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05-09-2007, 01:41 PM
  #1
toph2o
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Defensive influx

I was rather (pleasantly) surprised to see the Nikulin news, but it further complicates an already interesting situation. By my count, the following new defensemen will be joining the organization next year (in no particular order):

Nikulin
Zubarev (maybe? any news?)
Enstrom (same as Zubarev)
Lewis
Vanelli
Denny

Along with the following already in Chicago:
Popovic
Oystrick
Valabik
Sharrow

Of that list, I think Nikulin, Zubarev, Enstrom, and Popovic will get shots to make the team in camp, not sure how many spots they'll be competing for though. Havelid and Zhitnik are under contract, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Exelby and Hnidy brought back, which would leave 2-3 spots for the above 4, with Oystrick maybe having an outside shot. Not too sure on the 3 North American kids, maybe Holly can chime in here.

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05-09-2007, 05:08 PM
  #2
Majik1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toph2o View Post
I was rather (pleasantly) surprised to see the Nikulin news, but it further complicates an already interesting situation. By my count, the following new defensemen will be joining the organization next year (in no particular order):

Nikulin
Zubarev (maybe? any news?)
Enstrom (same as Zubarev)
Lewis
Vanelli
Denny

Along with the following already in Chicago:
Popovic
Oystrick
Valabik
Sharrow

Of that list, I think Nikulin, Zubarev, Enstrom, and Popovic will get shots to make the team in camp, not sure how many spots they'll be competing for though. Havelid and Zhitnik are under contract, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Exelby and Hnidy brought back, which would leave 2-3 spots for the above 4, with Oystrick maybe having an outside shot. Not too sure on the 3 North American kids, maybe Holly can chime in here.
I can't speak for any of the other guys on the list, but as far as the guys in Chicago, of the four you have listed there, I'd say Popovic and possibly Oystrick have a realistic shot to make it with the big club next year.

As for Valabik, he missed a lot of time with an injury in the middle part of the year. In addition, I think he should learn to keep his cool before he plays in the NHL. Mark my words, Hartley (or whoever the coach is if they get off to a bad start) will not put up with the same dumb, selfish penalties at the NHL level. I'm not against physical play, but I think you have to be smart and pick your timing. For example, in Game 3, Boris got hit with a hard, but legal check by Iowa player. Instead of taking his number and waiting to get him in a position to ring his bell, Boris just went right after him. In another instance, he went to lay a hit on someone and deliberately brought up his elbow and clocked the guy in the head. Finally, he was doing a nice job standing a guy up at the blue line, but then then added the extra shove to knock the guy down. None of these three penalties are examples of good physical play. I'm not down on Boris as far as his future, but I think he has a little maturing to do before he gets to the NHL.

Sharrow hasn't played for Wolves since March 3. I don't know if there is a nagging injury; he was out for a good portion of January and February. However, even when he did play, he was one of the weakest defenseman on the team. His point play was awful. I can't tell you how many times the puck came out to him at the point and skipped out of the zone. I wouldn't count on him as far as defensive depth. If you are so far down in the organization that Sharrow is in the discussion, you've got much bigger problems.


Last edited by Majik1987: 05-09-2007 at 06:01 PM.
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Old
05-09-2007, 07:34 PM
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toph2o
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I agree on Valabik, and I only listed Sharrow because he's a Thrashers property who's in Chicago and if I didn't someone would end up asking about him. Not being able to crack the lineup in Chicago pretty much ends any conversation about him in Atlanta next year (or probably ever unless he makes huge strides). He probably belonged in Gwinnett this year not Chicago, ice time might've done him good.

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05-09-2007, 07:53 PM
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Majik1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toph2o View Post
I agree on Valabik, and I only listed Sharrow because he's a Thrashers property who's in Chicago and if I didn't someone would end up asking about him. Not being able to crack the lineup in Chicago pretty much ends any conversation about him in Atlanta next year (or probably ever unless he makes huge strides). He probably belonged in Gwinnett this year not Chicago, ice time might've done him good.
Good point, and very true about Sharrow belonging in Gwinnett.

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05-09-2007, 10:13 PM
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1. Don't believe anything you read in the Russian media until it is independently confirmed by a NA source (not just referred to). Nikulin is not signed. And with the Russian lack of signing of the transfer agreement, I won't believe he's coming for the season until I see the whites of his eyes in training camp. It was looking positive for him coming last summer too, right until the end.

2. Zubarev is only 20, he's not in contention for a roster spot. Good prospect, but he'll be in the minors this year. Not worried about him signing. He's excited to come over.

3. Sharrow is not injured. I confirmed that when I was up there. Well, maybe just his ego. He might have had a little something earlier, but that's long over. You won't see him in Gwinnett. Jeff wants no part of him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him sent elsewhere next season. Buying out is too expensive.

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05-09-2007, 10:45 PM
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Thanks for the info, Holly. What about Enstrom's signing status?

As far as Nikulin goes, this would certainly be the year for him to come over as far as having a wide-open chance at making the team I'd think, but you're right, I'll wait until he's here to pencil him in.

And I didn't mean to imply Sharrow would/should actually be in Gwinnett, just that he obviously wasn't able to hack it in the AHL and sitting in the stands doesn't make one a better player, ice time (and in this case an attitude adjustment) would. Maybe send him to join Adam Smyth in the UHL (if that league still exists then)...

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05-10-2007, 09:36 PM
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Holly Gunning
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Originally Posted by toph2o View Post
Thanks for the info, Holly. What about Enstrom's signing status?
Probable.

It's a little early to be expecting anything yet.

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Old
05-11-2007, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
I can't speak for any of the other guys on the list, but as far as the guys in Chicago, of the four you have listed there, I'd say Popovic and possibly Oystrick have a realistic shot to make it with the big club next year.

As for Valabik, he missed a lot of time with an injury in the middle part of the year. In addition, I think he should learn to keep his cool before he plays in the NHL. Mark my words, Hartley (or whoever the coach is if they get off to a bad start) will not put up with the same dumb, selfish penalties at the NHL level. I'm not against physical play, but I think you have to be smart and pick your timing. For example, in Game 3, Boris got hit with a hard, but legal check by Iowa player. Instead of taking his number and waiting to get him in a position to ring his bell, Boris just went right after him. In another instance, he went to lay a hit on someone and deliberately brought up his elbow and clocked the guy in the head. Finally, he was doing a nice job standing a guy up at the blue line, but then then added the extra shove to knock the guy down. None of these three penalties are examples of good physical play. I'm not down on Boris as far as his future, but I think he has a little maturing to do before he gets to the NHL.

Sharrow hasn't played for Wolves since March 3. I don't know if there is a nagging injury; he was out for a good portion of January and February. However, even when he did play, he was one of the weakest defenseman on the team. His point play was awful. I can't tell you how many times the puck came out to him at the point and skipped out of the zone. I wouldn't count on him as far as defensive depth. If you are so far down in the organization that Sharrow is in the discussion, you've got much bigger problems.
it wasn't Valibik who got hit but Schell-Valabik was stepping up for a teammate not for himself, + i am very surprise you call that a clean hit. that guy JUMPED AND ELBOWED Schell in the head. it happened right in front of me...Valabik's elbowing penalty WASN'T HALF AS BAD AS THIS ELBOW!!! or number of dirtty hits or elbows-hit from behind on Oystrick behind our net, Elbow in Doell's face on the blueline or Elbow in Larose's face...Kozari simply doesn't like Valabik, that's how i see it.
not just him. it was the whole wolves team getting penalty's for something the Stars got away with few moments earlier... (Sterling's tripping for example...)
i suggest you talk facts...
i have been there for all three games this week... now the 5 minutes for the fight he DID deserve

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Old
05-11-2007, 05:07 AM
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btw-i think pops averaged around 27 mins of ice team this week...this is not official but he was out there a lot...lot of power plays too. guy must be exhausted

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05-11-2007, 12:12 PM
  #10
Boognish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly Gunning View Post
3. Sharrow is not injured. I confirmed that when I was up there. Well, maybe just his ego. He might have had a little something earlier, but that's long over. You won't see him in Gwinnett. Jeff wants no part of him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him sent elsewhere next season. Buying out is too expensive.
Sounds like he's got an attitude problem, no?

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