The Nashville Predators announced that they will have a couple of extra passengers on the flight to Vancouver when they recalled Teemu Laakso and Chet Pickard from Milwaukee.
The Predators have not had an extra defenseman on hand for some time and Laakso is the most trusted defenseman at the NHL level in Milwaukee. The Pickard recall is simply for practice purposes so that Pekka Rinne can have extra rest.
Make the jump to read the release...
NASHVILLE PREDATORS RECALL TEEMU LAAKSO AND CHET PICKARD FROM MILWAUKEE
Nashville, Tenn. (April 27, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Teemu Laakso (TEE-moo LAK-soh) and Chet Pickard (CHEHT PIH-kuhrd) from Milwaukee (AHL).
Laakso, 23 (8/27/87), appeared in one game for the Predators during the regular season, playing in Nashville’s 1-0 victory at Dallas on Oct. 23. He saw his first NHL action in 2009-10, when he suited up for seven games, going pointless with two penalty minutes. Now in his third North American professional season, the Tuusula, Finland native posted 30 points (8g-22a) in 74 games, in addition to ranking second in plus/minus rating (+15). The 6-1, 215-pound blueliner also appeared in all six of Milwaukee’s games during its Calder Cup Playoffs first round victory over Texas, posting two points (1g-1a) and a +6 rating. Drafted 78th overall (third round) in the 2005 Entry Draft, Laakso is one of four players from that draft (Cody Franson, Cal O’Reilly and Patric Hornqvist) currently on the Predators roster.
Pickard, 21 (11/29/89), spent the majority of the 2010-11 season with the Cincinnati Cyclones, Nashville’s ECHL affiliate, posting a 9-14-3 record with a 3.39 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage. He also appeared in seven games for the Admirals, going 1-4-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. Nashville’s second selection (18th overall) in the 2008 Entry Draft won the Del Wilson Trophy as the Western Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year for the second consecutive season with Tri-City in 2008-09, becoming first goalie since Mike Vernon (Calgary, 1982-83) to win the top goaltender award in consecutive seasons, and just the fourth to win it twice.
With a 4-2 series win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Nashville Predators have advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they will play the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. Dates and times for the of the series will be confirmed later today. Tickets to Games Three and Four of the series are now on sale and can be purchased at nashvillepredators.com, by calling 615-770-PUCK (7825), stopping by the Bridgestone Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by visiting ticketmaster.com.