Just back from Duluth – can it please stop raining? - as the Thrashers held an optional skate.
Taking part in practice were: Bryan Little, Todd White, Max Afinogenov, Boris Valabik, Anssi Salmela, Chris Thorburn, Jim Slater, Eric Boulton, Marty Reasoner, Evander Kane, Colby Armstrong, Slava Kozlov, Johan Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec. Nik Antropov skating a little in a warmup suit before leaving the ice when practice started.
I caught up with Mark Popovic in the locker room. He is wearing a walking boot on his broken foot, similar to the one Ilya Kovalchuk wore. Popovic said he broke the foot in the game against Philadelphia on Nov. 28. He played two games on it, but when the pain would not subside got an x-ray to determine the extent of the injury. He’s hoping to be back by the new year.
Thrashers spent much of the morning breaking down the game film of Thursday’s 6-5 win over Dalls. A good teaching video is what coach John Anderson called it. The coaches also held several routine players meetings.
Tomorrow night will be the Thrashers Fan Club’s charity auction of custom player Build-A-Bear’s. Each come autographed and with a personalized voice holiday greeting from the player. The auction will be held underneath the Omni scoreboard and ends at the end of the second intermission. All the players are available in a stuffed bear except for Hedberg – his is a moose of course.
I must finish story for today/tomorrow on Jim Slater. I talked to him about his first goal, which kind of got lost in all the drama, and what it has been like being scratched for most of the games this year.