It was a long day and a short night for Christoph Schubert.
The defenseman, claimed by the Thrashers on re-entry waivers from Ottawa, joined the team Saturday. After finding out the Thrashers had claimed him at noon Friday, Schubert made his way to Atlanta, through Washington and arrived at his hotel after 1 a.m. Saturday. He made it to his new team’s morning skate before the season opener.
“I want to thank [general manager] Bryan Murray in Ottawa for the opportunity,” Schubert said. “He promised me he’d find me a team where I can play if they give me a chance. I’m very thankful to Atlanta for giving me the chance to play.”
Schubert, who has played both offense and defense, will be on the back end for the Thrashers. He was a scratch Saturday, but expects to play in the Thrashers' next game, Thursday at St. Louis.
“Well, he’s a big man,” Thrashers coach John Anderson said. “He likes to move bodies, and he’s got a big shot. We always want to get a little bit bigger on the back end, and that’s what we accomplished. We figure he’s a real raw talent, someone we can work with and make one of our mainstay players.
Schubert said he was caught in a numbers game in Ottawa.
“They want to give the young guys a shot,” he said. “With Dany Heatley gone, they have a lot of cap space. There wanted to get someone out of there so they had more room at the trading deadline. There could be one or two more trades coming up if they really want to get something else. I think it’s a trading thing because me and Bryan Murray never had a problem with each other. I have a lot of respect. He told me straight up he really wanted to have me there, but he also wanted to me to play. He kept his word, and that’s what I’m thankful for.”
Ottawa must pay half of Schubert’s $900,000 salary because the Thrashers claimed him on re-entry waivers.
Hainsey misses skate
Ron Hainsey missed the Thrashers’ morning skate Saturday with what Anderson described as “a bit of a sore throat.” Hainsey was in the lineup. Defenseman Boris Valabik and forward Josh Gratton were the Thrashers' other healthy scratches, along with Schubert. Forward Colby Armstrong, who took part in the morning skate, is on injured reserve, with a groin injury. Kari Lehtonen also is on injured reserve recovering from off-season back surgery.
Kane here to stay
Anderson said Saturday the team has no intentions of sending top draft pick Evander Kane back to juniors.
“From what I’ve seen so far, there’s no reason we would want to send him down right now,” Anderson said. “What I really like … he was schooled very well in checking. As long as he does those little checking things, we can work with him defensively because I know he can score. If he plays hard, I don’t think there is any reason we’d have to send him down.”
The Thrashers have stickers on their helmets with logos signifying the franchise’s 10 seasons in Atlanta.