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 courteous to me and my sons. One thing that has impressed me about him is how he never has cut the conversation short…citing his schedule or where he needed to be. Instead, he has waited for me to say “Thanks for the time, Don…good luck with the rest of the season”. Maybe those of you have similar stories.

But the job of a GM is to ice a competive team and run the front office. So…just how well off is the Thrashers’ organization after 11 years with on the job for Waddell? Well, I guess that all depends on your “glass half-full” or “glass half-empty” viewpoint.

First off, the cold, hard numbers. The overall record for Waddell and the Thrashers is 273 wins, 367 losses, 53 overtime losses and 45 ties. The team has averages 71.5 points in the nine seasons played. In between coaching hires, he has stepped in behind the bench to coach the team he has assebled for a total of 86 games. His record during those times is 38-39-1-8.

The last two seasons have ended with 76 points…just slightly above the average.

One playoff appearance…zero playoff wins.

So, obvioulsy there have been some sour times in Thrasherville over the course of the past decade…even Don would admit that. To that point, after the 2007-08 season, I was firmly of the belief that his time was up as GM and a change had to be made. Many of you felt the same way…some even thinking he should have been let go before.

But he remained then…and remains still.

Regarding the past two Thrashers’ seasons… even though 76 points are 76 points any way you slice it, last year ended on a much better note than the one before. 2007-08 was a very tumultuous season… what with the terrible start, Hartley firing, Hossa drama and the poor showing down the stretch. But last year, although the team took a while to get things going, they played to a winning record down the stretch.

Personally, I prefer to look at where the franchise is now and what is in store for the future of the club and I think next season holds a lot of promise for this young team. I base that a lot on the way they played since the middle of January to the end of the season… and the fact that the starting roster next fall will be filled with much of the same players as those who took the ice then.

Over the course of the last year or so, a few good moves have been made by Waddell and the team. Starting with the hiring of John Anderson as head coach, then the acquisition of a very solid centerman in Marty Reasoner, to the waiver-wire pickup of Rich Peverly and then the trade deadline moves in which some fairly decent returns were obtained for the players departed. Oh…and drafting that Bogosian kid certainly didn’t hurt things.

So…you can’t call my viewpoint of the team “hopefully optomistic” regarding the future. Then again, I said the same thing last summer.

The most recent big news from Waddell and the Thrashers…that of Rick Dudley’s hiring…  seems to have most fans smiling. One reason for the happy faces is that the acquisition of new associate GM Rick Dudley brings with it the speculation that there is a re-org about to happen in the Thrashers’ front office. As I’ve opined previously, I just find it difficult to think that he would leave an assistant GM job with the Blackhawks to make what really is a lateral move to come to Atlanta…not unless there is some sort of understanding that there is a promotion in his future here.

Such a move, of course, would likely mean that Dudley takes over as general manager and Don then wears only the hat of Executive Vice President. I, for one, would be in total favor of that.

But until/unless such a move is made, Waddell is set to go into yet another year as the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers. And because of that, it is simply inevitable any such discussion of him will eventually lead back to one basic question… “How many years can any GM remain in place given such a record”?

Ummm…well, I don’t know about others… but this one goes to eleven.

At least, so far.

:!: TJ’s Draft Party Update! :!:

Mark just contacted me to let me know of another prize that will be raffled off at Friday’s draft party. It includes 4 premium seats to a game this coming season plus a Zamboni ride in between periods!!!

Remember, the fun starts at 7:00 pm.

116 comments Add your comment

David

June 23rd, 2009
9:46 am

FIRE WADELL!!

Alan

June 23rd, 2009
9:51 am

Chris Chelios will not be offered an extension in Detroit.

We could use a defensive specialist behind the bench here, you know, but it sounds like Cheli wants to continue playing.

Bob

June 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

Fire Dudell, I mean Wadley.

JJ (formerly 302)

June 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

The job of GM is a crap shoot. You never know what will come up when you make a move.

I think Waddell has done more damage as the Thrashers head coach than as GM. Just look at how long it took the Thrashers to turn it around last season.

He will not be fired any time soon. Waddell needs to realize he has gone as far as he can with this team and resign. It is time to give someone else a chance.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

One week until everyone is happy again!

Darren Elliot

June 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

I bet he steps down as GM AFTER the draft but before training camp. He will make the moves this summer with input from the new guy, then hand the job over. Because if his moves and signings this summer work out, then he isn’t a failure. He can point to those specific moves that HE made this offseason and say that HE did that. If his moves don’t work out, than the new guy is already in place. Then DW will say that it will take time for this new guy to get what HE wants in place. Give him 5 years… (sound familiar)

I personally hope that his moves do work out and we get a cup next year. I will give Don some credit then. And a lot of you will be eating some crow

Glovesave29

June 23rd, 2009
11:11 am

I am sure DW will step down – as I said before, there is no way Dudley leaves the Hawks on a lateral move in a smaller market and a less competitive team. He is being handed the reigns…I agree with DE above, that Don is moved up to Exec VP and turns the team over to GM Dudley prior to training camp. I feel it may even be announced at the draft party, so that Dudley can be the one going after the UFA’s.

Alan – I’d take Cheli just for the leadership in the locker room. He, along with Rob Brind’Amour are the well established workout kings of the NHL. Lead by example. Teach a team how to win. I gotta imagine his big salary days ala Schneider of 2008 are long gone. He’ll take a moderate salary, and other players may follow him. He is that well liked in the league…

Rawhide

June 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

:!: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!! :!:

I just got word from Mark at TJ’s that another prize that will be raffled of at Friday’s draft party is a Zamboni ride next season. The prize package will consist of 4 premium seats to a game plus the Zamboni ride between periods.

How about that???

Spud Webb

June 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Agreed folks, DW will get “promoted” & I’m fine with that. I don’t hate DW as a person. I just hate how we are not good, 11 years running.
I don’t think there has ever been a question of how good a person DW is, at least in my mind. I know that he has always been personable to me and he is an A+ person from all accounts. The business end of it is where most (?) or all of us have the issue. The time has come and I’m looking forward to ANYTHING new for the Thrashers. I’m to slightly optamistic (Spelling?) about the future and I’m hoping Kane is our 4th pick. I want Espisito up next year, lets see what we have there and lets get this going.
From all accounts Chelios wants to play. I will guarantee you this, it won’t be here and he won’t coach here. We are the LAST place folks want to play or coach. WE know this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope to see everyone Friday night.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
11:31 am

Phew! Thank goodness it was just a dream. I dreamt that we had re-signed Ken Klee to a 3 year deal to be our 2nd pairing D-man with Ron Hainsey!! What a freakin’ nightmare that would be. No offense to the hard-working “Buzz Lightyear”, but anything more than a 1 year deal to play 12 mins of 3rd pairing minutes will be a disaster for whomever decides to ink him.

On the subject of Waddell, he brought us Peverley and drafted Bogosian over Pieterangelo and Schenn and for that I am truly thankful. He brought in Dudley to assist with the draft and player development and I think that is a smart move. If Donnie Dub can pull off the following, I’ll be very happy indeed:

1) Draft Evander Kane at # 4 overall

2) Trade Pavelec, XLB and a 2nd round pick for a bona fide RW who is capable of scoring 30 + goals per game

3) Re-sign Lehts, Colby, Slater and Crabb to reasonable extensions ranging from 2-4 years depending (2 for Crabb, 3 for Slates and Lehts and 4 for Colbs)

4) Convince Rob Scuderi, Greg Zanon, Andrew Alberts or at worst, Ossi Vaananen to sign with the Thrashers to play 2nd pairing minutes…ideally this would be a 3-4 year deal worth $2.5 – 3 M per

5) And lastly, and most significantly, offer Kovalchuk a 3 year extension worth between $27 and $28 M. I really believe the only way to re-sign Kovy is with a short-term deal in which his avg salary is at least as much as Malkin, Crosby or Ovechkin. Give him the option to request more years. If he likes all of the moves executed above and requests a long-term deal, work out something front-loaded for 7-8 years worth $65 – $70 M. Obviously, my biggest dream come true would be all of the above plus an announcement that Kovalchuk has decided to play for the Thrashers until 2015!!

That’s not too much to ask now is it? If DWad can pull that off, then he can “retire” to a cushy, VP of Operations desk job in which he oversees much of what he is currently charged with overseeing right now rather than wear the GM hat while trying to juggle the demands of running a mult-million dollar sports franchise operation.

dwayne

June 23rd, 2009
11:48 am

VP Don the Dud, will fire Dudley 2 years from now and take back over. Claiming Dudley made all the wrong moves. He will then convince us of a new 5 year plan. And, we as fans, will be dishing out the same ole bull$h!t on blogs hoping for better days.

Hip Czech

June 23rd, 2009
11:49 am

Numbers don’t lie…there is a great spreadsheet here http://www.4shared.com/file/113472332/7a01746b/Draft_History_94-Present_v3.html

If you look at the Team Summary from 1999-2008 you’ll see the Thrashers rank dead last in the number of draft picks that have played in the NHL (24.7%) (surprising to see who is next to last…). And, if you throw out the first round percentage (72.7% because of can’t miss picks Kovalchuk, Heatley, and marginally Lehtonen) the numbers would be REAL ugly.

The lack of drafting success is the main indictment on Waddell’s regime. Can’t argue much over the non-draft moves that have been made…some have stunk (Zhitnik), some have been great (Savard, Kozlov, Peverley (so far)). Given the ownership situation don’t know how well any GM would do in signing FA’s and making trades.

The draft has been the undoing of this franchise up to this point. Hopefully Dudley will help going forward.

World Be Free

June 23rd, 2009
12:19 pm

Smoothie, I think your totally on the right track here. The only addition I would make is for a UFA like Antropov. Guess I adding your thoughts to my wish list that includes Antropov.

But a wish list is just that and you can’t have everything.

Dudley-look at it this way, if Dudley drafts guys that play the game like, we will be way ahead of wherer we are today. Remember-Duds, hustled, hit, fought and scored 30 goals.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
12:27 pm

I’m not sure why people are so surprised Dudley would leave Chicago… all it really takes is a substantial pay raise and the lateral move is worth it, considering all the “chefs” in the kitchen in Chicago… Scotty Bowman, Stan Bowman, Dave Tallon.

Waddell is going to pay him to do exactly what he wants to do… scout the earth for young talent. And he can do so without added “insight” from Scotty and Stan Bowman.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
12:30 pm

… or maybe he’s tired of chasing his toupee down the windy cities of Chicago. :)

Hip Czech

June 23rd, 2009
12:30 pm

Adding to the wish list…either make an offer to Boston for Kessel, or pull a Lowe and make a RFA offer for him. The Bruins are up against the cap and they might be willing to deal Kessel for a young player and a draft pick maybe.

R. Stroz

June 23rd, 2009
12:30 pm

Hokie – I’ll bet you ONE DOLLAR (think Trading Places) that Dudley is named GM before December 31, 2009.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
12:42 pm

Hip Czech — I like your Kessel idea since we are dealing from a position of strength (IOW “cap space coupled with extra draft picks”). While he is not the ideal “power forward”, it seems as though young power forwards are gettiing harder and harder to come by. Perhaps the “Kane Train” will be the powerful locomotive we so yearn for. And having a speedy guy like Kessel alongside Kovy and Pevs could be quite the nice “gap insurance” plan until Kane is ready to take over at LW for Kozzy. Hmmmm, will the Thrashers line-up look like this in 3 yrs?

Kovy — Pevs — Kessel

Kane — Espo — Little

Stewy — Holzapfel — Machacek

Kaip — Slater — O’Dell

@ World Be Free — thanks for the props and I appreciate your addition to the wish-list. I just can’t seem to totally embrace Antropov, but perhaps his best years are ahead of him just like Mike Knuble when he turned 30. Maybe just maybe playing with Kovy would elevate him to new heights. It could work with Pevs flying around the ice and making sure the wingers don’t leave us too exposed too often.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
12:52 pm

Gosh, looking at that line-up we’d be awfully small wouldn’t we?? Perhaps Antro is just the guy to make that line-up a bit more intimidating. I like Kessel, but can we afford to have a St. Louis-like smurf on our top line?

Hockey Biltong

June 23rd, 2009
1:02 pm

What if we got Gill and Arthropod???

Spud Webb

June 23rd, 2009
1:06 pm

Smoothie, agreed, small. I personally don’t think Antro is the answer, yes he’s big, but doesn’t necessarily always play that way. If we go big, bring a bruiser, Gill and Antropov would be fine by me. Gill will throw it around. He maybe a good study for Boris also?
Rawhide, that would be a great prize to win.

Hip Czech

June 23rd, 2009
1:13 pm

I guess it was having Lucic on the other side, but I thought Kessel was bigger than what he is (listed at 6′ 189). I just remember seeing him all over the ice every time the Bruins played here. Put Thorburn at center between Kovalchuk and Kessel :-)

R. Stroz

June 23rd, 2009
1:17 pm

I don’t think Gill will work with Anderson’s system. Defenders have to be mobile with his pinch in and hustle back if you get burned system. Gill has no wheels left on his wagon.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
1:39 pm

Stroz… I’ll take the bet, sure… I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just not as surprised that Dudley would make a lateral move, if that’s all it amounts to.

Alan

June 23rd, 2009
2:06 pm

I’m just not as surprised that Dudley would make a lateral move, if that’s all it amounts to.

The key word. I’m sure you can see it just as well as I can, so there’s no sense in pointing it out.

It can’t just be all about the money, assuming that’s what wooed him to Atlanta in the first place. There’s something else afoot. From our collective outside-looking-in perspective, however, your guess is as good as mine as to what that “something else” is. Logically speaking, however, the most glaringly obvious reasoning is that Waddell is moving up or moving out, and thusly wants someone else in that he knows.

Dudley, on the other hand, had the opportunity to immediately become GM in Florida, but instead took the lateral move to come here. Why would someone, say, go from being a technician at IBM to being a technician at HP, even after being offered a supervisory role at Toshiba? There’s money, or the potential for advancement. Or, hell, both could play a part.

Point is, there’s more to this than what it seems. Money very well could be a factor, but I wouldn’t discount the potential for advancement.

Brendan

June 23rd, 2009
2:11 pm

Here’s why I’d rather live in Atlanta than Chicago. (1) Weather, (2) cost of living, (3) proximity to Florida, (4) quality of life. But I’m not independently wealthy, having made millions of cumulative dollars as a player, scout, GM, assistant GM, and now associate GM. And I’m not in the hockey profession. So, my reasons probably don’t apply.

Dudley and Waddell have history. I’ll admit it. I’ve tried to recruit friends to Atlanta from other cities, for work. There’s a “trust” there. There’s familiarity. I don’t mind that Dudley is here. I mind it, if the organization won’t change its business model to allow whomever is GM to be able to adequately perform that job. Salary cap floor spending is a big indicator of “intent.” There’s a certain LW who challenged ownership to get its act together. Will they ignore him? Or is Dudley’s acquisition part of the reversal of franchise fortune? Time will tell. But for now, I’m not critical.

If there’s criticism to be made, it’s this: Waddell has hired 3 coaches, plus himself to coach, why does he also get to hire the next ‘potential’ GM, too? Some might call that ‘cronyism.’ That word has negative connotations about it. But really, truly, who hasn’t tried to recruit a friend into the work place? If that friend is “qualified” and “capable,” I don’t see that any genuine harm has occurred.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
2:11 pm

Hey Stroz! I’ll take some of that action, but in my case, I’m thinking Duds will be named the F/T GM by Opening Night! I’ll bet you a beer on Opening Night if you want. Hope we play someone besides WSH or TBL on Opening Night for once. A packed house for a night of fun with the Sabres fans could be quite interesting.

polskidawg

June 23rd, 2009
2:16 pm

Rawhide – you really should be paid. Excellent articles and valid opinions. It seems that DW has always cared – some will discard that thought – I feel that he DOES want to do a good job. He just hasn’t.

His record in trades is pretty good in total. Sure, he blew it with Zhitnik/Coburn, he he has made several good to great moves, like Savard, Audette, Kozlov and Havelid. He has made the best of an unmanageable situation with Heatley, and to a lesser degree, Hossa.

His Free Agent signing record is unimpressive, with Todd White likely the “best” of the group.

His Draft record is deplorable (please see Hip Czech comments above). In my opinion, his best draft results were Pasi N., Enstrom, Little (no sure thing at 12th) and to a degree, Exebly. That’s it.

Hip Czech – my opinion is that your assessment is spot-on.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
2:31 pm

Alan, I certainly agree with your line of reasoning as it is very sound as usual. And for those who argue that it’s more about the money than the oppty, how could that be when we all know how strapped for cash the ASG has been? There must be some promise of succession and considering the vacancy created by the “departure” of Bernie Mullin last year, it makes perfect sense that DWad would transition (without the prospect of much additional compensation to do so) after bringing in a “new” guy like Dudley now that Mullin’s salary is off the books and perhaps even Bob Hartley’s. I just don’t see Dudley leaving CHI for a lateral move even if it does pay more money. He’s no spring chicken and could have just as easily taken the Fla job so we’re told by certain sources.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
2:41 pm

Dudley’s already been through the Panther organization, maybe he wants no part of it again… and I’m leaning towards my “too many chefs” in the kitchen theory in Chicago.

Believe me, the first thing that popped in my head was that Waddell was moving up to President… I just don’t expect it to happen this year… there has to be a grooming period, and I’m sure ownership wants to take a long look at the guy before handing him the keys to their $40 million car.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
2:49 pm

Here’s a question… is this the first season that Hartley’s contract is off the books? Couple that with the reduced salary for John Anderson as Coach, and maybe this is the first summer Waddell’s been given a budget to hire extra help.

… just a theory.

R. Stroz

June 23rd, 2009
3:01 pm

Smoothie – I’m sticking with my “Waddell moves up” by December 31, 2009, because it gives more wiggle room. I actually believe the following:

1) If Kovy is re-signed by opening night, “Waddell moves up” proclaiming he is a hero, and turns the GM reigns over to Dudley for the season.

2) If Kovy doesn’t re-sign by December 1, “Waddell moves up” soon after December 1, turns the GM reigns over to Dudley, and Dudley takes the hit for moving Kovy by the trade deadline.

Scapegoating and trying to save face are two of Waddell’s SOPs.

Rawhide

June 23rd, 2009
3:13 pm

RStroz, Hokie & Smoothie – Please be advised that any gambling winnings that come via this blog are subject to a 15% off-the-top gratuity to your blog host….ME.

Brendan – Maybe we have ouselves a new contest brewing…”Name the date and time that Dudley assumes the role of GM and Waddell get’s ‘Rich McKay-ed’ upstairs”???

R. Stroz

June 23rd, 2009
3:15 pm

We’re not gambling…we’re hypothesising with stimulus money.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
3:39 pm

Perhaps if we take actual monetary wagers, we can put the money in a “Save our Franchise, Stay Kovy Stay” sort of slush fund! Then the winner of the bet can get one of those nifty little zamboni rides Rawhide seems to have an inside track for.

And Rawhide, I will buy you a Diet Coke or soda of choice anytime you need it when I see you at Philips / Taco Mac during next season. God only knows you deserve it for your yeoman-like efforts maintaining this blog we are so addicted to!

The Real Politico

June 23rd, 2009
3:40 pm

In 11 years how many Thrashers’ coaches had NHL coaching experience? That’s how you determine whether owners are serious. It costs money to win. This team will never win with “penny wise-pound foolish’ management.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
3:42 pm

Good question GVH, does anyone know what the deal is with Hartley’s compensation, not to mention Mullin’s? I gotta think that Bernie is definitely off the books by now. Does anyone use Twitter? Get Custance to give you the scoop!

Watched the Kane “tribute” video again as well as his TSN interview / draft segment and I can’t help but love the kid. I’ll admit it, I am falling in “man-love” with Evander Kane and I will be crushed if he doesn’t get picked by Donnie Do Duds on Friday night!

Rawhide

June 23rd, 2009
3:54 pm

This just in….Yzerman, Hull, Robitaille, and Leetch have officially be named to the Hall of Fame.

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
4:08 pm

Gee, what a crappy list for the Hall of Fame… just kidding… that’s great! :)

GaVaHokie

June 23rd, 2009
4:10 pm

Smoothie… I guess you’re not interested in reading this then, are you? :)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/allan_muir/06/23/mock.draft/index.html?eref=T1

five_hole

June 23rd, 2009
4:24 pm

I agree with Rawhide’s assessment of the past year; I even consider trading for M. Schneider a win because he (a) tudored Bogosian and (b) we got to dump Klee and Larsen. However, as Shakespere said “The evil men do lives after them, the good is oft interred within their bones” or something like that.

Is that too highbrow for this blog?

I was just reading in the football column how Rich McKay drafted R. White and he’s considered the 4th most valuable player for his team. Even though McKay is considered a horrible drafter, he came up with one nugget. That’s sort of how I think of Waddell drafting Kovalchuk & Bogosian.

Rawhide

June 23rd, 2009
4:27 pm

Holy CRAP! Did five_hole just drop some Shakespere on us?

I feel all sophisticated and stuff now.

Smoothie

June 23rd, 2009
4:44 pm

Yes, I read it Hokie. I do not agree with Mr. Muir in the least. We need not anymore soft Euros. I care not how fast he doth fly upon the ice. Alas, I forsee a young man by the name of Kane bringing unto the Thrashers the consummate combination of grit, skill, eye to hand coordination and lastly, HEART!

Glovesave29

June 23rd, 2009
4:47 pm

Politico – 42 years ago the expansion St. Louis Blues hired a little known player personel manager from the Canadiens named Scotty Bowman – no coachinng experience. The man is a lagend. Their original coach lasted barely 4 months…he had a GREAT pedigree – Lynn Patrick (son of Lester, brother of Muzz and father to Craig – they are THE royal name in the NHL).

I certainly do not disagree that the ASG is cheap, but you cannot blame them for Fraser (original owner) and Hartley had experience. Anderson paid his dues in the minors and deserves the chance we are giving him now.

Glovesave29

June 23rd, 2009
5:07 pm

Rawhide – newly minted HHOF Luc Robitaille was a 9th round draft pick. The “experts” knocked his skating ability, ignoring the 155 goals for the Olympique in the QMJHL. 170 players taken before him – 82 never made it to the NHL, and another 30 played one season or less. Thats almost 2/3rds of those chosen before him that would have to be classified at a “bust” based on games played alone.

Brendan

June 23rd, 2009
6:13 pm

Speaking of contests, the deadline is June 30th, for when Kovy will sign his next contract. I think the earliest date was July 10, 2009. And the farthest was July 2, 2010. The two July 1, 2010 listed Kovy with a team other than Atlanta. Tick-Tock.

Are we doing the “Guess the Opening Night Budget” Contest this year? I only got three votes, including my own. It’s just that Waddell all but said it would be $45-$46, so … if he’s to be taken at his word, the contest is over before it begins. I think my guess was $48.5 million, on the wing-n-prayer hope that this ownership would at least ‘try’ to appease Kovalchuk. Of course, I don’t think the cap numbers have been officially released either. At issue is whether the players will take their 5% increase, making the cap essentially unchanged, or if they forego them, and the cap drops to around $54 million. If that’s the case, and Atlanta spends $48.5 million, this could get a whole lot more ‘competitive’ than it otherwise would have been. Here’s to the players REJECTING their 5% incentives!

frosty the snowman

June 23rd, 2009
7:05 pm

I think R.Stroz comment at 301pm should be added to the blogging hall of fame( t.m. poster Brendan)

five_hole

June 23rd, 2009
7:20 pm

Sorry Rawhide I forgot where I was. “Rubbin’ is Racin’”. Is that better?

Congrats to the HOFers. For years I absolutely hated Yzerman as “the enemy”, but I always loved to watch him play.

LAC

June 23rd, 2009
10:34 pm

I found this INTERESTING artical on tsn… WHY can the comissioner NOT step in on this sprit MESS ???? Please read this !!!!

Feuding Tampa Bay Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, as well as general manager Brian Lawton, met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Tuesday.

It was re-affirmed in the meeting that Lawton is making hockey decisions for the franchise and for any transactions that would require ownership approval, he is obliged to get approval from both Koules and Barrie.

In terms of the longer-term reationship between Koules and Barrie, who are at odds, it is believed Koules and Barrie have a few weeks to sort out their differences and either find a way to work together or buy one or the other out.

In any case, the situation is expected to be resolved one way or another by mid July.

LAC

June 24th, 2009
12:09 am

Just saw this pierre maguire IDIOT on NHL Network.

They are doing a rundown on the top draft picks.

They laud NYI/Tampa/Colorado and then mention Kane as #4,but not once
do they say the word ATLANTA. Then they go NUTS about LA and how this guy is going to light it up there and on and on… I thought ATLANTA was in the NHL, but on the nhl network they are NOT !!!

pierre mcguire you absolutely SUCK !