LaVallee excited to be back

Jordan LaVallee went through his first practice today as an Atlanta Thrashers player since preseason camp. He’s psyched to be back. His role:

“They want me to play a big man’s game,” he said. “They want me to go out there and be physical, be first on the puck, take the man every chance I get.”

LaVallee, 6-3, 220, expected to have a chance to make the team in training camp and was disappointed when that didn’t happen and he had to start the season in Chicago, where he already had played two seasons.

“It took me a little while to bounce back from it,” he said. “Mentally I felt like I turned it around after the All-Star break.”

He practiced on the fourth line Friday alongside Eric Boulton, Eric Perrin and Chris Thorburn. Coach John Anderson said he will play some but not necessarily all of the games on the upcoming four-game trip out west — Anaheim, LA, Phoenix, San Jose.

Jim Slater (shoulder) is not traveling with the team, Anderson said.

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