It didn’t work…nothing we did to try and convince the hockey gods to show favor upon Thrasherville seems to have been enough.
The Nasty Nesters toasted a Christmas tree in The Gulch after Saturday’s 6-2 win against the Bolts that ended the season as a burned offering unto them…I even heard that the couch was thrown on later in the evening. I’m sure that smelled worse than the smoke from the tree.
I shipped via UPS several cases of Labatt, Molson and even a few of Moosehead for good measure. Probably got swiped by those dammed customs agents on the border. I told them to enter via Niagara Falls…not Windsor out of Detroit! Those friggin’ Red Wing fans that work the gates won’t let anything through that might help another team get the attention of the hockey gods.
Regardless, none of it worked… the hockey gods did not smile upon on this night as the NHL entry draft lottery ping-pong balls fell in order of the standings. The New York Islanders will pick first, then Tampa Bay followed by Colorado. Atlanta will pick fourth and L.A. fifth…then so on and so on.
Now, I’m gonna go way out on a limb and venture a guess that John Tavares, (C- Canada), and Victor Hedman, (D-Sweden), are going to be unavailable by the time the Avalanche make their selection prior to the Thrashers. So, let’s review a handful of the remaining prospects that Don Waddell might choose to hand a Thrashers jersey to.
Matt Duchene: 5′-11″, 198 lb center who plays for the Brampton Battalion of the OHL. In 57 regular season games this year he accounted for 31 goals and 48 assists as well as 42 PIM. In 10 playoff games he has 7 goals, 7 assists and 10 PIM .
Evander Kane: 5′-11″, 160 lb center who plays for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. In 61 regular season games this year he scored 48 goals and 48 assists to go with 89 PIM. In 10 playoff games he has 4 goals and 7 assists to go with 33 PIM.
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson: 6′-1″, 200 lb left wing who plays for Timra of Sweden. In 50 games played he scored 7 goals with 10 assists and only 4 PIM.
Brayden Schenn: 6′-0″, 196 lb center who plays for the Brandon Wheat Kings. In 70 regular season games this past year he’s amassed 32 goals, 56 points and 82 PIM. In 8 playoff games he has 6 goals, 9 assists and 10 PIM.
Jared Cowen: 6′-5″, 218 lb defenseman who plays for the Spokane Chiefs. This past season he accounted for 7 goals, 14 assist and 45 PIM.
On down the line there is defensman Oliver Ekman-Larrson of Sweden, defensemanDmitri Kulikov of Russia and center Nazem Kadri of Ontario, Canada.
OK, honorary general manager’s…if either of these are left when the Thrashers pick fourth…who do you go with.
Me? I probably go with Duchene if he’s available…but if it’s Kane, so be it. But I do want to point out the size frames that come with Cowen and Svensson. Those could go a way to address some of what team captain Ilya Kovalchuk was saying Atlanta needed to acquire.