Playoff chances slipping away

Following Friday night’s loss to the Rangers it will take a monumental effort for the Thrashers to make the playoffs. In the words of Ron Hainsey, they’ll probably need to win 12 of the final 15 games to get in. Considering they have not won more than four in a row all season that seems like a tall task. Although Hainsey pointed out that Carolina has won 13 of 15.

Who would have thought this just a week ago. The Thrashers had beaten the Islanders, were 4-0-2 in the past six games, held the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference and had games in hand. Five straight losses and all that is gone.

Coach John Anderson said before the Friday’s game that “pressure does funny things to you.” I asked several players after the game if they felt the team was not responding to the pressure. They all said no. I asked the same of Chris Chelios, perhaps unfairly since he’s only been with the team for two days.  Here is what he said: “I haven’t been here long enough to comment on that, but there is definitely a pressure there. You get down by two goals. I think when they made the trade [of Ilya Kovalchuk] before the break they got off to a pretty good start there. This can turn around just as easily if we win three games in a row and someone else in the division drops a couple. We’re right back in the fight. So that’s your mindset.”

The Thrashers are now in 11th in the conference – six points behind the Bruins, who have a game in hand on the Thrashers. Perhaps as troubling is the Panthers and Hurricanes are only two points behind the Thrashers. Another loss and the Thrashers could be staring at 13th place.

The Thrashers did not practice on Saturday. There will be no morning skate on Sunday with a 5 p.m. start against the Coyotes. I will be back at in Sunday night.

I will try to get an update on Zach Bogosian’s hand. He had a preliminary X-ray following the game. Not sure the severity of the injury but as a follower posted on my Twitter account: “Cake, meet icing.”

83 comments Add your comment

Lee

March 13th, 2010
10:33 am

They already “slipped” away.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

March 13th, 2010
10:35 am

FIRE WADDELL!

puckhead

March 13th, 2010
10:35 am

No practice no morning skate – does anyone call this team out? Last week tampa’s coach calls them out and they take us out. We “lick our wounds” or “have our backs against the wall” somebody in this organization need to show the fans that this performance is unacceptable. I wish this team would bankrupt and the NHL would takeover.

Blue Flame

March 13th, 2010
10:36 am

This team couldn’t beat the original expansion Thrashers. Now that we have basically rebooted the team, can we start over with a new GM?

Ashe

March 13th, 2010
10:42 am

Why does everyone blame DW when he has done nothing but good the past two years?

Your right he didnt trade KOzzy and White, two unmovable players.

He couldnt sign our 100 million dollar player.

This is on the players to dig deep in crunch time.

This is a lot of their first times in playoffs pushes in the NHL. Its a learning experiance

Barry

March 13th, 2010
10:54 am

I can understand not having a formal skating practice but they need to at least have some locker room talk and video sessions. There are too many things that they need to make adjustments too. Coaching staff expecting them to all just know what needs to be done come tomorrow? Absurd!

JR

March 13th, 2010
10:58 am

optimist, pessimist, bsimist. how about realist? the team choked. the playoff hopes are realistically over. i’d hate to be trying sell season tickets or renew season tickets at this time.

the team needs an enema from the top down. simple as that. there is no heart. no backbone. we were outhit, outplayed, outhustled, outsmarted and outcoached last night. familiar ring to it?

BG33Brown

March 13th, 2010
11:09 am

Puckhead, right on. Why don’t they all go out for ice cream and talk about their feelings.

Anderson wants to talk about pressure, why doesn’t he talk to Big Ern McCrackin about losing to a guy with a hook for a hand.

Marcus

March 13th, 2010
11:37 am

Horrid game last night. Did anyone watch the post-game press conference with Anderson? He’s STILL blaming losses on “bad bounces” and other externalities. I’ve never seen him pissed off about a loss, it just doesn’t seem like he’s willing to take responsibility for the team’s performance. I’m SICK of his “what can you do” attitude. If Waddell had balls he’d confront him and give him an ultimatum… it’s now or never. We’re officially in desperation mode.

March to the Playoffs? more like March to the Draft Lottery!

Toby

March 13th, 2010
11:41 am

How can we blame Waddell? How about 10 years and not one playoff victory.

Brett

March 13th, 2010
11:43 am

“Playoffs chances slipping away”, really? I realize that anything is possible, but do we really think the playoffs are “just” slipping away. There would have to be a miracle of biblical proportions for this team to make the playoffs now. Instead of lamenting over the possibility of making the playoffs, however farfetched they may be, we should just enjoy the fact that this painful season will be over in less than a month. Then we can all enjoy the summer break and recuperate from another disappointing season. Let’s all regain our strength and sanity and prepare for another frustrating season in 2010-2011. Thanks DW and ASG for another fantastic Thrashers season.

drajax

March 13th, 2010
11:55 am

This team stinks, plays only sporadically and everyone now appears to have hands of stone; the team ten days ago was pretty good, and showed a lot of heart. But everyone knew we couldn’t afford a breakdown, yet the team goes to Tampa, breaks down. The team comes home and breaks down in front of Carolina. In sports when you have this inconsistancy you look to management. This coach has to go.

rob

March 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

I guess JA thinks the bouncing puck is the ONLY thing wrong with the team. The press conference was as bad as the game. Not even sure where to start here. Kane gets hurt, OK, but to say that is the reason this team flatlines? They didn’t flatline when Kovy got hurt so why now? Come on grow a set and MOTIVATE someone!!! The season is over and now we will see what happens. Tough questions need to be answered here, and who will be held accountable for this monstrosity? The lack of action during the mid november-end of december meltdown lent itself to this. No one was held accountable then, no one is being taken to task now. It’s “OK” for this team to miss the playoffs again, and they will cry about the injuries and turmoil, and promise to do better next year. Frustration personified!!! Can we qualify for a government bailout?

Get The Puck Out

March 13th, 2010
12:09 pm

The team stinks, the coach stinks, the GM stinks, the effort stinks. That’s all i’ve got to say about that.

Curly

March 13th, 2010
12:41 pm

No practice on Saturday? No skate on Sunday? It sounds like the coaching staff has already given up.

Sage of Bluesland

March 13th, 2010
12:46 pm

And now we see Don Waddell’s daughter posting on here (Ashe)…Tell your dad I’ve known for many years that he’s nothing but a bumbling, lisping, blustering little fraud of a GM.

Now, even the sheep are finally figuring it out…Too bad it took so long for so many…

hollywould

March 13th, 2010
1:00 pm

stick the fork/with 2 against the caps and pens in the last 2 weeks this is impossible.

Get The Puck Out

March 13th, 2010
1:00 pm

Oh- I forgot – the owners stink worst of all. And that’s really all i’ve got to say about that.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

I’d like for some of the Don Waddell/John Anderson defenders (I’m looking at you, Max Cap + all the people at the last STH townhall meeting who applauded Waddell) to please explain why these two should be brought back next season.

EA

March 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

DW was applauded at the last STH for not offering Kovalchuk more money than was already offered. Also to let DW know that a majority of the STH did not think he was worth that much money. Of course, we all know it was not about the money, but about winning. DW tried to convince all of us that it was about the money. I, for one, was not buying it. The applause was not for the Thrashers season. Accountability is key. If we can’t go the top as seems to be the case so far in the Thrashers history, it goes directly to the coach. I was shocked to hear JA blame last nights game on more bad bounces. Show some passion, anger or whatever it takes.

Tom Davis

March 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

I got my playoff order form. Talk about arrogance.

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
2:45 pm

Good Lord!! I CANNOT believe I just read that blogger post above.

Okay, let’s hold a brief seminar. In whose position is oversight of the franchise entrusted? Under whose purview is it? Whose job is it … to hire a coach? Whose job is it … to assemble a roster of players? Who hires the scouts? Who hires the equipment manager? Who hires the ticket reps. Who represents the team on the board of governors? Who participated in the “rules committee” during the lockout? Whose job is it, after a DECADE, to formulate an IDENTITY for this franchise?

No, no we already cleared the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Abonimable Snowman last week. They’re innocent, I tells ya. Sasquatch is still being considered, however. The FBI has him under surveillance. And rumor has it, he’s been sighted near Techwood and Marietta Street. So, we all have to stay tuned there. I’m just not gonna rule out Sasquatch. (There’s also a viscious rumor he’s spying on the Thrashers for the Colorado Avalanche. And that his footprint adorned their shoulder patch. But shhh. People would pay a lot of money for that insider information. So, you just keep that nugget close to your vest.)

But, what if it’s not Sasquatch? Who is that person? Can ANYONE name him? Anyone? Anyone, at all? Allright, let’s play process of elimination. Is it the ushers? No. Is it J-bird? No. Is it the organist? No. How ’bout the scantilly clad ‘Blue Crew?’ Nah, I couldn’t and wouldn’t blame them for anything in the world. Is it the ticket takers? No. Is it the fans, in section 116? Hmmmn. Not sure. Maybe. On second thought, “no.” Is it the Public Address announcer? Hmmmn. Not sure. But I’m gonna say, “no” on that one. Is it … mmm … Thrash? Now, don’t rule him out. Thrash isn’t blameless. There’s plenty of blame to go around. I’m gonna heap some Thrash’s way. (Thrash, if you’re reading this. I’m joking, bro. You do a great job. I’m merely trying to illustrate asburdity by being absurd.) Uhh, is it … that girl who sells the 50/50 raffle, roaming the terrace level? No. Is it the “beer man?” No. Is it Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the league? Well, by six-degrees of separation, “yes.” I think I can allow some leeway there. Uhh, okay. Moving right along. Is it Steve Weeks’ fault? Hmmn. Well, if it is, who hired him? Is it Randy Cunneyworth’s fault? Hardly, no. What about John Anderson? Can’t he be blamed? If it’s his fault, who hired him? And what number coach is he, in the franchise history? Is this all the fault of the players??? Hmmn. Well, they are the ones suited up on the ice. They are the one who make the plays. But, let’s say, for example, the Thrashers signed meeeeee to a league minimum deal. Is it MY FAULT that I accepted the contract, and that I suck? Where’s the accountability over how IIIII came into the organization?

In conclusion, “Oy gavult.” In 2008, Atlanta finished with 76-points, after winning their division and being in the playoffs the year before. In 2009, Atlanta finished with 76-points. Today, Atlanta has 66-points, with as many as 30-points still on the table. If they get all 30 of them, they’ll make the playoffs, with 96-points. If they get 20 of those 30 points, they probably won’t. Eight-six points usually isn’t enough. If they finish with 10 points out of those 30, they manage to get back to 76-points, for the THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR. Is that, “doing nothing but good?” Sounds more like doggie paddling. Don’t forget, the Thrashers pulled off what “experts” said was the best offseason acquisitions in Max Afinogenov and Pavel Kubina. And there was the Christophe Schubert waiver claim, too. But, at the end of the season, if the team has 76-points, or 86-points, and is outside of the playoffs, what does it mean?

It means Dr. Seuss saw it all on Mulberry St.

Tall

March 13th, 2010
2:47 pm

Kovalchuk would have made a big mistake signing with the Thrashers. He’s been one of the top goal scorers in the league during the regular season. But, he has virtually NO playoff experience.
If he wants to be considered one of the premier players in the league, he has to prove himself in the second season. He’s still young enough to make up for the mediocre showing against the Rangers four years ago. If I were Kovalchuk, I would have left for the Devils, too.

If the Thrashers do make the playoffs, they won’t last long anyway. Save your money.

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
3:09 pm

Rob, your 12:03PM post was awesome. I was cheering as I read it. Good job. But remember, Don Waddell is the only “civil servant” GM in the league. He cannot be fired. He’s tenured now. It’s been longer than 3 years. He’ll spend 33 and a third years at the GM post, unless someone fires him. And there’s little indication that’s imminent.

Ya know, Matt Millen once said, “If I stink, I’ll step down. You won’t have to fire me.” How’d that work out? During the intial lawsuit, Steve Belkin called Waddell “incompetent” as a GM. Waddell fired back, “I’ll answer for wins and losses, but I don’t much care for the name-calling.” Well, if he’s a man of his word, he should answer for the wins and losses. Anyone got the team’s record since 1999 handy? It’s not above .500. Even “NHL-style” where losses still result in points, and only regulation time losses count as full losses.

In short, if you don’t fire Waddell, don’t expect him to simply step down. And shame on you owners for that inaction, and slap in the face to your STH’s. Other teams in the league … manage to succeed … without a GM named Waddell. Go look it up. It’s true.

Tom Davis

March 13th, 2010
3:27 pm

As a service announcement the 7th Man Award essays are to be submitted. I would love to read the BS that would have to be written to win the award. What are the positives that can be taken from this waste of a season.

Thrashers27

March 13th, 2010
3:27 pm

Here’s a good read about Kovy and some insights on his feelings toward Atlanta.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=521224

Jeff

March 13th, 2010
3:42 pm

Brendan I have read this blog for years now and only occasionally have the time to post. But I remember a time when even you said let’s give Don a chance and take him at his word that better days are ahead. If even you are now sick and tired of excuses hockey and the only real game is figuring out who is this years scapegoat it is hard to believe that this is still going on year after year. The worst thing about Don is his total failure to build a market and he has gone out of his way to alienate the few fans left in this city.
The real magic trick here is how easily the few remaining fans and STH can be directed to blame anything but DW. If the thrashers do not beat last seasons 76 points a scapegoat must be found and I think it is going to be JA he might not be the best coach in the NHL but he deserves a chance to coach with a better GM and front office than this. If the team ends with 77 points or better DW will stay or be promoted and remain in control. This brings me to the point of why with so much to gain by firing DW would the owners keep him? Other than because Bruce Levenson said so it makes no sense unless they are trying to force the NHL to allow a sale and move.

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
4:13 pm

Thanks for chiming in, Jeff. And don’t be a stranger in these parts. I think Vivlamore’s plan is to keep the blog going during the offseason, but I don’t really know. I’d love for you to be here with us. And over at Rawhide’s blog, too.

I think what I said, a few years back was, “If they won’t fire Waddell, then I have no choice but to root for him, and hope he does well. Let’s see what this 2nd rebuilding brings.” And it’s not as if he made ‘disasterous’ moves. The real issue is … he hasn’t advanced the team into the Conference Finals, or the 2nd round, or even the playoffs, or won a game in the playoffs. And really, with nine (9) top 10 overall picks, including six housed within the lottery draft, that’s really astonishing failure. It is. It truly is. Most GM’s could NEVER expect to have such fortune and longevity, without having to produce something tangible for it.

I love the Thrashers, Jeff. They’re my team. I don’t have any other team. For me, the most important thing in hockey … actually is the Atlanta Thrashers. I certainly follow the playoffs every year. And I follow what other teams do every year, watching for clues on how those teams were built, and by WHOM.

I don’t you if you are an STH or what, but if you are still an STH, you’ve got to tell your rep that you’re unhappy, and you won’t be back, if Waddell remains in charge. I don’t think Commissioner Bettman is opposed to the sale of the Thrashers. In fact, I think he’d welcome it. But he’s going to object to relocation. The trouble with selling the team and keeping it here is … that the new ownership would want a percentage of the revenues of Philips Arena. Otherwise, it’s a total money loser. And more than that, it’s hard to sell it, again, without some portion of the profits of Philips Arena accompanying the deal.

In the past, I always tried to bring people out to games. I gave away tickets. I tried to cultivate new fans to hockey. But really, I’m done trying to promote the Thrashers. They just don’t deserve it anymore. If Waddell doesn’t get the ax in April, the Thrashers bumper sticker is coming off the car. That doesn’t mean I won’t still cheer for them, and wish them well. It means, I’m done trying to prop them up. They’ve done nothing, accountability-wise, to show they care enough to cultivate a fan base.

The Real Thrash

March 13th, 2010
4:33 pm

I’m sorry were you actually taking about the Thrashers and the playoffs in the same sentence?
Why?

The Real Thrash

March 13th, 2010
4:35 pm

Kovy scored last night. Miss the scoring, eh?

Jeff

March 13th, 2010
5:21 pm

I have told my ticket gent to remove me from the calling list until DW was gone completely. I was told by my ticket agent that I was making a mistake that with Kovy being gone now the team could only get better. I asked if this was the case with Hossa, Savard, Heatly, and Coburn he informed me that yes now that they have gotten rid of the dead weight the sky is the limit. I do wish the Thrashers well and I do want to be able to come one day like you I recruited as many new fans as I could to try and keep hockey here in Atlanta but I have had to realize that my funding Don Waddell’s hockey education is going to have to come to a close. No longer will I pay for games and no longer will I buy Thrasher merchandise. I support the players but it is to much like helping someone who is unwilling to help themselves. I can not believe that Bettmann is our best hope for help but any support we can give him we need to. If the owners fire the front office staff starting with and including DW I will come back but promoting him and firing JA will not do it. With no changes free agents will not sign here unless it is their last choice or they are vastly over paid like Hainsey not a knock on him I would take the money too but he is worth about 2-2.5 Million at most. So I do not see any improvements coming soon. I will always be a fan and watch the Thrashers but I will no longer pay money to a company that could careless about their customer’s opinions or even if they can stay profitable.

brown bagger

March 13th, 2010
6:10 pm

This is the first year since I moved from Tampa six years ago that we haven’t been to a game. Not until Waddell is gone.

Buzzeng

March 13th, 2010
6:48 pm

…and then, depression set in…

Swami

March 13th, 2010
6:58 pm

Yah, I tink dat Waddell pooped da bed a liddle bit when he trade Kovy. Kovy a cool dude. Kovy no should be trade. Come back, Kovy. Come back.

CrazyDiamond

March 13th, 2010
7:25 pm

We are so screwed.

Until the ownership mess is resolved Thrasher fans will be shortchanged. Money talks and Atlanta Spirit is not going to spend it on hockey. If DW is gone as of April, whoever replaces him will still have to deal with the ownership rats nest. Actually, from what I read here it looks like when DW leaves, season ticket sales will boom. That is just sad. And we are so screwed.

Chief of Smoke

March 13th, 2010
7:32 pm

GM Waddell, It is time to do the right thing and resign when the Thrashers miss the playoffs.

Hanson Brothers

March 13th, 2010
7:45 pm

I am curious to hear from other STH’s about what they got in their renewal package. I was stunned to open mine the other day and find no benefits in the package. I have been a STH for 8 years. I barely hung in there this year but was at least satisfied that they made the average ticket price a little better by adding the ticket bank and bonus games, etc. Plus I was able to find a couple of others to share the package to make it more affordable. They have always had benefits to give to STH’s over the past 8 years such as $99 extra season tickets, etc. Am I missing something or are they offering nothing for a team that just missed the playoffs again.

Sage of Bluesland

March 13th, 2010
8:41 pm

Well stated, Jeff–and it is truly sad. Some of ya’ll actually must think I ‘enjoy’ trying to influence people to do WHAT IS BEST for the fans???!!!

There was a time when even I believed the proverbial ‘Sun’ was rising in Thrashersland…We had three young forwards (Stefan, Heatley, Kovalchuk) which I believed were the envy of the entire league.

I started sniffing Waddell’s bluster when he made that playoff “guarantee”–and I asked him, via email, where were all the “YoungStars” in the Thrashers organization and why they weren’t an annual presence at the All-Star game; where was the progress from the early years of the drafting (outside of the top five, gimme, picks).

He never responded. I asked twice more. No answer came forth from the alleged “classy” guy.

None.

When he drafted Lehtonen, I saw it for what it was: a play for much-needed time, as that kid was many YEARS away from being able to contribute anything (and, just like I thought, the propaganda machine was out quickly with the “Just you wait until this kid makes it to the parent club–ALL our goalie troubles will be forever gone!!!”)

Oh well, I saw the fraud for what it was–and it’s good to see so many have joined the good crusade. These owners and this management deserve to be driven out of town, period.

They do not deserve a single dollar of your support…unless you’re just happy to be in the league, being a punching-bag and schedule-filler for the real teams. That’s not what I’m going to buy into–ever.

(and for some to criticize my motives have shown them to be what I’ve said all along…you know who you are–and what you are, too)

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
8:41 pm

I was told by my ticket agent that I was making a mistake that with Kovy being gone now the team could only get better. I asked if this was the case with Hossa, Savard, Heatly, and Coburn he informed me that yes now that they have gotten rid of the dead weight the sky is the limit.

O…M…G, Jeff. Can this be serious? Look, I do believe you. You seem like a very honest person. So, I have no reason to doubt you. But can losing Hossa, Heatley, Savard, and Coburn, along with Kaberle and now Kovalchuk, ever be classified as “jettisoning dead weight?” Heatley, Hossa, Savard, and Kovalchuk are ALWAYS on the NHL leaderboard for either goals, assists, or points. Like every year. How can production like that be called, “dead weight?” Wow. That’s just a THUD, type of moment. Hossa had his CAREER BEST season in Atlanta, in 2007. Coburn “barely” played here, like six minutes a game. Yet, he’s somehow responsible for the team’s woes? Kovy scored 30 goals as a Thrashers for six years, and potted 40 more than half of the time he was here. That’d ‘dead weight?’ Savard put up great numbers here. Astonishing. Just astonishing.

If there’s dead weight to be jettisoned, it’s Waddell. The “sky is the limit” now that the dead weight, NHL leaderboard members are gone. I’m sure that in bizarro world, where hamburgers eat people, that makes some sense. Jeff, when I first moved to Atlanta, I was told by a leasing agent that there would be a Harstfield Airport NORTH, to be located in Alpharetta, GA. So, I need not worry about commuting distance to Hartsfield from North Fulton County. Hilarious. That ticket rep quote made me think of that.

Seriously, that’s an extraordinary utterance from a ticket rep. I think, in your shoes, I’d ask, “Care to make it interesting?” When the ticket rep asked what I meant, I’d say, “Okay, since the sky’s the limit now that the dead weight is gone, will you put up a year’s worth of free season tickets, along with playoff seating, too, if the Thrashers don’t make the playoffs this year, without Kovalchuk? Or heck, let’s toss in next year, too. But tossing in next year … means you put up two month’s worth of salary to complete the bet?” Think there’s a Thrasher ticket reps who’d make the deal? If the answer is, “no,” then don’t make me that sales pitch, is what I’d say to that ticket rep. If the sky is the limit, without the dead weight, then the Thrashers make the playoffs in 2010 and/or 2011 … and if not, you owe me 41 free home games, plus two month’s salary. He’d probably hang up on me.

But that’d be my response.

Putting On The Foil

March 13th, 2010
8:44 pm

Playoffs slipping? Ya think?

August

March 13th, 2010
8:49 pm

Hanson Brothers, I think you are missing something. Your “ticket bank” for next year should have gone up. Mine, for the $999 seats, went up to $400 per seat, so I have $800 for my account next year to use to “buy” more tickets. I have the $99 seats already on my account because I got them when they were re-introduced last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are dropping them. Plus, you get the 20% off at Team Gear, Hawks tickets to four games. I didn’t see it, but I’m guessing they’ll also have the $25 gift certificates for Team Gear as well.

I’m debating keeping the $99 tickets for next year. If I can find a buyer, I’ll keep them. If not, then I’ll let those go. Of course, I don’t even know if I want to keep my Season Tickets at all next year.

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

Crazy Diamond, let’s say what you’re saying is true. The next GM still has horrible ownership with which to deal. Okay? Well, let’s say … for the sake of argument, the Spirit hired one of the regular bloggers here. And that blogger were permitted to place the team in the lottery draft for 5 straight seasons. Still with me? Even with the horrible ownership in place, and even with the league minimum mandated floor, don’t you think some of the people here could do a better job?

Remember, this is a team without a playoff win, facing it’s 8th time in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference in ten years. See, cuz I’m pretty sure that given that much time to just land “consensus” NHL scouting lottery picks, and commmon sense waiver claims, and spending to a mandate floor … and never, EVER making a single trade in which to be potentially fleeced, would still produce better results that what we got under Waddell.

If Atlanta, instead of Columbus, hired Scott Howson, it would be better off. Heck, Howson got Rick Nash to re-sign. Howson traded 2nd round picks to land RFAs who could help immediately at the NHL level. Always staying within the cap parameters. Okay, I’ll just stop here. But I hardly think ownership would be mad at the blogger GM … for placing the team into the playoffs and winning one game. Maybe two. Over a three year span. Shoot, they might even be encouraged by the FREE profit revenue that playoffs produce.

Tom Davis

March 13th, 2010
9:28 pm

Ok. I read all of this. Don needs to say it is time. No BS. It is time.

Jeff

March 13th, 2010
9:40 pm

I sure could have used that advice then about making bets but I imagine I would have just gotten a dial tone after that. If the Thrashers want to make a real bet then how about DW and his staff step down if they do not make the second round of the playoffs then I would be willing to buy a few more tickets. Last I heard about the air port north was that they had bought land in north of Cummings but now they want to make a reservoir for Atlanta on that land it will take millions of dollars and court cases so I won’t hold my breath of course millions of dollars and court cases is what it will take to fix the Thrashers too.

I forgot about Kaberle but I will raise you Andrew Brunette who has averaged more than 20 goals per season after Don invited him to see how little he was worth as a free agent. At the time I think the AJC said he was making 850,000 and I think he went to the wild to play for just over 1 million if I am not wrong. Or when DW waived Chris Kunitz after two games and he has averaged almost 20 goals per season since then. Some teams have so much talent that they don’t know what to do with it. That must apply to the Thrashers that is why they keep sending it out of town.

Sage I do not always agree with how you say it but someone has to keep them honest and sugar coating the problem only means that we have no chance for reform and the team slowly dies while Don convinces everyone to look the other way. An example is how Don is not afraid to speak up at the town hall meetings after he has done something stupid. The STH who disagreed with him are long gone and those who stay think it is pointless to argue with fools. So rage on Sage and remember that one man with courage makes a majority.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 13th, 2010
9:41 pm

RE: “Thrashers have their routines”

Like falling behind 2-0 (or more) in every game?

Hanson Brothers

March 13th, 2010
11:00 pm

August, thanks for the info. Maybe my package was missing the information. Or maybe they want to see if some STH’s will re up for full price.

August

March 13th, 2010
11:14 pm

Hanson Bros.: My renewal kit had the small box in there with the notepad/pen combo and things to order playoff tickets and parking. The invoice was separate from the small box (still in the UPS container) and the small booklet that explained all the benefits was also packed separately in the UPS container.

Brendan

March 13th, 2010
11:31 pm

Jeff, absolutely right. And it doesn’t even begin with Brunette. It starts with the first Thrasher to amount to anything, Donald Audette. Audette was outperforming even Captain Ray Ferraro. And Steve Staios, hardly a Tier I guy, certainly has remained viable in the NHL, lo these past 9 seasons. By the time Ferraro was dealt away, ceding to Shawn MacEachern, Brian Pothier was shipped out of town to Ottawa. In the trade, the Thrashers picked up a draft pick that it used to select netminder Dan Turple. It was “zero sum” economics. Atlanta would get a piece of the puzzle, then let that piece slip away to replace it with another. When the goal should have been … to keep ADDING puzzle pieces. Instead, Audette, Brunette, Staios, Buzek, etc., wound up leaving. Sometimes via trade, sometimes via free agency. In the case of Ray Ferraro, he retired after being dealt to St. Louis at the trade deadline. Eventually, Scott Mellanby would be Captain, and retire.

It is utterly frustrating, Jeff, to think that all of the following talent walked through our dressing room: Heatley, Kovalchuk, Coburn, Kaberle, Staios, Audette, Brunette, Ferraro, Kozlov, Lehtonen, S. Donovan, Peter Bondra, Chris Kunitz, Chris Clark, Brian Pothier, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, Bobby Holik, Damian Rhodes, Byron Dafoe, Steve Shields, Mike Dunham, Pascal Dupuis, Eric Belanger, Keith Tkachuk, Jon Sim, Nic Havelid, Mark Recchi, Chris Chelios, Matthieu Schneider, Max Afinogenov, Pavel Kubina, Scott Mellanby, etc.

I hate to say it, but Sage of Blueland had a significant point about something. The ’sun was rising’ in a magnificent way, over the Sea of Japan. If ya feel what I’m saying. The Thrashers had Stefan, Heatley, Kovalchuk, Ferraro, Kozlov, and the 2nd overall pick in the 2002 Draft, which it could have used to either take Nash or Bouwmeester. And a capable backup in Pasi Nurminen. If Atlanta wanted to, it could have claimed Curtis Joseph, in 2002, for nothing but his salary off waivers or re-entry waivers. Sage was right. But it wasn’t just Sage who said so. 680TheFan’s John Kincade, went on the radio to proclaim, “Per the Hockey News, the Atlanta Thrashers had the BEST ‘under 25 talent’ in the NHL. Now, I felt that was largely represented by Heatley and Kovalchuk, and not say, Stefan and Lehtonen, or the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th round picks that never made it to the starting lineups here.

Bygones.

East Point Bob

March 14th, 2010
10:45 am

Ha Ha Ha No Playoffs, Again people. Time to stay away from the remaining games to show ownership they have got to FIRE Don Waddell once and for all period !

Brendan

March 14th, 2010
11:04 am

East Point Bob, I think if the Spirit, LLC doesn’t fire Waddell, that’s the indicator that the intent is to sell the team. Which I’ve suspected all along. But to sell the team, locally, they’ll have to cough up 30% of the revenues from Philips Arena. Arthur Blank could buy the Thrashers, essentially for a song, right now. But he’d start losing millions of dollars, very quickly. Arthur Blank, or whomever, has to see some of the profits of the Arena deal to make this worthwhile.

When I say “sale,” I don’t mean “relocation.” This team, for the 10,000th time, isn’t leaving. Not prior to 2019, anyway. So, the question now is … (1) “Are the Spirit merely inept and incompetent?, or … (2) Are they only too happy to have a lame duck GM until the sale is completed?” Think about it. If Waddell quits, then the Spirit, LLC ACTUALLLY HAS TO FIND SOMEONE to be the next GM, and then SELL THEM ON THE CONCEPT OF TRYING TO WIN, with robust budgets and so forth. Stop for a minute. What GM candidate would BUY what the Spirit is selling???

If you’re Don Waddell, there’s also a question to ask and address. (1) Is Don Waddell William Hung? What do I mean? Does Don Waddell really BELIEVE he’s a good GM, who is merely unlucky? Or (2) is Don Waddell only too pleased to continue to receive as many paychecks as the Atlanta Spirit, LLC is stupidly willing to pay him?

Here’s how I answer those questions. I believe the Spirit is not nearly as stupid as they portray themselves to be. That’s a convenient excuse that most people all too readily buy hook, line and sinker. “In over their heads, they don’t know how to run an NHL team. Clueless as to the GM function, they retain Waddell.” Perhaps oversimplified, but that’s what I think many people believe. Okay, I think “the plan,” all the way back to 2007, was to sell this team in 2011. And I have posted about that since April of 2007.

Now, with respect to Waddell, I think the answer is a melange of both 1 and 2. Waddell is both cognizant of the fact that he’s a failing GM, who should desperately cling to every paycheck, while at the same time, thinking himself CAPABLE of turning it all around. So, in that respect, he’s a “Hung.” And until someone fires him, he’ll keep on TRYING HIS LEVEL BEST to resurrect this franchise.

Isn’t it sad, that this is, and has been, the topic of Thrashers message boards since 2002? And still, the organization hasn’t turned the corner.