Pretty successful draft for the Thrashers. And when I say pretty successful draft, I mean we got Zach Bogosian. I thought it would be fun to take a look at where we are before a very important Free Agency. Just like how you are supposed to build a team, lets start from the goal out.
Kari, Moose, Pavelec. Any questions? I think if there was going to be a move, it would have happened during the draft. I was hoping for one, but as we have found out before, you can never have too many goalies. Obviously no moves needed here on July 1.
I'm doing this from memory, so don't flame me if I forget someone. Under contract we have Havelid, Enstrom, Klee, X, Bogo the Bull (soon to be anyway), Valabik, and Shitnik. That's 7 defensemen. Before Bogo the Bull strolled into our barn, I wanted us to make 2 pretty substantial UFA signings on D. Now I think it is ok to maybe only make one. Don't expect too much from The Bull right away. He will grow into his role. I say pair him with Klee, depending on who we sign. Assuming we sign a UFA, what do we do with someone like X? Is there room for him on this team? Does Valabik make the squad?
Possible UFA on Defense:
So we need to pick at least one. You have: Cambell, Orpik, Streit, JM Lies, Jason Smith, Commodore, Adam Foote, Rozsival, Wade Redden and on and on and on. We have a lot of money to spend this offseason. That is a good thing as we likely will have to overpay for whoever we get on this list.
Offense (or for those watching on TSN, Offence):
There are virtually no really good centers in the UFA market. That leaves us with: Christensen, Little, White and Slater. The only one that scares me a little is, well Little. Is he ready for a 2nd line role for the entire year? EC is not ideal on the 1st line, but he is the best we have had since Savard. White will be a perfect 3rd line center. Unless there is a trade, I expect these to be the guys we go with at Center.
The main question on the offensive side of things, I believe, is who is going to play RW with the Czar? The other lines work themselves out. Slava and someone like Perrin on line 2. Army on line 3, and so on and so forth. So, back to the Czar. Ryan Malone seems to be the perfect fit (only for the small detail that he plays LW!). Not sure if he could switch to the right side. He would create a little space, and put the puck in the net. I say overpay for him. As we said before, finishing 28th means you will have to overpay to get who you want. A cheaper option would be Michael Ryder (or maybe try to get both?). He is more of a gamble, but well worth it if you ask me. And I believe this is where I officially begin my campaign for us to sign Big Georges Laraque!
So there you have it folks. One major signing on D, and one major signing on O, mixed in with a couple of depth signings... Can't wait for July 1st at noon!
For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.