If you’re like me you probably have been keeping tabs on the AHL’s transactions wire following today’s news that Viktor Arvidsson was reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals from the Nashville Predators. What you might have been expecting was for at least one forward to go down to the Cincinnati Cyclones. What has actually happened is that Max Görtz, Joe Pendenza, and Jonathan Diaby have all been sent to the Admirals’ ECHL affiliate.
Görtz is making his professional playing debut this season in North American after signing his entry level contract last summer. He played in the Admirals opening two games of the season, registering an assist, but was withheld from traveling with the team for the most recent game in Iowa on Tuesday due to a team violation – as was fellow Swede Pontus Åberg.
Pendenza has sandwiched the Admirals opening games of the season by playing all but the home opener last Friday. This won’t be his first rodeo with the Cyclones as he played for 13 games last season picking up 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) and 14 penalty minutes.
Diaby only played 2 games at the ECHL level last season and should probably register far more than that this season. I’ve felt very strongly in watching him perform in pre-season and the pair of games he has played this season that he has easily been the weakest defenseman the Admirals have. His skating ability is sluggish, he offers next to no offensive help what so ever, and his coverage in the defensive zone has seen lapses that directly result in either goals or odd man breaks with pucks getting behind him. Cincinnati has been a great training ground that has helped boost players such as Anthony Bitetto and Taylor Aronson in the past. Being able to play a lot more minutes and be trusted in more situations could provide Diaby with valuable experience that sees him return to Milwaukee down the road with a sharper skill set provided he gets enough games under his belt to do so.
I’m slightly surprised by the two forwards sent down but someone was in need of going to Cincinnati once Arvidsson turned back up. Frédérick Gaudreau has looked great. The coaches seem to really like what they’re getting out of Adam Payerl on his PTO contract. Someone good was going to have to go and, in turn, it ends up being multiple forwards. Perhaps the move for Görtz has less to do with his team violation and more to do with igniting him offensively – because he hasn’t looked all that sharp in that respect in the two games he’s played. I always thought this season was going to be a fun one due to the depth. I’m assuming Cincinnati fans weren’t expecting to get a guy like Görtz so early into the year.