A few (small) pieces of offseason news

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.

111 comments Add your comment

KJG

April 20th, 2010
3:09 pm

how can dud-ly even say this current team has good defense when they have to score at least 4 goals every game just to have a chance to win?

GaVaHokie

April 20th, 2010
4:01 pm

I suppose because they were all playing Anderson’s “green light” system.

Joe Friday

April 20th, 2010
4:05 pm

Kokie, Derwood = Darren Elliot (hey, he looks like him especially with that smirk)

ChippersLoveChild

April 20th, 2010
4:26 pm

Why would SportsSouth want to broadcast all the games? It would cost the NHL money. They make more off me having to buy Center Ice, so you know, I have to pay to watch my HOME team half the time.

Swami

April 20th, 2010
7:31 pm

What ever happen to Anson Carter? He play de good hockey. If Kovy no come back, den how bout Anson Carter? Where he now anyway?

Adam Dunn

April 20th, 2010
8:36 pm

whats hockey? what is a atlanta trasher? we have a team?

Delbert D.

April 20th, 2010
10:48 pm

Hockey gives me a headache trying to follow it on TV. Maybe instead of the fake puck highlighting on TV they can use pucks with superbright LEDs. Plus a helmet that lights up on whoever has it the puck. Or use one of those curling stones for a puck to make it slower. I guess I’m saying it looks on TV like a bunch of football players on skates arbitrarily zipping around, back and forth. I never know what’s happening until the announcer says “Score!!!” and one team goes bananas.

On the other hand, take soccer, where nothing ever happens. Dodge ball is way better than soccer.

Acer

April 21st, 2010
4:29 am

MLS maybe be boring, but certainly not European football. I throughly enjoyed last nights Champions League game between Inter & Barca.

Support Souther Hockey

April 21st, 2010
7:59 am

NHL Fans: It’s only a 4 hour drive to GAME 4 of the Nashville/Chicago series. Seats available – we’re heading up to see some playoff action……make the trip…support the PREDS!!!!

[...] Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Slava Kozlov has been contacted by 5 or 6 KHL teams about his possible return to Russia. Kozlov will wait until the NHL free agency period opens on July 1st before he decides his future. Share and Enjoy: [...]

Flames72_80

April 21st, 2010
10:17 am

Keep things simple with the coaching search! I think the best road would to go back with Bob Hartley. Considering he’s the only coach to get us into the playoffs, and he did it with what DW gave him. I really hope DW stays out of player decisions from here on out and let the new guy build his team.

Alan R.

April 21st, 2010
8:13 pm

ChippersLoveChild, there are definitely some teams in the league that do broadcast all 82 games. Chicago is one of them.

Brendan

April 21st, 2010
8:30 pm

It’s Ryan Miller vs. Tuukka Rask on Versus tonight. Buffalo leads, 2-0, with 6:00 left in the 2nd period. In the other game, is the Capitals Simeon Varlamov vs. Montreal’s Carey Price. That game is tied, 1-1, with 4:00 left in the 2nd period.

Brendan

April 21st, 2010
8:32 pm

Correction: It’s now, 2-1, in favor of Montreal.

Brendan

April 21st, 2010
8:46 pm

Mike Knuble has tallied for Washington, with a short-handed goal, with 6.3 seconds left in the 2nd period, to tie the game, 2-2.

Brendan

April 21st, 2010
10:10 pm

The Capitals took over the 3rd period to win, 6-3, over Montreal. Carey Price takes the loss. Was this is last game in the Montreal net? We’ll find out soon enough.

The Bruins scored twice in the 3rd period to force overtime in Boston. In overtime, the Sabres have hit a goalpost and been stoned by Tuukka Rask. Not to be outdone, Ryan Miller has made three (3) “highlight reel” saves to keep Buffalo in this series. There’s just under 3:00 left in the 1st overime.

Folks, I promise you … if you’ve been watching this one, it’s been one of the very best, most WIDE OPEN, scoring chance filled overtimes in recent years. The goaltending has been spectacular. Both teams are getting great looks, shots, and chances. It’s a shame someone has to lose. If you’re online and reading this, it’s on VERSUS, live, right now. We’re almost at the 1st intermission. 1:30 left in the 4th period.

Brendan

April 22nd, 2010
10:13 pm

Here comes pick #20 in the draft. Kovalchuk and the Devils, shutout, at home, to lose the series, 4-1. The final: Philadelphia 3, New Jersey 0.

Q: Was this the last we’ve seen of Ilya Kovalchuk in the National Hockey League? I say, “no.” But if Medvedev guarantees $15 million-a-year, for the next 10-12 years, I doubt we’ll see Ilya in the NHL again for some time. Of course, how does one win the STANLEY CUP playing in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)? Kovalchuk has two world titles, and a bronze medal, from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

I hope Ilya does not choose the KHL. I have no ill will against the man, based on what happened here, in Atlanta. If Ilya does leave, he leaves behind a couple of goals and a 1-8 record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

David

April 22nd, 2010
10:29 pm

It’s too funny that Kovy only got one playoff win to go play for “a winner”. Karma.

Pinball34

April 23rd, 2010
4:32 am

Once again… KOVY=CANCER…
LMFAO
Jersey, enjoy the summer…

Pinball34

April 23rd, 2010
4:33 am

Did I mention Kovy was a cancer?

KLS1

April 23rd, 2010
8:41 am

See what $110M will get you, one playoff win and demoralizing early exit from the playoffs.

Brodeur’s done and the Devils will be rebuilding…this should make Bergfors and Oduya feel a little better about their situation.

Colby Armstrong ont the other hand is still asking “why me”?

ATL Flames Fan

April 23rd, 2010
9:58 am

I do have ill feelings towared I-lie Kovalchoke. Insisting that he wanted to stay here was a lie. That said, that’s not to say that our beloved DW might have gotten more earlier.

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
11:33 am

ATL Flames Fan, what if Kovy just did not want to be separated from his pregnant wife, due in March, with other little children running around the house, during this season? Would it be “wrong” that Kovalchuk misrepresented his intentions, to achieve that goal?

Follow up question, what if Kovy had said, “I’m not re-signing here, Don, trade me.” And Don refused, wanting to sell tickets? How do we really know that didn’t happen?, other than that one of both parties SAID so. And even them SAYING SO doesn’t make it true. It’s poker. It’s bluffing.

If you’re Kovy, and you know that Waddell is desperate to keep you, and you know you can string him along in this fashion, for the benefit of your family unity, is it wrong to TRY it? For all we know, Kovy told Waddell, “I really don’t want to be apart from Nichole this season. Will you let me stay until the deadline?” And what if Waddell said, “Sure. But you have to AGREE to pretend that we’re in negotiations all year long. Deal?” Kovy says, “Sure, that’ll work. I’ll do my part to help keep up appearances.”

Nobody knows the truth but Waddell, Grossman, Kovalchuk, and maybe Dudley and Simmons. As fans, we’re either happy or sad that he’s gone. Those who didn’t care for him are happy he’s gone. Those who did might be bitter, but the organization is counting on the passage of time to subside your rage. People who came here to post, “I’ll never go to another Thrashers game again” … probably will go to future Thrashers games. And ownership knows that, too. Anger subsides, over time. You don’t SUDDENLY STOP being a hockey fan. Eventually, someone will give you a FREEBIE ticket, and you’ll go. And, in time, you’ll actually purchase tickets of your own volition. Now, for some of you, you won’t. You’ll stay true to your words. And you will not attend another game at Philips Arena until Don Waddell cleans out his desk. And that’s fine, too. When did you lose your freedom of choice? If this is your choice, that’s your call, and your business. You don’t have to defend yourselves to anyone. It’s up to ownership to give you a product that you have consumer confidence in.

And there it is, with no sugarcoating.

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
11:35 am

Chris Viv, can you please deitalicize my last post? I thought I closed italics after the word, “wrong.”

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
9:47 pm

Nashville choked away a win this afternoon, unable to kill the final 15 seconds of regulation, then failed to convert on a 3 minute PP, eventually losing on a goal by none other than ex-Thrasher Marian Hossa, who incidentally received that 4 minute boarding penalty, to end regulation.

There is less than one minute to play in regulation in Ottawa, at Scotiabank Place. The Senators have blown a 3-0 lead and we are going to overtime, tied 3-3.

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
9:49 pm

So, it’s back-to-back overtime games between the Sens and Pens. Sens won the last time, in triple overtime. If the Penguins score, the series is over. If the Penguins win, they will play the Sabres-Bruins winner in the next round, lest Montreal pulls off a miracle, vs. Washington.

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
9:57 pm

Maybe I should clarify, if Washington wins, the Capitals (1) will face Philadelphia (7). The leaves the Sabres-Bruins winner to face the Senators-Penguins winner. But if Montreal pulls off that miracle, then Montreal (8) will face whomever is the highest remaining seed. We know that won’t be New Jersey (2), but it could be Buffalo (3) or Pittsburgh (4). I’m sure Penguins fans would just absolutely LOVE to host the Montreal Canadiens in Round II. That’d be a snoozefest of a series. Meanwhile, Boston (6) would face Philadelphia (7) in the other series, if Montreal eliminates Washington. Philly-Boston is always a heated rivalry. I never really get tired of seeing it.

stendek

April 24th, 2010
10:19 pm

Hope Maryann Hosebag is carried off the ice on a stretcher. WITH SERIOUS INJURIES! Damn cheap shot artist is a cowardly thug who should be exiled from National Hockey League forevermore. No justification for his scumbag actions! Chicago Chicken Hawks just zoomed to top of my professional sports hate list. Sorry New Jersey Pitchforks! Who scored overtime winner? Justice in sports? BULLSHET! Referees should be suspended immediately then fired after playoffs end. Black eye for entire league! Mad as Hell right now. Tuxedo overtime victory only adds fuel to fire! More cheap shot hooligans. Darn! Just darn.

Brendan

April 24th, 2010
10:50 pm

Well, it’s a FINAL. Pittsburgh 4, Ottawa 3, OT. Penguins (4) win the series, 4-2, and await the other series results to see who they face next. They’d love to get Montreal!!! As a # 4 seed, Pittsburgh didn’t even dream of facing the Habs in Round II. But, I think Washington will win that series, then get the Flyers, leaving the Sabres-Bruins winner for Pittsburgh.

If it should be Boston, let’s remember that the Bruins-Penguins was a series we didn’t get to see last year, because Carolina (6) won Game Seven in overtime, over the # 1 seeded Bruins (1) last year. While this Bruins team, seeded 6th isn’t quite at the same level last year’s Bruins team was, especially sans Marc Savard, it should still be an entertaining series. Of course, the Bruins haven’t closed out the Sabres just yet.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
12:10 am

It’s another goal by the Avalanche!! So now, the Avs lead, 2-1!

Uht-oh!! Sharks just tied it. Dan Boyle has the equalizer for the Sharks. San Jose needs just one more goal to close out this series, potentially. There’s 11:30 minutes left in regulation time, at the Pepsi Center, in Denver, Colorado.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
12:12 am

And now they have it! Pavelski!! The Sharks lead, 3-2. Joe Pavelski scores a beauty.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
12:27 am

Time running out on the Avs. There’s just 2:39 left in regulation time.

David

April 25th, 2010
7:47 am

To tell the truth; I hope the Atlanta Thrashers will be a better team than Chicago and win the cup!!! Why settle for second best!!!! Comparing players are for loser, what this team needs is a coach that builds a chemistry winning team and a dominate playoff presents year after year reguardless of what players you have. Remember in most sports including hockey, the team comes first, and the players come in second. You can have three fifty goal scorers on the team and still not make the playoffs!!! In the past, the Atlanta Thrashers reminds me of that a little where stats means more than wins or getting into the playoffs….

Acer

April 25th, 2010
7:48 am

Brendan, that’s a great take on the Kovalchuk situation.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
12:48 pm

Acer, I wish I could tell you what the TRUTH, Capital “T” was, with respect to Kovalchuk’s contract. Sadly, my guess is only as good as yours, or anyone else’s. I can state, definitively, for the record, that Ilya Kovalchuk has no idea who I am and we’ve never talked, outside of “meet-n-greets” with the fanbase. And his side of the conversation was, “Sure, I’ll sign that. Next.”

The truth I believe is simply this: Kovalchuk took a good look around, found no accountability, and thought he could find a team whose ownership is more committed to winning the Cup. Yes, while ALSO, AT THE SAME TIME, looking out for his own personal interests. It’s a slippery slope, no?

When a player intimates that he’d like to play elsewhere to better his chances of winning the Cup, is he acting “selfishly” or is he trying to help his NEW TEAM achieve its objectives? Isn’t it “both,” happening at the same time?

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
3:15 pm

Phoenix is off to a 1-0 lead, after the 1st period, in an elimination game, at Hockeytown this afternoon.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
3:17 pm

Correction: Phoenix 2, Detroit 0, thanks to a 2nd period PPG.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
3:19 pm

Seconds later, Brad Stuart scores for Detroit, to cut the difference in half, 2-1. Phoenix still leads.

Brendan

April 25th, 2010
11:07 pm

Holy Jumpin, folks! The Yotes and the Red Wings will play all seven games. Vancouver and LA are knotted at 2, with 14:00 left in regulation. If the Canucks win, the series is over. This game is being played at Staples Center, in Los Angeles.

JR

April 26th, 2010
10:59 am

brendan: i hope thst no one has been rude by suggesting that you get a life.

stendek

April 26th, 2010
9:52 pm

Great hockey night so far! Crying Ryan Miller and Buffalo chokers are gone! Alexander The Ungreat and Washington Crapitals deadlocked with No. 8 seed after six games. Pray overrated bums ousted in front of their arrogant fans. Chicago Chicken Hawks may win tonight but just want Maryann “Cheap Shot” Hosebag hauled off on stretcher! No place for sadistic creeps like this guy in professional hockey. Oh well. Enjoy the finale of evening! ++STENDEK++

Ezekiel

April 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

Chris, when Waddell started with the Thrashers he had a 5-year plan. Did you ever ask him why he couldn’t accomplish his 5-year plan in 10 years? Does Dudley have a 5-year plan too?

GaVaHokie

April 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

Wow… who put together that AWFUL Coaching Candidate voting article? I hope that’s not a true indication of who we’re looking at.

I think you need to get Ramsey and Torchetti included in that.

JR

April 28th, 2010
2:02 am

stendeck: i hope thst no one has been rude by suggesting that you get a life.

DawgDad

April 28th, 2010
6:12 pm

“Hockey gives me a headache trying to follow it on TV.”

Get HD. It’s almost better than being there in person, because you get the closeups and replays. Puck is visible and sharp at any speed; you can see all the tracks and shavings in the ice. Of the big 4, hockey benefits the most by far from HD.

DawgDad

April 28th, 2010
6:22 pm

Coming from St. Louis and following the Blues closely since their inception tells me the Thrashers problems are all traceable to weak ownership. Until that is fixed this franchise will continue to sputter along or maybe capsize. Player development has been abysmal; that requires investment and a lot of attention to detail behind the scenes.

The easy fix is the GM and coaching. Clearly better roster and draft decisions are needed, and that’s been a consistent problem since day 1. When good players arrived they was no balance on the roster and the players moved on. The issues of creating a winning culture and organization require commitment from the top down.

DawgDad

April 28th, 2010
6:30 pm

Who cares at this point whether or not Kovy wanted to stay here, was treated fairly or not, or misrepresented his intentions or not? He’s gone. Quite frankly, the Thrashers are better off without him, because he wasn’t exactly conscientious about his responsibilities on the ice.

Don’t get me wrong, he was an exciting player, but there are a lot of exciting players that aren’t helping the team win. Kovy wasn’t the only problem, and certainly not the main problem. But if a franchise with the needs list of the Thrashers is going to pay a player top dollar that player had better be the difference in making or missing the playoffs. Kovy was not that difference-maker for this team, as constituted. Similar to the Braves adding Teixiera, nice player, overpaid, and not making a difference in relation to the ultimate goal.

Jack

April 28th, 2010
10:26 pm

Not sure if the devils want Kovy back, and I think his stock has dropped. He may wish now that he agreed to the Thrash terms.
We may be able to add the Caps coach as coaching options.

Bill

April 29th, 2010
5:34 pm

Sign NABAKOV – who is a UFA – with the $$ Kovy turned down!! (it wouldn’t even take all of it)…re-sign Moose to back-up and trade Pavs while his value is high…this team is SCARY GOOD with a goalie like EN in net!!

Midfield

April 30th, 2010
10:08 am

The team is so scary good that none of our scary good defensemen made it to the US roster – not for the Olympics – for the second rate World Championship team, for crying out loud.