Thanksgiving week has been incredibly busy in Admiralsland. Devo and Etem get reassigned here, Brad Thiessen gets signed to an AHL contract, the team beats Charlotte in a weekday game, and now defenseman Alex Grant has been recalled by the Ducks.
Ailing from injuries, the Ducks blue line needs extra bodies. It’s been confirmed that Bryan Allen and Francois Beauchemin will not play today against Calgary or tomorrow against rival San Jose. Thus, they called up Alex Grant from the Admirals, and it’s a significant loss for Norfolk.
Not only is he the leading scorer among defensemen on the team, he’s the team’s leader in points overall with 12 (6 G+6 A). As a result of injuries in Anaheim and his season so far, he’s earned his NHL debut. Grant’s play in last week’s set against Portland helped the Admirals secure three important points. On Wednesday, he was held silent. That game saw a fine performance from Kevin Gagne, who finished with two helpers on power play scores.
With Grant gone, Gagne will have an even bigger role to fill this weekend against Providence. The defense will likely have pairings that read something like: Clark-Gagne, Exelby-Blacker, Parent-Warg. Parent played a somewhat steady game in the place of Garnet Exelby. Still new to the team, Jesse Blacker needs to improve his game in a hurry. He needs to make quicker, better decisions so he can contribute.
A corresponding roster move has not been announced for the Admirals. I would not be surprised to see a PTO from an ECHLer as news sometime soon.