Wednesday, February 10, 2010
2010 Thrashers: Bird of a Different Feather
Thrashers fans may not have been thrilled with the return, but, if not, what did you hope for in a rental situation?
Once Kovalchuk was dealt, it was/is only a matter of time until most, if not all of Atlanta's impending UFAs are traded away.
Next up? Defenseman Pavel Kubina and forward Colby Armstrong. Both will be in high demand, particularly Kubina who will fetch another attractive return. Speedster Max Afinogenov, whom the Thrashers picked up off the scrap heap, could also be dealt, as could Slava Kozlov.
What makes all of these moves unusual? The team is still contending for a playoff spot. GM Don Waddell has had the unenviable task of trading away the franchise, functioning as a deadline seller, while trying to bolster the team's remaining core and adding pieces to prepare for the stretch drive to the post-season.
It's a lot, and the amazing part...he just might do it.
They will enter next season with a bevy of draft picks, young players and cap room galore. Could they chase Kovalchuk again in July? Maybe they use the cap room to sign a franchise netminder by paying for Evgeni Nabokov and don't forget super sniper Patrick Marleau, who is just one year older than Kovy will be an UFA also.
It just might be a fire sale is just what this franchise needed.