One of the most interesting cases of the offseason was Sonny Milano, an offensive-minded player that scored 14 goals and 34 points in 66 games last season. After failing to land a deal in the early part of free agency, Milano signed a PTO with the Calgary Flames.
Today, both Milano and fellow PTO Cody Eakin have been released from those tryouts, putting them both on the open market with just a few days to go before the regular season schedule begins.
It’s already a numbers game in Calgary, where they have several players who already may be exposed to the waiver wire in the next few days. After claiming Radim Zohorna recently, a player that fits much better than Milano in the bottom six, these releases seemed inevitable.
There’s no one who doubts Milano’s skill, it’s just his consistency that comes into question. Is the player who found instant chemistry with Trevor Zegras in Anaheim and scored 29 points through his first 39 games, or the one who had just five in his last 27. There have been far too many of those disappearing acts throughout his career for a team to offer a multi-year deal, and now he hasn’t even been able to land a one-year contract as a free agent.
Eakin, meanwhile, is the kind of player that could have fit into Calgary’s fourth-line mix but there are already too many other options that work in that spot. Had an injury or two happened, it might have resulted in a contract for the 31-year-old, but now he’ll have to try and find a new place to continue his 701-game NHL career.
Milano is not that bad. What is the deal there?
Surly he’s better than an old Parise or Alex Chiasson (2nd line? Really?) on Phoenix!
The Yotes don’t want to win. They want more draft picks.
He (and a dozen other players we could name here) are better than some guys who will end up on NHL rosters. But he (and the others) create a problem for coaches. If coaches let him play the way he plays then how do they look at the other forwards and tell them they have to backcheck and forecheck and go get the puck out of the corner and be in a defensively responsible position even in the offensive zone. He doesn’t do that stuff and he doesn’t put up enough points not to. If a guy puts up 65 points the coach can say to the other guys “hey, when you put up 65 points I’ll let some of you guys get away with that too.” When he only gets 35 points it’s really hard for the coach to tell other guys they can’t play that way. At this point he is who he is and isn’t going to change. He’ll be a fan favorite in the AHL or the Swiss League. But he’s not good enough to play the way he plays in the NHL.
Eakin and Milano both could have helped Calgary’s bottom six. This Is confusing to me when you have dead weight on the Flames like Lewis, Lucic, Rooney.
Milano was fun to watch when he was with the Ducks. The younger players seemed to like him as well. Not sure why the Ducks non-tendered him other than their bland press releases. Now cut loose by Calgary. Something’s seems off. As a fan though, I’d be happy to have him back on the ice in Anaheim.
Anaheim on a $800,000 contract isn’t a terrible idea for Anaheim. Had Chemistry with other guys…can score on an ally-oop
Calgarys bottom line is terrible. But I guess if Milano wasn’t going to play on a second or third line, his style wouldn’t really fit on the fourth line role.
Milano looked awful in the preseason. He doesn’t play Sutter hockey at all.