With the Thrashers 2010-11 season coming to a merciful end this week, we once again set our sights ahead towards a new season and fresh start next fall. One of the first steps in doing this is to take a look at those on the current roster who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and consider whether or not they should be re-signed or allowed to skate off into the Thrasherville sunset.
There are three such Thrashers players slated for UFA status this summer…Eric Boulton, Radek Dvorak and Freddy Meyer. No, they’re not exactly the types you expect on the top of anyone’s UFA wish list. But nonetheless, they become our participants in this year’s “Should They Stay or Should They Go” free agent debate.
Total Voters: 308
Eric Boulton:Finishing his sixth season as a Thrasher, Boulton has found a niche as the team’s enforcer over the years. He’s been involved in some of the most memorable, and sometimes lengthy, fights during his time here. That, plus he’s become somewhat of a fan favorite in these parts. He is coming off a contract that paid $650,000 this season.
Boulton has played in 375 games here scoring 21 goals, 34 assists with a –17 rating and has racked up 625 PIM. Also, it can be noted here that he along with Anthony Stewart have been the only two to score hat tricks for the Thrashers this season.
My take…given Bolts celebrates birthday number 35 in August, I would not be surprised if we are watching the last few games with him on our roster.
Total Voters: 300
Radek Dvorak: Along with a fifth-round draft pick, the 34-year old Dvorak came over in the deal that sent Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller to the Florida Panthers back at the trade deadline. The 10th overall pick in the 1995 draft has had a respectable career…playing in 1,118 NHL games scoring 215, 341 assist with a +1 rating.
For the season, one in which he was paid $1.7 million, he has 7 goals, 14 assists and is a +2 in the 66 games split between the Thrashers and Panthers.
Unfortunately, none of the goals have come in the 13 games played here since the trade.
My prediction here is that he’ll skate away somewhere else this summer. If so, then the Thrashers will be left with Florida’s fifth-round draft pick as the only token for Rissmiller and Bergfors’ departure.
Total Voters: 296
Freddy Meyer:This undrafted defenseman inked a one-year, $600,00 contract with the Thrashers last August. He played in 15 games before being placed on injured reserve on February 4 withan upper body injury. He’s scored one more goal than Dvorak in just two more games played, has added an assist and is a –7 with 8 PIM.
Meyer has more or less been what many might call “serviceable” for the Thrashers. But with defensemen like Arturs Kulda, Paul Postma and Andrei Zubarev waiting their turns, I’d image Freddy will be playing elsewhere next fall.
And of course, you’re more than welcome to discuss the unrestricted free agents that make up a portion of the Thrashers roster depth. Those players include Jason Krog ($550,000), Noah Welch ($525,000), Jaime Sifers ($525,000), and Jared Ross ($500,000).
Or you could discuss last night’s 6-3 pounding at the hands of the Predators.