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 5th, 2009
1:58 pm

Smoothie… I agree… and I would challenge Reasoner to repeat those numbers, as we did with Perrin last summer.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
3:04 pm

Interesting…we don’t agree on the Glavine thing (in principle) either. He’s old, injured, and blocking the way on the 40 man roster for younger talent to shine. Sure, it’s not the nice way to conduct business when you surprisingly cut a future HOFer (how I would want it done differently), but it’s a business.

As for Reasoner, I’m allowing for gray area by saying it’s not likely they have a contract hammered out and are simply waiting for X day to come by and they’ll sign the paper. That makes no sense to me, logically. From the perspective of an agent, you get your player locked up as quickly as you’re happy with the contract. From a player point of view, you get yourself the GUARANTEED MONEY as quickly as possible and leave nothing to chance or changed minds. From a GMs perspective you remove one distraction so you can focus on the more difficult things on your agenda (such as prospect interviews, RFA negotiations, etc).

Sure, they’re probably talking often, but the lack of announcement is not “them waiting for the right time to announce it”, but rather it’s them having not come to any terms on a contract. There are plenty of factors, especially taking into consideration that not many pending UFAs have been signed by there respective teams. So, in my opinion they (Waddell) will announce it when it’s completed…I don’t believe for a second they’ll wait for the playoffs to conclude “because it’s better from a PR perspective”.

Smoothie

June 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

“Interesting…we don’t agree on the Glavine thing (in principle) either. He’s old, injured, and blocking the way on the 40 man roster for younger talent to shine. Sure, it’s not the nice way to conduct business when you surprisingly cut a future HOFer (how I would want it done differently), but it’s a business.”

They knew he was old and injured when they re-signed him. A business decision for sure, but a PR disaster and that is obvious. Frank Wren never should have signed him and certainly never promised him a spot on the roster (if true) if he had such reservations. There was plenty of depth to draw upon in the org and he could have come to this realization over the winter. Just like you say present actions of GM’s can impact future decisions of potential free-agents, this is a very poor way of handling a situation involving a soon-to-retire HOF. There were a lot of fans put off by the way Smoltz was treated (whether he whined or not) and there is no doubt a lot of fans who will view this in a negative light. Why chance it at all? Honor your word or don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

As for the Reasoner situation, your arguments seem very black and white to me so I don’t know how you’re allowing for gray area. But anyway, I respectfully disagree about the urgency to get guaranteed money as quickly as possible when your client is STILL UNDER CONTRACT. But it does make sense to me that an agent would persuade a player to wait until FA begins before signing a deal in order to drive up the price from other suitors. If that’s what you mean, then you just have a different way of saying the same thing.

However, if a deal were already hammered out in principle, it’s not as though the delaying of the announcement of said agreement is going to matter to the player when he already knows what he has either agreed to or signed. You don’t know if Reasoner has signed or not. It’s probably unlikely, but since the team never discloses monetary particulars of contracts, how can we be certain of anything w/r/t the process by which a contract comes together?

It doesn’t matter really. I believe Marty will re-sign here and I would not be surprised if he and Don have a gentlemen’s agreement already. Perhaps Marty’s agent is just another arrogant jerk who over-values his client to make more money off commission. But seeing as how the market for 3rd line C isn’t exactly super lucrative, I don’t see DWad insulting him with a low-ball offer. But that’s just my opinion.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 5th, 2009
4:22 pm

Here’s my last lines for baseball before we focus back on hockey…Glavine, though a great Braves player in his time, shouldn’t have been re-signed. Smoltz, though a great player, chose money over Atlanta (where he could’ve had more had he actually been healthy) in what should probably be his final season. Let go of the past, move on with the future. I appreciate what both did for the Braves, but I’m not stuck to them as a fan just for posterity’s sake. The move was tactless, sure, but it’s for the better of the organization. Admitting to his mistake (by releasing Glavine) is wiser than holding onto the player for the entire year, paying a large amount in salary, for a pitcher who is only getting older and more injured and is blocking the 24th best prospect in the MLB.

Regarding Reasoner, this entire conversation started from a theoretical statement which I fundamentally don’t agree with. Contracts are announced relatively soon after they are signed, not weeks afterwards just because of PR exposure. If there is a dollar amount agreed upon and a length of contract agreed upon, then the contract basics have been hammered out and should be signed immediately. It serves absolutely no purpose to do the leg work of contract negotiations just to say “okay, thanks for that, we’ll talk to you in a month and get you to sign this contract we agreed upon today”. That seems so silly to me.

The area we know nothing about you are making assumptions about. I prefer to look at it and take this lack of information at face value…not look deep into it to see what could possibly be going on behind closed doors and drawn shades. To me, nothing is agreed upon beyond “we’re interested in re-signing and will talk specifics when we both have time”.

And as I said before — I wont be heartbroken woe-is-me if Reasoner isn’t re-signed, nor will I be jumping for joy if/when he is. Thus I don’t see the point in speculating about why he hasn’t been signed or his contract hasn’t been announced.

But hey, we can agree to disagree, they’re just opinions.

World be Free

June 5th, 2009
4:50 pm

Smoothie-Frank Wren is a bird brain-he’s no John Schurholtz.

Brenden-you can treat some players like players, but you can’t treat a hall of famer like they way they did Glavine. Other players, potential UFA’s see it. We often question the Thrashers’ organization here; now is time to question the Braves too. There are similarities.

World be Free

June 5th, 2009
4:57 pm

Hossa to Chicago-I think the Hawks are concerned over what Havlat’s agent may ask for, knowing Havlat can make more on the open market. This will be Havlat’s last shot at a big, long term contract and some fool will be willing to pay. If Marty walks, Hossa may be enticed to go to Chicago on a 1-2 deal.

Personally, I think he will end up on Montreal. He played for Martin in Ottawa, they have cap room and Habs fans are looking for changes. LA is nowhere close to being a contender, Vancouver has a number of UFAs they need to deal with in the coming weeks. Edmonton is not a preferred destination for UFAs, even with Pat Quinn and Tom Renney on board.

And don’t get me going on Smoltz-the friggin’ crybaby!

LAC

June 5th, 2009
5:07 pm

I am surprised at so many on here wanting to resign the same deadwood we have had the past few seasons.

GOD forbid if Jim Slater returns, WHY ? What has HE ever done, he will NEVER get better, let him go.

This Salmela was non impressive, another CHEAP player who will do NOTHING to assist us in climbing out of this waddell hole we are stuck in.

Lastly waddell “working” he has no concept of the word, if he did work
and knew what hewas doing, then we would not be in the shape we are in now.

Where is that TOP LINEcenter this summer don ? Three years now since YOU promised one and NOTHING, I am so tired of his lies it’s just awful to watch a man do nothing !

Alan

June 5th, 2009
5:31 pm

What has HE ever done, he will NEVER get better, let him go.

LAC, Please pick up the white courtesy phone. Daniel Cleary is holding for you.

Slater is good for the role he’s playing. As a fourth liner, his primary objective is not scoring. As a first rounder, you and I both expected more, and rightfully so. But he has a role and he’s filling it adequately.

This Salmela was non impressive, another CHEAP player who will do NOTHING to assist us in climbing out of this waddell hole we are stuck in.

Salmela is a player who just came over from Finland last year. It takes time to adjust to North American ice. A two year extension (which is what the Finnish source reported a couple weeks ago) is enough time to give him a chance to succeed on the third pairing.

Obviously, we have differing opinions. But do try to see things from all sides, and try to look at reasonable expectations. After all, you don’t hire a tier one technician to write database software.

Brendan

June 5th, 2009
5:32 pm

World be Free, I don’t remember saying anything about Glavine. I know he’s a hockey fan who comes out to Thrashers game. I always liked the guy. From a business perspective, it makes sense to release him, if he cannot play at the MLB level anymore. I also understand the negative fan reaction. Why make him jump through all those hoops and hurdles, not to even give the guy ‘a shot’ at making it? I’d say, if you make him jump through the hoops and hurdles, then commit the $1 million to him and permit him to pitch ONE GAME for evaluation purposes. Under that scenario, you’re only out the $1 million if you cut him, and you were ‘fair’ to Glavine in the process. If Glavine comes through his ‘tryout game’ with flying colors, then you got yourself a player fairly cheaply. What was Glavine going to make, anyways? $5 million, tops, if he stayed the whole season? And again, he’d only stay if he were truly performing at the MLB level. If not, Glavine is one and done and the negative P.R. is diminished.

Like Ranallo says, “it’s a business.” There’s very little place for NOSTALGIA in business. Getting back to hockey, imagine if the Thrashers had signed Ray Ferraro to some 6-year deal, right from the Inaugural season? Everyone liked Ray, but he wasn’t a ’spring chicken’ anymore by the time he became a Thrasher. They couldn’t build the team around him, longterm. I was surprised, slightly, that he re-signed with Atlanta before retiring. I think, but don’t quote me, Waddell traded him to St. Louis to give Ferraro one last chance at winning a Cup/making the playoffs. I honestly have no recollection of what Atlanta received in that deal with the Blues. But I’d wager is wasn’t a 1st and 3rd that draft year, plus a 2nd rounder the next year, and a 3rd line center.

But you’re absolutely right, WBF, it’s not just the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, that should undergo such fan scrutiny. I think the Braves payroll is something like $96 million. I don’t honestly know what the ‘average’ MLB payroll is. But I’m guessing that the Braves are ABOVE the league average with that payroll. Are they spending $200+ million to go compete with the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees? Obviously not. But I thought the Braves were still rebuilding. It appears, now, with their recent trade for Nate, in the outfield, that they have every intention of making the playoffs this year. I wish the Braves all the luck in the world. If they make it in, but the fans of Atlanta FAIL to sellout Turner Field, I’d find that VERY DISAPPOINTING for our city. The Braves are clearly TRYING. So, if they succeed, the baseball fans shouldn’t be watching the games from home. They should attend.

I would say Atlanta had ‘bad hockey fan support’ if the Thrashers were some perennial playoff team, built intelligently, with a “window of opportunity,” but fans stayed away. I seriously doubt that would happen. Perhaps it’s true that only one-percent (1%) of Atlanta’s population could be considered, ‘die-hard,’ but that’s still 50,000 fans. There’s no way that an 18,545 arena wouldn’t sellout.

Braves are 11th in the league in PR

June 5th, 2009
7:11 pm

Average
1. New York Yankees $201,449,289 $7,748,050
2. New York Mets $135,773,988 $4,849,071
3. Chicago Cubs $135,050,000 $5,402,000
4. Boston Red Sox $122,696,000 $4,089,867
5. Detroit Tigers $115,085,145 $4,110,184
6. Los Angeles Angels $113,709,000 $4,061,036
7. Philadelphia Phillies $113,004,048 $4,185,335
8. Houston Astros $102,996,415 $3,814,682
9. Los Angeles Dodgers $100,458,101 $4,018,324
10. Seattle Mariners $98,904,167 $3,532,292
11. Atlanta Braves $96,726,167 $3,335,385
12. Chicago White Sox $96,068,500 $3,694,942
13. St. Louis Cardinals $88,528,411 $3,278,830
14. San Francisco Giants $82,161,450 $3,043,017
15. Cleveland Indians $81,625,567 $3,023,169
16. Toronto Blue Jays $80,993,657 $2,892,631
17. Milwaukee Brewers $79,857,502 $3,194,300
18. Colorado Rockies $75,201,000 $2,785,222
19. Arizona Diamondbacks $73,571,667 $2,724,877
20. Cincinnati Reds $70,968,500 $2,957,021
21. Kansas City Royals $70,908,333 $2,727,244
22. Texas Rangers $68,646,023 $2,367,104
23. Baltimore Orioles $67,101,667 $2,580,833
24. Minnesota Twins $65,299,267 $2,251,699
25. Tampa Bay Rays $63,313,035 $2,183,208
26. Oakland Athletics $62,310,000 $2,225,357
27. Nationals $59,328,000 $2,045,793
28. Pirates $48,743,000 $1,874,731
29. San Diego Padres $42,796,700 $1,528,454
30. Florida Marlins $36,814,000 $1,314,786

World Be Free

June 5th, 2009
11:11 pm

Brendan-you missed the point.

This has nothing to do with nostalgia-he’s a HOF player, a 300 game winner and a player that deserved better. Just like Carleton Fisk derserved better in Chicago. He’s not blocking the way for another player, he’s one of the reasons why the Braves were so successful over the last 15-18 seasons, even when he was away. UFA’s don’t forget this stuff.

Why sign the guy when you were never committed to having him at the major league level?

Enough baseball, back to hockey.

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 5th, 2009
11:40 pm

There’s really no free agent centers out this year. Koivu and Antropov are the only 2 that may be worth an investment. “The Real Deal” Kane is the best option.

Anyone know where Angelao Esposito is at in his rehabilitation?

Jimbo

June 6th, 2009
9:12 am

Brendan- Petr Buzek. A nightmare from the past. He was supposed to be a mobile, gritty defenseman. He came with a history of leg injuries and shied away from contact and wasn’t that mobile. When I see Salmela, I think of Weaver darting around and hitting people despite his small size. He was excitement and Salmela appears to be in the same mold only a little bigger.

Alan

June 6th, 2009
10:55 am

Ogie, last I saw, Esposito isn’t going to be in a position to do anything at least until camp starts. In a recent interview with him, though, Esposito said he intends on making the team.

If nothing else, at least he’s determined.

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 6th, 2009
11:05 am

Thanks Alan-tough setback for a kid that looked like he might contribute significantly this year. Let’s see…..

Tony C.

June 6th, 2009
1:36 pm

I really like Salmela’s game… I recall one shift where carried the puck up ice and then (it seemed like), just for the fun of it , skated around everyone on the opposing team (my memory wants to say it was the Sens)-using his body to protect the puck when his skating couldn’t get the seperation… He’s a good skater, but the way he held onto the puck and kept circling while the line change brought out more O-ffensive type players was really impressive to me. I won’t be too surprised if he has a breakout season next year if given the TOI.

That being said, I’d still like to see us sign Ohlund.

Pairings could be:
Ohlund/Enstrom
Hainsey/Bogosian
Salmela/X/Valabik

and make damn sure that play on the ice is the main factor in deciding TOI-we’ve got about 4 guys that I see as 2nd-pair at best type talent-so there should be plenty of competition for TOI.

Tox

June 6th, 2009
3:11 pm

Hey LAC, if you did some “work” you’d see that Todd White was #14 in the NHL for pts. by a centerman above some very well known names. You’d also see that Peverley was a PPG centerman for us. But yeah, let’s go ahead and trade for Gomez or Marleau. That’ll fix everything. Right.

Smoothie

June 6th, 2009
3:14 pm

I agree Tony. I remember being impressed by salmy’s puck moving aplomb during that game as well. In fact, he is already better than hainsey in that regard. I think Ron will step it up next year if we can get him a gritty stay at home guy like a brad stuart or nick boynton even. However, competition for D-men wii be fierce in FA. But I would rather we spend our money to get a top line guy (ohlund is one of the few older guys I would endorse) so Bogey can enjoy a less difficult road in only his 2nd year. I think Ronsey would luv that too.

Tony C.

June 6th, 2009
5:19 pm

Would you put Z-Bo out with Hainsey? or keep him with Enstrom??? I agree that Hainsey seems to need a grittier type of partner, but damn he seems big enough to be more physical than he’s shown…of course that was the book on Hainsey when we got him. I still believe it’s a good signing. I won’t blame guys who grew disgusted with the whole situation while some guys just plain out stopped trying. However, I hope that his demotion to the 2nd PP unit served notice that not going at it flat-out is just as bad as not trying at all for this young club.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 6th, 2009
5:46 pm

Would you put Z-Bo out with Hainsey?

To me it depends on Enstrom’s partner. If Ohlund was drugged into signing with Atlanta I would pair the team the same way you did, Bogosian with Hainsey. Watching him during the World Cup (i.e., with better defensive partners) I saw him as a calming defensive presence who is pesky along the boards and was doing everything conceivable to keep the puck away from Esche. I think his style is not that of a big man, and he would benefit well with another two-way defender who has a penchant for the physical side of things. Thus, I would assume Hainsey and Bogosian could benefit playing alongside eachother…Bogosian because Hainsey can keep up but hold his own defensively; Hainsey because Bogosian is physical but can also transition with the puck. Likewise Ohlund with Enstrom makes a lot of sense to me too, especially because of the language similarity.

If a top pairing defender is not brought in, I would keep Enstrom and Bogosian together and allow them to build more chemistry as a true defensive pairing. It would be interesting to see two quality defenders drafted by Atlanta playing for several years alongside each other, and see if they can shine doing it.

I’m curious what will be happening with Oystrick. He played well enough to be a 7th defender (for this team I guess that’s not saying much), but I think he’s lost in the underwhelming depth chart. Valabik too will be punished due to the depth, and I fear he will never develop (much like Coburn) because players like Salmella or Exelby are definitely blocking his growth through playing (steady minutes, not 10 minutes per game).

Finally that brings me to prospects like Kulda and Postma…will they have a fair shot at getting time in the NHL, or will others like Lewis or Lehman continue to get the call in place of them?

Smoothie

June 6th, 2009
5:57 pm

That’s a tough one Tony, I’m not sure which way to go because I really like the chemistry Bogey and Tobbe showed at the end of the season. But the more pragmatic side of me realizes that a) Zach is still young and the pressue of playing top pairing minutes could take its toll by the All-Star Break and b) Tobbe is undersized and Zach may not be developed enough to “protect” him for the course of a full season.

Plus, throw in the fact that they both do many of the same things well, I would think that the ideal situation would be to find a bigger, more physical D-man (a la Ohlund) who can also move the puck efficiently to play with our tiny Tobbe. Also, Tobbe may have a slow start in light of his serious facial injury suffered in the WC. I also like Hainsey with Z-Bo because it allows Zach to play the role of “enforcer” while Hainsey plays his brand of positional, use your reach style of D.

You mentioned special teams and I think you’re right about Ron getting the message that anything less than 100% effort will not cut it. However, we will never know if he was banged up and less effective because of it. He showed a lot of grit and determination to play with a bum hand after getting torched by a slapshot in one of those home games in March (vs WSH on the 16th?). Personally, I really like Bogey on the left point as opposed to Kovy because I think the puck movement is better without IVK camping out at the blueline.

But again, it’s asking a lot of a 19/20 y/o to play 24+ mins with 6-8 mins of PP time on the 1st unit. Enstrom is great on the right point and better with Kovy than Hainsey. So I’m fine with a 1st unit of Kovy and Tobbe and a 2nd unit of Z-Bo and Ronsey for the PP. However, I would like to see JA mix it up by using a fivesome of Z-Bo and Tobbe, Kovy down lower on the left circle, Kozzy on the right circle and Little roaming around and in front of the net. Kovy is a great option to use as a swooping, darting backdoor option on the shoot to pass play from Tobbe on the right point. And Z-Bo’s booming point shot on the other side will keep team’s honest so they can’t sag down low too much.

Biggest question is: who is the best type of D-man to go after? An Ohlund or Oduya type who can play with Enstrom so Bogey can join up with Hainsey? Or a more defensive minded guy like a Matt Walker, Seidenberg, Beauchemin or even Scuderi who can play with Hainsey and allow him to handle the majority of puck-moving duties?

always left out

June 7th, 2009
8:23 am

Tox, they will not answer you. It’s a private club.

Jameson

June 7th, 2009
2:34 pm

Brendan- Just for the record, we got Carolina’s 4th round pick for Ferraro with which we selected Lane Manson who at the peak of his career as a Thrasher’s prospect was two seasons as a Gwinnett Gladiator.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 7th, 2009
6:13 pm

Didn’t Manson change sports?

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

It would be interesting to see what Manson’s Combine scores were… he was a beast… they knew he needed help on his skating, and was worth the risk due to his size… having never seen him play in Gwinnett, I would guess his skating never improved.

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2009
7:15 pm

Jameson… I thought we traded Ferraro to St. Louis (without looking)?

Brendan

June 7th, 2009
11:34 pm

Good to know, Jameson. My “quick peek” tells me Ray Ferraro retired in 2002, last with the St. Louis Blues.

I never would have guessed that the Braves were so close to the L.A. Dodgers in payroll.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

June 8th, 2009
7:56 am

How come when a player bolts for another team, the old it’s a business BS surfaces, but when the team dumps the players arse, it’s all supposed to be about loyalty, little league, and all that BS?

Ogie Ogelthorpe

June 8th, 2009
9:37 am

The loyality on both sides is based on the all mighty dollar. Everything else is just a bunch of B-S.

12345

June 8th, 2009
9:54 am

Salmella signing…. NOT very impressive, more cheap by Atlanta for a guy who will do nothing.

Don W.

June 8th, 2009
10:13 am

12345, true it wasn’t, but we are headed in the right direction.

ASG and Don Waddell

June 8th, 2009
11:29 am

As long as Braves managemnt signs players like Kensheet Kowahockey for 3 years/28 million, and release a better player who could only make, at most 3.5 million. We can’t be the dumbest people in Atlanta anymore!!!!

World be Free

June 8th, 2009
12:02 pm

Salmella is a good 5th or 6th defenseman. This is minor news during a preiod when there’s very little news outside the Finals.

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
12:13 pm

I do think the Glavine situation was “mishandled.” It’s my view that the Braves organization either (1) re-signs Glavine and honors the deal or (2) let’s Glavine know, without making him jump through hoops and hurdles, with promises of playing time, that they’re not interested, or, at a minimum, NOT COMMITTED to his return. But that Glavine is free to pursue options with another team, if he chooses not to retire, with no hard feelings. If Glavine is sitting there, thinking, “You OWE ME one last, final contract, whether I can help your team or not,” … then I just don’t know what to say about that. “Entitlements” are a slippery slope.

Now, I don’t know the whole story. But from what I can gather, Glavine was led to believe that if he had these medial procedures and rehabbed successfully, that his signed contract would be honored for a minimum of $1 million and 1 start. And that if he remained on the team for 30 days, the salary would effectively double. Etc. It probably would have been better to let Glavine pitch himself out of a job, than to deny him the opportunity. That’s how I see it. I’m sure others see it differently. They’d argue that Glavine’s $1 million, guaranteed, went into Nate’s contract, for the betterment of the team. My question is, “Why sign Glavine if you don’t want him to return?” Why couldn’t the Braves have said, “Do whatever you want. Retire. Have surgery. Rehab. Try a comeback. We’ll give you a ‘tryout,’ but we’re sure not committed to a contract unless we’re satisfied that you really can return.” So long as Glavine knows all that, crystal clear, I think that’s fair. Do the Bravews OWE Tom Glavine a contract?, out of “loyalty?” Don’t answer yet.

Let’s say Jeff Odgers phones up the Thrashers and says, “I want to try out for next season. I’m unretiring. And I talked Ray Ferraro into returning, too.” What should the Thrashers do? (1) Lock ‘em up? Tell them, (2) “We’re not interested.” Or (3) “Sure, you can tryout. But, we’re probably going to cut you.”

World be Free

June 8th, 2009
12:14 pm

I noted a few weeks ago that cap-stressed teams will start looking to dump salary in an effort to sign all their players. The rumors are flying in Boston that they will need to dump 1 0r 2 of the following players–Marc Savard, Michael Ryder, Patrice Bergeron or Marco Sturm to free up enough money to sign all their young RFAs and UFAs. Get a good player under contract in advance of the draft, instead of overpaying on July 1.

Bergeron has an injury history, but he’s a great 2 way player and he’s still young.

All the teams that want Bouwmeester (except Montreal) will have to dump salary to get him. Good players falling into our hands for a reasonable cost (no need to overpay).

Ogie Ogelthorpe

June 8th, 2009
12:18 pm

I am concerned at what other potential free agents think of atlanta after the way the Braves handled the Smoltz and Glavine situations. I think this has been stated before; the real problems may lie ahead for the Braves.

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
12:36 pm

I think Marc Savard has only a year left on his $5 million-per-year deal. It’d be something to finagle his return, but at what cost? Pick #4 in the draft reflects a player whose rights Atlanta would potentially hold for 8 years. Bergeron is high risk/high reward. How enthusiastic are Thrashers fans about signing injury-plagued players, given our history? I haven’t heard rumors out of Boston yet, regarding Savard. He is “eligible” for a PROACTIVE contract renewal on July 1st. Will Boston give him one? Will they wait until Christmas to re-sign him? Will they move him at the 2010 trade deadline? Will they hang on to him, and hope to re-sign him in the offseason, before he hits the open market once again? My guess is … they’ll re-sign him in the offseason, opting not to let his contract be a source of distraction for their 2009-10 season.

The Sabres locked up Tim Connolly, for something like $4.0-4.5 million a year. I was a bit stunned by that signing. But I understand what Buffalo was doing. They think they’ve got a very good player, who is still young (27-28), and they didn’t want to lose him. I think Tim Connolly’s deal is a 2-year one. Time will tell if Buffalo did the right thing, or if they could have spent that money elsewhere. But if Buffalo is having any buyer’s remorse, they could shop Connolly. But what team is desperate for a quality Center, but is willing to overlook a history of concussions, at $4.5 million-per-year. Gulp. Isn’t it us? Relax. Connolly’s not going anywhere, in my opinion. The point is … I wouldn’t want this kind of deal.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
12:37 pm

WBF… I was just about to post a similar article.

http://spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85:nhl-rumors-monday-june-8-2009&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

I seriously wonder what consideration could be made for bringing Savard back… it would go over well with fans, he had success here, we know he can play with Kovalchuk… he didn’t WANT to leave at the time… money dictated it.

Let Boston keep it’s younger players like Kessel and Krejci, and next year, Lucic.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
12:49 pm

Upon further review… there are only two Centers in the league that match Waddell’s statements of “guys with front-loaded contracts moving into their lower salary years”… that’s Scott Gomez and Daniel Briere.

dwayne

June 8th, 2009
1:11 pm

Brendan, It was mishandled. If the Braves didn’t want Tom Glavine, they should not of signed him. They were trying to ease the fans ire from the John Smoltz botch job. Yeah, everyone knows Smotltz is still on the shelf. But they were banking on Glavine’s shoulder breaking down again too. Even Shurholz knows they done him wrong. Odgers or Ferraro compared to Glavine…a sure Hall of Famer?

World be Free

June 8th, 2009
1:14 pm

Hokie-I have been reading Sector for a long time. He is consistently closest to the mark.

Brendan-I have alotta history with Connolly, being both a Sabres and Thrashers fan. He received 2 years, 4.5M/per. You have to remember, he was pretty injury-free for the first 6-7 years of his career. Then the head shots (like Bergeron) and the uncertainty. They resigned him because he’s a playmaker, something the Thrashers could use. Savard kinda bounced around for a few years, then turned his game up when he played here and now with Boston.

Injuries are going to happen; you just don’t know when a player is going to take a hit that lingers. I thought Bergeron was going to be a really good player for a long time. Sometimes you have a take a gamble. One thing I can tell you, he’s a winner, a hard working character player. You never have too many guys like him.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
1:21 pm

Gomez is owed $8M this year and next, drops to $7.5M in two years time (2011/2012). I would say he’s not in the price range of the Thrashers because his front loaded contract doesn’t show positively for cash strapped teams until the 2012/2013 season (he’s then owed $5.5M with a cap hit of $7.357M).

I seriously doubt Savard will come back to Atlanta voluntarily or involuntarily. I’d like to be proven wrong, but I doubt it will happen.

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
1:29 pm

Dwayne, I was at a total loss for a future HOFer, retired from the Thrashers, so I defaulted to some historically beloved Thrashers.

I feel for Frank Wren. He’s trying to take over for Schuerholtz. That’s a tough act to follow. This is, allegedly, Bobby Cox’s last season as skipper. Eventually, he’ll have to be replaced. Will they find someone within the same ideology? Or will they branch out in an entirely different direction? Allright, enough Braves talk. I’ll end by saying that I sincerely hope the Braves do make the playoffs, and sellout any and all home games once there.

I remember it. What? The “talk.” What talk? “Oh yeah. The Braves are great. But I won’t go see ‘em until they make the World Series. Then I’ll buy my tickets.” Circa 1996. The results were … that games didn’t sellout. Or were attended by fans from the opposing team. I don’t think that will happen in hockey. Hockey’s different. Once the Thrashers get good, they’ll be solidly attended by hockey fans. People won’t say, “Well, I’m waiting ’til at LEAST the Conference Finals before I start attending Thrashers games.”

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
1:33 pm

Hokie/Ranallo/Anyone Else: What do you think of (Edmonton’s) Shawn Horcoff’s deal? He’s a Center slated to make $7 million next year, then $6.5 in 2011 and 2012, then $6.5 million in 2013. He’s still in his 20’s, I believe. Is that someone you think, based on finances and comments made by GM Waddell, that the Thrashers should target?

World be Free

June 8th, 2009
1:45 pm

Way too much for Horcoff. He doesn’t make the players around him, even Hemsky much better.

Edmonton is getting to the point that they have to overpay to keep their teams intact. Horcoff is a good example.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
1:51 pm

Brendan… if you go back to my comments on June 5th above, I replied to your Horcoff statements. His salary is good, but it’s the first year of an extended contract… not sure if Edmonton would trade him after extending him.

Edmonton has interest in guys like Hossa, Cammalleri and Bouwmeester… so it would all depend on how much consideration they got from those guys wither they would trade Horcoff or not. Until then, I’m not sure Edmonton wants to trade him.

The “blue” highlight means an extension.

http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=EDM&season=0809

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
1:51 pm

I consider him overpaid for a second line center. This past season Horcoff scored 20 points fewer than Todd White, and two points more than Bryan Little. Horcoff’s career best points is from 4 years ago, where he tallied 73 (the year Edmonton made the Stanley Cup finals).

On the positive side he’s got a better faceoff percentage than every Thrasher forward (which is suprising considering both Slater and Reasoner are decent faceoff takers).

In conclusion, he’s not worth the soon-to-be-exploding salary he’s making, in my opinion.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
1:55 pm

Horcoff is an example of a front-loaded contract, but that “front-loaded” part hasn’t kicked in yet… his new, front-loaded, contract starts this coming season.

ranallo… Gomez is still cheaper than Briere in long-term numbers… are we seriously looking at Briere? I sure hope not.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
2:01 pm

Scott Hartnell, Ryan Smyth, and Jason Blake are the only Wingers that fit the “front-loaded” description.

Thrashers27

June 8th, 2009
2:07 pm

According to Atlantathrashers.com Reasoner has been re-signed!!! Two year deal.