Tagged: Milwaukee Admirals


9th year right wing Triston Grant(23) won a Calder Cup Championship with Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 and re-signs to start the title defense.

Last season he played in a career high 75 games with a best +15. He’s always good for 10-15 points and triple digit penalty minutes. Almost ironically his best point scoring season was also he’s first over 200 pims.

He had 17 fighting majors in 2012/2013, which almost surprisingly doesn’t even land him in the top ten of the category.

The 6’1″ 218 lbs. forward was originally a Philadelphia Flyers‘ 9th round pick in 2004 (#286 overall) and has skated in 11 NHL games registering one assist and three fights.

He’s appeared in 510 AHL games posting 54 goals and 57 assists with 1462 minutes in the box and a strong combined +32 rating.

At 29-years old, he still seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank and has helped every team he’s played for with lots of hard on ice work and determination.

Original story: 8/12-13

He would increase his point totals from the previous season in far less games to 6 goals and 10 assists, while getting into far less scraps, but unfortunately the team that won the league title last year was a quick exit from the 2014 playoffs.

Heading into 2014/2015, he decided to return to Milwaukee Admirals on an AHL contract and ended up having his best campaign yet scoring a new high 13 goals and 26 points with a career tying 13 assists.

For his 11th pro season the 31-year old elected to go back to Grand Rapid Griffins signing for 2015/2016 very early into free agency like the decision was a no-brainer.


For his 14th pro season Brian McGrattan(22) signed a one-year two-way deal with Anaheim Ducks and could find himself playing a decent amount of NHL for the first time in a couple of campaigns to protect all the players in that deep pool of talent in California.

He’ll turn 34-years old before the new season starts.

The huge force, who’s obviously in great shape and last had 11 fights playing for Calgary Flames in 2013/2014, just keeps on ticking.


Original story below 3/15-15:

Calgary Flames‘ 13th year right wing Brian McGrattan(22) was reassigned to the minors for the first time in a couple of seasons, joining affiliate Adirondack Flames .

He last played six games on a conditioning loan with Milwaukee Admirals while under contract to Nashville Predators but returned to Calgary (he spent 2009/2010 with the team) via trade.

The larger than life 6’4″ 240 lbs. rugged forward skated only 8 games (no points) with the parent club and was listed as  a healthy scratch all too often, so the parent club ultimately decided it was best to see if some more ice time could get him back into the lineup on what had become a much speedier squad.

In 2013/2014, he achieved career highs for games played (76), goals (4) and assists (4) while keeping the peace on ice.

The big man was originally a Los Angeles Kings‘ 4th round pick in the 1999 draft (#104 overall) but first signed with Ottawa Senators, who he spent his first six seasons with, scoring his first NHL goal.

After a trade to then Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, he bounced around from team-to-team on one-year deals and even spent the full 2010/2011 with a pair of farm clubs.

A veteran of 278 AHL games he has the record for the most penalty minutes and fighting majors in one season (2004/2005) with Binghamton Senators, when he drop the mitts 39 times and recorded 551 minutes in the sin bin.

The 33-year old enforcer has skated in 317 big league contests but is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He may either decide to take his game overseas for a year as he’s yet to explore the landscape outside of North America or hang up those skates and continue to help players with substance abuse problems, an issue of close importance to him.

See related: 11/1-10, 1/19-11, 2/17-11, 9/18-11,


After 7 seasons of pro hockey in North America, 28-year old center Kyle Wilson(7) opts for a 1-year contract to join 2012 and 2013 KHL champs Dinamo Riga.

He was most recently signed to a two-year deal by Nashville Predators with the second year of the deal on a one-way contract.

The 6’2″ 200 lbs. forward was moved in the off season to Tampa Bay Lightning, playing only 22 games for their minor league affiliate Syracuse Crunch but was once again on the chopping block after scoring only 5 goals.

He was traded to Anaheim Ducks, where he was reassigned to Norfolk Admirals and seemed to regain some of his scoring touch with 3 goals and 9 assists in 16 games.

In 427 AHL games, he has amassed an impressive 319 points (149 goals and 170 assists) with an outstanding +48 rating and won back-to-back Calder Cup Championships with Hershey Bears.

Originally a Minnesota Wild 9th round pick in the 2004 draft (#272 overall), he has skated in 39 NHL games with 3 different teams recording a modest 4 goals and 9 assists.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent upon deciding to take his game overseas.

Original story: 6/12-13

He had an exceptional first season with Dinamo Riga scoring close to point-per-game numbers (17-27-44) in 49 games but was sidelined late in the campaign with a back injury.

The Oakville, ON native would switch KHL teams in the offseason on a pair of occasions and start 2014/2015 with Traktor Chelyabinsk but returned to Dinamo Riga after 22 contests.

His production suffered greatly, as he was possibly still recovering from surgery, only connecting for 2 goals and 13 assists.

Heading into his 9th season the 30-year old moves on to join MODO of the SHL for 2015/2016 and should be able to get his mojo back.

See related: 3/8-11, 3/12-13

March 3, 2015: Adirondack Flames‘ fight leader at 14 bouts, the not exactly large 5’11” 185 lbs. center Mathieu Tousignant(16) is fed up with the way the game is going so picks a fight from some feistiness in front of the opposing net with Rockford IceHogs‘ 2nd year left wing Garret Ross(26) who is credited with 4 mix ups this season and is similarly sized at 6′ 182 lbs.

It was basically a draw with some good punches thrown.

Tousignant was just named “Man Of The Year” too.




Francis Wathier10th year veteran center Francis Wathier(11) was for the first time in his long career without a contract heading into 2014/2015.

Previously he had been in Dallas Stars‘ prospect system from the get-go. He was originally their 6th round pick in the 2003 draft (#185 overall).

The sizable 6’4″ 210 lbs. forward has a lengthy 525 game career in the AHL but only 10 NHL contests to his credit with zero points.

He’s not exactly a wizard on the score sheet with the farm teams either scoring 91 goals and 107 assists but he a ceaseless battler and although keeps his time in the penalty box to a minimum is unafraid to drop the mitts, usually good for at least 6-12 fights a year.

The 30-year old unrestricted free agent was an invite to Toronto Maple Leafs‘ training camp and released early.

He next arrived in affiliate Toronto Marlies‘ camp but was also let go.

He signed at pto joining Portland Pirates a couple weeks into the new season and has found his spot as he signed his first minor league contract recently to play the entire year with the team.

Josh Gratton

Undrafted 12th year left wing Josh Gratton(13) spent the last four seasons playing mostly in the KHL with Barys Astana and Vityaz Podolsk. He only skated in 11 games last season.

Seeing only limited action in his last two seasons was possibly the impetus for him to return to North American pro hockey to see if at 32-years old he could earn himself a contract.

Invited to Manchester Monarchs‘ training camp, he proved himself worthy and was given a pto to start the 2014/2015 season.

13 games into the season he has one assist, a +1 rating, 36 penalty minutes and quickly accrued 6 fighting majors.

The 6’2″ 215 lbs. tough guy has skated in 247 AHL games scoring a modest 35 goals and 39 assists with an eye-popping 936 pims and dropped the gloves 102 times.

He’s also appeared in 86 NHL games for Arizona Coyotes and two stints with Philadelphia Flyers.

He won a Calder Cup Championship with Philadelphia Phantoms in the lockout year 2004/2005.

It remains to be seen whether or not he’s given an spc for this season but regardless, he’s making his presence felt.

Brodie Dupont











7th year center/left wing Brodie Dupont(91) circled back to rejoin the AHL team he spent the first four years of his pro career with.

He signed a pto with minor league affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack at the beginning of the season to return to North American hockey after winning the 2013 Italian Cup Championship with Valpellice Bulldogs.

That followed a less than fruitful stint traded to Nashville Predators organization and reassigned to Milwaukee Admirals.

The fairly large-looking 6’2″ 210 lbs. power forward was averaging 40 points per season in his first three years.

Appearing in only 26 games on a veteran heavy roster, he managed a goal and 5 assists with a -9 rating, when he decided to accept an offer from Iserlohn Roosters of DEL to head back across the pond to skate the remainder of 2014.

The move seemed to work as he got some of his mojo back, putting up 2 goals and 6 assists in 13 contests and another pair of tallies and helpers in the playoffs.

Impressed enough with his performance, the 27-year old re-signed to return for a full season.

Zack Stortini

Mammoth 6’4″ 234 lbs., 9th year right wing Zack Stortini(26) is in familiar playing territory leading the AHL in penalty minutes with 66 and 8 fighting majors, currently skating for a good squad in Norfolk Admirals this season. In 12 games he also has a goal and an assist.

He signed a 1-year, 2-way contract with Anaheim Ducks for 2013/2014 early in free agency. He was coming off a pair of single campaigns with Hamilton Bulldogs and Nashville Predators, all but one game in the minors, after spending the first 6 years in Edmonton Oilers‘ system.

Originally an Oilers‘ 2003 3rd round pick (#94 overall), he appeared in 256 NHL games with the team scoring 14 goals and 27 assists while amassing 718 pims.

It may be a little late in the 28-year old’s pro career to change up his playing style, especially considering he looks poised to lead the league in time spent in the box and fisticuffs’ battles, but he has shown some skill to be a power forward.

He did put up a point in every other game through four years of OHL juniors and was captain for Sudbury Wolves in three of those years but also learned how to battle ferociously in his early playing days.

Nolan Yonkman

13th year veteran defenseman Nolan Yonkman(3) continues his streak of NHL contracts, signing a one-year two-way contract with Anaheim Ducks for 2013/2014.

He was originally a Washington Capitals‘ 2nd round pick in the 1999 draft (#37 overall) and will start the season in the AHL with affiliate Norfolk Admirals.

The absolutely huge 6’6″ 247 lbs. blue liner has 601 minor league games to his credit scoring 16 goals and 63 assists. He also unfortunately also possesses a -31 rating. The -28 plus/minus last season didn’t help those numbers any.

His totals in the show of 74 games with a goal and 8 assists are modest but he’s skated in the big league a half dozen of his career years. 38 of those appearance were in one season, ’05/’06 with the Caps.

The 32-year old has been named team captain 5 times in the last six campaigns and it would be no surprise to see his “A” turn into a “C” because he definitely plays like a leader out there.

Joel Champagne

In somewhat of an interesting pro hockey move, third year center Joel Champagne(24) signs to play with Braehead Clan of the EIHL for 2013/2014.

He won the Kelly Cup Championship last season with Reading Royals, playing pretty much all of the regular season and playoff games on reassignment from Hershey Bears. Technically he was signed to an AHL contract last season but never recalled. His ECHL numbers were decent: 18+31=49 points and then put up another 3 goals and 5 assists in 21 postseason match ups.

The 6’4″ 217 lbs. XL forward was originally a Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5th round pick in the 2008 draft (#129 overall) but signed his first deal with Milwaukee Admirals. He had 6 goals and 6 assists in 55 games with a +4 rating. He also played a 6 games with their affiliate Cincinnati Cyclones and put up 5 goals and 3 assists.

It’s maybe just that the 23-year has yet to find his place to show his abilities but as a more than a point per game player in his final three years of juniors in the QMJHL, he’s definitely shown the ability to connect and should be able to light the lamp like crazy in the English pro league.