The career of Thrashers prospect Angelo Esposito has been one fraught with issues both on and off the ice. Off the ice, he’s the key piece leftover from the Thrashers trade with the Penguins back in 2008 that sent Marian Hossa to the Penguins. On the ice, the former first round pick has had a hard time staying in the game after suffering a litany of injuries. This year, Esposito looks to turn that all around as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution found out.
Esposito first tore his ACL in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game 19 months ago. Recovered and assigned to Chicago of the American Hockey League, he tore the same ACL in November after 12 games.
Esposito, 21, returned to Atlanta, had surgery in December and the second rehab process began.
“I felt different right away,” the forward said. “I was rehabbing the next day [after the injury]. Right off the bat, I already knew what it was going into it. Right off the bat, I was doing things before surgery so I would feel better right away.”
Going through one awful knee injury is bad enough. Going through the same thing twice is putrid and for a hockey player where you’re always moving and always starting and stopping, going through knee injuries like with your ACL is brutal beyond belief. Esposito has a ton of talent, but it’s been a long time since he was the top pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins and it’s really unclear how those injuries are going to effect his play and skating. If all things pan out for the best, the Marian Hossa trade might turn out for the best for Atlanta.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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