Victoriaville Tigres and Gatineau Olympiques. He was teammates with Jonathan Diaby at Victoriaville from 2010-14.
Last season he not only played with Victoriaville and Gatineau of the QMJHL but also for the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Junior “A” Hockey League (MJAHL), the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), and even the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL). He will turn 21-years old this coming Monday.
It’s still unclear whether or not Juuse Saros will make the leap to North America for the 2015-16 season. If a Magnus Hellberg re-signing, similar to that of Marek Mazanec, comes in the next few days I would imagine it as a signal of Saros staying in Finland for another season. If Saros arrives, paired with Mazanec and now Whitney, it may mean Hellberg is out of work. If that happens I’ll have a rant column the day it happens. As for now, I think we can all agree that this move is even worse news for there being any chance that Rob Madore sticks around as the Admirals ECHL option.
Note. I will update this story when an official press release is out. As of right now it is the Victoriaville Tigres reporting this.
UPDATE. This deal is expected to be an AHL contract through the Milwaukee Admirals and not through the Nashville Predators as I initially wrote due to the wording of the Victoriaville news story. Think of this in the same mindset as Madore and Darling before him except on a two-year basis rather than one.
What does this news mean to you? Is this the end of Hellberg’s time in the Nashville Predators organization or a move with the ECHL and future (considering it is a two-year deal) in mind? Should the Predators consider moving Carter Hutton rather than one of their younger goaltenders?