Author: Ryan

Turning Over The Keys

The time has come.

In a weird and awkwardly timed mid-season announcement, I’m officially retiring from the Admirals Roundtable, and I’m handing over the keys of the franchise to Daniel Lavender.

The Roundtable and the Short Shifts blog before it were my babies. But then something happened…My wife and I became parents of a real baby this past summer. And now, I am finding it increasingly more difficult to devote the time to writing. I don’t want to half-ass it. You deserve better than that.

The time has come to fully pass the Admirals Roundtable torch to Daniel — a guy who bleeds Admirals blue, white, and black. His dedication to the cause will allow the Roundtable to continue to be the best place for Admirals and Predators fans (and I suppose any hockey fan, for that matter) to go for news and analysis about the team. Anyone can read a box score and put it into words. Daniel will continue to go beyond the box score.

As for me, you’ll probably still see me at games periodically. I’m still going to do the game ops stuff on weeknights, and as much as I loathe the twitter, I think I’m still going to participate in that (@RyanAdmirals). I hope to periodically have interesting things to say. And I’ll continue to comment on this site. But at this point…it’s time to walk away from the writing, remember the good times, and thank all of you for reading over the years.

That last one is huge. Sincerely, thank you for your support of these labors of love.  Thanks for playing along when we’ve been goofy (Mountain Fury….Beef-A-Roo….”under there”…dumb nicknames…).  Thanks for sharing your opinions in the comments section.  And thank you for sharing these hockey seasons with me.  The Short Shifts blog started in the fall of 2008.  It’s been a great run.  Thank you for reading, and thank you some more.

And I hope you will continue to support Daniel and this site as we press on with this season of Admirals hockey.


Fox 6 Reporting Magnus Hellberg Callup

(Photo credit:  Scott Paulus)

Hey, good for Fox 6 to give any love to the Admirals on any day other than media day, concert nights, and the playoffs.

They were at Admirals practice today to do a day-in-the-life-of-a-goalie story, and they were there when Coach Evason got the call that Magnus Hellberg was to be on a plane to Nashville tonight.

(Follow the link here for the video….Wordpress is not agreeing with the embed code they provided)

Here are some things that stand out…

First — that conversation between Magnus and the coach….  you can tell Dean was just THRILLED that cameras were there.  Second — I don’t believe for one second that he doesn’t know what the goalie situation is in Nashville.  Third — Kramp suggested that he thought Hellberg was about to be demoted.

Oh, Kramp.  Every Admirals fan is just shaking their head.

Fourth….oh that headline…. Milwaukee Admirals gets called up to the “bigs”.  I hope they change it by the time you read it.  That’s painful.

Nevertheless….credit where credit is due.  Fox 6 broke the story, and they should get the credit for it. And we’re very happy for Magnus.

Nothing is official until the Preds say it is (I’m pretty sure absolutely positive they’re even less pleased about the cameras there than Dean was).  Josh Cooper from the Tennessean tweeted: “For those wondering, Hutton did practice on-ice today. Rinne did not.”

The Admirals are off until Saturday, so in the event that this is just precautionary, we may get Magnus back in time for Saturday’s game against the Texas Stars.  But we’ll be watching Josh Cooper and the Nashville blogs for news on Rinne tomorrow, for sure.

THURSDAY UPDATE:  Magnus won’t be back on Saturday.


Chicago Spoils Milwaukee’s Home Opener With OT Win

Photo Credit:  Scott Paulus
Photo Credit: Scott Paulus

After spotting the Wolves a 2-0 lead, the Admirals battled back to send their home-opener to overtime. But Mark Mancari scored his second of the game on a two-on-one rush, giving the Wolves the 3-2 victory Saturday night in Milwaukee.

Coach Evason says that despite the loss, the team can still take some positives out of this game.

Mancari opened the scoring 6:38 into the game, with a laser slapshot from the far dot that beat Hellberg. Corey Locke was being tied up in the corner, but was able to feed a wide-open Mancari, while defenseman Bryan Rodney was without a stick.

Tyler Shattock made it a 2-0 lead, finishing off a 2-on-2 rush with Sebastian Wannstrom. Wannstrom led the rush along the right wing, and Simon Moser got caught in no-man’s land, leaving Shattock wide open for the chance. Moser didn’t play the shot or the pass, and didn’t tie up his man.

After getting stopped earlier in the game on breakaway chance, Mathieu Tousignant scored a shorty for the Admirals after a soft pass by goaltender Jake Allen and a lack of awareness by Taylor Chorney. Tousignant swooped in to receive that soft pass at the near faceoff dot, and after cruising to the crease, he delayed, and lifted a forehand shot top shelf.

Moser atoned by scoring his first North American goal — a power play tip-in of a Miikka Salomaki pass. Moser drove to the net, and was in perfect position for the re-direction, but Salomaki deserves a ton of credit too for the strong play on the rush.

On the game winning goal in overtime, Rodney was able to keep the puck in at the offensive blue line, but turned it over right away to Locke, who started the 2-on-1 rush the other way. Bitetto slid to try and block the pass, but the pass was able to get through to a wide open Mancari, who went up high on Hellberg.

Coach Evason gives credit where credit is due regarding that game winner.


The lines started…

Valentine – Van Guilder – Budish
Moser – Sissons – Beck
Salomaki – Watson – Shalla
Liambas – Tousignant – Rask

They didn’t last very long, as after Shalla’s first shift, he was excused for the rest of the game. The coaches forgot to include him on their lineup card, and the Wolves called them out on it. No penalty was assessed for the illegal player, but that ended his night.


Coach says….well….the only thing that he can say in this situation.

Up until his goal, I was ready to pan Moser’s game tonight. This was the first time I had seen him play, and he looked…average at best. He took a stupid slashing penalty as the Wolves were breaking out of their defensive zone. He missed his assignment on the 2nd goal against. He did make some things happen in a positive way in the third period, in addition to his goal. So I can see why everyone was so excited about him. He just needs to play that way the whole game, and avoid those lazy stick infractions.

Tousignant can stay. He had a breakaway chance, and then scored that shorthanded goal, and was very effective all game.  He talks us through his shot selection process.

The Ads killed off all six Chicago power plays, and one could argue they had more chances on those six than the Wolves did.  Coach Evason gives high marks for the PP and the PK.

Jake Allen played very well. I don’t want that to get lost in the shuffle. There were a few saves he made that really should have been goals. And there were some times when the Admirals just made one pass too many. Although, the Wolves hit metal (at least) four times tonight. So it could have been a VERY different game had one or two of those gone in.

Nevertheless, the Admirals begin the season with points in their first four games — six of a possible eight points.

Jarvinen, Henderson, and Cehlin all missed the game due to injuries.  Coach says Jarvinen is “a ways away”, but the other two are shorter term injuries.

So Roundtable…. Thoughts on the home opener? Did you like the Seven Nation Army intro-to-the-intro? Early impressions of new guys like Tousignant, Sissons, Salomaki, and Moser? Did you like the way they battled back after trailing 2-0? How about Liambas and Bitetto’s fights?  How much did you miss seeing John Anderson on the bench over the last few years?

Mid-Week Topic: Pre-game Routines

So to help generate a little chatter in advance of the home opener…The Roundtable poses this mid-week question to you:

What is your pre-game routine for Admiral home games?

Do you get to the arena at the same time every game?  Head to a particular food vendor?  Order the same dish?  Visit the same people?  Say hello to the same ushers?  Watch warm-ups from the same spots?  Wear the same jersey?  Are there any other superstitions that you’d like to share?  Or is your routine that there is no routine at all?

My pre-game routine?  Find Aaron Sims in the media room.  His routine is that he’s in the same chair at the same table for every game, whether there’s a pre-game meal or not.  It’s always great to talk with Aaron before he heads up the broadcast booth…whether it’s about hockey, the band Chili Sabotage, or whatever random stuff comes up.  Sometimes scouts or the visiting radio/tv guys sit with us.  My favorite pre-games are when Nashville goaltending coach Mitch Korn is in the room.  The guy is absolutely brilliant, and it’s such a treat to just listen to him talk.

On nights that I’m wearing my media-hat, I still make a strong effort to be in press row for the playing of the opening video.  Being a resident of press row for so many years, I’ve been conditioned to never cheer at sporting events….ever.  But on the inside, I still get excited for the production.  I enjoy seeing and hearing a big crowd react to it, and react to the players taking the ice.  I don’t know what songs they’re doing for the videos this year….but I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing them on the big screen on Saturday.

It’s almost hockey night in Milwaukee.  We’ll see you all on Saturday.

New Numbers And New Guys

Here are the new player numbers and the number changes for returning players this year.  Not that you’d ever confuse Joe Piskula for Jon Blum…but these are the numbers to get used to as we get ready for the opening night viewing party at Major Goolsby’s on Friday night.

#5 – Theo/Teddy Ruth
#7 – Joe Piskula
#11 – Paul Crowder
#16 – Mathieu Tousignant
#17 – Mike Liambas
#18 – Colton Sissons
#20 – Miikka Salomaki
#21 – Simon Moser
#31 – Marek Mazanec
#33 – Bryan Rodney
#55 – Charles-Olivier Roussel
#88 – Joonas Rask

According to Todd’s jersey number archive at, Rask is NOT going to be the first #88 in Admiral history…that distinction goes to Dan Hodgson, from the 88-89 IHL Admirals.

Ads Close Out Pre-Season With 2-1 OT Loss To The Wild

With Magnus Hellberg and Marek Mazanec playing great hockey, the Admirals were nursing a 1-0 lead late in third period.  But the Iowa Wild finished strong, scoring the equalizer with 4:14 left in regulation, and a power play winner in overtime to give the home(ish) team the 2-1 victory on Friday afternoon in beautiful Moline, Illinois.

Scott Ford scored the lone Admiral goal just 1:45 into the game, after a nice pass from Miikka Salomaki.

Salomaki also played into the last goal in the game as well, for he was the one sitting in the penalty box for a boarding penalty, to give the Wild the 4-on-3 chance.

For the game winning goal, the Wild went ‘around the key’, with point-man Jon Blum passing to Zack Phillips at the left circle for a one-timer that beat Mazanec.

Hellberg saved all nine shots he faced in the first half of the game.  Mazanec was sharp as well, despite allowing the two goals.


Shalla-Van Guilder-Rask

Simon Moser did not make the trip.

Pessimists will say they are concerned about offense, with the Admirals just scoring two goals in three pre-season games.  Optimists will point to the sample size and the fact that it’s just pre-season.  Optimists will also point out the Admirals goalies gave up just five goals in three season games (plus one empty netter).  Early reviews on Mazanec have been positive.  And Hellberg seems to be picking up right where he left off.

Let’s also hope that Fordo didn’t use up all of his goals for this season in the pre-season…

So Roundtable…how will you be passing the time until OUR opening night next Friday?  Watching the NHL Center Ice preview?  Camping out at Major Goolsby’s to get a good spot for the viewing party on Friday?  Figuring out how much it would cost to get to Abbotsford for a quick weekend getaway? (Guy Lafleur will be making a special appearance on opening night over there)  Counting lucky stars that Krys Kolanos isn’t with the Heat anymore?  

Sunday Roster Moves

Say goodbye to Barry Almeida, Vinny Saponari, Scott Darling, and Taylor Aronson.  They’ve all been assigned/loaned to Cincinnati in the ECHL.

Say goodbye to Mike Embach, Mike Moffat, and Chris Reed.  They’ve been released from their tryout contracts.  We hardly knew ye.

Say hello to Taylor Beck, Joe Piskula, and Marek Mazanec.  They were assigned to the Admirals by the Predators today.

And there is something brewing at this hour with Swiss forward Simon Moser.

Ads Fall To Wolves In Second Pre-season Game

Chicago goaltender Jake Allen turned aside all 27 shots he faced, and a short-handed Corey Locke goal was the only offense the Wolves needed, en route to a 3-0 victory over the Admirals Saturday night in pre-season action.

Magnus Hellberg played the first 30:38, before yielding to Scott Darling.  Hellberg was responsible for Locke’s goal at 1:30 of the second period, while the Wolves were killing off a Dmitrij Jaskin boarding penalty.  Sprung on a breakaway, the former AHL MVP beat Hellberg glove-side.

Darling gave up just one goal as well, a late score from Sergey Andronov on a rebound at 14:16 in the third period.  Kyle Davies added the empty netter with 1:08 left in the game.

Hellberg stopped 10 of 11, while Darling stopped 18 of 19, and both teams were 0-2 on the power play.

The Admirals will be playing a THIRD pre-season game this Friday the 4th against the Iowa Wild.  Both the Admirals and Wild are idle during the opening weekend of the AHL season, so that’ll give them the chance to hit someone in a different colored jersey while they wait for their trip to Abbotsford.  That game will be in Moline, Illinois at 2:30pm on Friday.

So Roundtable…anyone make the trip to beautiful Hoffman Estates, Illinois?  Any observations about the game that you’d like to share?

Admirals Roster For Tonight’s Game

We’ll get our first looks at Colton Sissons and Miikka Salomaki tonight at the Kern Center!

Forwards:  Barry Almeida, Zach Budish, Paul Crowder, Mike Emback, Mike Liambas, Joonas Rask, Miikka Salomaki, Vinny Saponari, Josh Shalla, Colton Sissons, Mathieu Tousignant, Mark Van Guilder

Defensemen:  Scott Ford, Joonas Jarvinen, Mike Moffat, Bryan Rodney, Charles-Olivier Roussel, Teddy Ruth,

Goalies:  Magnus Hellberg, Scott Darling

Looks like there is the potential to stick with the lines from the beginning of training camp, so it might look something like….

Saponari – Sissons – Salomaki
Shalla – Van Guilder – Rask
Liambas – Tousignant – Budish
Almeida – Embach – Crowder

Haven’t heard yet who the starting goalie will be, or if they will be splitting time tonight.

Opening Line Combinations In Admirals Camp

Here are the line combinations the coaches put out there today.  Don’t read anything into the way I ordered them….it’s not a ranking or a first line vs second line thing. It’s just a list.

Henderson – Watson – Cehlin
Saponari – Sissons – Salomaki
Shalla – Van Guilder – Rask
Liambas – Tousignant – Budish
Almeida – Embach – Crowder

Bitetto – Ford
Jarvinen – Rodney
Valentine – Ruth
Reed – Aronson
Moffat – Roussel

If that Liambas – Tousignant – Budish line stays intact….what a badass line that’ll be.  Going to get under the skin of a lot of opponents.  They broke up the Henderson and MVG duo, but I don’t see anything wrong with their new linemates.  And it might be pretty fun watching the S-S-S line develop together.  Paul Fenton said lots of nice things about Salomaki’s game on the Admirals Center Ice Radio Show the other night….may be a quick fan favorite.

So Roundtable….any thoughts?  Anyone you want to switch right away?  If these are the lines we see on Friday, which one are you most excited to see in action?  If Taylor Beck is sent down, where would he fit in? (although, with Stalberg’s injury, he may not be sent down anytime soon.)  Any thoughts on the defensemen?