Dan Kamal Gives Voice To Thrasherville, Pt. II

When I caught up with Dan last week during the Thrashers prospect camp, he was keeping an eye one particular player of interest…his son Chris Kamal, a goalie. I asked him how Chris was playing and how his recovery was coming along. “I’m very proud of the way that he has reacted to the adversity”, said Kamal. “He had come off a very strong year in his first season in junior hockey…and was looking forward to his second year when he had a freak off-ice injury and suffered a complicated break of his tibia and fibula…and it cost him the whole ‘08-’09 season”.

But, according to the senior Kamal,  he’s been up to playing speed since February and is in “the best shape of his life and playing the best hockey of his life…but now he needs to catch a break” in trying to land a position on a junior hockey team.

And as would be expected, as we discussed his son and the other prospects out on the ice, the topic turned toward the Thrashers’ future. Like Chris, the Thrashers have had to go through some adversities of their own over the past couple of years, escpecially since that single foray into the postseason.

And again, Kamal has seen it go from the highs of those two playoff games in Atlanta…to the lows of the way things went in the following season and the beginning of last year…..to the improved play of last spring. He believes the team can get back to where it was just a few short seasons ago.

“Those two games here for the playoffs were beyond my expectations…and it can get back to that. I look at this as a fabulous hockey town. I really think Atlanta is a great hockey town just waiting to erupt when this team…which I believe has turned a major corner… starts to become a perennial playoff contender”.

“But I think what people don’t remember is that it’s hard to win in pro sports. I mean, Buffalo Sabres…no Stanley Cup. Vancouver Canucks…no Stanley Cup. They’ve been around for decades. So, I think the thing you want to do as a franchise is build a foundation…which is not so easy in a salary cap era…build a foundation for you to be a perennial playoff contender. And then you have to hope for health…for your best players to be your best players…maybe get lucky with a guy who you don’t expect to have a career year to do so and maybe make a few tweaks along the way and go from there”.

And about the two disappointing seasons since then?

“For me to see a franchise that’s this young to have had some setbacks…I don’t think that’s abnormal”.

OK, but what of certain self-induced set backs…like, say, the Zhitnik/Coburn deal?

“There was the playoff run, and then the lull in January, and then the trade of Coburn for Zhitnik…and I know a lot of people say ‘Oh you traded Coburn for Zhitnik’, but he played very well [after the trade]. Zhitnik helped the team get back on course for that playoff run. Had the Thrashers been able to win a round or win some games against the Rangers, certainly that trade would have been looked upon more favorably”.

Fair enough, Dan…but what about where the team is now?

“To me what’s very encouraging is the direction the team is going now. It’s a young team… a young foundation, and I think it’s moving forward. It’s clear there is some talent in this franchise and [they are] going to become real impact players. When you’re adding guys like Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane, when you have young guys like Bryan Little and the way he impacted the way he did in his first full year …and Colby Armstrong with his leadership skills …and Toby Enstrom…your starting to get good young ‘faces’ to this franchise that are going to be instrumental in getting this team where it needs to go”.

We then began discussing some of the “faces” that make up today’s Thrashers organization…players such as Bryan Little who he decribed as, “Quiet…tough…surprisingly productive. Gives you that versatility to play either on the wing or center…learned how to score goals in tough areas”.

And what do you think of Zach Bogosian’s potential? ”How high is the ceiling [as far as his potential]…you may not be able to see the ceiling…that good. And to think he just turned 19″.

Of Rich Peverley, Kamal said, ”What a find. Just another example of when some guys get a chance to showcase their skills in an area where they’re given the opportunity and the coach shows confidence in them. It’s much like life…timing and opportunity”.

Now, could the same be said about the newly acquired Anthony Stewart? “Yes, could be…big guy, former first rounder…ya know what comes first, the minutes or the production”?

Kari Lehtonen… “When he’s on his game, I think he’s one of the top-five talents in the NHL…down low, as good as there is. When he develops consistency both in terms of health and his game. I think he’s gonna be one of the best”.

Of course, the position of goaltending will always be one that draws a lot of criticism from fans…he’s the guy that “let in” the goal. Is that harsh?

“Goalies ya know…yeah rebound control is a big thing but they’re human beings. They can’t control every rebound every time. You don’t notice it when they don’t control a rebound and a defender comes in and conveniently sweeps it away”.

“When I was growing up in this sport, the old adage was ‘well, goalies don’t really get it until they’re 25, 26 or 27′…well, Kari’s 25. So it’s a younger man’s game now so everyone kinda expects goalies to ‘get it’ when they’re 21, 22, 23…[but] I think having shown patience with Kari will prove to have been a good thing”.

Now we add to that mix a couple of, what I believe to be, very good pick ups. One being Pavel Kubina. ”I did a demo tape for the Thrashers back in 1998 down in Tampa…Tampa versus Florida…Pavel Kubina was playing for Tampa. I’ve like him since that day. His big, he’s got enough snarle to him…mobile…he’s got a great shot, gives you flexibility on the power play…he’s only 32-years old…big pickup”.

And Nik Antropov? “All I need to know about him…other then he’s 6-6, 240-ish…is that he and Kovalchuk played real well together in the World Championship. I’m very much looking forward to that continuing here”.

Of course, no discussion of Atlanta’s lineup would be complete if Ilya Kovalchuk wasn’t included… ”I think he’s as dynamic a player that there is in the NHL. Certainly Alex Ovechkin getting more attention, and deservedly so…but when Kovy has the puck I lean forward… and I have an inkling that 17,000 others are following suit. If he make you pay more attention or makes you move physically when he has the puck, and Kovalchuk does that for me, to me that’s the biggest complement you can pay a guy”.

And of John Anderson’s first season as an NHL head coach, Kamal said, ”I think John Anderson stayed true to what he wanted to do with this team. It was a learning curve, I’m sure, for him and the players. It maybe took a little bit longer than players and coach would have liked. But man, when it kicked in this team was tough to play against, exciting…I just wish the season had not ended in April. I’m looking for that to carry over on October 3″.

Ok, so there are some good players on the roster…what does the radio voice of Thrasherville make of the team’s chances going into the season?

“I think the team defense will be better…maybe a little less pressure on the goaltending. If Kari Lehtonen, if he’s the guy, or Pavelec or Moose Hedberg…if they come in and play there games and play them extremely well and you give this team reasonably good health and solid goaltending, I think a a playoff push in my mind would be an expectation”.

During summertime, outside of certain broadcast “housekeeping” chores, Kamal fills his offseason time by “doing as many public appearances as the team needs”. Whether it’s a social appearance or charitable event, he’s more than happy to assist. Living here year-round he thinks is very important to talk hockey. “Not only to the folks who are not yet fans…certainly you want to earn their business…but also to people who are fans. To just maintain that connection and maintain that passion”.

“It’s kind of a two fold thing…the fans give me passion for the game and I try to give it back”.

160 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
9:02 am

I have had enough of the Coburn for Zhitnik trade. It’s like Terrance telling us about trading Jermaine Dye. Enough, time to move forward.

Tom

July 21st, 2009
9:14 am

World Be Free

I think that the Coburn Zhitnik trade is not unto itself the problem, it is the most glaring example of the disease. The Braves front office had blunders, but their successes far outweighed their failures. So it was an aberration.

Meanwhile the Thrashers front office and ownership have consistently made poor decisions and this was just the most glaring example.

Rawhide, Great interview with Kamal.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
9:14 am

I have had enough of the Coburn-Zhitnik trade. It’s like Terrance telling us about the Braves trading JErmaine Dye for the last 10 years. Enough, time to move forward.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
9:28 am

I cannot argue with you on that Tom, there’s enough examples (Kunitz). But I think we have to put that aside for now and focus on what is ahead, knowing we have Rick Dudley on board. Hopefully, his influence will reduce the number of blunders in the future.

Every club makes mistakes on players, even a Detroit.

Sage of Bluesland

July 21st, 2009
9:28 am

This “message” brought to you by the Atlanta Spirit…Kamal is like Darren Eliot–a toadie mouthpiece who thinks it’s all rainbows and sunshine in the wreck that has been the Atlanta Thrashers for, oh, the past decade…

Take it for what it is, bwue-fwag wavers…I take it with a very small grain of salt…

The Earl of Bud (aka Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
10:22 am

World Be Free I am with you on this regarding the Zhitnik-Coburn trade. Everyone was for it back then between the fact that Zhitnik lead us to our first and only division title and on top of that Coburn was severely stunted here by Hartley.

If we are going to just bash Waddell over and over again, then let’s think the trades that Waddell has won. Why doesn’t anyone repeat over and over again the trades of:

Ruslan Zainullin for Marc Savard

Jeff Deslauriers and John Adams for Slava Kozlov

Kurtis Foster for Niclas Havelid (and then turning around years later and trading the aged Havelid for Anssi Salmela who could become a regular here)

And those are just a few. It seems that we can get over the Coburn deal quite easily.

Also World Be Free, I am considering a change to my name based on our exchange from the last blog.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
10:27 am

Earl/Dog, it would be an honorable name change

Thrashers27

July 21st, 2009
10:30 am

Such a cinic, Sage. How is it that life is worth living for you? Geez! Try being positive for once, or at the very least, say nothing at all.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
10:42 am

World Be Free – wonderful, if you see someone at Philips next October in an all white tuxedo with coattails come say hi to me ha ha.

However, I am not a 50-60 year old black man who will jump up on the railings and start dancing if they play Tequila.

Buzilla in CT

July 21st, 2009
10:43 am

Alex

July 21st, 2009
10:48 am

And Nik Antropov? “All I need to know about him…other then he’s 6-6, 240-ish…is that he and Kovalchuk played real well together in the World Championship. I’m very much looking forward to that continuing here”.

Antropov plays for Kazakhstan and they didn’t even qualify for top division…but they played together in AK BARS KHL

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
11:00 am

Alex as long as you don’t get Kovalchuk and Antropov mixed up with the whole Belarussian fiasco (brothers K and Grabovski) then I’m happy. Although that could be quite entertaining for Atlanta. Nice catch nonetheless.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 21st, 2009
11:16 am

“Everyone was for it back then between the fact that Zhitnik lead us to our first and only division title and on top of that Coburn was severely stunted here by Hartley”

Absolutely not true, even with your exaggerated use of “everyone”. Most people immediately hated the trade, myself included. However, some of us also mentioned Coburn’s lack of playing time under Hartley (as you said “stunted” development) and said that it made sense why Coburn would be the person traded.

Understanding and explaining why someone does something is completely different than agreeing with it.

I understood why Coburn was traded, but despite Zhitnik’s 14 points in 18 games I still disliked the trade. I was under the belief that with a coaching change the same roster that put them in first before Christmas could’ve made the playoffs. My belief wasn’t able to be proven right or wrong, but the basis of my opinion was that I completely disagreed with selling the farm just to fix a club that had seemingly derailed. In my opinion the coach was no longer being listened to and the team needed a coaching change, similar to how things transpired in Pittsburgh this past season.

Only two trades were made that season that I agreed with: Dupuis and a 3rd round pick for Bourret, and Vishnevski for Belanger. I also had no problem with the claiming of Denis Hamel, because he would be on the PK line as a potential improvement (didn’t pan out and he was claimed by Philadelphia 17 days later). Other than those two trades I thought Waddell paid way too much for a chance at the playoffs.

Alex — I was thinking the exact same thing…I wonder who fed Kamal that inaccurate bit of information, or if it was his own mistake.

Rawhide

July 21st, 2009
11:19 am

WBF – I understand your point regarding Zhitnik/Coburn… my inclusion of the subject was because we were discussing the issue of what the Thrashers have been through over the course of the past few years. IMO, that deal was a disaster, made out of depiration and it contributed to the woes since that time.

However, in fairness, I thought Kamal’s points were prudent as a counter response, so I included it.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
11:21 am

Earl..Ice Dog – Perhaps we can add trading Exelby for Kubina, especially if he resigns next summer.

Alan

July 21st, 2009
11:26 am

Valabik has been re-signed. “Multiple year contract” according to the link. And, as always, “Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.”

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
11:28 am

ranallo10 (in AT) fair enough. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used “everyone” but of the people I talked to back then (and they know their hockey) plenty of them didn’t complain a bit. So my sample/universe is off but what were the blogs like then? And I mean THEN, not 18 months later when hindsight kicked in.

I too loved the Belanger trade. I was also upset when we let him go and picked up White. But White has made me eat enough crow so I won’t go there.

But even if it was an understanding of the Coburn trade versus a full endorsement of it as you say, isn’t just understanding why the trade was made enough to stop beating this dead horse? There were legitimate reasons for pulling the trigger so let’s stop with it already. Or let’s mention over and over again some of the trades that Waddell won by a landslide:

Ruslan Zainullin for Marc Savard

Jeff Deslauriers and John Adams for Slava Kozlov

Kurtis Foster for Niclas Havelid (and then turning around years later and trading the aged Havelid for Anssi Salmela who could become a regular here)

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
11:33 am

Kracker totally agreed. Exelby for Kubina can be a landslide. I saw somewhere in a national website (SI.com, ESPN, can’t remember which) that the biggest bright spot of our team now is our top 4 defensemen of Bogosian, Enstrom, Hainsey and Kubina. No way in the world would he write that if it was Exelby instead of Kubina.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 21st, 2009
11:46 am

Ice Dog — Were you participating on these blogs during those trades? You speak as if you were but honestly I don’t recognize the blog name.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
12:07 pm

Ice Dog-I can loan you my white Ted Nugent tux jacket that I got form a Superfest Concert in the mid ’70’s. Can’t remember the year exactly, I think it was 1977. My memory of the era is pretty poor.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
12:11 pm

Yeah, most of the folks I spoke to AT PHILIPS ARENA during our playoff run had no problem whatsoever saying good-bye to Mr. Coburn. Enough of this revisionist history. Does anyone think seriously that the problems which plagued the 2007-08 team performance rested soley with the lackluster play of one Alexei Zhitnik?? I mean, c’mon, that would be the most disingenuous and absurd things ever conjured up on this all-important blog of ours (no offense to you Rawhide). Yeah, it’s so clear to me now, if we had just had Braydon Coburn playing 2nd pairing mins with Ken Klee, we would have won the first 6 games of the season!!

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
12:15 pm

Earl/Ice, thanks for pointing out the good trades.

Ranallo-I agree with you, not liking the trade when it was made-having seen Zhitnik’s play deteriorate in Buffalo.

Rawhilde-understood and thanks; Do you have any news on Malhotra or other possible UFAs?

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
12:15 pm

Oh and while we’re on the topic of young, developing D-men, here’s some conversation fodder for you (Earl of Bud, will you please hand out some refreshments to all of the esteemed Hainsey haters out there in our wonderful little blogosphere?):

From Falconer’s Blog: “Using Adjusted Plus/Minus we see a similar pattern. The Exelby-Hainsey was out chanced by badly and their plus/minus was -10. The Hainsey-Valabik combo was not as bad but still finished with a negative shot differential and we can see that they were outscored 12-17 at Even Strenght last season. When we get to the Hainsey+everyone else we see the positive shot and chance numbers translated into a positive Goal Differential of +4 last season.”

-10 Ron Hainsey + Garnett Exelby (11 GF -21 GA)

-5 Ron Hainsey + Boris Valabik (12 GF – 17 GA)

+4 Ron Hainsey + anyone other than Exelby and Valabik (18 GF – 14 GA)

Better get working Boris now that you’re under contract!!

Rawhide

July 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

Do you have any news on Malhotra or other possible UFAs?

WBF – I’ve only seen the same rumor that you have, so I really have little to add to that except that if it’s true he has an offer from Waddell but is holding out for another team…then I’d recend the offer right now. I only want players that want to be here and are committed to making the team succeed.

Brendan

July 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

Rawhide, I just want to state how terrific is it that you took it upon yourself to conduct a two-part Interview with the Voice of the Thrashers. It’s almost inconceivable that we went from “Ice Princess,” whose following of the team was to listen to games on the radio, at work, posting a blog every other week, to this. (I didn’t mean that to be offensive to her. I try not to attack people’s fandom. Everyone experiences that differently and shouldn’t be ridiculed for how much or little they follow the team.) This blog is as active during the offseason as during the season. Attentive fans know that championship-caliber teams mold and shape themselves during the offseason (draft & free agency, plus RFA contracts and trades. The roster is set during this time). It also shows the dedication and passion-level of hockey fans in Atlanta, who continue to take the time and commitment to participate, YEAR-ROUND.

Honestly, I can remember a time when … FOR REAL … we’d get half a dozen posters who would SERIOUSLY put forth trade scenarios like “R. Petrovicky, S. Aubin, and J.P. Vigier, plus our 1st round pick, for Sidney Crosby.” And they weren’t kidding about it, either.

Look how far the blog has evolved from those days. The level of hockey discussion is so much better. We have an excellent fan blogger. And we have very good posters here. Not that we don’t have infighting and name calling, and the occasional trolls from other team’s infesting the blog. But, I think there’s even less FLAMING these days. (Oh God, I just jinxed it.)

This blog has tackled the salary cap, the CBA, and rules thereof, such that … anyone who reads the blog regularly has no doubt LEARNED something meaningful about it. This blog covers salary analysis. It covers trades. It covers the draft, pretty indepthly. It covers the coaching staff. It covers the scouting department. It covers Thrasher prospects, in International leagues, with linked items. (Even with the occasional throwing of Stendecs on the ice in Sweden.) It covers how other teams in the NHL run themselves, (Blackhawks, Flyers, and Sabres most recently,) and their moves, and how it impacts their salary cap, and whether or not an opportunity for Atlanta to swoop in and raid a player exists, or make a trade with them. It even covers officiating and how the rules of the CBA have been applied, or sometimes, not applied. Like in the Stanley Cup Finals. This blog discusses the Thrashers TV and radio personalities. And NHL Network (Dave Reid comes to mind–even Maggie, The Monkey gets an occasional reference) and Hockey Night in Canada personalities (R. McLean, D. Cheery, Dave Hodge) and other happenings (Hot Stove segments). Plus TSN writers and items. And, of course, the GM, Associate GM, and ownership of the Atlanta Thrashers … and the dang, blessed LAWSUIT!!

Nobody has to blow sunshine up the organization’s backside here. It’s your call if you love Waddell and the AS,LLC, or hate ‘em with a passion, and second-guess their every decision. It’s a true theatre of ideas. With no suppression. Good job, Rawhide. You’ve really taken the FanBlog to a better place.

That’s quite an evolution. I think one of the highest compliments a blog can get … occurs when fans of other teams pop in to comment how well it’s run, or how surprised they are by the level of hockey discussion taking place. Some of that may be … just because fans in other markets don’t perceive Atlanta to be a credible hockey market. But I’m not offended when people from other markets pop-in to write, “No offense, but I expected this site to be a bunch of garbage. Who knew there were so many knowledgeable hockey fans in Atlanta. This is a good blog.” Clearly, they means those comments as a compliment.

Tom

July 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

great post Brendan.

Seconded.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

Wonderful post Brendan…third-ed.

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Rawhise-I totally agree-we need players that are committed to being here. It sounds like Malholtra is using our offer to get a better deal somewhere else. Time to cut our deal with Manny.

4th on Brendan’s post-u da man

William

July 21st, 2009
12:58 pm

I third. Thank you.

Does anyone know the details of Boris’s re-signing?

Rawhide

July 21st, 2009
1:24 pm

Brendan – Thank you very much for the kind words…very much appreciated, especially given from whom those comments come from.

In response to that I’ll repeat what I told Dan Kamal last week when he offered up some very gracious words about this blog…I told him the real beauty of this forum is what takes place below my post. There are some very, smart, articulate, witty and knowledgable hockey fans that frequent this forum and that is what makes this blog-thingy tick more than anything else.

Also, I’ll add that this is why I feel the obligation and desire to do what I can in regards to hosting certain events…like viewing parties at TJ’s or group outings at Philips. It’s just my way of being able to show my appreciation for those of you that take time out of your day to read my ramblings and participate in the discussion.

The Earl of Bud (formerly Ice Dog)

July 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Ice Dog — Were you participating on these blogs during those trades? You speak as if you were but honestly I don’t recognize the blog name.

ranallo10 (in AT) I wasn’t referring to people participating on the blogs, I was referring to people that I talk to at the games, personal friends, etc. about the Coburn trade. I was actually asking you for your input on what the blog people thought of that trade back then as I even admitted that maybe my sample/universe didn’t agree with what people may or may not have been saying on the blogs. Here it is again from 11:28am:

ranallo10 (in AT) fair enough. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used “everyone” but of the people I talked to back then (and they know their hockey) plenty of them didn’t complain a bit. So my sample/universe is off but what were the blogs like then? And I mean THEN, not 18 months later when hindsight kicked in.

Smooth(ie) Bourbon

July 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

William, per Chris V on the other blog, 2 years: $725 K & 800 K. I reckon Viv managed to track down either Boris or his agent.

On the subject of Kane and JA’s comments in the Q&A with Viv, you get the feeling the Thrashers brass has every hope and expectation that Kane will challenge seriously for a roster spot. That combined with some of the “depth” signings we’ve made (Stewart, Crabb, Thor etc) probably means they are done spending money. In other words, good luck Manny in finding employment somewhere else.

I still think we could make a move after the pre-season and after all of the bottom 6 talent has been duly evaluated. There will surely be some waiver wire activity plus trade winds blowing as teams maneuver to get under the cap by Opening Night.

William

July 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

Buzilla in CT

July 21st, 2009
2:09 pm

Off topic…Did anyone catch what is going on with our Erin Andrews? Turns out GAVA Hokie had a hotel room next to her and took some video. Right on Hokie!

Buzilla in CT

July 21st, 2009
2:17 pm

…I also enjoy the blog Willy Tilly. You do a much better job than your predecessors.

LAC

July 21st, 2009
2:36 pm

Excellent Brenden,Hit the nail on the head as ALWAYS !!!!!!!!

Old News Alan….

Dale Tallon

July 21st, 2009
2:39 pm

Same Dog, Same tricks, Same schtick…Don’t feed the mutt, he bites.

Alan

July 21st, 2009
3:06 pm

I’m not sure what crawled up your ass and died, LAC, but if you haven’t had a bowel movement in the five days you’ve had this little problem, perhaps you might want to go see a proctologist. One might also be able to assist in removing your head from within those nether regions as well.

Libby

July 21st, 2009
3:53 pm

Hi Rawhide, I enjoyed your articles on Kamal. Thank you for all your work keeping the Thrashers fans informed.

kracker

July 21st, 2009
4:03 pm

Gee, Brendan, Rawhide’s gonna want a BIG raise now!

ben

July 21st, 2009
5:01 pm

i read this blog all the time, even though i’m a little too busy to post. i really feel that we in the community have grown in our knowledge. i appreciate the level of back / forth and Mr. Tiller’s goodnatured humor. I also appreciate that this sight has educated me about the ins and outs of the business side of the game.

It wasn’t all that long ago that it felt as though people were venting a great deal of rage. I remember right around Hossa’s departure, reading a post where some one described wanting to assault the ushers at Phillips for example. Let me make this clear, I AM NOT A WADDELL SUPPORTER and haven’t been since Heatley’s departure, but I see this site as a way to vent thoughtful frustration at those who are in charge. Not to spew rage and frustration.

Mr. Tiller, Standec, Brendan, and some others whom I’m neglecting to mention; I see you as valued members of Atlanta’s sports media. While it does bum me out that this market doesn’t get any respect from other media north of the Mason-Dixon, we should rise above that and maintain a higher standard of excellence. This would be a baby step in getting top-flight UFAs to want to come here.

ben

July 21st, 2009
5:03 pm

other, of course, than the times we type F I R E D O N N I E !

Tony C.

July 21st, 2009
5:26 pm

Saw a headline on PuckDaddy “Kovy wants Heatley to return”… needless to say, my jaw hit the floor. Then the link opened and i saw it was not The Kaptain , but rather L’Artiste Kovalev. Apparently, there’s more than one “Kovy” in the league ;)

Tony C.

July 21st, 2009
5:28 pm

I swear, I’m going to invent a “sarcasm” font.

ben

July 21st, 2009
5:29 pm

who knew . . .

Randy

July 21st, 2009
6:38 pm

Kamal is the biggest apologist out of all of them, Elliott included!

Why don’t you say what you REALLY FEEL, Kamal?

Randy

July 21st, 2009
6:41 pm

Alan, your comments include big words and little substance – at least the other guy can be positive about things and has logical comments

World Be Free

July 21st, 2009
11:09 pm

I had to post this, mostly because I complain so much about how cheap the Sabres are. From the Buffalo News-

“The Buffalo Sabres capped their full season tickets for this season at 14,825, the team announced Tuesday. This is an increase of 500 tickets from last year. The club renewed 95 percent of its season tickets this summer and was able to sell more than 1,200 new season tickets to members of its Blue & Gold Club.”

While Sabres fans on blogs may be bitching about not paying the right players, many more have not given up hope. While some of us may be upset at the past performance and direction of the club, it is important to not give up hope.

Hockey Biltong

July 21st, 2009
11:59 pm

It was very dark a year ago.Now there is light. New coach, new assst gm, new coach asst. New influx of players. Springtime for Thrashers Hockey. Savour it. Remember the cr@p games with no effort and remember the recent games with redirected focus and energy. This will be an enjoyable season of hockey. Patience, for good things to come.

Russian

July 22nd, 2009
8:01 am

I read a rumor from Russia. They are talking about Kovy contract. They said that Don Waddell was offering $11 mln per year. Did anybody hear about it? I am just wondering if it is a true. Lot of MONEY!!! :-)