Roster moves and announcements were made by the Nashville Predators Thursday prior to puck drop the next day against the Dallas Stars. Kevin Wilson, the head of public relations for the Predators, announced on his Twitter page that Paul Gaustad, Gabriel Bourque and Colin Wilson will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season as they will undergo surgery. All three will be back before training camp this summer.
Currently, Nashville finds themselves thirteenth in the Western Conference with their playoff hopes essentially crushed.
Paul Gaustad will undergo shoulder surgery after reaggrevating it sometime during the game April 4 against Columbus and prior to April 6's matchup versus Chicago. Nashville will certainly miss his faceoff ability, but Nick Spaling and Chris Mueller have stepped up big time to fill the missing role.
Missing the past five games, Gabriel Bourque's season is coming to an end. Bourque suffered an upper body injury on April Fool's Day after a collision with Dan Carcillo.
Head coach Barry Trotz said Colin Wilson had quite a ways to go before returning a week ago. That is now confirmed as Wilson will be missing the remainder of the year with a lower body injury. "Willy" has missed the past sixteen games as the last time he touched the ice against an opponent was March 9 against Minnesota.
Meanwhile in Milwaukee…
The Predators assigned prospect Joonas Rask to the farm team in Wisconsin due to the lack of forwards on the roster. Rask just ended his season in Finland with Jokerit Helsinki.
Milwaukee now has four forwards playing in Nashville, leaving them without much depth. All four and maybe a couple others will likely be reassigned to the Admirals at the end of the season to help push for a Calder Cup, if they qualify for the playoffs.
Here is the Press Release sent out by the Predators.
Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forward Joonas Rask (YOH-nuhs RASK) to Milwaukee (AHL). Rask recently completed his fifth season in the Finnish Elite League with Jokerit.
Rask, 23 (3/24/90), posted 10 points (5g-5a) in 52 games with Jokerit in 2012-13. In 211 Finnish Elite League games with Ilves and Jokerit since 2008-09, the 5-10, 176-pound defensive and face-off specialist has 75 points (34g-41a) and 76 penalty minutes. He signed a two-year contract with Nashville on March 23, 2012 after being Nashville's seventh choice, 198th overall (seventh round), in the 2010 Entry Draft. The Savonlinna, Finland native is the younger brother of Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask.