Today was the first practice for the Thrashers prospects in Traverse City. Everyone, and their equipment, arrived just fine, which is always a worry in a remote destination.
There are three coaches for the tournament: Don Granato and Jason "Smurf" Christie from the Wolves, and Jeff Pyle from the Gladiators. Two of them will run the bench during the games. Goaltender Chris Carrozzi is expected to start tomorrow's game against the Lightning at 3pm.
Riley Holzapfel, Spencer Machacek and Grant Lewis will serve as the captains/alternates for the Thrashers entry.
Just for fun and because I'm sure no one else is going to go out on a limb and make predictions of how the eight teams will finish, I will.
Prediction for finish
1. St. Louis -- their roster is unbelievable. Allen and Bishop in net, Pietrangelo, Oshie and Berglund up front. If they don't win this, it will be a surprise.
2. Minnesota - Khodobin in net, who may have the most experience of any goalie. Well-balanced team.
3. Columbus -- LaCosta in net, Voracek (who should stick with the Jackets this year), but no Filatov who is injured.
4. NY Rangers -- the reigning champs. Their D is good with Del Zotto and Sanguinetti.
5. Detroit -- Goaltending duo is impressive with Larsson and McCollum, forwards are intriguing.
6. Atlanta -- Defense is probably the strength of the team.
7. Tampa Bay -- no Stamkos, who is resting up for main camp. Goalies are Tokarski and Jung.
8. Dallas -- Not much scoring here.
Come back tomorrow for info on how the game went, and then links to game summaries at HF.
In a bit of ex-Gladiators news, Brad Schell will attend San Antonio's AHL camp, and Guillaume Desbiens will attend Manitoba's, Pyle said. If either Schell or Desbiens don't make those teams, they will return to the Gladiators.