Slater accepts qualifying offer

This just in: Jim Slater has re-signed with the Thrashers. He accepted his one-year qualifying offer.

Wanted you to know first. I should be talking to Slater later this afternoon, so this time I really can come back and update the blog.

Update: Just got off the phone with Slater. Hopefully, the complete story will be online soon. Obviously, he’s pretty happy to be back. I think he knows his role, although he said he could score more. He’s willing to do whatever the team needs.

He likes the Thrashers’ off-season moves, but was sad to see his friend Garnet Exelby go. “To get a good player, you have to give up a good player,” Slater said.

We joked a little bit if he would take over XLB’s role as a physical presence.

One of the other things we talked about was last year’s finish. Nearly everyone of talked to so far is really encouraged by the 12-6 end to the season. I’ve asked a couple people if the team really had gotten the new system by the end of the year or could it have been just a hot streak. They all, including Slater, said it took the team awhile to learn – and buy into – the system.

48 comments Add your comment

MashaPlayer7

July 8th, 2009
3:32 pm

Get ready for the onslaught of Slater haters! I don’t know why–he’s a good 4th line guy, speedy and can win some face-offs. Maybe not 1st rd pick material, but a serviceable 4th – maybe 3rd- liner.

Brendan

July 8th, 2009
3:39 pm

Well, if you’re worried about how Slater’s salary affects next year’s cap, a one-year deal is certainly a way to remove that obstacle from next year’s cap hit. Same concept in mind, I wouldn’t have minded Saku Koivu signing a 1-year, $3.25 million deal. I don’t mind Slater as a 4th line Center. A Michigan State guy, he’ll reminisce about his CCHA days with newly signed NORTHERN Michigan player, Nathan Oystrick. But more important than ANYTHING you can name, is that Oystrick didn’t play in Kalamazoo. And, as a result, avoids awful ryhmes.

kracker

July 8th, 2009
3:52 pm

DW checks another thing on the off-season to-do list.

Buzilla in CT

July 8th, 2009
4:07 pm

what did we pay him? We should pay him by the goal. $100,000 per goal.

Duder

July 8th, 2009
4:13 pm

Slates performed well last year before the injury. I predict a career-best year for him. Like 10 goals and 12 assists or something

BAF

July 8th, 2009
4:38 pm

Slater is a disappointment as a #1 pick. But he plays his role very well and I don’t think we could have a better 4th line center at his price. He had an excellent year last year and I would not be surprised if he registers 10-15 goals and 20-25 assists this year. Glad he is on board.

A27

July 8th, 2009
4:40 pm

Brendan I still can’t believe you said WESTERN Michigan. God get your facts straight. Sheezus!!

Vitamin Z

July 8th, 2009
4:40 pm

Buzzila, that would be below the minimum salary allowed by the NHL.

Randy

July 8th, 2009
4:40 pm

Slater has never impressed me. Back to watching other teams sign legitimate players.

Alan

July 8th, 2009
6:00 pm

that would be below the minimum salary allowed by the NHL.

The minimum for 2009-2010 is $500k. He scored 8 goals each in his previous two years, and 5 in 2006-2007.

I know you were trying to be funny, but it sort of fell flat. Sorry.

Smoothie

July 8th, 2009
6:05 pm

Chris, thanx for the blog update and insight into Slater’s thinking. However, did you ask him why he didn’t try to negotiate a 2 year deal?

rightshot

July 8th, 2009
6:21 pm

Personally glad to see him back. Always seems to hustle every shift. Hopefully he will get even more goals than last year. It’s always nice to have a 4th line that can put up a few points during the year. Now if we could just lose Bolton and get another inexpensive 10 – 20 goal scorer one that line. (No idea who)

Darkhorse

July 8th, 2009
6:43 pm

Smoothie-I too am suprised he did not try to get a two or three year deal out of DW. Can’t imagine him garnering much attention on the FA market next year, but it’s his right to give it a shot. Maybe that’s why he accepted the one year qualifier.

World Be Free

July 8th, 2009
6:47 pm

I guess we had to sign him-all of his potential replacements (improvements) have been snapped up by other teams wanting to win.

Dwayne

July 8th, 2009
7:40 pm

When is Colby’s arbitration hearing? Any idea on what was offered and what he wants?

Sage of Bluesland

July 8th, 2009
7:44 pm

Slater was a LATE first-round pick, wasn’t he? It’s not like he was a top-ten or top-five pick…or we traded down numerous times only to bluster about ‘getting the player we wanted all along!’…

After the top ten or so picks, it’s a complete crap-shoot…Even among the top-ten there is plenty of unfulfilled promise…

I don’t dislike Slater; I don’t think he’s too bad at all.

Brendan

July 8th, 2009
7:47 pm

A27, did I say northern? ‘Cuz I meant WESTERN. As in the ‘rockin’-est Hemisphere of them ALL!’ Kalamazoo rocks! Don’t listen to what you hear about the northern peninsula of Michigan. That place is a dump! ;)

Jimbo

July 8th, 2009
7:54 pm

Slates is a hustler and team player. Unfortunately for him, he’s got “board hands” around the net. Simply can’t finish unless he’s got an open net. He fits on the 4th line. What we can use is a heavyweight on that line. Bolts and Thorburn are middleweights who don’t deter the bigger teams from running our top two lines. Too bad Brashear went to NY. At least, we won’t see as often.

A27

July 8th, 2009
8:00 pm

Brendan, I just got a kick out of it on the other blog. You all ways write insightful posts and you got called out on something as stupid as that was funny as hell and your response back made me laugh out loud. Respect the North LOL!!

World Be Free

July 8th, 2009
8:32 pm

Jimbo, lol, I call them “stone hands” so we are on the same page. A buddy of mine turned 40-we gave him a Charlestown Chiefs #17 jersey with the name “Stoney” on the back.

No open net is too big enough-his name is Jim too just like #23.

Sara

July 8th, 2009
8:54 pm

Dwayne – arbitration hearings don’t begin until the very end of the month, into the beginning of August.

ben

July 8th, 2009
10:09 pm

i like him, i feel that we need to get beyond the first-rounder baggage w/ him.

Josh

July 9th, 2009
6:30 am

BAF-

I think it would be asking a bit much for Slats to piece together a Patrik Stefan-esque 15-25-40 season. He is who he is at this point, and I consider him to be pretty interchangeable.

[...] -The Thrashers re-signed restricted free agent forward Jim Slater to a one-year deal. [...]

fire dwdudley

July 9th, 2009
8:59 am

This is the problem, it’s not about “liking” Slater. Some of you base it on a popularity contest. It’s accepting mediocrity. I am personally tired of being happy when a player doesn’t tuck his tail and literally quit. We shouldn’t be happy because a player barely good enough for a 4th line “tries” hard. It’s the NHL, they ALL should try hard.

You are kidding yourselves if you think guys like Slater and Crabb are the best option. This is why we never go anywhere, we never actually upgrade.

Jerret

July 9th, 2009
10:04 am

Slater is a quality resign. A great 4th line. Not saying he is going to win it for us but certainly wont lose it.
Agreed on Koivu. He would of been a great pick. 3.25 mil one year but to me he is somebody that I would overpay for. He is a top line center and can Walk in as Team Captain. He is not what he was 3 years ago but still quality. Figured it was a pipe dream for us to get him but, one can dream…

Alan

July 9th, 2009
10:34 am

This is why we never go anywhere, we never actually upgrade.

I daresay we upgraded at top-4 at defense (Kubina) and top-6 at forward (Antropov). And you’re whining about a fourth line player? Why do we need to “upgrade” our fourth line, when our problems lay elsewhere?

Sara

July 9th, 2009
11:14 am

I’m amazed how every year there are some people who expect/demand an entire overhaul of the roster. That doesn’t happen, ever. It especially isn’t going to happen in this fiscal climate. Atlanta Spirit has been frugal to begin with the past few seasons. Couple that with a potentially sizable decline in the cap coming next season along with some key contracts that will have to be renewed (at an upcharge), and adding more salary this off-season above what they already have becomes extremely imprudent.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

No matter what team you support there is always going to be one or more players that you can identify as needing to be improved. This past season many fans complained about Gill, Scuderi (prior to his playoff performance), Fleury, Satan (holy hell did he get a ton of backlash from fans), and several other players from the eventual STANLEY CUP CHAMPION Pittsburgh Penguins.

No team will ever be perfect in the eyes of a fan…fortunately for players and management an “imperfect” team can win championships.

To me the way to look at your favorite team(s) roster is to identify each player and say “is _____ hindering the team’s chances at succeeding”. If the answer is yes, he deserves my ire. In the past I felt some specific players deserved that ire…but to be honest I don’t believe that Slater’s performance (or lack there of) deserves the unrelenting bashing that is bestowed upon him. To me he fills his role well enough.

Until this team can field two competitive offensive lines and a competent defense, 4th line players and 3rd pairing defenders will get a free pass in my mind. To me Championships are not won by focusing first on your worker lines, and second on your skill lines. Once the skill is in place I feel the team should then focus on grabbing the talented depth players like Marchant, Pahlsson, Adams, etc, to put the finishing touches on a potential Stanley Cup caliber team.

World Be Free

July 9th, 2009
12:40 pm

Agreed Ranallo-Marchant, Pahlsson, Adams all guys we passed on to resign Jimmy Slater.

I don’t want a total overhaul of the lineup. But every year should include a comprehensive review of players and positions. It’s not just about the 4th line, it is the entire team. We have a lotta points to make up to get into the post season.

Free agency is a chance to upgrade your team without having to give up anything. We made some improvements this year, but not enough.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 9th, 2009
1:09 pm

World Be Free — Put yourself into the position of Marchant, Pahlsson , or Adams…what could possibly be your motivation to coming into Atlanta as a UFA? Until such players see that they could be the missing piece to help push a struggling team over the top, they will not want to play in Atlanta.

Case in point, look where each of those players signed (two re-signed with their team, one moved to Columbus)…they signed with playoff caliber teams who are considered still on the rise (even Pittsburgh is getting better, after winning The Cup).

Alan

July 9th, 2009
1:13 pm

Sara, I’ve ceased to be amazed at that sort of thing. I’m also losing the motivation to correct the idiots who come in here and can’t seem to realize what a fourth liner is supposed to do, much less what the function of the fourth line is.

I’ll give Thorburn, as I’m sure we have someone in Chicago who is more than capable to take his position. But Slater and Boulton do fine in the position they’re both in.

kracker

July 9th, 2009
2:12 pm

LAtest Eklund: Lightning After Niittymaki?

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/boards/thread.php?thread_id=66696&post_id=3587725#3587725

Great, just what we need…Niittymaki in the SE!

kracker

July 9th, 2009
2:29 pm

Alan, team mgmt. and coaches must not have thought that we have someone in Chicago who is more than capable of taking Thorburn’s position. He’s newly re-signed. I expect he will play all year or at least until the TD.

Sara

July 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

Thanks for ruining my day kracker. :p

Bob

July 9th, 2009
2:45 pm

Stanley Cup, here we come!

Jarndyce

July 9th, 2009
3:04 pm

The worst thing that ever happened to Jim Slater is that he was drafted at #30 instead of #34.

Frosty the snowman

July 9th, 2009
3:45 pm

5th from last here we come! It will be progress!

R. Stroz

July 9th, 2009
3:45 pm

Ok everyone, there is some humor and truth to the following post:

Thorburn doesn’t skate well, fight effectively, and has hands of steel.

Isn’t that kind of like a farmer who gets paid NOT to grow corn or wheat (for those of you that aren’t aware of this subsidy program, there are government programs which pay farmers not grow crops).

On the other hand, Thorburn gets paid more money than a bank president whose bank took TARP money.

Sara

July 9th, 2009
4:04 pm

Stroz – I’d rather give the money to Thorburn… he may not be a great hockey player, but at least he contributes positive things to society as a whole through charitable endeavors. As opposed to bankers, who have spent decades sucking the lifeblood out of our economy. But I digress…..

Me seeing the word TARP is like a bull seeing a red flag – instant-boil.

Alan

July 9th, 2009
4:28 pm

Should have let each and every last one of them fall. Bailout? Where’s mine?

Not quite true

July 9th, 2009
4:30 pm

“The worst thing that ever happened to Jim Slater is that he was drafted at #30 instead of #34.”

Considering the players drafted at number 31 through 34 have a total of 21 NHL career games played (1 player with 11 NHL games played and 1 with 10 NHL games played), I’m glad we picked Slater at #30. His problem isn’t being drafted at #30, its’ the ignorant fans that don’t realize that the entire 2nd round that year only produced 4 players who have played more NHL games than Jimmy. Only 10 players in the 2nd round that year played more than 1/2 a season (41 NHL games). And the numbers look even more bleak when going to the rounds after that.

Dwayne

July 9th, 2009
5:01 pm

Didn’t Thorburn get more than a few shifts with Kovy? Seems I remember quite a few when Kovy was double shifted? Maybe a few times when players got injured during a game? Maybe when Don called down to the bench and told JA “I got a great idea”? Seems he couldn’t hit an empty net either. These blogs are very intresting, alot of good points are made for and against Thorburn and Slater, I know they are 4rth liners at best, but they are a part of a team that has little sucsess the past few years, yeah, I know, but so is most everyone else. How many years did JA sign on for? Did he, Dudley and DW sit down and agree that with the additions made and the best subtraction ever(exlb gone) that this is the team best suited for his coaching style? PK can’t get any worse, man advantage will be better. Just need Kari’s signature on the bottom line of a contract with The Thrasher logo on it.

Brendan

July 9th, 2009
8:41 pm

If the Atlanta Thrashers were actually poised and ready to compete for the Stanley Cup next Spring, I would be concerned about Jim Slater being my 4th line center. We’re not that team. We’re not “close, real close” to being that team. My personal belief is as follows: “We’re in Year Three of a Four Year building project.” I think the “Opening Night” budget will bear that out. I see free agents signing 1-year deals. It would have been nice to have some of that. I still like Marcel Goc and Mike Grier, unless they’re already gone, too. And the way to get THIS YEAR’s FREE AGENT OFFFFFFFFF next year’s books is to sign them to a 1-year deal, or a two-year deal, then trade them! Whether that’s at the 2010 trade deadline, next year’s draft, or packaged in a deal during “Frenzy 2010.” But, like Ranallo (in AT) points out, try to see it from THEIR side. Why come here? Unless Atlanta turns out to be their best option, they won’t. But the sad thing is, Atlanta had plenty of room for Koivu’s $3.25M, which would have no bearing whatsoever on next year’s cap. Bygones.

sisu

July 9th, 2009
9:18 pm

Niittymaki is going to Russia, not Tampa. Ecklund, ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sisu

July 9th, 2009
9:28 pm

okay, looks like Antero maybe signing with the Bolts after all:( I am amazed that Ecklund finally got something right…(the sky is falling!) :)

Dwayne

July 9th, 2009
9:55 pm

nothing on Tampa’s website on ninnymaki

Curly

July 9th, 2009
10:12 pm

Randy… To answer your question from a previous blog… Michael Forney struggled with injuries for two years at North Dakota. He played last year in the USHL for Green Bay and had pretty good stats. However, he is not projected to make in the NHL, and would be considered a long shot.