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Summer Shopping List

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I have no idea who DW is targeting this summer or how much money the ownership is going to allow him to spend. But if I were GM for a day I know the player I'd target: Scott Hannan.

Hannan has a been a top defensive defensemen in the Western Conference since he came up with the Sharks. He's not flashy and he will not score much but he will greatly assist in keeping the puck out of your net.

If the Thrashers added Hannan that would give them Zhitnik, Havelid, Hannan and Exelby as their top four defensemen. Then I figure you would have have McCarthy (RFA this year) and a rookie or two from the prospect list (Enstrom/Zubarev/Oystrick) fill out the third pairing and bench slots.

I honestly believe that if the Thrashers had four solid defensemen in front of Lehtonen and Hedberg all next year, our goals against would drop considerably. The Forechecker has shared some of his shot quality data with me and the Thrashers continue to give up a ton of shots from in tight. A better set of defensemen would greatly assist our netminders in keeping that red light off at our own end.

Look at it this way. The Thrashers could spend $5-6 million per year and sign Briere or Drury to essentially replace Savard. The Thrashers offense declined by roughly 30 goals when Savard left. Or the Thrasher could probably pay Hannan $3-4 million per year and have a shot at reducing their goals against by 20-30 next year with improved defensive play in front of the goaltenders. In the sports market offense usually gets paid more than defense does (except in the case of Holik). A goal prevented is worth the same as a goal scored, but defensive defensemen tend to make less despite that fact.