Getting ready for Kovy’s return

Getting settled in here in Duluth as we begin the final week of the regular season. And look who comes calling tomorrow? Ilya Kovalchuk.

I’m hoping to speak to him today about his return, but I’m wondering what you think the fan reaction will be?

Does Kovy get cheered? Booed? Mixed reaction?

I remember talking to him shortly after he was traded when we were in Washington. He already knew the date of April 6th and the Devils return to Philips Arena then. It should be interesting. Let me know what you think will happen.

As for Monday’s practice:

Todd White is skating after missing several games with an upper-body injury. I will check on his status for Tuesday’s game after practice.

Evgeny Artyukhin is at practice after missing Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury.

Pavel Kubina (upper-body) and Bryan Little (lower-body) are not at practice.

Here are the practice lines:

Gray: Bergfors-Antropov-Afinogenov

Light blue: Kane-Peverley-MacArthur

Yellow: Slater-Stapleton-Artyukin

Orange: Kozlov-White-Armstrong

Red: Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

For what it’s worth: Angelo Esposito was skating prior to the start of practice, still rehabbing from torn ACL.

Let’s get this posted and I update following practice.

101 comments Add your comment

Jeff

April 5th, 2010
10:16 am

Why boo him? He played well during his time here, and everyone knew he was going to go to a contender who could pay him what he wants. Everyone of us would have done the exact same thing.

Oh….by the way: FIRST!!

Kovy's Agent

April 5th, 2010
10:32 am

I predict more boos than cheers. I don’t blame him for wanting to move to a contender but don’t lie with the constant statements of wanting to be a Thrasher for life, blah, blah, blah. We’re big boys Ilya. If you were committed to going to a contender be honest with us and DW who could have struck a much better deal at the previous trade deadline, or during last summer. And it wasn’t about the money. I guarantee he’ll get paid LESS this summer than what the Thrashers offered. At least Hossa never stated he wanted to remain a Thrasher. He was fairly non-committal on that front which told you all you needed to hear. With Kovy the statements indicated he wanted to stay but as the talks dragged on and on any sentient being could see the handwriting on the wall.

Smoothie

April 5th, 2010
10:49 am

Big BOOOOOOs as far as I’m concerned. He was all talk when he should’ve kept his mouth shut about his future in Atlanta. Then again, he was in a tough spot as Captain of the team. But the fact remains he led the fans of the Thrashers to believe he would stay. He will get booed quite heartily in my opinion.

C-Viv – can we get an update on B-Litts today?? Will he have an MRI or is he walking already without pain?

DWTOO

April 5th, 2010
10:49 am

Like his agent I think more boos than cheers for exactly the same reason. His words said one thing and his actions another. He played Waddell like a fiddle. He ahould have been traded last year like Brendan wanted. I bought his line also about wanting to be a Thrasher for life. Boy, was I duped.

Supes

April 5th, 2010
11:09 am

He should be cheered. He gave a lot back to this team, and made them recognizable. The Thrashers mattered b/c we had Kovy on this team and he is a top 5 offensive player in the NHL. Nobody nationally cares about the Thrashers right now b/c we have nobody of worth. Bogo and Kane are too young and haven’t developed into star status yet.

Of course the wounded fans will boo…and they have the right to do that b/c they paid for their tickets and can do whatever the frak they want, but they would be wrong. Kovy did his time here (almost like a convict) and he was granted his freedom to go win playoff games and championships elsewhere. It was never going to happen here. This franchise is doomed to mediocrity with DW in charge.

JR

April 5th, 2010
11:17 am

it’s a bit like the braves’ fans reactions to glavine and maddox. maddox would have liked to stay and he was always cheered afterwards for the great service that he gave. glavine left voluntarily over a small percentage increase in offers [i know, the small percentage represented significant dollars] and was soundly booed.

kovy supposedly wanted to stay here. however, as a previous poster indicated, he played wadell like a fiddle and in doing so, put the franchise at a distinct disadvantage trying to trade a soon to be unrestricted free agent at the last moment.

i think that it will be boos.

JR

April 5th, 2010
11:19 am

chris: anything on the other unrestricted free agents?

Telfo

April 5th, 2010
11:28 am

i love how we start getting injuries/suspensions at the most crucial point of the season

Midfield

April 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Cheers from enthusiastic NJ fans. My guess is that most people here – granted not all, but a great deal, for sure – have realized that they’d better get life because the team is not going anywhere. Obviously, the trade announcement was just the sound of the last nail going in, not a leading indicator by any stretch. But it is symbolic nonetheless. Supporting such a blatant incompetence is degrading.

RazorCatchPrey

April 5th, 2010
11:39 am

He will get a mixed reaction. We owe him a lot for all he’s given this organization over the years, but a lot of us are still bitter over the way it ended. I will boo if he scores a goal, but otherwise will cheer for him.

Bobby G

April 5th, 2010
11:40 am

my questions still remains, What did he bring for this team? Playoff wins? Playoffs? (wow once). Did he turn heads in awe? Yes but he did not anything over the top or special for our team.

Bobby G

April 5th, 2010
11:41 am

I’ll be booing for the record and he is the sole reason I even got into hockey.

Smoothie

April 5th, 2010
11:46 am

We owe him a lot!? Not Tuesday night we don’t. For the better part of 8 years, he was screwed over by a lack of foresight and vision on the part of management. But in 2 of the 3 years in which Kovy had a good team around him, he didn’t get it done. In 2007, he choked in the playoffs along with the rest of his team…although he didn’t choke as badly. In this current year, he took us to a position of potential playoff legitimacy before bailing. He bailed mentally and did not give his all for the better part of 2 months before being traded. For that he is deserving of boos. Next year, I won’t boo him or cheer him. But if you, as a fan, aren’t pissed about what could have been THIS year, then I don’t know what to tell you. Tuesday is not about what he did for this franchise over 8 years — what was it exactly though as the team achieved a very small modicum of success? — but what he did to us 3-4 months ago. He screwed us. Period. I will boo him.

cathy

April 5th, 2010
11:59 am

Thrasher fans want to see Kovy, like he is an x-boyfriend..who dumped us!!! But we still want to beat him on our home ice… Thrashers have had a tough time beating Devils: with or without Kovy.This will be a freak show game! But I think we will win by one point! Go Thrashers! Don’t let Kovy score, he will get booed if he scores!!!

pensfan

April 5th, 2010
12:48 pm

This is the “END” the Thashers favorite friend. The End.

woody

April 5th, 2010
12:51 pm

Enter your comments here

woody

April 5th, 2010
12:52 pm

Go Thrashers beat Kovi knock the the Flyers out of the playoffs!!

AUgirl

April 5th, 2010
12:53 pm

Midfield, show some class buddy. New Jersey has had attendance issues too, what’s your excuse?

As for as Kovalchcuk is concerned, he lied to us and his teammates for months, so if he gets booed I have no problem. I think if he would have been honest we would not have had the awful month of Dec. and being in the position we are now. The return we got for him was great (in my opinion): two up and coming players, a great defensive player, an extra first round pick and a TEAM. The only good thing he did this year was help Antro find his way here. The future is bright is for the Thrashers with the talent we have here.

I was looking forward to Kubina knocking Kovalchuck around some more (remember the Olympics), but will be proud of whichever Thrasher knocks Kovalchuck down or into the boards.

Wayne stuck in AL

April 5th, 2010
1:17 pm

The question should be, “Will anybody show up?’

Warm weather has returned to the South, people are focusing on the Braves and Hawks, and the Thrashers are, short of a miracle, out of the playoffs.

Chris Vivlamore

April 5th, 2010
1:19 pm

Practice update: Bryan Little and Pavel Kubina did not practice. No further updates on their condition or status. I saw neither at the practice facility. Todd White did practice. John Anderson did not rule any player as out for Tuesday’s game against the Devils. However, I doubt that any of the three will play.

I talked to Kozlov, Afinogenov and Antropov about Kovalchuk’s return. No one said anything big, but Kozzy hopes the fans do not boo. I also talked to Oduya and Bergfors about going against the Devils. That will be in the story later today/Tuesday.

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
1:21 pm

I definitely will not “boo” Ilya Kovalchuk. Why would I? He was the 1st overall pick in the 2001 draft, and he didn’t fail the Thrashers. This season marks his sixth 40+ goal campaign in this league. And most of that time, the opposition had one (1) goal: Shut down Kovalchuk. Kovy will never be a candidate for the Selke Trophy. But Don Waddell’s “vision” for this team … was to play “exciting” hockey by filling the opposition’s net with goals.

Well, guess what? That’s right. That’s precisely what Ilya did. Only Jerome Iginla has scored more goals in the NHL than Kovalchuk since the 2001-02 season. That’s a fact, not my opinion. Forty and fifty goal scorers don’t grow on trees. And Ilya just may be “the best pure sniper” in the NHL. See, that’s an opinion. Not a fact. But I believe it to be true.

Ilya owns a home in Atlanta. Err, he owns a MANSION in Atlanta. And the last time I heard, it wasn’t up for sale and no moving trucks were spotted out front. So, if he continues to live here, year after year after year, did he “lie” when he said, “I love Atlanta, and I want to stay.” Well, time will tell. But his not moving and relocating his family would be a strong indicator of his truthfulness.

Now, we can split hairs on the “Thrasher-for-life” comments. As that can be construed as “willful deception.” The truth I believe it this one. If this team had been sold to new ownership, who installed a GM not named Waddell, Ilya Kovalchuk would have seriously considered staying in Atlanta. Ilya, for a player eyeballing the exit, brought in Nik Antropov, who got a FOUR YEAR DEAL to come play here. Kovy brought in Max Afinogenov, talking him out of the KHL for more money. And the word was … he even tried to bring in Nikki Zherdev to the Thrashers. Are these the actions of a man who CARES NOTHING for this franchise?

Stop. Don’t answer. Hold that response. If you were a major superstar in the NHL … as a UFA, would you chose the Atlanta Spirit, LLC and GM Don Waddell as the destination for your PRIME YEARS? Yeah, well. “Pants on Fire,” if you said yes. You don’t hire an arsonist to run the Fire Department. You don’t hire a priest to run an abortion clinic. And you don’t trot out a GM who has failed for a decade … to go negotiate the contract of the “face of the franchise.” It all speaks to how woefully inept and uncaring the ownership is about this franchise and its fan base. And when YOU, the FAN, attempt to inform that you won’t renew if Waddell is here, their response is, “See ya, later, then. We’re 100% committed to Waddell.” It’s simply amazing to see how irresponsible an ownership group can be.

Kovalchuk will never be booed by me, over his decision to leave Atlanta. It’s not up to Kovy to announce his plans for the future. It’s the responsibility of the GM to read the situation and act accordingly. If no deal materialized by July 14, 2009, the GM states, “$101 over 12 years is the final offer. Take it or leave it. We’re trading you, if you decline.” What can Kovy do? Nothing. He reports to his new team, or he accepts the offer. That’s the way another GM would have handled that situation, and avoided all the distractions that would follow. Instead, we got what happened. Bygones.

Being a GM can be difficult, but it’s not exactly “rocket science,” either. Please re-read this post as often as is necessary to see the “totality of circumstance” behind the Kovalchuk situation. If you want to argue that “tickets had to be sold,” then fine. I respect your argument. Kovy, traded back in July, could have hurt ticket sales. I won’t deny you that argument.

But “boo” the guy?? For what?? For not wanting to languish under the Waddell Administration?? He put up with Waddell as long as anyone. Maybe Jim Slater and Slava Kozlov come close. Kari, too. Kovy did his time here. I’m sorry that we did him wrongly. And I’m also sorry that he wasn’t fully developed by our coaching staff, to play defense. But let’s never forget that Waddell’s “vision” for the Thrashers was a “pedal to the medal, OFFENSE FIRST” type of strategy. And Kovy delivered on his end of that deal.

docsbro

April 5th, 2010
1:26 pm

Look, you can take all the shots at him you want…but for the better part of the seasons he was here HE was the only player we had. Sure Heatley and Hossa came and went but Kovy stayed. This is a worthless franchise has and will be until DW is GONE!! Kovy gave more to this franchise than ANY player. He is not a perfect player but we all knew that and don’t blame him for the problems of this franchise. I Boo Heatley and I boo Hossa, but I will cheer for Kovy. Face it he has never had a decent team around him save one season and the coach decided to play goalie roulette…that was a complete team failure from TOP to BOTTOM. I say good luck Kovy!!

AUgirl

April 5th, 2010
1:35 pm

Brendan his family is Florida. I read that an article yesterday from a NJ newspaper. He didn’t live in Atlanta in the off season when he was a Thrasher, why would he now? I’m more interested in comments from those that were rumored to be happy when he left, not his friends.

Not Blind

April 5th, 2010
1:40 pm

I’d like to see one of the D guys run over him. “Welcome back to Atlanta”.

J-man

April 5th, 2010
1:45 pm

More boos than cheers is my prediction. It sure won’t be 100% boos though. He’ll probably get a marginally better reception than Hossa did the first time back as the situation was somewhat different. Kovy at least offered terms on which to stay here which is more than Hossa did. He has no control over the fact that the owners didn’t like those terms.

Thrashers Recaps

April 5th, 2010
2:01 pm

We need a win. Is that reason enough to boo him? I’m not sure.

Barry

April 5th, 2010
2:03 pm

I think it would be stupid to boo Kovy. For all he’s done for this franchise, making games more exciting, putting fans in seats, it’s not worth booing. Now if he scores, that’s another story, we should always boo an opposing goal scored doesn’t matter who did it.

whaler8888

April 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

Chris, has there ever even been a wisper of Kovy signing here over the summer like Tkachuk did with Blues a few years back?

Chris Vivlamore

April 5th, 2010
3:29 pm

AUGirl: Who was rumored to be happy when Kovalchuk left?

whaler8888: There have been no indications he could re-sign here in the summer. I asked that when he was traded. I think Waddell’s response about playing a “team” game and not an looking to one individual says it’s unlikely.

alex

April 5th, 2010
3:33 pm

nothing to add to BRENDAN comments. brilliant. boo him if you wanted, but don’t forget also kiss simultancously asg+ dw and hater stendec @$$. here is biggest kovy enemy. i now it

Smoothie

April 5th, 2010
3:44 pm

Might as well boo everybody including JA for a season lost! Oh what could have been. Pavelec may deserve the most boos for his crap-tastic play in Dec.

Chris Vivlamore

April 5th, 2010
3:45 pm

Jim Slater is the Thrashers nominee for the Masterton Trophy awarded by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Lord Stanley

April 5th, 2010
3:48 pm

Sorry Kozzy, boo the hell out of Koval. I will be there and booing loudly, and hope we boo him louder thatn we did when Heatley came back. For the record was not boing when Heatley came back.
Kochoke the Trader deserves to be booed, especially after lying to the loyal fans that still remain. Give me a bloody break to pass up over $100 million, and then say less that 24 hours after being traded saying its great to finally play for a class A organization. That was a slap in the face for the loyal Atlanta Fans. Kovalchuk you know where you can go.

Lord Stanley

April 5th, 2010
3:50 pm

GO Thrashers

alex

April 5th, 2010
5:00 pm

ok we have high scnool calibr GM and cheap crazy stupid village ownership and sir lord thinks kovy incorrect. yes thrasher upper managment not even close to compare with 3 times cup winners NJ. this is not about city of atlanta or atlanta hockey fans. everybody like city, ask kozzy. organization is stink say thank you for that asg, by the way, if somehow they finally sacked this clown DW give the credit to kovy and his comment.

Hotrod

April 5th, 2010
5:19 pm

I would not boo Kovy, just a light clap.

Kinda wondering who will be the first to give him a “welcome back” hit.

I want to also thanks to the Thrashers for keeping it
interesting to the end.

Lord Stanley

April 5th, 2010
5:24 pm

Wouold love to give kovalchoke his first hit but I will leave that for Arty :)
All he had to do is be honest and we may of traded him earlier and won some more games.

AUgirl

April 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

Chris, I didn’t hear exact names just “the younger guys”. I wasn’t sure who specifiaclly that meant by that desciption, but thought maybe it was known by people in the inner circles. I dont’ remember 100%, but I think Waddell even made a similar comment at the STH meeting the first home game after the trade. If I’m wrong, I’ll be glad to admit it.

East Point Bob

April 5th, 2010
5:33 pm

He should be BOOED he plays for the other team and lied to all Atlanta fans about wanting to stay here and his comments after the trade were a slap in the face to all Atlanta fans !

When will we all get to cheer and go crazy ???? When Waddell finally gets the well deserved boot!

Lord Stanley

April 5th, 2010
5:40 pm

AMEN EPB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
5:45 pm

Perhaps, total silence when his name is announced sends a message, too. That’s the “politically correct” way of saying, “Mother always told me that if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, you say nothing at all.” The message will be received probably about as well as any “boos.”

In Kovy’s shoes, I’d shake my head at the boos, then yell, “Go scream Knights! during the national anthem.” Which, of course, we’ll do. As if that team still existed. I think we should yell “Glads!” during the anthem, if yelling just, absolutely, has to occur during an anthem.

In Kovy’s shoes, maybe the best comeback to Atlanta booing would be, “Go ahead! Renew your seats for next Year! Hope you enjoy 2 more years of Waddell, ‘cuz I sure won’t! BAH-HA-HA-HAH.”

PeteyNice

April 5th, 2010
6:17 pm

More cheers than boos. The mixed reaction here clinches it. Some Thrashers fans will cheer and of course all of the Devils fans (and there is always a decent amount) will cheer wildly.

Frosty the snowman

April 5th, 2010
6:25 pm

Don Wadell is the liar, has been for years. Boo Wadell

Frosty the snowman

April 5th, 2010
6:32 pm

why would you boo Kovalchuck for making the same decision any player we have had that is good made, leaving this disfunctional joke of an organization. I f wadell and owners keep going be prepared for bogosian, kane to follow the same path

JTK

April 5th, 2010
6:32 pm

I’ll be there and I’ll give him a standing ovation when he is introduced. He was the face of the franchise for many years and usually played his butt off. People can complain about him “lying” to everyone but how do you know you aren’t being lied to by Waddell and Co.? I would believe Kovy all day over the weasel Waddell. Can anyone truly blame him for leaving? Where is this franchise heading? If any of you had the choice of working for some mom and pop computer or Apple, where would you go? If the mom and pop paid you a little more money, you would certainly go with the best. I know I would because the benefits beyond mere salary far outweigh a little bump in pay. I’m sure I’ll get killed for the analogy by all the internet tough guys, so take your shot.

CrazyDiamond

April 5th, 2010
6:38 pm

I predict BOOS for the same reason some fans still yell KNIGHTS during the National anthem. Stupidity.

Sam

April 5th, 2010
6:47 pm

Kovy left to win. I don’t blame him. Obviously, the Thrashers’ GM and owners haven’t made that happen here. They still think that NHL teams play for draft picks, not the Stanley Cup. And they’re satisfied with that.

I will always be a Kovalchuk fan. So many of my memories of hockey in Atlanta include him. He’s a smart, dynamic, gifted, exciting player to watch. He always appreciated the fans here and tried to put on a good show. I will never forget his antics at the ATL All-Star game. Kovy always said his job was to score goals…and he did that. Every year he was at the top of the league in scoring, usually with linemates well under his skill level (Antro being an exception). He made it work and never, ever criticized them. He participated in his Kovy’s Kids charity for as long as I can remember.

Ilya carried this team when his close friends, Dan Snyder and Dany Heatley could not and never complained, even when he was grieving the loss of them both, privately. He’s played through injuries. He’s never been a prima dona “skill” player, afraid to take up for himself or a teammate.

Atlanta fans are idiots most of the time. They’ll boo him because he didn’t sign up for 12 more years of mediocrity in Anderson-Waddell World, and then they’ll hypocritically b*tch about the GM and ownership at the same time.

I’m going to cheer Kovy on in Atlanta Tuesday and all through the playoffs. He’s electric to watch and has no trouble fitting in as more of a role player among talented players in NJ. I say let’s dump Waddell and Anderson and sign Kovy back in July, after he’s won a Cup with the Devs.

Jack

April 5th, 2010
6:47 pm

Brendan, fyi the word Glads or Gladiators is not in the national anthem. Thought you may want to know.

Lord Stanley

April 5th, 2010
6:51 pm

Unfortuantely Kovalchuk does not play defense very well, and as much as I would like to see Brodeur leave on top, they will lose in 2nd round

Sam

April 5th, 2010
6:52 pm

Oh, and y’all remember: Jim Slater was scratched by Anderson half the freakin’ season.

How’s that for irony? The challenge he battled through to get the Masterton nomination was his OWN COACH.

Go Jimmy. Your exceptional performance this season has been like giving Anderson the finger… every…single…game, LOL.

Ah, if only Slava got such a chance.

Sam

April 5th, 2010
6:54 pm

From wiki, just fyi: “The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”

Wayne stuck in AL

April 5th, 2010
7:39 pm

Not only should Kovy be booed because: 1)He’s on the other team, and 2)He stabbed us in the back, but Waddell should be booed too; after all, if Hawk fan booed Stan Kasten for trading Dominique…

Supes

April 5th, 2010
8:06 pm

Atlanta fans are idiots most of the time. They’ll boo him because he didn’t sign up for 12 more years of mediocrity in Anderson-Waddell World, and then they’ll hypocritically b*tch about the GM and ownership at the same time.

I’m going to cheer Kovy on in Atlanta Tuesday and all through the playoffs.

********************************************************

This is what everyone that checks their emotions at the door should do. Great post Sam!

MB

April 5th, 2010
8:44 pm

I’d like to think that Thrashers fans would be classy enough to applaud for the top player in franchise history (according to the record book) when he’s announced, but we all know that’s not the case (as evidenced by the hollering of “Knights” during the national anthem).

My guess is that reaction will be split but that the boos will be louder, just because booing tends to be louder than polite applause. Unfortunately, I can’t make the game. I would applaud him at the introductions, and would be wearing my Kovalchuk Thrashers sweater…cheering for the home team, but bearing no ill will towards our former superstar.

As for comments along the lines of “what did he ever do for us” referring to no playoff wins…well, by that rationale, you should boo every single member of the Thrashers, right?

Stabbed us in the back by saying it’s nice to be with a first-class organization? Can’t claim that to be anything other than the truth, and unless I’m missing something, he said nothing derogatory about the city or the fans.

But that’s just me…and I have to keep in mind that the same people who boo Kovy, Hossa, Savard, and Heatley are also the ones who cheered for Waddell at the town hall meeting.

NJ Kovalchuk hater

April 5th, 2010
9:15 pm

wearing a kovalchuk jersey is like where a vick jersey at the Falcons eagles game. My Koval jersey has already been burned and replaced with Bogosian

KLS1

April 5th, 2010
9:36 pm

We should have been booing him for years as he tried to go through 4 guys by himself instead of passing the puck or his non-existent defensive play.

Its a little late now.

But cheer the ASG for not paying $110M to re-sign him, that would have been the end. Thanks for playing but adios.

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
9:50 pm

Jack, Knights! isn’t in the anthem, either. Not with a “k.” Well, it isn’t. So, screaming Glads! makes about as much sense as “Knights!”

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
9:59 pm

Here’s what I don’t understand. Here in “polite” Atlanta, where we can’t even manage to get a good, solid “Fire Wadell” going, after a DECADE of failure, we can somehow MUSTER THE ENERGY to boo Hossa, Savard, and Kovalchuk, some of the best players to ever pass through our hallways. Just amazing. And then, we wonder why unrestricted free agents don’t want to come here. And why former players don’t speak highly of us. We’ve lost 10 years being “polite” to Don Waddell.

That’s true, isn’t it? It’s not just a line that Renee Zellweger delivers to Tom Cruise in the movie, “Jerry McGuire.” Ten years. Ten. And it’s still possible to finish 11th in the Conference. Yet, Kovy is who should get booed? Whose vision was it to “fill the other team’s net with puck, in a defense optional” philosophy? Answer: Don Waddell.

Stop. Did Kovy do what Waddell instructed? Well, did he? I’d say he did. Only Jerome Iginla has scored more goals than Kovy, since 2001. Waddell said, “Pack ‘em in, Kovy. Goals bring excitement. Excitement bring fans!” Mission accomplished, at least on the Kovy goals front. Only one coach ever tried to reign Kovy in, to make him play defense. And that was Bob Hartley. Whom Waddell fired, probably because he stood in the way of his “pedal to the medal offense” philosophy. Okay, I retract that. Bob Hartley lost the room. Yada, yada, yada. Film at Eleven.

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
10:03 pm

Ya know what would be awesome? If Kovy got all his Devils teammates to yell “Knights!” during the anthem, just to razz the Atlanta fans. How cool would that be?

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
10:08 pm

And yes, Congrats to Jim Slater, our 2002 1st round draft pick, for being the Masterton nominee.

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
10:19 pm

MB, I was just thinking, 10 years down the road, at the 20 season mark, who is the organization going to trumpet as its “all-time greatest players,” and hang a 17 from the rafters? Who’s it gonna be? Hedberg? Ten years from now, Kovy may well still be the team he signs with this Summer. This organization has to find someone whom they hold in reverence.

Matt the Brave

April 5th, 2010
10:46 pm

This franchise is just a tax write-off like the Braves are. Would’ve been better to have been sold off separately. Sell ‘em back to Ted Turner. At least the promotions would be interesting.

THRASHEDOUT

April 5th, 2010
10:47 pm

I’m sure he will receive an earful of boos… they will only because he chose not to commit to a poorly run
franchise. Why sign for the talent he had around him and the uncertainity of relocating in a few years when this franchise leaves town.. Only cheers from me for being able to see a talent like his play for years around here… Hope you get yourself a ring in Jersey!!! Thanks 17 for the memories!!!

Sage of Bluesland

April 5th, 2010
10:49 pm

“…But that’s just me…and I have to keep in mind that the same people who boo Kovy, Hossa, Savard, and Heatley are also the ones who cheered for Waddell at the town hall meeting.”

Isn’t that the truth?! The same sheep…You know who you are–don’t go hiding now that your bluster was nothing but that–and it would make even Don Waddell proud!

Take your excremental progress and enjoy! You deserve it so…

MB

April 5th, 2010
11:00 pm

The sad thing, Brendan, is that it’s Don Waddell who the ASG reveres.

Who knows…I’d like to think that players like Bogosian, Kane, Bergfors, and Pavelec…heck, maybe even Klingberg and Morin…will be among the Heroes of Blueland in 2020.

Then again, I had great hopes that I’d be cheering for Thrashers players like Heatley, Hossa, and Kovalchuk for many years to come (I would add Savard, but in complete candor I thought Boston was over-paying for him and that he wouldn’t be able to maintain that level of production…oops).

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
11:02 pm

Bruins got a point in the OT loss at Washington. Bruins played well, actually.

Sage, I can understand clapping for Waddell, specifically in support of not caving to $135 million demands. But after that, fans have to speak up about demanding change. Not “asking” for it, but DEMANDING IT. If Bruce Levenson says, “I’ve heard several of you say that you won’t be back if Waddell remains, but we’re 100% behind Waddell,” then you grab your hat and coat, thank them for the invitation, and leave “en masse.” If Bruce asks, “Hey, where’d everybody go?” Your proper response is to GLARE AT HIM, loathfully.

Even Bruce would figure it out. After someone explained it to him using “sock puppets.”

Brendan

April 5th, 2010
11:05 pm

MB, I laughed and clapped at your post. After I made my post, I did have the creeping thought, “They’ll Waddell’s name from the rafters.” Why not? That’s who they revere! Well done, MB.

Ilya Kovalchuk

April 5th, 2010
11:22 pm

DWTOO

April 6th, 2010
12:28 am

It’s been interesting reading everyone’s comments. A wide range of opinion and everyone respecting other’s opinions. Good that this didn’t break into a contest.

I was unsure of what I was going to do – on one hand Kovalchuk was the face of the franchise and played hard (in his own defenseless way), but neither can I forget how he talked at the end of last season about adding pieces and how he strung Waddell along. Hindsight is 20-20, but Brendan hit it on the head – should have made him the utlimatum last summer. Put up or shut up.

Think I’ll be like our friend Mr. Tiller. Kovalchuk? He’s plays on the Devils, right? Just another guy on the opposing team.

One thing I do want to see – Kubina take a run at him. There’s bad blood between them from somewhere as Pavel ran Kovy at the Olympics. Anyone know why?

DW has to go

April 6th, 2010
1:40 am

Anyone who boo’s Kovy shouldn’t call themselves a true Thrasher/Atlanta sports fan…period. He was the lone reason why we sold tickets to begin with. He was the face of the franchise for his entire existence in Atlanta. He has not said one negative thing about our team nor our city and can’t be blamed for wanting more $ to play for a team that doesn’t have DW as the 29th worst GM according to one hockey source.
If anyone should be booo’d, it’s Teflon Don. I can’t wait to see how he wastes this years draft pick.
Atlanta fans need to step up and show some class. (Highly unlikely)….but I can still wish.

Thrashers27

April 6th, 2010
1:59 am

Here, here, DW has to go.

Had you not broken it down to a “money’ thing for Kovy I would have been totally on board with you. However, I believe that Kovy just wants to play for an organized…organization. I really don’t think the money was a problem judging by things Kovy said leading up to his exodus. I think he’s just realized that with the ownership being what it is, this story ain’t changin’ anytime soon in Atlanta.

Atlanta for the most part is a classless city, so for the town to show some class is unlikely. The only thing that gives me hope for this town is the multitude of hockey fans who live here and know what “class” is all about. I’ll not apologize for hockey culture. Hockey culture has pride, sense, reason, direction, class and dignity. These are things the average, indigenous, Atlantan could really stand to learn about

Go Thrashers!

Sharon

April 6th, 2010
2:21 am

I’ll be going to the game, but I won’t be booing Kovalchuk. He gave the Thrashers 8 years of chances and they wasted all of them. So no, I won’t be booing… he didn’t fail the Thrashers, they failed him. That sounds familiar as a fan too, doesn’t it? I’ll target the rotten core, not the pieces that fall off.

Garon

April 6th, 2010
4:21 am

If I were there, which I won’t be, I’d be booing Kovalchuk. It’s not just that he’s not a good player to build a whole team around that is entirely offense first and pays attention to defense only when his coach pulls away ice time for sucking so terribly at it. It’s the fact that he wasn’t honest with anyone. He told the fans that he wanted to remain a Thrasher forever, and he told Waddell whatever the hell he told him months ago to make him think that less than the maximum contract would keep him here (remember Waddell’s statement that they never backed down from max on the Kovy side, and the bullcrap “I just want to provide for my family statement” Kovy gave us). Everyone would have been better off if he had just said “11.2 mil per year keeps me a Thrasher and nothing else). Then, we could have gotten max return for us, and he might have tricked another team into giving him near max money (NJD wouldn’t after what he’s given them). I’ll probably still pull for him after this year, but he wasn’t anywhere near fair to the people who drafted him as high as they did, especially for the kind of play he gave.

Tony C.

April 6th, 2010
4:41 am

Don’t boo him…. It’ll just tick him off and he’ll score 4 by 12:36 of the 2nd.

Garon

April 6th, 2010
4:43 am

After reading other comments as well as re-reading my own, I can only boil it down to this: I’d boo him because he crippled my favorite sports team on the entire planet to try to come off as a good guy. It has nothing to do with Waddell (bringing Waddell into this is a cop-out because most people who follow the Thrashers want to fire him). Had he come forth with honesty about his demands a year ago, we’d probably be in a better position than we are now, and if it was about us going nowhere as a franchise, then why was he so in favor of signing Antropov and Afinogenov, who have done well this year?

Farel

April 6th, 2010
7:20 am

Some of you guys crack me up. You type a 3 page love letter about why we should cheer for someone on another team. MAN UP. You are suppose to cheer for your team, period. I will boo but that is where it will stop, nothing personal. To heck will kovy we should be cheering our guys on. I mean after all the crap they went through and to end up this close to the playoffs is a feat. Go Thrashers!!!!!!!!

docsbro

April 6th, 2010
7:37 am

Look you guys. HE didn’t embarrass this franchise it already was an embarrassment!! Saying it is a joy to finally play for a first class organization…well that wasn’t a slap in my face because as a Thrasher and hockey fan I know that to be fact!! It’s not like when Heatley said he was glad to play someplace where “the people” care about hockey. You see Kovy wasn’t taking a shot at THE FANS!! He was taking a shot at the miserable OWNERSHIP group and even more pathetic GENERAL MANAGER. I will at least give the ASG a little bit of a pass because they NEVER wanted a hockey team and where merely saddled with them(doesn’t make it right but it is the reality). However the GM is a “hockey lifer” and has had 10 years to do something with this franchise AND HE HAS DONE NOTHING!! Kovy is NOT the problem DW IS!! Until he is gone(and the team is sold to someone who cares about hockey) this franchise will be very always be very UNworld class!!

The ownership does not care about Hockey and they don’t care what ANY of us thinks!! This is a joke of a franchise!!

Chris Vivlamore

April 6th, 2010
8:14 am

If my math is correct, the Thrashers will be eliminated from playoff contention if they lose to the Devils and if the Flyers gain a point against the Maple Leafs.

John

April 6th, 2010
8:17 am

I predict loud boos for Kovy. Atlanta fans are mostly “what have you done for me lately” types. Look at the reaction to Glavine and Smoltz after they left. Fans want a freely operating economic system except they won’t accept players getting the maximum contracts that management is stupid enough to offer.

suzy-q

April 6th, 2010
8:40 am

I just pray his does NOT earn a star in the game tonight.

Game On

April 6th, 2010
8:56 am

Hey DW got to go-
Kovalchuk is the enemy and true fans boo the enemy or other team. Koval is on the other team and a trader. Also look what happens when Avery(Rangers annoyance) got under Kovy skin, he did not produce, and he played awful and Undiscipline. Thus we should boo Kovalchuk in the attempt to get under his skin as well. We need this win.

Jimbo

April 6th, 2010
9:10 am

I agSree with a number of others who have said “BOO WADDELL INSTEAD”. He has not developed a ‘winning culture’ here and Kovy, Hossa and others have recognized that winning “the Cup” is not in the immediate Thrasher’s future. Donnie Brilliance simply could not read between the lines when Kovy’s and Hossa’s agents told him that negotitations were moving ahead. They were simply buying time and using the Thrasher bids to up the price for their clients. Until we get an upper management that is able to develop a winning culture, what good UFA is seriously going to consider coming here? Boo Donnie Brilliance for a ten year failure not Kovy for providing some highlights while here.

Kovy's Agent

April 6th, 2010
9:16 am

Pardon this little reminisence. Six years ago, during one of those season ticket holder pre-season events, we got Kovy to hold our 12mo old daughter and took a picture with him and her. He was genuinely warm and tender when holding her. My wife is Ukrainian so they had a nice little chat in Russian and he spoke a little (in Russian) to our daughter. Keep in mind, this was when he was still single and one would suspect had little interest in kids. Now that he’s a father, several times over, I have no doubt he’s a good dad because of how he treated us at the time. My daughter’s now 7 and I would love to have the opportunity to get Ilya to sign that photogragh in her presence. Somehow, I suspect he’d get a kick out of it almost as much as she would.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

April 6th, 2010
9:36 am

BOO, He was offered a max deal, and rejected it. The Thrashers had no choice but to get something for him or get nothing. You say thanks for the memories if a player retires, is traded for needed players, or signed a free agent deal when the team didnt want them back. You do not cheer for buttholes who walked away from their teams on their own will.

GSUfan

April 6th, 2010
10:00 am

Kovy has left people. It’s time to put down the kool-aid and move on. He is a liar, don’t reward bad behavior from children like him.

Whatever he did for the Thrashers on and off the ice is completely outweighed by the fact that HE IS A LIAR. He lied to you, he lied to the team. He just made up a figure in his head that he wanted, didn’t think ASG would match it, and when they did, he ended up looking stupid. Instead of taking the high road, a la Marian Hossa, he decided to take the complete Jerk road.

If you cannot see that by now, keep sipping your kool-aid and buy a freakin’ Devils Jersey.

Bryan

April 6th, 2010
10:09 am

Kovy should not be booed. Management should be booed. Kovy was not the franchise player to build a team around and the organization didn’t recognize this. He’s an offense specialist, not players like Stahl and Crosby that played both ends well. Making Kovy a captain was the final straw in futilty. He never embraced the roll, either by action or words. I hope we don’t lose our franchise but don’t see how it can go on under current management who can’t get us to the playoffs. Anyway, I will still be supporting the players tonight and love to see them beat Kovy to get into the playoffs.

JR

April 6th, 2010
10:15 am

again i give the glavine/maddox example. maddox wanted to stay but was released. the fans cheered him. glavine left over a 10% offer difference. the fans booed him.

kovy strung the village idiot along and thereby caused the franchise opportunity. i suspect that the fans will boo him.

JR

April 6th, 2010
10:44 am

that’s: deprived the franchise of opportunity.

Steven

April 6th, 2010
11:53 am

Guess you Atlanta fans will be steamed by the fact that Kovy has started to play better defense, and under Lemaire, he’s going to be a pretty good defensive player.

PMC

April 6th, 2010
12:05 pm

Hopefully he’s booed as resoundingly as Jason Heyward is cheered.

PMC

April 6th, 2010
12:06 pm

At the very least he’s a lying piece of crap.

Big Shooter

April 6th, 2010
12:10 pm

Fillin up at Juniors – Kovy wasn’t offered a max deal. Sounds like that is what he wanted, but never offered it. For the record I will give polite applause. He did too much for this franchise to boo him because he didn’t want to waste the rest of his career fighting like hell to finish 10th in a bad Eastern Conference.

Midfield

April 6th, 2010
12:24 pm

The question is – what would be the circumstances under which the bulk of the booing proponents change their mind. The answer is – none. They claim that Kovy is a liar, because he presumably misled everybody about his intentions. In other words, if he had decided to bail for some greener grass before the start of the season and if he had announced his intent, it would be acceptable. Right. Well, I don’t believe that they would. So, boo right back at you. It looks like some people expect for tier one players to sacrifice their careers on the altar of incompetent ownership and front office of this franchise. I got news for you: it will NOT happen. Get used to it.

PMC

April 6th, 2010
12:35 pm

How did he not mislead people? He said for a full year “I want to be in Atlanta”

Do I blame him for leaving this awfully pathetic excuse for a hockey franchise? No way. What talented really talented player would want to play here thier entier career? It’s a horrible organization from the ownership down. Just don’t freaking lie through your teeth for the entire process.

PMC

April 6th, 2010
12:37 pm

I mean you could boo Waddell but that’s done no good has it?

PMC

April 6th, 2010
12:38 pm

guy plays for a different team now and it was worth more than 100 million for him to never play here again. You don’t want to boo that’s cool but cheering the guy? NO way.

Midfield

April 6th, 2010
12:47 pm

Exactly. It’s like a joke about a father wacking his son over the head after missing a train at a station. The son screams, ‘What for?’ And the father goes, ‘What else am I supposed to do?’

ChippersLoveChild

April 6th, 2010
1:32 pm

Why would we boo Kovy? He wants to win, why would I fault him for that? It certainly isn’t going to happen here.

ChippersLoveChild

April 6th, 2010
1:33 pm

What would you want Kovy to say about staying here? If you were on your way out at your current job would you completely trash the place? I wouldn’t.

Roscoe P. Coltrane

April 6th, 2010
1:51 pm

waaa, waaa! You mindless wonders that say “Kovy wasn’t honest?” You should be asking when Don Waddle was last “Honest?” Waddle is the one that never built a team around Kovalchuk. He made him the centerpiece too at young of an age.

Waddle had no one else to promote and then he stabbed Kovy in the back by taking the negotiations public because he couldn’t sign him. How unprofessional. Save your own job you lying SOB. Nice job of running the franchise into the ground.

PS….Hey Waddle: Hockey was in Atlanta in 1970. Long before you came along to squash the fanbase.

alex

April 6th, 2010
2:10 pm

it’s pathetic atlanta fan’s greeting welcome back to criminal – pro mikle vick and going to boo player scored tonns of goal for organization othewise been out of hockey world. 99.9% folks on this blog very avare that problem is asg+dw and trust me same opinion inside thrasher from the players. good luck booing kovy and cheering weasel owners. only in atlanta. hope they relocate this is only way get rid of gearon, levenson, waddel gang