Tag: NHL

Beyond the Bradley Center: NHL Trade Deadline Live Updates

2012-2013 Milwaukee Admirals: 67 G.P., 34-26-4-3–75 pts., 169 goals scored, 184 goals allowed, 9th place in the Western Conference (T-2nd Midwest Division). Leading active scorer: Michael Latta (9 goals, 26 assists, 35 points). Best Recent Win: March 30, 4-3 over Chicago. Worst Recent Loss: March 27, Lake Erie 1, Milwaukee 0.

UPDATE: 4:55 P.M.

Bringing the trade deadline to a close, as Trey reported, Nashville traded Martin Erat to Washington in exchange for top prospect Filip Forsberg. Interesting again to see the Washington/Nashville dynamic at work here, as the Capitals look for another gem like Joel Ward and might have found one in the popular Erat. The developing Latta marks an interesting throw-in as part of the deal.

Rumors of this trade involving Washington (usually Drew Stafford was the name mentioned) floated all day, but in the end it was the Predators who swung the deal. A couple of minor deals involving goal Jeff Deslauriers to Minnesota and Patrick Kileen to Columbus concluded the transactions. Winnipeg also claimed former Admiral/Predator Mike Santorelli off of waivers today.

Though trade deadline day started slowly, it sure ended with a big bang involving Nashville/Milwaukee and host of other teams. Curious to think about what might have happened had the NHL thrown in another “bonus” hour to this year’s deadline.

UPDATE: 2:37 P.M.

Add Anaheim to the group of buyers. The Ducks picked up former Predator Matthew Lombardi from Phoenix for fellow forward Brandon McMillan. Another former Nashville forward, Steve Sullivan, is on his way to New Jersey in exchange for a seventh-round pick.

UPDATE: 2:25 P.M.

With the deadline now 25 minutes past, Toronto squeezes in a late trade by picking up defenseman Ryan O’Byrne from Colorado for a fourth-round pick. Interesting new from Boston as the Bruins just reunited defenseman Wade Redden with former teammate Zdeno Chara by trading a seventh-round draft pick to St. Louis.

UPDATE: 2:09 P.M.

Two minor deals just filtered in. More upgrades for Columbus, this time its forward Blake Comeau formerly of Calgary, in exchange for a fifth-round pick. San Jose adds forward Raffi Torres from Phoenix for a third-round pick.

UPDATE: 1:42 P.M.

Lots of news on the trade front: Marian Gaborik is headed to Columbus. Jason Pominville on his way to Minnesota. Rangers add plenty of grit in Derek Dorsett, John Moore and Derick Brassard and dump another whopper of a contract in Gaborik. Buffalo gets goalie Matt Hackett and forward Johan Larsson for Pominville.

Earlier Philadelphia decided to roll the dice on another goalie, this time Steve Mason from the Blue Jackets for a third-round pick and former playoff near-hero Michael Leighton (usually of Adirondack).

UPDATE: 1:27 P.M.

A couple of minor trades: First Jussi Jokinen was sent to Pittsburgh from Carolina in exchange for a conditional 7th round pick. Jokinen had previously cleared waivers and the Hurricanes are eating some salary. The one “big” trade that just occurred was Tampa Bay trading rookie sensation Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick to Ottawa in exchange for hot goalie commodity Ben Bishop. Both were elite talents in the AHL a season ago, while Conacher enjoyed a 12 game stint with the Admirals in 2010-2011.

UPDATE: 11:57 A.M.

Edmonton acquired former Predator/Admiral Jerred Smithson from Florida for a fourth-round draft pick. Never the prettiest player, Smithson did make himself a solid home in the Music City for several years. I’m pretty surprised at the amount of return, but the Oilers really need a player like him.

UPDATE: 11:52 A.M.

Two trades to speak of so far, with both having direct consequences on Milwaukee. The most recent was the trade of 34-year-old Nashville defenseman Scott Hannan, who was dealt back to San Jose in exchange for a conditional sixth- or seventh-round draft pick this summer. The quick analysis here is that Predators must feel comfortable with their Admirals call ups along the blueline (especially Victor Bartley) to warrant such a move.

Before that division rival Rockford (Chicago) sent forward Rob Flick to Boston (likely Providence) in exchange for fellow forward Maxime Sauve. Flick was of course the trigger man for the brawl with the IceHogs last season soon to be marked by a Jeremy Smith bobblehead.

UPDATE: 8:57 A.M.

One of my favorite days of the year has finally arrived–its the NHL trade deadline extravaganza! This is the day when teams can make their final transactions via trade to boost their teams for the playoffs or shed some unwanted players for some compensation.

In recent years Nashville has been very active on this day, stockpiling for the playoffs. This year might be a lot different. The Predators currently stand in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference at 15-14-8 through 37 of 48 games. Unfortunately, every other team in the conference has at least one game in hand on the Predators, making the climb up that much more difficult. Couple that with the fact that the teams around Nashville (Edmonton, Columbus, St. Louis and Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Vancouver) would all be likely buyers/holding steady for the playoff push. Only San Jose (currently sixth), Phoenix, Dallas, Calgary and Colorado are likely to be selling off spare parts.

Most of the “names” available for rent/buy are already off the market (Jagr, Morrow, Clowe, Iginla, Bouwmeester, Murray and Roy), therefore this will likely be a “light” day. But there are still plenty of depth players available. The final day of the regular season is April 27, three and half weeks away.

Anyway, I will try to update this blog throughout the day with meaningful transactions. For now, its just time to sit back and enjoy the show!

So Roundtable . . . While we wait, how do you expect Nashville’s brass to handle today? 1) Trade prospects and load up for another playoff push? 2) Pick away at the seems and add prospects/picks? 3) Stand pat/wait for more waiver wire options? What do you want the Predators to do?

Bartley helps Western All Stars to Skills Victory

Photo Courtesy of the AHL.com
Photo Courtesy of the AHL.com

The Western All Stars narrowly defeated the East 12-11 in last night’s AHL All Star Skills Competition in Providence, R.I.

Milwaukee’s own Victor Bartley played a nice role in that effort. The Admiral’s lone All Star competed in both the Pepsi Accuracy Shooting competition and H&R Block Breakaway Relay.

San Antonio’s Drew Shore, Grand Rapid’s Chad Billins and Lake Eerie’s Andrew Aggozino picked up the West’s only goal in the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay, with the East taking the event and a 3-1 lead.

Portland’s Chris Summers won the CCM Fastest Skater award for the East. The East also took the EA Sports NHL 13 Rapid Fire contest, despite a nice showing from Charlotte’s Justin Peters in net.

Rochester’s Brayden McNabb claimed the Hardest Shot title for the West with a blazing 101.8 mph slapper. The East still gained a goal for the higher average speed among its four players.

Facing a 7-2 deficit the West finished strong, taking the last three events en route to the overall win.

Bartley was first up in the Accuracy Shooting contest where he impressively collected four hits in just six attempts. Texas’s Matt Fraser hit four in five attempts to lead the event and lock down two goals for the West with the win.

Abbotsford’s Barry Brust and Peters were both perfect stopping all three shot attempts they faced in the Pepsi Pass and Score event, leading the West to the 2-1 victory.

Finally it came down to the Breakaway Relay where despite Bartley’s miss on his attempt, the West recorded a 6-3 victory to complete the comeback.

McNabb, Fraser, Charlotte’s Michal Jordan, Toronto’s Ryan Hamilton, OKC’s Mark Arcobello and Rockford’s Martin St. Pierre all scored for the West, while Peters and Grand Rapid’s Petr Mrazek were perfect stopping six shots each.

Here’s the highlights:

Geoffrion’s Big Night in Buffalo

It might be time for Admirals fans to start facing the facts.  Forward Blake Geoffrion may not be coming back to Milwaukee.

Through his first nine National Hockey League games Geoffrion was slowly finding his footing, scoring three goals and four points while logging the fewest minutes of any Nashville player.

Then came Sunday’s game at Buffalo.  Despite pocketing goal number four in the first period off a lucky deflection, Geoffrion and the Predators trailed Buffalo 3-1 with under three minutes remaining in the third period.  Yet, Nashville coach Barry Trotz continued to show confidence in the 2010 Hobey Baker winner.

At the 17:33 mark, Geoffrion stuffed in his own rebound past goaltender Ryan Miller to make it 3-2.  One minute later Trotz again put Geoffrion out for a crucial face off, which Geoffrion won back to defenseman Cody Franson.  Franson let a point shot blast go that Geoffrion tipped out of the air and past Miller to give the Brentwood, Tennessee native his first NHL hat trick and more importantly, tie hockey game at 3-3.

To add some icing to the cake, former Admiral forward Martin Erat scored the game-winner 27 seconds into overtime to give Nashville an improbable win at a crucial point in the year.  With the two points the Predators are back in the playoffs, tied with Chicago and Los Angeles for the fifth spot in the West with 86.

“Obviously we needed those points with the playoff race going on,” Geoffrion told NHL Live! Monday afternoon.  “We’re just happy to get the two wins (against Buffalo and Detroit) and come back home to Nashville.”

Geoffrion credits his time in Milwaukee for preparing him to be an impact player in the NHL.

“The Predators’ theory is that the road to Nashville is through Milwaukee,” Geoffrion said. “I am very thankful for the coaches and the people who’ve helped me get to this point in my career (playing in Nashville).  Hopefully I won’t let them down.”

To watch Blake Geoffrion’s highlight reel against Buffalo, click here.

To read my feature on the impact that former Admirals players like Blake Geoffrion are having in the NHL with Nashville and with other teams, click here.

To read my story on Geoffrion and other former Wisconsin Badgers who changed teams around the NHL trading deadline, click here.

Chris Mueller Officially Signs with the Predators, Likely to See NHL Debut Tuesday

Looks like Chris Mueller got a slightly post-dated Christmas present from the Nashville Predators.  Mueller signed a two-way contract, making him an NHL option for the Predators, who are ravaged by injuries at the current moment.

This appears to be a sign-and-play immediately deal for Mueller, as the forward is expected to make his NHL debut on Tuesday night as the Predators face the Dallas Stars.

Mueller has been nothing short of awesome for Milwaukee in 2010-2011, scoring 12 goals and 20 points.  This is a well-deserved promotion for the West Seneca, New York native who was NHL free agent playing on a contract with the Admirals.

Despite the injuries to the Predators you have to wonder what exactly triggered this decision?  With Mueller really stepping up his game at the AHL level, interest had to be growing among other NHL clubs.

Did Nashville sign Mueller to prevent him from signing with another NHL club, wanting to keep him within the organization?  Or did the Predators sign him, so they could trade him away in the near future?  Or did Nashville finally realize what they had in Mueller as a player, and now the organization is ready to mold him into exactly what Barry Trotz wants?

So Roundtable, what do you think?