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

Zoomo

July 2nd, 2009
7:38 am

I’ll miss X’s personality and community involvement too. But, I think we got a great fit for Anderson’s system and a great fit for a big team need. Kubina may be just creeping over the hill, but he can pass, shoot, and skate…AND he’s a big guy. Size on the blueline is a big need, we need a presence in fron of the net, and we filled it nicely.

Now we need to get a forward with skill and size. I was hoping we had an eye on Havlat. No dice.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2009
7:47 am

It’s kinda disappointing that we have not signed anybody as of this morning. I believe we are finding how tough it is to draw players to a 76 point team. Most of the other lower teams are having a tough time too, unless you want to overpay or overextend someone (Ohlund in Tampa).

Today is a new day; hope Don and Duds are working the phones.

Hip Czech

July 2nd, 2009
7:56 am

Thumbs up indeed for the Kubina trade…I like XLB, but I like him more on the video screen doing skits than as a top 6 defenseman. Great guy, hope he comes back to be the Thrashers TV or radio analyst in a few years.

Here is an Ottawa blog talking about the Heatley situation:

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=21933

How many teams can Dany-boy pi$$ off? Let’s see Atlanta (though somewhat understandable), Ottawa, Edmonton…not going to be an easy year for the Heater. Ridiculous, issue a ‘trade me; ultimatum and then refuse to waive the no-trade. Either Heatley or his agent (or both) have serious problems.

Also, here is an example of Toronto media…Brian Burke is god…how can you put a positive spin on coming away with Orr, XLB, and Komisarik? Here’s how.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=21932

Carolina observer

July 2nd, 2009
8:00 am

If the NHL was still playing under the old rules when Kubina was one of the very best defensemen in the league (see 2004 Cup year highlights) this would be the trade of the century. Unfortunately the league took away the very special talents that Kubina had in front of the net. His offense is still fine but the D is just average at best. There is a reason the Leafs unloaded him besides the money issue. A good trade but not great.

Sage of Bluesland

July 2nd, 2009
8:04 am

I didn’t realize how truly pitiful Exelby’s “numbers” were until quoted above…Man, those are in Per Svartvadet territory for their humor…Added to the sieve-like performance on defense, I say good-riddance. You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution; “Ex” was the former.

But, then some of the sheep will wail, moan, stomp their wittle feet, and threaten to stop supporting the team because their favorite player is now gone…Emotional rot and drivel.

Good riddance there, too.

Good trade, Don! No matter what happens, I won’t gripe as the theory behind this one is good…I hope Kubina stays around longer than one year, but we’ll see…

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
8:07 am

Great trade. Good way to start a busy off season. We didn’t snag a huge name, but if it was going to cost $7.5 mil or be 12 years long, I’m OK with that. I’m now predicting Lehts is the goalie we trade. I would think we need to drop that potential $3.5/year after picking up $5 mil for next year, and we still need a top 6 and sign Kovy. My guess for potential trade partner would be Edmonton. We’ll see….

Sage of Bluesland

July 2nd, 2009
8:07 am

I’ll take a has-been over a never-was any day…It’ll mess up Don’s current-players-who-were-drafted-by-bumbling-GM spweadsheet, but hey-ho, you’ve got to break a few eggs to attempt to make a cake…

(For that reason alone, I’m surprised the deal was done–a remnant of the first-ever draft and a fan-favorite as well? Either way, I’ll take it)

Sean

July 2nd, 2009
8:24 am

Edmonton signed Khabibulin so I doubt they’d want another expensive goalie.

Looking forward to picking up a forward via trade. Looks like we’ll have to keep giving to get.

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
8:35 am

Carolina…Kubina may not be the all star he was in 2004, but look at what we gave up to get him. XLB, who was our 3rd pairing D-man and hasn’t been nearly the same player over the last 2 seasons, and a 26 year old 3rd/4th line PK who has been back and forth between the minors a million times.

Good call Sean…forgot about Khabibulin. If Dallas doesn’t get the monster…maybe them?

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 2nd, 2009
8:42 am

Toby — First, the Thrashers need every dollar available to reach the cap floor. Right now the team does not need to jettison contracts due to the cap.

Also, as Sean said, Edmonton has no need for an expensive starting goalie due to their signing of Khabibulin.

sisu

July 2nd, 2009
8:51 am

The giant is still out there and when he signs it will weaken the goalie trading in my opinion. A lot of goalies were moving yesterday so it will be interesting to see what one might fetch now?

Sara

July 2nd, 2009
8:52 am

I wouldn’t bank on Waddell getting a thing for a goalie at this point – at least not enough to be worth the trade. Biron and Fernandez are both still available as far as I know, the Monster still has his decision to make, and Giggy is supposedly in play. There’s also Nittymaki running around someone. In other words, there are enough options at goalie available that no one in their right mind is going to give up a top-6 guy for one.

five_hole

July 2nd, 2009
9:01 am

ranallo10 (in AT) Courtesy of NHLNUMBERS.com. As of now, our total cap is 33.667.

We have 9 forwards signed, including Sterling & Machacek, who may or may not make the team. We still have to sign Army, Slater, Thorburn & Crabb, all of whom should make the team. Excluding Sterling & Machacek, that’s only 11 forwards.

We have 5 defensemen signed (including Kubina) but still have to sign Oystrick, Valabik, Lehman, Lewis & Wilson.

We also have to resign Kari.

Not sure what the floor is, but I expect that signing all of the above will be at least 10 million, which should raise us above that figure. And as I already pointed out, we’re at least 1 forward short.

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
9:11 am

Penalty Killing forward(s) needed badly!!!

I was very disappointed to see that Sjöström was picked up by Calgary last night.

“TSN has reported that Sjostrom signed a two-year deal worth $1.5 million, averaging $750,000 per year. The Rangers lose a solid fourth liner in Sjostrom, but will surely miss him most when it comes to the penalty kill. Sjostrom did a great job blocking shots and plugging up the passing lanes on the penalty kill, as well as pressuring the opposition and clearing the zone. Both Sjostrom and Blair Betts were the two most consistent penalty killers for the Rangers.”

As I have mentioned before, he was a part of the best Penalty Killing team in the league (reg. season). And he was had for only $750 000 per year. I really hope Don & Dud is planning on improving the chances of not ending up being 29th rated in the PK column next season.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
9:25 am

I agree that we shouldn’t expect to see a goalie traded, there’s no demand out there that would give us a return worth moving anyone beyond Hedberg.

So, we don’t have anyone to trade, who’s left that’s still UFA at center or RW?

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
9:26 am

Although I think yall have covered the pros and cons of this move stats-wise as well as community aspects-I think you guys are also missing something here- Kubina is one of Dudley’s guys. He specifically mentioned Kubina during a recent interview where they asked how he felt about assembling the majority of a Cup Champion, but didn’t get his name engraved.

h

July 2nd, 2009
9:27 am

This trade was exactly what you call “a good hockey trade”. We gave up a little and got what we really needed. I hope that when the dust clears that DW signs Kubina to a 2 year extension (or 3 if we really have to). I agree with others about Stuart…I really liked what he brought to the team, but he was NEVER going to be better than a 3rd liner at best, so although I’ll miss his PK work, I certainly hope we can replace him with relative ease. As for X, he was the odd man out all along. It stinks to lose a “good guy” but with my apologies to all the X lovers, I don’t pay for my season tix to watch “good guys” play crappy hockey. X showed that he will never be a top 4 D-man, and with his age vs. others on the team and in the system, he really needed to go. Getting a top 6 guy is crucial right now and hopefully not via trade. Antro will be a great fit….even at 5M a year. There are still a few top 6 guys left but not that many. DW’s offseason may hinge on Antro, unless we have a shot at Tanguay….otherwise you drop to the 2nd-3rd line possibles such as Moore, Samuelsson and Comrie. It may be worth considering making a big offer to a few RFAs on teams with salary cap issues…..as long as it is someone you really want…….I hope something happens today……I love this time of year and hate it all the same……

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2009
9:29 am

Funny that Heatley thinks that Murray is trying to screw him over by not making the best trade scenario.

Reminds me of a scene from Team America (warning, strong language)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aYtHDlAkN0&feature=related

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
9:33 am

ranallo10 (in AT)

Get to the cap floor?? We picked up over $3mil yesterday. We still have about 5 RFA’s to sign and a top 6 to pick up. Without another trade, I project us around $43 mil after the RFA’s sign now.

And yes…as I stated already, Sean was right.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
9:43 am

“Funny that Heatley thinks that Murray is trying to screw him over by not making the best trade scenario”

Heatley is a world class dick.

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
9:45 am

I agree Sara…I don’t see us getting much back for a goalie. Best case now, IMO, is we get Antropov (I know Tanguay is still left, but keep dreaming) for around $4 mil and have Lehts start in net with Pavs as the backup. Not sure what to do with Moose. I know this is more $$ than ASG might be willing to spend, but we do lose over $10mil in cap after this year with Kozzy, Kubina, and Zhitnik’s contracts all expiring. Antro might convince Kovy to sign too…another Russian?

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

I hope the good folks in Hell, Michigan are breaking out their parkas, because it’s truly a cold day: I actually agree with something Sage said.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
9:50 am

Viking, our goal is to sign a top-6 forward, though. Help from forwards on the PK can come later or from within. Sjostrom would have been a great addition, but I’m not displeased Calgary picked him up.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
10:05 am

“Best case now, IMO, is we get Antropov”

I agree, I think this club could be decent next year if they could sign him and have one of either Kane or Espo make an impact next year.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
10:08 am

I would bull-rush Tanguay and his agent.

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
10:14 am

What are the odds a FA that has other options, and you gotta assume Antro and Tanguay both do, will choose Atlanta? Very slim unless we woefully overpay and neither of these guys are worthy of that. There’s a reason Donny Wads keeps saying we will upgrade via the trade route. If we pay Antropov $5mm/yr we will regret it. If we offer $4mm then he probably signs elsewhere for similar dollars. It’s a catch-22.

LAC

July 2nd, 2009
10:16 am

Everyone in our division aquired at least one UFA yesterday… Except guess who… That is correct, The Atlanta Thrashers a team commited to NOT winning.

You know Hossa left because the team stunk, look at last two season point totals… ZERO improvement. Kovy has said the EXACT same thing
we need to spend some money and get some UFA’s here and what are we all doing here ??? Talking about the ones that signed somewhere else !

Just what is it about Atlanta ? Ok, very very average team, no leadership from ownership, NO leadership from GM, fan base will comntinue to lose interest if team does not WIN. And if we cannot get the type scorers in here to win with and a better defense, we will not win, then Good-Bye #17, then how much will YOU want to go see or even support a team that does not support itself or it’s FANS by letting THE one STAR player we have leave ?

Is it ownership ? Is it don waddell’s inability to do his job ?
It cannot be the arena, or the city just why will TOP UFA’s not come here ? I have to believe it is these owners going on the Cheap and
having a bumbling GM who really does not know how to do his job…
Boy if any NHL franchise needed a breath of fresh air, it is ATLANTA…

Hip Czech

July 2nd, 2009
10:22 am

From a Chicago blog:

“Two possible trade partners for Dale Tallon are Bob Murray in Anaheim and Rick Dudley in Atlanta. These guys are thick as thieves and have both worked and traded together before.

So what if Tallon shipped Cam Barker, Kris Versteeg and Huet to Anaheim for JS Giguere and James Wisniewski?

Or Versteeg and Barker to Atlanta for Ron Hainsey and a pick?”

A thousand time YES!

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
10:24 am

Is Kubina Russian?

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2009
10:27 am

I think Kubina is a Czech

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
10:28 am

OH H&LL YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! Bye Ex. This is awesome. We now have a LEGIT blueline of 4 solid D men, not to mention letting Valabik and Salmla (spelling I know) play as 5 & 6!!!
GOOD JOD DW. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…I love it.
Now how about trading a goalie, CALL PHILLY, they need serious help in goal. Laughable, just talked to my brother (philly Brian) and he is SICK. He cannot believe the signed Boucher and are going to go into the season with he and EMory. ahhahahahahha, LOSERS>.
How about the Rangers, over paying for Gaborik, the human band aid?? They never cease to amaze me. hehehehhehehe. I love hockey, ready for us to get a legit number 1 center and another wing, then LETS DO THIS.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
10:28 am

zilla, Pavel has to be a Czech

J(Z)

July 2nd, 2009
10:31 am

About the ONLY thing I can find that I don’t like about this trade…Kubina wear jersey #77!!!!!!!!

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2009
10:31 am

Kubina is Czech

Riceowls8891

July 2nd, 2009
10:33 am

Kubina is from the Czech Republic.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
10:34 am

Dude, if Duds thinks he can sign Barker & Versteeg, I would do Hainsey & a pick NOW. Barker’s a proven warrior, and I (personally) think that Versteeg’s only going to get better.

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
10:35 am

Please don’t sign Nik, he’s the softest big man since Victor Kozlov (caps). If we can get him for 2 or 3 million, then maybe. but the someone is going to pay 4 or 5 million and regret it. I watched him a lot when he was with the leafs, even their own announcing team BASHED him for being lazy, lackadiscal (spelling again?) & at time just not interested. I say leave him, all my opinions of course!!

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
10:36 am

Antropov is Russian though…

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
10:39 am

Chicago may make a good trade partner after blowing their future on Mary-Ann. 12 years?!?!? Their cap is screwed.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
10:41 am

Someone let me know if I’m missing someone; but, I have the best, and I’m using that term loosely, forwards left as:

1) Tanguay

2) Antropov

3) LaRose

4) Afinogenov

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
10:41 am

Thanks. Antropov is Russian…and he is huge. If we can land Antropov at 6′6 230 and get rid of Perrin (and possibly Slater) we will have a pretty big team. Antropov, Kubina and Boris…Kubina would be the runt at 6′4.

Perhaps our team would be a bunch of b*tches this year

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
10:42 am

Alan, are you saying that multi tasking is out of the question for Don & Dud? Or are you worried that $750 000 or so per year spent on Sjöström would eliminate the possibility of a top 6 forward? (How about not resigning Thorburn, like they just did? I could have lived without an offer to Slater too.)

And why wait to get the best possible PK?

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
10:47 am

Afinogenov is horrible. Gotta stay away from him. He’s one of the worst finishers I’ve ever seen.

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
10:49 am

Antropov – the name suggests he is Russian, but is from Kazakhstan.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
10:52 am

Is that where Borat where from?

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
10:58 am

Yes, Borat is his country man, but Bruno is Austrian.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
10:58 am

Isn’t that where Borat WAS from? sorry

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
10:59 am

Borat is his countryman, (but Bruno is from Austria).

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
11:00 am

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
11:01 am

chc4, you’re correct, leave max alone. don’t want him, turnover MACHINE.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
11:01 am

Thrash ink Thor.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
11:02 am

Viking, I’m saying neither.

We have people in our system to take those bottom-6 positions. We don’t need to bring someone from outside when we’re stacked with bottom-6 players. Tell me, would you buy a quart of oil if you have a case of oil in your garage? That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Neither does bringing in a bottom-6 player when you already have a bunch of bottom-6 players.

Not giving Thorburn a qualifying offer could mean his spot in the lineup is going to be filled by one of the bottom-6 guys from Chicago this coming season. Or, Thorburn could be re-signed by the organization.

What I said (and no offense, but I honestly thought what I said was pretty clear) is that we need to be concerned about bringing in a top-6 forward. We’re absolutely stacked at third and fourth liners. We need a top liner to play with Kovalchuk. Sjostrom doesn’t fit that description, and thus we shouldn’t make a run for him.

A player like Sjostrom is an accessory for a playoff contender, not a need for a rebuilding team.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
11:03 am

Guess I was late. Thorburn re-signed … much to my dismay.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
11:07 am

Another thought- Kovalev’s still out there, and what if we did a big-ticket 1-yr deal for him?

#17/White/Little

SlavaMatic/Peverly/Kovalev

Crabb/Reasoner/Armi

“Gods”

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
11:17 am

Please let me read at some point today “Chris Neil signed”! Won’t cost much and will TOUGHEN this freaking team up. Then a top 4 forward and a center. LETS DO THIS> come on DW.

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
11:17 am

Would love to have Kovalev at RW. Yeah he’s a short term band-aid but it could bridge the gap til Kane is ready. That would make for a nice top 6.

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
11:23 am

Chris Neil? He signed with a hometown discount yesterday with Ottawa.

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
11:25 am

Pretty sure Neil re-upped with Ottawa late yesterday.

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
11:30 am

Thanks guys, well, that sucks for me.
ahhahahahha

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
11:30 am

THIS is what a team player is…

“If we’re going to win the Cup, we need guys to take pay cuts. The way the salary cap is now, you really can’t get what you’re worth now if you want to win. Everybody in this locker-room knows that and for us to be a great team going forward, we’re going to have to take a pay cut.”

– Ryan Kesler / Vancouver Canucks

Oh, here here!

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
11:33 am

Ok, I might be a day behind again, lol. Just read another story on TSN RIPPING heater…wow, this is the second one I’ve seen. Too bad the rangers just signed gaborik, wonder what dany wants now???
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/rslover.tsn/194539/

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
11:39 am

Tony C, that’s an interesting thought re: Kovalev. I think Kovy would like having the “other Kovy” around and could give us some good interchangeability with our Top 6. We could even go all Russian on the PP with Ilya, Kovy and Kozzy with 2 American blueliners Bogey and Ron.

If not a big one year deal for either Kovalev, how about one of the following for a 2 or 3 year deal worth $2.5 – $3 M per?

1) Sykora

2) Kotalik

3) Samuelsson

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
11:39 am

Dany’s gonna have to stay in Ottawa. Maybe coach Clouston can have a ceremony in the locker room where they dramatically rip the “A” off of his jersey. Let him skate out onto the ice with a rip where it used to be. Give his #15 to a rookie too, give him number like 83 – or 0! They can offer the fans 50% off a new jersey if they return their Heater one.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
11:40 am

Nevermind! Dreger just tweeted that we inked Antropov to a 4 year deal worth $16 mill! Damn, not sure about this one. He better step up his motivation…hopefully playing with Kovy will do it for him.

http://twitter.com/darrendreger

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2009
11:43 am

Smoothie, If that is true, though I’m not sold on him, at LEAST we are trying!!!!! Effort is something to build on?? lol.
Will this be enough for kovie to stay???

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
11:43 am

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2009
11:44 am

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2009
11:44 am

:!: THRASHERS SIGN NIK ANTROPOV :!:

It’s confirmed that Atlanta have signed Nik Antropov…4-years, $16-million!

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
11:46 am

Well, looks like we can go pseudo-Russian on the PP with Antropov stalking the crease like a big grizzly bear. I reckon this bolsters our 2nd line with Antro playing the role of “power” forward on the right side with Kozzy feeding him pucks. Who plays center on that line? I say Whitey. I want maximum speed on top.

Kovy — Pevs — Little

Kozzy — White — Antro

Kane / Crabb — Reasy — Army

Boultsy — Slater — Thor / McMacho

Well, we now have size that everyone has been clamoring for, but how much better will we be defensively with the addition of Antro? Is he considered a respectable 2 way player??

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
11:47 am

yEAH. Antropov’s not bad when motivated…. I still think that giving Kovalev $6M this year would’ve been better… but still, DW got him for $1M less per than Antropov wanted… love this quote from Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy:

That’s Don Waddell doing his best to appease Ilya Kovalchuk

Not a bad signing, but I’d like to both Antropov AND Kovalchuk play with more “nasty”.

Maybe they should make #17 hang out with Malkin on his day with The Cup-I know I’d be p!ssed after that.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
11:48 am

Looks like all the Leafs Faithful turned out on the TSN comments section to say the deal sucks since we “overpaid”. Wasn’t the asking price $5m+/yr?

Whatever helps them sleep at night.

Good to see we got one of the top free agent forwards, though.

Banana Puddin' Pie

July 2nd, 2009
11:48 am

Where did you hear that RawHide??

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
11:49 am

I like…

Kovy – Peavs – Antro
Kozzy – White – Little

Antro clears the way for Kovy and will pick up rebounds. As far as the 2nd line, they were great last year and I wouldn’t break them up.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

July 2nd, 2009
11:51 am

How much upside does Antropov have? That’s a pretty big paycheck.

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2009
11:52 am

Banana Puddin’ Pie – Got that call from my “contact”….but TSN is confirming as well.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
11:52 am

Kovy should be re-signing soon. I think we just received Christmas in July.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
11:53 am

Well, before last season, Nik was a career + 67 in 7 seasons with TOR. HOWEVER, he has been a bit injury prone (ugggh!) with an average of only 62 games over 7 season (in 2001 he only played 11 games with the big club spending most of his time in AHL). Damn, I think I would’ve preferred to overspend ($5.5 M per) to get Tanguay, but I guess we always have to go with the less popular UFA to even get consideration (see Ron Hainsey, Jason Williams etc).

Russian

July 2nd, 2009
11:53 am

Yeah Baby!!!!:-) Nik is ours. Good move. I hope we can get Zherdev or Afinogenov. Maks will be completely new player in our team.
Don< Good job! Old man.

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
11:54 am

We cry and moan about ASG not spending money. Then we sign one of the top Fs left on the market and people complain about overspending? Sheesh… which is it???? I’d much rather give a top 6 F coming off a 29G season this kind of money versus what guys overrated guys like Komisarek (sucks) and Gaborik (always hurt) got.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
11:57 am

Good point Toby, hopefully Nik can be our big, burly “garbage” man on the other side of Kovy. Also, when Pevs gets kicked out of the circle, Antro is more than capable of taking the draw and winning it to Kovy for a one-timer. This could work. And keeping the “original” Little White Russian line together would be ideal after further consideration. Especially with teams having to gear up to play Kovy, Pevs and Antro.

goose

July 2nd, 2009
11:59 am

What a sweet surprise to wake up to.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

July 2nd, 2009
12:00 pm

Definitely can run a few screens with this guy. Maybe a between the legs roller derby style play with one of our little guys.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
12:02 pm

I like this. Kovy plays well with a big dude in front to shield the goalie. Remember when Thor played on Kovy’s line and did OK for a little bit? I like that he’s Russian and that it shows Kovy we are going in the right direction.

…and we just got a lot bigger. I want a BIG THRASHING Team. Like the old Atlanta Flames…

Keep up the good work Donnie

Suck it LAC

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
12:03 pm

Kovalchuk pushed very hard for Atlanta to sign Antropov
Source: Andy Strickland @ Hockeybuzz

goose

July 2nd, 2009
12:03 pm

Well Antrapov was born in the USSR but in what is now present day Kazakhstan so he he might speak Russian which would be good for when we put him with kovy

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
12:03 pm

I’m OFFICIALLY calling for an END of the BOYCOTT.

The ASG finally ponied up, now it’s our turn to support the team financially.

TableHockey

July 2nd, 2009
12:03 pm

Well DW did say he was 75% certain of signing a top-6 forward this morning.

Sure we paid big but wasn’t that what everyone expected out of free agency?

I like the moves for Antropov and Kubina – I think it definetly makes us a better team.

GTthrashfan

July 2nd, 2009
12:06 pm

@Toby take a look at that top line. We alll know the Little White Russian line, but now we’ve got an AK-47 line. Antropov, Kovy, and #47 Peverly!

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

July 2nd, 2009
12:06 pm

Buzilla- Those were the days, weren’t they? Even if the FLAMES lost, they still rattled some neckbones and won the fights and everyone went home happy.

goose

July 2nd, 2009
12:07 pm

His Wikipedia page is already updated talk about fast.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
12:07 pm

I like the AK-47 line…cleaver

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
12:08 pm

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
12:08 pm

And for those of you thinking that we’re just picking up the scraps of a basement dweller in TOR, keep in mind that guys like Guerin, Recchi and Federov have gone from good players on lame duck teams to championship caliber (or at least playoff contenders) clubs and contributed mightily. Hopefully, this is just the change of scenery big Nik needs to light a fire under him and drive him to score 30 + goals.

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
12:10 pm

Alan:

“Tell me, would you buy a quart of oil if you have a case of oil in your garage? That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Neither does bringing in a bottom-6 player when you already have a bunch of bottom-6 players.”

It would make sense to get another quart if I need oil for my chainsaw and not to my car… Your analogy would work if we already had good Penalty Killers in our present team or if we (I hope) have good ones coming now from Chicago or wherever.

We allowed 88 shorthanded goals last season. A top PK team would have cut that in half.

But I agree with you about Thorburn.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
12:10 pm

Antropov at RW or at C? I think this leaves some options with line tinkering.

Kovy-Peverly-Antropov
or
Kovy-Antropov-Little (I like this better as a top line and then skae Kozlov-Peverly-White on the 2nd line)

Ok, the owners may have gotten the message here and have spent some money, I hope Sara and ranallo are happy! Kubina, Antropov, and Dudley all brought in increasing the owner’s money spent (although mabye they spent Hartley’s money that finally fell off on Dudley)

Sign Tanguay and they’ll have to pick me up off the floor.

But even if this is it, we’re not the worst team in the East anymore and could compete for a playoff seed. And most importantly, Kovy could re-sign seeing Antropov with a 4 year deal. Good stuff.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
12:10 pm

We could have an A(rmy) – K(ane) – 19 (Reasy) line as well. A more crude version of the AK-47 with less scoring range and prowess, but that packs a more serious punch than it’s AK-47 cousin. Round it out with some Greek Gods and whatta ya got? Perhaps a playoff team!

NYC

July 2nd, 2009
12:11 pm

Goose – you just woke up??

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
12:12 pm

Somebody buy R.Stroz a beer for me at Gorins

Sara

July 2nd, 2009
12:12 pm

Awesome!!!! $4M isn’t too much (not like it’s killing our cap space or anything). 4 years isn’t too long either. That’s the kind of contract that could be moved potentially if needed as well.

I have to really give some props to ASG for ponying up this money. They seem to be taking the possible loss of Kovy seriously. And hopefully this will impress Kovy enough to sign on the dotted line in a couple of weeks as well.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
12:15 pm

“The ASG finally ponied up, now it’s our turn to support the team financially.”

And I think this validates what you and I have been saying all along, that there’s one thing that will get the owner’s attention, and that’s when you stop going to the games and hit them in the pocketbook.

I’d like to see Waddell gone before I re-up for season tix, but this will get me back to some games (went to 1 last year and paid $20 each for scalped club tix day of game).

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
12:15 pm

LOL @ GTthrashfan

Darkhorse

July 2nd, 2009
12:17 pm

Based on what FA were out there, and what they were going to cost, this is not a bad deal at all for us. We’re still a hard sell for FA to come to, but adding Antropov at a reasonable number here is goon IMO.

Think that his number is about 500k more than I wanted to bring him in for, but 4mil is a helluv a lot better than 5mil or more.

Darkhorse

July 2nd, 2009
12:19 pm

That’s “good” I meant to say. Not “goon” like the Leafs now.

All things aside, I still don’t see him as a legit #1 center at all. But another problem for another day.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
12:27 pm

RT@Custance:

craigcustance: Like the fit of Nik Antropov in ATL. Price isn’t too bad for what he brings: 4-years, $16 million. He played w/Kovy in lockout.

mr. mike

July 2nd, 2009
12:30 pm

I’m really thrilled with the signing of Antropov. I see 30 goals per annum from Nik; and I think he’s a better “match” for this club than Tanguay. Also was concerned about tanguay’s rather serious production fall-off over the last 3 seasons.
Good job, Don.(Don’t say that too often). Sure do wish(I know; there’s no pleasin’ some folks) that we could have packaged Lehts or Pavelec to Philly and somehow acquired Knuble. He crashes the net like no one we’ve ever had here save Brunette or Tkachuk.

J(Z)

July 2nd, 2009
12:37 pm

So we’ve got 4 nicknamed lines already
AK-47 (Antropov/Kovy/Pev)
Little White Russian
Noah’s ARK (Army/Reasoner/Kane) – ok, this one needs some work
Greek Gods

Sara

July 2nd, 2009
12:40 pm

Bob – I don’t want to necessarily invalidate completely your idea that by boycotting games you forced the owners hand but in all honesty I think the real motivator behind the spending spree is Ilya Kovalchuk. He made his ultimatum crystal clear at the end of the year and even Spirit cannot be dense enough to get the ramifications of Kovy walking out the door next off-season.

But to respond to your earlier comment – yes, I am quite pleased with Spirit’s agreement to commit more money to this franchise this season. Although I wonder if Stroz’s theory from a few weeks back will still hold true – that our fortune will come at the misfortune of the Hawks. Anybody that follow them know what that spending is looking like this year in comparison to last?

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
12:46 pm

If we can sign Kovy in the next few weeks and trade a goalie for a great prospect, I’ll consider this summer a success

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
12:48 pm

Sara – The Atlanta Hawks haven’t re-signed Mike Bibby yet. Bibby cost the Hawks 15 million/year.

Riceowls8891

July 2nd, 2009
12:54 pm

So, Rawhide, is it time to print that column about DW you have written and hoped you could print? :)

(I think its too early until the team performs, but I am hopeful).

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2009
12:59 pm

Riceowls8891 – I’ll put it this way…I think waddell and Dudley have had a very, very good 24 hours.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
1:00 pm

Stroz, ouch. That doesn’t sound good for the Hawks.

I hope your theory on spending (Hawks up = Thrashers down, and vice versa) isn’t proven true. I don’t follow basketball, but if drawing fans results in more money, it should be in the owners best interest to spend some to sign high tier free agents to make the team better, as opposed to improving one and disregarding the other.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 2nd, 2009
1:01 pm

Perhaps I’m being stubborn but until the ownership floats a team $5M over the salary cap floor for multiple seasons I will not consider them “opening their pocket books”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the team is still under the salary cap floor so that $4M (Antropov’s contract) had to be spent. I can’t give someone props for fulfilling obligations.

However Bob, I think your previous posts are some of the easiest to agree with that I’ve seen. I have no problem admitting that ownership is acting like a real ownership group if they give Waddell the ability to spend like a real GM would, and once that happens I would easily admit that all blame could rest solely on Waddell. Such a change would be the “fundamental change in business model” that I have harped about, and would prove your argument that Waddell is the true problem. Without one, the other cannot happen.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…the team is still at $38.5M with some players left to sign (the big one being Lehtonen). We’ll see how tight those purse-strings are pulled once they get around the cap floor.

Puckwench (aka Mrs. DWTOO)

July 2nd, 2009
1:01 pm

I like the Antropov deal. I’m hoping Kovalchuk will light a fire under him since Nik is also Russian(Kazakhstan) if they speak even remotely the same language. I’m thinking Antropov will fit into Anderson’s system nicely, too.

Thrashers27

July 2nd, 2009
1:01 pm

Good pick-up…I’m just wondering how all of these pieces will fit together now. Unless, Antropov is okay playing on the RW, this creates a log jam at center.

Sara

July 2nd, 2009
1:13 pm

ranallo – the one thing I would say in response to your “they are still being cheap overall” is that they have to leave reasonable padding for future re-signings. Kovy alone could jump the cap $3-$3.5M per season with a new contract. Little and Bogosian won’t be far off for new contracts that will also likely translate into $4-$5M easily in cap space. What’s Pevs gonna cost us next season? Those are all cheap guys right now that won’t remain so. Assuming we either re-sign or replace Kozzie for similar $$, you are still looking at $7-$8.5M more in salary soon on the way. Spirit has to know that’s coming and must be preparing to commit to it (and probably praying like hell that the team plays well enough to bring most if not all of it in through ticket sales).

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Thrashers27

I believe he’s played most of his career (especially lately) as a RW

h

July 2nd, 2009
1:19 pm

Antro is someone I wanted all along…….love the pick up……September can’t come fast enough…….for the first time DW said what he needed and he got it……now it is time to perform. Go THRASH!!!

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 2nd, 2009
1:19 pm

“Assuming we either re-sign or replace Kozzie for similar $$”

There’s the biiiiiiig IF in your statement. There’s no reason to assume that his money wont be portioned out to help cover the costs of those other contracts. There’s also no reason to think that Kubina will re-sign at $5M annually, that Lehtonen will be a Thrashers through March, etc.

Too many assumptions for me to give this group credit for doing something they should’ve been doing all along.

Hiring someone to be an associate GM (heir apparent in my opinion) was a step in the right direction for them. Opening the pocket book consistently is another step. However, they need to prove they know the definition of “accountability” and “enabling” before I’ll give them praise towards how they run this hockey franchise.

Chris

July 2nd, 2009
1:21 pm

Stroz–The Hawks did trade away Speedy Claxton (the NBA version of Zhitnik–11 million a year not to play) and Acie Law for Jamal Crawford. They cleared like 3 million off their roster by trading 2 guys who never played for a 20 point per game player who wants to be in Atlanta. They also drafted a point guard in the draft this year.

For the first time in a long time, I can’t complain with what EITHER GM is doing who is employed by the ASG.

English Teacher

July 2nd, 2009
1:24 pm

When was the last time someone posted “Fire Waddell!”? I keep thinking I’m on the wrong blog…

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
1:28 pm

NASCAP Dave should be posting soon, I am sure

BAF

July 2nd, 2009
1:32 pm

No logjam on the Thrashers w/ centers. When you don’t have a Crosby or Malkin, it is good to have competition at Center. Sure beats a few years ago when Perrin was our best option at center.

Pevs, Slater, Antropov can all play RW. White and Reasoner, mark them down as Center. Thor and Little also came up as centers but can flourish on the wing with their respective games and are doubtful to overtake Pevs, Slater and Antropov.

Find the right line combination and then go with it. This team now has flexibility. Still would like to have a superstar at Center, but those are very hard to come by and more often than not are produced through the draft.

five_hole

July 2nd, 2009
1:34 pm

I’ve been in shock for the last day. We actually signed a legit top forward and we traded for a d-man that should make our 1st pairing.

We . . . . got better?!?

I’m not used to this.

Is this Dudley’s influence?

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
1:47 pm

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but the team is still under the salary cap floor so that $4M (Antropov’s contract) had to be spent. I can’t give someone props for fulfilling obligations.”

Ranallo, this is what I’ve got now that we know the numbers on Thorby.

Forwards: 9 Full-time signed @ $20.365 M
Blueline: 5 Full-time signed @ $14.738 M
Goalies: 1 F/T & 1 P/T in Pavs @ $1.445 M (I have Pavs with the big club 25% of the season)
Zhitty Bang-Buyout: $1.167 M
Total Salary to Date: $37.715 M

Now, onto my guesses for the rest of the roster.

Forwards: Army ($2.5 M cap hit); Slates @ $875 K; Kane (1/3 of season which is quite optimistic) @ $300 K; Crabb (75%) @ $450 K; McMacho & Sterling (other 2/3 and 25%) @ approx $ 700 K

To make it easy, let’s go with $5 M (I rounded up) for the rest of the forwards on the roster.

Defense: Valabik @ $925 K; Oystie / Kulda / Lewis @ approx $575 K which gives us a cool and even $1.5 M

That puts us right around $44.215 M before we consider the goalie situation and Kari Lehtonen’s new deal.

I think the consensus is that Kari’s tender will be in the neighborhood of $3.5 M per year. If he plays for the Thrashers this year, he will likely be on the roster 100% (even if hurt for stretches) so we can count on his full salary. Now, if we trade Moose at the deadline, that will give us back about 25% of his salary, which is $272 K. Pavs’ salary for 25% of the season is $212.5 K without bonuses. That’s pretty much a wash. But for ease of number crunching, let’s round up to $4.5 M for goalies during this season.

The net effect of the above goalie scenario is a total P/R cap hit of approximately $47.25 M. I’d say that’s a pretty decent commitment and it still affords the ASG some flexibility at the deadline if we are out of the hunt. Jettisoning Kubina would get them back roughly $1.25 M.

I would love to see them spend to $50 M and bring back Kari and trade Pavs for more depth at forward to sure up the 3rd line in the event Kane can’t make the roster out of camp. Someone mentioned a player like Travis Moen and I would think we could bring him in for $1.5 – 2 M per season if so desired.

BAF

July 2nd, 2009
1:49 pm

Here is how it should be.

Kovy-Pevs-Antropov
Slava-White-Little
??-Reasoner-Army
Boulton-Slater-Thor

Bogo-Toby
Hainsey-Kubina
Salmella-Valibik

This team can finish 2nd in the SE easily with either Kari or Pavelec and make the playoffs. PP will be excellent. PK will need to improve with a different system not allowing teams to come over the blueline so easily and attack on the mid-wall boards with the forwards. Would be nice the missing LW be strong on the PK to make up for Dupuis from two years ago and Stuart last year.

2009-2010 – Falcons, Hawks and Thrashers make the playoffs. Mark it down

Viking

July 2nd, 2009
1:50 pm

I like the current goalie situation.

“The 5 goalie situation” we had a few years back is still lingering in my mind when I see anything written about trading one of our goalies with a non-goalie in return. The past has shown us that it is not unlikely we will see a goalie injury during the next 82 (and hopefully more) games.

Lehtonen is (as any other goalie) going to show improved numbers with a better defense in front of him. Hedberg is a great backup, especially with his strength at shootouts. Then we have the young and still learning Pavelec, who would be ready if things go wrong. (Pavelec might not like to remain in Chicago for another year, but I feel he is not yet ready to be a starting NHL goalie – or he is simply not that great.)

Next year, Lehtonen has had the chance to show what he can do in a better defensive environment. Hedberg will retire, and perhaps become our goalie coach. And Pavelec is hopefully by then a fullblown NHL Goalie.

It might be a too big of an “out of the box thought”, but unless you possess a mega star goal keeper as a Number One, I think it is an option to use a couple of “1 1/2 goalies”, who are alternating. Or at least we should not put such an emphasis on “Goalie Number One” in 2010-11.

five_hole

July 2nd, 2009
1:51 pm

Looking at the $$$ – Right now we’re at $38 mil with RFA’s to be signed. I already listed them previously but that should be another $10 mil which takes us to $48. Everyone wanted an Antropov type in order to entice Kovy to resign. He’s at $7.5 now, and would want Ovechkin-type money, which I believe is $11. So add another $3.5 and we now have a $51+ million dollar budget coming from the ASG.

Sorry, I don’t believe it.

I think Antropov’s signing neccessitates trading Lehtonen (and dumping his salary).

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
2:03 pm

Has everyone written off Esposito already? Isn’t there a possibility that this kid can make the team out of training camp?

Kovy-Pev-Andoid
Kozzy-white-little
Kane-Reasoner-Army
Boulton-Espo- Thor

see if the kid’s got something. If so, package White in Boris’s cup and send him off for some picks and pucks.

Bob

July 2nd, 2009
2:03 pm

“I don’t want to necessarily invalidate completely your idea that by boycotting games you forced the owners hand but in all honesty I think the real motivator behind the spending spree is Ilya Kovalchuk”

Ha! I knew you were going to respond that way, and while true, keep this in mind: the only reason they want to keep Kovy is to keep the fans coming to games to watch him, so they go together . . .the learned that Kovy alone is not enough to get us to go to games (all the empty seats last year) and now were faced with Kovy leaving as well = more empty seats.

“Such a change would be the “fundamental change in business model” that I have harped about, and would prove your argument that Waddell is the true problem.”

Yep, and now if we still suck, we can all agree where the problem truly lies, right? Keep in mind also that the owners already gave the Wad max cap to spend their first year in ownership and near max cap the 2nd year, and no results. Hopefully Wadley, err, Dudell can do a better job going forward.

BAF

July 2nd, 2009
2:04 pm

Does White have a no trade clause in his contract?

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
2:07 pm

Even if you let Kari walk, you really only save about $2 M per season as Pavelec would surely earn all of his bonuses to get to $1.46 M. Frankly, I don’t see the point of giving up on a guy who is a potential franchise goalie (with a better D in front of him) just to save $2 M. It’s not like we’re going to go out and sign Tanguay or Koivu next.

The Hawks will not re-sign Mike Bibby. They will find a FA back-up to replace him and Flip Murray. A rotation of Crawford, JJ, Teague, Mo and a FA is more than adequate. And the Hawks shouldn’t break the bank on a FA center because good ones don’t really exist!

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
2:12 pm

BAF-no, but he’s really a versatile guy. He has shown he can put up points, when given the TOI and linemates-also he’s a proven PK guy (although we don’t really want to burn him out on the PK)-I wonder if Sterling’s desire to be a full-time NHLer is such that he’d take and make the sacrifices to be a PK guy.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
2:13 pm

It will be interesting to see if we keep Kari and he faces 10-15 less shots a game. I have a feeling this will be his year that it all comes together for him (optimistic I realize) But without optimism you have LAC…

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2009
2:14 pm

BAF – Insert “Kane” where you have “???” in your lineups and I agree with you.

Adam

July 2nd, 2009
2:14 pm

When you’re talking the budget ASG can afford (or is willing) to spend the cap is meaningless. Players under contract get payed if still with the team unless they get traded, even if all of their salary doesn’t go against the cap because they get sent down.

Get The Puck Out

July 2nd, 2009
2:19 pm

Has anyone heard anything about what Nikulin is doing ?

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
2:23 pm

RH

You don’t think Kane should have another year in the juniors? One more year and he can pack on another 15-20 lbs. 175 is too small to play power forward…

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2009
2:29 pm

Toby – If the roster stays the way it is now, I would say “No”…play Kane here on the third line. Now, if we were to bring in another top-six forward…then maybe you have a point.

Buzilla in CT

July 2nd, 2009
2:29 pm

Let’s get Federov to play between Kovy and Android.

Billsen

July 2nd, 2009
2:31 pm

Jacques Strapp

July 2nd, 2009
2:33 pm

Oh no! Theese eez no good! Kubina? Antropov? Why, we might juzt be good enough to not geet a lottery draft peek next summare. I thought that eez what we alwayz play for, no?

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
2:35 pm

Zilla – Fedorov signed with a team in the KHL.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
2:36 pm

Oh dang, I just thought of something. Chad LaRose hasn’t re-signed and reports by Spector are that he likely will not be returning to Carolina. There is your 3rd line LW to play with Marty and Colby.

Then we could have a traditional checking line known as the CCM line! Tell Reebok to take a hike and put CCM unis on the 3rd line so teams will know they are about to get a beat-down! ;-)

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
2:37 pm

Toronto is trashing us for spending $4M on Antro, and they are celebrating Grabovski at $2.9M? OK, that makes sense!

Keep Kane here. The dude had a chip on his shoulder after he was added to the Canada roster having initially been a cut. We need that attitude here. If he gets 6-8 mins a game at the NHL level, he will certainly mature far beyond whatever first line minutes he will get in the WHL.

I’d love to see us add Tanguay, then see if Boston would take Pavalec and a 3rd for Kessel. They have to dump salary, Fernandez is gone and Thomas is 35.

That’s a pretty decent team – good for a 6 to 8 seed and the (gulp) return to the playoffs.

BAF

July 2nd, 2009
2:38 pm

Thanks Tony C.

Having a conversation of what would make sense if DW traded a goalie at this point now that we got both a Top4 D and a Top6 Forward. What I said is the only way I would trade a goalie right now would be a package deal with White for a superstar center. Now, I don’t know who that superstar center would be but that White is the only player on the team I think would be attractive to another team packaged with a goalie.

I say hold onto both Kari and Ondrej until the trade deadline.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
2:38 pm

Per Custance:

Chris Thorburn deal breakdown: $630,000 the first year, $690,000 the second year

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
2:40 pm

Toby, if he can prove he belongs here, I have no problem with him being here. It’s can’t be that hard to put on 15 pounds in three months.

To top it off, even if he doesn’t manage to put on 15lbs, I’m sure we’re going to keep him here for as long as we can. I’m pretty sure he loses juniors eligibility after 10 NHL games, so anytime before then may see him bidding Atlanta farewell until next season.

kracker

July 2nd, 2009
2:42 pm

Tony C. “I wonder if Sterling’s desire to be a full-time NHLer is such that he’d take and make the sacrifices to be a PK guy.”

If he can stay up and make, say, 7 or 8 times his AHL salary I’d say he would, absent any other NHL options. I doubt that he think’s he’s out of options at this point. I think I’d rather bring Crabb back.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2009
2:47 pm

I’d love to be at a Thrashers practice watching Big Boris amd Android battle for postion in front of the net.

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
2:51 pm

Also, Grabovski re-signed in Toronto. 3yr, $8.7m

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
2:54 pm

Francois Beauchamin is still out there…wonder why he’s not being mentioned in the rumors. He’s a good, stay at home defenseman.

Ryan312

July 2nd, 2009
3:00 pm

Afinegenov for cheap?

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
3:01 pm

No way we sign another expensive FA. Only way we get another high profile F is through a trade which results in us dropping a big name (Lehtonen?).

chc4

July 2nd, 2009
3:02 pm

Only sign Afinogenov if he pays the ASG for a year. He suuuucks.

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
3:05 pm

Dennis Seidenberg is also lurking…another strong D

Hip Czech

July 2nd, 2009
3:08 pm

OK, we got two big bodies…I still like the idea of pursuing a Kessel deal (and Toronto was supposedly working a Kubina-Kessel deal, how cool would it be to wind up with both of them?).

Pavelec/Slater/and a 3rd rounder for Kessel…we would see how serious the A$G is about spending above the minimum.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
3:09 pm

Don’t ya see, we are not in the market for stay-at-home D-men. Luckily, Kubina and Valabik have some brawn and muscle that will serve us well on the PK. However, it’s now clear that JA wants more versatile D-men who can shoot, pass, skate and play D. Salmela is the hidden gem…I really think he is going to shine this season. It just might not be playing alongside Valabik…it could end up being Oyster or Kulda.

five_hole

July 2nd, 2009
3:12 pm

Glovesave29 I would do the Boston deal in a heartbeat. The question is; would Boston? Rask is going to get $3.2 mil as a backup (and is an RFA next year). On the other hand, Kessell isn’t signed and they’re already over the cap.

OMG I’m so excited I need to call my Argentinian girlfriend.

I’m thinking we’re good for 90+ points this year. We’re not up to Pittsburgh or Boston, but we’re gonna win some games this year!

Tim

July 2nd, 2009
3:15 pm

five_hole: I believe that player cannot sign for more then 20% of cap per season. So the longer Kovy wait, especially if the cap go down next season (which is the current prediction here), the less chance Kovy will have to get same money as Ovie.

five_hole

July 2nd, 2009
3:19 pm

Tim The problem is that we can’t wait until next season’s cap. Kovy will be a UFA next year, so we have to resign him now. So, 20% of this year’s cap is $11.2 mil.

kracker

July 2nd, 2009
3:22 pm

KAL 1st line?

Zoomo

July 2nd, 2009
3:22 pm

Just got out of a meeting and saw the signing news. We needed a big skill player, and Antropov sure fits the big part of that. He can be a bit sluggish with his skating and hustle.

The guy is HUGE. I’m digging the vision of the PP with Kovy firing rockets and Antro providing screens and put backs. I give DW and Dudley high marks for making the type of moves we needed. We’l lsee how they pan out, but I’m pretty happy right now.

I tend to think we may hang on to all 3 goalies now, unless we trade Moose in some kind of package deal for a winger from some team that’s cap maxed. If Kane is capable of makign the teams, Espo might be a nice trading chip as well.

Russian

July 2nd, 2009
3:23 pm

Let me clear some Russian News.
1. Fedorov moved to Russia and he will play with his brother.
2. Viktor Kozlov moved to Russia.
3. Nikulin will not come here. He will stay and play for Kazan Ak-Bars. Please forget about him.
4. Nik Antropov speak same Language as Kovy. It is not different between Kazahstan and Russia.
5. Maks Afinogenov is not Suck. He has to change a system and team. I really like to see him here for one year contarct.
Now it is not a Russian news. Please do not be very optimistic about Kane start to play at 3-d line. it will be very dificult for him. He is young and skinny. I THink we should bring some one from Chikago. Hofman will be great.

Thrashers27

July 2nd, 2009
3:26 pm

Wow! I have to say that I’m very happy to see that DW is improving the team. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling the same optimism about this team as I did a few years ago when I heard that JP Vigier would NOT be offered a contract…raise your hand if you had forgotten about that guy.

goose

July 2nd, 2009
3:26 pm

You know Gretzky was on;y 170 throughout his entire career. I’m not saying Kane is that good but I think we may be worrying over his weight a little too much remeber the kid is only 17 (almost 18) he aint done growing yet.

StateBird

July 2nd, 2009
3:27 pm

Priority now should be signing Kovy. Let him pick his price with the guidance that the higher he picks leaves less for other moves and will largely dictate the competitiveness of the team. If Kovy then sits on the fence that would be a clear indication that he doesn’t want to resign here. If that’s the case then trade him now while you can maximize your return.

Thrashy Thrashy

July 2nd, 2009
3:32 pm

Gretzky wasn’t trying to play a physical game, goose.

Kane needs the added weight to allow him to be a good NHL power forward.

kracker

July 2nd, 2009
3:34 pm

LOL Mark Sanford is such a loser, he’s the punch line on a hockey blog. How sad is that?

Russ

July 2nd, 2009
3:47 pm

I’m not too crazy about Antropov. I like that until last season he has always been a “+” player. I don’t like that he is supposedly going to fill a role of a big, skilled player for one of the top two lines, but is 29 years old and has never had a 60 point season. Probably the biggest plus to the signing is that Kovy wanted it. Anything that might encourage Kovy to re-sign is a good thing, even if I don’t particularly like the player.

I thought the Kubina trade was pretty good and am not as impressed with the Antropov signing. At this point, I think the Thrashers will be improved this season based more on young players improving with experience than because of the trades/signings they have made so far…and if you build the right way through the draft that’s probably how it should be.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
3:47 pm

Scuderi to LAK unconfirmed

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
4:07 pm

Also, I think that the Kings moving Johnson yet picking up Scuderi is a GREAT move. Now if they get one more piece upfront (Jokinen?) they’re probably going to hurt some feelings come spring 2k10

Nikita

July 2nd, 2009
4:15 pm

Dammit. I wanted Scuderi.

I think the recent trades are a good thing if only because they got Ex off our roster. Charm and intelligence and history aside, he was not up to standard or anyway never developed to standard on this team. Hopefully he’ll do better elsewhere, and we won’t have him gumming up our D.

As for our trades, I’m happyish with both. We don’t really have a problem in forwards, and we didn’t lose anything that we can’t replace.

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
4:16 pm

I would LOVE to get Kessel, but it’ll take at least Pavs + 1st. Probably more. He had 31 goals, and is only 22 (sounds like Little) and makes only $2.2 next year (then he’s a RFA).

Isn’t PJ Axelsson a UFA? I bet we can get him for cheap and he would take the place of Stuart on the PK

Hip Czech

July 2nd, 2009
4:21 pm

I think Kessel is a RFA now…that’s the rub, the B’s don’t have the money to sign him (he is looking at 4-5 million)….but I could be wrong on that…I was wrong on the Toronto thing, it was almost a Kaberle for Kessel deal. Too many Ks involved.

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
4:27 pm

Toby – pre-cap, I might agree with you..but with the Broooons being over, they will need to consider the best offer out there…even if it doesn’t get them all they want in return. Remember, Savard is a UFA next summer, too.

Forget Axelsson – total underachiever

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 2nd, 2009
4:34 pm

Tony C. — Johnson has been moved from LA? Did I miss something?

Tim

July 2nd, 2009
4:45 pm

five holes: that’s my point. If Kovalchuk wants Ovie money, he have to sign this season. He can’t wait for next season if the cap going to decrease, then he would get less for sure. :)

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
4:49 pm

Dammit. I wanted Scuderi.

And where would we have put him? Kubina’s spot? Eh. I think that’s pushing it. He’s not a top-4, but I would have loved him here as a defensive presence. That said, Kubina fits the system we’re building here better.

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
4:57 pm

Enter your comments here

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
4:58 pm

…and that’s all I got.

(whoops)

Toby

July 2nd, 2009
5:00 pm

Alan

I would of liked to see Scuderi with Valabik on the 3rd with Samela being our 7th, but he probably wouldn’t have signed if that’s the case…

BAF

July 2nd, 2009
5:09 pm

I disagree Toby. I like Samela and believe he is a keeper and a possible Top 4 dman in the future. His game was sharp last year and will only get better in my estimation.

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
5:26 pm

ranallo – My bad, there’s a rumor that puts Jokinen, Flames 2nd in 2010 and a prospect for Johnson and another guy from LAK’s farm system I’ve never heard of.

>>>rumor only<<<

Apologies… I’m turning into Eklund.

LAC

July 2nd, 2009
5:31 pm

Good points Glovesleve I agree one of them would be a good fit here…
But hear we are done…. Why ?

Alan

July 2nd, 2009
5:31 pm

That’s pretty much my thoughts on Salmela, BAF. Salmela looked solid when he played here last year, and I think he’s only going to get better this year. Adding Scuderi to our roster, while it would arguably improve the D, would just create a similar logjam that we experienced last year. We jettisoned Exelby to bring in Kubina and make room for Salmela and re-signing Oystrick as our 7th man. It wouldn’t make sense to bring in another D-man at this point.

scottbravesfan

July 2nd, 2009
5:49 pm

Man that sucks we lost Exelby he was one of my favorite players for sure and he liked playing in Atlanta.

Thrashers27

July 2nd, 2009
6:01 pm

Has Oystrick re-signed, Alan, or are you speaking hypothetically?

Brendan

July 2nd, 2009
6:23 pm

I don’t mind Beauchemin; I just think we’re out of money. I second Ranallo (in AT)’s thought process that … until this team is within a couple million of the cap limit, they haven’t changed their business model. They’ve “panicked” at the prospect of losing Kovalchuk (TM, poster Bob, all rights reserved), and done as close to a knee-jerk reaction as the Spirit, LLC is capable of doing. I commend them for tryyyyyying. It’s nice to see them tryyyyying. It’s a welcomed and refreshing change. But this team’s cap hit will probable wind up only in the viscinity of $47-$48 million. The floor is $40.8 million. The ceiling is $56.8 million. That’s still $8-$9 million UNDER the cap. Now, obviously, I do advocate “wiggle room” for the trade deadline in March. But not so much wiggle room that you could park a yacht sideways. Which is what $8-$9 million under the cap is. So, I completely agree with Ranallo, and good citizens of Missouri, that the AS, LLC has to SHOW ME. They do that by being within $3 million of the cap limit on “Opening Night.” Are they going to do that? If so, I applaud them. If they don’t, one can argue that they didn’t really put forth that strong of a campaign to keep Kovalchuk, or show themselves to be “committed ownership, gunning for the Cup.” Which is what Kovy asked them to be.

One final thought on the cap situation … sometimes … there’s a tendency to think a team is finished with its offseason moves by Independence Day (July 4th). Some teams may be OVER the cap limit in September, and be forced to jettison a player or two just to get UNDER the cap by “Opening Night.” If that is the case, we could see trading happening in October. It’s possible. I haven’t reviewed every team’s cap situation. But teams are permitted to be OVER the cap limit … even as we speak. They must be under the limit by the time the season starts. I’m not sure what the fine or penalty is for being over the limit. I think it may be a loss of a draft pick, or picks, and/or hefty fine. It must be substantial … since no team has DARED to test the boundaries of the salary cap limit on Opening Night.

Final thoughts on Exelby. I just want to wish him the best of luck in Toronto. He’s been sheltered a bit here. The Atlanta media doesn’t dog him. Despite being very popular among Thrasher fans, he’s virtually unknown in the city. When he gets to the Mecca, he’ll lose that anonimity. And the media will scrutinize or praise him with much more fervor than in Atlanta. I hope, sincerely, that he does well in Toronto. I’ve always liked him. He signs autographs. He’s friendly. He’s out in the community. If he can’t stay with the Leafs, I hope he finds a good situation somewhere in the NHL. And, for sure, I’m never going to “boo” the guy when he returns to Philips Arena. He was a 7th round pick. 217th overall. Who managed to play “how many games?” in the NHL. He’s fantastically overachieved for his draft position. The numbers aren’t “wow” worthy, but he’s managed to put together an NHL career when … the odds were against it. Good for him. He can tell … anyone who’ll listen … “I once made over a million dollars a year playing hockey in the NHL.” And he won’t be fibbing.

Glovesave29

July 2nd, 2009
6:48 pm

Brendan…I can’t imagine anyone booing X upon his return. He’s certainly done nothing to deserve such a response. He may not have been the most talented guy, but you cannot question his attitude or effort.

I’d like to see us talk to Beauchemin (or Seidenberg) long enough after the UFA open season to perhaps get some discounted rate…bigger bang for the buck. But if we wait to long before the season begins, we risk fighting other clubs for him and missing camp. Give the guy enough time to get he and his family settled here in Atlanta before the season begins.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2009
7:03 pm

Still out there-Todd Marchant, Chad LaRose, Mike Grier, Dennis Seidenburg, Mikael Samuelson, Derek Morris, Mike Comrie, Ruslan Fedotenko, Travis Moen

Don’t stop shopping now! GEt some dinner and back to the phones!

Gretchelby

July 2nd, 2009
7:28 pm

I never thought my heart would be in Toronto. And before anyone thinks about arguing my point….I am not arguing…talking stats…or injuries so hush for a minute and just breathe and listen. What I am talking about is heart, and Blueland’s heart is in Toronto now. Garnet Exelby has heart. There is not a conceited bone in his body! He was what the NHL spirit is all about. A guy who works his ass off to get to the NHL…and a guy who works his ass off to stay in the NHL. If you have anything negative to say about Garnet Exelby then you never really knew him! This trade hit me like an open ice check……and I am grieving. There’s not another player in the world I would be okay with in trading for him. In my heart he is non-negotiable, and I hope I can still love hockey without his game in front of me every week. As a Thrashers fan I know trades are exciting and I will be happy about Thor resigning, Antropov, and I am sure all the others! As soon as guys tend to put on that powder blue jersey, I tend to like them, at least support them. But X was different to me…as an Exelby fan… I am the best EVER —-I have it in writing :) X brought so much more to me than a hit, fight, or signed stick here or there. I learned the game of hockey thanks to that first shift he took in Atlanta. He was good to his fans, a great guy. He was kind to the community. He showed me more kindness than any athlete is ever required to ever show any fan ever. He went way over and beyond. Garnet Exelby gave every bit of himself on the ice and off! Always did his best even when others did not show up to play! He’s got a beautiful powerful stride and he still hits… a lot!!!! Sometimes 2-3 times a shift! I’ll take that big hit over the boring play we got when he was not playing. He has become a stronger player every year. I think he deserves a lot of credit!!!! I feel it is my duty to give it to him. Thank you Garnet Exelby for going far and beyond. Toronto was smart in choosing him. So, if I seem fair weathered with my Maple Leafs jersey on this year when Toronto comes to town, please realize it is just the opposite! I pray Kubina does well or else I will feel all is lost. He’s a great player……….but he will never replace the X man for me. Good Luck in Toronto X! You deserve the big fan base! Exy Time…….Very Nice! And Rawhide…Thanks for thinking of me first, and the shout out on hockey buzz. This is more difficult for me than I thought it would be. God Speed XLB!

Tony C.

July 2nd, 2009
7:46 pm

WBF- Carolina locked LaRose up about an hour ago. I would’ve liked to have seen us go after him harder, but I think the “old boys club” had let it be known that unless LaRose told Rutherford to get lost, he was NOT “in play”.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2009
8:21 pm

Thanks Tony-now we can get some character guys, that’s wwhat is left out there. Some guys who can step up and contribute.

TableHockey

July 2nd, 2009
8:43 pm

Gretchelby – do you drive the car that I see at Duluth Ice Forum with all the Exelby stickers :o )

rightshot

July 2nd, 2009
8:47 pm

If this keeps up, like sign one more good free agent, I may plotz! I may even, heaven forbid, buy a ticket package again!

Evander Hossafield

July 2nd, 2009
9:08 pm

LOL, Buzilla, I thought you said “Groins!”

Is it hockey season in Atlanta yet? With two days of big signings, the wait just got that much longer!!

I.C. Wiener

July 2nd, 2009
9:10 pm

Exelby will be missed.

Wait…who is Exelby?

Tom

July 2nd, 2009
9:15 pm

Rightshot,

You and many others. All we ask as fans is that ownership and management care about the team as much as we do.

Waffleboy

July 2nd, 2009
9:53 pm

I like the deal to get Kubina but the only thing I like about Antropov is that Kovy wanted him. If you’re DW right now you listen to Kovy and give him what he wants. But look at the numbers.

Nik Antropov has only played more than 72 games in a season once in his career. Last year, in the final year of his contract. Take that season out and he has averaged only 60 game a seaon at this level, so we know he is injury prone. He’s a number 7 overall pik who has never scored more than 56 points in a single season. He’s a 40-50 point a year guy, not a legit number one center which is what this team needs.

I’m only hoping that someone desperately needs goaltending and has to drop cap space, necessitating a trade. It’s the only way we get a serious top-line center for Kovy.

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.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 4th, 2009
6:26 pm

Brendan — To my knowledge Gaborik never complained about playing in Minnesota (he did complain about the defensive system they ran). He sought a certain dollar amount and Minnesota would not match it. New York, however, did. If he complains about being “stuck” in New York and isn’t happy for monetary reasons, then I’d consider him a greedy player. However, if after two years time he’s unhappy with the direction of the franchise or his role on the team, then I don’t have any problems with his complaining so long as he does it through the right channels (i.e., doesn’t go straight to the media but rather keeps it “in house”).

Beyond his salary demands which obviously one team was willing to match, what is it exactly that makes you see him as “greedy”? I understand if it’s simply those salary demands, but Sather was willing to concede so I guess his greed is justified.

R. Stroz

July 4th, 2009
7:00 pm

If the Blackhawks reach the same agreement with the NHL that the Devils did concerning this type of situation years ago, the Hawks will either lose Barker or Versteeg this year or Kane or Toews next year due to salary cap issues, especially considering the Blackhawks are saddled with Hossa and Campbell’s contracts.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283730

So, if you are Dudley, would you rather make a run at Barker or Versteeg. Barker is a first rounder, number three overall pick, who is a top two defender. Versteeg is a late round, speedy, undersized left winger that put up good numbers last season (22 goals, 31 assists, positive 15 plus/minus).

Barker would probably cost more. Dudley was responsible for bringing in Versteeg while working for the Hawks.

kracker

July 4th, 2009
7:16 pm

I saw this bullet point in an article in today’s AJC about commercial real estate in the Atlanta area. The bullet points listed firms looking to lease space. “Atlanta Spirit is seeking 50,000 square feet.”

The only Atlanta Spirit I know of is the corporation that owns the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips Arena. Are they expanding? Is the current lease expiring? Maybe they aren’t as broke as they let on.

I’ll post this on Chris’s blog, he might have some interest in it.

DowntownATL

July 4th, 2009
10:28 pm

Kracker, how many sqaure feet would it take to accomodate a team responsible for selling a business the size of ASG. There. We have a rumour. That was fun!

LAC

July 4th, 2009
11:37 pm

Brenden, checked the results of Atlanta VS Pittsburhg for 2007-2008.

The results were as follows….

11/4 @Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh 5 Atlanta 0
1/12 @Atlanta Atlanta 3 Pittsburgh 2 SO This was where Recchi scored
1/30 @Atlanta Atlanta 4 Pittsburgh 1
3/2 @Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 3 Atlanta 2 SO.

The crowd went wild a The Philips… Not Pittsburgh.

Brendan

July 5th, 2009
1:34 am

Thank you, LAC, for that correction. It was the Pittsburgh announcing crew that groaned, dejectedly, on that evening, at the Recchi shootout goal that sealed the victory for Atlanta.

Ranallo, I don’t know that I’d call Gaborik greedy so much as I’d call him unwilling to operate within the framework he found himself in, there in Minnesota. Is there such a thing as “universal market value?” Some say yes. Some say no. But I remember Gaborik asking for $6.5 million, which was more than his fair market value, even by New York standards. After a holdout, he offered $4.4 million, which Minnesota rejected. Right at the point when observers felt he might be lost for the season, he took 3-years/$10 million. One can argue that Gaborik’s decreased offers were an honest attempt to “work with them.” Technically, that’d be true. But while try to extort $6.5 million (nearly twice the amount he settled for,) in the first place? Had Gaborik’s initial offer been $4.4 million, who knows? Maybe Minnesota would have paid it, just to have the matter behind them. Of course, we’ll never know that. I’ll agree with you that if Gaborik keeps his future gripes private, that he’s handling things as properly as he can, if he becomes dissatisfied in NY. But if he goes screaming to the media, “I didn’t to come New York, for this!” I’ll be thinking that he’s a problem child.

R.Stroz, I can’t tell, exactly, what incorrect procedure Chicago did. Is it that … the U.S. mail system was delayed, such that players didn’t receive their notifications on time? If so, that doesn’t seem like it was the fault of the Blackhawks, but rather, that of the U.S. Postal Service. If I’m Dudley, and I’m trying to appease “penny pinching” ownership, I go with Versteeg. But if I’m Dudley, a future hopeful GM, I take the best player I can grab, if money (cap situation) is no consideration, and that’s Cam Barker. It boils down to this, R.Stroz. Either an NHL organization is correctly run, or it isn’t. Which camp do the Thrashers find themselves in? A raging success, with a consistent history of playoff runs? Or mismanaged, almost from Day One? If the Thrashers were flush against the cap, their options would be limited. But since they aren’t, the Thrashers inability to take advantage of a fortuitious situation is entirely their choice to squander. And what a boon it might be, as the organization struggles to retain Kovalchuk. Most of Atlanta’s wounds … are self-inflicted. Either by inaction, and procrastination, or by some overt miscalculation.

Brendan

July 5th, 2009
2:12 am

R.Stroz, if the Blackhawks truly got stuck, and the options were losing Kane or Toewz, or trading Hossa or Campbell, I’d call the Atlanta Thrashers, who were the organization that drove up Campbell’s contract value, and offer him to them. I’d argue, “You guys seemed to want Campbell badly in the past, I’ll make you a fair offer.”

Chicago would not have the option of dumping Hossa for Heatley, as Heater’s cap hit is $7.5 million, compared to Hossa’s $5.23 million. I do wonder if Ottawa wishes they had Hossa instead of Heatley. Heatley would probably jump at the prospect of going to Chicago, at this juncture.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2009
8:46 am

Brendan-I’d take Campbell at 2/3 of his current salary. He is not worth anything close to what’s he’s making.

I agree will calling some of these cap stressed teams. “He guys, you got something to dump at less than market value” It got Glen Sather off the hook, at least until he signed Gaborik to that stupid contract.

Alan

July 5th, 2009
11:03 am

I wouldn’t take Campbell at all, after having seen how he performed last season.

Oh, and don’t forget this gem: “I’d do that play a hundred times over.”

No thanks. I’ll take one of Versteeg or Barker.

Brendan

July 5th, 2009
11:44 am

Boy, Campbell’s getting LOTS OF LOVE today! And, to think, we almost paid him a cap hit of $7.1 million. Of course, I’d agree it’d be better to have Versteeg or Cam Barker. Campbell’s a fine player, but in cash-strapped market like Atlanta, it can’t afford any hyper-inflated contracts. We struggled with “fair market value.” And I think almost anyone can see Campbell is overpaid. That’s the “effect” of unrestricted free agency. Of course, this bring out some poster who will say, “Is our team better with, or without, Campbell?”

World Be Free

July 5th, 2009
12:03 pm

Campbell does not possess the size or skid to be classified as a all around defensemen. I’d take Seabrooke over Campbell anytime.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

July 5th, 2009
9:00 pm

:!: RANALLO ALERT!! :!:

Mr. Rawhide is back in town and you are all now on official Ranallo Alert!

Sage of Bluesland

July 6th, 2009
4:17 pm

The sheep-love for Exelby is nothing short of embarrassing–and sad…

Good job, Donny! Maybe he is doing better after ten years on the job?!