No Joe Piskula? Ruh-roh. Well thankfully a quick depth signing by the Nashville Predators has helped add to the defensive rotation for the Milwaukee Admirals. They have just signed former New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Conor Allen to a one-year two-way contract.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (July 2, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has signed free-agent defenseman Conor Allen to a one-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 at the AHL level.
Allen, 25 (1/31/90), has spent the majority of the past two-plus seasons with the New York Rangers organization, playing seven NHL contests while recording 65 points (17g-48a) and 184 penalty minutes in 145 AHL games with the Hartford Wolfpack. In 2014-15, the 6-1, 210-pounder tied for 10th among all AHL blueliners in goals (11), and was one of just two AHL defensemen to register more than 30 points (11g-23a-34pts), 100 penalty minutes (113), and post a positive plus/minus rating (+1).
A native of Chicago, Allen played three seasons at the University of Massachusetts (2010-13), registering 39 points (14g-25a) and 110 penalty minutes in 99 games, and was named to the 2012 Hockey East All-Academic Team as a sophomore. Prior to entering the NCAA ranks, he spent a season with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede (2009-10), and won a Robertson Cup with the NAHL’s St. Louis Bandits in 2008-09.
Allen is a 25-year old from Chicago who is freshly removed off a quality season with the Wolf Pack in the AHL: 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 72 games with 113 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +1. He and the Wold Pack made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before getting swept by the eventual Calder Cup Champions the Manchester Monarchs. He also played 4 games with the New York Rangers last season and played 3 games for them the year before that.
The Admirals defense might be on the young side again but there is some fresh new talent being added with others being tasked with stepping up. Kristian Näkyvä should be another name on the Admirals at the start of the season and could be a dynamic defenseman much like Allen. Pair that with someone like Garrett Noonan earning a bigger role this season and the defense might be a little more offensive than in year’s past.
Thoughts on this signing by the Predators? What is your confidence level in the current Admirals defense? Is a Scott Ford veteran type of defenseman needed still?