It was only a matter of time. The Predators have finally started to click on many levels and within all of the given lines, but with Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen on the verge of returning, someone would be having to take a backseat or ship out altogether. Rich Clune has seen maybe five minutes of ice time during this season, with the remainder of that time spent on the Scratched list. Though Victor Bartley has also been sitting pretty on that list, enforcers tend to get the boot before players who don’t spend their time patrolling the ice (the same can be said for the Calle Jarnkrok argument). If you were at all a fan of former Predator, Brian McGrattan, you knew that, by seeing Clune’s name listed under scratches game after game was going to end poorly.
Cullen suffered an upper-body injury back in the pre-season against Tampa Bay, but yesterday he skated amongst the top line with Craig Smith and Derek Roy. With that, Cullen was deemed ready for activation from the IR, meaning some roster changes were needed to make the room. The first move? Placing Rich Clune on waivers, with the intent that he clears as so he can be assigned to Nashville’s farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. The second move? Viktor Stalberg being sent down to Milwaukee on a conditioning assignment. Due to an injury caused in the pre-season and missing the first three games of the season, the organization felt Stalberg would do better getting some ice time amongst the AHL.
The Milwaukee Admirals – with the welcoming of Stalberg and potentially Clune – now has a full house, which will cause them to do a little shifting of their own. The Ads, who are currently undefeated at 6-0-0 and sitting pretty at the top of the AHL Western Conference, may have a challenge on their hands, but we’re sure they’ve got this down to a science.