Thrashers signing

OK, it’s official now. The Thrashers may have re-signed defenseman Anssi Salmela. Just got the word.

Still working on getting the details but it’s a multi-year deal.

Spoke to Don Waddell briefly about him. Obviously, they like him a lot. I know a lot of you  folks were eager to hear that the Thrashers were going to re-sign him.

He’s young and big with upside. Waddell said will be part of the seven-defenseman unit. Looks like he won’t start the season in the AHL.

The complete story should be posted soon, but I wanted you guys to know as soon as I did.

110 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

June 4th, 2009
4:54 pm

LAC

June 4th, 2009
4:58 pm

May have signed ? That is NOT official…. A higher ECHL’er for sure.

Tony C.

June 4th, 2009
5:18 pm

I actually liked what I saw of Salmela at the end of the season-the way he protects the puck, I wonder if they won’t give him a shot in a PWF-type role during camp.

This was reported last week in Finnish papers…here I was hoping Chris would have a scoop on other players (Reasoner, Armstrong… HINT, HINT FUBAS) signing.

Oh well. At least DW hasn’t announced a trade of the 1st-round pick

Chris Vivlamore

June 4th, 2009
5:44 pm

Tony C.: I’m working on it. The Finnish papers may have had something but as I learned – the hard way – this year things can change. Remember Ken Griffey? I sure do.

Darkhorse

June 4th, 2009
5:47 pm

Here’s the official….

http://thrashers.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=424904&page=NewsPage&service=page

Maybe this will get the puck rolling on other RFAs and such.

Brendan

June 4th, 2009
5:58 pm

The Thrashers trace Anssi Salmela’s lineage back to its Inaugural season (1999) roster in the form of Petr Buzek. Salmela came to Atlanta via trade with New Jersey for Nic Havelid, at this year’s trade deadline. Havelid was acquired from Anaheim, on June 26, 204, for Kurtis Foster. Atlanta acquired the rights to Kurtis Foster on December 18, 2001, in a trade with Calgary, that sent Buzek there. Also part of that deal with Calgary was??? Anyone?? Anyone?? Jeff Cowan. Atlanta, as part of the Buzek trade, also gave Calgary its 6th round pick (Adam Pardy) in the 2004 Entry Draft. Jeff Cowan got traded to Los Angeles for Kip Brennan, in March of 2004. Kip Brennan was then traded to Anaheim for Mark Popovic, August 23, 2005. Kip Brennan was then signed by the Islanders as a free agent in July 2003. Cowan got claimed off waivers by Vancouver in 2006. Truthfully, I’m not sure where Mark Popovic is today. But I’d bet someone DOES.

And now you know … the evolution of Petr Buzek, Atlanta’s 1st “All-Star” player. Yes, every team got to send one that year. I know. I don’t think this signing “hurts us,” per se. I haven’t seen the terms and conditions, and salary. I’d wager it wasn’t some $5 million deal. (Sarcarm detector machine flailing wildly.) Petr Buzek lives on!! I’ll always think of that when I see him play.

Thomas Magnum

June 4th, 2009
6:40 pm

Chris,

Could you add our blog onto your blog roll? http://www.thewordonthebird.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Midfield

June 4th, 2009
7:03 pm

So what’s going on with Reasoner?

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 4th, 2009
7:55 pm

Salmela’s signing was on NHL On The Fly.
I liked what I saw in him as well.
Little upps for Don (dare I say)

YOGURT

June 4th, 2009
9:30 pm

I wonder what kind of conversations Brad McCrimmon and Hossa have about how happy they are to be away from the thrashers organization and with a real organization. Apparently the wings saw something in the beast that wadell once again failed to see, or more likely beast saw what hossa and others that have left saw, Loser franchise

Smoothie

June 4th, 2009
10:06 pm

I’m sure Hossa is pouting in the lockeroom between periods wondering if he made the right decision. Looks like we could have a battle royale of a series. 4-2 Pens after two.

Bob

June 4th, 2009
10:13 pm

great game, series is on now, kids.

Don Waddell

June 4th, 2009
11:01 pm

I did something, I did something….do I get a raise?

Brendan

June 5th, 2009
12:35 am

Oh, you’ll get something better than that, Don Waddell. You’ll get a contract extension through 2015. Why not? You’ve earned it, with this critical signing. My only criticism is that the organization didn’t procrastinate longer. I like it when they draw things out out, to the last possible second.

kracker

June 5th, 2009
7:22 am

Great news on Salmela. Just like it was reported in the Finnish news a couple of weeks ago. Maybe ppl on here will calm down for a while. lol Who am I kidding?!

Sage of Bluesland

June 5th, 2009
7:45 am

Incremental progress, ya’ll…Building through the draft!…Five-Year Plan…

Brendan’s history on that clown Petr Buzek was funny–he lives on even today!

(At least is justifies, somewhat, one of the sheep I saw at a game several years ago who had a bright, shiny, fancy #2 sweater jersey with Buzek’s name on it…Such a hopeless dreamer! I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing…May as well paint his face and wave a wittle fwag…)

Ice Meister

June 5th, 2009
8:10 am

Some of you guys and your negativity-frankly, I really don’t know why you waste your time posting your beliefs on this blog.

Waddell and the owners are here to stay. Whether we believe they are competent or not is irrelevant. We can hope they take Kovy’s advice and start to make all the right moves. This signing is a very good indictor. It should be viewed positively by everyone that truly supports this franchise.

Adam

June 5th, 2009
8:27 am

I hope this isn’t the Top 4 D-man that we’ve been promised.

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
8:36 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if Waddell already has an agreement with Reasoner and they’re just tabling it until after the playoffs… from a publicity stand-point, you’ll get more attention closer to the draft. My original guess was June 10th, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t made official until the draft week.

With Reasoner and Thorburn both in town doing charity work, I’d think they’ll BOTH be back next season.

Salmela is probably the kind of guy you want to lock up quick before the Swedish and Finnish league’s start courting him.

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
8:38 am

I hope this isn’t the Top 4 D-man that we’ve been promised.

“I see him as being with the team [next season],” Waddell said. “We are going to carry seven defensemen, and we expect him to be one of them. He’s not in the top four yet, but he’s young and has a lot of upside.”

lonely Kovy

June 5th, 2009
8:48 am

I liked what i’ve seen from him. He, along with Pevs just needed to get on the right team to show their talent. We are the right team. I know this for a fact. Donny told me so.

kracker

June 5th, 2009
9:00 am

I thinks that’s a very good point about Thors still being around & active in the community. It bodes well for him knowing he will be re-signed. Reasoner also, of course, but there was never any doubt he would be offered a contract.

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
9:10 am

kracker… I wish we could go back in the archives to when Reasoner was signed LAST summer, see some of the comments made then. I bet we’d see a lot of “This is our Top Center we were promised? Marty Reasoner? Fire Waddell”

And now, if we DON’T resign him this summer, people will want Waddell to be fired. :)

Dwayne

June 5th, 2009
9:18 am

Is Bogo considered a top 4 d-man?? Does Atlanta have any top 4 D-men?? IMO, if Bogo is, then Anssi is. What if Atl. signs a top 2 center and a top 4 D-man, and they still stink??? Kovy leaving??? It does not matter who they sign, the first 15 to 20 games will determine if we are buyers or sellers at the deadline.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
9:38 am

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Waddell already has an agreement with Reasoner and they’re just tabling it until after the playoffs… from a publicity stand-point, you’ll get more attention closer to the draft. My original guess was June 10th, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t made official until the draft week.”

GVH, I think this is very likely the case. I wouldn’t expect either one of them, Thorburn nor Reasoner, to be so willing to do P.R. work for the Thrashers if they felt jilted or betrayed by the org,. Reasoner also participated, albeit breifly, in a hockey camp for Thrasher HD. Nice to see Marty and Chris out there interfacing with the community…class acts for sure. I reckon we will bring Thorbsy back at a bargain price to compete for the 12th / 13th forward spot. He’s quality depth for the 4th line, but not necessarily an 82 game / season guy. I personally will celebrate with a few cold ones once Marty’s contract status with the Thrashers has been made public!!

Alan

June 5th, 2009
10:02 am

OK, it’s official now. The Thrashers may have re-signed defenseman Anssi Salmela. Just got the word.

Thanks, Chris! I wish he’d get Reasoner signed already, but I guess this is a good first step. For what it’s worth, we now know Waddell is on the phone while he’s on the links.

Apparently the wings saw something in the beast that wadell once again failed to see

Considering how bad the Wings’ D has been this season, and this postseason, I daresay they regret bringing McCrimmon into the fold. The man that brought the prevent defense to Atlanta has taken it to Detroit, and I can’t even begin to recollect the number of games that Detroit took an early commanding lead in, only to play prevent and blow it.

The PK – McCrimmon’s main coaching job – has been deplorable.

If you followed the Wings like I do, you’d see this. You’d note this. You’d be happy that McCrimmon is gone. I know I’m happy. Ecstatic, even. As a Detroit native and fan, however, I’m really unhappy they picked him up.

Of course, this comes from the same person who thinks Anderson hasn’t done a good job so far; therefore, this drivel shouldn’t surprise anyone. Waddell makes a lot of stupid mistakes, but let’s not be disingenuous.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
10:22 am

I think that’s pretty far fetched that a player has agreed to contract specifics but allows for it to be tabled due to an inopportune announcement time, publicity-wise. There’s nothing holding back players and managers from coming to terms on contracts, and delaying something you’ve agreed to in principle is just leaving a lot of things to chance. For instance, if the player gets injured he could be out of the NHL with no insurance policy nor a guaranteed contract once/if he’s able to play again.

That’s not something I’d risk just because the manager wants to wait until the basketball season is over so he can have the entire spotlight to himself.

Don Waddell

June 5th, 2009
10:32 am

I love the spotlight, I love to boogie…at the disco

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
10:34 am

For instance, if the player gets injured he could be out of the NHL with no insurance policy nor a guaranteed contract once/if he’s able to play again.

True… which could be an explanation of why a team waits as long as possible to sign a player… lessons learned by Ben Roethlisberger and Kellen Winslow motorcycle accidents in the off season. You never know what could happen to a player when they’re off on their own during the summer.

I’m sure if Thorburn and Reasoner were under contract, they’d be extra careful they weren’t handling circular saws at the Habitat site. :)

Sara

June 5th, 2009
11:00 am

Alan thank you. I have been thinking that same thing for months now about Beast. I just never saw it as some weird coincidence that he showed up and the Wings’ defensive prowess went flying out the window. I’ll be curious to see how long he lasts on that coaching staff, especially if they end up losing in the Finals.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
11:06 am

That makes little sense to me, you’ve given two examples out of the hundreds of players who sign contracts on a yearly basis. If a GM waits they risk the client being put off by the delay, and changing their mind (afterall without a contract there is no binding agreement, as Nylander proved when signing with Washington).

I assume they’ve had the friendly conversations and have agreed to discuss dollars and cents “soon”.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
11:13 am

Technically, isn’t Marty still under contract until June 30, 2009? I would imagine that the Thrashers have insurance policies protecting themselves in the event a player under contract is injured outside of the rink on his own time. But then again, I’m not familiar enough with sports management contract law to do more than speculate.

Also, why would it be far-fetched for an agreement to be in place in principle for a player who is still under contract until FA begins on 7/1/09? Heck, the paperwork could be drawn up and ready for signing, but both parties could be waiting to finalize the contract once a player is back from vacation or the GM and said player’s agent can get on the same page schedule-wise.

Considering it took almost 2 weeks for the Thrashers to make the announcement that Anssi was signed to an extension, I would not be surprised if players like Reasoner, Armstrong and Thorburn have already been signed as well. Perhaps there is a review process by the league when a contract for a pending UFA is signed ahead of the 7/1 date for FA to begin??

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
11:25 am

Technically, isn’t Marty still under contract until June 30, 2009? I would imagine that the Thrashers have insurance policies protecting themselves in the event a player under contract is injured outside of the rink on his own time.

Yes… but would you resign him on July 1st if he cut his thumb off with a compound miter saw? :)

Ranallo… I’m just trying to look at it from both sides… my gut feeling is that both sides are mutual, they just have to hash out the details, put it in writing and get it signed… how about the fact that Reasoner and Thorburn are actually IN TOWN, as a good sign this should be coming up soon?

Thorburn had a pretty decent tan in that Habitat video… I’ll take it that he’s finished up his vacation and is ready for business.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
11:29 am

Exactly GVH, it may be too risky for a team to commit to a player before the date FA begins eventhough a deal is agreed upon in principle. Look at Boston and Krejci. Would the B’s have given him that much money if they knew his hip surgery would keep him out 6 months? I don’t know, seems a little weird to me. But my point is that I would not be surprised if the contract details for Marty and any other UFA in this situation would have a clause in which the contract is voided or nullified should a player injure himself recreationally or sever his thumb at a Habitat for Humanity charity event.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
11:30 am

I understand looking at it from both sides, I simply don’t agree with that other side. I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just saying I don’t agree with the angle you (and Smoothie) are attempting to clarify.

I’m not sweating the Reasoner contract, and honestly I will not consider it the end of the Thrashers 09-10 season if he’s not re-signed.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
11:30 am

That last sentence should also contain “before June 30, 2009 at midnight” in order for it to read correctly.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
11:36 am

One thing we should keep in mind: only 5 players, 6 if you count Franzen on 4/11/09, have been signed or extended since the end of the season. And I think most of them have been RFA. So it appears as though signing UFA’s proactively before the end of the playoffs or the draft is not all that common. Hence, I don’t agree with the reasoning that it is off-putting for the player should the contract signing be delayed. If the player knows a deal is done in principle, is still under contract, and feels good about his relationship with the org, why would he give a crap if the announcement is delayed a few days, weeks or even a month??

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
11:38 am

“Would the B’s have given him that much money if they knew his hip surgery would keep him out 6 months?”

Yes, Chiarelli knew about the surgery before they signed him to the extension.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he wasn’t concerned about making a commitment to a player who is about to have surgery.

“He’s a young man. He’s a hard-working guy. All the indicators from the medical people that we have were positive,” Chiarelli said. “You put that in the equation and you make a decision to move forward.”

Owners are protected by the insurance policy, as are players. If something happens when the player’s contract is set to expire it is my understanding that they have limited options regarding their insurance coverage. Also, they are risking much more in terms of future contracts due to this idea of “waiting for the right time to announce the contract”.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
11:57 am

What is Chiarelli supposed to say? Of course he’s going to say that. But if Krejci has a horrible year this year after rehab and takes another off-season to return to form, I think he will certainly feel a bit foolish for committing so much money under a shrinking cap.

I don’t think you’re allowing for any gray area with your arguments, but I’m not so sure I understand your line of reasoning. I think GVH and I are only saying there may be other circumstances at play depending on the team and the situation.

Every organization has different ways of conducting business so nothing is black and white in sports. Look at how the Braves handled (mis-handled if you ask me) the Glavine situation. Another organization may have done differently and not committed a million dollars to let a player rehab only to cut him before he had a chance to take the field.

World be Free

June 5th, 2009
12:22 pm

Tid-bit on Hossa-

Bruce Garrioch reports the following: Marian Hossa would have to accept a salary cut to re-sign with the Detroit Red Wings, possibly under $6 million per season over seven years in order to fit under the Wings salary cap. Chicago, LA, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton would likely make a pitch for Hossa if he hits the open market.

Smoothie-I agree with you on Glavine/wonder whose hat Tom will wear when he goes in the HOF?

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
12:29 pm

WBF: Yeah, I think DET may make a mistake to committing long-term to Hossa as they will likely have to part ways with Hulder, Samuelsson, McCarty and Conklin to do so. I do not see Hossa accepting anything less than $5 M / year.

As for Glavine, I just don’t understand why the Braves even signed him considering how deep they are with young pitching. Of course, if it wasn’t Wren who told him he would start on June 7 after his successful rehab, which it appeared to be, then there is too much of a disconnect between the clubhouse and the front office. Say what you will about Glavine, but I don’t think you can say he’s a liar. You may disagree with his motives or his decision to sign with the Mets, but he’s always seemed like a pretty upstanding and forthright guy to me.

kracker

June 5th, 2009
12:30 pm

Regarding contracts, it’s more than likely they are waiting on the announcement of next season’s cap before inking them.

kracker

June 5th, 2009
12:30 pm

In Waddell’s case he is waiting on the floor to be set. :)

Alan

June 5th, 2009
12:51 pm

Bruce Garrioch reports

Reports? That appears to be a typo. You obviously mean “pulled from his derriere”

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
12:54 pm

I’m not sweating the Reasoner contract, and honestly I will not consider it the end of the Thrashers 09-10 season if he’s not re-signed.

Agreed.

Waddell should be back from the GM meetings, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s working on it at this very minute.

Brendan

June 5th, 2009
12:57 pm

Hokie, I believe my comments, last summer, regarding the Reasoner contract signing, were as follows: “I’m pleased with the signing, but I don’t see that it filled any vacancy on the roster. We already have 3rd line centers. But I liked what I saw of him in Edmonton.” Paraphrased, a bit.

My reaction to Reasoner’s contract is actually on par with Ranallo’s. Which is, “great, if they re-sign him, but Atlanta’s season doesn’t begin and end with Marty Reasoner.” Paraphrased.

The draft will be here before you know it. I do hope that we pick at #4 overall. If it’s Kane, it’s Kane. But if it’s MPS or Schenn, I really think Waddell could have moved back and still gotten either one of those players, while picking up a latter round draft pick in the process. Bygones, almost. Caught myself. :)

All the talk of Marty Reasoner got me to thinking about the Edmonton Oilers. If Atlanta were to trade for a roster player, for the purposes of TRAPPING HIM HERE, which I don’t advocate doing, I noticed something attention-grabbing about Shawn Horcoff’s contract. It decreases in the coming years. Horcoff’s deal pays him $7 million in 2010, $6.5 million in 2011 and 2012, then $6.0 million in 2013. He’s a 29-year old Center, whose game I completely support. Seems to have good character, leadership abilities, skills, toughness, etc.

Okay, thus ends my hallucination. Not gonna happen. But from a Thrashers payroll perspective, this is the kind of contract I think they’d like to own. They’d get a good player, prime years still ahead of him, and a declining pay rate. Edmonton won’t part with him, nor should they. But it got me to thinking, are there any other types of contracts, of at least “fairly decent” players, out there that could be had in a trade? I don’t know. I’m only asking a question.

I never really like thinking this way, truthfully. I don’t like trades, generally-speaking. I like to draft my own players, like Bryan Little, then lock them up with a PROACTIVE RFA contract before the player’s value SKYROCKETS because he’s put together back-to-back 30+ goal campaigns. I’d rather see the “free agent money,” think Brian Campbell if that helps any, spent on homegrown picks, like Lehtonen, Pavelec, Little, Valabik, etc.

I know this sounds like heresy, but I don’t really think the Thrashers are at a point in their building process where they should go “hog wild” with spending, anyway. I think it’d go a long way towards showing players that they can be drafted here, and play here, a whole lot longer than just a “layover at Hartsfield.” Continuity of roster and player retention are issues, that I think, still plague this franchise. I’d even like to see guys like Joey Crabb, Colin Stuart, and Jordan LaVallee get retained.

I don’t buy this whole propaganda that “we’re close, real close” to anything but YEAR THREE of the “4-year building plan.” That’s just P.R. to sell tickets. I’m not in marketing or sales. I couldn’t rightly tell you that a public declaration of “we’re still building” would sound the death knell of ticket sales or what. But I’d think, honesty would resonate a whole lot better with fans than bluster about the playoffs. Or worse yet, the Stanley Cup.

Folks, to ice a Stanley Cup competitive roster, our blueline would have to look something like this: (Tier I free agent – Tier I free agent), Bogosian-Enstrom, Hainsey-Valabik, with Exelby traded and someone like Grant Lewis or Nathan Oystrick up in the pressbox, as a spare. Is that going to happen??? Especially now??? With the team’s finances where they are??? Allrightee then. I don’t think it’s “terrible” to temper expectations a bit lower than that.

Like all of you, I hope for the best. I hope for sound judgement and prudence in drafting, trading, and free agent acquisitions. I’m willing to be PATIENT to complete the “4-year project.” I just ask that someone not named Waddell be the architect. Yes, fine. He’s doing BETTER lately. He’s having some success in the learning curve. But I believe in accountability. A GM either gets results, or he doesn’t. This team’s results have placed it inside the lottery draft for the sixth time in nine (6/9) completed seasons. Even without a budget, the team should be better than this. I think “reasonable” people can see that.

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
1:05 pm

Hossa to Chicago?!? It would have to be another 1 year deal, because they have Kane and Toews contracts next summer… Havlat would surely be gone.

Not sure why they would pass on Havlat who wants to play long-term for a guy like Hossa that’s just gonna ride your coat-tails for one-two years.

That would be too sickening if Hossa joins the Blackhawks and makes yet another Stanley Cup final next year… sheesh. He’s really setting a bad standard for UFA’s (from a fan and league perspective)… don’t commit to anything… just be a gun for hire.

GaVaHokie

June 5th, 2009
1:14 pm

Brendan… I don’t think you’re too off base with the Horcoff statement… it’s a perfect example of what Waddell said about “front loaded” contracts. I actually think Edmonton would like to see him moved to make room for a guy like Cammalleri, who they seem to have a lot of interest in.

Horcoff could be a player you could get by trading one of our 2nd round picks or maybe swapping first round picks and still stay in the Top 10.

re: Reasoner… I believe my sentiments last year on Reasoner was “a checking line Center to replace Holik with the same production, except at a Checking line Center salary”.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
1:45 pm

I think y’all are being just a little too dismissive of Marty’s contributions to this club. It’s not just about numbers as you both well know. There are many intangibles and Marty seems like a great guy to have in the “room”…just ask any of his former mates from EDM. He wasn’t the most popular player at the mall for nothing! ;-) Anyway, before we lump Marty into the same category as an aged Bobby Holik, who was quite dunderheaded at times and penalty prone, take in these tidbits from last season:

Career high in goals with 14 (only 15 mins of ice time per game)
Third on team in +/- with a +11 (on a team whose ES +/- was somewhere in the -13 range I think)
A solid contributor on the PK who gives up the body regularly
Team leader with 5 short-handed assists
Top 25 in FOW % with an avg of 52.8% won (players w/ more than 300 FO)
36 PIM…impressive for a 3rd C going vs better players most of the time
Voted Player’s Player Award by his teammates after only 1 yr with club

“In addition, first-year Thrasher Marty Reasoner has been named this year’s recipient of the Players’ Player Award. The award is voted on by the players and presented annually to the Thrasher who best exemplifies what being a “team player” is all about.”

I would say Marty is a bit more valuable at $1.25 – $1.75 M than y’all are saying. Obviously, if his replacement is even better should he walk, then that’s one thing. But chances are we will sorely miss Marty “the Party” Youngblood if he departs for greener pastures.

Dwayne

June 5th, 2009
1:56 pm

The braves were just plain ole wrong, maybe some of their fans will join us Thrasher fans.