Thrashers 2009 Preseason Schedule

The 2009 Thrashers Preseason schedule has been announced. There will be a total of six preseason games…three home and three away…as well as a pair of prospect games. The Preseason home games will be at Philips Arena, the prospect games will be held at the Duluth Ice Forum.

Preseason Schedule
Thursday Sept. 17 @ Nashville Predators 8:00 pm eastern
Friday Sept 18 @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 pm eastern
Monday September 21 vs. Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 pm eastern
Wednesday September 23 vs. Nashville Predators 7:00 pm eastern

Friday September 25 @ Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 pm eastern
Sunday September 27 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 5:00 pm eastern

Prospect Games
Monday       September 14 vs. Nashville Predators 7:00 pm eastern
Tuesday      September 15 vs. Nashville Predators 1:00 pm eastern

Folks…that means only about ten more weeks before we get to go watch a Thrashers hockey game!!!

XLB on 680 The Fan

Also as a reminder…Garnet Exelby will be John Kincade’s guest on 680 The Fan today at 4:50 pm to say goodbye to the classy fans in Atlanta. Don’t miss your chance to hear this as I’m sure it’ll be great!

154 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

July 7th, 2009
10:31 pm

Dwayne – If it were up to me, I’d present Versteeg with an offer sheet. Chicago can’t afford to match any offer sheets.

As far as Philly goes, they can’t match any offer sheets either. It’s time for DW to start playing shrewdly and grab some RFAs with offer sheets that other GMs can’t touch due to salary cap issues.

Waffleboy

July 7th, 2009
10:54 pm

I agree with Stroz. Anybody that we get to sign as an RFA or UFA is coming here of their own volition and will contribute accordingly. Working out trades with players that may not want to be here, a la Maryann, is a recipe for disaster for this club that is struggling to prove to the league that it can be a legit threat for years to come. Bring in guys with something to prove and see what happens. While Williams was a bust in that regard last year, it cost us next to nothing to give him a shot. Does anyone know the RFA’s we can target?

Tom

July 8th, 2009
6:35 am

Stroz

Your theory is absolutely correct, but the problem is Donny wants all the other GM’s to like him. He is the party girl of the NHL. Everyone thinks he is great and takes him home after the party, but he will never get the ring. All he gets is screwed.

Get The Puck Out

July 8th, 2009
9:01 am

What UFA’s are left?

h

July 8th, 2009
9:13 am

Versteeg signed with Chicago

Sara

July 8th, 2009
9:30 am

Chicago has apparently already re-signed Versteeg. Per a tweet from The Fourth Period.

Dwayne

July 8th, 2009
9:35 am

No one else is coming here. Slim, I mean SLIM possibility Dudley and Don get anymore notable players here. Sign Kari and the lineup is set. Now that Dudley is here, I feel confident that he would not let Don do anything stupid, like package Kari with someone and give the job to OP. I hope camp provides some surprises to push JA and company to make hard decisions.

Sara

July 8th, 2009
9:35 am

BTW is anyone else aware the Kiwi signing has started WWIII between the NHL and KHL again? Whoops….

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/khl_claims_nhl_broke_agreement/

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
9:36 am

My question still remains…what happens if the NHLPA’s grievance is substantiated? Chicago can now say “what RFA’s?” because they’ve effectively signed all six of the players in question to new contracts…how is this within the rules?

Dwayne

July 8th, 2009
9:39 am

ranallo10(in AT) answer: original 6, they do what they want.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
9:45 am

Ahhhhh, that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying Dwayne.

Next question, how can Atlanta become an Original 6 franchise?

Sara

July 8th, 2009
9:50 am

How is *not* within the rules ranallo? There isn’t anything in the CBA that says they cannot continue to negotiate while the grievance is pending. It’s not Tallon’s fault the NHLPA forgot to add a “stay” clause prohibiting teams and players from entering into new contracts while arbitration is pending.

You can argue this six ways to Sunday but the players weren’t leaving Chicago so it’s all moot anyway.

Dwayne

July 8th, 2009
10:04 am

ranallo10(in AT) answer: start the Southeastern Hockey League, I think my idea is as good as some of the trade senarios that I read in this blog.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
10:14 am

“There isn’t anything in the CBA that says they cannot continue to negotiate while the grievance is pending.”

I wouldn’t know, that’s why I ask. If you’d like to scrape the CBA for such a line, by all means feel free to do it.

The status of the players based on the legitimacy of the RFA offer that was tendered is at question. Chicago is pleading ignorance regarding the breaking of the rules (Tallon actually blamed it on the post office!), but are masking their transgression by signing the players to contracts quickly before the NHLPA grievance can be heard. It was Tallon’s fault for breaking the rules in the first place, he shouldn’t be able to get off without any form of punishment.

“but the players weren’t leaving Chicago so it’s all moot anyway”

It has absolutely nothing to do with where the players are going to play next year, it has to do with following the rules that have been in place since 2005, and how Chicago has knowingly broken the rules (ignorance isn’t a valid defense) but are being allowed to continue exclusive negotiations with these TBDFA players.

As I said, what happens if/when the NHLPA grievance is substantiated? If those players were supposed to be UFAs but never hit the open market, something is inherently wrong with the situation. If I were another GM in the league I’d demand a chance to float a contract to those players. If they want to deny it they’re more than welcome to say so…but they should be FREE agents, if the grievance is upheld. If they were UFAs there was no free market to set their contract value.

I’ve been assuming all along that nothing would happen to these players, that the grievance would be ignored and everything pushed under a rug, but this is getting ridiculous to me. They are accused of breaking a rule and used the requisite investigation time to cover their mistake…again I ask, how is that within the rules? You can’t steal something then return it before being charged and everything is considered okay.

Smoothie

July 8th, 2009
10:25 am

Chicago, Philly and perhaps Boston will need to make some moves before October to get under the cap. Twill be interesting to see how they manage things.

Perhaps a trade with Chicago is in order as they need depth at goalie and we could use a LW. How about Pavelec straight up for Andrew Ladd?

Toby

July 8th, 2009
10:37 am

I would LOVE to have Ladd…but Chicago hangs up the phone.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
10:53 am

I like Ladd and Sharp from their roster, considering players who would actually be available (no matter what Toronto fans wish they will not be able to acquire Versteeg for a backup goalie).

Dwayne — No doubt. I originally started posting on this blog because I got tired of seeing people writing trade scenarios surrounding Peter Forsberg. To each their own I guess, but I try to stay away from the obviously unrealistic trade discussions.

Rawhide or Trixie — Was my response to Sara somehow lost? It was submitted around 10am EST.

Smoothie

July 8th, 2009
11:02 am

Trade speculation is fun and one of the points of a blog if you ask me. It forces you to think a bit and weigh options and alternatives to see if they actually make sense. Obviously, the speculation can become quite maddeningly fanciful at times, but you take the good with the bad.

As for Chicago and their glut of overpaid players, I think Sharp and Ladd would be good assets to obtain. Sharp seems to have a bit of sandpaper to him and can play with an edge.

A deal involving Sharp & Ladd for say Whitey and Pavs would be cap relief to the tune of $1.6 – $1.8 M for the Hawks depending on Pavs’ bonus compensation. Just sayin’.

Disclaimer: I’m not hating on Whitey, but he is one of our few tradeable assets that would be attractive to another team (reasonable salary, career year last year, responsible 2-way player and 2 yrs left on his deal). I have absolutely no problem going into next year with Whitey centering Kozzy and Litts.

Sara

July 8th, 2009
11:19 am

“the cyberspace ate my answer” – likely excuse ranallo. come on – just admit defeat gracefully. :p

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

July 8th, 2009
11:28 am

Mr. Ranallo – Your 10:14 am post was indeed stuck in Comment Purgatory. It has been freed now.

R. Stroz

July 8th, 2009
11:29 am

On the Kiwi issue:

Several years ago, the Thrashers had a goalie under contract, Fred Brathwaite, with the Wolves. While under contract with the Thrashers, he jumped ship to the KHL.

Essentially, Kiwi has done the same thing in reverse, going from the KHL to NHL.

I imagine the Thrashers organization reminded the NHL of the prior incident; as a result, the NHL is choosing to let the Kiwi situation ride.

As we say, payback is a …..

R. Stroz

July 8th, 2009
11:34 am

Speaking of the KHL:

One of the KHL teams just signed Jiri Hudler.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=284076

Sara

July 8th, 2009
11:42 am

Stroz – I saw that. Forget the Braithwaite example – the biggie is Radulov. It was ok for the KHL to poach (anyone recall the talk last off-season about the KHL trying their damnedest to get Kovy to hop back over the pond?), but not ok for the NHL.

Spud Webb

July 8th, 2009
11:43 am

I love the looks of our D. Me thinks Valabik is going to be much better this season, just a hunch.
I want to see us toughen up a bit on the 4th line. I love Boults, but he doesnt strike fear into anyone.
I’m tired of teams running us, year after year. What happened to Hoffman, anyone heard??

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
12:16 pm

Sara — I think the bird from Twitter is to blame…I’m telling you, that thing is evil!

Brendan

July 8th, 2009
12:32 pm

I think GM’s would like to offer deals to every one of those Chicago RFA/suddenly UFA players, just to force Chicago to pay more for them. Let’s face it. The Blackhawks could win a Stanley Cup, maybe even before the current CBA expires. Why not make it harder for them?

I do think Ranallo is right. The market place never opened on Rush St. No GM even got a shot at those players, as UFA’s. I am assuming no RFA offersheets were made for Versteeg or Cam Barker. If Chicago broke the rules, then they must pay “something.” A fine. A loss of some type of draft pick. Snake can’t rob the Qwick-E-Mart, then get pulled over by Chief Wiggum with the loot in his vehicle, and all is forgiven, just by Snake returning the money to Apu. It doesn’t work that way. Not even on “The Simpsons,” (TM, 20th Century Fox, all rights reserved.) Even Snake would have to do some community service. Even if that service is washing Wiggum’s car or playing with Ralph for an hour, while he describes the 17 different ways he enjoys his cat. Or shrubs. Including whether they have prickers on them or not. Allrighteee then. What’s Chicago’s penalty? If Chicago didn’t do anything wrong, and it’s actually the fault of the U.S. Postal Service, then I suppose all is fine and forgiven. But if the U.S. Mail isn’t at fault, Chicago must be penalized in some form or fashion. Which may, or may not, including invalidating the contracts of those players signed, precisely because … as UFA’s … no other GM was given access to them, to set their market value. If I’m Versteeg or Barker, I’d sure want Chicago to pay me $1 million more, if some other GM is offering that much more for me. And if Chicago won’t match it, and I like the team making me the offer, as a UFA, I’ll sign wherever I jolly well please. If you see the point I’m making. And Ranallo (in AT) is making.

World Be Free

July 8th, 2009
12:33 pm

Spud, Boris has to work on his skating abit, which is scary for a guy drafted so high. You should not have to worry about whether the guy can skate.

h

July 8th, 2009
1:03 pm

Boris played well down the stretch last year. He played smarter and was a true asset on the PK. I agree with Spud and expect him to play very well this year. I believe we will see him get a few more minutes this year as a result.

Alan

July 8th, 2009
1:28 pm

Boris has, at least, improved his skating since we first saw him get NHL playing time late in 2007-2008. He’s become far more of an asset on the team than a liability, and started playing the PK extremely well.

That assessment doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have work left to do, it just means he got better as last year came along, and I expect his progress to continue.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
1:31 pm

I have tempered expectation for Valabik because I see him still taking bad penalties and still being beaten to nearly every puck. I like him for his size (which implicitly gives him potential), but I’ve yet to be impressed by his play. I think he still needs conditioning at the NHL level before I would entrust him to critical minutes in a game (PK with 30 seconds left with a one goal lead). He needs more minutes to get that development though, much like Coburn did prior to leading Philadelphia defenders in ATOI.

Speaking of Coburn, he’s going to learn a lot from Pronger…maybe not all good things, but Coburn will be better just by playing on the same team as Pronger.

Russian

July 8th, 2009
2:05 pm

We missed another good player. Koivu is moving to California. He will be Duck for one year – $3.25

R. Stroz

July 8th, 2009
2:15 pm

The only top tier player left is Tanguay.

Glovesave29

July 8th, 2009
2:28 pm

Yeah, Saku’s gonna look strange in black, orange and gold. That logo is almost as bad as the one we are going to have to look at for the Thrashers 10th anniversary.

Is the shine coming off of the Wings? Seem to be bleeding players at a rate they are not used to. Their big stars (minus Hossa) are signed for a long while, but the strength of the team was always the supporting cast, and they seem to be happy to play elsewhere.

I am holding out on Valabik moving on to wing. He is a liability on D and will continue to be so until he improves his skating.

Chicago got away with one. The league should have stepped in and halted any negotiations as the grievance was being investigated. They were RFA’s after all, and no damage would have befallen the Blackhawks as the due dilligence was occuring. If Chicago is found guilty, does the league override the contracts? What if other teams offer more? Chicago may be their preffered destination, but perhaps it would have cost the Hawks more and caused further cap issues. The NHL needs to set a precedent and be a “hard ass”. Rules are rules and they missed a deadline. They should be dually punished

Tony C.

July 8th, 2009
2:39 pm

Well let’s go get him.

Sara

July 8th, 2009
2:44 pm

Brendan – I don’t think Chicago did anything wrong. Maybe they screwed up with the offer sheets sure, but there has been no indication that they didn’t have the right to still sign their players. Otherwise it wouldn’t have happened and the PA would be crying foul all over again.

The market sets the price in a variety of ways besides just direct bidding. Comparable contracts for example. Or if other GMs were so hot to trot, they could have presented offer sheets for Barker or Versteeg.

Frankly I have to be honest here and say the arguments you and ranallo are making really tick me off. That’s deliberately inflating salaries which is already a big enough problem in the NHL. Forcing the Blackhawks to overpay in order to kill their Stanley Cup chances? What kind of pathetic, cheap stunt is that? You want to keep them from winning a Stanley Cup? Build a better team than theirs. Imagine someone trying to pop Little or Bogosian into UFA through some technicality? Or deliberately inflating their value through an offer sheet so that we couldn’t afford to keep them or other players? In the end, BS like this hurts the fans more than anyone else.

It’s all back to the same point – Barker and Versteeg didn’t have to sign – they could have let this play out and seen what other teams might have offered (I guarantee their agents made that case quite clearly). Obviously they feel Chicago has made them fair offers and they want to remain with that franchise. The other 29 teams never stood a chance no matter how much you guys argue that they never got one.

Russian

July 8th, 2009
2:44 pm

Yes. Tanguay left on the Market. I like to see Kotalik also.

Glovesave29

July 8th, 2009
3:01 pm

Sara – but Chicago DID do something wrong. Minor? No doubt. Nitpicking? Absolutely. But the NHLPA did file a grievance, so obviously something was out of line. So what you are saying is that GM’s for the other 29 clubs should just back down and let the Hawks build a powerhouse? I personally would want my GM doing ANYTHING THEY CAN do make the Thrashers a winner. If that means taking advantage of someone elses mistake…then so be it. Would that really leave a bad taste in the mouths of the players / office / fans if a team were to win the Cup using one of these players that Chicago missed the deadline on? Of course not. If you puposefully inflate another teams cap so that they cannot sign other players…well that is just part of the game. It may piss you off, and you have every right to you opinion, but this is business, you take every advantage that is afforded to you within the rules (of if you are Toronto – just take every advantage and damn the rules).

Buzilla in CT

July 8th, 2009
3:08 pm

Lets get Savard back from Boston

Russian

July 8th, 2009
3:22 pm

**to Zilla**
HOW???? :-)
Make him drunk and Kidnapping him

Russian

July 8th, 2009
3:29 pm

Slater is back. :-)

Glovesave29

July 8th, 2009
3:30 pm

Ha! Russian…I was thinking the same thing! Buzilla is up in Connecticut, so by proximity alone, I would nominate him to so the dirty work.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 8th, 2009
3:38 pm

There is a rule for a reason, and Chicago is attempting to ignore the fact they broke the rule and take advantage of a relatively slow grievance process. As Glovesave said, a precedent must be set. To me this isn’t about punishing Chicago so they can’t win a Stanley Cup, it’s about upholding rules that a team has supposedly broken. I have no idea what sort of punishment will be levied, if any, but in my opinion it should either be a high draft pick (for arguments sake let’s say the same picks it would have cost another NHL team to sign them away as RFAs), or at the very harshest the recent contracts should be rejected and the players should truly be UFAs, open to accepting offers from all other teams (even if they don’t plan on signing them). And yes, if Atlanta broke the rules regarding tendering offers to their RFAs I would expect them to be punished as well.

“The other 29 teams never stood a chance no matter how much you guys argue that they never got one.”

Who cares? They deserve the opportunity to be denied by the agents and players. It doesn’t matter if nobody else had a chance to sign Scott Neidermayer this offseason because he was resolute in his goal to re-sign in Anaheim…as a free agent all other teams are allowed to contact him and be told “no, we’re not interested, even for $1M more than Anaheim is offering”. As of this point no team has been allowed to speak to these players knowing what their status is without a doubt.

The rout of all this is Tallon’s improper submitting of RFA documents, using a method of submitting them that is explicitly prohibited. Why couldn’t he have faxed them? Is it possible that neither the Blackhawks nor Tallon own a fax machine? So, if they broke the rules, what are the consequences? If Chicago is allowed to re-sign the players at an expedited pace in order to avoid punishment, there is absolutely no reason they can’t improperly handle RFA documents in the future.

Barker and Versteeg could command good money from many teams around the league, if they were UFAs. According to the NHLPA they should have been UFAs. So, teams like Toronto and Edmonton should be given a fair chance at bidding on these UFAs (i.e., with the benefit of clarity in their free agent status, specifically no RFA compensation for getting the player signed), as if they had truly hit the open market.

Even if this happened to Bogosian I would be on here saying “Waddell screwed up, and an example needs to be made so it doesn’t happen again”. Ignorance is not a defense, nor is a statement like “nobody else stood a chance to sign the players”. I highly doubt it will happen but I would like to see this situation be dealt with properly so that Chicago doesn’t escape appearing as if it’s received preferential treatment.

Brendan

July 8th, 2009
4:12 pm

And certainly, Chicago (or any other team,) shouldn’t be allowed to do it again, next year, knowing there’s no punishment for it. From the Atlanta perspective, we’re a glass house that is non-receptive to stone throwing. But if I’m in the Blackhawks’ division, challenging them for the division title, I’d try to steal one of these players. Maybe even via the RFA route. Now, in the past, it’s been the unwritten rule (that supports what you’re angry about, Sara,) among GM’s not to poach/artificially inflate player salaries. But, really, Edmonton, and markets like Edmonton, have a hard time bringing in a quality free agent. They basically have to draft Tier I guys or attempt to trade for them. And trading for players who don’t want to be there … is also a bad decision, in the longterm.

Will Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis or Columbus cry foul if the Blackhawks wind up losing some of these players to them? Or other teams? Or be penalized draft picks? Probably not. They’ll probably cheer about it. I can’t rightly say if Chicago did or did not do anything wrong. In my “wishful thinking world,” I presume innocence unless or until evidence to contrary is uncovered and presented. And ifffff it’s true that Chicago did something wrong, they should pay whatever that penalty is. If it’s not against the rules to sign players while their contractual status is in a pending grievance, then NO FOUL occurred. But it seems, to me, that such a rule should be in place, if the “spirit” behind a grievance is to be observed. That there isn’t one seems like a tremendous oversight on the part of the writers of the CBA. Chicago gets the mask their “alleged” wrongdoing by fast tracking contracts? If Atlanta could have made an offer to Versteeg or Barker, as UFA’s, shouldn’t Atlanta at least get the right to have the door slammed in its face? Followed by a Nelson-like, “Ha-haw!”

R. Stroz

July 8th, 2009
4:17 pm

Sara – On the Blackhawks issue, I think the team should face some form of negative reinforcement.

If your children wait till the last minute to do a chore and on top of that did a half measured job, would you be pleased? I would hope not.

If not, how would you motivate them to do their chores in a timely and appropriate manner in the future? RULES and CONSEQUENCES.

Now, if your children knowingly did a half measured job at the last minute again, would you reward them or would they face the preordained consequence?

If there is no consequence to their decision to break the rules, why should they ever follow the rules?

The same holds for filing tax returns. You can either prepare and file your tax return with time to spare giving yourself time to review the return or you can wait till the last minute, send it off, and hope there aren’t any mistakes.

The Blachawks procrastinated, did a hald measured job, and as a result, didn’t follow the rules. As a result, they should pay a price. If there is no consequence for failing to follow the rulebook, every GM in the league should toss the rulebook in the recycle bin.

Smitty

July 8th, 2009
4:54 pm

WBF
Remember Peter McNab. He did not skate very well whenn the Sabres drafted him. They gave up on him and look what he did for the Bruins. I think Boris will do ok this year. As for the penalties the refs are kind of paying attention to him. He kind of stands out when he goes into a corner with a 6 footer. He doesn’t have to lift his arms to elbow somebody in the head. Do not give up on this guy. He may not be a Charo but he could be a force real soon.

ThrashDawg

July 8th, 2009
5:09 pm

Rawhide- saw your top line had Peverly as the Center. I have seen other folks do this as well in their projections. I just wonder why it did not work out with Peverly last year as the top line center? The last several weeks of the season White was the top line center with Kovy and Little on the wings. Any insight?

Tony C.

July 8th, 2009
5:21 pm

I think Peverly being moved off #17’s line had more to do with finding a guy who could be successful with Armi than it was a question of Peverly’s “chemistry” with #17.

Don’t believe me? Go watch Peverly & The Kaptain work in Peverly’s first game with us, then the second game, then the third… he sets #17 up, then scoots to the net.

Also, I feel that Coach is consciously positioning Little for success-White & Little were a known commodity for each other and the fact is that #17 makes a line go just about by himself-you can put Perrin at center and Thorburn at wing and he’s still gonna light the lamp.

Personally, now that we have a legit top-6er to ride shotgun with #17, why not put Peverly in between them and let the “Little White Russian” ride again? Clearly those three guys just click with each other. I’m a HUGE Kovalchuk fan, but even I was quick to point to that line as ATL’s “real” #1 line.

I may be wrong, about the thinking behind moving Peverly “down” and White&Little “up”…but well, heck somebody ask Chris V to ask Coach about that move.

Rawhide

July 8th, 2009
6:52 pm

ThrashDawg – I would echo the insightful comments that Tony C. offered up. Also…and I may be wrong about this…but I think there was an injury to someone last February-ish that caused a lineup shuffle.

Someone help me out with that if they recall as well.

Anywhoooo…let’s also remember that in the first half of the season, the line that was producing the best was the Kozlov – White – Little one. So I thought it was odd splitting them up as well.

However…either way you shake it, in the second half of the season, the Thrashers offense was crankin’ out goals to the tune of 3.44 per game. I’ll take that type of production any day!

World Be Free

July 8th, 2009
6:59 pm

Smitty-boy do I remember Peter McNab. He was one of my favorate Sabres in the mid 70’s along with Rick Dudley. McNab was big and not very quick, but he had a nose for the goal and a scorer’s touch.

I have no idea why Punch Imlach traded McNab, for Andre Savard no less. Savard’s nickname in Boston was “The Lamb”. McNab became a Sabre killer as a Bruin.

Guys Like McNab and Dave Andreychuk could get away with being a little slow because they were not the last line of defense. Boris needs to improve alot to make him worthy of the 10th overall pick.

World Be Free

July 8th, 2009
7:06 pm

Think about it-Chicago is in the pickle they’re in becuase they decided to mail the papers to the head office and not use a courier service.

How much is a Fed Ex/UPS Letter even without a discount?

I guess all the brains left the Black Hawks when Dudley headed out of town.