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 assistant John Torchetti is still a leading candidate. Dudley has said he won’t talk to potential candidates until their season is over. With the Blackhawks on the verge of the Stanley Cup Finals, it could talk another two weeks before he is available to interview. I will stay on it.

Thanks to those who had kind words on my Rick Dudley feature – on the blog and by e-mail. They are very much appreciated. It was quite a fascinating story. His path to NHL management was just as interesting as his road to NHL player. I plan to put up a blog on that journey next week. I’m still trying to collect on some off days from the season and I will be at the Braves’ upcoming  weekend series.

I will keep you posted with any news.

86 comments Add your comment

J.B.

May 23rd, 2010
4:14 pm

What about Afinogenov?

Flagstaff

May 23rd, 2010
4:14 pm

Have you heard anything about Afinogenov? He seems like he wants to return, but Colby did say that, too.

The Real Thrash

May 23rd, 2010
4:28 pm

Issues: Not willing to pay again for talent, No surprise.Armstrong.
Also looking at coaches with no NHL experience because it’s cheaper.

Same ole same ole.

Will we ever learn? Do we want to win?

J.K. Sockey

May 23rd, 2010
4:50 pm

It shouldn’t take you too long to pack your crap and leave Armstong, you didn’t bring anything with you last season! Downtown Cleaners just called, you skirt is ready.

http://twitter.com/jksockey

kracker

May 23rd, 2010
4:54 pm

Not surprised about Army. Not sure if RD really wants to sign him.

(This is my first comment from my new Droid. Great way to assure short entries!)

TrueBlue

May 23rd, 2010
4:59 pm

Please, please, please do not throw money at Armstrong. That project is over. Move along. There are better players out there.

Jack

May 23rd, 2010
5:06 pm

Send Army packing, and use that money to sign Afin or Kubina

Joonas

May 23rd, 2010
5:35 pm

If Army wants more than he’s making now, let him hit the market.

4 jacks

May 23rd, 2010
5:46 pm

Atlanta Spirit Group is pitifil. The absolute worse ownership in all of sports. Nothing but a bunch of moron’s running the teams on the cheap. Atlanta deserves a hell of alot more than these so called owners, what a effing joke they are. I will find some other way to spend my money than to throw it away on a lousy cheap product that will never compete for championships. This ownership gives no one hope of ever really competing for championships.

Brendan

May 23rd, 2010
5:52 pm

Congrats to Chicago, for sweeping out Heatley and the Sharks.

kracker

May 23rd, 2010
5:53 pm

Enter your comments here

kracker

May 23rd, 2010
5:56 pm

Oops, sorry about that…was trying to say “Goodbye, 4 jacks”

Smoothie

May 23rd, 2010
6:07 pm

Not sure what Colby did to merit a raise, but we never should have doubled his salary last year. If he were a legit top 6 guy, I’d be okay with $2.5 to $2.8 M but he’s nothing more than a tweener. I wish him luck wherever he ends up. But who knows, he may not be able to get the overpmt he thinks he deserves, but some GM will throw $2.5 M at him. It just won’t be Duds.

Brendan

May 23rd, 2010
6:10 pm

As I’ve said before, on these blogs for months, “I won’t cry over Colby Armstrong. He got traded here. He refused to re-sign beyond his remaining RFA years. So, if he doesn’t want to stay, we should let him go.” Of course, I suggested we move him at the trade deadline, too. Bygones. I’m encouraged that Kubina’s agent hasn’t told Atlanta to ‘pound sand.’ If Atlanta can re-sign Pavel Kubina, that’d be a major step, moving forward, assuming we don’t overcommit years or excessive salary to do it.

C’mon Dudley. Give me a reason to believe. Wheel and deal in this draft. Move up. Or trade for an RFA or two with those picks. But get ‘er done!! If you’re really in charge, Dudley, do your thing.

the TRUTH

May 23rd, 2010
7:34 pm

LOL…just like KOVY demand more than you were worth knowing full well you will not be signed. Kiss my arse Colby.

S Hawks Fan

May 23rd, 2010
9:01 pm

It makes no sense why it has taken so long to pick a coach!!! It better be someone that is involved in the playoffs!

Alan R.

May 23rd, 2010
9:07 pm

Also looking at coaches with no NHL experience because it’s cheaper.

I’ll say it again, since people don’t like to read.

Arniel has NHL experience as an assistant coach. From 2002 to 2006, he was an assistant in Buffalo.

I guess I don’t expect that to change anyone’s mind who seems to have their mind made up, but this is the truth of the matter, and it should be accepted.

Game On

May 23rd, 2010
9:18 pm

Hawks fan, its quite obvious that they want to talk to somone like Chicago that is still in the playoffs. As Dudley said they have plenty of time to get it right.

drmondo

May 23rd, 2010
10:32 pm

Spirit, just sell the team to somebody who cares about hockey. You should focus on fixing the Hawks. Running both on the cheap (moreso with the Thrashers) just hurts both teams. I used to root for the Flames even after they moved. I pretty much have given up on the Thrashers. Their ownership has lost every “superstar” they’ve ever had and has shown no willingness to put a quality team together.

Tim

May 23rd, 2010
11:08 pm

From what I heard, unless if you move up to top 2 in the draft (no chance), the rest is pretty much so so. Not really worth it. However if we can get a good player for that picks, just go ahead.

KLS1

May 23rd, 2010
11:20 pm

Army was a nice piece but we can plug a young guy in that role and let him develop. I don’t blame him for wanting to leave…good luck to him wherever he goes.

And hopefully better luck to us….

scottbravesfan

May 24th, 2010
3:11 am

I don’t really blame anyone for not wanting to sign with the Thrashers the ownership is terrible and doesn’t seem to really care. They get an owner who cares and the Thrashers will do better in the attendance. Look at Chicago they were last in attendance for years and now that they have an owner that cares they sell out every game and are in the finals.

AJ

May 24th, 2010
7:11 am

Seems we had a lot of competition for the slots that were open this year. I’d rather see someone like Bergfors get a place on our roster then Armstrong. I like Armstrong, he’s funt to root for, but let’s get someone who stands a chance of winning the fights he provokes.

AJ

World Be Free

May 24th, 2010
8:12 am

Army is overpaid at $2.8M. Get a raise for 29 points? Armstrong takes too many games off, not enough hits or game changing points for an energy player. Torchetti, Arniel or Ramsay, take your pick they would all be good selections for the next Thrashers’ coach.

Agree with AJ-get Bergfors the money he deserves and lock him up long term.

bugman

May 24th, 2010
8:20 am

Is Army REALLY wanting a raise or just out of the ATL???

Flames

May 24th, 2010
8:46 am

I agree! Let Army go and sign Kubina & Afinogenov. We have a lot of young talent like Cormier that can fill his spot.I talked to Esposito Saturday night and I think he is still a year or two away. He still has a problem with his knee. I think the moves that are going to be made at this years drafts are going to surprise all Thrashers Fans! Welcome to Atlanta Mr. Sharp!

Barry

May 24th, 2010
10:21 am

Ya let Army walk. He had a good year in 08-09 but this past season his production along with many others were way down and he wants a raise? Wow. Surely there are much better options out there on FA market or in our own system that’s cheaper or as much as Army made last season and who can produce more consistently.

Smoothie

May 24th, 2010
10:31 am

Flames – I hope you are right about Sharp…would love to see him wearing the cobalt blue this fall. Dudley has the connections to work such a deal but let’s hope he doesn’t get out-maneuvered by his old pal Dale Tallon.

World – Colby made $2.4 M last season and he shouldn’t have made more than $2.25 in my opinion. He certainly didn’t earn a raise to even merit consideration for the upper 2’s. But some idiot will cave in and wave that carrot under his jacked up nose.

@CViv – can you find out for us if Duds has conducted an interview with Craig Ramsay by now? Boston’s been done for over a week, but we haven’t heard anything about Rammer. Wasn’t he a strong candidate?

Lee

May 24th, 2010
11:02 am

Colby didn’t have the season I expected, but it will be unfortunate to let him go. He’s been a great member of the team but we need to amp up the talent. He hasn’t gone yet, but I expect that he will be soon. Hopefully we can pick up some talent to replace the lost players of our team. (Right, Dudley?) Thanks again Colby. ;)

KLS1

May 24th, 2010
11:13 am

Any chance of getting Patrick Marleau as an UFA?

Brendan

May 24th, 2010
12:37 pm

The only way Marleau could come here was if it were by his choice. Is Marleau about to choose the Thrashers? If SJ cannot re-sign Nabakov, they’ll do everything they can re-sign Marleau. I have no idea what Marleau’s intentions are, but he’s looking at a pretty sweet pay day, where he signs to play.

Lee

May 24th, 2010
2:12 pm

Marleau? Heck, I’ll take him any day. But that’s not legit. Even if the Sharks couldn’t re-sign Marleau, he wouldn’t come to ATL. He’d probably go to a place where the pay is good and so is the team. Atl = :(

Telfo

May 24th, 2010
3:24 pm

2.4 million is already too much for a third liner…and he had a bad year. no way he gets a raise

alex

May 24th, 2010
5:43 pm

to get coach with no head coaching nhl experience we have to be lucky like pittsburg or capitals did. history tells us most of such experiments had no luck including with previous thrashers coach. why we are not looking on decent guys available now like former raingers who run over us in only appearance in playoff, or ramsey, or stevens. we know why, because asg have no money. so levenson please go to the corner marietta st. joint some folks and beg for pennys or get out of this busines asap. enough lies and depression on thousands hard base fans of thrashers. most likely scenario on cheap coach hiring-
he get fired two years from now, but don waddell get routine promotion. it’s a shame.

Old Time Hockey

May 24th, 2010
5:59 pm

Nabakov has looked good at times, but not overly impressed me. He totally lost sight of the puck in overtime of game 3. The replay shows he was staring behind the goal when the puck was ON Byfuglien’s stick in the slot. What the heck is Coburn’s deal? Has he had a concussion problem? He is making some glaring errors and horrible decisions. I thought he was going to be a star. I used to laugh at the salaries baseball relief pitchers made for doing very little. The discussion of Armstrong reminded me of that. To paraphrase “Never has one done so little for so much”. Here’s the door Colby…
Marleau is a machine…when his center is Thornton. That’s the kind of guy you sign on numbers and he scores 18 goals with a different (lesser) center. Speaking of Byfuglien, now THERE is a guy who has impressed me. Niemi has also looked sharp (it’s a shame we got the fat, lazy finnish goalie).

ex-STH

May 24th, 2010
7:36 pm

hey old timer. are you going senile? remember we got rid of that fat lazy finnish goalie! he went to dallas.

Jack

May 24th, 2010
8:30 pm

speaking of goalies. A little concerned about goalie situation. I like moose(if he comes back) but Pav at times is the anti christ. Any thoughts on the goalie situation. Dont believe we can get to the playoffs with Pav.

Old Time Hockey

May 24th, 2010
11:10 pm

ex-STH- I was referring to the luck of the draft…I’m not that old…what were we talking about..oh yeah..I wish I had about 15 Chris Prongers on my team. That, my friends, is an old time hockey player!

J.B.

May 25th, 2010
8:55 am

Random link to pass the time…

Lots of Dudley quotes in this article regarding drafting Russian prospects:

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/05/24/teams-questions-russian-draftees/

GaVaHokie

May 25th, 2010
9:17 am

I’d give Afinogenov the money freed up from Kozlov… $3.8 million

Kubina, I’d give him what he made last year with the standard 12% raise… $5.6 million.

If they can do it for less than that… gravy!

GaVaHokie

May 25th, 2010
9:24 am

J.B… thanks for the link! I have no problem taking one of the Russians with the 24th pick, but certainly not the 8th. Would be great is someone like Burmistrov, Galiev or Tarasenko dropped to the end of the 1st because of the Russian ’stigma’.

Schroeder

May 25th, 2010
10:37 am

I am not going to get all amped up about Dudley talking to minor league coaches at this time,IMHO he is probably scouting for asst coaches and waiting for the season to end to talk to coaches with a lot of NHL time. Besides if this was ASG business as usual we would have already hired someone that was a stick boy from a QMHL team to be our head coach. I would recommend everyone relax until all is said and done,if memory serves me didn’t RD say that he was going to hire assistants as well as a head coach. Is there a law that says you MUST hire a head coach first?

GaVaHokie

May 25th, 2010
10:45 am

Schroeder… usually your Head Coach picks his own assistants, but have to be approved by management… so yes, hiring Assistants before your Head Coach is ‘putting the cart before the horse’.

Dudley said he likes to get his Head Coach first and then have an assistant that is somehwhat a polar opposite… if you have a modivating Head Coach, then you want a hard-ass Asssistant… and vice versa.

Dwayne

May 25th, 2010
11:32 am

what kinda crap did we have behind the bench last year? no motivation, no hard asses, no sense, no logic…..

Schroeder

May 25th, 2010
11:33 am

GVAHOKIE- Point taken,I hope though that these interviews are him being proactive for possible candidates to put to the new head coach to speedup that process of building a staff that he would also be comfortable with.Operative word here is HOPE. As for the thought of Marleau coming here,would be great but I would not hold my breath.We need a history of winning hockey with a solid mgt team. For years the Braves were the laughing stock of MLB,now look what a winning history with a well run front office will do.Billy Wagner stated that he wanted to play for that organization before he retired.It would be nice if one day top tier NHL players WANTED to play here.I am excited about the changes that have taken place,efforts to sign Kubina and Max and the possibility of going after a UFA or two,but I will reserve my excitement until I see the actual products of all this posturing.

Spud Webb

May 25th, 2010
11:51 am

I love it, is Colby drunk….Armstrong made $2.4 million last season and is looking for a raise.
FOR A RAISE?? Why in the world would he ever think he’ll make more than 2.4 mill per season? If anything he should take 800k a season. Thats more like the type of player he is!! Good luck Colby, bye, don’t let the door smack you in the &ss on the way out!!

Lee

May 25th, 2010
12:00 pm

This is Colby: “I swear to drunk, I’m not God.”

Lee

May 25th, 2010
12:10 pm

Klonk….OW! >(

Ted M

May 25th, 2010
12:21 pm

Does anyone know if the Blackhawks’s Duncan Keith wearing a mouth piece when he lost his teeth?

GaVaHokie

May 25th, 2010
12:35 pm

I would think Anderson bringing in Todd Nelson was Anderson’s decision, but I would have to think Cunneyworth and Weekes was more of a Waddell decision.

So, it’s POSSIBLE, you might see Dudley hire John Torchetti as Head Coach, but also push for Scott Arniel as an assistant…etc.