Well, the Thrashers have their first line center, I guess. Eh. Rucchin's a nice enough player, and did well playing with Kariya back in the day -- and I suppose given what remained out there, this is about the best available. Still, not terribly sexy.
The Thrashers also signed Glen Metropolit, about whom I know virtually nothing, other than "he's big in Finland."
So now, according to TSN's list, the Thrashers have... just under $31 million committed, if I'm adding correctly (and perhaps I'm not -- that seems really low). Ah, they've left Mellanby off the list. Oh, and Lehtonen and Kapanen aren't signed -- righto. It's early yet. Ok, so that'll add a few million more. And players like Mark Popovic and Karl Stewart, who will presumably be challenging for permanent jobs with the big club, aren't on there either.
Presuming the signings go ok, here's a rough depth chart, in terms of talent/appropriateness for the spot:
Boulton/Slater/Metropolit or Stewart
Hnidy or Popovic
So, really, the big hole is a secondary RW. I guess they could give Slater or Stewart a shot there (or Kapanen, if Slater's penned in as second-line center). Or maybe Alex Bourret (114 points in the QMJHL this season) will be ready -- beyond that, the winger prospects are thin. Juraj Gracik will play in Slovakia next season, Tomas Pospisil isn't sounding terribly thrilling... anyone else?
There are a few free agent possibilities still out there -- Trevor Letowski? Anson Carter (yeah!)? Radek Dvorak? Valeri Bure? Petr Sykora? Bulis or Rucinsky on the off-wing? Konstantin Koltsov? Carter is by far the most appealing out of all of those, but Atlanta hasn't been mentioned as a possible destination. Sykora wouldn't be bad either, actually, but I have no idea what'll be available $$-wise after Lehtonen and Kapanen are signed up. Maybe Bourret is the answer.
And, of course, there's the possibility/hope that one of the defensemen will be traded. Again, not a lot of use for all three of Sutton, Hnidy, or Exelby. Of the three I'd most like to see Hnidy dealt; most like to see Exelby kept. But no one's asking me, now are they?
Edit: Looking over this again, I'm reminded that the Thrashers only kept six defensemen on the roster for most of the season, so -- if Coburn's ready -- Hnidy may be headed for Chicago.
Edit Edit: I forgot to mention two more additions to the links -- CasonBlog, yet another entertaining 'Canes blogger who's now in one of my former hometowns, and Kukla's Korner, which has been a giant help in these recent days of player movement.