Thrashers' Evander Kane practices, but status is uncertain

WASHINGTON -- Evander Kane participated in a full team practice Friday, but his status for Saturday's game against Washington remains uncertain.

The forward, who missed Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh with a left knee injury, got around the ice better, but still is not fully healthy.

“It felt a lot better just moving around,” Kane said. “It’s more stiffness. It’s a matter of loosening it up and making sure it’s 100 percent in terms of skating ability.”

Kane was injured in the third period Tuesday against Colorado when he was hit by a shot from teammate Tobias Enstrom.

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said Kane, second on the team with nine goals, would go through a morning workout at the team hotel Saturday. He also may take part in the pregame warm-up before a final decision is made.

“At this point, it’s up to him, really,” Ramsay said. “You’ve got a bad bruise. [He took] a shot in a bad spot. Now it’s really whether or not he can skate. Today he tried it, and while he was able to get around, he wasn’t as effective. One of the things he brings to the table is that ability to explode. We are not going to put him in a vulnerable situation.”

Ramsay said he and his coaching staff have yet to decide what they will do if Kane cannot play against the Capitals. Defenseman Freddy Meyer played as a forward, on a line with Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart, against the Penguins. Ramsay said that newly signed forward Tim Stapleton also could play.

Pleased with Meyer

Ramsay said after Thursday's 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh that he was pleased with the play of Meyer. The defenseman was pressed into duty as a forward because of injuries to Kane and Fredrik Modin.

“I thought Freddy did a great job," Ramsay said. "He had some great back checks. He had some angles across that forced turnovers in the neutral zone. I thought Freddy stepped in, having not played in quite a while, and gave us a real good effort. That line had some good offensive-zone time, so I’d have to give Freddy a big pat on the back for that."

Stapleton placed on waivers

Stapleton was placed on waivers Friday, four days after signing a contract with the Thrashers. The team will find out by noon Saturday whether the center was claimed. If unclaimed, the team then would have up to 30 days or 10 games to decide whether to send him to AHL Chicago.

Stapleton signed a two-year deal with the Thrashers. This season, he has a two-way contract. Next season, he will have a full NHL deal.

The signing was a precaution after Alexander Burmistrov was shaken up after drawing a boarding call against Boston last week and with Modin (ribs) still recovering.

New look for Boulton

No word if Eric Boulton lost a bet, but the forward emerged for Friday's practice sporting a new look. A clean-shaven head.

When asked why the look, Boulton had a succinct answer. “No reason.”

When his road roommate Chris Thorburn was asked the same question, he also used two words for his answer: "Team camaraderie."

Early fight for Thorburn

Thorburn and Pittsburgh's Aaron Asham threw down the gloves 1:51 into the game for a fight. Thorburn said following the game that the two have a bit of a history.

"We've had some battles in the past," Thorburn said. "He's just a gamer. He was looking for a fight, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to do it. Looking back, Jimmy [Slater] won the draw cleanly, and we could have got a shot on net. That's kind of the only downfall of that."