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A team with as much change as the Atlanta Thrashers have under gone seems to beg the question
Why make more deals?
Everything looks different to everyone, or should I say everyone has an opinion. We are certainly seeing that due to the Penguins/Islanders events of only a few days ago.
The Thrashers have changed not only players, but staff and management as well. They are a totally new setup in Atlanta, and while most of the leadership comes from a gentleman who guided this franchise since startup, Don Waddell is still involved with the organization.
Then if we all agree that the Thrashers have made more than enough changes already this season, changes for the good of the franchise, what really should stop them from pursuing their goals?
Should the Thrashers decide that all they need is time, then let it be so. Time is still an important factor as not to judge to quickly on the current state of the team.
The interesting part of that is within two seasons, the Thrashers will only have six players under contract.
Nik Antropov, Bryan Little, Artem Brumistrov, Patrice Cormier, Ron Hainsey and Toby Enstrom.
Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec will be RFA's. Johnny Oduya, Rich Peverley and Jim Slater are scheduled to be UFA's.
Should the Thrashers lockup any of these players right now? This offseason might provide some great insight to that.
While coming up this July, Fredrik Modin, Chris Thorburn, Eric Boulton, Brent Sopel and Freddy Mayer will be scheduled as UFA's.
Niklas Bregfors, Spencer Machacek, Anthony Stewart and Arturs Kulda are RFA's and will need new contracts.
Let's not forget Captain Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Zach Bogosian are RFA's, as well. All will possibly looking for long term deals.
Or are they?
The current question seems to stem from Bogosian. A highly-touted draft selection from the class of 2008, Bogosian was selected third overall behind Steve Stamkos of Tampa Bay and Drew Doughty of the LA Kings.
Rumors are swirling about Bogosian's availability and coming off of an entry level deal, Bogosian might be moved either at or by the deadline should the right deal present itself.
Logic would say to hang onto Bogosian. The fact that he is a RFA allows the Thrashers a bit more time than if he was scheduled for UFA status. Currently, they only have Hainsey, Enstrom and Oduya under contract for next season, and they are arguably, along with Bogosian, the Thrashers top four defenseman.
There is speculation that the under-achieving Niklas Bergfors and stay-at-home defenseman Brent Sopel are drawing interest.
Is there an opportunity here for the Thrashers to add someone now and continue on their schedule of getting this team into the playoffs?
Last night the Thrashers lost a key game against division foe and Eastern Conference rival Carolina 3-2. The Thrashers could have pulled even with the Canes and laid a share on the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has keys games with division foe's Carolina and Florida. They also have key dates against Montreal and Buffalo. They play all these teams twice more, while the Rangers one more time.
Could we see Atlanta make another major move that helps them today, as well as in the future?