Thrasherville Traffic Report, Travel Plans & WRAs

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

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

So…plan accordingly.

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

I’ve already been in contact with Tim Ecclestone regarding Thrashers Viewing Parties over at TJ’s again this season, so take a gander at the schedule to see if a few of the dates pop out at you. Keep in mind that Sean Grace and I have chatted already about a pair of games that the Fan Club and I will coordinate together there… October 17 when the Thrashers play in Buffalo and the February 13 game in Chicago.

A few that I’m think of are Saturday October 10 when Atlanta travels to Ottawa… the November 25 game at Detroit, (Thanksgiving Eve)…Saturday January 2 when they are on Lonnnnnn-Gisland…and Saturday afternoon April 3 when they are up in Pittsburgh. If there are others that you think will work, lemme know.

Oh, and keep the Sunday November 15 game vs. Edmonton circled on your calander…I’m working on something for that game that could be real fun.

OoooOOOooohhhhh…a tease.

And lastly, I had the pleasure of chatting with radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal recently…so be on the lookout for part one of that writeup come Sunday morning.

OoooOOOooohhhhh…another tease.

Weekend Reading Assignments

Allan Muir explains why hockey fans should be concerned with NBA salary cap issues.

It has been determined that doctors were not to blame in the death of Alexei Cherepanov.

The off-season fun is hardly over, says The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau.

Canada’s Supreme Court has settled the ownership dispute of the Vancouver Canucks.

Puck Daddy has listed his Top-10 Can’t Miss Games of the 2009-10 NHL season.

Ken Campbell has an idea of how the Senators should have handled the Heatley situation.

And finally…have you ever misplaced a certain, special video tape…couldn’t find it no matter how hard you tried? Then you find out that you accedently taped something over it!

Well, you sorta know how NASA feels then.

“Roger Houston…that’s one small step for a man, one giant DOH! for whomever was in charge of the tape library”!

104 comments Add your comment

RS

July 17th, 2009
7:15 am

The taping over a video thing stabs me in the heart. I had the Miami-Boston College game on VHS, you know, the one where Kosar and Flutie each passed for about 350 yards each and ended with the hail mary, and accidentally taped a movie over it.

Alan

July 17th, 2009
7:19 am

I’m still very displeased at the glaring lack of Friday evening games. Hopefully, I can make it to TJs for a couple of viewing parties, though.

William

July 17th, 2009
8:49 am

I’m bummed about the absence of Friday Games also. Does anyone know if the Thrashers had a reason to avoid them (low attendance?)?

five_hole

July 17th, 2009
9:39 am

As I understand it, NASA had a credit crunch. They wrote over about 200,000 tapes (including the Apollo 11 landing).

Friday’s are typically tough for me to make, so I’m not as unhappy as some others. However, it is strange to not have Friday night games a staple. Did they request this, or did someone offend the scheduling gods?

R. Stroz

July 17th, 2009
9:41 am

The absence of Friday Thrasher games means the Hawks will be playing on Friday nights.

five_hole

July 17th, 2009
9:48 am

For those of you who like to name lines – If Peverley centered Boulton & Kovalchuk, you could call it the Phi Betta Kappa line.

Mr. Heat Miser

July 17th, 2009
9:57 am

I’m looking forward to 10/8 for the Falcons/Thrashers double header – did it last year and had a blast. Just have to remember to pace yourself at the beer stand at the Dome. It’s a long day.

LAC

July 17th, 2009
10:04 am

Right on Rawhide, Great points all across the board this AM.

One nice bit,
the Thrashers only head to Vancouver/Calargy/Colorado for Western time zone games this season, and those home & home’s are all closer theam than it could have been. Looks like other SE teams make a trip west this coming season.

Good to see alan up this morning, andI DO agree with him on Friday night games or the lack of… Remember to clock in this morning alan.

Stendec

July 17th, 2009
10:04 am

Mr. Heat, is 10/8 correct? Falcs play the 11th in San Fran.

kracker

July 17th, 2009
10:18 am

I thought it was odd to only have 2 Friday games. Philips must be already be booked on a lot of Fridays this season. The Olympics may knock out a couple of Fridays, too.

Billsen

July 17th, 2009
10:47 am

I hear ya on the Friday games, but I’ll gladly take those weekend games in exchange. Aside from the Falcons/Thrashers shared date, those are a lot of games with little traffic worries. (Still think the 7PM M-Th starts need to be moved to 7:30, but that cry always falls on deaf ears at Thrashers Central.)

GaVaHokie

July 17th, 2009
11:09 am

Mr. Heat, is 10/8 correct? Falcs play the 11th in San Fran.

I think he meant 11/8.

GaVaHokie

July 17th, 2009
11:12 am

I’m looking forward to 10/8 for the Falcons/Thrashers double header – did it last year and had a blast. Just have to remember to pace yourself at the beer stand at the Dome. It’s a long day.

11/8… and yes, i’ve done it as well… if you tailgate before the Falcons, it makes for quite a drunken debauchery. :)

Tony C.

July 17th, 2009
11:17 am

I’d posit that even a 1915 start-time would be better… I mean, with the advent of the skills competition/shootout-regular season games are done in like 2-2.5 hours…2130 isn’t such a late end- ime (especially for weekday nights).

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
11:31 am

http://www.capgeek.com/

Looks like Thrashers brass are indeed high on Grant Lewis’ potential and have given him a 2 year deal. This was leaked in the Pittsburgh media as well by a source close to Lewis, who is a Pitt, PA native.

Welcome back Grant and good luck with the knee rehab!! I would love to see this guy push for mins with the big club, but he will get more valuable seasoning as part of the top pair this season with Kulda I reckon. I like our top 2 pairs in Chicago this season with Lewis \ Kulda and hopefully Denny with the slick-skating and crafty-passing Paul Postma.

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
11:32 am

Top pair in Chicago that is, but I think you know what I meant!

GaVaHokie

July 17th, 2009
11:50 am

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Postma as a call-up by December… he seems like the “Nathan Oystrick” of this coming season.

Sara

July 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

Hokie – why would they call Postma up to be Oystrick when we already have Oystrick?

Far as I can tell, the only roster spot up for grabs out of camp is 3rd line LW (replacing Perrin).

World Be Free

July 17th, 2009
12:04 pm

Glad to see Perrin gone-he’s a stiff

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
12:08 pm

Of course, there might be an opening if we end up trading the rights to Boris Valabik, which I doubt we will do. But why is his RFA deal taking so long? I would think as a young 23 y/o, he has no choice really but to take the 5% raise and sign a 1 yr deal worth ~ $975 K.

Alan

July 17th, 2009
12:38 pm

Valabik might be in discussions about a longer term deal… possibly two or three years at ~$970k/per.

GaVaHokie

July 17th, 2009
1:04 pm

Hokie – why would they call Postma up to be Oystrick when we already have Oystrick?

I expect Oystrick to be the 7th D-man, press box guy… Postma the first call-up on injury or if he’s on a hot-streak in Chicago and they want to give him a look.

Thrashers27

July 17th, 2009
1:04 pm

Where’d Perrin go?

Brendan

July 17th, 2009
1:21 pm

PuckDaddy took a swipe at both Hossa and Gaborik. Is the guy anti-Czech or Slovak? Ken Campbell took a swipe at Nik Antropov, calling his signing with Atlanta an “exile.” I’m glad Meehan talked some sense into the guy.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
1:25 pm

Gavahokie, I think Postma is going to spend another year in juniors. Given he burns a year off his RFA status if he plays more than 9 games he may only get a look for about 5 games at the most. Oystrick (who keep in mind is over 25 years old) last year played in and out for about 40 or 50 games and it was in a bottom pairing scenario for a lot of those games. That’s too many for Postma to keep his eligibility in the juniors but not enough to justify burning a year off of his RFA status, especially given he can get more experience and playing time at the junior level than limited action here.

Unless he gets top line minutes like Bogosian did you won’t see Postma up here. And why sit him in the press box when he can get real experience and continue growing (see Pavelec in Chicago last year).

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 17th, 2009
1:26 pm

Nowhere yet, to my knowledge.

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
1:27 pm

Ice-D – Postma is 20 and is now eligible to play AHL hockey. He’s been in juniors for 5 years, no way he goes back.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
1:29 pm

Correction, I see that Postma is 20 now so he will spend the time in Chicago, not the juniors.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
1:31 pm

Nice Smoothie, I was just looking that up and postma’d, I mean posted it but you beat me to it.

Hip Czech

July 17th, 2009
1:31 pm

Interesting schedule analysis here – http://www.ontheforecheck.com/2009/7/16/950950/how-much-does-your-favorite-team

For what it’s worth the Thrashers are traveling 4400 miles less this year and pick up one more B2B game (only 1 above the league average). Last year was a marked improvement on the second game of B2Bs, I don’t remember what the record was, but it was a lot better than any year I can remember.

I like Grant Lewis also…I hope he gets a chance at some point to play some consistent minutes.

GaVaHokie

July 17th, 2009
1:37 pm

I think if Postma gets off to a hot start in Chicago, they’ll pull him up for a brief look, much like Clay Wilson at the end of this past season.

That’s all I’m trying to say… I just have a feeling that Postma will impress in the AHL this year.

Alan

July 17th, 2009
1:38 pm

Where’d Perrin go?

I would guess he’s Russia-bound. A player with an overinflated sense of self-worth + an agent who fills his clients’ heads full of crazy crap like that = an untouchable free agent.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
1:46 pm

Oh I agree with you there Gavahokie, he will impress. I would just rather he stay in Chicago where he can play top minutes and get groomed into a top-4 NHL defenseman instead of being a bottom pairing guy in Atlanta with limited action and get his growth stunted a la Coburn.

Besides, if someone gets called up for a look from the big club, I would rather give that opportunity to Kulda first. He’s a year older and already spent time in Chicago.

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
1:46 pm

The Rangers are a bit thin when it comes to forwards, perhaps Perrin can be re-united with his BFF John Tortorella!!? LOL

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
1:48 pm

I agree with Ice Dog that the pecking order from CHI should be:

Kulda (doubt Lewis will be ready for NHL mins early on due to injury)
Lewis (if healthy)
Denny
Postma
Lehman (please let him be a last resort; was not impressed at all)

Tony C.

July 17th, 2009
1:50 pm

Not that it’ll happen but….. 2-time Cup winner Petr Sykora’s available…. and he’s pissed @ Bylsma

http://letsgopens.com/tomas_translations.php?id=66

I wonder how much it’d take to get him down here? And yes, I would be quite happy to have 7-9 guys fighting for top-6 minutes.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
2:02 pm

Tony C, we all have our opinions as armchair GMs and that’s great. But my question would be, if you have 7-9 guys fighting for top-6 minutes, what do you do with the 1-3 guys who don’t earn them? We already have Reasoner and Armstrong who will be on the 3rd line, so what do you do now with Sykora, Tanguay, and any other player who comes here expecting top-6 & power play minutes but there is only 1 opening on the 3rd line? Doesn’t that make Waddudley look bad to other FAs when they got signed and demoted in camp? Can that create another rift on the team that we got rid of once Holik left? If Tanguay comes here expecting top-6 minutes, what are other players going to think when he or Little is on the 4th line?

Thrashers27

July 17th, 2009
2:03 pm

Agreed, Hokie…I’m loooking forward to seeing if Postma’s performance remains at the same level with the big boys.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
2:07 pm

Tony C, if need be I would also rather see Evander Kane compete for top 6 minutes than bring in an aging veteran for too much $$.

Tony C.

July 17th, 2009
2:40 pm

IceDog generally, when you have a guy that can’t break your top6 and won’t play 3rd/4th-line minutes; you cut that guy, place him on the waiver wires and wish him well in the future..

Also, with your armchair GM move you feel confident that a (albeit still growing) 18 year old kid is going to really be effective going into the corner versus the likes of Pronger, Chara, White, Komisarek etc. and that he’ll have the opportunity to work on those aspects of his game that need to be improved while he’s trying to adjust from playing against kids his own age to playing against the best grown men in the world after a 4-month break?

Really?

I say, sign a vet for a 1-year incentive-loaded deal, it works for both sides. You get a proven O-ffensive threat, while your prize prospect continues to hone his craft without having his confidence gutshot.

Kane’s the “real deal” all right, but it doesn’t make sense to rush him to the big league’s just to pinch pennies. take a look at Sykora’s contract from last year $2.5M for a 25-goal scorer? Doesn’t really sound like too much $ for an unproductive vet. It’s also a sum that shouldn’t be too hard to move if things don’t work out. I don’t believe it’d be too hard to trade a Two-time Cup winner who hasn’t scored less than 20 goals in a season for the past 10 years.

I see where you’re coming from, but I just don’t think we have too many NHL-ready wingers “down on the farm”.

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
2:44 pm

Ben just tweeted that an announcement is coming to trumpet the signing of:

3 restricted free-agents!! Gotcha.

I reckon they will be Big Bo, Lehman and Stapleton (TOR trade)

R. Stroz

July 17th, 2009
2:49 pm

On a totally different subject, I have a unique strategy for how the Sens could deal with Heatley.

Since the Sens are over the cap and Heatley is refusing trades, the Sens management should purposely leak that they are requesting Heatley have a mental evaluation. Contingent on the evaluation, the Sens could put Heatley on LTIR based on being mentally incompetent. That would do wonders for Heatley’s career and teach him a well needed lesson.

Thrashers27

July 17th, 2009
2:52 pm

Smoothie, according to AtlantaThrashers.com it’s Stapleton, Lewis and Lehman. No Boris, unfortunately.

goose

July 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

lewis and Lehman are officially signed, so far.http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl_signing_tracker/

Alan

July 17th, 2009
3:01 pm

I hope the Boris signing comes soon. I’d love to see him return.

Smoothie

July 17th, 2009
3:03 pm

Oh duh, was thinking of the Lewis signing as a separate done deal.

Guess the Valabik negotiations continue on. They must be going back and forth on 2 versus 3 years. At his age, 3 years seems to make more sense as he would be a more attractive trade option if the Thrashers decided to go in a different direction. Perhaps Valabik’s agent is trying his darndest to squeeze out a few extra thousand dollars / year.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
3:15 pm

Tony C, I’ll give you that Evander Kane should hone his skills for another year before going into the corner against guys like Pronger on a nightly basis. I actually want him back in the juniors for 1 more year and then be the eventual replacement when Kozlov sails into the sunset. I just think he can make the jump like Bogosian or Patrick Kane versus the 99% other draft picks so it isn’t unreasonable for him to compete for top-6 minutes in training camp. But I’ll give you that one.

However, as you say, you cut a guy that can’t break your top-6 and won’t play bottom-6 minutes. I think AK-47 and the Kahlua Line solidify our top-6 forwards and I can honestly say I am happy with those 6 forwards as our top 2 lines. Really. Armstrong can sub for a few games here or there as a top-6 RW (to which our 2 top-6 RWs Little & Antropov can both play center so that gives Anderson great flexibility) so we even have a bit of depth. So will Sykora come to Atlanta for bottom-6 minutes? Also, should we pay $2.5 million for him to play with Reasoner and Armstrong or should we put Crabb/Machacek/Holzapel or someone else in that 3rd line LW spot? Knowing the cash-strapped Atlanta Spirit is over the shoulders of Waddudley I am not going to shed tears if it is Crabb/Machecek/Holzapel for that 3rd line LW. I would love for it to always be someone better and I can see what you are saying but I’ll be happy otherwise.

Ice Dog

July 17th, 2009
3:22 pm

Alan & Smoothie, you both seem like you know your stuff but if our bottom pair is Salmella and Oystrick with Kulda as a callup for injury, then we can do without Valabik. If he is signed, great, but I think Waddudley has all the leverage in that negotiation.

William

July 17th, 2009
3:41 pm

I think we should give Boris one more year to show his stuff. He showed improvement through out last season and toward the end I saw him makes some moves on the ice that I was expecting out of him. Who knows, he may be a decent defender for us. But, he could also be as good as he’s going to get.

five_hole

July 17th, 2009
3:43 pm

I suppose Valabik has value because he’s big & willing to fight. Unfortunately, that’s all I see outa him. For a high 1st round draft pick, I’m really disappointed in his ability to skate and pass. Doesn’t seem to have a decent shot (although I haven’t seen him shoot much). On defense he takes a ton of penalties.

The only reason I can see him being even a 3rd pairing d-man this year is if we need some toughness on the blueline.