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Thrashers Historic Depth Charts: Defense

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This is the tenth anniversary season of the Atlanta Thrashers. For most of the history of the franchise the team has ranked near the bottom in Goals Allowed. If you take a look at the men who have suited up at defense you will not spot too many Hall of Fame talents patroling the Atlanta blueline. However, it does appear to me that the current crop of defensemen is the strongest in team history.

I thought it would be interesting to trace out the shifts over time on the blueline. So I created seven columns which are roughly intended to list off the individuals who held the #1 through #7 blueline positions (using ice time to rank them). You can see the evolution of each defense slot and the minutes each player received. When a new player breaks into the history I have put it in bold.

 

Season D#1 min D#2 min D##3 min D#4 min D#5 min D#6 min D#7 min
2000 Shannon 1046 Buzek 1159 Tremblay 1459 Tamer 1275 Murphy 1315 Galanov 861 Harlock 865
2001 Kaberle 1136 Staios 1522 Tremblay 940 Tamer 1614 Murphy 559 Slegr 711 Harlock 1109
2002 Kaberle 1316 Tjarnqvist 1614 Tremblay 1440 Tamer 1442 Reirdan 1172 Slegr 811 Pothier 715
2003 Kaberle 1733 Tjarnqvist 1641 Tremblay 1631 Tamer 1129 Sutton 954 Smehlik 847 Weaver 745
2004 Kaberle 1562 Tjarnqvist 1514 Tremblay 820 Exelby 1386 Sutton 1517 Tamer 682 Majesky 910
2005
2006 Havelid 2002 DeVries 1805 Modry 1643 Exelby 1176 Sutton 1602 McCarthy 267 Hnidy 675
2007 Havelid 1945 DeVries 1823 Vishnevski 1003 Exelby 1043 Sutton 1070 McCarthy 703 Hnidy 1125
2008 Havelid 1661 Enstrom 2006 Klee 1443 Exelby 1492 Zhitnik 1236 McCarthy 868 Popovic 477
2009 Havelid 1316 Enstrom 1929 Hainsey 1812 Exelby 986 Bogosian 851 Schneider 925 Oystrick 834
2010 Kubina 1348 Enstrom 1346 Hainsey 1260 Schubert 694 Bogosian 1333 Oduya 105 Salmela 381
2011 ???? Enstrom Hainsey Valabik Bogosian Oduya Kulda

 

There are a few things I simply can not explain. For example, why did Tamer and Tremblay each get a 5 season try out while Mike Weaver (who is still playing in the NHL today) only get a brief trial (my guess is that Bob Hartley hates small defensemen).  Who recommended that the team acquire Ivan Majesky, Steve McCarthy, Todd Reirdan, Ivan Vitali Vishnevski and Alexei Zhitnik? How did that guy keep his job in the NHL--those five defensemen simply brutal while wearing a Thrashers uniform

 

Season D1 +/- D2 +/- D3 +/- D4 +/- D5 +/- D6 +/- D7 +/-
2000 Shannon -14 Buzek -22 Tremblay -42 Tamer -32 Murphy -26 Galanov -12 Harlock -8
2001 Kaberle 11 Staios -23 Tremblay -6 Tamer -1 Murphy -11 Slegr -1 Harlock -28
2002 Kaberle -11 Tjarnqvist -22 Tremblay -15 Tamer -11 Reirdan -25 Slegr -21 Pothier -19
2003 Kaberle -19 Tjarnqvist -20 Tremblay -27 Tamer -10 Sutton -8 Smehlik -4 Weaver -5
2004 Kaberle 2 Tjarnqvist -4 Tremblay -13 Exelby -10 Sutton 0 Tamer -9 Majesky -7
2005
2006 Havelid 9 DeVries 1 Modry -9 Exelby 11 Sutton 13 McCarthy 0 Hnidy 1
2007 Havelid -2 DeVries -3 Vishnevski -5 Exelby 2 Sutton 6 McCarthy 4 Hnidy 15
2008 Havelid 2 Enstrom -5 Klee -5 Exelby -21 Zhitnik -8 McCarthy -23 Popovic -4
2009 Havelid 4 Enstrom 14 Hainsey -16 Exelby -2 Bogosian 11 Schneider -10 Oystrick -2
2010 Kubina 6 Enstrom 7 Hainsey -10 Schubert -7 Bogosian -13 Oduya 0 Salmela 4
2011 ???? Enstrom Hainsey Valabik Bogosian Oduya Kulda

 

Here are some patterns that stand out when I look at this chart. The role of the #1 and #2 D men have been held by Europeans for most of the team's history. The #3 slot has historically been occupied by a soft defender with offensive skills, Ron Hainsey is keeping that tradition alive. The #4 column lists physical defesemen who tended to pile up the penalty minutes, Schubert and Valabik fill that slot quite well. The guys in column #6 usually had a reputation for offensive skill but while wearing a Thrashers jersey Slegr, Galanov, McCarthy, and Schneider never lived up to the hype. The guys in column #5 were experiments that didn't really work out well for Atlanta, hopefully Bogosian will break that streak.

 

Season D1 Pts D2 Pts D3 Pts D4 Pts D5 Pts D6 Pts D7 Pts
2000 Shannon 18 Buzek 19 Tremblay 31 Tamer 10 Murphy 11 Galanov 7 Harlock 6
2001 Kaberle 15 Staios 22 Tremblay 12 Tamer 17 Murphy 14 Slegr 19 Harlock 1
2002 Kaberle 25 Tjarnqvist 18 Tremblay 24 Tamer 6 Reirdan 8 Slegr 8 Pothier 9
2003 Kaberle 26 Tjarnqvist 15 Tremblay 30 Tamer 10 Sutton 21 Smehlik 11 Weaver 5
2004 Kaberle 29 Tjarnqvist 20 Tremblay 10 Exelby 10 Sutton 21 Tamer 7 Majesky 10
2005
2006 Havelid 32 DeVries 35 Modry 38 Exelby 10 Sutton 25 McCarthy 10 Hnidy 3
2007 Havelid 21 DeVries 24 Vishnevski 12 Exelby 10 Sutton 16 McCarthy 16 Hnidy 12
2008 Havelid 14 Enstrom 38 Klee 10 Exelby 7 Zhitnik 8 McCarthy 7 Popovic 2
2009 Havelid 15 Enstrom 32 Hainsey 39 Exelby 7 Bogosian 19 Schneider 15 Oystrick 12
2010 Kubina 30 Enstrom 41 Hainsey 14 Schubert 7 Bogosian 20 Oduya 0 Salmela 5
2011 ???? Enstrom Hainsey Valabik Bogosian Oduya Kulda