Good Trade Though XLB Will Be Missed

Don Waddell has yet to make a splash in the UFA pool as of yet, but he has indeed done something to alter the shape of the team’s makeup. Wednesday afternoon, he pulled the trigger on a deal that sent defenseman Garnet Exelby and forward Colin Stuart to the Toronto Maple Leaf in exchange for defender  Pavel Kubina and the rights to forward Tim Stapleton.

Kubina is 32-years old and has played for the past three seasons with the Leafs. Last year he played in all 82 games and scored 14 goals, 26 assists and was a -15. He was a seventh round draft pick, (179th overall), by Tampa Bay back in 1996. During his time in Tampa, he played in 531 games, score 65 goals and 144 assists. In the playoffs he accounted for a goal and five helpers in 38 games played. He was also a part of Tampa Bay’s 2004 Stanley Cup championship.

He’s played in 746 NHL regular season games in 11 seasons during his career and has a total of 97 goals, 213 assists and is a -102.

Tim Stapleton was signed by Toronto last year and has played in 4 games, scoring one goal on 9 shots and is a -3. He’s a product of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and in four years there he played in 162 games scoring 63 goals and 89 assists. His 42 points as a freshman led the team in scoring during the 2002-02 season. After that he had 41 points as a sophomore, 29 as a junior and 30 as a senior. He has also spend time with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, Portland Pirates and Toronto Marlies of the AHL as well as two season with Jokerit of the Finnish SM-liiga.

Departing Atlanta, of course, is a player who has been with the organization since it’s very first days. Exelby was selected in the Thrashers’ first ever draft in 1999 and was taken with the 217th overall pick that year. In 357 regular season games with the team, he accounted for 6 goals and 40 assists and was a -20. Last season he had seven assist and was a -2.

Exelbys presence was felt on and off the ice in Atlanta

Exelby's presence was felt on and off the ice in Atlanta (AP Photo)

In the four playoff games in 2007, he had no points and was a -1 in the four games against the Rangers and got away three shots on goal.

However, to many, XLB was more than just another player in the lineup…more than just stats on a sheet. He was a favorite by many and he involved himself in quite a number of community events in the metro Atlanta area. I know several fans…myself included…who are going to miss him in on the team and in the community, regardless of whether or not what is thought of the deal.

I wish X nothing but the best of luck in Toronto.

Same with Stuart…the 5th round Thrashers pick back in 2001. He’s has gotten to know the route between Atlanta and Chicago very well over the past couple of seasons as he’s shuttled between the Thrashers and Wolves. He played in 33 games last season…18 the year before…and has netted a total of 8 goals and 13 points on 73 SOG . He leaves Atlanta with a +5 rating.

As for the trade itself, I have to give it a thumbs up. Kubina is not “old” but he becomes the senior member of the Thrashers blueline corps. Also, he’ll join Hainsey, Bogosian and Enstrom as the top four players on defense. If the Thrashers had acquired another defender of similar talent via free agency, or another trade, Exelby would have been relegated to the bottom line with Valabik…leaving Salmela sitting in the pressbox. So, in essence, a bottom two defender was replaced by a top-four. Now, Valabik and Salmela probably round out the starting six…pending any further moves.

As for Stuart, his best hope was to be a third-line winger here. His roster spot can now belong to Evander Kane.

Now, About Yesterday’s Pool Party…

Quite an incredible turnout for this summer’s UFA pool party, I’d say. As of the posting of this blog, 500 comments had been thrown up on yesterday’s entry…far exceeding the previous all-time best of 317 that was reached on the July 1, 2008 blog last summer.

500 comments posted in about 24 hours…not too shabby folks. Reach around and give yourselves a big pat on the back.

Happy Independence Day!

I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend. Go out and celebrate the 233rd anniversary of our nation’s birth to the fullest. The Divine Mrs. R will motor our way down to the lake house in north Florida where the tax exemption and I will commence in launching multiple rounds of explosive ordinances across the lake

In the meantime, if you haven’t treated yourself lately to the greatest “shove it” letter ever written, please do yourself a favor and enjoy it now.

God bless you, God bless our brave men and women who serve here and abroad and may God bless the United States of America!

263 comments Add your comment

kracker

July 2nd, 2009
9:54 pm

Well said, Gretch and very heart-felt. I will miss him, too, but nowhere near to the extent you do and will. But it kinda looks like you are working you way through it, bless you. It must be tough, like Kovy getting traded for the rest of us would be tough.

I’m really glad I won an Exelby signed mini-stick at the draft party!!!!

(I wonder if he gets #2 in TO?)

stendec

July 2nd, 2009
10:31 pm

Hi Bill. TRADE KARI LETEMIN FOR A BAG OF CALGARY FLAME PRACTICE PUCKS! The Thrashers will still come out ahead in the deal. Sports incompetents! Guess all folks with ANY hockey intelligence left Atlanta when the Knights did! IN PARTING RAWHIDE – RIP Karl Malden. Did a definitive version of USA Olympic ice hockey gold medal Coach Herb Brooks in Miracle On Ice. Superior to Kurt Russell in Miracle. Will miss him! Wonderful film. EVEN MORE PLEASANT MEMORIES. Be well all! DROP THE PUCK ALREADY!

SA//EA

July 2nd, 2009
10:31 pm

Gretchen, you don’t know us, but we know who you are. You are the first person we thought of when the trade was announced. We hope X reads your comments. We saw what a big fan you were of XLB. Your signs, your car, etc. He can only hope to find a fan that supports him half as much as you do.

HookyBob

July 2nd, 2009
10:54 pm

Tom: Your 9:15 comment is concise and accurate. It ought to set in stone, “enshrined” as Brenden may say.

For the first time in several years I feel that DW may have matured into a capable NHL GM. I see nothing to dislike about these moves. Our team is playing solid hockey at the end of season. The Thrashers keep some valuable team pieces in resignings. We have a hard-nosed, talented (or is it talented, hard-nosed) hockey player, and potential fan magnent, in our 1st round draft pick, (and two other probable 1st round picks now in the pipeline). In free agency we got much bigger, more experienced, with increased potential (N Andropov), and may have addressed Kovy’s concerns. The current team now seems to fit coach’s style better. Dare I say “It is morning in Blueland.” Perhaps free agents will soon see ATL as a preferred destination.

It hasn’t been without cost though. X has been a favorite of mine since he dropped the Habs Dryer in his first NHL game/fight. I hope he gets a standing ovation upon returning to Philips. I liked Stuart’s wheels. He was exciting, made me feel almost optimistic when we took a penalty. Thanks to both of you for the thrills you have given us.

A question that still plague’s this franchise is player development. What good is to draft prospect’s if we can’t improve them? I’m hoping this question is answered in the affirmative in the next few years.

As others have blogged I am excited by this team’s potential and can’t wait for the puck to drop on the 2009-10 chase for Lord Stanley’s cup.

Finally, excellent job Rawhide! I don’t know what the equivelent of the Pulitzer is in the blogging world, but you are my run away choice. If a franchise’s fan base has a heart and soul,… you are it.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2009
11:07 pm

No need to go for Afinegenov. He’s out there because everyone knows he’s the human turnover machine.

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
11:24 pm

From Pierre LeBrun over at TSN / ESPN –

I like what the Atlanta Thrashers have done in the past two days. GM Don Waddell had a wish list before the offseason — a top-four blueliner and a top-six forward. Check those both off. Trading for Pavel Kubina and signing Nik Antropov fit the bill. The team’s top four blueliners are now Kubina, Zach Bogosian, Ron Hainsey and Tobias Enstrom. Not bad at all.

ChipperFTWJones

July 2nd, 2009
11:45 pm

I would like to say thank you to Toronto for taking that pylon Exelby off our hands.

Toronto got gang raped in that deal.

He’ll be good in your minors though…

Bob

July 3rd, 2009
12:00 am

“I hope I can still love hockey without his game in front of me every week”

lol Wait, you’re serious, aren’t ya?

“For the first time in several years I feel that DW may have matured into a capable NHL GM”

wee!

ChipperFTWJones

July 3rd, 2009
12:11 am

@Gretchen

Root for the name on the front of the jersey not the back.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2009
12:20 am

Glovesave29, I completely agree with you on booing Exelby. But there are plenty of fans out there who’ll say, “any player in an enemy jersey is fair game for being booed.” And let’s face it, one day … Exelby will return to Blueland and get in a fight. What will be interesting … is the fans’ reaction to it. If XLB cremes one of the Thrashers, leaving him a bloody mess, do we “cheer” for it?

I’m just asking a question.

And let’s try the reverse. Let’s say Chris Thorburn or Pavel Kubina, or Boris Valabik gets ahold of “X” and pummels him into oblivion. Then what? We cheer? We boo? Do we wait at the tunnel, and as he passes by, deride him with jeers of “$1.33 million-a-year, and you still SUCK, Exelby!!” That won’t be me. I wish Exelby the best. And I mean it. He tried as hard as he could. He provided good memories for us, in troubled times. He far exceeded anything projected for him. I hope fans in Toronto will give him a fair chance. That’s a tough place to play. And Exelby delivered some of his most punishing blows to Maple Leafs, sometimes in Toronto. It is somewhat amazing to me, that fans in Toronto think Atlanta is nothing more than a “goon squad.” When the truth is … aside from Maple Leafs games, this team is rarely physical. I think Atlanta goes into Toronto with a chip on its shoulder about being overlooked and slighted at every opportunity. And, as a result, those games are rather laden with testosterone. I do wonder if I could find a quote from John Anderson, Bob Hartley or Don Waddell … that confirms … that when Atlanta arrives in Toronto, those games are emphasized a bit more than just a “regular season game on the schedule.” It’s like they come into Toronto on a mission. The Thrashers want to prove they’re not a “Mickey Mouse Club.” (Copyright, Wayne Gretzky, 1982 or 1983) For Anderson, he did play in Toronto. So, I think for him, those games certainly take on added emphasis. And as for Waddell … I think he comes into Toronto trying to prove to the natives the team he assembled isn’t garbage. My favorite games on the schedule are usually against the Leafs and Sabres. I next look forward to the Rangers, Lightning, and Capitals. And when a Western Conference opponent comes … I look forward to Calgary and Nashville for good rivalries.

Bob

July 3rd, 2009
12:41 am

“Let’s say Chris Thorburn or Pavel Kubina, or Boris Valabik gets ahold of “X” and pummels him into oblivion.”

If? Even Thorburn could hold his own with him, X hasn’t been able to fight in years, which makes me fear for his long term health considering why Burke got him . . .

Brendan

July 3rd, 2009
12:54 am

Bob, I am curious to see how Ron Wilson utilizes Exelby. I’m going to guess he’s the #5 or #6 defender, and will play 9-12 minutes a game. If “X” is being brought there to fight, that can’t be good for a guy with concussion issues. I just hope it can be a good year for Exelby in Toronto. It is his contract year, so … he’s got a lot to play for. I always saw Exelby as kind of a good fit in a place like Chicago. I could also see him as a Coyote, in Phoenix. They’re in a restricted financial market. Exelby would be a player they could afford. I wish him well. But being completely honest, I think his departure makes our team better. I liked this Kubina trade. I just hope we’ll get an honest effort out of Kubina, and that he isn’t eyeballing the exit before his flight lands at Hartsfield. I don’t want a player whose “give a spit meter” is at zero, as he waits to be traded to a contender at the deadline.

ChipperFTWJones

July 3rd, 2009
2:08 am

“If XLB cremes one of the Thrashers, leaving him a bloody mess, do we “cheer” for it? ”

BWAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHA!!!!

Who’s he ever done that to???

Made bloody mess of???

WTF???

Kubina has pieces of Exelbly in his morning download.

dwayne

July 3rd, 2009
8:51 am

Gretchelby…exlb sucked…he was horible, and where did he get those stupid hats….and those shoes…geeeeeez.

Tom

July 3rd, 2009
9:11 am

X is a great role player. If you are expecting him to carry the defensive load, sure you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a solid 3rd line defenseman who can raise the energy level with a powerful hit (and don’t tell me every single Leafs fan does not still remember the hit on Sundin), Exelby is your man.

He also is a solid guy in the community and the locker room, that is why we still love the guy as fans. So when X returns we will cheer him. When he lays a hit on one of our guys, we will nudge each other and say remember that hit he gave to so and so, and in the end we will appreciate the guy.

He is a low pick, a character guy who while not the most skilled, fought his way onto the top stage in the world and stayed. How can you not love him.

But at the end of the day, the Thrashers will be a better team with Kubina than Exelby. Just like Brian Burke is expecting Toronto to be a better team with X on his 3rd line and Komaserik (sp) on his first line.

(Remember, it is all expectations. We expected X to be a 2nd line D man and he wasn’t. Toronto is expecting him to be a 3rd line guy, which he is. You would never pay 8 dollars for a McDonalds Burger, but would buy it in a heartbeat and think you were getting a deal at Longhorn. It is all expectations…)

theratio

July 3rd, 2009
9:40 am

tom, that was perfectly said, but stop making me hungry! :)

Brendan

July 3rd, 2009
10:37 am

One of the things Brian Burke stressed when he got hired in Toronto was that, in his words, “We’re going to be out in the community. Any player I bring in here will know AHEAD of time, that they are expected to mingle with the public. We have an obligation to provide that. Especially here in Toronto.” With that in mind, I’m sure Waddell sang Exelby’s praises. Exelby was great with kids, always signing autographs.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2009
10:42 am

Tom’s post, about expectations, got me to thinking. One of the most astonishing things that Waddell did, from my perspective, was find a “home” for Jaroslav Modry. When I heard Modry had been packaged with Stefan to Dallas for Niko Kapenen and some throw away 7th rounder, I was in stunned disbelief. He’d just unloaded two players that many thought were untradeable. But Modry was better utilized in Dallas, in a role that better suited him than top pairing, where his lack of footspeed was glaring. Whatever became of Modry, anyway? I haven’t heard his name in ages.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 3rd, 2009
12:56 pm

Samuelsson signed with Vancouver.

gretchelby

July 3rd, 2009
1:41 pm

Thank you SA/EA…come introduce yourself sometime…I don’t bite. And yes that is my car. :) Heard an XLB radio interview from Toronto last night with Canadian radio personnel. Plenty of chances for X to be totally stoked about his new placement, and lots of chances for him to throw Atlanta in the wake behind him. Never happened. He was gracious about Atlanta, and thankful for his fans here. He sounded almost sad he was leaving.

No one cheers harder for the team on the front of my jerseythan me- but I can cheer a name on the back of the jersey and support him in a new town too, especially a player who showed me unconditonal appreciation. As I said earlier…you couldn’t understand. I leave you to your grumpy nasty comments that don’t make you a better fan in any aspect or better than me. I, as X stated as well on the radio, hope the trade turns out well for us in Atlanta. Hey….not everyone is a stat player, and not every trait needed on a team is measured with stats. I hope Kubina comes in and does well stat wise…otherwise he’ll be the next one under your bus.

Tony C.

July 3rd, 2009
2:22 pm

“I hope Kubina comes in and does well stat wise…otherwise he’ll be the next one under your bus.”

Not to be a jerk, Gretch, but uhhh. You bet your @ss. It’s been 10 years and the meter’s run out on “lovable losers” (not intended as a slight towards X, don’t get all benihana on me)- like the man said “Just win, baby

I hope that Dud-dell isn’t done and they continue this upcoming season in the same positive manner they started the season with.

If not, I’ll post their address and the FUBAS boys addresses too.

Tony C.

July 3rd, 2009
2:24 pm

Oh boy I just read that and it comes off bad. Trixie can you strike the last sentence of my 14:22 post plz?

Tony C.

July 3rd, 2009
2:44 pm

No I won’t. But I could. Even though I won’t-I’d be afraid LAC would whup their @ss

Dr. C

July 3rd, 2009
2:47 pm

Does anybody know what the deal with Oystrick is? Why was he not made an offer like the other unrestricted free agents. I know they did this with Thorburn and he quickly signed a contract. Does that mean Oystrick will be signing soon too. It’s not like they have any proven NHL-ready D-man depth after the first 6. Oystrick did a decent job last year as a rookie and he can’t be very expensive. Anybody have any insight? Come on Ranallo, you’re the expert. Enlighten me.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 3rd, 2009
3:32 pm

Dr. C, are you who I think you are (close your left eye and read the first line)?? If so, welcome to the ajc boards! If not, welcome anyways.

Unlike the other players that were extended offers, Oystrick is an unrestricted free agent due to age and time spent in the NHL. Thus his situation is slightly different than the other restricted free agents you hinted at.

It’s likely that he was not offered a contract so that he could field offers from other teams in the NHL, but that’s merely speculation on my part. My hopes are that similar to Thorburn he will be resigned to a NHL only contract so he can attempt to make the roster and if sent to the AHL he will be placed on the waiver wire for all 29 teams to pick him up. I agree that Oystrick is a fine 7 defender, and he wouldn’t cost the team too much…but neither would Popovic (7th defender quality with upside) and he signed in Russia.

But I don’t have a good answer for you…I put a post on Vivlamore’s newest blog in hopes he has some information for us.

Hockey Biltong

July 3rd, 2009
6:41 pm

I’m thinking of a ‘five guys’ burger with cheese and jalapenos, to go with my dogfishead 90 while I bask in the glow of our latest aquisitions….cha-ching…spend some more!!!!!!

Tim

July 3rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Nash just extend in Columbus for 8 years/62.4M. If DW manage to get Kovie that kind of contract, I would be very happy.

StateBird

July 3rd, 2009
10:52 pm

Kovy will be more demanding. He’ll want something close to Ovy numbers.

Midfield

July 3rd, 2009
11:33 pm

Brendan, I think Modry’s career was fatally damaged by the new post-lockout rules, which is about when he came to Atlanta. XLB would probably also fare better under the old rules, whereas skating mattered less and physical play mattered more.

RNN - Rawhide News Network

July 3rd, 2009
11:36 pm

The Colorado Avalanche have traded Ryan Smyth to the Los Angeles Kings for defencemen Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a fifth-round pick.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283667

RNN - Rawhide News Network

July 3rd, 2009
11:37 pm

Sources tell TSN the NHL and the NHLPA are investigating what might have been an enormous mistake by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago tendered qualifying offers to several key players this week, including Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Aaron Johnson and Troy Brouwer, however the investigation underway is to determine whether the qualifying offers were filed correctly.

If not, there is the remote possibility the qualifying offers could be ruled invalid and the players listed above, conceivably, could be deemed unrestricted free agents because of the blunder.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283634

Alan

July 3rd, 2009
11:57 pm

Sources tell TSN the NHL and the NHLPA are investigating what might have been an enormous mistake by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ouch!! That’s all I can really say on that. What a major screw up that would be, if those players inadvertently end up UFA.

Sadtoseeitthisway

July 4th, 2009
1:42 am

All this glorifying of XLB. It`s causing me to lose sleep. Yes he was a great guy and all, but some of these goodby letters sound like they were from some groupies who missed their chance while he was playing here in Blueland. Toronto`s defense has been soft and could use a guy who`s ready to hit. Good luck to you XLB. You did overachieve, and gave it your best effort.

Sadtoseeitthisway

July 4th, 2009
1:51 am

XLB is headed to Toronto. If anyone remembers they let in more goals against than we did. But be ready to play X, the Leafs fans will be a lot harder to win over. Their organization won`t give you a lot of slack like we did here.

Alan

July 4th, 2009
5:10 am

Their organization won`t give you a lot of slack like we did here.

Organization nothing. The fans and media won’t give a lot of slack. To anyone. Even if those players are doing extremely well, there’s always something fans and press can point out as being a major, game-changing mistake. Even if they win.

It doesn’t sound very logical, does it? Welcome to Toronto! :D

Alan

July 4th, 2009
5:25 am

Krog has, seemingly, been re-signed. 2 years, $550k per. Looks like a move to keep Chicago stocked.

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
5:33 am

Midfield, I agree with you completely there. “Old” NHL rules, maybe Modry does okay. Or BETTER.

Sadtoseeitthisway, I agree with your suggestion that Toronto’s media will not be as kind as Atlanta’s was. On some level, mediocre players must know that if they come to Atlanta, they won’t be scutinized in the media. And they’ll enjoy relative anonymity. If our market has any pluses at this juncture, those are it. There’s one more, but I don’t like mentioning it. When a player is old, and surviving more on reputation than actual skill and ability, there’s always one last NHL paycheck waiting for you in Atlanta. Though, I must say … guys like Mark Recchi, who just got re-signed by Boston, and Bill Guerin, and Jeremi Roenick, manage to hang on, well into their late 30’s, early 40’s. Schneider made it to 40. Look at Chelios, who won’t return to Detroit this year. Some team may bring him on board, at the league minimum, to essentially play six minutes a game, while mentoring the young talent. Scott Niedermayer got something like $6 million to renew with Anaheim. That’s what ultimately sent Pronger to Philly, in a short term loss, longterm gain deal by the Ducks. I wonder if Pronger will re-sign in Philly? Or if he’ll reunite in Toronto, with Burke, when he hits the open market? Anaheim truly had a remarkable season last year, entering the playoffs at #8, knocking off San Jose, then pushing the mighty Red Wings to the brink in Game Seven. I believe Detroit scored with 3:00 left, or so, in the 3rd period to finally win that series. Is Mats Sundin under contract in Vancouver??

Rawhide, I like that trade by Los Angeles. I know some of the luster of Ryan Smyth may be fading, but he’s still a good player. With leadership abilities. I hope he has a great career in L.A. The Kings just need to work on player retention, and get these pending contracts done.

If Chicago saw Versteeg and Barker turn UFA, they’d have to scramble fast to lock them up. Hossa’s got a no trade clause, right? Imagine the irony of Chicago, scrambling to fit under the cap and retaining players, had to move Hossa? Hossa for Heatley, right? Laughing. Actually, Heatley’s cap hit is higher, at $7.5, I believe, than Hossa’s new deal, at $5.23 million. I do wonder if Ottawa wishes they had Hossa instead of Heatley. Segue to Sage of Blueland.

Sage? You once posted, “Mark my words. This Hossa for Heatley deal is Brett Favre and the Falcons, all over again.” Do you still feel the same way? When I see Dany Heatley play, I do see a quality player. But I also see a guy who just doesn’t seem to stay happy for very long. Per Darren Eliot, during the lockout, Heatley asked his European teams for releases, too. Heatley’s also had a history of switching agents like musical chairs. I don’t know if it’s true, or what. I can see a player wanting to switch agents much moreso than one who consistently wants to swap addresses.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2009
8:24 am

L.A. robbed Colorado; what a deal for Ryan Smyth. They gave up npthing for a the kind of player that will make a difference.

If you ever in a war and you are just about to go over a hill, you want Ryan Smyth by your side.

These are the kind of players we need. You never have enough of them.

Sara

July 4th, 2009
8:59 am

Alan – if that’s true, that’s a great signing by Don IMO. Chicago will be quite happy to have him back – he’s a very solid AHL guy. He’s also good enough to be solid depth for our club in the event of an injury. Glad to have him back.

As for Chicago – holy geez!! If they lost some of those players as free agents, it would absolutely undo everything they just accomplished in free agency. 20 other GMs just started salivating heavily.

gretchelby

July 4th, 2009
9:05 am

“It’s been 10 years and the meter has run out of loveable losers” BwaHahahahaha. Not to be a jerk….but why do we still have Waddell? How many chances does he get?

LAC

July 4th, 2009
9:16 am

Brenden, Modry got traded to Philadelphia on the trade deadline the year they (Dallas) got him from us, Then he went to some Russian league and POOF he was gone !

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
11:27 am

LAC, amazing huh? Hey, the way I look at that trade, it was addition by subtraction. Dallas took a 3rd line center and a 3rd pairing D-man off of us for a 3rd or 4th line forward, and a throw away 7th rounder. Both teams got junk. Although, Dallas probably had more “potential” going for them than we did. Let’s see if Will O’Neill ever cracks the starting lineup.

Rawhide and World Be Free: I think Los Angeles won that trade, as well. Perhaps some of the luster has come off of Ryan Smith, but playing for the Islanders and Avalanche over past few years just might do that to anyone. I still say Ryan Smyth, by LA, was a coup. Good job, Kings. Now, work on player retention and get these contract negotiations finished.

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
11:30 am

If the Kings pick up F. Beauchemin, that’s a suitable replacement for Tom Preissing. If the Kings haven’t re-signed Jack Johnson, they need to open the wallet and get that done. The Kings have a good young corps of players.

LAC

July 4th, 2009
11:31 am

Brenden, right and Patrick S’s BEST game ever was against us at The Philips where he scored twice and got an assist… How fitting was that ?

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
11:32 am

We re-signed Krog? Hmmn. Hey, wait ’til Jenn hears!!

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
11:37 am

Well LAC, a player is never more motivated than when playing his former team. Remember when the Thrashers went into Pittsburgh, and Mark Recchi scored the shootout winning goal? Their whole arena GROANED. I bet Recchi’s drinks were free all night!

Patrik Stefan, rightly or wrongly, is remembered for missing a breakaway into a wide open net, than cost his team a win. On the ensuing play, the team with the pulled goaltender scored. And I believe they won the game in overtime or a shootout. Poor Patrik was the goat, to the tune of making ESPN’s Top 50 all-time blunders. It’s bad enough the guy was a 1st overall pick, who never made it off the 3rd line, but to make some “all-time” blunder list … it can’t feel good for him. I heard he opened up some retail business. Good for him. I felt terrible when I learned he suffered a career ending injury.

Alan

July 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

For giggles and grins, I just poked around a little (first page of Google) for an official link, and couldn’t find one. According to Falconer, he’s listed as being a Thrasher on the NHL website; however, he’s not listed at all on the TSN.ca free agent signings list.

Brendan, Stefan is now a NHL player agent based in the Laguna Beach. Indeed, best of luck to him.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2009
1:44 pm

Stefan is another example of Thrasher luck. Having the 1st overall pick in one of the worst drafts in NHL history. Palvel Brendl was #4 same year; I saw him playing in Swedish leagures when i was in Scandinavia last year. I understand he played in Russia last year.

Not much good came out of the 1999 draft.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

As Alan said previously, Stefan is a player agent who I believe focuses on Czech players (his nationality).

Modry played for a Czech Extraliga team, not a Russian team, after leaving Philadelphia.

I’d definitely agree that Los Angeles got the better end of that deal. They traded a waiver wire acquisition (Quincey was waived by Detroit in a roster space move), a 4/5 defender in Tom Preissing, and a relatively useless 5th round pick for one of the better power forwards in the league. I agree with whomever said it previously, Atlanta could use several players of Smyth’s ilk.

Brendan

July 4th, 2009
5:07 pm

I think it’s great that Patrik has moved on with the next phase of his hockey life. After reading that article, (thank you, Alan,) I can really feel the frustration and sadness within him, about his playing days ending prematurely. Had he been a late 2nd round, or 3rd round pick, nobody would think of him, or his career, as a “flop.” The worst part is … how he wanted his kids to see him play hockey. That will never happen now. I’m sorry I ever said anything bad about him, though usually I defended him as a “capable” 3rd line center; he seems like quite a standup guy. Family man, father of two, tries to help his fellow countrymen make it to the NHL. Indeed, I wish him better luck as a player agent than he had as a player.

People say, “The Thrashers rushed him into the NHL too soon.” That may or may not be true. Patrik did seem like he was able to adapt to the NHL fairly quickly. He scored two goals on Hasek, chasing him from the net, in the game where Atlanta earned its first ever point as a franchise. He just didn’t cash in on as many chances as he’d hoped. But sooner or later, those things even out, as a player ages and matures. Just because a player may have been rushed into the league, doesn’t mean he can’t adjust once there. I think of Michael Garnett. We all saw it. His first 8-10 games as a Thrasher netminder were really lacking. But, by the 2nd half of the season, he’d made noticeable improvement. And clearly, that was a player who was pressed into service.

Now, for something completely different. Ranallo, would you AGREE that Marian Gaborik is now being paid what he thinks he’s worth? If yes, do you AGREE that New York is a very visible market for a player who hopes to find the limelight and recongition? Would you AGREE that no one FORCED him to sign there? If yes, would further AGREE that there’s absolutely nothing for Gaborik to complain about for the rest of his contract, with the Rangers? After all, nobody put a gun to his head. He CHOSE New York. He AGREED to his salary. So, shouldn’t it follow that, having received exactly what he wanted, he’d be content? Let’s see if that’s the case over the next 36-48 months. And I promise, Gaborik’s allowed to skip choir practice every week of his stay in New York.