While the Predators get ready to take on the Vancouver Canucks in round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, they will have two additional players join them in British Columbia.
Wednesday morning, the Nashville Predators announced that they have recalled defenseman Teemu Laakso and goaltender Chet Pickard from the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.
Laakso played in one game this season for Nashville and seven games during the 2009-10 season. For the Admirals, Laakso has 8 goals and 22 assists for 30 points.
Unless a player was injured during the Predators Game 6 against Anaheim, Nashville’s defense corps rests at six, with Francis Bouillon on the sideline with a concussion. It is entirely possible the Predators called Laakso up now instead of if an injury occurs so the player will already be practicing with the team and be accustomed to any possible time change if the game he is needed is in BC.
Alternatively, if a defenseman suffered an injury during Game 6, Laakso’s recall might be out of immediate necessity.
Finally, it is entirely possible the Predators will go with 7 defensemen against Vancouver to better protect against another high-flying offense.
Pickard played most of the season for the Cincinnati Cyclones in the East Coach Hockey League after going 1-4-1 for the Admirals. In the ECHL, Pickard had a 9-14-3 record, with a 3.39 goals against average and a .877 save percentage. The 18th overall draft pick in 2008, Pickard is not seeing any playing time during the playoffs for the Admirals. He will not see any ice time during the playoffs for Nashville either.
Pickard is likely being called up to practice with the team to rest Rinne or to just further his own development with goalie coach Mitch Korn, since he isn’t playing in Milwaukee anyway.
The Predators second round starts Thursday night in Vancouver. Tickets are available for Games 3 and 4, but they are going fast.
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