Late on this news item, but here we go anyway.
Talking to Chris Vivlamore of the AJC over the weekend, Slava Kozlov had some intriguing things to say:
“To me, this was the best team in 11 years of the organization," Kozlov said on Sunday. "This franchise had the best players. Right now, they can not blame [Ilya] Kovalchuk or [Slava] Kozlov. They have to take responsibility, because I think ownership did everything right, signed good players, they have a good goalie, good defense -- but something is missing. I think we are missing from the coaching staff. Looks like they have fun, but unfortunately in the NHL you have to work. You have to prepare for every game.
"There are lots of good teams in the NHL and you think you are a good team if you see the roster. That doesn’t work in this league. You have to do homework and work hard. I think I can put a big question mark that they weren’t preparing.”
Slava also criticized the system put in place by the current staff, pointing out that opposing teams know in advance exactly what the Thrashers will do in breakout situations, etc.
My take? Never did think it was a good idea to bench him for so long. More to the point: it's juicy to hear a player call out a coach, but in many ways this is a Dog Bites Man story. "Thrashers coaching not very good," says hockey player. Well, yeah.