The Thrashers have elected to keep free agent signing Freddy Meyer on the roster and has placed former 1st rounder Boris Valabik on waivers. If he clears, Valabik will be assigned to the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. Valabik was injured much of last season, and was a healthy scratch in all but one pre-season game. Meyer, on the other hand, scored two pre-season goals.
This move leads me to believe that Zach Bogosian is probable for tonight’s game. Updated defensive pairings will be posted as they become available.
Meyer is seen as faster and more able to jump into the play than Valabik, with scoring potential. Valabik is a relic of the pre-lockout NHL, when having a large defenseman who was able to fight and maintain a physical presence on the ice was seen as a necessity.
Valabik spoke with the AJC's Chris Vivlamore about his being placed on waivers:
I have been preparing for the last month or so,” Valabik told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Professionally, I know it’s part of the game. It’s also tough knowing that people I respect, the coaches, [GM] Rick Dudley, didn’t think I could play there.
Whatever happens, happens. If some team picks me up, I will look forward to a second chance. I feel like I owe a lot to Atlanta for drafting me. I had hoped to win a Stanley Cup here. There were 24 guys on the roster and they could only have 23.”
I appreciate Boris' continued dedication to winning and loyalty to the Thrashers, and genuinely feel badly for him. While I hope that he gets to play at the NHL level, I also would like to see him return to the Thrashers line-up at some point once the team figures out how to properly utilize him.