Tag Archives: nashville predators

Barry Trotz Out as Head Coach

Courtesy: Zimbio.com

Courtesy: Zimbio.com

Though you knew it was coming, it was announced just moments ago that Barry Trotz was relieved of his duties as Head Coach with the Nashville Predators.
Trotz has been there from the get-go; he even had a hand in selecting the franchise name. But after fifteen years and with little hope for a Stanley Cup, it was time to part ways.

What Barry Trotz has done for this organization cannot be overlooked nor replaced. He helped establish Nashville as a contender in hockey and placed Nashville on a permanent ice hockey map when it was deemed nearly impossible. Calling him a class act is an understatement & he will be genuinely missed, even by those who have been calling for his head since the beginning.

Though details as to who will be his replacement or any set reason for his firing haven’t been released, we will post it as soon as information becomes available. As for those wondering what will happen to Trotz? Don’t worry – he won’t be unemployed for long; he will make another NHL General Manager extremely happy.

What were your favorite Trotzy moments?

New Details:

  • Per the official press release, Trotz has been offered a position with the Predators Hockey Ops Department.
  • General Manager David Poile to host press conference at 3:30PM to discuss the details of this morning’s news.

 

News from the Press Conference:

 

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Seek Change or Bent on Tradition: Nashville’s Fan Base

IMG_1367
Though the odds were slim (miniscule, even), coming into last night’s game against Dallas, Nashville still had a shot at squeezing into a playoff spot. And, in a fashion fit for a Hallmark movie, the deciding factor came down to a shootout; an area Nashville has struggled with this season and in the past. The Predators, in order to keep that playoff hope alive, needed the full two-points of a win over the Dallas Stars. Did last night’s game have a happy ending?

No.

Gabriel Bourque’s two goals kept the game tied to send it into overtime and inevitably into a shootout; Roman Josi’s shootout goal pushed Nashville to another round, but it was with the leadership of Captain Jamie Benn that snuffed the light on Nashville’s playoff hopes; and possibly a few positions as well.

No one likes missing the playoffs and, every season that is cut short, doesn’t mean heads should roll as a consequence. But for Nashville, struggle to make it to the playoffs, let alone contend, has been a multi-year occurrence. It may finally be time to put the focus on the coaching staff and their guidance. Now, before you accuse me of hating on Barry Trotz, let’s get this straight: Barry Trotz is an amazing leader on and off the ice. As Patten Fuqua so nicely put it:

The same goes for David Poile. Some times, it’s just better to take a step back, re-evaluate the situation, and move on. Both Trotz and Poile have been at the helm of the Nashville Predators organization for fifteen years, but when you continuously hit a rut every season in just about the same area (i.e. no playoffs – second round), it’s time to make changes (and not necessarily on the player-front). Though committed wholly to this organization, many players have begun expressing their frustration; some have even asked to be traded. Will we see players ask to be traded over this upcoming off-season? Maybe, maybe not, but we wouldn’t blame them.

It’s easy for fans to turn on each other at this point; you have two dividing sides: Those seeking a major change and those bent on tradition.
Neither side is more of a “loyal fan” than the other, but at times, it gets down right vicious. But honestly, what doesn’t tempt vicious behavior on Social Media?
Everyone’s opinion is different and everyone’s view on how the team and organization can benefit varies, but let’s be honest here: Nothing proceeds without change. The game is changing and the Predators need reflect those changes before the organization winds up somewhere in Canada. I’m not saying the Predators need to throw everything out and start from scratch, but some hard-hitting decisions and changes need to be made and first and foremost is to re-evaluate the coaching staff.

So what if Trotz and Poile are booted in the off-season? Does that mean Nashville will be in the Stanley Cup finals during the 2014-15 season? No, not it doesn’t (though that’d be pretty nice). What it does mean, however, is that the organization has taken responsibility for its continuous issues and has taken what it thinks are the necessary steps in order to push forward. It also shows that the organization realizes that relying solely on a goaltender and putting the blame on his absence is complete nonsense and asinine. Mind you, the team won 27 games without Rinne, so please, put that ideology to rest, will ya?

I could dive into the details, the stats, what have you regarding why the Predators need a major change, but I will leave that to the other bloggers (they have a little bit more time and resources than I do). I can see both sides of the fan base debate, but the point of this post is to get both sides thinking. Do you want to see this organization prosper? Do you want the team you canonize to hoist the Stanley Cup? Then take a step back, re-evaluate your perspective, and allow some sort of change to happen.

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The Age of Swede (in Nashville)

Getty Images/Zimbio.com

Getty Images/Zimbio.com – Left: Calle Jarnkrok, Right: Filip Forsberg

With the regular season coming to a close, most Preds fans have given up on the hopes of clinching a playoff spot. Though mathematically, the Preds still have an itty bitty, miniscule chance, but unless you are a betting man or an overly optimistic person, you’ve pretty much come to terms that, for the fifteenth year, the Predators will be Cup-less. It has also been excruciatingly difficult to handle (as a fan) the onslaught of opposing fans over-running the Bridgestone Arena, bashing the home team and drowning out the voices of the remaining faithful. But alas, that is a story for a different time. Right now, I am here to relay some optimism; optimism in the form of 20-something Swedes.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch to say ice hockey is pretty popular in Sweden. Tre Kronor (Team Sweden) is a dominant force when it comes to IIHF World Championships (9 gold medals/19 silver/16 bronze since 1920) and the Olympics (2 gold medals/3 silver/4 bronze since 1920) and those figures do not include the junior or women’s teams over the years. Surprisingly though, there aren’t as many Swedes in the NHL as you would think. There are (as of 9:44am on 3/27/14 & not including farm teams) 51 Swede holding roster spots amongst the 30 teams in the NHL, which averages out to about 2 Swedes per team (that has a Swede). Detroit should be renamed Stockholm as it employees the most Swedes at nine. Everyone but the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Penguins, Stars, Oilers, Panthers, Kings, and Sharks have Swedes. Nashville has had its fair share of Swedes in the past fifteen years, with Viktor Stalberg, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Ekholm, and Calle Jarnkrok holding roster spots at the given moment; Filip Forsberg and Patrick Cehlin currently round out the Milwaukee Admirals roster.

While a veteran like Patric Hornqvist remains at the top of his game (14 goals, 25 assists 2013/14 season), it’s young-guns like Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg who will continue the tradition of Swedish dominance. Both Filip Forsberg and Calle Järnkrok were acquired within trades – Forsberg was claimed from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in April 2013 & Jarnkrok (along with Patrick Eaves) was picked up from the Detroit Red Wings for David Legwand – and, you can disagree with many of David Poile’s choices, but the man clearly got the better deal in both trades.

It tends to be frustrating to fans that Filip Forsberg spends more time on planes than on the ice, constantly being called up and sent back down to Milwaukee. His outstanding performance in the World Juniors tournament had fans threatening a mob if he wasn’t brought back to Nashville (4 goals, 8 assists/silver medal), but alas, he has still flipped back and forth. It is sometimes hard to remember that Forsberg is only 19-years-old and made his NHL debut with Nashville last season (Detroit won 3-0); he still has plenty of time to adjust to the system and I would almost put money on a bet that he’ll have a more permanent roster position with the Predators next season. With the Admirals this season, Filip Forsberg has 10 goals and 17 assists.

Calle Jarnkrok is the newest Swede to board the dingy that is the Predators organization, but he’s come out blazing with three assists in the three games he’s appeared with Nashville. He’s quick, but controlled; his puck-handling skills put Colin Wilson to shame. He also does not shy from pressure what-so-ever. Usually Craig Smith or Matt Cullen, Jarnkrok was given the task of first at bat for the shootout against the Colorado Avalanche last Tuesday. Though Nashville eventually lost to the Avs (thanks to another Swede – Gabriel Landeskog), Jarnkrok scored in his first NHL shootout. He may share the same love of hairstyle with Sergei Kostitsyn, but he is a far cry from that Belorussian blunder.  Hopefully, Jarnkrok can teach fellow Swede, Viktor Stalberg to slow his roll and control his speed and the puck. I also hope the ‘Way of Trotz’ does not seep into the youngster, killing his game altogether.

You know their names: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Niklas Backstrom, Gabriel Landeskog, Henrik Zetterberg, Peter Forsberg, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Lidstrom, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and so forth. The Swedes are here to stay in the NHL and Nashville needs to collect as many as they can get. Along with an IKEA; we need one of those, too.

——

Med den ordinarie säsongen närmar sig sitt slut , har de flesta Preds fans gett upp hoppet om att fästa en slutspelsplats . Även matematiskt , de Preds har fortfarande en Itty Bitty , världsdelen chans , men om du inte är en vadslagning man eller en alltför optimistisk person , du har ganska mycket komma till rätta som för femtonde året kommer rovdjuren bli Cup – mindre . Det har också varit otroligt svårt att hantera ( som en fläkt ) angrepp av motsatta fans över kör Bridgestone Arena , bashing hemmalaget och drunkna ut röster återstående trogna . Men tyvärr , det är en historia för en annan tid . Det skulle inte vara en långt sträcka att säga ishockey är ganska populärt i Sverige . Tre Kronor ( Team Sweden ) är en dominerande kraft när det kommer till IIHF-VM ( 9 guld medals/19 silver/16 brons sedan 1920 ) och OS ( 2 ​​guldmedaljer / 3 silver / 4 brons sedan 1920 ) och dessa siffror gör inte inkludera junior eller damlag under åren. Förvånansvärt Men det finns inte så många svenskar i NHL som man kan tro . Det finns ( som av 09:44 på 3/27/14 & exklusive jordbruks lag ) 51 Swede håller rosterfläckar bland de 30 lag i NHL , som i genomsnitt ut till ca 2 svenskar per lag ( som har en svensk ) . Detroit bör döpas Stockholm eftersom den anställda flest svenskar vid nio . Alla men Islanders , Blue Jackets , Penguins, Stars , Oilers , Panthers, Kings och Sharks har svenskar . Nashville har haft sin beskärda del av svenskarna under de senaste femton åren , med Viktor Stålberg , Patric Hörnqvist , Mattias Ekholm och Calle Järnkrok håller rosterfläckar vid given tidpunkt , Filip Forsberg och Patrick Cehlin runda för närvarande ut i Milwaukee Admirals deltagarlistan .

Medan en veteran som Patric Hörnqvist är fortfarande på toppen av hans spel ( 14 mål , 25 assist 2013/14 säsongen ) , det är unga – gevär som Calle Järnkrok och Filip Forsberg som kommer att fortsätta traditionen av svenska dominans . Både Filip Forsberg och Calle Järnkrok förvärvats inom handel – Forsberg hävdades från Washington Capitals för Martin Erat och Michael Latta i April 2013 & Järnkrok ( tillsammans med Patrick Eaves ) plockades från Detroit Red Wings för David Legwand – och , du kan inte håller med många av David Poile s val , men mannen fick klart bättre affär i båda branscher .

Det tenderar att vara frustrerande för fans som Filip Forsberg tillbringar mer tid på plan än på isen , ständigt ringde upp och skickas tillbaka till Milwaukee . Hans enastående prestanda i World Juniors turneringen hade fans hotar en pöbel om han inte kom tillbaka till Nashville ( 4 mål , 8 assist / silver ) , men tyvärr , han har fortfarande bläddrade fram och tillbaka . Det är ibland svårt att komma ihåg att Forsberg är bara 19 år gammal och gjorde sin NHL-debut med Nashville förra säsongen ( Detroit vann med 3-0 ) , han har fortfarande gott om tid att anpassa sig till systemet och jag skulle nästan sätta pengar på en satsning som han kommer att ha en mer permanent roster läge med Predators nästa säsong . Med Admirals den här säsongen , har Filip Forsberg 10 mål och 17 assist .

Calle Järnkrok är den nyaste svensken att gå ombord på jolleseglare som är Predators organisation , men han har kommit ut flammande med tre assist i de tre matcher han dök med Nashville . Han är snabb , men kontrollerad , hans puckhanteringfärdigheter satte Colin Wilson på skam . Han gör dessutom inte blyg från tryck vad – så – någonsin. Vanligtvis Craig Smith och Matt Cullen , Järnkrok fick i uppdrag att först på slagträet för straffar mot Colorado Avalanche i tisdags . Även Nashville till slut förlorade med Avs ( tack vare en annan svensk – Gabriel Landeskog ) , Järnkrok gjorde mål i sin första NHL- straffar. Han kan dela samma kärlek till frisyr med Sergei Kostitsyn , men han är långt ifrån det vitryska blunder . Förhoppningsvis kan Järnkrok undervisa karl svensk, Viktor Stålberg att sakta sin rulle och kontrollera sin hastighet och pucken . Jag hoppas också att ” Way of Trotz ” inte tränger in i unge och dödade hans spel helt och hållet.

Du vet deras namn : Henrik Lundqvist , Niklas Kronwall , Daniel och Henrik Sedin , Niklas Bäckström , Gabriel Landeskog , Henrik Zetterberg , Peter Forsberg , Oliver Ekman – Larsson , Daniel Alfredsson , Niklas Lidström , Alexander Steen , Loui Eriksson , och så vidare . Svenskarna är här för att stanna i NHL och Nashville måste samla så många som de kan få . Tillsammans med en IKEA , vi behöver en av dem också.

 

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Trade Deadline: David Legwand Traded to Red Wings

Thanks for the memories, Leggy.

Thanks for the memories, Leggy.

There were talks for weeks and rumors spread, but today, the whispers were confirmed: David Legwand was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. Legwand is a native of Detroit, so for all the teams for him to make the leap towards, the Red Wings was a given. But, even for all those Legwand Haters, after all the years, doesn’t it hurt just a bit to see him actually leave?

We all know the hockey history of David Legwand: Nashville’s first-ever draft pick, franchise record holder, rode the wild wave that is the Nashville Predators organization. He was Mr. Predator; but not forever.

Contrary to popular (Preds fans) belief, Legwand is an outstanding player and will fit in well with Detroit’s system; it will be a breath of fresh air for him under a new lineup. With Pavel Datsyuk on the mend, Legwand will be thrown into the fire at first go, but it isn’t anything he cannot handle.

But how was he traded? Didn’t he have a No Movement Clause? Glad you asked: Yes, he did indeed have a NMC. So how did this happen?
In a nutshell, Legwand (in the end) called the shots. David Poile would work out a possible trade with another organization (in this case Detroit) & present it to David for consideration. Basically, he could either accept the trade or give Poile the stiff arm and say, “No deal”. So why, after always saying, “I will retire a Nashville Predator” did he take the trade offer?
After acquiring Matt Cullen and signing him to a two-year contract during the summer, Legwand’s trade immunity began to fade in the organization and, no offense to Patric Hornqvist, but after getting the shaft as alternate captain enough times, you start to feel a bit… underrated and taken for granted. In my opinion, he was. That, and he is getting up there in age (hockey life, that is) and who wouldn’t want to go home? Come now, that was Ryan Suter’s idea, right? All kidding aside, life with the Detroit Red Wings may just be what the doctor ordered when it comes to lighting a fire under Legwand’s remaining years in the NHL.

So, what does Nashville get for their longest-serving representative?

  • PicMonkey CollagePatrick Eaves: You probably recognize his name, though he is a sufferer of chronic injuries, including a broken jaw at the hands of a Roman Josi slap shot back in 2011.  The right-winger currently has two goals and three assists this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • Calle Jarnkrok: Another Swede! Jarnkrok is 2nd-Rounder from the 2010 draft currently with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s AHL affiliate team. He’s tearing up in the AHL right now, but this is his first stint in the North American hockey system and may want to return to Europe. Let’s hope not.
  • 3rd-Round Draft Pick: Draft picks are good, but it gets better: if the Red Wings secure a place in the playoffs, that 3rd-rounder turns into a 2nd-rounder. Go Red Wings…?

You can question Poile and his motives, but the man knows how to get the better end of a deal (for the most part).

We will miss David Legwand, there’s no doubt. We only wish him the best with the Detroit organization and thank him for all the memories.

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Trade Deadline: MTL nabs Dubnyk

Dubbie's off to Montreal

Dubbie’s off to Montreal

So this comes as no surprise that the Predators needed to pass Devan Dubnyk on to greener pastures, but in all honesty, I expected him to fall down to the Admirals. That, my friends, was not the case today. Around noon, TSN confirmed that the Predators had traded Devan Dubnyk to the Montreal Canadiens for “future considerations”. Carey Price has been suffering from an injury, but Montreal refuses to say that is the reason for picking up Dubnyk.

That being said, Dubnyk has had a rough, but interesting, season thus far; Montreal will be his third team and he is yet another backup for an injured goaltender. That doesn’t seem to phase Dubnyk much, though; he still believes he has the ability and talent to be a starting goaltender. It’s good to have ambitions. Unfortunately, we just got word that Dubnyk is, for now, being assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs, which is Montreal’s farm team.

Dubnyk isn’t the only goalie who has been traded thus far, though; he joins the ranks of six other goalies who are making the move, which consists of Roberto Luongo (VAN-FLA), Ilya Bryzgalov (EDM-MIN), Viktor Fasth (ANA-EDM), Ryan Miller (BUF-STL), Jaroslav Halak (STL-BUF) & Jacob Markstrom (FLA-VAN). It truly is the Goalie’s Deadline this year.

We wish Dubnyk well on his ventures with the Canadiens and we hope than not too many fans ran out and grabbed up a Preds Dubnyk jersey. We must say, though, Dubnyk lit a fire under Carter Hutton’s bottom when it came to who would hang onto that backup position. For that, we thank you.

We’ll keep you updated if Nashville decides to do something productive or absolutely asinine.

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Rinne Returns; Dubnyk on Waivers

peks

Guess who’s back…

He’s Back! …And apparently, so are we (blog wise). The return of Pekka Rinne has been much anticipated and, for everyone who was patient, your Finnish prayers have been answered.

Mid last week, the Predators announced that Rinne would be making a trip to Milwaukee to get in some ice time conditioning with the Admirals. After knocking off the Iowa Wild 9-1 and pushing past the Rochester Americans 2-1 in OT, Pekka was given the green light to return to Nashville and return to his beloved goal posts.

Rinne has missed a total of 51 games since being placed on the IR due to an E.Coli infection in his surgically-repaired hip, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing whatever it took to get back on the ice. Rinne has officially been given the all clear to start in the net tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that green light for Peks, that also means someone has to be booted and, unfortunately, that goaltender is Devan Dubnyk. The Predators have placed Dubnyk, who was picked up from a trade between the Edmonton Oilers on January 15th for Matt Hendricks. Sadly, Dubnyk was given only two chances in net, all of which were not exactly NHL backup worthy. With Carter Hutton clawing for the position, it was easy to push Dubnyk aside and thus his current condition.

But, for Pekka Rinne, tomorrow is the true test; is he ready to be back full time? We certainly hope so and we certainly hope he does not hide any issues he may still have with his hip.

If you don’t have tickets for tomorrow, go ahead and get them now.

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Poile, P. Weber Hospitalized

Photos courtesy: Zimbio.com

Photos courtesy: Zimbio.com

Today just wasn’t a good day for the Predators organization. Both the Predators GM & one of the Predators TV broadcasters were hospitalized today in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Pete Weber, the long-time TV broadcaster alongside the colorful Terry Crisp, suffered a heart attack last night and spent the day in a St. Paul hospital today recovering. The news of his heart attack came just a few hours after the news that David Poile, too had been sent to a St. Paul hospital. Thankfully, once the news was released, Weber was already relaxing and recuperating nicely in his hospital room & made certain to let everyone know via Twitter that he was in his usual high spirited mindset (even while attached to IVs and in a gown):

As you may guess, Pete will not be joining Terry Crisp on the television coverage tonight, rather radio broadcaster Willy Daunic will be his replacement.

Though Pete’s condition is good, David Poile’s condition is relatively unknown. While watching the Predators morning skate at the Xcel Energy Center, an errant pass from Shea Weber ricocheted the puck off a wall and into David Poile’s face. The puck hit just above Poile’s eye, though it did not knock him out. In fact, Poile was said to have walked over to a chair to sit down, but was hurried over to a stretcher and sent to the hospital for further evaluation. Shea Weber was quick to make certain his GM was alright after the accident.

For what we know of right now, David Poile will be staying overnight in the hospital and is said to have a fractured orbital bone, which needed 30-40 stitches. He was scheduled to fly out to Sochi, but per recent tweets, it doesn’t look like he will be going any time soon.

We are praying for quick and full recoveries for both Pete Weber and David Poile.

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Preds Trade Klein for Del Zotto

PicMonkey Collage

The Preds have made yet another surprising roster move, this time coming in the form of a trade between the New York Rangers. Nashville agreed to exchange defenseman Kevin Klein for New York’s defenseman, Michael Del Zotto this afternoon. Here is the official press release from Nashville:

Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein.

“Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside,” Poile said. “We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps.”

Del Zotto, 23 (6/24/90), has 11 points (2g-9a) in 42 games this season for the Rangers while averaging 17:44 of ice time. In 292 career NHL games – all with the Rangers – the 6-0, 195-pound native of Stouffville, Ont., has amassed 121 points (26g-95a), including 37 (9g-28a) in 80 games in 2009-10, being named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Del Zotto has also appeared in 32 postseason contests over the past two springs, posting 12 points (3g-9a).

The New York Rangers’ first choice, 20th overall (first round), in the 2008 Entry Draft, Del Zotto posted 183 points (39g-144a) in 190 Ontario Hockey League games with Oshawa and London from 2006-09. He also represented Canada at the 2010 World Championships.

Though it sucks to see someone go who has been a face of the Predators like Klein, it was actually a very smart trade move by David Poile, whether fans like it or not. With both Weber and Jones being right-handers, it only makes sense for Nashville to trade for a left-hander so that it evens out (Josi is the other lefty).

What are your thoughts on this trade and do you think Nashville is finished trading?

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Shea Weber named Alternate for Team Canada

Getty Images

Team Canada announced the captains for their designated teams for the Winter Olympics this morning, with Shea Weber serving as an Alternate Captain for the Ice Hockey Team. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins will hold the title of Captain & Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks will hold the second Alternate title.

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Hutton makes Save of the Season

On Thursday night, the Predators took to Philadelphia to face the 24-19-4 Flyers & managed to, against all odds, win their very first shootout this season, snagging the all-important two-pointer.

But there was another key moment during this game that helped propel Nashville to the two-pointer & it was all do to Carter Hutton’s cat-like reflexes. Yes, I said Carter Hutton.

Just a day after the Predators announced that they had made a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to trade Matt Hendricks for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, it was kind of assumed that either Hutton or Mazanec would have to take a step back to the farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. And, after Trotz’s “throw him under the bus” comments about Hutton after the 2-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was easy to believe that Hutton was the one needing to pack his bags.

…And then he does something like this:

Like Pete Weber says in the video, this may be the highlight of his career… or something similar to that. Though Hutton’s miraculous save may have only played a small part, it was announced yesterday that Marek Mazanec would be the goalie hitting the road to Milwaukee. It makes sense, though; he is a less-mature goaltender in the NHL and will thrive well in the AHL for now, similar to how well Filip Forsberg is doing.

Tonight, however, Carter Hutton will be taking the night off as the newly acquired Devan Dubnyk has been given the “ok” to start in net tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Despite me posting that nightmare-inducing video in the previous post, Dubnyk has grown as an individual in his game since that incident. He is currently 11-17-2 and, although we’d rather see more wins than losses, you have to think logically here: Would Edmonton give up a Pekka Rinne for a Matt Hendricks? You know that answer.

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