Kovy, Kari and other tidbits

As we publish Friday’s practice report, I thought I would share of a couple things from my interview with GM Don Waddell after the first period last night.

On the ongoing contract talks with Ilya Kovalchuk, Waddell said: “Talks continue on. We met in Saskatoon (at the World Junior Championships). Our priority still remains to get him signed. We’ve made some progress but we are obviously not ready yet to put a signature on a contract.

“The positive thing is the talks have continued. They haven’t broken down. We talk almost daily. To me, that’s all part of the process. If talks break down because one side puts their shoes too far in the sand then you know you’re probably at an impasse. At this point, that hasn’t happened. Both sides continue to talk and try to find away to make this deal work.

“Ilya still feels real good about the team. I’ve talked to him about him. Obviously we hit a slide here but I think we proved the first 30 games that we are a pretty good team.”

On the near return of Kari Lehtonen, Waddell said: “He’s probably  still a few weeks away. He’ll start full practices with our team next week. Let’s see how that goes next week. If we have to make a decision we haven’t ruled out going to [AHL] Chicago to play a few games.  We’ll take it from there. I always say until he becomes healthy and ready to play  something else might happen. It’s a good problem to have if and when he gets healthy.

“[He is experiencing] no pain at all. He’s been completely cleared 100 percent by our doctors and trainers. It’s all a conditioning factor now. He had a great week last week. He’s dropping some weight and getting in shape. He’ll need another week or 10 days like that before we start talking about games.”

Waddell added this about the possibility of trading one of the three goaltenders. “I hope it’s a good situation for us. It’s something we talked about last summer. Obviously, we didn’t get there. When we get there we’ll see what our options are.”

On with the report from practice.

Nik Antropov did not practice with the team. He continues to be out with a hip injury. Coach John Anderson said Antropov was “probable” for Saturday’s game against the Capitals, but I will update.

Mark Popovic and Lehtonen both had on-ice workouts before practice.

Here are the lines:

Blue: Kovalchuk-Peverley-Little

Orange: Kozlov-White-Afinogenov

Gray: Kane-Reasoner-Armstrong

Red: Boulton-Slater-Thorburn

All seven healthy defenseman took part in practice.

I will update after practice and interviews.

80 comments Add your comment

J.B.

January 8th, 2010
11:21 am

I will be uber-p.o.’d if white isn’t scratched tomorrow night. he’s the only one who sucked last night from what i saw, and admittedly I missed probably 10 mins of play here and there, total, so someone correct me if he did well and i missed it.

Mike

January 8th, 2010
11:30 am

I like Pevs working a line with Kovy and Little! Antropov getting hurt and forcing the lines to mix up might be the spark the offense needs.

[...] source Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)News: Don Waddell on Kari Lehtonen’s Distance to The RinkNews: John Anderson Believes Kari Lehtonen Skates AgainNes: No News And Don’t Expect Any SoonKari getting back into hockey shape! [...]

Dwayne

January 8th, 2010
11:52 am

White will never be scratched, WHY??? I do not know.
Was yall surprised to know that Bogo has been hurt for the 16 games or so?

Boulton Orr

January 8th, 2010
12:06 pm

Anderson plays favorites, for some bizarre reason..White is one of his favorites. Lehtonen looked like he ballooned up after missing so many games and eating cheeseburgers to become more durable. I don’t see why it’s such a question anymore, we don’t have a goalie glut..the most reliable goalie has been Moose for a long time. Lehtonen is fragile physically and Pavs is fragile mentally. I would choose Pavs over Lehtonen at this point because he still has some sort of upside, I just don’t think Kari can stay healthy. At least he isn’t being rushed back into action, because he’ll pull a groin. Moose remains the best goalie we have.

Sage of Bluesland

January 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

Good thing Donny isn’t still interim coach.

Having to see Coach Don on the bench during games, while the contract situation has stalled, could be …distracting.

Mike

January 8th, 2010
12:26 pm

With all the D we have, I am surprised that they let Bogo play so long not at 100%. You would think that possibly if he was hurt for 16 games, if you sat him for say 8 instead of playing him, he would have gotten back sooner. He definitely was a different player last night. Would have liked to have him at 100% during some of these close games recently.

On the goalie front, get Kari healthy…get Pav’s head on right…and until both are, you keep the Moose. I kind of hope that Kari isn’t back until it is too late to trade a goalie…then simply fire Weeks and move Moose into a player/goalie coach role. Any takers on that idea?

Alan R.

January 8th, 2010
12:40 pm

Dwayne, I’m not all that surprised. His game has fallen off in a dramatic fashion. I really don’t know why he’d play injured, though, and risk further injury this early in the season. That’s a mid-late playoffs kind of move that you only really find out about after the Cup has been hoisted.

Bob

January 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

What was Bogo’s injury? Makes me feel a lot better about him, knowing that his drop in play was due to injury.

So talks continue with Kovy? Question now is this, is Waddell just blowing smoke to get the other GMs nervous and get them to up their offers? We know how Don operates, he wants to play poker with it and he doesn’t want other GMs to know if he has a weak hand with Kovy

Barry

January 8th, 2010
1:04 pm

Ya I saw White completely whiff on 2-3 shots and whiff on another pass attempt. I don’t know what’s going on with the guy as he put up good numbers last season, but White has been well…ghostly this year.

erock

January 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

If we were going to sign KOVY we would have signed him already. When will everyone realize that the only person WADDELL can negotiate with is his daughter. We will not get a decent return for him at the deadline. That has been his claim to fame since the beginning.

Darkhorse

January 8th, 2010
1:12 pm

Chris-You should find out from Don if he asked Kovy why he doesn’t play any defense and expects to be paid “max” type money? I don’t blame Waddell if the deal doesn’t work out because Kovy wanted the max, but at the same time I hope he gets fired because of letting it get to that point and out of hand. If Kovy goes, so does DW I hope. And if he stays, I’m not sure that will do much for us going forward.

Not very impressed with the win last night, other than stopping the slide. A suppossed improved Thrashers team coming home, playing a mediocre opponent who played the night before, against a rookie goalie making his first start, and it took a 3rd period Slater goal just to get it to OT and a W in the shootout. It’s gonna take much more than that to get me back to the bulb spending my cash on a frequent basis. Need to turn it around with some solid regulation wins and get this Kovy situation resolved one way or the other.

GaVaHokie

January 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

Almost forgot about Waddell being interim coach when Hossa was up for UFA… I remember Hossa’s contract demands being “heavily weighted on Brad McCrimmon being named head coach.”

…pfft.

Darkhorse

January 8th, 2010
1:22 pm

Agreed erock. Waddell is paid to know these things better than us and find solutions before issues even arrise. He should have figured out what Kovy more than likely was gonna do before the season started. It’s not an exact science I understand, but a savy GM would be able to better deduce what was probably going to happen, and make plans accordingly. You could have received much more in trade assets by coming to a decision then. There is turning out to be very little difference between Hossagate and this imo. Hossa should have been figured out and gone way before the deadline.

Now the best DW can do, if he has no choice but to trade Kovy, is to probably wait until the last possible moment and see who’s desperate enough to out bid the other for a 1/2 season of his services. The major issue with that is the Olympic break interfering with that thought.

What a mess……just like the roads today.

stendec

January 8th, 2010
1:26 pm

Darkhorse echoed what I was going to post in a much more sanitized version…Not very impressed with the win last night, other than stopping the slide. A supposed improved Thrashers team coming home, playing a mediocre opponent who played the night before, against a rookie goalie making his first start, and it took a 3rd period Slater goal just to get it to OT and a W in the shootout. Preach it brother! ++STENDEC++ As for El Kapitan Ilya “Only Money Matters” Kovalchuk I say f#ck him! Ship his uncaring Maryann Hossa a$$ to any team which still believes he is worth a damn. Team will be better off without this heartless slacker! Maximum pay? Maximum my a$$! Do not get me started on Kari “Three More Big Macs” Lehtonen. Super size that please.

Smoothie

January 8th, 2010
1:43 pm

Yeah, tough to get excited about the “win” last night when you’re barely beating a tired, under-manned (no Prospal) opponent with a rookie goalie in his first start. Not to mention giving them a point, which we can’t afford right now in the standings.

On Bogosian’s apparent injury cover-up: puzzling to say the least. Why did he not rest a few games? It’s harder for D-man to be targeted for cheap shots when they’re the ones that should dishing out the punishment. Zach needs to shoot from the circle EVERY TIME. Stop trying to be Adam Oates and shoot the damn puck!

On Kovy’s contract situation: complete BS. Just trade him already.

Talked to Bob Hartley after the game last night in Taco Mac. I tried to buy him a drink and he told me he doesn’t drink. How in the world did coaching the Thrashers not drive him to drink!? Nice man and I thanked him for our playoffs appearance and getting Kovy to actually play defense once in awhile.

Lastly, Avery is an ass-clown and I would gladly fight him given the chance. I’m so stick of his “schtick”.

Bob

January 8th, 2010
2:16 pm

“Talked to Bob Hartley after the game last night in Taco Mac. I tried to buy him a drink and he told me he doesn’t drink.”

This is true. Did you get him a lemonade? That’s his “drink” in a bar setting. I tried to buy him one also at the end of his first season here, and he told me the same, but said “you can get me a lemonade”. I told him then that being our coach may drive him to start putting some vodka in that lemonade, great minds think alike, Smooth.

Chris Vivlamore

January 8th, 2010
2:18 pm

Antropov is “doubtful” for Saturday vs. Capitals according to Anderson.

Bogosian apparently had a wrist injury the past three weeks. Just found out today. Anderson reports he is fine now, but that is was contributed to his scoring dropoff.

I will let you know what Anderson said about Bogosian after I finish preview for Saturday’s game and a story on Anssi Salmela with an early deadline due to the weather.

George

January 8th, 2010
2:44 pm

I have a feeling Antropov is worse off than we know. He is out for awhile

Smoothie

January 8th, 2010
2:48 pm

Well, that’s good to hear about Bogo if in fact the wrist was bad enough to cause him some trouble. It most certainly must’ve been the reason he didn’t seem to be playing as physical as normal. And he did move the puck quite well last night in jumping up into the play several times. He is quite fun to watch up close and personal from the 13th row. Just wish he would not eschew the shot when he’s open from below the face-off dot. Yeah, he made a great pass to Pevs, but he had an open lane initially and plenty of space to the left of Johnson.

Bob – darn! I forgot about his lemonade “habit” and he didn’t request one despite my offer. Finally left my tab open and I get denied. Too bad Boulton didn’t show up as he would’ve had 2 beers with me in all likelihood. Hartley was hanging out waitin’ on a friend…actually two, Borgford and Weeksie. Woulda been more than happy buying Slater a drink too (he was the guest), but he wasn’t long for hangin’ around.

TrueBlue

January 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

Vito, Vuutu, and Tuomo…..You three are bunch of idiots.

Please stop posting on this message blog.

That is all.

Sage of Bluesland

January 8th, 2010
3:20 pm

Bob Hartley doesn’t drink?!

Not even after the Thrashers’ 2007 playoff run…?

Chris Vivlamore

January 8th, 2010
3:30 pm

Vito, Vuutu and Tuomo won’t be joining us again. Funny, they were all the same person.

Chris Vivlamore

January 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

Here’s what I got on Bogosian today:

Anderson said Friday that defenseman Zach Bogosian has fully recovered from a previously undisclosed injury to his wrist.
“About a month and a half ago he had an arm issue that lasted a few weeks,” Anderson said. “He had to have some medical attention. … He’s taking more shots and getting up in the play now. It was down by his wrist.”
Bogosian had eight goals in the Thrashers’ first 17 games. However he remains stuck at the total, having not scored since Nov. 15 – a span of 26 games.

Nutznorm

January 8th, 2010
4:15 pm

Of course idiots like Stendec were not impressed with the win last night. Why would you be impressed by anything positive that happens to this team. There is no such thing as a bad win. The playoffs dont care if you won by dominating or getting lucky. I will take two points and look forward to Saturday. PS. Apparently Stendec and others in their daily negative rants failed to realize that the team played much more solidly defensively last night. That, the more consistent play, better puck possession and getting quality scoring chances were the difference.

Brendan

January 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

I do have an update on the contract situation. Both sides are IN AGREEMENT. They’ll be eating Italian this time. Yesterday, it was Chinese. (One of them had the Kung Pao, no … it was General Tso’s chicken, and the other the Szechuan, I believe.) But today, Mr. Grossman will be having some light veal parmagiana, with vermicelli, a salad with some vinagrette dressing, and some bread, with olive oil, with a glass of Manischewitz creme wine. Mr. Waddell will be having the pasta primavera, with chicken cacciatorri, some dumplings intersperced with carrots and broccoli, and glass of chardonay. They will be toasting to how very badly they’ve SNOOKERED their respective clients, Mr. Kovalchuk and Mr. Levenson, who will be picking up the tab. Again.

After every meal, they chuckle and say, “Can’t BELIEVE we keep pulling this off!! The boys at Diner’s Club can’t believe their eyes! We’ve racked up the most GOURMAND points in their history!” Don says to Jay, “What will you do with your windfall?” Jay replies, “I haven’t really decided. You?” Don smiles and says, “Awww, I’ll probably take Cheryl and Chelsea someplace exotic and let them have WHATEVER their hearts desire.” Jay says, “You’re a good man, Don. Out of ALLL the GM’s I fleece, err, I mean deal with, you’re maybe my favorite.” Don says, “Don’t thank MEEEE, thank my hoodwinkable ownership. I couldn’t do a thing without them! I’ve enjoyed every bit of this. And just think, Jay. The trade deadline isn’t FOR WEEKS YET! Man, are we gonna get FAT! Here’s to tomorrow’s enchiladas, fajitas and burritos, ‘cuz I think we’re going MEXICAN!!!, says Don, holding up Bruce Levenson’s Platinum Visa card, waving it high in the air, while adding, “Woo-hoo!!” Clink, go the wine glasses.

Meanwhile … elsewhere in the league … a player wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. His wife says, “What is it? What’s the matter?” The player says, “I just GOTTA put 5-10 really good games together, and it’s GOT TO BE NOW!!,” he says, chilled with fear. “Why, baby? What’s wrong?,” asks the wife. “‘Cuz I just had a dream the GM called me into his office after practice.” “So?,” says the wife. The player replies, “When the GM says he wants to speak to you in his office, it can only mean a few things. (1) I’m being demoted, where I could get claimed off waivers, or (2) I’m being traded.” The wife says, “You don’t have a no trade clause. You could always get traded. At any time. It’s never BOTHERED you before.” The player says, “Yeah, but I NEVER thought I might get dealt to ATLANTA before. They haven’t signed Kovalchuk yet. And I just know, it’ll be MEEE they move to try to get him,” he says dejectedly. Adding, “And I’ve got TWO FULL YEARS LEFT on my deal! TWO!!!”

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 8th, 2010
7:07 pm

How the heck does this guy keep his job? Made the deal and sign him or make the deal and trade him. WTF!

Brendan

January 8th, 2010
8:16 pm

Miami Screaming Eagle, every 5th dinner, Waddell says, “I suppose I need to give my boss some kinda figure. So, here goes. The last offer of $8.0 million was rejected, when you counter-offered with $11.36 million. I now propose, $8.1 million? Same span of years as previously discussed. Deal?” Jay starts choking, and a waiter performs the “heimlick maneuver” on him. Waddell apologizes, by saying, “I’m sorry. I should have waited for you to swallow that bit of LOBSTER.” Jay counters, “Quite allright, Don. Quite allright. I’m fine. I think I’ll be fine. And my counter-offer is $11.35 million, per year, for the same term.” Waddell smirks and says, “Well, I’ll run by the ownership.”

Stop. Waddell knows good-n-well what is acceptable $$$ and what isn’t. But, he wouldn’t want the FREE DINNERS to stop anytime soon. So, he arranges another meeting for the next day, declaring that “no impasse” has occurred. The two sides are still talking. No one has withdrawn from negotiations. I mean, FREE DINNERS. And there’s plenty more time for lobsters and caviar. When’s the trade deadline, officially? Shoot, there’s still dozens of restaurants to sample cuisine, between now and then. And Mr. Levenson’s credit card has no spending limit. If Waddell manages to exceeded it, the bank will just authorize more. That’s how that works.

Supes

January 8th, 2010
10:13 pm

Stendec, Ilya is not worth a max contract? He’s a top 5 OFFENSIVE player in the NHL. Are you telling me that the Thrashers will get anything close to Kovy’s talent in a deal or through draft picks? We are giving away a franchise player if we trade him and replacing him with WHAT that is going to make this season’s team better?

Just damn, some have no clue what Kovy means to this organization. I bet the same ones wanted Chipper Jones traded from the Braves a while back too!

Brendan

January 8th, 2010
10:14 pm

Can anyone tell me why the Devils-Lightning game was “suspended.” The Center Ice feed for it is GONE. It was 3-0, in favor of the Bolts, at the time of the “suspension.” By definition of the word, I’m assuming this game will be FINISHED at some point, and not just declared a TB win, since they were LEADING at the time the game was called.

Hockey Biltong

January 9th, 2010
12:06 am

Devils had a lighting issue. I don’t know specifically, but would imagine a section went out and would not refire….so dark on a portion of the rink.

Lee

January 9th, 2010
8:44 am

Brendan-I don’t know, I was wondering abou that too. Do you think it was illegal starting lineups?

Lee

January 9th, 2010
8:45 am

Hockey Biltong-Oh, haha, that’d be a rip-off for your money.

ben

January 9th, 2010
9:17 am

I think Kovy’s gone, but depending on where his money gets spent, the team could be good next year. Heck they’re only three points out, so it’s doable. They just have to when a few more times than Montreal. Yes, I am aware of DW’s problems. I have said for years that this man can not or will not evaluate talent. I think the team will have to move to the northern suburbs to compete. A few years back, I’d go to Gladiator games and there would be a lot of people there. Kovygate / Savardgate / Audettegate / Hossagate will continue until this team figures out that people just don’t want to go downtown. And I say that as a proud downtown resident.

[...] Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The Thrashers aren’t giving up on re-signing Ilya Kovalchuk. On the ongoing contract talks with Ilya Kovalchuk, Waddell said: “Talks continue on. We met in Saskatoon (at the World Junior Championships). Our priority still remains to get him signed. We’ve made some progress but we are obviously not ready yet to put a signature on a contract. [...]

Chris Vivlamore

January 9th, 2010
10:07 am

Looks like Hedberg in goal tonight vs. Capitals. I will confirm and post a new blog following the morning skate.

Hijacker

January 9th, 2010
10:59 am

Supes, what about Kovy’s DEFENSE? This one of main reasons why I don’t support any deal over 9.5 million. I think that most Thrasher fans are aware of what Kovalchuk means to franchise. Also, most of us are aware of the success that the Thrashers achieved with KOVY. That’s the rough here.

Puckbelly

January 9th, 2010
11:37 am

The Braves still have Chipper and haven’t tasted success for several years – Kovy is still with the Trashers and here we are again. His losing the puck on the power play to a defender without a stick is an overall indication of his total game in my opinion. He pouts when he can’t play with his Russian buddies and is easier to bait than a hook with a bread ball.

Jimbo

January 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

The DW line sounds a lot like the two year rhetoric that we got while the Hossa debacle continued on. I have to believe that Grossman is simply playing DW so that are are forced to trade him to a team that needs help for the playoff run and hopes to sign him to a long term deal. If he gets dealt to a team with a situation that he doesn’t like, he simply enters the UFA freestakes this summer. We’ll end up with a Christensen type player or two and a draft pick. I’m not a strong Kovy fan, but losing him will cost us immensely with our fan base and overall credibility here and around the league. About the only good that may come out of this is that the ownership has to come to realization that we have a GM that doesn’t really know talent and can’t negotiate worn a damn.

Joe

January 9th, 2010
2:43 pm

How about a trade to the Capitals.Kovy for Semin, Karl Alzner or Jon Carlson and Michael Neuvirth and two first round draft picks.

Gwinnett Fred

January 9th, 2010
2:53 pm

Forget Kovy – just ain’t happening.

By Thanksgiving or we’ll be concerned. By Christmas or we’ll REALLY be concerned. Well, MLK day is only a week and a half away and the recent slide ended it. Kovy & agent are playing Don like a fool – playing the time game while the Thrash fall apart just enough to convince Kovy to bolt.

I just don’t see how Kovy (or anybody) can say we’re headed in the right direction with so many players simply sucking (Kozlov, White, Little – and not just recently). Even Bogo is a -12 this year – yikes. I was going to include Antropov given his lackluster scoring for a big contract, but his +14 easily leads the team, so he gets a pass on a weak 11 goals in a half season.

Anyway, I’m starting to wonder if resigning Kovy is the best idea anyway. I don’t see us getting any better over the team we have now, and if we throw $11 million at him, who else are we going to bring in?

When does Kozlov’s contract end? That’s $4 million we can sure put to better use. Not to mention White’s $2.5 million. Oh yea, I don’t suppose anybody can justify Hainesy’s $5 million or Salmela’s $6 million either. Basically that’s $17.5 million for a -34 +/- on a team that’s only a -5. Or putting it another way, notcounting Kovy, that’s 41% of the teams salary going to 4 players that simply aren’t getting it done. Nice GM work there!

OK, done venting – those 9 game losing streaks really build up some anger inside a guy. Anyway, getting ready for tonight’s game – hope there’s more than just my family there with the Dallas-Philly game on TV going against it!

stendec

January 9th, 2010
2:56 pm

Hi Chris, Sage and LAC. I know all of you know what a team captain is. This post is for all single brain cell apologists who do not have a clue. An NHL team captain (TC) is not always the most talented member of the club. A TC is not always the tallest, most muscular or highest point tabulator. A true TC virtually has to be tied to the bench so he will not join players on ice. A TC is an instigator. A TC gets on nerves of opponents from the start of a game until the final buzzer sounds. A TC is not selfish. A TC does not expect teammates to constantly feed him puck in an effort to pad personal statistics. A TC wants teammates to put puck in the net because he understands importance of being a team player. A TC knocks the Hell out of guys in different colored uniforms. A TC comes to the assistance of teammates. A TC could not skate a figure eight if his life depended. A TC takes it personally when a rival scores. A TC suffers with every defeat. A TC makes those around him play above themselves. El Kapitan Ilya “Money Over Team Every Time” Kovalchuk fails every criteria a TC must meet. What does Russian do well? SportSouth airs that sugary sweet fairy tale segment on overrated bum every damn day. Other that that, uh, well, eh, he is the best blasted figure eight skater in NHL. Captain? Captain my a$$! ++STENDEC++

erock

January 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

Thrasher fans tonight is the night to see if Kovy is worth the money. Head to head with the Captain Ovechkin on the same ice

Brendan

January 9th, 2010
5:06 pm

Uhhh, I never really to make “cross-sports” comparisons. Lots of things just, plain don’t correlate. But, I toss this out there in the theatre of ideas. Chipper Jones is a complete player. He can play 1st base, 3rd base, or outfield. And he’ll excel in his defensive play. Uhh, can the same be said of CAREER -86 Kovalchuk? Chipper Jones can bat left-handed and right-handed. This is a valuable, valuable thing in baseball. I’m not too sure there’s any benefit to a player, in HOCKEY, who can shoot lefty one game and righty in the next. I can, perhaps, see some benefit to it for goalies who learn to CATCH with their THROWING hand. For it would allow a goaltender to catch the puck, then drop it, and shoot with their TRADITIONAL hand. But Kovy is not a goalie.

Moving right along … Chipper can hit for power from the left and the right. His slugging percentage is very good. And that helps him bolster his RBI stats. The closest thing my brain can come up with as a hockey correlation might be his Power Play statistics. As in, when the team enjoys a manpower advantage, then it MIGHT BE SAID that the “runners are in scoring position.” But I don’t really know that it’s an apt comparison.

In baseball, there’s an “onbase percentage.” I guess the closest thing to that in hockey would be the +/- stat, which for Kovalchuk, is egregious at -85 or -86. Chipper has decent speed on the basepaths. I guess we can say Kovalchuk has excellent footspeed. He is 26. Not even in his PRIME yet.

Allright, and finally, baseball doesn’t have ANYTHING resembling a HARD SALARY CAP. There’s just a “luxury tax,” which a SMART team would pay every time, to ensure their prosperity, if not championships. In Hockey, no such luxury exists. The cap is what it is and CANNOT BE EXCEEDED without crippling the franchise as the CONSEQUENCE for violating it. (That’s why nobody has yet DARED try it.) In short, the hockey GM cannot simply OVERPAY to retain the player, no matter how important he may be to the future of the organization. He’s got to field a team around that player. Otherwise, you might as well grab the Peoria Riverman (AHL team) and make Kovalchuk their captain. What’s the difference? You’d have a SuperStud, Tier I, one-dimensional scoring machine surrounded by K-Mart “blue light” specials. That “concept” won’t work.

Any second now, the poster known as “Bob, Other” will appear to say, “Sure it will work. It’ll ENSURE that the Thrashers are the 15th best team in the NHL, every year. A sound business plan, moving forward.” You’ll forgive me if I vomit inside my mouth a little bit. The LAST THING I want, as a fan, is 10-straight years of UTTERLY FUTILE first round playoff sweeps. “But it’s a playoff game! It’s a playoff game,” I’ll hear him chip, to the tune of Chicken Little’s “The Sky is Falling.” I’ll take the ebbs and flows EVERY TIME over that plan. I’m fine with 3-4 playoff berths in a decade, so long as when those playoff berths occur, there is a genuine and legitimate shot to advance DEEP into the playoffs. If my options are three playoffs berths, two times in the CF, with one Stanley Cup win/appearance … PER DECADE, I’d TAKE IT, TAKE IT, TAKE IT!! Any day of the week. How many Cups do the St. Louis Blues have in 40 years? The Leafs? The Sabres, Coyotes, Capitals or Canucks? Winning a CUP “once-per-decade” would sure be okay with me. As well as fans in the aforementioned markets.

Signing Kovalchuk at the league MAX, to ensure mediocrity, is hardly an intelligent move. I see and recognize the need to improve on the core area of “player retention,” especially as it relates to the “face of the franchise,” but not AT ANY COST. My foot is coming down on that one. The foot is on the florr. The foot has spoken.

Curly

January 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

Puckbelly – Good point.

Kovalchuk is a defensive liability. Every year he is a (-) minus player at even strength. More goals are scored against the Thrashers vs. Thrashers goals when he is on the ice at even strength. This type of Defensive effort (or lack thereof) does not deserve a Max. NHL salary. Kovy is not a complete Hockey Player. He has not EARNED a max. salary. If he can not come to grips with this fact… trade him.

Mike

January 9th, 2010
5:11 pm

Gwinnett Fred…according to NHLNUMBERS.COM, Salmela is only making $600,000 this year, not $6 million.

Jimbo

January 9th, 2010
5:21 pm

Big, big game tonight. If we beat the Caps in regulation with Kovy shinning vs. The Great O., then threre may be hope for the rest of the season. If we bomb out, count us out. This is the GUT CHECK for the Peachtree Pansies.

john r

January 9th, 2010
5:36 pm

white was a healthy scratch for a recent game. he really should be the designated permanent healthy scratch.

i marvel how kovy can hang at the defensive blue line looking for a pass when the defensemen are being overwhelmed near the net. i’m shocked that his +/- is still on the good side.

has salmonella ever played forward? if one of the defensemen has the ability to do so, that would relieve the logjam on the blueline and maybe get the attention of some of the forwards.

schubert has made a believer of me.

Brendan

January 9th, 2010
5:44 pm

Mike, I thik what Gwinnett Fred meant was that Kubina was making $5 million and Hainsey $4.5 million. I forgot what Bogosian’s cap hit is, but it must include whatever bonuses he’s entitled to. Enstrom makes around $3.5 think? But he’s got three more years left. So, he’s not going anywhere. Neither is Hainsey, unless traded. Hainsey’s deal is a 5-year deal, signed back in 2008, after the Thrashers lost the Campbell sweepstakes. Schubert is just a waiver claim. Salmella was a trade deadline move last year, who got re-signed during the offseason the summer. Valabik signed an RFA contract in the offseason. He’s not going anywhere, unless traded, also.

CJ Dawg

January 9th, 2010
7:34 pm

Dear Chris – Please please please ask the Thrasher organization WHY they backed out of a GSHL vs. Team Quebec event that was to occur at 8 AM tomorrow (Sunday 1/10/2009) morning.

We were just informed (12 hours prior to event) that it has been CANCELLED as the Thrasher organization has Backed out of allowing the game to take place between Team Quebec and the Peachtree Ridge Lions High School Hockey team (Same P.R. High School that has been in the State Playoffs in football for the past few years :~).

This was such a nice way to promote High School Hockey in Georgia and bring our Canadien and U.S. kids together in Hockey at the High School level and is just a great disappointment that the Thrasher Organization has pulled the plug!

If you can please reply to us what you find as their Excuse! Again, Hockey is not the most popular sport in Georgia as we all know, but when you punch our Local Hockey organizations in the stomach with this kind of stuff, is there any wonder why Phillips is not selling out? I for one will think twice about the next Thrasher Ticket I purchase and can imagine hundreds of other High School hockey fans will echo the sentiment!!! ANd we are ones that ALREADY LOVE THE SPORT of HOCKEY!