A couple of notes from the morning skate prior to tonight’s game with the Capitals (follow-ups of the tweets I sent this morning).
Dustin Byfuglien did not take part in the skate. He was at the arena but the Thrashers skated with five defenseman. Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said he was just giving the All-Star a rest.
“Like a lot of guys, he’s a little sore,” Ramsay said. “He’s fine. He’s going to play. I just felt it was a good idea to give him a little extra rest.”
* Andrew Ladd, who missed Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay with a lower-body injury, took part in the pre-game skate. He did not skate on the line combinations nor was he listed on a line in the lineup posted in the Thrashers’ dressing room. However, Ramsay said that Ladd could play, depending on how he felt following treatment.
“We are fairly certain he will play providing after the treatments following the skate that he still feels fine,” Ramsay said.
* Evander Kane, who will miss his fourth straight game tonight with a mid-body injury, was on the ice prior to the practice.
* Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal.
* Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle was named Tuesday afternoon to replace Tobias Enstrom at the All-Star Game this weekend.
* Prospect Akim Aliu was assigned to ECHL Gwinnett from AHL Chicago on Wednesday. Aliu, obtained in the offseason trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, had nine points (four goals, five assists) in 43 games with the Wolves.
“Our young players need significant ice time to develop and that wasn’t happening in Chicago for Akim,” Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said. “We feel the ECHL is a great opportunity to further his development, so much so, that we may eventually make similar moves with other players.”
* Minor-league defenseman Mike Siklenka, placed on waivers Tuesday, was not claimed. His contract with the Thrashers has been terminated.
* Here are the line combinations from this morning (minus Ladd):