Kulda should be in Atlanta this fall, but who else would, could, should?

During the course of the summer we’ve occasionally paused to examine just where the Atlanta Thrashers roster stood. Since we last performed such a review, we have learned of three players that will definitely not return to the lineup. Clarke MacArthur and his $2.4 million arbitration award was given a one-way ticket out of Thrasherville . Maxim Afinogenov left for the KHL, taking his 24 goals & 61 points with him. And Todd White was traded and he took his…well…he took his milk carton to Broadway.

So with that, let’s once again see where the Thrashers are in regards to on-ice personnel. But this time, we’ll concentrate on which prospects might have the best chance to make the NHL squad this fall.

Barring any other transactions, Hainsey, Enstrom, Oduya, Bogosian, Sopel and Valabikshould man the defensive corps. But that leaves one more to provide a healthy scratch in the press box. Conventional wisdom would point to Arturs Kulda to fit the bill, though some will be quick to add Paul Postma has a decent shot to make the team too. But given what Kulda showed in his few games up last winter and his play with the Wolves, Paul would really need to have a spectacular training camp/preseason to move past Arturs onthe depth chart.

In fact, I would even go so far to say that even if Rick Dudley were to pull off another deal to acquire another blueliner, Kulda probably wouldn’t be the odd man out, it might just be Boris Valabik who could be placed upon the trading blocks.

Up front… well, that’s where we could really see a battle for a couple open slots. Currently under contract are nine forwards who already have spots on the team…Antropov, Byfuglien, Kane, Ladd, Peverley, Slater, Boulton, Eager and Thorburn. Add in RFAs Little and Bergfors, whose contracts are still yet to be announced, and you have eleven of the twelve needed to ice four lines.

That would leave one more forward to dress and one or two more for healthy scratches.

Who do you think has the best shot at cracking the Thrashers lineup? (Pick three)

  • A. Kulda (77%, 189 Votes)
  • P. Postma (9%, 23 Votes)
  • P. Cormier (72%, 178 Votes)
  • S. Machacek (19%, 46 Votes)
  • C. Klingberg (17%, 42 Votes)
  • A. Stewart (2%, 5 Votes)
  • F. Pettersson (12%, 29 Votes)
  • A. Esposito (7%, 18 Votes)
  • P. Rissmiller (10%, 24 Votes)
  • A. Burmistrov (18%, 44 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

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Among the prospects who should have a legitimate shot at securing those spots are Patrice Cormier, Spencer Machacek, Carl Klingberg, Anthony Stewart, Fredrik Pettersson, Angelo Esposito and last June’s first round draft pick Alexander Burmistrov. Patrick Rissmiller, who was acquired in return for the milk carton, isn’t classified as a “prospect”, but we’ll lump him in as one who will be competing for a job on the NHL squad.

Of the candidates listed above, I would think Cormier enters into camp with the label of “His Job To Lose” affixed to his jersey. If he does make the team, I’d slide him between Eager and Bolts on the fourth line. Then the battle becomes which two forwards get to round out the roster.

Players like Machacek, Klingberg, and Pettersson would be considered chic picks here…certainly the look to factor into the Thrashers’ future. But unless they impress Dudley, Ramsay and Torchetti enough to displace one of the perceived starters on the team, I’d prefer to see them getting ice time with the Wolves…or Barrie in the case of Burmistrov… than observation time from the press box.

Rissmiller, on the other hand, is a good candidate for the role of 13th forward. He’s played in 182 NHL regular season games as well as 30 playoff games while with the Sharks. Plus, seeing that he’ll become 32 in October, it’s not like he requires much more “seasoning” on the farm. Anthony Stewart is a decent possibility here too given he has 105 NHL games under his belt.

And as for Esposito, well, let’s see how far his twice-torn ACL rehab has progress when training camp rolls around. I honestly have my doubts here…but Espo has youth and modern sports medicine on his side.

crossing fingers

Either way, that’s seven or so players that would be vying for two open spots…three if the team opts to keep 14 forwards. Combine that with Arturs Kulda who should be on the back line, and we could see a healthy dose of youth in the Thrashers lineup this October.

159 comments Add your comment

Your Mammy

August 12th, 2010
6:57 pm

Rawhide….Is Bob Hartley ever going to coach again in the NHL?


August 12th, 2010
6:58 pm


August 12th, 2010
7:11 pm

Your Mammy – Given how long he’s been away from behind the bench, I wouldn’t think so. Of course, Bob may not even want to coach again as I’ve heard he’s gotten real comfortable in his role as hockey analyst for RDS.


August 12th, 2010
7:17 pm

One problem here Rawhide, your poll is “pick three” and it spouts out an error “only pick 1″. Either way I’m voting Kulda, Cormier and a tossup between Pettersson or Burmistrov.


August 12th, 2010
7:20 pm

I like Kulda’s future as a shutdown NHL defenseman over Valabik’s at this point.

From the sounds of things from Dudley, it would take an act of God to not have Cormier on the Atlanta roster as well.

I say Machacek gets the call as the final roster player, at the moment, although Pettersson could shake things up as a 2nd or 3rd line guy. Rissmiller seems like he would be a decent 13th forward type.

Stewart sounds like a bust to me. Aside from a good showing in the AHL playoffs, the numbers say his professional career has been a big disappointment.

I’d love for Espo to show the potential he was supposed to have when Atlanta traded for him, but he wrecks his knee the same time every year, so he’s got to quit doing that first.


August 12th, 2010
7:34 pm

GT_Thrasherfan – Don’t know why it switched from allowing three to only one…but I reset it. Thanks.


August 12th, 2010
7:51 pm

Cormier and Burmistoff

Yung JB from Montreal

August 12th, 2010
8:05 pm

Kulda for sure, Cormier cause we need tha type of guy and the last one should be Klingberg, because he is the highest rated, but id love to see Machachek, Burmistov, Esposito, Petterson. Petterson and Postma in Chicago and Rissmiller as the 13th guy. Dump Stewart


August 12th, 2010
8:08 pm

Cement footed Valabik must go!


August 12th, 2010
8:15 pm

When I look at the forwards, I see two positions up for grabs. The first is a bottom six center. Unless the highly unlikely occurs (young Alexander Burmistrov making the team, Angelo Esposito blows everyone away at camp, Jared Ross wins an NHL spot), the top candidate for the job is Patrice Cormier.

This option worries me slightly. I’m not entirely convinced that Cormier has the upside that Dudley and Waddell have spent the last seven months and change hyping. Can he win the fourth line center? I think so. Can he rise through the ranks a la Bryan Little in 2007-08 (started on the third line RW) to a third line man as a 20-year old? I’m not optimistic. Cormier has played only nine games since February… Is he really developed enough for a regular NHL roster spot?

The second position appears to be on the third line, most likely a RW. Not to take anything from Eric Boulton, Ben Eager, or Chris Thorburn, but I believe all three have skill sets tailored to the third line. Ideally, a young Thrasher could snag the third line winger spot and one of these three would likely watch from the press box (Boulton is a possibility).

Machacek turns 22 in October and has two years of AHL experience. In my opinion, Spencer is primed for a run at an NHL roster spot. Machacek has posted consecutive 20-goal campaigns in Chicago and has a career plus/minus of +27 at the AHL level.

The best indicator that Spencer might be ready to make the jump was his production in the AHL playoffs. The speed of the game during the AHL playoffs might be the closest to that of a regular season NHL game and Machacek put up seven goals, four assists, and 11 points in 13 games.

Dudley conceded earlier this summer that Klingberg would likely be headed back to Sweden for 2010-11. Pettersson is a wild card. 20 goals in the Elitserian is very solid production. Pettersson earned the nickname ‘Fly’ while playing with Frolunda for his pesky play and buzzing skating style. One scouting report I read claimed that Pettersson will ’shoot it from anywhere on the ice’ which is worthy quality. What does Darren Eliot say? A puck towards the net is never a bad play.

Rissmiller’s redeeming quality is his ability to play the penalty kill, but his skating and work ethic aren’t hallmarks of his game; unlike Machacek and Pettersson.

I think Machacek and Pettersson will end up battling for a shot at the third line. With Spencer’s time in the organization and familiarity with the North American game, I believe Machacek will win out. A possible third line of Andrew Ladd, Jim Slater, and Spencer Machacek has FORECHECK written all over it.


August 12th, 2010
8:17 pm

EDIT: Third paragraph should read “Not to take anything from Eric Boulton, Ben Eager, or Chris Thorburn, but I believe all three have skill sets tailored to the FOURTH line.”

World Be Free

August 12th, 2010
9:03 pm

Postma next year after the Sopel 1 year experiment. I would really like to see Cormier make the team. I like his edge, others don’t; for those who don’t have you all forgotten Todd White already?

I still see Aaron Asham here-he is a Dudley type player, just a longshot.

Sage of Bluesland

August 12th, 2010
9:11 pm

I thought our pipeline of “talent” from the minors was a gusher–according to the wittle booklets, there are many “Legends of Blueland” just waiting their turn at the parent club?

That’s the fruit of Don Waddell’s first, second, and now third, “Five Year Plan”…Thank goodness he’s still involved with the running of this organization…I just can’t imagine what we’d do without him and his expert guidance…


August 12th, 2010
9:16 pm

“A puck towards the net is never a bad play.”

I like it. We could have done more of that last season.


August 12th, 2010
9:17 pm

I’ve heard talk, or rather some articles on Dudley, that indicate he may have Big Buf on defense. That could mean we have a couple of (actual ice-time) slots up front up for grabs. For those who haven’t seen it,…


There are a couple more positive articles to go with it,…



Made me feel optimistic about the upcoming season. I have gotten similar “feel good” sentiments in past years,..so I’m taking this with a grain of salt.

For those who think the “sky is falling” after the Kovy contract ruling this is good reading,…


I stand by my belief that nothing more will come of the Bloch ruling.

Back on topic,..I like the idea of youth coming up and getting truely coached. I’m pulling for Postma to make the team,….but I guess that’ll only happen if Big Buf is playing forward. Seems like we have had so much potential in the minors that never gets realized.


August 12th, 2010
9:31 pm

If Kulda comes up I “Kulda” be a happy girl again…..I still want X back! Romper room organization…..


August 12th, 2010
9:34 pm

Postma, Cormier, Burmistrov… Need more puck movement in my book.


August 12th, 2010
9:50 pm

I’m leaning towards Cormier and Kulda. But I must take another look at Glovesave29’s 8:08PM post. What is it, precisely, about Boris Valabik, other than his being a 10th overall, 1st round selection, that makes him such an ‘certainty’ here? Boris has never scored an NHL goal and is a minus what? … in his career. If it’s true that Dudley takes the “show me, and I’ll pay you/play you” approach, Boris better do something to earn a slot. As we’ve seen recently, we’re perfectly fine with shipping out 1st round picks out of town. Stefan (1999) went to Dallas, as did Kari Lehtonen (2002). Heatley (2000) went to Ottawa, and Hossa (2000 substitute) went to Pittsburgh. Kovy (2001) went to the Devils. Alex Bourret (2005) to the NY Rangers. Braydon Coburn (2003) to the Flyers. Why not Boris (2004), too? Would it be “too much youth” with bring up Postma and Kulda? I can’t say. I’m not qualified. But, I’m wondering what my fellow posters might think Valabik’s trade value is … out on the RFA market?

Also, is there a “love affair” with Chris Thorburn or Jim Slater? I don’t care what their contractual situation is. They don’t have NTC’s or NMC’s, so … if they’re not earning their keep, and another GM would seriously take them, then it’s worth considering a trade. And while I’m still in ‘trade mode,’ what can we get for Angelo Espsito? Look, I’ll be honest. I always am. This is not a guy who ever wanted to play here. He wanted to play for Montreal. (Still does, I imagine.) But he was a ’slider’ in his draft year, and wound up on the Penguins. (A stroke of great luck!) Through no fault of his own, he was packaged with Colby Armstrong, Erik Cristenson, and the Penguins 1st rounder (Leveille) for Hossa and Dupuis. The luck started wearing off. And then two torn ACL’s didn’t help. So, I’m asking … “what’s a reasonable return” for Esposito?

Now, I honestly think Jim Slater isn’t going anywhere. He’s the 1st round pick (2002), in Thrashers History, that might actually be here the LONGEST. Plus, I don’t think other teams have interest in him, other than as a ‘throw-in’ to help improve their cap situation.

Also, Ben Eager doesn’t seem to be ‘eager’ to be here. If so, why not trade him? And what could we get for Eager, as a ‘throw-in’ to sweeten up a deal? And finally, Ron Hainsey hits our cap for $4.5 million. Yes, that reflects a UFA contract signing from a few years ago. Here’s my thought on that. On one hand, the Octocluster has to reach the floor of the cap. So, Hainsey’s valuable in that regard. If you go swapping him out for a $2.0 to $2.75 million defender, you’ve got to take on salary somewhere else. Also, time to give Hainsey some credit, he is a Top 4 defender. So, he is filling a role for Atlanta. My second thought is … what if there’s a BETTER defenseman out there … who is paid more than Hainsey? Still with me? Well, it might well be ‘worth it’ to take on some $6 million-a-year guy from a team in cap trouble … to make the team’s defense better. But I don’t have anyone specifically in mind. And truthfully, I’d be scared to death that it’d turn into Wade Redden ($6.5 million). Hopefully, Mr. Redden has an NTC, like Brian Campbell ($7.14 million) does. There’s another way to look at Brian Campbell. It’d be like signing him for $2.64 million, if Chicago took Hainsey in the return. Trouble is … any team that trades for Campbell is stuck with him until he turns 36, six years from now, at $7.14 million cap hit. And the only way to feel good about that is … if your defense corps is less than it should be, Campbell will improve it. Immediately. Actually, rubbin’ my chin … if traded here, Campbell might want out before he turns 36. So, we might not be stuck with him. Allright, enough of that. It won’t happen, but the concept of using Ron Hainsey to trade for a better defender from a team with cap trouble … isn’t such a bad idea.

Alan R.

August 12th, 2010
10:03 pm

Brendan, you seem to have this knack to dredge up the past in such a way that is depressing in the “up the road, not across the street” sense.

Stop that.


August 12th, 2010
10:25 pm

Alan R., we’re talkin’ about how to make the team better. I’m open to all sorts of ideas. And I think Dudley is a better judge of talent than Waddell ever was or will be. I’d love for Craig Ramsay or John Torchetti to be making out a ‘wish-list.’ Except that … Dudley ostensibly doesn’t like coaches that make requests/voice concerns over the roster. He said, “I like coaches who’ll work with the roster they’ve got and not make demands.” Or words to this effect. Dudley is clearly not gun shy about pulling the trigger on trades.

Florida’s GM just declared, last month or so, “Any player who doesn’t want to be here … we can work out a trade.” And off Nathan Horton went. I’m sure there were Panther fans who didn’t want to see him go. Oh well. I haven’t seen Dudley take this approach yet. But it’d be kinda interesting to see who steps forward to say, “Uhh, you can trade me. I’m ready to go.”

World Be Free

August 12th, 2010
10:34 pm

I see the sentimental Sage is gone, stowed away for another season or two.
You need to get on Twitter so we can get your posts quicker.


August 12th, 2010
10:36 pm

Joe Friday, your Blackhawks just re-signed J. Hendry to a one-year deal.

World Be Free

August 12th, 2010
10:39 pm

And I think Thorny’s roster spot is in deep trouble, especially if they sign another UFA. Anyone with an edge, may just edge Thorburn to the curb. I have no issue with Chris, I just think we can do a little better. I would love to see this team run over opposing players this season, so adding another player with an attitutde would suit me just fine.

Let’s have some body checks that break glass this season, watch opposing defenseman look back as they are chasing the puck like a rhino is pursuing them. Rick Dudley hockey and Craig Ramsay accountability at both ends of the rink. Time to drop the puck.

Hokie P. Clisters

August 12th, 2010
10:41 pm

The competition for ice time is going to be a war this year. Alot of young horses in the stable. It will be be a tough call for Rammer to keep more youngsters when we are already a very young team. Rammer may opt to go with a more veteran group (Boris, Petterson and Rissmiller) at the end of camp, but the door could open real quick for Burma, Cormier or Kulda if problems arise.


August 12th, 2010
10:42 pm

WBF, if Sage warms up to Kane and Bogosian, you might see the ’sentimental Sage’ once again. With Heatley and Kovalchuk, we never really did see them fail to live up to expectation, in terms of performance on the ice. These guys went 1st and 2nd overall. I think it’s fair to say they achieved expecations. Bogosian, 3rd overall, had an injury and a sophomore slump. Kane, 4th overall, will try to avoid the sophomore slump. If Kane has a tremendous year, you might see the Sage say, ‘the sun is once again rising on the proverbial joke known as blueland.’


August 12th, 2010
10:47 pm

Everybody keeps saying Dudley is high on Cormier or this player and that player. Every interview I’ve heard or ready says that Dudley will let Rammer & the coaching staff decide who they want on the ice. Even the article HookyBob linked about Duds thinking Buff may end up on D he says the decision will ultimately be up to Rammer where Buff plays.

I’m still waiting to see if there are any pieces added to the team before I worry about which prospects end up making the team or get their 9 game look early in the season.


August 12th, 2010
11:01 pm

WBF, is Thorburn that expendable? Only Rich Peverley (175:21) had more short-handed ice time than Chris Thorburn (173:20) on the CURRENT roster in 2009-10… that includes a surprising 7:47 on the penalty kill ALL YEAR for Andrew Ladd and just 6:06 from Dustin Byfuglien.

Thorburn has become a serviceable fourth line player with his ability to jump on the kill. Add in that Thor has put up no less than 13 points over the past three seasons (solid numbers for an average ice time of 7:40 per game in 09-10) and was a +6 last year.

The addition of Eager doesn’t make Thorburn’s roster spot up for grabs… it makes Boulton not a definite night-in, night-out player.


August 12th, 2010
11:09 pm

I believe Kulda is a lock for number 7 with Postma getting called up for a look during the season. I am not one to say get rid of or give-up on Valabik. He’s still young, especially for a D-man, and he is the type of player that is going to take a little longer to get to his peak due to his size. In a year or two I believe this guy is going to be a solid shut-down D-man and I hope it’s as a Thrasher. He played good smart D last year and I really don’t care if he ever scores a goal. That’s not what he’s out there for.

Byfuglien, I don’t really see him playing D. He’s not needed there – at this point. I think it’s Dudley just throwing stuff out there in the Summer and seeing if anything will stick, a trial baloon. I spoke with a former team mate of his last night and he does not see him going back to D either.

I really like the look of Machecek’s game and think he is tailored for that third line winger role that the team needs. Rissmiller certainly could fit as well but I give the starting edge to Machecek. Boults and Riss up in the box. The dark horse is Esposito. He has put on a lot of good weight. If he’s healthy, I would not be surprised to see him get the nod over Cormier. He has the skills and may be centering the third line with Slater back on fourth.

Little, Antro, Bergfors
Kane, Peverly, Buff
Ladd, Espo, Mach
Eager, Slater, Thorburn
Boults, Rissmiller

Hainsey, Oduya
Enstrom, Bogosian
Valabik, Sopel

The rest, back in the A or Jr. and hopefully the Thrashers will be in a good and healthy position to call them up this season.

Sparky (Smoothie)

August 12th, 2010
11:19 pm

Brendan — you see my man, Dudley and Ramsay could give a flying EFF-bomb about the past. As Alan says, stop dredging it up. There are what? 35 regular posters on this blog? We all know the history of the Atlanta Thrashers quite well. You know your stuff…we get it. But I can’t read your stuff because it’s just downright depressing and pretty much irrelevant for the time being. The only thing that is relevant is how well Bogosian, Kane, Bergfors, Little, Pavelec and the Thrashawks play this fall. If the young kids don’t progress like they need to, then we’re pretty much Eff’ed in the B. Pardon mon francais.

And lastly, Sage, just piss off with your crap. We’re all sick of it and I really don’t want to have to sick Eric Boulton on your wittle pathetic butt for all of your posturing and grandstanding about crap that really has no bearing on the future of the franchise. If you really hate Don Waddell, then why don’t you go down to the CNN Center and wait for him to walk over to Chick-Fil-A and ask him to a duel. I bet he’ll beat you handily in tiddly-winks or marbles. Jesus H!

Disclaimer: I’ve been drinking heavily on a golf course in 95 degree heat and my emotions are probably getting the best of me. But I fired a 79 today at Heritage and all you naysayers can suck it.


August 12th, 2010
11:49 pm

I cut grass in 95-degree heat, today. Does that count, Smoothie? All I’m saying is … why not consider a trade for Valabik, if it ultimately makes the team better? Or a trade of Hainsey, for example. I don’t think I’ve said anything depressing. Our team history is what it is. I didn’t create it or shape it. Notice, I didn’t say, “We’re so gawd awful, and we always will be.” Truthfully, I haven’t been looking forward to the start of a Thrashers season this much since coming out of the lockout. I think it’s right to be optimistic. I posted on Viv’s blog that there should be more buzz about the Thrashers than the Hawks. And the Hawks are coming off multiple playoff berths.

As for dredging up the past … if you don’t where you’ve been, how do you know where you’re going? I didn’t say anything inaccurate. Nor was there ‘intent’ to depress. We’ve moved 1st round picks in the past. That’s true, not false. Valabik is a first round pick. It might be worth considering, if there’s value in the return. If not, nothing wrong with keeping him and hoping for the best.

The Smooth Spark

August 13th, 2010
12:37 am

Fair enough Brendan, I was being too reactionary and I assumed that you were writing about the past without reading cuz I saw very few paragraph breaks and my drunk mind said “nooooo, I can’t handle it”. Basically I shouldn’t have been allowed near a keyboard. But I still can’t stand Sage, drunk or sober. As for your trade proposal, I’d be wary of trading Valabik just yet. Hainsey? Perhaps, but only if it gave us a good young player and some xtra cap room.

Hockey Biltong

August 13th, 2010
1:30 am

Remember; Wherever you go, there you are……

World Be Free

August 13th, 2010
6:17 am

Brendan, you can’t blame Sage for his judgements of our last and the performance (and departure) of some of our high picks-the future of “Blueland”.

World Be Free

August 13th, 2010
6:20 am

Zim-serviceable 4th line players are available every year. Thorburn is a not a core player, 4th line is the fringe of your club. If our penalty killing is top 5 in the league, you keep him. If not. he’s on the edge-I don’t see Craig Ramsay penalty killing when I look at Chris Thorburn. But you have a good point when referring to his number of penalty minutes.

James Brown

August 13th, 2010
7:14 am

I`m wondering if Esposito will be at full speed when camp starts…….this kid has loads of talent and potential and I hope Dudley will be patient and give him another year. I say Kulda is like Cormier and has the his job to lose jersey on too……………Brendan.I sat on my lawnmower in the shade yesterday and decided it was too hot for a 56 year old man to be riding around outside in 95 degree weather……came back inside in the ac and had a beer a read the blogs…………life is good

Sage of Bluesland

August 13th, 2010
7:27 am

“…that really has no bearing on the future of the franchise….”

Wow. If you honestly believe that the actions (past and present) of OWNERSHIP have no bearing on the course of this organization, you’re more delusional than even your words usually show!

(And that’s really saying something, too…Some never seem to learn…Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you and the countless others who continue to subsidize the incompetence…and continue to hope and dream when it’s completely embarrassing…)

Next, we’ll be hearing about a magical spreadsheet that shows the ASG is really, really a good ownership group…


August 13th, 2010
7:44 am

I have been and continue to be a fan of Boris. He has greatly improved since he first started playing NHL games for us. Some of the stuff he did at the end of last season pleasantly surprised me (the end of his season). He still needs to improve before he becomes a regular D man for us, but with some good coaching…

Burmistrov has looked good so far. He has a chance to make the team this year of he can preform well enough at the NHL level. He is young, but he is also fast, skilled, dedicated, has been putting on weight, and is really smart (he learned a lot of English his first year in the USA).

World Be Free

August 13th, 2010
7:46 am

Many of us go to games because we are hockey fans. We don’t go to games to “subsidize” anything or anyone. I agree with certain assessments of the past, but the past is the past and Rick Dudley is making the personnel decisions now. Dudley’s fingerprints are all over this club.

NHL Hockey blogs are filled with fans that question commitment of ownership and the competence of management. Sage, your comments are nothing new to hockey blogs. We can agree on the mistakes of the past, while hoping for a better future. The decision to attend games or not attend games is left up to the individual.

I am looking forward to this season, hoping to finally move forward.

Putting On The Foil

August 13th, 2010
8:30 am

Kulda, Cormier, and hopefully, Burmistrov is this years Kane. WBF-Thanks for being the only one who liked my “Buy a Thrasher’s ticket, if they don’t win, get a voucher for a free ticket to another game promo” yesterday. LOL


August 13th, 2010
8:35 am

Zim- a checking line of Ladd, Slates and Machacek. How novel? Ramsey was often part of a shut down, checking line and I hope that we finally start playing like the rest of the NHL. Brendan- try writing spy novels. You’ve got every intrigue angle covered.


August 13th, 2010
8:41 am

IMHO – Kulda absolutely deserves to be here. I see him as the sixth defenseman and Boris riding the pine as cheerleader, or seventh man. Cormier has been getting a lot of publicity and will probably make the team. That would leave Machacek as the odd man as we’re strong on the third/fourth line. We need someone else who can play top six minutes. That would leave the competition to Esposito and Burmitsov. If either impress in camp think that would be the final piece. Otherwise would make a trade with a cap issued team.

Brendan – you’re very insightful and accurate, but, sometimes I too sense some negativity in your posts – as so and so doesn’t want to be here. You could get the impression no one on this team wants to be here. Granted that’s a result of the past mis-management. However, let’s hope this season changes some minds and makes Atlanta a favored place to play.

Get The Puck Out

August 13th, 2010
8:46 am

This years team will be better. Coaching to get talent out of a player that’s never been coached to show talent will make a difference. I think playoff’s will be attainable, barring injuries to key players. And really Sage – a motivational speaker would help i think…..

Putting On The Foil

August 13th, 2010
8:47 am

Buckaroo Bonzai


August 13th, 2010
8:48 am


BenThrashers Thrashers prospects will start rookie camp a month from today. Hockey is in the air.


August 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Oh, they don’t go to Traverse City this year, so we can mosey on over to DIF to see the kids. See if Burma has bulked up, see how Machacek, Espo look, get a look at the coaches, etc.

World Be Free

August 13th, 2010
8:57 am

Putting-great idea, novel for any franchise.


August 13th, 2010
9:00 am

Well stated WBF! See, it helps to avoid posting when “half-drunk and hollowed-eyed”! ;-)

Yes Sage, you’ve really enlightened us about our lousy ownership group by telling us the same thing written a slightly different way for about the 300th time. I feel so much smarter being in your company.

I think I’ll give back my deeply discounted tkts to watch the game I love because it’s so outrageous to pay $27 per game and only subsidize incompetence. Man they’re really foolin’ me. And here I thought I was only putting a price on my own entertainment.

You’re so hung up on the past that you can’t even give due credit for better decision-making that has taken place in the last couple of years. Unfortch, those marroons also gave Iso-Joe $120 M but I suppose there are enough little fwag wavers for the Hawks to pay the bills so we can keep watching subsidized hockey.

Sure, ownership helped get us to this point of mediocrity, but ownership has also gotten us Rick Dudley and his moves have put us in a better position to win. But starting 10/8, ownership won’t be hitting the ice to take on the Washington Capitals.
Its up to Bogosian, Little, Kane etc to raise their level of play and make us better. If you’re not excited by the prospect of our youth’s potential, then you are as narrow-minded and obtuse as you seem when you post your scripted words a different way.


August 13th, 2010
9:05 am

kracker – Johnny Burma is taking no prisoners! Love that he is already in ATL getting ready for camp. Kid has a lot of character.


August 13th, 2010
9:10 am

Rissmiller is AHL filler. He played his way out of the NHL and into the AHL. If he actually makes the Thrashers, I guarantee you all that this will be a very long and very bad season for the Thrashers. If you want to be scared, you can make a terrific case that’s he actually a downgrade over Todd White.


August 13th, 2010
9:14 am

Looks like you’ve recovered nicely Smoothie. Remember we need Sage to keep us on the right track!