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Old
03-10-2009, 10:25 PM
  #1
DungeonK
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Let's Take Inventory

OK, the season is starting to wind down and the Thrashers are playing their best hockey so far. Let's see where we stand:

Legit Top-6 Forwards:

Ilya Kovalchuk, Rich Peverley, Bryan Little, Slava Kozlov

Borderline Top-6 Forwards:

Todd White


Legit Bottom-6 Forwards:

Colby Armstrong, Marty Reasoner, Colin Stuart

Borderline Bottom-6 Forwards:

maybe Chris Thorburn


Legit Defensemen:

Zach Bogosian (top pairing), Tobias Enstrom (top pairing), Ron Hainsey (middle pairing)

Borderline Defensemen:

Garnet Exelby (bottom pairing), Boris Valabik (bottom pairing)


Legit Starting Goaltenders:

Kari Lehtonen



Top-6 Must-Have: 1st line RW
Top-6 Could-Use: 1st line C (replace Todd White, Peverley 2nd line C)

Bottom-6 Must-Have: A 4th line

Defense Must-Have: Someone that has chemistry with Hainsey
Defense Could-Use: Valabik develops into a legit defenseman



When you look at it like that we really aren't that far away. Sign a decent defenseman or find one in the prospect pool, play Pavelec a bit next season and flip him and Exelby for a legit RW prospect and we'll at least be competitive.

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Old
03-10-2009, 11:25 PM
  #2
Peter Sidorkiewicz
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I agree with getting another 2 top 6 forwards.

I hope DW doesn't rest on his laurels and thinks the team doesn't need anymore top 6forwards just because the top 2 lines are playing well at the moment - Peverley has been very good, Little has emerged and White, Kozlov have had bounce back seasons.

He got burned thinking Christiansen could do the no.1 C job heading in to this season and thus didn't pursue any legit UFA. (Jason Williams is not a legit top 6 forward).

If DW approaches this upcoming UFA period with the same mentality then the team may get burned again if Peverley & Little slumps and Kozlov and White decline due to age. If there is cap space and Kovalchuk new contract is sorted, then it doesn't hurt to sign some more players for top 2 line competition.

What I would like DW to do:

1. Give Kovalchuk an Ovechkin-type contract;
2. Sign Lehtonen and give the backup job to Pavelec over Hedberg;
3. Sign 2 top 6 forwards - priority 1 right wing;
4. Sign 1 bottom 6 forward - Reasoner;
5. Look at upgrading the defence - I'm quite happy with the teams defence at the moment but if there is a chance to upgrade and get a better defensive d-man, DW needs to consider making a trade.

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Old
03-10-2009, 11:45 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Sidorkiewicz View Post
What I would like DW to do:

1. Give Kovalchuk an Ovechkin-type contract;
2. Sign Lehtonen and give the backup job to Pavelec over Hedberg;
3. Sign 2 top 6 forwards - priority 1 right wing;
4. Sign 1 bottom 6 forward - Reasoner;
5. Look at upgrading the defence - I'm quite happy with the teams defence at the moment but if there is a chance to upgrade and get a better defensive d-man, DW needs to consider making a trade.
2a. Convince Hedberg to take over as goalie coach. The guy knows his fundamentals, but is having problems with execution as he gets older.

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Old
03-10-2009, 11:49 PM
  #4
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Should Slater be re-signed?

I along with many others have been down on him in the past, but when you get over the fact that he was a 1st round pick and just accept him for the 4th liner he is, he is very serviceable.

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Old
03-11-2009, 12:15 AM
  #5
FrenchKheldar
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No way Slava or Peverley are legit top 6 forwards next year. Kozlov and White should be considered borderline due to their age. Let's face it, they partly rack up points because we are not engaged in super intense games as we would if we were battling for a playoff spot... Peverley has had a nice run but we'll see if he is a Savard or a McCarthy. Let's not go overboard too quickly. And Little has yet to have a 60 pt season, so we'll need to have confirmation next year even though he should logically continue to improve. Defense looks good as long as we get rid of XLB and sign a veteran Dman. Again, a full season of Lehtonen would do our defense a whole lot of good...

To me priority should be offense, offense, offense, any position really (C LW RW), we can afford top 6 talent. Will we be able to attract any? History says no and if we don't get a top 2 pick, it's doubtful any of these holes will be plugged by a freshly drafted player...

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Old
03-11-2009, 12:38 AM
  #6
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I'm soley for keeping Slater due to his PK skills with Stuart.
Seriously. They are absolute dynamyte the past three games.

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Old
03-11-2009, 03:33 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DungeonK View Post

Legit Bottom-6 Forwards:

Colby Armstrong, Marty Reasoner, Colin Stuart

Whether some like to admit it, Slater is a legit Bottom-6 Forward. I must say that I questioned his ability to play the game (or skate) for the two seasons prior, but I have absolutely no problems with Slater and he would make most teams 4th lines, which is all we're asking him to do, and he is doing it well. He can chip in with roughly 20 points a year, he has an even plus/minus without much offensive help from his line to sway those numbers, and he is solid in the FO circle.

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Old
03-11-2009, 08:51 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DungeonK View Post
Defense Must-Have: Someone that has chemistry with Hainsey
Defense Could-Use: Valabik develops into a legit defenseman
I already think that Valabik has made some strides to show he is going to be a legitamate middle pairing defender. I'm really impressed with his play in the last stretch of games, and he's starting to really use his size more effectively, when around the boards, in front of the net. Boris has not really had too many glaring mistakes in any of those games.

I know we need to give a few games to Anssi Salmela to see what he's got, but I really hope Anderson doesn't do it at the expense of Valabik. Oystrick has shown he is decent, but I would have to side with Valabik if we're going to pick one of the two.

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Old
03-11-2009, 08:54 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blankspace6 View Post
Whether some like to admit it, Slater is a legit Bottom-6 Forward. I must say that I questioned his ability to play the game (or skate) for the two seasons prior, but I have absolutely no problems with Slater and he would make most teams 4th lines, which is all we're asking him to do, and he is doing it well. He can chip in with roughly 20 points a year, he has an even plus/minus without much offensive help from his line to sway those numbers, and he is solid in the FO circle.
Agreed. I think that whole fourth line does its job well. They're good at stirring ***** up, which is all you ask of your fourth line. And both Thor and Boults can fight. What do you expect them to do? Score fifty points each?

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Old
03-11-2009, 11:01 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatschoonerrat View Post
Agreed. I think that whole fourth line does its job well. They're good at stirring ***** up, which is all you ask of your fourth line. And both Thor and Boults can fight. What do you expect them to do? Score fifty points each?
Play concistent defence, I've seen way too much sloppy defence from that line. I don't expect them to score, but an energy line needs to concistently good at own end.

But regarding the holes in roster, in order of importance:
1) Solid backup goalie, a 1b calibre. Either Pavelec, or trade him, and sign one. UFA examples: Fernandez, Niittymäki, Clemmensen.
2) Top-six forward. Preferably center, but position isn't that important: Little can play center, Peverly wing, Kozlov can play either wing, etc.
UFAs: Franzen, Cammalleri, Tanguay, maybe Antropov (I am not that high on him), or Hossa.
Trade targets: Cheechoo, Filppula, Hudler, Bergeron, maybe Gomez, for example.

Would be nice to have:
3) Big, tough veteran forward that can chip in 10 - 20 goals.
UFA examples: Moen, Grier.
4) An experienced defencive dman, replacing Exelby or Oystrich.
UFAs: Hävelid, Montador.
Trade: Salei comes to mind.

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Old
03-11-2009, 02:05 PM
  #11
cws
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A good option would be to let Anderson have more of a say as to who is brought in. Not up to the Hartley-esque level, but he should have a big voice in who stays and who goes.

The guys are playing good at a tough time of the season, when teams are desperate to solidify playoff position or to make the playoffs at all. And their effort has been pretty consistent in the last few weeks, a sign that the coach has reached them and they are really buying into the system. And this is with a lineup widely considered to be one of the least talented in the league.

If they can play this way next season, major overhauls are not needed. Of course some more talent is needed to take us to the next level, but it needs to be the right type of talent. Players who can integrate themselves within the offensive and defensive systems in place with little trouble; which is why it would be very beneficial to let Anderson have his say.

It'll be interesting to see how much money the team is given to spend and who they target. Looks like the ownership question will still be hanging over everyone's head, so smart acquistions have to be the way to go.

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Old
03-11-2009, 02:25 PM
  #12
Shameus
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Top 6 wing could be right or left. Kozlov came out in the Atlanta paper....I wanna say in January, that he wouldn't mind trying to play with Kovy next year on the RW. You could honestly see a Kovy-Pev-Kozy line next year. White who has chemistry with Little would then center Little and the need would be LW (Espo maybe?)

As far as the bottom six, the third line should be Stuart-Reasoner-Army. The 4th line, need an enforcer on one wing, but to be honest I wouldn't mind seeing Ryan Kaip as the 4th line center instead of Slater and seeing Crabb or LaVallee as the other wing.

If the Thrashers can not resign Reasoner, than I would like to see White center the 3rd line and a Top 6 forward/Center targeted thru free agency or trade.

Defense:
Enstrom Bogo-first pair
Hainsey-?
Valabik-?

Need to figure out what to do with: XLB and Oystrick, would like to see Lewis and Kulda up here next year. Don't know what the new kid, Salmela can do yet so don't know what to say about him. I could see trading Oystrick (at the draft) and XLB for other pieces and signing or trading for a partner for Hainsey.

Goal:

Not touching that ticking time bob of a hot topic. Just hope what ever happens doesn't back fire on the organization.

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Old
03-11-2009, 05:21 PM
  #13
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with the pick we have, we are going to get someone who can come in right away. if we don't get a top 2 pick, hopefully we can land Kane. He can come in right away.

I doubt this, but if we can land Gaborik in free agency, it would be nice.



What DW needs to do:
1. re-sign Kovy
2. re-sign Lehts
3. re-sign Peverley
4. Sign a good foward via free agency


i like our defense a whole lot.

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Old
03-11-2009, 07:46 PM
  #14
toph2o
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I'm stuck on imagining Hossa being added to the current lineup... Know it'll never happen, but jeez would he fit nicely.

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Old
03-12-2009, 11:31 AM
  #15
Jonas1235
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Right Wing UFA's are pretty weak this summer. Sykora, Hossa, Kotalik, Neil, Gionta, Rupp, Kovalev, Afinogenov and Bertuzzi. WEAK!

Left Wing UFA's are a little better. Sedin, Tkachuk, Tanguay, Gaborik, Moss, Lehtinen and Cole.

Center UFA's are a little better. Sedin, Camalleri, Pahlsson, Arnason, Franzen, Koivu, Antropov, Reinprecht and Comrie.

Some of those guys can play mutiple positions, but the free-agent class is not very good as a whole for forwards.

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