New GM Rick Dudley is re-stocking the Atlanta Thrashers with a lot of players who fit his own, imposing image but Dudley must realize that he also needs to add some slick scorers too. While Nigel Dawes hasn’t exactly set the world on fire (his career high is 14 goals), he could provide a nice bang-for-the-buck boost to a Thrashers offense that is still looking for its identity after trading away Ilya Kovalchuk.
Dawes put up 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points in 66 games played with the Calgary Flames last season. He also produced 21 points in the 2008-09 season and 29 in 07-08. Obviously, Dawes isn’t going to be a huge difference maker, but the Thrashers could have a nice bargain on their hands with this contract.
I feel a little awkward pointing this out, but the Thrashers easily have the most black players of any team in the NHL as Dawes joins Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, Anthony Stewart and Johnny Oduya. It’s not an awful strategy from a marketing perspective, considering the demographic makeup of the Atlanta area. Of course, that gameplan will look even better if the Thrashers turn their team around.
Dawes won’t do that by himself, but if he becomes a fixture on the NHL roster, the undersized forward might be a big help in turning things around.