Sunday, July 19, 2009

Atlanta Thrashers Round-Up

The Atlanta Thrasher have resigned Colby Armstrong to a 2 year, $2.4 Million dollar contract and resigned goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a 1 year, $3 Million dollar contract.

It appears as the Thrashers GM, Don Waddell, is making every attempt to try and woo all-star winger Ilya Kovalchuk to re-sign a long term contract with the team. Waddell has signed Antropov, Armstrong, Lehtonen and traded for defenceman Pavel Kubina as persuasion to get a contract done. Although it may seem as if the effort was there to make the Thrasher a more competitive hockey team, the results on the ice should be similar to what they were last season.

Colby Armstrong was arguably the the prize in the Hossa trade two seasons ago. Armstrong, at 26, scored 40 points in 82 games last season. He will at top 6 forward in Atlanta and play in all situations. With the improved offense in Atlanta, Armstrong should improve on his totals next season. Owners should expect 50 points out of the winger and will be able to grab him as a depth guy in later rounds of your draft.

Kari Lehtonen is a highly skilled Finnish goaltender that has one drawback from making him a star, injuries. Over the 4 seasons in the league, Lehtonen has suffered from back and groin issues. At 25, he is entering the prime of his career as a goaltender and it remains to be seen if he can play a full season. Oozing with potential, he has the ability to make Atlanta into a competitive team. With an improved defensive squad, and more talent up front, Lehtonen’s time to shine is now. Signing a one year contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he may stay healthy and have huge season. As of now, Lehtonen should slide in all drafts as he is on a weaker team. He is worth taking a flyer on even if he stays on your bench all season. The potential of him getting traded to a better team or being signed next off-season is high and may be worth taking a risk on.


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