After 26 years, the Milwaukee Admirals will extend their affiliation agreement with the Nashville Predators after agreeing on a two-year deal that runs through the 2024-25 season.
In total, 172 players made the Milwaukee-to-Nashville transition under Predators general manager David Poile, who stated he believes there are seven or eight players currently with the Admirals that could be full-time members of the Predators roster in the not-too-distant future.
Admirals president Jon Greenberg presented Poile with a commemorative plaque featuring all the players who went through the process of growing their game in the AHL before landing in the NHL.
“I’ve been asked a lot over the last few months what’s going on with our affiliation agreement,” Greenberg said. “Now to take that off of people’s plates and not worry about it, I think is important. People who are hockey fans here know what types of relationships have been built with Milwaukee and Nashville.”
Greenberg also noted that the Admirals will make three donations in Poile’s name — one to the Preds Foundation, one to the Peterson Foundation, and one to USA Hockey.
“I’m sure (GM-in-waiting) Barry (Trotz), (assistant GM) Scott (Nichol), (assistant GM) Brian (Poile) and I will sit around and have a story about each of those guys,” Poile said. “Some stuff we can share and some stuff we can’t. [The plaque] is really cool and I really appreciate that.
“Thank you, John, thank you, (Admirals CEO) Harris (Turer), thank you Milwaukee for everything you’ve done for the Predators and everything you’ll continue to do for the Predators. We couldn’t be anymore happier with this relationship and it means the world to us.”
After being an NHL coach for 15 years, Trotz will now be the one responsible for acquiring future players who will start in Milwaukee before making their way to Nashville.
“You’re in good hands with Barry in terms of what his beliefs are and what he’s going to do in terms of having the younger players here,” Poile said. “If I was a Milwaukee fan, I would think you’re going to see some good players come through here in the next couple of years.”
Trotz went through a process of his own being a scout after his playing days. He joined Poile in Washington from 1987 – 1991 as one of his pro scouts before beginning his journey to being the first coach in Predators history.
“I have been a benefactor of the great development that has happened in Milwaukee; I got to coach some of those players,” Trotz said. “There’s so many players that have come up through the system & have done it. We use to call it the ‘Nashville Way’ but it really starts in Milwaukee, so it’s a ‘Milwaukee-Nashville’ type of way.”
Trotz, who is a big culture guy, said he told the players in Nashville after the trade deadline that he was looking for serial winners.
“The next few years are going to be a fun time in both cities,” Trotz said. “From that standpoint, I am thrilled to be part of the organization’s process of developing players & like we say the road to Nashville is through Milwaukee.”
Trotz affirmed his belief that a player can never be “overcooked,” stating they’ll be ready when they’re ready.
As Poile gave a nod to Milwaukee’s coaching staff, which consists of head coach Karl Taylor and assistant coaches Scott Ford and Greg Rallo, he joked that Trotz had a blueprint for success right in front of him.
“I really like what we got here, so don’t goof this up, Barry,” Poile said.
The Predators begin their scouting meetings for the 2023 NHL Draft next week.
In the meantime, the Admirals take on the Manitoba Moose Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Game 3 of their Central Division semifinal matchup in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The best-of-five series is is tied 1-1. All games will be played in Milwaukee for the remainder of the round.
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