Updated II: New (strength) coach coming to Thrashers

Oversight: Sorry folks but I forgot to come back to the blog yesterday and update the contract numbers on Pettersson. The two-way deal is worth $500,000 in the NHL, $65,00 in minors. I added it to the print story, but forgot to update here. My apologies. I was covering the Braves game because some third baseman was making rumblings about retiring.

My friends at the Columbus Dispatch are reporting that Barry Brennan will be the Thrashers’ new strength and conditioning coach. Brennan, who was not retained by the new Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel, will start the new position on July 1.

Brennan replaces Ray Bear, who worked for the Thrashers for nine seasons before leaving this month for a position with the U.S. Army.

The Thrashers have not announced the deal but one should be made in the next few days.

Brennan has worked in the Columbus organization for nine seasons, five with the Blue Jackets and four with minor-league affiliate in Syracuse. According to the paper, Brennan interviewed with Thrashers GM Rick Dudley at the scouting combine and has signed a three-year deal.

“They told me I wasn’t going to be coming back,” Brennan told the newspaper after being informed his contract would not be renewed with the Blue Jackets. “That’s fair. It happens in this business. I really loved it here in Columbus — the guys, the fans, the city. It’s a great spot to be, and I’ll always remember it like that.

“I’m not bitter. I’ll take it like a man.”

In other news:

* The Thrashers signed forward Fredrik Pettersson, of the Swedish Elite League, to an two-way contract on Tuesday. The left wing had 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) for Frölunda last season. He led the team in goals and was second in assists.

Pettersson, who turned 23 on June 10, was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round (No. 157 overall) of the 2005 NHL draft. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder opted to leave the Swedish Elite League earlier this week to pursue an opportunity in the NHL.

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while and concluded that it is the right thing,” Pettersson said in the Swedish newspaper Göteborgs-Posten. “I have really enjoyed the great Frölunda where I have my hockey heart, and hope to return one day, but now I feel that this is the right step to take.”

By signing a two-way contract, Pettersson could be sent to the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate in Chicago if he does not make the NHL roster.

Pettersson has represented Sweden in four international competitions, most recently at the 2010 World Championships.

* On the unrestricted free agent front, I can report that talks continue between the Thrashers and goaltender Johan Hedberg.

39 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
11:36 am

Deals appear to be announced overseas before the NHL club decides to announce them. No offense at all to you, Chris, for you do a wonderful job. I’m just saying that the team is likely playing dumb. The contract is probably signed already, the team just wants to announce it on their own terms.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
11:38 am

Oh, yeah, and here’s a translation provided by Google.

Sara

June 15th, 2010
11:47 am

Alan keep in mind that contracts have to be reviewed by the NHL and given the official stamp of approval. If it was signed Sunday, it likely wasn’t reviewed until at least Monday.

Viking

June 15th, 2010
11:49 am

As I mentioned in the previous blog, Swedish newspapers says Fredrik has signed a two way contract offer. Alan R is likely correct in the assumption that the Thrashers want to announce it on their own terms. Perhaps it also has to be filed with NHL to become official or something of that nature.

Generally speaking, Swedish media are good about fact research before publishing articles. Also, it is information coming from a direct interview with the player.

Fredrik Pettersson seems to be a good point producer.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
12:07 pm

I know, Sara. All I’m saying is there’s no need to play dumb. It might not be “officially official,” but pen was put to paper.

TableHockey

June 15th, 2010
12:19 pm

Alan R. – I’m excited about the signing but either Google’s translation is less than stellar or the guy talks like Yoda: “I think I have a good chance, but sure, I can not be.”

Which could actually make for some interesting interviews in between periods.

Brendan

June 15th, 2010
12:23 pm

I wonder if Dudley and Arniel talked about Brennan? I know nothing of this guy, so I don’t know if this is good or bad. But, he didn’t sound like he wanted to leave Columbus. He also sounds grateful for his opportunity here. So, that’s good, in my opinion. It’s always good to have people who want to be here, with this organization. I wish him the best of luck here in Atlanta.

Viking

June 15th, 2010
12:33 pm

Table Hockey, sorry to break your hopes for intriguing interaction between the periods.

Believe me, the whole translation makes me think I was born somewhere around Outer Mongolia.

rob

June 15th, 2010
12:33 pm

“On the unrestricted free agent front, I can report that talks continue between the Thrashers and goaltender Johan Hedberg”
REALLY?!?!?!? Are they close is it 1 year does he think he can test the FA waters, if he walks what are our plans concerning goalie? cmon!
I can report Duds will talk w Torch about the coaching spot too but…. :)

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
12:36 pm

Alan… multiple sources, not just the team… fyi.

Lee

June 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

I salute Ray Bear!

The fun has just begun!

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
12:48 pm

Viv… next time you talk to Dudley, I’d like to know the thinking behind Brennan. Definitely seems like a ‘WTF’ signing based on that Portzline article.

Viking

June 15th, 2010
12:48 pm

http://www.hockeyforum.com/hockey-trades-rumors-signings/61472-fredrik-pettersson-signs-atlanta-thrashers.html

This link will take you to a highlight reel from a Swedish version of the outdoor Winter Classic between my old home team Färjestad and Frölunda, in which Fredrik Pettersson scored a hat trick.

TableHockey

June 15th, 2010
12:52 pm

I figured as much Viking – so much for my vision of him saying after a goal: “Good in goal, he is not”

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

TableHockey

June 15th, 2010
1:59 pm

Smoothie – great Cap geek tells us before the team does…

Jack

June 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

Any idea what the experts are saying about him. Sounds like he could be a point producer, to apparently replace Maxim

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
3:09 pm

TableHockey – you know it! It’s all about the Mushroom Theory when it comes to the ASG and its internal processes.

4 jacks

June 15th, 2010
4:17 pm

Alan R. “The team is likely playing dumb”. You have just summed up the whole ASG ownership of their 2 teams. We were told the Hawks needed “a new voice”, no, what both these teams need is new ownership that will make the investment to put 2 competitive teams, 2 teams with a chance to compete for a championship together under some creative and savy leadership. All we get from the ASG is a bunch of moronic LOSERS on the cheap. Listen, I only go to about 9 or 10 Hawk games per year and maybe 7 or 8 Thrasher games as my money comes hard. I will be ASG’s sucker no longer. People who buy season tickets have to just have alot of money to spend or they are just suckers like I have been. It is sad that the Atlanta sports fan is stuck with an ownership of pathetic LOSERS like this bunch. Atlanta deserves alot better than this. At least Arthur Blank tries, and looks to correct his mistakes, and give this city a championship contender. The ASG could care less about the fans or trying to be a contender, they just want you to keep buying their tickets and being “dumb”. That is what they do so well…it is the only thing they do well.

Mike M

June 15th, 2010
4:48 pm

I thought that things might get better with Don moved out of the GM spot but resigning Johan Hedberg is more of the same he has ranked in the bottom of the NHL in save % for three of his four seasons here he is a 37 year old back up who has played almost half of his games here where we are known for bad goaltending. I also do not by the idea that he will help develop young talent who has he ever developed? So they hire a bad starting goalie before they hire a coach. Give the new guy no say and make him suffer with what ever crap they choose.
More of the same.

rob

June 15th, 2010
5:12 pm

Mike,
You must have missed the part where Duds said Pavs/Moose are his tandem of choice right after he was made GM. I think his thoughts are Pavs is gonna step up and take #1, which would make Moose a good backup. Problem being if Pavs doesn’t stand up and make #1, we’re screwed. Keep your fingers crossed, and hope the coaches get the team to gel quickly, next season will be interesting.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
5:40 pm

I’m actually hoping Moose plays more of a coaching role than a goalie role this year. I would love to keep him in the organization, but don’t believe he has it in him to be the number one down the stretch like he was last season.

Thrashers27

June 15th, 2010
5:52 pm

What makes you say that, Alan? I mean, all signs really point in the opposite direction. Moose played well, even exceded expectations. Look at guys like Osgood and Turco. If they can do it, Moose can.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
6:00 pm

Oh, and:

Alan… multiple sources, not just the team… fyi

I know how to split hairs. “Multiple” could just mean two. One from Atlanta, and one from the NHL. The word this morning from Ben was that the team was still talking to Pettersson’s agent. I quote: “The team is talking to his agent, but as of yesterday afternoon no deal was in place.” Fact is, he signed the contract Sunday, and it was submitted for NHL approval yesterday. As opposed to lying, I think more fans would appreciate it if mum was the word.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
6:04 pm

Thrashers27:

a. Expectations for Hedberg weren’t exactly high. Let’s face it, most people expected him to be the backup, given how well Pavelec played at the beginning of the season.

b. Turco is 34, and Osgood is turning 38 this year. Many in Detroit expected Jimmy Howard to remain the backup while Osgood carried the team. Only, Osgood sort of floundered, and Howard ended up getting the nod.

Hedberg is 37 as of May. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would love to see him as Atlanta’s goalie coach. Beats the hell out what we once had.

Brendan

June 15th, 2010
6:35 pm

Has anyone discussed whether Moose WANTS to stay in Atlanta? I mean, my uninformed guess is … that he does. I wouldn’t be that surprised to see Moose as a UFA signing AFTER July 1. In the end, the UFA’s sign where they want to be. If the organization only wants Moose on a lowball contract, then he’ll have to take it, to stay. Even at 37, I would think Moose will get interest and offers from other clubs. And truthfully, if Moose wants to win a Cup, he should look elsewhere.

For me, I like the Moose. He’s one of my all-time favorite Thrashers. But the issue I have is this: Pavelec may still not be ready to be Atlanta’s #1 guy in net, for 55-60 games. And if he isn’t, asking a 37-year old career backup to be the # 1 goalie … just may be going to the well once too often. Even Waddell, no matter how badly you may think of him, said that the Thrashers would be looking to Free Agency to bolster the goaltending. “Brendan, Waddell’s a known liar.” Fine. But even Waddell knows it’s risky to hang the hopes of the entire season on young Pavelec. I know. I know. He’s not the GM anymore. The GM’s name is Dudley. But I have to believe that Dudley and Waddell talked about goaltending since April. Maybe it is/will be Dudley’s call on which goaltender they target, but Waddell approves the budget. If Waddell says, “X amount for the RFA contract for Pavelec, and $3.0 million max for a free agent netminder,” then that shrinks the field of potential UFA goalies. I’m not even too sure Biron can be had for that. Ellis may be out of our price range, too. And Nabby, Turco, and Theodore will come looking for more than that, also. Even if they’d give Atlanta the time of day. Which, they won’t.

There is almost no time, and no situation where I’d put ANY stock in a ‘handshake agreement’ that the two sides will make a deal after July 1st, on a ‘wait-n-see’ basis. But this just might be that time. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, the Thrashers chase SEVERAL UFA goaltenders, get in some bidding wars, then have to bow out? Let’s just say that Hedberg isn’t the Thrashers 1st choice as a UFA signing, but Hedberg wants to stay. And then, on July 10th or so, the two parties come to an agreement, with the Thrashers unable to find “better, at more affordable” pricing. Moose re-signs where he “allegedly” wants and Atlanta gets a familiar face, who is GREAT in the lockerroom, back for another year. But I think hockey fans will view that as the Thrashers being “cheap.”

Jack

June 15th, 2010
7:22 pm

Brendan good read. Only one problem inorder to strengthen through FA means the glorified ASG actually would have to spend money. Of course they will not do that. Me personally would like to have Moose back as a player and we trade away PAV. We will never gbet to playoffs with Pav in the goal.

Sage of Bluesland

June 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

Well said, 4 Jacks…Indeed. I stopped subsidizing this incompetence for years now. The ownership’s actions speak so much louder than their words–or the sunshine blown around by the sheep…Maybe we’ll be treated to a spreadsheet which shows the ASG is actually in the top half of owners in the league?!

Nothing surprises me anymore from an organization which actually still employs that lisping buffoon Don Waddell…no, make that ‘promotes’ that blustering author of his infamous “Five-Year Plan”…

Wow. Incredible, isn’t it?

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

June 15th, 2010
8:13 pm

Sage, nice to see you pollute more than one AJC blog.

Swami

June 15th, 2010
9:14 pm

Kovy still available. So is Modano, Madden, Niedermayer, Niitymaki, Naslund, Ward. Plenty free agents to choose from. Kovy still best, though.

Sage of Bluesland...

June 15th, 2010
9:38 pm

is a man among boys.

Bill230

June 15th, 2010
11:56 pm

To Brendan,
The luck has just changed for the Thrashers in signing Brennan. This guy will give the players everything they need to play. He is a former golden gloves champ from Ottawa, Ontario. and he has added 25 to 30 pounds of muscle on young draft picks over the summer who follow his training programs in Strength Conditioning. The players will do anything for him and he will do anything for them and the team. I can’t wait to see what Evander looks like after 6 months with him. If you think he;s got a good right hook, now [Cooke] just wait.

Brendan

June 15th, 2010
11:57 pm

Jack, thank you. One of my biggest concerns about this ownership, right from the moment they acquired the teams, was a lack of hockey interest and experience. They tried assuage our fears that they’d be more than just ‘caretaker’ stewards of the Thrashers, by citing how much HOCKEY EXPERIENCE Bruce Levenson had with the Washington Capitals. I think I even bought that, AT FIRST. Except, I kept thinking to myself, “The Washington Capitals haven’t exactly been a model franchise since 1974. They’ve never won a Cup, (got swept in 1998 vs. Detroit,) and they’ve only been to a CF twice in their history. Are we really sitting on a ‘hockey genius?’” Needless to say, the bile at tip of our throats at the mere mention of Levenson’s name, answers that question. The other thing that bothered me about the Spirit, LLC … was that they didn’t GO PUBLIC with their holdings. I read things like, “They take their entire company’s staff an annual jaunts to places like Aruba, The Netherlands Antilles, St. Croix, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City. The next thought I had was … all places known for “dirty money.”

Relax. I doubt the Spirit, LLC owners are money launderers. If they actually had any “dirty money,” perhaps it would finance some contracts?!! The fact that they will probably lose both Joe Johnson and Ilya Kovalchuk in the same calendar year speaks to “how well” they assemble teams. Segue back to my original point, that the ownership very much needs education with respect to the dynamics of owning an NHL franchise. I don’t think they have any kind of handle of how badly they are perceived as a possible destination by Free Agents, and players who fear waiver claims. So, for Dudley, I honestly “educating the ownership” might be job # 1. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

In almost every other NHL venue but Atlanta, the rule for GM’s is, “win, to make money for the owners.” But, for the past 3 seasons, this ownership is quite content to be without playoff revenue, holding on to a GM like Waddell, despite the results of his four (4) 2007 trade deadline moves, that resulted in zero playoff wins, when a good bit of the future got ‘mortgaged’ for a banner to hang from the rafters of Philips Arena that reads, “2007 Southeast Division Champions.”

Jack, when I stop to think … that at one point in time, the Thrashers had Heatley, Kovalchuk, and the choice to pick either Nash or Bouwmeester at the 2002 Draft, with the knowledge that they’d probably STILLLLL be a lottery draft team in 2003 … or picking 8th, like they did, (Braydon Coburn,) it boggles my mind to think that 10 years into the franchise’s existence, it’s 1st selections from the Draft Years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 are all no longer with the franchise. Someone will point out that Jim Slater, recently re-signed, is a 1st round pick, he was NOT the FIRST SELECTION made by Atlanta in 2002. That was Kari Lehtonen, now on a 3-year deal with the Dallas Stars, at last report.

Brendan

June 16th, 2010
12:00 am

Bill230, I’m looking forward to what Brennan can do here. I don’t know whyyyyy, exactly, the Blue Jackets didn’t want to retain him, but their loss is our gain. Right?

Jimbo

June 16th, 2010
8:48 am

Bill230- thanks for the info. Bolton and Thorburn worked last summer on their balance
but it didn’t help their boxing skills. We need a new cast of enforcers- Arty, Kane, Paquette for starters. Looks like we’ve got somone who can add much needed grit to the boys.

Bill230

June 16th, 2010
9:06 am

I can tell you this much, it was not because of work ethic or player relations, because he is the hardest worker next to the players and they loved him, they are upset he is gone, he’s a man’s man. I will say this, he is not a puppet, and will ever be.

Smoothie

June 16th, 2010
10:04 am

Bill230 – we sure do hope you are more correct than Aaron Portzline in his PuckRakers blog (what the hell is a puck raker anyway?). A lot of our guys have their own regimen in the off-season (see Thorburn) which has proven to pay dividends and we can only hope a new approach from BB will help our boys take their game to a new level. Thanks for the info.

One thing is certain: Dudley doesn’t care much for puppet-teering.

Thom71gt

June 16th, 2010
11:24 am

Ohh great!!! :( We hire a guy that does strength and conditioning for a team that, for the most part, consistently finishes the season just as bad or worse than us. Stellar move, It’s this kind of crap that keeps us at the bottom. Now who are we going to get for a coach? Someone who was the assistant to the assistant of Curt Fraiser when he was in the minors?

rob

June 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

no Thom,
I hear Sage is going to interview and bring his infinite wisdom and well…..sage advise to the coaching arena….at which point even the sheep will run and cause the Thrashers to move, as was Sage’s insight and prophesy all along…..it’s a conspiracy