9.26.2008

Schneider A Member of the Thrash

That title sounds so much like he's part of a band...

Anyways, Matt Schneider was traded to Atlanta for Ken Klee, Brad Larsen, and Chad Painchaud. James Mirtle has the more important financial details here, but I'm more into the impact side of things.

First of all, everyone knows that Atlanta was pretty dang weak on defense. Young prospect Zach Bogosian was nearly guaranteed playing time before he signed a contract, and Ron Hainsey was sure to run the top pairing with Toby Enstrom.

However, after acquiring Schneider, the Thrashers blueline will look much better. Enstrom and Schneider form a formidable offensive duo, while Ron Hainsey and Niclas Havelid could make a good shutdown pair. Bogosian will slide into the spot of the departed Ken Klee, and should learn a few tips from Garnet Exelby about defensive play, and smashing people into the boards (An Exelby trademark). Of course, the pairings could also be switched up. Enstrom and Hainsey could still make a good pair, one strong offensively and the other a little stronger in the defensive zone, and Schneider might make a good mentor for Bogosian on the second line. Exelby and Havelid could be great together, but Havelid's new contract doesn't spell third pairing time.

Another improvement Schneider should provide is a point man to run the powerplay. Tobias Enstrom is a little young for the job, but should run the second unit quite nicely. Schneider's overall offensive support will help out the club, which finished 22nd in the NHL in goals-per-game, to at least slightly improve on that number.

As a little side note, Schneider hasn't participated in any training camp, and won't get much time to adjust to Atlanta's system before they stick him in the lineup for a pre-season game.

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