Nashville Predators assign 3 to Milwaukee; Craig Smith makes the team

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Craig Smith #15 of the Nashville Predators and Jay Beagle #83 of the Washington Capitals battle for the puck at the 1st Mariner Arena on September 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After tonight's 2-1 win over Carolina, the Nashville Predators sent defenseman Tyler Sloan, and forwards Chris Mueller and Gabriel Bourque to Milwaukee of the AHL. Roman Josi will start the season injured reserve, also with Milwaukee,  leaving the Preds with 27 in training camp (including Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon, who aren't ready to play at this time). Sloan passed through waivers earlier today, while Mueller and Bourque aren't eligible yet. Check here for the list of remaining Preds who do (or do not) require waivers in order to be sent to the AHL.

As reported by Tom Callahan on Twitter, Craig Smith has indeed made the team. You couldn't really ask a guy to do much more to earn a spot, but this remains a tremendous ride that Smith has been on, from an outstanding year of college hockey, to a breakout performance at the World Championships, and now a head-turning performance over the last 3 weeks first during Rookie Camp, and now the full Training Camp.

Now we have to ask, has Smith passed Cal O'Reilly on the depth chart at center? With Fisher out of the lineup, there is presumably room for both in the lineup, but when Fish is ready to play, Barry Trotz will have another big decision on his hands.

The team's press release follows after the jump...

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced tonight that the club has assigned forwards Gabriel Bourque and Chris Mueller, and defenseman Tyler Sloan to the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals. Defenseman Roman Josi was also placed on injured reserve, and will report to Milwaukee to start the season.

 

The transactions leave Nashville's Training Camp roster at 27 players - 16 forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. Players by position currently participating in camp are as follows:

 

FORWARDS (16): Niclas Bergfors, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Blake Geoffrion, Matt Halischuk, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Legwand, Cal O'Reilly, Craig Smith, Jerred Smithson, Nick Spaling, Zack Stortini, Jordin Tootoo, Colin Wilson and Kyle Wilson

 

DEFENSEMEN (9): Teemu Laakso, Jonathon Blum, Francis Bouillon, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Jack Hillen, Kevin Klein, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber

 

GOALTENDERS (2): Anders Lindback and Pekka Rinne.

 

The Nashville Predators cloesd out their eight-game preseason with a record of 7-1-0, culminating with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Games start counting on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 with back-to-back road contests to open the 2011-12 regular season against Central Division foes Columbus (7 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee) and St. Louis (7 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Tennessee). The Preds home opener comes the following Thursday, Oct. 13 when the Phoenix Coyotes come to Smashville (7 p.m. on SportSouth).

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