Thursday, July 26, 2007

Peachy in Atlanta

This off-season really hasn't appeared to be too productive for the Atlanta Thrashers. They made their goal of making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a couple deals at the trade deadline, but past that, it really seems like the status quo in Georgia. Some might say that they were kind of lucky to retain the services of Slava Kozlov as he sat on the open market for a few days after it opened. I suppose the opportunity to keep playing with Kovalchuk and Hossa was enough for him to stay... I certainly can't blame him.

Pool-wise, last season, the Thrashers were not very deep in the way of point-getting talent. They had four players in the Top 50 (Hossa, Kozlov, Kovalchuk & Lehtonen), but you didn't see another player for quite sometime afterwards. If you were to stick with those names again, you surely won't be disappointed, but buyer beware on the rest of the squad.

Ilya KovalchukSlava KozlovMarian Hossa
Pascal DupuisTodd WhiteEric Perrin
Jim SlaterBobby HolikEric Boulton
Chris ThorburnSteve RucchinDarren Haydar
Alexei ZhitnikNiclas Havelid
Ken KleeSteve McCarthy *
Garnet ExelbyMarc Popovic
Kari Lehtonen
Johan Hedberg

The current Thrashers squad shown here is worth roughly $39 million, plus the signing of Steve McCarthy, who isn't going to arbitration this summer, rather just waiting to see how much company dough is left for him later on.

When you look at the squad, most likely to dress today, you will notice that there is a large veteran presence both down the middle at centre and on the blueline. The addition of Ken Klee should make the blueline a little more difficult to pass, which should make Kari Lehtonen's numbers increase a little more. It's unclear how much they should go up, but a good healthy season should have him winning a couple more games and more than likely registering a couple more shutouts.

In training camp, it should be an interesting race to see who earns the wing spots on the third and fourth lines. I don't think you'll see many pool entries from those spots exactly, as the forward depth isn't too high, but you may see a small glimmer of hope from 2006 1st round pick, Brian Little. You may also want to keep a keen eye on Alexandre Giroux in camp this fall. He has been touted fairly high by Thrashers brass as well.

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1 comment:

online gambling games bonus said...

this season is definitely promising for atlanta thrashers. the line up and the formation is attractive and I think 2007 should be good