It’s ok. We’ll still be seeing this on the PP.
In what comes as no shock, Chris Vivlamore has reported that Dustin Byfuglien will be starting camp at defense. With the recent signings of Modin and Dawes, it left absolutely no room for him up front – especially with the abundance of big forwards who will play a 3rd line role that the team now has. Expect to see Byfuglien continue his power play role as the Thrashers’ version of Tomas Holmstrom, making life a nightmare for goalies.
The defense that we now have stockpiled looks like this: Bogosian, Enstrom, Hainsey, Sopel, Oduya, Valabik, Meyers, Kulda, and now Byfuglien. There’re eight guys for basically seven spots. Either Kulda’s staying with Chicago for another year, or someone’s gone.
To keep Kulda in Chicago one more season for development isn’t horrible, but after watching him play up here for a few games last season, it seemed that he was more than ready to step in last year. Unfortunately, his playing time was taken away by the call-up of Chris Chelios that we really couldn’t see how he would end the season with the big team.
Valabik’s been re-habbing all summer, and after a rough start last season was looking really good and comfortable before his season-ending injury. It seems a bit unfair to prepare for a trade at D without seeing how he is.
As the team stands right now, we’ll have a glut at defense and a surplus of grinders at forward, with our first line and Peverley thrown in. We’ll be tough to play against and we certainly won’t be a doormat, but we need someone who can get the puck in the net as an insurance policy if Little doesn’t bounce back (and if Bergfors doesn’t get re-signed). I liked Dudley’s moves at the beginning of the season, but his recent ones are confusing me. The depth is nice and not something that I’ll ever argue with, but what of scoring? That’s not a good thing to lack.