NHL.com is featuring an informative article about the Thrashers' current top prospects, with some good commentary from Dan Marr. (No link because I don't understand how blogspot does HTML yet, but there's a link from the front of nhl.com) If the name's not familiar to you, Dan Marr is Atlanta's head amateur scout and is in charge of development of the prospects. This means he works very closely with the coaching and training staffs in Chicago and Gwinnett and keeps close tabs on all Thrashers prospects playing in various collegiate, junior, and foreign leagues.
What really caught my eye was a quote from Marr about Ondrej Pavelec. According to Marr, "Don's (Waddell) plan is to have Ondrej playing somewhere this season. Whether it's with Atlanta or in the AHL, we'll have to see."
Plans to have Pav playing somewhere this season. Now, under the current status quo, that's not really an earth shattering statement. Right now, Kari is the number one in Atlanta, getting the lion's share of the playing time while Moose rides the pine and takes over when Squirrel needs a rest (maybe in some of those 15 back-to-back games in the Thrashers' schedule) or has an off night. Pav goes back to Chicago and plays most of the games there defending his Calder Cup championship.
But as John "Somebody Slap Me" Anderson told our own Big Shooter at the blogger roundtable, nothing is set in stone. Thrasher fans will recall that training camp can be a tumultuous time for netminders. Anybody recall Norm "Double Cheeseburger" Maracle showing up way overweight? There's little doubt that both Kari and Pav are destined to carry NHL teams as the top goalie. A battle for playing time between the two can only help the franchise, but the above quote from DW seems to indicate that the fight is not going to be played out with one of the two in net and the other on the bench. Moose is locked up for the near future with his new contract while Kari is only on the books for this season before he is reevaluated once again. Whose idea that was is up in the air. Some reports have Kari saying that he didn't feel like he deserved much in his new contract and maybe he wanted a short deal so he could push up his price tag before locking himself in for the long haul. Or maybe DW had a picture of Pav holding up the Calder Cup on his screensaver while talking to Kari's agent and thought twice about signing Kari to a large contract that would make him harder to move if it turns out he could provide more as a trade asset than a presence in the crease.
Again, this is all a faint whiff on the breeze. The ground won't start shaking until John "Mississippi Moon" Anderson gets a good look at all three of his goalies at the Ice Forum in September. It's a safe bet, though, that there's going to be some funny-talking fireworks as the Finn, the Czech, and the Swede showcase their puck stopping acrobatics in training camp.
For the Chronicle, I'm Razor Catch Prey.