The Aeros did not lose any players when the Wild put them on waivers earlier this week. There are a few horrible teams in the NHL right now, and those always make you nervous around mass waivers time.
Well, Nick Palmieri, Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell survived and won't be going to the NHL for now. Instead, they get a Delta Air Lines flight to Chicago to join the Aeros as they start a five-game road trip against the Chicago Wolves.
Palmieri was playing well up until the lockout was lifted. And maybe it was a little before that when he took his foot off the gas. I know we all hope he got some good advice (along with Kampfer) about the demotion. Go down, play hard, and get back up here the second those groins start to pop.
Veilleux played in Houston from 2002-2005 and helped the Aeros win the Calder Cup in 2003. He scored one of the biggest goals in franchise history when he beat Ty Conklin in the finals that year. That was an OT goal to tie the series (2-2) in Houston. If they lose that game, they probably don't win the title. That simple.I do, however, think his time in the NHL is over. I think Steph may be in Houston, barring injury up north, for the rest of the season.
Dowell played in Dallas last season and did OK in about 50 games or so. His best year in the NHL was the year before with the Chicago Blackhawks. He's not an "offensive" guy, but Aeros fans really have to hope that he will use this time in the minors as motivation to get back to the NHL.
Here is some more information on the guys that were sent down (via the Houston Aeros press offiice:
Palmieri has played in 36 games for Houston this season, scoring nine goals and setting up 10 others for 19 points. The fourth-year pro has played in 87 NHL games from 2009-2012 for Minnesota and New Jersey. The 23-year old has 13 goals and 25 points over his NHL career. The Utica, NY native has also suited up in 178 AHL games for Houston, Lowell and Albany, scoring 45 goals and totaling 84 AHL points. Palmieri was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the third round (#79 overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Dowell joins the Aeros after attending training camp with the Wild. The Eau Claire, WI native spent the 2011-12 season with Dallas, scoring two goals and totaling seven points in 52 games with the Stars. The sixth-year pro has played in 154 NHL games with Dallas and Chicago, scoring 11 goals and amassing 33 points. The 6-foot, 205-pounder has suited up in 211 AHL games for Rockford and Norfolk, scoring 22 goals and totaling 65 points. Dowell was drafted in the fifth round (#140 overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Veilleux returns to the Aeros where he began his 12-year career in 2001-02. The Saint-Georg, PQ native played in 229 games for Houston from 2001-05, scoring 49 goals and picking up 75 assists for 124 points. He was also a member of the Aeros 2003 Calder Cup Championship squad, scoring seven goals and totaling 18 points in 23 playoff games. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has played in 460 NHL games with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and New Jersey. He has 46 career NHL goals and 55 assists for 101 points. The left wing was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the third round (#93 overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.