Archive for June, 2010

Thrashers get permission to speak to Torchetti

On the head coach search front, I can report that Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley has asked for and received permission from Chicago to talk to Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti about the team’s head coaching position. No word yet on when there will be an interview but I’m working on it.

Torchetti is considered one of the top two candidates for the Thrashers job, which has been open for two months after John Anderson and his staff were not retained following the season. Dudley said he would wait to talk to a candidate until his season was over. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last week.

Boston Bruins assistant Craig Ramsay is considered the other front runner. The Thrashers also interviewed Scott Arniel, who subsequently took the head coach position with Columbus, and Chicago Wolves coach Don Lever. Bill Peters, of the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate Rockford could also get an interview.

Not huge news on the search for a new coach, but I wanted you folks to know …

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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 …

Continue reading Updated II: New (strength) coach coming to Thrashers »

Updated: Thrashers, Afinogenov not close on new deal

Maxim Afinogenov is not close to re-signing with the Thrashers, according to his agent.

Don Meehan said Monday that after reviewing the one-year contract offer made by the Thrashers several weeks ago, he and Afinogenov “don’t agree at this point in time” with the terms offered by the team. Afinogenov, who tied for the team lead in goals last season (not including Ilya Kovalchuk), will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“Where we go from here, I’m not sure,” Meehan said.

Meehan did not rule out Afinogenov returning to the Thrashers, but said a deal was not close.  He said it was possible that he would meet with Thrashers officials at the NHL Draft, which will be held June 25-26 in Los Angeles. Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said last week that all the players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents have been made offers that are in line with what the organization is willing to pay.

Meehan said the status of contract talks between his client Colby Armstrong …

Continue reading Updated: Thrashers, Afinogenov not close on new deal »

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 …

Continue reading Updated: Thrashers, Slater agree on two-year deal »

Thrashers talk to Ramsay, one of five candidates

Back from seven days of Braves coverage and a couple days off. Below is my story on the Thrashers talking to Craig Ramsay for the head coach position over the weekend. He is one of five candidates.

I’m hearing that Jim Slater may be the first of the Thrashers’ unrestricted free agents to be re-signed.

Upcoming: I did a story on Thrashers strength and conditioning coach Ray Bear leaving to work with the Army. Look for that in the next day or two. Also, meeting with new father Chris Thorburn on Wednesday. Look for a story on him soon.

Here is the coaching search story:

The Thrashers interviewed Craig Ramsay for their vacant head coaching position over the weekend. Ramsay, currently an assistant with the Boston Bruins, is the third candidate to be interviewed by new Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley.

Last month Dudley interviewed AHL head coaches Scott Arniel, of the Manitoba Moose, and Don Lever, of the Thrashers’ minor-league affiliate Chicago Wolves. Dudley met with …

Continue reading Thrashers talk to Ramsay, one of five candidates »