Atlanta Thrashers preview

Overview: Right now, the Atlanta Thrashers are doing things right.

They’re rebuilding through the draft, making shrewd trades and smart free agent signings.

They won’t have a good season, but fans need to be patient. Unfortunately, they’ve been patient for more than a decade, and don’t have anything to show for it.

Best offseason move: Signing Chris Mason. The Thrashers haven’t had an above-average #1 goalie, ever. Mason gives fills that need. He can push 23-year-old goalie of the future Ondrej Pavelec to become a better goalie. The cap hit is low, the length of term of the contract is low. It’s a win-win.

Worst offseason move: Trading for Donald Brashear. I understand they bought out his contract immediately. But just to be known as a team that once employed Brashear should have people hanging their heads in shame (this also goes for Montreal, Vancouver, Washington, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers).

Dark horse trophy candidate: Tobias Enstrom for the Norris.

Pool pick: Evander Kane. Someone on Atlanta has to get the points, right? Kane will probably get top line minutes, powerplay time and a chance or two to fight Matt Cooke a couple of times. That means he could finish with 60 points. Who to stay away from: Nik Antropov. With not much scoring help, his numbers have no where to go but down.

Sprorcle quiz: Can you name the NHL goalies Ilya Kovalchuk has scored on?

Best hall of fame choice: No one. Maybe one of the young guys (Zach Bogosian, Evander Kane or Tobias Enstrom) have a chance. Of that group, maybe Kane has the best chance, as he’s an offensive forward. But he’ll have to get way more than the 14 goals, 26 points he had in his rookie season.

Blog to follow: Bird Watchers Anonymous

My Prediction: Fourth in the Southeast, 13th in the East

Famous celebrity from that city: Lita


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