Thrashers make qualifying offers

The Thrashers made qualifying offers to several restricted free agents on Monday.

The Thrashers made qualifying offers to restricted free agents Colby Armstrong, Jordan Lavallee, Scott Lehman, Kari Lehtonen, Grant Lewis, Jim Slater and Boris Valabik.

Offers were not made to Chris Thorburn and Dan Turple, meaning they will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

However, don’t look for Thorburn to go anywhere. I have indications that the team will continue active negotiations with Thorburn and expect to get a deal done.

53 comments Add your comment

FormerIslesFan

June 29th, 2009
2:18 pm

FormerIslesFan

June 29th, 2009
2:21 pm

Okay, (now that the “first” is out of the way), Chris has there been any logic explained to you regarding the Thor situation? Are they trying to get a deal done for lower than the RFA QO (possibly at a longer term?)

Sara

June 29th, 2009
2:24 pm

Chris – any expectations of having an interview and article up with Kane soon? (hint hint ;) )

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
2:43 pm

Is it possible to renegotiate a two-way deal with Thorburn, that allows him to go between Chicago and Atlanta? I don’t see why he’d accept that though.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
2:48 pm

I suppose what I’m getting at is, does a qualifying offer have to match the terms of the previous contract? In Thorburn’s case, an NHL only contract.

Meaning, if they didn’t “qualify” him, does that mean they are renegotiating the terms of his deal… not just terms of money, but also one-way and two-way options?

Chris Vivlamore

June 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

FIF, GaVaHokie: I don’t have any further details on the Thorburn contract talks. I’m working on that. It was just impressed upon me that the Thrashers really want to keep him and think that it will work out. Can’t make any promises, but I will say they said the same thing to me about Marty Reasoner.

Sara: More will be coming on Kane. He will be at the developmental camp in early July and I will be there. I plan on more with him and others, like Esposito, etc.

Thrasher_Ed

June 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

So they did not offer Joey Crabb, Mike Hoffman, Nathan Oystrick, or Clay Wilson either??
Joe Motzko also non-tendered RFA. It will be really interesting to watch and see what a difference Mr. Dudley will make on the Free Agent signings and possibly trades this week and next! I really like our draft this year. Hope springs eternal that our beloved Thrashers can improve and make the playoffs.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

It’s certainly interesting… strange that Thorburn is getting the special treatment, but they’re willing to dangle everyone else out on a line to see what “bites” they might get… even Armstrong.

Could it be they’re allowing the market to set the price?

kracker

June 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

I’m surprised Crabb didn’t get an offer.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
3:25 pm

Who was it that was talking about big Brian Boyle a few weeks ago on the boards here?

He got traded to the Rangers over the weekend.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283066

Barry

June 29th, 2009
3:55 pm

Not sure if others agree or not but I would be a bit disappointed if we do not keep Nathan Oystrick. Ya he had a couple of bad games but so did many of the other Thrashers player. Nathan really seemed to progress and step it up last season I thought. He definately looked like an improved player to me.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
4:08 pm

Hokie — That was me, and I made mention of it on Rawhide’s draft day blog. I was disappointed to see him go to New York for relatively nothing.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
4:10 pm

Barry — I was surprised and disappointed…from what I saw I’d rather Oystrick as the 7/8 defender than Lehman. However, perhaps HE didn’t want to come back because he’s a UFA.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
4:30 pm

Oystrick has earned the right to shop for a permanent position with a big club… just sucks he was such a late bloomer. One more season and he might have been a lock for our roster, but we have to upgrade, and sadly he’s pocket change right now… IMO.

I don’t think there’s anyway he brings Hainsey’s point production and he’s not seasoned enough to be the stay-at-home option for the 2nd line.

However, I’ll contradict myself, and say I think J. M. Liles could be a good target for Hainsey’s D-pairing since they played well together at the World’s… he’s by no means a stay-at-home guy either.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
4:32 pm

ranallo… you think Boyle has any weight on the Rangers options with Antropov?

Sara

June 29th, 2009
4:39 pm

ranallo I’d rather have Oystrick as the 5th/6th d-man ahead of Exelby. That kid made some amazing plays this season which is impressive particularly in the context of getting inconsistent ice time and becoming well acquainted with the furniture in the press box. He also was willing to bring the physical to his game. To me, he’s younger, faster, smarter, and cheaper than XLB.

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
4:43 pm

Sara… the PR and Marketing department would cry if we lost Exelby. ;)

GaVaHokie

June 29th, 2009
4:45 pm

Wow… it’s been awhile since I looked at Colorado’s salary situation… that team barely even exists after this season.

http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=COL&season=0910

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
4:52 pm

Sara — I agree, if I had to choose between the two I’d rather Oystrick than Exelby. But as Hokie mentioned there seem to be reasons beyond his play that keep him in Atlanta.

Hokie — In my opinion, no. Boyle is still stuck behind Gomez, Drury and Dubinsky when it comes to NHL level centers. I don’t believe he has the skill set to be a third or fourth line forward, and I have no confidence in his ability to move to either wing (he’s pretty slow). His skills seem similar to Antropov (big boy, soft hands), but I think Antropov is more skilled and more flexible (he can play the wing effectively).

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
4:53 pm

I was very happy to see Tucker suffer on that Colorado team. He’s a punk.

[...] to AJC (June 27, 2009): The Thrashers made qualifying offers to several restricted free agents on Monday. The Thrashers [...]

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
5:08 pm

On the next episode of “Pimp Your Blog”…

Sara

June 29th, 2009
6:16 pm

lol ranallo.

Let’s face it – it wouldn’t just be the marketing department that would cry if XLB left. He’s a huge fan favorite – and I like him for a lot of the same reasons. He’s funny and quirky and entertaining. His hats are legendary. I could be really lame and say he’s even good looking. Unfortunately, to me, none of that supercedes his ineffectiveness overall on the ice (though last year was at least better than the one before, primarily I think due to a more limited role on the third pairing later in the season).

After his contract expires next season, I think the argument will definitely be in play that to retain XLB on the roster would mean impeding one of our younger prospects who likely could contribute more. And that’s just ungood.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
6:49 pm

I’m sure Exelby could be a fine 3rd pairing defender on most NHL teams, unfortunately that requires a good linemate to pair with him…something Atlanta doesn’t have. Exelby, in my opinion, is like Andreas Lilja in that he’s a fine depth player but shouldn’t see more minutes than third pairing minutes, otherwise it’s an indictment to the lack of defensive depth on the team.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2009
7:11 pm

Hokie, Ranallo//the stars are aligning for the Thrashers to sign Antropov.

FYI/Jay McKee was released from St. Louis today. McKee has lost a step, but he’s a shot blocking machine. I wonder-he’s free today.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
7:31 pm

World Be Free — At $5M annually, I doubt it.

And just say no to McKee. $4M+ for a slow footed defender who got cut by a young playoff caliber team…not worth it in my opinion.

Sadtoseeitthisway

June 29th, 2009
7:41 pm

Why do the Thrash give up 5-6 goals a game? Soft defense. Our Dmen are soft anywhere close the net. We need Dmen who will crosscheck an opponent in the chops if they deserve it. Nick Havlid and Mathew Schneider are both departed. Hopefully they`re gone because of soft play and not just the “salary dump” that they also deserved. Looking pretty in yhe warm-up just doesn`t get it. Give me a Dman who takes 2-3 crosschecking, charging, highsticking penalties a game. That`s the kind of message I`d like to see.

Jameson

June 29th, 2009
7:44 pm

Re: Thorburn – I expect they’re handling his contract like they did Slater’s last deal, where we signed him as a UFA so we could get him cheaper than what the qualifying offer would’ve been.

hoff ?

June 29th, 2009
8:23 pm

any word on Hoffman ? He deserves a raise!

Barry

June 29th, 2009
8:36 pm

Until the forwards play a better defensive game all around the Thrashers will be leaving Kari and Moose out to dry many games. Our defense is good…but not good enough to do it all by themselves. Our forwards need to learn how to attack the player with the puck or cut him off. Also our forwards need to learn how to anticipate passing lanes and shut those down before the opposing team uses them. I’ve been watching some of last seasons games I had recorded and on many occasions there was a forward not having his guy covered. Of course also our PK just HAS to get better. It was our biggest weakness last season. This team isn’t going to the playoffs being last in the league on the PK.

Brendan

June 29th, 2009
8:46 pm

I am, well … STUNNED that Nathan Oystrick was not tendered a qualifying offer. Clay Wilson, Joe Motzko … not so much. Joey Crabb? Yes, I’m surprised he didn’t get a qualifying offer. He might still be signed as a free agent, though. Scott Lehman getting the nod, and Jordan LaVallee, did surprise me. I like LaVallee. I was happy to see it. For me, the biggest surprise is no offer to Oysterick. Maybe, I should revise my thoughts on how DW treats his players from his alma mater, Western Michigan.

JB

June 29th, 2009
8:54 pm

Brendan, Oyster is a Rule IV UFA; the Thrash didn’t have to tender him. That being said u see us acquiring a top 4 defenseman and using Exelby as the seventh defenseman. Oystrick is probably gone.

R. Stroz

June 29th, 2009
9:00 pm

Thrashers Restricted Free Agents Playing in Atlanta

Colby Armstrong – received Qualifying Offer
Kari Lehtonen – received Qualifying Offer
Jim Slater – received Qualifying Offer
Chris Thorburn – negotiating
Boris Valabik – received Qualifying Offer

Thrashers Restricted Free Agents Playing with the Wolves

Scott Lehman – received Qualifying Offer
Grant Lewis – received Qualifying Offer
Dan Turple – no offer made
Jordan Lavallee – received Qualifying Offer

Thrashers Unrestricted Free Agent Category VI

Joseph Crabb – no news
Nathan Oystrick – no news
Clay Wilson – no news

Thrasher Unrestricted Free Agents (Thrashers & Wolves Combined)

Eric Perrin – no news
Mike Hoffman – no news
Grant Stevenson – no news
Joe Motzko – no news

Toby

June 29th, 2009
9:07 pm

So…I loved the draft. We all know about Kane. Here is what the Red Line Report had to say about our next 2 picks…

Rated #44 (out of 300) Carl Klingberg: “All of our scouts who see him fall in love with this gritty battler despite his average hands. He plays a rugged, physical North American style and is absolutly relentless on the forecheck and in persuit of the puck”.

Rated #15 Jeremy Morin: “If not for Tavares, he’d be the most coveted pure sniper in this draft”

R. Stroz

June 29th, 2009
9:34 pm

World Be Free

June 29th, 2009
10:36 pm

Spacek is available to-Sabres letting him walk cause he won’t play for league minimum. Typical Buffalo.

Specek let Sabtes defensemen in scoring last year. He’s respinsbile in his own end. Probably would play for a 2 year deal.

Brendan

June 30th, 2009
8:38 am

JB, I forget that Oysterick isn’t an RFA a lot.

World Be Free – Spacek interest me. He’s not super young, but let’s see what his new contract price would be.

sisu

June 30th, 2009
9:22 am

Chris, no news on which free agents the team might go after? I sure hope that there are no grey bearded dmen on the radar…

Nikita

June 30th, 2009
9:30 am

Various & sundry:

Sara, you’re right. Exelby is a fan favorite — his hats, his Burgandy schtick, his massive hits. And I will add, as the wierdo who tangentially cares about the attractiveness of the squad that he’s decent looking (better looking in person, IMO — he’s fairly smart and charming). Obviously he’s a player favorite, as well, probably because he’s the team’s union rep. That said, I continue to want Ex gone because he’s simply not good enough for an upgraded Thrash squad. He made strides last year, dropping weight and improving his responsiveness, but his overall skills are still AHL-level at best.

I’m disappointed in the lack of an offer for Oystrick, or I should say the lack of an apparent offer. Oystrick did a great job last year. He’s not a highly-talented player, but he was generally steady and brought a nice physicality to his role.

Scott Lehman I don’t get. He played inconsistently, and choked at multiple levels. I think we have more talent coming up behind him.

That was the right decision on Turple.

Grant Lewis I’m extraordinarily fond of. He’s developing nicely. That said, I doubt he’ll ever play for the Thrashers because he excels as a stay-at-home defenseman, and that doesn’t fit the Anderson system.

I’m moderately thrilled with the draft. Kane is a great choice, who I think we’ll see make an impact relatively soon. Morin was also a good acquisition/

Spud Webb

June 30th, 2009
9:43 am

Barry, you’re correct that our wings sometimes don’t help, but dead wrong that our D was “good” or even close to it. We improved there, but it’s NO WHERE NEAR what it should be.
I’m shocked by Oystrick also, I don’t understand wtf DW is doing (we all can say that at various points)?????????????? As others have said, I’d take Nathan before X. I’ve never been a huge fan of X.

World, with all due respect, unless Spacek is willing to take a big pay cut, I don’t want him. He looked slow to me last year & just some silly, silly turnovers. I personally don’t think he has ever used his size as he should and now is 34-35? If we can get him on the cheap, let’s do it, otherwise, I’d pass. Same with Jay McKee, LOVED him in Buffalo, but has slowed down, again, if he’s willing to take a MAJOR cut in pay I wouldn’t mind having either around.

GaVaHokie

June 30th, 2009
9:57 am

I’d still like Alex Tanguay… here’s hoping the Habs sign the Sedin Twins and leave Tanguay in the cold.

I’d much rather throw $5 million at Tanguay then Antropov and be confident that I’d get consistent effort for my money.

GaVaHokie

June 30th, 2009
10:05 am

You can’t argue with Tanguay’s shooting percentages…

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=1605&hubname=nhl-canadiens

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8467338 … 15th in the League in Shooting %

Alan

June 30th, 2009
10:24 am

I’m disappointed in the lack of an offer for Oystrick, or I should say the lack of an apparent offer.

Oystrick is not RFA. He is UFA VI. We may be negotiating with him about a contract, but he was not given a QO because he doesn’t qualify for one. I hope we are in negotiations with him, hope that he signs, and hope we can find someone to flip Exelby to.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 30th, 2009
11:22 am

No offense intended toward Oystrick because I liked the little bit of him I saw, but he is not a player that I feel we should be worrying about due to him not being re-signed. Just like McCarthy or Popovic it’ll be unfortunate to see them move on, but the team will still be as good (or bad depending on how you look at it) with him gone as they were with him on the roster.

But as Alan said, he’s a UFA and could always be signed before or during the free agency period. I doubt it, but we’ll see. If I were in his position I’d want to test the UFA waters before agreeing to play more AHL time…I’d even ponder playing overseas.

Nikita

June 30th, 2009
11:42 am

Yeah, ranallo…I agree with you sorta. But not. Because I really think Oystrick brings more to the team than either Popovic (who was o.k., just never quite good enough to be a permanent part of the team) or Stevie Mac (freakin’ hideous sack o’…oh, I’m sorry, this is a family-friendly blog. His attitude sucked, his play sucked, he was apparently a broken man, and in his last season he looked like he went to the ice straight from a meth bust). Oystrick played most of the season, sat patiently when he didn’t, played minutes on all pairings, and in general was a steady, dependable presence. I think he should come back — I think he’s better than Ex, and a good, calming companion who can be a steady stand-in for the flashier others (Valentine, Bogo, Hainsey) when they’re flukey or injured. Also, though he’s an unspectacular puck-handler and skater, he’s passable in both regards and plays much smarter than Ex or Val — his positioning is good, and as we all know it’s hard to teach/develop. Also, he was better than average on the PK. I know he’s not a RFA, but I’d like to see some indication that they plan to keep him. At least till camp.

Oh, forgot to mention..,I’m a little dissappointed regarding Crabbycakes. I think he’s a good asset, though of course we need room and I’d suspect we have some fresh assets ready to bring up.

Nikita

June 30th, 2009
11:46 am

Additional unsolicited comments:

Oystrick’s not a bad fighter, either. Also, skipping ahead a little, I can’t wait for camp.

And, thinking about that Top 10 list…Cammaleri would be awesome. I know we’re not in line for either Alex Kovalev or Robert Lang, but I can’t imagine anyone putting a lot of scratch into Lang. Too old, too flukey. Kovalev is pretty healthy and dependable, but also older.

World Be Free

June 30th, 2009
12:12 pm

Brendan, Spud, Spacek is what we may end up with at a discounted price. He would be a good 1-2 year stop gap. I agree on McKee-we don’t need any more slow D-men.

Hokie-I am starting lean your way on Tanguay. I think he would be a great compliment for Kovy, as would Antropov. Sounds like Antropov is looking for the money.

I liked Oystrick too. Hope they can find a way to keep him around.

GaVaHokie

June 30th, 2009
12:47 pm

Oduya is off the market… re-uped with the Devils.

Jarndyce

June 30th, 2009
1:02 pm

Where to begin?

1) The moment DW signs Spacek is the moment the Uwe Krupp comments begin.

2) Cammelari? Yes, please.

3) Tanguay? Maybe, but frankly, that money could be better spent elsewhere.

4) Exelby? Servicable for the moment, but hopefully the tide will be rising around him.

5) Oystrick? Sure, for cheap. Not qualifying in no way signals anything about the teams desire to re-sign him. The RFA qualifying offer doesn’t apply, and free agency doesn’t begin until tomorrow…

6)Lang? No thank you.

7)Kovalev? I want players who want to play. That apparently doesn’t include Alexi.

8) Other UFAs not mentioned:

I’d take a shot at Martin Havlat. If he’s healthy, he’s one of the top scorers in the league.

The other Marian (Gaborik).

Brian Gionta.

John Madden.

Mikael Samuelsson

Jarndyce

June 30th, 2009
1:03 pm

I did not put that smiley in there!!! That’s an eight, you idiot computer!