Tuesday, February 22 proved to be a eventful morning in the Music City.
The Nashville Predators made a pair of in house transactions before most team employees had finished their morning coffee, first swapping goaltenders by recalling Mark Dekanich from Milwaukee to replace Anders Lindback, who was sent down to the Admirals. This will be Lindback’s first assignment to the AHL, while Dekanich will be making his fourth trip up to the NHL this season.
From December 4 through December 17, Lindback was the hottest goaltender in the NHL, winning six of seven starts, including two shutouts, and allowing three or more goals just once. However the Gavle, Sweden native has went cold of late in his limited action, losing four of his last five decisions, and getting lit up for six goals by the Chicago Blackhawks on January 16.
This will definitely be a conditioning assignment for Lindback, who needs some in-game action to re-find his talents. He should get plenty of opportunities as the Admirals face a four game in five night stretch starting tonight in Houston.
On the other hand, Dekanich will be looking to expand on his one game of NHL experience and auditioning for a new contract next season.
Meanwhile, Jonathon Blum will be making his first career trip to the National Hockey League, confirming the rumors that were swirling around the internet yesterday. Blum, who is tied for second in the Admirals in scoring, will try to help out a Nashville blueline that has been hit hard by injuries as of late, including Ryan Suter. Suter, who logs around 25 minutes of ice time per game (second only to Shea Weber on the Predators), has been declared out for tonight’s game against Columbus.
This is a great opportunity for the 22-year old Blum to show something at the National Hockey League level, but I for one am surprised that Nashville chose him over Aaron Johnson, a player with an extensive NHL resume to his credit. The Predators are in the midst of a dogfight in the Western Conference for a playoff spot, sitting in fifth with 70 points, but Nashville is just two points ahead of 11th place Chicago.
The AHL race is nearly as tight, with Milwaukee sitting in the top spot in the West Division with 71 points, but the Admirals are just four points in front of sixth place Oklahoma City.
So Roundtable, what is your reaction to these transactions? Are you excited to see Lindback in the Admirals uniform, and how do you think Blum will fare up in Nashville?