Do the Thrashers still need another top-six forward?

I’m quite sure that upon reading the question posed in today’s header, most of you already answered the enquiry out loud. And I’m certain it was phrased something like… “Do we need another winger for one of the top two lines? Well, yeah…DUH, Rawhide”!

Nik Antropov scored 24 goals for the Thrashers as the top-line center last season (AP Photo)

Nik Antropov scored 24 goals, 43 assists and was a +13 as the Thrashers top-line center last season (AP Photo)

Uh-huh…and maybe there were a few other special words strategically placed as well.

But let’s take a look at this for just a second. Right now the top two lines that could be rolled out October 8 could possibly consist of Nik Antropov centering Nic Bergfors and Bryan Little as well as Rich Peverley in between Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane.

So…which one of those players isn’t worthy of top-six status? I’m sure that debate will be waged in the comment section below.

Regardless, there are a couple of issues here to take into consideration. First of which is that Bergie is still yet unsigned. When the RFA and the Thrashers will come to terms is anyone’s guess. Then you also have the whole “Byfuglien could play on defense” thingy that’s been floated out there by Mr. Dudley. Take either of those two players out of the equation then I join the chorus of those calling for a deal to bring in another winger.

Could Andrew Ladd be called upon to fill a possible void if Bergfors holds out? Sure, sure. The former Blackhawk has netted 32 goals, 87 overall points and was a +28 in the past two seasons in Chicago. As an added bonus, he’s played in all 164 games during that time as well, so health issue doubts don’t circle around him.

Boris Valabik may find the Thrashers blueline too crowded if Dustin Byfuglien plays defense (AP photo/Gregory Smith)

Boris Valabik may find the Thrashers blueline too crowded if Dustin Byfuglien plays defense (AP photo/Gregory Smith)

But I’m looking for Ladd to join Slater and Fredrik Modin/Spencer Machacek/Fredrik Pettersson on the third line, depending on who impresses most during training camp and preseason. If so…coupled with a possible fourth line of Patrice Cormier, Ben Eager and Eric Boulton…then your odd man out might just be Chris Thorburn, who could then be used as trade bait.

Now, if Big Buff is tapped to play back, then that creates a bit of a crowd on the blueline. He would join Ron Hainsey, Toby Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Johnny Oduya, Brent Sopel and Boris Valabik there. That’s seven, leaving no room at the inn for Arturs Kulda.

I don’t know about you, but I want Kulda up here this fall.

Somehow, I think Dudley and Co. do too. If Byfuglien does indeed wind up joining the Thrashers’ defensive corps, I would imagine it was because the team was able to package up Valabik with [insert name of any of the handful of two-way players that have been acquired recently here] to bring in that much sought after top-six forward.

I’m not ‘down’ on Boris, mind you. I see a lot of upside to his game…heck, there is a lot of up side that comes in a 6’-7” 245 lb frame. Plus, he’s also cut down on his propensity to commit the untimely penalty. During last year’s injury-shortened season, he earned 36 penalty minutes in 23 games played, (1.56 PIM per game). This is an improvement on the 2.64 PIM per game the year before that and 6 PIM per game during seven games played in the 2006-07 season.

Do the Thrashers need to add another top-six forward to the roster?

  • Yes! They're doomed without it (53%, 80 Votes)
  • Maybe. If the price is right (41%, 62 Votes)
  • No! They look good 'as is' (6%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 150

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But if given the choice between Valabik and Kulda right now…I’d choose Kulda.

So returning to the question of if we need another top-six forward, my answer is “it depends”. If a deal could be made to procure one at the cost of a Boris Valabik and/or Chris Thorburn along with…oh, say…a Nigel Dawes or Patrick Rissmiller type of player, then I think Dudley would entertain the discussion. Same true if a deal can be worked to ship Bergfors to a place he’s be happy to ink a deal with in return for a signed winger of similar quality.

But if any the price is too high… I’d venture to guess they’d keep Buff on the forward line while Kulda and Valabik compete with Freddy Meyer to round out the seven man defensive group. Then allow prospects like Cormier, Machacek and Pettersson to do battle with Dawes for the remaining spots on the forward lines.

That should make for a very interesting training camp.

181 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
8:49 am

kracker

September 10th, 2010
8:51 am

Ha! I got Ranalloed so I am reposting this reply to Smoothie. It fits right in with this blog.

Smoothie, I never did answer about whether or not Dudley is done as Chris thought. I feel sure Chris got the right impression (or was told) that the Thrashers “were done.” With what Dudley wanted to do this offseason, with the budget he was given, he indeed might be finished at this time.

But we know the job for a good GM is never finished. The general composition of your team, the up-to-date assessment of your players’ skills, the availability of players, injuries, the waiver wire, calls to and from – things are always in play. So while Duds may be finished at the moment, it is a pretty good bet that with 4 weeks until open night he is not done.

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
8:57 am

Well, I think Dudley (based on comments) might be looking at this… he seems to think Thorsy can play a bigger role. The scoring depth changes dramatically with this logic…

Berg Antro Litts
Kane Pevs Thorsy
Modin Slates Ladd
Eager Cormier Boults

Dawes/Rissmiller

Boone7

September 10th, 2010
9:14 am

YES, YES, and YES!!

hip czech

September 10th, 2010
9:20 am

I still like Little as a center of Antropov. I am not sure what Antropov’s faceoff % is, but Little seems to win more often than not when he is called into the circle.

It all hinges on Bergfors, sign him and I think Dudley goes with what we got. If they continue to butt heads in negotiations then I can see a Bergfors+Valabik+another depth winger combination being dealt for some help up front.

Cogliano is Edmonton’s Bergfors (and he plays center)…might be an option.

Boone7

September 10th, 2010
9:20 am

Who will score 30 goals on this team? Little? Kane? Buff? I think Bergie could but he’s not a happy (rich) camper right now. Without another top six forward, we still have the question marks as to who is going to score. The only proven top 6 guys are Antro and Buff. Anyone else is a stretch. A couple of DW’s prized draft picks like Kane and Little need to ante up. I hope they can and Bergie comes back to play.

ChippersLoveChild

September 10th, 2010
9:21 am

Hokie, if you put Thorburn on the second line we are doomed.. Thorburn has had chances to play on scoring lines and he hasn’t gotten the job done. A new season and the new general manager coming out in the press spinning a positive story isn’t going to change that. Thorburn is what he is and what he is not is a winger that deserves to be on the first or second line.

As for the question of the blog, ummm yes?! We need one regardless of how the lines are going to set up. We are banking on too many “well if this goes right..” moments to score goals this season. We need one more proven goal scorer to solidify our team.

Jack

September 10th, 2010
9:22 am

Yes and more importantly Hell to the Yes. I wonder if Flames knows anything.

Brendan

September 10th, 2010
9:27 am

Rawhide, intriguing blog. Very intriguing. And I thank you for posting it. My answer is, “Yes, the Thrashers need another Top Six forward. They probably need two, to make the playoffs.” To answer the 2nd question, any of the following could be demoted to 3rd line, with my blessings: Bergfors, Peverley, and Little. I don’t mean that in a demeaning way, however. But the truth is, to conform to the “playoff formula” … we need to be a +22 in our goal differentials. Last year, we were -22. Do the math. That’s a lot of improvement that has to be made, to playoff bound. While I have little doubt that we will shave a decent amount of goals off our goals against, I am still concerned about the offensive production losses of Kovalchuk, Afinogenov, Colby Armstrong, etc. To even have a shot at it, players like Kane and Bryan Little have to have career seasons, while Antropov remains the Team Leader in most categories. I like Rich Peverley. I truly do. But he “jumped” at a contract that substantively underpaid him, based off his numbers. Score one for Waddell!, with an assist to Peverley for INSISTING that a new contract be done during the season. Don’t laugh, it’s not often that Waddell “negotiated a new contract during the season.” It’s against Waddell’s stated policy. Now, I’ve yet to hear what Dudley’s stated policy is on the matter. If Dudley is the man in charge, he ought to be free to (1) negotiate contracts during the year and (2) make PROACTIVE contracts. I can already see that Dudley is a “Show me, first” kind of GM. And those kinds of GM’s don’t go the PROACTIVE route all that often. Somewhere, Zach Bogosian is laughing, saying something like, “I was WILLING re-sign on July 1st. It’s past September 1st, and I now think I’ll wait to see what the market will bear on my RFA contract next summer.” A smart move by Bogosian, to be sure. This team has all the cap room in the world for the former 3rd overall pick of the 2008 draft. Well played by Zach and his agent. Might even get an RFA offersheet, if he hits his numbers, or even has a “decent” season. At this point, in Zach’s shoes, I’d laugh at the proactive offer. For three full months, of nothing happening offseason, the thought of renewing Bogosian proactively … apparently escaped the minds of the brain-trust of the Atlanta Thrashers. That’s okay. They like to overpay star players. Which is sort of “odd” for an ownership not known for its robusts budgets, and is often thought of as ‘cash strapped.’ But hey, Joe Johnson is smiling. What does he care if never gets the supporting cast around him to win a championship for Atlanta. He has a bathtub full of cash to bathe in … every single night. (Thanks, Gearons!) He’s got millions of friends, all named “Benjamin.” At parties, JJ uses $100 bills to light other people’s smokes. Except, he’ll call those parties “charitable fund-raisers” and use each “Benjamin” as a tax-deductible expense. And let’s face it, the man needs TAX SHELTERS. I wonder who the AS,LLC has paid more. Their lawyers or Joe Johnson?

ss

September 10th, 2010
9:27 am

Top 6 forward? No. Go with what you have, since the spirit like to do things the cheap way. Chris Mason is a big up grade in net, and it should come down to the team being able to play better defense, Will that happen? I have no clue and thats why you play the game. There probally isnt much left on the UFA market right before camp opens up.

ss

September 10th, 2010
9:29 am

Brendan,

Two forwards? Who you going to get right before camp? Two to make the playoffs? What happened to being strong on the blue line where there is better plus minus type stats and less shots given up? There should be enough forwards that can score goals, but this orginzation has shown they never were willing to build from the net out.

Maybe Ramsay and Dudley will make this orginzation fun to watch in the up coming years.

J.B.

September 10th, 2010
9:32 am

of course another top 6 F would we welcomed, but are there any left to sign?

Incidentally, I really think Dawes will thrive here. I really like that signing. Flames and Rangers fans Ive heard from have nothing but good things to say about him.

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
9:34 am

Last years Total Team Goals were 230 goals, which was 12th in the League.

I’m going to undershoot the potential here… the below would total 224 goals, which still would have been good enough for 14th in the League last year, ahead of Detroit.

Berg= 25 goals
Antro= 25 goals
Little= 25 goals
Kane= 20 goals
Pevs= 20 goals
Thorsy= 15 goals
Modin= 12 goals
Slates= 10 goals
Ladd= 18 goals
Eager= 5 goals
Cormier= 3 goals
Boults= 3 goals

Enstrom= 10 goals
Bogosian= 10 goals
Oduya= 5 goals
Hainsey= 7 goals
Buff= 10 goals
Sopel= 1 goal

The most important thing has ALWAYS been Goals Against, and that’s where we should see the most improvement this year.

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
9:38 am

My totals also don’t account for any contribution from Dawes who had 14 goals last year, or Rissmiller… so go ahead and factor them into my Thorsy projection which is strictly based on Thorburn playing a bigger role.

Matt

September 10th, 2010
9:43 am

Yes…Ja…Yep…Oui…Si…Hai. But as pointed out above, WHERE would this mythical player come from? The market for UFA seems bare. Would have to be a trade. Bergfors (not that I want to see him leave, but it look inevitable) plus another player would seem to be the minimum that any team is going to want to give up a Top 6.

Darkhorse

September 10th, 2010
9:49 am

Do the Thrashers need a legit top 3 veteran forward? Did Harvey Korman need Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show? Did Moe and Larry need Curly? Hell yes they did! You don’t have to give up the bank and trade for a “face of the franchise” type player, but if this team plans on getting to the postseason and doing anything worth mentioning, Dudley better put a mix of roster guys, propects, and picks to really bring in someone who’s a guaranteed goal scorer and all-around player.

I have no problem with our current top six forwards being worthy of those spots, but together they do not quite make an imposing group yet. There are a lot of better forwards around the league that I would bump Little, Pevs, Antropov, or whoever, to make a spot for.

We are depending too heavily on rookies, second and third year guys to max out at their potential up front. Modin on the top two lines for a veteran presence is not what I have in mind. We’re lottery bound if that is the answer.

This summer started off with a bang with the Chicago trades, draft, and Mason signing. Since then though, it’s been Waddell’esque flea market buys for name brand spots. If Dudley could find a way to bring in a Zajac, Elias, Lucic, Iginla(I know), or whoever…..then I feel all sections of the roster would have been significantly upgraded with quality depth.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2010
9:49 am

How about Marc Savard?? Does Tyler Seguin make him expendable? $4 M / year ain’t too bad compared to what he wanted before leaving ATL! Oh wait, he has a NTC this season…nevermind!

kracker – thanks kind sir. I agree. The next step is seeing what you got at camp and waiting on other teams to blink. Some are gonna have to drop a good player to get under the cap. And hanging some tempting bait like a Nicklas Bergfors might just be the enticement they need.

How about Bergy & Boris for Wheeler and a pick?

ss

September 10th, 2010
9:51 am

Didnt savard resign in bean town recently?

Alan R.

September 10th, 2010
9:53 am

Do we need another Top-6? Only if the price is right. Otherwise, I think we’ll be fine. Really. As was noted above, scoring isn’t really our problem. We’ll have a more “even distribution” of scoring this year, I think. Our problem has always been goals allowed. Always.

How many seasons have we had less GA than GF? Go ahead. Count ‘em out. Use your hands if you need to. I’ll wait.

World Be Free

September 10th, 2010
9:53 am

Bergfors will sign, Buff will play forward. I just do not see Rammer putting Buff on “D” especially if you watch the playoffs from last season and how much Buff controlled the front of the net against every defenseman he faced. I think we need to go with what we have, unless a team desperate to dump salary wants to through a forward our way on the cheap.

We need the coaches to focus on getting this TEAM to play defense, forwards backchecking, defenseman playing the body and transitioning the puck to the forwards. Max was not going to duplicate last season anyhow, if you know Max, you know the drill. He has to be on a series of 1 year contracts to be consistent.

Darkhorse

September 10th, 2010
9:54 am

As far as Dudley being at the top of his budget, he can still squeeze in a worthy 5-6 mil forward if he sends away similar salaries in various trades. Lots of teams want a big/cheap dman with some upside, that’s Valabik. Other teams salivate for a healthy minutes eating dman w/scoring punch. We have a few of those for the right price….

Brendan

September 10th, 2010
9:56 am

ss, maybe one of them could be Travis Zajac, as the Devils have cap issues. It’ll cost us, but wouldn’t be better off, moving forward, with a player like that, even if it costs us a coveted draft pick and maybe Bergfors in the return?

Rawhide

September 10th, 2010
9:57 am

of course another top 6 F would we welcomed, but are there any left to sign?

J.B. – Yes, pickings are slim right now…that’s why I think if any player is brought in to fill that “top-six” bill, it would be via trade

Didnt savard resign in bean town recently?

ss – Savard is signed through 2017. He’ll be 40-years old in July of that year. His cap hit is right over $4 mil per. Boston is, I think, about $3.5 mil over the cap right now so they’ll need to be shedding some salary.

Savvy does have a NTC though.

Brendan

September 10th, 2010
9:58 am

Smoothie, your 9:49AM post is an intriguing one for Wheeler. I’ve said before, if Bergfors doesn’t want to play here, which ISN’T A CERTAINTY, then we ought to accommodate him with a trade someplace he’d like better. I’d say up north, somewhere, would do it.

Brendan

September 10th, 2010
10:01 am

Geez Louise, there’s no doubt GA has been the problem. But, can we really afford such a dropoff in goal production? Yes, goals against will be less this year. But we’d better be scoring 2.9 to 3.1 goals-per-game, on average, if we’re going to win more games than we lose.

ss

September 10th, 2010
10:07 am

Thanks raw hide!

Brendan

September 10th, 2010
10:11 am

It’s going to be a challenge just to get to 234, GF. http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm. The key will be getting the GA from 256 down to something more like 220. Even doing all that, puts the goal differential at +14. Which I think would be substantial improvement, but will it be enough???

J.B.

September 10th, 2010
10:11 am

i think our best bet is to do exactly what we did with Chicago. Take advantage of the Devils cap issues and trade with them. We have the pieces, they have the need.

Alan R.

September 10th, 2010
10:17 am

Yes, goals against will be less this year. But we’d better be scoring 2.9 to 3.1 goals-per-game, on average, if we’re going to win more games than we lose.

Not really. We can still win games 1-0, 2-1, etc. The thing is to score more than we allow, not score high. High scoring games are fun to watch, and I completely get that. However, winning is more important. We can afford the drop off in GF, so long as we cut GA. I think we can cut GA with this defense, don’t you agree?

It would be fun as hell to watch this team score 2.9-3.1 GF/G while limiting teams to <1.5 GA/G.

It all starts with defense.

glovesave29

September 10th, 2010
10:26 am

Bill, you might not be down on Valabik – I certainly am. Cement footed D don’t work in an NHL with no center ice line. I’ve long maintained he could be a grinder wing. Send him to Chicago to learn the position, or package him with something else and see if Colorado bites on it for their hold out RFA Peter Mueller. Bergs sees that addition – perhaps he’s a bit more eager to sign.

Russ

September 10th, 2010
10:29 am

The need for a minute-munching veteran d-man is much greater than a top six forward assuming Bergfors is on board. Unfortunately, I don’t know if they would be able to acquire one at this point without giving up a core player.

Joe Friday

September 10th, 2010
10:30 am

Berg= 25 goals
Antro= 25 goals
Little= 25 goals
Kane= 20 goals
Pevs= 20 goals
Thorsy= 15 goals
Modin= 12 goals
Slates= 10 goals

Good golly, I’d love to believe those projections can come to fruition, but I think you’re being wildly optimistic. If our guys did do that, AND we had three dmen pot 10 each, we’d not only be in the playoffs, we’d be the suprise of the league and poised to go deep.

I think you can knock 1/3 of each goal total above and be more realistic, Ladd is the only guy I see a solid 18 goals, everyone else would have to overreach. This club is going to struggle up the middle, it needs to be addressed as puck distribution is going to be key with this club.

Big Buf needs to play forward and get to the net, that will create some space for our wingers, but as Red Light keeps pointing out, we are very weak up the middle. To expect Kane and Bergfors to avoid soph slumps AND to expect Little to snap back AND to expect Thorburn, Modin, and Slater all to exceed their expections by a wide margin is just too much.

We need a top 6 forward that can pot 30, that’s only to come via trade, and I feel pretty confident that Dudley is banking on a cap stressed team to have to make some move, when do they have to be below the cap by? Day 1 of the season?

kracker

September 10th, 2010
10:30 am

Wheeler…yes maybe, if I felt he would play here. After his refusal to play for the Yotes I would be leery of depending on him to perform at 100% in Atlanta. Perhaps he has grown up a bit and is over the me-first attitude but who can say if that is true.

As for trading Bergy, I keep coming back to the fact that he is RFA. He is not currently under contract to Atlanta and thus he is not ours to trade in the traditional sense of trading player A for player B. We can only trade his RFA negotiating rights and how much can you expect to get for that? Not nearly as much as if he were a signed player. The fact that you are attempting to trade a player you can not come to terms with means you will have less leverage in the proposed trade because you are trying to trade your problem for another teams signed player.

So, I am not buying that Dudley can easily trade an unsure thing (Bergy’s negotiating rights) + another player to someone for their top six winger.

Barry

September 10th, 2010
10:35 am

They already have two top 6 forwards. Get Bergfors signed and for the love of all that is good and holy in the world move Byfgulien to forward position. Please Dudley stop this nonsense about moving Dustin to defense. We don’t need him there. We have enough defensemen who are foaming at the mouth to make the team as it is. Give them a chance. We need Byfgulien’s booty parked in front of opposing goalies wreaking havoc.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2010
10:37 am

After the Kovy trade, we scored 68 goals in 27 games for an avg of 2.52 per game. Unfortunately, we only potted 16 goals in the last 10. Obviously we struggled to score in the most important games against tougher competition down the stretch.

But keep in mind that we had stiffs like Clarke MacArthur and Todd White in our top 6 at various times. Antro, Lits, Bergie, Max and Pevs scored 35 of those 68 down the stretch, which isn’t too bad. We just didn’t get enough secondary scoring and help from the blueline (only 7 goals) to offset the injury to Kaner, who had 3 goals in 7 games after the trade before he got hurt.

The good news is that we only gave up 78 goals in those 27 games, and that includes two 5-goal debacles against WSH and a 6-goal disaster in Tampa, the game in which Kane got hurt and effectively ended our chances of making the playoffs. The biggest problem was PP goals allowed after the Olympic break. We allowed 12 PPG in 8 games!! Coincidentally, that corresponded to the 6-game winless streak in March which made the hill too steep to climb.

By the time we figured out how to tighten things up and keep the games close it was too late. They just couldn’t generate enough chances against good teams to overcome their playoff race nerves. And the stinker of a game against Ramsay’s boys from Boston exposed us greatly.

My point is that the remaining players from that roster learned a lot from that experience down the stretch. Although they struggled to put the puck in the net, they did a better job of keeping the puck out of their own net. For the most part, they played against better teams, especially in April. Hopefully, adding players like Ladd, Buff, Eager and even Modin, who know how to win against good teams, may be enough to lower that goal differential down to 220-230 for the season.

kracker

September 10th, 2010
10:44 am

Smoothie, about not scoring as much to close out the last season, didn’t we lose Kane for the last ten games or so? That was a big loss. Not that Kane would have scored every game but his loss did cause the Thrash to score less as a team, I think.

kracker

September 10th, 2010
10:47 am

Oops, I see you had it all covered, Smoothie. (My problem at work, sometimes, is taking the time to read everything before posting)

five hole

September 10th, 2010
10:48 am

Seems to me the question is, how many of the “kids” are they counting on to make the roster. I like Burmistrov and Klingberg, but do you think they can play in the bigs this year? I think it would be nice to have another veteran top-6 forward. We certainly have the defensive depth if we wanted to go the trade route.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2010
10:52 am

Ha, no problem kracker! Sorry, I got on a roll and I couldn’t stop.

But yes, the loss of Kaner really hurt, especially with the Slater-Kane-Army line playing so well — they were keeping other teams’ lines off the scoresheet even if they weren’t scoring themselves. Also, I believe firmly that Antropov’s hip really became an issue down the stretch. After scoring like gang-busters coming out of the break, he only scored 2 goals in his last 9 games. Bergie dropped off too, but I think it was more due to Antropov’s loss of mobility…they just couldn’t control the puck the same way.

And yes, I agree with the passionate pleas to leave Big Buff at forward. We need his big ass to tie people up and eat up space for Pevs and Kaner to do their thing. I really think Buff is the key to Kaner scoring 20-25 goals this year. He looked real comfortable at the Worlds playing with Pevs and Big Buff could be the missing piece.

Alan R.

September 10th, 2010
10:58 am

five hole – Klingberg doesn’t think he’s ready yet. Therefore, I doubt he’ll play here this year. Burmistrov will, at the very least, start with the Thrashers and play his nine games. After that, I’m almost certain he’ll return to juniors. Cormier makes the team out of camp.

That’s my three cents.

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
10:59 am

Boston was 30th in the League for Goals and still made the playoffs.

Montreal and Phoenix were also in the bottom 10 for Goals and still made the playoffs.

The only Statistic that’s consistent with NOT making the Playoffs is Goals Against. All 10 tens in the bottom of the league last year missed the playoffs.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2010
11:02 am

Alan – that’s a very valuable three cents. I concur wholeheartedly.

DWTOO

September 10th, 2010
11:07 am

Bergie really doesn’t have a choice for a few years at least. Thrashers own his rights. THe problem would be that he wants out. I’d like to see us trade w/ NJ for a winger who could play on the top two lines. Could move Pevs down and one of the multitude of others out.

GaVaHokie

September 10th, 2010
11:11 am

Per Viv on Twitter…

ajcthrashers Craig Ramsay confirmed to me that Dustin Byfuglien will come to camp as defenseman.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2010
11:13 am

Oh fer crap’s sake!

kracker

September 10th, 2010
11:17 am

Is it still I.D.W.T.???

Joe Friday

September 10th, 2010
11:17 am

“Craig Ramsay confirmed to me that Dustin Byfuglien will come to camp as defenseman.”

They’re nuts

Joe Friday

September 10th, 2010
11:25 am

They’ve got to planning on playing Ladd Top 6 then, and that’s just making a bad decision worse. Ladd is most valuable on your 3rd line, he a great guy to have out to shut down the other club’s top lines and he can pot goals from there. He’s going to struggle top 2 lines.

I watched the Hawks all year. Big Buf struggled on D. The club also had some trouble getting Toews and Kaner loose, that all changed when they moved Buf to forward and he created space for them. We all saw what he was able to do in front of the opposing team’s net.

I would assume that they’ll still trot Buf out there on the PP and park him in front of the crease, but you’re taking away the his forechecking ability and ability to create some space for our soft wingers like Little and Bergfors.

This is just plain dumb by Dudley and Ramsay and the only reason I can think of them doing it is they don’t have the budget to bring in more help so they’re going to try to move guys out of place to make the most out of the whole.

kracker

September 10th, 2010
11:26 am

tweet – jmanasso #Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said the team might not have 1 player wear the “C” at the start. Might have several wearing “A”s instead.

Not this crap again!?

Dwayne

September 10th, 2010
11:27 am

If Byfuglien is on “D” then Doris is in the press box or gone in a trade for some pucks. That makes me happy. How could any one want Doris on their team after he took a gonad pounding from Cindy Crotchby?