Thrashers Prospect Camp
Thrashers prospect camp opens up today and will run through July 19. This gives management and coaches one of their first real looks at many of Atlanta’s youngsters trying to come up through the system. Not too much else happening in my little corner of the league, so this is the best I could do for now.
Consultant and scout Bob Owen will oversee this training camp. The first four days will see the players working with Ray Bear, the strength and conditioning coach (and perhaps the best name for a strength coach). This will give the players a good idea of what will be asked of them if and when they reach the big club. The last six days will be on-ice training; mostly power skating and general instruction on the NHL game.
As this is open to the public, most fans will be looking closely at players such as Lehtonen, Slater, Coburn and Sharrow. Every Thrasher fan is over-anxious to see how Lehtonen will take to a regulation NHL rink. Other players who could turn out to be a pleasant surprise include Maloney, Desbiens and Stewart. Here are the players participating:
C Colin Stuart————Colorado College (WCHA)
C Jim Slater————–Michigan State (CCHA)
C Brad Schell————Spokane (WHL)
C Colin FitzRandolph—-St. Lawrence (ECAC)
RW Anthony Aquino——Oshawa (OHL)
RW Pat Dwyer————Western Michigan (CCHA)
RW Colton Fretter——–Michigan State (CCHA)
LW Brian Maloney——–Michigan State (CCHA)
LW Guillaume Desbiens–Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
LW Karl Stewart———-Plymouth (OHL)
D Braydon Coburn——Portland (WHL)
D Jimmy Sharrow——-Halifax (QMJHL)
D Tyler Boldt————Kamloops (WHL)
D Jeff Dwyer————Yale (ECAC)
D Paul Flache———–Greenville (ECHL)
D Lane Manson———Moose Jaw (WHL)
D Evan Nielsen———Notre Dame (CCHA)
D Brian Sipotz———-Miami of Ohio (CCHA)
D Marc St. Jean——–Wayne State (CCHA)
G Kari Lehtonen——-Jokerit (Finnish Elite League)
G Michael Garnett—-Greenville (ECHL)
On the free agent front, nothing much is happening. Talks with Slava Kozlov are seemingly at a stand-still. He and his agent are waiting to see all the offers for him before he decides on a course of action. What I find interesting is that there have been two articles within the past four days saying the same thing, that the talks are stalled. Both sides are trying to show their resolve in the press, putting pressure on the other. I get the impression that both sides want to reach an agreement with each other, but they have decided to play the waiting game for now. Smart move on both parts, you could say. My only worry is that Kozlov may get frustrated and sign with another team. I suppose we’ll have to wait. If a deal doesn’t get done (god forbid), possible replacements include Ray Whitney, Vinny Prospal and Magnus Arvedson. And yes, I truly believe that Atlanta has as much chance as any team to sign one of these players despite what has been echoed before.
Thrashers are also in need of a center. Earlier, they had inquired about Joe Nieuwendyk. But it probably wasn’t much more than that. Unless a really sweet deal presents itself, Atlanta will probably wait to find another center. Waddell mentioned about using the waiver draft to pick up a player, but that’s too far off to speculate. Too much can (and probably will) happen between now and then.
That’s it for now. Talk amongst yourselves…