Chris Wagner and Brad Winchester are out. Bring on the cavalry.
A team already beleaguered by injury has seen more difficulty come its way. With Ads alum Devante Smith-Pelly on the IR, Chris Wagner was recalled to Anaheim on Friday. Wagner did make an appearance over the weekend, playing for the Ducks against the rival LA Kings. Wagner is still tied for the team lead in points (9) and has the lead in goals (6), despite missing games due to time with the Ducks. His linemate, Brad Winchester, shares that point lead (along with Nic Kerdiles) and is out for a while thanks to a shoulder injury. Wagner and Winchester’s absence necessitated a new top line, which was Kerdiles, Charlie Sarault, and Kyle Palmieri.
Palmieri was in town for a conditioning assignment, which he has finished. Wagner should be sent back to Norfolk any minute now, but that is not yet official. Down a couple of skaters, the Ads signed two ECHL players to PTOs. First is Matthew Pistilli, who has been playing for the Fort Wayne Komets. You may recall that the Komets were the Ads’ ECHL affiliates in the first year of the Ducks organization days. The relationship did not go well, and that quickly dissolved. Anaheim and Norfolk now have a working relationship with Utah, which appears to working out for all parties. Pistilli has 13 points in 11 games this year for the Ks. He does have some AHL time, mostly appearing for the Charlotte Checkers. Pistilli’s most successful campaign came in 2011-12, when he scored 25 points in 73 games for the Checkers. Last season, he appeared in 34 games between Bridgeport and Charlotte.
Needing another body, the Ads signed another ECHL vet. Norfolk picked up Casey Pierro-Zabotel from the Gwinnett Gladiators. CPZ has 13 points in 11 games, and has spent most of his career in the ECHL between the Gladiators and Wheeling. AHL time last came to CPZ in 2012-13, where he played 5 games for the Checkers. Before that brief spot, he did make a brief appearance with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2009-10. Funnily enough, the Admirals take on Charlotte Tuesday night in the first GEICO Challenge Cup game. I have no idea who will be playing out of those two, though I do expect one of them to play.
My weekly column for Puq Mag, Norfolk Notes, is now up. It includes a game recap as well as some prospect thoughts.