Archive for June, 2009

Thrasherville Welcomes Its Newest Citizen, Kane

OK…you just knew that the “Citizen Kane” line was coming, so don’t act all surprised when you saw it in the header!

As so many of you already know, Don Waddell and the Atlanta Thrashers did indeed select Evander Kane…the 6′-1″ 176 pound native of Vancouver who plays for the Giants of the WHL with the 4th overall pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft. As I am sure was the case all over Thrasherville…when Don Waddell made it official, the assembled masses at TJ’s erupted with loud approval.

Naturally, this is the big news outa the weekend, but there were other players that became the property of the Thrashers organization as well.

Here’s the run-down on how rounds two through seven went…

Second Round
4th pick/34th overall – Carl Klingberg: 6′-3″, 205 lb. left winger from Sweden.
15th pick/45th overall – Jeremy Morin: 6′-1″, 198 lb. left winger U.S. U-18 team

Fourth Round
26th pick/117th overall – Edward Pasquele: 6′-2″, 218 lb. goalie of Saginaw, (OHL).
29th pick/120th overall – Ben …

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NHL Draftapalooza 2009

At last…the 2009 NHL draft day is finally upon us. I went to bed early last night so that today would come sooner!

I’ll be updating this blog throughout the day as any news might break regarding possible player trades leading up to tonight’s festivities in Montreal. You, of course, can continue to speculate on any such moves. Throughout the weekend, as the draft carries on, I’ll return to post the Thrashers’ draft picks as they happen.

I’ll make my way to TJ’s at about 6-is or so and have had thoughts of updating from there as well…although that could prove difficult if I’m just having too good of a time.

However, as we wait for all the fun to begin…let me start the morning off with a question or two for you.

What team do you think will most likely be the first to trade their way up in the draft order? Me…I’ve got my eye on the Toronto Maple Leafs. I just think Brain Burke wants to make a major splash tonight…and he’d just love to get John Taveres into a Leafs jersey.

Also, …

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Thrashers Extend Qualifying Offers To Three Players

Our old pal Craig Custance twittered …or is it twitted…or twittled…anyway, he informed us by way of “twitter” yesterday that the “Thrashers have made qualifying offers to at least three potential restricted free agents – Kari Lehtonen, Jim Slater and Colby Armstrong.”

This now leaves Jordan Lavallee, Scott Lehman, Grant Lewis, Chris Thorburn, Dan Turple and Boris Valabik as impending RFAs that the team will need to extend offers to.

However, as Ben Wright of the Blueland Blog writes, “The Thrashers have a lot of RFA’s and it won’t shock me if some of them don’t receive qualifying offers”.

If so…who amoung those renaining might be left out in the Thrashers’ plans for the future? Well, we’ll find out come Monday.

Would You Like To Play A Game?

Here’s a little activity to keep you busy today…you know, instead of actually working!

See if you can name this team I’m describing.

This NHL franchise finished a season with a record of 22 wins, 46 losses and 14 overtime losses…good …

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This One Goes To Eleven

Eleven years ago today, Don Waddell was announced as the first general manager of the newly founded Atlanta Thrashers. There has never been another such announcement made by the team since then.

Since that day he has been the man behind the desk of each and every move made by the franchise. From the selection of Patrik Stefan with the very first entry draft pick back in 1999… to drafting Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley… to bringing in Marc Savard, and then watching Savy depart…to the tragic event leading to the death of Dan Snyder…to the Hossa/Heater trade…to the Zhitnik/Coburn deal…to the Hossa drama of 2007-08…the naming of three head coaches…and now the decision to bring in Rick Dudley to be associate general manager…one thing has been a constant in the organization.

That one thing being… Don Waddell as general manager.

As for the man himself, Don Waddell is indeed a likable person. I’ve spoken directly with him just a few times and he’s been nothing but polite and …

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Who Does Number 4 Work For?

Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island for about two months, you no doubt know that the Thrashers own the fourth overall pick in this Friday’s NHL Entry Draft. So, I thought it might be an interesting exercise to go back over the course of the past decade or so and review the players that were selected with the 4th overall pick in the draft.

But before we do…speaking of the draft…an update on the draft party that will be held at TJsFriday night. As we’ve discussed before, there will be $1 draft beers for all to enjoy as well as meeting with some of the former Atlanta Flames. Also, the team will be supplying some prizes to be raffled of…including tickets to games during the upcoming season.

:!: Update :!: Also, you’ll be able to meet new AJC Thrashers beat writer Chris Vivlamore as he’ll be attending the party at TJ’s as well!

So, hopefully we’ll see you there for the fun!

Now, as for the most recent fourth overall picks, we’ll start with the summer of 1999…because that’s …

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Thrashers Do Right…Bring In Dudley

TSN is confirming the rumors that Rick Dudley has left the Chicago Blackhawk organization to join the Atlanta Thrashers.”Rick has informed me that he has resigned from his position with the Blackhawks to pursue other opportunities,” said Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. ”I would like to extend my gratitude to him for his work with our organization and certainly wish him well in the future.”

The TNS story cites Dudley as becoming an assistant GM with the team…Craig Custance has indicated that his title could be associate GM.

Rick Dudley played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets as well as the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA.

He was the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1989-92. He’s also spent time behind the bench in Florida and has an overall record of 98-89-43 as a coach…he went 4-8 in the playoffs while with the Sabres.

He was the general manager for the Ottawa Senators during the 1998-99 season. The Sens won the Northeast Division …

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Hey Aaron, Blow It Out Your…

By now many of you have already seen, read and even commented on this little ditty that was posted by Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch. Basically, it’s a “look ahead” towards the future of the Atlanta Thrashers’ organization, something he’s in the process of doing so for all NHL teams. Well, I thought I’d simply say this about that.

Contrary to what Aaron may think, Reasoner has indeed been signed to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract

Contrary to what Aaron may think, Reasoner has indeed been signed to a 2-year, $2.3 million contract (AP Photo)

Now, before we go too far into what he has to say, someone really needs to clue Mr. Portzline in on the fact that Marty Reasoner was re-signed almost two weeks ago. That, plus I don’t believe anyone expects Eric Perrin to re-sign here given his comments at the trade deadline.

I guess a little research would have gone a long way here, don’t-cha-think?

Consistency doesn’t seem to be a big priority with Aaron either. At one point he opines, “Kovalchuk is clearly the star here”… (DUH5)…”but he has one year remaining on his contract …

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Free Agent Window Shopping

When The Fourth Quarter recently came out with its “Top 30 Unrestricted Free Agents” for this summer, I…as I always do this time of year… found myself scrolling down the page muttering to myself, “Oooh, I’d like to see that player in Atlanta”, and, “Oh my, he would work great on Kovy’s Line”, or, “Dang, he sure would be an asset on our blueline”!

Yes…free agent window shopping season is upon us as the stores will be open a couple of weeks from now on the first on July. So, as we stroll down the cyber-mall of NHL players for sale, what’s catching your eye?

Is it Jay Bouwmeester… who, not surprisingly, tops the list? The 25-year old blueliner was the third overall pick in 2002…just behind Kari Lehtonen. He is coming off a contract with the Florida Panthers that paid him $4.875 and he’ll no doubt be able to rake in far more than that from whomever he chooses to play for over the course of the next several years. What are the chances Don Waddell could land Bouwmeester?

Seriously…I …

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Open The Door And Let In A Draft

OK kids, now that the fun and excitement of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over, it’s time once again to turn our attention towards offseason activities…starting with the NHL entry draft on the 26th of this month.

But before we jump into the discussion, I want to take this opportunity to recall last summer when the Thrashers had the third overall pick in the draft. Do you remember how you felt when… just after Tampa Bay and Los Angeles were finished with their respective turns and we were sitting on the edges of our seats ready to hear that Zach Bogosian was indeed a Thrasher…Gary Bettman took to the podium and proclaimed that there was a trade to be announced?

A collective “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” type of atmosphere permiated throughout the masses that had gathered at Philips Arena for the draft party. Certainly Don Waddell didn’t just blow it…did he?

Turns out it was the deal that sent Olli Jokinen from Florida to Phoenix…whew

Now, barring any trades that might occur between …

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Resistance Is Not Futile…Pens Beat Big Red Borg

The Pittsburgh Penguins - 2009 Stanley Cup Champs

The Pittsburgh Penguins – 2009 Stanley Cup Champs (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Yes folks it’s true…the Pittsburgh Penguins have defeated The Big Red Borg. Resistance is NOT, after all it seems, futile!

Congrats to the Penguins…they earned this!

Max Talbot scored a pair of second period goals for the Pens and Marc-Andre Fleury turned away 23 of 24 Wings’ shots, and Pittsburgh skated off with Lord Stanley’s Cup with a 2-1 game-seven win. I wonder how much antacid has been sold in Detroit and Pittsburgh this past week?

Evgeni Malkin earned the Conn Smythe trophy, scoring 14 goals and a playoff-high 22 assists. He was nothing short of magnificent throughout the entire playoffs and the award was well deserved.

Sidney Crosby led the way with 15 post-seasons goals and chipped in with helpers on 16 others. The Penguins captain was limited to just 9:59 TOI due to an injury to his leg caused by a hit along the boards during the second period.

Now, I have to say that I found the Penguins’ …

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