The long, long offseason is finally over and the Thrashers take to the ice in Philips Arena Tuesday night for the first preseason game of the year.
In addition to Cormier's broken foot, we're hearing from Vivlamore that Esposito has suffered yet another setback and will require hip surgery Antropov is also sitting out, as is Dustin Byfuglien who reportedly rolled his ankle.
**EDIT** Esposito doesn't yet need surgery, my eyes played tricks on me and saw the word 'surgery' where it was actually 'injury' in this report from Chris Vivlamore's Twitter: "Nothing official, but I'm told Byfuglien out after rolling right ankle. Esposito has hip injury. Scheduled MRI." **EDIT**
So we won't get to witness Big Buff's Atlanta debut just yet, either on offense or defense. It will be interesting, however, to see how Little and Peverly perform in their new positions in a game situation.
I am also curious to see how Kyle McLaren plays after his long hiatus. If he is back to his previous caliber, he would really solidify the blueline. With him, Bogo, Toby, Hainsey, Oduya, Sopel, and Big Buff taking up the ice time (and press box) in Atlanta, Kulda, Postma, Zubarev, and Owuya will get plenty of experience in Chicago.
Ben Wright has posted a roster with tentative lines for the game here.
Burmistrov will get top center duty with Kane and Stewart on his wings while Little centers the second line with Fredrik Petterson and Nigel Dawes. It should be an interesting test for all of them.