Waddell Ready To Test The Water In The UFA Talent Pool

The buzz surrounding last weekend’s entry draft has barely subsided, but Don Waddell and the rest of the NHL general managers are preparing to dive head-first into unrestricted free agent pool of talent today. Soon, after weeks of speculation and rumors, we’ll be able to see just how the Thrashers roster…and others… will take form for the upcoming 2009-10 NHL season.

As we did this time last summer, we gather poolside to watch and observe the events as each team attempts to procure that big-name player needed to help shape their lineups for this fall’s campaign. Our friend Five_Hole has agreed to DJ the pool party…playing an assortment of tunes from the Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley and others. And please feel free to stop by the open bar to partake of a wide assortment of adult beverages complete with little umbrellas as we take in the day’s festivities. Tending the bar is the lovely and talented Joyel from TJ’s Bar and Grill!

Hey…and it’s all on the AJC’s tab!

But before we begin…looking around scoldingly….I want to be very clear in the fact that I do NOT want another incident like the one that happened during last year’s UFA pool party happening again today. So I’ll thank everyone for keeping any and all Baby Ruth bars away from the pool…got it!

Oh…and Trixie has informed me that she has been adequitely covered in tanning lotion…so there will be no need for the long line of willing assistants this time.

Now then… as we begin our day, last night it seemed as though a deal as been worked out between the Senators and Oilers that would send former Thrasher…and soon-to-be former Senator…Dany Heatley from Ottawa to Edmonton. Heading back east would be Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislov Smid. All Heater had to do is agree to waive his no-trade clause and he’d be able to once again force the team he’s under contract with to deal him elsewhere. But this morning…we find out he didn’t do it.

Also, one big name player who has been yanked from the pool recently is Jay Bouwmeester. Just yesterday Cal-GARY was successful in inking him to a 5-year contract worth $6.6 million per season. So he’ll be sunning himself from the deck today.

However, one player who’s been officially tossed into the pool is Nik Antropov… given the Rangers have conceded that they cannot afford the 5-years at $5.25 mil per season price tag he had placed upon himself. So…where does he eventually wind up?

And, who will come away with Marion Hossa? Will Detroit re-sign the winger? If not, where then might he end up?

Speaking of Detroit…don’t expect the Red Wings to make a big splash in the UFA pool this summer, per Ken Holland.

What about the Sedin twins? Are they going to stay in Vancouver or is there a team out there…say Toronto…that will be willing to invest in both of their services? Canucks GM Mike Gillis recently visited with them and left with an offer on the table.

Do the recent rumors surrounding Atlanta’s interest in Mike Cammalleri have any basis in reality and we will see the 27-year old playing on the top line with Ilya Kovalchuk?

What of the future destination Thrasher…or is that, former Thrasher…Eric Perrin?

Will Don Waddell actually be able to emerge from the waters with a big-name, top-four blueliner that will help anchor this defensive corps or highly coveted top-six forward to play alongside of Kovy…or will his swim trunks remain dry until the most coveted among them are already snatched up?

And, though I guess he’s not technically a UFA, The Monster will be making a decision on where he’ll be playing this fall sometime as well. teams like Dallas, Colorado, Toronto and San Jose are currently in the market for his services.

Many of these questions and issues will be answered over the course of the next several hours. So stick around…grab a drink and some sun tan lotion…it’s sure to be quite a day here at the UFA Pool Party!

UPDATE - 7/1 11:28 am: Sedins twins will stay in Vancouver…signing 5-year $6.1 million deals.

UPDATE – 7/1 12:52 pm: Kovalev re-signs with Habs $8.8 mil over 2 years per 990 AM in Montreal.

UPDATE – 7/1 2:12 pm: Hossa signs with Chicago. 12 years, $62.4 million. Holy crap…that will take him to the age of 42!

UPDATE – 7/1 2:32 pm: There is a buzz going around about the Thrashers trading for Kubina of the Maple Leafs. We would send Armstrong and a 2nd round pick to Toronto.

UPDATE – 7/1 2:59 pm: Per Craig Custance…”Colby Armstrong is not part of the Kubina deal. Thrashers not interested in trading Colby”.

UPDATE – 7/1 4:10 pm: The Oilers have signed goalie Nikulia Khabibulin to a 4-year, $15 mil. deal.

:!: UPDATE – 7/1 6:55 pm: ATLANTA TRADES GARNET EXELBY AND COLIN STUART TO TORONTO IN EXCHANGE FOR PAVEL KUBINA AND THE RIGHTS TO TIM STAPLETON!!!

506 comments Add your comment

LAC

July 1st, 2009
6:42 am

Rawhide, Sir, a few Playoby Bunnies in the pool would be COOL !!!

I would like to see two scorers and a SOLID defensive defenseman and maybe one third liner, but they need to help the team, not like holik just signing because he was available.

ID a need and fill it I say !

DWTOO

July 1st, 2009
7:30 am

Nice picture of you and the taxemptions girlfriends. Do they call you the “Hockey Daddy”? And what do they think of your long hockey stick?

Seriously, this is a big day for this franchise. The Thrash need to show the fans, and Kovalchuk, they’re serious about building a winner and adding the pieces we all know are missing.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
7:42 am

Oh Heater….what’s that phrase about beggars can’t be choosers? Either he wants out or he doesn’t. What a prima donna he’s turned out to be.

The Falconer had said in a recent posting that Waddell had indicated he might show up on someone’s doorstep today in person but wouldn’t name names saying it would be improper. That sounds like he’s trying to avoid a tampering implication, however if there is one doorstep I’d expect Don to wind up on today, frankly, it’s Kovalchuk’s.

Will we see a signing today? Or perhaps a trade as Don has been hinting? Should be interesting.

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
7:44 am

In keeping with 94.7, which plays the same songs every hour, the recurring theme song of the party will be by the Marvelettes “Heartbreak Danger Dead Ahead”.

Since everyone wants Waddell to go after Mike Cammalleri but in reality we’ll get stuck with second tier talent (again), my first song will be Stephen Stills “(If you can’t be with the one you love) Love the one your’re with”.

ALAN You can request Jimmy Buffet, but I’m not gonna play “Why don’t we get drunk and . . . ” (at least not till much later).

Sara

July 1st, 2009
7:51 am

Kukla’s tweeted this AM that the Ducks have re-signed Crusher. Good for him.

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
7:53 am

What was I thinking?!? before the draft, it’s Carol King doing “Anticipation”.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
7:54 am

We won’t be getting tier 1 talent until we can shed consecutive 76 point seasons. Players are only going to come here for the money.

We have talked about Natropov alot here, I have been pushing for him. Another guy to consider is Mike Comrie. Now before you guys toss me into the meat grinder, consider that Comrie has been a contribuotr wherever he’s gone. His problem is that he has never ascednded to the level everyone had hoped. He’s a tier 2 free agent who is a setup man. Comrie would benefit from the open ice Kovy creates. His lline would not totally depend on him.

Face it folks, if we land a UFA today it will be one similar in skill to Antropov or Comrie. Both these guys are chaisng the money which is really the only thing we have to offer today.

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2009
7:56 am

I think Rawhide should change the title of this blog to:

Go Get Some Donny

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
8:00 am

Glen Sather saved his NY Ranger career yesterday. Now he has an opportunity to overpay someone again!

I am not sure the Rangers have the assets to land Heatley. Not sure Dany boy will be able to take the heat of NYC He’s such a frail, sensitive young man.

Now Montreal is stuck with an overpaid, under producing, non-leader who likes to pout like Heatley. He’s paid like a No. 1 center, but does not play like one. On top of taking on salary, the Hbas give up one of their best defensive prospects.

Let’s hope Don and the boys don’t get desperate during this period and make a deal as dumb at Gainey did with the Rangers.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
8:10 am

I hope Dondo doesn’t chase Antropov and that $5 mil price tag…

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:22 am

WBF… I think Comrie still has a “cow lick” in his hair from his fight with Kovalchuk a few years back. :)

Sara

July 1st, 2009
8:22 am

WBF – if Don is going to make a trade for a good player of the calibre he’s talking about wanting, then he’s going to have to give something to make that happen. We’ve got some depth with defensive prospects, we potentially have a spare goalie. We may need to cough up a draft pick (preferably not a 1st rounder). But it will cost us something and we have to be prepared for that.

Toby – we’re a non-traditional market with a bad track record. It’s either sign someone no one else is really all that interested in (which would *not* be a top 6 forward or top 4 D) or outbid the competition for someone more talented. Heck, even good teams can end up in bidding wars for the best players. It’s the ugly reality of free agency.

Out of curiosity…what would you guys rather have…the top 6 forward or the top 4 D? And while my knee-jerk reaction is to say the D-man since our D has always been weakest, we lack organizational depth at forward and I suspect Kovy would rather see the forward as well. And I don’t see us being able to get both with the salary limitations that we’re allegedly facing. We’d need to spend between $8-$10M at least to get both and I don’t think we have that much available.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:24 am

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:28 am

Sara… I think if you can get a Top 4 Dman, possibly trade Exelby, than we’ll have our whole defensive core locked up for 3-4 years. I like the idea of locking up the backend.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
8:34 am

IMO, we get whatever makes Kovy happy. I know that’s the weak way of looking at it, but I’d like to finish the week knowing Kovy is locked up for a number of years.

That said, I agree with Hokie. I’m sick of being out shot by 15-20 shots a game.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2009
8:34 am

The Heatley decision is interesting – did he just refuse to waive his NTC to get the 4 million he’s due as of today? He’ll have to do a lot of charity work at his next team to reverse the image he’s created for himself.

I’m hoping for something big today but my gut says nothing big will happen and that we’ll all be griping this time tomorrow. Hope I’m wrong and maybe Dudley will have an impact here for the UFA pool party.

Sara – I agree with you about needing a strong D-man but that a forward or center is probably what we need to have a chance of resigning Kovy.

One thing for sure – we have to reduce our SOG if we are going to compete for a spot in the playoffs next season.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
8:45 am

I don’t think we are going to get fillet mignon today folks. I believe we are going to get a tier 2 cheeseburger. Let’s hope it’s a Five Guys burger!

By that, I mean let’s hope we don’t overpay too much, but we get a guy that will improve our club. Five mill for Antropov is the kinda overspending that will occur today

Smitty

July 1st, 2009
8:51 am

Happy Canada Day!! 142 years old today. About the average age of some of our FA signings in the past. I know DW is under wraps due to the ownership issue. I know he has overpaid tier 2 FAs in the past but he has not gone ballistic with FA signings as some GM’s have done. Sather lucked out yesterday dumping Gomez. PHL and Calgary have serious cap issues. Most UFA,s signed today will be overpaid by panicky GM’s Just look at Jay Bow in Calgary. Yeah he is good but IMO not 6.6 million good.

I know the high end of the cap is not an issue in ATL. Is Camelleri worth 5 years at 20-25 million? Is Andropov or Koivu? Do you think signing any of these 3 would instill in Kovy the belief that ATL is headed in the right direction?

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
8:57 am

” I like the idea of locking up the backend.” – GaVaHokie Even though I understood what you meant and even agree with you, that just sounds wrong.

I’d only trade X if we got a really good deal. He’s not a top-4 guy, but I’m happy with him as the 5 or 6th d-man. You need someone willing to protect your other players and on defense, it’s either him or Valabik. Which would you rather have out there? I watch Valabik & cringe.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
9:09 am

“Let’s hope it’s a Five Guys burger!”

You mean an overhyped and overpriced player who leaves you feeling sick to the stomach afterward and makes your heart cringe in retrospect.

I’ll pass, I’d rather cook my own dinner (i.e., develop prospects).

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2009
9:10 am

Do the RFA offer sheets start today as well?

Sara

July 1st, 2009
9:11 am

WBF Kevin Allen @ USA Today feels the same way you do…

RT @kausatoday Nashville and Atlanta will be the bargain hunters in the marketplace, looking at the second tier FAs who don’t break the bank.

Hip Czech

July 1st, 2009
9:11 am

Consider it’s Eklund…but hopefully he is mostly right on this one:

“The Thrashers will make a few really solid signings, that no one will expect.”

It will be interesting once the Heatley thing plays out. What a dirt bag, any respect I had for the man is gone now. I’ll be joining the boobirds whenever the spoiled brat comes to town with Ottawa/Edmonton/NYR.

Frosty the snowman

July 1st, 2009
9:11 am

we are not going to get a top 4 d man for x. dont forget x is the player who backed into his own goalpost, falling to the ice. As far as x protecting his teammates, I can’t remember the last time he did that. I can remember Kovy doing it, but your star should not be doing that.
If we are gonna trade for a top 4 d man, we are gonna have to give up ALOT! Teams know the position we are in. the Pronger deal set the price

Big Boris

July 1st, 2009
9:18 am

Please, don’t trade me to Pittsburgh. I don’t want Crotchby sizing me up in the locker room.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
9:25 am

Thanks Sara-nice to nodoy someone who gets paid to do this actually feels as I do!
Ranallo-sorry, but that’s the way of the world on July 1.

Maybe we will get lucky, who knows.

Clint Eastwood

July 1st, 2009
9:40 am

So tell me, do you feel lucky? Well, do you?

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
9:41 am

Any signings today, I believe, will be depth moves… I think any play for a Top Line guy will come via trade later this month.

… just a feeling I get.

Dany Heatley

July 1st, 2009
9:48 am

I’m too emotionally distraught to play in Ottawa.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
9:55 am

The compounding hatred for Heatley is strange…he’s not slighting Atlanta now, but rather saying he doesn’t want to play in Edmonton (fully within his rights due to the No Trade Clause he signed with Ottawa). Most people can agree that he went about requesting a trade the wrong way, but his absolutely no different than any other player in the NHL who decides NOT to waive their NTC just because a deal has been worked out for them.

And yes, in this instance beggars can actually be choosers, because the Senators empowered him with a strict NTC. He can request a trade, he can sit out, he can play the duration of his contract in Ottawa, or he can control what teams they trade him to. Kudo’s to his agent for getting him the NTC, but shame on him for going public with his trade request…however, I don’t see why that garners MORE boos from Atlanta fans who are completely unaffected by any of these developments. Sounds to me like sour grapes finding a new reason to hate the kid…kinda like those who complain about Crosby being “overrated”, it seems like a justification for your hatred.

But hell, I don’t like booing in 90% of the situations sporting fans do it, so I guess it’s just me who see it this way.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
10:02 am

I think any play for a Top Line guy will come via trade later this month.

But there won’t be any left after t– ohhh, I see what you did there!

You can request Jimmy Buffet, but I’m not gonna play “Why don’t we get drunk and . . . ”

Anything Buffet would have to be Margaritaville, first and foremost. The news that we’ve signed another third-liner is far easier to handle when inebriated.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
10:23 am

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
10:25 am

Switching now to the Rolling Stones playing the classic (I can’t get no) Satisfaction.

Stroz I know it’s the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, but I am not going to play the “fish” cheer (all of you younger kids, play the album.

Alan I’m saving Margaritaville for this evening, along with BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone”.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
10:33 am

ranallo I disagree that Heater can be a chooser. No player has the right to screw over a hockey club like that and Murray is about there. If he forces Dany to stay, there’s no guarantee how he will perform and even more question marks about what friction might exist in the lockerroom. But to trade him, he has every right to want and expect a solid return. Certainly something of equal value so the Senators remain in a push position talent-wise. And if it’s not one of Dany’s “preferred teams” that is willing to make a reasonable offer then that’s just too darn bad for him.

And I don’t think there are people here jumping all over this as another excuse to hate on Dany. Every message board I’ve come across this morning has fans from all teams trashing him for all this. It’s a jerk thing to do.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
10:34 am

Interesting story regarding Heatley. Well, it at least contains a few comments from the Snyder family, as well as a Thrashers team spokesperson.

DWTOO

July 1st, 2009
10:51 am

Hey Five_Hole – Like your Country Joe reference.

“Well come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Don (Sam) needs you help again
Got Himself in a terrible jam…….”

Sara

July 1st, 2009
11:14 am

Alan…ouch.

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
11:23 am

Time to step up the pressure on DW with Glenn Frye’s “The Heat is on”.

DWTOO “And it’s 1 . . 2 . . 3 . . what’re we fighting for? I don’t give a damn, the next stop is Vietnam”. Nice to have some other old guys here.

On a personal note, I’m going to San Francisco Friday, and I can’t wait to go to Haight-Ashbury and tour the houses of Janis Joplin, Graham Nash and the Dead. I am stuck in the ’60s (& ’70s), but that’s who I am. If you’re looking for Kylie Perry or Christina Aguilera, you need a different DJ.

Spud Webb

July 1st, 2009
11:26 am

WOW the Heater has hit a new low. Wants a trade, then nixes it?????????
ahhahahahaha, what a baby. I’m sure Ottowa is soooooooooooooooo happy to have him right now. Maybe to the rangers who just cleared some cash by shipping gomez out? The frogs can’t be happy about getting Gomez, since he’s not french canadian?? lol. Heater, I will boooooooooooo you more than ever when you come to town, regardless of what team you’re on. Self centered bi&tch…be thankful you still play hockey and draw a GREAT salary. I’ve never seen anything like you at this point. Making the NBA & NFL babies look good at this point.
JBow taking a discount (well over 5million is a lot of money), good for him, he wanted to be there. Great trade by Calgary. I hope Antropov sees this and realizes he’s not a d man and he should get nothing near 5 mill a season.
Not sure who posted it, there were a few, are you kidding me about us not needing D men? Have you seen this franchise for the last 10 years????
WE HAVE NEVER HAD A GOOD DEFENSE. The more the better in my mind. Get Kaberle AND a top 4 forward. Something has to be brewing, HOPING, PRAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
11:26 am

Ranallo, I think you are off on this one…Heatley cannot pick and choose what parts of his contract he chooses to enforce. If he wants out, the entire contract should be invalidated. He screwed the team by announcing this to the media instead of a closed door meeting with the GM as it should have been. Now he’s waiting until today to get the $4M bonus,and he gets to choose the team he goes to. So where does Ottawa benefit here? A contact should benefit both sides. Dany is getting everything here. If he chooses to want to leave the Sens, the GM should have every right to override his NTC and send him to whatever team offers the most in return. If Dany is not going to fufil his end of the agreement, then why should the Senators?

Russian

July 1st, 2009
11:28 am

Damn!
Twins are gone. They got 5 years contract fro $6.1 mln. :-(
I just got this news on TSN.

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
11:29 am

five_hole – DO NOT MISS the Anchor Steam brewery tour. We used to go there at least 10x a year when I was in college for the unlimited free samples afterwards. It’s one of the best beers in the world, and it goes great with a hot boule of sourdough bread from Boudin.

Dany Heatley

July 1st, 2009
11:29 am

I want to go to the Rangers and play with Sean Avery. We are two of a kind.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
11:31 am

Sedins sign with Vancouver $6.1M/per, per./

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
11:32 am

Russian just beat me to it. Also of note, I saw the Ducks resigned Erica Christensen. Why?

DWTOO I’ve been trying to think of a Santana song (or really anyone else from Woodstock) that I could link to today. If you think of something, let me know.

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
11:35 am

Glovesave29 You & I are both from St. Louis. I used to do the same thing with the tours of Grant’s Farm. First came the train ride, where Auggie Bush would show off his tinkering with nature by producing “Zonkies” and then and the end the train would stop at the stables, where people could sample Auggie’s beer.

thrashyou

July 1st, 2009
11:37 am

Sedin twins staying in Vancouver 5years 6.1 mil a year.

Christy

July 1st, 2009
11:40 am

Alan – that article is spewing some serious vitriol. It puts the finest of NY Post and NY Daily News Mets or Yankee bashing articles to shame.

Sara is right, big Ouch.

But, what I found particularly enlightening, if you will, is the Snyder’s take and the Thrasher’s spokesman. Looks like the last drop of sympathy is long gone.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
11:41 am

5hole

DUDE. “Soul Sacrifice” pretty much the best song on the whole soundtrack…. I’ll listen to arguments for Hendrix’ rendition of the National Anthem, and the “Tommy Overture”…but Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” is the joint.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
11:45 am

Alright – aside from any more potential re-signings…which FA goes first?

I’m guessing Komisarek