Updated: Thrashers, Slater agree on two-year deal

As I told you yesterday, the Thrashers were close to a new deal with forward Jim Slater. The team announced that they have come to terms with the forward Tuesday.

Here’s the first version of the story after I talked to Slater, who is seeing the sights of California:

Though he’s spending much of his summer sightseeing in California, Jim Slater wanted to be back in Atlanta next season. Now he will be.

The forward, one of 10 Thrashers scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $2 million Tuesday. The deal will pay Slater $900,000 next season and $1.1 million in 2011-12.

Slater, 27, scored a career-high 11 goals last season despite appearing in only 61 games after being a healthy scratch in 21 of the Thrashers’ first 38 games. He cracked the lineup for good on Dec. 30 and played the final 44 games. Slater also had seven assists, two game-winning goals and a plus-one rating.

“It feels good,” Slater said Tuesday. “At the end of the season I met with the staff and I thought I had a good chance to come back. I want to help this organization be as good as it can be. I’ve been here since I was drafted and I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I think we are moving in the right direction and I want to be a part of it.”

In five seasons with the Thrashers, Slater has 88 points (42 goals, 46 assists). He was a first-round pick (No. 30 overall) in 2002.

Slater was one of the NHL’s best at taking faceoffs last season. He won 59.2 percent of 431 faceoffs. Only four players in the league with that many chances recorded a better winning percentage than Slater.

A team and fan favorite, Slater won the team’s Dan Synder Memorial Trophy and Community Service Award following the season.

Slater said the organizational changes – the move of Don Waddell to president, Rick Dudley to general manager and eventually a new head coach – played a role in him not testing the free-agent waters on July 1.

“It shows you that they want to be better,” Slater said. “I fully support the moves they are making to get us moving in the right direction and make the team better.”

Slater said he has already begun working out in preparation for next season and will get “real serious” in the upcoming weeks.

55 comments Add your comment

DWTOO

June 8th, 2010
1:05 pm

Good to have Jimmy back on the fold…… Now get to work on Max, Pavel, et al.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

Hooray for Jimmy Skandalous! Hard work = payoff personified.

And hooray for player retention. It’s a start!

Now get to work on Kubina and Maximum Finnies! :-)

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
1:08 pm

Thanks C-Viv. Have you heard any more news on Mad Max negotiations?

kracker

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Y’all think a coach needs to be in place before the top line/top pair guys will resign? Or they need to know who it will be, such as Torch or Ramsay but it won’t be official for a few weeks, in which they will still probably wait until it is an official signing. Duds said no coach before the entry draft so we are looking at 3 weeks at the earliest [drumming fingernails on my desk top]

TableHockey

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Interesting – so Slates get a two year offer and Max gets just a 1 yr? Wonder what the thought was behind the Max offer? Perhaps he was only interested in a short term??

HIR3D PILOT

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

I like this signing! He is a guy who can score some goals, and he protects the goal scorers out there!

He’s a cool guy too! Way to go slates!

Hopefully we make a splash in free agency!

East Point Bob

June 8th, 2010
1:20 pm

Big Mistake siging this guy, has been here for years and does little for the team, could have used new blood, why stick with someone who has done little or nothing since being here ???
Never won with him and again, will likely still not win with him.

Lee

June 8th, 2010
1:21 pm

GO SLATES! Good to have him back in the locker room. To me, he’s a great leader. He’s a team player and amps it up when we need it…

TableHockey

June 8th, 2010
1:26 pm

Kracker – You’re probably right. If I were in the players position I would probably want to wait as well. I believe it will either be Ramsey or Torchetti but my understanding is that they both have distinctly different coaching styles.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
1:32 pm

Mmmm mmmm, nothing like a breath of fresh negativity from East Point!! Damn that smell is refreshingly foul ain’t it? Crumbs your act is almost as old and tired as Sage’s.

[...] can be given to Mr. Kane, Mr. Reasoner, Mr. Kubina and Mr. Slater, (who the team announced today has been re-signed). Johhny Oduya is a +51 in 300 career NHL games (Photo by Bob Fina/Inside [...]

Thrashers27

June 8th, 2010
1:47 pm

Give Slates the “C”.

Chris Vivlamore

June 8th, 2010
1:50 pm

Sorry, probably should have given the [little] update I have on other UFAs. I talked to Dudley yesterday. Basically he said all the UFA’s have offers from the team with the exception of Kozlov. There have been more discussions with some than others, but Dudley said they all know what the team is willing to offer. How many of them choose to test the waters on July 1 remains to be seen. That’s the only update I have in that regard. Someone asked about the RFAs. I don’t know if/when qualifying offers will come. Hope that helps.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
1:57 pm

RFA Qualifying offers should be done the week of the draft as the deadline to tender is June 25th. Hopefully we have a biz-hub type machine and not an ordinary fax like Dale Tallon relied on last year.

Chuckle, chuckle, sigh.

C-Viv – thanks for the update on the UFA’s but can you follow up with a few of the agents to see what they might be willing to divulge? Especially as it pertains to Moose, Kubina and Max? At least two have agents, Grossman and Meehan, who seem willing to give up a little info.

TableHockey

June 8th, 2010
2:14 pm

Thanks for the updates Chris – Kevin Allen is reporting a deal with Max is likely not to happen. Are you hearing the same thing?

Jack

June 8th, 2010
2:30 pm

That would really suck if Max does not come back. Congrats slater

alex

June 8th, 2010
2:31 pm

who cares about slat. mediocre player with some stupid penalty at important decisive time of the game (pittsburg last year) skill is limited. don’t see anybody poor like him in chicago or philly. perfect candidate for “C” position in thrashers organization. seriosly what about real players asg? suspect not enough money. can’t borrow, but i am not owner, you are fubas.

Russian

June 8th, 2010
3:25 pm

Jimmy will be fine in Thrashers. He did not cost alot. If he is going to play as same level as last few months in the season it will be intresting to see his play.

Sara

June 8th, 2010
3:40 pm

Darroll Powe (C – Philadelphia Flyers): 9-6-15 in 63 GP for a 0.25 PPG average, even +/-, 54 PIMs, and FO% of 45.2%

Colin Fraser (C – Chicago Blackhawks): 7-12-19 in 70 GP for a 0.28 PPG average, +6, 44 PIMs, and FO% of 48.8%

Jim Slater (C – Atlanta Thrashers): 11-7-18 in 61 GP for a 0.30 PPG average, +1, 60 PIMs, and FO% of 58.9%

Nope – nothing comparable there at all.

the TRUTH

June 8th, 2010
5:43 pm

Watch the Finals and you will see our skill level needs to go WAY up to compete. I just don’t know where we get the players. VERY DEPRESSING.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
6:02 pm

I’m “okay” with Slater returning. He’s a 4th line guy who does an adequate in that capacity. Not too sure I agree with $950,000 cap hit, but really, there’s plenty of money to spend, at least in terms of cap limit, for Atlanta. I see Slater as a $750,000 to $800,000 a year type player. I would have thought a one-year deal would be in the offering at $900,000, if any offer were made. Good for Slater that he wrangled two-years out of the organization, for a raise, at that! I suppose I haven’t truly looked at the UFA pricing for 4th line players scoring roughly 10 goals. At roughly a point every third game, I can certainly live with what we’re paying Slater and should expect from Slater. If we were knocking on the door of the Stanley Cup, I’m not too sure I’d be happy about this. But for where we are now, I think this is a very good signing. Continuity of roster should count for something.

Welcome back, Jimmy!

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
7:45 pm

Brendan – he was already making $840 k per year. Why do you think he would go backwards? He set a career high for goals last year and really seemed to find a niche on the 3rd line. Reasoner’s already making $1.15 M per year so paying Jimmy an average of $1 M / year is far from a strain on the financial interests of the ASG. There’s more to “pricing” a player than goals scored. He plays well in both ends of the ice, checks the crap out of people, wins 60% of his F/O and can generally be an all-around pain the arse to play against. We need him to step up even more and really solidify his spot on the 3rd line. If he ends up back on the 4th line, then he will have really regressed again.

Sage of Bluesland...

June 8th, 2010
9:28 pm

could outcoach Torchetti with a blindfold on.

ThrashDawg

June 8th, 2010
9:42 pm

What are the chances Dudley hires Ramsey as the head coach and Torchetti as an assistant? Seems like they have different personalities like Dudley had with Ramsey and Tortorella. He seemed to like that Good Cop Bad Cop thing they had going there.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
11:08 pm

Smoothie, I guess I’m just thinking what another team might offer him, coming off the Thrashers style offense, with little regard to defense, resulting in 11 goals, and no goals prior to Christmas or New Year’s Day. There’s a reason why Darren Eliot tagged him, ‘Second Half Slater.’

I figured that, if Atlanta extended years, Slater would come down on price. But what does it really matter? We’re nowhere near the cap. And as I’ve said before, I really need to revisit the “new” price structure in UFA terms, for such players. It very well may turn out that Slater is ‘perfectly paid.’ Another thing that sticks out in my mind is … that was a ‘contract year’ performance. My thoughts turn to Jeff Blauser, in such moments. I’ll ask you to forgive me, Smoothie.

East Point Bob

June 9th, 2010
6:11 am

smoothie, you are one of those idiots who refuse to realize the truth when it stares you in the face.
So take your soiled toilet paper and eat it, as you provide simply nothing to this blog as well as others… wake up dumb a$$ !

Mrs. B

June 9th, 2010
7:31 am

I can’t believe you resigned..You are such a smart hockey player and Atlanta hasn’t given you much of a chance to play…I’ve followed your career from the Barons to Michigan State and that tells what you can do but I don’t agree with the Thrasher game plan but I will say I’m seeing improvement. All I can say is go get them Jimmy!!!! We sure wish the Redwings would have picked him up!

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
8:14 am

ThrashDawg… I’m not sure Torchetti would leave one Assistant position on a Stanley Cup contender to be an Assistant for a team that didn’t make the playoffs this year… same with Ramsay.

It’ll have to be one or the other… the Assistant will most likely be someone like Lever, Dineen, Peters, etc.

Thrashfan01

June 9th, 2010
8:49 am

I would like to see Dineen get an interview for the head coaching position.

rob

June 9th, 2010
9:01 am

Sage and EPBob,
How nice of you to join the conversation and supply us with your pertinent thoughts on the Thrashers. Your optimism is a fresh breeze from the never ending whining and crying from people who do not care about the sport or the team. You represent yourselves well so keep up the job you are doing!!

rob

June 9th, 2010
9:08 am

Sara,
nice post LOL While Jimmy isn’t that great signing we want, he is a good player to have back on the team. He has provided a spark and worked hard to get a spot on the team.
As for dumb penalties…..don’t know too many players that haven’t taken them.
Don’t think he is “C” material though. That needs to be a top 6 guy or a dman…..someone who gets the ice time and can lead by example that way. I still think of the players we have now Antropov may be the best suited for the “C”.

kracker

June 9th, 2010
9:36 am

East Point Bob has earned his way on to the ignore list.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
9:53 am

Sara… great stat hunting, thanks!

joedaiceman

June 9th, 2010
10:09 am

Every team needs strong role players. Jimmy has that in spades and upside potential, so $1M is a fair offer. Everyone is worried about Max signing but give me a break. A great individual talent, but you cannot win the cup as an individual.

Joe Friday

June 9th, 2010
11:20 am

The Stanley Cup is ours!

Alan

June 9th, 2010
11:22 am

with little regard to defense, resulting in 11 goals, and no goals prior to Christmas or New Year’s Day.

And, pray tell, how many games did he play in the first half of the season? You don’t have to answer. I already know.

Slater also offers a lot of speed and energy. His skating is continuing to get better. To top it off, he wants to be here. How often do you hear any player say he wants to be in Atlanta? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a green light to just pick up just anyone who is willing to say they want to play in Atlanta. However, Jimmy feels good about the movement of the organization.

Jimmy isn’t a problem here. I’m not sure why so many people want to get rid of him so badly, or want to undercut his salary. I guarantee his $1m cap hit isn’t going to hurt us.

Telfo

June 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

I am fine with Slater returning. His faceoff ability is by far his best asset, that and he is good at getting some energy going in the game.

just get him off the PK please

kracker

June 9th, 2010
12:48 pm

I love that Slater banner written with the Slayer font type.

http://www.piercingmetal.com/graphics/logo_slayer.jpg

Old Time Hockey

June 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

You’ve got a guy who WANTS to be here, he gives 100 percent effort every shift , not afraid to throw his weight, or fists around and made huge strides last year. That’s the definition of the guy I want wearing the “C”. No rule that says your captain has to be a top scorer. You need him to be a leader. Like Dudley said about the draft, “he may be good, but he may be dumber than a sack of hammers.” Character leads teams.

Midfield

June 9th, 2010
1:53 pm

Taking ill-advised penalties in the offensive zone may get you qualified as being dumber than a sack of hammers – at least I still think so. I also think that it does not help that a guy who may be dumber than a sack of hammers is not “good” – whatever “good” means in this context. So, I think Dudley may want to articulate his thoughts a little better – with all due respect and well-wishing and hope and change and all that, you know. Remember, Bobby Holik lost a lot of credibility for taking bad penalties and trying to “lead the team” at the same time – and he was the guy with quite a package of skill and grit, even when slowed down by age and arthritis.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
2:44 pm

Alan, I agree with you that it’s good that Slater wants to be here.

Tom

June 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

I like Slater’s quote – Slater said the organizational changes – the move of Don Waddell to president, Rick Dudley to general manager and eventually a new head coach – played a role in him not testing the free-agent waters on July 1.

“It shows you that they want to be better,” Slater said. “I fully support the moves they are making to get us moving in the right direction and make the team better.”

Get rid of Waddell and even I will stay.

rob

June 9th, 2010
4:19 pm

OTH,
don’t get me wrong I like Slater and his hustle and the heart he has shown, but a 3rd or 4th line guy just isn’t on the ice enough for the “C”. Just being a scorer isn’t reason for the “C” either, I agree. But the “C” needs to be on a leader who is on the ice enough to lead by example often, hence a top 6 forward or top 4 dman IMO.

stendek

June 9th, 2010
11:40 pm

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
12:23 am

Ya know Briere came within a point of catching Gretzky’s record of 13-points in the Finals? Heck, I’ve slammed the guy over his cap hit. But this year, he earned every penny, and more.

Stendek, Antii Niemi becomes the 1st Finnish goalie to win the Stanley Cup. I thought you’d be thrilled to hear the news.

rob

June 10th, 2010
7:48 am

NHL rigged, now THAT is funny

West Point Rob

June 10th, 2010
9:09 am

Stop picking on my brother.

Hockey Steve

June 10th, 2010
1:12 pm

I like Slater, glad to have him back. Few hustled harder than Jim last season….

Hockey Steve

June 10th, 2010
1:26 pm

We can afford to lose Max; not Kubina. Hope Max stays, but if not, we could sign someone like Frolov…. we get Frolov, we’ll forget all about Max =)

Swami

June 10th, 2010
4:14 pm

Kovy no come back. Now Hossa have Stanley Cup and he no come back either. Aye-yaye-yaye!