Reeling Preds make pair of noteworthy roster moves — including one in goal


At 3-5-2, Nashville is one of the biggest early disappointments of the season. The Preds look nothing like the Cup contenders many predicted they’d be, and the list of individuals struggling to find their form is lengthy.

To say the least.

In addressing that last bit, the Preds made a pair of fairly significant roster moves on Tuesday.

Kevin Fiala, the 11th overall pick in 2014 — who has just two points in 10 games this year — has been sent down to Milwaukee while Juuse Saros, the Finnish netminding prospect that’s lighting up the American League, has been recalled.

Fiala will be replaced by Pontus Aberg, who leads the Admirals in scoring this season with nine points in nine games.

Saros’ promotion comes at the expense of Marek Mazanec, who’s really struggled as Pekka Rinne‘s backup — Mazanec has allowed seven goals on 36 shots this year, for an ugly .806 save percentage.

Saros, 6-1-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .929 save percentage in Milwaukee, will be an interesting guy to watch moving forward. Though he’s played well lately, Rinne’s been subjected to heavy criticism this year, including some from his GM.

“Pekka’s not escaping criticism,” David Poile said, per The Tennessean. “We need and he needs to be part of the solution to get us out of this. Higher save percentage, the save at the right time.

“Do I think he’s playing good? Yes, I do. Do I think he can play better? We need him to play better, just like the same thing I’d say with the forwards and defensemen.”

As for the Fiala-Aberg swap, the hope is for Aberg to give the club a boost offensively. The 23-year-old Swede was a surprise recall during last year’s postseason, making his NHL debut in Round 2 against the Sharks.

Nashville hosts Ottawa tonight.