Predators Call Up Goaltender Jeremy Smith; Assign Two To AHL
Friday, 01.6.2012 / 9:29 AM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
|Anders Lindback made just two starts during the month of December and with a schedule that sets up well for Pekka Rinne at least each of the next four games and still remain well-rested, Lindback was looking at an extended break between live game action. This move allows Lindback to get game experience in the AHL, similar to what the Preds did in February of last season, when Lindback played four games in Milwaukee and then was recalled for the March playoff drive, including a key win at Buffalo late in the season.
The Admirals play three games in three days this weekend and have a similar three-in-three schedule next weekend. Remember, Lindback is only 23-years old in just his second season in North America, so playing time is still key to his long-term development. Milwaukee's upcoming schedule offers plenty of opportunities for Lindback to accomplish that.
By the same token, Jeremy Smith has earned a chance to see the NHL lifestyle. Smith has been a main stalwart in Milwaukee's success this season, ranking among the AHL leaders in all major goaltending categories. The experience of practicing with the NHL squad and dressing for NHL regular season games is a major step in Smith's progression and development, not all that different from the way Rinne was exposed to the NHL late in the '07-08 season before emerging full-time in '08-09.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Smith, 22 (4/13/89), has yet to appear in an NHL game. The Deaborn, Mich., native leads the American Hockey League in wins (16), while ranking second in appearances (25) and minutes (1,461), and tied for eighth in goals-against average (2.30). Nashville's second choice, 54th overall (second round), in the 2007 Entry Draft is in his third professional season after playing from 2005-09 with Plymouth and Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League.
Lindback, 23 (5/3/88), has gone 2-4-0 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage in eight appearances for the Predators this season. His only experience at the AHL level came last season when he went 2-2-0 with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in four starts from Feb. 22-26.
Blum, 22 (1/30/89), has seven points (3g-4a) in 33 NHL games with Nashville and two goals in three games at the AHL level with Milwaukee in 2011-12.
With seven consecutive sellouts under their belt, a franchise record achieved last night vs. Dallas, the Preds look to make it eight when the Carolina Hurricanes come knocking on Saturday (7 p.m., 102.5 The Game) for an intra-conference matchup. Tickets are still available and may be purchased by calling 615-770-PUCK (7825) or by visiting nashvillepredators.com.