When getting to this edition of Fifteen I feel the need to remind you all of the realities of this feature series venture. I’m attempting to feature every player on the Milwaukee Admirals roster by the end of the 2015-16 season and doing that, with a hefty road schedule such as March presents, means going into practices in downtown Milwaukee long in advance of road trips to showcase them down the line – such as today.
At the time I recorded this interview with Admirals defenseman Johan Alm he was enjoying quite possibly his best run of form since arriving to North America from his hometown team in Sweden Skellefteå AIK. He was fully fit and looking to finally put all the pieces of his game together that he couldn’t have done last season when injuries heavily impacted his first year of pro development in North America. Things were looking upbeat for once.
When the Admirals played against the Rockford IceHogs on 2/24/16 the injury bug bit Alm once again. The big Swede took a nasty fall into the boards and was helped off the ice. He hasn’t played a game since and indications suggest that he could be gone for awhile.
“You know what, I don’t want to say anything because I don’t know what has been,” hesitated Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason when asked about Alm’s injury status on 2/26/16. “Nothing has been dictated to me but I can tell you that it’s not positive.”
Speculation talking here -BUT- if this injury is in fact a long term one for Alm it could mean far more than just the end of his 2015-16 season for the Admirals – it might effectively be the end of the Swede’s North American pro playing career. This season was the last year of his two-year entry level contract that he signed back in late-May of 2014. With two injury plagued seasons in North America as a member of the Admirals, and the likes of Jimmy Oligny and Trevor Murphy in the fold for the 2016-17 season, the Predators would probably be more likely to re-up with Garrett Noonan this off-season than they would with Alm.
It isn’t the most upbeat of intros to a Fifteen feature that I’ve done this season but it’s just the harsh reality of both the game and pre-recording these interviews to catch these guys before going out on long road trips. For what it’s worth, as you’ll no doubt hear, Alm is a tremendously positive and fun person to talk to and I feel his positivity can transcend the setbacks he has gone through since leaving Sweden in the pursuit of an NHL dream. Alm was a two-time champion with his hometown team Skellefteå AIK where he was teammates with Viktor Arvidsson. Alm can get back on his feet and get back to the ice. All he needs to do is keep his head up and be himself.
Cheers to Johan Alm for taking the time to do this interview. Fifteen will be back tomorrow as the pre-game story and will feature Félix Girard with an interview bomb by Pink Floyd. You read that correctly.
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