Archive for July, 2009

Zamboni Drives Into U.S. HHoF

“There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice” – Charlie Brown

Ah yes..the Zamboni. The mystical machine that motors it’s way around the ice in between the three periods of a hockey game, magically smoothing the ice that was sliced and diced by the two teams during 20 minutes of play. We watch them go round and round while honored guests ride alongside of the operator.

The inventor of these motorized ice-resurfacing machines, Frank Zamboni, was recently added to the list of those who will be enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame this year. To be honest, I’m somewhat surprised that Mr. Zamboni hasn’t already received the honor.

Frank Zamboni was born January 16, 1901 in Eureka, Utah… the son of Italian immigrants. He grew up near the town of Pocatello, Idaho where is parents bought a farm when young Frank was just a year old. It is on this farm that he developed certain mechanical skills that …

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Blueline Is Bigger – But Will It Be Better?

Somewhere over the course of the last year or so, Thrashers general manager Don Waddell seems to have bought into the theory that bigger is better when it comes to an NHL team’s defensive corps. Since opening night last fall, the D-line has indeed seen considerable growth in its physical size and weight. When the Thrashers handed the Capitals a 7-4 defeat to open last year’s campaign, the six defenders wearing blue that night were Nic Havelid, Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian, Garnet Exelby, Tobias Enstrom and Mathieu Schneider. Two of those players were under six-feet tall…Enstrom, (5′-10″) and Schneider, (5′-11″)… and that unit averaged 6′-0 1/2″ and 199.17 pounds. The man in the press box that night, Nathan Oystrick, goes at 6′-0″ and 210 pounds.

Even though we celebrated John Anderson’s first ever NHL victory that evening, the defense surrendered 4 goals and 43 shots. That’s right…forty-frickin’-three.

By the time early January rolled around, Atlanta’s defense was allowing teams …

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Too Early For Predictions?

In my previous entry, Sam asked me what my thoughts were regarding the moves made by the Thrashers so far this summer and where the team might wind up in the standings this season. Although I responded with a quick “I think we’ll be better” type of comment, I thought I’d expand on that here.

First off, I do indeed feel it’s way too early to make any concrete projections on any of the teams as of yet. While most of the big signings and trades are more than likely done with, there are still 10 weeks or so before the season begins. So a lot could still happen with this squad and others between now and then. Thus, any pridictions I might make between now and opening night are subject to modification.

With that being said, I do believe that if the team…as it currently stands…was the one that took the ice on October 3 when the Bolts pay us a visit, I do think it’s better than the one from last season.

However, the question here is which team is it better than?

Is it better than the …

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Dan Kamal Gives Voice To Thrasherville, Pt. II

When I caught up with Dan last week during the Thrashers prospect camp, he was keeping an eye one particular player of interest…his son Chris Kamal, a goalie. I asked him how Chris was playing and how his recovery was coming along. “I’m very proud of the way that he has reacted to the adversity”, said Kamal. “He had come off a very strong year in his first season in junior hockey…and was looking forward to his second year when he had a freak off-ice injury and suffered a complicated break of his tibia and fibula…and it cost him the whole ‘08-’09 season”.

But, according to the senior Kamal,  he’s been up to playing speed since February and is in “the best shape of his life and playing the best hockey of his life…but now he needs to catch a break” in trying to land a position on a junior hockey team.

And as would be expected, as we discussed his son and the other prospects out on the ice, the topic turned toward the Thrashers’ future. Like Chris, the Thrashers have had to go …

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Dan Kamal Gives Voice To Thrasherville, Pt. I

“He shoots…SCOR-R-R-R-R-RES”!!!!! “Ilya Kovalchuk goes upstairs where momma stashes the cash… ‘cuz it’s safer than a bank these days”!

The voice that comes booming from the speakers, treating residents of Thrasherville to those type of calls for the past eight seasons, is none other than that of Dan Kamal…delivering the games into our homes and vehicles from his WCNN AM-680 “The Fan” broadcast nest high atop Philips Arena.

There are many fine radio guys in the NHL these days, but I regard Kamal as one of the best. He brings the excitement and thrill of Atlanta Thrashers hockey to listeners in a way only he can and we are fortunate to have the Grand Kamalian giving voice to the team. His official title is Senior Director of Radio Operations and he oversees the programming, production and distribution of Thrashers broadcasts for the team’s network.

Kamal grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts where he learned the love of hockey by playing the sport outside on the frozen ponds. …

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Thrasherville Traffic Report, Travel Plans & WRAs

OK class…settle down. Now, before I start passing out the weekend reading assignments, I do want to make some announcements so that everyone will be aware of a few items…

First off, there will be a traffic situation that will occur on Sunday November 8. The Thrashers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Blues at 5:00 that afternoon…and the Falcons will host the Washington Redskins that same day with kickoff set for 1:00 pm.

So…plan accordingly.

Also, I understand that those affiliated with the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club are already thinking about, and preparing for, some road trips during the season. The Nashville game is a definate possibility given is proximity and that it’s played there on a Saturday night. Carolina and Tampa are cities that are also being discussed on the team’s message boards and the Nasty Nest. Check ‘em out and maybe you can participate in the mass infestation of an out-of-town barn by Thrasher Nation!

I’ve already been in contact with Tim Ecclestone …

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The New Schedule’s Here! The New Schedule’s Here!

The new schedule’s here! The new schedule’s here! This is exactly what we needed…the schedule in print! That really makes things for the team! Things are going to start happening for us now!

That’s right folks…the 2009-10 Thrashers regular season schedule will finally be out this afternoon finally and we can start planning our activities between October and April…who knows, maybe even beyond that.

However…I already have a few highlights to share with you…

Saturday October 3: Opening night for the season will be at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Saturday October 24: The San Jose Sharks, my adopted west coast team, will be in town.

Sunday November 8: At 5:00 afternoon start when the St. Louis Blues come to town.

Sunday November 15:Another afternoon game for the Edmonton Oilers.

Saturday Novemeber 21: The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins bring their act to Thrasherville…we also close the season at home against the Penguins on April 10.

Wednesday Novemeber 25: The …

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Evander Kane And The “It” Factor

There is absolutely nothing more enjoyable than escaping the heat and humidity that accompanies mid-July in Georgia by gathering with fellow Thrashers fans inside of the Duluth Ice Forum for a little prospect development camp watching!

One of the things that really struck me right off the bat was the size of these kids out there. The organization has stocked the talent pond full of some big prospects indeed and I was very impressed with a few of the guys out there…specifically Paul Postma, Eric O’Dell and Jeremy Morin.

However, the one player that impressed me the most was the one I made the trek to Duluth to see… the 4th overall selection in last month’s draft, Evander Kane. Like you, I’ve read about his play…looked at the stats he’s put up with the WHL Vancouver Giants…seen the scouting reports. But none of that equals being able to put your eyes on the player for yourself and witness what all the hype is all about.

This kid has such a smooth skating ability and he’s got a …

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Looks Like Kiwi Will Be Russia-Bound After All

According to Ben Wright…Joel Kwiatkowski will be playing in Russia after all.

Regarding the Great Kiwi/KHL Conflict, Thrashers’ Executive Vice President and GM Don Waddell said, “After agreeing to terms on a contract with Joel Kwiatkowski, we learned that he had already committed to a team in the KHL. Therefore we have rescinded our offer and have been told that Joel will honor his agreement with St. Petersburg.”

So…that puts an end to that little situation.

Prospect Camp Opens Today

Also going on today…the start of Prospect Development Camp. Here is the schedule of events that will take place between now and Wednesday.

In advance of this, Thrashers first-round draft pick Evander Kane made the media rounds yesterday. If you missed them, here is is the interview on 680 The Fan…and the one on Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta.

I’ll be making the trek over to Duluthland tomorrow afternoon to check out the young-un. I hope to see many of you there as well.

Show Me The Money

According to …

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Slater Signs & Ring Around The Blogosphere

Jimmy Slater is officially back into the Thrashers fold. Wednesday, the 30th overall pick of the 2002 NHL draft accepted the team’s offer and will remain in Thrasherville, albeit for a yet-to-be-disclosed time and amount. Slates posted up 8 goals and 10 assists during 60 games played last season…two goals being of the short-handed variety. He has a total of 31 goals and 39 assists in 274 regular season games in a Thrashers’ uniform.

Ring Around The Blogosphere

OK kids, time once again to take a quick loop around the Thrashers’ blogosphere to see what some of the others are yammerin’ about.

First stop takes us to Big Shooter of the The Blueland Chronicle. Seems he had an issue with this piece by The Sporting News Rory Boylen and his opinion that the Thrashers are putting Ilya Kovalchuk above the team. For that matter, Ben Wright of the Blueland Blog seemed to scratch his head over the Boylen post as well.

Hmmm…given that Kovy is the player that “the team” is being built …

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