Scouts Honor: The Winnipeg ?????
WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 31 MAY 2011
Just like that, Atlanta will be gone. In what truly was a day many Atlanta fans knew would come (but hoped for a different outcome). Atlanta will indeed move to Winnipeg for next season. While the team name is up for debate, the move is not as TNSE (True North Sports Entertainment) will take the Thrashers over and move the team north of the 49th parallel.
Fantasy wise Winnipeg will see a team that has some potential for fantasy owners out there and yes they will play a year in the East (at least one year in that) so they will still be in the Southeast Division so for this year there is no real change other than some increased travel for the relocated Winnipeg franchise. This could have some far reaching effects later in the year that people may not be expecting necessarily.
There is still so much uncertainty for the Winnipeg franchise obviously. The next time the Board Of Governors will meet is not until June 21st so even though that is a formality, we will not scratch the surface too much here. However in the coming weeks, we will slowly reveal what the Winnipeg team will do in 2011-12.
What will be interesting for Atlanta fans is if Andrew Ladd can come close or maybe even match his 59 point year from last season (29 goals, 30 assists). What we really liked about Ladd was his ability to basically create a game for him that would wreak some havoc on the opposition. The biggest thing was Ladd’s ever increasing time on the man advantage which resulted in a career high 18 points (9 g, 9 a) on said power play.
Again it comes down to contract, linemates, and Ladd himself. Clearly Ladd had this type of season in him as two years ago, he nearly topped 50 points in Chicago. People often forget about that very fact. Ladd will only grow with Winnipeg as he still will get to feast on some of the East’s weaker defenses next season.
If Winnipeg can ride the early expected wave then Ladd may just match his totals. I think that is a distinct possibility. His strengths are more than weaknesses but still that lack of ability to put long stretches of points in streaks will be a reason why Ladd does not tally even higher for the 2011-12 season.
However I would not be shocked to see Ladd exceed 10 PPG’s at all. As a matter of fact, Ladd is being tentatively pegged by us for 61 points (26 G, 35 A). Again this is all speculative but we are basing this on modest contract, good chemistry, and great mental attitude by Ladd himself.
Who will be profile next for Winnipeg? The answer may surprise. Keep an eye out on this little mini-series of sorts.