2009-10 NHL Preview: Atlanta Thrashers
While the ownership group tries to get everything straighten out, the Thrashers on the ice may be poised for a break out season. Over the last few years they have been forced to trade away several big time stars, and it looked like this summer it was going to be Ilya Kovalchuk’s turn. However GM. Don Waddell, was able to make a coupe of nice acquisitions and apparently Kovalchuk is content to stay in Atlanta.
The biggest question that the Thrashers have is in net. They must find out if Kari Lehtonen is good enough to be the everyday net minder for this team. Although he has been injury prone, at 25 he is still on the young side for goalies. Look for prospect Ondrej Pavelec and veteran Johan Hedberg to push the youngster for the starting spot.
The Thrashers added forward Nik Antropov to their ranks to join Kovalchuck and long serving veterans Slava Kozlov, Todd White, Colby Armstrong, and Rich Peverley. Marty Reasoner, Jim Slater, and Chris Thornburn.
They also traded for defenseman Pavel Kubina and they now have the best top four defense men this team has ever seen. Kubina will join talented youngsters Tobias Enstrom, and Zach Bogosian. This also added veteran Ron Hainsey to their blue line before last season. The Thrashers won 12 of their final 18 games last season, and will be looking to keep that momentum going in the new season.
Key additions- F Nik Antropov, C Jason Krog, D Pavel Kubina, G Drew MacIntyre, F Tim Stapleton, G Peter Mannino, D Noah Welch, and RW Anthony Stewart
Subtractions- D Garnet Exelby, D Brett Skinner, LW Colin Stuart, and D Clay Wilson