Marty Re-Signs & Fat Lady Preparing For Grand Finale

:!: Reasoner Re-Signs!! :!: (Updated June 8 @ 12:35 pm)

Just moments after posting this blog, I learned that centerman Marty Reasoner re-signed with the Thrashers.

WOO-HOOoooo!!!!!!!

Marty will be a Thrasher for two more years according to Ben Wright on the team’s website!

This, obviously, is very good news, indeed…now let me call again for giving him an “A” to wear on his jersey this year!

:!: Update June 8 @ 6:36 pm - The word I’m getting now is that the Reasoner deal pays him $1.1 mil this season and $1.2 next season. This is a bargain…especially when you consider the money Holik was paid.

The Fat Lady Prepares For Her Last Performance Of The Spring NHL Tour

The Fat Lady’s spring concert tour is coming to an end this week. So far this spring she has performed for St. Louis, Columbus, Montreal, San Jose, Calgary, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Washington, Vancouver, Anaheim, Boston, Carolina and Chicago.

The only question is if she’ll be bellowing out her song Tuesday night in Pittsburgh or a possible game seven on Friday evening in Detroit.

Regardless, if Saturday’s game five is any indication, she will find herself performing once again for the Penguins who find themselves a game away from being defeating by the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals…and for the second year in a row return home for a must-win game six.

Detroit also has history on their side as 14 of the previous 19 teams who have come out on top in a game five when the series was tied 2-2 going into it have ultimately prevailed to lift the cup. And…as if the Wings needed any more help… one more thing playing into Detroit’s favor is the fact that the teams will have two days of rest between games five and six instead of just one. “The biggest part is the extra days off. That’s the best thing that we’ve got to this point”, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said, “We’ll be a better team.”

As for Saturday night’s game five…once again, Detroit’s stars came up big for the Wings in the 5-0 smack-down of the Pens over the weekend…Henrik Zetterberg notched goal number eleven for the playoffs and also added an assist on Niklas Kronwall’s third goal of the postseason…Chris Osgood, (2.00 GAA and .927 SV%), continued his strong bid for the Conn Smythe with shutout number two in 21 games this spring…and Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup to chip in with a pair of helpers.

For the Penguins, both Malkin and Crosby were held to but one shot on goal apiece. The Penguins’ captain has only one goal and three overall points so far in the Finals going into the must-win sixth game of the series. Malkin has a pair of goals and five assist versus Detroit so far.

Marc-Andre Fleury had to be pulled after Zetterberg made the score 5-0 on the Wing’s third power play goal of the second period. Making his first playoff appearance since 2004, backup Mathieu Garon stopped all eight shot he face…but by that time, the damage had been done.

Tuesday is do-or-die time for the Penguins…just like last year.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

With last week’s announcement that defenseman Anssi Salmela has been re-signed, the blueline in Thrasherville looks something like this going into the draft and free agent signing season…

The starting six would be Hainsey, Bogosian, Enstrom, Exelby, Salmela and Valabik, (pending contract as he’s an RFA this summer). Arturs Kulda, Chad Denny and Grant Lewis will probably be vying for that open seventh spot in training camp and preseason.

Nathan Oystrick and Clay Wilson are UFAs on July 1, so I exclude them from consideration until and unless they re-sign.

But, like I said, that’s the way it looks now… prior to any moves that would be made over the course of the next couple of months. If the Thrashers were successful in his bid to bring in a top-four defenseman via free agency, that would skew the depth chart to where Hainsey, Bogey, Toby and (insert name of desired top-four defender here) would round out the top pairings with XLB, Valabik and Salmela rotating around the third. Thus leaving Kulda, Denny and Lewis in Chicago again.

And with that, I leave you with the following question. Of the following players, which do you believe could help bring the highest return in trade value ..whether alone or couple with other players, prospects or draft picks… if Waddell wished to shop them around for a top-line forward?

Exelby…Valabik… Kulda…Denny or Lewis?

And In Other News…

 

Puck Daddy writes about mixed messesages from NHL on the Olympics. He also wants to know if Evgeni Malkin has been good enough for the Conn Smythe even if Pittsburgh falls short in the Finals.

Mucking and Grinding’s Kevin Allen opines that “Don’t Stop Believin’” isn’t just about red Wings hockey to him.

SI.com’s Allan Muir equates Avalanche president Pierre Lacroix to … get this… Vladimir Putin. Appearently, Muir thinks Lacroix has am issue in regards to “power”.

Jay feaster, former GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, remembers his summer with Lord Stanley’s Cup in his blog for The Hockey News.

99 comments Add your comment

Rawhide

June 9th, 2009
9:58 am

Hokie – the way I understand it, the answer is “Yes…Kozlov’s contract can be extended anytime after June 30″. July 1 is the official beginning of his last year of the current contract…just like Kovy.

Tony C. – Maybe you are right that Kovy makes Kozlov’s remaining here some sort of precondition…shrugs…who knows. But the Spiriteers have to allow enough funds for Waddell to sign both Kozlov and Kovy…as well as providing new contracts for such RFAs as Army, Valabik, etc…

If that happens…then I’m good with that.

Mr. Willson

June 9th, 2009
10:06 am

Bill, you know my feelings on Clay. He must be resigned!! Just for the excuse to buy my son his jersey.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
10:49 am

Rawhide… I’d love to see Waddell tack on 2 more years for Kozlov this summer. Like we’ve said before, the guy’s in great physical condition. Probably better than most of the twenty year-olds on the team… I’d be more than comfortable having him play until he’s 38 before I start evaluating him on a year by year basis… IMO.

Tony C.

June 9th, 2009
11:01 am

Mr. T. I think both agree on that (as long as it doesn’t impede taking care of “the core”).

BTW: How many of yall think SCF is going to game 7? and WTF decided to go up against the NBA? I swear Bill Simmons’ (ESPN guy) theory that Stein sent Betteman to run the NHL into the ground just keeps getting more traction the more you step back and look at Gary’s run as commisioner.

Rawhide

June 9th, 2009
11:03 am

Hokie – I agree with you. My speculation is that the Spiriteers could direct DW to not re-sign Kozlov after his contract runs out next summer in order to allocate funds for Kovy’s salary increase…and it definately has nothing to do with his playing ability.

Again, I was trying to look at this from their viewpoint…strictly dollars and cents.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
11:14 am

Well, this is me speaking to ownership… I think you need to lock up whatever is working… there’s only $13 million on the books for 2010/2011… nobody coming up out of the minors or free agency is going to put up Slava’s numbers especially at only $3.5 million a year.

Smoothie

June 9th, 2009
11:55 am

“I would think Colby Armstrong will get more than $2.25 million. He scored over 20 goals and averaged a point every other game. I wouldn’t be stunned to see 3-years/$9 million for Armstrong. It’s Atlanta.”

Brendan, while I think Colby can expect a significant raise, I do not see him getting anywhere near $3M per unless another GM tries to poach him off our roster. But I think it’s more likely he’ll get in that $2.2 – 2.4 M per year range as an avg salary. Consider this list of comparable RW and their PPG over the last 3 seasons:

Player Name Age Salary PPG Other Notes

Cole, E. 29 $4.0M .69 Won 2006 Stanley Cup
Hagman, N. 28 $3.0M .49 Career net of -27!!
Cleary, D. 29 $2.9M .59 Former 1st rounder & SC Champ
Kozlov, V. 33 $2.5M .64 Never scored more than 25 goals
Kobasew, C. 27 $2.33M .52 Former 1st rounder in 2001
Moss, D. 25 $1.3M .42 7th Round pick in 2001
Samuelsson, M 31 $1.2M .55 Cup winner and career +38
Armstrong, C. 26 $1.2M .47 1st Rounder in ‘01; career .53 PPG

After putting together this list of RW it’s easier to see what Colby’s true market value may wind up being. Without a Cup victory on his resume, I don’t think he can expect Dan Cleary type money just yet. They are similar in that they are both middle 1st round selections who haven’t lived up to the Top 6 potential they were expected to have. Of course, Colby may still have more upside at only 26, but generally speaking, most players are what they are going to be by the age of 26.

I would say that Kobasew is a bit overpaid while Samuelsson is probably the most underrated RW at that salary. I would also say that Colby is probably on track to be as good as Samuelsson if not a bit better in 4 years. So he is most definitely “worth” somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.75 – $2.5 M per year.

My guess is that he will get extended at 4 years with an escalating salary worth an avg of $2.3 M per year. I’m thinking it will look a little something like this:

Yr 1) $2.0 M Yr 2) $2.2 M Yr 3) $2.4 M Yr 4) $2.6 M

Thrashers27

June 9th, 2009
12:32 pm

Thrashers sign Andrew Kozek. (AtlantaThrashers.com)

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2009
12:53 pm

Everytime I see Waddell’s picture against the black background on the Atlanta Thrashers website, I think of Darth Vader.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
1:05 pm

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
1:10 pm

I hope you’re right, Smoothie. I’ll extend Waddell some leniency on the Armstrong contract. He knows he’s got to get it done, or people will freak out about, “What happened to the Hossa exchange?” If Waddell lands Colby for $2.5 million, I’d say he’s done very well. Armstrong’s agent will argue that his value, on the open market, as a UFA after next season, will be higher. So, he’ll ask for a higher value contract, if the length of the contract extends beyond 1-year. If Colby wants out of Atlanta, he’ll only agree to a 1-year deal. If he’s amenable to a 3-4 year deal, Waddell has to look at his future earnings potential and be fair about it.

When Vanek got his $7 million deal, he wasn’t worth anything NEAR that figure. But the poaching team, Edmonton, thought he would grow into such a player. Plus, they had to make a hyper-inflated contract in hopes Buffalo would not match it. Buffalo did match it. Colby is not a Vanek-like player. I’m not making that comparison. Nor am I suggesting an RFA offersheet will be forthcoming. I am merely pointing out that a player’s agent will argue for his client’s “potential” when making the best deal he can. Armstrong is a former 1st round pick, whose productivity isn’t atrocious. But his agent will argue beyond that of points, and will point to his role on the team, in areas like leadership, toughness, faceoffs, winning puck battles, and his capacity to potentially be among the team’s top 5 scorers, and a visibile member of the hockey community in Atlanta etc., etc., etc. Ad nauseum.

Hokie, I hope I lose, too. I hope I lose BIG!!! But Kovy doesn’t have any other options to make his team better than to leverage his contract to make that happen. He’s trying the best he can to effect change. He’ll still have that power after April 2010, if he’s still a Thrasher and still wants to remain a Thrasher. That’s the final point of player retention, in terms of holding his rights. After July 1, 2010, Atlanta can only hope to outbid the other teams. I don’t think Kovy cares when he re-signs with Atlanta, so much as he cares about what kind of team he re-joins in Atlanta. But what kind of team Atlanta fields … is all about ownership. Ownership installs management, who in turn hires coaches, scouts, trainers, equipment managers, etc. The GM is responsible for signing players. To quote Kovalchuk, “I have to do what the little slip of paper says.” In other words, he has to honor his contract. He won’t sign another contract, ANYWHERE, until or unless he likes what he sees. And who can blame him for that?

But wait!! Just wait!! People will blame him for it! They’ll say, “C’mon, Kovy. Don’t be a D*CK! Sign already. Don’t be a distraction for the team! You’re hurting the team by not re-signing!” I understand that frustration, on the part of fans. And management. And ownership. I truly do. I hope he re-signs early, too. I wish he’d jump on board for the “building project,” too. But it’s up to him. And he’s the one who has been waiting since 2001 to be on a team that poses a real threat to winning the Stanley Cup. I can’t blame Kovalchuk for following his dream, when the choice of where he plays becomes his alone. And I didn’t blame Hossa for opting for the Red Wings, either. Players want what they want. If ownership cannot persuade such players to stay, it’s unfortunate. For them. For the fans. For the remaining players of the Atlanta Thrashers. But there it is. In a nutshell. Players want to win. And players want to get paid. The players have the most power to achieve both of their objectives once they reach unrestricted free agency.

Jacques Strapp

June 9th, 2009
1:10 pm

“Thrashers sign Andrew Kozek”.

Ze Cup, she iz ours!

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
1:14 pm

Bob’s famous quote was, “Stanley Cup, here we come!”

Rawhide

June 9th, 2009
1:27 pm

Sounds like DW his having a busy week, eh?

I’ve been following hockeybuzz’s Shawn Gates updates of news coming out of the Coyotes’ bankruptsy hearings in Arizona today.

Sara

June 9th, 2009
1:39 pm

BTW, anyone seen this nugget yet? Funny how life works isn’t it? (I’ll give you a hint – it’s about everyone’s favorite former Thrasher.)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4245506&name=hradek_ej

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2009
2:02 pm

Heatley is simply a POS.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
3:23 pm

Is it too much to ask that they at least misspell Hossa’s name on the Cup?

Bob

June 9th, 2009
3:49 pm

Heatley. Boo! Hossa. Boo! Waddell. Bah.

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2009
3:50 pm

Since it’s a rather slow summer day, here’s a poll question:

Who’s name would you rather see on the Stanley Cup?

Your Choices: WHossa or Crotchby. Pick One.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
4:07 pm

Whore-sa…

I think Crybaby needs to wait a bit longer… I’d like to seem him in his 30’s before hoisting the Cup.

At least if Hossa wins the Cup and Detroit can’t resign him, he might shake-up the free agent market some.

Tony C.

June 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

Wow! Giving DW a lot of credit there huh Stroz?

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
5:35 pm

Hey gang, look who’s the “Player of the Day” at NHLPA.com. Check it out. http://www.nhlpa.com/PlayerOfTheDay/index.asp?Date=6/9/2009

plenty of empty seats

June 9th, 2009
5:43 pm

marty reasoner is gonna sell a lot tickets, ain’t he? snickersnickersnicker

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
5:56 pm

I’d say I’d rather see Hossa’s name on the Cup. He’s put in more time in this league … and he’s a very complete player. One of the 10 best in the whole world, I might be willing to say. I’m not mad at Hossa. Through no fault of his own, he got traded here. He gave us two pretty decent years. And he tried to effect change here, like like Kovalchuk is trying to do. When the organization wouldn’t trade him after the playoff sweep, it got uncomfortable. I wish Hossa the best. Hossa never said anything bad about Atlanta. So, I don’t boo him. And I don’t blame him for pursuing his dream, in Detroit. I think he would have been perfectly fine in Pittsburgh. But the heart wants what it wants. Perhaps, Hossa’s ALWAYS wanted to play for Detroit. If he does, indeed, sign a significantly devalued, longterm contract with Detroit, how can people continue to question him?

If Hossa’s value is $8 million, or more, and he takes $5 million, he’s left $3 million on the table, for every year of that contract. And if it’s 7-years long, that’s $21 million. How many people would turn DOWN $21 million to follow their dreams? Sorry. I didn’t mean to get that philosophically laden this late in the day.

Banana Cream Pieeee

June 9th, 2009
9:05 pm

To the jerk whose username is “Don Waddell”…..
you wish you had half the character of Don Waddell.

You know, all of you can sit on here all day long and tell everyone how you “would have done it” but reality is that he is was qualified to be the General Manager of this NHL team. Get over it. People make mistakes and they learn from them.

Second of all, this team is young. Yes we’ve come close at times and fell short, but lets give them some slack. The pressure is on for the Thrashers. Everyone knows it.

Everyone loves to criticize, but I doubt ANY of you have the chops to have done a better job.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 9th, 2009
9:22 pm

Wait … that’s not really Don Waddell posting?

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2009
9:50 pm

Looks like one of Waddell’s relatives can’t take the heat. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not the same relative complaining about the FIRE DON WADDELL club on Facebook.

BTW, we’ve given Waddell years of slack. If Waddell hadn’t BS’ed the fan base for years, we probably wouldn’t be as critical.

Would you like the list of BS lines we’ve heard over the years?

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
10:07 pm

It’s 2-0, Penguins!! 3rd period.

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
10:19 pm

Detroit has cut the lead in half, it’s 2-1. There’s 8:30 left in the 3rd period now.

Darkhorse

June 9th, 2009
10:41 pm

That was a hell of a game! Scudari is raising his value I would say.

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2009
10:44 pm

Hossa goes O-ssa again.

Don Waddell

June 9th, 2009
11:02 pm

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
11:19 pm

In the postgame show, Darren Pang and Mike Milbury opined that Hossa has to turn it up a notch, because he’s been a “no-show.” Their words, not mine. Maybe they meant just in Game Six. Or maybe they meant in the series. I’m watching “On the Fly” now. Penguins outplayed the Red Wings. Pittsburgh played … like a team whose SEASON was on the line. Detroit played like a team that thought, “no worries, Game Seven is in our building.” Okay, that’s not fair. Detroit did pour it on in the 3rd period. But through two periods, the Penguins doubled up the Red Wings on shots. How did that happen?

B. Thenet

June 9th, 2009
11:19 pm

I doubt they will wait for the Pens to be up 2-0 late in the 3rd before the first penalty gets called on the Pens in Game 7.

Is it possible that one day we can have officiating so incredibly biased in our favor for just one playoff series? I doubt it.

Jacques Strapp

June 9th, 2009
11:24 pm

Oui, I do love eet when a mother comes to the aide of her leetle boy.

But you know, maybe zhe haz a point. Do we really theek anyone heere could do az well being GM as Donnie boy? Who here could have general maneeged ze Thrasheirs to as many playoff wins az Donnie haz, no?

Brendan

June 10th, 2009
1:03 am

I’m fairly confident that Don Waddell will, eventually, get one playoff win as a GM in the NHL. Whether he can assemble a roster that can go 3-4 rounds deep in the playoffs is quite another matter. Especially with this ownership. In a way, isn’t having this poor ownership the greatest excuse a GM could ever hope for? “My hands were tied! I wanted to keep Audette, Brunette and Savard. Ownership said, “No, to increased payroll.” And so forth. The most telling stat, is not the budget. It’s the eight, soon to be nine, Top 10 overall draft positions the team has enjoyed as a building point for the franchise. In the end, it’s the GM’s job to build the franchise. Yes or no? Most GM’s would consider 10 years and eight Top 10 picks something close to a “fantasy come true” for building a team. Tempered, of course, with the realization that eight Top 10 picks means the team has underachieved for quite a prolonged period of time.

PensFan

June 10th, 2009
2:54 am

Obviously I am biased. But when you get outplayed in a game like that, I think will settle for a 2-2 PP tie with the other team. No penalties called in the 2nd period. I think Detroit got away with more than what Pittsburgh got away with in that second period. SO I would not cry about penalties if I am a Detroit fan., This is why I think Pittsburgh should go back to dressing 7 D. If the refs are lenient, you play more of Gill who is good at clutching and grabbing crap. If they are not , and you need offense, let Boucher eat up some of Gill’s ice time (while also providing Gonchar some relief on PPs).

LAC

June 10th, 2009
5:32 am

Found this interesting bit in The Hockey News… Interesting !

• Pierre LeBrun reported during a recent Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that Atlanta Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk had a good meeting last Thursday with GM Don Waddell, which will set the stage for a possible contract extension for the Russian superstar later this summer.

Kovalchuk is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010 and has been the subject of trade rumors for months. But as LeBrun noted, the club has surrounded the skilled Russian with good young talent that will be an incentive for Kovalchuk to stay.

Waddell has insisted he won’t trade Kovalchuk even if he doesn’t re-sign him, but that won’t stop the speculation. Signing him this summer would be a promising message to the club’s shrinking fan base.

Ice Meister

June 10th, 2009
7:50 am

Alotta people on this blog want Waddell fired, but it’s not their call. That will all go away when he signs Kovy to an extension.

The tide is turning for the Thrashers-we hope

Bob

June 10th, 2009
8:13 am

“Is it possible that one day we can have officiating so incredibly biased in our favor for just one playoff series?”

lol, the siren call of losers everywhere. I guess it was the refs fault that the Pens outshot them 3-1 during the beginning of the game as well?

“Alotta people on this blog want Waddell fired, but it’s not their call. That will all go away when he signs Kovy to an extension.”

No it won’t. We already have Kovy and we suck. There’s a boatload of additional work that needs to be done to this team, re-signing Kovy just leaves us at status quo, they need to move forward.

Tony C.

June 10th, 2009
9:32 am

No it won’t. We already have Kovy and we suck. There’s a boatload of additional work that needs to be done to this team, re-signing Kovy just leaves us at status quo, they need to move forward.

Exactly. Oh, and Banana cream? If you have any pull with A.S., LLC, you let ‘em know that I *do* have the chops to do so, and to prove my point I’ll take DW’s job for $15k/year less. That should get their attention.

I mean really what chops do I need to trot out a new uniform every few years as the “exciting new-look” of the team.

Nikita

June 10th, 2009
9:35 am

I see no sign that they aren’t, though, at this point. I mean, come on, the playoffs aren’t even over yet. It would be stupid from a PR standpoint to sign Kovy before they are.

Let’s see…we resign Kovy, Reasoner, Valabik, Thorburn (because that’s not negotiable to management. That is what will happen if their plans materialize.) I suspect we resign Lehts, and we deal him or Pavs out of camp. (I don’t have the list before me — I’m sure I’m leaving someone out.) We get Kane or someone better (though I want Kane), and hopefully we secure 1-2 elite types. I’m guess we let Oystrick go, and we replace him with more established talent. I’d like us to lose Ex, but I expect to see his ugly mug next year.

Also, a lot of the work will fall to John Anderson. Unlike our previous coach, he’s quite good at fast-tracking young talent and developing it. I’d suspect that anyone we see taken in the 2nd round will be a possible slot filler, depending on how the rest of the team shakes out.

As to UFAs I might like to see in Atlanta: Staal, Talbot (Pittsburgh needs to shed salary), Gaborik, think Detroit’s ok salarywise or I’d say Samuelsson. The UFA crop isn’t great this year.

More work does need to be done…but it’s not time to judge that work when the time for doing it isn’t here yet.

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2009
10:47 am

Well… the ratings from last night are in…

CBS 7.5 …NCIS and The Mentalist
ABC 6.9 …NBA Finals
NBC 3.7 …NHL FInals
FOX 3.0 …House (reruns)

Smoothie

June 10th, 2009
10:49 am

Nikita, all three of the Staal brothers are under contract in ‘09-’10. Perhaps we can draft the youngest brother out of the 4 this year and start him at RW! And I think DET is going to have just a little bit of difficulty bringing everyone back next year unless Hossa bolts or takes a $3.5 M pay-cut.

TableHockey

June 10th, 2009
10:50 am

If the rumors are true that the Wings and Hossa have reached a 7 year deal then I suspect they would have some cap issues and need to shed players.

When is Malkin UFA? Can the Pens afford to keep him and Crosby?

Rawhide

June 10th, 2009
11:05 am

TableHockey – Malkin’s contract… that pays him $8.7 mil a year… runs through the 2013-14 season. So the Penguins have five more years before having to deal with that possible dilemma.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 10th, 2009
11:06 am

Smoothie — Jared Staal was drafted by Phoenix last season. He’s the last of the hockey playing Staal brothers.

TableHockey — Malkin is a UFA in July of 2014. Crosby will be a UFA in July of 2013.

Smoothie

June 10th, 2009
12:01 pm

Until the Staals start having baby Staals who will ultimately start playing hockey as toddlers! We can draft Eric’s first born son hopefully no later than the 2030 draft!! ;-)

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

June 10th, 2009
12:01 pm

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10 Minute Ranallo Warning!!