The Whale lost one forward named Brandon, so they had to go out and pick up another.
Brandon Segal was recalled Wednesday afternoon by the Rangers, who had only 12 forwards on their roster, one of whom, Brad Richards, had missed three days of practice with a flu bug.
Then, the parent club swapped second-year forward Tommy Grant to San Jose for fellow big winger Brandon Mashinter, a fourth-year vet who goes 6-4 and 230 pounds.
Mashinter skated in practice with the Whale this morning, on a line with J.T. Miller and Chad Kolarik, and when I asked Ken Gernander for his thoughts on his newest player, the Whale head coach responded, “A couple of years ago, right when he came out (of Junior hockey), he was a real effective, impact player. He’s a big, physical guy, he’s net-front on special units, can tip some pucks and put in some rebounds because he’s got good hands for his size. Size is an area where we could bolster our lineup, so we’re looking for him to be a good forechecker and finish some hits, and all around, be a pretty strong power forward.”
And on the loss of Grant, who was tied for third on the team with nine goals, playing mostly in a fourth-line role, “He scored some unexpected goals for us. When you can get scoring off your fourth line, that’s always a bonus, but I don’t know that Tommy had the special-teams roles or the diversity that Mashinter’s going to bring to our team. So for us, I feel it’s a pretty decent trade.”Undrafted despite his good size, Mashinter was signed as a free agent by the Sharks in March of 2009, as he was finishing up a 34-goal season in the Ontario Hockey League between the Kitchener Rangers and the Belleville Bulls. He then scored 22 goals and had 117 penalty minutes in first pro year, 2009-10, with Worcester. His goal totals the last two seasons have been 14 and 16, and he got into 13 NHL games last year with San Jose.
Mashinter’s size and strength will be especially key with the loss of Segal, who brought the most consistent down-low physicality of any of the Whale forwards.