Keep Hold Of That Popcorn Boy!

I hope you’ll endulge me today as I share with you a favorite hockey story of mine…one that involves the little monsters that I lovingly refer to as the “Tax Exemptions”.

I take you back to November of 2000 and the Philadelphia Flyers were paying Philips Arena a visit. Oh, there’s nothing really noteworthy about that game… the Thrashers lost 3-2 in overtime…but what made this night so special was that it was the first game that I ever took the boys and the Divine Mrs. R to. The kids were 8 and 7 years of age and I got the four of us tickets in section 302, about halfway up in that upper-deck section behind the net.

Now, the two of them were well versed in attending Atlanta Braves baseball games as the team in the ‘90s was simply all the rage in Atlanta. So to them, going to a sporting event meant settling into their seats… popcorn, hotdog and soda in hand… and watching for three hours as nine innings of baseball played out before them. But I thought hockey would be a pleasant change of pace for the two.

When we reached the isle to walk down to our seats, the puck had just dropped just seconds prior. Therefore, the boys were greeted by the usher with the “stop” sign.

“Why we can’t go to our seats, Daddy”? asked the oldest while the youngest squatted down to get a good look down the isle and towards the game…all the time holding onto his bucket of popcorn making sure not one kernal fell out. As we waited for a stoppage in play, I explained to them the concept of “hockey etiquette”. Once in our seats, they settled in with eats and drinks as they typically would at Turner Field, (and Fulton County Stadium before that), and assumed their normal viewing positions…sitting there… quietly.

Until….

Only a few minutes after we sat down, somebody got jacked against the boards. It was a good hit too…one of those that rattles the glass, shakes the boards and leaves an opposing player hurting so bad that he wished his parents had never even met. Along with everyone else in the arena that night, my boys jumped to their feet, screamed their approval and pointing toward the ice!

Popcorn and Sprite, flew all over the place…in the air…into the seasts…onto the floor…all over the couple in front of us…

“Oh YEAHHHHhhhhhhh”!!!!!! The youngest one shouted!

“THAT never happens at a baseball game”, remarked the oldest.

Of course the wife and I…after the initial shock of their reaction to the check wore off…went straight into parent mode. We apologized to the man and woman who were now pulling popcorn from their hair, but to our surprise they were laughing out loud and telling us not to worry about it.

“Let me guess…first game for them”, she asked.

Indeed…first game.

After their first NHL hockey experience, the Tax Exemtions have learned the game while playing it and enjoying many more Thrashers games (Photo by The Divine Mrs. R)

After their first NHL hockey experience, the Tax Exemtions have grown to love the sport by playing it as well as attending many more games at Philips, (Photo by The Divine Mrs. R)

The boys spent as much time on their feet as they did their backsides for the rest of the evening. Thank God they were short then and no one was sitting directly behind us. They had a blast that night watching as this fast-paced, wide-open game unfolded before their eyes for the very first time. I explained the rules as the night went on and they seemed to pick it up quick. Of course to them, the game wasn’t too difficult to figure out…get the puck into that net, don’t let the other team get it into this one and knock the pure, holy snot outa anyone in an orange and black jersey who happens to have the puck.

Simple.

Both boys went on to play the game at the local rink. Like you…or maybe your kids…they both still have the pucks in which they scored their first ever goal mounted atop mantles in their rooms. The oldest one scored his with 28.6 seconds left in the third to break a 1-1 tie. It was the only one he scored that season…so I guess he picked a pretty good time to do it, eh?

The tax exemptions are teenagers now…17 and 16…and sharing a Thrashers game with them is still among the best times we have together. Of course, when the youngest comes back from the concession stand with his popcorn…I just give him that look and he says, “Yeah, yeah…I got ahold of it”.

179 comments Add your comment

Tom

August 2nd, 2009
8:59 am

Great post Rawhide.

It is awesome to see the reaction of my boys still as we enter Phillips and the excitement of a NHL game comes across their faces.

World Be Free

August 2nd, 2009
9:13 am

Great story, especialy for non-news months like August. These are the exapmples of what sets hockey apart from so many other sports. 300 level at Philips are pretty good seats.

rightshot

August 2nd, 2009
9:51 am

Best Thrashers memory, going to the post season. My own best hockey memory, coaching my youth hockey teams to 3 straight championships in the Chamblee rec league (long since gone)

NorthStarsDave

August 2nd, 2009
9:53 am

Great story…it brought back the memory of my twin girls first game…an Opening Night…one wanted to know when there would be a fight…and like magic, it happens! Take that you non-purists who want to ban fighting!

My other daughter loves hockey…and now plays hockey on grass…lacrosse…and gets her fix with killing kids (and Dad!) on Playstation. While on a trip to Philly for lacrosse, we HAD to watch Game 7 at a restaurant bar…she blew off the team activities until the game was over!!

No other major sport gives you this…

DWTOO

August 2nd, 2009
10:41 am

Hockey, and soccer, were the things that transcended the teenage years. No matter what we could always talk sports.

Our daughter’s been a hockey fan since the Knights days.

Barry

August 2nd, 2009
12:12 pm

Great story. “Ya ya I got a hold of it.” LOL Priceless.

I can relate to those boys. I grew up Atlanta Braves fan. Baseball season was over and there was nothing to watch on a particular weekend night. I flipped through the channels and found Thrashers hockey game. It was that season after the lockout when we went through about 10 goalies that year. I remember watching glimpses of hockey with Ray Ferraro back in the day, but then I wasn’t too interested. After seeing that game that night, even though we lost, I thought to myself…”this is kinda cool”. So I watched the next game and it was the game where we went to overtime and beat the Flyers 6-5 in overtime in that dramatic come back win where Thrashers rushed up the ice from behind their own goal and scored the tying goal with 15 seconds on the clock. They did all that in a matter of 8 seconds. I was estatic and the energy and excitement of the game was creeping into my bones. Thrashers did win in overtime as DeVries had the game winner and I literally jumped off my couch cheering in excitement. That was it…I was hooked…and I’ve been in love with hockey every sense.

Rawhide

August 2nd, 2009
12:33 pm

Thanks for sharing your hockey memory stories as well…looking forward to reading more.

Also, Mike Morreale’s 30 Teams in 30 Days trip around the NHL has come to Atlanta today. Here is his take on the Thrashers going into the season.

Glovesave29

August 2nd, 2009
1:48 pm

Ah, memories.

I remember my first game…at the dump of an arena in Oakland, Ca. It was the teal clad, loveable losers California Golden Seals vs. Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers were in the middle of their Broad Street Bully days, so the fists were certainly flying. I remember my Mom’s favorite player, Joey Johnston (long blonde hair) beat Bobby Clarke pretty badly. The enraged Flyers then proceeded to make a semi-circle around Johston’s seat in the penalty box, pull him over the boards and take turns wailing all over the poor guy…never had a chance. I was hooked. A few years later I we moved to Atlanta, and my first game is a 12-4 dismantling of the Vancouver Canucks. Rough games, offensive explosions…don’t care. The game is great.

Fast forward a few decades and I get to introduce my kids to hockey. My oldest’s first game is at the Gwinnett Arena for the Glads and Lynx. We sit in the second row, on the blue line and next to the penalty boxes. The first thundering bodycheck in front of us at the defensemen is trying to keep the play alive brings HUGE eyes and a smile to my little one’s face. I knew right then, I would always have a willing partner to join me at the games. Later that season she gets on the Jumbotron after I catch a puck and give it to her. She told that story for YEARS after that. Now every night, she jumps into he Ilya jersey for bedtime, and asks why I never played in the pros, or if she can play hockey and wear number 29, too. Makes a Dad proud…

Thrashers27

August 2nd, 2009
2:51 pm

Good stories, guys…Is it October yet? I’m really jonesing for some hockey.

World Be Free

August 2nd, 2009
3:12 pm

Glovesave-the Cow Palace?
Great name for an arena

lee

August 2nd, 2009
4:04 pm

awesome post!!! my favorite memory is bringing my dad to the games. whenever he comes, we always win.

Rawhide

August 2nd, 2009
4:24 pm

Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy weighs in on Atlanta’s attempts to re-sign Kovalchuk…a very good read.

LAC

August 2nd, 2009
4:55 pm

The 6-5 game against NJ and Brodeur was the best I have seen…

Likely one of his worst defeats ever.

What is with this coaches thing on ajc ? Where is Boom-Boom in the mix ?
They have some nobody lady from over in Athens as some coach, who the hell is she ? Then HIGH SCHOOL coaches, they are nobodies, should NEVER be mentioned, but where is Da, Boom ? Lousy job by ajc sports I think !

Zoomo

August 2nd, 2009
7:38 pm

Nice blog post, Bill. Nothing like seeing the game live to make you into a raving convert.

The Tiller boys got the “hockey look” in that photo. Emerging enforcers.

D3

August 2nd, 2009
10:07 pm

Hey Rawhide,

Just wanted to drop in and say hey to my fellow fan blogger and mentor. Things are going well, and I certainly have you to thank for all the assistance. Keep up the great work!

Rawhide

August 2nd, 2009
10:23 pm

D3 – Thank buddy! Your Falcons blog has really taken off. Well done!

Here’s hoping that all three teams on The Bird Blog downtown will be flying into the playoffs this year!

five_hole

August 3rd, 2009
7:22 am

Great post Bill. I remember taking my son to his first game. Unfortunately, he’s just not that into hockey.

Glovesave29

August 3rd, 2009
8:33 am

WBF – nah, the Cow Palace is in Daly City, south of the city near the San Mateo Bridge. I saw a Sharks game there once after college, but the Seals played over in Oakland. The Oakland arena is next to the stadium where the Raiders / A’s play and it looks like a giant drum.

Dick Cheney

August 3rd, 2009
8:50 am

My best hockey story?? Shooting my buddy with bird shot while hunting.

Toby

August 3rd, 2009
9:04 am

The energy in Philips a half-hour before game 1 against the Rags…BEST EVER

I also vote for the Braveheart guy and the little bald guy who chugs Guinness as my faves. Unleash the FURY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Jo Kopechne

August 3rd, 2009
9:54 am

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than get a ride home from Ted Kennedy after the hockey game at Chappaquiddick.

Matt

August 3rd, 2009
10:04 am

My kids (son 9, daughter 6), wife and I scored first row tickets to a preseason game. While strolling through the concourse with their grandmother, who is a season ticket holder and secured us the tickets, my daughter was approached by two female Thrashers employees. They wanted her to ride the zamboni between periods…until they found out she was only 6. My son got to ride instead. However, the ladies felt so bad at my daughter’s dejected face that they put together a bag of goodies. She got a jersey, amoung other things, that really brightened her spirits. Then, she got a picture with Thrash! Finally, after seeing my son ride the zamboni like a pro, I caught a puck that came over the glass. We also won the game. My only regret was that I didn’t buy a lottery ticket that day. My whole family talks about that game. Grandmother even got the puck signed by Kovy during the meet and greet with season ticket holders. What a night.

Riceowls8891

August 3rd, 2009
10:53 am

I knew I was a successful hockey dad when my daughters, age 9 and 11, watched the entire game 7, cheering for Pittsburgh, because “we don’t want Hossa to win, do we daddy?”

Martha Moxley

August 3rd, 2009
11:09 am

Mary Jo, don’t play golf with his nephew either.

Get The Puck Out

August 3rd, 2009
11:23 am

Has the TV schedule been released yet?

Thrasher Blue

August 3rd, 2009
11:31 am

TV schedule is in the paper everyday.

Sara

August 3rd, 2009
11:37 am

Reading that Leahy blog – and more specifically the comment section – makes me alternately frustrated and amused. It’s amazing how many Canadians who consider themselves the end all be all experts about all things hockey can really be so entirely clueless and willfully ignorant. But hey, if picking on Atlanta (and other non-traditional market teams) makes them feel better about the fact that their team hasn’t won a Cup in (at best) over 15 seasons (if ever), then more power to them.

Get The Puck Out

August 3rd, 2009
12:12 pm

The THRASHERS TV schedule

Thrasher Blue

August 3rd, 2009
12:23 pm

Rawhide

August 3rd, 2009
12:30 pm

GTPO – If memory serves correctly, the TV schedule normally comes out mid-September-ish.

Matt – That’s an awesome story!

Riceowls8891 – I’m sure a little tear was seen flowing down your cheek. :lol:

Everyone – I had the family out to a Braves game a couple weeks back and the youngest one tried to get a “catcher chant” going. It truely is a different crowd out there at Turner Field…

TWO MORE MONTHS UNTIL OPENING NIGHT!!!!

Pam on Weck

August 3rd, 2009
12:44 pm

I met Pascal Dupuis at PetSmart once.

Toby

August 3rd, 2009
12:53 pm

According to TFP, Dub is still active…

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/rumors.html

CarrieLee

August 3rd, 2009
1:03 pm

It seems like yesterday when I took my now 10-year-old to his first game. His brother went first, me next, and then I dragged the kid along. In reality it’s been 2+ years, a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, 100’s of trading cards, a subscription to Hockey News and several hockey camps later. His last few birthdays were celebrated at Philips–both wins. Hockey was the first game I could get my younger son interested in. I was so excited that we’d finally have a sport to discuss together. Now I’ve got a boy that dreams of becoming a goalie. (I know, WHAT did I do wrong?!) The big kid is in a camp as we speak (type). While I don’t see myself becoming a “hockey mom,” I do consider myself as a mom who loves hockey.

Sara, I saw your comment on the Puck Daddy boards before I even came here. Great reply!

Russian

August 3rd, 2009
1:10 pm

I personally have met and had dinner with Slava and Kovy in 2005. Also my Family and Nick Havelid Family were fluing together to Paris. He took fly to Sweden and we flew to Ukraine.

FormerIslesFan

August 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

My variant on the story. I’m born and raised Long Island and grew up in the heart of the Dynasty years. Moved to Atlanta in college and was a huge Knights’ fan during their time here.

When we started dating, my wife was a huge NBA fan and we started getting into nightly debates on the merits of hockey v. basketball (which I will not repeat here). Finally, I told her that we could discuss it til the ends of time, but it was not going to be settled with us just talking about it. So, I took her to a Thrashers’ game that very night (and if I remember correctly, I think we ran into Rawhide while we were there).

The bottom line was that as we were walking out of the game, Lilibeter looks at me and says, “You’re right,” and had this big smile on her face. Now, she is the proud owner of two different Thrashers’ sweaters (including the vintage blue/red first year sweater that she herself hunted down) and we are constantly at games throughout the season.

I’ll hold the story on my tax deductions for another day.

The Earl of Bud

August 3rd, 2009
1:41 pm

I saw Andy Sutton at the McDonald’s near Cumberland Mall last week.

The Earl of Bud

August 3rd, 2009
2:15 pm

The Rangers $3 mil arbitration offer for Zherdev was actually less than their qualifying offer of $3.25 mil, so expect him to become an UFA this week. Zherdev’s # was $4.75 mil and the arbitor just split the difference and it is at $3.9 mil which most expect Sather to not accept it.

After offering Jason Williams a 1 year contract, Detroit is talking to Sykora’s agent, so we may still get MM yet. http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2009/07/jason_williams_contemplating_o.html

Rawhide

August 3rd, 2009
2:18 pm

CarrieLee – Nice!!! Hope to see you post more often!

FIF – Yes…The two of you did cross my path that night. I like to look back on that as the main reason she became a hockey fan! :cool:

J.B.

August 3rd, 2009
2:27 pm

Toby – From what I’ve seen TFP’s information is usually really reliable almost as much as Eklund’s is not, so that’s interesting

Russian – How did you manage dinner with Kovy & Slava? There must be a good story there…

All – Took my 2 year old to his first thrasher game this past february. He’s been to Duluth many times and has had his own little hockey stick and goal to play with since he could walk. (the kid’s got a helluva slapshot already!) Anyhow, I had to haul him up and down the upper deck stairs a few hundred times to change diapers. between that and keeping him in his seat, feeding him, etc. I saw about 30 seconds of the game, but he seemed to really enjoy it. I’ll wait a few years before I take him again, but it was a good first game. The only thing he liked better than the game was riding the huge escalator.

J.B.

August 3rd, 2009
2:57 pm

Earl, I heard somewhere MM was waiting around to see if he got an offer from anyone else because he didn’t want to come here. If he doesn’t want to come here, I say DW & RD should recind and go after someone else. I don’t want anyone in a thrasher uniform who doesn’t want to be a thrasher. Can anyone else confirm that or did I make it up?

The Earl of Bud

August 3rd, 2009
3:08 pm

J.B. the offer he was waiting for was from Detroit, but it has yet to come. That’s why I posted the link about Williams and Sykora. Are you going to blame someone for listening to Detroit first and Atlanta second? Or any other team second? Besides, there’s got to be 2 dozen free agents at his level who are still out there, every one is playing musical chairs right now and the music hasn’t stopped yet.

J.B.

August 3rd, 2009
3:13 pm

no i don’t blame him at all. i think the vast majority of UFAs given the choice would go to DET over ATL and that’s even a gross understatement. It just bugged me (assuming the article i read was accurate) that he was very open about not being thrilled to get an offer from ATL when it’s obvious plenty of UFAs are going to be S.O.L come september as you said.

The Earl of Bud

August 3rd, 2009
3:23 pm

J.B. I think some of that may have been Canadian/Northern spin. There was no actual quote of him saying something. Besides, Waddudley has been rumored to be looking at Bertuzzi, so maybe they have moved on. I think once a couple of the RFAs like Stafford, Zherdev & Kessel get signed or moved and a Heatley trade happens, then the music will stop and as you say, some of those UFAs are going to be without a chair and S.O.L. come September. I do think that we may still get someone if it’s not MM. Even if it is a Bertuzzi who I don’t want, maybe he can make Kane compete for the job more. As much as I don’t want Kane on the 3rd line here, it might be better than the 1st line in Chicago. He can kill penalties and be groomed for a tougher role.

Thrasher Blue

August 3rd, 2009
3:27 pm

I met Bill Cosby at my work place, he owns one of our business jets.

ThrasherTim

August 3rd, 2009
3:39 pm

Two memories if I may:
1) Playoff hockey – the building was so pumped up. I can’t wait until it happens again. April ‘10 baby!

2) Unquestionably though, my favorite memory is of a game I went to a few years back with my sister and a couple of friends. Not being experienced in hockey strategy after only a couple of games(and after a few “beverages”), the 3rd period was winding down with the Thrashers down a goal. My sister stands up, beer in hand, with complete panic in her voice and eyes and screams “WHERE IS THE GOALIE?” as the opposing team starts down the ice with the puck towards an empty net.

She slowly calmed down as I explained the strategy of pulling the goalie to gain a man advantage. Oh man, I have laughed so many times telling that story.

Priceless!

J.B.

August 3rd, 2009
3:48 pm

Earl – you’re probably right. Man, if there was a way we could get Kessel, I’d jump on that. I’d be much happier with him or even Zherdev than the older UFAs. Im not much interested in Bert or MM. Seems likely they’d have trouble buying into the JA system a la Schneider.

Ooooh. Thought of another good Thrash memory. Belanger breaking the glass during the marathon shootout at the end of 06-07. I only thought of it because he himself mentioned it as the strangest game he’s taken part in in the Getting to Know: Eric Belanger feature up right now on The Hockey News website.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27407-Getting-To-Know-Eric-Belanger.html

Man, that was a freaking awesome game to be at! It was playoff loud during that shootout…

The Earl of Bud

August 3rd, 2009
3:54 pm

“Earl – you’re probably right. Man, if there was a way we could get Kessel, I’d jump on that. I’d be much happier with him or even Zherdev than the older UFAs.

J.B. Kessel is a RFA, so the only way we get him is to trade for him. And since you have to give something to get something (Murray called Zherdev and Roszival for Heatley “insulting”), the only way we get him is probably something like Little for Kessel. But when you look at it like that, what’s the point? Let’s keep the Littles and Bogosians and let the other teams worry about their headaches. Now if they wanted Lehtonen for Kessel, yeah I would do that in a heartbeat.

Buzilla in CT

August 3rd, 2009
4:34 pm

So anybody know what numbers Android and Kubina are going to take?

Glovesave29

August 3rd, 2009
4:42 pm

Earl – Kane cannot go to Chicago, he can either stay with the Thrashers or be returned to the Giants. It’s a stupid rule, as I think he has gone as far as he can in the WHL, and is not ready for the NHL, so the AHL is the perfect spot for him. I gotta imagine that rule is going to be looked at when the NHL and NHLPA sit down again. It makes no sense.

Speaking of Belanger breaking the glass, does anyone remember the Knights / Komets game back in 1994 when the bugler was beating the glass and it broke, spilling him onto the ice?

Toby

August 3rd, 2009
4:46 pm

Kubina gets #77 and Antropov gets #80

http://thrashers.nhl.com/club/roster.htm

A27

August 3rd, 2009
4:48 pm

Im taking my 4 year old daughter to her first game against the Oilers. I cant wait to bring her. She already is a big Thrashers fan and loves to shout “Hockey,Hockey,Hockey!!!” on the top of her lungs when I watch them on TV lol! I was 4 when I went to my first game. It was the Hartford Whalers vs the Canadians in 1983 in Hartford, we won 4-2 and I was hooked ever since until they left and became the Canes who I despise. Then moved here and became a diehard Thrasher fan since there very first game.

Buzilla in CT

August 3rd, 2009
4:54 pm

Rusty

August 3rd, 2009
4:58 pm

Same thing at my house, but involved my youngest daughter. Don’t remember who we played, but two players skated out for the first puck drop and gloves dropped instead. While they pummeled each other, my then 8-year old daughter was crying, “Daddy, Daddy, what are they doing??!!!??? Somebody better stop them!!!!” By third period, she was in her seat screaming “Kill him!!!” during the next fight. Now, my girls (and both boys) will drop the gloves for Thrashers tix…not just for the fights – that’s like going to NASCAR just for the wrecks…but a good smash up does give an extra dose of excitement.

h

August 3rd, 2009
5:01 pm

I found this interesting from The Fourth Period…..

Thrashers still looking for upgrades
TheFourthPeriod.com

Despite two major additions so far this summer, the Atlanta Thrashers would like to add another body or two to their lineup before the start of training camp. Last month, the Thrashers acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina from the Toronto Maple Leafs and signed unrestricted free agent forward Nik Antropov.

Thrashers GM Don Waddell is hoping to sign at least one more free agent, preferably a solid two-way forward. The Thrashers pitched an offer to center Manny Malhotra last month. While he continues to review all of his options, it’s uncertain when the 29-year-old will make a decision.

Waddell would like to add another top-six forward, however he’s likely to wait until after training camp next month. Rookies Evander Kane and Angelo Esposito will be given a shot to make the roster, and if they do, the Thrashers’ external search will be placed on hold.

The Thrashers are also still quietly shopping goalies Kari Lehtonen and Ondrej Pavelec.

Alan

August 3rd, 2009
5:30 pm

Rumors, conjecture, and things completely made up. The things that drive me crazy in the middle of a Hockey Dead Zone (aka “August”).

October seriously can’t get here quick enough.

ben

August 3rd, 2009
6:22 pm

glad to read of kari’s depature and another forward to be added. I feel like this team shall be sold soon. As we have parsed 1 billion times, ASG has no interest in running the hockey side.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 3rd, 2009
7:41 pm

lee

August 3rd, 2009
8:18 pm

oh, u guys should read this article. its about a dude named ryan kraft, just an ordinary hockey dude that got to expeirence the whole stanley cup on ice and in the the locker room. see how this sneaky guy did it on yahoo under the sports section

World Be Free

August 3rd, 2009
8:55 pm

All you people dissed me in early July when I was asking for another UFA signing after getting Kubina and Andropov. Back then, I felt we needed more veteran help. Sounds like Don and Duds feel the same way and that’s a good thing.

There’s still good forwards to be had out there. Let’s hope we get one. The tide is turning in Atlanta, from perpetual loser to a respectible franchise.

And the day Kovy signs a new deal, it will be one big “effin” party!

World Be Free

August 3rd, 2009
8:59 pm

Another day without a Malholtra decision. If this guys signs here, I will start the Anti-Manny Fan Club. Make him earn my cheers.

Tony C.

August 3rd, 2009
9:03 pm

Yeah, and I was all for the guy except the part where he lifted(!) The Cup. You do not do that. It is a privilege that should left for the people who bled, broke,bruised,ruptured, etc. their bodies/minds/marriages/bank accounts for that singular right.

Other than that, color me jealous, I mean who wouldn’t want SuperMario to bear-hug you, slam some champagne and then give you an autographed bottle?

Sounds like dude could’ve/should’ve maybe made his way over to NHL security operations first and gotten himself a nice check for his work as a “consultant” for finding the holes in their defense.

I wonder how many people lost their job over this?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/How-a-Penguins-fan-crashed-the-Stanley-Cup-party?urn=nhl,180369

Brendan

August 3rd, 2009
9:42 pm

I think Cheveldayoff sensed, with the arrival of Associate GM Rick Dudley, that he wasn’t going to get his chance here, even if Waddell were canned. But, in total seriousness, is Chevaldayoff any closer to becoming an NHL GM in Chicago? With the Bowmans in collusion with each other? I suppose one can make the argument … “But what IFFF the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in the next few seasons. Won’t Cheveldayoff receive some ‘trickle down’ accolades for that?” Well, let’s examine that a bit. What, PRECISELY, has Kevin Cheveldayoff done to build the Championship roster of the Chicago Blackhawks? As yet, absolutely nothing. Will he really get the chance? I guess … he’ll get the chance to sign some bottom six ‘maintenance contracts,’ and make qualifying offers, I suppose, down the road. With oversight from the Bowmans. And when that happens, I suppose one can argue that the Bowmans ‘mentored’ him.

Won’t Cheveldayoff also get credit for the two IHL and two AHL titles, or whatever his track record is? Well, yes. He’ll certainly get some credit for that. But let’s not forget … that Don Waddell very much assisted the minor league successes that have occurred. Waddell’s the one who goes out and signs minor leaguers and stashes them in Chicago. He even makes trade deadline deals to help out Cheveldayoff in Chicago. And let’s not also forget, that when a team finishes in the bottom third of a Conference seven years out of nine, that each round of drafting is at the high end. And that those draft picks, if signed, wind up in the ECHL and AHL, down the road.

To be clear, I’m not saying Kevin Cheveldayoff sucks. He doesn’t suck. But he’s also had a lot of perks and benefits, in terms of his GM history in the minors. He seems like a good guy. And he seems to have an excellent rapport with Don Waddell. That being said, Waddell didn’t promote Chevaldayoff to ASSOCIATE GM. Instead, he picked his close, personal friend, Rick Dudley.

To be even clearer, I don’t think anything ’sinister’ just happened. I’m kind of sad to see Cheveldayoff escape to another organization. Especially since he was so very familiar with the Thrasher draft picks. But I’m also happy for him. Hey, he doesn’t even have to relocate his family! One of the hardest things a Dad has to do … is decide to uproot the family, that is happy where they are, to pursue a promotion.

gcs

August 4th, 2009
12:06 am

Who are all these nobodys the Thrashers are signing?
Where is Kovy’s linemate, darnit!!

.

Sara

August 4th, 2009
12:16 am

Since we’re story sharing…my first live game was actually at the Joe in April 1999. Beat the ever-loving snot out of the Canucks 7-1. Messier was scratched that game so that was a small bit of a bummer but watching Stevie Y and the rest of the Wings live more than made up for it. We had SRO tickets about halfway between center ice and the goal. It was so surreal to be in that arena and loud as dickens. I remember watching a Championship video after the ‘98 Cup win and there was this dude who would walk down the aisle giving people high-fives. Sure enough, before the game even started, there he was giving everyone a high-five to get it all started. Some people filtered out with about 10 minutes to go and the usher came over and took me down to a lower bowl seat for the rest of the game. It was kinda obvious that I wasn’t from around there since I was wearing my Thrashers jersey. We had been awarded the franchise already and since I didn’t have a Wings jersey at the time, I wore that one. Lots of people pointed to it and made comments about the new team (none derogatory for the record). At one point, this guy came up to me with his son who was maybe 5 or 6. He wanted him to see my jersey and explained to his boy how this was going to be the new team in the League. All in all an awesome experience.

In terms of games with my girls I’d say it’s a toss-up. They came to a game season before last and got their faces painted, with my youngest going for the full-on blueface. They wanted to put a number on one cheek and arbitrarily picked #18. So I had to explain who wore number #18 and thus began their love affair with Hossa which continues to this day. Which brings me to the second game – which was the Thrashers-Red Wings game last season. They’d been wanting to see the Wings for a long time and of course they hadn’t been here in a while. Given that Hossa was now on the team, missing the Wings game was out of the question. Then some teenager sits behind us and he’s wearing a T-shirt that says “Hossa sucks.” Well, needless to say my oldest took major exception to that and spent the entire game yelling back at the guy about how Hossa rocked. They were so hyped that whole game just cheering for everything and everybody.

Course, how I’m going to survive having two Blackhawks fans in the house now remains to be seen. Though anything is better than the Penguins stage – that one was by far the worst.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
1:58 am

Sara – Since you have girls, at least you don’t have to worry about Cindy Crotchby ever hitting on them.

DWTOO

August 4th, 2009
7:41 am

Glovesave 29 – Was there the night Claude the Mad Trumpeter smashed the glass. Thought to guy had done himself in.

My buddy and I used to bench jockey Colin Chin of the Komets from behind the penalty box all season. That night was nothing different, except we were up high. After the game we noticed some Komet fans and went to talk with them. Turns out one of the men was Chin’s father. We could’ve crawled under the seats. Mr. Chin was most gracious – he said that was part of the game and that meant his son had to be doing something good.

Sara

August 4th, 2009
8:14 am

Stroz – HAHA in more ways than one right? Besides, they have better taste than that – the oldest has a crush on Bogosian.

Thrasher Blue

August 4th, 2009
8:46 am

Best moment in Thrasher history….Beating the Russians in Lake Placid..1980!!!

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
10:13 am

Glovesave29, yeah I know that. I have pointed that out to others, I just had a lapse there. Although don’t count on that rule changing anytime soon or at the next collective bargaining agreement. A lot of those junior leagues survive by having a Postma or Esposito 1 extra year. And there is no way Canada (which let’s face it, they are the main breeding ground for NA players, not the US colleges) is going to hurt their own system.

Brendan, I think you made a great point which I said just now on Viv’s blog. Aren’t all the good players on the Wolves being brought in by Waddell? So Cheveldayoff isn’t exactly the architect of those championship teams. However, everyone has to start somewhere, and the path to your first GM job is usually Asst. GM job. So even if he spends 1 or 2 years there and Chicago has another conf finals run, then all those championships with the Wolves, that makes for a nice looking resume. Now all of a sudden he is the leading candidate to replace Garth Snow or take a GM job in Phoenix in a year or two.

My first game, it was a loss to the Islanders and World Be Free, Pam on Weck, I sat in the blues. Once I got to high school I had a friend with season tickets in the lower golds, caught a puck at one game in late Dec, next game I went to was in Mar and caught a puck there as well. So it was back-to-back games I went to that I came home with a puck. Actually the first one I had to wrestle it away from the guy next to me because it landed in the seats behind us.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
10:35 am

Sara – Yes, the double entendre was intentional.

MashaPlayer7

August 4th, 2009
10:36 am

Gosh everyone – let’s stop villifying players who haven’t signed with us now or soon. Most of these media stories are speculation or completely made-up. There has not been a single valid source that even suggests that Maholtra was even given an offer by the Thrashers.

Glovesave29

August 4th, 2009
10:37 am

Earl – the NHL is paying these guys millions of dollars, and it is for the benefit of that player and the team that owns his rights that the CHL(OHL, QMJHL and WHL) has developed to have them move on to the next level. The SPHL, EPHL, CHL and the ECHL are below the caliber of the CHL, but the AHL is not. There is good hockey there, and a player like Evander Kane would do well to spend time there as opposed to being back in Vancouver with the Giants. Fans of junior and minor league teams understand their lot in life, to develop talent. They are often quite happy to see their stars move on and succeed at the NHL level. If the Thrashers are signing his paycheck, they should be allowed to send him wherever the deem fit to further develop his talents. Is he going to learn more in the WHL? Of course not. He’s already proven himself there as witnessed by his high draft selection. Give him 30-40 games in Chicago, then bring him up for a few just prior to the Olympic break to see how he will do.

DWTOO – thanks, couldn’t remember the guys name. I thought he was in trouble too when the glass gave way and he landed on his neck like he did. We sat in those little corner overhangs the Omni had, so this happened right across from us.

Glovesave29

August 4th, 2009
10:45 am

Y’know, with all of this poaching by the KHL, and their apparent distain for the player already under contract in the NHL, I am going to laugh when the NHL pulls its affiliation with the Olympics and doesn’t allow their pros for the 2014 games in Sochi. Bettman is going to have the last laugh here.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
10:53 am

Glovesave29, first off there is nothing stopping the Thrashers from bringing up Zach Bogosian the way they did. But, you are making a case based on one or two players like Evander Kane. How well would Evander have developed last year if he was not playing in the juniors against Tyler Myers, a 19 year old kid who was not good enough to make the NHL right out of the draft, but was the MVP ahead of Kane? If Kane is not playing against all those other 19 years old defensemen in the league like Tyler Myers and Paul Postma then his growth can actually be stunted by that new rule, not improved. Beating up only 16 and 17 year olds instead of playing against more 18 and 19 year olds is going to make the NHL draft an even bigger crapshoot than it already is and that’s not a good thing.

Ecklund

August 4th, 2009
11:06 am

Help me make up some rumors, I need some new crap to post.

Thrasher Blue

August 4th, 2009
11:25 am

rumor # 1, Jessica Simpson was seen at Atl. nite club with Bogo.

Toby

August 4th, 2009
11:43 am

I may be wrong here, but I believe Zherdev becomes available in 20 minutes. I hope we grab him if that’s the case…

Ecklund

August 4th, 2009
11:46 am

That would give a completely new connotation to BOGO, wouldn’t it?

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
11:50 am

Toby – That would be interesting. The main knocks on Zherdev are grit and consistency.

I hope Wadley is talking to Antropov and Kovy about Zherdev.

J.B.

August 4th, 2009
11:52 am

i was hoping the same thing stroz…

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
12:12 pm

Earl of Bud, Pam and the rest.

My first NHL game was in 1970, Buffalo Sabres vs. the California Golden Seals in Memorial aud BEFORE the balcony was added! I sat in the Gray section, wooden seats above the old blue wooden seats (from 1940), 3 rows from the top. GWG by Captain Floyd Smith.

First Thrashers game was the tie with Buffalo in the first season, the Thrashers first point. Hasek was actually chased from that game. It was a great time.

Russian

August 4th, 2009
12:21 pm

Toby

August 4th, 2009
12:25 pm

Only problem is Zherdev is now an UFA. Rumor is he is either going to get $4.5-ish or head to the KHL. That’s probably more coin than Dub is able to spend.

Alan

August 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

Toby: What Kovalchuk wants, Kovalchuk gets. The owners said they’re committed to keeping Kovalchuk here. So if Kovalchuk says “I want Zherdev” …well, you know.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
12:39 pm

Zherdev is a fine talent, I hope he gets talked to if he becomes available.

Isn’t Backman still available too? He’s another player I wouldn’t mind hearing Atlanta rumors about.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
12:46 pm

Tyler Myers is too skinny. Sabres need to take him over to the Polish Villa and feed him some Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage) Potato and Cheese Pierogi.

Russian, sorry to disagree, but Zherdev not Brian Burke’s kinda players. The only reason Burke would sign him is so he would have a punching bag for the rest of his goons to beat up during training camp.

Russian

August 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

[b]to WBF[/b]
I will be happy if Burke will not take him. Zherdev played with Kovy on Last World Championship. He got a Gold Medal.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
12:54 pm

MashaPlayer7-I will offer my full assessment of the Malholtra situation when more facts have been put on the table. as I have stated before, IF a contract offer has been made a commitment should have been rendered by this time.

PL

August 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

My daughter attended a game with a Canadian friend and sat somewhere in the 400’s. She loved it so I promised another game “next year”. As luck would have it “next year” was the lock out. I thought she would never remember wanting to attend. Then the next season the Thrashers offered a free ticket to a game for completing the summer reading program at the Cobb County Public Library. We took them up on the offer and the rest is history, we’ve been partial season ticket holders ever since. She can now yell at the refs, linemen, and opposing players in Russian, Swedish, Finnish, German and Spanish and I believe Elvish. I will miss our mother daughter trips to hockey games this year as she turned down a full scholarship to a southern school in order to go to a Minn. college with a hockey team.

LAC

August 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

Rangers walk away from Zherdev arbitration award… Well do we or don’t we ?????????

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
1:02 pm

World Be Free, I actually know some folks that have some oranges and blues now that the building is torn down. I liked your recommendation for Myers too, dziękuję.

Zherdev is not Burke’s kind of player and I really don’t think he is Kovalchuk’s kind of player either. Look at how Kovalchuk lays his heart out on the ice. Do you really think he will want the Zherdevs, Kovalevs and Yashins that have come from the mother country?

ranallo10 (in AT), Backman is available but I see no use for him hear. Backes on the other hand I would love, is that who you are thinking of? Who would you cut to make room for Backman?

Rawhide

August 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

PL – That’s beautiful! best of luck to her at school! Ya know, it is sometimes hard for me to come to grips with the fact that my oldest will be college bound this time next year…knocking wood

LAC – Interesting. It would depend on the price, I guess.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
1:09 pm

Does anyone know who Zherdev’s agent is?

Russian

August 4th, 2009
1:12 pm

Zherdev is very good player. Kovy will like to play with him. Columbus Coach (Hichcok, I hope spell right) is not like any Russians. I do not know WHY? He never gave Fedorov time to play, Zherdev was in same situation. Now they got Filatov and he is not on Final Roster yet. Anyway, then Nik has been moved to NYR he played in 2-3 line. NYR has lot of “Stars” and he could not show up very well. He will be very comfortable in our team. He knows Kovy, plus he played with Antropov in NYR. I think if Don will pick up a phone and give him a call and tell him $4 by 4 ($4 mln on 4 years) Zherdev will play for us.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
1:26 pm

Russian/LAC
There’s the tempation to take a flier on Zherdev becuase of his talent. Do the Thrashers? I hate to say it, but I would leave part of the decision to Kovy.

Why? Nobody has been able to motivate “Z” into being an all around player. But maybe Kovy and his relationship with Zherdev can get him to an all around game?

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

Here’s another way to look at the idea of signing Zherdev…does signing a player like Zherdev help the team in the unfortunate event that Kovalchuk does NOT re-sign in Atlanta?

I would argue he does. Zherdev-Peverley-Antropov and Kane-White-Little is not exactly a formidable top 2 lines, but is an improvement over the possibility that Kane is left as the franchise’s #1 LW if Kovalchuk doesn’t re-sign.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
1:34 pm

Russian, I would not blame the lack of playing time in Columbus for Zherdev on Ken Hitchcock and what you perceive to be a bias against Russians. I say that because of this quote on his release today from the Rangers: “Zherdev’s season was marked by intermittent stretches of indifference that earned benchings from both Tom Renney and John Tortorella, head coaches of disparate approaches and personalities who both were frustrated by the winger’s failure to compete on a consistent basis.

Hitchcock, Renny, Tortorella. Every NHL coach Zherdev has had has benched him for his lack of effort. Do we really want to add Anderson’s name to that list?

As for your reference to Zherdev winning a gold medal, keep this in mind. Russia released its Olympic camp roster today. It will have 19 forwards competing for a spot. None of them are named Zherdev.

LAC

August 4th, 2009
1:39 pm

Another interesting tidbit from today…

The Chicago Blackhawks have named Kevin Cheveldayoff as their new assistant general manager.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
1:44 pm

WBF — Backman is who I was talking about. He would add size to the back line (6′4 210), is a defensive minded defender, and is still relatively young (29). I envision him as a third pairing defender for Atlanta, which would leave the 6/7 slot for open competition between Salmella (likely 6th)and Valabik/Oystrick/Welch.

Upon Kubina’s imminent departure I see Backman as a serviceable #4 defender that could pair with Hainsey, opening a defensive spot for Valabik/Oystrick/Kulda/Postma full time.

I’m not against the defense as it stands now, but I don’t see Salmella on the same level as many posters here seem to. In my opinion any improvement to the defense is welcome, so long as the age and dollars are right. But I’m not opposed to seeing a prospect learn the hard way at the NHL level as the team’s #6 defender.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
1:46 pm

LAC — Check the 7:41pm post.

Russian

August 4th, 2009
1:47 pm

[b]to ranallo[/b]
That is excately right. If Kovy will go away from Atlanta. We will get two solid line. Excellent Thinking. :-)

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

WBF — Backman is who I was talking about. He would add size to the back line (6′4 210), is a defensive minded defender, and is still relatively young (29). I envision him as a third pairing defender for Atlanta, which would leave the 6/7 slot for open competition between Salmella (likely 6th)and Valabik/Oystrick/Welch.

ranallo10 (in AT), that was actually me who asked you. I know, you can’t tell the WNY guys apart. Either way, we would have 3 guys (Oystrick, Valabik, now Backman) competing for that last spot not to mention Kulda and Postma still waiting to come up. I just think we would have a glut of bottom pairing defensemen that we already have enough of. Also, if Salmela is your #6, then who do you have as #5? I have him as #5 and Oystrick/Valabik as the #6/7 depending on the night.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
2:03 pm

So the real question is whether Zherdev is another Yashin or a kid that needs the right motivation.

Hartley benched Kovy a few times to learn lessons as well.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
2:08 pm

R. Stroz, when Kovy got benched it was for parts of 1 game. Zherdev on the other hand has been demoted down a line or benched for stretches of games. Again, he wasn’t even one of the 19 forwards invited to Russia’s Olympic camp, so they are not so high on him anymore either.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
2:12 pm

R. Stroz, I also think it is crazy to draw an analogy between Zherdev and Kovalchuk. If Kovalchuk doesn’t get offered a contract, do you think the day he becomes an UFA there are going to be stories in the paper about how Hartley benched him?

Thrasher blue

August 4th, 2009
2:14 pm

WBF::::: Mary Tyler Myers is too skinny, but Ed Asner still had a thing for her. Dick Van Dyke loved her too.

Russian

August 4th, 2009
2:23 pm

**to The Earl of Bud**
Zherdev is not on Olimpic Team, because he does not have contract with team. Do you think Crazy Max better that Zherdev?

Sara

August 4th, 2009
2:33 pm

Glovesave there isn’t a chance in Hades that the NHL won’t allow participation in the 2014 Olympics – not unless Bettman’s prepared to watch Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Malkin, and a whole host of others defect back to Russia. It’s been made quite clear that they WILL be playing in Sochi regardless of what the League or anyone associated with it thinks.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
2:37 pm

Russian, where is it that you must have an NHL contract to be invited to camp? If so, how does Nikulin get on the team? Just look at the reaction of fans in NY now that Zherdev is leaving. They aren’t upset that he is gone, they are upset that they gave up Fedor Tyutin in order to get him.

J.B.

August 4th, 2009
2:48 pm

Earl, I don’t know if there’s a rule that you have to have a contract to get an olympic invite, but i believe Ilya Nikulin is under contract to play for Ak Bars Kazan right now.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
2:54 pm

EOB — New York fans are not exactly known for their logical reasons for loving/hating a player.

To answer your question, Backman is better than Salmella, thus would push him to #6 in my opinion. I’m not sold on Salmella but I assume his new contract gets him penciled into the starting lineup. Without Backman I am guessing the top 7 is:
Enstrom – Bogosian
Hainsey – Kubina
Salmella – Valabik
Oystrick

I guess I should go ahead and say it now (so a specific someone doesn’t attempt to throw it back at me in 8 months) that I don’t believe Atlanta will sign Backman or Zherdev. I consider them to be done for the offseason, and would be surprised if any more acquisitions happen. However, if either of those players were signed I’d be pleasantly surprised. Same with Marcel Goc.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
3:05 pm

EOB – The only comparison I was making was to point out that Kovy and Zherdev have both been benched for lazy and/or stupid play.

Hartley benched Kovy numerous times to make a point about defensive responsibility and two way play. It worked.

Anderson had Kovy playing with third liners last year. It didn’t work.

Zherdev has issues, no doubt. The question is whether those issues can be corrected through coaching and maturity. It took several years to teach Kovy the importance of two way play, and, at times, he still has a propensity to cherry pick.

Has Zherdev shown any proof that he has the talent of Kovy? No. Then again, if Zherdev did have Kovy numbers, Zherdev’s next contract wouldn’t be around 4 million/year would it?

At the end of day, the major deciding factor is whether Kovy thinks he can instill a better work ethic in Zherdev.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
3:06 pm

ranallo10 (in AT), I actually liked what I saw of Salmela. He was a little physical but was able to carry the puck well and I think that is good for Anderson. But I wouldn’t throw it back at you in 8 months if we didn’t sign Backman.

I would give up on Goc now. Considering that SJ is the only team left in the Heatley options, they would have to give up Marleau at this point. Add in that Roenick will retire, they are going to hold onto their remaining centers.

Thrasher blue

August 4th, 2009
3:08 pm

do not like the Salmella -Valabik line….Valabik is a big wuss, can’t pass, takes alot of pentalties, altho some penalties are just a product of his inexperience(no love from refs) and size. I liked what I saw of Salmella, but I feel he needs a veteran. Just an opinion, please don’t beat me up with stats. haha

J.B.

August 4th, 2009
3:11 pm

Stroz, just read Rolland Hedges is Zherdev’s agent.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

R. Stroz, Zherdev has already played for 2 Stanley Cup winning coaches and both of them don’t think he can change his ways. Please don’t make any comparisons of that to Kovalchuk getting a lesson from Hartley and Kovalchuk actually busting his @ss and earning the captaincy of this team.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
3:18 pm

EOB – A little testy today. So you’re saying a leopard can’t change its spots?

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
3:19 pm

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 4th, 2009
3:23 pm

EOB — Goc has already been let go by San Jose. He’s a UFA.

Zherdev is still only 24…he’s got PLENTY of time to mature as a player.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
3:45 pm

R. Stroz, not a little testy, just a little rational. To compare Zherdev’s effort after being put on the trading block by his first team and then not even resigned by the next to Ilya Kovalchuk’s effort who is all-everything on his team is beyond comprehension. I’m just asking, please don’t compare the effort of those two players as if they were both benched in the same manner.

ranallo10 (in AT), I know he was a RFA, but has he already gone through the whole arbitration/release bit? I haven’t been following him so you tell me, but I thought he was still a RFA at this point. Even though a player has plenty of time to mature does not mean we throw a wad of money at him to pout on the bench.

“**to The Earl of Bud**
Zherdev is not on Olimpic Team, because he does not have contract with team. Do you think Crazy Max better that Zherdev?

Russian, I don’t know how I didn’t catch this earlier, but you said that Zherdev was not invited to the Olympic camp because he doesn’t have a contract. Then you made reference to Afinogenov getting invited. But Afinogenov doesn’t have a contract either, but he still got invited. So clearly the Russian Olympic committee is not at all pleased with Zherdev and it has nothing to do with his lack of NHL contract. The same applies for Sergei Zubov who doesn’t have a contract but was invited to the Russian Olympic camp.

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

Coaches hate Zherdev because he refuses to play a two-way game… that’s where he gets the “lazy” moniker… you can’t put 219 shots on net and be “lazy”.

I’d give him a shot in our system… we already don’t play defense… might as well counter those 274 Goals Against with an extra 219 shots on net.

R. Stroz

August 4th, 2009
3:57 pm

EOB – As neither you nor I are the Thrashers GM, we have NO input on the Zherdev decision.

However, in order to be rational, I will once again restate my earlier thesis:

At the end of day, the major deciding factor is whether Kovy thinks he can instill a better work ethic in Zherdev, as Kovy has more input into the Zherdev decision than either you or I do.

A leopard can’t change it’s spots any more than a Ti-Cat can change it’s stripes; however, their hunting habits can change based on different environments.

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
4:00 pm

GaVaHokie, here’s how Zherdev was described – “He barely competed for the puck, rarely went to the front, and hardly ever seemed hungry enough to score that he’d give up his body to drive to the net.” I think the “lazy” moniker is not just due to his refusal to play a two-way game.

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
4:01 pm

Here’s something I found from 2004… there could be some Kovalchuk admiration there.

Other Russian players like Kovalchuk and Sergei Federov marvel out loud about Zherdev’s eye popping talent and vision on the ice.

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/fivehole022604.html

Toby

August 4th, 2009
4:06 pm

Looks like our old friend Ken Klee retired.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=669718

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
4:10 pm

R. Stroz, I’ll give you that Kovalchuk can be a big swing factor here, but just like none of us are GM, none of us know what Kovalchuk thinks of the guy right now circa 2009. As for the change of environment, that didn’t seem to help much when he went from Columbus to NY.

GaVaHokie, no one doubts that Zherdev has talent. Just like no one doubts Kovalev had talent. It’s heart that makes us want to avoid the guy. On a parallel, does anyone doubt that Lehtonen has talent? No. But because he keeps getting injured is the reason we want to see us trade him, not because of the talent that he has. So talent alone is not the key indicator that makes us for or against picking up a free agent.

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
4:16 pm

EOB… I hear ya… he’s an opportunist… Time & Space… Hands & Feet. That’s the game you get from Zherdev. He’s NOT going to fight for the puck.

But I can watch this clip and it looks like carbon copies of Thrasher goals… one more guy who can take the puck end-to-end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyoriKeZbyk

Alan

August 4th, 2009
4:18 pm

As for the change of environment, that didn’t seem to help much when he went from Columbus to NY.

He went from a team whose coach (Hitchcock) treated him like garbage, to a team whose new coach (Torts) treated him like garbage. Yet you sit here and marvel at how he isn’t excelling.

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

Earl… I agree on the “heart” issue, but that’s the benefit of him being a UFA now… he can go wherever his “heart” takes him.

… let it be here. :)

Alan

August 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

Another day, another blog purgatory post.

LAC

August 4th, 2009
4:34 pm

Well ranallo10/11/52 or whatever, I don’t go over every post,no time, so I guess you now have your Jolly Moment for the day when you… TRY to point out how superior you are…. NOT !

Thrasher blue

August 4th, 2009
4:34 pm

Zherdev, 24, can score…lots of upside. How is Kovy coming along with his 2 way play? Getting better with age?? I agree with Ranallo(10)

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
4:51 pm

The Rangers are insane… sorry, I’ll take this guy on my team any day. Ales Kotalik is not equal to Nik Zherdev… good luck getting Gaborik to play 82 games for you and at twice the money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrbgFib7UAU&feature=related

The Earl of Bud

August 4th, 2009
4:55 pm

The Russian Olympic committee invited these guys ahead of Zherdev: Evgeny Artyukhin, Maxim Afinogenov, Konstantin Gorovikov, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev, Nikolai Kulemin, Alexei Morozov, Oleg Saprykin, Alexei Tereschenko. Not exactly a who’s who of players you wish would come to your club this offseason, yet they all got invited to the Russian Olympic camp while Zherdev didn’t.

“He went from a team whose coach (Hitchcock) treated him like garbage, to a team whose new coach (Torts) treated him like garbage. Yet you sit here and marvel at how he isn’t excelling.

Alan, Tom Renney had a reputation of being soft on players, part of the reason folks felt they needed a 180 degree turn and went to Torts. But yet Zherdev was in the doghouse under Renney.

Alan

August 4th, 2009
5:04 pm

But yet Zherdev was in the doghouse under Renney.

Zherdev played far better under Renney than he did under Torts. Unlike a lot of what you’ve said in this thread, that’s an actual fact.

Brendan

August 4th, 2009
5:55 pm

I would want us to talk to Nikki Zherdev. But I have heard reports that he’s something of a cancer in the lockerroom. That’s ‘hearsay.’ But this will be his 3rd team in HOW MANY seasons? To me, the issue is … does Kovalchuk want him? If yes, then I echo Alan’s sentiments. Get Kovy what he wants. The sooner Kovalchuk is re-signed, the sooner that distraction is avoided.

Tony C.

August 4th, 2009
6:12 pm

Also Zinovjiev, and Morozov are pretty damn good players. Just because they stay in Russia, don’t think they can’t play. In fact #17 practically begged for Zinovjiev to be signed last year-he’s the pivot on #17’s line on the national team-career numbers go like this:
416 GP (SuperLeague & KHL Combined)
G 101
A 169
Pts. 270

Not bad for an also-ran. Also you look at where his teams finished, and the guy’s a winner. I don’t know how you feel about stoners, but that’s really the only negative I see with the guy (got suspended from National team for pot use a few years ago). Anyway, he’s not coming here because he just signed a 5-year contract… but my point being-just because MOST of the best in the world play in the NHL doesn’t mean ALL do.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
6:43 pm

Ranallo-I like Backman, surprised that nobody has signed him yet. He may also be pulling a “Manny” by fielding several offers and picking the best. Still a fair number serviceable players out there.

I don’t understand Detroit signing Delmore and Eaves.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
6:53 pm

Thrasher Blue-the Myers is 6′8″ around 220#, hence the need to get him to my favorite Polish pub in western NY-the Polish Villa. Great Polish Food.

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
6:54 pm

Russia naturally, and foolishly, will want to spotlight their KHL players, so I expect a few NHL guys to get the shaft. Guys like Artyukin are depth players… Zherdev wouldn’t get much ice time ahead of Kovy, Ovechkin, Semin, Datysuk, Morozov, Tereschenko, etc… same reason why a guy like Armstrong would make Canada over someone like Spezza.

Sorry for Russia too… their insane… Zherdev should have been invited to camp. But, they’ll have plenty of goal-scoring… defense will be their issue. ;)

GaVaHokie

August 4th, 2009
7:00 pm

I’ve seen a lot of NY and Columbus fans bashing Christian Backman… I’m not sure why. He could be like Andy Sutton or Greg DeVries was for us… he’s a guy that looks good on paper until you watch him 82 games a year. The kind of guy you look at a stat sheet and say “well, he blocked 110 shots, and was plus 15. Why does he suck so bad?”

And if you watch Andy Sutton all year, you KNOW the reason is “he takes bad penalties with 2 minutes left in the game” and “he tries to poke check instead of using his body”.

World Be Free

August 4th, 2009
7:02 pm

The question of the day-

Zherdev is the topic of conversation for many today. So here’s the question-assuming both wanted to play for Atlanta and would sign in te near future, which would you take and why?

Malholtra or Zherdev?

1) Which player 2) and why (or suggest another player/why)

Brendan

August 4th, 2009
11:16 pm

WBF, my answer is Zherdev, provided Kovalchuk endorses him. If Kovy says, “You sign that guy, you’re not helping to keep me,” then I don’t. For me, with regard to signing UFA’s, three things principally interest me. 1) Why do you want to play for Atlanta? What are you expectations? 2) What is it going to cost? 3) What is the impact on my future cap situation?

If the player’s answers are, “I want to play someplace warm, where I’ll get a better opportunity to play more minutes. And I particularly want to tackle the challenge of a market that is trying to get back into the playoff picture,” then I like that answer. If the player says, “All I’m asking for, contractually, is my fair market value, and not more than that,” then I like that answer. And lastly, if my future caps are still manageable by signing this guy to 2, or 3, or 4 years … then I like that, too. But if the player’s answers are something like, “I’m looking to pad my stats on Kovy’s line for the next few years,” I’m less encouraged. And if the guy’s response to salary is, “I’m looking for the best pay day I can get; you offer me more … and I’ll play here,” then the guy’s interests are primarily financial, and not sayyyy, in the team’s best interest. And if that over-inflated UFA contract is going to be on my books for 4 seasons, I’m none too thrilled about that, either. Especially if Kovy walks, and that was the REASON the UFA agreed to sign here in the first place.

Brendan

August 4th, 2009
11:30 pm

Ahhh, Mandy. Or, as Barry Manilow might say, “Oh, Mandy!” Gosh, that’s a name from the past. Rightly or wrongly, Andy Sutton is sort of the “poster child” of what was wrong, during that era, for me. Personally. I’d also accept “Jaroslav Modry” as a potential poster child. Hard to believe Sutton played five (5) seasons with Atlanta, over a six-year span. I think we got Sutton in a trade. Hmmn. For whom? Uggh. I can’t remember. Was it Hnat Domenichelli?

Mr. Heat Miser

August 5th, 2009
12:04 am

My first NHL game was in the mid 70’s as a preteen – Flames vs. some other team I can’t remember. I do remember the ticket was around $4 and you could get a Chick-Fil-A Sandwich at the beloved Omni for 25 cents. You could hang banners as big as bedsheets from the upper level.

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
6:09 am

Brendan–We got Sutton from the Wild, but I can’t remember for whom. I like your criterion for Zherdev or any new player. One word to add is commitment-what is your commitment to the team.

Heat-Miser-like the $4 ticket thing! Can’t even get into a HS football game these days for under $7!

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
7:00 am

WBF — I understand where you’re going with your questioning, but I don’t see it the same way. If Kovalchuk doesn’t re-sign, who helps the Atlanta Thrashers more … Malhotra or Zherdev? If Kovalchuk’s re-signing was imminent, I would agree with you that Malhotra (or another defensively responsible player of his ilk) is more beneficial to the roster, but unfortunately the re-signing is not a foregone conclusion thus any acquisition has to keep in mind the long term benefits and not simply focus on the short term gains.

Thus, my vote goes to Zherdev…especially considering he can play both wings.

Hokie — You’re absolutely right, Backman could be the Sutton of the Blue Jackets or Rangers. I don’t know much about his game beyond what I’ve read, so he could be horrendous in the defensive zone, make untimely penalties (he averages in the 30s for PIM), or simply benefits statistically from his pairing or PP time. Frantisek Kaberle and Jaroslav Modry looked stupendous statistically when they played for Atlanta…but watching them play night in and night out made most Atlanta fans understand those stats were very misleading.

LAC — I love you too, Big Guy! How’re those eight companies of yours faring in this economic downturn?

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
8:25 am

ranallo… what makes me think of Andy Sutton was how excited Islander fans were when they signed him. Across all the message boards… “Can’t believe Atlanta didn’t want this guy. He’s big, he blocks shots”.

J.B.

August 5th, 2009
8:35 am

re: zherdev, another good person to consult with would be antropov since the Niks have played together on the rags much more recently than Kovy + either…

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
8:40 am

JB… agreed.

If Zherdev ends up on this team it will be because Antropov and Kovy vouched for him, and probably made some phone calls to coerce him to sign.

J.B.

August 5th, 2009
8:44 am

assuming waddudley is not out of touch on vacation somewhere and totally oblivious to this zherdev thing, i can’t imagine them not at least calling our russians (yes, i know antropov is from what is now khazakstan, but it was all the ussr when those guys were born) to get a feel and possibly our stupid ownership group to see if they’ll pony up the dough for Nik #2.

Thrasher blue

August 5th, 2009
8:45 am

NZ or MM?? Depends on what JA/Wadudley wants from a team stand point. I like scoring…period. Could you put those 2 (Kovy n NZ) on a line together??

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
8:53 am

Don’t forget that Hainsey also has some playing history with Zherdev, during their time in Columbus.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
9:13 am

ranallo… good point… so that’s three guys familiar with Zherdev’s play. That’s the definition of “plugging a guy” into your system.

He can immediately come in and play on a line with Kovalchuk and Antropov, with Hainsey and Kubina on Defense and there is instant familiarity.

R. Stroz

August 5th, 2009
9:28 am

Good point ranallo10, you get a gold star, smiley sticker, and a teacher from a Van Halen video.

Red Light

August 5th, 2009
9:41 am

I watched a lot of Zherdev last year. He came to NY with a reputation of being a one-way player and incessant drinker in Columbus. He clearly is not an 82-game player but over stretches can be an excellent addition on the offensive end. He actually battled pretty well for NY at times, but there is one similarity with both teams, neither have a top playmaking center. Examples: Gomez is 180-degree player going north-south all of the time, and Zherdev is an Eas-West guy, like so many Euro wingers. In actuality, Kovy and Gomez would be great together, but some guys can only play one style, like Zherdev. Other centers on NYR’s roster were Dubinsky, Betts and Drury, not exactly East-West playmaking types either. So, is there a center in Atlanta that Zherdev would benefit playing with? And, if you do sign him, he’s not going to be happy on the second or third line, and the last thing you need is a bad attitude.

That being said, I asked Rangers beat writer how Zherdev was getting along with the others in the room, and he told me that he was absolutely no problem and kept mostly to himself. Of course, his English isn’t too hot and the only other Russian on the team for most of the season last year was Kalinin.

Too risky!

Best memory for me in Atlanta was Opening Night 1999 when there was so much hope of things to come and actually being able to watch the NHL in Atlanta. In fact, each opening night of every season still offers hope.

“Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”
Ellis Boyd Redding, aka “Red”, The Shawshank Redemption

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
9:55 am

Ranallo-I should have qualified my questions better. The questions assume Kovy will resign with Atlanta long term.

Hope to have more input from my fellow bloggers. I thing these are important questions.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 5th, 2009
10:06 am

The teacher is nice but the gold star is really what makes my prizes so valuable. Thanks Stroz.

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
10:17 am

And how is it that anyone knows that Waddudley didn’t just get 2 nyets and a no from those 3 players that previously played with Zherdev? Do you think Waddudley would also consult say John Anderson? I don’t think he’s looking forward to Nik catching some Z’s here.

Keep in mind there’s also a lot of people who played in Atlanta with Bobby Holik, do you think every one of them is advising their GM to pick him up simply because they played together and there will be instant line chemistry? Don’t you think there’s some people who will say “Hell no!” Why wouldn’t you think Antro is possibly saying the same thing? Or would they say “Bobby Holik – 3 of us played with him so you would just be plugging him into our system!!!”

J.B.

August 5th, 2009
10:27 am

no one is saying waddudley didn’t get ‘nyets’ or ‘no’s’ on zherdev already. If they had and we knew about it, we wouldn’t be talking about it here. we don’t know whether calls will be, are being, or have been made nor do we know what kovy, antro, hainsey, or any other thrasher thinks of zherdev. that’s what makes it an intriguing discussion amongst us. i believe we’re in a unique situation here with waddudley wanting kovy’s input in the hopes of re-siging him; that’s how it differs from the holik example you mentioned. i do agree just playing with a couple of guys previously doesn’t make it a ‘plug and play’ scenario though.

TableHockey

August 5th, 2009
10:38 am

Since you guys brought up the teacher from Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher video – here’s a little trivia for you. The teacher in the video is Gretzky’s wife Janet-Marie Jones.

Keep that gem in your pocket – may save you during a trivia game one night.

Smoothie

August 5th, 2009
11:09 am

I would hope Waddudley is a little more pre-occupied with trying to re-sign IVK rather than waste their time trying to convince NZ to take $1 M less than what he was awarded in arbitration. Anyway, the pressure to sign Kovy just got a little more intense as the race to spend ASG dollars has ramped up a bit with the Hawks desire to extend Joe Johnson.

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
11:55 am

Stroz- Hot for Teacher?
Maybe the best music video of all item.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
11:58 am

Earl… like JB pointed out… that’s exactly the point.

That’s why I said if Zherdev is on the team, we’d have to assume he got a vote of confidence from Antro, Kovy and Hainsey.

I don’t expect him to be on the team otherwise.

Thrasher blue

August 5th, 2009
11:59 am

red light. Andy:That’s the beauty of hope. They can’t get that from you… Haven’t you ever felt that way about hope?

Thrasher blue

August 5th, 2009
12:00 pm

i replaced music with hope

Thrasher blue

August 5th, 2009
12:02 pm

my favorite memory….getting my Marian Hossa action figure. i shower with it regularly

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
12:31 pm

“Earl… like JB pointed out… that’s exactly the point.

That’s why I said if Zherdev is on the team, we’d have to assume he got a vote of confidence from Antro, Kovy and Hainsey.

I don’t expect him to be on the team otherwise.”

GaVaHokie, I see what you’re saying, but is there anything that would make you assume that? I don’t see any reason at all to make that assumption. Therefore I wouldn’t make any speculations that it would be good for Zherdev to join the team or Waddudley to make a pitch to him.

As Smoothie pointed out, keep in mind that this guy was seeking $4.75 mil and was awarded $3.9 mil. If we pick up someone after spending that money on Kubina & Antro, it is going to be in the $2 mil Malhotra range or $1+ mil Bertuzzi range. Not the $4+ mil range. That alone makes me think even moreso that there is no way he is coming here.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
12:51 pm

Sure… Waddell went to Kozlov for a “vote of confidence” on Zhitnik… I don’t think it’s far fetched to believe Donnie wouldn’t talk to Antro, Kovy and Hainsey about Zherdev. If those guys say “he’s lazy, stay away” then I’d expect Waddell to back off.

As far as salary and adding Zherdev versus Malhotra and Bertuzzi… I think Zherdev is one of those guys you “didn’t expect to be available”… or maybe Waddudley had the foresight to sit back on their heels and see how his arbitration panned out.

A guy who’s not worth an expensive trade, and you’re certainly not going to make a qualifying offer to a guy seeking $4.75 million, not unless you want to give up several 1st round picks to the Rangers.

… now that he’s available, no strings attached, I think you have to inquire about him.

Just my opinion… I’m hoping in one hand and crapping in the other. :)

R. Stroz

August 5th, 2009
12:52 pm

WBF – “Maybe the best music video of all item.”

I must agree, the memory of the video got you so excited you turned time into item or was that just a Freudian slip for your desire to have you and the teacher to be a hot item?

ranallo10 – Gold stars for you.

TableHockey – I learned something today, thank you.

I wonder if Rick Tocchet watched that Van Halen video? Ooh, la, la

Smoothie

August 5th, 2009
1:00 pm

http://thrashersrecaps.blogspot.com/2009/07/where-does-antropov-fit-in-team.html

Speaking of recently signed free-agents who cost $4 M / year, here is an interesting analysis by some guy who reviewed Antropov’s last 82 goals scored, ES and on the PP. Considering he took the time to do the research, I would say it’s more than worth the time to read what he has to say. Enjoy!

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

August 5th, 2009
1:07 pm

:!: RANALLO ALERT!! :!:

We are now on full RANALLO ALERT! This is not a drill.

Repeat….this is NOT a drill!!

New Rawhide blog has been posted.

Thank you

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
1:10 pm

GaVaHokie, I am doubtful the money is there for Zherdev. If we were able to spend the money to get $4 mil on Antro and $4 mil on Zherdev, I think Kovalchuk would’ve been more pleased combining that on $6+ mil on Cammalerri instead. Or do you think he wanted Antro so badly that he would’ve passed on Cammalleri?

The Earl of Bud

August 5th, 2009
1:14 pm

Smoothie, I just read that link of your’s. I think Antro will add the same thing to Kovalchuk’s line that Tkachuk added. Put Peverley out there to set them both up and it makes nice – One sniper, one banger and one passer.

GaVaHokie

August 5th, 2009
1:17 pm

I think he wanted Antro… and the fact he was cheaper, Waddell was more than happy to oblige.

Zherdev is a guy who’s ceiling is potentially worth double his asking price… a Waddell special… the trick is getting him to perform at a high level.

fes

August 5th, 2009
2:32 pm

Can someone please fix the headline on the thrashers page that reads Cherised Memory? I think you’re going for cherished…

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
6:24 pm

Saku Koivu would have cost $3.25 million, and not impacted our cap. Perhaps Kovy didn’t want him? Or, more than likely, Koivu wasn’t interested in Atlanta.

Brendan

August 5th, 2009
6:25 pm

I meant, next year’s Cap–the only for the 2010-2011 season. Hmmn, would you rather have Zherdev or Koivu, on a 1-year deal?

World Be Free

August 5th, 2009
8:02 pm

I asked the question-so let me provide my answer, Zherdev or Malhotra.

As much as I have dissed Manny, I would take him over NZ. Zherdev just has too many people down on him, in and out of the game. Malhotra plays both ends of the rink and you never have enough centers.