Thrashers 1 from franchise win #50
Thrashers are closing in on franchise win number 50. Doesn’t seem all that great considering a few teams almost got that many last year alone, the Avs being the only team to actually cross that 50 win point last year with 52. This has been a long awaited point for everyone, gosh, it’s been 3 years already. Dispite the slowness of reaching 50 and them being in last place now, the Thrashers have shown great progress. The Thrashers usually slow down in the second half of the season….way down. Last year after the a great first half with a record of 16-15, they ended up only winning 7 during the second half. The year before they only won 4 during the second half. They have already won 4 this year’s and from the looks of it they might actually be able to put some nice sets of games together. One key to the Thrashers being successful would be staying healthy, the team is plagued with injuries every year, usually the most important are the ones on the IR. Recently they were able to get everyone healthy, that resulted in them putting together a nice 6 games were they only lost once. Hnat Domenchelli was recently traded to the Wild for Andy Sutton. Domenchelli has really picked up his game as of late, having 6 points in his last 8 games, but due to his lack-of-passion to forecheck, he was traded. Im sure he and Lemaire will get along really well!. Andy Sutton should help out on the blueline for Atlanta. With Sutton coming in, I would look for Todd Reirden to be traded. This trade opens room in the lineup for Kallio. Even though Kallio has been benched a lot and hasn’t done much his year, Don Wadell has stated that Kallio will not be traded and he expects him to pick his game up with Hnat gone. Shean Donovan’s days in Atlanta could be numbered also, not sure where he could end up, but he is a nice fast player that is a decent penalty killer.
Sources have said that the Canucks are interested in landing a deal for Svartvadet, Thrashers are interested in Cassels. Although Cassels is far better than Svartvadet, Svartvadet is more of a role player and played with the sophomore jinxed Sedin twins in modo. It would be possible to see some of these players in Vancouver when the trading gets hot. Finally Ray Ferrero, he has stated that he hasn’t thought much of playing next year, but im sure this will be his last. Rays seems out of gas, and that is expected when you get old. He is a well respected player in the Atlanta organization, when he and Wadell sit to have a talk near the deadline, he could possibly end up being trade to a contender or a late draft pick. Also look for Slegr to either be signed or traded, he will become a UFA at the end of the Season. Corkum was brought to the team to help out with faceoffs and defense, his faceoffs have been very helpful this year, but his defense has been subpar. Each year it seems as if the Thrasher are a completely different team, with completely different players. That will probably be the case next year, look for farm team players like Weaver, Viger, Piros, Gamache, Foster, Pothier, and others to compete hard for a spot in the lineup. The Future looks bright and fun. Speaking of Future, what about the first round pick? Well the Thrashers priorities are a bit different than they were before.
Goaltending really isn’t a problem, Hnilicka has been great. It will be a win-win situation whatever they end up doing. If they trade the pick it would probably be for a good defender and/or power forward. im sure a lot of contenders have what it would take to pry the pick from Wadell, it actually might be easier to do this time with the team already having Heatley and Kovalchuk. the injuries right now…Odgers received a concussion from the Washington game and will be out a few weeks. Rhodes pulled something, again, and will also be out. Cowan Broke his hand in a fight, with them out, most defiantly, Darcy Hordichuk will be called up. Everyone loves him. The Thrashers might need to get someone else up to fill in the size or else other players will have to fill in that category. Pasi Nurminen was called up last week, but might not get to play until February. The team does not play back-to-back game until then and Hnilicka will get the starts until then I am sure.