Admirals getting three NHLers for tonight’s Game 7 vs. Houston…
- Updated: May 10, 2011
The Nashville Predators may be out of the championship race but their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals aren’t.
Forwards Blake Geoffrion and Matt Halischuk as well as defenseman Jon Blum are headed back to Wisconsin to join their Admirals teammates in time for Game 7 of the West Division Final against the Houston Aeros tonight.
Geoffrion, who wasn’t supposed to don a Predators sweater this season, got called up in late February out of necessity. Both Marcel Goc and Steve Sullivan had gone down with injuries and Nashville found themselves in a bind, already tapping their Milwaukee resource for Halischuk, Blum and Chris Mueller to band-aid other voided roster spots. All Geoffrion did was come in and score six goals, collect eight points and single-handedly put his team on his back in upstate New York on March 20 to steal a victory the Preds had no business stealing. The Brentwood, Tennessee native will now rejoin the Ads for the remainder of their postseason. A place in which he tallied 37 points in just 45 games before being called up.
Halischuk’s story started in New Jersey of all places. When Predators General Manager David Poile miraculously unloaded Jason Arnott’s $4.5 million contract to the Devils last June, Halischuk was considered a “throw-in.” But boy did he prove that he was so much more. After posting 23 points (including 11 goals) in 37 games with the Ads, he graduated to the big club and averaged nearly a point-per-every-other-game (12 points in 27 games). Keep in mind, he wasn’t playing top minutes. He was a third or fourth line guy who found ways to generate offense. When the Preds were making their final push into for the post season, Halischuk had a five-game scoring streak (six points) during that critical time. He then ended the longest game in franchise history when he wristed a shot over Roberto Luongo‘s glove in double overtime of Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. So the Admirals are not only getting back an NHLer, they’re getting back a Predators playoff hero.
And then there’s Blum. A guy who many thought would take the career-AHL path when he was among the first round of cuts in training camp. But then, after pitching in 34 points in 54 games for Milwaukee this year, he received his first NHL recall after Francis Bouillon and Ryan Suter went down with injuries. Not only did the Long Beach, California native score his first NHL goal four games later, but he scored eight points with the Preds to finish out the regular season and looked stellar defensively. Matter of fact, he impressed so much that it allowed Poile to trade 2010-11 perma-scratch (read: emergency defenseman) Alexander Sulzer to the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. Blum, without question, has a job waiting for him with the big club next season. So, more than the other two, Milwaukee is getting a bonafide NHLer in Blum for their Game 7 push.
So, in short, sorry Houston. You’re just a tad over-matched tonight.
Puck drops at 7:00pm Central and you can listen in live HERE.
PHOTO CREDIT: Milwaukee Admirals (used with permission)