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

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
1:33 pm

Valabik, Exelby are the only two players from that list who could get a return of an NHL player if swapped individually. The other three would be prospect for prospect deals, as they’ve proven nothing at the NHL level and have little to show for them at the AHL level. Valabik’s intangibles and age make him far more palatable to NHL teams, but Exelby’s experience and proven abilities (however low you might consider them) would allow him to start for many teams in the league.

I’d say Valabik would need to be sweetener in any deal if the intended return is a “top-line forward”. Neither he nor Exelby could bring such a return in any straight up swap, in my opinion.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
1:42 pm

Regarding Puck Daddy’s article…I recall that in a recent Kovalchuk Q&A that a fellow blogger posted on these forums, Kovalchuk stated that in his next contract he would demand a clause which would allow him to play in the Olympics. I’m curious what sort of punishment a player can get from the NHL if they were to decide to join the Olympics…because I’m willing to bet many patriotic players (I’m thinking of the Russians primarily) would be willing to take a couple weeks out of their playoff hunt in order to get their chance to win Olympic Gold.

If the Thrashers are out of contention by February, would it bother anybody in the least bit to see (insert Olympic quality talent’s name here) playing for their home country instead of Atlanta? Maybe I’m silly, but it wouldn’t bother me.

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
2:00 pm

I actually agree with you, Ranallo. If the Thrashers are out of it, and Bogosian gets the invite to Team USA, or Kovy to Team Russia, then what the heck. Let ‘em go. I thought about, “What about the trade deadline? What if they got hurt?” Well, they could just as easily get hurt before the trade deadline here, as during the Olympics.

I hope Nathan Oystrick returns. I liked what I saw. Exelby I can part with. But for what? To move Exelby, it’s probably got to part of a package deal. I think Exelby would be a great fit in Chicago (not the Wolves). I’d swap “X” for a prospect. For the organization, “X” only reflects a $1.3 million expenses. For this money, what’s better out there? That might be their “mindset.” For $1.3 million, what are the options? Instead of saying, “For $4 million, what can we get if we give Exelby in the return?” Yes, that’d mean ADDING payroll, but isn’t meeing the floor of the cap still an issue for this team? They’ve got to add money somewhere.

Thrashers27

June 8th, 2009
2:00 pm

According the Atlantathrashers.com Reasoner has been re-signed!!!

Thrashers27

June 8th, 2009
2:06 pm

Rawhide, don’t you think that Postma will contend for a defensive roster spot in Atlanta next year? He put up crazy numbers in juniors last year.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
2:07 pm

I agree w/ranallo-Valabik and X, in that order would be your most likely targets off the blueline for other GMs in the league. That would make the (logical to me) assumption that Enstrom & Bogosian are off-limits and not too many teams would be interested in paying Ron Hainsey as much as we do…

Now as far as either BoBo or X bringing a top-6 forward back as return “straight-up” I would only see that coming from a team that is right against the cap (Philly for example)-I would think it more likely we see one of those guys packaged with the MTL 2nd-round pick in exchange for a “legit” top-6 guy.

I’m almost of the opinion that we should throw out a couple of offer sheets-there’s a lot of good young guys coming into the league, why not make some reasonable (for both parties-Org. & Player) offers?

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
2:11 pm

27- Let’s see what he does against grown-ups before we get all giddy.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
2:29 pm

Postma will start in Chicago… I’m pretty certain… of course I also thought Oystrick would be the first scratch from the practice squad last summer. :)

I’d think they’re more likely to keep someone like Oystrick on-board as a 7th D-man, press box guy. They’re not going to stunt Postma’s growth by having him scratched most of the time in the NHL… he won’t be solid enough to take ice time away from Salmela.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
2:32 pm

I agree with Tony – Postma needs to play well against bigger boys (and eventually men) before I’m going to get too excited about him. WHL stats are nice, but let’s see if he can transition to the professional ranks.

Brendan — I’m kinda curious what Ottawa was offering for Exelby two years back (Hossa trade deadline time).

Alan

June 8th, 2009
2:32 pm

Rawhide, a couple of things…

First, I’m incredibly happy that Reasoner has been re-signed. It brings me great joy to hear that.

Second, Don’t Stop Believin’ is actually one of my all-time favorite songs. Furthermore, I was born in “south Detroit.” Makes me smile every time I hear it. More so now than ever before, and for the very reason Kevin Allen states. I think many of us Michiganders see it as almost a rally song. A “you’ve bruised our pride, but together we’re unstoppable” kind of thing.

Just my two cents.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
2:34 pm

Rawhide… so who won the contest for “when will Marty sign?” :)

I think I said June 10th… can’t remember.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
2:36 pm

Ranallo… I think Ottawa was wanting both Exelby AND Lehtonen… can’t remember what the return was… I wanna say Vermette and Phillips or Vermette and Schubert… something like that.

Don Waddell

June 8th, 2009
2:49 pm

I’m REALLY somebody now. The ASG has a Reason to keep me.

Riceowls8891

June 8th, 2009
2:49 pm

If memory serves, the Hurricanes were threatened with $250,000 fine if they let Arturs Irby go to the Olympics early to play for his native Latvia. Its not the team that objects its the league, and other teams that don’t want oppoenents getting easy points. Teams are obligated to put forth their best team. If my memory is wrong, I would welcome a correction, but I’m pretty sure this is right.

Darkhorse

June 8th, 2009
2:51 pm

Glad to see Marty back. So that’s two guys extended at two years each. Kinda would have like to have seen Reasoner’s contract a little longer(3-4 years maybe). I wonder if that’s going to be a trend in contracts here this offseason. Not sure of the dollar amount on either guy, but hope to see more of a four year type extension for a younger Armstrong, with him being the only quality NHL return for Hossa at this point.

Glovesave29

June 8th, 2009
2:52 pm

NHLPA and the NHL will never allow only the players on non-contending teams to take time out for the Olympics. The reason? It’s competition. Teams that are still in contention at the time of the olympics will howl like the dickens if they get to play Atlanta sans Kovy, Little and Bogo, while other teams they are in contention will get to play the Thrash when they have their full compliment of players. Then there is the insurance issue – heaven forbid one of the stars get injured in a non-NHL sanctioned event (previous Olympics with NHL players were duly sanctioned).

My personal feelings are that the NHL will re-up their contact with the Olympics after Vancouver. Especially since there are so many Russians in the league and the next games are in Sochi, Russia – it would be a nightmare for the league and a golden (pun, yeah – I know) chance for the KHL to fill the void and be the hero. The TV ratings are higher for the Olympics than the NHL (nationwide) and it is a two week advertisement for the NHL.

It’s not like it’s every year…I think the NHL can shut down for 3 weeks once every 4 years to let players play for their countries. The resulting compacted schedule is more interesting, anyhow.

Riceowls8891

June 8th, 2009
2:53 pm

First, its Irbe not Irby.

Second it was a fine of up to $1 million. “Integrity of the game” yada yada yada.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/11/sports/olympics-hockey-nhl-and-its-teams-send-players-to-bench.html

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
2:53 pm

I think you won, Hokie. My guess was June 30th, I think.

Speaking of June 30th, that’s the deadline for the guess the Kovalchuk re-signing contest. The earliest guess is July 10th, by five_hole, no time of day specified. The farthest guess is July 1, 2010, by Washington, by FrostyTheSnowman. My guess is June 30, 2010, by Atlanta, at 8PM. Ranallo, your guess was June 30, 2010, by Atlanta, at 5PM. If the signing happens on June 30, 2010, at 6:30 PM, we both win!

Hockeybiltong, your guess is July 14, 2009, at 2PM. Jameson, your guess is July 15, 2009, no time specified. DWTOO, your guess is July 22, 2009, at no specified time. Rawhide, your guess is August 5, 2009, no specified time. Alan, your guess is August 29, 2009, no specified time. Kracker, your guess is September 7, 2009, no specified time. Nikita, your guess is September 9, 2009, no specified time.

That’s everyone so far. All picked Atlanta as the team, except for FrostyTheSnowMan, who has Washington. Anyone not making a guess by June 30th is ineligible. Considering that the contest began in early April, there’s little excuse for not making a timely pick.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
3:08 pm

Brendan… I’ll say September 7th… 10am… I hope I’m WAY off and that you win. ;)

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2009
3:08 pm

Oh… and he signs with Atlanta.

Bob

June 8th, 2009
3:08 pm

Didn’t see that contest before, Brendan. Put me down for “when Hades freezes over”

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
3:14 pm

I think Bob meant June 31st, 2010.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
3:27 pm

I think you won’t see anything beyond a 3-year deal for anyone outside of elite talent.

Rawhide

June 8th, 2009
3:30 pm

Tony C. – I think you won’t see anything beyond a 3-year deal for anyone outside of elite talent

And for good reason…what with the fact that ya don’t really know from one year to the next what the salary cap is gonna be, teams locking in players for anything more than a couple years is something that’ll be reserved for only the top-tier guys.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 8th, 2009
3:39 pm

That’s precisely what Bettman has been telling GMs since the lockout…he would be signing guys to 3 year contracts not 10 years.

Darkhorse

June 8th, 2009
3:50 pm

What length do you guys want to see Armstrong resigned at? At this point, I don’t consider him elite. Though he is young, talented w/some upside left, and an intagible locker room guy. The next tier down perhaps.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2009
3:54 pm

GVH wrote: “I don’t think there’s any question he wears an “A” this season.”

Kovalchuk “C”
Kozlov “A”
Armstrong “A”
Reasoner “A”

GVH: WORD!!

Talk about a strong locker room of leadership. Quiet and stoic leadership by example in savvy veteran Slava Kozlov. Vocal and comedic fresh-air breathed into the room by “class-clown” Colby Armstrong. Steadying veteran presence by a grinder who plays with a youthful exuberance as demonstrated by one Marty Reasoner, who seems to be well-liked by anyone who comes into contact with him. And finally our esteemed Captain who can lead not only by example, but through his ever-expanding role as voice of the team and steward of the organization. Kovalchuk seems really comfortable in his new leadership role and has really embraced the idea of being a more animated and vocal presence on the ice where he will even drop the gloves and stand up for the honor of a team-mate who has been wronged by an opponent (see McCabe fight after Pevs was knocked in the face against Fla).

I am stoked!! Now we need to go get a scrappy, physical RW with a proven ability to score (in the vein of a Mike Knuble) along with a lock-down 2nd line D-man to round things out on this roster. Now that Philly has supposedly committed to Emery over Biron, do you go after another Marty and trade Pavelec for that proven RW??

Darkhorse, I would like to see a 4 year deal for CA at around $7.5 M for the duration, $1.875 M per. However, $2-2.25 M / year would not surprise me, but I would prefer a 2 or 3 year deal the higher we go.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
4:15 pm

I’d give Armi a 4 year deal as well-monetary concessions for NTC/NMC type details.

Also, personally, I LOVE seeing NHLers play in the Olympics.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
4:30 pm

And the McCabe fight was awesome.

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
4:31 pm

Hokie, you’re registered with September 7, at 10AM. Be advised, Kracker, that you also have this date of September 7, but no time specified. Would you care to place something before or after Hokie’s 10AM guess for that date?

Bob, that was the guess you made back in April. I just didn’t know how to log it in. It’s, essentially, no guess. If Kovalchuk never re-signs, ever, then he’s probably playing in Europe–more than likely in Russia. And that’s a guess, too. At the time of the contest, I did specify that you must indicated a date, preferably with a “time of day,” (for tie-breaking purposes,) and correctly name the team for which he re-signs, including if you think he’ll go play in Europe next. Can I put you down for the Rangers, Maple Leafs or Capitals on July 1, 2010, for Kovalchuk, Bob?

Brendan

June 8th, 2009
4:48 pm

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. The player’s only control is his signature on that contract. If Armstrong wants to leave, he’ll hold out, trying to force a trade. If he wants to stay, then it’s a matter of dollars and cents. And, I believe, Atlanta, given its market, will have to pay slightly more.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t Armstrong qualify for UFA status next season, given that will be 27 or older, with 5 years of NHL tenure? With that in mind, Atlanta … if it wants to have some longevity with this player, has to offer a few years, at a slightly inflated salary, to coax the player into signing. If not, and they wind up on a one-year deal, or in salary arbitration, Armstrong can leave next season. Without compensation back to the Thrashers.

It’s the job of a player agent to garner as much salary as possible for his client, and himself. If Colby can really be had for less than $3 million, Atlanta should take it.

Nikita

June 8th, 2009
5:00 pm

Exelby…Valabik… Kulda…Denny or Lewis

Exelby is the one who needs to go. He’s a known quantity, which makes him a relatively straightforward swap, and he’s not going to develop sufficiently that we need to keep him for our future. That said, I could part with Lewis, as well. He’s a defensive defenseman, and would do very well in a system like NJD’s.

Yay re: Reasoner. And duh re: Salmela.

Smitty

June 8th, 2009
5:15 pm

I think you have to stick with the young guys namely Valabik and Kulda. Kulda is a late bloomer and Valabiks coordination will catch up. I have always liked X ever since he knocked the hell out of that Canadien a few years ago. But his skills have diminished since then. Stick with the young guys. They did not do all that badly last year. With a good draft and one good FA signing who knows what next year might bring.

Hockey Biltong

June 8th, 2009
5:18 pm

When is Slavas’ contract up? Is it this year? And if we resign him, for how long…he’s ancient, almost…

Darkhorse

June 8th, 2009
5:30 pm

Smoothie-I’m thinking about the same as far as length of contract for Armstrong. Maybe a contract similar to Todd White? DW wanted him pretty bad in the Hossa deal, so he should want to keep him around for a few years at least. Brendan-You may be right though about having to pay him a little more. I thought his cap hit this past season was $2mil. I would expext a raise from that based on his overall contributions and performance this past year. Anything under $2.5mil per year would be great. 4 years, $10mil?

Ben Wright said on his tweeter yesterday, their should be several “fan pleasing” things taking place this week. Reasoner today, maybe Armstrong and Valabik later this week? Could Kari also be resigned this week, but still dealt around the draft?

Tony C.

June 8th, 2009
5:34 pm

Bilitong-This is his last season on the current deal. He’ll be re-signed if he still wants to play. At least you would think so-he’s #17’s “uncle” so I don’t think it’s going to be that much of an issue.

Rawhide

June 8th, 2009
6:10 pm

Tony C.“He’ll be re-signed if he still wants to play”

Eh, maybe…maybe not. As I’ve opined before…if you look at it from the same angle as the Spirit Boys, his $3.6 mil salary could go to offset the $3-1/2 mil or so raise Kovy is going to get with any new contract he would sign here.

I’m not saying thats what I would like to happen…I’m just sayin’ that’s what might happen.

LAC

June 8th, 2009
6:36 pm

Marty reasoner is not a good player 30 points in 79 games and the thrashers are focused on signing him and not a player that scores 50+ points not the best decision by the atlanta thrashers in this instince.

This is one of the “fan” comments on TSN.

Who knows, will we see someone who will really assist the team ?

StateBird

June 8th, 2009
7:12 pm

Great news on Reasoner.

On an unrelated note what drugs are the NHL and NBC on scheduling the Stanley Cup against the NBA Finals???

Rawhide

June 8th, 2009
9:15 pm

I’ve updated the post above as well to show…”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”.

Brendan – If you need a time for a tie-breaker for my Aug. 5, 2009 entry into the contest…put me down for “noon-ish” that day.

Bob

June 8th, 2009
9:18 pm

“Can I put you down for the Rangers, Maple Leafs or Capitals on July 1, 2010, for Kovalchuk, Bob?”

Apparently reading for comprehension is not my forte.

Ok, I see, let’s go with July 2nd, 2010 with the New York Rangers.

Sara

June 8th, 2009
9:18 pm

Nice post you dug up LAC. Yeah, the Thrashers are so stupid … why are they bothering with Reasoner when they could be signing a 50+ point-producing FA? Or making a trade or something … they’re missing out on all the blockbuster deals going down left and right.

Oy.

Jameson

June 8th, 2009
9:48 pm

Rawhide- Seeing as how Kozy has lost a couple of steps, and his career is winding down, should we re-sign him, don’t you think he’d be willing to take a bit of a pay cut if he wanted to keep playing?

LAC

June 8th, 2009
10:14 pm

Kozlov has one year remaining on his three year contract.

But remember, he is a KILLER in shootouts.

Maybe the NHL should have a new rule where you can have an old veteran on the roster for shootouts only… Maybe Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzy,and
Eric Vail could return as shootout shooters !

Rawhide

June 8th, 2009
10:34 pm

Jameson – Ask me that question next spring.

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 8th, 2009
11:24 pm

TSN will never have anything good to say about the Atlanta Thrashers or any other team based in the south.

NASCAR Dave

June 9th, 2009
12:09 am

Good one, LAC!!! Maybe we can bring back KOVY after he Retires after a Long Career elsewhere after he gets Traded at the Deadline because DONNIE [[FAILS]] to get him to SIGN…

REASONER signs… So we got our 4th Line Center… So, I guess that means SLATER should be GONE, RIGHT??? His Time is WELL UP!!! There is clearly NO PURPOSE ANYMORE for this guy on THIS TEAM!!!

It’s TIME TO REBUILD… [[[AGAIN x 5]]]

If they haven’t already cut DUM-BASS DONNIE yet, I really hope they are EYEING HIM LIKE A HAWK!!! No more of the same old CRAP ROSTERS!!!

Hey DONNIE… Go ask ask KOVY what he thinks of your CRAP ROSTERS!!!

MORON.

It’s WELL BEYOND TIME to CUT THIS CLOWN LOOSE and MOVE ON with NEW BLOOD!

Brendan

June 9th, 2009
1:10 am

Rawhide, I will inform the Divine Mrs. R. that you have a “nooner” planned for that day (August 5, 2009). ;)

Bob, you are duly noted with the NY Rangers, on July 2, 2010, no time of day specified. Your guess is also the farthest date guessed, to date. Followed by FrostyTheSnowman on July 1, 2010, with the Washington Capitals. Third farthest would be mine, June 30th, 8PM, and then Ranallo, at 5PM, also on June 30, 2010. I’ve never wanted to lose a contest more. Just think what Waddell re-signing Kovalchuk sometime in July would avoid?

… Thoughts on Kozlov … Sigh. Okay, the guy’s closer to 40 than 30. He’s not getting any younger. He’s already at the age where he’s become particularly susceptible to injury. But he is the bomb in the shootout. There’s just no denying that. If the GM approached Kozlov for a PROACTIVE contract that results in a “discounted” re-signing, I won’t cry about it. Kozlov will probably always have value in the shootout. But is he blocking the ascension of LW talent? Follow up question, “Will Brett Sterling be traded at the draft? Or in the offseason?” I don’t know. I like the guy, but he has the appearance of a ‘tweener.’ At pick #145 in his draft year (2003), I thought he was a steal (Hobey Baker finalist, Colorado College). Time will tell if Sterling ever truly develops into an NHL player of any substance.

If ever there was a time where I’d condone Waddell proscrastination, it’s Kozlov’s next contract. It may well be worth waiting until June 2010 to make that decision. I, uhhh, do seem to recall that the LAST TIME Kozlov’s contract came due, he hopped on a plane to Dallas, to discuss options with the Stars. Right or wrong? And the results were that the organization got their butts in gear with a contract for Kozlov. Personally, I don’t think Kozlov EVVVVVER had intention #1 of signing in Dallas. He just wanted nudge Atlanta, to help them find their checkbook. That’s all.

LAC & NascarDave, I don’t know what root for anymore. When Waddell tries for a well-established star (Holik & Brian Campbell), he tends to find himself in “overpaid acquisition” territory. When he tries to go the “high risk, high reward,” we end up with Jani Hurme, Uwe Krupp types. When he tries for Tier II types, it’s a mixed bag of Jason Williams, Eric Perrin, Steve Rucchin, Marty Reasoner, Todd White and Ron Hainsey types. There’s some hit and some miss there.

I was never angry with the Todd White signing, 4-years/$9.5 million. It was Hossa who wasn’t impressed. I recognized White as a “depth” player. And said, “every good team needs them.” White has delivered, especially in “value” department. For what Marty Reasoner was paid, and will be paid, if reports are true, I can’t see that Atlanta won’t get “value” for his role on this team. So, I like the signing. I’m not saying it puts Atlanta in a position to win the Stanley Cup. But they’re not in a position to gun for the Stanley Cup in 2010.

Is it Cammalleri? No. But what shot do we really have at that? Is it Havlat? No. But what shot do we really have at that? Is it Saku Koivu? Stop. I like him. But he’ll be 35 soon. That’s not the direction we really need to go, especially OVERPAID as he surely will be. Is it the Sedin Twins? C’mon now. What’s that gonna cost? Vancouver may well re-sign them both, anyways.

Atlanta’s options are limited, guys. They’ve got to hope for something unforeseen. Maybe a breakout season for Colin Stuart, netting 20 goals. Maybe Valabik finally breaks through? Or Nathan Oystrick stuns us all, with an Enstrom-like rookie season. I don’t know what to tell you. Komisarek will be overpaid by Atlanta, as probably would Ohlund, if either were acquired via free agency. And Waddell obviously isn’t getting fired. Forbes Magazine says he’s under contract until 2010. I suspect it’s longer than that, however. No matter. With the Atlanta Spirit, LLC, in charge, Waddell’s job is always “safe.”

Tony C.

June 9th, 2009
8:07 am

Mr. T.- I see where it might not be on FUBAS’ “to do” list, but uhh… if the focus is to make #17 happy, I don’t think SlavaMatic’s going anywhere. Heck, we catch a hold of a shooting star come spring 2K10 the gate may just make up the “extra” needed to see Slava stay.

Maybe.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2009
9:29 am

Can Slava be extended this summer?

Brendan… I didn’t realize your guess of June 30th for Kovalchuk was 2010… I thought you meant 2009… in that case, I hope you LOSE! ;)

I think as long as the organization is proactive this summer and gets the right players in here, Kovalchuk won’t want to be a distraction… he’ll sign before the puck drop.

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!!