Updated: Free agent – UFA and RFA – news of the day

A little crazy here folks as I write this from the Turner Field press box. I have to do a story from the Braves game tonight.

However, first I had one-on-one sit downs with new coach Craig Ramsay and GM Rick Dudley. I will have a story on Ramsay later today and then a bigger profile on Tuesday. I also sat down with Dudley to discuss the free-agent news. I’ll have a story previewing July 1 coming up.

Here’s the updates:

As at tweeted earlier (from my cellphone), the Thrashers made qualifying offers to Niclas Bergfors, Bryan Little, Ondrej Pavelec, Clarke MacArthur, Ben Eager, Peter Mannino and Anthony Stewart. The following players were not qualified: Chad Denny, Rylan Kaip, Scott Lehman and Matt Siddall.

Dudley and I went over each player that will become a restricted free agent on July 1. Here is what he told me.

Pavel Kubina: “We’ve talked to Pavel. I’ve got to talk to him today. He’s talked to [Don Waddell] a couple of times. We are a little ways apart. Ramsay did say he hopes Kubina takes a “hometown discount.”

Update: I just talked to Kubina. He told me, as he did in April, that he would like to come back but he’s looking for a fair deal. He said he has not spoken to Dudley and last spoke to Waddell at the end of May (Kubina did go to  Europe). “We can always talk. Like I said, I hope to come back. I like the direction of the team and I really like Rammer. He’s a great teacher.”

Max Afinogenov: “We’ve talked to Afinogenov, although it would see now that Max is going to test the free-agent market. We’ve made him an offer.”

Colby Armstrong: “My guess is he’s going to enter the free-agent market.”

Christoph Schubert: “He’s a guy that it’s not inconceivable could come back here. We like the way he played for us. Right now, I think he’d like to see what’s out there. I think he liked it here.”

Eric Boulton: “We made an offer earlier to Bolts.”

Johan Hedberg: “We are a little ways apart. Not insurmountable but a little way.”

Evgeny Artyukhin: “We will probably allow him to go to the free-agent market.”

Mark Popovic: “He’s looking for a one-way contract. I think we feel more comfortable with what we’ve done having him on a two-way contract.”

As a little forshadowing, Dudley told me he’s still in the market for a 15-goal scorer. However, don’t be so sure it has to come with a free-agent signing. A trade is a very real possibility and, maybe, the most likely.

Thanks for bearing with me folks.

Look for those other stories a bit later.

78 comments Add your comment

Telfo

June 28th, 2010
2:57 pm

now its lowered to a 15 goal scorer?!?!?!

lol

Dudley loves to make trades, i wouldnt be surprised if one happens by thursday

J.B.

June 28th, 2010
3:02 pm

So essentially, they’ve talked to all the UFAs, some have offers and none are happy with what Duds if offering. Really wanted to see Kubina, Afinogenov and Artykhin re-sign. I can’t help but wonder if the forshadowing at the end of this posting could point toward another chicago trade for Versteeg.

Hollywould

June 28th, 2010
3:04 pm

Man, I really like the A-Train. Looks like that is over.

J.B.

June 28th, 2010
3:12 pm

i have a feeling duds wants as many pieces in place as possible before chasing any free agents on thursday. if he does enter the bidding for some of the guys out there, I’d still like to see Ponikarovsky here to play with Antro. Not much chance of it considering the price tag and how much depth we already have at the blueline but i really like Volchenkov as well.

J.B.

June 28th, 2010
3:16 pm

Hollywould ~ Yeah I was in some really good seats down low when Artyukin went end-to-end to score right after he came to Atlanta. That was a sick sick goal and made me a fan of his for a while.

J.B.

June 28th, 2010
3:25 pm

Chris ~ Are the offers still valid and can still be negotiated/accepted after July 1st @ noon or do new offers need to be presented since said players are no longer Thrashers property at that time?

TableHockey

June 28th, 2010
3:26 pm

I wonder how far apart they are with Kubina? I would like to have him back but if the price is too high I’d almost rather we try to pilfer Staal from the Rangers.

Joe Don't Go Squad

June 28th, 2010
3:30 pm

Joe Don't Go Squad

June 28th, 2010
3:31 pm

Make sure you sign the guest book. Thanks.

J.B.

June 28th, 2010
3:31 pm

i just saw that puck daddy article one the issues with Staal versus the Rangers. Man would that be a coup for the thrashers to snag him or what?!!?!

Lee

June 28th, 2010
3:35 pm

Man, we’ve really cut our team down. I hate to say it, but unless we sign some decent players on July 1, our team doesn’t look so pretty.

GSUFAN

June 28th, 2010
3:41 pm

So…no one.

HouseofHarper

June 28th, 2010
3:48 pm

I hope they come “alot closer” with Johan’s offer. We really need him to remain a part of our team!!

GSUFAN

June 28th, 2010
3:52 pm

We need to come a lot closer with a lot of these guys or we don’t have any team. At all.

Joe Friday

June 28th, 2010
3:57 pm

“We’ve talked to Pavel. I’ve got to talk to him today. He’s talked to [Don Waddell] a couple of times. “We are a little ways apart. Ramsay did say he hopes Kubina takes a “hometown discount.”

Update: I just talked to Kubina. He told me, as he did in April, that he would like to come back but he’s looking for a fair deal. He said he has not spoken to Dudley and last spoke to Waddell at the end of May”

Translation: Don’s still in charge and the owners still are being cheap with the offers.

jack

June 28th, 2010
4:09 pm

Well what is the Plan B if Johan goes somewhere else. Also any news on Asst coach.

Sorry Joe I am on the Joe Must Go and Johan Must Stay squad.

R. Stroz

June 28th, 2010
4:12 pm

What sound do Thrashers make?

Cheap, Cheap, Cheap

The Real Thrash

June 28th, 2010
4:13 pm

Why is Kubina talking to Waddell instead of Dudley?

cliff

June 28th, 2010
4:16 pm

I think the term might be the issue with Kubina and not totally the money. You folks have to come to terms that Don is still with the organization. Every blog has another post about Waddell. Ya’ll need to get over it, because he is the club president.

Smoothie

June 28th, 2010
4:19 pm

C-Viv – Kubes said that to you directly? That’s great. It will really suck more when we fail to sign him. I can’t believe Duds hasn’t talked to him personally by now. Tragic.

polskidawg

June 28th, 2010
4:31 pm

Sounds like a trade for a scoring winger, and a free agent goalie.

R. Stroz

June 28th, 2010
4:31 pm

Smoothie – As fans, remember the two traits that have haunted us for years: RETENTION and PROCRASTINATION.

Is it deja vu all over again?

If it walks looks a duck and talks like a duck, it smells like Waddell.

KLS1

June 28th, 2010
4:34 pm

Kubina is the one guy I would like to see us re-sign. Every other UFA can test the waters for all I care.

Some of the young guys under contract need to step up a move this team ahead. These other UFA’s are not going to make the difference.

Smoothie

June 28th, 2010
4:43 pm

KLS is right, Kubina and perhaps Moose are the only UFAs we need to stabilize our youth movement. I understand the hesitancy to give Kubina the term he wants but there’s always the option of a trade later on.

Duds needs to send a message to the NHL and it should involve the Czech d-man giant. Perhaps it will help change the well-earned negative perception of this franchise Stroz always talks about as a L/T STH.

waffleboy

June 28th, 2010
4:44 pm

KLS1 is absolutely right. Put our effort into signing Kubina. The rest of them are replaceable.

Flames

June 28th, 2010
4:48 pm

JB-You might not be to far off with the Versteeg deal. R. Stroz-I talked to several of the players/UFA and the teams first offers were not to their likings (Low). Everyone was taking a pay cut. I believe the team will get a goalie through UFA. JB/TableHockey-I would love to get Staal from the Rangers!!

Boone7

June 28th, 2010
5:24 pm

Yep, looks like Dudley is the trade guy and DW the free agent guy. Not a good sign!!

jack

June 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

well DW is still the DA guy

cliff

June 28th, 2010
7:10 pm

The blog is becoming a downer. . All you guys want to talk about is Waddell being anywhere near our area code and we are all going to die because of it. Patience folks, just because everyone isn’t signed does not mean ASG is cheap or all that. Get a grip folks-you don’t own the team.

World Be Free

June 28th, 2010
7:33 pm

Eklund has no Thrashers’ rumors, which means we are probably close to making a trade. One rumor he does have is Kubina going to the Sabres, which makes no sense in that Buffalo will not pony up for the $$$.

ex-STH

June 28th, 2010
8:40 pm

If Duds said he now is looking for a 15 goal scorer, how much is he willing to pay?? wouldn’t it have to be 1.5 – 2.5? Give that to MAX!!!

Chris Vivlamore

June 28th, 2010
8:58 pm

Smoothie: Yes. I talked to him by phone today. He just got back in the country. I really thinks he wants to come back, but also wants what he called a fair deal.

Telfo

June 28th, 2010
9:08 pm

i am guessing Kubina wants a longer term and we only want to offer 2 years or so.

I can understand the teams side because we have a ton of good defense prospects that will be ready in a year or 2, plus Kubinas age makes it very possible he could decline sooner than later.

Kubina wants the security of a longer deal.

I would like him back at 2 years/ 4-4.5 per. any longer than that and it becomes a contract that is very difficult to trade.

Moose, while i love him, can go. we really need to upgrade in goaltending if possible. Moose is still a career backup who had his best year last year, the chances of that repeating are very slim(see: White, Todd)

everyone else is pretty expendable as far as the UFA’s go. If we add one more solid top 6 forward we would be pretty set, though keeping Kubina would make us that much better

jack

June 28th, 2010
9:10 pm

Thanks Chris, it would be awesome If Kubina came back. Chris if you were a betting man would you put money on moose coming back.

jack

June 28th, 2010
9:11 pm

ps sorry CV if I put you on the spot.

jack

June 28th, 2010
9:14 pm

Telfo I mostly agree with you. Moose is also a very hard worker and would be an asset to the locker room. If we do let moose go, I am afraid we will not get someone with equal or better talent.

KLS1

June 28th, 2010
10:09 pm

Would rather re-sign Moose than get another “also ran” option like Huet or Theodore. Moose really is a pretty damn good goalie, I know that can be hard to see with the way we play defense but he competes every game.

If we can’t get a proven commodity like Nabokov I say we roll with Moose (1 year deal) and Pavs and put that $ and energy against another Free Agent

Kirk P

June 28th, 2010
10:12 pm

SIGN KUBINA. Show the fan base that you can keep a valuable, core player. (Audette, Brunette, Savard)

jack

June 28th, 2010
10:20 pm

Good Point KLS and Kirk. i say if we don’t moose back Turco maybe an option

KLS1

June 28th, 2010
10:26 pm

I agree Jack…Turco would be good for Pavelec too. The real question is whether Pavs is going to step up and be a true #1 goalie in this league.

If he doesn’t, I’m not sure we have a real plan B in place at this point.

Sage of Bluesland

June 28th, 2010
11:02 pm

I think Don Waddell has another “Five Year Plan”, folks! Be patient. What do you expect–accountability? Please.

Why isn’t “Duds” talking to the free agents? It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out…

gcs

June 28th, 2010
11:19 pm

Why is Kubina talking to that d-bag Don Waddell? DW is useless.

ASG = cheapskates. How can you not sign Colby and Maxim? Idiots!

.

Barry

June 28th, 2010
11:35 pm

Anyone else feel like our goal tending positions is a little bit a question mark? I believe that Pavelec will get better and mature this season, but can he handle a huge work load? What’s to say Moose can play again this season like he did last season? I know Dudley wants to find a top 6 scoring forward but I also think this team needs a very good back up goalie that can also handle #1 workload at times when it’s needed.

Alan R.

June 29th, 2010
12:51 am

How can you not sign Colby

He wants to test the waters and decide his own future? “Real hockey city” or some such.

Respect that. Until we prove to the players we are for real, this is going to be the broken record we endure.

David

June 29th, 2010
12:52 am

he’s not talking to dudley because he has this thing called a umm oh yeah..agent.

cliff

June 29th, 2010
5:58 am

gcs, Alan R, thanks for becoming Sage clones. Spread the idiocy and polluting the blog, talking about the five year plan like five year olds. Don’t fall into the Sage mode, you are asking for misery for the rest of your lives.

cliff

June 29th, 2010
7:37 am

take a look at how many teams and not signed their UFAs and you will see that the Thrashers are no differnet than the majority of teams.

sage/stendek

June 29th, 2010
8:06 am

Lovers for ever

KLS1

June 29th, 2010
8:08 am

The way this team played, I’m not sure why you would want to re-sign any of them? I like Army but are you going to give him more than the $2.5M he made last year?

I for one am optimistic going into this season because it is all new. No Kovy to try to build the team around…I think Little, Bergfors, Kane and Peverly will get a chance to take the next step without wondering if they are getting the puck to Kovy enough.

J.B.

June 29th, 2010
8:12 am

Saw a tweet from Rogers Sportsnet last night that said Max has turned down another offer from Atlanta and is likely headed to Russia. That makes sense as the KHL is definitley more willing to give him a longer term for more money. Hate to see him go, but if he’s looking for his last contract, KHL is the best option for him.

Glad to hear Flames thinks there may be some validity to the Versteeg idea, since he’s the blog commenter on the inside!

Also saw something on twitter last night that said Torchetti is very close to accepting a job here, so that’s good.