Two best-case scenarios for the Aeros today.
1) Andy Hilbert (pictured right) signed the two-way deal -- after not making the cut for the Wild as a tryout -- and was immediately send to Houston.
2) Nathan Smith was assigned to the team from Minnesota.
Hilbert has not played a full year in the AHL since the lockout, but he was great that year with the Providence Bruins. He scored 37 goals and added 42 assists and then another 21 points (6g, 14A) in the postseason.
Here is the info on Hilbert from the Minnesota Wild press release:
"Hilbert, 28 (2/6/81), was invited to Wild training camp on a tryout and appeared in six preseason games with Minnesota. The 5-foot-11, 184-pound forward has collected 104 points (42-62=104) in 303 NHL contests in parts of six seasons with Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders. He recorded a career-high 11 goals and added 16 assists in 67 games with the Islanders in 2008-09. Hilbert has represented the United States in three World Junior Championships (1999, 2000, 2001) and three World Championships (2002, 2004, 2006). The native of Lansing, Mich., played two seasons at the University of Michigan (1999-2001) and was named to the CCHA First All-Star Team in 2001. Hilbert was also named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2002 and the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2005. He was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the second round (37th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft."
Smith's best AHL season was two years ago with the WBS Penguins. He recorded 50 points (22 goals, 28 assists) in 68 games. Gritty player, and knows the system ... but he seems to be a bit injury-prone and is definitely coming off one of those down year with the Lake Erie Monsters. He scored one goal against the Aeros last year in that 6-2 whipping (New Year's Eve) at Toyota Center. If I recall correctly, though, he got the empty netter.