Reasoner Deserves An “A”…And Not Just For Effort

Ever since Marty Reasoner made it known that he wanted to return next season to the Thrashers, it’s pretty much been taken for granted by myself that he would be back in the team’s lineup next fall. I mean, he wants to be here…Waddell has said he wants him back…and his teammates have made it clear how they feel when the honored him with their Player’s Player award. So, it’s all but a done deal.

Marty Reasoner scores against Ottawa last March (AP Photo)

Marty Reasoner scores against Ottawa last March (AP Photo)

But is simply rewarding the 32-year old centerman’s efforts with a new contract, complete with a raise from the $ 1-million salary he earned last season, enough?

I would suggest…no.

I think the team should also provide him with an “A” to wear on his jersey… elevating him to the position of alternate captain.

Reasoner’s 14 goals last year were a personal best and the 30 points were one off his career high set six years ago as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. But his overall contributions go well beyond the numbers on the stats sheet. He comes to the arena night in and night out prepared to perform and plays each and every shift with all he has. And…as stated above…he obviously has won a measure of respect from those he shares the locker room with.

Plus, I’ll point out that there is something to be said for a player who willingly chooses to stick around an organ-I-zation while it is in the building process and not bolt the first time he gets a chance in order to take advantage of success that was built by others….cough Hossa cough. Instead, he opts to remain and help in the construction of something positive here. Such a commitment underlines his “team first” type of mentality and work ethic.

That, my friends, is also a display of leadership…and it should be rewarded in kind.

Give Marty an “A”… he’s earned it.

Southern Hospitality

I would like to thank a few people who helped make this past week a most enjoyable and memorable one. First, Hockey_Biltong along with the lovely and gracious Mrs. Biltong invited me…and a couple hundred other of their friends…to their home to partake in their “3rd Quazi-Semi Annual Pearls Before Swine Pig Roast”. HB was up at 2:30 Saturday morning putting the pig atop the flames in order for it to be ready to enjoy later in the afternoon and evening. It was quite delicious as were all of the other wonderful dishes that were brought by all the guests.

Thank you so much you two…it was a blast!

Then there was Sunday afternoon’s playoff viewing at TJs. As always, Tim and Mark Ecclestone where wonderful hosts and Kayla went out of their way to make sure we were all taken care of. She even put up with us for five hours as the game went into three overtimes…finally won by the Ducks to pull even with their series against Detroit after two games.

Like the rest of the gals there, Kayla is the best-est-est!

We plan on gathering there again two weeks from now as the NHL playoffs move into the Conference Finals…probably Sunday the 17th. So, plan accordingly.

And Finally…

Ever been to a hockey game…or any sporting event…and thought that the ref working the game was the worst ever to do so? Well, I don’t think any can top this one.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what is quite possibly…the dumbest ref in the entire world.

69 comments Add your comment

Hockey Biltong

May 5th, 2009
10:05 am

TONY C,
Nice link on Donald Brashear.

Smoothie

May 5th, 2009
10:40 am

Rawhide is absolutely right about Marty. The “Party” should have had a new deal before the end of the season. I hope to God he really has settled into life in the ATL with wife and baby and will give us the benefit of the doubt. Marty is exactly the type of player we need on this team: he continually sacrifices his body playing defense, smartly advances the puck without holding onto it too long, wins face-offs consistently 50-55 % of the time, can provide a physical presence in front of the net for shot re-directs and does not take stupid penalties since he is always moving his feet. If DWad botches this one (plus I’m biased since my Dad was born near Honeyoye Falls, NY), it will be the final straw for me with respect to my lukewarm support of the GM.

Jason(Darkhorse)

May 5th, 2009
11:17 am

Is Morozov on anyone’s radar? Does anyone hold his rights? I admit to knowing nothing about him, but if Kovy’s says he is the best center he has ever played with, then sign the man up if he’s willing! Him and Nikulin would certainly save some cash over (trying to) bring in a Komesarik at a Brian Campbell type contract or similar player. But alas, not gonna hold my breath on any of the Russians coming over. Would be nice to see though. I’m sure DW will get his chance to pitch the team to the aformentioned with Kovy and Hainsey.

I’m not worried about getting Reasoner signed. I think maybe around the middle of June it will happen, along with a few of the RFAs. I would love to see him with an A for sure next season.

On the ASG money problems….the better and further the Hawks go in the playoffs, the more cash in the owners pockets. It can’t hurt, even though they don’t have a chance to beat Lebron in a seven game series. Would love to be wrong though.

Spud Webb

May 5th, 2009
11:19 am

I’m scared to death of what could happen or more likely NOT happen this offseason. DW and this ownership group have no idea what they are doing. I don’t wanna hear look how the Thrashers played in the second half (yes I know it was good) so we should be easy on DW and company. BS, we NEED TO BUILD ON THIS & keep the MO going. There is no reason, NONE that this team shouldn’t be a playoff team next year. We have money, talent (not a BUNCH, but enough) and a decent coach. Signing Marty seems so easy to us, but how many other things have been obvious to all of us and NEVER happen??? A lot. Sorry, I’m CRANKY this morning. ahahahhaa.
Side note, Cindy Crosby, what a baby, I read this in the Washington post, he ACTUALLY went to the officials and asked them to tell the fans to stop throwing hats!!! Cindy continues to amaze me, great player and a greater cry baby!!!!

From the Washington Post;

The puck had barely rippled the net behind Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-André Fleury when the first hat fluttered out of the Verizon Center stands and onto the ice. That merely started the onslaught, and when it was all but cleaned up — two trashcans, filled to the brim — another followed, because Alex Ovechkin had scored his third goal of the night, and a hat trick in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals merits such delirium.

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On the ice, Ovechkin’s counterpart, Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby, wanted to play. Just two games into this series, there is already a feeling that no action from one of these stars will go without a corresponding move from the other. So Crosby skated over to the referee for a word.

“I was just asking if he could make an announcement to ask them to stop,” Crosby said of the fans. “I mean, the first wave came, and then I think they were all pretty much picked up, and then more started coming.”

Rawhide

May 5th, 2009
11:27 am

Spudster – can you hook a brother up with some linkage to that story?

BTW…I have a “Spud Webb” posting here as well as a “World Be Free”. Is it logical to thik that we can see “Dr. J” posting up comments here before too long?

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
11:28 am

It takes awhile for the hats from the upper deck to make it down to the ice. :)

I’m sure Sidney would want the crowd to stop if it was in Pittsburgh (sarcasm).

Spud Webb

May 5th, 2009
11:34 am

More likely to see an Andrew Toney or Mo Cheeks!!!!!!
Here is the link…
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/05/AR2009050500022.html

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
11:49 am

I would love to have Morozov in Atlanta… he’s great in open space and around the net. He left the NHL because of the lock out, and hasn’t come back because he wanted to win back to back championships in Russia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRY6TqlenC4&feature=related

Morozov seems to struggle with the decision to come back to the NHL, he sounds a lot like Nikulin.

shoot it

May 5th, 2009
11:50 am

Morozov played with Pens for several years quite a while back and was not much of a scorer. He showed signs of being a top notch player but never could get to that next level, so the Pens dropped him.

World be Free

May 5th, 2009
12:22 pm

World Be Free the player, reminded me of when the NBA was fun. When most players could hit 15 foot jump shots and score 40 points without a 3 point line.

The Thrashers need size next year, just like the Ducks. Anaheim looks like a football team. Marchant is clutch, another upstate New York boy.

Tony C.

May 5th, 2009
12:27 pm

Looks like Morozov is UFA as far as NHL claims go…. Of course Ak Bars management may feel otherwise…

I don’t know how likely it is that he’d come back to the NHL; he’s 32, pretty much “the man” for his team… #17 will have to do one hell of a sales-job to get him to come and be Scottie Pippen to Kovalchuk’s Jordan I would think.

Although I would love LOVE LOVE to see DW/FUBAS pull it off, I just don’t see guys that have turned down the NHL before to suddenly have a change of mind. Maybe once A-O beats Cindy and gets to the SCF, there may be enough of a buzz in Russia to make it more attractive.

IDK?

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
12:38 pm

[i]Morozov played with Pens for several years quite a while back and was not much of a scorer. He showed signs of being a top notch player but never could get to that next level, so the Pens dropped him.[/i]

Actually, he had pretty decent numbers for being buried in the deep Pens line-up… he was on a point-a-game pace in 02-03 playing on the top line with Kovalev and Lemieux before getting a wrist injury.

He wasn’t dropped by the Penguins… he signed in Russia during the lock out. He never came back.

Like Tony said, he’s Captain “Everything” for Russia now… it’s gonna be a hard sell.

Alan

May 5th, 2009
12:40 pm

Atlanta needs size? I’ll buy into that argument. However, Atlanta doesn’t need to be anything like the Ducks. Size, sure. Mix it in with talent, not with aimlessness and stupid penalties. Anaheim was the most penalized team in the NHL this past season. With a John Anderson system, being on the penalty kill all the time doesn’t help us at all.

Give us size. Give us talent and discipline as well. I don’t care where the players are from, so long as they produce.

Alan

May 5th, 2009
12:43 pm

He wasn’t dropped by the Penguins… he signed in Russia during the lock out. He never came back.

If what Kovalchuk said a little while back (that he would help recruit players) is true, and what Russian says is true, then perhaps Kovalchuk is targeting Morozov and trying to both sell him and ownership on the prospect of playing in Atlanta. I’m sure Kovalchuk has also had talks with Nikulin. And really, I think talking with Nikulin would be a given, all things considered.

Of course, I’m not holding my breath.

World be Free

May 5th, 2009
1:06 pm

The league is going back to size. Guys like Briere had their day after the lockout. But the league is going back to guys that can handle themselves in the corners and in front of the net. The players played into Anderson’s system and they also played tougher in both ends.

You look at Buffalo and you see a team that has the talent, but doesn’t have the size (or desire) to do what it takes to win.

Samuel Lager

May 5th, 2009
1:23 pm

I understand Sidney was complaining about the second wave of hats, and not the first wave. Still, he should have spent time berating his teammates instead of worrying about disruption in play. The way his teammates stunk up the joint, Sidney should have been glad there was a long stoppage.
BTW, Ovechkin was doing all the diving last night. The one with Kunitz where he pretended to have his head expode was funny.

Rawhide

May 5th, 2009
1:30 pm

And now we have a “Samuel Lager”…love it! You guys are getting much more creatve with your usernames. I guess the days of the “multi-Bobs” are beyond us…

Anyway… I need to issue a “RANALLO ALERT” as I have a new blog posted.

Sara

May 5th, 2009
1:47 pm

Tony C. the whole compensation/bonus issue is very murky, particularly in this case. The current CBA technically specifies parameters for players drafted in 2005 and beyond. Because Nikulin was drafted in 2000, he may still fall under the old rules. Even so, the dollar limits on bonuses and compensation in the CBA do not seem to ring quite true. Supposedly, rookies are limited to amounts less than $1M (varies by draft year) that covers the average of the base salary as well as signing bonuses. Performance bonuses are supposed to be limited to a total of $212,500 as paid by the Club. Yet somehow Bogosian ended up with $1.85M in possible bonuses. There are roster bonuses and reporting bonuses in addition to the signing and performance bonuses but there is no specific information in the CBA on what limits there might be for those two catergories.

What is certain though is that this is the last year the rules would apply to Nikulin. European players between 25-27 years of age are subject to one year of entry-level compensation rules and Nikulin turned 27 earlier this year. So he could sign a one-year deal for maybe $2-$3M (based on Bogosian’s numbers anyway) then re-up the next season (assuming his performance would garner him a pay raise). Or he can sit in the KHL one more year then come to the NHL next season where he can negotiate any contract he likes with any club he likes since this is also the last year the Thrash retain his rights.

The Nikulin issue to me has always been messy. The word in the early years was that he was not willing to come play in the NHL period because he could make significantly more money (tax free) in Russia. Last off-season he seemed to change his tune because the few interviews that came out were quite definitive that he wants to play in the NHL now. He was also *extremely* vague about why he suddenly had a change of heart at the last minute and decided not to come. “Life dictated it’s conditions” was the exact quote.

The main thing IMO to remember with Ilya II is the lack of a transfer agreement between the KHL and the NHL. That caused all kinds of havoc last off-season as I’m sure everyone remembers. Nikulin has played 2 years of a 5 year contract he signed with Ak-Bars. He is supposed to have an out-clause but that seems meaningless at this point. I am very curious to see where this entire issue between the NHL and KHL leads this off-season because the impression now may be that players suddenly aren’t so keen on playing in the KHL – they’ve had their own financial problems, plus the high-profile Cherepanov disaster. Supposedly Radulov is now indicating he wants to come back to Nashville. So we’ll have to see how much of a fight the KHL puts up again this off-season plus whether or not the NHL is going to play nice with the Russians or just let the players come if they so choose whether KHL officials like it or not.

Personally I’d love to see Nikulin come here – he’s certainly billed as having the talent to be a top-four guy, which we need, and that would be a cheaper alternative than trying to get an FA defenseman this off-season, freeing up more cash for a forward acquisition and/or re-signing our own players. But like everyone else, I’m not going to hold my breath. Until ink dries on a contract and Nikulin is in the US and wearing Thrasher blue, I’m not believing anything I hear or read – even if it’s from his own mouth.

Brendan

May 5th, 2009
5:49 pm

Glovesave29, all rookie contracts are capped at 3 years. A team may PROACTIVELY re-sign the player after two years, on July 1, before the start of the 3rd year of the contract.