Vladislav Kamenev called up by NSH

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Image Source: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Nashville’s second round draft pick (42nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft may just make his NHL debut this evening against the Florida Panthers. The Predators announced earlier this afternoon that Vladislav Kamenev, the 6’2″ Russian center, was called up from the Milwaukee Admirals due to injury involving James Neal (upper-body, missed last night’s game in Tampa), Viktor Arvidsson, and Mike Ribeiro (both left the game yesterday with undisclosed injuries).

The 20-year-old currently flies second in goals this season for the Admirals, with nine goals and fifteen assists. Center Trevor Smith leads him by one with 10 goals, eleven assists.

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Preds Re-Sign Forward Cody Bass

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Image Source: The Tennessean

Earlier this afternoon the Predators organization and Cody Bass came to a contract agreement to re-sign the 29-year-old forward to a two-year, two-way deal. Here’s the official word from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday that the club has signed forward Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2016-17, and $650,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2017-18.

Bass, 29 (1/7/87), split his first season in the Nashville organization between the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals (39gp, 4g-5a-9pts, 84 PIMs) and the Predators (17gp, 0pts, 17 PIMs), while also suiting up for six of the team’s seven games during their Round One series victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The 6-foot, 205-pound forward has appeared in 66 career NHL contests with Nashville, Ottawa and Columbus since 2007-08, posting five points (2g-3a) and 88 penalty minutes, and 370 career AHL games with Milwaukee, Binghamton, Springfield and Rockford, posting 98 points (41g-57a) and 794 penalty minutes. The Owen Sound, Ontario, native has served as an alternate captain at the AHL level in five of the past six seasons, and won the 2011 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as presented annually to the AHL’s man of the year for service to his local community. He also helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

Bass’s return to the Nashville hockey club comes as no surprise; at least to some of us.

With the departure of veterans Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom, Bass will play a pivotal role as younger wingers make their move up to the big league meaning I do not believe he is the solution, but rather an answer for the time being. However, Bass does provide a positive feel amongst his teammates, which is always a good thing for sure. Of course, while he is a friendly little fellow in the locker room, we are mostly familiar with his enforcer-like attitude on the ice:

How could we forget when former Nashville Predator Rich Clune poked the bear because we was irked Bass took his old number?

Preds recall Stefan Elliott

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Late this afternoon the Nashville Predators announced that they have recalled defenseman Stefan Elliott from the Milwaukee Admirals:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday that the club has recalled defenseman Stefan Elliott from Milwaukee (AHL) under emergency conditions. He will wear No. 7 for the club.

Elliott, 25 (1/30/91), has 24 points (8g-16a) in 82 career NHL contests with Colorado and Arizona since the 2011-12 season. Prior to being acquired by the Predators on Jan. 15, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound blueliner notched six points (2g-4a) in 19 games with the Coyotes, and since the trade, he has 17 points (6g-11a) in 29 AHL games with the Admirals. Colorado’s third selection, 49th overall (second round), in the 2009 Entry Draft was a 2015 AHL All-Star, the 2011 recipient of the Bill Hunter Trophy as the WHL’s top defenseman and the 2009 CHL Scholastic Player of the Year while with the Saskatoon Blades.

ICYMI, the 25-year-old defenseman has been recalled in time to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night due to Ryan Ellis suffering an upper-body injury in last night’s game against the Dallas Stars.

As you can see from this .gif, there’s no doubting why Ellis left the game last night. Ouch. While I am not sure how serious this injury is, I can assume he’ll be out for a few games – possibly the remainder of the regular season, which consists of just five more games.

The Predators will have their third chance to clinch a playoff spot tomorrow night with a win over the 43-25-8 Penguins. Also, if the Avalanche lose to the Presidents Cup-winning Capitals Friday, that will also give Nashville a spot in the playoffs.

Preds sign Colton Sissons

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Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Predators may be in Montreal preparing to go against the Canadiens tonight, but the front office is working hard at home. Moments ago, the Predators organization announced that it had agreed to a contract with forward Colton Sissons, Nashville’s second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. Here’s more from the official release:

Nashville, Tenn. (February 22, 2016) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed forward Colton Sissons to a three-year, $1.875 million contract. He will make $575,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level in 2016-17, and $650,000 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Sissons, 22 (11/5/93), has appeared in 19 games for the Predators in 2015-16, notching a pair of points (1g-1a) and a 59 percent success rate in the face-off circle, best among all NHLers taking at least 100 draws. He has also served as the youngest captain in Milwaukee Admirals history this season, amassing 16 points (6g-10a) in 33 games. Now in his third professional season, the North Vancouver, B.C., native has six points (2g-4a) in 36 career NHL games, and 102 points (56g-46a) in 171 AHL contests. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound center ranked among the Top 20 AHLers in goals in both 2013-14 (25) and 2014-15 (25), becoming the first player in the Admirals AHL history to start his career with back-to-back 25-goal seasons. He was one of three rookies to be named to the 2014 AHL All-Star Team that took on Farjestads BK in the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic.

Sissons has participated in 19 games with the Predators this season and is certainly looking for his chance to stay with the big boys permanently. A three-year contract definitely gives off the impression that he is a valuable asset to the Predators organization — but we knew that.

Bourque Assigned to Admirals

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Have you been wondering where Gabriel Bourque was and when he’d return to the lineup? Well, we have your answer. Although he has been practicing with the team, forward Gabriel Bourque has been assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals on a long-term injury loan. Here’s part of the official presser from the Preds:

Nashville, Tenn. (February 17, 2016) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday that the club has assigned forward Gabriel Bourque to Milwaukee (AHL) on a Long-Term Injury Loan. Bourque is expected to suit up for the Admirals tonight when they travel east to play the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Bourque, 25 (9/23/90), has missed the Predators last 35 games after leaving the team’s Nov. 27 game at Philadelphia with an upper-body injury. In 22 NHL games in 2015-16, the Rimouski, Quebec, native has four points (1g-3a). Nashville’s ninth choice, 132nd overall (fifth round), in the 2009 Entry Draft, Bourque last played for the Admirals in 2012-13, registering 12 points (7g-5a) in 15 games from October-January. He has 64 points (27g-37a) in 118 career AHL games.

As you read above, Bourque will be suiting up with Admirals tonight against the Grand Rapid Griffins. Sending him down to the farm team will give him the preparation needed to return to a NHL lineup that simple practice just can’t secure. Gabriel Bourque – in my opinion – is one of Nashville’s more under-the-radar players who busts his butt but gets little recognition for it (at least, popularity-wise). Mattias Ekholm is another example, though he is finally getting some of the limelight he deserves.

The Predators are back in action tomorrow night against the 31-20-6 Boston Bruins and boy, do they need to start notching some points. Granted, there’s no doubt Nashville should’ve walked away with the two points on Monday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, but 3-on-3 overtime has certainly proven to be a devastating foe to the guys in gold.

Making Moves: NSH Recalls Fiala & Bass

Source: Preds.NHL.com

After losing their fourth game in a row, the Predators organization made some moves today to hopefully spice up the lineup a bit. At least, we hope it will.

Earlier today, it was released that center Cody Hodgson was being placed on waivers. With only three goals and eight points in 39 games this season, it was time to free up his roster spot with someone else. As Adam Vingan pointed out, Hodgson notched 20 goals in 72 games during the 2013-14 season. However, in the two seasons since, he’s only managed nine goals in 117 games. Needless to say, David Poile gambled that perhaps Hodgson would regain that momentum under new leadership (i.e. Mike Ribeiro). Unfortunately, despite being a really great guy, it just didn’t work out in the end.

Along with Hodgson being placed on waivers, left wing Viktor Arvidsson has been reassigned to the Milwaukee Admirals, thus freeing up yet another spot with the team. Ardvisson has three goals and two assists in the 24 games he has played with Nashville this season, but as of late, he has looked a bit lost on the ice at times. Being only 22-years-old, Arvidsson has plenty of time to re-coop in Milwaukee to hone his skills.

Freeing up yet another roster space – if but temporarily – is the announcement that Colin Wilson has officially been placed on the Injured Reserve after suffering a lower-body injury.

So, what moves did David Poile make this afternoon?

Well, from this little teaser and the headline, you probably guessed that the little Swiss spitfire that is Kevin Fiala was recalled from the Admirals to join the big boys. Fiala, who has been making quite a name for himself in the AHL, was notably upset when he was cut from the training camp roster back in September. Since then, Fiala has been playing rather well, but has had his share of controversy, including a two-game suspension back in November. So he has a bit of a temper, which most equated due to his discontent with being in the minor leagues. However, if the kid wanted any kind of chance to prove himself, this is it. Here’s a little bit from the Predators regarding Fiala’s recall:

Fiala, 19 (7/22/96), has 12 points (4g-8a) in his last 13 games, and is tied for the Admirals team lead in assists (15) and ranks third in points (21) in 34 AHL games this season. The St. Gallen, Switzerland, native has appeared in a pair of contests for the Predators – a 3-2 overtime win against Montreal on March 24, 2015, and in Game Four of the 2015 Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. Chicago, the longest game in franchise history. Nashville’s first choice, 11th overall (first round), in the 2014 Entry Draft, Fiala started the 2014-15 season with HV-71 of the Swedish Hockey League before being assigned to Milwaukee (AHL) following the World Junior Championship, recording 17 points (9g-8a) in his first 26 AHL games.

Bass, 29 (1/7/87), played in his first two games for the Predators on Dec. 1 vs. Arizona and Dec. 3 vs. Florida, going scoreless while averaging 6:31 of ice time. In 21 games for the Admirals this season, the Owen Sound, Ontario, native has five points (1g-4a) and 50 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 205-pound center has appeared in 51 career NHL games with Nashville, Ottawa (where he was a teammate of Mike Fisher) and Columbus, posting five points (2g-3a) and 71 penalty minutes. Ottawa’s third choice, 95th overall (fourth round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Bass helped the Binghamton Senators win the 2011 Calder Cup as AHL champions, in addition to winning the 2011 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, as presented annually to the AHL’s man of the year for service to his local community.

Ah yes, the Predators also called up center Cody Bass as well. Bass has obtained one goal and four assists in 21 games this season with the Admirals, so this be a good shot for 29-year-old, too.

So, will these roster moves be the saving grace the team needs to regain the momentum needed to gain entry into the post-season? There’s only one way to find out.

Preds fall to Leafs in SO 2-1

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Despite notching seven goals against the Ottawa Senators and sealing the victory on Tuesday, Nashville just couldn’t seem to find the powers at be to win last night against the now 4-8-4 Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals for either team weren’t scored until the third period, thus leading to overtime, then five rounds of shootout action. Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, James Neal, and Craig Smith would all have their one-on-one chance with James Reimer, but it would be Pekka Rinne who would fall first and allow Peter Holland to notch the game-winner.

If you can recall from last season – November 18th, 2014 to be exact – the Predators completely derailed the Maple Leafs 9-2 in Toronto, only adding fuel to fire that is the Maple Leafs organization as of late. Last night shows how differently a season can change things. Although the Maple Leafs are still trying to piece themselves back together, they still came out and gave the Predators a run for their money.

Apparently, per Lupul and even some of the Nashville players, the ice was pretty rough last night, a comment not usually made about Bridgestone’s rink. Could that have been the cause for Nashville’s horrendous passes, constant puck whiffs, and overall inability to skate? Perhaps that, combined with just “one of those nights”, is the answer to our questions. Both teams were pretty even on SOG during all third periods and OT, ending the night with 23 SOG for Toronto and 22 for Nashville.

Looking on the bright side, the Predators did gain a point and can move onward to tomorrow’s game against the Winnipeg Jets with a little positivity. However, if it really was an ice issue, let’s get that fixed asap.

Other Notes:

In Milwaukee:

Mazanec Recalled, Nystrom on Injured Reserve

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Just moments ago, the Predators released a statement that announced goaltender Marek Mazanec has been recalled to Nashville under emergency conditions. Of course, our first inclination is to panic and think it involves starting goaltender, Pekka Rinne. As more information has surfaced, however, it looks like Mazanec will be coming up to replaced an injured Carter Hutton. Here’s a bit from the official presser:

Nashville, Tenn. (November 9, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee (AHL) on emergency conditions and placed forward Eric Nystrom on Injured Reserve.

Mazanec, 24 (7/18/91), has played in five games for the Admirals this season, posting a 2-2-1 record with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. In his most recent start on Saturday at Rockford, he stopped 33-of-35 shots as Milwaukee won its third straight game, 3-2 in overtime. The Pisek, Czech Republic native has played in 27 career NHL games – all with Nashville – since his first North American professional season in 2013-14, posting an 8-11-4 record, two shutouts, a 2.76 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. The 6-foot-4, 202-pound netminder played the fifth-most minutes of any rookie NHL netminder (1,369:32) during the 2013-14 campaign and was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November 2013 after going 5-4-1 with two shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

Nashville’s ninth choice, 179th overall (sixth round), in the 2012 Entry Draft, Mazanec is a right-handed catching goaltender; only three right-handed catching goalies have appeared in the NHL this season (Philadelphia’s Steve Mason, Calgary’s Jonas Hiller and Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson).

Going beyond Hutton’s injury, Eric Nystrom has officially been placed on the Injured Reserve after being absent from the last three games.

And, for what it’s worth, I know everyone’s relieved that it isn’t Pekka that is hurt, but please don’t celebrate Hutton’s injury. That’s just wrong, y’all.

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Three Notable Names on Preds Roster Cut

Image Source: Google Images

What’s up, everybody? Yes, it is still preseason for me, too; I am working on getting back into the flow of posting after a long off-season hiatus. So what’s been going on: Well, the Predators are down to their final preseason game, which comes up this Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then? Well, then the real fun begins. But before the season can officially kick-off, the Predators need to reduce the roster and, after Kevin Fiala was sent down to Milwaukee, it was interesting to see who else would be joining him.

Well, it looks like Colton Sissons, Steve Moses, and Juuse Saros will be joining Fiala for the time being. Moses comes as the biggest surprise from this latest cut, as 9 out of the 12 of us joining in on the On the Forecheck “Ask the Staff” post agreed that he’d be the one with the most ice time out of him, Gabriel Bourque, Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, and Kevin Fiala.

Of course, as the organization explained in the reasoning behind Fiala being cut, I believe Moses will have more of an opportunity to develop while with the Admirals and will have more of a leadership role, which will make him prime pickings for filling in a roster spot in Nashville. Or, as Laviolette put it so sweetly:

The Predators roster is now set at 25 – fifteen forwards, eight defensemen, and two goaltenders. You can see the current roster here.

Trevor Murphy signs ELC with Preds

Image Source: OHL

The Predators kicked off training camp today and went ahead and signed Trevor Murphy to a three-year, entry-level contract while they were at it. Here’s the official word from the Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (September 17, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the team has signed defenseman Trevor Murphy to a three-year entry-level contract.

Murphy, 20 (7/17/95), has spent the past four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League split between the Peterborough Petes (2011-12) and the Windsor Spitfires (2012-15), amassing 140 points (42g-98a) and 296 penalty minutes in 235 games. Serving as an alternate captain for his hometown Spitfires in 2014-15, the Windsor, Ont., native ranked third among OHL defensemen in goals (24), tied for fourth in points (63) and ranked fifth in assists (39). The 5-10, 175 pounder was also one of just two OHL blueliners to post at least 40 points and 100 penalty minutes during the campaign.

A teammate of Predators forward Austin Watson with Peterborough in 2011-12, Murphy attended Predators Development Camp in July, Rookie Camp last week, and is currently in attendance at Training Camp.

Murphy has some pretty stout numbers for a defenseman with the OHL, so it’s no surprise the Predators want to see how he fairs in the minors with Milwaukee. I’d say he is definitely worth keeping an eye on for sure.