The Thrashers re-called defenseman Paul Postma from AHL Chicago on Tuesday. The move comes a day after the team re-assigned defenseman Arturs Kulda to Chicago.
The move was made for two reasons. GM Rick Dudley said he feels both Postma and Kulda are NHL ready and they wanted to give Postma his chance. Also, Postma brings an offensive element. He is second among AHL defensemen with 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists).
“They’d like to see him get a chance,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “We wanted to make sure we had an extra player, especially going out on the road for a couple of games. He can skate. He can shoot. We could use some goals if he happens to get his chance to play. We’d like to see him shoot some pucks and add a little something to the offense.”
The Thrashers play at Phoenix on Thursday and at Edmonton on Saturday. Ramsay would not say when Postma might make his NHL debut, but it sounds like it could by against the Oilers. Postma said he was not told when he might play but “hopefully it will be this weekend.”
Postma, who will wear No. 60, got the call from Wolves GM Wendall Young on Monday and immediately caught a flight for Atlanta. That was after he made a phone call himself.
“For sure, it was my dad, my biggest fan and my biggest supporter,” Postma said. “I called him right away. We’ve been waiting for this call for a long time. It was fun call to make.”
Kulda played two games and was a healthy scratch the past two games with the return of Tobias Enstrom. The Thrashers also re-called Noah Welch earlier this season when they needed a defenseman.
“Finally, I’m part of the real thing,” Postma said. “It’s almost a relief being rewarded for some hard work. I’m really excited. I’m a little nervous. I got the call yesterday. … I looked at my phone and said ‘Why is the GM calling me?’ I picked up and he said I was called up. It was pretty exciting. A lot of emotions hit you all at once. I’m trying to make the most of it and take it day by day.”
Postma can practice again on Wednesday before the team leaves for Phoenix.
“We need to see him,” Ramsay said. “I don’t know him very well and it would be nice to see him function in practice. Let him see what we do. If he does get a chance to play he’ll be ready. We don’t like to have guys just sitting around but it’s important that we have somebody with us. It’s important that if he gets the call he understands what it is he has to do and you could see from practice today a little bit of learning went on as he tried to figure out the speed of the players, the speed of the drills, et cetera.”