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

The Joker

May 3rd, 2009
10:48 pm

I’m blind, I’m deaf, I want to be a ref…

The Real Fan

May 4th, 2009
7:33 am

I think you may be a bit ahead on Marty’s return. When it comes to money what Waddell says and who he signs are two different things. Witness his agent saying he hasn’t heard from Waddell.
It’s all the same old dance.

kracker

May 4th, 2009
9:20 am

I think Rawhide has the right take on the situation. I don’t think Marty gets voted the Player’s Player Award by his teammates if they think he’s going to bolt the following season. He (and wife and new baby girl) likes it here so why should there be any problem getting a contract done? By rule, the Thrahsers have to spend to the cap floor and they are quite a ways away from it. Marty gets a raise and a three year deal and he start’s the season ready to go on a team and in a system he now knows.

kracker

May 4th, 2009
9:28 am

Oh, the goooooooooal! They said the Refereeing Commission allowed the goal to stand. Is Don King now involved in South American football? ‘Cause it sure looked like the fix was in.

Alan

May 4th, 2009
11:13 am

Witness his agent saying he hasn’t heard from Waddell.

… Because they’re both traveling. Both parties have said they will sit down and talk soon.

Really, I dislike D-Wad just as much as some of you dislike him, but there’s no need to throw him under the bus about this… yet.

Smoothie

May 4th, 2009
11:29 am

Rawhide, thanks for picking up the “sign Marty now” flag and waving it so passionately and vehemently. And I fully agree that he has earned the honor of wearing the “A” as well. Let’s hope that DW’s first priority when returning state-side is sitting down to talk with Reasoner’s agent.

BTW, the officials in Toronto blew that “no goal” call, but really the bulk of the blame lies at the feet of the ref on the ice. Why was he not in better position to see that the puck crossed the line? Also, since when do the refs not err on the side of a “good goal” in that situation (i.e. puck going roof top under the cross bar)? I recall very few instances in which that puck is not ruled a goal on the ice.

Tony C.

May 4th, 2009
11:38 am

Just read this:

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-spwang2712699310may02,0,3754050.story

Say what you want to about his valuation process for players, you’ve got to feel for Wang a little bit on this one-here’s a guy that buys a team based mostly off community pride and then the community decides they’re on some N.I.M.B.Y. action (granted I’m sure many members of the Hempstead council have at least one “Chuck Wang is an @sshole” story).

Makes me wonder if Le Thrash got that single owner dedicated to bringing a winner to the city that we all clamor for, how would it end up for him/her????

I still think one dedicated owner would be a blessing, for the record. The article does raise some questions about the green of the grass on the other side of the fence.

Also, I don’t know if anybody else here’s mentioned it-but Mike Wise of the post has written a story on Brashear that is really good:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/01/AR2009050104147.html

Not that it excuses every cheap thing the guy’s done, but maybe I understand a bit better now.

Oh and right now, my leading Connie Smythe candidates are Hiller and Varlamov, in that order. If I’m the redthings I call up McCarty specifically to break Hiller’s arm/wrist/hand/do SOMEthing about that glove!!!
They did sign McCarty to a sentimentality contract right? He’s washed up right? Still wants to contribute? Might be the thing to do, cuz Hiller’s killing it right now. I mean two of the top 10 snipers in the league and about 5 of the top 20 and the redthings are hoping for more weird deflections? No pinche bueno for Motown.

Rawhide

May 4th, 2009
11:39 am

I think Alan has the right train of thought here. Marty’s agent has indicated that the two parties will meet this month to discuss the contract. Everyone involved is saying that they want him back.

Now, if we are sitting here in July reading that Reasoner has just signed elsewhere and is saying things like, “I have no idea what happened in Atlanta…we just waited and waited for Don to call but…”

Well, then we have a major story. But I don’t think that’ll be the case.

Smoothie – I agree the official should have been in a better position, but that is why there is video replay. That should have been ruled a goal…Toronto wussed-out on the call. I am just thankful that it really never came into play given the score.

Also…does anyone else here remember the eventual game-winning goal that the Rangers scored on us in game four two years ago…the one that made it 3-2 in the third period? That “goal-no goal” last night in Boston looked just like it. It landed on the is on it’s side…and that is the reason it crossed the line.

Of course…when it was against us, it was called a goal. Go figure.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
11:57 am

Rawhide… somebody got an “A” after Havelid left… I remember seeing it and thinking that person didn’t normally have it. Can’t recall now.

Was thinking it was Reasoner, Hainsey or Exelby, but watching the highlights from the last game, I don’t see it.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
12:22 pm

… actually, I think it might have been White.

Rawhide

May 4th, 2009
12:26 pm

Hokie – If that happened, it got by me. I also checked the roster on the Thrashers’ website. They only show Army and Kozzy with an “A”…Ilya, of course, with a “C”.

ranallo10 (in AT)

May 4th, 2009
12:35 pm

Alternate captains I remember from this past season were:
Armstrong, Havelid, Kozlov, Kovalchuk, Schneider

I don’t recall seeing any other As after Havelid and Schneider were dealt.

Speaking of which, Hainsey is an Alternate Captain on the US team.

By the way, watching Nikulin and Kovalchuk on the same power play unit is a huge tease.

Brendan

May 4th, 2009
12:41 pm

Tony C., my early Conn Smythe vote goes to Eric Staal. The guy’s been tremendous for Carolina. He’s earning every bit of that paycheck he signed last season. I think Staal is a big part of why Carolina advanced past NJ, along with Cam Ward, of course. If Carolina actually does knock off the Bruins, a Staal or C. Ward MVP candidacy could take shape. The award is reflective of all four rounds of playoffs.

I have … little sympathy for Charles Wang. He’s not 18 years old, playing with “trust fund” money. He’s a businessman. By most accounts, a successful one. He’s posturing. And he has no one but himself, and his now incarcerated former business partner, to blame for what has happened with the Islanders. There is a SALARY CAP in effect, with revenue-sharing dollars for the less fortunate. So, he can’t claim it’s UTTERLY, UTTERLY HOPELESS. It’s unfair, to be sure, but not hopeless. It’s about making GOOD DECISIONS, as opposed to clunkers. The Islanders have enjoyed favorable draft position through the Wang years. And, they’ve also tasted 4 years of playoffs with Wang. (Admittedly, I could have phrased that better. Moving right along.) No series wins, mind you. But still, the Isles got in. And that means “pure profit” for the ownership.

If Charles Wang doesn’t know how to run a hockey organization, he should hire someone who does. And do a thorough job of selecting a candidate. But from all I’ve read, Wang appoints people who are nothing more than “Yes Men” to his every whim. If Garth Snow said, “Uhh, Charles. I really think we need to take Luc Schenn at #5, but Wang overruled him, then that’s what happened.” Garth Snow has a job because Charles “likes him.” It’s not as if Snow had experience running a minor league team, etc., etc., etc. And as soon as Charles no longer “likes him,” he’ll be fired.

If Charles Wang wants a new arena, he’s hardly alone. If Charles Wang wants the Nassau County tax payers to foot the bill, he wasn’t the first, nor will he be the last, to have such desires. And if the Islanders actually LEFT long Island, I’d be surprised. But it’s not as if the area is left without hockey. The Rangers and Devils are there, too. Personally, I wish Charles the very best. Perhaps, one fine day, he’ll have some epiphany about the hockey business. Until then, Garth Snow better not get any CRAZY IDEAS about making any unilateral decisions, like sayyy, hiring an equipment manager, all by himself. It’s a “by committee decision.” Just ask Neil Smith, whom Wang fired after 41 days in office, for failure to observe the “by committee” approach when he denied then Head Coach Ted Nolan’s equipment manager hire, citing that ‘personnel decisions fell under the purview of the GM.’ (He’s right, of course, in every other world except for the one Wang lives in.) Nor was Neil Smith allowed to hire his Head Coach. Note: The Head Coaching position was simultaneously vacant. It’s not as if Smith would have had to be the BAD GUY, who walks in the door and fires the Coach. Then again, Smith should have sniffed out that situation before agreeing to become the GM. Bygones.

Midfield

May 4th, 2009
12:46 pm

It was a goal. I kind of feel good about a no-goal call anyway. It’s good for Carolina as a team to overcome this sort of the pull-the-big-market-team adversity. Not good for LaRose, but the pest has irritated me so much when playing against Atlanta that I got over it pretty well, thank you very much.

Smoothie

May 4th, 2009
1:28 pm

Rawhide, I agree that Toronto botched the review and that it should have been deemed a goal. Like you said, the entire puck (albeit when it was on its side) was over the line and there was clearly a definitive line of “white” between it and the puck. Glad it did not affect the outcome and Carolina deserved to win. As for the deciding goal against us in 2007, I vaguely recall but I’ll have to “youtube it” to refresh the noggin…can’t wait to conjure up all those bad memories and feelings of heart-brokeness. ;-)

Rawhide

May 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

SmoothinatorAs for the deciding goal against us in 2007, I vaguely recall but I’ll have to “youtube it” to refresh the noggin…can’t wait to conjure up all those bad memories and feelings of heart-brokeness

Just make sure when you do that to have the lovely Ms. “Ten” near. That way she can stop you from shoving your head into the oven…

Alan

May 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

“I have no idea what happened in Atlanta…we just waited and waited for Don to call but…”

Sounds like what Holik said after the season ended in 2008. Instead of Waddell saying he was going to call, he just didn’t bother. Holik got butthurt, signed with the Devils, and is now playing golf with the rest of the non-playoff hockey world.

If I’m the redthings I call up McCarty specifically to break Hiller’s arm/wrist/hand/do SOMEthing about that glove!!!

The Wings keep shooting the puck at the logo. That’s the problem. They need to lift the puck higher and go between the shoulder and the crossbar, or get a nice set-up into an open net. That game would have been a 3-2 winner for Detroit had the defense played better and didn’t leave Ozzy out to dry on the PK yesterday.

Still, you’re right about one thing. Hiller’s glove is amazing. It has to have a mind of its own. Sure, some of the stops he made was just pure luck, but some of those other stops? Pure amazement. I have no idea how he did it, but he managed to.

Detroit’s strategy here, short of hiring a hitman, is going to have to be wearing out the goalie. With 62SOG yesterday, they’re well on their way of doing just that. That said, both teams are showing some kinks in their respective armor pieces. The question I have is: What team, judging by all you’ve seen of the two games so far, is better poised to take the series?

Smoothie

May 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

I just watched the video of Game 4 and apparently the goal was not called a goal on the ice when it happened. Davidson, the announcer thought it was a goal, called it as such, then corrected himself and play continued on for several seconds. Looks like it was not a goal until AFTER the review. But it is hard to tell from the video what exactly transpired on the ice and the players may not have heard a whistle or realized it was ruled a goal. Hell, the quality / camera work is so bad that I can’t even tell how the puck was cleared out of our zone before Shanahan scored on the 2 on 1 to tie the game.

Anyone else with a better memory (or who doesn’t suppress like I do ;0) care to share what they remember or how it unfolded?

DWTOO

May 4th, 2009
2:11 pm

Great time @ TJ’s yesterday. Small but enthusiastic group. Really appreciate Tim spending some time with the group. His insights and stories are interesting to say the least. We really have an untapped resource with the old Flames in town. From what I heard they would like to more involved. And having regular viewing parties would be awesome.

That ref on that soccer clip was horrible. Watched about twelve years of various levels of soccer – rec/select/high school and never saw anyone that STUPID!

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
2:13 pm

Yeah, I checked the roster and saw the same thing… rewatched the highlights, and it wasn’t White either… I must have been seeing things. :)

Alan

May 4th, 2009
2:29 pm

I would be more than happy to show up to these viewing engagements, if they were just a little more convenient for me to get to and from.

More importantly, I’d love to hear some of TJ’s stories and some of his insight.

R. Stroz

May 4th, 2009
3:28 pm

Once again Waddell is procrastinating…Surprise, Surprise

So, in order to keep things interesting, lets start a new prediction pool.

When will Waddell actually get something done this offseason.

The definition of “get something done” is a re-signing, an open market signing such as Nikulin, a trade, a draft pick…anything that adds, subtracts, or keeps a player on the roster.

LEED certification meetings and deciding on the height of the urinals in the locker room doesn’t count.

Now pick your date of Waddell action, seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
3:41 pm

Watching the streaming box score for the US and Swiss game… Hainsey just scored for the U.S.A.

Higgins tied it up… 2-2… still in the 2nd period.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
3:47 pm

Wow… Hainsey just scored again.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
4:10 pm

Hainsey’s goals were assisted by Joe Pavelski and by Patrick O’Sullivan… wouldn’t mind hearing that in a Thrasher’s box score next season. ;)

kracker

May 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

Maybe Hainsey will like wearing that ‘A’ and try to keep/earn it in Atlanta.

Alan

May 4th, 2009
4:30 pm

The definition of “get something done” is a re-signing, an open market signing such as Nikulin, a trade, a draft pick…anything that adds, subtracts, or keeps a player on the roster.

26 June 2009.

GaVaHokie

May 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

Stroz… I’d like to see Kovy and Waddell corner Nikulin sometime during the World Championships.

Otherwise, I’d say look for early or mid June for UFA negotiations with Reasoner… I don’t see any rush. There’s no risk of anyone else grabbing him right now.

I’ll say June 10th… Marty Reasoner extended. Then, the next week, an extension for Armstrong, Valabik, Salmela and Slater.

Lehtonen’s contract hovers around through the draft.

R. Stroz

May 4th, 2009
5:27 pm

GaVaHokie – If Nikulin is signed, we can be rest assured Kovy will re-sign. If my memory serves me, Nikulin’s KHL contract has expired and he doesn’t have to sign an entry level NHL contract. Also, Kovy and Nikulin have the same agent, Jay Grossman.

Brendan

May 4th, 2009
6:06 pm

June 9, 2009. I’ll guess a re-signing. What the heck, Reasoner.

Rawhide

May 4th, 2009
6:12 pm

I’ll say Marty Reasoner is the first signing…May 28.

Why that day? I’ll be in the middle of Disney World and, as such, won’t be anywhere near a computer to write about it…just my luck!

Brendan

May 4th, 2009
6:21 pm

When are the “qualifying offers” due to be tendered? Is that late June? That would be an “action.” He’s got to decide to keep Thorburn or Slater, or let them become unrestricted, without a qualifying offer. Same deal with Anssi Salmela, Motzko and Jordan LaVallee. Also, I think guys like Oysterick, Crabb, and (the Jason Williams traded defenseman,) C. Wilson??, either have to be re-signed as category VI UFA’s before July 1, or they, too, hit the open market. That doesn’t mean DW can’t re-sign them. It only means that he doesn’t have the right to match another team’s offer. And even if he got into a bidding war, Waddell has more cap than anyone EXCEPT Los Angeles.

As for Lehtonen, I’d bet Waddell does make a qualifying offer, just to retain his rights, if nothing more. Then it’s a matter potential salary arbitration or an RFA offersheet, after July 1. My guess is DW will re-sign Kari on a 3-year deal, to give himself some buffer zone. What he does with Pavelec is another matter. I, personally, don’t think we should trade him. He’s 21, and will be a fantastic goalie. He just needs time, like all goalies do. But if DW thinks he can get a “missing piece” for Pavelec, or Lehtonen, he’s hinted that that’s what he’ll do. But as Ranallo has told us, the “trade market for goalies isn’t at a premium.” I think that’s right. So, based on that, I don’t really see that Waddel does ACTUALLY hold some sort of bargaining chip. Lehtonen is injured annually, with mental issues. Pavelec isn’t fully developed yet. And Moose will only fetch a 7th rounder. I don’t see the URGENCY to trade one of our goalies, especially with Lehtonen-Pavelec could be a pretty decent “1-2 punch” for the coming years. It doesn’t really matter which one is the #1 goalie and which one is the backup. The team has TONS of cap room to keep both of these ORIGINAL THRASHER DRAFT PICKS.

Speaking of orginal Thrasher Draft picks, there is also the matter of Big Boris. He’s an RFA on July 1, 2009. I’d wager Waddell makes the qualifying offer to retain his rights and/or just outright re-signs him. I don’t really think Valabik can hold the Thrashers hostage. He wasn’t a major force, playing top line minutes, all year long.

I almost forgot Colby Armstrong. He’s an RFA. That’s another qualifying offer that must be made. And let’s not also forget that Rich Peverley is eligible for a PROACTIVE contract on July 1, 2009, as he is scheduled to hit the UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT MARKET on July 1, 2010, just like Kovalchuk and Lehtonen can.

JLH

May 4th, 2009
6:37 pm

Stroz,

At the end of season STH event DW said that we were in the same situation with Nikhulin as last year ……. Every year Nikhulin says he’s coming and then craps out. He wouldn’t say if Grossman had shared any reasons, but implied our hands are tied by the max entry level contract we can offer again this year.

Glovesave29

May 4th, 2009
7:18 pm

Let us not forget that Hiller is a silly-sider. Lefty goalies are rare. Changes up the plays and breakouts when you need to shoot for the other side.

Alan – you might not want to join us for Tim’s little talks…all it will do is get you frustrated to know what “might have been”. If you do want to join us, we can pick you up from the Marta station at North Springs…only a 5 minute drive to TJ’s from there.

You still think Nikulin will not join us after the fiasco that was last season in the KLH? Coaches getting fired mid-game, only to be rescinded, and fired later in the week. Deaths on the ice and improper medical at the facility. Players getting a fraction of the money owed to them, and now with dropping oil prices, you have moneys drying up for salaries. Had they done this right, they were a true threat to the NHL. Today…not so much. I can see Nikulin here this fall.

kracker

May 4th, 2009
7:45 pm

Glovesave, Even with the Thrashers dysfunctiional group of lawyer happy owners, this club can’t look as bad to the Russian players as the KHL clubs. After all, it is in the NHL, they pay in US dollars. I bet Kovy is working on Nikulin and DW surely has talked with/met with Nikulin’s agent. I’m not holding my breath, though.

Tony C.

May 4th, 2009
9:46 pm

Alan-are you sure you’re not evaluating Hiller through some red&white tinted glasses(j/k)?? I’ll give Glovesave’s point about him being a “goofy”…but honestly, 62SOG by some of the best snipers in the universe? methinks Pavel, Z & Hossa are pretty good at picking a corner…might be that the corner-angles are reversed from the norm but man Hiller’s just playing nasty.

Reasoner re-signed 28 June.
Pavelec traded on draft day
Armstrong extended 1 July
Slater will be resigned (he went to Mich St.)
Would love to see Nikulin…. Sara if you’re out there, how much “bonus” $$$ could we conceivably throw his way ???

Brendan -I’ll give Staal more juice when he wins a game against Boston. Right now, I have goalies as my top 3 picks for the Conn Smythe, in this order: Hiller, Varlamov, Ward

Also on my “watch list”: Staal, Seabrook, Luongo, Kessler.

Brendan

May 4th, 2009
10:09 pm

Staal did a pretty good job of helping Carolina win Game Two. But the ‘Canes must at least split at home to continue to surprise the world.

Segue, the Capitals were down to the NY Rangers, 3-1 i their 1st round series. Since then, they’ve won five-straight. If Pittsburgh cannot hold serve at home, that series might end in five games. It’s do or die for the Penguins in Game Three. As much as I value the Penguins and their comeback abilities, we all know what 3-0 means. So, tonight was a BIG NIGHT for Washington. And Ovechkin, in particular, who had a hat trick. Crosby, too, I think. The Penguins 3rd goal was amazing stuff. Crosby just never quit on the play. It was the 4th whack, in mid-air, that connected for the goal.

If the Penguins do get eliminated, what’s their next move? Hope the draft brings forth something good? Trading their 1st round pick at the draft for more immediate help? Or do nothing. Just try again next year? Blysthsma (Sp?) has done a great job taking over for Therrien. If they’d made that move sooner, the Penguins might have won the Atlantic Division.

Alan

May 4th, 2009
10:21 pm

methinks Pavel, Z & Hossa are pretty good at picking a corner…

Honestly, part of the problem is they’re either aiming at the logo (hitting Hiller in the chest), or they’re not elevating the puck enough. Also, a lot of what the Wings were doing is trying to fake out Hiller. Did you see the Lidstrom attempt yesterday? He dangled, and dangled, and waited, and waited some more before finally being forced to either skate away with the puck or take a shot. He tried to go down low without realizing Hiller was already there.

Just a little frustrating, from a Wings fan perspective.

you might not want to join us for Tim’s little talks…all it will do is get you frustrated to know what “might have been”.

Frustrating, perhaps. I’d still love to know. It’s like studying …ah, that stuff that starts with a “P”, and ends with a word meaning “blood sucking creature.” Yes. Frustrating. But always interesting, if you’ve got the mind for it.

As for a trip up, I’ll have to see if I can successfully lobby the county to start running my bus on weekends.

World Be Free

May 5th, 2009
6:11 am

Marty Reasoner, good upstate New York boy. More and more of them in the NHL. All character players like Matt Kane, Aaron Miller, Kevyn Adams, Ryan Callahan and a few more.

Ole Time Hockey

Sean Garguilo

May 5th, 2009
7:47 am

I couldn’t agree more with your take on Reasoner. He deserves an “A”. He has earned a multi-year deal and he is an asset. But alas, Bruce and the Dysfunctional Litigation Lovers, (very ironically A.K.A the Atlanta Spirit), may be fresh out of cash. I suggest we pass the hat at Tj’s at the next get together. I’ll throw in fifty for the consummate team player.

LAC

May 5th, 2009
8:08 am

Rawhide… simply CANNOT go into next season with the same team as last… We were undersized and too many guys who simply need to be moved.

Like Slater, he has had his chances and is simply not an NHL player.

Several others fit this mold too.

We HAVE to get s good crop of UFA’s this season or we are done and so will #17.

I do not think DUMB A$$ waddell even understands the peril we are in
let alone cares one damn bit. But THIS off season will make or break the Thrashers… We were told of BIG changes the past two summers and
what happened NOTHING to speak of,more ECHL players…

Either they spend some $ and get som name players here… or next season will be more like the last two… But remember…
We are moving forward… Yeah closer to the brink !

World be Free

May 5th, 2009
8:15 am

Let’s hope ownership understands what we see-a team that is close to being real good that needs a little more help. Signing Marty is a start, but we need a center to play with Kovy that will put preassure on opposing defenses. Attention to that line will free up Little and company to score ont he 2nd line and 3rd line and so on.

And DO NOT trade Kari to Philly or anyone else! Let Philly develop their own franchise netminder.

Glovesave29

May 5th, 2009
8:23 am

Tony – totally agree, Hiller is on fire…just pointing out the lefty issue as a side note. No way that is the sole cause. It’s a contributing factor.

As for the Wings hitting him in the crest, that can be attributed to the lack of time and space the Wings forwards are being given by some agressive D. As a player you are always told to get it on net, only good things can happen if you shoot. That is what they are doing. When they have time and space, they can try to pick corners. When there is no time, just get it on net. Hiller can read the play and the players intentions, too. A goalie / D are doing their jobs as a cohesive unit when the saves look easy.

Kracker, now is the time to sell Nikulin on his future value. He knows he must be signed to an entry level contract. In the long run, the stability of the NHL is to his advantage…here in Atlanta or elsewhere. But he has to get here first and we have his rights.

Brendan – how long is the rookie / entry level contract period last?

Lastly – Ovechkin was sick last night. Love the guy’s enthusiasm, and it has obviously spread through the Caps locker room…

Oh, and happy Cinco de Quatro (ha).

Rawhide

May 5th, 2009
8:37 am

Sean – HA! I’ll match the fifty!

World be Free

May 5th, 2009
8:41 am

I think Ovechkin is great for the game. He’s the best player and he has a great sense of humor. They put the Kiss Cam on him at a Thrashers’ game this year and he started to laugh.

Russian

May 5th, 2009
9:07 am

Interesting rumors I got from Russian sport News. Morozov is playing together with Kovy in same line. He is center. Kovy just said, that Morozov is best Center that he was playing. Also he said that he wants to paly with him in future. Well, may be Don needs to talk with Morozov’s Agent???

Glovesave29

May 5th, 2009
9:14 am

Russian – think he can handle the wear and tear of an NHL season? After all, we play about 30 more games per season than the KHL.

GaVaHokie

May 5th, 2009
9:25 am

On Reasoner, it’s a tough call… you also have guys like Todd Marchant available in free agency this summer, who’s a gritty, tough two way player that’s great in the locker room.

I, by far, want Marty Reasoner back… but you still have to evaluate the other veteran Centers out there.

Rawhide

May 5th, 2009
9:34 am

Hokie – I agree with you in principle…but with Reasoner you remove the “unknown” factor. There is indeed some good talent out there, but until you bring them in you don’t know 100% how the will gell with the others.

With Marty…we know what we are getting and we already know how he mixes with the rest of the team.

World be Free

May 5th, 2009
9:34 am

Morozov is a good physical presence as well. He would be a great pickup. Marchant is another upstate New York boy.

Marty is a good penalty killer and faceoff man.

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.

View Only Top Items in This Story

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.