Posted by TheHockeyGuy on February 12th, 2010
They are both gone.
The two issues, involving two players, that faced the Thrashers for much of the season finally have been resolved. The ongoing contract negotiations with Ilya Kovalchuk could not be completed, and the franchise player was traded to New Jersey. The ongoing back issues with Kari Lehtonen appear over, but with two other goaltenders on the roster he was traded to Dallas.
Without the potential distractions, one question remains. Where do the Thrashers go from here?
“I think for us as a team, all these things have been happening very quickly,” goaltender Johan Hedberg said. “It’s a huge adjustment for this organization, this franchise. As a group it brings us closer together, but it’s up to us. We have to do it, inside this [locker] room. We can’t wait for Kovy to come in and score four or five goals or Kari to come back and stand on his head. Right now, it’s us. It puts more pressure on us, but it’s also something that, hopefully, is going to make us pull harder together.”
Defenseman Pavel Kubina said the team spoke about the situations with Kovalchuk and Lehtonen, but they were not issues on the ice.
“You always talk to your teammates about what is going on and what’s going to happen,” Kubina said. “They were traded. But when you step on the ice you worry about the team and you try to do your best. I don’t think it was a distraction at all.”
Click here to read the full article – By Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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