Valabik is back

The Thrashers have re-signed defenseman Boris Valabik to a multi-year deal Tuesday.

It will be announced later today. I will report back a little later with more details but, as always, I wanted you to know first.

66 comments Add your comment

JJ (formerly 302)

July 21st, 2009
10:32 am

I hope he starts using his size more.

The Earl of Bud (aka Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
10:33 am

Thanks Chris. As for the signing itself, it doesn’t get me excited. This is just to set up the battle between Valabik, Oystrick and a couple guys from Chicago (Kulda, Lewis and maybe even Postma this year) for the 6th and 7th spots.

Top 5 still remain:

Bogosian-Enstrom
Hainsey-Kubina
Salmela-?

Smoothie

July 21st, 2009
10:37 am

Details, ha! Salary terms will be undisclosed. Might wanna try going over to capgeek.com to see what they’ve unearthed Chris!

BTW, pretty good interview with JA…nice going. Just wish you had pressed John a little bit more about his Antro up the middle comments. To date, he has been more effective as a wing and it seemingly would make more sense to use Pevs early on or at least move Little back to his natural position. The center responsibilities are crucial to JA’s system working and using a guy who is unfamiliar with the system to open the season BETWEEN Kovy and say Little could be disastrous.

Welcome back Big Bo! Keep up the hard work and good things will happen. Kubina could be a real good study for the big, beefy Valabik.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
10:49 am

To date, he has been more effective as a wing and it seemingly would make more sense to use Pevs early on or at least move Little back to his natural position. The center responsibilities are crucial to JA’s system working and using a guy who is unfamiliar with the system to open the season BETWEEN Kovy and say Little could be disastrous.

Smoothie I mentioned to another poster that I was 50/50 on this move of Antro in the middle. I mentioned some of what you said even. But with that last bit on the system I think you just made me lean 80/20 towards Peverley. Nice input.

Smoothie

July 21st, 2009
10:58 am

So you’re going by the Earl of Bud handle now? Perhaps I should change my handle to the Czar of Smuggled Bourbon!! Hmmm, nah, don’t wanna blow my cover completely. Actually, I’ve thought about changing my handle to Bogosian Explosian in honor of his wicked slapper, but Rawhide is counting on me being the Smooooooothinator. He’s seen me ice-skate and knows this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Anyway, back to Antropov. Hopefully he can demonstrate a capacity for leraning the new system quickly and perhaps he’ll be so excited that he comes to the Ice Forum in early Sept to workout with Boultsy, Thorbsy, Slates and hopefully Kovy. I would hope there is enough excitement all around for most of these guys to show up to Duluth with earnest dedication to starting early and creating chemistry with the “newbies” to JA’s system. At least in an informal setting akin to college b’ball players playing pick-up in August before school starts.

The other concern is that while Antro may in fact be a good player “up the middle” in just about every facet of the game, it is well documented that he is a rather poor face-off man. I would prefer to see the spry and pliable (ever notice how deep Pevs gets in his face-off “stretch”) Peverley line-up betwixt Kovy and Antro as his F/O % has been right around 50% has it not? Plus, he has already proved he understands the nuances of JA’s system and demonstrated his ability to get back defensively to cover up break-downs in our forecheck.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
11:09 am

Smoothie if you know of the Earl of Bud it’s quite funny and World Be Free already approved it. I didn’t put much thought into what my handle should be but Ice Dog had a nice double meaning (I’m sure you can at least get the GA reference).

Yeah the faceoff % is even another reason to use Peverley. I think all 4 of our main centers (Peverley, White, Reasoner & Slater) are over 50% in FO.

But if our guys last year needed 4+ months of regular season play to get the system, I don’t think Antro showing up for a couple weeks of informal scrimmages and drills is going to do it.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
11:24 am

There we go, how’s that for double entendres!!?

True that EOB! I would much rather see Peverley or White start out as the first line C to make sure Antropov and Kovy are “protected” as we can ill-afford to start slowly in Oct. Especially with a 6 game road trip to kick things off after the Opening Night tilt against Tampon Bay.

Having said that, it would still be nice to see these guys working out in Duluth with ferocious intent as early as mid-August to signal their collective excitement for the upcoming season.

GaVaHokie

July 21st, 2009
11:28 am

Wonder if they’ll still consider Kozlov on the RW for training camp, like they briefly discussed at the end of the season.

Kovy Antro Kozlov
Kane Pev Little

Not sure what we do with White in that case.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
11:35 am

GVH, I actually would love to see Kozlov get some time to see if he can click with Kovy the way he used to click with Hossa. He is so savvy and gifted in his ability to see the ice it could be quite the dynamic trio if Antropov is able to adapt to the system quickly. However, who would be the first to get back on D? If Antro feels as though he needs to hang back a little so he’s able to retreat quickly to the neutral zone, it could diminish his effectiveness quite a bit.

Personally I would love to see Kovy – Pevs – Kozzy as our first line and Kane – Little – Antro as our 2nd line, but alas, that is probably a very big longshot. That would make the third line White – Reasy – Army which I kind of like. Unfortunately, there’s probably a better chance that Peverley gets dropped to a 3rd line if Kane somehow cracks the Top 6. White would be rendered quite ineffective I think if he were forced to play on the 3rd line.

Russian

July 21st, 2009
11:35 am

It is very good news. I am just wondering for two Questions. How much? and How long?
Everything else is fine for Atlanta D-men right now. I hope the pair will be:
Bogus-Toby
Kubina-Welch or Salmanela
Hainsy-Boris
Oistric will be 7 man.
I hope Bogus will play whole season, all 82 games. Toby should be carefull and will not get injury. We have very good D-men system on this year.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
11:41 am

…if he (White) were foreced to play on the 3rd line for an extended stretch of time. Not that any of this is going to happen of course.

Good to hear JA say that he thinks there is a spot for Kane even if it isn’t in the Top 6. Obviously Kane’s speed could be a real advantage if used in the correct way and especially on the PK.

Russian

July 21st, 2009
11:42 am

Yes it is BIG IF.
IF Kane will handle NHL presure. I do not know. I saw him in Prospect camp and I want to see him in Main Camp. If he will be fine go thourgh Camp and Preseason games he will be in 2 line.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
11:50 am

You wonder if the Malhotra thing is dead. It seems like a long time to have an “offer” on the table not taken. Amost as long as the Jake Peavy to Atlanta soap opera.

Earl of Bud-Sabres had a video of Earl on their web site a while back doing his thing at the last game in The Aud. One more Sludge-weiser for old times. I can’t drink Bud when there’s Old Vienna in the house (red and gold levels only).

Chris Vivlamore

July 21st, 2009
12:26 pm

Smoothie: Don’t need capgeek.com. Terms of the contract are two years. Salary will be $750,000 next season and $800,000 the next. Just trying to get you folks news of the signing first. I told you I would be back with details.

Barry

July 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

I think Little is best served on the RW. I think a Kovy-Peverly-Antro would work just fine. Then ya got Kozlov-White-Little. If something doesn’t seem to click can always swap White and Pevs despenser. Kovy and White have played together many games and they seemed to do just fine so no loss there.

GaVaHokie

July 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

Can this be right? How does Evander’s salary+bonus equal up to $3.1 million a year?

Sara?

http://capgeek.com/

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
12:37 pm

Wow!! Good investigative reporting Chris!! They must really like you to hand out contract details like that. They don’t even give them to Ben to post on the Blueland Blog! Perhaps this is the Dudley factor at play or is DWad just free-wheelin’ it these days now that he realizes the ASG can’t afford to fire him!?

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

Also, interesting to note that Big Bo took a big paycut (the QO would have had to be $971K for one year per the CBA) to get that 2nd year. Smart play on his part though as I think he recognizes how hard he’ll have to work in order to crack the Top 6 now. A good signing for many reasons, but it certainly works well within the ASG budget.

Chris Vivlamore

July 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Smoothie: Thrashers don’t give out contract details. That is there policy.

Chris Vivlamore

July 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Or “their” policy.

Sara

July 21st, 2009
1:03 pm

Hokie

$900,000 – max salary+signing bonus+games-played bonus

$850,000 – max “A” bonuses (meets pre-determined targets for ATOI, G, A, P, PPG, All-Rookie, All-Star, et al)

$2,000,000 – max “B” bonuses (finishing in the top 5 for award balloting, ranking in the top 10 league-wide in most stat categories)

So in reality, that compensation could have gone up to $3.75M. Plus that doesn’t include roster bonuses for which there are no outlined parameters in the CBA.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

I found this comment very interesting in the John Anderson article in today’s paper, by Chris V, where Anderson said Kane would benefit more by playing a lower line + special teams where he can fit in for the Thrashers VS going back to juniors for the year and playing in the top 6, just like some of us were saying. He still has to earn the bottom six spot, of course. Anderson says Kane will be given every chance to stay with the Thrash this year, just like Bogo was given his shot. He did say Kane “was going to have to fill out a little bit”

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
1:39 pm

Yes, I know that has been their policy. I was thinking outloud and trying to be a bit tongue in cheek. I guess you spoke to Boris’ agent.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
1:58 pm

GaVaHokie I got the same $900k base salary that Sara has but only $2.1m in bonuses, not the $2.8m that she is getting. Either way, all the numbers are in the same ballpark so things look ok. Also noted was that it is a two-way contract.

I also avoid capgeek because it deals with averages (which is what is used for cap hits, thus the name capgeek), not cash values. This came up as a major difference in an exchange I had with Smoothie on Malhotra’s value because while his average, or cap hit was $1.2m he was actually getting paid $1.5m.

Brendan

July 21st, 2009
2:03 pm

I can live with those salary numbers on Valabik. So, where’s the Thrashers cap at the moment? Do we still have room for Goc and Grier? Or, at least one of them?

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
2:14 pm

Brendan I would put us at around $45 million. Keep in mind that can fluctaute on how much time Kane or Machacek spends up here or not. But also on how much time someone like Pavelec (say $1 million) spends up here. Also, what is our “budget” number, not cap number.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
2:18 pm

Brendan, they are somewhere in the range of $44 – 46 M depending on the length of time certain players spend with the big club (i.e. Kane, Crabb, Stewart, Welch etc). Capgeek.com would show it closer to $49 M but they are assuming full bonus comp for Bogey and they do not factor in the bonus cushion (essentially Bogey’s incentives and thus Kane’s do not count against the cap).

But if we are talking about cash outlays, and you assume that a) Bogey will earn most of his incentive targets and b) that Kane spends at least 15% of the year with the big club thus trigerring his “max A” bonuses, then the Thrashers are on the hook for about $48.5 M. Of course, if you throw in Pavelec for 25% of the season, the cash outlay is more like $48.75 M.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
2:24 pm

Russian, I may adopt your “Bogus” and put it on the back of a #4 sweater!

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
2:30 pm

I think one area I disagree with a lot of you guys is on the quote about Kane possibly playing 3rd line up here and/or in a limited number of games. Although I made the mistake on Postma earlier since he can actually go to Chicago, I just don’t see us burning up a year of Kane’s RFA status for 3rd line duty or limited games. Maybe he plays a few to give him the “chance” to make the team but I say he plays less than 10 up here this year unless he is in the top 6 (which I don’t think will happen either).

LAC

July 21st, 2009
2:32 pm

Glad to see Boris back, he does have a mean streak and I want to see him totally PLASTER cindy chrotcby to the boards on game to repay that punk for his unprofessional conduct in a game here last season, just would be awful to have to carry cindy off after Boris lays into him…

Now the KEY question… can we cut GA down to about 230 ? Remember we got in with 245 in 07′. That would be cutting off about fifty for the season, and one more scorer would be a nice asset to have.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
2:34 pm

Unless they are planning on rollin’ three lines “Sabres style”, then Kane will likely go back to Juniors. I’m just keeping an open mind, because of Kane’s “it” factor. I won’t sleep on this kid until his 9 game try-out is over. Question is will those lines work with an 18 y/o somewhere in the fold?

Russian

July 21st, 2009
2:44 pm

Kane should work in 1 or 2 line. Third line is not for him. I will give him a try with preseason and 9 regular games. BUt he has to be in offencive lines.

Russian

July 21st, 2009
2:45 pm

to Kracker
All Russians in Atlanta called him Bogus! :-)

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
2:49 pm

…he does have a mean streak and I want to see him totally PLASTER cindy chrotcby to the boards on game to repay that punk for his unprofessional conduct in a game here last season, just would be awful to have to carry cindy off after Boris lays into him…

LAC I couldn’t agree with you more, I would love for Boris to do that. But the fact is, we played Pittsburgh 4 times last year, and the below the belt hits came in the 2nd game. So Boris has already had 2 games (3rd and 4th game against Pittsburgh last year) to plaster Crosby but didn’t do it. I’m not getting my hopes up for him to do something this year.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
3:17 pm

I want Boris to ‘plaster Crosby to the boards’ as much as anybody but I see most any crushing hit involving a large Thrasher, Crosby and a board as being largely counterproductive. I think the league is overly protective of their (now Stanley Cup champion) poster-boy and doubly so when the boarding type of hit involves non-winning southern team such as the Thrashers. Boris would likely get a game misconduct on the spot at the minimun and a suspension if it looks in any way vicious. Just my opinion.

If Big Bo can manage it as a clean open ice hit, taking the boards out of the equation, of course hammer Crosby. Since that’s not really Boris’s game and like The Earl said, he has already had his chance in two games since, I would caution Valabik about overtly going after Crosby. Bo and everybody else should just play, win the game and hammer Cindy when they get a good, clean opportunity for a hit.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
3:21 pm

Russian – “All Russians in Atlanta called him Bogus!”

Do you think Kaptain Kovy calls him Bogus? That would make it an official nickname.

Tony C.

July 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

duh. Everybody knows you can’t touch Cindy or you’ll get a 20-game suspension.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
3:31 pm

Kracker & Tony C. we can always litter the ice with “protective equipment” before opening faceoff the next time we play Pittsburgh. I guarantee it will be all over the internet, youtube and every hockey blog in North America. Think how much people will appreciate Atlanta hockey fans after that happens. Any thoughts?

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
3:34 pm

sorry for all that bold, I just learned this trick yesterday and am trying to copy how some folks here bold people’s names. Still, any thoughts on doing that for the next time Crosby takes opening faceoff against us in Philips?

GaVaHokie

July 21st, 2009
4:13 pm

Ben Wright just posted this on his blog… looks like Toronto 640am beat the Atlanta media to the punch…

Evander Kane meets Evander Holyfield…

http://www.640toronto.com/HostsandShows/LeafsLunch/Audio.aspx

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
4:15 pm

GaVaHokie, didn’t the Thrashers themselves get beat to the punch on that? They should be promoting that connection like crazy.

GaVaHokie

July 21st, 2009
4:27 pm

Earl… i agree, maybe they’re waiting for opening night, ala Lil’ Jon.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
4:35 pm

GaVaHokie, I think we are eye to eye here, but the only problem with waiting until opening night is that he might not be here opening night and if he is up in Canada in the juniors you lost any opportunity to play that angle. Instead they should be on the attack and strike while the iron is hot, do some pieces on this, even some radio ads to spark season tickets sales or e-mails blasts, something, anything, please, then it won’t matter in October if he is back in Canada because you did all this back in July. Instead they sat on their hands and didn’t reach out to anyone with this like the Toronto media did. Hopefully they will at least do something for training camp.

Sage of Blueland

July 21st, 2009
4:38 pm

i fell like de thraherz r the worstest team in da leg

suckrzss

sisu

July 21st, 2009
5:34 pm

am I missing something here? Welch would make the team in some of your opinion? Not so sure about that but I would be happy if he was a diamond in the rough…I think having many dmen is good incase of injuries.

Brendan

July 21st, 2009
6:17 pm

Looks like Atlanta’s starting to put together a more serious budget. At first preliminary glance, my guess is 82-86 points. Which ought to put us outside of the lottery draft, but not inside the field of Eight, for the playoffs.

My field of eight, at this very moment, (and that can and will change as the rest of the events of the offseason unfold,) are: Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, NJ, Carolina, Philly, Montreal, and the NY Rangers. Outside the playoffs, for now, Toronto, Ottawa, Florida, Atlanta, TB, and the NY Islanders. This is my rough guess. I think the difference between #1 and #8 won’t be huge. It might be 12-points. The #1 seed might be at 106-points, while the 8th and final might be 94-points. That’s tight. The #15 team might have 71-72 points this year. Tavares, alone, should add a double-digit point improvement for the Isles. Let’s say, it’s 72-points. That’s only 10 games under .500, “NHL-style.” There might be 3-4 teams that finish in the 90’s, but OUTSIDE of the playoffs. As is, I think Atlanta will finish in the mid-80’s range. Unless they keep moving forward, to improve the roster. Goc and Grier aren’t really that bad of a way to go. There are teams over the cap who will need to make moves to free up cap space. Even a “big spender” needs wiggle room at the trade deadline.

Duder

July 21st, 2009
6:26 pm

So when do we get the blog that says “Thrashers re-sign Kovalchuk…details to come”

Ice Meister

July 21st, 2009
8:28 pm

Brendan, kinda the way we have been talking for the past few weeks. Some teams will get better, others will disappoint. A few teams have the space to add the odd free agents (hopefully us).

Now we have to look for the teams that have young talent that will make an impact this year. We really won’t know who those teams are until the preseason or even after the seaosn starts. That’s why I discount the media folks who are making predictions now.

UFAs are rarely impact players, they normally compliment what a team already has in place. How much they compliment will not be known until after the season starts.

Greier, Goc, Moore, Malhotra-let’s hope we get one. Still cannot believe Comrie is out there too. I thought for sure he’d be taken by someone.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
9:20 pm

Brendan, I know there is the big deal about Goc becoming an unrestricted free agent and we wouldn’t be poaching him, but I just don’t see the big hub-ub about him. What’s got you so excited about him?

As for the other names mentioned, Moore would be fine, you know where I stand on Malhotra, Comrie is even an interesting suggestion Ice Meister.

But I would almost take Bertuzzi ahead of Grier, although Grier can play shorthanded which is why I liked Malhotra so much. But then again at their age that won’t continue much longer.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
11:01 pm

Let’s hope Don/Duds make a move on one of these guys. I think Goc has been a disappointment in SJ, maybe he just needs a change of scenery. Greier is a leader and you never have too many of them.