Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Signings: Winchester, Piskula

Madison native and Badger alumnus Brad Winchester has signed a 1-year deal worth $600,000 with the St. Louis Blues. Last offseason he signed a 1-year deal worth $475,000 with the Dallas Stars after the Edmonton Oilers did not extend a qualifying offer. In 41 games with the Stars, Winchester had 1 goal and 2 assists.

Winchester previously played for the Edmonton Oilers, where his best career season so far was the 2006-07 season in which he scored 4 goals and 5 assists in 59 games. My recollections (which could be incorrect) are that he played pretty well in the '06 playoffs and pretty well to start the '06-07 season before fading for the rest of the season.

In his 4-year career with the Badgers, he had 40 goals, 44 assists, and 215 penalty minutes in 150 games.

For what it's worth, I think Winchester can make a go of it in the NHL as a 4th-line winger, but it certainly appears that he needs to find some consistency in his play and his goal-scoring. Anyway, hopefully he will step things up with St. Louis so that they'll want to hang on to him after this season.

Antigo native and Badger alumnus Joe Piskula has re-signed with the LA Kings. It's a one-year deal, but I don't have any salary information. I'd expect he'll spend much of the season in Manchester, which is where he spent most of last season. With Manchester, he had 6 points (0G, 6A) in 55 regular season games. He was held of the scoresheet in 4 playoff games. He did appear in 5 games with the Kings but did not record any points.

I'd like to see Piskula do well, but I think it may take a bit longer for him to develop. In general, it tends to take defensmen longer to develop, and I think perhaps Piskula left the UW a bit early on his development curve. I look forward to following his development and the progression of his career.