This news really comes straight out of left field. The Nashville Predators have acquired Patrick Mullen from the Ottawa Senators for Conor Allen. Both players are defensemen. Both players are on NHL two-way contracts for this season. Both are alternate captains to their respective AHL teams to which the two have played with all season. It’s effectively a like for like trade between NHL teams for their AHL affiliates.
Press Release via Nashville Predators:
Nashville, Tenn. (January 14, 2016) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has acquired defenseman Patrick Mullen from the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Conor Allen.
Mullen, 29 (5/6/86), is in his seventh professional season, having posted 16 points (1g-15a) and 18 penalty minutes in 36 American Hockey League games for the Binghamton Senators. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., the 5-foot-11, 186-pound blueliner has suited up for 338 AHL games for Manchester, Chicago, Utica and Binghamton since 2009, amassing 148 points (34g-114a) and 178 penalty minutes. Mullen’s best pro season came in 2011-12, when he tied for fourth among AHL defensemen in goals (13) and tied for 11th in blueliner points (41) while playing for the Monarchs.
Undrafted, Mullen spent four seasons at Denver University from 2005-09, recording 81 points (20g-61a) and 148 penalty minutes in 152 NCAA games, winning a WCHA title in 2008 and being named to the conference’s all-academic team in 2009. He is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Mullen.
If there is anywhere that the “like for like” business ends between these two it is that Mullen is a right handed shot. The Milwaukee Admirals have only had one of those for the bulk of this season, like last season, and that man is named Taylor Aronson. Perhaps this was a move to find better balance for each AHL affiliate’s back line? [long pause] As I said it’s sort of out of left field.
Mullen is the top scoring defenseman for the Binghamton Senators: 16 points (1 goal, 15 assists) in 36 games with a plus/minus rating of -5 and 18 penalty minutes. In his AHL career he has 338 games of experience having played for the Manchester Monarchs (2009-12), Chicago Wolves (2012-13), Utica Comets (2013-14), and the Binghamton Senators from the end of the 2013-14 season until now.
Reaction to this news? Why do you feel this trade was made? Is Mullen going to be more serviceable than Allen?