Updated: Thrashers call up Chris Chelios

It is official. The Thrashers called up Chris Chelios from AHL Chicago. He will join the team in Columbus in time for Thursday’s game and will be in the lineup.

Coach John Anderson said that a call-up was option with Christoph Schubert being out 3-5 weeks. The team’s current three-game losing streak and Chelios’ 25 years of NHL experience were the reasons for the move.

“I don’t like the way the team has been playing lately,” Thrashers GM Don Waddell said. “We are a desperate team right now and we have to get back on track soon. … With the situation now, our backs are against the wall. Bringing in a veteran presence made more sense than bringing in a younger guy.”

Anderson said Chelios’ leadership will be counted on.

“Certainly, he’s played a leadership role on championship teams,” Anderson said of the three-time Stanley Cup winner. ” That’s what we’ll use him for. We have lots of tools here and we are going to try to use every one of them, whatever it takes to make the playoffs.”

The news was welcomed to the players I spoke to, especially Zach Bogosian who said Chelios was his favorite player growing up and patterned his game around him.

“He’s got a lot of assets, leadership will be the number one thing,” Bogosian said. “I think it will be good for us to have that veteran presence in the room to help out guys like myself. … I’m pretty excited that he’s going to  be here.”

I caught up with Evander Kane this morning before the team took the practice ice.  He is disappointed, but realizes that injuries are a part of hockey and is now focused on getting back as soon as possible.

Kane said he was told that his broken left foot is similar to that of Ilya Kovalchuk, near the top of the foot. Kovalchuk returned from that injury in three weeks. He missed six games. However, with the packed March schedule, if Kane is out three weeks he could miss as many as 14 games.

Kane said he felt his foot burn after blocking the shot and when the feeling didn’t subside he knew it was serious.

I spoke with the NHL this morning about the disallowed goal against the Predators. The verbal explanation I received is that the goaltender must be allowed to play the puck. If not, it’s goaltender interference. However, it’s up to the officials discretion whether the interference was intentional, enough to warrant a penalty or no call is made.

Nik Antropov is not at practice.  Expect Slava Kozlov to be back in the lineup Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

There were new line combinations at practice:

Bergfors- Reasoner-Little

Kozlov-Peverley-Afinogenov

MacArthur-White-Armstrong

Boulton-Artyukhin-Slater-Thorburn

76 comments Add your comment

J(Z)

March 10th, 2010
11:14 am

I saw Kane hobbling around in a boot and on crutches during one of the intermissions last night, I said “Oh no, is it broken?” He looked REALLY bummed, for a bit I thought he was gonna ignore me, but then said “I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you” hahahahaha thats a pretty honest response!! And I immediately knew it was broken. I just said, “that doesn’t sound good, get better soon, we need you!”

Delbert D.

March 10th, 2010
11:17 am

(Yawn……) oh, excuse me. Aren’t the Spirit going to drop hockey for curling?

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
11:20 am

I thin you’re getting scooped again by the gentleman from sportsnet.ca in TOR. U might want to place a call to Don Waddell or Don Lever in CHI.

My question is why wasn’t he called before the weekend with expanded rosters? Makes no sense to sign him and then not call him immediately.

Dumb. Like most things the ASG mgmnt does. Why do I even care if the GM doesn’t care enough to realize Chelios could’ve helped us 3 days ago!!

Don W

March 10th, 2010
11:28 am

Smoothie, Popovic has us going in the right direction, he is a good young talent that we can build a defense around. Thank You

J.B.

March 10th, 2010
11:36 am

Chelios call-up is now confirmed by Craig Custance, Kevin Allen, Viv the Sieve, etc.

Russian

March 10th, 2010
11:44 am

I like Chelios. He was great player in Detroit. I am filling so embarasing to see Cheli lost many games with Thrashers. He likes to play for First Class Organization, not like Atlanta Thrashers. Damn, poor old Cheli. I hope he will take all horrible loses as a Professional. :-(

StateBird

March 10th, 2010
11:45 am

Bring Kulda with him and keep a successful pair together. Would be nice to have Chelios to train Bogo but this isn’t the time or place for on-the-job training. (Should have been done earlier.)

J.B.

March 10th, 2010
11:45 am

if he didn’t want or even consider the possibility of being called up to Atlanta, he wouldn’t have signed the contract.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
11:50 am

Indeed, no reason to exclude Kulda from the mix. What do we have to lose?

DW

March 10th, 2010
11:50 am

I signed Chelios as part of my next 5 year plan, and plan on detailing my next 5 year plan at a special place and time. Ummm, Mr. Alan R, when do you go on vacation so I can not have to answer any questions concerning anything having to do with hockey?

Miami Screaming Eagle

March 10th, 2010
11:54 am

Some leadership!

Alan R.

March 10th, 2010
12:11 pm

Ummm, Mr. Alan R, when do you go on vacation so I can not have to answer any questions concerning anything having to do with hockey?

What is a vacation?

gcs

March 10th, 2010
12:20 pm

NHL, YOU’RE IN TROUBLE NOW! YOU CAN KEEP KOVY, WE’VE GOT CHELIOS!
Maybe they should sign Brett Hull too.
I wonder if Gordie can still skate.

.

Sage of Bluesland

March 10th, 2010
12:21 pm

Laughing at Smoothie…oh, all the time now…He wants SO BAD to bewieve in Bwuewand!!!

Keep it coming!!!

(White-flag indeed–yet some will continue to hope beyond hope…at least it’s a little entertaining for its comedic value…)

woody

March 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

This is a joke. A very very said joke.

woody

March 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Boodoman

March 10th, 2010
12:26 pm

I crack up whenever I see people on here say “who cares about the Thrashers?” or “we have a hockey team?” etc. Obviously if you’re dumb enough to read about the Thrashers and denounce the team for its existence, YOU CARE!

On another note. I wonder if Chris Chelios is vying to fill John Anderson’s job? If we don’t make the playoffs, I see Anderson cut and Chelios may take the job.

Barry

March 10th, 2010
12:43 pm

Hopefully Chelios can sit everyone down and get their heads screwed on right. Thrashers mentally have been horrible these last three games. This team has been sorely lacking a real NHL vet to help everyone turn things around when things get bad. Thrashers relying on a bunch of young players and an AHL coach trying to make it at the NHL level.

I didn’t see the disallowed goal but I do remember a play in another game where Kane drove the net making a hockey play. He was pretty much sandwhiched between the goalie and a defender. He tries to avoid a collision and gets tripped up by the goalies leg pad and Kane gets called for goalie interference. Total BS!

I’m with Anderson, so many times other teams are crashing our net and knocking into Moose and they get called for nothing and yet when our boys try it they get called for penalties or goals disallowed. The officiating this year has been the most inconsistent and horrible officiating I’ve seen since I’ve been watching NHL hockey.

J.B.

March 10th, 2010
12:45 pm

BS Officiating has cost the Thrashers at least three or four games this year in my opinion.

Mary Ann Hossa

March 10th, 2010
12:48 pm

DWad has jumped another shark. Old man coming up.

Mary Ann Hossa

March 10th, 2010
12:49 pm

Paul Coffey seen at Hartsfield carrying a hockey stick.

10 yr plan

March 10th, 2010
1:17 pm

If we have Chelios, bring back Willi Plett! He’s tougher than the entire team combined.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
1:18 pm

Sage – I’ll just come out and say it and C-Viv can ban me if he wants.

You are a dunder-headed, insipid ass-clown. Just go to hell would you?

Gwinnett Fred

March 10th, 2010
1:36 pm

I say bring back the whole Atlanta Flames “Downtown Connection” line!!

Vail, Lysiak & Chouinard – they aren’t much older than Chelios.

Bouchard probably has more to offer than Opie right now as a backup too!

ThrashDawg

March 10th, 2010
1:38 pm

Don’t you see Smoothie? Sage only posts when things are going bad. He thrives on the negative and enjoys it when the team loses. In a nutshell he is a loser!

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
1:53 pm

ThrashDawg – I realize that, but I’m not gonna let him belittle people for being fans because he thinks its okay to be an internet bully.

Whether or not we go to games has no bearing on Don Waddel’s future as the GM of this team. If you don’t like the product, or you’re sick of losing, then fine, don’t go to games. Perhaps it’s better for your blood pressure / overall mental health anyway.

I won’t begrudge other people for finding other ways to spend their discretionary income. But it really irks me when someone thinks its okay to pound people over the head with the same stupid, non-sensical message about how we somehow control the whims of a pro sports team’s ownership group vis a vis their less than stellar GM.

They have been losing money like a hemophiliac loses blood over the last 5 years. It hasn’t led them to fire Waddell yet. Perhaps they will fire him for not making the playoffs this year, but probably not. And there’s nothing we can do about it as much as Sage would like to believe so.

If they were only concerned about duping us for the sake of making money, then they would at least wise up and fix the bathrooms and improve the concessions. If they really are trying to tank it so bad w/r/t the Thrashers so they can be sold at a lower price, then how is boycotting gonna help that?

They OWN the business. It’s their perogative to drive it into the ground. Truthfully, I don’t believe that, but if that is the case, we can only hope Bettman takes control of the process like he has in PHX to keep the town in ATL.

If not, I guess I’ll go back to being a casual fan of hockey. Life isn’t fair. But having said that, I’m sure as hell not going to sit here idly and let Sage bully and belittle and diminish good people who are fans of this team. There is enough foolish and mindless hatred and resentment in this city for much bigger reasons. Why tear at the seams of something potentially good for the city and the community?

Dawggie1

March 10th, 2010
2:08 pm

Sad to see hockey on the way out and with JJ probably on his way out, the Hawks will need a superstar to keep the fan base coming. I might suggest Dwayne Wade as a possible replacement for JJ as I gotta believe ATl is closer than da Bulls to a championship.

Tom Lysiak

March 10th, 2010
2:09 pm

Smoothie, there is an easy fix to Sage and his drivel. When you see his name on a post that shows up, you just don’t read it. Works every time for me. Why would you spend 5 seconds of your life reading something he writes? It never changes. Inconsistent substitutions of “W’s” for “L’s” to somehow belittle people? Yeah, that’s really intimidating and keeping people away from the rink in droves.

It’s humorous to me that someone might think their negativity could impact anyone who spends the money they make themselves. All that negativity and complaining about ASG and DW has accomplished exactly what? Has ASG sold the team? Has DW been fired? Have they listened? Why do you think they will listen now? Because you are the millionth (sp?)poster to say that?

I’m no fan of ASG. I’m no fan of DW. While the team is doing business in Atlanta, I go to games when I choose. I am a hockey fan. I am a Thrashers fan. No idiot posting on here can change what I do. Bewieve that…..

DWTOO

March 10th, 2010
2:11 pm

Thank You Smoothie – well said. I’ve learned (actually a few times) the lesson of avoiding the trolls and generally try to bypass their posts. However, sometimes I peruse them by accident.

Fortunately we have a bunch of positive posters who may disagree respectfully without resorting to name calling or other derogatory tatics.

J.B.

March 10th, 2010
2:15 pm

This is from Pierre LeBrun’s twitter feed (@Real_ESPNLeBrun)

Chelios to me a few minutes ago via text message: “Can’t wait. Got to make the most out of this chance.”

That’s awesome. Glad he’s got a very positive attitude about the call-up.

JR

March 10th, 2010
2:19 pm

pathetic effort last night. no spirit. heads figuritively hung low. team didn’t give the crowd an excuse to get into it. sit white, put boulton on reasoner line. put new guy on slater line.

think about it. this team has too many mediocre journey men to succeed. white. reasoner [really, i like him too but he is a mediocre journeyman], slater, armstrong whose head is already elsewhere. shall i continue.

hainsey in a rough streak. hopefully he will recover. kubina was the only one who really showed up last night. in the last couple of minutes he was playing more offense than whatever forward line was on ice. we really need to re-sign him.

Bob

March 10th, 2010
2:20 pm

“They have been losing money like a hemophiliac loses blood over the last 5 years. It hasn’t led them to fire Waddell yet”

Smooth, here’s my hope on this. You’re right that they haven’t fired him, but mabye they were just pound wise and penny foolish in their reason to keep him. What I mean is that back when the boys started 0-6 or whatever and Waddell fired Hartley and took over the coaching job, the rumor was that after Wads went 10-4 or whatever he did in his first games, that the Spirit signed him to an extension. That contract extension is rumored to be up at the end of this season.

So, mabye they have just been holding on to him during the ownership court fight and now will finally get rid of him at the end of this year? That’s my pipedream anyway, and I’m sticking to it until proven wrong by no press conference held one day after the end of the season.

Cheli? What the heck, might as well try it, but yes, it reeks of desperation. I don’t see any downside, Bogosian gets some good mentoring at least and mabye he can lead by example and if that doesn’t work, get on some of these lazy butts to start playing.

Please tell me Kozlov is in for White?

DW

March 10th, 2010
2:20 pm

Chris, you mention Antropov was not at practice (is this his normal day off?)and in the next sentence that Kozlov will be back in the line up for tomorrow? Who spot is he taking?

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
2:20 pm

Tom, I agree with you.

However, there are a lot of ignorant people in this town when it comes to these blogs and hockey as a sport in this city. Perhaps that is my problem trying to reconcile that reality with my fandom.

But every time people get excited about hockey on these blogs, there are people like Sage who are out to piss in our corn flakes. It’s not just Sage, but he’s the most consistent voice. If you think that constant negative vibe does not discourage a lurker from taking part or a casual fan from being turned off, then I’m not sure we agree.

Perhaps that doesn’t matter because the “casual” fan has an advantage over people like me and you: they don’t even bother worrying about the why behind the decision-making of this team and they just want a fun and different night out. That’s the danger of being a “fan-atic” of a particular team. I’ve learned my lesson with just about every sport and I guess I don’t want to learn that lesson when it comes to hockey.

I can’t even skate but this game seems to be a part of me and I can’t seem to figure out a way to change that…I guess I don’t want to.

Smoothie

March 10th, 2010
2:30 pm

DWTOO – yes, that is the beauty of this blog and I apologize for letting myself debase the integrity of the blog by using name-calling. I guess I just wanted you folks to know that I’ve got your back.

Bob – I hope to hell you’re right. No doubt this team needs a new direction. If not simply for the sake of new directions (not that change is always good for change’s sake), but at least it sends a message to players (present and future) that the ASG is serious about building something more than schedule fodder. Their slim margin model is not working. I will buy tkts occasionally next year, but I am not doing a full year, or even half for many reasons, most of which center on horrible customer-service and insultingly bad facilities.

On PP practice – what good is PP practice when you’re best and most important PP player (Antro) is out icing his hip? I’m really starting to question the coaching and leadership of John Anderson. He doesn’t want to scape goat individual players, then he benches Popovic for one mistake (not saying it wasn’t deserved) yet rewards Todd White with consistent ice-time when he makes absolutely no difference in the game whatsoever! He doesn’t forecheck, he doesn’t drive the net, he rarely shoots (if he actually has the puck) and he doesn’t seem to jibe with anyone on his line. I’d rather see a Crabb or Machacek banging and fighting for the puck like it was their last day in the NHL.

Jack

March 10th, 2010
2:39 pm

DW actually disgruntled about the Thrashers performance, go figure
Seriously can Chelios teach Enstrom to shoot the puck on the power play?

Tom Lysiak

March 10th, 2010
2:49 pm

Smoothie, all I can say is I think you give more credit than deserved (which is none). I’m not sure how many “casual” fans make it to this blog. But, if they happen by here and are discouraged from participating or turned off to the game by negative posts, then I’m not sure they had caught the bug anyway.

Most of us fell in love with “the game” first and then the team. Not the owners. Not the GM. Not even necessarily players, because those constantly change. I just know when I became a Flames fan back in the day, no blowhard could have told me what to think about the game or the team or Tom Cousins. The negativity itself is the turnoff. IMHO….

Get The Puck Out

March 10th, 2010
2:55 pm

I hope Slava plays like he’s got something to prove. Chelli will help, if for nothing but some good instruction. And Smoothie, keep up the good work. Negativity always breeds negativity.

bugman

March 10th, 2010
3:02 pm

Chris Chelios!

Let the shutouts begin!

Lee

March 10th, 2010
3:04 pm

NEW IT!!! I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN! I’m not angry but I just hope he can get up the stairs on the plane. Maybe he can teach Bogo some DEFENSE!

Brendan

March 10th, 2010
3:18 pm

Well, several of you said we’d never see Slava Kozlov again. If Kozzie sets foot on that ice, there goes that theory. Kozlov wasn’t even put on waivers. Interesting.

Re: Sage of Bluesland, I think his posts should be aimed at ownership, not the fans. The fans are just trying to enjoy some hockey, irrespective of the product being iced by the organization. Unfortunately, ownership always does whatever it jolly well pleases. Including retaining Waddell, which is indefensible from a sports perspective. From a business perspective, they treat the GM position as if it were merely an accountant, with budget being the primary concern. That’s what I find so distasteful. That, I suppose, and the fundamental lack of respect that Bruce Levenson shows to season ticket holders. It’s almost incomprehensible to treat poorly those who finance you. Seventy-six percent (76%) of revenues come from ticket sales. If anything, you open up the welcome mat to ANY and ALL, with fists full of huge discounts in each hand. Followed by an egregious level of backsiding kissing, making each and every fan feel like they are the very lifebloood or the organization, ESSENTIAL to the future of the Thrashers. Instead, Bruce Levenson’s response is, “Are you Home Depot? Are you Coca-Cola? Are you buying Season Tickets along the glass @ $200 a seat? Then up yours! You’re just a malcontent voice on a blog.” Well, allrightee then.

Instead, historically, the Thrasher fan hears, “No discounts. Pay full price.” Then, by Christmas, any swinging Richard can waltz right in to the same section for a half-price ticket, having made ZERO commitment to the team, in terms of any package deal. That’s one of those “Wow, you CANNOT be serious” type of McEnroe moments. And I certainly don’t blame STH’s for being angry about it. Or calling up their reps to give them an earful.

And the poor ticket rep! Seriously. Imagine having that job? You cannot utter a peep against Waddell, since he’s your boss. So, when a fan calls up to say, “Waddell’s an idiot. I won’t be back next year.” The rep can’t say, “I agree, but there are changes coming.” All the rep can do is bluster about how well Kane and Bogosian will be down the road … and how Pavelec is coming right along, and that they GUARANTEE Bryan Little will be re-signed, for brighter days.” And so forth. What else can they say, anyway? I think they get paid on commission.

When I first moved to Atlanta, an eternity ago, a leasing agent told me, “There will be a Hartsfield North and Hartsfield South Airport. They’re just about to build it.” Really? Where??? I missed the major international airport located in Alpharetta, where he was leasing apartments. People will say anything to get your business.

MB

March 10th, 2010
3:28 pm

Just wondering, Brendan…IF the Thrashers miss the playoffs (likely) and IF the ASG holds one of its town hall meetings for STHs…will Don Waddell be cheered again by those STHs when he is introduced as he was when they met following the Kovalchuk trade?

Midweek linkage « control+ATL+delete

March 10th, 2010
3:43 pm

[...] old defensemen Chris Chelios is back in the NHL after being called up by the Thrashers. Sure to be a hall-of-famer whenever he hangs it up, Chelios will join a Thrashers team that has [...]

StateBird

March 10th, 2010
3:49 pm

“Desparate” teams, as JA described the Thrashers, don’t leave players like Todd White in the lineup.

Marcus

March 10th, 2010
4:24 pm

I think that last night was the worst Thrashers game I have ever been to. First of all, my friends and I scalped tickets in row 6 of section 122, arguably the best in the house, for 5 bucks apiece. That gives you a little taste of how bad the economic situation of this team is….

Empty house, and an empty effort from the team. Colby Armstrong had a terrible game, taking a stupid penalty his first that lead to a goal. Oh that’s OK, says coach Anderson, we’ll play you for 16 more minutes tonight. If I was coach, Armstrong would have ridden pine until the third for that blatant careless penalty. He wasn’t the only one with his head in another world… Popovic had that brutal turnover AND that careless play where he flipped the puck over the glass. Should the WAKE UP promotion have been directed towards the players??? I’m starting to think so.

This is truly the downfall of the franchise. Waddell royally screwed the team when he wasn’t able to trade Kozlov or White, guys who clearly don’t have a place on the team anymore. Terrible management, crucial mistakes.

Another thing that pissed me off last night was how awful the in-arena games are… did anyone else notice that all the participants LOST? Like seriously, who the F cares about how many game-winning goals Bergfors has scored since being traded?? If you’re going to do boring trivia crap, at least make the questions easy so that the fans can feel good about themselves. Thrashers games used to be fun, and now they’re just frustrating. And can someone please kick Thrash in the balls? He’s annoying as hell.

/rant

GaVaHokie

March 10th, 2010
4:35 pm

Would be nice if Chelios smuggled Kulda with him in his suitcase… I’d like to see Popovic and Bogosian benched for a little while.

Kubina Enstrom
Hainsey Oduya
Chelios Kulda

Bogosian’s sophomore slump, and Enstrom’s not shooting the puck are killing us on the backend.

Remember when we had the discussion about our defense scoring 7 goals in a row with no goals from the forwards? And the Thrashers were first in the league for scoring defense? Yeah… wish we were still having that discussion.

BMF

March 10th, 2010
4:46 pm

I too was at the game last night and it was bad, BAD. Awful game. No energy, no hitting, we looked sluggish, especially in the 1st period. That Popovic turnover made me throw up in my mouth. Basically, the team released a giant collective fart that lingered over the arena the rest of the game and has to be washed out of your clothes because it stunk so bad.. Toby Enstrom was bad, Armstrong bad, Popovic bad, Todd White (didn’t even know he was still on the team, and why did he play that many minutes? ugh.). Kubina and Oduya were the only ones I was impressed with, they skated hard, especially Kubina. Need to re-sign him, very important.

Just a bad vibe down at the arena.

Mary Ann Hossa

March 10th, 2010
4:50 pm

I think once Chelios sees this pile of dung (ownership, coachaing, and players) he will retire for good.

Kevin

March 10th, 2010
4:56 pm

Why with 2 minutes left in the game last night was Todd White and Colby Armstrong on the ice. Does anyone actually think either one of these players was capable of scoring. Armstrong should have been dealt, he’s gone next yr, all he is capable of is one big hit a month, he’s coasting and looking to go back to a contender where he can collect a check and play 8-12 minutes on a 3rd line. Good Riddance.

StateBird

March 10th, 2010
5:47 pm

Marcus – you’re right on. If you show up for the pre-game skate you’re likely to hear the Thrashers taking the ice to a Brittney Spears tune. How do you think a hockey player feels taking their home ice to “3″?