Firstly, thanks to all for lovely Birthday wishes yesterday. I had a great weekend and it’s going to roll on all the way to the Milwaukee Admirals “All Aboard” event on Wednesday. Hope to see you all there for that. Especially if you watched UFC 189. We can then have a chat about that, too.
~So Long Taylor Beck~
The Nashville Predators wound up making a trade late yesterday afternoon that sent Taylor Beck to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Jamie Devane. Beck was set for arbitration with Nashville but Devane’s contract is a two-way deal that comes to an end with the completion of the upcoming 2015-16 season.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (July 12, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Sunday that the team has acquired forward Jamie Devane from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Taylor Beck.
Devane, 24 (2/20/91), has spent the majority of his three-season professional career at the American Hockey League level, posting 15 points (6g-9a) and amassing 253 penalty minutes in 118 games with the Toronto Marlies. The Mississauga, Ont., native also appeared in his first two NHL contests with the Maple Leafs during the 2013-14 season.
Toronto’s fourth selection, 68th overall (third round) in the 2009 Entry Draft, the 6-5, 220-pound left wing played for the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers from 2008-12, recording 114 points (53g-61a) and 411 penalty minutes in 237 games.
While it is sad that Beck is yet another member of the Predators/Admirals joining the Maple Leafs organization in recent memory (Brendan Leipsic, Rich Clune, Rob Madore) it was only a matter of time. What I hope many don’t forget is that last season Beck turned up to pre-season camp in Nashville with zero guarantees that he was coming back and set his sights to earn a one-way contract. He did, and it is that mentality and work ethic that I think so many like a player like Beck.
Beck can do so many different things on the ice well. So what’s the real problem? Simply, the talent pool at forward is not only plentiful but too talented to ignore. What’s a Beck when the likes of Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson, and Miikka Salomäki are all wingers that could play his role? It’s not a knock against Beck. It’s a credit to the Predators scouting department to get so many talented players that push the bill from the AHL level up. Beck did it beforehand. Now the same opportunity to earn an NHL spot is there for someone new. Internal competition is phenomenal for a team to push itself to be great top to bottom. Nashville is doing just that right now and its great for both the Predators and Admirals as a result.
~Going Going, Back Back, to, Calle Calle~
This topic comes with a tip of the cap to a tweet sent out by Jeremy Gover yesterday. He wasn’t doing anything more than taking a shot in the dark at what Nashville’s forward lines might look like at the start of next season but I happen to agree with him:
#Preds forward lines as I see them: Neal-Ribeiro-Forsberg Smith*-Fisher-Wilson* Moses-Hodgson-Fiala Nystrom-Gaustad-Bourque extra: Jarnkrok
— Jeremy K. Gover (@govertime) July 13, 2015
What fascinates me here is Calle Järnkrok‘s spot. Whether you’re thinking center or on the wing it is tough to get that spot for him. Do you look to rotate him and Fiala early on? What about flipping him and Gabriel Bourque here and there?
I always believe in circumstances a player the likes of Fiala or Järnkrok should be using their time wisely by being active rather than stationary. Is it great experience training and practicing with the top tier team with elite level talent? Absolutely. I don’t deny the benefits of that. Yet, there is a difference between playing in an actual game versus practice.
Järnkrok and Fiala are both great talents. Järnkrok had some real nice flashes during his first full NHL season up in Nashville that included the opening round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Fiala is incredibly committed to making the Predators opening day roster and being an NHL name ASAP. Järnkrok turns 24-years old in late September. Should it be Fiala gaining a spot on the wing over Järnkrok it wouldn’t hurt the Swede to start his season as a top line and multi-scenario piece to the Admirals in the AHL. It would keep him extremely active and sharp in the need for an emergency or long term call up. The exact same can be said for Fiala who turns 19-years old next week Wednesday. Patience is a good thing. Dropping back down to the AHL for the start of the season isn’t a setback as much as it can be a fully functional launch pad.
What are your favorite Taylor Beck moments either with the Admirals, Predators, or both? Do you feel that the Predators should keep young forwards up with the NHL outfit even if they continuously were to healthy scratch them from the lineup? Is Nashville done adding depth players to make decisions like “Järnkrok to Milwaukee” easier to do? Flipside of that, is Nashville done trading players away to give their younger forward depth a chance to shine for the Predators?