Coach Ramsay believes defense can be Thrashers strength

So, how did new Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay spend this past holiday weekend? Well, taking advantage of the beautiful weather that was experienced here in Atlanta, he and his wife checked out some of the sights in Buckhead and did a little shopping. Being out and about in the fair climes of the south is something Ramsay says he could get used to.

“I spent 22 years in Buffalo and was asked if I would ever leave”, he told me. “I said ‘yeah if they ever put a team in Florida’. So I’ve been with both teams in Florida and now Atlanta”.

Of course, the weather down here wasn’t the only thing about Atlanta that coach Ramsay had heard of, “The traffic has been found to be everything it was proposed to be”.

However, his commute to the Duluth Ice Forum has been nothing but a pleasure, he insists. The coach says that’s because he truly is enjoying the people he is working with. He and general manager Rick Dudley and team president Don Waddell have known each other for years and Ramsay really is looking forward to building something special here in Thrasherville.

”Don is a great worker, student of the game and he’s going to be an invaluable tool for me and the coaching staff”.

Craig Ramsay, seen here with Milan Lucic, says making the Thrashers defense a team strength will be his top priority (AP Photo / Mike Dembeck)

Craig Ramsay, seen here with Milan Lucic, says making the Thrashers defense a team strength will be his top priority (AP Photo / Mike Dembeck)

He added that he knows what Rick Dudley expects from this team given that they went through the same “changing of the culture” experience while in Tampa. There, the two taught a Lightning team how to play and how to win at the NHL level.  Because of it, their names were etched in the Stanley Cup in 2004.

When discussing what it takes to create a winning environment, the coach said, “If you’re going to be successful you have to have good people in the organization and everybody has to be in this together and they have to understand that they’re part of something”.

He added that the presence of those necessary ingredients is what helped him to make the decision to head south and coach the Thrashers. “They’ve got good people here and that’s what really made it fun to come in”.

Joining Ramsay behind the bench are two other coaches that he’s excited to work with, John Torchetti and Mike Stothers. I asked Ramsay about sharing coaching duties with a man like Torchetti, whom many felt just as qualified to be head coach himself. Among other things, he plans on using him to help address the team’s biggest shortcoming throughout the years…defense.

“[Torchetti] will run the defense during the game and he’ll be overseeing the power play. I’ve generally done the defense with every team I’ve been with, but he will run that during the game”.

When coaching in Boston, Ramsay admitted that they felt comfortable exposing the Thrashers’ Achilles heal saying, “We thought we could take advantage of Atlanta in their own end, but I think we will turn that around…that will be a priority for us”.

But he doesn’t merely want to improve the play on defense… he actually feels it has the potential to become an asset.

“We want to change that attitude, that’s for sure. I think looking at this [team] that our defense could be our strength. That’s what we did in Tampa when we won the Cup. In Boston we were very strong on the blueline. Rick understands that value…and we’ve got good people here and we think they can make this defense work and it can be turned to our advantage”.

“We believe strongly that we have to be good at getting the puck out. Boston became probably one of the best breakout team that I’ve had, probably better than Tampa was, because we did a good job as a team. I have every confidence that we can make our team good in our end. And once you’ve established that, you can break out quickly and strongly and now you can start playing an up-ice and up-tempo game that I feel we can play”.

Ramsay and Torch have also been discussing the team’s power play. The key to success here, he says, is to just keep it simple and get the job done.

“I think our power play can be very effective. I think we have some people that can make it work. John’s got some good ideas on the power play and simplicity is something we’ve talked about already…and that’s something I couldn’t agree with more. We want to start off by getting to the point and shooting it. We’ve got a couple of people who can shoot it. And that’s going to help us get some net presence”.

“I think our power play is going to be [run] simple. We’ll make some tweaks to it but generally we want to make sure we’re not trying to do too much. Just go out and get it done”.

Mike Stothers will start the year off upstairs, maybe coming down for the third period.

And coach Ramsay certainly does not feel threatened at all by having such quality people coaching from his bench. In fact, he rather prefers it that way.

“Part of a head coaches job is to train your successors. These guys [assistant coaches], I want them to be down there working with me. I know for a fact I can work with both of them. So together I think we’re going to have a real good, tight group that works solidly together”.

Of the players he and his staff will coach, Ramsay says he likes the way the roster is taking shape. He is especially excited about the Chicago connection that made their way here along with Torchetti. He’s looking forward to using them them, and veterans like newly acquired Freddie Modin whom he coached in Tampa, to help teach the winning ways of hockey to the other players.

But even those with a few years experience under their belts can still continue in the learning process.

“We’ve got kids coming in from all over the place who have not been together, and I’m going to put in a style of play that’s fun so they can use their enthusiasm to participate with. However, even veteran players have to learn things…they haveto change their games. When you look at a Dave Andreychukand how he came in as strictly an offensive player, but by the time we finished in Tampa Bay he did everything for us…including killing penalties for us”.

For Ramsay, it’s the fine details that can be taught to these players that can make a big difference.

“I’ve always felt my job is not just to tell them to go out and play but to make sure they understand the small subtle differences that separate really good players from just another player…things that will allow them to maximize their talent. But those details make a vital difference”.

“When I talked to Freddie Modin in Tampa about looking big killing penalties, he and the others looked like I had two heads. Well, how do you look big? You can do things with your feet, legs and your body that make you look bigger and scare others from even shooting. Also, you have to be willing to block shots”.

“And if you are willing to go out there and do that, then others will be willing as well”.

Ramsay explains that it’s one thing to try and implement a game plan, but when players have been taught how to cope when “Plan A” goes south then you have a smarter more effective team. This is a lesson that remained with him from his early days from those who taught him the sport.

“I was very lucky growing up. I only played for two coaches until I turned pro. They taught me to look at the game, read the game and try to understand the game. Once you do that, then you can adjust to whatever you have on the ice. If you’re just told to go here or go there then when it breaks down…and in hockey, it does…well, then you have players asking ‘Now what do you do? You didn’t tell us about that’”.

Ramsay he wants to “hopefully make them the smartest team in hockey. And that’s what I consider my ‘job’. They’ll be better players, we’ll be a better team…and that’s what I think teaching is all about”.

Smarter players, he insists, also give him the confidence to place less emphasis on line matchups and more on skating out his best players on his terms.

“We like matchups…we understand the value of matchups…but we’ve also discussed the downside of matchups. You can get so carried away with having you’re ‘matchups’ that you forget to play your players. And have seen that, where at times some of the best players don’t get on the ice because a coach is too worried about his matchups”.

Continuing, “Once you’re on the road, you can’t always have your matchups. So we won’t get so carried away with that that we won’t get our players out on the ice”.

And so, coach Ramsay and his staff will seek to teach the Thrashers’ players how to play the game and instill in them a winning attitude. But Thrasherville’s newest head coach expects his students to participate not only during lesson time, but during the game as well. And not just on one side of the ice…but all sides.

“We want to have at least two sets of defense that can play against anybody. We want to have at least two lines that we can use in situations when we need them…and we expect all of our players to participate on both ends of the rink”.

Give the history in Thrasherville, that’s a lesson we can only hope that everyone on the team takes to heart.

192 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
2:55 pm

Oh well, figured it was more the beer league spreading the hockey love and not ASG, but I’m still intrigued to say the least. I have a really good tkt rep who is not afraid to pass along my feedback so perhaps we can come up with something to get them more involved for the sake of getting more kids, friends of league players and such interested in going to some games early on in the season. Promote the charity aspect of it and and help boost attendance all at the same time.

Man, they really need to tap some of the “talent” on this blog when it comes to promoting the game in this city. Use your fans to help stir up interest and create new fans along the way. Invest in the game and the game will be better off as everyone benefits, profit-wise, entertainment-dollar wise and community srengthening-wise.

Okay, stepping down off of the soap box.

Adam

September 8th, 2010
3:06 pm

Bill – I meant to mention how good of a Blog article I thought this was. Thank you for your time & effort.

I been around this page almost as long as you have and I must say you are head and shoulders above your predecessors!!! If you keep getting team access like this you may end up giving Chris a run for his job. No offense to Chris… ;)

Tom

September 8th, 2010
3:10 pm

Remember when Bergfors was traded to the Thrashers? He was not happy about it and was not afraid to show it during his interview with the blonde (sorry, I have already forgotten her name).

Bergfors is a very talented young man, but he is not eager to be a Thrasher. I think he is taking the road that if he is to play here he will do so only if he is overpaid.

Dudley has obviously been around the block a few times and knows this so he will not be bullied. My guess is that is why he is saying publicly that he will only pay the amount that would be attractive on the waiver wire.

My hypothesis, Berfors is trade bait for a Top 6 player. The team knows that he will be gone sooner rather than later so getting value now out of him will make sense.

Darkhorse

September 8th, 2010
3:20 pm

If Bergfors is smart, he will realize playing a bigger role in Atlanta as he develops is not such a bad gig, especially when you consider the amount of beautiful, availible women in this town. Much rather hit the Midtown watering holes after a weeknight game here than Newark on a Saturday.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
3:33 pm

RE in the Bergfors negotiation (and some others), Dudley may be demonstrating, or saying, that he is in charge and a proper team is now being constructed in Atlanta, so no longer will players be over-paid to play here. Or something along those lines.

Now, if Dudley can back that up by constructing a proper team, we might be in business.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
3:36 pm

Very true, Darkhorse, being a bigger fish in a slightly smaller pond is a good thing. Surely he played here long enough to get out to Buckhead/Midtown after he was traded?…

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
3:38 pm

Darkhorse – Jimmy “Skandalous” Slater needs to show Nicky a good time out in midtown…time for this team to change its own image. Ramsay will kickstart the change on the ice, but I think our boys Kaner, Bogo, Mason, Ricky Pevs, Jimmah and even Burmie will help change the image of this team within their own peer group. These whiny prima donnas who blather about playing in real hockey market need to take it upon themselves to make this town excited about hockey. If it can happen in Denver, CO, Phoenix (I mean Glendale), AZ and even Sonrise, FL, then it sure as hell can happen here in Atlanta. Bergy son, you have the potential to be great. But you gotta prove it first! Let’s go! Get on board the Kane Train o’ Dames and Fame or else you’re gonna feel real stupid sitting around with the hoboes at the midtown Amtrak waiting for your train out of town!

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
3:45 pm

BTW, the biggest loss this off-season will prove to be Marty Reasoner. Our PK will struggle without him for at least a month or so until it adjusts and new roles are embraced by guys who don’t even know it yet. This team needs his passion and leadership by example. However, I do believe that Kaner and Slater and even Pevs to an extent will provide the necessary passion to fuel some fires in the ‘room’.

But you know, I’d be perfectly happy if we traded Bergfors to Florida for Stephen Weiss and Marty Reasoner. I think Weiss is one of the most under-rated C in the entire need. As Red Light has pointed out, we need play-makers more than anything. Hell, I’d be willing to give up Peverley too if that’s what it took to get Weiss. No offense to Pevs, but I think Weiss’ ceiling is closer to 75-80 points.

English Teacher

September 8th, 2010
3:51 pm

“In the hour spent with him, I don’t think one time an ‘ummm…’ or ‘ya know…’ or ‘uhhhhh…’ came out of his mouth responding to any questions.”

I think this speaks volumes, and it gives me hope.

Is it hockey season yet? Let’s kick this pig!

kracker

September 8th, 2010
3:53 pm

On trading Bergy…we can only trade negotiating rights, yes? I don’t know how much we would get coming back without the trading partner being sure of signing Bergfors. Can the Thrashers allow another team to negotiate w/ Bergfors before those rights are traded?? I suppose there could be some back door talking going on, perhaps.

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
4:34 pm

kracker: “Very true, Darkhorse, being a bigger fish in a slightly smaller pond is a good thing.”

Begging to differ here kracker. There are no smaller fish in the NY/NJ Metropolitan professional sports market than the New Jersey Devils, even with their Cups. Even if the Thrashers come in fourth here now, they have a chance to move ahead of the Hawks. In the other market, the Devils will never be higher than 7th out of nine, and could easily be 9th if it weren’t for the Isles.

If you win in Atlanta, the attendance here will be better than it is in Jersey. The reason they can compete is because of the radio and TV market, which of course, is so densely populated with viewers and listeners. The new arena, broadcast money and their Cup legacy is the only reason they are somewhat viable. Other than that, they are way off the radar except with their small base of fans.

1) Yankees
2) Giants
3) Knicks (when they don’t suck)
4) Jets
5) Mets
6) Rangers (they always have sucked with Sather)
7) Nets
8) DEVILS
9) Islanders (because their building sucks and their team has too, but there is room for a return to prior levels)

Also, I think they can trade Bergfors’ rights to whomever they want, whenever they want. The acquiring team has until Dec. 1 to sign him. You also could let him walk, and if he signs with an NHL team the Thrashers automatically get a 3rd-rounder in return.

Rawhide

September 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

Thank you very much to those who have offered up kind word. I enjoyed doing this piece. Ramsay was real easy to speak with and gave some good responses. There was a lot more, but I had to trim it down somewhat. Maybe I can work in some other comments of his about players and other things in the coming days as we discuss the team as it approaches camp.

I classify myself as “expectantly optimistic”. This is opposed to being “skeptically optimistic” the past few years. How would you and your regular contributors classify yourselves?

Fred from Thrasherville – I don’t think I could find a better way of putting it than the way you did. Put me down as “expectantly optimistic” as well.

If you keep getting team access like this you may end up giving Chris a run for his job. No offense to Chris…

Adam – C-Viv does a super job at covering the Thrashers and keeping up with his other duties as well. I don’t think for a second I could come close to giving him a run. But I appreciate the spirit of the compliment.

glovesave29

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

The latest laugh from Eklund…

from a source… “The trade would involve Tomas Kaberle and a 4th rounder ending up in NJ,
With Rolston, Langenbrunner, a first in 2011, and a second in 2012.”

Like Lou would ever let go so much for so little in return!!!

Sage of Bluesland

September 8th, 2010
4:56 pm

”…Don [Waddell] is a great worker, student of the game and he’s going to be an invaluable tool for me and the coaching staff…”

Remember, that half of all ’students’ finish in the lower half of their class. That’s our ’student’ Donny in a nushell.

I will agree that our bumbling little fraud of a “former” GM is a “tool”. No doubt about that. Not a spreadsheet in the world would show differently…(well, maybe except one…wink)

Nice article, Rawhide. It actually gives me a little hope that the old guy is preaching fundamentals–as opposed to gimmicks and ridiculous schemes (which aren’t time-honored in the league; i.e. everything Coach Sunshine and his ’system’ stood for).

It will, as always, be interesting to see…

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
5:01 pm

Hey World, there’s a rumor from Andy Strickland saying we’ve signed or are about to sign Nigel Dawes. Didn’t we say he’d be a good fit here?

Penalty Killer – check!

Adam

September 8th, 2010
5:01 pm

Bill – I was be a bit facetious with that comment, hence the wink. I know you have no plans on making journalism your primary vocation.

I know the writers here are spread a bit thin. I just think that this is one of the better Thrasher pieces this rag has seen in in a while. As C-viv continues to learn more about the game his blogs/articles have gotten better.

Adam

September 8th, 2010
5:04 pm

^ being a bit…
It’s late in the day. I need to go home. :)

kracker

September 8th, 2010
5:10 pm

Red Light, you miss my drift. Darkhorse (I don’t think) and I are not referring to market size, market share, the popularity of hockey versus some other sport, crowd size or city size…nothing like any of that. Simply that Bergfors has a better chance to shine, stat-wise, as a developing individual player on a team whose top six will almost surely be less difficult to crack than on a more established contending team. He would be getting ample PP time here too, don’t you think?

Even with logging heavy minutes here, I expect Bergy would rather play top six on a contending team. If he can land on one with the open slot for him, that is. I rather expect he has the spot already penciled in for him here in Atlanta.

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
5:14 pm

Got ya kracker!

Smoothie: It was way back on June 30 we began mentioning Dawes. Hope it happens, and if it does, say goodbye to Rissmiller.

http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2010/06/29/a-look-at-where-thrashers-are-prior-to-ufa-season/comment-page-2

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

No question Bergfors is a power play winger and will get lots of time on that unit, but depending upon the team he isn’t a sure top-6 forward, well at least not in Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago, etc.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
5:28 pm

Dawes? Wow, guys, it’s getting more crowded every day! How many spots will remain available for the young, hopeful players? Maye a trade coming for some picks?

Red Light, it looks like Dudley read your post ;)

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
5:29 pm

That’s right! You were the one suggesting Dawes back then. See? We do know what we’re talking about! ;-) I reckon we’ll be getting him for less than his former $850K price-tag and perhaps even on a 2-way contract similar to Freddy Meyer. I for one was never counting on Rismiller. He’s AHL fodder and an occasional disaster call-up. If Machacek, Cormier and Burma can’t beat him out, we’re in trouble.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
5:36 pm

Oh, not just Red Light….several of y’all were liking Dawes back than.

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

Yes, but I’m certainly not going to enhance my “assistant GM” status by advocating the acquisition of such low-hanging fruit like Nigel Dawes. You want someone to give you his all, night-in and night-out? Dawes is your man.

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
5:53 pm

It’s done. 2-way deal $600k/$105k

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

Thank you Rick. Thank you C-Viv. Thank you Sather and Sutter!

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
6:00 pm

And, oh by the way, while this very definitely is a depth signing, I’ll amend R.Stroz’s over-under on Modin goals and games to pose this proposition bet:

Who will score more goals in the NHL this season, Nigel Dawes or Fredrik Modin?

Darkhorse

September 8th, 2010
6:21 pm

kracker-You got my drift on Bergfors. He can sign a 3-5yr deal, be a main cog/star, and then still be young and go sign elsewhere for big $$ maybe on the next deal.

Funny how many of you were calling for Dawes since last summer.

Dawes is an interesting signing. Great PK guy, can pot a few goals, plays a Marty Reasoner tough style, and got him cheap on a two way deal. Interesting he agreed to a two way deal with us on what is already a very crowded third and fourth line. Starting to get very crowded on the roster, which should create some fierce training camp battles. With Modin, possibly………Dawes and Meyer, Rismiller, and Kyle Maclaren, not sounding like there will be much room for the young guys to make the roster. I would have thought Modin would have been the two way guy due to his age and injuries, and Dawes would have been the solid PK one way contract guy. But hey, what do I know sitting on my sofa here?

Could there be a trade brewing for a solid top six forward? They need that worse than another 3rd-4th line guy, who I do like by the way.

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
6:56 pm

Hey, nothing wrong with a 2-way deal…good for everyone except the player if he doesn’t make it. But this competition for jobs is the best thing that could happen to our young guys. It’s not like they’ll be losing out to JP Vigier, Brad Larsen or Todd White!!

After we sign Burmie and Bergie, hopefully, we’ll only have one contract left under the 50 allowed. I reckon there will be at least one more trade just as we’ve talked about. Luckily, the Sathers and Sutters of the world have painted themselves into some very unenviable corners.

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
6:57 pm

R/L – neither Modin nor Dawes, Pettersson scores the most with 14. Modin 11 and Dawes 9.

How’s that for going out on a limb!?

Red Light

September 8th, 2010
7:00 pm

A very shaky limb indeed.

GaVaHokie

September 8th, 2010
7:07 pm

Thrashers are now at 47 contracts, 50 is the NHL maximum. Bergfors would be 48.

Brendan

September 8th, 2010
7:08 pm

Rawhide, can you tell us if Ramsay listed anything resembling a final roster? Or any intended line combinations?

Brendan

September 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

What are our preliminary line combos?

Little-Antropov-Bergfors,
Kane-Peverley-Byfuglien,
Machacek/Petterson/Holzapfel-Cormier-Boulton/Modin/Dawes,
Thorburn-Slater-Boulton

On Defense …

Bogosian-Hainsey,
Oduya-Enstrom,
Valabik-Kulda/Postma

Is this where we are? Someone help me out.

Brendan

September 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

Whoops. Listed Boulton twice.

Tony C.

September 8th, 2010
7:37 pm

Sweet. We will be playing the trap. Just look at our forwards-lots of “sound two-way player” types…only a few that’ve ever seen the lamp go on more than 15 times in a season.

Looks like we’ll be winning more but have less “OMG!” type moments. I can live with that… provided we can get some scorers in here in a few seasons. The coming lockout seems to be informing personnel deciscions league-wide. Unfortunate, but hey, at least we have NHL hockey for a couple of more seasons.

Somebody be sure and let Rammer know that if we’re going to be playing the 1-2-2 his boys are going to need to rack up some serious PIMs… because the fair-weather jack@sses in this town surely aren’t going to be wowed into ticket purchases by playing positionally sound hockey (at least until/if we make the playoffs).

Not that I’m complaining. It will be nice to see a Thrashers squad that actually keeps the puck out of their end. I just don’t see enough scoring on that roster, and have deep reservations about the marketability of a trapping team that doesn’t fight (although you look at that roster and I see several guys that aren’t afraid to drop ‘em).

Brendan

September 8th, 2010
7:49 pm

Kinda forgot Ladd and Sopel. Allriightee, then.

Rawhide

September 8th, 2010
8:01 pm

Rawhide, can you tell us if Ramsay listed anything resembling a final roster? Or any intended line combinations?

Brendan – We did discuss that. But he said he really couldn’t speculate at this time.

Given the fact that there are so many new faces coming together on the squad, he said it would be ideal if a final roster could be put together early on. Then they could have time to gell during preseason. However, given that there are a number of prospects who will be trying to win spots, he doesn’t want to deny them the chance of proving themselves.

HookyBob

September 8th, 2010
8:03 pm

Mr Tiller:,…excellent, excellent write-up. Not sure if there is such a category but this is the “blog of the year” in my mind. What timing too,..you should be in the Thrashers marketing dept. Once again let me thank-you for the excellent service you provide Atlanta’s pro hockey community.

Defense as a Thrashers asset? Those words aren’t often found in the same paragraph,..let alone sentence. The common metric for defense is goals against / game. Last year we were at 3.05, or 25th in the league,..while the best team, NJ, was at 2.27. Who thinks we’ll improve to 2.75 (would have been 16th in the league in 09-10),..or even 2.60 (10th in the league).? Maybe this is another blogger contest to measure our faith this team and coaching.

I must admit that my optimisim is tempered by “high hopes” in previous Septembers. Weren’t Frasier, Hartley and Anderson all promoted as being hired because of their great ability to develop young talent? Perhaps Ramsay truly is the one to succeed at it.

Developing players “hockey intellect”,… and learning to be adaptable in the course of a game. I’m sold. Hope it doesn’t become fodder for commercials like the 2:40 mark of this clip illustrates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E-m2FIAcws

Also, hope it doesn’t reduce the blue collar grit and drive that a competitive hockey team needs.

Zoomo

September 8th, 2010
8:14 pm

And Ben Eager, Brendan….the third line may be the new Octocluster.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

And Freddy Meyer is in the D mix somewhere. We sure are going to see a lot of a$$e$ being worked off this camp and preseason.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
8:53 pm

Hey! I thought we were told there was no Traverse City Prospects Tourney this year?!

“….announced today that the Hurricanes will participate in the 2010 NHL Prospects Tournament from Sept. 11-15, in Traverse City, MI. This marks Carolina’s second appearance at the annual tournament, hosted by the Detroit Red Wings. The Hurricanes’ squad won the tournament in 2009.”

http://hurricanes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=535428

alex

September 8th, 2010
8:54 pm

good article, thanks. ram best signing for thrashers this summer.but he is not playing, team does. feel sorry he deserve better skillwise roster. he is not messia, i don’t like making nim scapegoat if team not perform. usially they fire coaches. not higher managment waddel included.

Smoothie

September 8th, 2010
9:04 pm

Bergfors(or trade?)-Antro-Little

Kaner-Pevs-Big Buf

Laddy-Slates-Modin/Pettersson (we carry 14 forwards to start and Fly is one of them)

Eager/Boults-Cormier-Dawes

Thorburn may be in jeopardy; Machacek is prolly quite pissed at this point

Hainsey-Oduya

Enstrom-Sopel

Bogosian-Kulda-Valabik

Freddy Meyer is the first call-up if Vlabs struggles to start the year

My somewhat bold predictions I guess you could say. Burma may get his 9-game cup of coffee and then Fly Pete gets the first call-up. Rismiller is the emergency replacement if Cormier screws the pooch or goes to jail (just kidding). I really think Thorburn may wind up the odd man up. Dawes, Modin, Fly Pete and even Eager have better hands. Uh oh.

R. Stroz

September 8th, 2010
9:16 pm

The preseason games are looking more interesting than previous years.

Rawhide

September 8th, 2010
9:21 pm

Did you guys see Sidney Crosby go yard at PNC Park in Pittsburgh? Yup, he smacked that ball pretty hard.

Of course, Boris Valabik could tell you how aggressively Sid swings at balls.

Thrashers27

September 8th, 2010
9:27 pm

Brendan, I’m hoping for something that is more along these lines.

Bergfors-Burmistrov-Antropov
Kane-Peaver-Little
Ladd-Cormier-Modin/Pettersson
Boults/Dawes/Eager-Slater-Thorbs

D
Bogosian-Hainsey
Sopel-Buff
Boris-McLaren
Kulda

I get the feeling Burmistrov is going to make the opening night roster and I firmly believe that in order to make the best use of talent on the roster Antro needs to be moved back to RW.

It’s nice to have the depth that the team has aqcuired, but there seems to be too much of a logjam on the 3rd and 4th lines.

I couldn’t stand Mclaren when he was with the Sharks. Seemed like a really big douche, but he’s the kinda guy that you don’t mind having on your own team. He has size and adds grit for sure. I think he makes the team out of camp.

Bring on the pucks, beaches!

World Be Free

September 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

Smoothie, Red Light-we wanted Dawes awhile back, now we have him. Another guy that’s in the league for one reason-he works. Very nice pickup.

Sage-you are so pitiful.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
9:36 pm

This is still the Spirit Group owned Thrashers. Out of camp, I’m not betting against anybody on a one-way contract. Later in the season, maybe.

kracker

September 8th, 2010
9:42 pm

WOW pretty cool! I would be going if it was the Thrashers.

mirtle Crazy Canes fans. RT @MikeSundheim: @mirtle For what it’s worth, AAA sold almost 300 travel packages for fans from Raleigh to go to Finland.