Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Espo's flow coming soon to Atlanta

So, as you've heard, the Thrashers got Angelo Esposito as part of the deal for Marian Hossa. For me, two things come to mind about Espo.

First is Karl Alzner commenting on Espo's look at the draft in Columbus. I went to the media luncheon and I just wanted to chat a few people up, put some names with faces. Alzner is known as a clothes horse, so I asked him who in the group of top prospects was the best dressed. Without hesitation he said Espo. He commented on his shoes and longer suit jacket. Alzner said he also likes Espo's "slicked-back flow." I checked out the hair, and indeed young Angelo has a nice head of wavy hair and he can dress himself. He could be gracing the cover of several Atlanta magazines one day.

But what caught my eye, on a more serious note, when I checked him out was his limp. He was recovering from a groin injury. Here it was end of June, he hadn't played in several weeks and was still limping. That raised some red flags for me. Usually limping goes away in a couple days. He was still not healthy last August.

Espo is healthy now, has been all year, but the wonky groin could be a story someday in the future. I hope it isn't, but the sight of him limping at the draft will stick with me.

Esposito was a teammate of now fellow Thrashers prospect Jordan LaVallee on the 2005-06 Memorial Cup-winning Quebec Remparts team. Having just turned 19 a few days ago, next year Espo will either need to make the big club or go back to junior. Sometimes these prodigy types have used up their four years of junior eligibility by having played at a young age, but since Espo played at Shattuck-St. Mary's (high school), he's only in his third year of junior. Does he have some issues? Sure. But with talent like this, it's not a bad gamble.

As far as trade deadline day goes, it was a good number of trades league-wide -- enough to keep you interested, not so many it was overwhelming. I used Kevin Allen's USA Today blog to get updates, and was satisfied with only that.

On the good news front, from what I hear, our message boards at Hockey's Future didn't crash like a few others out there did. We even set a new simultaneous usage record of 17,150 users at 3:13 PM. Holy cow that's a lot of people at the exact same time! But, that traffic is what pays me the big -- make that small -- bucks, so good job to the admins.

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