Weeks in net, for now

Thrashers goalie coach Steve Weeks is filling in at practice for Kari Lehtonen this morning. There’s no word about Lehtonen’s status after Thursday night’s injury.

Boris Valabik (dislocated shoulder) is back in practice, though I’m sure he won’t be ready to play Saturday night.

23 comments Add your comment


March 27th, 2009
12:31 pm

John Anderson just said the Thrashers will call up a goalie from Chicago but haven’t decided which one. There will be an announcement later today.

Two factors the Thrashers are no doubt considering:

—How long will Kari Lehtonen be out? If he’s out a long time, maybe they bring up Ondrej Pavelec and let him play the final seven games. If he might miss just one game (the Thrashers play Ottawa Saturday and don’t play again until Wednesday) then maybe they bring up Dan Turple and let Johan Hedberg play in the meantime.

—The Chicago Wolves are trying to make the playoffs. Keeping Pavelec there would help them accomplish that and give Pavelec another postseason of work instead of a long summer off.

On another note, I spoke with Valabik after practice. He said he’ll be in a no-contact situation for a while but that obviously it’s a good thing for him to be on the ice maintaining his fitness so that when the shoulder is more stable he can play as soon as possible. He does have a chance to be playing before the end of the season, but I would think he’s unlikely to play until next weekend.


March 27th, 2009
12:35 pm

The Wolves’ next game is Saturday at home against Quad City. They’re three points out of the final playoff spot.


March 27th, 2009
12:39 pm

Thanks for the update Knobs! I don’t see the value of using Pavelec on the big club for 7 meaningless games at this point. Yes, it could help the coaches determine if he is ready to compete at this level next year or it could be a nice way to showcase him for a potential trade at the draft, but I think the Thrashers have his long-term interests at heart seeing as how he’s only 21. I think having him play in another Calder Cup run may prove more valuable.

As for Valabik, I say let him heal as long as possible and don’t rush him back. I like what I’m seeing from this Salmella (how about a nickname of Slam-derella?) kid and would like to see if he and Ronsey can develop more chemistry. Plus, I like the 3rd pairing of Sexelby and RM Oysters as they play with a lot of grit and tougness which can be a good counter to the other team’s 3rd and 4th lines’ energy.


March 27th, 2009
1:19 pm

Tough call… the Wolves have a game Saturday AND Sunday, so Pavelec would be out for two games for sure if they called him up. They are 3 points behind Peoria and play Peoria next Wednesday.

They play Milwaukee three more times, but the Admirals already clinched… maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe they’ll catch them sleeping a bit.

I’d like to see Pavs, but maybe your bring up Turple and play Hedberg.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 27th, 2009
1:35 pm

I would think it all depends on Lehtonen’s issues. If he has any hint of lingering side effects, shut him down for the season. These remaining games mean little to the long term health of the current number one goalie.

So, if Lehtonen is shut down for the season, I would argue for bringing up Pavelec. There is no reason we should be worried about his development at the AHL level, when he’s much better served facing ice time against NHL caliber players. An extended playoff run in the AHL would be great, but wouldn’t he still be allowed to do that after these 7 NHL games are completed?

This is a prime opportunity to see if Pavelec has rebounded from his so-so play earlier this season. If he’s shown signs of maturity, perhaps he can be a big challenge to Lehtonen prior to training camp (i.e., Lehtonen could be deemed expendable). His performance could also raise his trade value.

I feel there are too many pros to bringing Pavelec to the NHL now, than cons.


March 27th, 2009
1:55 pm

Yes, but the #1 con is screwing Chicago over. And there’s no reason for us to do that since we’re not making a playoff run ourselves. Besides which, the Thrash need to stop relying on heroic goaltending and improve the defense.

Old Time Hockey

March 27th, 2009
1:56 pm

How many times have we had the discussion as to what to do in Lehtonen’s absence? Shut him down for the year before he completely eliminates any trade value he has. Bring up Pavelec and let’s move on.

The way this team is competing is fun to watch. They can compete with any team on any given night. First half of the year there were college teams that could have beaten them. Great time at the game. Even down 4-1 you felt like they were in it.

Perfect nickname for Salmella is Poison (since everyone calls him Salmonella).


March 27th, 2009
2:14 pm

Chicago is actually only one point out of the playoffs.

The AHL is not like the NHL where divisions don’t matter for the 4-8 playoff spots in each conference.

The top four teams in the West Division qualify regardless of whether a North Division team finishes the season with more points.

A fifth team from the West can steal a spot from the fourth-best North Division team if they end the season with more points because the West Division has eight teams and the North has only seven. (The West is the only division with eight).


As it stands right now, Rockford (4W) has 76 points, the Wolves 75. Rockford has a game in hand over Chicago.



March 27th, 2009
2:24 pm

Bring up Pavs only if you have no plans of trading him in the off-season. Otherwise, bring up Turple and see if he is the third goalie if Kari or Moose is hurt next year. Pavs had his shot and clearly needs more work. If Turple can’t be three, you can’t trade Pavs.


March 27th, 2009
2:27 pm

Mike –
What is the injury to KL?


March 27th, 2009
2:38 pm



March 27th, 2009
2:40 pm

I like both Ranallo’s thinking here, as well as Nikita’s. But can I confess something? Dan Turple is a “long since forgotten” remnant of the Brian Pothier trade in June of 2002, which brought us our former Captain, Shawn MacEachern, from Ottawa. Dan Turple was the sixth round pick (186th overall) from the Senators that accompanied Shawn MacEachern to Atlanta. As such, I am VERY INTERESTED in seeing him play.


Why can’t I hold this opinion? What if Dan Turple is a phenomenal goalie, who just hasn’t gotten his chance yet in the NHL?? Wouldn’t all the “Waddell backers,” likewise, wish to see the “fruits” of the Waddell trading/drafting?? Ya know … in the interests of “fairness,” and what not. I, for one, am keeping an OPEN MIND. If Dan Turple makes it to the Thrashers roster, as a 6th round draft pick, selected 186th overall, I will give Waddell credit for (1) drafting him and (2) getting an excellent supplemental value for a trade for Brian Pothier, back in 2002.

Well, I can’t be much fairer about things than that. Also, wasn’t Pasi Nurminen a goalie Waddell plucked from the 6th round of a draft? I’m jus’ sayin’.


March 27th, 2009
3:35 pm

From AHL stats page, Turple this season is 5W 8L 34G 2.62GAA .987SV%. He has no overtime or shootout loses and and no shutouts.

I guess we can look at him but if he were to play more than a fill-in game and he gets hammered each time, that won’t help anybody….but it will pretty much tell the Thrashers the season is officially over and it’s golfing time.

Hopefully Kari is back soon. I want to win some more games.


March 27th, 2009
3:40 pm

Don’t forget, today at 3PM, it’s NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Action: Air Force vs. #4 Michigan. At 6:30PM, it’s Vermont vs. Yale. And at 9PM, it’s Minn-Duluth vs. Princeton. But my focus will be on Miami of Ohio taking on #3 ranked Denver University, in Round I of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. I don’t know what TV coverage there will be. But I’ll be scouring the 200’s (Sports & Entertainment package) of Comcast to see which games they’re carrying, if any.

Saturday’s action features North Dakota vs. New Hampshire at 2PM, Northeastern vs. Cornell at 4PM, #1 ranked Boston University vs. Ohio St., and finally, Bemidji St. vs. #2 ranked Notre Dame, at 7:30 PM.

Also on Saturday, the winners of Yale/Vermont and Air Force/Michigan will meet at 6:30 PM, at Bridgeport Arena, in Bridgeport, CT, on ESPNU for a 2nd round matchup. The Minn-Duluth/Princeton winner will meet the Miami (OH)/Denver Univ winner at 9PM on ESPNU, at Mariucci Arena, in Minneapolis, MN.

On Sunday, the 29th of March, the Boston Univ/Ohio St. winner meets the North Dakota/New Hampshire winner at 5:30PM on ESPNU, at the Verizon Wireless Arena, in Machester, NH. At 8PM, the Northeastern/Cornell winner meets the Bemidji St./Notre Dame winner on ESPNU, at Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, MI.

R. Stroz

March 27th, 2009
3:53 pm

Screw Chicago, the tail has been waging the dog for too long.


March 27th, 2009
4:05 pm

I saw Turple play in Gwinnett earlier this year and he struggled there. I would assume that if he was struggling in the ECHL the NHL would be a huge stretch for him. But then again I remember a few years ago a goalie got called up from the ECHL to the big club and and played great. I don’t remember what team it was but he played like a stud. Since we’re not in the race for the play-offs let Pavelec stay in Chicago and give Turple a chance. What have they got to loose? JMHO

Tony C.

March 27th, 2009
5:09 pm

Yeah, I don’t call up Pavelec because you’re going to hurt either his of KL’s trade value. If he [Pavelec] is called up and gets blown out of the water-there goes his trade value. You bring up Turple, maybe he gets inspired and plays well-he gets blown out well the guy just got promoted to the AHL anyway right?

Get KL back on the ice to have at least one more solid outing THIS season, and you enhance his trade value-having Pavelec come up and perform well negates the need for KL and his injury history devalues his trade worth.

One of those two is going to be moved this summer (DW has pretty much come out and said so), so let’s not devalue our most trade-able asset(s).

Of course I AM curious to see how Pavelec plays behind the “new & improved” lineup.


March 27th, 2009
5:20 pm

MIKE – bravo!


March 27th, 2009
5:33 pm

Gotta back Brett…I saw Turple play for the Glads and he is terrible. Awful side to side positioning. He’d get murdered up here.

For years Chicago has been a really terrible farm team. They did what was best for them, not for the organization. If we need a goalie, call Ondrej. We pay his contract. I am sure he’d rather have 7 games at the NHL level than play in a first round exit at the AHL level.


March 27th, 2009
10:57 pm

Have we ascertained what, exactly, Kari is suffering from? I never saw the injury. We can’t expect “honesty” at this time of year. Well, we’re out of the playoffs, so … what could HONESTY really hurt? Other than flagrantly violating the team’s policy of unctuously misleading the public.


March 27th, 2009
11:51 pm

Brendan Just “upper body injury” so far.

Hockey Biltong

March 28th, 2009
4:08 pm

I thought Karis’ injury was from the avery induced collision that sent a teammate into Kari[should have been called interference] who then went crashing backwards into the net.Possible concussion??? Neck injury???


April 17th, 2009
10:00 am

nice, really nice!