Archive for May, 2010

Update II: Rollins part of four-city finanicial entity

The Atlanta native and Los Angeles based filmmaker who recently expressed interest in purchasing majority ownership of the Thrashers is not one of three groups currently doing due diligence about a possible investment in the franchise.

Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson and team president Don Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday that Stephen Rollins has not made an offer to purchase the team. He is also not one of three groups working with an investment banking firm to invest in the Thrashers. Levenson said earlier this month he expects the process with the three current groups to be completed within 90 days.

Rollins, the head of Lightning Pictures, told the AJC that he is part of a multi-city financial entity with members in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and London that was put together to purchase a majority interest in an NHL team. He said several of the  investors are from Atlanta.

“If the opportunity would present itself for me to participate in …

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Thrashers have offer to Afinogenov on table

According to Maxim Afinogenov’s agent, Donald Meehan, the Thrashers have made a one-year contract offer to the unrestricted free agent forward.

Meehan said he and Afinogenov are currently reviewing the offer.

Meehan also represents forward Colby Armstrong. He reiterated what GM Rick Dudley said earlier this week. The two sides had initial discussions and did not agree on the  parameters of a potential new contract for Armstrong, also an unrestricted free agent. Meehan said since there are no further plans to talk with the Thrashers, he and Armstrong will proceed to July 1 to field potential offers from other teams.

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Contract talks with UFAs continue

I have a couple of small contract updates to report after last weekend’s Braves games and a father/son trip to Springfield, Illinois to visit some Abraham Lincoln historic sites.

USA Today had a report last week that the Thrashers were unlikely to re-sign forward Colby Armstrong due to contract differences. After talking to both sides, it doesn’t quite appear a deal is dead, but they are not close.

“Colby has been a solid contributor to our club and we do have interest in him as a player, but after some initial discussions with the agent and our understanding of what he would be looking for we’re too far apart at this time,” Thrashers GM Rick Dudley told the AJC.

Armstrong said he was letting his agent handle negotiations.

Armstrong made $2.4 million last season and is looking for a raise.

There have also been more contract talks with defenseman Pavel Kubina,  but at this time nothing is  imminent.

There is nothing new to report on a coaching search. I suspect that Chicago …

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A little insight into Dudley’s thinking; Draft update

I just finished transcribing my hour-long interview with Rick Dudley for the profile story that is scheduled to appear next week. Now, I just have to write it in between Braves games over the next four days.

One thing Dudley talked about, that I don’t think will find a home in the story, is the following example of his philosophy of scouting players. I thought you folks would be interested in his thoughts about how Dudley and Tampa Bay acquired defenseman Dan Boyle from Florida in 2001-02. Boyle was a key part in the Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship in 2004.

“Here is an example of the type of successes that I’ve had,” Dudley said. “Dan Boyle was a smallish defenseman. Mike Keenan was the coach of Florida and he wouldn’t play him much. I talked to Chuck Fletcher, the interim GM there, and he was very honest. He said our coach won’t play him. I said what do you want for him. He said I don’t know. I said I’ll get back to you. I watched him play seven straight games. He played …

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Search for new coach has begun

I spent an hour with new Thrashers GM Rick Dudley this fine Saturday for a feature that will appear later this week. His journey to the NHL  is an extremely interesting story. You can read about it later this week, but I will leave you with one tidbit. Dudley once appeared on the game show To Tell The Truth as a two-sport professional athlete (hockey and lacrosse). He stumped the panel.

The Thrashers have been preparing all week for the upcoming draft with the scouting team in Duluth for hours of meetings, one of which I interrupted for the interview.

I asked about the coaching search. He again said to me that he is in no hurry to make a hire. However, he has sought permission from four NHL teams to speak to people in their organization about the Thrashers vacancy. He gave no names, but when pressed told me that three of the potential candidates are currently still in the playoffs. He believes the correct practice is to wait until those teams have been eliminated from the …

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