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2010 NHL Free Agency: Thrashers sign Nigel Dawes to one-year, two-way deal

Sep 8, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

nigeldawescelebrates.jpgNew 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.

Chris Vivlamore reports that the team signed Dawes to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600K if he remains in the NHL or $105K if he plays in the AHL.

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.

  1. Bojangles - Sep 8, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    Dont feel awkward pointing out the race bit. Dudley knows what he’s doing and it’s an extremely smart marketing move for a team in the heart of black America. I’d be surprised if it actually sells tickets though.

  2. Anti-Bojangles - Sep 9, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    He’s not that black, I saw him when he was on the Rangers. Plus, that’s not what you should notice about him. He’s a very dynamic player – very quick and physically able for his size. I saw him “dipsy-doodle” around Pronger when he was on the Rangers and it was magic.
    Watch him put up 40+ points. #10 rocks!

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