Waddell speaks … On Captain Kovy

Before we head into the weekend – and Game 1 of the Finals – I figured I would offer one last thing from my interview with Don Waddell this month. By now, you’ve seen the story on the Ilya Kovalchuk negotiations, the final three candidates for the upcoming draft pick and the story on Waddell and his immediate future.

Waddell did offer an interesting take on Kovy as captain and his marked improved play once he was named.

He said: “Kovy took a lot of pride and passion in it. Not that he wasn’t playing that way before. He really took the team atmosphere on his back. But I think it was more important to the other 19 guys. They all knew that we go as Kovy goes. They know that. Here now that had a guy that just by putting that C on his jersey … all these guys can look up and he’s their leader. Everybody has responded to that. A couple years ago if we would have done that, people may not have responded because we had an older team. It being such a young team, the guys look up to him. Everyone talks about what it did for Kovy, but I think it helped the other guys even more.”

I thought it was an interesting point that it did as much for the other players as for Kovy.

That’s about all I have left from the interview. I head back into some other assignments next week, but am working on some other Thrashers story. I’m hoping to catch up with some other players in the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the Finals.

My prediction: Wings repeat. They win in six games.

Let me know what you guys think.

85 comments Add your comment

Buzzeng

May 29th, 2009
4:32 pm

I want both teams to lose. [8)

Andrew

May 29th, 2009
4:33 pm

I want Custance. That is all.

Darkhorse

May 29th, 2009
4:33 pm

I don’t really like either team, but my gut says Wings in 7, but hope for Pens in 6 or 7 just for the irony.

Chris-Did Waddell have anything to say about using Kovy, or anyone else, to help recruit come July 1st? I wonder if he used him in that way last summer when going after Campbell?

WINGMAN

May 29th, 2009
4:37 pm

ABSOLUTELY!!!

Brendan

May 29th, 2009
4:52 pm

I think the Red Wings are the favorites. I’d guess, Wings in seven this time. But, I’ll be rooting for the Penguins to win in six. The NHL sort of nees Crosby and Malkin to win a Cup, for the promotions and marketing. I just hope that isn’t send to the referees, in the form of a memo. I’m all in favor of Pittsburgh winning the Cup. But not because they’re “annointed.” I have faith in the referees.

Brendan

May 29th, 2009
4:54 pm

Hey, I see Erin Andrews wants to be on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ If there was ever anything that would make me watch that show, that’d be it!

Chris Vivlamore

May 29th, 2009
7:09 pm

Andrew: Craig Custance is an excellent reporter and writer. He has his own blog. You are free to post there. Please do.

Darkhorse: Waddell did not say anything about using Kovy to recruit free agents. I concentrated my questions on retaining Kovy. I really think you are much more likely to see a major acquisition this offseason via trade than free agency.

bigjohnthrashfan

May 29th, 2009
7:26 pm

Vivlamore, you’re alright in my book.

But your next article better be “Waddell speaks … on taking a long walk off a short pier”

Then you’ll be my BFF.

kracker

May 29th, 2009
7:44 pm

Chris, I agree that trades will probably be the more effective way to upgrade the top 6 O or top 4 D. The Thrash just don’t have the cash to sign the best of the top tier players from the FA pool. Getting another Hainsey type of player is probably the best level of FA we can attract. Hainsey is a capable player and I expect his play to improve next season with everybody being familiar with their duties in Anderson’s systems but he isn’t a true top 2 D-man. I hope he proves me wrong.

I am waiting to see what the cap will be. If it’s the same or lower as last year, there should be some good players to trade for in a good value deal from some team needing cap relief. Hopefully the owners will go for it and spend to a similar level as they did coming out of the lockout so the Thrash can take advantage of any difference-maker players that become available.

Hockeyfan

May 29th, 2009
8:12 pm

Wings in five

Bob

May 29th, 2009
10:02 pm

Pens in 6. Hossa slumps against the boards as the team he should be on skates the Cup.

nfieldr

May 29th, 2009
10:03 pm

I agree with Buzzeng, neither. It’s the NHL’s “dream series”… mine too, but for me, it’s a nightmare.

But, *sigh*, since one team has to win… I’ll say Wings in 6 (again).

And Brendan, totally agree with you regarding EA on DWTS

LAC

May 29th, 2009
11:42 pm

What did waddell even SAY in this report ? NOTHING !

Brendan

May 29th, 2009
11:47 pm

BuzzEng, unless there’s an outbreak of flu, like in 1919 in Seattle (vs. Montreal), or in our modern times, of “swine flu,” somebody’s got to win. And truthfully, I hope it goes all seven games. I was very disappointed in the CF series, which seemed to be over as soon as they started. And now, Cam Ward has finally LOST a playoff series. Like that WASN’T gonna happen, ever in his career?

Andrew, imagine HOW BAD this blog might have been after Custance left? I hardly think Vivlamore has stunk it up here. We’re in the dog days of Spring, and not too far away from the dog days of Summer. What’s Vivlamore supposed to do, write article after article about how Marty Reasoner still hasn’t signed, Day 52! And about that, rubbin’ chin, I’m actually guessing Marty will re-sign with Atlanta. But maybe he’s playing a game called, “You wouldn’t negotiate with me when I wanted. So, I’ll make you wait until July 1st. And if I’m NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH for you to call on that day, maybe I won’t re-sign. I want to see where Atlanta ‘priorities’ really are.” Fair enough, Marty.

Bob, from your mouth to God’s ear! Go Pens!!! But I’m not actually holding a grudge against Hossa. Hossa’s “crime” was that he wanted to play for a great organization, in a traditional market, with a great owner, a great GM, a great scouting dept., that is committed to winning and to spending to the max cap, to go chase the silver chalice on an annual basis. Shrugs. I can’t fault him for that. The man wanted Detroit. Not Atlanta. Not Pittsburgh. Must he suffer FOREVER because of it? Even if the Red Wings don’t win this year, they’ll be right back there, again, next year, or within the next two! Guess how the NHL’s accounting system works? Answer: They call up Detroit and ask how much room they need to re-sign Hossa, then set it there! Kidding. Sort of. Maybe not. Basing a cap off PROJECTED REVENUES instead of ACTUAL ONES is what MAINTAINS the disparity between clubs. If the cap shrank back to $45-$47 million, Atlanta would actually have a “fair shot” at competing for the Cup. Allright, I take that back. A $47 million cap would just mean Bruce Levenson and the ownership could regress the budget back to $31 million, and shed some payroll in the offseason.

Nfieldr, hopefully DWTS saw that article and Erin’s phone is ringing as we speak! In my opinion, the organization has not successfully replaced Erin Andrews in any of its attempts to do so. Then again, what were the odds, realistically, that the Thrashers were going to be able to keep her? D’oh!!!

N/A

May 30th, 2009
1:42 am

I have a horrible feeling Waddle will royally f*** this whole signing thing up this summer. -Sigh- Oh well time to live vicariously through the Redwings :D GO WINGS!

Buzzeng

May 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Yeah! Swine flu! Excellent! There’s HOPE!! [8)

Midfield

May 30th, 2009
10:37 am

As much as I regard Hossa as a rotten fruit, Crosby’s annoitment is the worst thing for hockey since Saskin’s appointment as the players union executive director. Or, perhaps, even before that, which is probably the worst thing ever. And if you doubt that, google Crosby’s coyote style attack of Valabik’s balls from the rear, and consequently pathetic call by the sympathetic referees.

frosty the snowman

May 30th, 2009
11:14 am

I say pens in 6!

World Be Free

May 30th, 2009
1:44 pm

Wings in six.

They may use Kovy to convince Antropov to come here. Kovy’s looking for some new playmates and Antropov may have the size to create some space for Kovy.

I am not sure how interested the Rangers are in resigning Antropov. I watched him alot with the Leafs. He has a tendency to pout when things don’t go his way. But then again, Toronto is such a hockey presure cooker, he may want to come to Atlanta (like Slava Kozlov) and escape the media presssure associated with playing in a high profile hockey city.

Sounds like Chicago is really trying to resign Havlat. Say what you want about his durability, but Havlat was the Hawk’s leading scorer this season. Chicago is saddled with Campbell’s contract for 6 more years. Good for them.

Just my take.

R. Stroz

May 30th, 2009
3:46 pm

Chris – Please don’t take this as a knock.

I think everyone misses Custance. Instead of bemoaning Custance’s absence, we should be happy that such a hockey loving individual was amongst us doing what he enjoyed. Custance knows our passion for good hockey and is in a position to dispel the notion that Atlanta fans know little about, or even care about, hockey.

Custance had an opportunity to interact and perfect the “new journalistic frontier” while covering the Thrashers. Do I wish Custance was still here: yes and no. On the yes side, Custance was able to focus on Thrasher hockey and had the knowledge and passion to do a great job. On the no side, things have changed in print journalism, especially at the AJC, and, as a result, I seriously doubt Custance could have given the attention to hockey to which we were all accustomed. We may have grown frustrated to Custance being pulled in different directions, which didn’t allow him to interact as often.

That said, give Chris a chance. The guy is wearing many hats, probably not by his own choice, but as a result of AJC staff cutbacks.

Now, if the AJC wasn’t controlled by a bunch of left winged pinkos, the circulation might pick up, but thats a story for a political blog.

kracker

May 30th, 2009
9:09 pm

I wonder if DW and Kovy discussed Kane? Ya have to figure Kane has always been Atlanta’s first choice (at #4) for the obvious link between the two: Kane’s ethnicity.

Assuming that Kane soon becomes the tier 1 power fwd most people expect him to be, I predict the NHL will eventually promote Kane in U.S. ads to a level approaching how they promote #87. Having a telegenic star black player playing in Atlanta fits too well w/ Bettman’s ‘grow the game in the U.S.’ stategy for the NHL not to sieze upon such an opportunity.

A marketing plan like that will result in much good press and more TV games, etc. for the Thrashers, making his selection seem to be a lock from a marketing standpoint. The local marketing ads can begin as soon as he is chosen and build momentum as he progresses. This is all even better in that Evander actually does look to be “The Real Deal.” Sooo….I am back to being 100% for picking Kane. If we have to wait for him to mature, so be it.

(If they trade down to secure immediate help….I guess they rate the advantages of having Kane play in Atlanta as highly as I do.)

Even if it is Kane, it’s even more imperative for the owners to step up and bolster the team this summer to the extent they can so the momentum of last season’s late surge and the boost of a Kane selection isn’t lost next season. Oh, and there’s that Kovalchuk fellow they are trying to convince to stay, too.

kracker

May 30th, 2009
10:50 pm

oops…DON’T rate the advantages…sorry

Brendan

May 30th, 2009
11:46 pm

I thought Pittsburgh had their chances, particularly Malkin, on the breakaway. That first goal that Fleury gave up was rough. Even Hossa knew was a “gift” it was.

jnes

May 31st, 2009
12:05 am

World–I am glad to see someone else express an interest in Antropov. I wanted the Thrashers to go after him last season at the trade deadline. The Rangers gave up a 2nd round pick for his services as a rental. The Thrashers need a a big center with enough courage to stand in front of the net when Kovy blasts away. Antropov would do just that.He has good hands too, so he could clean up some of the rebounds that Kovy, Bogo, and Hainsey create with hard shots (or off target shots in Hainsey’s case). His production has been up and down the past few seasons, but he is 28 or 29 years old so he should have a good 6 years left in him. I think he would be a great center for the first line. He also scored more goals and made less money last year as a second line center than Todd White did as our first line center. The only issue with acquiring Antropov is that he is a free agent. Free agents do not come to Atlanta!

Oh well, maybe we can trade one of our less than reliable goalies for another number 2 center and hope for the best–again.

Thrashers27

May 31st, 2009
1:57 pm

Hey!!! What the…Did anybody else notice this from the AtlantaThrashers.com interview with Waddell…He talks about the draft and Tavares and goes on to say “…I don’t think we have to worry about him because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there at the fourth pick.”

Either that’s a typo, Don is crazy, or he knows something that we don’t.

Any thoughts?

Here’s the complete answer and a link to the interview:
Waddell: These are in no particular order- they’re just who’s coming to mind off the top of my head, but we’ll start with John Tavares who everyone knows is very skilled. Good playmaking abilities but a really good scoring touch. He’s going to put up points and goals in this league for a long time. I don’t think we have to worry about him because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be there at the fourth pick.

http://thrashers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=423446

Alan

May 31st, 2009
2:21 pm

Thrashers, I didn’t catch that the first time I read the interview. I read it as “he’s not going to be there.”

That said, it’s probably a typo. I sincerely doubt he falls below 2nd overall.

Jameson

May 31st, 2009
3:28 pm

I noticed it, too, but thought it had to be a type-o, or Waddell misspoke. It has to be one or the other. If he meant to say he was going to be there at the fourth pick, of course he would have to worry about him.

World be Free

May 31st, 2009
5:56 pm

Jnes-most of all, I like that Antropov plays with a chip on his shoulder. I think he and Kovy would work very well together. I watch Toronto alot, so I have seen him play frequently over the years.

And if we could get a vet setup man to play with him?

Brendan

May 31st, 2009
10:37 pm

Come on, Penguins!! When to do they play Game Three? This series needs a change of venue.

Conor

May 31st, 2009
11:13 pm

Another good thing about Antropov– this might seem somewhat insignificant, but he’s HUGE! Don Waddell mentioned something about signing a big forward… at 6′6″, 230, he certainly fits the bill. Perhaps Donny thinks the same way.

And Thrashers27, you’re right… Don Waddell is definitely crazy.

Ice Meister

June 1st, 2009
7:44 am

He plays huge too

The Real Fan

June 1st, 2009
8:07 am

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THE COVERAGE OF THE NHL FINALS ARE IN THIS PAPER? GEEZ!

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2009
8:26 am

Red Wings in 4

kracker

June 1st, 2009
8:36 am

Real Fan – Look on page C4. There is a nice AP article with a huge headline and a big picture. I don’t see how you missed it.

Spud Webb

June 1st, 2009
8:36 am

World and others, I have to respectfully disagree on Antropov. Yes, he is big and has soft hands and is for sure a huge talent. But I watched him in Toronto a bit also, what I saw was a guy who sometimes played hard and sometimes was lackadaisical and very undisciplined. Just my opinion! I could be wrong, he could’ve just been burned out with all the losing in Toronto, who knows?? It was to the point that his own team announcers would rip him for being lazy.
That said, We do need size and someone to do the dirty work with some skill. I’d just be scared if Nik gets a big contract that he will just get lazy, again, just my opinion.

David Hooton

June 1st, 2009
8:46 am

I watched the cup this weekend and my 4 year old daughter was mad and wants explanation on why her team was not playing. I was hoping may Waddell had an answer

Jameson

June 1st, 2009
8:50 am

Spud- Think that if we do sign Antropov there’s any chance that Captain Kovy could be a good influence on him when it comes to lackadaisical play?

Spud Webb

June 1st, 2009
8:54 am

Hey Jameson I’m always hopeful!!!! I could be totally off on Antropov, heck I wouldnt complain if we signed him, at least we would be making a solid attempt at getting better, you know what I mean???

R. Stroz

June 1st, 2009
9:13 am

David – Don’t look for Waddell to have any answers. For years, Waddell has had a plethora of excuses, but no solutions. Waddell is one half of this team’s problems. The other half is ownership that either doesn’t have the capital or the desire to maintain a competitive team.

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2009
11:58 am

Chris Vivlamore

June 1st, 2009
12:06 pm

R. Stroz: Thanks for the post. No worries about me taking anything the wrong way. I love the passion on this blog and with Rawhide’s blog. I do hear where folks are coming from. It’s difficult to take over a beat one week after the season ends, but I’m trying to bring you guys what I can during a slow time. We will kick it up a notch with July 1 and into the season. Thanks for reading.

David Hooton

June 1st, 2009
12:15 pm

Yeah R Stroz Iknow Iactually posted an article on Associated content Entitled “Save Hockey in Atlanta “hoping that The NHL could step in and run thing for a while they did with Buffalo a few years ago lots of reads but no response from either NHL or ASG
Kovy is another Hossa situation, for Kovy’s sake when he leaves here I hope a cup is in his future as well

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
12:22 pm

As was at a local pub the other nite, sitting next to a Georgia Southern University professor from Moscow, he informed me how to pronounce Kovy’s last name, its not chuck, its chuk, probably should have a squiggly line over the “u”, anywho, I told him about how we call sidney crosby(his name does not warrent capital letters) cindy crotchby, he is going to inform everyone he knows. He also let me know the cindy is the 2nd best player on that team, and not as good as AO or our beloved Ilya Kovalchuuuuuuuk. When does season start? I’m tired of baseball and basketball, at least Lebron is gone!!!! HAHA

World be Free

June 1st, 2009
12:24 pm

Spud-I have seen the same tendencies with Antropov in Toronto. But Toronto is probably the hardest place to play in the league. The city is the self-proclaimed center of the hockey universe. The press is impossible, especially when they are losing. Add to the fact that he’s Russian and you have Don Cherry and the Cherry-ites constantly trashing most players who are not Canadian. I think I would want out of Toronto too.

According to Toronto media, half the Leafs’ team (no Canadian players) have been on the trading block for the past 2 seasons. Antropov played better in New York. Hard to think the NY market would be an easier place to play in than Toronto. Maybe Antropov would be challenged more playing with Kovy.

Also-no offensive to any of our Canadian bloggers. I have Canadians in my family, so I hope they don’t read this post.

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
12:25 pm

As was at a local pub the other nite, sitting next to a Georgia Southern University professor from Moscow, he informed me how to pronounce Kovy’s last name, its not chuck, its chuk, probably should have a squiggly line over the “u”, anywho, I told him about how we call sidney crosby(his name does not warrent capital letters) cindy crotchby, he is going to inform everyone he knows. He also let me know the cindy is the 2nd best player on that team, and as good as AO or our beloved Ilya Kovalchuuuuuuuk. When does season start? I’m tired of baseball and basketball, at least Lebron is gone!!!! HAHA

Atlanta fan since 99

June 1st, 2009
12:25 pm

Chris Do you honesty think Waddell will reach abetter deal with Kovy than he did with Hossa
or Savard
or Brunnette
or Micheal Garnett ( still best goalie Atlanat ever had)

Maybe we will get a real deal like we did with Dunham ( who I watched blow a 3-5 games versus the the Augusta Lynx, in his lone abysmal game with the Gladiators, yeah he was NHL material)
Hey does any one remember Don’s crowning achievments of Season 1? Patrick Stefan and Damion Rhodes?

Atlanta fan since 99

June 1st, 2009
12:27 pm

Don do us a favor and quit, you suck!!

Brendan

June 1st, 2009
12:31 pm

Marty Reason still un-signed, Day 55.

Brendan

June 1st, 2009
12:31 pm

Reasoner, even, then!

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2009
12:36 pm

Dwayne… yeah, I think most long-time fans are aware of the Kovalchook/Kovalchuck, pronunciation… it was Kovalchuk himself that joked he would go by Koval”chuck” now that he was playing in America. :)

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2009
12:38 pm

Brendan… I think the Combine is probably priority #1this week… we still have 29 days left to sign Reasoner.

World be Free

June 1st, 2009
12:49 pm

Antropov aside, back to my key point-

What this team needs is a 4th line center that can take face-offs and play defense when we are protecting a 1 goal lead in the 3rd period. The Thrashers have never been good at holding a lead, because we have not invested in a Dominic Moore, Saku Koivu and Todd Marchant-type defensive center to cover a lead late in the game. All 3 of the guys mentioned at UFAs, available free of charge in 1 month.

Detroit has taught us all the value of defense to compliment offense.

Dwayne

June 1st, 2009
1:09 pm

long time fan also, not a long time blogger, i’m not an indepth blogger like alot of folks, try to keep em short, i left out the part where i was telling him how much “we” love Ilya Koval”chuck” he said “who” i said Ilya Koval”chuck” well. i guess you get the picture now.

Jameson

June 1st, 2009
1:54 pm

Dwayne- Yeah, I used to be kind of offended by the way people pronounced Kovy’s name until that interview where he said something to the effect of, “I’m in America, so it’s Koval”chuck”, now.”

MB

June 1st, 2009
3:37 pm

Yeah, WBF…Detroit has also taught us all the value of the subtle interference, of holding the opponent’s stick for just long enough, and of installing springs behind your endboards. Bitter? Yeah, a little bit, though I will give them credit for skirting the rules without getting penalized better than any other team.

Darkhorse

June 1st, 2009
3:39 pm

I’m very luke-warm about Antropov being the “big” FA signing of the season, and our answer to a center for Kovy. If he was so great, the Leafs wouldn’t have had him on the trade block the past two seasons and the Rangers would work really hard to resign him somehow. I love his size and talent, but he’s been in and out of the lineup with various injuries throughout his career and always seems to not live up to the level of his talent IMO. He’s just a tease. An example to my disapointment in his stats are that they aren’t much different career wise than 5′11 Todd White. We remember how we all felt when DW signed White and said he was gonna be our #1 center.

If he ends up being the second or third best player the Thrashers find a way to bring in this offseason(outside of the players we draft), then I’ll be stoked.

Here’s Antropov’s stats if any are interested.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8467353

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2009
4:08 pm

Darkhorse… my thinking is, Antropov has the best upside for the $4-5 million we might have available for a top line Center. Everyone else will be considerably more… another option is for Kovy to persuade Morozov to come over. Not sure of his contract situation with the KHL.

If we want Komisarek, we’ll have to shell out $5-6 million… resign Lehtonen at $3-4 million… resign Valabik, Armstrong, Slater, Salmela, etc… and the money is gone in a flash. I don’t think any of us are “stoked” and pushing for Antropov over Cammalleri or Havlat. I’m just being realistic.

But I understand… I’ve watched many Leafs games over the years and never thought in a million more I’d be wanting Antropov on my team.

Brendan

June 1st, 2009
5:13 pm

Hokie, think the organization will use up all 29 of those days?

Darkhorse

June 1st, 2009
5:21 pm

Hokie-I would really love to give Morozov a try if he’s willing. I don’t know his contract status either, but if there was a way….

I know Kovy loves playing with him, and it showed at the last two WC. If I was Kovy, I would be like ‘cmon man, give me one year over with Atl…we’ll tear the scoring records of the NHL to pieces.

That’s what’s so frustrating for us(the fans). If him and the infamous Nukiln gave us just a one year tryout, I bet things would become suprisingly better for the team, it’s fans, and those two.

I’m still very curious which of the goalies go, if either. Kari and that “3-4 mil” may get the short end of the deal if DW needs to spend the extra cash elsewhere. The end of June can’t come quick enough.

World be Free

June 1st, 2009
6:32 pm

MB-I got jumped on this blog that last time I ragged on the Wings. I see the subtle holding and interference they do and get away with, more than any other team. Holstrom leads the league in goaltender interference. Add to the fact that NBC Sports in fawning all over the Wings, forgetting that therer are 2 teams on the ice.

But I also see Zetterburg, Hossa and The Mule backchecking, taking away scoring chances in the middle of the rink. Everyone is responsible at both ends of the rink.

I don’t like the intererence, but the league isn’t going to do anything to stop it.

Ice Meister

June 1st, 2009
6:36 pm

Antropov is a tier 2 free agent. I think that’s the best we can hope for unless we want to overpay someone.

Overpay? See Jeff Finger, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and a host of toehrs from the past 3 off-seasons.

Ogie Ogelthorpe

June 1st, 2009
6:39 pm

We shoulda signed the Hanson Bros. kid when we had the chance this year-Christian Hanson signed with the Leafs.

Just imagine, the Hanson’s boy went to Notre Dame.

Wonder if he’s puttin’ on the foil?

MB

June 1st, 2009
10:51 pm

WBF, there’s no doubt that the Wings do just about everything very, very well…and I guess that’s what bugs me so much about their little indiscretions. I’d much rather see them play a “clean” game…goodness knows they’d still win the vast majority. But seeing their little indiscretions end up contributing to goals, that just irks me a bit.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I’m well aware that there aren’t any NHL clubs made entirely of choir boys, and all probably do their best to bend the rules in their favor. That said, it may just be a case that, once again, the Wings do it better and in a more systematic manner than any other club.

Truth be told, the first two games were fairly even on the ice with each team controlling play for a while only to have it taken by the other. Osgood has been a difference maker, as has Fleury (in a not-quite-as-good way). In close games, every little advantage takes on greater importance, and I guess that’s what is bugging me about the laxity given to the Wings in regards to their subtle infractions.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
8:18 am

Darkhorse and Ice Meister… could be a combination of things we see… would you rather see Cammalleri and Pavelec… or Antropov and Lehtonen?

But keep this in mind… if Pavelec gets the starting job this year. He’ll be due for a major pay raise next summer (RFA)… if we start signing guys like Cammalleri and Komisarek, we’re screwing ourselves next summer with Pavelec.

More and more I see us signing a Tier 2 free agent Center, unless we trade assets for a contract player.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
8:20 am

Brendan… I think the league decides on the salary cap for next season this week… so, I’ll stick to my original guess, which I think was June 10th (for signing Reasoner).

Ice Meister

June 2nd, 2009
8:29 am

GaVaHokie-Antropov and Lehtonen? I am not sold on Pavelec as a no. 1 and we already know Kari is a No.1.

I think Cammalleri will stay in Canada, unless someone is willing to overpay him. We need a center more than an undersized winger.

Komisarek? He’ll get overpaid too, though I like his edge.

I totally agree on the tier 2 center. Tier 1 players are bound to get overpaid and this management group will not overpay for anyone.

Dwayne

June 2nd, 2009
8:41 am

in reference to bending the rules, little or subtle indiscretions….if you aint cheating(a little), you aint trying to win.

Old tyme fan

June 2nd, 2009
9:04 am

What is with all the HOSSA hatred?
He tried to stay but Don Waddell would offer a reason to stay!
When Waddell chases off Kovy, will you hate him too?
I like that the poll shows people agree with my assesment that Hedburg is the worst goalie in the NHL, another great waddell choice

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
9:26 am

Ice Meister… yeah, I was just pointing out that if we keep Lehtonen, then we’ll have to go with a Tier 2 Center… if we sign a Tier 1 Center, we may have to move Lehtonen and keep Pavelec (still on a entry level contract)… just balancing out the money (about $8 million, either way).

That leaves $8 million for a Tier 2 defenseman and to resign Valabik, Salmela, Slater and Armstrong.

Darkhorse

June 2nd, 2009
9:30 am

Hokie & Ice Meister-It’s up for debate I guess for me on who or what type of FA to bring in and what we pay them. Hopefully by July 1st whatever assets and big trades we were gonna make will have happened, and that will give us a clearer picture on what FA to go after.

I think you’re both right about the money not being shelled out at this point for the Sedin’s or Cammalleri. There have been some really bad contracts signed by other teams over the past few seasons, like Drury, Gomez, Sundin, and Campbell. I almost want to give DW and the ownership some credit for not hamstringing the franchise with guys with those type of deals, but alas, I know it’s really only because they are cheap and poor.

Darkhorse

June 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

Hokie-I would think all the business with the RFAs we want to keep will have been taken care of before July 1st, and possibly the draft. So going into the draft everything is set for trades to take place to open back up that amount of money needed on July 1st possibly. Maybe Slater(FA) and Ex(trade) are gone to re-freeup that extra 3mil needed for flexibility for FA or other trades closer to the season.

I am wondering what the actual trade market is gonna be for either of our goalies? Which of the two is more sought after by other teams? With Pavelec being a RFA next year, I don’t see why we would resign Kari now and keep Pavs for next season. We would be back in the same boat again as for who to keep, but also have Kari signed to a longer deal, forcing us to trade Pavs more than likely. I bet Pavs, whether or not he’s ready, is expecting to compete for the #1 job wherever he is next season.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
10:28 am

I’d like to keep going the route of getting younger and cheaper myself… I’d far prefer to trade Lehtonen and our 2nd Rd pick for Lupul and VanReimsdyk, trade Exelby, Slater and Montreal’s 2nd Rd. pick to Chicago for Cam Barker, and then draft Evander Kane… stay right at that cap floor so you can retain your young players for years to come. I have “zero” interest in maxing out the cap on guys like Cammalleri… that’s just me.

Kovy Peverley Lupul
Kozy White Little
Stuart Reasoner Armstrong
Boulton Kane Van Reimsdyk

Bogosian Enstrom
Hainsey Barker
Valabik Salmela

Pavelec
Hedberg

That’s the difference between us and teams like Chicago and Boston… they have these youth movements, but they’re running out of cap room fast.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
10:44 am

Here are the ratings for the Stanley Cup so far… 5 million viewers for Game 2… barely beating out Family and American Dad repeats.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/06/01/sunday-ratings-nbc-red-wings-stanley-cup-finals-win-again/19753

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
10:48 am

One thing I’ll point out is that people in Detroit get CBC and it’s the broadcast of choice… those ratings don’t count towards American ratings.

Here are the basketball ratings… 8.9 million for Sunday night on cable.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/05/27/nba-playoffs-wwe-raw-and-ncis-lead-cable/19437#more-19437

Alan

June 2nd, 2009
11:24 am

It’s because NBC and Versus suck with their hockey coverage.

I watch CBC feeds I find online as opposed to NBC or Versus.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2009
11:30 am

I’ll go with June 30th, for Reasoner, Hokie. Why do what you can, SOON, when you could PROCRASTINATE, per company policy? I don’t really know that Reasoner’s value is escalating with each passing day. But my guess is that he could have been re-signed last February more cheaply than whatever he’s going to sign for in the next four weeks or so. In either case, I wouldn’t think Reasoner’s salary will be what breaks the Thrashers’ budget, irrespective of where the league sets the cap. I’m hearing a figure of $54 million being tossed about. That’s not nearly the kind of budgetary relief that most NHL markets need to be more competitive with the bigger markets and more traditional markets.

Dwayne

June 2nd, 2009
11:50 am

i like that line up GAVAHokie…would the 2nd line take a physical beating?? just asking..

Ice Meister

June 2nd, 2009
12:10 pm

Darkhorse-You are correct; being tied down with a bad contract could be worse than not signing any free agents. Actually, the Hainsey signing last year turned out to be one of the better signings of the 2008 UFA season (some may argue this).

Dwayne-for me, the only thing that matters is who is hoisting the silver when it’s all over. For Pittsburgh, Fleury just hasn’t made the key stops when he’s had to.

You guys are all missing that 4th line defensive center that we need. Trade Slater to the Ice Capades. Look at Stephane Yelle-he was a late pickup for Boston before the start of the season. All he did was center a good 4th line, play great defsense and win key faceoffs in the 3rd period. You gotta get the lead and protect it.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
12:13 pm

Brendan… It doesn’t break OUR bank, but the salary cap might break some other banks around the league. I think a lot of GM’s want to hear the magic number before they start dealing with their UFA’s… they want the best idea of what could be out there July 1st.

Dwayne

June 2nd, 2009
1:06 pm

OK, Detroit wins the cup, cap is lowered, Hossa says he wants next deal to be final deal….who signs him. I would love to see him back in a Thrasher uni..uh…sweater.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2009
4:35 pm

Dwayne, Hossa will probably re-sign at whatever figure Detroit can afford. And if Detroit can only offer a 1-year or 2-year deal, then Hossa takes it, more than likely. And when the league’s offices bend over to grab their ankles for Detroit, yet again, thennnn Hossa will get his “spectacular, homerun deal.” Unless Detroit is in a position to offer the homerun deal right now. Hossa will take whatever Detroit offers, to ensure he gets to stay, is my opinion. Hardly a fact. Let’s watch what happens.

Hokie, Marty Reasoner would fit under just about any team’s salary cap, no? There are a few he might not be able to squeeze into. But for the most part, I would think the only issues with signing Reasoner on July 1st are: (1) Does Marty want to play for that team?, (2) Does that team WANT Marty Reasoner?, (if Marty’s agent is the inquirer,) and (3) is there sufficient cap room.

GaVaHokie

June 2nd, 2009
4:46 pm

Brendan… and 4) Do the Thrashers see better options for the money based on other teams needing to shed cash from the NEW salary cap? If not, they’ll resign Reasoner.

The other delay in signing free agents is the GM meeting going on right now… it’s not just Atlanta… it’s EVERYBODY… there has been very little contract activity during the playoffs.

World be Free

June 2nd, 2009
8:14 pm

Marty wants to stay here. He was going nowhere last year wehn the Thrashers signed him. He fits the system and the coach likes him.

It’s not like he has alotta options. There a number of veteran free agent centers out there. He’d be in line for another 1 year deal with another team. He’s not going anywhere.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2009
11:23 pm

If the Thrashers find BETTER than Marty Reasoner, then it’s fine by me. I want the best possible team that the Thrashers can field. My major point, which sadly can’t be proven, or disproven, is that Reasoner’s next contract probably would have been less expensive than it might be on July 1. And if Atlanta sees an opportunity, AFTER HAVING SIGNED HIM, to move him in a Draft Day trade or a trade occurring at any time, they could. Reasoner isn’t untradeable. Worst case scenario?? Reasoner is re-signed at a modest pay increase and is dumped at the end of the next season, or packaged in some trade deadline deal.

World be Free

June 3rd, 2009
7:53 am

The Thrashers are pretty deep at center in their organization. I think the short term (2 years) on a contract is what we will see with Marty. He sure proved himself to be a valuable player last season.

I wish he was a little more dominant on the faceoffs. It would make alot easier to dump Slater if we know we have a 3rd period center to replace Jimmy.