Roundtable Mailbag

(Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch)

After an energy sapping three-in-three the Milwaukee Admirals have earned a day-off of work. They should be returning to practice tomorrow as they prepare for a Thursday and Friday road set up North against the Manitoba Moose. This break in the action allows for a nice time for you readers to chime in and ask away questions that you have across the board. Let’s get a proper Admirals Roundtable Mailbag started, shall we?

For your mail bag, I’d like to turn the 15 with…on you. Who was your first big hockey player you’ve met, besides the Admirals and Predators? What is your favorite hockey moment, and non-hockey moment? What made you get into hockey? Who influenced you? Most painful memory? It will be like interviewing yourself with your questions so we can get to know Daniel. ~Gail

I actually didn’t meet a big name hockey player until I started up as an intern with the Milwaukee Admirals. So, you’d be going down the list of the players from the 2012-13 season plus many of the names included on the 35th Anniversary campaign that cropped up. Pekka Rinne comes to mind there. What I often enjoy though is that you really can’t get star struck with hockey players. They’re just too down to Earth to get that feeling. I would counter by saying I met Al Unser Jr. when I was four-years old at Road America and he brought me under the roped off section of the Galles Racing garage to show me his car and sign me shirt. I seriously still remember that one.

My favorite hockey moment would probably be watching the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings rivalry growing up. That’s probably what really had me locked into hockey from that point forward. Even looking back now that rivalry holds up because it crammed so much: intensity, high level talent, best teams in the Western Conference at the time, and usually Stanley Cup implications off of it. The brawls were a blast watching it when I was younger. The talented players around it are what make it hold up for me.

My favorite non-hockey moment would have to be school related. As a freshman in high school I was so caught up in the “what will I be doing for a career and when I get to college” dynamic so much that I was never really in the present. I ended up getting a 1.5 GPA and was basically on the verge of getting kicked out of school at 14-years old. I would say the two memories that come to mind the most are when I first made Honor Roll two-years after that happened or either my high school or college graduation. At the time of making Honor Roll I needed to go around and have professors sign off a check list every now and then to get repeated updates on the work I was doing – probably to keep me fully aware on grades. The last class I had to check off the professor pulled me aside after class to tell me I made Honor Roll and it meant the world knowing I had worked back out of re-doing all of my freshman year classes in tandem with sophomore classes at Walden III. I’d say that’s where the work ethic started and every accomplishment since probably starts from that moment.

What made me get into hockey was the sports field in general. I always loved the sport but, at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, all I really covered was Women’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball. I had applied several places to try and break into the job field and ended up -probably- becoming the oldest intern that the Milwaukee Admirals ever brought in. I’ve been caught on working in hockey ever since.

My biggest influence would be my parents. They’ve taught me everything as far as selflessness, work, and having good humor goes!

My most painful memory – going the two route as I often catch players with that. Injury-wise, I’ve been fairly fortunate to not have had any broken bones but I did tear my right ACL a few years back and not long after that I had a left high-ankle sprain. I would say I still feel the right knee being weird at times but the most painful was the ankle. When your knee goes it is more of a jolt, you hear it pop in your ear, and not much more than adrenaline after. The ankle hurt but, with college starting the week after, I bucked the brace – taped it myself zombie apocalypse style – and walked through the pain. Non-Injury, the most painful memory for me feels like it is on the horizon in the near future as it relates to work. Behind the scenes this season it hasn’t been great but, as with the players in the AHL, I’m going through the developmental process in my own way. I’ll always be a believer in good things happen to good people. No matter what lies ahead I’m sticking to that.

What is happening with Cody Bass? Will he back on the admirals roster next season? ~Diane

Cody Bass is done for the season after suffering a knee injury on 12/28/16 in a game against the Iowa Wild. He required surgery and is in the rehab process as we speak. The last I checked he no longer needed crutches and is slowly getting back in the swing of things which I’m sure is a well needed mental boost. As rough as this season is, especially given his rise back to NHL caliber play since joining the Nashville Predators organization, he is still under contract next season and will likely be a top candidate as Admirals team captain for the 2017-18 season. He’s a real well respected locker room presence and none of that goes away after a season ending injury.

Do you think that Dante Fabbro could get an amateur tryout soon? Seems like he killed it for BU. ~Seth

Well, in order to help facilitate that Dante Fabbro would need to sign his entry level contract with the Nashville Predators. That hasn’t happened yet. The players on the Milwaukee Admirals radar at the end of this season are: Frédéric Allard, Samuel Girard, and Yakov Trenin. Though, we aren’t short of a surprise here and there as several college and junior seasons are coming to an end which sees the likes of -say- a Tyler Kelleher turning up out of nowhere.

A friend and I keep debating about Roscoe. What kind of animal is he suppose to be exactly? Other than the mascot obviously. ~Chris

Why, Roscoe is an orange sea dog with a puck for a nose! I actually had this question brought up when both myself and Roscoe were in Nashville. I thought a fan on Twitter had a newspaper clipping that had a bit of backstory to Roscoe but I can’t seem to find it.

How many players that get a PTO contract actually sticks around? ~Dennis

I’m not sure there is any exact league-wide number to that but I can say every PTO Contract serves as an audition for many players in the ECHL to make a claim to be full-time in the AHL. People may already forget that Adam Payerl started last season signed to the Cyclones in the ECHL, was a roster invitee to training camp, and started last season on a PTO before earning an AHL deal with the Admirals and then an NHL deal with the Predators. Matt White was a PTO signing last year from outside of the organization with the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL) who signed a two-year AHL Contract with the Admirals. Derek Army this season is on his second PTO deal with the Admirals and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that lead to something more next season.

Was sorting thru prospect stuff & noticed Tyler Moy should be graduating from Harvard this year. should we expect to seem him in some Ads games when their season ends or a possible ELC with Nashville? ~Eric

I would expect him to go to Toronto or Boston, then Buffalo, and then to the New York Rangers (I kid, I kid). Tyler Moy still hasn’t been signed to any sort of contract by the Nashville Predators so he really can’t do that yet. I would greatly hope that he does sign and begins his pro career next season as a member of the Admirals, though. He has had a fantastic 2016-17 season with Harvard and I would be gutted if he made like his ol’ teammate Jimmy Vesey and darted. I don’t know if you would see the Predators draft a Harvard talent ever again.

Who handles the scouting of the lower levels (major junior, NCAA, ECHL) and who decides to sign those players to AHL deals? ~Josh

That mostly extends across the full organization but you can give plenty of credit to how the Admirals setup shop to Nashville Predators Assistant General Manager and Milwaukee Admirals General Manager Paul Fenton and his scouting staff. As a small example, if you go back to hear the post-game audio when Stephen Perfetto signed Dean Evason was quick to praise them specifically for finding him for the work he was doing for the Alaska Aces in the ECHL. More often than not the praise can go out to Fenton for what Admirals fans get to see as far as non-drafted talent goes.

Will we ever get to see the AHL East coast teams? And will the California teams ever be pushed to the 76 game schedule or, ahem, God forbid, the rest of the league be dragged down to play fewer games? ~MGB

I would certainly love to see more variety back on the schedule. There were quite a few Eastern Conference teams that were always a lot of fun to see appear on the calendar. The Toronto Marlies and Rochester Americans come to mind as teams that were fun going back and forth with. Even the brief time against the Utica Comets and seeing games played inside the Utica Memorial Auditorium where scenes from Slap Shot were filmed was awesome. I don’t know if that would ever happen if there were to be a return to a full 76-game schedule for all AHL teams. It still is asinine for the AHL to allow for a lesser schedule for Californian teams. If cutting excess travel out of the equation is the goal the Admirals traveling from Milwaukee to Iowa to Milwaukee in three days doesn’t paint a fair image nor does travel expense from teams purchased by NHL parent clubs to be closer to home. If there are any teams that should cover the cost of excessive travel – it’s them.

Do you have any additional questions? Feel free to ask away in the comment section below and I will add them to the Mailbag up top with my answer. Tomorrow we will have a story on the Cincinnati Cyclones with Sin Bin Cyclones own Dakota Johnson. Keep tuned as we await the Manitoba road trip!

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9 thoughts on “Roundtable Mailbag”

  1. Will we ever get to see the AHL East coast teams? And will the California teams ever be pushed to the 76 game schedule or, ahem, God forbid, the rest of the league be dragged down to play fewer games?

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