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DungeonK 07-13-2008 08:48 PM

Thrashers Roster 08/09
 
If the season started tomorrow what do you think the lines would look like? John Anderson said in his Rawhide interview that he believes "Colin Stuart, Bryan Little and Brett Sterling are players that will be looked upon as contributing factors in the makeup of the team." Waddell, when asked about how we would get to the cap floor, stated that Bogosian's incentives would amount to $4 million, and that Kari's contract would make up whatever else we needed- so we can safely assume they're both here as well. The Nikulin signing should get done as soon as the NHL approves of his out clause. Given this information, and looking over the names on nhslcap, here is the best I can come up with...

Kovalchuk - Christensen - Williams
Sterling - Little - Perrin
Kozlov - White - Armstrong
Stuart - Slater - Thorburn
Larsen, Boulton

Enstrom - Havelid
Hainsey - Bogosian
Nikulin - Valabik
Klee

Lehtonen
Hedberg

Note the exclusion of Exelby... After his terrible campaign last season I fully expect Valabik to win his spot this preseason. Or maybe we carry 8 defensemen for a little while. Either way, I think this'll be it assuming no big surprises from Kulda and Machacek. Man our team is tiny- here's to hoping we can be the Chicago Wolves 2.0!

EDIT: Looks like Williams just got signed...

TasteofFlames 07-13-2008 09:39 PM

I'd switch Sterling and Kozlov. Brett is too small/slow for a checking/defensive role. He needs to be on a scoring line to be effective. If you want to keep Kozy on the second line, leave Sterling in Chicago and bring up Lavallee.

Lux Aurumque* 07-13-2008 09:45 PM

CHRIS THORBURN IS A MARGINAL FOURTH LINER WHO BELONGS IN THE AHL! HE IS NOT A FIRST LINER!

Kovalchuk-Christensen-Armstrong
Kozlov-Little-Machacek
Stuart-White-LaVallee
Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

Enstrom-Bogosian
Hainsey-Nikulin
Havelid-Valabik
Klee

Lehtonen
Hedberg

DungeonK 07-13-2008 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TasteofFlames (Post 14861500)
I'd switch Sterling and Kozlov. Brett is too small/slow for a checking/defensive role. He needs to be on a scoring line to be effective. If you want to keep Kozy on the second line, leave Sterling in Chicago and bring up Lavallee.

That would certainly be conventional wisdom, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Anderson try to roll three scoring lines and one checking line. I'm fairly confident Sterling will get 30+ games to start the season, regardless of who else is on the roster, just because of all the success he has had with Anderson and the fact that this is probably his season. You don't normally get more than two seasons to try to earn a spot on an NHL roster, so after last season's debacle he should get a really hard look this time around to see whether he can thrive. Familiar coach, familiar system- if he can't do it this season he's done.

DungeonK 07-13-2008 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lux Aurumque (Post 14861571)
CHRIS THORBURN IS A MARGINAL FOURTH LINER WHO BELONGS IN THE AHL! HE IS NOT A FIRST LINER!

Kovalchuk-Christensen-Armstrong
Kozlov-Little-Machacek
Stuart-White-LaVallee
Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

Enstrom-Bogosian
Hainsey-Nikulin
Havelid-Valabik
Klee

Lehtonen
Hedberg

Wow, no need to be a dick. Sorry I forgot to mention reading the following Waddell quote on Falconer's blog that is going to break your heart:

Quote:

Perhaps the most distressing part of the morning for me was when someone said "I understand that the team doesn't want to make crazy offers to UFA, but surely there is someone out there who could have improved our collection of forwards?" In response Don Waddell said they were still looking at C and RW free agents. Then he ticked off the roster of forwards. A short version of it went like this: "Kozlov-should be better, Christensen-should be better with more opportunity, Perrin--could improve, Todd White--should be better, Chris Thorburn--showed us he can play at a higher level, etc."
What that means, whether your angry brain can comprehend it, is that Waddell intends to keep Thorburn on the 1st or 2nd line assuming we don't sign any FA forwards. I agree that he hasn't shown the skills one would like to see from a top-line player, but I didn't say "Post your ideal 08-09 roster" I said post what you think the roster will look like. So until you get that sweet top-level management position, the best strategy is probably to try to mix what kind of rhetoric we're getting with what kind of performance you've seen from the players in the past. And regardless of whether or not you want to accept it, Thorburn showed some chemistry with Kovalchuk at the tail end of last season. I think it was probably flukey, and will be negated by having a small center, but it was there. Thank you.

TasteofFlames 07-13-2008 10:02 PM

I'd still switch Sterling and Kozlov, or maybe move Kozy to the right, move Army to the top line and drop Thorburn to the third/fourth. Perhaps a line of Sterling-Little-Kozlov. Both young guys would benefit from playing with a vet in Kozlov, assuming he doesn't mail it in again this season. Last year, it seemed Little had better chemistry when he played with Recchi or Kozlov. Playing with a vet seems to help out some of the younger guys confidence as well, less pressure. I really would like Sterling to work out for the Thrashers. Another credible scoring winger would be a very big help.

thrashers=cup05 07-13-2008 10:11 PM

If i had it my way this would be the lines

Kovy-Christianson-Williams
Kozy-Little-Armstrong
Sterling-Perrin-Lavallee
Thorburn-Slater-Boulton


Havlid-Hainsey
Valabik-Enstrom
Bogo-Nikulin/klee or Ex

Lehts
Hed

TasteofFlames 07-13-2008 10:20 PM

Hearing about the supposed williams signing, I'm thinking:


Kovy - Christensen - Williams

Sterling - Little - Kozlov

Perrin - White - Armstrong

Boulton - Slater - Thorburn

Larsen


Enstrom - Havelid

Hainsey/Nikulin - Bogosian

Klee/Hainsey - Valabik

Klee/Exelby (kinda hinges on signing Nikulin)

Mister Rogers 07-13-2008 10:24 PM

Thats pretty much the exact same lines that I would use TasteOfFlames.

Edit: Maybe substitute lavallee for sterling. Thats the only think I would change.

Pakeha 07-13-2008 10:33 PM

I think I read somewhere where John Anderson said they need to bolster up the centre position. So dont be suprised to see Williams centering Kovy and Armstrong (Waddell is high in Armstrong).

I just hope that they dont shuffle Christensen down to third line centre - that will be a complete waste. He needs to play with at least one skilled player. I would be OK with him and Kozlov and a tougher power winger.

thrashers=cup05 07-13-2008 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TasteofFlames (Post 14861939)
Hearing about the supposed williams signing, I'm thinking:


Kovy - Christensen - Williams

Sterling - Little - Kozlov

Perrin - White - Armstrong

Boulton - Slater - Thorburn

Larsen


Enstrom - Havelid

Hainsey/Nikulin - Bogosian

Klee/Hainsey - Valabik

Klee/Exelby (kinda hinges on signing Nikulin)

My only question is why would you put a dman who we are paying 5.5 mil a year on the 3rd pairing so he plays 10 min a game

TasteofFlames 07-13-2008 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thrashers=cup05 (Post 14862064)
My only question is why would you put a dman who we are paying 5.5 mil a year on the 3rd pairing so he plays 10 min a game

He kinda sucks in his own zone, and I've never put much stock in a players salary dictating their roster position. I expect Hainsey to be a PP specialist. That said, I'd only drop him there if Nikulin comes over. Having a rock like Ilya next to Bogosian will allow him to focus on his hitting/aggressive play and offensive responsibilities as well, without having to worry about getting badly beaten. If Nikulin doesn't come over, Hainsey skates next to Bogo.

DungeonK 07-13-2008 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TasteofFlames (Post 14862193)
He kinda sucks in his own zone, and I've never put much stock in a players salary dictating their roster position. I expect Hainsey to be a PP specialist. That said, I'd only drop him there if Nikulin comes over. Having a rock like Ilya next to Bogosian will allow him to focus on his hitting/aggressive play and offensive responsibilities as well, without having to worry about getting badly beaten. If Nikulin doesn't come over, Hainsey skates next to Bogo.

Sounds about right

thrashers=cup05 07-13-2008 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TasteofFlames (Post 14862193)
He kinda sucks in his own zone, and I've never put much stock in a players salary dictating their roster position. I expect Hainsey to be a PP specialist. That said, I'd only drop him there if Nikulin comes over. Having a rock like Ilya next to Bogosian will allow him to focus on his hitting/aggressive play and offensive responsibilities as well, without having to worry about getting badly beaten. If Nikulin doesn't come over, Hainsey skates next to Bogo.


Thats true; however, maybe him on the second pairing with valabik would be better and bogo and nikulin on the 3rd

DungeonK 07-14-2008 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thrashers=cup05 (Post 14862717)
Thats true; however, maybe him on the second pairing with valabik would be better and bogo and nikulin on the 3rd

Yeah, but that one's totally up to Bogosian. With a coach like Anderson, who showed with Kulda last season in the AHL playoffs that he is willing to give the minutes based on skill and not seniority, if Bogo plays lights-out there is no way he's going to stay on the 3rd pairing very long.

Robotic 07-14-2008 01:07 AM

Kozlov is a real wild card. If he's going to be awful like last year then he has no business in the top-6 and we should move forward with someone younger.

At the same time Kozlov would be even more useless in a checking line role.

I guess basically, we have to hope Kozzy returns closer to his 06-07 form, although I don't think he'll ever match that again. 60-70 points would be nice.

Lux Aurumque* 07-14-2008 01:40 AM

With the addition of Williams...

Kovalchuk-Little-Williams
Kozlov-Christensen-Armstrong
Perrin-White-Machacek
Stuart-Slater-LaVallee
Boulton

Enstrom-Bogosian
Hainsey-Nikulin
Havelid-Valabik
Klee

Lehtonen
Hedberg

Thorburn, Larsen and Exelby to the AHL.

Pakeha 07-14-2008 02:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lux Aurumque (Post 14863665)
With the addition of Williams...

Kovalchuk-Little-Williams
Kozlov-Christensen-Armstrong
Stuart-White-Machacek
Boulton-Slater-LaVallee

Enstrom-Bogosian
Hainsey-Nikulin
Havelid-Valabik
Klee

Lehtonen
Hedberg

Thorburn, Larsen and Exelby to the AHL.

OK - what about Perrin though?

teme 07-14-2008 03:07 AM

Scoring line: Kovalchuk - Williams - Kozlov
Second scoring: Perrin - Christensen - Armstrong
Checking line: Slater - White - Thornburn
Kid line: Sterling - Little - Stuart

Roll four lines, Kovy takes extra shifts in place of Perrin/Slater/Sterling

Defence pairings:
First: Enström - Bogosian
Second: Hainsey - Valabik / Exelby / Klee
Shut-down: Nikulin - Hävelid

Power-play
Kovalchuk - Kozlov - Armstrong - Enström - Williams
Little - Christensen - Sterling - Hainsey - Bogosian

Penalty kill
White - Thornburn - Nikulin - Hävelid
Perrin - Armstrong - Enström - Bogosian
Little - Stuart - Hävelid - Valabik / Exelby / Klee

Lux Aurumque* 07-14-2008 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pakeha (Post 14863951)
OK - what about Perrin though?

Oh ****...how could I forget one of my personal favorites?

Fixed.

Voynich 07-14-2008 08:59 AM

I would like to see something like this:

Kovalchuk - Christensen - Williams
Kozlov - Little - Armstrong
Perrin - White - Thorburn
Boulton - Slater - LaVallee/Stuart
Larsen

Obviously Christensen has to prove he can anchor that top line, the second line looks fairly solid if the chemistry works, I like the third line a lot, the fourth line is a crapshoot; I can see so many things happening there that my guess is just that, a good old fashioned WAG.

Defensively it is a little harder with the whole Nikulin situation, he would be more than a third pairing guy, but with Bogo in the mix it is a little harder to predict. Enstrom and Havelid are great together and I'd hate to see them broken up, but it may have to happen.

Right now I'd say defensively:

Havelid - Enstrom
Hainsey - Nikulin/Bogo
Valabik - Klee
Exelby

In an ideal world I'd love to see Exelby moved and perhaps even Klee too, even though his veteran presence would be great for Valabik and Bogo. Perhaps keep him around to mentor them as the seventh guy. If Bogo can't hack it after 10 games, send him back and let him continue to dominate and work out like a rabid wolverine. It would be great to have him here, but the d-corps is getting a little crowded with, dare I say, a little bit of quality. Heck we could even throw Kulda in the mix on the third pair, but I think another year in the AHL would benefit him more.

If we could move Ex and a pick/prospect for something worthwhile I say do it. Even if it is a salary dump, just make sure it is a quality player coming back.

Goal: I really don't need to say it but

Lehts
Moose

All in all, I think this is shaping up to be a decent team, better than the hot stinking mess we had last year, not by much, but better.

If, a big if, DW can swing a decent deal to improve the team and spend some money on a talented forward, even in a salary dump, it would be great to see a talented center for the first line and it would help get us to the cap floor.

I'm not too disappointed yet, we'll have to see how the team chemistry develops under the new coaching staff and that will take a few games.

The Sneak 07-14-2008 09:20 AM

holy crap we're going to suck.

TasteofFlames 07-14-2008 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Sneak (Post 14865331)
holy crap we're going to suck.

Is that a scientific diagnosis, or knee jerk reaction to a less than stellar lineup on paper? How about we wait and see how the players react to Anderson and the whatever system he decides to implement. Think of it this way, if we suck hardcore, Kovy finally gets his Center or we take another franchise D, or any number of talented kids in this (very) deep draft.

btn 07-14-2008 10:41 AM

Provided we get Nikulin done, I like our chances.

We are going to be an uptempo attacking team, that should lead to more PP chances.

This offseason both of our UFA signees are players that should improve our PP.

We need to get some improved play from Kozlov and White, and have a couple of our younger players take a big step forward.

TasteofFlames 07-14-2008 11:13 AM

Has there been any news on Nikulin. I know he was supposed to be on vacation and therefore not thinking about the contract, but how much leisure can one man have?

I expect Kozlov to be better this year, not 80 points good, but at least no more lackadaisical play. Anderson said something during the meet and greet with the season ticket holders about already having talked to Todd White (whom he has worked with before) and telling him that 14 goals just isn't going to cut it. I'm thinking somewhere in the low to mid 50s for points this year from him. Also, Little is in a prime position to make a big step towards reaching his potential this year. The more uptempo offense combined with steady minutes and linemates should see him establish himself as an NHL worthy center. Yes, that is a lot of speculation, and not all of it will happen (nothing ever goes right 100% in hockey), but I'm optimistic. A new coach and some fresh young blood should help move this team in the right direction (I can't believe I just used DW's phrase of choice). I'm still not expecting playoffs, but no more bottom of the barrel !@#$.


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