Wilson called up

The Thrashers have called up defenseman Clay Wilson, and he could turn into an interesting story. Wilson came to the organization along with a sixth-round draft pick in the trade that sent Jason Williams to Columbus. At the time, the Thrashers viewed him as a “depth defenseman,” a guy who could fill a need for the Chicago Wolves.

But Wilson might be more than that. He had 24 points (5 goals, 19 assists) in 35 games with the Wolves. When you add in the 8 goals and 20 points in 33 games he had with the Syracuse Crunch, Wilson is tied for third among AHL defensemen in goals and tied for seventh among AHL
defensemen in points.

If Wilson has what it takes to help the Thrashers, that would be quite a pickup. Remember, Williams’ spot was filled by Rich Peverley, a move that worked out fantastic for Atlanta. If jettisoning Williams ends up bringing another player, that’s a bonus.

47 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2009
12:45 pm

Knobler – Which defensemen rides the pine with Wilson called up?

MashaPlayer7

April 6th, 2009
12:45 pm

I am really wondering what our D will look like next year. Looks like we have lots of options, although I still think we need a top 4 D-man to calm the younger, more inexperienced guys.

I am torn on Exelby – I love the games where he hits everything in sight, but then hate those games where he is just a defensive liability on the ice.

Mike – we haven’t heard anything on Arturs Kulda this year. Given that Wilson was called up and not Kulda, is that to assume that Kulda hasn’t progressed as quickly as management (and fans) had hoped?

kracker

April 6th, 2009
1:10 pm

Wow, that’s great, Mike, another d-man in the mix, lol. I wonder if he will play or will he just practice with the team? Do league rules allow for an expanded roster (though not necessarily in games) at the end of the season to evaulate talent? If he looks like a player, it will give Waddell more options trade-wise at the draft or later in the summer.

I bet Waddell already has a real good idea if Nikulin intends to come over or not…

Dwayne H. Johnson

April 6th, 2009
1:13 pm

I thought Wilson was lost at sea. Kinda like Boris yesterday afternoon.

Russian

April 6th, 2009
1:39 pm

I hope he gets some ice time. After Capitals game I really want to sit Ex, Valabik and Oistrick.
If Salmella ready to play I will make a pair:
Bogus – Toby
Anssi – New Kid Wilson
Hainsy – Valabik

Smoothie

April 6th, 2009
1:54 pm

Let the end of season auditions begin! ‘Twill be interesting to see what kind of skills this Wilson kid brings to the table. More bad news for Valabik. I know people keep saying that it takes time for a big man (comparisons to Chara) to find his game at the NHL level, but I think the big difference here is that Boris is not a good skater. He hasn’t really shown any proclivity for being agile. And he has not done a good job of making up for that lack of foot speed by reading plays and using his long reach effectively.

Big Bo is a RFA so he’ll probably get a new contract, but I suspect it will be a short one with a pay cut. We finally have some depth at the blueline and Valabik doesn’t really do anything particularly well nor does his stay at home D tendencies mesh well with the system. Perhaps he’ll be trade bait at the draft after getting tendered. But for my money, I’d rather have Anssi, XLB and Oyster on the team than Boris.

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
2:00 pm

Yeah, Waddell is such a clueless idiot. (sarcasm)

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
2:05 pm

If Nikulin comes over, you can say goodbye to Boris AND Oyster… if we land Hedman in the draft by some miracle, you might see Exelby gone as well.

Dream scenario…

Toby Bogo

Hainsey Nikulin

Salmela Hedman

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2009
2:06 pm

I realize some of you will get a good laugh out of this; but, I think the best thing for Boris is take figure and speed skating lessons over the summer. Figure skating will help him learn to skate with his head up and shoulders upright enhancing his balance as well as edging skills and the speed skating will help with burst speed, edging, and skating lane positioning.

Nikita

April 6th, 2009
2:10 pm

Yeah! Toss Ex!

As for Valabik, he’s tepidly successful on the PK. I doubt you’ll see him go. But he’s not a very good skater, or a great play reader. Nonetheless, he’s still better on average than Ex, and he’s still got some development ahead of him.

I was initially down on Oystrick, but I really think he’s a decent and cheap option. He’s moderately successful in general, especially for being an AHL callup. (Also moderately successful on the PK.) Also, if we sign him and are able to get a better player, he can easily be traded or waived with minimal impact.

five_hole

April 6th, 2009
2:11 pm

Boris “double-axle” Valabik?

Russian

April 6th, 2009
2:11 pm

**to Hokie**
Oh man! :-) It will be Great Pairs. I am not going to cry if Ex, Oistrick or Boris will move. But we can keep Boris as 7 D-man.

NASCAR Dave

April 6th, 2009
2:17 pm

Let WILSON sit… Put WADDELL out there on “D”, and ask LEVENSON if we’re “Moving in the right direction yet”…

Couldn’t do any worse than they are now doing in this facade known as a “hockey team”… LOL

NASCAR Dave

April 6th, 2009
2:19 pm

HOKIE, we already discussed this. NIKULIN is not coming over here… EVER.

NUFF SAID.

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2009
2:52 pm

five_hole – I’ll settle for Boris “I can stay on my feet” Valabik

DWTOO

April 6th, 2009
3:14 pm

Stroz – Think you have something there with the skating lessons. Look what those ballet lessons did for you! LOL – didn’t see you at TJ’s yesterday – did you make it?

Ron Mexico

April 6th, 2009
3:16 pm

I think some of us are way too hard on Boris. Its his first full season here, give the man a chance to get fully acclamated to the league and pace of play. At least he has the one thing you cannot teach — size! We knew when he was drafted he was going to be a project. Some of the penalty calls aginst him (especially the borderline ones) are just merely because of his size. I hate to use a basketball analogy, but Shaquille O’Neal often gets the same treatment on foul calls again just because of his size which can be difficult to officiate at times. I think over time the frequency of calls will go down. Nobody knows if he’s gonna be the next Chara, but with some hard work in the offseason, especially on his lateral movement, he can be a very serviceable NHL defensemsn. He deserves a good 2-3 full seasons to prove his worth and then we can give a true assessment of whether or not he is a bust. So just take it easy on him. With that said, I don’t mind Exelby being shown the door. We’ve all seen enough out of him to know exactly what he’s gonna be the rest of his career.

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
3:18 pm

Sorry Dave… It’s still worth noting. ;) I’m every bit as skeptical as you are…

http://www.russianprospects.com/public/article.php?article_id=587

Look at the last two questions in this article.

mknobler

April 6th, 2009
3:22 pm

More news from practice: Kari Lehtonen is expected to skate Tuesday and then be re-evaluated. Anssi Salmela won’t be skating for at least a couple of days.

I don’t know which D-man will sit on Tuesday. Will figure that out at the skate.

Ondrej Pavelec is set to play against the Capitals.

mknobler

April 6th, 2009
3:34 pm

**kracker** the 23-man limit disappears at the trade deadline, but there is a limit of four non-emergency call-ups after that. Crabb was an emergency call-up for Slater. Turple probably counted as an emergency call-up for Lehtonen. Another issue is that it makes no sense to call up players you don’t intend to play (other than perhaps an emergency backup goalie, in Turple’s case).

Jason

April 6th, 2009
3:37 pm

I have to agree with Ron Mexico on Boris also. Give the guy some slack. He is a rookie, he’s making mistakes rookies make, he’s been paired with the likes of Hainsey and Ex for most of the year,

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
3:45 pm

Looking ahead to the draft again… I’m starting to like the Magnus Svensson kid…(that’s if we drop out of the Top 5 draft picks)… he’s listed as a LW, but he shoots left handed, which makes me think he’ll get moved to RW. His scouting report says he has great hands, and patience with the puck.

We could look to him as a long-term replacement for Kozlov at LW, or a potential strong hole-filler at RW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2IT5oHI3_s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwm1XHsw1hk

Smoothie

April 6th, 2009
3:49 pm

Regarding Boris as a rookie (or his first NHL season), remember that Bogosian is a rookie and Toby was a rookie last year. While it may not be fair to compare Boris to those two, look how long it has taken Boris just to get to this point. Other than his size, what attribute or skill has he shown that is so NHL-worthy that we should be willing to wait another 2 to 3 years for it to develop to the point where he is better than XLB, Oystrick and Salmela??

What I’m saying is that it is just too darn bad if Valabik gets lost in a numbers game. We all as fans want to be playoff contenders again as soon as possible. But it’s up to Boris to improve dramatically in the off-season in order to be Top 6 for us. I personally don’t see Boris being a big (no pun) cog in the team’s ascension to a bottom seed playoff contender…a 7th D-man or emergency call-up? Yes, but I would not be willing to pencil him into the starting line-up just yet. Unless R. Stroz gets him those skating lessons he mentioned above!!

Tony C.

April 6th, 2009
3:49 pm

Hokie – Hey, I’ll be the first to cheer if DW “has seen the light” or FUBAS has decided to let hockey people run hockey operations-WHATEVER, then great.

It does seem that there is some form of a “plan” that is much more reality-based than the previous “plan(s)”… Anyway, as I said previously, I want to believe that the club has turned a corner but I am also VERY leery of DW/FUBAS’ ability to muck it up again!

Jason(Darkhorse)

April 6th, 2009
3:52 pm

F***ing enter button………

Anyway, Boris is cheap and still a NHL project worth developing. He still has much more upside than Ex on this roster, and comes at a cheaper price for the next few years. I think it’s a big mistake to get rid of him just yet. He may not turn out to be a top 4 dman, but he could very easily fill the role of enforcer with some more experience. After fulltime next year on the cheap, you should be able to see how much progress he’s made and can still make. If the results are bad, ship him off then. I’m suprised how many of you rip on a rookie like Boris, but don’t spend much time talking about 6′3 softy Hainsey’s -15 and poor second half for a veteran.

R. Stroz may have a great idea for Valabik to work on his balance and agility in the offseason. He wouldn’t be the first hockey player to try that for skill development.

Tony C.

April 6th, 2009
4:03 pm

Hokie- Look at the date of that article. Two VERY large grains of salt to go with that article at this point.

But it’d be nice to have things fall our way for a change.

KNOBES- Pass along some congrats to Armi for his 20-goal season and also, if you could find out if there are any plans to call-up any forwards from Chi.??? Keep up the great work! I can’t believe you’ve been getting multiple articles in print what with Bravesball season upon us.

Midfield

April 6th, 2009
4:04 pm

I’d say that Hainsey did not look any better than Valabik did yesterday night. The whole team looked lost in the third. As Eliot noticed, the Caps committed three guys on the forecheck, and Atlanta did not know how to counter.

NASCAR Dave

April 6th, 2009
4:30 pm

Still LOL at HOKIE telling everybody to vote in HAINSEY for the All Star Game… BAsed on WHAT, HOKIE??? The fact that he was our “Prized Free Agent”??? LOL

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
4:38 pm

Ummm… He was among the league leaders the first half of the season.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2009
4:39 pm

I don’t think anyone is “ripping” Valabik as much as they are asserting that he needs more work. Toby played 4 years with MODO in SWE before being NHL ready. Bogo is a freak of nature and it’s probably not fair to compare anyone to his development.

Boris has only had 2 years of seasoning in the AHL. He could most certainly benefit from one more in my opinion. If this team really is “headed in the right direction” and can position themselves as a playoff contender, I’d rather take my chances with the more experienced and offensively gifted Hainsey than the inexperienced, poor skating Valabik. Our depth at the blueline is a nice luxury to have so what is the rush with Valabik? And he will never be a Zdeno Chara…they don’t exactly grow on trees in the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

Lastly, many on here have argued that Ron’s difficulties have stemmed from playing with a revolving door as a pair-mate and the fact he’s had to compensate for XLB, Valabik etc. When you look at the stats, Ron had a woeful Nov & Dec (just like the entire team) and accumulated a -17, which a) just happens to be his +/- for the season and b) coincides with the bulk of the minutes he played with an injured XLB and a struggling Valabik as his partner. Since January 1st, Ron is a -1.

Ron hasn’t been stellar by any stretch, but to say he’s playing worse than Valabik or XLB would be disingenous at best. Although I think XLB has been the better defensive presence since his return from injury if comparing him to Hainsey since Jan 1.

Midfield

April 6th, 2009
4:42 pm

Ron is soft. He loses one on one battles all the time. How is it Ron’s partner’s fault exactly?

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2009
4:51 pm

Columbus had the same issues with Hainsey on Defense… “questionable in his own end”… he’s a PP quarterback… problem is, we have better options than him for the Power Play. That’s why he’s faded in the second half of the season.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2009
5:02 pm

It doesn’t matter if Valabik wins a puck battle because he turns it right back over to the other team. We could play this game all day midfield, but the point remains: Ron is still a better player overall than Boris. Hard to argue that considering Boris’ body of work to this point. What has Boris done that is so wonderful? He’s not even that effective as a fighter and he’s not exactly dominating in the crease. His best attribute is blocking out the goalie’s vision like an eclipse of the sun.

Jason(Darkhorse)

April 6th, 2009
5:07 pm

I think Hainsey has more talent at his disposal than he uses. He’s offensively more talented than most dmen in the league, nice 6′3 frame, a vet of 5+ NHL seasons and was a plus player at times in his career. Maybe his D-partner does play a big role in impeading his success, but I’ve seen him go into the corners so soft on his man too many times this season. He could use a bottle of “meanstreak” in the offseason.

I do think he’s a much better player at this point than Boris, and overall, much better than Ex. Maybe the 5mil price tag has him on a short leash in my book.

I like both players in the end but see where both can become much better in individual skill. I hope they, and the team coming back, take the recent success to heart and show up next year focused and determined.

I’m suprised to see Wilson get a call up, but glad the team must see something to give him a look before offseason decisions are made. It can’t hurt at this point.

I wonder if we’ve seen the last of Kari this season? Even if he’s cleared tomorrow, what’s the point in playing him one more game at most? Plus, he’ll be a little rusty without a few practices under his belt. Pavs is already gonna play at least two of the three anyway. Might as well play him Satarday as well.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2009
5:26 pm

Jason Darkhorse, I agree on Hainsey. He needs to hit the weight room in the offseason and strengthen those legs. If Toby at his size and an 18 y/o Bogosian can win battles in the corner, there is no reason Ronsey can’t step it up. I think Hainsey’s role will be re-defined in the offseason and he will realize he needs to become more 2 dimensional if he wants to stay a Thrasher all 4 years of his new contract. The competition should only make him better. As for Valabik, I would rather he get more experience playing full-time in the AHL so he can work on his skating and puck moving and hopefully be better prepared for the rigors of the NHL come 2010.

Hockey Biltong

April 6th, 2009
6:44 pm

R. Stroz.. I agree entirely on the cross-training concept. Walter Payton took ballet to help with balance and agility. You need something like yoga to stretch out and flex. Even Tai-Chi would benefit Boris…

Nikita

April 6th, 2009
6:54 pm

Just a data point, but Georges Laraque is a yogi — he says yoga became crucial as he got older to help him learn a style more based on working with momentum and less on taking hits. Boris could use some fluidity.

Midfield

April 6th, 2009
9:37 pm

I don’t care how good Hainsey could be. The point is Hainsey sucked worse than anybody else yesterday night. Yet, self appointed experts here pile on the rookie. That takes a lot of class – I give you that. That’s why this city is called Loosersville. Now I get it.

JAmes_kovyboy

April 6th, 2009
10:13 pm

Hokie– Yeah if u watched any of the World Juniors, you wouldve seen Spenson-Paajarvi stand out like hell… He’s amazing, he really is. I wouldnt mind getting him instead of a d-man, really

Our only BS on D is prbbly Hainsey. PP QB? Really? Who the f**k do you need more than Kovy, Toby & Bogs.. plus Kovy always double shifts on PP. Its really a HUGE waste of money, but an AWESOME trade bait. Lets just hope some1 wants him

Then the other D man going is or Valabik or XLB… they have the same Hard-hitting role…
BV: Huge, can work out his potential– Cant skate, turnover machine

XLB:Big hits, big hits, okay skater—- Dives for nothing, gets deked easily

oh and

Hainey=Souray lol

Frosty the snowman

April 6th, 2009
10:22 pm

nobody will take Hainsey with his contract, besides the fact that he is a defensive liability.

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2009
10:39 pm

Midfield – I agree Hainsey’s play was extremely weak yesterday. He was out of position and was easily moved off the puck.

I actually see more upside in Boris and thus would prefer to address Boris’s shortcomings. Boris plays with heart, grit, and loyalty; however, he must address his skating deficiences before he earns more NHL ice time.

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2009
11:02 pm

DWTOO – I didn’t make it to TJ’s. My wife decided to clean the den this weekend, with my help (cough, honey do list, cough).

[...] -The Thrashers recalled defenseman Clay Wilson from Chicago of the AHL. [...]

Sara

April 7th, 2009
7:52 am

re: Nikulin – I still that ultimately hinges on the problems with the transfer agreement between the KHL and NHL. If they can find a way to work that out, he could be here. If his objection really just stemmed from not wanting to play for ATL, Waddell could have traded his rights to someone else. Ilya II has a solid pedigree – he’d be worth something.

re: Boris – if he doesn’t play, he won’t develop (see: Coburn, Braydon). It’s that simple.

Toby

April 7th, 2009
8:05 am

Hokie

I called to order my Redline Report yesterday, and the writer actually answered the phone. I was really surprised. I didn’t want to take up much of his time, but I told him I am a Thrash fan and that I thought it would be most necessary that we draft the most NHL ready forward. I asked who that was and he said it is Magnus Svensson (other than Tavares and Hedman).

Did anyone catch Waddell on 790 yesterday afternoon? I missed it…

GaVaHokie

April 7th, 2009
8:39 am

I think as long as we stay in the Top 7 picks, we’ll get a great player.

Tavares, Hedman, Svennson, Duchene, Kane, Cowen and Schenn… in that order for me… all seem to be solid picks.

English Teacher

April 7th, 2009
12:33 pm

Smoothie,
I’m afraid we’re not in sync this time.

Boris is the best passer on the team. I’ve been watching him particularly for that all season because I know he’s not going to be skating with the puck. More than any other player on the team, he puts the puck on the tape but not hard enough that the guy on the other end of the pass loses control. I see Enstrom and Bogo make much poorer decisions and passes in general.

You asked for what he brings to the team other than size, that’s the first one that comes to mind.