UPDATE II: Lehtonen traded to Dallas

Here is my story on the Lehtonen trade:

Kari Lehtonen will play another NHL game – it just won’t be for the Thrashers.

The Thrashers traded the goaltender, recovering from two off-season back surgeries, to Dallas on Tuesday for defensive prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy and a fourth-round draft pick this year.

Lehtonen, 26, is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (204), wins (94), save percentage (.912) and shutouts (14). He is also the single-season record holder for games (68), minutes (3,934), wins (34), shutouts (4) – all set in 2006-07 – and save percentage (.916, 2007-08). He finished his Thrashers career with a 94-83-17 record and a 2.87 goals-against average.

After returning from a two-week conditioning stint at AHL Chicago on Sunday, Lehtonen practiced with the team on Monday and Tuesday. He was scheduled to accompany the team to Denver for Wednesday’s game against the Avalanche, but did not make the trip.

With the Thrashers carrying three goaltenders, the play of Johan Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec made Lehtonen the odd man out, according to Thrashers general manager Don Waddell.

“As the season went on, we had two guys that proved they were capable of carrying the load,” Waddell said. “ … One hundred percent (Hedberg and Pavelec) are doing a good job for us.”

Lehtonen required surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in July. In October, he had a second surgery to remove edges of bone that were applying pressure to nerve roots in two locations in his back. He has not played an NHL game since April 11, 2009.

For his part, Lehtonen said he believed he was NHL-ready after this minor-league stint. He went 1-2-2 with a .899 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average in four starts for Chicago.

“The first couple of games over there were pretty tough,” Lehtonen said. “They got a lot better and I feel really good. We got what we needed from it. … [Playing an NHL game] is going to be different, but I think I’m ready to take that next step.”

Waddell said several teams scouted Lehtonen during his AHL stint, wanting to see if the goaltender was fully recovered. In the end, he said, Dallas made the best offer.

Getting Lehtonen into NHL games, while the team is in a playoff race, was also a reason the deal. The trade comes before Friday’s NHL roster freeze for the two-week Olympic break.

“We were obviously in a situation where we had three goaltenders,” Waddell said. “We were afraid if we went into the Olympic break it was going to be hard to get Kari back in [to play games]. This was something that made the most sense.”

Lehtonen can become a restricted free agent on July 1.

The trade for Lehtonen, a first-round pick in 2002 (No. 2 overall), comes five days after the Thrashers traded Ilya Kovalchuk, a first-round pick in 2001 (No. 1 overall).

“Kari Lehtonen is a proven elite goaltender,” Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk told the team’s Web site. “We are very excited to add him to our hockey club.”

Vishnevskiy currently plays for the AHL’s Texas Stars and is considered a top prospect. The first-round pick in 2006 by Dallas (No. 27 overall), turns 22 in eight days. He made his NHL debut last season, appearing in three games with two assists. He played two December games with the Stars this season and has appeared in 51 AHL games for Texas with 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists).

The 6-foot, 195-pounder is a native of Barnaul, Russia. He played most of last season with AHL Peoria, scoring 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). The three previous seasons he played for Rouyn-Noranda of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Vishnevskiy led all QMJHL rookie defensemen in scoring in 2005-06 with 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists). Vishnevskiy was assigned to AHL Chicago following the trade.

“He’s got great upside, plus we have another draft pick in the basket,” Waddell said.

Original blog:

This blog comes to you from the plane before departing for Denver.

Only real news to come out of this morning’s practice is that defenseman Boris Valabik did indeed suffer a torn ACL in his left knee. He was placed on injured reserve today. The plan is wait several days for the swelling to go down before scheduling surgery.

At practice today, Niclas Bergfors and Evander Kane were working with the power-play unit. Coach John Anderson said he would like them to get a little more practice before getting into a game on the special team but “if I see we need a little spark, I will put them in.”

Here is Anderson on the importance of this road trip:

“We were just talking to the team, our goal on this trip is to get into the playoffs (position) before the break That’s going to be our goal. I think it’s pretty realistic. I think we’ll need four or five points. We’ve got some tough teams to play but if we play as a team … we are moving in the right direction and I think we can do it.

“If you don’t set goals, you end up wandering around. I’m trying to set bars for us. We’ve got to make the playoffs. That’s the bottom line.”

Line combinations remained the same. Slava Kozlov skated on the line with Marty Reasoner, Chris Thorburn and Eric Boulton.

I shall report in from Denver at tomorrow morning’s sate.

118 comments Add your comment

J.B.

February 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

what’s the over/under on Kari being on the team plane when it lands back in Atlanta on Sunday?

kracker

February 9th, 2010
2:29 pm

Looks like mgmt. is thinking the same as we are: Four more games before the TD. Three this week and the fourth is on March 2nd after the O break. In the playoffs or out? Buyers or sellers? Well, a playoff caliber team will get the necessary points this week but I don’t know if they can do it. COL, MIN and CHI are a combined 40 games over 500.

Two points tomorrow will be HUGE!! One is good, zero is unthinkable. The players know the score and at least they’ve finally had time for a few practices to work on the new team.

GSUFan

February 9th, 2010
2:41 pm

Excellent! From what I saw on Saturday night, there is a spark. DW said it at the Townhall. If you think these boys have given up, you’re wrong. I see it, and I think if they take advantage before the break and end up with 4-6 (I think they can win all of the road trip games, but let’s just start with one, right?) points we’ll be in good shape

TheFan79

February 9th, 2010
2:47 pm

At least win 2 out of 3 .

Russ

February 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

I’d be very happy with 3 pts. in the next three games considering the opponents.

Jack

February 9th, 2010
3:02 pm

J.B. I believe its -400 for kari to on a differnt plane. My guess is either Dallas or St. Louis. Not sure how good he is but Koci for the avs broke his hand, so he may not play against us

StateBird

February 9th, 2010
3:09 pm

I’m with Russ. I’d be pleasantly surprised if we ended up with 3 pts out of this trip. I see a strong chance that we end up with 0.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

C’mon guys, get as many points as possible. 0 points is unacceptable.

Old Time Hockey

February 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

Kari will miss the plane while waiting for his order of 6 Cinnabons at the airport.

mike

February 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

the best news is according to levenson no matter what happened 0 point from this three games or 0 point from next 82 games DW still going to be GM. no one can do this job like he. thrashers just blessed to have saint donny.

Brendan

February 9th, 2010
4:49 pm

I think everyone wants Atlanta to land all six points. But way more important than those points are the Thrashers having a GM who has a PLAN moving forward. We are now in the post-Kovalchuk/Savard/Kaberle/Heatley-Hossa era. And we simply must develop a new strategy or “concept.” I recommend the “depth strategy.” And if not that, try the Brian Burke model. But do try “something.”

Before this season began, I had the Colorado Avalanche game circled on my calender. I’ll tell you why. In the previous draft, Colorado picked one draft position ahead of us. Like many fans, I expected them to be in the tank, poised for a return to the lottery draft. Obviously, I was wrong about that assertion. I freely admit being wrong about that assertion. But still, it remains in my mind that Colorado would be a great chance to see how we stack up against a team that was in the same boat we were, last June.

That’s still true. Let’s see how we fair. I figured, during the offseason, that we’d know if we were a playoff team or not by now. I did. That was my thought process. Right now, I cannot tell you if Atlanta is or isn’t a playoff team. But when I circled this game on the calendar, I also had this thought in mind.

Ready? Okay, I thought we’d be a little higher than we are right now in the standings. And I thought that if the Thrashers lost this game vs. the Avalanche … that it would show that we’re still not capable of banking points against LESSER opposition. That’s not the situation today. Today, the Avalanche are seen as a good team, a playoff team, and now … winning this game would show that we are headed towards the playoffs.

I really cannot stress how important the Avalanche game really is.

Mike

February 9th, 2010
4:57 pm

Ok with boris tearing the ACL, are we looking at him missing a full season or at least the majority of next year? If so, then I say, sign Kubina now for 2 years if the cost is good. Then we could have Kubina, Enstrom, Oyuda, Bogo, Hainsey, Kulda as our top 6. Then Schubert can be #7 until Boris is healthy again. Hopefully management will be proactive and look to resign Kubina soon.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
6:29 pm

Lehtonen, Valabik, Schubert…….wait, what is wrong with Schubert?

Farel

February 9th, 2010
6:41 pm

I really think we are still in this! The playoff race is tight and we need to start getting some points. My hope is we keep going with the energy we have right now and some of the other teams go on the skids like we did earlier. Practice looked good today. Energy was high and the guys were focused. GO THRASHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Vivlamore

February 9th, 2010
7:53 pm

I am hearing more than rumblings that Kari Lehtonen has been traded to Dallas. He didn’t accompany team to Denver. An annoucement could come tonight or tomorrow.

Waddells a Skunk

February 9th, 2010
8:11 pm

Why would Waddell the Skunk trade Kari for a defenseman? Can’t he at least get a young offensive forward or high draft pick?
Waddell the Skunk the is at it again….

Alan R.

February 9th, 2010
8:11 pm

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

ESG

February 9th, 2010
8:11 pm

Wow. I knew this was going to happen, but I don’t think this was the right decision. Kari is a world class goalie and Pavelec is only back-up quality. Huge downgrade.

kracker

February 9th, 2010
8:11 pm

WOW!!! I hope these guys have a plan for another goalie. I don’t think Pavs and Moose can do it down the stretch.

Puckstoppa

February 9th, 2010
8:15 pm

Vishnevskiy? The guy has played 5 NHL games according to hockeydb.com.

That’s a terrible deal.

Dr. R

February 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

Forgive me if it’s been written already, but it sucks to be a) a Thrashers fan, and b) an AirTran ad exec. Everybody who does one of their ads gets traded.

Buzz

February 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

Why add another D-man? SOMEONE HAS TO SCORE! Waddell you totally suck.

Brunnstrom or Neal (I wish) better be coming back if we trade away a #2 pick (and starting goalie)

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:18 pm

The Thrashers need to leave town and stop taking up space in one of our arenas. This is crap.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:19 pm

Dude, this guy sucks! Ok, Ya, Lehtonen is almost always injured, but still…this is ridonkulous!

kracker

February 9th, 2010
8:19 pm

Where is Atantan?

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:20 pm

Hockey is a fags game.

Buzz

February 9th, 2010
8:20 pm

I am not joking, but Waddell is trading for a D-man that has only scored ONE GOAL … and it was against his OWN TEAM! He must be related to Waddell … they are both universally hated in their locker rooms.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:21 pm

I think it makes sense to trade a goalie for a goalie? Don’t you think? Or, at least another scorer, but a defenseman??????????? Ugh, IDIOTS!

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:22 pm

Real men don’t skate.

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:24 pm

They play football.

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:24 pm

It’s time for you pansy asses to leave town.

BG33Brown(LAC=Loser)

February 9th, 2010
8:26 pm

Native, learn how to spell first and then get back to us. Then go drive your pickup truck across a dirt field and talk about dukes of hazzard.

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:27 pm

I’ll do just that and that dirt field might just be your front yard.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:28 pm

They’ve already left town.

Native Atantan

February 9th, 2010
8:29 pm

Yankee go home.

johndd1

February 9th, 2010
8:30 pm

From CBSsportsline.com “…Vishnevskiy is definitely one of the Stars’ top prospects and a developing two-way player…”
4 goals and 9 assists in 33 AHL games.
And “Buzz”, he has only played in two NHL games, so dont hold that “only 1 goal” against him.
If that is the deal, I suppose like it.
Besides, Vish is probably better than anyone this franchise will draft in the 1st round…gotta get our talent from somewhere, right?

BG33Brown

February 9th, 2010
8:30 pm

According to hockeyfutures.com he is the #1 prospect in the Dallas Stars system. If so, that is a great pick up for a goalie who resembles the stay puff marshmellow.

A fluid skater, Vishnevskiy has all the offensive tools to become a powerplay quarterback in the NHL. He’s undersized and only average in his own end, two things that will work against him at the professional level. However, he has the vision and skill set that enable him to be a great puck-mover. Reads plays well and has the skating ability to stay in the play defensively, but isn’t consistent enough in that regard. Needs to figure out a way to handle power forwards effectively.

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:32 pm

Psh, I don’t want future, I want now!!!!

Sage of Bluesland

February 9th, 2010
8:32 pm

Well, so ends the saga of the glass-groined wunderkind–who Donny took with the 2nd pick of the draft overall way back in 2002…and blustered about getting the player he wanted all along.

I wanted Rick Nash–and several here will attest to that statement (i.e. Brendan)–and said that drafting the soft Euroteen was a mistake and nothing but a much-needed play for time. It worked magnificently, as all we heard was “Just you wait until this kid makes it to the show!”…

(and before an ignorant person states that “Nash went first and we couldn’t have drafted him”, I suggest you research the deal which took place between Florida and Columbus with the 1st and 3rd picks that year–it will be interesting to see who wins the ‘race’ for being a bigger buffoon than our own Donny!)

Just another frittered lottery pick from our fraud of a GM. Wow, that was on the better side of almost 10 years ago! Simply amazing that our blustering, bumbling, little promise-maker/breaker still has a job doing anything but cleaning toilets at the arena…

(but, then again, Donny’s true medium is in waste-disposal…the stories of him and his port-a-potty business are legendary in Michigan…)

czechmate

February 9th, 2010
8:44 pm

There have been rumblings for the last few years about how badly Waddell needs to go. This is proof positive. I understand he’s not the only one calling the shots (the issues the owners are causing would take a whole ‘nother blog!). But for crying out loud! At this point in time, he sure is the common denominator! We’ve been through how many players? How many coaches? This sh*t’s gotta stop rolling downhill sometime!

One thing is clear, Kovy didn’t want to be a part of this team b/c he doesn’t think we can win. So far, he’s right. I don’t blame him for not wanting to waste his best years in Atlanta if the GM can’t manage to build a team that can make it to the playoffs but one time in a decade! And I’m inclined to completely disregard that one time… can we say swept?

Reason he didn’t trade a goalie for a goalie is probably b/c he’s hoping to pick one up in the draft pick. Maybe if all the fans who attend the games hold up signs demanding Waddell’s dismissal, they’ll cave to the pressure. I mean, it’s not like they need anymore bad press…

Bob

February 9th, 2010
8:47 pm

this reeks of a salary dump. Why dump Lehtonen now? You invested a #2 overall pick in him, and he just came back from the surgeries. Why not see how he does? Pavelec isn’t ready yet. Moose isn’t a true #1. WTF are they doing?

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:53 pm

Go on Waddell, trade the rest of the team too! “Hey Winnepeg! Your kinda far North, long way from home, I might get homesick.” Nah………

Lee

February 9th, 2010
8:55 pm

They might as well give Kari to the Stars, Ivan just takes up roster space.

LAC

February 9th, 2010
8:55 pm

Hey brown33 What do you say we meet and I will clean your clock and diaper ? Can you man up for that “tough” guy ? If anyone on this blog is a bigger GOOF that you I’d like to see who.

So pick a place & time… I’ll show, How about you ?

czechmate

February 9th, 2010
8:55 pm

I just have to say… please don’t let Mr. Native Atantan sour your opinion of the rest of us. I’m a native Atlantan (note my spelling, Mr. Atantan) and I wouldn’t claim him as a fellow native if I had to. I personally think he’s posing… he shows absolutely no sign of the southern hospitality that’s born and bred into us!

But back to hockey… I’ll pit my weakest hockey D-man against your best football D-man ANY day. I know many of you must be both football and hockey fans. But even you guys have to admit, football players ain’t got nothin’ on hockey!

kracker

February 9th, 2010
8:56 pm

Calm down, everybody, at least for tonight. I think there’s more moves to come so let’s see what happens. Ivan Vish may be coveted by another GM, perhaps in a pkg deal, etc. Or maybe he is being acquired by the Thrash a depth/future asset for a player you have decided is no longer an asset. After all, Vishnevskiy was a late 1st rounder and is rated as a top prospect in the Dallas system and appears to be close to NHL ready. Last time I looked, Dallas has a pretty good system.

Matt the Brave

February 9th, 2010
8:57 pm

Again, starting for your Kansas City Thrashers….

geez. When is Don Waddel going to be fired? We have great picks every year, and we do mostly crap with them. We’re the Montreal Expos and/or the Baltimore Orioles for the NHL. Great talent that gets traded away because of our measely payroll and get crap in return.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
8:57 pm

Maybe the deal is for Brunnstrom. Nothing official yet, perhaps its just rumor of a “high” prospect?

Wishful thinking I suppose. But as long as Dealin’ Donnie aint done after this, I’m willing to reserve judgment.

Mike

February 9th, 2010
8:58 pm

Wow. I wonder if the players really don’t have confidence in Kari and that is why we aren’t using him over the next 3 games. While I know we need all the points we can get before the break and putting a goalie coming off an injury may not be the best idea, I have to think they could get more if Kari was showcased a bit.

I also have a bad feeling that Kari is going to stay healthy in Dallas and he is finally going to show why he was a #2 pick. Goalies take awhile to develop so I kind of hate to see him go. Plus, (1) I’m not sure why we need another defenseman (unless we are going to flip him with someone else for a forward) and (2) I am still not sold on Pavs.

Tim Tebow's Tears

February 9th, 2010
8:58 pm

Lehtonen won’t get us to the promised land. You never draft goalies high in the draft. I’ve been calling for him to be traded for a couple years now

Mike

February 9th, 2010
9:02 pm

Also…everyone is yelling that DW needs to once again be fired after this move but come on…if Dudley blessed this trade, half of you wouldn’t be adding this to a list of DW dumb moves just yet.

Mike

February 9th, 2010
9:04 pm

Bob McKenzie tweets: The deal is Kari Lehtonen to Dallas for defenceman Ivan Vishnevsky and a fourth-round draft choice.

Alan R.

February 9th, 2010
9:04 pm

Atlanta got back far more than I thought they would. Dallas’ top prospect *AND* a 4th? Lehtonen was only worth the 4th!

Donnie W still blows

February 9th, 2010
9:08 pm

Ever notice that Donnie W loves undersized European players? We’ve picked up three more in less than a week now. Teams with undersized European players tend to get their asses kicked. Compare to Detroit, for example, which does have a fair number of Europeans, to include some big ass-kicking Europeans. Are you paying attention Donnie W? A blueline with teenie Europeans might work in the KHL, but not the NHL.

Somaatl95 (Atlanta Native!)

February 9th, 2010
9:19 pm

Lots of people complaining here about the pending/possible Kari trade – look around – I have seen a lot of Dallas fans livid that they are giving so much for a goalie who is prone to injury and hasn’t acted like he has given a squat in his rehab assignment. Plus a lot of people are thinking there may be a deal for Turco in Atlanta coming in the offseason, since the folks in Dallas seem to think Turco is not sticking around. Before you get pissed see what the other teams fans say about the trade – if they are pissed Atlanta got a oood deal, right?

Zulu

February 9th, 2010
9:20 pm

Buyers or sellers at the trading deadline? No question that the Thrash should not be buyers. Previous TD trades with the Flyers and Blues confirm it.

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
9:25 pm

Wow, your new Atlanta Thrasher!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDBGetIsg_4

The Cup is Ours.

Raider Fan

February 9th, 2010
9:28 pm

Wow. Don Waddell makes a fan-freaking-tastic trade. That’s a first.

Somaatl95 (Atlanta Native!)

February 9th, 2010
9:30 pm

Stroz, it was one messed up play. How many times have we suffered under stupid mistakes? I’m sure the kid learned from it. Its not like he is a Zhitnik or anything….

Alan R.

February 9th, 2010
9:36 pm

Stroz, at least it wasn’t something like this.

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
9:42 pm

Look guys, just think of the irony. Patrick Stefan, our former first 1st round pick, couldn’t put the puck in an empty net from 6 inches away for Dallas and the new guy, who we just traded a second overall pick for, scores on his own net for Dallas.

That’s funny…I don’t care who you are!

czechmate

February 9th, 2010
9:44 pm

And to think, Štefan used to play for us…

FJ

February 9th, 2010
9:50 pm

Stroz, at least it wasn’t something like this.

…or this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgLNPsHG9nc

czechmate

February 9th, 2010
9:54 pm

Stroz, it would be one thing if he’d have intentionally shot at his own net and scored. But what you’re picking on was a fluke. The game is full of flukes. Bound to happen when you’re dealing with dealing with a 3″ piece of rubber on a sheet of ice. Sometimes they’re in your favor, sometimes they’re not. Unfortunately, that was a really obvious, really bad fluke for Vish. Don’t get too hung up on it!

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

February 9th, 2010
9:54 pm

Here’s the link from CBS Sports:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=309569

ben

February 9th, 2010
9:57 pm

Rejoice! The cup is ours!

Waddels is BRILLIANT! Jeeze! Iliya who?

In case you’re interested, the Devs are playing a game wednesday night.

stendec

February 9th, 2010
9:57 pm

God does answer prayers. Amen. ++STENDEC++ WAHOOOO!!!!!!! Dr Feelgood just informed me that Thrashers are now cancer free.

ben

February 9th, 2010
9:58 pm

BTW, are there deals with Center Ice at the start of a season?

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
10:01 pm

Colby Armstrong is the next to go.

http://twitter.com/kausatoday

ben

February 9th, 2010
10:02 pm

Wads is preparing to sell this team. Either that, or he has well and truly lost his mind.

Not Blind

February 9th, 2010
10:15 pm

Lehtonen is about the last remnant of the old Kovalchuk era. DW is cleaning out the cobwebs.

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
10:21 pm

Waddell is cleaning out the payroll, Armstrong and Kubina are next.

David

February 9th, 2010
10:36 pm

Best deal we’ve made in a while. Lehts is a career fragile crapshoot who plays 3 games and pulls his groin. We just picked up one of the best young defenseman out there. Everybody in Dallas raves, raves, and raves about this guy. Good job Mgmnt.

The Real Thrash

February 9th, 2010
10:39 pm

So we trade the 2nd overall pick in the draft for a prospect and a 4th rounder and this is called a good trade? This is why Wadell will never be gone!

StateBird

February 9th, 2010
10:40 pm

If you want to see what is going on with the ASG/Thrashers simply watch Major League. I hope the guys in the locker room can similarly rally around each other.

kracker

February 9th, 2010
10:43 pm

David, agree. Tho I’m looking for another move or two, one to be a goalie, maybe w/ Montreal…they are cap strapped and have two top-tier goalies. Could be Vish goes to Habs.

jonathan

February 9th, 2010
10:45 pm

i think thrashers are crazy trade Lehtonen i just don’t see pavs being top goaltender

kracker

February 9th, 2010
10:46 pm

hmmm…Maybe not another g move. Chris Viv tweeted: Waddell said play of Hedberg and Pavelec made Lehtonen the odd man out. “They have proved to be capable of carrying the load.”

I’m not sold at all on Pavs.

Albert

February 9th, 2010
10:56 pm

I really thought we would get more for Lehtonen. If Wad was serious about making the playoffs couldn’t he have gotten us an NHL level player who could add depth to a forward line and perhaps score a few?

Telfo

February 9th, 2010
11:10 pm

great deal for an extreme injury risk

Chris Vivlamore

February 9th, 2010
11:12 pm

I have updated the blog above with my final Lehtonen trade story.

fes

February 9th, 2010
11:22 pm

Fantastic. Another d-man. First, he won’t go after any d-men and now he won’t stop. We have no goalies signed beyond this year and just traded away an RFA. Lehts will mature sooner or later, at which point Don will say “See, I told ya he would be good”.

*facepalm*

StateBird

February 9th, 2010
11:35 pm

Just watched the end of the Stars-Hawks game and Stars Live afterwards. The DAL crew likes the trade and said they were giving up little for a potential game changer.

For what its worth another ATL franchise traded (gave) away a very talented but young and immature player at a key position … Brett Favre.

CrazyDiamond

February 9th, 2010
11:48 pm

We are so screwed. Game Over.. The Thrashers have never had a goalie that could carry the team to / through the playoff – and we still don’t. What’s up with that? Bad luck? Injury ridden? Bad judge of talent? Lack of payroll dollars?

On with the rebuilding project! We are so screwed.

James Brown

February 10th, 2010
12:17 am

Last two trades have Dudley`s imprint………The Thrashers are young and talented……………wait and see!!!

Brendan

February 10th, 2010
12:20 am

Don’t worry. Don Waddell will talk Curtis Joseph out of retirement.

2025

February 10th, 2010
12:40 am

After breaking every goaltending record in the NHL, Kari Lehtonen is retiring. Lehtonen, who was initially pressed into service too early in his career by a struggling Atlanta hockey franchise, really turned things around after successful back surgery and a trade to the Dallas Stars. With the Stars, Lehtonen broke Marty Brodeur’s all time win record and once posted an unbelievable eighteen game shutout streak. Lehtonen led the Stars to six Stanley Cup titles in his fifteen year tenure. He will surely be remembered as the best goalie in NHL history.

David

February 10th, 2010
12:41 am

I honestly think this trade kills 2 birds with one stone. 1) rid the franchise of 3 goalies and we traded the one with the highest salary, the most injury problems, and the one who hasn’t been in the locker room all year….good…..2) In all likelihood Kubina is gone one way or the other for next year. He was acquired in a trade. Whether he leaves via trade or free agency, building depth on the D line for the future is probably our biggest priority in my opinion.

Think about the young talent we now have at the D position….it’s actually something i look at and am impressed by.

Enstrom 25
Bogo 19 (can he really only be 19????)
Oduya 28
Vish 21
Valabik 23
Popovic 27
Hainsey 28
Schubert 28

That’s fantastic. I look at this trade as getting rid of a cancer (in a way)

Jack

February 10th, 2010
12:48 am

Vish is awesome. You guys will love him. He can shoot the puck and skate like zubov. We just traded for a fat drunk cripple. Dallas is ready to scalp Joe neiwendyk. Maybe we can trade GMs.

David

February 10th, 2010
12:48 am

As for the rest of the trade season……

We have a lot of centers, and not a lot of wingers……good for faceoffs, bad for scoring.

Judging by Waddell’s past of being active during the trade deadline period, you’d have to assume there are at least a couple more moves coming. Kubina possibly, White (hopefully), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Army or Reasoner go as well.

scottbravesfan

February 10th, 2010
2:23 am

I posted this on bleacher report and I thought it would be good to post it on here for those who think that the Thrashers should move.

Look Atlanta is a transient town. Only how people are going to go to the games is if the team wins and the team has not won in 11 years. They do not care about one player nor should they. The Thrashers are horrible. I’ve been a fan since 2000 and watching this team play this season and seeing they are actually battling for a playoff spot is laughable and shows just how awful the eastern conference is in the NHL. If you want to compare Atlanta to other cities the two obvious ones are Washington DC and Dallas. Atlanta and DC are very similar. Both have a ton of transplants and both have terrible traffic. Their fan support is also very similar. Remember when the Capitals had Jagr? They didn’t draw flies and yet they made the playoffs. I remember watching a playoff games a few years ago when they had Jagr and there was an announced crowd of 15,000 fans for a playoff game. So what happen to the Caps? They drafted Ovechkin, changed their jerseys to red, and started winning games and the fans came in droves. The Washington Nationals and Wizards can’t draw flies and even the Redskins have a ton of empty seats at their games. Atlanta is the same way. If the Thrashers started winning and were one of the best teams in the east they would start to draw. Hell they set an expansion attendance record their first year and the year they made the playoffs they averaged around 17,000 fans a game and Philips Arena was packed and loud during that one playoff series, when they were swept by the Rangers. The Hawks are drawing well now that they are winning. The Falcons started drawing well when Arthur Blank bought the team and the Braves drew 3 million fans 6 times in the 1990’s and have drawn over 2 million fans 19 straight years. All it takes for the Thrashers to succeed off the ice is to win on the ice. Simple as that. Then the bandwagon fans would jump on and hopefully if the Thrashers can have five or six years of sustained success of making the playoffs every year then those fans would convert over to real fans.

But right now the Atlanta Thrashers are the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL.

Also look at the Avalanche. They moved to Denver and immediately won a Stanley Cup and then won one again 5 years later. Now that they don’t have Sakic how well are they drawing this year? They are barely outdrawing the Thrashers and they are battling for their division. Same thing with Dallas. The Stars moved to Dallas and won immediately and they sold out every game. Now they haven’t made the playoffs in a couple of years and are battling this year to even make the playoffs and their attendance has dropped off quite a bit. If Atlanta had gotten the Avalanche or Stars and won immediately we would not be having this conversation about the Thrashers moving.

Lee

February 10th, 2010
6:47 am

IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!

DWTOO

February 10th, 2010
7:53 am

IMHO we received more than I expected for Lets – was expecting only a second rounder at best. From HF he appears to have potential. Now we need address a goalie for next year. The free agent market over the summer always has many available.

And if the Dallas commentators were raving about Kari and the trade think of McConnell and Eliot. They wouldn’t pan a trade by the Thrahsers?

Old Time Hockey

February 10th, 2010
7:55 am

Buy stock in Dallas area Cinnabon’s! What’s the over under on how many games till the Michelin goalie sustains a season ending groin injury? You can draft a talent, but how can you know his work ethic (or lack thereof)? I would seriously look into the trainer for this team. Muscle injuries should never happen in this day and age. It’s all training and nutrition. Dunkin’ Donuts and a steam don’t get it done. The goalie history is interesting. Sort of like the drummer for Spinal Tap. Damian Rhodes still icing his groin. Who can forget Norm Maracle (foreshadowing for Kari)? Poor Pasi…What do you think Moose’s secret to health is? Could it be work ethic? Diet? Nahhh
The post about short circuiting Kari’s career by forcing him into service before he was ready was a hoot. He’s STILL not ready.

ww5

February 10th, 2010
8:11 am

looks like management finally listened to me and got rid of the dynamic duo

moe

February 10th, 2010
8:29 am

will these trades raise or lower the value of their bobbleheads on ebay?

J.B.

February 10th, 2010
8:33 am

y’all are crazy. this had to happen ASAP. We’re having one of the best seasons in franchise history with Moose & Pavs in net. It’s highly unlikely Kari will ever realize the potential he had after so many injuries and surgeries. But, these points are moot… He HAD to be traded. DW himself said the team does not play as hard for Kari as they do for Pavs & Moose; it wouldn’t have mattered how injured he was or what his stats were if that was true. Of course I would have liked to get something more for him but it wasn’t going to happen; he’s been tagged as chronically injured and poorly conditioned. Honestly I’m surprised we got a prospect and a pick for him. If anything Ivan’s presence in Chicago will push Kulda up to Atlanta when there’s room for him, likely next season. The best part of this is the salary dump. It almost seems like now that Kovygate is over, the thrashers are banking as much cash as possible to make some enticing offers in free agency.

Get The Puck Out

February 10th, 2010
8:37 am

The Thrashers still need a # 1 goalie. Pavs isn’t ready and Moose is not a #1 starter. If you want to make it to the playoffs you better make a trade for a goalie. And this guy we traded for may be a good puck moving defensive player, but he is 5′ 11″ tall and 180 pounds. He will be pushed around like the guy who got sand kicked in his face by the bully. Hopefully he is trade materal for a goalie. We shall see. Oh yea, FIRE WADDELL.

Mike

February 10th, 2010
9:46 am

Get the Puck Out…how tall is Enstrom? He seems to compensate for his lack of size pretty well. Who is to say Ivan can’t do the same.

Pavs will be better next season and who is to say the Thrashers don’t get a different backup goalie in the offseason as there are going to be many available. I’m still hoping this move was intended to get Dallas’ top prospect to be used in another trade.

J.B.

February 10th, 2010
9:52 am

Here’s a thought… If moose leaves for some reason or retires, would we make an offer to antero niittymaki? He’s a good goal tender but more importantly, we wouldn’t have to play against him anymore. Pretty sure he’s UFA this year…

Reggie Dunlop

February 10th, 2010
9:57 am

Can we just go ahead with hiring THE HANSON BROTHERS at this point?

Jim n Buckhead

February 10th, 2010
11:18 am

Wow….first there was Damian….and now Kari….. how can one team miss on so many goal tenders…while also losing all their best players….if anyone knows what Waddell is doing then let me know

hotrod

February 10th, 2010
11:22 am

It had to happen. I wish Kari well. He had (has?) one of the best gloves I have ever seen. His injuries and rehabs just wore thin though.

There is something about the Moose/Pavs dynamic that is keeping the Thrashers hanging around a playoff chance.No need to disrupt that. I am with Waddell on this move.

We got a few new faces this past week. If one of the new guys gives us a Peverley like suprise, it may get interesting.

Spotlite on coaching now.

Jack

February 10th, 2010
11:28 am

niity unfortunately would not come here, the only team he beats consistently is the thrashers.Hopefully moose will stay i dont have faith in pavelec. He does not move post to post very quickly.

Barry

February 10th, 2010
11:35 am

You guys are funny for calling for Waddell’s head for trading Kari for a top defenseman prospect. Kari wasn’t going to be able to take this team anywhere. The team doesn’t trust him. Even Waddell said so in the STH town hall meeting. Kari can’t stay healthy YET. Every year he’s hurt and misses months on end. He can’t be depended on to be in goal, which is sad because he has alot of potential to be really good IF he can stay healthy. Who else was Waddell gonna trade? Moose? He’s the reason the Thrashers are only 3 points from a playoff spot. He’s been playing unbelievable goal and better than I’ve seen. Pavelec? Pulease! You don’t trade away a good 22 year goalie playing his first full season in the NHL when he has so much more to learn and more room to grow and get better. It’ll take him a year or two to really fully develop into his full potential. You guys need to take a Zanex or something and think reasonably here.

J.B.

February 10th, 2010
12:15 pm

Apparently all our pending UFA’s are in high demand. According to thefourthperiod.com, ATL is getting alot of calls from teams interested in a number of players…

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

February 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

Here’s the link that J.B. mentioned:

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/atl100210.html

I’m ok with the Kari trade. We probably got real value for Kari.

Who knew other teams would be interested in Slava?

Smoothie

February 10th, 2010
1:26 pm

Oh yeah, don’t forget that Kubina has a no-trade clause. He would have to approve any more. We shall see.

Reassuring to read, on the 4th period site, that DWad has no interest in rental players. But does that include Poni who Antro could help sign as a FA?

Smoothie

February 10th, 2010
1:31 pm

…any MOVE…damn typos

John

February 10th, 2010
2:23 pm

This is a steal for Waddell. Teams miss on goalie prospects all the freakin time…its like drafting relief pitchers. Sometimes they’re awesome. Other times they hang out in the minors for their whole career. When they do work out, it’s fantastic, when they don’t, it’s usually pretty bad.

Why would we want to get Kari in the mix this year? As we’ve seen from him before, it’s going to take a solid 3 games to get back to NHL game shape…sure, he had a couple good rehab starts, but it’s not AHL guys who are gonna be shooting at him. How many points do you want to sacrifice for Kari to get back into “game shape?”

We get another pick and a solid NHL prospect to help the blue line rush who has played in more NHL games this year than Lehtonen. Waddell wins this one.

GaVaHokie

February 10th, 2010
2:55 pm

Ask the Rangers about Al Montoya… 6th overall pick in 2004.

I was also thinking it’s good that we traded Lehtonen now instead of waiting until after the Olympic break… it’s good to make the move before Montreal decides what to do with Halak and Price, or the Islanders with Biron and Roloson.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

February 10th, 2010
3:09 pm

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

February 10th, 2010
3:13 pm

Don’t know if this has been posted. Vishnevskiy has been assigned to Chicago. I guess we won’t be using him to replace Boris.

http://theahl.com/vishnevskiy-traded-to-atlanta-assigned-to-chicago-p140644

kracker

February 10th, 2010
3:28 pm

Kozzy is mentioned by the 4th period as having the Kings, Wings, Bruins and Flames interested in him. He’s tonight’s healthy scratch….which assures he will remain ‘healthy’ and might also pursuade him that it’s time to go, as sorry as I am to sat that.

Mike

February 10th, 2010
3:38 pm

I would rather call up Kulda for the rest of the year vs. keeping Ivan here. Let’s see what Kulda has and let him learn from Kubina until Kubina is gone. Let Ivan learn from Chelios the rest of the season down in Chicago.

puckhead

February 10th, 2010
4:37 pm

Boris appears to be a player that is going to stay hurt. The addition of another young, quality dman was a timely move. We traded a high first rounder (Kari) for 27th pick first rounder in Vish and got a 4th round pick – makes it even.

Brendan

February 10th, 2010
10:33 pm

Well, I wish Kari well. His career has been a disappointment in Atlanta. Kari probably needs a change of scenery. And really, in Waddell’s shoes, Kari made him look foolish. And if “anger” played a part in this trade, as in, “If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me, Kari,” Waddell may well come out ahead in this deal.

But if Kari does play well in Dallas, to the point where they re-sign him, and he becomes their #1 goalie, then it will be something to talk about. Personally, I never thought Kari should have been drafted back in 2002. But once you realize that decision cannot be undone, Kari does still, even now, at age 26 or 27, have potential. I was even thinking that Kari could be the Thrashers backup goalie. And if Kari doesn’t like that role, he could step up his game and EARN the #1 spot. What a concept, huh? I think Kari could have been kept very affordably. But if Dudley agreed that now was the best time to dish him, then so be it. Kari did not live up to expectations. Certainly, the failure to make the playoffs in 2006 falls principally on his injury.

What amazes me, however, is that even if this trade causes you to do CARTWHEELS, who drafted him? Whose judgement was it, in 2002, that Kari be made a Thrasher? Was it the Easter Bunny? The Abonimable Snowman? Sasquatch? The Tooth Fairy? Where’s the accountability for the decision-making throughout the course of this Administration?

I hope Atlanta won this trade. I want what’s best for the team. But if Don Waddell told me the sun was coming up tomorrow, I’d still rush out to the store for candles and flashlight. It’s his decision-making that has landed us where we are. Even if the Thrashers do make the postseason dance, it’ll be the second time in ten years. Fifty-three percent (53%) of the league’s teams do. And the East, this year, is particularly inept. That ineptness sustains Atlanta’s potential playoff berth.

Blackie Smith

February 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

Nicklas Backstrom put one in his own net http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS2K2-WSMWo

Mistakes happen even in the best of players shame on you guys. It is sad that you guys can’t be pleased, a young rookie and he makes a mistake. If that is the case, what do you think of Backstrom’s mistake and if was traded to your team? Personally I think you are a bunch of Atlanta Trashers!