asq2 wrote:cas wrote:SpezDispenser wrote:I actually don't think Kovalchuk makes it to free agency. I think they come to a deal by December.
Its hard to say one way or the other at this point. It all depends on the development of their youth. If Kane impresses and makes it out of training camp; if Bogosian takes hold of that vacant #1 spot; if Pavelic or Lehtonen prove they can consistently mind that crease; if Little and Enstrom keep up their development.....
Just like the Sens season, ATL keeping Kovalchuk has too many ifs to be sure of anything...
I think this is the best team Kovalchuk has had around him since the first year after the lock-out.
The Thrashers went out and added Antropov and Kubina this off-season, Todd White just had a 73 point season, Bogosian might score 20 goals, Enstrom will be looking to bounce back after a sophomore slump, Kozlov's still there and Little scored 30 goals last season.
I think Kane could use more time in the Juniors, but if he does make it, they'll have a pretty nice top-6 with Kovalchuk, Antropov, Kozlov, Kane, White and Little, and a decent top-4 with Kubina, Hainsey, Bogosian and Enstrom.
If the goaltending can hold up, and I think it has the potential too, they could be pretty competitive.
Then factor in that they've given Kovalchuk the captaincy and I'm sure are prepared to offer him megamoney to stay, and I don't think it's an entirely foregone conclusion.
The Todd White season seems to be quite the aberration, so I'm not sure if he can get back up to the 70+ point plateau again. As for Bogosian, I would be sincerely shocked if he hit 20 goals...would take monstrous amounts of powerplay time and a ridiculous sophomore season. He might hit 40 points though with 12-15 goals.