The Nashville Predators have reassigned goaltender Matt O’Connor from the Atlanta Gladiators to the Quad City Mallards. This ECHL to ECHL flip could be a slight trend this season while the Predators organization will act without an ECHL affiliate after terminating their agreement with the Norfolk Admirals. O’Connor had appeared four times with the Gladiators prior to this move.
This season has been slightly unfortunate for O’Connor. He won the back-up job with the Admirals in Training Camp and proceeded to make a pair of starts in their opening 10 games. He then suffered a lower-body injury and was sidelined for the final three weeks of November. By the time he was ready to return their was no real safe landing spot after the ECHL affiliation agreement between Nashville and Norfolk broke down. That meant seeing Nashville assign him to Atlanta (ECHL) where he made 4 starts, suffered 4 losses, and had a 3.62 goals against average and 0.894 save percentage.
I’ve kept an eye on Atlanta ever since the Norfolk departure and the unfortunate reality is they are the Boston Bruins (NHL) and Providence Bruins (AHL) affiliate which means seeing Dan Vladar get the majority of starts. Since O’Connor was assigned to Atlanta on 11/28/17 he has sat on the outside looking in for 6 games. He wasn’t selected as a back-up on 12/10/17 but he did start the very last game that Atlanta played.
At the moment Quad City only have Eric Hartzell as a goaltending option and their record is 8-15-1-0 (17 points, 0.354 points percentage). This appears to be a situation that will allow O’Connor to play on a more regular basis while allowing Atlanta to let Vladar continuing his developmental process in the Bruins system. Still, there are no real attachments from Nashville to the ECHL and this move showcased that it is more of an individual basis, e.g. Rick Pinkston is still with Atlanta (ECHL).
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