Tuesday news and views 3/12
NEWS: Matt Ford was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for future considerations.
VIEWS: Ford was assigned to Springfield, and this definitely can not hurt the Falcons' playoff chances. The conference-leading Falcons add a player who has scored at least 25 AHL goals in each of the past two seasons. There are only eight players who can say they have done that. He was the major catalyst in Adirondack's playoff push that fell just short last season, putting up a point per game since arriving in a trade. But he has struggled mightily in Phantoms coach Terry Murray's system, recording just 13 points in 35 games, and was often a healthy scratch early in the season before a knee injury sidelined him for a month. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him well. It is unfortunate that Adirondack doesn't immediately get a guy back, but you would think that probably has something to do with Philadelphia wanting some extra flexibility within the 50-contract limit. And "future considerations" is something for an impending unrestricted free agent who might not have re-signed here, given how this season has gone for him. Lots of things to consider with this, like how Ford will probably come back to burn the Phantoms when Springfield visits twice in April.
NEWS: Defenseman Erik Gustafsson was assigned to the Phantoms.
VIEWS: Gustafsson had two assists in 11 games with the Flyers, but was a healthy scratch in his last game. He also spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News' Frank Seravalli about his recent play, and said he was having some trouble forgetting about the mistakes he was making, which led to a spiral. This could be a chance for him to get his confidence back up, and get some additional power play time. It also gives the Phantoms eight healthy defenseman, plus utility man Zack FitzGerald, who practiced with the defensemen on Tuesday but will probably move back up front now that Gustafsson is here.
NEWS: Marcel Noebels has a broken toe, but will not miss four weeks and could play tomorrow.
VIEWS: The German rookie broke his toe in Friday's victory over Springfield. A report published Sunday said he was expected to miss four weeks, but he was on the ice for practice Tuesday. I asked Phantoms coach Terry Murray if there was ever a fear that Noebels would be out for an extended period of time, and he said he's had that injury himself in his career. "It can knock you back for a few days, but you just basically have to suck it up and go play," he said. Some swelling was associated with the injury, but Noebels is able to get the skate on. "If he's good to go, he'll play," Murray said.
NEWS: Jon Sim and Eric Wellwood were absent from practice.
VIEWS: Sim drove up to Portland ahead of the team to spend time with his family, who is driving in from Nova Scotia, Murray said. The team will meet him there. Another veteran, Andreas Lilja, had the past two Tuesdays off to spend time with his own family in New Jersey, but skated today. If you're going to give one veteran some family time, you should probably give the other family time as well. Wellwood had a maintenance day. He was doing an off-ice workout around the rink. These are actually pretty common this season, but I can't remember one ever being the day before a game.
NEWS: Tye McGinn practiced with the Phantoms.
VIEWS: Had a good conversation with McGinn after practice, which you can read about in tomorrow's print story. Sort of focused the story on how this road trip could be McGinn's AHL farewell tour, and how he could still be in the NHL if not for a fight with Toronto's Mike Brown. He's not thinking about that as much as much as he is just using this as a chance to earn another call-up.
Until next time,