Firstly, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving from here in Wisconsin. As it so happens our appetizer for the day will not be a Detroit Lions game (that’s a positive) instead it will be a few roster moves to note made by the Nashville Predators this morning. The Milwaukee Admirals’ NHL parent club have peformed a goaltending swap that will see Marek Mazanec and Juuse Saros switch places. And, as I noted last night, the Predators have also recalled Anthony Bitetto from his conditioning assignment.
I suspect the goaltending move to be similar to what happened not too long ago. This gives Mazanec a prime opportunity to log consistent playing time as well as give Saros a nice look up at the NHL level. Saros showed off of the previous swap that he can handle a week or two off and jumping back into the AHL fire easily enough. Since returning from the Predators he has won three games from three starts with a 0.978 save percentage and earned a shutout in his first game back.
Saros and I spoke recently about his most recent visit with the Predators earlier this week. He had to say the following about both his time spent and getting to learn up close from fellow Finnish netminder Pekka Rinne.
Mazanec has not played in net since 11/15/16 when the Predators lost 6-2 on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to that was a game that saw him make a pair of gaffes in his last stint for the Admirals that meant conceding the first goal and last goal of the game in a 4-3 overtime loss at home to the Grand Rapids Griffins. That overtime loss sees the lone point dropped by the Admirals in their last nine-games played.
You’d suspect the similar approach for the organization as last time to play out. In fact, if not for an injury to Rinne during the last goaltending switch, I wonder if Mazanec wouldn’t have been recalled when he did after playing as he did against the Griffins. It’s all about getting Mazanec game time. The more he plays, the sharper he can get, and the sharper he can get should serve him just fine at the next level.
I spoke at longer length on Bitetto in this morning’s edition of Chatterbox but the short and sweet of it is he looked great last night. The ball is in the Predators court as to how they use him from here – break up their current third defensive pairing or just have him sitting out until required for rotation as the seventh choice defenseman.
These shouldn’t be the last roster notes of the day, either. Expect to hear soon enough whether or not Cody Bass and Matt Carle clear waivers. Should they, there is a chance both could suit up as early as tomorrow when the Admirals play on the road against the Rockford IceHogs.
UPDATE. Both Bass and Carle have cleared waivers yet only Bass has been assigned from the Predators to the Admirals.
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