Before we head off to Duluth for Day One of the Thrashers rookie camp, let’s delve into another part of my interview with coach Craig Ramsay from last week. (I still have a half hour of tape to transcribe).
We’ve documented much of the plan for the defense with Dustin Byfuglien coming to camp on the blue line and Ramsay’s plan to get some scoring from his defense.
I did ask Ramsay about the offense. Specifically, where will it come from this season? Ilya Kovalchuk is gone and, for now, there doesn’t seem to be a 50-goal scorer on the roster.
Here is his answer:
“[Bryan] Little should score again. [Evander] Kane should score. Nik [Antropov] should score. The most important thing to me is, again, getting scoring from everyone. Every line is responsible to try and score a goal. I said this earlier, but it’s hard to believe you have to tell a player to score. You think everybody wants to score but they get into a role, like I’m just a checker. [Eric] Boulton can score. [Chris] Thorburn can score. Maybe [Alexander Burmistrov] might score, maybe he’ll play and he’ll score. Everyone is responsible to try to do that.
“So, five guys up trying to score and five guys back to try to get the puck back and get going again is true. We need to get everybody trying to score.
“We would really like to be good on the power play. You need to be good in your special teams. There is no reason you can’t score some goals while you are killing penalties. If you think about it and want to do it, you can score goals while you are shorthanded and put some pressure on the other team. You can be good on the power play. So our special teams must be good. That’s a huge part of our business now.
“When you start to go through [the roster], Freddy Modin can score. He’s got a big shot, so if we can get him in the right positions and he shoots the puck, why not? While we might not have that 50-goal scorer, I think we have a bunch of guys that can score goals.”
What do you think about Ramsay’s team-scoring philosophy? Will it work? Will it work with this roster? Let me know what you think.
In other news;
*As I first reported this morning, the Thrashers and restricted free agent Niclas Bergfors agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $900,000 Monday.
Bergfors was acquired by the Thrashers in February as part of the trade that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey. The rookie scored 21 goals last season, including 13 in 54 games with the Thrashers.
The Thrashers made Bergfors a qualifying offer following the season. Negotiations were slow and general manager Rick Dudley said last month that the two sides differed terms of a new contract. They settled on a one-year deal just five days before the start of training camp.
The team signed restricted free agent forward Bryan Little to a three-year, $7.15 million deal last month.
Also, expect the Nigel Dawes signing to be official very soon. Remember, they agreed to terms last week, but the final details had to be settled, paperwork signed and turned into the league for approval. That’s why it takes a few days for an official announcement.
* Look for a Fredrik Pettersson story from camp today. Told me coming back for another shot at the NHL was the easiest decision of his life.
* Stop and say hello if you are at the IceForum over the next few days (or once training camp begins).