Thrashers Add 3
With the signing of journeymen Bobby Corkum and Tony Hrkac, the Thrashers finally have taken a step toward filling a void in reliable face-off men. At the same time, Todd Reirden will go a long way to filling the defensive void left by Stevie-the-Bruise-Staios who recently signed with the Oilers.Many Thrashers fans, myself included, have been very disappointed with the inactivity of our team since the draft. The draft-day addition of Lubos Bartecko was a positive move, but will not be solidified until he is signed. Likewise, the only free agents that Waddell had seen fit to resign so far are Hnat Dominichelli and Jeff Odgers. We’ve seen our fanchise’s all time leading scorer and our captain picked up by other teams off of free agency, and we’ve given away Denny Lambert for “future considerations.” When’s the last time you can remember anything good coming of “future considerations?”
But somehow, this morning I took a look at the Thrashers roster following the addition of Reirden, Corkum, and Hrkac, and things didn’t look quite as bleak. Face-offs have been a weak point for the Thrashers since the beginning; we needed a strong centerman desperately. After losing out on the race to sign Yannick Perrault or Marius Czerchkawski (I’m not even going to worry about spelling that right, no offense, Marius.), it looked like Waddell would have to look at giving up some young assets for a centerman like Adam Oats. Instead, he found two quality veterans who can not only contribute themselves at the center position, but can help to teach our young players like Stefan and Heatley.
With Ferraro still centering the top line, Don Waddell needs to go ahead and resign Per Svartdvadet, Shean Donovan, Lubos Bartecko, Frantisek Kaberle, and Jiri Slegr. Once that is done, the team’s core will be in place for the new season, and all that will remain is to develop our minor-leaguers to make them ready to step up in the inevitable case of injury.
The Thrashers now possess the ability to roll three lines that possess speed, scoring ability, and a mix of youth and experience. The checking line that will follow that promises to be one of the most exciting bruiser lines in recent history with Darcy Hordichuck now nearly guaranteed a spot on the roster in Denny Lambert’s spot. A playoff spot will not be easy to attain, but the Thrashers can do it with their current line up if they stay healthy and receive some reliable goaltending.
So to Don Waddell, please bring us a netminder. We’ve got a good roster here (if you resign our restricted free agents) that make a good run, but they need someone reliable behind them. Lose Maracle and Rhodes. Keep Scotty Fankhouser Milan Hnlincka and bring us Mike Dunham. We want to see the playoffs.
Tommi Kallio Patty Stefan
Peter Buzek Franky Kaberle
Dominichelli Danny Heatley
Jiri Slegr Yannick Tremblay
Shean Donovan Lubos Bartecko
Chris Tamer(C) Todd Reirden
Darcy Hordichuck Jeff Odgers