Archive for July, 2010

Updated: Thrashers avoid arbitration with Ladd

Sorry folks, but the only child starts high school Monday and I was attending freshman orientation on Thursday morning. I tweeted the news of the Andrew Ladd signing  from my cellphone during breaks (much to the unhappiness of Mrs. C-Viv.)

Here are the details:

The Thrashers signed Andrew Ladd to a one-year contract worth $2.35 million on Thursday, avoiding arbitration on the day of the scheduled hearing.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward, obtained from Stanley Cup champion Chicago in June, received a qualifying offer from the team following the trade and then filed for arbitration.

Ladd earned $1.65 million last season with the Blackhawks and had 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists). Following the trade, Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said he expected Ladd to receive a significant increase in salary.

The Thrashers acquired Ladd, a first-round pick (No. 4 overall) in 2004, from Chicago for defenseman prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy, obtained from Dallas in the Kari Lehtonen trade, …

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Thrashers avoid arbitration with Eager

Not much of a surprise, only that it was announced so late Wednesday, but as I told you last week was most likely to happen soon the Thrashers did avoid arbitration with Ben Eager.

The deal with Eager is for one year and it avoids a hearing that was set for Aug. 3 for the restricted free agent.

The forward, obtained in a trade with Chicago in June, agreed to a deal worth $965,000.

Eager, 26, was part of the trade with the Stanley Cup champions that also brought Dustin Byfuglien, Brett Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu to the Thrashers.

Eager, a 6-foot-3, 227-pound left wing, had 16 points (including seven goals)in 60 games last season and was a plus-9. He led the Blackhawks with 120 penalty minutes. Eager also appeared in 18 playoff games for the Blackhawks and had three points (one goal, two assists). He also earned $965,000 last season.

Eager was a first-round pick (No. 23) by Phoenix in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

The Thrashers have an arbitration hearing with …

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Updated: Pavelec agrees to terms with Thrashers

Ondrej Pavelec has agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth a total of $2.3 million with the Thrashers. Pavelec was quoted on a Website in the Czech Republic about agreeing to a new deal and his agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed the agreement this morning via Twitter.

I’m told the deal will pay Pavelec $1 million this season and $1.3 million in 2011-12.

The Thrashers will not officially announced the deal until the contract has been signed. That was not expected to happen Thursday.

“This corresponds to my performance. I’m quite happy it turned out according to my expectations,” Pavelec told the Website iDNES.cz.

That would set up the goaltending tandem of Pavelec and Chris Mason, who signed a free-agent deal with the Thrashers, for the next two seasons.

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A little Kovy, a little Kozzy

As broke last night, the NHL rejected Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year contract with New Jersey as a circumvention of the salary cap,

Here is the statement the league issued Wednesday:

NEW YORK — National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today issued the following statement regarding the free agent contract forward Ilya Kovalchuk  signed with the New Jersey Devils: “The contract has been rejected by the League as a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the CBA, the contract rejection triggers a number of possible next steps that may be elected by any or each of the NHLPA, the Player and/or the Club. In the interim, the player is not entitled to play under the contract, nor is he entitled to any of the rights and benefits that are provided for thereunder. The League will have no further comment on this matter pending further developments.”

Other than the fact that the former Thrasher would be playing until the age of 44 by the end of the $102 …

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MacArthur likely to become UFA

Thrashers forward Clarke MacArthur will likely become an unrestricted free agent in the next day or two. MacArthur filed for arbitration and his hearing is set for tomorrow. However, don’t be surprised if the Thrashers walk away from what will be an award of more than $2 million a season. I’m hearing they will most likely walk, making MacArthur an UFA.

With that being the case, the arbitrator could rule as early as today – before there is a hearing.

The Thrashers made a qualifying offer to MacArthur, who was a restricted free agent, in June. Since then, the Thrashers made several moves, including the trade for Andrew Ladd.

A $2 million award would figure to be more money than the Thrashers are willing to pay for a third-line player on their revamped roster.

I’m also hearing that the Thrashers will likely avoid arbitration with Ben Eager, who has a hearing date set for Aug. 3. That deal could be announced in the next several days.

Ladd has an arbitration hearing set for July …

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Thrashers name Stothers assistant coach

Craig Ramsay turned to another familiar face in Mike Stothers to round out his Thrashers coaching staff.

Stothers coached alongside Ramsay as an assistant in Philadelphia from 2000-02. He joins associate head coach John Torchetti on the Thrashers staff.

Stothers has also served as a head and assistant coach in the American Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League. He most recently served as head coach of AHL Grand Rapids in 2007-08. He led the Griffins to a 31-41-0 record. He spent the five previous seasons as head coach of the OHL Owen Sound.

Stothers appeared in 30 NHL games in his playing career with Philadelphia and Toronto.

I’m told the team may not hire a goaltending coach full-time, but work with someone on a consultant basis.

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Prospect camp underway

My last day of filling in for the boss is almost over. Now we can devote 100 percent to prospect camp. I did make it over for the first two days of camp. Good to see some familiar faces on Thursday.

I did a story on Patrice Cormier. You can read it here if you missed it. He seems to have put the past behind him. Interesting to see him assigned to rounding up the pucks and taking them off the ice following the first two practices. Maybe Evander Kane won’t have to do that next year.

I just finished a story on Paul Postma. That will be online a little later and in Saturday’s paper. I also talked to Carl Klingberg for a story to run Sunday. I’m also planning on doing stories on Akim Aliu, Julian Melchiori and the three goalies in camp. I will touch base with as many of the other prospects as possible. Let me know if there is someone in particular you would like to read about.

On the goalie front, GM Rick Dudley gets a big smile on his face when asked about Chris Carrozzi, Ed …

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Thrashers name Torchetti associate head coach

John Torchetti, who was a candidate for the Thrashers head coach position, was named associate head coach on Thursday. He will serve under Craig Ramsay, who was hired to coach the Thrashers last month.

Torchetti, 45, served as an assistant coach with Chicago the past three seasons, including helping the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup championship this season.

Torchetti joins a list of four former Blackhawks players obtained by the Thrashers this offseason. Torchetti and Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley worked together in Chicago, Florida and Tampa Bay.

“I’ve known John for several years and he is a highly-talented and extremely knowledgeable individual,” Dudley said in a statement. “He is an excellent coach who will strengthen Craig’s staff and we’re fortunate to have him as part of our organization.”

A Boston native, Torchetti was an assistant in Chicago (2007-10), Los Angeles (2005-06), Florida (2002-04) and Tampa Bay (1999-2001). He served as interim head coach for …

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Thrashers agree to terms with Boulton

The Thrashers agreed to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent forward Eric Boulton on Tuesday.

Boulton will earn $650,000 next season.

“This has been my family’s home for six years now,” Boulton said. “I’m very happy to stay. I really like the direction of the team and I’m looking forward to living in Atlanta and winning in Atlanta.”

Boulton is the second of the Thrashers’ 10 unrestricted free agents to re-sign this offseason. Jim Slater signed before the start of free agency. Colby Armstrong, Johan Hedberg and Pavel Kubina signed with other teams.

“It’s very stressful for you and your family,” Boulton said of the free-agent process. “You don’t know if you’ll have a job or you’ll be moving and uprooting your family. This made a lot of sense for us.”

Boulton had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 62 games last season. He had a minus-one rating, 10th best of the team of players who appeared in more than 20 games.

“I think we’ll be a lot different team …

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Q and A with Andrew Ladd

I did a conference call  interview with new Thrashers forward Andrew Ladd. Below is the transcript of the interview.

This should give you something to read over the holiday weekend. I’m going to enjoy a few days off myself. A happy – and safe – Fourth of July to all.

The Thrashers acquired forward Andrew Ladd from Stanley Cup champion Chicago this week. Ladd talked about coming to Atlanta and his plans for his day with the Cup on July 18th from his home in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

Q. What are your thoughts about coming to Atlanta?

A. I’m excited about the opportunity that’s going to be presented there. Hopefully I can be a big part of that team next year. It’s kind of similar to when I went to Chicago (from Carolina). It’s a young team that didn’t have that many expectations around the league. To have that is kind of fun, to go in there and prove people wrong.

Q. Were you surprised by the trade?

A. No, I knew it was coming. Having talked to my agent soon after we won …

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