Thrashers trim roster

As expected, the Thrashers trimmed their roster on Wednesday by releasing 16 players from the NHL roster. All were prospects, most of whom will move to their junior teams.

Released were: Matt Anderson, Jimmy Bubnick, Michael Forney, Levko Koper, Jeremy Morin, Eric O’Dell, Danick Paquette, Tomas Pospisil, Matt Siddall, Darryl Smith, Ben Chiarot, Scott Lehman, Mike Looby, Drew Paris, Cody Sol and Josh Unice.

Also on Wednesday, the Thrashers set their roster for the team’s first two preseason games – Thursday at Nashville and Friday at Tampa Bay. For a lot of the young players this will be a quick two-game audition before the roster is trimmed again.

Here is the roster. MacIntyre will start in goal Thursday and Pavelec will start Friday.

FORWARDS
36    Boulton, Eric
15    Crabb, Joey
67    Doell, Kevin
57    Esposito, Angelo
16    Fritsche, Dan
24    Gratton, Josh
9    Kane, Evander
40    Krog, Jason
50    LaVallee, Jordan
46    Machacek, Spencer
23    Slater, Jim
41    Stapleton, Tim
21    Sterling, Brett
22    Stewart, Anthony
27    Thorburn, Chris

DEFENSEMEN
4    Bogosian, Zach
44    Kulda, Arturs
7    Oystrick, Nathan
3    Popovic, Mark
60    Postma, Paul
25    Salmela, Anssi
5    Valabik, Boris
48    Vernace, Mike

GOALTENDERS
30    MacIntyre, Drew
31    Pavelec, Ondrej

50 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

September 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

Moves as expected

J.B.

September 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

I’ve been very impressed by Legace in camp thus far. Does he need to be off the pro-tryout and under contract to participate in the pre-season?

World Be Free

September 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

Enter your comments here

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

J.B…. since Fritsche is playing, I would say no.

Russian

September 16th, 2009
2:52 pm

Thanks Chris. I was looking for this information.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
2:55 pm

Not exactly sure what they’re expecting to see with that roster of forwards.

About the only interesting line combo’s I can put together are…

Boulton Slater Thorburn
Kane Espo Machacek
Sterling Krog Crabb

J.B.

September 16th, 2009
2:56 pm

Hokie – This is the biggest ‘duh’ moment I’ve had in quite some time. Should have noticed that. Thanks for setting me straight there…

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
3:02 pm

JB… haha, no problem.

Lee

September 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

chris-thx man, i was questioning this subject.

im excited to see wat fritshe is gonna do!

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

Actually, five guys were released, the rest were sent to Juniors.

Additionally, the team released forwards Matt Anderson and Darryl Smith, defensemen Mike Looby and Drew Paris, and goaltender Josh Unice.

http://thrashers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=498781

Smoothie

September 16th, 2009
3:08 pm

Rylan Kaip getting an extended look. How many saw that coming?? Although he was hitting like a freight train with excess cargo all night Monday night. Perhaps they want him to patrol the ice and potentially fight Tootoo if he tries to go after a star. He certainly seems to be a tough SOB and seems like he’s destined for Chicago.

Postma getting some pre-season action as well as Kozek. Good for them!

Chris Vivlamore

September 16th, 2009
3:11 pm

GaVaHokie has the link to the press release. I just wrote that the players were released from the NHL roster and some would go to juniors. I wasn’t sure which players were released, but I had the 16 games before the release came out. Wanted to get those to you folks quickly.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
3:13 pm

Interesting that Lehman got sent down so quick, and actually the ONLY Chicago defenseman turned away from camp so far (the rest were Juniors).

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
3:15 pm

Chris… much appreciated on the quick info!

Smoothie

September 16th, 2009
3:45 pm

Viv, don’t Looby and Paris have deals with the Gwinnet affiliate?

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
3:57 pm

One observation looking at the remaining roster of Defensemen… Valabik, Popovic, Oystrick and Salmela are all Southpaws.

Could be an advantage for guys like Grant Lewis and Paul Postma (right-handers) if they can impress in camp.

J.B.

September 16th, 2009
4:00 pm

New Puck Daddy has an interview with Zherdev. he discusses negotiations with the Thrashers:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Zherdev-on-media-lies-why-he-didn-t-end-up-wi?urn=nhl,189985#remaining-content

Why couldn’t it happen with Atlanta for you?

The option was very good. Nik Antropov(notes), my former New York Rangers teammate, is there. There is also Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) who I trained with together this summer in Luzhniki, he also asked me to [join] his team. But I think the problem arose because Atlanta has to urgently sign a new big contract with Kovalchuk, and there was simply no money left for other free agents.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
4:00 pm

Could be why Lehman was cut already instead of Lewis and Postma…Lehman is left-handed, and there’s too many lefties in camp already.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
4:08 pm

JB… thanks for the link! I sense Zherdev was pretty intent on getting his arbitration award.

I will spend this year in Russia. And after that I will consider all offers… I have to prove with my game what I am worth.

Smoothie

September 16th, 2009
4:08 pm

While Zherdev may be right in his assessment of the financial situation, one thing doesn’t jibe. If he were to take a 1 yr deal (and we don’t know if he said absolutely not to such an overture), the financial impact would not conflict with Kovy’s extension, which would not kick in until next season. I think they are more concerned about Kane not only sticking with the club, but playing well enough to earn some of his multitude of bonus incentives.

Gwinnett Fred

September 16th, 2009
4:13 pm

Rumor I heard from “semi” credible source, that at least makes some sense:

Thrashers were looking to deal a goalie when they only had 3, but the only interest was in Kari, who they were reluctant to ship off as they wouldn’t be left with a “true” #1 between the pipes.

Additionally, Kovy is supposedly not a big Kari fan (despite both being AirTran pitchmen) and should Legacy prove to be ready as the #1 here – then they could trade Kari for the forward needed to ice a Kovy deal.

So long story short – get it going Mr. Legacy – we’re counting on you!!!

J.B.

September 16th, 2009
4:13 pm

Hokie- no problem on the linky.

i agree; if there was any wiggle room whatsoever, I think DW would have pulled the trigger, especially since Z insinuates here that both Kovy & Antro asked him to check out Atlanta.

Also, if the translation is decent, which I assume it is coming from Chesnokov, it sounds like Z isn’t soured on Atlanta at all. It actually sounds like he knows he screwed up and is using this year in Russia to prove himself a la Ray Emery.

Maybe he’ll be a Thrasher sometime down the road if that’s the case…

R. Stroz

September 16th, 2009
4:24 pm

On Zherdev, it simply came down to the fact that Kane is cheaper. Kane’s base salary is around a million, with up to an additional two million in incentives. Zherdev would have cost somewhere between 3.25 to 4 million.

So, the ASG told DW to pick either Kane or Zherdev, NOT BOTH. Zherdev was a higher fixed cost; whereas, Kane is a fixed plus a variable cost. With the ASG, its always about saving a penny and forgoing a dollar of revenue.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
4:35 pm

Smoothie… I agree on Kovy’s salary not interfering with a potential one year offer… perhaps he wasn’t fully aware of Kovy’s contract situation?!… or perhaps they discussed multiple years with Zherdev and he was expecting substantially more money on a multi-year deal.

JB… Sounds to me like he wants a year in Russia to prove he’s a top dollar player… The guys looking for money… I say adios, amigo.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2009
4:38 pm

Stroz… I see your point, but I see it from a point production aspect… if you sign Zherdev, it would seem Kane is destined for Juniors. It also pushes Peverley down the depth chart.

So you have to ask, at $4 million, will Zherdev give you substantially more points than Kane and Peverley combined at $2 million?

… I’d say no.

Brendan

September 16th, 2009
4:59 pm

I want to know if Zherdev would have considered $2.9 million? That question will never be answered. But if Zherdev wanted to play with Kovy badly enough, he could have bit the bullet for one year, tried to pad his stats here as a Top Six forward, then looked for the UFA money next year. Bygones.

I wasn’t in love Zherdev. I would have welcomed him here. But I think it was a missed opportunity for the organization to show Kovalchuk just far we’ve ‘turned the corner’ as a franchise. I’d love for Kane to make the roster this season, provisionally. Here, now, the provision. Kane must be READY, rather that PRESSED INTO SERVICE, Michael Garnett/Adam Berkhoel-style. If he really is ready, at age 18 and 14 days, then fine. If not, they should have signed Zherdev, OR SOME OTHER UFA PLAYER.

R. Stroz

September 16th, 2009
5:14 pm

GaVaHockie – What do you think of the name change?

The question with the Zherdev issue all along was simple:

Did Kovy recruit Zherdev to become a Thrasher?

We now know the answer was YES.

So, Kovy did his job by recruiting players for a team few NHLers have wanted to join.

So, we know Kovy’s heart is in the right place. He did his level best to improve the team.

The remaining question is, where is the ASG’s heart? Is it in the right place? Or, is it solely located in it’s wallet?

Smoothie

September 16th, 2009
5:18 pm

Well put Stroz, well put. But I think the talent is there. Again, it’s going to come down to goaltending to determine if Waddell ends up looking brilliant or just downright silly for not signing Zherdev at that price-tag.

Dwayne

September 16th, 2009
5:27 pm

Jimmy Bubnick is not going to make the team???? I AM OUTRAGED!!!

R. Stroz

September 16th, 2009
5:35 pm

Smoothie – The next talent issue is whether Esposito will be ready to play in the NHL if one of our top six forwards gets injured.

Chris Vivlamore

September 16th, 2009
5:45 pm

Smoothie: Legace has looked good in camp. Wasn’t sharp the first day but has really picked it up. Moose has been very solid also. Also, not sure about the Gwinnett players. I know the Thrashers can only have 50 players under contract – including the NHL team, Chicago and Gwinnett. That’s the rule.

Gerran McNurney

September 16th, 2009
5:55 pm

Just left the Braves blog, lots of disgruntled fans, sort of like us most of the time. A few complaining about the food, servers, ushers, constant fake noise, the ball park itself. I have been to 15 or so Thrasher games, great experience all around. Not an autograph person myself, but how accesible are Thrasher players?? Brave players must be snobs. I invited Brave fans to a Thrashers game. They won’t regret it.

Gerran McNurney

September 16th, 2009
5:57 pm

Pushing my new book….”How I could have coached the Braves to a first place finish this year” please buy one.

DB

September 16th, 2009
6:16 pm

R Stroz – It could be that DW wanted salary flexibility later in the year. Since we are technically at $48-49 million, $3-4 million takes you to $51-53 mil. During a playoff push, we’ll need more than one body.

Lee

September 16th, 2009
7:14 pm

i work @ St. Joseph’s and i talked to kari’s doctor, he said kari is prob gonna miss the first month or two recovering from surgury, which isn’t good at all. evryone knows how streaky hedberg is and that he is better off as a backup, and pav, well, i just dont think hes all that good. the prob is moosie cant be a started and pav, frankly he can’t be either. first few months will prob start off a little shaky, but i bet we can pull through it. GO THRASHERS!!!!!

Lee

September 16th, 2009
7:15 pm

wow, its POURIN here we hav hail and tornado watches everywhere.

R. Stroz

September 16th, 2009
7:51 pm

DB – Reasonable point, however, the trade deadline deals only add a prorated salary amount. Thus even with Zherdev at 3.5 million and the incentive clauses in the entry level contracts, there would still be room for trade deadline tweeks.

World Be Free

September 16th, 2009
10:31 pm

Gerrin-funny you talk about poor service at Braves games.

I worked the Ga Dome for 3 years with a non profit, running a concession stand. The Dome had people monitoring service, no service awards just notices whenever your service was bad. Our stand never received a bad service notice.

I cannot say the same at Turner Field. I think the concession service is poor and the food is terrible. Maybe it’s becuase attendance has fallen off so much and concessions is not prepared when the crowd is good. The gate people and ushers are fine. Most ball players won’t sign autographs anymore. No such problems at Thrasher games.

Zherdev is history; not sure how close he really came to being or or how much Kovy was involved in the recruiting process. Time to move on.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
8:31 am

GaVaHockie – What do you think of the name change?

Ha!… I had thought about GaVaHockey at one time… I like the Hockie. *thumbs up*

So, Kovy did his job by recruiting players for a team few NHLers have wanted to join.

Fair enough, but the question ALSO is, is Kovy pissed about it? I would say probably not.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
8:43 am

Not an autograph person myself, but how accesible are Thrasher players??

Gerran… extremely accessible! You can go to any practice in Duluth and it’s open to the public. Also, after most home games, 680 the Fan does a post game radio show at Taco Mac at Phillips Arena and they usually have a player guest. The Players are usually good about sticking around to sign autographs after their interviews.

Not sure who the food vendor is for Philips Arena, but I know the food vendor for Turner Field is Aramark, who also does UGA Sanford Stadium.

http://www.aramarksports.com/

Falconer

September 17th, 2009
8:55 am

There isn’t much scoring talent for tonight’s game (protecting veterans for long season I suppose), but it is sort of interesting that all of the guys fighting for jobs play in the same game. The 4th line plus everyone trying to steal their jobs. Who will stand out?

Re: Lehman. They guy just isn’t a very good D-man. I don’t understand why he wasn’t non-tendered this summer.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
8:58 am

Interesting… read Steve’s comment under Ben Wright’s latest blog.

http://www.bluelandblog.com/

According to Waddell during the STH’s breakfast, the Thrashers will NOT be getting revenue sharing this season due to the inflated team salary. Ownership is risking $14 million to making the team a better product.

The Zherdev decision was directly related to coaching and management’s belief in Kane making the roster.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
9:04 am

Falconer… yeah, I expect to see my line combo’s above (posted at 2:55pm)

Boulton Slater Thorburn
Kane Espo Machacek
Sterling Krog Crabb

It’s a battle of who can be the best 4th line combo… I’m curious if Sterling/Krog/Crabb can get some renewed chemistry going from their Chicago days.

But here’s my question… if Kane makes the 3rd line combo with Reasoner and Armstrong, wouldn’t the team need some Defensive reinforcement on the 4th line? ala, Boulton/Slater/Thorburn.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
9:09 am

Wow… Chris Chelios might be with the Chicago Wolves according to Strickland. Not sure how I feel about that.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Andy-Strickland/Chelios-To-Sign-With-Chicago-Wolves/5/23010

Smoothie

September 17th, 2009
9:39 am

Gee, I understand playing the young guys for the first two games, but if Kane is being plugged in at practice as the 3rd line LW, shouldn’t he be playing with Reasoner and Armstrong tonight or tomorrow at the very least. Hell, Sidney Crosby played in Pittsburgh’s first pre-season contest to gain more familiarity with Kunitz, why are we making Kane play with Espo, who hasn’t played in 9 months!?

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
9:53 am

Smoothie… I’m guessing to give Esposito the best chance HE can have. The most familiarity Esposito can have in preseason would be playing with Kane and some of the other Chicago boys, like Sterling.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
9:54 am

… look at it from an Esposito point of view, not Kane’s.

GaVaHokie

September 17th, 2009
9:57 am

If Esposito is doing well, the tell tale sign will be seeing if he gets mixed in with Slater Boulton and Thorburn in a number of variations.

Boulton Espo Thorburn
Boulton Espo Slater
Slater Espo Thorburn

Etc.

Smoothie

September 17th, 2009
10:02 am

GVH, I suppose that makes sense as they should have some familiarity with each other from Junior Worlds. I do hope Espo does well because we may need him on a call-up at some point.

I hope Annsi gets some time playing with Bogey since Enstrom is not making the trip. I’d like to see Salmela get the best chance possible to make the roster. I have a hunch about him.

Jared

September 17th, 2009
11:14 am

Annsi, i like the boy, but i just dont think he has the mediclorian count to become a jedi (read i don’t see him getting good time with the thrashers). I really am interested in Paul Postma however I am ready to see him make the squad. If it was this year, then that would be a very early Birthday present. I see him getting actually recognition next year. I think he will explode with talent at the NHL level with his passing ability.
too bad on zherdev i liked dreaming about him.
GVH i like your point of view on the Espo situation.
Does Kane have the possibility to play in tomorrows game as well?