Best Athlete(s)

Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk

Staff Pick

When the Atlanta Thrashers debuted in 1999, General Manager Don Waddell said he had a five-year plan to get the team to the playoffs. So he was off by a couple of years. The Thrashers had their best season yet last season, led by two forwards: MARIAN HOSSA and former No. 1 pick ILYA KOVALCHUK. Both came on strong at the end of the season to lead the Thrashers to their first-ever playoff appearance. Hossa, who came to Atlanta in a trade for Dany Heatley, scored a franchise-record 100 points. And Kovalchuk had 42 goals and 34 assists. The Thrashers were 38-10-7 when Hossa notched a point, and 36-12-6 when Kovalchuk hit a goal or had an assist. Next goal for the team: actually win a playoff game.

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