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With lockout looming, Predators officially assign 22 to Milwaukee…

Admirals alternate logo

They re-signed Jon Blum yesterday, they extended Gabriel Bourque today and now the Nashville Predators have taken care of what is thought to be their final loose end before the lockout begins on Saturday night. They’ve sent 22 players to their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

The following players have been assigned to start training camp with the Admirals:

Taylor Aronson (D), Daniel Bang (F), Vic Bartley (D), Taylor Beck (F), Anthony Bitetto (D), Bourque (D), Patrick Cehlin (F), Mattias Ekholm (D), Ryan Ellis (D), Magnus Hellberg (G), Kevin Henderson (F), Joonas Jarvinen (D), Jani Lajunen (F), Michael Latta (F), Jack Maclellan (F), Juuso Puustinen (F), Charles-Olivier Roussel (D), Ben Ryan (F), Josh Shalla (F), Jeremy Smith (G), Scott Valentine (D) and Austin Watson (F).

You’ll notice named like Blum and Craig Smith are not included. Both of them have played in enough NHL games where they would be exposed to waivers were they to be sent down. Nashville would surely lose both players if they were on the waiver wire, a risk they cannot afford to take.

The official press release is below.

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Nashville, Tenn. (September 14, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned 22 players to their primary developmental affiliate, the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals, and have loaned Colton Sissons to the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets.

The breakdown of players assigned to Milwaukee is as follows:

Forwards (12): Daniel Bang, Taylor Beck, Gabriel Bourque, Patrick Cehlin, Kevin Henderson, Jani Lajunen, Michael Latta, Jack MacLellan, Juuso Puustinen, Ben Ryan, Josh Shalla and Austin Watson.

Defensemen (8): Taylor Aronson, Victor Bartley, Anthony Bitetto, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Joonas Jarvinen, Charles-Olivier Roussel and Scott Valentine.

Goaltenders (2): Magnus Hellberg and Jeremy Smith.

Limited tickets are still available for Petey’s Preds Party, slated for this Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena. This cocktail reception includes dinner, live entertainment and a world-class auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and premier autographed memorabilia from around the sports and entertainment industry. Individual tickets for the event are $100, and attendees of the dinner are not required to attend the next day’s sold-out golf outing, which takes place on the South Course at Vanderbilt Legends Club. The second annual First Tennessee Nashville Predators/Brent Peterson Celebrity Golf Classic and Petey’s Preds Party are presented by Franklin American Mortgage and PEAK Performance, in conjunction with media partners FOX 17 and 102.5 The Game. Funds raised from this two-day event go towards the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s and the Nashville Predators Foundation.