So I get back from my honeymoon and spend time I really don't have reading C-Viv's updates on the Thrashers newest prospects. First off, now that I know that Aliu is pronounced to rhyme with "Atreyu" from Neverending Story, I know what the first running inside joke of the 2010-11 season is going to be. The next thing I learn is that he's NOT FINNISH! What a shock! Thanks, Vivlamore!
I had heard a quick mention shortly after the trade that Aliu was hampered by a hazing incident in junior. It wasn't until reading Vivlamore's post that I learned exactly what that incident was.
Apparently the rookies on Aliu's junior team were being forced to cram naked into the bathroom on the team bus. If you've ever been unfortunate to use the bathroom on a bus you know that it's really not big enough for one person, let alone several naked men.
Aliu refused to submit to the treatment. Steve Downie (now a Cinderella story for the Tampa Bay Lightning) took umbrage to this upstart rookie's behavior and took it upon himself to mete out punishment. In practice, Downie skated up and cross checked Aliu in the mouth, knocking out several teeth. Aliu responded:
Good for him. Can't wait to see him crack the lineup and face Downie in Tampa. Dudley says the kid is 6'3" and 225 lbs with a lot of speed on him. Obviously he's willing to stick up for himself.
If he develops in the right way and Atlanta can ice a team with he and Byfuglien as a one-two power forward punch, it could really be something.
He's obviously not going to be ready just yet. He was sent down to the ECHL last season for further maturation. With the right coaches and in the right situation, I really like this kid's potential.