It was a bit curious when, in training camp back in September, Adirondack Phantoms head coach Terry Murray left scoring forward Jason Akeson off the AHL roster.
Akeson was sent to the ECHL's Trenton Titans to begin the season, and while there were sure to be casualties thanks to the NHL lockout, the Phantoms' leading scorer from a year ago was indeed a surprise. Rumor had it that Akeson was sent down because Murray wasn't fond of his two-way game, but I guess the coach is realizing he can't be picky.
The Phantoms have trudged to a familiar 6-8-0-0 start through their first 14 games, good for worst in the East and second-to-last in the entire AHL. They've scored just 34 goals on the season, better than just five other teams in the AHL. In other words, they're an awful hockey team. Again.
Akeson to the rescue! The Phantoms called him up Monday, sending down forward Andrew Johnston and defenseman Matt Konan in the process. Akeson has two goals and eight assists through 10 games with Trenton this season and is shooting at a measly 4.8 percent success rate.
"Akeson has been very successful in the point production side of the game," said Murray in a team press release. "The goal scoring is down for us. The power play needs to be a little bit better. And I think Akeson is a player who can bring both."
Johnston has been a healthy scratch recently. He's in his first pro season, and as Murray says, it's less-than-good for a pro rookie to be riding the press box pine every night.
"We felt with Andrew that he was out of the lineup the past couple games," Murray said. "With a young kid and first year of pro hockey it's really important that we get him to a place where he can play as a very important player. He can play on the top line and play a lot of minutes in all situations and continue with development of his game."
Konan's been injured all season and has yet to make his pro debut. It seems likely he'll do that for Trenton at home against Evansville on Friday.