Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thrashers Send Players Down

The Thrashers made a few more of their cuts in the preseason, dropping nine more players down to the AHL. Of the nine, there were not any with much for fantasy value, but it still leaves four players who are on professional tryout agreements on the team, as they inch closer to being on the squad.

Maxim Afinogenov, Dan Fritsche, Mark Popovic and Manny Legace all remain at Thrashers camp this weekend, as they are all trying to earn that NHL contract for one more season.

Ilya KovalchukPavel KubinaKari Lehtonen
Slava KozlovRon HainseyJohan Hedberg
Todd WhiteTobias EnstromManny Legace**
Nikolai AntropovZach BogosianOndrej Pavelec
Bryan LittleNathan Oystrick
Rich PeverleyAnssi Salmela
Colby ArmstrongBoris Valabik
Marty ReasonerNoah Welch
Maxim Afinogenov**Mark Popovic**
Jim Slater

Chris Thorburn

Dan Fritsche**

Eric Boulton

Josh Gratton

Evander Kane

The inclusion of Afinogenov, Nikolai Antropov (pictured) and Pavel Kubina have been creating the notion that Atlanta is quickly becoming a 'Little Moscow.' The Russian contingency of the team is quite prevalent and it could be a course in chemistry, which may actually work to their advantage.

The Thrashers are also holding onto rookie Evander Kane, their first round draft pick in the summer. He has done a lot of impressing in camp this year and he has an excellent shot at cracking the Thrashers. He is definitely one for the keeper pools, going forward.

Salary CapThe team roster that is set above, the 28 players, has a cap value of only $51 million. That's is because the four tryouts are not signed to a deal just yet, but there will be some more cuts to them and a few other players coming shortly. I find it intriguing how the Thrashers are going to play out some of their tryouts, especially if they are going to offer them contracts. Afinogenov has done well enough for a reasonable deal, so how he'll fit into the mix is where I raise my eyebrow in curiosity.

I think the Thrashers are going to be a good team to get points from this year. They are a quick team with quite a bit of scoring talent. This talent may trickle down and spread out, so there could be a lot of value in second and third round players. You'll want to keep a close eye on the Thrashers at your fantasy draft.

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