Today was Media Day for the Milwaukee Admirals and the conclusion of Pre-Season Training Camp. The focus after today shifts to a scheduled travel day to Des Moines where the 2017-18 season officially begins for the Admirals on Saturday and Sunday when they face-off against the Iowa Wild at the Wells Fargo Arena.
After not being around yesterday we had our first Frédérick Gaudreau sighting this morning at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. He joined the Admirals top line and looked brilliant paired up with Vladislav Kamenev and Anthony Richard.
Someone who wasn’t a participant in today’s practice was Derek Army. Next comes a long conversation as it is something I’ve yet to really experience from AHL to ECHL in Milwaukee. Army won’t be joining the Admirals’ ECHL affiliate the Norfolk Admirals. Instead he will be joining the Wheeling Nailers in the ECHL. The reason for this is because Army had played for Wheeling last season, was brought into the AHL scene by Milwaukee on a professional try-out contract, and Wheeling had qualified him at season’s end. That put him on a protected list for Wheeling. Despite Milwaukee having signed Army this off-season he can’t head to Norfolk as a result.
While confirmation on who the alternate captains are for 2017-18 weren’t formally announced today there was something else cemented. Joonas Lyytinen has been confirmed to be staying in North America this season. The 22-year old Finn had signed a new contract with Kärpät in Liiga a month prior to signing his entry level contract with the Nashville Predators. Whether he sticks to the AHL, or works in the ECHL, isn’t clear yet. What’s most important is that he will be acclimatizing to the North American style game, developing within the system, and can make an impact in the organization the next two-years.
The roster also seems rather set for Opening Night in Iowa. The lines there suggest enough and Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason confirmed that the team will be sitting four players come Saturday night. They don’t seem to exactly know how long they’re going to have Gaudreau around. And that is why it makes sense for the time to have both Tyler Moy and Stephen Perfetto around if needed.
As it was Media Day there were plenty of opportunities to chat with various players following the Evason scrum. We caught up with the captain Trevor Smith and many more rinkside. These were all of our conversations at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena ahead of the 2017-18 season opener.
Additional folks in today’s media scrums include Aaron Sims and Dave Kallmann. If you’re not already following along with those on social media – I would highly recommend doing so. Plus, as this was Media Day, keep your eyes peeled for the local news on TV. Especially be on the look out for Birthday boy Lance Allan. He was on-hand today, too.
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