With Crusher & Perrin Gone, Let’s Look At The Lines

With the trade sending Erik Christensen to Anaheim in return for Eric O’Dell…the Ducks’ 2008 2nd round draft pick… coupled with the waiving of Eric Perrin, what kind of lineup will we be in store for Friday night?

Well, assuming Perrin isn’t going to be around, (and in my book he most certainly should not be), and the fact that O’Dell is at this time a “Not Ready For Prime Time Player”…here is possibly what we could see on the forward lines as the Thrashers take on the Canadiens:

  • 1st line: Kovy – Peever – Little
  • 2nd line: Kozzy – White – Stuart
  • 3rd line: Army – Reasoner – Crabb
  • 4th line: Bolts – Slater – Thorney

What do you think about that, eh?

Some Other Quick Shots Regarding The Passing Of The Trade Deadline

It’ll come a no big surprise that I’m thrilled at the fact that Marty Reasoner is still with us. If you are one who might be thinking, “But if he doesn’t re-sign here and goes elsewhere, then we get nothing in return”. Well that may be so, but look at it like this….what did we give up for him last summer? Really, all the Thrashers are “out” in regards to Reasoner is one year’s salary. In return the Thrahsers have gotten one year’s service…one year’s worth of good service. So, we’d be loose nothing.

Now, all that having been said…let’s sign him, Don.

The goalie duo of Kari Lehtonen and Johan Hedberg remains in tact along with the backup of Ondrej Pavelec in Chicago. However, on NHL Live Wednesday Don Waddell indicated that this issue will be addressed in the summer. He feels that Opie will be ready by next season So, as I read that, one of the three should be moved. We’ll see….

In Florida…the Panthers chose to keep Jay Bouwmeester instead of dealing him away before he becomes a UFA in July and possibly bolts. Personally, I see this as a good move by the Panthers. I mean, who was available that could fill his skates during this playoff push in south Florida? That team feels as though they simply have to qualify for post-season play this spring and big Jay is a necessity for them.

Even if they ultimately loose him to free-agency, I think they did the right thing. If you wanna look at it this way…Bouwmeester just became their rental player.

71 comments Add your comment

Glovesave29

March 4th, 2009
4:36 pm

The Panthers were smart…keep Jay for the playoff run and put confidence in your locker room as you did not sell off your best piece. Florida built the right way and I hope they find some success in the post season and they are able to re-sign Bouwmeester. If not, offer him up for trade. His value may go up even more if he has a successful playoff run. There will be many teams willing to make a trade for him rather than getting involved in the insanity that is Free Agency.

I am really going to miss Christensen’s half-efforts. A spare hot water pump for a Zamboni for him would have been a good trade in this case. As for Perrin, is there a chance he has hurt himself by mouthing off? Who is going to want to add a person like that as you make a playoff run? This is the time of year that chemistry on a team is EVERYTHING!

Glovesave29

March 4th, 2009
4:39 pm

Toronto just got Olaf Kolzig. Thought he was out for the season.

hoosier_hoser

March 4th, 2009
4:49 pm

Why would you break up Kovy-White-Little? The line is hitting on all cylinders. Furthermore, I don’t see breaking up Kozlov-Reasoner-Peverly. I think hte most likely scenario is that Slater plays third line center and someone from Chicago is brought up to play on the fourth line.

The lines I propose allow the Thrasher to come of a PK with the Kovy-White-Little line. The Thrashers can come off a PP with the third or fourth lines.

Stevo

March 4th, 2009
4:50 pm

Now that the deadline has passed and Perrin is still here I think he steps back in the lineup. Here are my lines:

Kovy-White-Little
Slava-Reasoner-Pevs
Stuart-Perrin-Armstrong
Boults-Slater-Thorburn

D:
Bogo-Toby
Hainsey-Valabik
Oystrick-Exalby

Brendan

March 4th, 2009
5:08 pm

I don’t often have praise for Don Waddell. But, to show you how “fair” I am, I will do so now. At pick #29 in last year’s draft, Atlanta selected Center Daultan Leveille. I was a bit disappointed that Nicholas DesChamps or Eric O’Dell wasn’t selected instead, at #29. But I told myself, “Self, you never know. Leveille could turn out just fine. He’s going to the CCHA, Michigan State, where there is fertile ground for developing NHL players.”

To hear, now, that for the price of a shootout specialist, we got Eric O’Dell, I am very pleased. Yeah, and I could be wrong about O’Dell, too. But I think it’s a very good move by Waddell. (I know. I’m as shocked as you are, but I’m serious, here. Good job, Wadster!)

Waddell’s other moves? Schneider + a (3rd-5th round) pick for a 2009 2nd rounder and a 2010 3rd rounder seemed “fairly decent.” Not fantastic. Probably not what he hoped for or expected. Unless, you expected to be underwhelmed. Perhaps we could have garnered a bit more for Schneider, but we also can’t judge that trade until we know who we’ve drafted with those picks, or for whom we traded for those picks. Havelid for Salmela, I … uhhh …. well … I just hope for the best, there.

But color this Thrashers fan “happy” about the Eric O’Dell acquisition. He was touted as a “prize” for the 2nd round, on Draft Day 2008. So, now Hossa and Dupuis = Daultan Leveille (29th overall, 2008,) Eric O’Dell (via Erik Christensen,) Colby Armstrong, and Angelo Esposito.

How’s that trade looking now? Yeah, aside from, “But Brendan, you can’t replace Hossas. They don’t grow on trees.” No argument from me, the goal was to try and keep Hossa. But obviously, that wasn’t ever going to happen. If Esposito, Leveille, and O’Dell turn into solid players for us, then DWad “salvaged” that Hossa loss as best he could. Conceptually, I do like drafting our own players, or raiding other team’s prospects, and molding them into our “vision” of Thrashers Hockey.

Trouble is, I have NO IDEA what “Thrashers Hockey” really is, as Tony C. might say.

Smoothie

March 4th, 2009
5:17 pm

Knobler said something on his blog about Lewis having to go back down because if he didn’t before the deadline, he would have to stay with the parent club the rest of the year. If the same holds true for Perrin (and it may not since he has a 1-way contract), then we’re stuck with the little guy on the 3rd line for now.

I don’t see Slater getting moved because the chemistry is so good with the other “Greek gods”. However, if Slates doesn’t get re-injured and continues to play well, I think JA may just reward him by moving him to the 3rd line with Stewie and Army…that could be a real solid shut-down line for now.

Until then, I think Perrin will play the wing if Pevs gets moved back to C on the 2nd line and Marty goes back to 3rd line for now. But that doesn’t make sense either. Rawhide, I would love for Crabber to get back to ATL, but seems like it won’t happen till after the road trip at best…we shall see.

Rawhide

March 4th, 2009
5:28 pm

hoosier_hoser – Yes, those lines are playing well, no doubt. But I also thought the lines worked well in the alignment I proposed. Again, I’m accounting for the absence of two players that can play center, Christensen and Perrin.

Personally, I’d rather see Peverley placed back into the the middle than to see someone brought up from Chicago right now for that.

Now…you keep Perrin in the equation and I think you see something like what Stevo indicated…and that would keep the top 2 lines the way you indicated.

R. Stroz

March 4th, 2009
5:35 pm

Here’s a reminder of days past. A letter from Waddell after the trade deadline deals last year. Enjoy!

Earlier this afternoon we traded Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, a 2008 first-round draft pick, and highly-touted prospect Angelo Esposito. While it is difficult to see players like Hossa and Dupuis depart, we are excited by the players we received in return and look forward to them helping us down the stretch as we push towards the 2008 NHL Playoffs.

Armstrong is a physical winger who skates well and contributes offensively. Christensen is a talented center with offensive skills and above average stick-handling abilities. Both of these young players have been solid contributors to the Penguins the past few seasons and we look for them to play a vital role on our team while contributing significantly to our future success.

Esposito was selected by the Penguins in the first round, 20th overall, in 2007. He is currently playing with the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Montreal Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he has averaged 1.4 points per game the past three seasons. He was also named the 2006-07 winner of the Mike Bossy Trophy, given annually to the QMJHL player judged to be the best professional prospect.

This trade works well for us in the short and long term as we were able to get two players that can help us immediately, a top prospect and a valuable first-round draft pick, which also gives us flexibility to consider viable trade options if they present themselves as we approach the NHL Entry Draft.

We thank Marian and Pascal for everything they have done for our organization and wish them well in the future. They are both hard working professionals that gave us their all, which is greatly appreciated.

Please join me in welcoming Colby, Erik, and Angelo as part of the Thrashers family. We look forward to seeing you cheering them on.

Sincerely,

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President, General Manager & Head Coach

Bag of Pucks

March 4th, 2009
5:39 pm

Thank you hockey gods for not sending us to the Thrashers.

kracker

March 4th, 2009
5:45 pm

Our new Eric is 18, born 1990-06-21. And out of the CHL, yes? So looks like he will remain a junior until he turns 20 years old next summer, 2010.

R. Stroz

March 4th, 2009
5:51 pm

The Thrashers are still the lowest payroll in the league.

Congrats to the ASG for achieving and maintaining the right direction.

Glovesave29

March 4th, 2009
6:00 pm

Smoothie…after the trade deadline, you can only make 3 more player movements between the minors and the big club for the rest of the season without subjecting them to waivers. I have no idea why this rule is in place, but this is most likley why Lewis went down.

Brendan…nice breakdown of what has transpired with the Hossa deal. I still feel like Waddell was just cleaning up a mess of his own making. By firing Hartley and placing himself as coach (and subsequently missing most practices) he made it quite apparent to Marian that this is a Mickey Mouse (all copyrights reserved) operation, and was not serious in it’s efforts to improve. Had things been run PROPERLY, we’d still more than likely have #18 on our roster. Campbell would have likely taken that big offer too. Sigh, oh well….

Glovesave29

March 4th, 2009
6:02 pm

Another thought…do we even know if O’Dell is signed? I’d hate to add him to the list of players we cannot sign and make him eligible to re-enter the draft.

R. Stroz

March 4th, 2009
6:42 pm

Glovesave29 – Per the Thrashers web site:

The Atlanta Thrashers have acquired the rights to forward Eric O’Dell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Erik Christensen, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

To me, it doesn’t sound like O’Dell is signed. OOPS!

Anonthrashers

March 4th, 2009
6:45 pm

Is Opie actually Pavelec’s nickname or is that something you use?

LAC

March 4th, 2009
6:57 pm

Here is what Anaheim GM Bob Murray had to say about Eric Christianson:

The Atlanta deal with Christensen, he is a skilled player and can play center or left wing. He has pure skill and can move the puck, handle the puck. He needs to play with good players. He had 18 goals with Pittsburgh a couple of years ago playing with good players. I think he’s the type that can play with good players and we have good players here on our top two lines. He needed that opportunity and he’ll get that opportunity here.

So… I assume Atlanta does NOT have GOOD Players. I agree with that to a degree.

It is DAMN time this franchise gets REAL serious about contending and GET the players we need in here to WIN ! No more of these SMALL
Eric Perrin types, they are worthless, get guys more the size of a Willi Plett, remeber him ? But this under 6′ stuff don’t cut it !

The Thrashers better get their heads OUT OF THEIR A$$ES and start putting a winning team on the ice next season or it will be all over.

Rawhide

March 4th, 2009
7:03 pm

Anonthrashers – I don’t think Opie is Pavelec’s “official” nickname…but Opie is the nickname I gave him when he first came up a year and a half ago.

Others that I have heard of are “Pavs”, “Ondrej the Giant” and “Pony”…although I have no idea where that last one came from or how it ties in to the name.

LAC

March 4th, 2009
7:14 pm

ATLANTA – The last-place Atlanta Thrashers dumped another player before the NHL trade deadline Wednesday, sending center Erik Christensen to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to junior player Eric O’Dell.

An earlier post said RIGHTS… it is correct, this from Yahoo Sports…

Great job DUMB don, you blew this one like most everything you do !

Dwayne Johnson

March 4th, 2009
7:27 pm

how long does Atl hold his rights

Sara

March 4th, 2009
7:36 pm

Glovesave – Waddell wasn’t the one who decided not to hire a new coach last season – that is 100% on the owners who refused to pay for another one. However the ultimate effect is still the same in the message it sends to everyone else … Head Coach is kinda high on the checklist of things one needs for a professional sports team.

LAC – Holy cow dude, nitpicking the wrong thing here. He’s a kid that just got drafted and is playing in juniors and was apparently at one point headed for college. So no he hasn’t signed a contract yet – nothing unusual about that at all. And from the most negative of standpoints, unless he wishes to kill his potential NHL career before it even gets started he *will* sign one with the Thrashers. It’s not like he has other options … well, unless he finds the KHL appealing. The Thrash hold those rights for a *looonnnngggg* time.

Lord, sometimes I just have to shake my head at how far y’all stretch “logic” to find one more thing to beat up Don Waddell about.

I mean – how can you call the day anything other than successful? We didn’t trade away Kovy, Little, Peverly, Armstrong, Bogosian, Valabik, Enstrom, Kari, Pavelec or our first round draft pick in this year’s draft and we didn’t acquire anyone even over the age of 20. Heck, we only made one trade today period – you guys did say you didn’t want Waddell making deals right? So by that logic, y’all should be out drinking and celebrating anyway.

Sheesh – talk about a guy who can’t catch a break. ;)

LAC

March 4th, 2009
7:42 pm

Beware ALL… Sara has ALL the answers to the Thrashers ill’s !

Tony C.

March 4th, 2009
7:46 pm

eH, I wouldn’t sweat the rights part too much-realize that Anaheim was right at the cap ceilling due to Niedermeyer’s return-so they probably didn’t sign O’Dell right off the bat.

As far as it goes from our perspective-what did you think Christensen was going to fetch in return? If I were Murray, I would’ve given a 3rd round pick. Period. The guy’s a shootout specialist (and the word is out on his double-move), nice in the circle and played uninspired hockey while he was here-potential written up one side and down the other, but that potential was totally unrealized here.

So ATL gets the rights to sign a VERY impressive 2nd-round pick-this actually works in Atlanta’s favor as they can sign O’Dell this summer and effectively get another year tacked onto the ol’ UFAmeter (he stays an RFA a year longer). It also keeps the payroll trim which as we know, is FUBAS’ #1 goal.

Rawhide

March 4th, 2009
7:50 pm

Sara – Actually, I heard Bruce Levenson say after last year that the biggest regret he had regarding the 2007-08 season was that he let Don Waddell talk him into remaining behind the bench after it looked like things were getting better in the 3 weeks or so after firing Hartley.

So…DW has some of that on him too.

However, I agree with you that Waddell did OK today. If nothing else, as you pointed out, he didn’t screw up…cough Zitnick/Coburn cough… To me it does 2 things. 1). Frees up a spot on the big-boy team for someone like Crabb to fill right now and, 2). Gives us another prospect to build with.

I was speaking with Brendan at the Avs game last week and said that if the trade deadline came and went and DW did nothing…except maybe deal away Havs… I would not be too upset with that.

So…I think D-Dub did OK today. Now…let’s see what happens this summer.

Dwayne Johnson

March 4th, 2009
7:50 pm

i still say fire waddell. ooops, can’t do that, waddell has nude pho…..ooops, better not say that. do ya think asg and don did this so they could have a shot at top free agents this summer? or are they gonna give Kovy 10 mill a year and tell him to win us a cup?

R. Stroz

March 4th, 2009
7:59 pm

Sara – Are you famaliar with Blake Wheeler? Phoenix is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake_Wheeler

Tony C.

March 4th, 2009
8:15 pm

But isn’t it a case where the kid’s thought well-enough of that he’d be a valued bargaining chip come Draft day/summer trading season (after the draft before UFA frenzy)??? So even if the kid Blake Wheeler’s us, we should be able to get something for him.

Tony C.

March 4th, 2009
8:16 pm

Also, would any of you take a flyer on (Brendan) Morrison?

Tony C.

March 4th, 2009
8:54 pm

Oh yeah, where is the rally-point for everybody on Friday? The protest is still “on” right?

Rawhide

March 4th, 2009
9:42 pm

I’m watch the Colorado feed of the Avs vs. Wings game. They just put up an fascinating set of stats. It indicated that the Red Wings are.. on average… the oldest, shortest and lightest team in the NHL.

Very interesting, ideed.

Stratchy Nards

March 4th, 2009
9:50 pm

Even though they’re all wings, I love to see a Little-Thorney-Crabbs line.

Time to break out the itch powder!

Rawhide

March 4th, 2009
9:58 pm

:lol: LOL @ Scratchy Nards!

Brendan

March 4th, 2009
10:45 pm

Sara and Rawhide are very correct about something. Waddell didn’t move Bogosian. He didn’t move Little. And he didn’t move Pavelec. Beeee honest. You’re relieved. Or, you should be. Now, I didn’t really think those players might be moved at this year’s trade deadline. But, ya know … it’s Don Waddell, with FUBAS as the ownership. Waddell wanders around, actually thinking, that the team is “close, real close” to putting big winning streaks together and making the playoffs, even back in November. Ask William Hung if he’s a good singer, and he’ll tell you all about how great he is.

So, yes. I am relieved that none of the franchise’s nucleus was lost today. Havelid wasn’t part of the future. Schneider only came here because the salary cap forced him out of Anaheim into a market that needed to spend money to attain the “floor” of the cap. Enter Atlanta. And Erik Christensen … well, I think he was an RFA, but let’s be honest. He just never clicked here. Except in the shootout. I’m not crying a river of tears at his loss. Especially since DWad got the player that I wanted all along for #29 in the draft.

When I saw that deal at TSN, I stopped everything I was doing and ran towards the window. I peeked out not once, but TWICE, to make sure I didn’t detect any signs of the Four Horsemen of the coming Apocalypse! As none were found, I rejoiced! Now, hopefully O’Dell will either sign with Atlanta or indicate that he wants to be traded. If he does want to be traded, then we should accommodate him, provided that we get “equal value,” or better, back in the return.

What? Seriously, I don’t want players who don’t want to be here. That’s a huge part of the problem. Demoralized players are an issue in our market. O’Dell is not going to go crying to the media, “Woah is mee, I don’t want to play in Atlanta.” So, we’re the ones who have to pick up the phone and ASK him how he feels about playing his RFA contract for Atlanta. Most players will realize that it’s just three (3) years. Shoot, the average person could do three (3) years in a Turkish prison. It wouldn’t be fun, but you’d get through it. Then, you sign the RFA offersheet, provided that you know Atlanta can’t match it. Or, you hold out, threatening to play in Europe, if Atlanta won’t trade you.

kracker

March 4th, 2009
11:32 pm

I don’t get why all the chatter about signing O’Dell. We already acquired his rights as a draftee. He’s in junior hockey and will very likely remain there for at least until the beginning of the 2010 season. He is like this year’s Espo or Bogo, he has to make and stay on the Thrashers roster next season or he goes back to juniors for the whole year.

Anonthrashers

March 4th, 2009
11:44 pm

Thanks Rawhide, this is just the only place I see that and I was just wondering.

Alan

March 5th, 2009
7:22 am

Stroz: Remember also that Esposito was not signed last year, until D-Wad signed him. Sure, the kid we just got could turned out to do something like that, but when you so much as draft a player yourself, there’s never a guarantee that player will want to play on your team.

Jimbo

March 5th, 2009
8:11 am

Happy to see Perrin and Christensen gone. They were part of the “Woos Patrol”, guys who walzed around and avoiding hitting or getting hit. Williams that their other member. Someone in this blog called Perrin “a shootout specialist”. What??? The guy has shown little around the net. Glad that we kept Reasoner. Most of the big names that were in trade rumors stayed in place. Obviously, no real offers were made. Boumeester is the best D-Man in the league right now and is a main reason that the Panthers will reach the playoffs and may go further.

Sara

March 5th, 2009
8:39 am

Rawhide – that’s Levenson’s version…check your e-mail and I’ll tell you the real version and the source it came from.

Blake Wheeler is one example out of how many players? Every kid knows coming into the draft that there are good teams and there are bad teams and sometimes you have to take some lumps on a bad team until either a) they get better or b) you can walk away on your own.

You guys borrow trouble way too often, always expecting and presuming the worst. Past track records or not, that’s a really sad life philosophy to cart around.

h

March 5th, 2009
8:52 am

Sara…I think I know your version too….also from a solid source. Levenson’s version doesn’t hold water.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 5th, 2009
9:06 am

Jimbo — Brendan was referring to Christensen when he said “shootout specialist”. The presence around the net is not what he was talking about, but rather his career success in the “skills competition”/shootout.

I would completely disagree about Bouwmeester being the “best D-Man in the league right now”. First and foremost, you can’t exclude ignore Lidstrom. However, saying Lidstrom is the best in the league RIGHT NOW is a disservice to the season Mike Green is having. Green could quite possibly unseat Lidstrom from his string of Norris Trophies. Green leads the league in points for defenseman, Duncan Keith in +/-, and Lidstrom or Wideman seem to be the most balanced for point producing d-men. Then there are the defensive stalwarts like Chara or Niedermeyer who are having fine seasons as well.

Bouwmeester will be the biggest UFA defender, but he’s not nearly the best in the league. He’s good, and any team would be better with him on their roster, but I don’t consider him a Top 10 defender in the league, personally.

Rawhide

March 5th, 2009
9:26 am

Sara – OK, first off…do I take Bruce Levenson 100% at his word ever? Nope. But if I’m DW…and I chat with BL and the Octo-Cluster about firing BH and they they tell me, “OK, but you can’t hire someone to replace him”…then why even make the move? I mean, the man only led this team to an improved record every season he coached them, right?

If DW wanted to put McCrimmon behind the bench, he coulda done so the day he fired BH…even if it was with the “interim” lable.

While I don’t blame DW 100% for that mess…I also can’t remove him from the bame 100% either. If he knows going in that there was going to be no plan to act quickly to replace the coach, IMHO DW should not have made the move and instead should have stood by BH. Could they have finished much worse with Hartley remaining behind the bench? If it did finish that badly or …God forbid…worse, then fire him after the season. At least at that point you can say you gave the man every respect and every chance to right the ship.

So…in retrospect, it was a mistake to fire Hartley at that time seeing that there was no plan to replace him. I thought it was a mistake at the time, and I feel I’m justified in that belief now…but given what went down after, I think it’s even more clear what a bad move it was.

But…that bridge has already been jumped off of, hasn’t it?

The Real Fan

March 5th, 2009
9:43 am

GET RID OF WADDELL!
HIRE A COACH WITH NHL EXPERIENCE!
SIGN PLAYERS WITH PROVEN NHL TALENT AND EXPERIENCE AND PAY THEM.
The result is a competing team nightly and a full Blueland.
The funds will follow.
Enough with a minor league hockey team in Atlanta!

Sara

March 5th, 2009
10:08 am

LOL, we should just cut and paste e-mails in here. ;)

As I said off-blog to Rawhide it was a weird decision and I’ve never heard an explanation as to why perhaps Waddell might have agreed. I can only speculate, in that either a) the owners didn’t exactly tell him they wouldn’t allow a replacement or b) even knowing what was coming he felt he needed to make the change anyway. The team had lost six in a row, after getting swept out of the play-offs, after having barely made the play-offs and won the division when at one point they had a ten-point lead over Tampa Bay. Holik was firing off about how Hartley had lost the room and fans were extremely agitated. And since the odds of him being able to make a major roster move to shake things up was likely totally out of the question, it left firing the coach.

Who knows really. Unless Waddell decides to write his tell-all memoirs one day, or someone else steps up publicly and starts airing all the dirty laundry inside that organization we’ll likely never know.

All I know is, the way this organization is run stinks and the owners are the owners and they have to own the mess. If Waddell was the problem, he could have and should have been fired a long time ago. The owners don’t spend the money, the owners don’t make changes to management, the owners haven’t done a better job with marketing and PR, the owners have been hiding from the fans all season long … and there is no GM in the world capable of changing any of that. As I said, it’s expecting too much from any respectable GM candidate to come in here and overhaul the roster, overhaul the development system, overhaul the scouting department, overhaul the tone and culture, and overhaul all the bad publicity generated in this market while operating on a shoe-string budget and putting up with moron owners who love to interject their own opinions into the process.

You get rid of the owners and I don’t care who you get rid of after that … I just want them gone.

R. Stroz

March 5th, 2009
10:30 am

I want NEW OWNERS, NEW GM, and NEW HEAD OF SCOUTING. They all suck.

That said, some GM’s (think Boston, Nashville) have overcome BAD OWNERS.

Waddell is NOT that talented.

PROTEST ON MARCH 6.

Nikita

March 5th, 2009
10:37 am

I really don’t think Waddell is the problem. I think he is part of it, mainly in that he puts his self-preservation in this organization above whatever principles he may have. But I don’t think he’s the cause of the drama over the last few seasons. That drama is inconsistent interest and investment by eight owners with no majority partner, inside dealing, and a fundamental unwillingness to really think about the success of all three business elements as interconnected but autonomous enterprises. Waddell could have traded better, IMO — but it’s important to recall that he was trading for a coach who had a preferred type of player that Atlanta mostly couldn’t acquire, and his second-tier preferences were going to get us primarily glorified AHL has-beens. Now that he’s trading for John Anderson, who knows how to develop young players, I don’t have any issues with his trades.

As to the most recent moves:

I still consider the Hossa trade worth it. If Army, Daultan Leveille, and the salary shed are all we get out of it two seasons down the road, then I’m ok with that. But I think Christensen was also worth it because his specialty skills were fairly valuable last season.

I think he and Espo are somewhat similar — they’re both temperamental and self-critical. Either could be a bust or boom, and we don’t need to keep cultivating EC. So, good trade — we’ll see how it shakes out long term.

Havelid is, well, a good guy, and he’s been critical to this team. I wish him all the luck and success in the world. However, I think it’s important to note that he never fit JA’s system and he couldn’t commit — he’s best traded.

And I’m bummed about Perrin, but I also wish him the best.

Who are the callups? And pretty please, might Spencer Machacek be among them?

Glovesave29

March 5th, 2009
11:13 am

Sara – I too have an old friend of mine that is with the team. I get stories from him that would anger the fan base even more. Waddell controls more than what you may think he does. He works for a disfunctional group, that is for sure. But if he is merely just the fall guy as some have suggested, doesn’t that hurt him in the long run for any chance at finding future employment once he is finally escorted out of town? This is his legacy, if others are impeding upon that, he needs to grow some and stand up.

Rawhide – doesn’t all this just make you angrier and angrier if what we learned at the viewing party would have transpired?

R. Stroz

March 5th, 2009
11:28 am

“mainly in that he puts his self-preservation in this organization above whatever principles he may have.”

BINGO

Stan Drulia

March 5th, 2009
11:33 am

Hey folks… I read the honorable Rawhide’s blog every day and some friends of mine just started a pretty decent Thrashers blog… http://thewordonthebird.blogspot.com .. Check it out if you have enough time at work to read this one and then more… I sure do!

R. Stroz

March 5th, 2009
12:38 pm

Sara – While I agree the owners are part of the problem, Waddell is highly culpable for the incessant problems with this team. After years of top ten draft picks, this team should have top calibre talent across the board by now. Also, the ASG did allow Waddell a competitive payroll the first two years they owned the team. Waddell was the one who handicapped the salary cap situation by spending 4.25 million for a third line center. If Waddell had assembled a playoff calibre team when given ample money to spend, the owners would probably have continued to properly fund the team as they would have received more bang for the buck. Waddell failed, the owners closed their wallets, sales dropped, ticket discounting began, and the negative cycle continues to spiral. Waddell was the first problem in the chain.

Failure to assign Waddell a high degree of culpability is just disingenuous.

Midfield

March 5th, 2009
1:07 pm

I’m with Sara on this. We know that Waddell is a problem, but the owners are the problem. If the ownership changes, Waddell is gone for sure. If the owners stay, there is no guarantee that the organization improves, even if Waddell goes.

Rawhide

March 5th, 2009
1:17 pm

Sara – Yeah…I hear ya. However, there is one inescapable bottom line in regards to Hartley. With him as the head coach, the Thrashers were 136-118-13-24. That is a .538 PW%. And each year the team improved from the previous.

Without Bob Hartley behind the bench…the Thrashers have played to a record of 125-243-40(OTL)-21(Ties)…a .326 PW%. Even if you remove the first two seasons the Thrashers played…tossed ‘em out the door as “building years”…Atlanta is 88-141-15-21 w/o BH. That is a .400 PW%.

A .400 PW% would net a team about 66 points in an 82-games season. The Thrashers right now today on course for right at 66-67 points for the 2008-09 season.

Look at that again…in 291 games behind the bench, a Bob Hartley coached Thrashers team won 136 games and netted 309 points. In 429 games without BH as coach, Atlanta has 125 wins and only 311 points.

And the players that he supposedly “lost”…where are the vast majority of them now?

So…my point here is that firing BH was the wrong call at the time. A prudent GM would have, IMHO, called the players into account…inmates running the assylum and all that…not a coach that had brought the team such success. That there was no replacement plan made the firing that much worse. But instead, DW chose to fire BH and…in essence… he broke it, so he bought it.

BTW…what was Colorado’s record when Hartley was fired there? 10-8-9-4. A .532 PW%…the man can coach.

But…bygones.

Midfield – Yup…any other owners would have made a change in regards to the GM…very true. But to me, that doesn’t relieve DW of the accountability on his end.