Updated: Thrashers call up Kulda from AHL Chicago

Just arrived at the XCel Energy Center for Thrashers morning skate. I’m very early, but it’s better than sitting in a hotel room. I’ll watch the Wild skate.

The news so far today is that the Thrashers have called up defensman Arturs Kulda from AHL Chicago. The official announcement will come later today. He did not practice as his equipment is en route.

I did a feature on Kulda earlier this season (how about that?). At the time, GM Don Waddell said he would have no problem calling Kulda up if he need be. Kulda was paired with Zach Bogosian in juniors.

The Thrashers are carrying just six defensemen after the placing Christoph Schubert and Boris Valabik on injured reserve.

Mark Popovic and Nik Antropov did not skate. Could be reason for Kulda call-up without Popovic?

Looks like the lines are being tweaked. Here’s what they looked liked in practice (minus Antropov):

Light Blue: Kozlov-Peverley-Afinogenov

Gray: Bergfors-White-Little

Orange: Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Dark Blue: Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

Kari Lehtonen spoke to the Dallas media following his trade. Here is some of what the goaltender had to say:

“It’s a big opportunity for me. I had some rough times in Atlanta and some good times. Now I can start with a clean sheet and I just have to do well and play well. That’s what I believe I can give.

“I had a feeling something might happen in Atlanta. I didn’t know who of the three goalies in Atlanta it might be, but when it happened yesterday it was quite a big shock. I am really happy right now and I am grateful to the Stars that they want to give me a chance.”

For those interested, I did purchase a coat (don’t worry AJC bookkeepers, it won’t be appearing on an expense report). It was four degrees in St. Paul at 10 a.m.

52 comments Add your comment

fes

February 11th, 2010
1:02 pm

sweet. i’ve been looking forward to seeing his play for a while.

GaVaHokie

February 11th, 2010
1:13 pm

Interesting… let the Kubina speculation begin.

Stevo

February 11th, 2010
1:23 pm

I don’t think Kubina is going anywhere. Waddell said just the other day that after the Olympic break they are going to begin work on a K extension. Waddell saying one thing and doing another? Crap….might need another defenseman.

Mike

February 11th, 2010
1:28 pm

How long will Boris be out with the torn ACL? Didn’t Franzen tear his in October and he just came back? I would be very happy with Kubina, Enstrom, Bogo, Hainsey, Oyuda, Kulda and Boris next year. That would mean bye bye to Pops and Schubert which would be unfortunate, but it is nice to finally have depth.

GaVaHokie

February 11th, 2010
1:30 pm

I think they want to gauge Kulda’s progress to see what options they might have for the deadline and for next year… timing is everything… could also be they are desperate for some chemistry with Bogosian.

Stevo… I agree, I’d like to see Kubina extended, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere… but we know this will get “spun”.

Alan R.

February 11th, 2010
1:37 pm

let the Kubina speculation begin.

And let it end here, GaVaEklund. Please, for the love of the Gods.

TrueBlue

February 11th, 2010
1:44 pm

@ Mike…..Why would you give up on Schubert so easily? Besides Boris, at times, Schubert is the ONLY d-man to show some real grit and a “mean side” on the ice. He punishes players at the crease. That is what this team needs. It was a real shame to see him go down with injury.

I wonder if Kulda will go in for Bogosian. Zach has pretty much looked like absolute crap this year. I pray it’s the sophomore slump….Toby went through it for a while last year.

Due to his leg injury last year, this is the first year that Zach has played almost an ENTIRE NHL season. Maybe it is just weighing on him a bit.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2010
1:47 pm

Good to see our GM wise up and bring in Kulda not only as insurance but as a wake up call for Bogosian. Problem is he shouldve been asked to fly to Denver to meet a team down to 6 healthy d-men. The Wolves don’t normally play til the weekend and the end of this trip brings him right home to Chicago. He’d be ready by Friday to jump in if need be but now he may not even get to practice in time.

BTW, Popovic played very well again last nite. In fact, JA was foolish in breaking up his pairings for OT. Why not start with Kubina and Enstrom? I guess Kubes was fatigued from the late game PK? At any rate, it would have made more sense to play Johnny and Ron over Bogo or simply let the 3rd pairing stay together so there would be less chance of a communication break-down.

Good luck to Arturs, hope you get your day!

Midfield

February 11th, 2010
2:09 pm

So was there any reason at all given for Kulda callup, Chris?

Chris Vivlamore

February 11th, 2010
2:11 pm

Blog updated above. Mark Popovic and Nik Antropov not practicing. Could be reason for Kulda call-up. No official word from the team. I only know of the call up because I saw him at the team hotel. Looks like some tweaks to line combinations.

Mike

February 11th, 2010
2:25 pm

I am not giving up on Schubert. He is a UFA at the end of the year I thought, so I’m just saying we may not sign him in the offseason due to depth.

Smoothie

February 11th, 2010
2:25 pm

Tweaked? Just putting Kozzy back in for White on the 2nd line. White is simply a place-holder for Antro who never seems to practice due to some nagging injuries.

woody

February 11th, 2010
2:27 pm

I wish I could care about this team. I just cant. I dont know anybody on the team anymore except Colby and Moose only from their Pens days.

Littleben

February 11th, 2010
2:32 pm

Kulda is a good defensman!!!
he had a +35 and that is the best in AHL!!
GOOD LUCK ARTUR!!!
Artur šo bridi mes Latviesi gaidijam ilgi, lai veicas!!!!!!!!!

JR

February 11th, 2010
2:34 pm

has the team revealed the exact nature of schubert’s injury?

Pinball34

February 11th, 2010
2:38 pm

KULDA FEVER…

Midfield

February 11th, 2010
2:43 pm

Is there any word on injuries, or it’s just a Valentine’s Day sale? What happened to the ‘our goal is to make playoffs’ motto? It’s like a mystery sitcom – not quite sure what’s going on, but results are pretty predictable.

sweet home

February 11th, 2010
3:01 pm

Yesss,there are two great Arturs-Irbe and Kulda:).Good luck!

Koach

February 11th, 2010
3:17 pm

Bogo needs to sit a couple of games and re-evaluate his game. Thrashers win last night if he’s not in there. He looks like his confidence is shot and he’s just chasing opponents in his own end. He can do it but I hope JA sees that the kid needs a break – even with the Olympic break ahead, he needs to sit and watch a couple of games from the press box.

darren

February 11th, 2010
3:37 pm

Why would anderson switch up the bergfors-antropov-little line? That line is awesome

Mike

February 11th, 2010
3:58 pm

darren…the lines were probably changed in practice for Little and Bergs only because Antro isn’t practicing

jake

February 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Any chance White could be traded for something useful? Like a snow shovel?

darren

February 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

mike – you’re probably right. i overlooked the part of the article where it said antro wasn’t practicing. thanks for the heads-up.

Chris Vivlamore

February 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

Smoothie is correct. Line adjustments simply because Antropov is out. Just trying to keep you informed.

Anderson said Popovic has an upper-body injury and that’s the reason for call-up.

timthebrave

February 11th, 2010
4:36 pm

We could have used another defense man in the 3rd against colorado. So frustrating to outplay someone for almost 50 minutes and then sent back and play defensive while watching your 2 goal lead disappear. Go Thrashers. Would love to get at least 3 points in the next 2

The Real Thrash

February 11th, 2010
4:55 pm

Someone is actually taking DWAD at his word? WTF!

Call of Duty 3 Platinum | MelClub

February 11th, 2010
5:03 pm

[...] Thrashers call up Arturs Kulda | Atlanta Thrashers [...]

Farel

February 11th, 2010
5:15 pm

It’s nice to see any movement after last nights collapse. Getting laid-off was less painfull than that 3rd period/OT spectacle. Still in it and fighting but man we aren’t helping our cause. Go Thrashers!!!!!!!!

Smoothie

February 11th, 2010
5:20 pm

Thanks for the updates Chris…didn’t mean to sound ungrateful. Keep ‘em coming.

But would you ask JA when you get the chance tomorrow if he’s concerned about the lack of chemistry on the 2nd line due to the constant shuffling? Plus, it would seem as though Jimmy and Evander can play with anyone due to their style of play so why not move Army up to play with his buddy and roomie Peverley? Reasy can play the 3rd line and Kozlov seems to have played well with Thorburn and Boulton. In other words, to heck with Todd White! ;-)

Just would be nice to see some consisent cycling and forechecking from ALL 4 LINES.

Ward

February 11th, 2010
5:25 pm

The OT loss was disgusting to observe..it was as if we were watching stationary cones vs. a skater with the puck at practice. Bogo has developed some bad practices but we have to remind ourselves of his age and previous defensive pairing where he (& they: Ron H.) were often “exposed”. Was Denver’s altitude a problem in the third period?

Mark Kulda, Minneapolis, MN

February 11th, 2010
6:22 pm

Here’s hoping Artur does well in the NHL….from one Kulda to another….good luck! How about that. First Kulda ever to play in the NHL and when he gets called up, he gets to debut in my hometown.

Chris Vivlamore

February 11th, 2010
6:26 pm

Boris Valabik underwent surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee.

Smoothie: No worries. I could have been clearer.

JR: Team never revealed Schubert’s injury, but I reported that he injured the PCL in his knee.

Chris Vivlamore

February 11th, 2010
6:27 pm

Fact of the day while working on story on Thrashers defense: They are tied (with Calgary) for most one-goal games but have a 13-12-9 record, .382 winning percentage.

Darkhorse

February 11th, 2010
7:37 pm

Viv-Waddell must have read your story/scouting report on Kulda and decided to call him up.

kracker

February 11th, 2010
7:42 pm

Perhaps wropngly, I count the OTLs a ties since you won 1/2 of the regulation points for that game. Losing the 3rd point makes it feel like a loss, especially when you’re up 2 in the third period and then OT lasts only 9 seconds. Still, I never truly feel bad if the team earns a point.

jcwhitingjr

February 11th, 2010
8:50 pm

Worth mentioning as well as the defensive woes, is the that with a better performance on the power play that one-goal game thingy could be a lot better than what it is currently.

DaveR

February 11th, 2010
10:12 pm

So is Anderson working Bergfors into the power play at practice?

You have this great asset in your lineup, but he has yet to get a chance to show this team what he can do on the PP. Get him in there!

sisu

February 11th, 2010
11:33 pm

Bergfors could become a Forsberg:)

I can’t wait to see Kulda play, is it possible for Bogo to be sent down for a few games to play with Cheli? It could do him world of good, or does he have to clear waiwers? Olympic break would be a great time to do it.

Viv, any news on contract negotiations with the RFA’s and FA?

Viking

February 11th, 2010
11:54 pm

sisu, “Bergfors could become a Forsberg”

Mountain Rapids could become Rapids Mountain.

Barry

February 12th, 2010
1:01 am

Bogosian can’t be sent to Chicago until he turns 20 I think. It’s either play him or scratch him (which Anderson refuses to do for some odd reason).

I agree with the previous poster about why in the world would 1) Toby and Zach be on the same line when they haven’t been all game and 2) why put Zach to start the OT when he’s not been playing well this season and limited to 3rd line pairing minutes?

Ya what is going on with the power play. It is completely dead. I don’t know if just not the right personell being used or wrong type of strategy done by the players but it hasn’t been good for 2 months now.

Not Blind

February 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Prediction – Carolina will be ahead of Atlanta by the end of the season. Neither will make the playoffs although Carolina has a better shot at it than do the Thrashers.

GaVaHokie

February 12th, 2010
8:41 am

Mark Kulda… I hope you can make it to the game tonight to cheer him on for us! :)

GaVaHokie

February 12th, 2010
8:42 am

Not Blind… I predict that Carolina drops straight to the bottom after dumping salary and UFA’s… I predict Toronto will catch and pass them, but Atlanta stays on top of both of them.

Jimbo

February 12th, 2010
8:51 am

Chris: I am not part of the Spirit hierarchy so I am not questioning your comment about the coat not appearing on your expense report. But, what about a lapel, sleeve, pocket every now and then? No need to respond. Not want to put your in jeopardy.

If Anderson goes back to an All-Russian line, I like the looks of a Bergfors-Peverley-Little pairing. Hope that he goes with it.

[...] -The Thrashers recalled defenseman Arturs Kulda from Chicago of the AHL. [...]

Dave

February 12th, 2010
9:28 am

Chris: The one goal games stat is misleading.

How many of those one goal games saw the Thrashers fall behind by 3 or 4 goals early in the game and come back within one goal late in the game? The other team is on cruise control in those games. Getting back to within one goal late in the game doesn’t mean much in those situations.

Tell us how many of those games the team stayed within one goal throughout the game…break it down for us…it will tell us more.

Not Blind

February 12th, 2010
9:31 am

GaVaHokie I would actually like to see Ray Whitney in a Thrashers uni. He is the kinda guy we need.

Carolina has on ice leadership in Staal and good goaltending. Atlanta has neither which is why I think Carolina will finish ahead of Atlanta.

Kari's Dad

February 12th, 2010
9:46 am

You will regret not having a real goalie Coach to help my son on and off the ice. I did not raise him to be a boozer. Don W. promised to take care of my son and did not. Yes, I am disappointed in some of the choices he made, but he is my son. You will regret trading him.

Lee

February 12th, 2010
9:53 am

Hey, we just got that Vishnevsky guy, why don’t we use him? I kinda want to see him play, I don’t think he’s that good, and it would funny to see Waddell disapointed. “Damn, why did I choose Ivan.”

Fozzie

February 12th, 2010
10:36 am

Lee, maybe it isn’t that Vishnevskiy isn’t “that good” — maybe he’s just young and needs more experience before he moves up to the NHL…you know, kind of like the way you appear to be too young for your mom to allow you to join this message board yet.

Season Ticket Holder

February 12th, 2010
12:22 pm

I just read this quote from Mark Cuban in an article commenting on his desire to become a minority owner of the Stars…”I’m not looking to outright buy the team,” Cuban said. “I have talked to somebody who is interested in buying the team and I told them I would try to help them get a deal done. From my end, I like hockey, I’m a fan, but I’m not a hockey guy. l’m not going to lie and pretend I can come in and bring the energy that I try to bring to the Mavs….”.
I wish the Atlanta Spirit ownership group were great sports businessmen and as forward-thinking as Cuban, with good heads on their shoulders. Instead, they are ego maniacs that don’t have a clue of how to run a hockey team nor fire a GM. No one in hockey can understand how Don still has a job. Fire Waddell and let Rick Dudley run the team you idiots.

Nibiru

February 22nd, 2010
9:02 am

Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it’s up to you to take heed.