When the 2015-16 Milwaukee Admirals hockey season begins it will begin without last year’s captain. Joe Piskula will be joining the Anaheim Ducks organization on a one-year contract.
Press Release via Anaheim Ducks:
The Ducks have signed goaltender Matt Hackett to a two-year contract and center Chris Mueller and defenseman Joe Piskula to one-year contracts. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deals were disclosed.
Hackett, 25 (3/7/90), has appeared in 26 career NHL games with Minnesota and Buffalo, going 4-17-2 with a 3.11 goals-against average (GAA) and .906 save percentage (SV%). He split last season with Buffalo (0-4-1, 4.32 GAA in five games) and the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate (AHL) in Rochester (8-5-3, 2.76 GAA in 16 games). Selected by Minnesota in the third round (77th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Hackett set career highs in wins (3), GAA (2.37), SV% (.922), appearances (12) and minutes played (556) with the Wild during his rookie season in 2011-12. The 6-2, 171-pound goaltender has also played five AHL seasons with Houston and Rochester, posting an 86-75-18 record with three shutouts, a 2.59 GAA and .910 SV% in 184 career games.
Mueller, 29 (3/6/86), has scored 3-7=10 points with eight PIM in 53 career NHL games with Nashville, Dallas and the New York Rangers. He played seven games for the Rangers last season, picking up 1-1=2 points. The 5-11, 210-pound center made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut with Dallas in 2014, going scoreless in four games during the First Round vs. Anaheim. Mueller has played 447 career AHL games with Hartford, Texas, Milwaukee, Lake Erie and Grand Rapids, scoring 131-155=286 points with a +19 rating and 214 PIM.
Piskula, 30 (7/5/84), has played 13 career NHL games with Nashville, Calgary and Los Angeles, going scoreless with 10 PIM. Piskula appeared in one game for Nashville and 67 for the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee last season. The 6-3, 208-pound defenseman is a veteran of nine AHL seasons with Milwaukee, Abbotsford and Manchester, scoring 13-102=115 points with a +78 rating and 421 PIM in 533 career games. Piskula has also appeared in 33 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording 2-4=6 points with 20 PIM.
This is a pretty big blow to the Admirals. They’re defense was on the young side as it was last season but this season it will be all down to the youngsters to make it work. Who are the elders next season you ask? Anthony Bitetto (who turns 25-years old in July) and Garrett Noonan (who will turn 25-years old in late-January). The off-season is still young in its own right though. Moves could be worked out that might help Milwaukee’s defensive depth.
Reaction to this news? Surprised that the Nashville Predators weren’t able to bring Piskula back? Will Piskula be able to play NHL hockey as a member of the Ducks this coming season?