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

Brendan

July 15th, 2009
5:17 pm

Well, it’s good to know Kari is under contract, and won’t be a holdout. Now, let’s see if he winds up traded at some point this season. If the organization is going to retain him beyond this season, I’d look for negotiations to start sometime in January for a contract extension. I know. “Waddell doesn’t negotiate contracts during the season.” Perhaps, he’d make an exception?

LAC

July 15th, 2009
5:28 pm

Barry Trotz Nashville coach, had some NICE comments about the Thrashers in the Nashville website…. This in connection with the schedule
released today where we again, as we should every year, play home & home against Nashville…

Sage of Blueland

July 15th, 2009
5:58 pm

Looks like Donny has mailed it in by signing Letemin. I’m sure stendec is pleased, along with the other sheep-humpers.

Brendan

July 15th, 2009
6:02 pm

Vivlamore, did you happen to catch the dollar value of the contract?

Jared

July 15th, 2009
6:08 pm

Stendec isn’t around yet? Ok… umm, in a nutshell: Contract, caps lock, untalanted Finn, caps lock caps lock, loser, caps lock, Letemin, Caps lock, caps lock, more caps lock.

Adam

July 15th, 2009
6:30 pm

What’s Pavelec going to do first? Give up 5 easy goals in a game? Or ask for a trade?

GaVaHokie

July 15th, 2009
8:21 pm

Still means nothing… we qualified him to retain his rights, today was the deadline… he accepted the one-year offer. He can still be traded.

This is the point where trade speculation should be even BIGGER, because he’s not a hold out… he’s not going to arbitration… he’s under contract… no drama for whoever gets him.

I’m still hoping he stays… I don’t want to see any of the goalies delt…just saying… Kari accepting his qualifying offer means nothing.

Tom

July 15th, 2009
9:10 pm

Sources told ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside that the one-year deal is worth $3 million.

Now lets play lets make a deal with one of our Goalies.

World Be Free

July 15th, 2009
10:41 pm

Pavs gotta go-I have not seen him have a difference at the NHL level. Maybe someone will buy into his potential.

Back folks, went to Cooperstown on Monday for some baseball royalty. Great weather, in the low 70’s, sunny and breezy.

Back to hockey

TheFan79

July 16th, 2009
8:23 am

Well you have to take a look at last season.Kari was facing over 30+ shots every night.I have to say that i enjoy watching Kari playing for the ATL.I hope they sign him long term .

Toby

July 16th, 2009
8:59 am

I hope Moose is the odd man out…His play really deteriorated last year.

Hurry up and sign Kovy!!!!!!!!!!

Toby

July 16th, 2009
9:34 am

Looks like we can take Army off that to-do list…

1 yr/ $2.4

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=664093

Brendan

July 16th, 2009
9:34 am

I do wonder if Waddell wants to wait. Yeah, I know, I criticize Waddell over proscrination like no other. But hear me out. Let’s say it’s Halloween. And a really good team has a goaltender injury, or injuries, plural. And the injuries will keep their starter, or tandem, out for 3-5 months. Such that they need immediate help. Translation: They’re willing to act desperately. With a surplus of goalies, in theory, Waddell says, “Pick whichever one you want. But each one carries a different set of price tags.” So, why not wait? See how the season is shaping up, first. You’ve the Thrashers “health report” on goalies since the CBA. If any team needs to have depth in goal, it’s Atlanta. If you’re of the persuasion that you’re just to itchy not to pull the trigger NOW, read on.

Which goalie brings forth the highest return? I’ll go ahead and take Moose off the list. Though, I’ll say this for Hedberg. If Moose’s trade nets us a 3rd or 4th line player, that’s a higher yield than had Waddell traded him at the draft for a 6th or 7th round pick. I’d chalk that up as a win. But I digress. Pavelec, and his potential, or Lehtonen, and his mental and groin deficiencies?

It’s not really an easy call. I’m not asking which one you like better. I’m asking you … which one will bring a better trade for Atlanta? Follow up question, if the return is “too low,” why trade either one? Especially if this really turns out to be Year Three of a Four Year building project?

Brendan

July 16th, 2009
9:41 am

If that Armstrong deal really is finalized, why didn’t the organization press for more years? Does Armstrong want out? He’s a UFA next year. He’s another guy … that potentially … we’d have to move at the trade deadline if things aren’t going well. Grabbing the calculator, that makes our pending 2010 UFA list … Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Armstrong, Kozlov. Hmmn. Better be a terrific year at Blueland. Or Don might have to be the most wheelingest, dealingest GM at the deadline. (”Well, Kozlov will re-sign as a UFA.” Fine! RENT ‘IM!, if that’s the case.)

Alan

July 16th, 2009
9:43 am

Looks like Armstrong accepted the QO. I assume that has to be the case, because I can’t see us just negotiating a one year deal for him.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
10:16 am

If I had to pick, I would want Lehtonen to go. Pavelec has the upside and Lehtonen spends too much time in the trainer’s room. I don’t think anyone will want Hedberg. But with the glut of goalies out there unsigned it will be hard to move any of our three. Glad to see Armstrong resigned. Perfect on the 3rd line and can sub for a few games here or there on the 2nd line if need be.

ThrasherNY

July 16th, 2009
10:34 am

I dont see moving a goalie as a good move at this point in time. If you trade Pavs you are counting on Lehts to be healthy which has failed us before. If you move Lehts you are counting on an unproven goalie to carry a make or break season. Say what you may about Lehts but I do look at his performance as above average in light of the defense played in front of him. Three goalies isn’t one to many if you look at our history it is two to little. I know that was doomsday season but still it gives me nightmares.

I think Brendan has this nailed. You keep all three to start the season which has all of them pushing each other to higher performance. Kari’s history says his injuries show themselves early in the season and so if you make it 25 games in and then someone is offering a better return maybe you move one to bring in a custom fit asset to where we have discovered we are weak. I dont think anyone thinks we are moving them in a trade for a top liner and we have a multitude of pieces on the 3rd and 4th line to assess in the first part of the season. That being said my comments would be different if trading either could get a top line talent but I just dont see it in this UFA market.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
10:56 am

“Well you have to take a look at last season.Kari was facing over 30+ shots every night.”

Time to debunk this cliche. If you take the 44 NHL goalies who played at least 1,500 minutes last season, yes Lehtonen faced over 30 shots per game played. But 13 out of those 44 of the goalies faced over 30 shots per game played. 25 out of 44 faced over 28 shots per game played. 42 out of 44 faced 26 shots per game played. 44 out of 44 faced 25 shots per game played. So Lehtonen isn’t that far off from the rest of the league (are we going to cry over 2-4 shots per game?)

Instead of crying for Lehtonen because he faced 32.5 shots per game and had a .911 sv%, let’s appreciate the 7 goalies who faced 31+ shots per game and had a sv% between .915 to .933

Or, the 3 goalies who faced 29.5 to 30.1 shots per game and had a sv% better than Lehtonen. Or the 6 goalies who faced 28+ shots per game and had a better sv% than Lehtonen. That’s 16 goalies who faced the same or only 4 less shots per game than Lehtonen but had a better sv%.

Sorry to go Stendec on you but let’s look at ALL the stats instead of just quoting one stat.

NASCAR Dave

July 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

@ Ice Dog (10:56)
THANKS!!! Good post!!!

dwayne

July 16th, 2009
12:11 pm

good point icedog, but I do not know what the quality was like of the shots faced by other goalies. I do, however know the quality of shots that were fired at KL nite after nite after nite. I did see the passive, ole’ style of D that helped cause some of those shots too. I’d like to watch more hockey, but I really do not care to watch anyone else. Stats do not tell the real story. I’m just hoping that our WHOLE team steps up this year and we have someone else to blame for losses.

GaVaHokie

July 16th, 2009
12:12 pm

The wording seems different on Armstrong versus Lehtonen… “Lehtonen resigns with Thrashes”… “Thrashers come to terms with Armstrong”

It would sound like there was some negotiating in the Armstrong deal, but I guess we’ll have to wait “per team policy” until nhlnumbers.com finds out what the deal is.

GaVaHokie

July 16th, 2009
12:46 pm

Okay… Vivlamore’s article says it’s a one-year deal but it was not the qualifying offer.

Perhaps they see Armstrong leaving next summer to make room for guys like Espo and Machachek

World Be Free

July 16th, 2009
12:46 pm

I am warming to the idea of keeping all 3 goalies to start the season. Not sure how much The Moose has left in the tank. Let Kari and Pavs fight it out for No. 1 and let the best goalie win.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 16th, 2009
12:47 pm

Hokie — The wording seems accurate. Lehtonen accepted the qualifying offer, wher as Armstrong apparently negotiated this current contract (the deadline to accept the qualifying offer was yesterday).

dwayne

July 16th, 2009
1:09 pm

With KL and CA signed, who’s gonna be the first to throw out the opening night lines?

ThrasherNY

July 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

*Ice Dog — You are saying that a 8%-15% increase in shot volume is not material to a goalies stats? I think goalies everywhere would beg to differ. I would agree that Kari’s 32.5 with a .911 sv% likely isnt a .920%+ effort even if magically adjusted for but to marginalize up to 4 extra shots per night EVERY night just doesnt jive for me.

I would also challenge that having one of the highest SOGs in the league is surely an indication of more than just generic shot volume. I dont think it is a stretch to infer from this telling sign of a lack of defense that a higher percentage of the 32.5 were “quality shots” like dwayne points out. Also this is an average across 46 games and I dont have the stats but my gut (from watching lots of the games) tells me that a greater percentage of his GA occurred when he was seeing the high end of this curve and sometimes getting no support while being exhausted.

Barring Kari’s injury history he is a quality goaltender and a valuable asset to the franchise. Is he a top five guy if you move him into a better defensive system, likely not, but my gut tells me his save % would increase and he would start to look a lot like the Ryan Miller’s and Henrik Lundqvist’s who are seen as prized assets to there respective teams.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

“good point icedog, but I do not know what the quality was like of the shots faced by other goalies. I do, however know the quality of shots that were fired at KL nite after nite after nite.”

Dwayne, I really don’t think Lehtonen had it that much harder while guys like MacDonald, Anderson, Vokoun, Smith, Roloson, Gerber, Bryzgalov, Danis and Miller all faced over 30 shots per game and played for teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Of those 9 goalies, all had a sv% over .900 and only 3 were under .910 (Lehtonen was .911).

And if you are going to play the subjective card of “he faced tougher shots” then you also have to find a way to measure “who let in more softies” or “who let in more goals at crucial points in the game”. I’m sure Stendec will be on here with that analysis.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
1:33 pm

ThrasherNY, explain this for me. Lehtonen faced 32.5 shots per game over a span of 46 games and yes he is at the top of the list. But one of those other 44 goalies was Johan Hedberg. But he only faced 26.5 shots per game played over a span of 33 games and was at the bottom of the list (#39 out of 44).

So why are we blaming the system or the team in front of Lehtonen? Hedberg in his 33 games faced 6 less shots per game behind the same team that Lehtonen played behind in his 46 games.

dwayne

July 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Go Thrashers!!!! Don and Rick for GM’s of the Year!!!

kracker

July 16th, 2009
2:03 pm

Somebody w/ the time (I’m at work) and the inclination can run the sog faced by Lehtonen in the games he played in the first two thirds of the season vs when the team raised their level of play in mid-February on the West Coast trip. I think he still faced plenty of shots but not as many as earlier in the year, averaging 32.5 for his whole season. Keeping the puck in the other end for an extra minute or two helps your goalie a lot.

Smoothie

July 16th, 2009
2:07 pm

Ice Dog, Hedberg’s rebound control could overall be better than Lehtonen’s on average. However, before his “injury” in March against the Rangers, Lehtonen seemed to be doing a better job of battling when he was out of position and seemed more comfortable coming out to the top of the paint to challenge shooters.

He probably still needs to work on rebound control, but I think there is credence to the theory that he faces a higher percentage of quality shots than Hedberg (and other starters for that matter) as the team seems to take more chances offensively knowing that Kari is typically very good in odd-man rush situations.

Also, don’t discount the value of Hedberg’s stick-handling as he prevents a lot of pucks getting pinned in the corner thus leading to extended possession, cycling and eventually scoring chances.

There are so many factors going into these stats, but the fact remains, Kari has the potential to be an elite goaltender in this league. The onus is now on him once again to prove it once and for all that he can be a consistent force night in and night out that can “steal” wins when the team is outplayed.

kracker

July 16th, 2009
2:10 pm

A lot of teams fall into the ‘backup goalie syndrome’ where they almost inevitably feel they are sort of fortunate to be facing the backup goalie – often a past-prime vet or an untested youngster. Frequently it goes the other way (it sure does for the Thrashers!) where the other team covers for their backup with some extra effort, especially if he is of the young kid variety.

Viking

July 16th, 2009
2:17 pm

Ice Dog, while I strongly believe we need to keep Kari (and the other two goalies), my immediate reaction to “the Hedberg/ Lehtonen shot discrepancy” would be rebound control.

Without too much thought behind my belief, I think Hedberg is good at capturing or otherwise getting the puck out of harms way, which is Lehtonen’s weakest side.

Since I am a stat freak in some ways and if possible would like to base my thoughts on them, where did you get the stats?

By the way, I am a gambling lifetime winner, using stats as the foundation for my thoughts. In Sweden, you can go to the grocery store and gamble!

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
2:20 pm

Thanks Smoothie, I was leading up to the rebound control. Anyone watching this team knows that Lehtonen gives up way too many rebounds which is actually why his totals are higher than most the league. Some of the other things offered up by you and Kracker make sense but don’t explain a 6 shot difference. We also get into that subjective area.

All in all, I hope we can stop with the “but Kari faces 30+ shots” posts after looking at the rest of the facts. Also, I don’t deny his ability but it would be great if he can stay healthy.

LAC

July 16th, 2009
2:22 pm

Armstrong was the final of the Thrashers’ unrestricted free agents.
Quote from AJC…

Armstrong was a Restricted Free Agent, as were slater and Lethonen,
so need to correct that Chris…

ThrasherNY

July 16th, 2009
2:25 pm

Ice Dog — I was not aware of that stat and it does make a material difference in my train of thought. I am trying to cull back through my memory to think if Kari played more “A” teams vs Moose as he is our #1; that kinda feels right but the magnitude of that difference tells me it cant be the entire story. Rebound control is the logical answer and that seems to make sense from watching the two in action but still I wouldnt have thought 6+ shots difference.

I will be the first to admit that I dont have a definitive read on Kari as our D has been lacking every season and he is often injured. Maybe I am letting my Thrasher pride cloud my judgement? My gut still tells me this kid could be .915%+ goalie with a better defense in front of him. Since I see this seasons blueline unit as being a big upgrade and at the very least a par unit I guess I can look forward to the season to prove me right or wrong. God willing Kari stays healthy and of course assuming he is not traded.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
2:26 pm

Viking, any sports website will have the stats, you just need to be able to dump them into a modeling table to get the results so you spend 5 minutes on it and not all afternoon.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
2:35 pm

ThrasherNY, I’ll say it again. Outside of Stendec I don’t think anyone doubts Lehtonen’s ability. But he does us no good in the trainer’s room for half the season. Given his stats in Chicago are roughly equal to Pavelec’s stats in Chicago, it creates the perfect storm to take a more serious look at Pavelec. I would take a decent return for him in a heartbeat and go with Pavelec/Moose for this year. Heck, I would even consider signing Biron with Pavelec (let’s face it, Moose is done after this year). Whoever had the “wait and see” approach by keeping all 3 and then taking whatever offer comes between now and the trade deadline seems to be a good strategy. And once the season starts we may have a whole new set of opinions based on the latest lineup and one of these goalies may skyrocket out of the gate.

Alan

July 16th, 2009
2:40 pm

LAC, actually, Armstrong was a restricted free agent signing. He will be unrestricted next off-season.

NASCAR Dave

July 16th, 2009
2:48 pm

Thats what LAC is saying Alan… The writer guy wrote it wrong (snicker)

Viking

July 16th, 2009
2:51 pm

Ice Dog, “Given his stats in Chicago are roughly equal to Pavelec’s stats in Chicago”;

Since NHL forwards should be considered better at scoring, wouldn’t this talk in favor of Lehtonen?

Viking

July 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

Keep all three!

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
3:02 pm

Viking, I saw a comparison once of Lehtonen’s stats while he was in Chicago (I would guess somewhere between the years 2002-2005) versus Pavelec’s stats in Chicago from say 2006 to now and they were quite similar. Before you ask I don’t know where to get AHL stats, somebody else dug this up.

So you are comparing them both against AHL forwards while they were both in their early 20’s. Not comparing them against each other right now, one in the NHL and one in the AHL. Sorry for that confusion. But the point being is that you have to think that Pavelec would have just as much “potential” as Lehtonen does in that respect and he is not as injury prone nor do you have the fear that he might not peak as Lehtonen has already played in the NHL for a few years and yet to hit his full stride.

I hope that makes it more clearer, I can see how I didn’t spell that out easy enough. And it’s also a very debatable argument. But something we can chew on while waiting for the first puck to drop, eh, waiting for camp to start.

Alan

July 16th, 2009
3:28 pm

Thats what LAC is saying Alan

I’ve been knee-deep in some stuff here at work, so I probably should have paid more attention.

Sara

July 16th, 2009
3:40 pm

Re: Kari – his SV% has been above .910 the last two seasons – .916 the season before and .912 in 2006-2007. Two years ago Kari ranked 15th in SV% out of all goalies on a team that finished 28th in the League. There is zero question he has the ability. True his rebound control needs some work but few goalies are perfect and I don’t think he gets the calibre of one-on-one coaching that he should either.

As for the impact of the team…I can tell you from looking at the ESPN game stats last season a lot that the Thrashers give up crap-loads of chances down low – bottom of the face-off circles, right in the slot. Those are going to be much harder to deal with than primarily perimeter shots. I can’t say that other teams *didn’t* give up lots and lots of prime scoring chances either, but I know this one did and at a pace much higher than any team with play-off aspirations should dare. Perhaps he doesn’t cope as well as other goalies do, but there is no question Kari *has* been hung out to dry a lot by this team.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
3:55 pm

“As for the impact of the team…I can tell you from looking at the ESPN game stats last season a lot that the Thrashers give up crap-loads of chances down low – bottom of the face-off circles, right in the slot.”

Sarah, bottom of the face-off circles, right in the slot, aren’t those the same spots where a rebounds wind up?

kracker

July 16th, 2009
4:12 pm

Following a rebound, our guys look about average at clearing the puck. Maybe that’s one that just the luck of the bounce but I’m betting the sucessful teams do it better.

Bottom line is that protecting your goal is a team responsibility with the goalie being the last line of defense, not the only one.

Smoothie

July 16th, 2009
4:14 pm

In 96 GP as a prospect in CHI, Kari had the following stats:

GAA – 2.33
58 W (60.4%)
SV% – .928
Avg Shots Faced – 31.08
Calder Cup finalist in 2005 (lost to Antero’s Phantoms right?)

Ondrej Pavelec’s stats over 92 games played:

GAA – 2.69
51 W (55.4%)
SV% – .929
Avg Shots – 30.14
Calder Cup Champion in 2008

I would give Kari the edge in the AHL as he faced more shots, maintained a comparable save % and had a GAA that was .36 pts lower.

Tim

July 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

Falconer did a nice article on shot analysis face by KL and other NHL goalies. Here is the artice..

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2009/4/27/855489/lehtonen-undervalued-by

In shot, KL do face a high number of shots and a lot of those shots have high % scoring chance attach to it. Under those circumstance, he perform above average.

Ice Dog

July 16th, 2009
4:21 pm

Nice Smoothie. While the edge might be towards Lehtonen, it certainly isn’t a landslide or even a technical knockout. So one would have to think that by looking at those stats Pavelec can do anything that Lehtonen can do except he won’t be as injury-prone. Again a debatable argument but that’s why we post.

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%…