Lunch at Thrashers rookie camp

Wednesday I made the trek out to Duluth-land to take in a little lunch at the Breakaway Grill while observing the rookie 4 on 4 game. Smoothie of As the Birds Thrash as well Razor Catch Prey of The Blueland Chronicle joined me. Big Shooter, (a.k.a. Dances with Dolphins), was unable to attend.

Coach Ramsay, however, was on hand and observed the action just a few seats down from us. Don Waddell was just behind us. And it was good to see Falconer and Ben Wright as well.

The Blue team defeated the White team 6-4 with the two sides playing non-stop end-to-end hockey. The best goal of the game come off the stick of Fredrik Pettersson as he zipped his way through the right side of the defense, eluding checks and buried a nice shot past Ed Pasquale. He later scored on a nice wrap around.

Pettersson really stood out on both ends of the ice…the kid just flat out plays strong hockey.

Not to my surprise, Patrice Cormier also impressed. He is just a huge presence on the ice and knows how to use his physical play smartly. He had a couple big checks during the game as well as the game’s final goal.

Nasty, gritty, edgy, sandpaper…yeah, these are all words that apply to Cormier.

Even though there have been a number of signings lately making roster spots more difficult to come by, I would be stunned if Cormier is not playing at the NHL level in October.

I’d heard that Alex Burmistrov had put on about 20 pounds of weight since being drafted…and it looks like it indeed. He really didn’t show me much during prospect camp, but he did today. He provided a very nice feed through center ice to Danick Paquette who then scored on the breakaway. Good hustle and a lot of puck-handling skills.

That said, I still have some reservations about whether or not last summer’s first round pick by the Thrashers is ready for the NHL this fall, but I’ll hold off any final thoughts on that until I can see how he does with the older, more seasoned players next week.

Lastly, Angelo Esposito shows no signs that his knee is holding him back. He skates hard and fast…much more so than I had expected. If I had to venture a guess, I would say he definitely heads to the Wolves this fall, if for no other reason than to make sure he is 100% recovered from a twice-torn ACL. There is just no need to risk it at the NHL level given the amount of talent on hand.

Thursday will bring with it another 4 on 4 game starting at noon. If you can make it, it wraps up in just under an hour so it makes for a very nice lunch outing.

93 comments Add your comment

waffleboy

September 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

Two blogs in one day! I can get used to this!

Viking

September 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

I hope Burmistrov’s newly acquired 20 lb is muscle and not just flubber.

Rawhide

September 15th, 2010
6:12 pm

Waffleboy – I’d better be careful…don’t wanna spoil ya :cool:

Viking – Indeed it is. He really has filled out well from his workouts.

Everyone -Per C-Viv…”Thrashers have invited Russian forward Enver Lisin to training camp on a tryout. Played last season with the Rangers. He had 14 points (six goals, eight assists). Was a UFA after Rangers did not make him offer”.

DWTOO

September 15th, 2010
7:18 pm

The specualtion about Burmistrov reminds me of last year’s discussion regarding Kane. Kane pretty much porved he belonged once the season started. Probably Burmistrov will at least get a nine game audition.

One thing we’re not used to around here – actual competition among some guys with actual talent. What a novel concept.

Jack

September 15th, 2010
7:22 pm

Based of what you saw, what concerns you to make you think Burme won’t be here in October. Size, skating, hockey smarts, or something else?

ben

September 15th, 2010
7:30 pm

What does this vaunted D look like? Is it improved from a year ago or was that just smoke up so many posteriors?

ex-ex STH

September 15th, 2010
7:42 pm

Any opinions on a possible trade for a top 6 forward? There are just too many recent signings and nice looking prospects!

kracker

September 15th, 2010
7:48 pm

Jack, It may just be a crowded roster that ultimately sends him back to juniors. As much as Burma might impress, he would probably not crack the lineup of a top program out of his initial camp. A contending team with a more solid top six would not need to have Burma learn on the job. I hope the Thrashers can progress to that point as an organization in the not too distant future. Having said that, I certainly don’t know that the Thrashers are all that set in their top six, so ID&RWT.

However, let me add: 1) A top program does not routinely select in top half of the draft based on their yearly finishing position. They may occasionaly acquire a good pick in a trade or simply have an uncommonly bad year. So their #1 pick might need a year or two of seasoniong that our top 10 mick might not need. 2) The salary cap can squeeze all teams and could open a spot on a contending team that would otherwise not be available for an almost-ready player like Burma.

kracker

September 15th, 2010
7:52 pm

LOL I’m not calling Alex any of the things that ‘mick’ refers too! (And gee, I need to find a shorter way to state the obvious!)

Smitty

September 15th, 2010
7:52 pm

ex-ex
Maybe this is why Buff might play defense.

Smitty

September 15th, 2010
7:59 pm

Rawhide,

First impressions: Is this the best group of young prospects the Threashers have put together?
I am going to try to get to the DIF tomorrow to see for myself.

Rawhide

September 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

Based of what you saw, what concerns you to make you think Burme won’t be here in October. Size, skating, hockey smarts, or something else?

Jack – I’ll play off what kracker said. It may just be a numbers game. This is actually a good thing, IMHO. If the talent is so good that he has to play another year in Barre, then that’s a good problem to have. As for him personally, compared to Kane last summer, I think Evander looked ‘more ready’ at this time.

But like I said, I will be more than willing to change my mind when I see how he plays along side of the big boys next week.

First impressions: Is this the best group of young prospects the Threashers have put together?

Smitty – We are certainly deeper than I can remember. So I would answer ‘yes”.

What does this vaunted D look like? Is it improved from a year ago or was that just smoke up so many posteriors?

ben – None of the layers on the ice will be on our blueline this fall. Kulda is the only propsect that might be.

sisu

September 15th, 2010
8:38 pm

I really wonder if this team has added more than needed 3rd and 4th liners? Seems like there are way too many? I don’t know how any prospects can make this team, only way is to have injuries in pre season…

Rawhide

September 15th, 2010
8:42 pm

One thing we’re not used to around here – actual competition among some guys with actual talent. What a novel concept.

DWTOO – Agreed.

Any opinions on a possible trade for a top 6 forward? There are just too many recent signings and nice looking prospects!

X-X-STH – That’s the ‘vibe’ I get. But then I temper it with the understanding that Dudley really does want to see some of these kids play. Maybe if he is presented with a really good deal come cruch time as some teams are trying to duck under te cap?

kracker

September 15th, 2010
9:07 pm

Hey, what’s up w/ Belanger? Is he available?

kracker

September 15th, 2010
9:11 pm

My entry from C Viv’s blog is below. What do y’all think about Lisin? Strickly depth/camp competition or could he be a player? The Rangers did not make him an offer.

Lisin, I don’t know him. He is a 24 year old RW who played in 105 games the last two seasonw w/ Yotes and Rangers, scoring at 1/3 point/game and was only a -1 player for the Rangers in 57 games. So he is just experienced enough where one could imagine him blossoming if he finds the right spot here in Atlanta. We shall see in camp.

Rawhide

September 15th, 2010
9:13 pm

kracker – Eric Belanger was signed to a one-year deal by Phoenix

Hockey Biltong

September 15th, 2010
10:12 pm

I liked what I saw in Cody Sol today.

GaVaHokie

September 15th, 2010
10:19 pm

Speaking of Belanger, you guys see his latest comments on TSN regarding the Capitals. This guy seems like a douchewinder… seems like he’s constantly bitching about something.

GaVaHokie

September 15th, 2010
10:28 pm

Lisin is an interesting invite. Someone I was interested in as a package deal if Kovy went to NYR instead of NJ at the deadline. From what little I’ve seen of him, he seems like a speedy netcrasher.

kracker

September 15th, 2010
10:47 pm

I will speculate that perhaps Lisin is not interested in a two-way, so NY, having no plans for him, released him to find another team. Else, I don’t get it, a 24 year old Lisin certainly seems he would be an asset of some value. I suppose he can easily play in KHL if he gets no NHL offer.

Smoothie

September 15th, 2010
11:40 pm

Evening gents! And the occasional lady. Just got home after a long day at the office….okay, I was playing golf! Anyway, just wanted to chime in briefly and echo Bill’s sentiments regarding Burma, Cormier and of course, Freddy the Fly or as my g/friend likes to call him, the Scandinavian Scat Cat! And she’s only seen limited video of him on youtube.

But as it turns out, “scat-cat” could not be more apt as a nickname. I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow morning when I finally have a chance to sort through my “detailed” notes, but I just wanted to say that Freddy P is as advertised and thensome. Going back to the cat-like qualities he posesses, there was one instance where he was circling back out of the corner along the boards, with puck on his stick, and was knocked down by a D-man, but not all the way down as he managed to not only stay on one skate, with a knee on the ice, but also maintain posession of the puck long enough to filter the puck over to one of his D-men at the blueline. From there the play continued and I think Freddy even crashed the net looking for a rebound off of a shot attempt from said blueline.

And it’s not like the other prospects on the ice are chopped-liver. There are several capable D-men, with a lot of size, and long reaches who can easily break up a forward who lets the puck dangle a moment too long. Freddy’s exploits barely outshined Burmistrov today and even Danick Paquette served notice to the coaches that he is serious about making a run for a 4th line job. I didn’t have the heart to tell Chris Thorburn that on the way out as we were conversing, but I’m sure he’s quite aware of Danick’s feistiness, not to mention more than respectable shot, from watching him in person at the Breakaway Grill. BTW, Thorbs could not be a nicer individual as he was more than willing to chat for a few minutes on the way to our cars. I reminded Chris that Rammer thinks he’s capable of being more than just a grinder and he seemed to appreciate Coach’s confidence in him.

Just be sure to check out my blog tomorrow for more tidbits like that from my lunch at the rink!!

Peace!

Jack

September 16th, 2010
12:57 am

Thanks Kracker and rawhide. Obviously that makes sense, especially if he can gain another 20 pounds of muscles. :)

Rhythmpenguin

September 16th, 2010
5:39 am

Rhythmpenguin

September 16th, 2010
5:43 am

Rhythmpenguin

September 16th, 2010
6:06 am

Lisin Youtube Analysis: He is Fast! He has a good shot, especially from the circles or closer. He can lift the puck from very quickly (with his shot). And he has some moves. I also noticed that he can score when a D-man is right on top of him.

The only thing I’m wondering about is his defensive play? Is he a liability? If so, how of often/much?

He reminds me a lot of Max.

Overall, I am happy we are giving him a chance to prove himself.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2010
7:18 am

I believe Lisin had a goal against us last season… I’ll find it when I get to my desk.

World Be Free

September 16th, 2010
7:40 am

I am penning Cormier in on this team. He sounds like the physical center we need on his team and I expect his ice time to rise as the season goes on. Lisin is an interesting invite; it’s becoming more obvious that virtually nobody is guaranteed a spot on this team. If you are going to be here, you will have to earn it.

Also, gotta admit I think I missed the boat on Dan Ellis compared to someone like Chris Mason. From what I have read, Ellis seems like an idiot. Mason, on the other hand has already left the impression that he is a GREAT guy, the kind of player you want in your locker room. I do not know which of the 2 former Predators will have a better season, but initial impressions are Mason has all the right stuff.

kracker

September 16th, 2010
8:12 am

Yes, Rhythmpenguin, for sure Lisin looks like a fast finisher like Max. I am asking the Rangers and Yotes fans what is the deal with him. If he never backchecks, then why would Duds invite him to camp? I supose if he has Max like skills they can put up with it for $600K/year or something cheap like that.

Zoomo

September 16th, 2010
8:39 am

Nice to read all the positive comments on Petterson, Cormier, and Burmy. Wish I had to time to get to the rink for a look. That’ll have to wait to the weekend.

Good reports, Bill & Smoothie. One of the best things about hockey is that most of the players are good guys and fan friendly. Thorburn and Boulton are two of the guys that are always around the rink and, in my experience, always willing to chat with the fans. That accessiblilty is a nice perk that you don’t get too often in other sports and it certainly furthers my fanaticsim of the Thrash.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2010
8:58 am

Joe Friday

September 16th, 2010
9:56 am

“He sounds like the physical center we need on his team and I expect his ice time to rise as the season goes on.”

I concur and can’t wait to see him play. He seems like a Dudley style player in the mold he’s building for the club.

Ellis is a putz, there’s a reason he sat as backup in Nashville behind a mediocre goalie, he’s just not very good and we were wise to pass on him. Mason is going to give us the type of solid play that Moose brought us. Not a superstar, but steady and solid, in the room and on the ice.

hip czech

September 16th, 2010
10:14 am

An update on Favorite Son Garnett Exelby:

http://www.snyrangersblog.com/2010/09/16/read-garnet-exelby-has-the-erik-christensen-mentality/

Who knows, if it doesn’t work out with the Rangers (how awful a thought is that?? X on the hated Rangers!) he can take on the Ron Burgundy persona and take over for Natalie Taylor.

World Be Free

September 16th, 2010
10:59 am

J/F-looks like Duds did his homework on Mason and Ellis and that’s a good thing.

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2010
11:15 am

As much as I’m glad we ended up with Mason, I’m pretty certain Atlanta was in the mix for Dan Ellis first… certainly, the “price was right” for Ellis, but he chose Tampa, so we spent a little extra for Mason.

… Of course, I’m not sure if they expected Mason to take so much less than what St. Louis had offered him.

kracker

September 16th, 2010
11:28 am

Seems to me that Duds was smart to put the word out early on that Buff would be most likely moving back to defense. We all were chomping the bit to see his big body clogging up the middle, clearing the low slot, screening the goalie, etc. He can still do some of those things on the PP but he may start the season as a d-man.

tweet – BenThrashers Q&A with Byfuglien. Says he’s excited about the switch back to his natural position of defense. Full story: http://bit.ly/bv24Ey #Thrashers

Smoothie

September 16th, 2010
11:30 am

Thanks kracker! I need my Q&A interview fix for the day and I need it NOW! Damn I wish I was back up in Duluth watching hockey. Sigh.

kracker

September 16th, 2010
11:34 am

Take off now, Smoothie! You can just about make it if you hustle…

glovesave29

September 16th, 2010
11:44 am

Ellis made one stupid comment. He apologized immediately. Give the guy a break. He’s a good goalie, and was backing up a pretty damn good goalie in Pekka Rinne. If we were all judged as a whole by one comment we made – we’d all be shed in some pretty bad light. Both Mason and Ellis are good goalies, and both have sterling reputations as good guys.

Red Light

September 16th, 2010
11:54 am

Lisin wouldn’t be the first player lost in the Rangers’ system particularly as it concerns head coach John Tortorella. Communication has never been his strong point, unless you count yelling and belittling his own players or Larry Brooks of the NY Post. Some guys tune out his constant barbs and particularly the Euros with a lesser handle on the English language only see his glaring facial expressions — his looks can kill your spirit.

Lets take a look at some guys the Rangers have dispatched since Torts arrived. And please keep in mind, that Torts is primarily concerned with himself, no one else. In fact, Ramsay was the one who boosted everyone’s confidence in Tampa after Torts tore them down.

Blair Betts, Colton Orr, Enver Lisin, Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin, Freddy Sjostrom, Lauri Korpikoski, Nik Zherdev, Aaron Voros, Ales Kotalik, Chris Higgins and Olli Jokinen. While I admit that few of these guys are top-flight NHL players, there are some very solid players and good role players on the list, particularly Betts, Orr, Dawes and Sjostrom.

The next best thing to happen for the Rangers is for Sather to retire and for Tortorella to get fired. Lisin is only 24 years old, is quite speedy and skilled but can’t necessarily be counted on to play an aggressive style. I think he does a decent job of forechecking and might get an opportunity to prove himself either here or elsewhere some day soon. He’s only played in 135 NHL games, so he has upside when he gains more experience and takes a regular shift. He is one of many that never got an offer to stay in New York and it’s probably because of Tortorella.

World Be Free

September 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

Red Light-Torts got into it with an off ice official in Buffalo years ago. Tortorella claimed the official was not counting the Sabres’ shots correctly, that they had alot more shots then what was being tabulated and displayed on the SOG board. Turns out Tortorella was looking at the temperature display, which was right next to the SOG totals. The outside temperature was about 18 at the time. When informed of this, he just turned around and “stormed” away.

True story.

Red Light

September 16th, 2010
12:30 pm

To the honorable Glen Sather, president of the New York Rangers: “WE THE WHITE, GODFEARING CITIZENS OF MIDTOWN MANAHTTAN wish to express our extreme displeasure with your choice of head coach. Please remove him immediately! The fact that you have sent him here just goes to prove that you are the leading a$$xyxy in the state!”

GaVaHokie

September 16th, 2010
12:44 pm

Red Light… would you consider Antropov in that list as well?

World Be Free

September 16th, 2010
12:48 pm

Red Light-quoting Blazing Saddles is an entire blog in itself!

Red Light

September 16th, 2010
12:54 pm

Hokie…Yes, I would. I should have included him but since he was only in New York for two months or so, I simply forgot. Plus, many of the others could have been had on the cheap, while Antropov certainly could not have been after signing Gaborik to the $7.5 million.

Red Light

September 16th, 2010
12:55 pm

Hokie…for clarification, in other words, many of others could have fit easily under the cap, while Antro could not have.

Headley Lamar

September 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

Taggart – That’s not my Froggy.

kracker

September 16th, 2010
1:23 pm

Thanks for the insight on Lisin, Red Light. This is really going to be a competitive camp!

five hole

September 16th, 2010
1:57 pm

Attending the Thrasher’s rookie camp: pretty good.

Attending the Ice Girls tryouts: priceless.

five hole

September 16th, 2010
1:58 pm

Nuts. I meant Blue Crew.