Last week I asked for you folks to pass along your questions my way to get featured and answered here on Roundtable. Today we get to answering them. If you missed out on asking a question, or have a new one that popped into mind, feel free to ask away in the comment section below and I’ll zip that into the column.
Are you still taking questions for the mailbag? If so, please ask Greenberg if we will continue to wear the brewers patch on our jerseys! That will put them over the top amazing for me. (I don’t see why we wouldn’t, just want assurance) Thanks DL! ~Toasted Whole Grain
This is actually something I took for granted when the Milwaukee Admirals debuted their new look back in July. Notice anything here? What about here? There isn’t a Milwaukee Brewers patch on the front of the jersey. Does that mean it has been scrapped? Are the Brewers no longer going to be the Admirals uniform patch? Will a different sponsor patch be introduced to the front of the Admirals jersey like others do around the league?
Good news and fret ye not! Per a source I can confirm that the Admirals will still have a Brewers patch on their jerseys. Interestingly though, that same source also claims that it may no longer be the retro ball-in-glove logo. If that’s to be the case than it’s fair to assume the Milwaukee Brewers current primary logo could be making a return. The Admirals wore that logo as a patch shortly after Harris Turer took over the team. It wasn’t until the completely new re-designed threads came in 2006-07 when the retro Brewers logo was introduced to the Admirals jerseys. Will that be the case again? We might not know until I get a look at the jerseys during Media Day or perhaps as late as the season opener.
Which Admiral player needs to have a strong season to make it in Nashville? ~SmoothJazZ85
I think this is an important season for Viktor Arvidsson. Look at Nashville right now: everyone of importance was brought back from last season, there were some subtle additions at forward (Cody Hodgson and Steve Moses), and then it seems destined that Kevin Fiala makes the Predators roster out of camp. With all that in mind where does that leave Arvidsson? Answer: Milwaukee.
For Arvidsson to really make his place in Nashville he needs to yet again be the man for the Admirals. He needs to produce the same amount of damage, if not better, in scoring while taking his all-around game up another level. You also hope him seeing the proverbial glass ceiling that he managed to break through last season getting thickened with other talent doesn’t get between his ears and affect his on-ice performance (e.g. Kevin Henderson).
The necessary tools are all there for Arvidsson to be successful once again this season. Can he manage to do even better or does he have some sort of a sophomore slump? The answer to that question could be the difference between him being big in Nashville or a so-so European version of Gabriel Bourque at the NHL level (if even that – so many Euros end up right back in Europe).
Who do you see as being a breakout player on offense this season? ~Justin Bradford
This answer might confuse some but it’s Colton Sissons. He is about to enter year number three of his professional playing career. He managed to play in the NHL in his debut professional playing season but was unable to repeat the feat last season. With that comes the threat of his window closing as the prospect pool comes in and flushes him out… Jimmy Vesey, anyone?
Sissons does everything really well. He’s good on face-offs. Works both sides of special teams. Is a leader by example through his work ethic and was voted as an alternate captain by his teammates last season. Should the coaching staff in Milwaukee go down that road again, having the players vote for their choice of captains, I anticipate Sissons to be a serious contender to rock the “C” for the Admirals in 2015-16. He turns 22-years old in November. If it were to happen he would be the youngest team captain of the Admirals in the AHL era of the franchise by a long shot and, with the players voting, it would be hard to argue against him deserving such an honor.
The reality is there is one element to Sissons game that is the difference between him being an NHL level talent and not an NHL level talent: offensive explosiveness.
When Sissons was told that was the area of his game he needed to take care of before the start of last season he opened things off by totaling 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists) in the 2014 portion of the 2014-15 calendar. Even worse to me? It took him 25 games before registering an assist. For a center to pull that off, especially one logging as many minutes as Sissons, is bad. Yet, it was bad last season and could mean all the difference moving into this one.
Sissons is a pro on and off the ice and I have to imagine, as one of the returning players from last season’s Admirals roster, he has a massive chip on his shoulder. Who wouldn’t knowing how rough the season ended? There should be zero excuses this go-around for someone like Sissons to perform. Frankly, I don’t think there will ever be a need to make one. He should be the Admirals first choice center at the start of the season and could well have dynamic scoring wingers like Arvidsson and a 100% healthy Miikka Salomäki as linemates. The forward depth is pretty good this season and down the middle it is Sissons standing on top of them all. There is no better time for Sissons to breakout and make a statement to the Nashville Predators that he should still be a part of their future plans.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how many times do your interviews get interrupted by one of the guys trying to be funny? ~AwaitingSeason
Hurm. On the 1-10 scale? I would say it’s really only about a 2, actually. Most interviews I get to do with either the coaches or players are very professional and to the point. When the shenanigans are afoot it is almost always after a win, a practice, or when a player you wouldn’t associate with “Superstar // Game Winner” is who I’m chatting with (e.g. Joonas Järvinen – audio).
Last season being what last season was – it didn’t happen too often. Hopefully that changes! It’s always fun being part of that locker room dynamic though. Plus, I’m very happy two of the better interview bombers, Anthony Bitetto and Austin Watson, should be back in action this season.
What’s your favorite bro-mance on the team? ~AwaitingSeason
What’s evil about this question is that my quickfire answers to this aren’t going to be here this season. Scott Ford and Triston Grant go -way- back. And a case can be made for Ford and Joe Piskula with their third-wheeler Bitetto. Even the roomie pairings of Sissons and Mike Liambas or Pontus Åberg and Magnus Hellberg has been broken up.
The good news? There is one specific group that has stayed together and they even have a name for themselves: The French Fries. So often when I am around the team the French Canadian group of Jonathan Diaby, Jimmy Oligny, Félix Girard, and Frédérick Gaudreau are all together speaking French. I also turned up to a game at the same time as them once last season to see Diaby and Oligny rocking matching suits. I think they’re the benchmark for Admirals bromance entering the 2015-16 season.
UPDATE: Now that Ford is back as an assistant coach, him and Bitetto. Who’d have thought that this would be a question that gets a serious update?
Will a veteran Predator pass through waivers and start the season with the Admirals? ~Brandon Marshall
First of all Brandon – this is a money question. Last season saw Rich Clune and Viktor Stålberg trickle down to Milwaukee and both for pretty much the exact same reason: their NHL performance wasn’t up to snuff and their contracts were too much to take on so no one claimed them. This season? I don’t exactly see a circumstance such as that repeating itself.
When looking at possible candidates that could fall into this trap it’s difficult to find a winner that Milwaukee fans could get themselves hopeful about seeing fall through the cracks. That said, how about a Top 5 ordering from likeliest to least…
(1) Eric Nystrom is 32-years old, his offensive numbers regressed last season, and I wonder if there comes a point when someone says, “Why can’t Austin Watson just do this when he’s on a one-way contract next season anyways?” He has one-year remaining with a price tag of $2.5 million next to it. Is another NHL team really going to be all that interested in picking it up should he be in bad enough shape to be placed on waivers in the first place? My guess is no. Therefore Admirals.
(2) Carter Hutton. This might be a surprising name to throw out there but look at it this way. The Predators liked Marek Mazanec enough to jettison Hellberg to the New York Rangers for next to nothing. Mazanec has actually appeared to do better in the NHL than the AHL and might learn more as an understudy to Pekka Rinne than as the main man in net for the Admirals. Should Mazanec start the season hot in Milwaukee, as is his custom, who is to say Nashville doesn’t attempt to make a swap and see about Hutton and the last of his $725,000 contract landing in Milwaukee and be the one to set an example for Juuse Saros as well?
(3) I just have to believe that for one-year, $866,250, someone would claim Gabriel Bourque. In fact, you could even make the slight case that a change of scenery might be the little boost he could need to get the wheels spinning and catching solid traction. His 2013-14 season? Not too bad. 2014-15? Meh. If there is more “meh” days ahead it could lead to the waiver wire. Clearing that would be the question mark.
(4) There is talk that the camp battle to watch for is Steve Moses against Fiala. Let’s say Fiala gets that spot and Moses is effectively so on the outside looking in that Nashville try to send him to Milwaukee to keep him in arm’s reach. Like Hodgson, he has an incredibly affordable one-year contract that a lesser team might leap at should Moses live up to his goal scoring record last season in Russia. I don’t think he would clear waivers at all.
(5) Cody Hodgson would probably get the waivers treatment only if he sputters and someone in Admirals-land is shining. The problem here is that his affordable one-year contract would almost have to get swept up by someone out there. But, if it makes you feel any better, there still is a Derek Roy game-prepped Admirals jersey from last season when he sort-of kind-of cleared waivers for all of some two hours. You can purchase that hot item right here!
How did you start making blogs? ~Scouter715
I started with online journals on Red vs. Blue’s website before making the full leap in college to actual sports journalism with the student newspaper, The Ranger News. Once I finished up at UW-Parkside I had an internship with the Milwaukee Admirals during the 2012-13 season where I helped out writing material for the 35th Anniversary campaign. When that season came to a close I was picked to succeed Ryan Miller here on Admirals Roundtable. This website entirely exists because of Mr. Miller but he’s now quite busy being the best dad ever. All I’ve wanted to do since heading up Roundtable is make this the go-to website for Admirals and Predators prospects news. It’s been incredibly rewarding so far and I hope to keep it up this coming season.
Cheers for the questions! Again, if you have any other questions you would like to ask I will answer that ASAP.