Thursday, October 8, 2009

Could Triston Grant Be the Next "Joel Ward"

The Nashville Predators have announced that Triston Grant has made the trip to Nashville to be on stand by should Joel Ward be unable to play in tonight's opener against the Colorado Avalanche.

With all the promising young players in Milwaukee, why would Triston Grant be the one that got the airplane ride to Nashville? Cal O'Reilly, who played well last season, could have been called up to face his little brother Ryan who is a rookie for the Avalanche.

When John Glennon asked Barry Trotz about that scenario of brother versus brother, in a classic Trotzy quote he replied, "I can’t write your story for you."

Triston Grant, is a 25 year old fifth year pro who has eight NHL games under his belt with the Flyers in the 2006-07 season. With his 6'1" 220 pound frame, he has been well into triple digits in penalty minutes each season of his career and is not afraid to drop the gloves.

When he was one of the last cuts in the preseason, it was easy to assume that he was around because Jordin Tootoo and Wade Belak were gimpy and not ready "to go" in the need arose in the final two exhibition games.

I don't think that was the only reason. After the last home preseason game, I asked Barry Trotz if any of the young players had stood out. Trotz mentioned Hornqvist, who had filled in for Steve Sullivan on the second line and scored a goal.

Then Trotz specifically pointed to Triston Grant and said, "As far as the young guys on the fence, there was no one that is really separating themselves from each other, they are all sort of in a pack. I thought Triston Grant was really good and I don't see anyone else that was outstanding other than Hornqvist."

At other times, Trotz has pointed to Grant as being a player that was "responsible" and wasn't afraid to go to the "hard places." Those are key terms that Trotz uses when he really likes the work ethic of a player and the type of player that fits into a prototype "Nashville Predator" brand of team player.

Given a choice, when looking for a third or fourth line player, Barry Trotz is going to go with the hard worker that leaves it all on the ice over a more skilled player player that never finds his way to the "hard places."

That is the very reason that Joel Ward seemingly came out of nowhere last pre-season and was given the opportunity to become a Nashville Predator. Could it happen for Triston Grant? If he continues to find the "hard places" then you never know.

Here is the full text of the Predators official release...

Preds Recall Forward Triston Grant
Nashville, Tenn. (October 8, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Triston Grant from Milwaukee (AHL).

Grant, 25 (2/2/84), has appeared in eight career NHL contests, all with Philadelphia in 2006-07, registering one assist and 10 penalty minutes. A season ago, the Neepawa, Man., native posted 11 points (3g-8a) and a team-high 153 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Admirals, and was one of just four AHLers to post more than 150 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating in double digits (+11). The 6-1, 210-pound left wing scored a goal in the Admirals season-opening, 3-2 win over Chicago last weekend, and has 49 points (21g-28a) and 723 penalty minutes in 253 career AHL games with Milwaukee and the Philadelphia Phantoms since 2005.

Coming off a season-opening shootout win at Dallas on Saturday, the Predators host the Colorado Avalanche in their 2009-10 home opener tonight at 7 p.m. at the Sommet Center. Tickets to this game, and all other regular season contests are now on sale and can be purchased by logging onto Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...


1 comment:

Joseph said...

Could be interesting...not sure if Grant is as good as a couple of the others in Mil. but obviously he has showed the coaching staff something...if he goes I hope he has a great game.