Update II: Thrashers trade for Clarke MacArthur

The Thrashers obtained Clarke MacArthur from Buffalo for a third- and fourth-round pick this year.

MacArthur, a left wing, has 13 goals and 13 assist in 60 games. He is a minus-14 this season. The 24-year-old is 5-foot-11, 191 pounds and is a restricted free agent. He makes $1.4 million.

Over four seasons with the Sabres, MacArthur has 79 points (41 goals, 38 assists) and is a minus-11.

The move was the only one of the day for the Thrashers, meaning Slava Kozlov will remain with team despite his request to be traded. Kozlov said today that he would considering playing in the KHL next year to continue his career if he doesn’t land with another NHL team.

New addition Evgeny Artyukhin has arrived and skated. He practiced along with Rich Peverely and Max Afinogenov. Coach John Anderson says don’t read too much into that yet. He was just getting a look at the new forward.

Chris Chelios cleared waivers, assigned to Chicago.

Nik Antropov did not skate, which is not unusual as he nurses a nagging hip injury.

Lines:

Bergfors-White-Little

Artyukhin-Peverley-Afinogenov

Kane-Slater-Armstrong

Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn-Kozlov

UPDATE II:

Here are some quotes from Waddell about the acquisitions and team. Think what you will:

On the trade: “We said all along going into the trade deadline that we believe in our team, we really like our team. We are going to be buyers and not sellers. The last couple of days we made a couple of acquisitions picking up Evgeny Artyukhin and Clarke MacArthur that strengthen our group of forwards. When you look back at the trade for Ilya Kovalcuk we added [Johnny] Oduya and [Niclas] Bergfors. We really liked the way our team had been playing and we weren’t going to take away from that team. We wanted to make sure we kept adding to that team.

“I think this is a strong statement to our players, to our fans, that we believe we can make the playoffs and that’s why we were buyers and not sellers.”

On MacArthur: “Really good skater, good puck sense, good hockey sense. Plays hard. Not overly big, but he plays bigger than his size. … Speed is becoming really important in the game and our team gets around the ice as well as anybody else. Having bring that speed and bring the forecheck, you are going to make it hectic on another team’s defense.

“I think he’ll be a second- or third-line guy. The way we look at our top nine forwards are right now, we’d be hard press to say what is our number one line, our number two, our number three line is. I think if you are going to have success in the NHL you have to have three lines that can score. … We’ll find a spot in there for him and go from there.”

On Artyukhin: “We all think his skill level is greater than what he’s been able to show. We think he skates very well, a very physical player that can forecheck. Given a chance to play more minutes in certain situations will be more positive. Starting off with us here, he’ll probably start off in a fourth-line role and see where we go with it.”

On possibility of other trades: “Not really. We talked to a lot of teams. The prices were high and we really wanted to add a forward with speed and grit and MacArthur is the kind of guy that we focused on. We stayed in touch with everybody out there that was available. At the end of the day we felt this was the deal that was best for us. We had a lot of calls from teams that thought we would sell off guys, especially our UFA guys. I made it clear that was not the avenue we were going to take.”

On so many forwards: “We’ve got 15 forwards. We recognize that’s going to be an issue. Everyone is healthy right now which is a very good thing. We have 17 games this month and to think we are going to get through this stretch thinking we are going to be healthy we’ll be very fortunate. We’ll address it. Now we’ve got competition for jobs. I look at it as a very healthy situation. If you play well, you’re going to continue to play. If you have a bad night or a night off, there are other guys waiting to take your job. I look at it as a very competition and healthy situation.”

On not trading Kozlov: “There wasn’t a buyer for [him]. We had small interest early in the day and as the day went on that weeded. We couldn’t move him so he’s still a Thrasher and is going to be one for the rest of the year.

“We never had an offer to bring to him.”

123 comments Add your comment

J-man

March 3rd, 2010
6:51 pm

Sage, I agree with you. But 16000 people showed up for the 1st home game after Kovy was traded and any chance to send a message to the owners was lost – forever. It’s too late now. The fans have said with a very loud voice “We believe in DW. Keep up the good work!” We’ll see if they are right or not in early April.

Kozlov has already played his final game as a Thrasher. He’s got the Zhitnik Memorial Permanent Seat in the press box. I’d speculate that DW deliberately did not trade him today simply to punish him for the Russian press interview. Don’t think so? Then I ask any doubters to check back on DW’s comments about Belanger right after the Thrashers got swept in the playoffs. DW is a man who holds grudges.

Want My Floor Seats?

March 3rd, 2010
7:01 pm

So the ANTI-FAN of Bluesland shows up, lisp back in his posts and all. Attendance last night was:

13,818 (18,545).

Not bad for a TUESDAY night game when you have to drive through snow and face icy conditions to get there! Seems like you and Jeff Schultz will be the only ones left to console and spoon each other after the Thrashers make the playoffs. Truly sad and pathetic…

Want My Floor Seats?

March 3rd, 2010
7:14 pm

Waddell may do a lot of things, but even his detractors say he’s a man of character. If he says he didn’t have an offer to take to Koz, then I believe him. Sometimes there’s just no interest. Happens all the time and not just in the NHL. Now whether or not “move Koz” at the top of the to do list today, that’s another question. Wouldn’t have been my top priority either. But when the guy puts it out in the press that Koz is available (and wants a trade) DAYS before the deadline, you can’t really say he wasn’t trying to trade him. He just couldn’t get anyone to take him and the $3M+ contract. Understandable and believable…

Lee

March 3rd, 2010
8:11 pm

Saliva…sorry….Slava ain’t traded yet? Jeez, how slow can one general manager be? Oh, wait I know, Don Waddell Slow.

Sage of Bluesland

March 3rd, 2010
8:31 pm

“Waddell may do a lot of things, but even his detractors say he’s a man of character….”

Well-bleated–oh, by golly, let’s get him re-upped for his third “Five-Year Plan” before it’s too late…he’s got “character”, after all!

Do you even read what you type–at all?

But, please, keep it coming…the laughs are worth every place I have to step to avoid…

Joyaman

March 3rd, 2010
9:10 pm

I hope the MacArthur deal works out. 3rd and 4th round picks in this year’s draft won’t play anytime soon, but remember that MacArthur was a 3rd rounder for Buffalo (lower pick than one ATL #3), but at least the development time and risk were incurred by another team.

Coupled with the Artyukhin trade and what the Thrash got for Kovy, I’ll at least give Waddell and Dudley credit for trying to turn a lemon (of Waddell’s making) into lemonade.

That being said, let’s not fool ourselves that any of these moves make the Thrash a lock for the playoffs this year. At least the team didn’t get worse by dealing any D-men. We’re at an all-time franchise high of having five-to-six legitimate blueliners and can’t afford to go back to the customary two-to-three that Waddell’s “offense-first and hope decent goaltending can hold the fort” philosophy has saddled us. Maybe Dudley’s influence is starting to show up on this roster. Anything is better than letting DW fly solo, as he can’t build, he can’t coach and he can’t speak in public (witness the town hall meetings where he literally ran away into the crowd – or just check out his lack of diction in the quotes above, such as this gem: “I look at it as a very competition and healthy situation.”). Yesterday he was “more a buyer than a seller.” Today he says “we were buyers not sellers.” Nothing he says should be taken seriously. It’s just his shoddy PR acumen showing through.

Enough darts for now (it’s just too damn easy). Let’s try to play with the cards we’ve been dealt and take a run at qualifying for the playoffs. It could turn out to be a fun ride for a while. Let’s support these players. Buy scalped tickets and boycott the parking and concessions in the hope that good-old market forces will take their toll on the GM and ownership over time.

Go Thrash!

Zulu

March 3rd, 2010
9:16 pm

Looking at the bright side at least he didn’t give away the future in order to finish 8th and then get killed in the first round of the playoffs.

Brendan

March 3rd, 2010
9:43 pm

I don’t understand the hostility towards Brian Burke that is sometimes displayed on these message boards. Since the Lockout, Brian Burke-managed teams have won thirty-four (34) playoff games. And he just added 5 wins on the Olympic stage, in a Silver Medal winning effort in Vancouver. And yes, 16 of those 34 wins came in 2007, ending with a big silver trophy presentation at center ice. The last time I checked, winning the Stanley Cup is the crowning achievement in any GM’s career.

It’s one thing to dislike Burke over the embarrassing tift with Kevin Lowe, a few years back. That’s certainly understandable. It’s one thing to think Burke arrogant. Or someone receiving preferential treatment by fans, media, the league, etc. But to begrudge Burke credit for his successes seems misplaced.

If you dislike Burke, and the sole REASON behind it resides in the fact that AJC editoralist Jeff Schultz pointed out that Harvey Schiller refused to return Burke’s phone calls in 1999 for the Thrashers job, how does that cheapen Burke’s success? That Burke didn’t get the job in Atlanta is hardly Burke’s fault. He can’t force anyone to hire him. The way to judge Burke is to examine his strategy and how well he implements it. And by that, you may be aided by the use of standings and playoff results. Those are pretty good indicators. Things may not exactly be ‘glorious’ in Toronto, but how long has Burke been there? And can you say that the Maple Leafs are clearly headed in the WRONG direction? And remember something, some GM’s in this league have been given a “5-year pass,” sometimes longer, before they ever get scrutinized in any serious way.

That anyone can be called ‘overrated’ is an effect of some form of success. For example, who thinks Matt Millen is overrated? Who thinks Mike Milbury is overrated? Who thinks Doug MacLean was prematurely removed from office, in Columbus, in 2007? Does anyone call Doug MacLean, ‘overrated?’ I’m just asking a question.

Brendan

March 3rd, 2010
10:12 pm

J-Man, I posted a few days ago about the Waddell comments, post NY Rangers sweep, about how the normally ‘player-friendly’ Waddell rarely throws out a player’s name while assessing blame. But in 2007, he threw Belanger and Kozlov’s names out in the media, while DEFENDING Marian Hossa’s invisible performance in 2007. When I read those comments from Waddell, I didn’t think there was a chance Kozlov would return. But I was wrong. Big time wrong. Kozzie got a 3-year deal, after trapsing off to Dallas to help Waddell find his checkbook. I’m not too sure that Kozlov has played his final game as a Thrasher. They haven’t put Kozlov on waivers yet. If they do, and he clears both waivers and re-entry waivers, and he doesn’t choose to retire, then he may see some 4th line minutes, just to keep him eligible for some potential shootout. Of course, the Thrashers could just give Kozlov a release. But I don’t know what that would accomplish. They still owe him salary and don’t get any kind of cap relief, even if cap relief were needed.

Zulu, I want to piggyback on your post. Losing Oystrick and a conditional pick for Artuykin isn’t giving away the farm. Losing a 3rd and 4th round pick for Clarke MacArthus isn’t mortgaging the future, either. Trading Kovalchuk had to be done, or the organization would lose a very valuable asset. Getting Oduya, a late 1st round pick, Cormier, and Bergfors, is at least “something.” I’ve already forgotten what we got for Kari Lehtonen. But I really think Lehtonen should have at least been given a chance to show he can play before being dealt. Maybe Waddell’s thought was, “I can’t risk an injury in Kari’s 1st game back. Let’s trade him now, while Dallas’ scouts are pleased with his AHL performances.” Okay. In Waddell’s shoes … Kari failed him badly. Waddell put a lot of eggs in the Lehtonen basket. It never did pay those dividends. Kari’s last playoff performance was that 7-0 pasting by the Rangers, in Game Three. That’s not what Waddell had in mind when he drafted Kari.

Don’t look now, but the lowly Florida Panthers are up, 6-4, over the Flyers. But I digress.

Zulu, you’re right. What’s done is done. We didn’t hold the firesale. Kubina, Armstrong, Moose, and Finny might be lost for nothing but cap space. The time for crying out it … is at season’s end, if we miss the playoffs. But then, it’s FAIR GAME FOR CRYING about it. People here, including me, posted that we had to get something for Kubina, if he couldn’t be re-signed. Same deal with Army. Moose’s trade value, to some team like Philly, would never had been higher. Leighton and Boucher have stunk for the Flyers tonight. Schubert was only a waiver claim. He could have been moved to reclaim a 4th round pick that Atlanta just gave to Buffalo for MacArthur. Bygones.

So, here we are. We’ve got a “Wake up, Atlanta!” marketing campaign, advocating a playoff push. If the Thrashers get in, people will want to heap praise on Waddell. I still say, “Let’s see if that playoff berth goes 7 games.”

It’s a final. Panthers 7, Flyers 4.

Brendan

March 3rd, 2010
10:16 pm

Anyone else see this wonderful Olympic tribute that the Anaheim Ducks just put on for their returning Olympic players? They announced that no NHL team produced more medals in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics that those playing for the Ducks. They saluted Selanne for his bronze medal, Bobby Ryan for his Silver medal, and Niedermayer, Getzlaf, and Perry for their Gold medals for Canada. I might have left off some, too.

Brendan

March 3rd, 2010
10:17 pm

Hiller played well for Switzerland, too.

MB

March 3rd, 2010
10:29 pm

Speaking of that, Brendan, did the Thrashers pay tribute to the returning Olympians at Philips last night? I know they did that in Anaheim and in Pittsburgh (where Ryan Miller was cheered loudest, and Crosby even heard some boos because the marketing boys oversold the whole “game-winning goal for Canada” bit), and perhaps other arenas did the same thing…but haven’t heard if it was done here.

Brendan is Overrated

March 3rd, 2010
10:46 pm

a lot of folks on these here message boards said it would be good to keep Kubina…I reckon the majority of them, ‘cept for them negative nancy types…you know, the sage blusterin’ ones?

Want My Floor Seats?

March 3rd, 2010
11:57 pm

The “tribute” to the Thrashers’ Olympic players was underwhelming to say the least. If you went to any of the pre-Olympic games and you saw them put the chosen players’ pictures, countries, etc up on the video board, then you pretty much saw the post-Olympic tribute because that’s what they did again last night. Only the USA and Canada flags hang at NHL games and we had no players on the USA or Canada teams…Maybe that’s why the celebration was muted? Perhaps they thought recognizing them as they did was sufficient.

Want My Floor Seats?

March 4th, 2010
12:08 am

ANTI-FAN of Bluesland:

You do realize someone can be a bumbling idiot but still have character, right? I’m sure you still have character, right?

CrazyDiamond

March 4th, 2010
2:04 am

We are so screwed.

Did I see “Thrashers playoff push” mentioned in the AJC today? You must be kidding! Our roster in no way looks like a playoff caliber roster. It will take the efforts of a super GM to unravel the Gordian Knot of players we have today. Not to mention owners with a clue and cash, and an economy like 1999.

We are so screwed.

Lee

March 4th, 2010
7:10 am

Pretty big crowd last game, I was impressed.

MB

March 4th, 2010
10:34 am

WMFS, that’s disappointing to hear. Regardless of which country they played for, those players were Olympians and it would have been nice to let ‘em know we’re proud of them for that accomplishment. And it’s not like the Marketing department didn’t have time to put something together, especially when you realize what a great lead-in the Games provided for the NHL’s push for the postseason. Saw a poll that indicated that 51% of respondents were now more interested in the NHL because of the Olympics and the USA v. CAN final. Smart markets will try to capitalize on that.

hoover

March 4th, 2010
11:26 am

You guys suck worse than I do.

Thrasher_Ed

March 4th, 2010
11:49 am

Ok, we play the New York Islanders (0-3 this year) who are 4 points behind us and we have 2 games in hand against them. Next we play Tampa Bay (1-2-2 this year) they are 1 points behind us and we have a game in hand vs them as well. Carolina (2-1 this year) is 7 points behind us and we have agame in hand vs. them as well. We need to go 3-0 the rest of this week. Thrashers must beat teams beneath them in the standings and take advantage of this break in our schedule and take as many points as possible. That being said, can these Thrashers do that? I for one still hope we can in spite of my strong anti- Atlanta Spirit emotions. I certainly hope we can play better against an Islanders team that I feel we are so much better than, but seem to play down to each time we play them. Let’s go Thrashers we need a BIG 2 points tonight!

JD

March 4th, 2010
2:55 pm

You need to play Eric Boulton more…He will at least kick somebody’s ass. He plays hard and is tough as nails….

Lee

March 4th, 2010
3:01 pm

Thorburn played suprisingly well last game. Keep it up!

Want My Floor Seats?

March 4th, 2010
5:49 pm

MB: Agreed. It could’ve also been that all the Thrashers’ countries were all eliminated before the medal round began. All of the celebrations I saw were for players who medaled. Maybe our guys’ countries will honor them after the season is over.

I think we will see MORE of Bolts and Thor. Funny how they were actually playing hockey Tues nt instead of just looking for some good fight! Bolts took THREE shots…I still can’t believe it! One of the rebounds landed right at Thor’s feet just in front of the crease, the net was wide open and he couldn’t quite tap it in…I felt sorry for the guy. But the effort is there and the results will follow.

Mark my words…Bolts and/or Thor will score soon, perhaps before the weekend is out. Guys that didn’t get the time on ice and scoring chances when Kovy was in the spotlight are about to start scoring. It’s fun to watch!