Thrashers offseason updates

I’m back, folks. Sorry for the delay but I got caught up in covering the Hawks’ playoff run and the Braves’ Brian McCann’s new glasses. I will be covering some non-Thrasher stories again next week, but we do have hockey to report.
Had a lengthy meeting and interview with GM Don Waddell this week. We talked about many things, including Ilya Kovalchuk, the draft, the goaltending situation, etc. I just finished writing a story on Kovy that will appear in Sunday’s paper. We talked at length about the contract negotiations. Here’s the hook to the story that I can fill you in on: They will not trade Kovy this year. There will be no Marian Hossa drama at the trade deadline.
Here is what Waddell told me: “At this point I can tell you, I’ve discussed it with the ownership, with the coaches, we have no intentions, regardless of what happens this summer with signing him, we have no intentions of trading him. If you trade every player that is going to come up to be an unrestricted free agent, the way the league is set up you are going to be a free agent at 25 [years old], so we are going to be doing this all the time. You have to look at the big picture and say this year is more important to us than years from now. Florida went through it with [Jay] Bouwmeester. They didn’t trade their big guy, but they missed the playoffs. You are going to see that more and more. Where a player is 25 and he’s going to get a home run deal, but it’s more important right now to keep him and keep the franchise moving in the right direction.”
Kovy wants to see an improved roster before he re-signs. Negotiations are likely to go beyond the July 1st start date. Kovy and his agent need to see what moves are being made. I got a good idea about the draft from my conversation with Waddell and will write about that next week. We could also see a trade at or near the draft, probably including either Kari Lehtonen or Ondrej Pavelec. Goaltending is an area of depth. Stay tuned on that.
Here are a couple updates:
Marty Reasoner: Expect him to be signed soon. Waddell said he is confident it will happen. Some details to work out, but it looks like he will be back.
Toby Enstrom: His surgery went fine and he is expected to be fully recovered by training camp. Don has not spoken to him but Johan Hedberg has. Don said he could have continued to play in the World Championships but it wasn’t worth the risk.
Ondrej Pavelec: He had his knee scoped following the season. He’s back working out already.
Hope that keeps us going through the weekend. I’ll be writing more from my interview with Waddell.
Here is my question: If you have to trade one of the goalies to get some help and convince Kovy to re-sign, which one goes? Lehtonen, the No. 1, but who has injury issues that have prevented him from proving himself an entire season? Or Pavelec, who has big upside but hasn’t proven he can play every day?

166 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

May 17th, 2009
2:07 pm

Ice Meister… some of us try to talk about other things. But get backstopped by the conspiracy theorists who think an organization would pay $40 million to purposely NOT win, like LAC.

R. Stroz

May 17th, 2009
2:40 pm

This is going to be an interesting offseason.

Kovy has essentially demanded a top tier free agent, which Waddell has never signed.

Kovy’s contract is up for renewal and Waddell has never been able to keep our best players providing some sort of excuse each time.

So, this offseason, Waddell must perform two tasks he has never accomplished as a GM, sign a top tier free agent and re-sign a premiere UFA player. So, who thinks Waddell can find a soltion this offseason instead of another excuse?

As a fan, do you renew your ticket package before Kovy re-signs?

If you think last season’s ticket sales were bad, just think what this seasons ticket sales will be like if Kovy hasn’t re-signed by October.

For once, Waddell must find solutions, not excuses.

Thrashers27

May 17th, 2009
3:05 pm

I think it’s great that Kovy is forcing the owner’s hand. Hopefully, Waddell can bring in Havlat, or Gaborik. That would be awesome!

Ice Meister

May 17th, 2009
3:16 pm

Stroz//your summary of the situation is perfect. I was at the last game, when Kovy was interviewed in front of everyone. He called for an improvement in the lineup, get some guys in that can win.

Now it’s up to management to do what is necessary. If they don’t, then we know they are not serious about having a competitive team in Atlanta. Kovy IS forcing their hand and I think it’s great.

Hokie-don’t let the theorists get you off track. We have nothing to lose by thinking about a good future for this team.

I really like what I saw in this team over the last 3 mos of the season. They played hard, for pride and for jobs next year.

Rink Rat

May 17th, 2009
3:30 pm

Ice Meister, I’m going to choose to stay positive, too. You’re right. Ever since Kovy was made Captain, it seems that the team’s results got a little bit better. The Chicago-Detroit game has started. I suggest we enjoy it. It’s on NBC, as we speak. It’s already 1-0, Chicago. Burish.

As a fan of the Thrashers, all I can do is try to enjoy their games. As a hockey fan, minor league and pro, I can enjoy the successes of other teams and appreciate their failures. I have one solemn wish for this team: Just start to run it well. I don’t ask for Stanley Cups every year. I ask for a team to be conceived of intelligent design.

There are plenty of teams in the NHL who haven’t won a Cup in the past 10 years, even longer, but at least they’re trying. They make decent enough trades. They draft well. They re-sign players. They work off a plan. They do the best they can. Fans of such teams shouldn’t wash their hands of their team. But in Atlanta, with the Thrashers, I sort of understand it. If the ownership doesn’t care enough to try to win, or retain players, to add players, then why should fans care?

KOVY MUST STAYY

May 17th, 2009
5:19 pm

Here you go fans, i did the dirty work thank me later hopefully people will actually look at this very important to our season next year… we got a left wing(kovy) right wing(little) and thats about it. pevs and white are good but come on we need some true top line forwards. screw defense we cant get everything…. lets say we get kane or duchene or some quality forward who makes the team.. ok so then we need a left wing a right wing and a center… 3 guys who can be attainable through a lehtonen trade and or ufa..come on no excuses wadell and shtty ownership get it freakin done…..!!!!

Here’s a list of the notable pending UFA players of each team.

ANAHEIM DUCKS: Francois Beauchemin, Bret Hedican, Rob Niedermayer, Scott Niedermayer,

ATLANTA THRASHERS: Eric Perrin, Marty Reasoner.

BOSTON BRUINS: PJ Axelsson, Manny Fernandez, Steve Montador, Mark Recchi, Tim Thomas, Stephane Yelle.

BUFFALO SABRES: Maxim Afinogenov, Dominic Moore, Teppo Numminen, Andrew Peters, Jaroslav Spacek, Mikael Tellqvist.

CAROLINA HURRICANES: Erik Cole, Chad LaRose, Dennis Seidenberg.

CALGARY FLAMES: Adrian Aucoin, Todd Bertuzzi, Mike Cammalleri, Jordan Leopold, David Moss.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Martin Havlat, Nikolai Khabibulin, Samuel Pahlsson.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Christian Backman, Wade Dubielewicz, Chris Gratton, Manny Malholtra, Michael Peca.

COLORADO AVALANCHE: Tyler Arnason, Ian Laperriere, Andrew Raycroft, Joe Sakic.

DALLAS STARS: Steve Begin, Jere Lehtinen, Brendan Morrison, Mark Parrish, Darryl Sydor, Sergei Zubov.

DETROIT RED WINGS: Chris Chelios, Ty Conklin, Johan Franzen, Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson,

EDMONTON OILERS: Ales Kotalik, Dwayne Roloson.

FLORIDA PANTHERS: Craig Anderson, Jay Bouwmeester, Nick Boynton, Radek Dvorak,Karlis Skrastins,Richard Zednik.

LOS ANGELES KINGS: Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder, Denis Gauthier.

MINNESOTA WILD: Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, Marian Gaborik, Martin Skoula.

MONTREAL CANADIENS: Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Dandenault, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Tom Kostopoulos, Alex Kovalev, Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider, Alex Tanguay.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS; Radek Bonk, Greg de Vries, Ville Koistinen, Scott Nichol.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Scott Clemmensen, Brian Gionta, Niclas Havelid, Bobby Holik, John Madden, Johnny Oduya, Michael Rupp, Brendan Shanahan.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Andy Hilbert, Joey MacDonald, Dean McAmmond, Mike Sillinger, Doug Weight.

NEW YORK RANGERS: Nik Antropov, Paul Mara, Derek Morris.

OTTAWA SENATORS: Mike Comrie, Chris Neil.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: Andrew Alberts, Martin Biron, Mike Knuble, Antero Niittymaki.

PHOENIX COYOTES: Dmitri Kalinin, Ken Klee,Steve Reinprecht.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Philippe Boucher, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mathieu Garon, Hal Gill, Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora.

SAN JOSE SHARKS: Rob Blake, Brian Boucher, Mike Grier, Kent Huskins, Travis Moen, Jeremy Roenick.

ST. LOUIS BLUES: Dan Hinote, Manny Legace, Keith Tkachuk.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Marek Malik.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Martin Gerber, Curtis Joseph, Olaf Kolzig, Brad May.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Jason Labarbera, Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Donald Brashear, Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov.

Bob (other)

May 17th, 2009
5:33 pm

Bob and Joker, you are entitled to your opinions, which we agree to disagree. I generally do not post here unless it really irrates me. Basically a waste of people’s time. You have no influence over outcome.

The Joker

May 17th, 2009
5:48 pm

“You have no influence over outcome.”

Bob (other) – Neither do you. Why don’t you go build some houses?

“…I generally do not post here unless it really irrates me. Basically a waste of people’s time.”

Bob (other) – You claim to be smart yet you can’t spell correctly or construct complete sentences.

Frankly, you are a waste of oxygen. Very soon, you’ll need to purchase carbon credits.

And I forgot to remind you, the Thrashers ownership is considered one of the five worst in the NHL. Their business model is flawed. In order to assist you in understanding a good hockey business model in a southern state, please study the Carolina Hurricanes model.

Ice Meister

May 17th, 2009
7:41 pm

You know Rink Rat, we can only do so much If we don’t like the product or the commitment, then we can walk. That would be tough for people like us-people who really love hockey.

Ice Meister

May 17th, 2009
7:48 pm

K-M-S not much out there on the free agent market, is there. Havlat will get bigger money on the market then Chicago can offer. Antropov and Knuble may be affordable pickups.

There are going to be alotta teams looking to dump good players, salary dumps. I suspect there will action in the week heading up to the draft, right before the feeding frenzy on July 1.

I think our backline is OK. It’s our team defense that has been lacking for years. Does anyone have an update on Angelo Esposito, where he’s at for next year?

kracker

May 17th, 2009
9:19 pm

I have no update but I can’t imagine Espo will be in game shape in Sept/Oct after having a multiple ligament knee reconstruction in February. One ligament was replaced by another taken from somewhere else in his body. Rawhide would say that is un-good.

Brendan

May 17th, 2009
10:53 pm

I wish the AJC.com could run a poll with this question. Ready? Which event would have caused you to have more ‘faith’ in the direction of the Thrashers? (1) Successfully landing Brian Campbell as a coveted free agent, (2) the firing and full removal of Don Waddell as GM, or (3) an “Opening Night” budget of $50+ million dollars?

Hmmn. I would be, really, truly curious as to the response.

Brendan

May 17th, 2009
11:29 pm

R.Stroz, Excellent post. The proof will be in the pudding. I fully agree with you that Waddell needs to finally deliver on the score of landing a Tier I free agent and re-signing a major pending UFA (Kovalchuk). I always preach about player retention, especially with our original Thrasher draft picks. Will he do it? Well, without a robust budget, I would doubt it. This is a seemingly recurring excuse for Waddell. As I’ve sometimes said, “Everyone has an excuse or excuses. Some more valid than others. But who DOESN’T have an excuse, or excuses, for just about anything you can name in life?” I do not think fans want to hear any excuses. That song and dance has gotten old.

I seriously doubt very many non-corporate STH’s will renew until they hear Kovalchuk has re-signed. I know this will sound naive, but I actually think Kovalchuk WANTS to stay. But he WANTS TO STAY with a good team around him. He’s trying, via his contract situation, to FORCE that reality upon the organization. I guess I can’t blame him there. And I honestly think that if Atlanta provided him this high-caliber team, he WOULD re-sign. Allright. Fire away. Tell me how naive I am. Tell me how it’s “all but sealed between Kovy and his next team in 2010.” I just always thought this city deserved better. I think there’s great hockey fans here, who ONLY ASK for accountability, when accountability is necessary. I really don’t think the typical Thrasher fan demands the Stanley Cup every year. But they do demand BETTER than what they’ve seen, through nine (9) seasons.

R.Stroz, I got a little concerned, earlier, upon hearing Waddell’s “no trade comments” regarding Kovalchuk. I committed a Cardinal sin there. I took Waddell at his word. I should know better than to do that. If Waddell says he won’t, there’s plenty of room for interpretation. But suffice it to say, if the true, legitimate reaction of the fanbase of this team is to scarcely tremble at the prospect of losing the ‘face of the franchise,’ (especially for nothing,) then those who say hockey can’t make it Atlanta would probably be right. Thankfully, gazing at the calendar, we’re nowhere near that day.

LAC

May 18th, 2009
2:40 am

Chris…. Let’s try this OK ?

Ask worthless waddell what he thinks of the fans comments on the blogs calling for his demise. We ARE the customer and WE are calling for his head and I cannot believe he ignores these blogs 100%.

Just would like to hear HIS position to the many of us calling for his head ! Thanks in Advance… I hope !

LAC

May 18th, 2009
2:44 am

I feel a Ken Klee signing coming on !!!!!!!!!!!!

LAC

May 18th, 2009
2:46 am

Typical gavahokie, WRONG as usual, I never brought up a dollar amount…
Where did you attend school ? Always supporting a sinking ship with a drunk captain… Foronce gava GET REAL !

Dwayne

May 18th, 2009
6:04 am

sign Hossa to a long term deal…re-sign Kovy. Am I dreaming?

GaVaHokie

May 18th, 2009
8:39 am

We ARE the customer and WE are calling for his head and I cannot believe he ignores these blogs 100%.

Let’s leave the word “we” out of your comments, please… YOU are a customer, and I am a customer… please don’t include me in your “we”.

Hijacker

May 18th, 2009
11:04 am

@kracker:

I recall Falconer asking Dan Marr about Esposito, during his recent interview. Marr projected it’s unlikely that Esposito will be ready for camp.

@ R. Stroz: Great post.

Waddell will continue to cook up excuses, until the fans, THE OWNERS and the also the media will (AJC) ask questions!

Alan

May 18th, 2009
11:46 am

Which event would have caused you to have more ‘faith’ in the direction of the Thrashers? (1) Successfully landing Brian Campbell as a coveted free agent, (2) the firing and full removal of Don Waddell as GM, or (3) an “Opening Night” budget of $50+ million dollars?

Option three only shows we were throwing money around, but there’s no guarantee we wouldn’t be in the same place we ended up in. Toronto Maple Leafs South, anyone? Option one, while fun to consider, may not have amounted to much. That’s an unknown, especially given the system we play. That’s one of those unknowns. Option two, while also an unknown, would have given an indication to many disenchanted fans that, maybe, the team is moving forward. Bringing in a new GM to see what he could do with our situation with new ideas, and perhaps bringing more success to this team in the long run.

Therefore, I would have to select option two.

Brendan

May 18th, 2009
12:33 pm

I’d also select Option #2. That’s two votes for Option #2.

Midfield

May 18th, 2009
12:52 pm

Option 2 is the necessary condition. Options 2 and 3 is a preferrable package. Options 2, 3 and 1 would be nice.

Hockey Biltong

May 18th, 2009
2:01 pm

I’m guessing Kovy is giving Don plenty of input on who he thinks should be here to play alongside him. Has anyone asked Kovy that?? I’ll go as far as to say that Don has probably discussed who is availble and who he thinks Kovy should go and sell the idea of coming to Atlanta. It would not suprise me at all to find that Kovy has or is testing the waters with different players.

Brett

May 18th, 2009
2:10 pm

As much as I hate to say it Kovy is as good as gone. Think about it! Kovy want to see what steps the organiztion takes during the off season before he makes a a decision about resigning with the club. If that’s the case he’s gone. Remember last off season DW and the organization couldn’t lure any top tier talent to Atlanta! Nothing has changed with this organization or ownership since last off season. SO what would make this off season any different. DW will not be able to lure anyone that would be a difference maker to the club and Kovy walks. End of story. I hate to see it. I consider myself an avid fan but this is getting hard to stomach. Year in and year out the same mess. DW and the ownership need to go. JMHO.

GaVaHokie

May 18th, 2009
2:20 pm

Biltong… I’m not sure they’re allowed to do that yet by CBA rules. At least, the recruiting aspect from Kovy, that is.

Thrashers27

May 18th, 2009
2:31 pm

In a perfect world: DW signs Havlat and Camalleri, Nikulin comes over and Esposito steps in to contribute at least 60 points. We pick up Duchene, or Kane and give them a year to season in the AHL…Preferably Duchene.

Alan

May 18th, 2009
3:34 pm

Think about it! Kovy want to see what steps the organiztion takes during the off season before he makes a a decision about resigning with the club. If that’s the case he’s gone.

Okay, I’ve thought about it. I’ve read this over and over. Here’s what I get:

Kovalchuk makes statement -> ???? -> Kovalchuk is gone.

We’re missing a piece of the puzzle, here. You’ve already jumped past phase three. This makes no sense.

One of two things will happen this offseason, and I’ll use the same format to illustrate:

1. Kovalchuk makes statement -> Ownership/DW balks -> Kovalchuk is gone.

Under this first scenario, it is painfully obvious that Kovalchuk’s statement went in one ear and out of the other. He decided that if DW wasn’t going to get him anyone to play with, he’ll take his puck and stick and go play elsewhere.

2. Kovalchuk makes statement -> Ownership antes up, DW delivers -> Kovalchuk is not gone.

Under this scenario, Kovalchuk’s statement was heard loud and clear by the great octo-cluster and DW, and they gave Kovalchuk what he asked for. Kovalchuk, under this scenario, re-signs.

It’s black and white, folks. Either they get Kovalchuk what he wants, or they don’t. His status as a Thrasher rests in the balance.

Brendan

May 18th, 2009
3:45 pm

That’s three (3) votes for option #2.

R. Stroz

May 18th, 2009
4:03 pm

Anyone who thinks the Thrashers will be able to procure Martin Havlet from the UFA markey can forget about it. Havlet’s agent is none other than a$$hat Allan Walsh. You know, the agent that told Pavelec not to report to Chicago after failing to make the team last season.

Thrashers27

May 18th, 2009
5:54 pm

Just a “Wish List”, ‘Stroz. Havlat would be a great pickup. Who knows what will actually happen over the next few months.

LAC

May 18th, 2009
6:04 pm

gava, go stick your head in a toilet please… Your comments are worthless and uneventful on this blog.

You provide NOTHING to this blog, Nothing, you express to be some expert on hockey etc… but you are simply some nobody
trying to be a somebody, I would NEVER include you in any of my comments, so go away… Can you understand this !

R. Stroz

May 18th, 2009
6:10 pm

Thrashers27 – Nothing wrong with wishing.

I just remember some of Walsh’s past comments that Atlanta doesn’t deserve a hockey team and how he told Pavelec to handle the situation last year. In general, Walsh is a jerk and I wouldn’t blame Waddell for not even trying to deal with him. Walsh is also Dupuis’s agent and he had Dupuis convinced he was a top line player.

I’d be thrilled to get Havlet, but find that doubtful based on who his agent is. Walsh will probably convince Havlet he is worth $10 million/year on the UFA market.

R. Stroz

May 18th, 2009
6:30 pm

Here’s an interesting note:

Allan Walsh has Havlet and Gaborik as clients, two players which suffer from recurring injuries. Also, when Walsh was negotiating Dupuis’s contract extension last year with the Penguins, Walsh stated that Dupuis was comparable in talent to Huselius. Did I just hear someone say BS?

Someone needs to tell Walsh to put the bong down.

Alan

May 18th, 2009
8:07 pm

Stroz, unless that bong is filled with crack, that might be the least of our worries.

World Be Free

May 18th, 2009
8:27 pm

I am glad the Thrashers did not sign Brian Campbell. Campbell is the 3rd best defenseman on the Black Hawks and his contract is a monster.

UFAs know the money is out there. IF the Thrashers want to pay for Cammalleri or Havlat, they will listen. Also, Boston and Philly are going to have to dump some talent to stay under the cap and keep their current rosters, with the hope of lading a UFA.

We also have to decide if we are going to pursue Mary Ann Hossa. Big regular season, insignificant in the post season.

Ice Meister

May 18th, 2009
8:29 pm

I really hope they don’t trade Kari

Frosty the snowman

May 18th, 2009
9:14 pm

**We also have to decide if we are going to pursue Mary Ann Hossa.

Hossa doesn’t want anything to do with this franchise. We will sign NO significant free agents(tier 1) Kovy will be playing for another team. My guess is the caps.

OPTION #2 FOR ME

Brendan

May 18th, 2009
9:39 pm

That’s four (4) votes for options #2. I hear that Colorado is looking for a new GM and ‘may’ have just selected Patrick Roy to be the Head Coach. Roy denies that he’s been offered ANYTHING. Tony Granato thinks he’s still the Head Coach. Granato has 2-years left on his contract. Pierre LaCroix is calling the shots right now in Denver, I believe. I would think that LaCroix, if he were really going to make a change at the Head Coaching position, would have the courtesy to privately fire Granato before going public, and THENNNN hold an interview with Patrick Roy, among other candidates. And finally, hold a press conference to announce it. But what do I know?

Wouldn’t it be great, if Colorado hired Waddell to be their GM? What? Don’t look at me like that. I actually have some sympathy for Waddell. Shouldn’t we wish Waddell to get the chance to work for a real organization, whose history includes includes six trips to the Conference Finals and two Stanley Cup wins since 1996?

Seriously, I don’t hate Waddell. I just don’t think he should the Thrashers GM anymore. I further would like to see what Waddell could do, if he had a committed owner behind him. Certainly, Waddell wishes for these things himself, does he not? I would think the answer is “yes.” And to make it reality, all Waddell would have to do is approach Levenson, thank him for the time here, then resign. Then get hired by Colorado. If Don Waddell is ’so respected in NHL circles,’ why couldn’t this be something he pursues? Forbes says Waddell’s contract expires in 2010. I, personally, believe Waddell has an automatic 1-year extension written into that contract … that kicks in provided Waddell retains a neck and a heartbeat. So, if oxygenated blood continues to reach his brain, and his lungs are still functional, he’ll be the Thrashers GM in 2011. Unless he has the good sense to jump off this train wreck and into a better organization. Like he probably should, if given the opportunity.

Brendan

May 18th, 2009
9:58 pm

The “Cardiac ‘Canes” have closed the deficit to 3-2, with 1:26 left in the 3rd period. What an exciting team to watch!

Brendan

May 18th, 2009
10:04 pm

OHHHHHHH! IT was there!!! Staal, on the door step. Just couldn’t control it. Too much heat on the pass. It hit Staal’s stick and caromed right into Fleury, who was down on the ice, sprawled out, helplessly. Then, a seemingly innocent dump in from Center Ice took a horrendous bounce and nearly fooled Fleury. I honestly wouldn’t have faulted him. It was the “flukiest” of bounces. Of course, I’m not sure Penguin fans would EVER let Fleury forget he gave up a shot from Center Ice, with seconds left in regulation, had it scored.

It’s a final: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2. This is going to be a great series.

Sara

May 19th, 2009
8:49 am

World Be Free agree on Campbell. If your gonna pay a guy as much as if not more than Nick Lidstrom, he better damn well be the second coming of Orr. IMO anyway. We’ll come out way ahead paying nearly half as much to Hainsey if they can just get him a partner that’s worth a poo – Hainsey isn’t good enough to compensate for a slow-developing rookie like Boris or a mediocre d-man who loves to get out of position going for the big hits like XLB.

Keep an eye on Detroit as another team who may drop some players or move someone in order to clear cap space. Filppula may well hit the block if Holland intends to keep Hossa.

Speaking of Hossa, all due respect, but if you think he’s “insignificant in the playoffs” you really haven’t been paying attention. 68 points in 87 career playoff games ain’t too shabby. And as he and Pasha both prove, there’s a lot more to contributing in the playoffs than scoring goals – besides, that’s what they have Mule for. ;p

Brendan

May 19th, 2009
10:17 am

Marian Hossa had 12 goals, 14 helpers, for 26-points, while being a +8 for Pittsburgh last year. That included 5 PPG’s and two (2) game-winning goals (GWG). I wouldn’t call that “disappearing.” At least, not in that season. And he has four (4) goals already in these playoffs for Detroit. I think Detroit is going to keep Marian Hossa. Hossa will just have to accept less than his market share to stay. And that’s a deal I think Hossa can live with. Not too sure his agent will like leaving money on the table. But hey, his client could always FIRE him, and he’d get nothing.

Silent Assassin

May 19th, 2009
10:25 am

Remember this conversation. Lehtonen will be moved. The club loves what they see in Pavelec, whom, if things go as planned, will be the next starting goaltender on this roster.

Bob

May 19th, 2009
2:09 pm

“I am glad the Thrashers did not sign Brian Campbell. Campbell is the 3rd best defenseman on the Black Hawks…”

Are you completely clueless?

“We also have to decide if we are going to pursue Mary Ann Hossa. Big regular season, insignificant in the post season.”

Never mind, you apparently are. lol, Hokie did you pick a new name to blog under?!?

Darkhorse

May 19th, 2009
2:47 pm

Option two for me as well. All option three does is give us a couple of hefty Jeff Finger contracts and maybe the return of Vishnevsky to a multi year deal because he shined at the World Champ in DW’s mind.

MB

May 19th, 2009
3:08 pm

Did anybody else pick up on the comment made during last night’s game re: the relatively small size of the Hurricanes? Naturally, hearing that made me wonder how the Canes compare to the Thrashers (as a frequent and somewhat warranted refrain around here is “we need to get bigger”).

Thrashers forwards – 6′0″, 201
Canes forwards – 5′11″, 190
Thrashers D – 6′2″, 207
Canes D – 6′2″, 208
* both D squads were rounded up to 6′2″, the Thrash from 73.7″ and the Canes from 73.8″.

So while I personally think it’d be nice to add some size to the squad, what’s really missing is toughness and commitment. Throughout the playoffs, I’ve wondered whether or not the Thrashers are tough enough to win a 7-game series. Some of their play in the last two months of the season showed that they could, indeed, play tough. But can they sustain it…and that’s where commitment comes in.

Perhaps no game better illustrated the importance of commitment (to me, at least) than game 7 of the Pens v. Caps series. From the opening faceoff, the Pens played physical, finished checks, blocked shots, and played strong team defense. The Caps, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have the same level of drive…they weren’t hitting, they didn’t seem to want to work and win battles for the puck, and the forwards abandoned their defensive responsibilities while waiting for potential break-out passes. Meanwhile, I remember Malkin blocking a shot and Crotchby battling in the corners even once the game was well in hand.

Hopefully our boys (and management) are taking note.

Bob

May 19th, 2009
4:09 pm

“Did anybody else pick up on the comment made during last night’s game re: the relatively small size of the Hurricanes? Naturally, hearing that made me wonder how the Canes compare to the Thrashers”

I had the exact same thought when hearing that and wondered how we compared, thanks for digging that info up. I think you’re right, you can play big through toughness and commitment.

Brendan

May 19th, 2009
7:07 pm

Five (5) votes for option #2. I like the reasoning behind the votes, too, guys! Keep ‘em coming!

Ice Meister

May 19th, 2009
8:17 pm

I’ll take the bigger squad anytime. What makes Carolina great is that they can rely on their goaltender. That’s why we need to keep Kari. Pavs is not Kari.

Sorry for being negative.

World Be Free

May 19th, 2009
8:39 pm

Thanks Sara-I was just expecting more from Hossa than I have seen so far. Especially since he’s playing for a contract.

He had a good first periof tonight, maybe his best period so far in the playoffs.