I have been a regular on this site for a while now, and a fan of the Thrashers for even longer. I am from Canada and I can tell you that I am constantly questioned on why I cheer for the Thrashers, although the success this year has helped quite the naysayers. I was drawn to this team initially because Bryan Little, a guy I followed in the minors was drafted here, and my last name is Little, something that you don’t see a lot. But I also have family in Buckhead, and have been a Braves fan for about ten years. I don’t like Canadian teams because Canadian fans can be ignorant to just about everything, and I was raised by a Blackhawks fan who taught me that grit, and the Canadian style of hockey will win you championships, and that’s a mentality that’s hard to challenge when we look at successful playoff teams. Why am I rambling you ask?
In 2003 we took one of the best defensive prospects in my recent memory, and a true Canadian style of hockey player (although he’s from Massena) in Zach Bogosian. This young man is gritty, with an offensive upside, strong on his skates, smart, yet a lot of people on this site really seem to be throwing him under the bus. Oh yeah, he’s 20.
Ron Hainsey took almost 8 years to become the player he is today, and for many that’s not quite the statement. Brooks Orpik took about 5, Anton Volchenkov 3, Mike Komisarek is still struggling, Hamuis had 3 years of development, Jay Bouwmeester 4, Braydon Coburn as we all know took 5, Dion Phaneuf who is still a raw talent is in his 6thseason, Brent Seabrook took 3 years to develop and become a positive +/- player, Mike Green had 3 years of development, Jack Johnson is still coming into his own.
Yeah, I know, Bogosian is not any of these players, but he draws similarities to all of them. He is 20 years old, he has the least time in the league, and bar some skating time in the AHL during the 08-09 season, he has been a regular in the NHL for our franchise. I guess what I am trying to say, and get everyone to realize is that we have a raw talent, and he is going to take some time to become the player we want and expect him to become. The more we criticize, the more the owners, the coaches and the personnel guys start to look at him. I honestly don’t think it is worth it to lose him. Give him some time to develop, IE 3-4 years. Lay off him until then, and let’s reap the rewards in the future, not trade for a guy who could turn out to be a nothing, or a draft pick that could be a bust now.
He is a boy, and the reason that he’s not playing well is not because of skill, strength, speed, or intelligence but because of confidence. I can assure you now that if he leaves this team, it will be one of the worst mistakes we have ever made. He simply needs a resurgence in confidence, and that starts with us. As he gains more experience, whether it be in the AHL or NHL, Zach will regain the form that he showed with the Pete’s and become the leader, and hockey player that we all expected him to become.