With things quiet silent in our own camp -for now- let’s look back at our league. The 2018 AHL Calder Cup Finals begin tomorrow night and it will feature the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars. The Marlies have home ice advantage for the occasion and are looking to claim their first Calder Cup trophy. The Stars will be looking to claim their second Calder Cup in five seasons.
The first day of Summer might not -officially- be until late-June but I think hibernation time is done. Before we start the Memorial Day Weekend I think it’s a good time to bring Ramblings back. This column will keep active weekly throughout the off-season with news, notes, and commentary on all the changes taking place – of which there have been several the last few weeks. So, let’s not waste much more time because we actually have some catching up to do.
The Nashville Predators did not take long to react to yesterday’s news regarding Paul Fenton. The organization has promoted three individuals from within following Fenton’s move to the Minnesota Wild. Jeff Kealty has been named Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting, Brian Poile becomes an Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations, and Scott Nichol has taken over the role as General Manager of the Milwaukee Admirals and Director of Player Development.
Perhaps the biggest change for the Milwaukee Admirals next season has just been triggered. The Minnesota Wild have announced that Paul Fenton will be their next General Manager. Fenton has been with the Nashville Predators since their inception as a franchise and has acted as General Manager of the Milwaukee Admirals in his time as Assistant General Manager to David Poile.
The Nashville Predators have signed defenseman Filip Pyrochta to a two-year entry-level contract. The 21-year old spent last season in his native Czech Republic with Bílí Tygři Liberec. He also played two seasons in the QMJHL with both Victoriaville Tigres and Val-d’Or Foreurs. He was teammates with Anthony Richard in 2015-16 with Val-d’Or.
The American Hockey League (AHL) have approved of it’s divisional alignment for the 2018-19 season. The Central Division as we know of it from this past season is changing. The Cleveland Monsters will officially move out and join the North Division in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Yet, their departure is minimized with the additions of both the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage who switch over from the Pacific Division.
It is unclear as of yet if the arrival of the Colorado Eagles to that Pacific Division will finally mean a league-wide 76-game regular season schedule or if that division will continue to play a 68-game regular season schedule. Though, based on alignment, one can hope that is he case and that the age of “points percentage” can end. All teams that worked a lesser schedule are now grouped together.
The Nashville Predators have reassigned Frédéric Allard, Brandon Bollig, Tyler Gaudet, and Emil Pettersson back to the Milwaukee Admirals. The Predators currently trail the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in their second round match-up. Game 6 is Monday night at 8:30 PM CDT and will take place at the Bell MTS Place.
When the 2017-18 season was lining up and getting ready to go: I was highly concerned about the Milwaukee Admirals goaltending situation. It had been years upon years of a prospect or two rolling in, both with a decent ceiling to reach for, and often enough they would so quality spurts of great work in net. That wasn’t what this season was going to be. There were going to be three gambles, two potential projects, and one attempt of a revival project.
What happened early pretty much summed up the way things would be in net. Anders Lindbäck was the man. It made you look at his recent history and wonder if it all served to build up to it clicking with the Admirals in an AHL season that could boost him back to an NHL opportunity. He was the foundation from which the Admirals did everything well this season and night in and night out gave them a chance to succeed on certain evenings when they probably shouldn’t have had a chance. And he is without question our selection for the 2017-18 Most Valuable Player Award.
The Nashville Predators have announced this morning that they have signed goaltender Miroslav Svoboda to a two-year entry-level contract. The signing of the 23-year old Czech native comes not too long after the Predators had also signed Finnish goaltender Niclas Westerholm to a three-year entry-level contract. With Troy Grosenick under contract for next season it could well be that the 2018-19 goaltending picture for the Milwaukee Admirals has already been set.