Final day of prospect camp … Lehtonen signs

Kari Lehtonen accepted his one-year qualifying offer from the Thrashers on Wednesday, the deadline for him to accept the deal.
Lehtonen, the Thrashers No. 1 goaltender, is a restricted free agent. He joins Jim Slater as Thrashers RFAs to accept their qualifying offer.
Colby Armstrong did not accept his offer and will go to arbitration later this month.

The six-day run is prospect camp is over. I will let Rawhide moderate your conversation about the schedule coming out. Tough start. Tampa Bay at home, five road games, and then Washington, San Jose and Washington.

Just finished the final 4-on-4 scrimmage. White Team finally won, 6-2.

The goal scorers:

White: Eric O’Dell, Jimmy Bubnick (2), Levko Koper, Daultan Leveille and Evander Kane

Blue: Doug Jones and Carl Klingberg

I have gathered some information for blogs later in the month. Also, had a sitdown with John Anderson, so I will have that soon.

98 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

July 16th, 2009
4:28 pm

Ice-D, I would be optimistic about Pavelec and his ability to push Lehtonen if his fundamentals and overall balance were better. As Kari has improved in the “battling” category — got a little Moose in you Kari? — I would say that Pavelec will really need to impress at camp (and in his 2 or 3 pre-season starts) to have any hope of cracking the opening night roster.

LAC

July 16th, 2009
4:32 pm

Well “alan” WRONG YET AGAIN !!!!! You need to go pick on someone else or go back to school…. To learn basic english and how it is written.

So I will go SLOW for you this time….

It Was The ajc Writer Who Said Armstrong Was A Unrestricted Free Agent… I Was Pointing Out The Error… Did You Get
All Of This alan ????

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
4:43 pm

Smoothie, I think for the start of the season the biggest thing working against Pavelec is that he was in Chicago last year and I believe Moose can be picked up through re-entry waivers if he is sent down (although I wouldn’t worry about that). Lehtonen is the starter by default due to finishing as the starter so it is almost his to lose. So if I were a betting man, I would say opening night will be Lehtonen/Hedberg. Then when the first injury occurs Pavelec better play lights out.

The wild card in all this is if Pavelec does something spectacular in camp but I can’t imagine what he could do outside of getting 2 shutouts in preseason games to really make Waddudley and Anderson put him in on opening night.

It would be real interesting if we went Lehtonen/Pavelec right out of the gate and let them battle it out night in and night out.

NASCAR Dave

July 16th, 2009
4:49 pm

I would just keep both LEHTONEN and PAVELEC and dump HEDBERG… With these 2 guys obviously ready, why do we need to keep 3 goalies???

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
4:56 pm

Nascar, I think if Waddudley could get something of good value for either Lehtonen or Pavalec, they could trade one and make the other the starter and have Hedberg backup. Also, what if you dump Hedberg and Lehtonen gets hurt, since that is a likely scenario who backs up Pavalec? Finally, Hedberg has been the ultimate team guy. If we cut Hedberg in his final year, that would leave a bitter taste in the lockerroom that Waddudley would not want to have to deal with.

Alan

July 16th, 2009
4:56 pm

You need to go pick on someone else or go back to school

To be fair, if you could compose a sentence properly, I wouldn’t have made the mistake of so much as regarding your comment. So you have that going for you.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 16th, 2009
5:01 pm

“With these 2 guys obviously ready, why do we need to keep 3 goalies?”

One goalie has a history of injuries, the other is unproven at the NHL level…Hedberg would be insurance for both. If one goes down to injury or the other buckles under the NHL pressure, who would be the capable backup?

Besides, Hedberg is a sunken cost. Dumping him is getting no return on the money spent, he has relatively no trade value, and he wont be playing in the AHL. So, Atlanta is stuck with that third goalie if Pavelec proves he’s capable of NHL minutes this season. If Pavelec is not ready, as he showed last year, Hedberg is the most capable backup until Lehtonen is injured or Pavelec proves he deserves the backup role more than Hedberg does.

NASCAR Dave

July 16th, 2009
6:56 pm

Ranallo, if we are “stuck” with the 3rd goalie up here, how will they handle that? I mean, would one of the 3 goalies sit in the pressbox every night? Just curious, as I don’t think I have ever seen that type of scenario play out…

NASCAR Dave

July 16th, 2009
7:00 pm

@ ICE DOG – “Waddudley”… Good one!!!

Chris Vivlamore

July 16th, 2009
7:38 pm

LAC: You are correct. Good catch. It will be changed shortly. Geez, that writer dude is having a bad two days. Called RILEY Holzapfel RYAN the other day. I had to apologize to him. I need a day off. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

Michael B. Shapiro

July 16th, 2009
7:48 pm

This is TSN’s list of Thrasher Free agents as of July 1. Several have signed. Some don’t appear to be on HQs radar:

Available UFAs: F Mike Hoffman, F Joe Motzko, D Nathan Oystrick, F Eric Perrin, D Brett Skinner, F Grant Stevenson

Available RFAs: F Colby Armstrong, F Joseph Crabb, F Rylan Kaip, F Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman, D Grant Lewis, D Scott Lehman, G Kari Lehtonen, F Jim Slater, F Chris Thorburn, G Dan Turple, D Boris Valabik, D Clay Wilson

Midfield

July 16th, 2009
8:03 pm

Tim, here’s where your sophisticated shot analysis fails to capture a valuable dimension: timeliness of Lehtonen’s bubbles. There’s no question that his skill level is certainly above average in the league. It’s that his softies often come at the very non-opportune time suggesting that he is not reliable mentally. I bet you that his only playoff appearance looked nowhere near average – on the wrong side of the spectrum too. I hope that he will finally get out of this mental funk, but I’m yet to get confident that he is up to the job he was picked to do.

LAC

July 16th, 2009
8:58 pm

Thanks Chris, Nice going recently, I had to “spank” Alan a little to straighten him out as well…

Alan

July 17th, 2009
12:21 am

My mistake was admitted at 3;28pm. Your childish tirade went on at 4:32pm.

Spanked? Hardly. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

LAC

July 17th, 2009
1:14 am

alan you are a true IDIOT, Just what IS your issue ?

Everytime I comment you have a trite little snide comment, to “try” to prove me wrong, which you never will do.

If YOU read the comment as it was written, you would have understood, but you again tried to prove yourself the almighty on the blog attacking me once again. It failed !

NASCARDAVE had to correct you, Thanks Dave, 99% of the bloggers knew what I was saying, I am sorry you did not or more likely could not.

Be sure to clock out on your way home to the trailer park tonight… Cheers and GO Thrashers !

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 17th, 2009
3:26 am

“Just curious, as I don’t think I have ever seen that type of scenario play out…”

Only two may dress for each game. Edmonton did it last season with Drouin-Deslauriers because they had Roloson as the obvious number 1 but Sabourin was the better backup than Drouin-Deslauriers…but he would’ve gone through waivers had they sent him to the AHL.

It happens (three goalies on the roster at one time), but it’s rare. My assumption is that it wont happen in Atlanta, and either Pavelec gets sent down to the AHL or Lehtonen is traded.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 17th, 2009
3:29 am

LAC — It was worded confusingly…had I not seen NASCARDave and you jump on Alan’s reaction I wouldn’t have re-read the comment to understand what you intended to say.

There’s no sense in being defensive, we’re all grammatically incorrect at one point or another.

Buzz

July 17th, 2009
6:51 am

Hire Dale Tallon now! He turned the Blackhawks from a laughing stock into a fun exciting team

Alan

July 17th, 2009
7:20 am

alan you are a true IDIOT, Just what IS your issue ?

If you can’t see part of your damn problem in this line alone, I’m not the one who has to worry about an intelligence deficiency.

Stendec

July 17th, 2009
9:47 am

Dwayne is right(as always) when it comes to Mr. Kari, he is a great goalie and I am now his biggest fan.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
10:07 am

Thanks NascarDave but I have to give all credit to Smoothie (forgive me if I can’t make a link work here) – (http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2009/07/15/the-new-schedule%e2%80%99s-here-the-new-schedule%e2%80%99s-here/#comment-6878)

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
10:07 am

[http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2009/07/15/the-new-schedule%e2%80%99s-here-the-new-schedule%e2%80%99s-here/#comment-6878]

Danny

July 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

Golly Alan sure have your panties in a wad today !!!!!

“Your childish tirade went on at 4:32pm. ”

Wah wah wah wah !!!!! CRYBABY !!!!!

Alan

July 17th, 2009
1:02 pm

I know who you are, so there’s really no need to hide behind false names. Your typing style is unmistakable. No need to act like a knave; be a man and tell everyone how you really feel by using your real screen name. The irony in your posting, however, is rife with amusement.

And all this crap because of a small misunderstanding. It’s almost as if some folks don’t have a real job. If that’s all you have on me, I think I’m doing really well for myself.

CAL

July 17th, 2009
1:12 pm

I wish Alan would stop accusing people of using false names, no one would do such a thing! Now stop being such a crybaby.

Viking

July 17th, 2009
1:41 pm

Without getting into what is behind “Danny at 12.00pm”, as an example, I wish that this kind of conversation would disappear from the blog.

I follow Rawhide’s and the AJC blog almost religiously, sometimes participating or sometimes I just enjoy reading, but crap like this is getting tiresome and diminishes the attraction value of the blog.

Stendec's love child

July 17th, 2009
1:48 pm

No one should ever hide behind a name.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
1:51 pm

I 2nd Viking. I just started posting recently but got sick of this garbage on other blogs/team boards.

Viking

July 17th, 2009
2:17 pm

A hockey blog is there to discuss things related to hockey, but without being subject to personal attacks or other BS.

My first post ever, (I do not remember when or the subject, but likely not too controversial), was met by some demeaning “Look a new kid tries to butt in” comment. I could easily have become discouraged to post again. I am hardnosed and stubborn, so I have continued to be a participant, but it would be nice if disagreements could be met with respectful contributions.

hurt feelings

July 17th, 2009
2:49 pm

Viking, I also noticed that some comments made by anyone other than…a certain 4 or 5 people (i’m not naming names) but I will give you there initials..Brandan, ranallo, sisu, LAC…..will ignore everyone else. sniff..sniff

Viking

July 17th, 2009
3:11 pm

“hurt feelings”, “Danny” or whoever you are, I am not sure about what you are trying to convey, but again, let’s back up our opinions with more than nonsense.

Brian is Back as Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
3:12 pm

Brian is Keyser Söze

July 17th, 2009
3:38 pm

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Brendan

July 17th, 2009
3:40 pm

Viking, I definitely agree with you. One of the things that makes this blog a good one, or a better one than some others, can be the level of hockey discussions that takes place here. I definitely think that can be achieved without the personal attacks. A simple statement like, “I welcome a diversity of a opinions,” or “I’m not trying to suppress anyone’s views,” or a “I simply agree to disagree with you” can be met very receptively by another poster. (Unless they’ve got serious CONTROL-ISSUES.)

I recently told another poster, “feel free to disagree with me anytime. I don’t own the Truth. And I don’t know anyone who does.” Nobody can know everything. Who knows, definitively, what will happen next? If you’re name is Don Waddell, or Rick Dudley, or John Anderson, or Bruce Levenson, you probably do know what’s coming next, roster-wise. And as for the season, that’s why they play the games.

Who had Chicago as the #4 seed last year, in the Conference Finals?, other than die-hard Blackhawk fans, who follow that team on a nightly-basis. I’d wager their message boards had naysayers and doubters, putting forth disbelief that things had really turned the corner. And those same folks are probably flaming those same boards with, “See, we’re in cap trouble. Potential Dynasty OVER! One Cup. Mayyyybe.” By the same token, there were probably those who were on Chicago’s 2008 offseason message boards planning a parade route down Rush St. And they were ridiculed, etc. But no matter where a person stands on where they think the season will playout, anything’s still possible with 82 games left on a schedule. Shoot, the Penguins showed us what’s still possible AFTER CHRISTMAS, going from 13th in the Conference to 4th, then winning the Stanley Cup. I can only imagine what the Pens message boards looked like in December. My guess is “Fire Therrien!” In bold and all capital letters.

Midfield

July 17th, 2009
4:16 pm

Err.. Didn’t they fire Terrien for real, Brendan?

Alan

July 17th, 2009
4:26 pm

Midfield, Therrien was indeed fired last season. Mid-February, I believe.

Brendan

July 17th, 2009
4:26 pm

They SURE did! With GLORIOUS results. Perhaps there’s still one, “die-hard” Therrien fan, advocating that the team still would have won the Cup with him as benchboss. Who knows how and why fans make allegiances.

Brendan

July 17th, 2009
4:28 pm

Obviously, Midfield is cracking a joke. And well done. Otherwise, we’ll be talking about Kalamazoo, and the exploits of WESTERN Michigan.

Brendan

July 17th, 2009
4:31 pm

I see it’s 68-degrees, and they’re expecting rain later on, in Kalamazoo. http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/USMI0442_f.html

Randy

July 17th, 2009
6:18 pm

cool, so we signed some wolves players. so why does this make the thrashers front page? boring……..

Red Light

July 17th, 2009
6:49 pm

Incredulous is the adjective for those of you who believe that this year will be any different in Blueland. Certainly, Little and Bogosian are a year older and wiser, and more comfortable. Certainly, Ilya has a new Russian-speaking suck buddy to pal around with, and Kubina should be an upgrade over Exelby. The fact remains this is still a bush-league organization when it comes to evaluating personnel, including Dudley (who also is an upgrade). As you all are well aware, there were two seasons that could be labeled “anomalies” and all other point totals were in the 70’s or lower. It’s absolutely imperative that the Thrashers get off to a fast start in 09-10, and they were dealt a poor hand by the schedulers by being out of town for a long stretch early in the season with five away games. After a busy home stretch in November, the Thrashers have just five home games in December, with 13 away games from Dec. 5 thru Jan. 5. Or, of their first 42 games, 24 are away from home.

In fact, I’ll say it plainly: if the Thrashers don’t get 13 out of a possible 18 points at home in November, close the books on another sub-80 point season. The reason: there are only nine other home games before Jan. 7 and even if you get another 13 points from those games, you will have earned just 26 points at home in 18 home games. Not taking into consideration the team’s first two seasons, Atlanta has had a winning record on the road just once in its history, and if it gains points on the road 47.5% of the time, which it has during the past seven seasons, (an average of 39 points out of a possible 82 road points =.475), then before the Thrashers play the Rangers on Jan. 7, 2010, the team will have at the most, if you follow my math, 49 points in 42 games, or a 22-15-5 record.

The 8th place team in the East in 2009 had 93 points, 2008: 94 points, 2007: 92, 2006: 92, 2004: 91, 2003: 83, 2002: 87, or an average of 90.3 points to qualify as the 8th seed. That means after playing 22-15-5 hockey in the first 42 games, with 24 of those on the road, the Thrashers need at least 41 more points in the final 40 games of the season, which you can get by going 18-17-5. That would leave the boys in Blue with a record of 40-32-10 for the 2009-10 season, a hopeful outlook of the highest order in my opinion.

My question after all this meandering and conjecturing is simply: Do you honestly believe Waddell and Dudley have compiled a team capable of that?

Alan

July 17th, 2009
8:33 pm

I guess my post regarding the temperature of Hell will never make it out of purgatory.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 17th, 2009
9:47 pm

The ajc boards definitely seem to encounter more posts caught in purgatory than the previous iteration.

World Be Free

July 17th, 2009
11:31 pm

Red light, what was your former AJC blog name?

Hey folks, it’s July and we are talking hockey with great insensity. I thought Atlanta was not a great hockey town?

Keep up the good work folks.

Brendan

July 18th, 2009
2:39 am

Red Light, I think it’s Year Three of a four year building project. That’s my opinion, anyway. Adding Kubina and Antropov, while jettisoning XLB and C. Stuart, might have earned Atlanta six, perhaps eight-points on last year’s total, which was 76-points. I’m no math major. But that situates us around 82-84 points, give or take a little. “Incremental progress,” right? (Oh God. Let’s just not go there. Moving right along.)

But before you slam down the phone, consider this. Last year, who thought that Thrashers lineup would set a franchise-record for wins? They put together a 5-game and a six-game winning streak. Of course, I do realize that even bad teams win five games in-a-row. The NY Isles had a 4-0-1 streak going, last season, at one point. Even as an arm-chair GM, I wouldn’t go on record with a statement like Waddell did, last year, when he said, “Bad teams don’t win 5 games in-a-row in this league.” When, CLEARLY, they do. It’s an 82 game season. You catch some teams in the final game of their long road trip, tired. You catch some teams EARLY, before they get their sea legs under them, in October, (or even November, sometimes,) and you can beat them. Defeating the Red Wings is a lot easier in October, than March or April. But I digress.

Let’s see where the payroll lands. The offseason isn’t over yet. And the trades and UFA signings haven’t ceased, necessarily. If that “Opening Night” budget is up over $50 million, and grows to $53.5 by the trade deadline, with all those MARCH HOME GAMES, it could get rather interesting at Blueland. Could. If the Opening Bell on Techwood and Marietta Streets is something like $45 million, then the organization has paid for another lottery draft finish. It tends to get what it PAYS FOR. (Is that going to keep Kovalchuk??) Another lottery draft finish, coupled with a low-end payroll, makes this franchise very ripe for re-sale, hopefully, to a local interest. Ideally, someone actually wanting this team to make a profit and a win a Stanley Cup, rather than some 5-year “flip it for a profit” scheme. For some blessed reason, hockey teams sell quite well out on the market. Like up around or over $200 million. It’s been quite a while since I last gazed at the fair market value of the Thrashers, but at my last recollection, the team was estimated, by Forbes Magazine, to be valued at or around $148 million. Out on the Open Market, it would fetch substantively higher than that. The annual yield, from sales price to sales price, is actually rather good. What I don’t know is … how much does the team BLEED during those “Caretaker” ownership years?

As a Thrashers fan, all I can ever do is hope for the very best. I hope that the team overachieves. I try to enjoy the winning streaks, which are sure to happen. And I try not to wallow too badly in the losing streaks, which are also imminent. Even the Red Wings have losing streaks, or winless streaks, during an 82 game season. A few years ago, Detroit had a very disappointing December. I think it was 2007. Of course, they rebounded rather well, winning the Stanley Cup that year (2008). Anywho … I’m keeping my eyes open for any positive changes that happen between now and Opening Night, to give our boys a better shot at Red Light’s 90-points. (That’s only eight games over .500, “NHL-style.”) This is why they play the games. Some teams are over the cap. And they’ll have to move players before October, to get under. Atlanta has the cap room to do something noteworthy, if the right situation presents itself. The offseason is NOT OVER. Are Mike Grier and Marcel Goc still out there? Could Cam Barker be coming?, if the Thrashers put together the right package? Time will tell.

danny hurt feelings

July 18th, 2009
9:18 am

most of the jibberish on ALL blogs are..well…jibberish. no facts needed.

concerned

July 24th, 2009
10:16 am

Again, we start the season with Kari laid up..Back surgery a few days ago will cost him a few months. True scoop..thanks for hiding this one Don!

george

July 24th, 2009
5:06 pm

Now we hear that Kari has had low back surgery.Did Donny know this was schedued before negotiations?? Should have traded him before this hit the wire. Get serious,,,damaged goods. Discs never heal 100%…