The Nashville Predators ever changing roster landscape keeps on keeping on. Today they officially claimed defenseman Brad Hunt off waivers from the St. Louis Blues and placed defenseman Petter Granberg on injured reserve. The Predators then reassigned forward Kevin Fiala to the Milwaukee Admirals.
Both teams are in action tonight across North America as the Admirals play on the road against the Charlotte Checkers and the Predators are on the road facing the Vancouver Canucks.
The acquiring of Hunt is a move that makes me smile for two reasons. The obvious being that it avoids him from joining the AHL ranks with the Chicago Wolves where he was a destroyer of worlds offensively this season: 29 points (9 goals, 20 assists) in 23 games. The second reason being that he can really fit in perfectly for the Predators system on defense.
At 28-years old it feels as if Hunt is beginning to play the best hockey of his career. He was always a great offensive minded defenseman from the moment he turned pro and his 0.73 points per game average across 287 career AHL games speak to that. Yet, this season had been his best and it has pushed him into 9 games with the Blues in the NHL where he has delivered 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists).
Fiala being reassigned today is a small shock to the system but one that doesn’t feel entirely down to performance. This recent run in the NHL for Fiala has seen him take a large leap forward. The problem might just come down to consistency of his production and work rate shift-to-shift. Fiala has 9 points (6 goals, 3 assists) in 32 games for the Predators and 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 7 games with the Admirals this season.
Given the way that the Admirals have performed recently, with a struggling offense, the addition of Fiala will be a much welcome boost. The offense has been desperate for goals during a now four-game losing streak with all defeats coming in regulation. Fiala could be the igniter that this group needs to get the fire burning once again.
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