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Proteau's Blog: Telling statements

• The Atlanta Thrashers were a veritable quote machine Thursday. Let's start with left winger Slava Kozlov, who spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the difference between this year's Thrashers team and last season's.

"We have a better locker room (this year)," Kozlov said. "We play for each other. Last year, I think some guys were just worried about personal stats.”

Who is Kozlov referring to? Never fear, Sherlock Proteau is on the case.

Here are the players who were Thrashers last season, but aren't this year: Serge Aubin, Peter Bondra, Francis Lessard, Chris Kunitz, Marc Savard, Ronald Petrovicky, Patrik Stefan, Jaroslav Modry, Tomas Kloucek and Mike Dunham.

Tough choice among that group of guys, let me tell you. Why is Savard's name in bold, you ask? It's just a coincidence. Yeah, that's it, a coincidence.

• In the same article, writer Jeff Schultz talked to center Bobby Holik about the effect the team's best-ever record at the all-star break has had on head coach Bob Hartley.

"We've just put him in a better mood, more often than not," Holik said. "I didn't say a good mood. Just a better mood. With him, certain things can only get better or worse, but they never really get good."

Holik may have landed one of contracts that drove the owners to lock out the players two years ago, but his quotes almost make up for it.

• has an interesting NHL player poll out this week. The best part: the six per cent of respondents who said that Toronto Maple Leafs fans were the most intimidating in the league.

Intimidating? Leafs fans? How, through their inclination to stay out of the Air Canada Centre's lower-bowl seats at the start of each period? I understand silence can be deafening, but c'monÂ…


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