I wanted to get a new blog up – in between too much yard work and some Braves assignments – and post a few items of news. Nothing big, but I thought the loyal Thrashers readers would be interested in them.
* Not much to report on the coaching search right now. The one name that I have heard mentioned by several people in the NHL is Blackhawks assistant John Torchetti. We may know more about his status once the Blackhawks season is over.
* I’m hearing that SportSouth has re-upped to do Thrashers television for three more seasons. Not sure if that has been out there or not. My understanding is the new deal also includes an increase in the number of games aired each season with up to 75 in the third year. I will let you know if I find out something more.
* Also the radio deal with 680 The Fan expired after this recently completed season. My understanding that a deal there is being worked on and may well get done, but nothing official yet so stay tuned.
* Rich Peverley has joined Evander Kane as Thrashers that will play for Team Canada at the World Championships next month in Germany. The two were on the list of 15 players announced by general manager Mark Messier last week. Ondrej Pavelec will be playing for the Czech Republic and Maxim Afinogenov will represent Russia.
* I talked to Slava Kozlov recently about his status for next season. He told me he has been contacted by “five or six” KHL teams. However, he fully intends to wait until July 1 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent to explore all his options, including the NHL.
* I had an interesting quote from new GM Rick Dudley that I was unable to get into the story last week. I asked him how close he thought the Thrashers were to where the Blackhawks were a few years ago when he was the assistant GM. Here is what he said: “Very similar [to what he built in Chicago]. In fact I see this team, this year, as fairly close to the team that got 88 points in Chicago (2007-08). They are both in the same point in their evolution. At that point we added Brian Campbell [in Chicago], which certainly helped us. We are at a very similar point. We’ve got three lines that are capable of scoring, or we have the capacity of having three lines capable of scoring. We have a good defense, which we had in Chicago. We may have as good, or better, goaltending. [Johan] Hedberg had a brilliant year and [Ondrej] Pavelec’s got a great capacity. We haven’t signed Hedberg yet, but we’ll see.”
* Dudley had a big part in determining what the Thrashers got from the Devils in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade – Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, a No. 1 pick and a swap of second-round picks.
I hope that gives us a little to talk about. I’ll start transcribing my notes from exit interviews and start getting them posted early next week.