To Zherdev Or Not To Zherdev

The hot-button rumor topic surrounding the Atlanta Thrashers these days swirls around whether or not the team is pursuing one Mr. Nikolai Zherdev…the 6′-2″, 195 pound free agent forward who will turn 25-years only on November 5. And from these speculations rise from the mouths…or in this case, keyboards…of fans the burning question that asks, “Should the team actually take this course of action or not”.

Sparking a lot of this chatter has been this Zherdev quote last week reported in a Russian news source…

Would you like to see Nikolai Zherdev in a Thrashers uniform?

  • Yes! What an offense we would have (91%, 118 Votes)
  • No! Not a good fit (9%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 129

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“I have offers from few NHL teams but nothing has signed yet. I think I’ll find new team within 2-3 days. I would like to play for Thrashers because there are few Russian players there. I talked to Kovalchuk and he really wants to see me at the team. Probably I will sign one year deal with Atlanta”.

The link was forwarded to me by a contact I have over there and he verified the translation. So, obviously after reading a statement like that…people are gonna start talking.

After spending four seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he played last season for the Rangers. He has 99 goals and 140 assists in 365 total games and is a -46. 29 goals and 49 assists have come on the power play and he has one short-handed goal. He saw his highest point production during the 2007-08 season while play with the CBJs when he notched 25 goals and 61 points…22 of those points coming while on the man advantage.

Earlier in the summer he was awarded a $3.9 million deal during arbitration…and the Rangers decided to pass.

Now then…obviously the first question regarding bringing him in or not is, “Would he help the team”? Personally, I think the answer to that question is…yes. I would probably even make that…Oh-Hay-ELL YES if certain rumblings are true that Ilya Kovalchuk is lobbying for his services.

The next question would then be, “What would that do to the lineups”? Needless to say he is going to be on the top-two lines… quite possibly even creating a first line centered by Antropov with Kovy and Zherdev on either side. However, I don’t know if I’m a big fan of that thought as it seems better to have Antropov on the right boards instead of in the middle. Regardless…and assuming a White-Kozlov-Little second line…then what becomes of Peverley?

Either way you line ‘em up, though…someone gets pushed to the third line. If it’s not Peverley, then is it White…or Kozlov? It certainly isn’t going to be Little or Antropov. But let’s be honest here… in the big scheme of things, I just don’t think having to make such a decision would be a bad problem for John Anderson to have.

The biggest knock that I’ve heard regarding Zherdev is that he tends to pull a “Casper” or a “Houdini”…or some might even say a “Hossa”… during big games. For example, he went pointless in the seven-game series versus the Caps last April in the opening round of the playoffs. Zero goals, Zero assists, -3 with 12 shots on goals…one-fourth of those dozen coming in game six alone.

Rumor has it the Thrashers are interested in Nikolai Zherdev not Backstrom

Lots of chatter surrounding the Thrashers' possible interest in Nikolai Zherdev, seen here in action against Niklas Backstrom of the Wild (AP photo/Frank Franklin)

Price? Well, the Thrashers have the cap room to bring him in…which would probably cost closer to the arbiter’s $3.9 mil than the two and a half he earned last year. To this question of actual cost, the Falconer has opined, “Can the Thrashers afford Zherdev“.

The Thrashers can indeed afford him…the question is do they want to budget for him? And by “they”, of course, I mean ownership.

As we are now just days away from the start of training camp and but a week and a day from the first preseason game…yeah, I know…one has to figure that something is going to happen soon…if it’s actually going to happen at all.

With all that that said, I officially toss the issue out to you…YES or NO on Zherdev. And if you vote in the affirmative, tell me what you would like to see in the way of lineups.

203 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

September 9th, 2009
1:24 pm

FIRST, OR GOLD

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

Nice Bill, no ranallo alert this time? Trix still on vacay? Slacker.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

Since Kovy WANTS him, that’s the operative thing, Rawhide. So, I’d say YES, since that’s delivering a SPECIFIC player acquisition in the attempt to re-sign him. With Zherdev onboard, I’d place him on the top line, with Kovalchuk, centered by Bryan Little. I’d move Peverley to the 3rd line, keeping White as the pivot for the second line, between Kozlov and Antropov. If that doesn’t work, I’d swap out Todd White for the Pevs dispenser.

The fourth line probably stays Boulton, Slater, Thorburn. And it’d be Reasoner, Peverley and maybe Kane or Crabb on the 3rd line. I’d prefer not to have Kane playing on the 3rd line, since that’s not properly developing him for his future role, as a “Top Six” forward. Also, Kane won’t possible win the Calder Trophy playing 3rd line minutes. I’d rather see the 18-year old back in Juniors for a year. It won’t be the end of the world.

I’ve had people ask, “Why not experiment with Kozlov on the 3rd line, with Kane on the second?” I don’t know. Maybe. But it doesn’t feel right. Kozlov, centered by Reasoner, with the Pevs dispenser on the other wing would make our 3rd line more potent. My bottom line is this: I trust John Anderson to find the combinations that would work best. If Zherdev is here, and WE HOPE TO KEEP HIM, the best way to do that … is to bump Antropov to the 2nd line and give Nikki his top line minutes, with his “workout buddy,” Ilya Kovalchuk.

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
1:36 pm

Gut feeling says “NO!”, but Stroz makes some compelling arguments in favor of Zherdev on the previous blog. So my stubborn head is starting to come around to the idea. But it’s a virtual fact that, while the Salary Cap numbers may indicate we can afford it, our conservative, revenue-sharing budget cannot. Unless we jettison a player of consequence…say Todd White? Who has never been more valuable on the trade market considering his career year last season.

As for lines, I would not want to see an all Russian top-line. If Kovy and NZ were to play together, I would want either Bryan Little or Rich Peverley between them. We would need a pivot with a blend of speed, skill and defensive savvy (Peverley to a tee) to try to cover up the other two’s free-wheeling, gaffe-prone style.

Kovy — Little — Zherdev

Kozzy — Peverley — Antro (me really likey this potential line!)

White \ Kane \ Other — the Party — the Court Jester

Boultsy — Slatesy — Fritsche \ Thorby

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
1:40 pm

Hey, something just dawned on me…if Fritsche does make the roster, we will have a forward to go with our D-man Hainsey in the category of nick-name proof last names. Then again, I kind of like the idea of having a “Fritsy” to give other teams “fitsies” on the penalty kill.

steve

September 9th, 2009
1:42 pm

Thrashers27

September 9th, 2009
1:46 pm

I say “YES” to picking up Zherdev!

I’m not sure how he’d take to it, but I gotta think you move Kozzie to the 3rd line LW. As Brendan mentioned that would certainly add another dimension to our scoring abilities.

You can’t move Pevs to the third line because he was relegated to the third line in Nashville and wasn’t offensively productive at all.

So, this leaves you with:

Kovy White/Pevs Antropov

Zherdev White/Pevs Little

Slava Reasoner Army

Boults Slates Thorburn

Honestly, that’s a lineup that oughtta scare the beegeezus out of opponents. The thought of it has gotta make a Thrashers fan smile. :)

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
1:48 pm

RStroz — did you send your eloquent missive from the previous blog to Don Waddell, Bruce Levenson et al? You’re preachin’ to the choir here on this blog eh? It was indeed thought-provoking and well-written…kudos to you my friend!

Shifting gears a bit cuz I’m going through such witdrawal when it comes to real hockey action: I’m setting the over / under on goals allowed today against the Canes at 4…I’m thinking we lose 5 – 3 and Kane pots two of them. Anyone care to hazard a guess?

El Bravo

September 9th, 2009
1:54 pm

I don’t think we can afford NOT to sign him if only for the reason that it may increase our chances of re-signing Kovy. Add to that the fact that he is willing to sign a one year deal and I think it’s a no-brainer. Your top three lines would be Kovy-Zherdev-Antropov, Little-White-Peverley, Kozlov-Reasoner-Kane. I think the team benefits from having Kozlov’s experience on the 3rd line…

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
1:58 pm

El Bravo – I like those lines…but where do we place Armstrong?

Jarndyce

September 9th, 2009
2:01 pm

Yes, please. As for lines, I’ll leave that to chemistry and mix/matching, but here’s what I do know: The Thrashers have had gaping holes at RW and Center for the last, well, forever. Bringing Zherdev gives the team so many options, but importantly means real scoring depth like we have never seen. You’ve got legitimate scoring threats two deep at LW, C, and RW (if you consider either Antropov or Little at C). When has that happened here?

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
2:08 pm

God, I hate to sound like such Todd White protector, but I don’t know that we’d get enough back for Todd White in a trade. I suppose … that it’s true that you don’t know what you could get … unless you SHOPPED him. But for less than $2.5 million, in terms of cap hit, Todd White is excellent value for the money. White paired with Kozlov seems to work. White “could” work with Kovalchuk. But I just don’t see Todd White as a Top Line Center. Peverley, I think, would be better than White, as the pivot for Kovalchuk. But, in my opinion, the team’s BEST CENTER … is Bryan Little. So, not surprisingly, I’d want to see Little, flanked by Kovalchuk and Zherdev, in this little hypothetical. (No pun was intended there.)

I like Nik Antropov. Truthfully, he wasn’t on my offseason shopping list. But I’m fine with him being here … since Kovalchuk specifically asked for him. Or, rather, he texted Waddell to say, “Good job!” after the team hired Antropov. Either way, Kovalchuk was pleased by the move. That’s good. If Kovalchuk wants Zherdev, too. I’ll second that motion, precisely because Kovalchuk wants him. In my opinion, the team needs a Tier I blueliner more than it needs Zherdev. But I can’t see a way to make that happen. It would take a trade. And I don’t like trades, unless we utterly fleece the other team. And even then, we’re still acquiring a player who never agreed to play here of his own volition. And I’m not giving up a Top 10 overall pick, that could be our 2010 First Rounder. Forget it.

I like our prospects, too. I’d rather keep Machacek, Holzapfel, O’Dell, Chad Denny, Grant Lewis, Ondrej Pavelec, etc. I’d be willing to part with Brett Sterling, but that’s not attracting a Tier I blueliner, even as “sweetener” in the deal. Angelo Esposito … I just don’t know. I guess I could trade him, in the right situation. But I digress.

The topic is Zherdev. As long as he doesn’t turn into a lockerroom cancer, and he learns how to play defense, I’ll welcome him here.

Smitty

September 9th, 2009
2:19 pm

Peverly and White should remain the top 2 centers. They are both adequate offensively but more importantly the 2 are defensively responsible to offset the defensive skills of Kovy and Zherdev should he decide to sign here. Bumping Kozlov to the third line is possibly the best answer. It would cut down on his ice time (even if he played on the second unit PP) which might help him during the grind of a long season and hopefully the playoffs.

Here would my top 3 line combinations:

Andropov(Zherdev)-White-Kovy
Zherdev(Andro)-Peverly-Little
Kozlov-Reasoner-Army

My concern then would be what to do with Kane. Another year of juniors is not going to help him develop. He needs to be up here with the big boys. Having him around will help keep up the competition. I really feel if this kid gets his foot in the door, it we be extremely diificult to move him out. But that would be a nice problem to have to deal with.

J.B.

September 9th, 2009
2:23 pm

Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy fame tweeted the following about an hour ago when asked about Zherdev to ATL:

A source from NYC close to Zherdev told me yesterday that Nik’s move to Atlanta is still on

Granted, it’s just a tweet, but its from @dchesnokov and not Ek, so there’s some decent credibility there; not to mention the fact that it’s a pretty black and white statement with the “move to Atlanta” wording…

Viking

September 9th, 2009
2:27 pm

Yes! I remember being very impressed by Zherdev while watching a Blue Jackets game on TV a few years ago.

But I am still worried about our Penalty Killing. What players should perform our main PK?

Hip Czech

September 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

There are also some rumblings about Sykora coming down to either Nashville or Atlanta.

Let’s assume for arguments sake that we could get either Sykora or Zherdev, who do you take? I’d take Sykora’s track record, but Zherdev is younger. The question is, can John Anderson get Zherdev to perform here when Hitchcock in Columbus and Tortorella in NY could not.

I think we say yes to either one. If either were to land here the forward lines are at least equal to the ‘05-’06 team (Kovalchuck, Savard, Hossa, Kozlov, Bondra, Holik) and probably better in terms of the third line.

Zoomo

September 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

I think it all depends on what the PTB think about Kane’s development so far and if he’ll make the team out of training camp. If Kane looks like he’ll make the team, I think we’ll end up passing on Zherdev.

If we do sign Zherdev, I think we’ll need to balance the lines to compensate for the lack of D skills by the Russians – Kovy is a bit loose with the puck, Antro is slow footed, and Zherdev is just not a defensive forward.

Offensively tho’ you’d have to think we’d light the lamp in bunches.

If Zherdev comes, like:

Kovy Peverley Antropov

Zherdev White Little

Slava Reasoner Army

Boults Slater Thorburn

Toby

September 9th, 2009
2:32 pm

Smitty…I disagree about Kane. I think another year in the juniors would do him a world of good. He’s listed at 185lbs. power forward. There is no way a 185lb rookie can be a dominate PF. I say send him back to juniors and have him lead Vancouver again and tell him to pack on another 15-20 for next year where he starts on the 2nd line.

Scotty

September 9th, 2009
2:33 pm

Yes, yes yes and a thousand times I say YES! I agree with Jarndyce’s comments as well. Get him and let team chemistry sort out the lines. But just go get him if he wants to play here!

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
2:41 pm

Smitty — good thoughts on the subject…Kozzy on the 3rd line could work but I think I’d leave him on the top PP unit…we need his puck passing and right-wall QB’ing to get the puck to Kovy and Antro. Put Bogey at the left point on unit 2 and move Kovy around to keep teams off balance and guessing.

Zoomo — agreed on Kane, but I think Zherdev coming to ATL doesn’t necessarily hinge on Kane’s camp performance. The sooner he gets indoctrinated into JA’s system, the better don’t you think? I like your line combos too…obviously, as has been stated, chemistry will be the ultimate decider, but it’s fun to speculate on the kind of depth we could have if NZ to Atlanta is true.

One important thing: no one from the ASG nor Waddudley has flat out denied this rumour. Take it for what it’s worth (see Zhitnik comments 1.5 years ago), but that could be a good sign.

TableHockey

September 9th, 2009
2:46 pm

I would like a Zherdev signing. I’m all for anything that forces the team to compete harder for spots. And if it doesn’t work out he could be moved at the trade deadline for a decent return.

DWTOO

September 9th, 2009
2:47 pm

Moving Slava to the third line makes the most sense. He’s defensively responsible and would add scoring punch to the line. Add Nik Z. to the second line.

R. Stroz

September 9th, 2009
2:48 pm

Smoothie – I’d be willing to bet that the ASG has read the “eloquent missive” already. You’ll have to trust me on that one. That said, I think I’ll forward it anyway.

Midfield

September 9th, 2009
2:53 pm

Did anybody ask Waddell if Zherdev is on the radar? And if he is, who is really negotiating – DW or Kovalchuk himself?

J.B.

September 9th, 2009
2:56 pm

Midfield- Kevin Allen from USA Today asked DW about Zherdev coming to Atlanta last week. He admitted thrashers management had discussed it but declined to comment on the status.

Smitty

September 9th, 2009
3:01 pm

Can they put GM on Kovy’s jersey next to his “C”

R. Stroz

September 9th, 2009
3:04 pm

Smitty – Would that make Kovy a “GMC”?

J.B.

September 9th, 2009
3:11 pm

Stroz – And if Kovy is GMC, can we pay him with bailout money?

Russian

September 9th, 2009
3:14 pm

I will say for Zherdev, not because he is Russian.
1. He is 4-th Draft pick by Columbus. That’s mean he talented player.
2. He is young and fast forward.
3. He did not score any goals in Play Off. But He never been in PO before.
4. Our Coach will be great person and friend for Zherdev, because he will trust him and let him play.
5. He has size.
I like to get contract for him for few years. I would like to give him $4 by 4 years. I will explain why I want to him for long time. If Thrashers will not play good and we loose Kovy at next summer, Zherdev and Expo will be a First line.
For openning night I like to see lines:
Kovy – Pever – Antro
Zherdev – White – Little
Slava – Reason – Armi
Bolt – Slater – Tromb
4-th line can be change and edit for other players.
I like to see Kane playing in Junior one more year. He is not ready to Big Action.

Jarndyce

September 9th, 2009
3:16 pm

Just to set the record straight on Zherdev. Someone above mentioned that neither the BJs nor the Rags could “get him to play” or something like that.

Last year, Zherdev was the leading point producer for the Rangers (tied with Scotty Gomez). He was the second-leading goal scorer (1 goal fewer than Naslund), and at +6 was second only to Ryan Callahan on a team where practically everyone else was a minus player. I would say that he definitely performed, and could easily have been considered one of the best players on that team last season. He was consistently, with Nash, the best of the BJs. He’s 25 years old. This is a player I would be thrilled to add to the roster.

LAC

September 9th, 2009
3:18 pm

I completey agree getting Zherdev, one or two years, we DO need more offense from my viewpoint.

There are several EX-Mtl defensemen out there, are they worth
a look and Two EX-Carolina Dman are still without a team.

I’d still like to see Afenaganov on the Thrashers, would be interesting.

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
3:21 pm

Russian, you seem convinced and I can’t really blame you.

Are you familiar enough with Zherdev to know if he has played any RW with either Columbus or NY (doubtful in NY) or even in Russia?

RStroz — let’s hope some Thrashers management lurks here from time to time to get a general sense for how the fanbase is feeling in regards to its strange and unhealthy addiction to hockey!

Russian

September 9th, 2009
3:23 pm

One more thing about Zherdev. He wants to play in Vancouver 2010. If he will with Kovy he get a chanse to go to Olimpic Team. :-)

Ark

September 9th, 2009
3:26 pm

Hi guys. As a Rangers fan I had to see a lot of Z last season. He was by far the most talented Ranger (Lundqvist aside), and was really good all around (scoring, playmaking, defense, hits, etc.). He was probably on his way to about 75 points.

In the middle of the season Rangers started talking a long term contract with him, but something went wrong. At about same time Renney started loosing the team altogether. The team fell apart. Z played some nights but disappeared the others. Still he was probably the most notable Ranger then. In the 2:11 defeat to Dallas he scored both goals.

Then Tortorella came, and they didn’t click. Tortorella wanted him to play a simpler, more physical game. He benched him for not backchecking, etc. While technically he was fare, I think Z deserved benching not more than anybody else. But he was made a scapegoat.

Z didn’t respond well to this kind of treatment, and eventually disappeared completely wich resulted to awfull end of season that hunts him up to this point.

So, my point is, Z has his issues. And this issues make his own life difficult. But he can turn out to be a tremendous asset in the correct environment. He is not only a scorer, but mostly an awsome playmaker, and will probably be very good with Kovy. Plus, Kovy may have a good influence to Z, in terms of his work ethics.

So I would definitely like to see these two together. Z’s playmaking + Kovy’s goal scoring may turn out to be sick.

ben

September 9th, 2009
3:36 pm

i’m the contrarian here, unless kovy requested him, i say we have that roll thanks. unless kozlov on the third line. it would add some punch but that punch might well be added by kane. i mean in a video game i’d do it. but also keep in mind that the cap will fall next year. and we’ll be paying kovy and little and we’ll find money to keep letimin around and so on also there are two three or four franchises getting sold i’d bet at least two will move. and if the yotes move to las vegas they’re as good as on the move again.

i guess what i’m saying hamilton will get a hockey team. blackberry boy might not be the owner but they’ll have one by 2025. i hate to say it but if you read the reports coming out of that trial the league is in bad shape. as fans of a sunbelt team, we should really keep an eye on that trial. if that judge rules in balsille’s favor, other than 5-10 teams, the rest might be snapped up at any moment.

ben

September 9th, 2009
3:38 pm

anyway i guess that’s a round way of saying no

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
3:42 pm

Ark – Thank so much for chiming in with your thoughts from a Rangers fan perspective. As you can see, there are many around here that are definately jazzed at the thought of having Zherdev here.

ben – No problems being the “contrarian”…we’re looking for both sides of this subject. Well done.

Midfield

September 9th, 2009
3:54 pm

I don’t understand what Zherdev has to do with Hamilton and the falling cap. I thought that the consensus here is that the falling cap favors Thrashers, since ASG is cheap, or should I say Seinfeldnesque, extremly careful with their money. Right, Brendan?

kathy

September 9th, 2009
3:54 pm

also a Ranger fan and completely back up Ark…i too thought Z was the most talented guy out there and the most exciting to watch…just you tube the 10/25 game vs. the Pens where he scored with 8 seconds left.True he didn’t score in the play-offs but it was his first time in the post season and the whole team tanked,not just him.Also,plenty of others players could have been benched besides him,but for whatever reason,the coach and the media made him the scapecoat.I’d think he’d be kick-ass in Atlanta…plus.I live in Raleigh and can’t stand the canes so it works out for me!!!!

kracker

September 9th, 2009
3:55 pm

Zherdev played for the CBJ, so he was perhaps less than consistently motivated his first four years in the league (Yes, I think any professional player should become motivated when they sign the contract.)

Zherdev then played for two coaches on the Rangers. Renney got booted and perhaps Torts wasn’t a good coaching fit with Zherdev (Repeat disclaimer.)

My point is that this season the Thrashers could likely be in the playoff hunt. Zherdev will probably like and play well in JA’s offensive minded system. With Kovy and Antro verbally kicking his butt in Russian every day, a highly motivated Zherdev could be something to see. Factor in Slava & Kubina and between the bunch of them, they’re bound to be able to come up w/ a good cop/bad cop routine if needed to successfully counsel the kid. If you can call a five year vet a kid.

Having to decide where and how much to play a lot of good players would be a good problem to have. OTOH, unless the team has great sucess in the W column, it could bring on it’s own set of problems in trying to find enough roles and minutes to keep everyone happy.

kracker

September 9th, 2009
3:58 pm

LOL, I posted after about 2 more hours of entries came onto the thread, so likely somebody had already made my points. (Hey, I’m at work and can’t keep up)

mutton

September 9th, 2009
4:01 pm

While I might like to see it if Kovy wants it (read: if it gives DEE-dub a better shot at re-signing Kovy), I gotta say, Im not entirely thrilled with the possibility of having Zherdev in a Thrash uni. Yeah, it could give us a more long-term top-6, but I dont think itd be fair to Whitey or Pevs or Kozzy to stuff one of em on the third line LW simply because we brought in a shiny new toy (Zherdev). It just strikes me as disloyal. I mean they all were on pace for 70 pts or better. Why reward someones hard work and great season in order to bring in someone completely new? So I guess what Im getting at is Im not sure what to think of this. I mean if it makes Kovy happy then it might very well be worth it. I just dont see how it could work out and still have us sitting pretty.

UnLESSSSS…. Suppose we roll 3 lines all playing (essentially) top 6 minutes? Could that work? It takes time away from everyone but gives you a solid 3-line attack… If you move Kozzy to the 3rd line but keep Army’s ES time consistent youre more or less rolling 3 lines capable of being considered 2nd line or better… Hmm… Might also see a pts increase for Reasoner too… And I agree with whoever said that 3rd line would be pretty responsible defensively.

Smoothie

September 9th, 2009
4:04 pm

Wow, 25 – 3 in favor of Zherdev! That’s what I would say resounding sentiment in favor of getting him.

Nik Zherdev for Czar of Hi-Octane Hockey and the Movement to Render Goalies Helpless!!

Sara

September 9th, 2009
4:06 pm

Dangit JB – you stole my thunder!!! That was my tweet … :p

Stroz – check your inbox.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
4:10 pm

Midfield, a shrinking cap does favor a market like Atlanta. It means the big spenders have to cut someone loose … that they’d really prefer to keep. Meanwhile, the budget of the Atlanta Thrashers has room to ADD, not subtract payroll, even if the cap shrinks. This is a “benefit” of being extremely careful with money.

Another “benefit” of a Zherdev contract, if one-year is the term of it, is that it doesn’t impact the 2011 budget. Just like Saku Koivu’s new deal out West won’t impact that team’s budget NEXT season. There’s almost nothing to lose by signing Zherdev to a 1-year deal. The only thing lost … is money.

R.Stroz reminds us, from time to time, that money is fungible.

Sara

September 9th, 2009
4:23 pm

HAHAHA tweet from our old pal Craig Custance:

Was trying to pry Thrashers contract offer to Kovy out of Waddell. 6 years? 7 years? “I don’t even tell my wife that,” he answered.

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
4:25 pm

Kathy – A warm welcome to you as well. Thans for your thoughts.

Sara – I see you’ve been our busy little field reporter again…good job!

Everyone – 1st intermission in Traverse City…Atlanta 2 Carolina 1. Goals by Andrew KozEk, with an assist from Arturs Kulda…and an unassisted one from Mike Forney. Josh Unice is in goal again for the Thrashers.

Sara

September 9th, 2009
4:28 pm

BTW, current CAR-ATL score: Thrash lead 2-1 in the 2nd period. Goals from Forney and Kozak.

http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/boxscore.html?gameid=1089664

Toby

September 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

Whoa…Chris (Grandpa) Chelios is considering playing for the Wolves!! Awesome…Go for it Chris!

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index….ers_offer.ht

PuckedUp

September 9th, 2009
4:57 pm

Here’s a question to ponder. If the Thrashers do well – with this team I always leave that question open ended – could Kovy wind up with GM of-the-year honors? It’s looking more and more like he would deserve that nod.

Sara

September 9th, 2009
4:57 pm

Toby – that would be an unbelievable boon for our prospects.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
5:12 pm

Chelios would be a great mentor, for anyone.

ben

September 9th, 2009
5:19 pm

we have to keep the budget manigible over the long haul. This team is going to be sold, hopefully to a group willing to keep it around. Zherdev is a name and we all think Kovy wants him but if you think about it, maybe what we should do is try and find someone who can be Zherdev but cost less. Now look, I want to run up the score and get to the conference finals but there are an awful lot of teams on shaky fiscal ground. And we all know Le Thrash are one of them. And PHX will be moving, NSH is going to be sold for legal reasons, DAL and TB are in trouble. The NYI might be moving. And if my readings correct, if this judge out in Glendale rules in Balsillie’s favor it’s going to be a brave new world as far as team locations. And he’s going to keep trying and trying with those other clubs until someone buys his logic. And you know what folks, to someone knowledgeble the thought of another so. Ontario team might not make sense, but not everyone’s knowledgeble about hockey.

what i’m trying to say is that a good portion of the teams in the NHL are not on stable footing and there’s a judge out there somewhere who’s going to buy Balsille’s logic. and the best way for it to a Fulton County judge is to throw a couple million after a scorer who’s role is already filled when we know the cap’s going to drop. now if kovy WANTS HIM that might be a different story.

PuckedUp

September 9th, 2009
5:24 pm

Maybe the best way to get this team to a more solid base is to invest in what might contribute to winning games. 10 years of building have thus far provided 9 years of crap and one embaressing playoff series.

Oh and Rawhide, thanks for bringing some legitimacy to Thrashers fandom. I jump around the web and read what I can. But it seems like there is a little more respect for your blogging prowess as compared to your predecessors. No knock against anyone. But I’m glad that opinions are changing with your postings to the blogosphere.

rightshot

September 9th, 2009
5:27 pm

I realize the likely hood of Kane making the big time is probably 60/40 in favor (IE Don looking forward to centering Kovy and Little) but if he does and we get Zherdev, we could potentially roll 4 lines with the top 3 serious scoring threats. How nice would that be!

CBJ Fan

September 9th, 2009
5:47 pm

We had Z for a few years in Columbus. He was one of my favorites…for a time. His puck handling skill and skating ability are magical to watch! However, he was a HUGE defensive liability – never back checked, didn’t use his size to his advantage and basically disappeared for games at a time. I was not sad to see him go… Good luck if you pick him up, he’ll make you cheer, then cry, cheer, then cry…

Darkhorse

September 9th, 2009
5:51 pm

Bring in Z and roll three legit offensive lines. It would be nice to finally have some “good” problems for a change. Goalie and D would probably still be our “bad” problems though.

Darkhorse

September 9th, 2009
6:01 pm

Here’s Curstance latest tweet on what the hold-up could be on signing Zherdev. Makes sense to me. If Kane proves he’s ready in training camp, then why hold him back.

http://twitter.com/CraigCustance

aaron

September 9th, 2009
6:02 pm

from Craig Custance:

“Was told the reason Thrashers are holding off on Zherdev is partly because of Kane. Don’t want to crowd roster if Kane is ready.”

Here Don, let me help you out with that. Kane isn’t ready to play his game at this level. Zherdev is very likely looking for a short-term deal so he can sign a bigger deal down the road. Sign Zherdev.

aaron

September 9th, 2009
6:07 pm

Darkhorse, you beat me by a dead minute. Nice.

Dwayne

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

All these line changes, i’m getting confused. Why don’t we pull the goalie at the drop of a puck and play 6 forwards? Heck, why even sign a goalie? Trade Bogo and Peverely to Washington for Ovechkin, another Russian. Kovy will be thrilled. Why stop there? Lets get a little silver ball and roll it around the rink, first team to pick it up can bash another guy in the head with it, if we get it, we go straight for the goalie. What do yall think?????

Nate

September 9th, 2009
6:08 pm

After reading the comments from the Ranger fans I say yes.

Lines

Kovy – Little – Zherdev

Kozy – Pevs – Antropov

Kane – Armstrong – Reasoner

Thorburn – Bolts – Slater

White has to be traded to make room “budget wise” for Zherdev.

ex-STH

September 9th, 2009
6:16 pm

I’ve been campaigning for Zherdev for weeks! When do we ever get a legitimate player that WANTS to go to the Thrashers?!? D-Wad should be tripping over himself to get him a deal. AND if Kovy wants him here too?!? This is a no-brainer! Kovy wants this to be HIS team. Anyone stepping out of line will definately get a verbal beating in Russian!

Let’s also look at the facts. Kozlov is on the last year of his contract and he is getting up there in age. Move him to the third line will only help the scoring and defense of that line. He could also be dealt at the trade deadline, as well, for that blueliner we may need (packaged with one of the overstocked goalies). I love Kozlov to death (he has to be one of the most professional gentlemen to ever put on a Thrasher sweater) but look at the age factor and offering a new contract. Zherdev could step right into his skates when he rides off into the sunset. I like the lines as follows:
Kovy Peverly Antropov
Zherdev White Little
Kozlov Reasoner Armstrong
Boulton Slater Thorburn
with Fritsche/Crabb/Mahachek as plug-ins.
Sign Zherdev to whatever for this season and he can replace Kozlov’s salary next year and years to come if he works out as well as he should being on Kaptain Kovy’s team.

Doyle Hargraves

September 9th, 2009
6:19 pm

Hey is Zherdev the kind of retard that drools and rubs grease in his hair and all that, ’cause I’m gonna have a hard time eatin’ ’round that kind of thing now. Just like I am with antique furniture and midgets. You know that, I can’t so much as drink a darn glass of water around a midget or a piece of antique furniture.

R. Stroz

September 9th, 2009
6:28 pm

Another excuse and more procrastination from Waddell on not getting the task accomplished.

How well has procrastination worked for Waddell in the past?

Waddell, stop procrastinating, Zherdev isn’t going to wait forever.

Sign Zherdev, make Kovy happy, re-sign Kovy, watch ticket sales spike.

I’m sure Anderson will find a place for Kane if he’s ready.

I’d rather have an overstocked team for once.

Cthindy Bwady

September 9th, 2009
6:29 pm

Whahts the weal shtowy wif Nik Z? No one knowths, wets beat the dead horsthe sthome more. Todd White wanted to be herwa? I don’t know, but he did sthign a 4 yeawa contwact. Does Nik want to be herwa? Doesthn’t stheem like it. I gwess Don will lisp hish way to the podium and sthpew sthome more cwap. Dwink the koolaid

Viking

September 9th, 2009
6:36 pm

Since there is talk about money and whether it should be spent;

Aside from the satisfaction from a sport’s point of view, how much money is a winning team during the regular season and a decent play-off appearance worth? In direct revenue and in goodwill generating long term benefits?

The team is starting to look good and with some additional $$ invested in someone like Zherdev and a PK specialist, the upcoming season should bring large crowds and hopefully more games in spring. So couldn’t the extra $$ spent be recovered or even be seen as a good investment?

jared

September 9th, 2009
7:03 pm

guys kane is not ready. even if he is physically capable the man is 17…. he needs a year this is a mans league not a game for boys… give him a year and then he be more than ready to replace zherdev

World Be Free

September 9th, 2009
7:05 pm

CBJ Fan has it right. Zherdev is a skilled player that would add offense at the expense of defense. We have had alotta discussions this summer about improving our defense. Zherdev will not improve our defense, he;s a liability.

Malholtra would offer more balance, some offense and defense. Manny is nowhere to be found these days.

Zoomo

September 9th, 2009
7:25 pm

Custance confirmed my suspicions. If they think Kane can play now, adding Zherdev creates a roster problem, and you’d have to make a trade of some sort. I love Zherdev’s offensive prowess, but if Kane can play with grit, rather have a guy – even if he is a young rookie – that’s a better 2 way player in the line up.

And after watching Kane at prospect camp, I’m not so sure he’s not ready. to play now. Could he use 10 more pounds of muscle? Sure. But, he’s as good talent wise as Heatley was when he got here, maybe better.

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
7:26 pm

Good luck if you pick him up, he’ll make you cheer, then cry, cheer, then cry…

CBJ fan - And that’s the rub against him I hear from most people…I guess Waddell and Co. have to decide whether or not it’s worth the risk.

OK everyone…the Thrashers beat Carolina 7-3 in Traverse City today. Andrew KozEk scored 2 goals, added an assist & was a +3. Kane scored again and had an assist as well & was +2. Eric O’Dell scored twice & +2…Mike Forney had one goal. Danick Paquette had an assist and was a +3 while Arturs Kulda also chipped in with a helper. Darryl Smith finished with no points but was a +3.

The Thrashers took 46 shots on goal.

JLH

September 9th, 2009
7:42 pm

What’s all this talk about Zherdev not being defensively responsible? He was +6, 2nd on the Rangers, last year, on a team with only four plus players. Antropov was a -14. I haven’t seen anyone squawking about him?! Kane can wait a year. What in the heck is the rush, he just turned 18? Zherdev is a great one year substitution, and who knows what is happening with Slava at the end of this year? We could use his salary for Zherdev, although I would vote for resigning Little and Peverley first. Kubina’s salary will come off next year also.

kathy

September 9th, 2009
7:52 pm

his game has improved a great deal defensively..I think that really started improving in his last year with columbus…I was more worried when our d-redden was out there than Z! He’s a creative player,that would thrive in an O driven system. I think he would have had a great year has a wing for Gaborik this year,in a faster,up-tempo system,,,but that’s the Rangers…I think Atlanta would be such an exciting team to watch if you sign him already!

Darren

September 9th, 2009
7:57 pm

Another consideration, I believe, is that do they want to rush Kane into restricted free agency a year early?

To use another recent local example, do they want to rush a promising rookie potentially before he’s ready, and watch him possibly flounder? (see Shafer, Jordan)

Or will they be shrewd, allow him a little seasoning, bring him up mid-season and possibly have an excellent pick-me-up on their hands when the rest of the team is a little travel-weary (plus save a year on free agency)? (see: Hanson, Tommy)

You know what you’re getting from Zherdev. Kane, who has an extremely bright future, doesn’t need to be rushed now if you can pick up a legit 25-30 goal scorer now.

ben

September 9th, 2009
8:03 pm

Jared – how do you know Zherdev is better than Kane? Ditch that “goalie” and get a new one if you ask me.

Toby

September 9th, 2009
8:33 pm

Kids had a great day…in a 7-3 win over the Cains:

Kozak led the way with 3 pts. (2 goals + 1 assist) (He seems to be a surprise standout since the rookie camp)
Kane had added another 2 pts (1 EN goal + 1 assist)
O’Dell had a pair of goals
Postma had 2 pts (1 goal + 1 assist)

Toby

September 9th, 2009
8:49 pm

If Custance is right, that is a big mistake. Take a chance on Kane instead of signing a player whose had 60pts. each of the last 2 seasons? …and risk p***ing off Kovy in the meantime? IMO, Kane should head down to the juniors anyway.

Sage of Bluesland

September 9th, 2009
8:57 pm

“…We’ve waited and waited, like Linus in the pumpkin patch, for the Great Nikulin to fly through the air, with his bag of toys. If he hasn’t come by now ….” [Brendan]

–Sorry about that folks, this was such a great line from the previous blog I had to repeat. Line of the year. Post of the year.

As for Zherdev, if the blustering little fraud of a GM we currently have now (Waddell) or the pathetic ownership messes this up, there should be an all-out revolt in Thrashersland.

I wish that this “braintrust” (and I use that term very loosely) would, figuratively, ’shut me up’ by their actions, as opposed to continue to blow smoke up the sheeps’ willing backsides with mere words.

I’m sure several will agree on that score!

Sign this guy and at least attempt to show a pulse…attempt to get better…attempt to actually win…attempt to make up for the decade of utter incompetence and wasted money…

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
9:25 pm

The Thrashers prospects will play the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow to finish up the Traverse City Tournament. The CBJs finish the three game schedule 1-2 like the Tharshers. Columbus has scored 9 goals and have given up 10. Atlanta has 12 goals for and 13 against.

Don Waddell

September 9th, 2009
9:39 pm

Ya know, if I signed every talented player that announced they wanted to play for the Thrashers…well…uh…never mind.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
10:31 pm

Well, Marty Reasoner was a UFA, and Waddell did manage to re-sign him. That’s not usually how our UFA-situation goes. They usually walk, unless we trade them out at the deadline. Speaking of pending UFA’s and trade deadline talk, Slava Kozlov has a NO TRADE CLAUSE. What? Yes, folks. I’m sad to report … it’s TRUE.

Like Mats Sundin in Toronto a few years back, Slava will have the right to refuse to waive it, if the Thrashers want to try to trade him. Isn’t it wonderful? Now, supposing for the very moment that happened. Atlanta gets an offer for Slava, but Kozzie won’t waive the NTC. Guess what Atlanta doesn’t have to do in the offseason? That’s right. They don’t even have to return Slava’s phone calls. He can trapse off to the Dallas Stars organization and interview there to his very heart’s content. Has Eric Perrin’s phone rang, since he ASKED to be traded at the deadline last year?

If Slava would accommodate the organization, should the situation arise, perhaps it would go a long ways towards Waddell deciding to renew Kozlov for one more year. I said, “perhaps.” I wouldn’t resign him. I’d take the money and transfer it right on top of Kovalchuk’s present salary, to keep #17 in Thrasher blue for years to come.

Speaking of players who very WELL MAY BE in their final year of Thrashers tenure, what about Colby Armstrong? Stop. If you were Colby, and you wanted to play “Top Six” forward minutes, how do you assess your chances in Atlanta, beyond this season? (1) White’s under contract. (2) Antropov’s under contract. (3) Kane’s rights are held by Atlanta. (4) Kovalchuk is certainly ‘earmarked’ for one of those slots. (5) Bryan Little is an RFA, likely to be re-signed. If Zherdev is signed, and Kovy’s happy with him here, isn’t he slotted for a “Top Six” position? Okay, what if Zherdev never comes? What about (6) Angelo Esposito? What about Brett Sterling? What about the other prospects, like Joey Crab, Eric O’Dell, Riley Holzapfel, Rylan Kaip, Spencer Machacek? Shoot, what about some coveted UFA that Kovy wants next offseason? If your name is Colby Armstrong … and you’re not happy to re-sign with a team … just to play “Bottom Six” minutes, is Atlanta the team you want? Try to see this FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE. Colby Armstrong ‘could’ have elected to sign a multi-year deal with Atlanta. He didn’t. Why? Well, there could be many reasons, actually. The most obvious of which is to pursue his options out on the open market, to cha-ching, cash-in his chips. But maybe, it’s to find a club where he’ll get “Top Six” forward minutes. Colby Armstrong just might be a player who gets DEALT at the trade deadline. Shoot, if Don Waddell got a serious offer for Colby’s services right now, he ought to consider it. Even if it’s only “sweetener.”

Tony C.

September 9th, 2009
10:33 pm

I wouldn’t mind seeing us sign Zherdev. Precisely b/c of the playmaking skills fans of his former teams have mentioned.

I do not think that a line of #17/Antropov/Zherdev would work-reasons already stated above.

I DO think a #17/Peverly/Z line would be magical to watch.

I believe that if SlavaMatic feels that there are better options for the top 6 that he would move “down” to a more defensive role (remember when Hartley did that for a few games trying to teach the guys what this crazy thing called “back-checking” looks like?)-just make sure he gets 1st unit PP time and is on the ice for crunch time (which JA would do anyway).

I still say “loaning” Kane to a Swede team makes the most sense seeing as they have that dumbass AHL rule. Clearly he dominates guys his own age-we need him to be playing against men, not boys-the word is the Eliteseiren is on par with the AHL-why not?

Glovesave-from the last blog, that was my point- Fuhr had the right mindset to deal with being the ONLY line of defense-he got back up knowing his boys would get it back for him when one went by-I just don’t know that KL could do the same. However, like we all know-he does have all the tools needed to be that kind of guy… but could he deal with winning 7-4? Not too many stoppers can/could.

Speaking of which-is he (Fuhr) working for anybody right now? – There’s a guy who might be able to teach KL a thing or twelve about the mental aspect of the game.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
10:39 pm

And, shhhh, what about the Pevs dispenser after this season? Quiet. Forget I said anything.

HookyBob

September 9th, 2009
10:45 pm

Put me down as a vote for Z.

Stroz: excellent job on bringing this option / issue to the for-front. Your aguments were spot on.

As Brenden notes,…if Kovy wants Z,…pursue him. The risk is significantly less if he is open to a 1 yr deal.

Smitty: I like the idea of “GM” on Kovy’s jersey. He is showing leadership in this aspect as well. I’m hopeful he can get the best out of Antro and Z.

In recent years we have had problems trying to have players play a line higher than their abilities. Adding Z to the roster,…the problem might be players spending more time (than they prefer) on lower lines. In my book that is the best incentive there is to get a better effort. Who gets bumped down is really a “good problem”,..right?

I haven’t seen anyone put White on the 3rd line. Seems to me one his strengths is defensive awareness / positioning (he came from the Wild right?). Along with Reasoner and Army, you’ve got offensive potential and possibly a great PK unit. Peverly and Little centering lines 1 & 2 sits well with me. However, I feel confident coach will find the best line mix.

If Kane can make the team with Zherdev great. If not, another year in the minors is OK by me. If nothing else adding some weight would be helpful.

Kozlov could be a great mentor to Zherdev.

Might Kidulin (sp) consider Atlanta if several countrymen are here. (Although I like our defense now.)

We have lots of cap room and Z is arguably the best unsigned offensive player. (Comrie has chemistry issues too,..and after fighting Kovy a few years back, I wonder how the fit would be.) I’m not sure there is much potential to strengthen our D with any player who is unsigned at this time.

High risk,…high reward. I am encouraged by what CBJ & NYR fans say about this guy’s skill level. If Z gets straightened out this could be a significant signing in this franchise’s history. If this works out Stroz really gets the gold (or is it gets the real gold).

What do you say we drop the puck and ambush a few teams,… and pundits, this coming season?

Rawhide

September 9th, 2009
10:49 pm

Here is a 4:19 clip of tonights prospect game vs. Carolina by way of HF Boards. There is a Thrashers goal toward the end as well as a brief fight involving Paquette.

Tony C.

September 9th, 2009
10:53 pm

Brendan-I recall a link to a radio interview where Colby said something to the effect of “We wanted to make it a longer contract, but we ran out of time (I’m assuming the end of exclusive-negotiating with RFAs without other teams being able to extend offers)”.

Anybody else remember this or am I hallucinating?

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
11:06 pm

Tony C., maybe Colby meant “ran out of time before a decision on ‘player elected’ salary arbitration” could be filed? If Colby WANTED to field any potential RFA offersheets, I don’t think anything would have prevented that. It’s just that Atlanta would have the right to match the offer. And if Armstrong didn’t want to commit 3-4 years in Atlanta, he couldn’t affix his name to the RFA offersheet, for fear of Atlanta matching the offer.

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
11:12 pm

Glad you liked my Nikulin quote, Sage. Maybe one day, Nikulin would actually play in the NHL? For my $0.02, he likes it in Russia and will continue to play there, like he has all along.

This is the Fall now, Sage. So Charles Schultz and his Peanuts gang (TM, Charles Schultz, all rights reserved) will grace Atlanta TV screens in the annual airing of “The Great Pumpkin.” For me, the Great Pumpkin is the prospect of a new GM actually coming to power, in Atlanta, in my lifetime. Maybe Lucy will actually let Charlie Brown kick the football … THIS TIME! (Lucy promises. Wink.)

Brendan

September 9th, 2009
11:16 pm

By the way, Linus is always looking for the sincerest Pumpkin Patch to wait for the “Great Pumpkin.” Just what on Earth would make a pumpkin patch ’sincere,’ I do wonder. Sage, with your permission, I’d like to refer to him as “Linus lamb.” (Linus Sheep or Linus Chop didn’t sound as good.)

ranallo10 (in AT)

September 10th, 2009
4:14 am

Tony C. — You’re not hallucinating, I believe he said it to a Toronto radio station but I remember the quote you’re talking about.

Lee

September 10th, 2009
7:06 am

great blog! just wat some of these fans hav been waitin’ for! my vote is heck ya, i mean this guys rox! also, wat if kovy does leave? well, zherdev can act like a “Safety Net”. now zherdev isn’t as good as kovy, but heck, he’s 25 and this guy is a beast! i say if u hav the room, if he wants to come, if kovy is happy, then take him. heck, if kovy wants him, (u know how kovy is with his russians) that’s grea, it might just change his mind bout leavin’. so lets hope the rumor comes true.

kracker

September 10th, 2009
7:29 am

CBJ Fan > “We had Z for a few years in Columbus…Good luck if you pick him up, he’ll make you cheer, then cry, cheer, then cry…”

We had a guy like that a while back. His name was Kovalchuk. As time went by his game got more balanced.

A2B

September 10th, 2009
9:22 am

SO just to let everyone know, the Thrashers are on good footing financially. Yes, the team loses money, but I will say this that most people forget (leave it to an accountant to find this): THE THRASHERS HAVE NO LONG TERM DEBT TO A BANK. ALL LOSSES THAT THE TEAM ACCRUES ARE SIMPLEY TAX SHEILDS TO ASG. Until the ASG takes out a loan then the team is fine. If we play well this year you can expect ticket sales back up since mostly everyone that was a season ticket holder is taking a wait and see apraoch.

About Zherdev, yea he is a good pick up for one year, maybe two. By then Colby Armstrong/Kane will be ready to take up line 2 minutes and he can be traded to a team that needs some scoring and we can get another talented prospect for him.

Nikita

September 10th, 2009
9:23 am

*Slava Kozlov has a NO TRADE CLAUSE. What? Yes, folks. I’m sad to report … it’s TRUE.*

Well, yeah, which is why we didn’t toss him when the whole bad season happened.

*I wouldn’t resign him.*

Why not? I think as long as he produces, he and Whitey are welcome to stay.

*If you were Colby, and you wanted to play “Top Six” forward minutes, how do you assess your chances in Atlanta, beyond this season?*

I really don’t think Armstrong will ever be top-6 material. I think his ideal role is along the lines of what he plays now — 3rd line + special teams.

*What about (6) Angelo Esposito? What about Brett Sterling? What about the other prospects, like Joey Crab, Eric O’Dell, Riley Holzapfel, Rylan Kaip, Spencer Machacek?*

I don’t know that Espo will ever mature. Sterling — meh. Crabbycakes, maybe — 3rd or 4th line. Machacek will make the roster and excel, but he’s not a top-6 player, either. My guess would be that he serves time on the crash-and-bang and ultimately composes a line with Army and/or Kane.

*Colby Armstrong just might be a player who gets DEALT at the trade deadline. Shoot, if Don Waddell got a serious offer for Colby’s services right now, he ought to consider it. Even if it’s only “sweetener.”*

Except…Armstrong’s gold on special teams.

mid-ga-hockey fan

September 10th, 2009
9:27 am

I believe that DW should go ahead and pull the trigger on this deal,correct me if I am wrong,but in this day of what I call “FRINGE” fans,the thing that puts @sses in the seats is an open style,fast paced,high scoring game.I am a staunch old style,tight checking,between the blulines kinda fan.That being said,I also want to see hockey in atlanta for a long time.Sadly the average baseball fan doesn’t decide,”hey,lets go see Albert Pujols because he is a great defensive 1st baseman”they go to see him hit homeruns.Z will add the type of FLASH that will hopefully bring out the fringe fan and widen the fan base and God forbid, open the eyes of this teams”mis-mangement group”that they might come to the realization that WOW we spent some money and we actually got a return on that investment.I also agree that Kane could use some more time.(SEE JASON HEYWARD).From what little I have seen of Zherdev,the guy is a skating highlight reel.DO THE DEAL!!I am tired of watching Waddell stand by as other teams that are much closer to the cap snatch up good players with no regard for what’s fair to the other players on the roster.These guys are professionals for cryin out loud,THIS IS PART OF THEIR WORLD,Deal with it!!!The best players make the team,The coach does not have to deal with somebodys momma if the boy didn’t get to play.gimme a break!!Sign this stud before some other team with brains beats you to the draw,camp starts in a few days,what are you waiting for?Wait,I know,waiver wire scraps and castoffs from Mystery,Alaska.I hear Russell Crowe could be a good thumper and DW could get his autograph. (sorry for the rant)

DB

September 10th, 2009
9:45 am

It seems apparent that DW is not totally satisfied with all of the team’s pieces as an Oiler blog seems to believe that we are talking with Comrie as well. I believe Kane would be better served with an additional year in the juniors and we have an abundance of forwards. I’d like to see Z signed as well.

mid-ga-hockey fan

September 10th, 2009
9:54 am

I would surely like to see this team roll out 3 solid scoring lines and have the other teams skating backwards more than we do. I hope they put more effort into signing Zherdev than Comrie as I feel we already have an abundance of marginal forwards and Comrie is marginal at best.How old is he and what kind of numbers did he put up in NY?I say bring in Z and Kane and let the chips fall as they may.Drop the blasted puck!!!!!!

Glovesave29

September 10th, 2009
10:09 am

This is where the CBA frustrates the hell outta me. How can the NHL be pushed by the CHL (Canadian Hockey Leagues…not the Central League) to force players who have been drafted to return to their junior teams if they do not make the big squad. That is just freakin’ silly. Kane is too good for the WHL, and the AHL would be perfect for him as he fills out. For all we know, he may be ready for the NHL, but the team gets screwed if he is not, as he spends a year in juniors, where headhunters will go after him to make a name for himself…when the Thrashers would much prefer having him in Chicago learing to be a pro (ESPECIALLY is Chelios signs there!). The Thrash pay his salary, so they should say as to where he plays this season.

Who’s to say if Zheredev signs here, that Anderson does not tweak his system and roll the lines evenly. It’s not the first time a team is strong top to bottom and the 3rd and 4th lines get more playing time. That means less wear and tear on the 1st and 2nd lines and leader to better play down the stretch.

Tony C – agreed, Fuhr was one of a kind. It’s tough to be a goalie, especially behind a team where defense is optional. But in the 80’s it was wide open, and there were not the 3rd and 4th shots like KL is facing, it was attack and counter-attack. Grant is now the goalie coach for the Coyotes.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
10:46 am

Don Waddell was on 680TheFan this morning at 9:30AM. Here is my best attempt at recapping what the Wadster said. He basically covered 5 things. First, Perry/Rude asked him about the Kovy negotiations, and if they were progressing. Waddell said, “I believe Kovalchuk does want to stay. We’ve have good dialogue. This isn’t a Hossa situation. We’ve had constructive conversations and exchanged offers. No money has been set, however.”

(Brendan Comment: Hmmn. I wonder if Kovy’s “counter-offer” was a list of players he expects/wants signed before he’ll agree to re-sign. Perhaps that’s why ‘no money had been set.’ If I were Kovy, perhaps I’d use this negotiating strategy, as well. My offer isn’t a financial figure, it’s a list of players I want signed. Sign them, and I’ll agree to play here under another contract. End Comment.)

Second, Waddell was asked about Pavel Kubina. Waddell said, “He’s a Top 4 defenseman. We wanted to add that kind of player to our blueline.” Waddell added, “He’s a good guy. A good puck mover.”

Third, Wadddell was asked about free agency, and Nik Antropov. Waddell said that Antropov was a good signing, since he’s a great passer. ANNNNND, Waddell specifically said that Antropov would be feeding the puck to Bryan Little and Ilya Kovalchuk. Well, that’s really John Anderson’s call, but the GM sure made it SOUND like the top line would be Kovalchuk-Little-Antropov.

Fourth, Rude and Perry had glowing things to say about meeting Evander Kane, and asked Waddell to comment on him. Waddell’s response was, “He’s been BEST player at Rookie Camp. He’s a great leader.” Waddell added that their plan, moving forward, was to give Kane an opportunity and hope he can stay with the club. That’s when Perry said, “He’s a great person and a pleasure to meet.” Then Perry asked Waddell if he was concerned about Kane needing to put on a little weight for the rough and tumble league that is the NHL. Waddell simply stated the Kane is a very skilled player and that they’d be evaluating his readynesss.” Perry asked if we’d see Kane in the Nashville game. Truthfully, and I apologize, but my radio reception blinked out and I never heard the answer. I assume we will see Kane in the Nashville game, on the 17th of September.

Fifth and last, Waddell was asked about Kari Lehtonen. Don Waddell said, “Kari is doing well after surgery.” And that “the timing was right to get it done.” (Brendan comment: I wonder why he said that? Rude and Perry didn’t ask him about the ‘timing’ of the Lehtonen surgery. End comment.) And the segment ended with the 680TheFan crowd announcing the dates of training camp and asking Waddell if it was available to the public. Waddell said that it was, and encouraged fans to come and buy tickets for the upcoming season. Then said, “It’s always a pleasure talking the 680TheFan” show.

… And that’s all I got. It wasn’t a long segment. Waddell didn’t mention Nikki Zherdev at all. And he didn’t talk about adding any more players via free agency or trades. Waddell, in this respect, made a CLEAN GET-A-WAY.

Midfield

September 10th, 2009
10:49 am

In my opinion, Armstrong is very valuable to the team, because he is an excellent forechecker with a decent finishing touch and a skillful agitator too – one an NHL team MUST field. Atlanta has few and far between of this kind.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
10:50 am

I think we will see a lot of wait-and-see approaches by GM’s in the coming weeks. FA signing activity should pick up as pre-season games begin and teams have a better sense of strengths and weaknesses. While I don’t think DWad is delusional enough to think that Kane would automatically be better than Zherdev, I think he feels the Thrashers are in a position of strength due to their space under the salary cap. As other teams begin to assess weaknesses and look for ways to address them (i.e. trades), then Waddudley may feel as though there may be some tantalizing offers for a player like White or a goalie like Pavelec. One thing we have learned: you can never take anything Waddell says as absolute and final. He may just be hedging his bets and playing the game to see how desperate Zherdev is to come to ATL. If you ask me, it might not be a bad idea for our GM to play this game of chicken.

Viking

September 10th, 2009
10:51 am

Tony C, utilizing the Swedish Elite League for youth development as you propose is actually not a bad idea.

Many clubs over there seems to have excellent development programs and the quality of the league is in my humble opinion #3 (after NHL and KHL). They would probably welcome good North American players -even if they are young and will not stay long term- to negate some of the drainage they suffer to NHL and KHL. Coaches are used to foreigners (not necessarily North American) and familiar with young players. English is widely spoken and I can assure you our player would be in good hands both on and off the ice. An overseas sejour would also enhance his life experience outside the rink. Drawbacks would include adjustments to the rink size and it would also eliminate quick call ups for play with the Thrashers.

It is probably a little late in Kane’s case, but as said, it would be a smart way to circumvent the “No Junior in the AHL rule”.

Midfield

September 10th, 2009
10:57 am

Viking, how do you call up players from Örnsköldsvik if you need to fill a roster spot for a west coast trip? Seems like a lot of jet lag and flying fatigue to account for.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
10:59 am

**Reminder** Entries for the “Guess the Opening Night Budget” contest are due by 11PM, Friday night, September 11th. I know. That crept right up on us. The Guess the 2010 Thrashers point total contest continues until the moment of Puck Drop on “Opening Night.” You may change your votes at any time, in either contest, until the due dates. Remember, guesses must be posted at ajc.com and the budget figure site is nhlnumbers.com. At that site, “bonuses” and “bought out” players salaries count towards the cap figure.

Sara

September 10th, 2009
10:59 am

Brendan Waddell did not commit to Kane playing Thurs. but said with back to back games Thurs/Fri he’ll certainly play in one of them.

BTW, it should be noted that word out of the Prospect Tourney is that Kane has put some weight on this summer.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
11:03 am

Glovesave — you make a very good point about the CBA and the 2 year gap between being eligible for NHL and the AHL. It does not make any sense other than trying to throw the AHL owners a bone in terms of catering to fringe NHL talent and journeymen pros who know how to put the puck in the net and play a brand of hockey that is attractive to ticket buyers. As opposed to being more of a stepping stone for green kids coming out of Juniors with nothing left to prove at that level. But that is a really weak argument for not letting the Kanes, Boychucks and Moores of the future develop against older, more professional talent as oppposed to resentful young punks who might take a run at a star player in a veiled attempt to inspire his team with aggressive play. It just doesn’t make much sense.

Viking

September 10th, 2009
11:06 am

Midfield, as I mentioned as a drawback, “it would eliminate quick call ups for play with the Thrashers”.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
11:07 am

**UPDATE** In the “Guess the Kovalchuk Re-signing Date” contest, a few more entries just came off the board. Kracker and Hokie had September 7th, and Nikita’s guess of September 9th also just passed. All the remaining guesses are for dates in 2010. Those would be from Bob, FrostyTheSnowman, Brendan, and Ranallo10 (in AT).

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
11:07 am

Sara, Custance remarked on twitter that Evander has claimed to have added 7 lbs to his frame. Probably not that hard to do since an 18 y/o has enough of an appetite to eat A LOT. And with a nice signing bonus to buy all the food he wants, I wouldn’t doubt he did put on 7 lbs.

Hey, he’s already taller and heavier than Eric Perrin right?? ;-)

Toby

September 10th, 2009
11:12 am

Brendan…Put me down for $48.6 (just under the revenue sharing cap). A$G needs ta get paid…ya hear!!

World Be Free

September 10th, 2009
11:15 am

Most middle school kids are bigger than a full grown Perrin.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
11:16 am

Toby, you know my guess was $48.5 million, right? Your guess is now the highest in the contest. Well played, sir. Especially if the Thrashers do add Zherdev, or make some kind of trade where they take on salary. Good luck to you, Toby. I think you’ve just made a very fine guess. Toby, I don’t have a point total guess for you, for the 2010 Thrashers. Guesses thus far have ranged from 76-points (LAC) to 95-points (Thrashers27).

Rawhide

September 10th, 2009
11:24 am

B-Man – Put me down for $48,791,345

mutton

September 10th, 2009
11:26 am

Rawhide – I’m interested in your opinion about somethingt.

Why is the sale of the Montreal Canadiens largely flying under the radar? It’s only the most storied franchise in hockey….

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
11:30 am

Duly noted, Rawhide. Gazing at my list, I see you didn’t make a point total guess yet? Waiting to see if Zherdev signs or not? I don’t blame you. That’d affect my guess, too. In both contests.

Sara

September 10th, 2009
11:34 am

A2B that’s a very inaccurate assessment you’ve made there. While the presence of debt IS an indication of cash flow problems, the LACK of debt does not mean there are no problems. In the case of Atlanta Spirit, LLC and its subsequent subsidiaries, capital contributions from the partners are the financing mechanisms used to cover negative cash flows, as opposed to say, borrowing from a bank.

The fact is, once it became known that Belkin would be required to fork over upwards of $25M in back capital calls, the fiscal realities of the overall entity were clearly defined. The net cash flows are negative – period. And no enterprise will continue for long under those conditions.

Also please bear in mind that while Atlanta Hockey Club, LLC itself might not be leveraged, the partners themselves most likely are personally. We know for a fact that Rutherford Seydel is.

One can play smoke and mirrors with Profit and Loss/Taxable Net Income, but cash flows are the real deal indicators of financial stability. And the facts say, cash flow sucks.

Rawhide

September 10th, 2009
11:41 am

mutton – Boy…you got me there. Given how the hockey media is in Montreal, I would think it’d be getting more play. Maybe it’s because there is no chance of the team relocating pending the sale???

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
11:46 am

Lets take a hypothetical look inside Kovy’s mind shall we:

Kovy wants some horses in the stable before he re-signs and wants to see if the ASG and Waddell are serious about icing a quality team or just blowing smoke again.

Kovy lets Waddell know he played with Antropov during the lockout year and that the Thrashers could use some size on the team. Waddell GETS THE MEMO for once and procures Antropov. Kovy makes one check on the his list of requests.

Kovy talks with Zherdev and convinces Zherdev to give Atlanta a try for one year. Zherdev agrees and expresses his willingness to give the Thrashers a shot. Waddell DOESN’T GET THE MEMO. Waddell decides to see if a barely turned 18 year old is good enough to fill the skates of Zherdev. Kovy thinks to himself, well maybe they aren’t really serious after all. Kovy begins to question whether the Antropov signing is all the ASG and Waddell are willing to do, so they aren’t serious about icing a quality team. Kovy places an X on the list of requests.

That makes the scoresheet one check, one X.

So now, Kovy waits…TICK TOCK…TICK TOCK…what should I do. If Waddell had pulled the one year trigger on Zherdev, Kovy would probably believed the ASG and Waddell were serious, now he wonders.

Kovy waits to see what happens…the drama and distraction over his re-signing enter the equation of preseason camp. The players wonder if their captain will be around next year. Anderson has to deal with a distraction, not of his own making.

Good job Waddell, you just missed a slam dunk just like Josh Smith.

mutton

September 10th, 2009
11:46 am

Brendan – My guess for points totals has probably already been said, but I’m going with 92 points (no breakdown on W/L/OTL from me)

Jeff

September 10th, 2009
11:56 am

He could be a good addition. Also having the extra personnel might allow for a big trade, perhaps packaging a goalie and a forward for a big time d-man or a top draft pick next year.

mutton

September 10th, 2009
11:57 am

Rawhide – That was my reaction too. I also considered how moving the Yotes would effect them. If the Yotes are in fact moved, that is. I mean it really shouldn’t effect the Canadiens at all because they’re probably top-5 most financially stable franchises in the NHL, but it can’t hurt to be cautious just in case.

Sara

September 10th, 2009
12:04 pm

Per Ben’s twitter – The top line per John Anderson is Kovy-Antro-Little – Antro is the C.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
12:05 pm

mutton–May I press you for your “tie-breakers?” This would be divisional rank and conference rank. For example, a sample entry for the contest might be, “87-points, 4th in SE Division, 11th in Conference.” You are not required to submit tie-breakers, but if another poster guesses 92-points, 2nd in SE Division, 8th in Conference, and those things actually happened, that poster would own the winning guess.

Bob, I don’t have a guess from you in either contest? Are you abstaining? Also, Sage … you’re usually entered in both contests. As is Glovesave29, whom I don’t have guesses from. R.Stroz, I cannot believe this, but you haven’t entered guesses either.

As a guideline, the minimum guess for the Budget is $40.8 million. That’s the FLOOR. The MAXIMUM Guess is $56.8 million. That’s the ceiling. Kovalchuk told the AJC’s Mike Knobler, back on April 11, 2009, that he hoped that this 2009 offseason would produce roster changes that would allow the Thrashers to compete for the Stanley Cup in this very 2009-2010 season. He specifically stated that “I don’t just want to compete for the playoffs. I want to compete for the Stanley Cup.” And, considering that he’s not under contract to this team, beyond this season, he cannot be referring to the 2014 season, for example. He stressed the words, “This Summer,” when addressing the roster changes he wanted to see. Kovalchuk mentioned increased spending for free agents, specifically. So far, that request has resulted in Nik Antropov. Perhaps, it will also result in Nikki Zherdev. Stay tuned.

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
12:10 pm

Brendan – I’m waiting to see if Waddell is going to sign Zherdev.

However, at this point, it looks like it isn’t going to happen.

Just think, Waddell only had to clear one more hurdle and the Kovy re-signing would have been a slam dunk.

World Be Free

September 10th, 2009
12:22 pm

Mutton good question about the Habs, since it should be a big story in Canada. The franchise is being sold by an american to a storied Canadian family. That in itself should make big news.

World Be Free

September 10th, 2009
12:27 pm

There are 3 possible resolutions for the Kovy issue-

1. Have him sign a 2 year contract
2. Sign a long term deal, with a 2 year opt out clause if the team does not improve.
3. Sign a long term deal, period

I have said before, having this thing linger all season without resolution will be a major distraction to the team. Allowing this to happen would prove to be a major disservice by Kovy to the franchise. So let’s get the deal done, OK?

Tony C.

September 10th, 2009
12:29 pm

Viking-Thanks! Personally, I’m more than a little surprised we haven’t seen some NHL team do exactly that already… KHL clearly isn’t going to get a look-especially after the Chepranov(spl?-apologies) tragedy.

However, I’ve yet to see anything negative about any Eliteseiren team’s facilities… Now with Kane specifically, yes it does rule out the “quick” call-up, but I think the benefits of the Swedish league on Kane (or any other developing player) would be tremendously positive.

Think back to the seasons before we got Enstrom-most of us were calling him a “wasted pick” and were very dubious of letting him be developed by MODO…well, when he got here, he was only the best puck-moving defender ever to be “homegrown” by the club. I’m just not surprised that when we see a player from the Swedish league play here-their stickhandling and passing vision are above-average to excellent.

I think the benefits to Kane’s game and life-experience would outweigh the negatives of him being unavailable for call0up duty… besides, isn’t the Eliteseiren season over before the NHL playoffs?

Sara

September 10th, 2009
12:31 pm

Stroz – to be honest, how much influence can signing Zherdev to a one-year contract have? They could easily sign him for the one year, have Kovy sign an extension, then jettison Zherdev after this season, rendering the whole thing meaningless. Besides, for the long-term, better to have Kovy buy into the talents of Kane than Zherdev.

Tony C.

September 10th, 2009
12:36 pm

Also, who does DW think is going to take the faceoffs on a line of #17/Antropov/Little? Based ff stats, I’d have little take the faceoffs, then scoot back to the boards, a’la Zetterberg does with Datsyuk sometimes.

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

Sara – Longer term, Kane works well.

Kovy is gaging the commitment of the ASG to spend money on hockey. If the ASG would rather save money hoping Kane works out NOW, Kovy knows where the ASG stands. If the ASG isn’t willing to pony up now, he probably figures that they will not do so in the future; and, as a result, Kovy walks.

It’s a test and Kovy is the professor.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
1:20 pm

I hope JA and DWad are just curious to see how Antro will do in camp as the pivot for Kovy and / or Little. Personally, I don’t think it makes any sense and will become a failed experiment. However, perhaps in the left-wing lock it does not matter as much. It seems as though the defensive rotation depends on who is bringing the puck in and whether a blueliner is jumping into the play. As long as the 3rd forward in knows that his ass needs to stay high and be able to rush back in the event of a turnover or break-out, perhaps it doesn’t matter so much. However, it is well documented that Antro’s face-off reputation is rather lackluster at this point in his career.

Pam on Weck

September 10th, 2009
1:29 pm

Brendan – I’d like to enter my 1st guesses ever. Please put me down for $45.7 budget and 83 points.

On another note, where did the Earl go?

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
1:59 pm

Pam on Weck, you’re registered at $45.7 and 83-points. No “tie-breakers?” That would be where you think the Thrashers will place in the division and in the Eastern Conference.

R.Stroz, Kovy certainly spelled out what he expects from the organization, back on April 11, 2009. We’ve seen the response. The team is somewhere between $5-$8 million over the floor of the cap. Another way of looking at that is to say that the team is still $8-11 UNDER the cap limit. If ownership is trying to make a statement, it seems to be this: “We’ll meet you HALF WAY.” The dispairity between the ceiling and the floor is a league-mandated $16 million. In several NHL cities, failure to be within $6-7 million of the cap limit on “Opening Night” is cause for harsh fan and media reaction. But, in Atlanta, it isn’t. Perhaps it’s tempered by the fact that we all know there is/was a lawsuit hampering operations. But, apparently, that suit is over. Theoretically. So, it’s time for the Octocluster to once again become a fully functioning entity. Mr. Belkin, this means you have to pony up, or accept a buyout and the location of a NEW INVESTOR for the Group. Other people are screaming, “Brendan, the lack of media/fan outrage over budget resides in the fact that Hockey is a niche sport that will never dominate the Sports pages.” I hear you, if that’s your opinion. Over the years, the reaction by the Atlanta fan base to results and budget has not been of white, seething hot rage. Don Waddell’s head is not atop of some pike, as the villagers parade it about town, celebrating and firing guns up into the sky. Perhaps that shows that the hockey going lot are a “patient and understanding bunch.” Or, it shows that the people know that ownership is primarily to blame. Or, it means hockey fans gave up, out of apathy or frustration. This is the “effect” of ownership that isn’t trying to win. When a GM without any berths in the Conference Finals remains in charge, even with nine Top 10 overall picks, six of them of the lottery draft variety, fans start to question “operations.” The word “accountability” seems to be taboo. When you are a premier Left Wing in the NHL, and a bonafide Russian sniper, able to command the highest attention of GM’s all around the league, “Hockey operations” do NOT go UNNOTICED.

Buzilla in CT

September 10th, 2009
2:00 pm

I am all for Z. Sign him, give him money, take him for a rub and a tug, I don’t care. Whatever it takes. Make this team work!!!

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
2:22 pm

We’re gonna get Kovy’s best no matter what…he’s too prideful not to give 100% regardless of his contract status or whether Zherdev plays alongside him. I’m actually pretty stunned there hasn’t been more dissent on the idea of Zherdev as a Thrasher. Despite the good points offered up by proponents, we must realize that all that glitter is not gold. My gut still tells me that NZ is 50% potential, 50% fool’s gold.

I guess the final 30 games of last season was not enough to convince a long-suffering, tortured fanbase that chemistry is the key (along with better D and goaltending) to our upcoming season. Zherdev will only add to the learning curve argument with two newcomers already in the fold as key cogs this season. There are no guarantees that Antro & Kubina will work out. Why is everyone so convinced that Zherdev is a “slam dunk”?? Plus, $3.9 M is a lot to dole out for inconsistent play and an average of 50 points.

Buzilla in CT

September 10th, 2009
2:46 pm

I just want more talent on the team

Toby

September 10th, 2009
3:07 pm

Kane just pocketed goal #4. First period just came to a close…

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
3:11 pm

Smoothie – I look at Zherdev as a means to end. Signing Zherdev convinces Kovy the ASG is finally serious about hockey. As a result, Kovy re-signs.

Rawhide

September 10th, 2009
3:16 pm

Toby – Yup…Kane has a goal in each game so far. Thrasher lead Columbus 2-0 after one. Paquette scored first with the assist going to Drew Paris. Then Kane’s power play goal from Morin and Smith.

Thrashers outshot the CBJs 17-4 in that opening period. WOW!

Andrew Sayer

September 10th, 2009
3:28 pm

Assuming Kovi’s new contract doesn’t eliminate any room for the guy, definitely take him. He’d be a steal for the Thrashers and a solid second line skater. Whats wrong with having a little depth on the team? Atlanta’s got the best player in the NHL in Kovi but they’ve struggled – its never the 1st line on any team that makes or breaks them, its the supporting cast of contributing players. Peverley on the 3rd line? That’d be an unfortunate mis-match against any other 3rd line in the league. I don’t think you’d be able to consider Atlanta a dark horse, they’re going to come right out and kick ass from day 1.

You never hear critics give credit to teams in a breakout season before the season starts, its only once that team has won games do they jump on the bandwagon. I’m just glad we’ve all been paying attention to the progress Atlanta’s been making over these past two seasons.

Toby

September 10th, 2009
3:38 pm

Oilers sign Mike Comrie…1 year deal

mutton

September 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

Brendan – Hmm… I’ll say we’re 3rd in the SE, 9th in the East. I’m thinking we JUST miss out on the playoffs this year, but mostly due to stiff competition and not lack of talent, chemistry, etc.

That’s my official take. However, if any of the bubble teams that are just barely on the inside have 1-2 minor slip ups, I think we’re in. And from there, as is proven every couple years and the point driven home every 5-10 years, anything can happen.

LAC

September 10th, 2009
4:20 pm

Brenden, as last years reining opening night salary Champion, I am poised, yet again to reclaim the title this coming season….

Opening night….#### $$$$ 49,350.00

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
4:27 pm

Atlanta is not done building, either. There’s next year’s draft, too. Most Hockey publications have Atlanta ranked 12th or lower in the Conference. Keep in mind, that’s with an unfinished roster. No team’s roster is set, until the puck drops on Opening Night. So, those rankings are just an ‘indicator’ of where hockey analysts think we are. Right now.

If we add Zherdev … if we make a trade here or there … it will change things. But even if we stand pat, progress SHOULD BE MADE by being “inside the lottery draft” and a bottom feeder team for “waiver claims.” It’s pretty difficult to remain at the bottom of the league, given these advantages of draft position and waiver claim position.

I’m not the sort who will jump up and down because this season’s point total surpassed 76-points, resulting in “incremental progress.” If we get to 96-points, and a playoff berth, that’s the time for talks of trumpeting PROGRESS. But it’s STILL NOT time for champagne popping. We pop the champagne when the Thrashers reach the playoffs and do something NOTEWORTHY once there. And I don’t mean one playoff victory. If we should happen to make the playoffs, and push our opponent to seven games, and lose that 7th game by one goal, then I think we can ‘begin’ to talk about the substantial success we’ve made in the 2009-2010 season. And to have higher expectations for 2011-2012. If this roster won a playoff series, imagine how much that improves the chances of re-signing Kovalchuk?

But as R.Stroz says, “intent” is important. The ownership has to show “intent” to win the Stanley Cup. This cap on the Atlanta Thrashers sits somewhere between $45 and $48 million. The cap limit is $56.8 million. There’s still lots of room for 1-year contracts. One-year contracts DO NOT AFFECT the 2010-2011 season. They do not affect Bryan Little’s next contract. They do not affect Kovalchuk’s next contract. They do not affect Bogosian’s next contract. They do not affect Pavelec’s next deal. But they DO affect Kovy’s perception of ‘how committed’ this Octocluster ownership is … to icing a Stanley Cup contending roster.

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
4:31 pm

mutton, I have you down for 3rd in SE, and 9th in the conference, at 92-points. LAC, good luck on the DEFENSE of your title. Your guess of $49,350,000 is duly noted.

mutton

September 10th, 2009
4:43 pm

What’s our payroll # as of now?

Toby

September 10th, 2009
4:44 pm

Kane just scored with 9 seconds left to tie it up with the Jackets. Second goal of the day…

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
4:50 pm

Toby

September 10th, 2009
5:01 pm

Well…Thrashers finish with a win in a shootout. Kane had 2 goals and added a shootout goal as well.

Alan

September 10th, 2009
5:21 pm

Air Canada sues Obama administration.

Apparently, the DOT has enacted new transportation rules that will adversely affect NBA and NHL teams. The DOT has told Air Canada to “cancel all of its season-long sports charters, citing concern about “cabotage,” or the prohibited carriage of passengers or cargo by a foreign airline solely between points in the U.S.”

A27

September 10th, 2009
5:29 pm

Sign Zherdev already,jesus it is starting to piss me off. Just because we sign Z doesnt mean Kane has to be sent back to juniors he can still win a spot on the team. Look at Red Wings they have many prospects on the lower lines. Oh well screw it start Kane on the 1st line with Kovy……

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
5:52 pm

God Bless Air Canada. Are American-owned and operated Airliners allowed to travel from Canadian city to Canadian City, with “cabotage?”

rightshot

September 10th, 2009
6:03 pm

If according to sources, Donny is waiting to see if Kane makes the team, how long is Zherdev willing to wait. Wouldn’t it be better to sign him first to make sure we have what we need, and Kovy wants, then see if Kane makes it? We could always trade someone if there’s a problem with to many good players on the team. (I wish) I’m more that willing to lose Thorbs and/or Bolton if need be. We could possibly maybe even have 4 scoring lines if that happens. Wouldn’t that drive the other teams coaches crazy. (Before you ask, yes I dream a lot)

BRENDAN- Opening night payroll $51.2, we end up with 98 pts, 2nd in the SE, 8th seed in East

Sara

September 10th, 2009
6:04 pm

Brendan the answer to that would be “no.” And apparently a Canadian airline got caught allowing “civilian” passengers on US domestic flights in addition to the sports team they were chartered to carry. What anyone not affiliated with a sports team is doing on that plane is its own issue. But the fact is the rules have been the rules for a long time, Canadian airlines knew them, someone broke them, and they’ve been sanctioned for it. Unfortunately the NHL and NBA are going to get caught up in the mess.

Dwayne

September 10th, 2009
7:08 pm

96 pts, 2nd in the SE, 7th in East. $$50.9. I am an optimist when it comes to MY Thrashers!!!! Do You Believe in Miracles??? I just made that slogan up, if yall wanna use it.

ben

September 10th, 2009
7:43 pm

Brendan,

$48.56M

92 pts

2nd Division

June 30th, 2010 for Kovy

Z signs! (My objections are only business related. They are real, but my lizard brain wants the red light to burn out baby! Yeah! ::Over the top devil horn gesture.::

Brendan

September 10th, 2009
10:08 pm

ben, you are registered with $48.56 million, sandwiched right between my guess of $48,500,000 and Toby’s guess of $48,600,000. You are also registered at 92-points, with a 2nd place SE division finish, ben. But you did not provide a Conference finish, in the event some other poster picks 92-points. mutton picked 92-points, but he’s got it tied to a 3rd place SE division finish, and 9th in the Conference. ben, as much as I’d like to register that June 30, 2010 vote, there’d be a revolt if I did. The voting on that contest ended back in May, I believe. We might have extended it to June 2009. In that contest, the posters also had to guess WHICH TEAM and WHAT DATE Kovalchuk would sign his next contract. Not everybody picked Atlanta. There are already June 30, 2010 guesses, with “tie-breakers” being 5PM and 8PM, for the “time of day” that the Atlanta Thrashers website officially announces the contract, or if with another team, when the Internet first publishes it.

rightshot, you are locked in with 98-points, 2nd in SE, and 8th in the Conference, as well as $51,200,000 for the budget guess.

dwayne, you are registered at $50,900,000 for the budget guess. And, you are registered with 96-points, 2nd in the SE Division, and 7th in the Conference.

So far, we’ve got five guesses that proclaim the Thrashers to be a playoff team. That’s a lot of positive vibes coming into the season. The highest guess is 98-points and the lowest guess is 76-points. With that kind of range, it’s hard to believe we’re talking about the same team.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
10:15 pm

Y’all, if I can eagle # 8 at Celebrity, then the Thrashers can make the playoffs without Nikki Zherdev!! Have a little faith y’all.

ben

September 10th, 2009
10:32 pm

2nd in division 4 in conference

Darkhorse

September 10th, 2009
10:33 pm

Brenden-Put me down for 48.1 mil on the team budget. I smell a trade cooking that may still get Zherdev in here, but keep us under the rev sharing$$$$. They will leave just enough room to do some tweaking on the roster if needed during the season, but still in revenue sharing heaven.

I’m gonna hold off until the end of training camp to predict my points totals and such.

Darkhorse

September 10th, 2009
10:37 pm

Well, looks like Dany “I’m a natural born leader” Heatley got his wish.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4463628

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
10:39 pm

Heatley to Sharks, Marleau to Kings, Stoll and Frolov to Sens

goose

September 10th, 2009
10:47 pm

Hey did anybody notice that we have back to back home games this year? November 21 and 22.

Sara

September 10th, 2009
10:53 pm

Stroz – except all three GMs are calling BS.

World Be Free

September 10th, 2009
10:54 pm

I think Kane needs another year in juniors. He’s just too light, weight wise to stand up to the rigors of a full schedule. I think he needs to be close to 200# to go to the net and play the type of overall game he likes to play.

Guys are bigger and nastier in the NHL.

World Be Free

September 10th, 2009
10:58 pm

San Jose is the most under achieving team in the league. The last thing the Sharks need is a me-first, loser like Dany Heatley.

If it happens, it will be quite a marriage.

Smoothie

September 10th, 2009
11:22 pm

Y’all need to stop hatin’…Kane will be fine. He can excel on the 3rd line not only on the PK but on a grinding line with Reasy and Army!! Ill take my chances with that line with Fritsche as a back up plan.

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
11:22 pm

Sara – I always enjoyed that card game.

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
11:23 pm

Kessel is reporting that he will sign an offer sheet.

R. Stroz

September 10th, 2009
11:32 pm

Smoothie – We’re not hating on Kane.

I would like to roll four lines and send the greek gods to the pressbox to pose for pictures.

Brendan

September 11th, 2009
12:39 am

ben, your 4th in conference is registered. Darkhorse, your budget guess of $48,100,000 is likewise locked in.

Is that Heatley trade confirmed? I sure hope the Sharks didn’t do that. As soon as that “window” closes for the Sharks, Heatley will demand out. And no one should be stunned about it. There is no real reason for Heatley to leave Ottawa. After all, when he arrived, he told the media that he was “glad to be back in Canada, in a ‘hockey city.’”

Well, when did Ottawa cease being in Canada? It’s their nation’s capital, for cripessake. Since when did Ottawa cease being “a hockey city?” Yeah, I didn’t realize that happened, either. Dany Heatley got just what he wanted when he left Atlanta, including that big, fat contract renewal the Senators gave him after his first, “discounted” one expired. He even “made up” for the money he didn’t get in the contract following the accident. Will Heatley finish giving those court-mandated 150-speeches on the “Dangers of Driving” in Northern California? Or did he complete that, already?

World Be Free

September 11th, 2009
6:24 am

Heatley’s a scum bag. I hope neither he or Hossa ever touch the Stanley Cup. Neither dirt bag deserves to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Kane-I would really like to see him in Atlanta this year. But I think he needs another year to physically develop. I would hate to see him here for 82 games scoring 10-12 goals and playing sparingly, when he could be back in juniors developing his game.

Guys like Bogo are the exception.

Tom

September 11th, 2009
7:10 am

Brendan, please put me down for $46,292,119 and 87 points, 3rd in the conference, and 9th overall.

While I am hoping that we make the playoffs it seems to be that we may be that little bit short, kind of like Florida last year.

Pam on Weck

September 11th, 2009
9:33 am

for my tie-breakers:

Division: 3rd
Conference: 11th

Pam on Weck

September 11th, 2009
9:34 am

Many thanks to Brendan for keeping track of all of our guesses. The rest of us just get to sit back and enjoy while you do the work.

J.B.

September 11th, 2009
9:42 am

Brendan –

$49,000,001

97 points

2nd in the Southeast Division
7th in the Eastern Conference

I’d love to wait and see what happens with Zherdev but I want to get my guess in before it’s too late…

Brendan

September 11th, 2009
10:16 am

Tom, you’re locked into 87-points, 3rd in SE Division, and 9th overall, plus $46,292,119.

WBF, neither Heatley nor Hossa are among my favorite players in the league. Though I certainly respect their on ice abilities. Hossa, to me, isn’t a dirtbag. I’m not mad at him for leaving Atlanta. Just hear me out. Hossa wasn’t drafted here. Hossa never signed to play here. He was assigned here to be a 3-year stopgap for Heatley’s absence. He had a CAREER-BEST, 100-point season for Atlanta in 2007. We’ve now learned that Hossa’s shoulder was damaged/injured before he got to Detroit, from Pittsburgh. And there’s speculation that Hossa’s shoulder was hurt while in Atlanta. I don’t know that to be a fact, however. But I don’t doubt it, since he didn’t drive to the net hard in the final year of his deal with Atlanta. And perhaps the reason for that … was that he didn’t want to further damage it, in a year … where he and his agent conspired to force a trade to a contender at the trade deadline. By not having the surgery, Hossa got a crack at the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2008. Then, ostensibly, he decided to postpone surgery again to not miss his chance at the Cup with Detroit in the 2009 season. Allegedly, supposedly. Again, Detroit’s GM Ken Holland said, “Hossa was damaged when we got him.” I’ve yet to hear Pittsburgh’s trainers say anything about it. I’d be curious to get their reaction. Bygones.

But I’m off my point, which was this. Marian Hossa paid his dues in this league. To my knowledge, he was never a cancer in Ottawa. He never demanded trades out of Ottawa. His team traded him. He’s always been a premier power forward. So far, none of this rings of “dirtbag-ness.” Then he arrives in Atlanta. Goes through a period of adjustment. Then that January 2, 2006 game vs. Heatley and the Senators finally arrives. The Hos-sa, Hos-sa chant is born. Suddenly, all of Atlanta loves him. But the Thrashers fall 2-points short of the playoffs. In the offseason, Hossa doesn’t run to the media to ask for a trade. Hossa returns. He has a CAREER YEAR. And a very DISAPPOINTING playoffs. Hossa now sees the team he never chose crumbling apart, financially and organizationally. Coach Bob Hartley is losing/has lost the room, and there was no accountability for the Coaching or the Managing (GM) of the team, after four COSTLY trade deadline moves. Hossa “asks” for a Tier I center for his line. Atlanta’s July 1, 2007 response was to sign Todd White to a 4-year/$9.5 million deal and Eric Perrin to a 2-year deal, at a time when Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez, and Chris Drury are simultaneously available out on the free agent market. Hossa privately shakes his head, wondering like most Thrasher fans, at whether these moves are designed to culminate in a Stanley Cup presentation at Center Ice, at Philips Arena. Hossa, who let’s be honest, probably never envisioned playing in Atlanta past 2008 when he got traded here, now knew his best option lay elsewhere in the league. Naturally, as a pending UFA, he eyeballed the Detroit organization, as a glorious opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. But before that could happen, he wanted a chance to moved at the trade deadline. He got dealt to Pittsburgh. Another team HE NEVER CHOSE. He didn’t DISAPPEAR in those playoffs. I think he had 26-points, including 12 goals. Though, my memory is hazy. Pittsburgh made him a TREMENDOUS OFFER. Hossa, in pursuit of his Red Wing-playing DREAMS, declines it, leaving tens of millions of dollars on the table, to play AT A DISCOUNT, for the team he coveted, the Detroit Red Wings. For this, he is villified. Most of us pursue our dreams without scrutiny. These days, who questions, “How DARE YOU leave this company?” There’s absolutely no loyalty between employer and employee anymore. But I digress. So, Hossa FORCES HIS WAY into Detroit, hoping he stays there, longterm. But, at a minimum, for that 2009 season. Hossa has a disappointing playoffs for Detroit, that cultiminates in a Game Seven HOME LOSS, for the Stanley Cup.

The fan reaction?? Cheering! Glad Hossa didn’t win! He screwed Atlanta and he p*$$ed on Pittsburgh. I’d argue that Atlanta screwed Atlanta. Just look at how the team is run. They trade for players who don’t want to be here. They don’t know what the word “accountability” means, even with Webster’s dictionary assistance. Or the aid of a thesaurus. They have league-minimum budgets. And their reaction to potentially losing “the face of the franchise” is to increase the budget by $3 million from the previous year, and toss the fans and Captain a bone named “Nik Antropov.”

Okay, moving right along. So, Hossa can’t find a home in Detroit, longterm, like he ‘perhaps’ wanted. So, Chicago is a big-time Hockey City, where he can remind Detroit, for the next 12 years, that they made a mistake by not keeping him. The length of the contract calls into question whether the Blackhawks and Hossa discussed the possibility of “early retirement” in exchange for a FRONT LOADED CONTRACT, resulting in salary cap relief. This doesn’t endear Hossa to the fans much. But is he really, truly a “dirtbag?”

Did Hossa hold up a liquor store? He did carjack anyone? Was he found in a crack house, with a crack “damsel,” while doing crack? Wearing a NHL uniform? Did he drive a black Ferrari recklessly down the streets of any city? Has Hossa ever been convicted of any crime? And if so, he did fail to perform his community service, as part of his sentence? I think the answers to these questions are all in the negative. Hossa may not be a “fan favorite” in the NHL. He’s just a man who has pursued his dreams, while being persecuted for it. That doesn’t make him a “dirtbag.” Hossa won’t be the last player to see the Atlanta Thrashers organization for what it is, and “opt out.” After having EARNED THE RIGHT through his NHL-tenure to do so. Think about it.

Brendan

September 11th, 2009
10:20 am

Pam, your tie-breakers are logged. It’s a labor of love, Pam on Weck. J.B., your votes are tallied at 97, 2nd, and 7th, with $49,000,001 as the budget guess.

Smoothie

September 11th, 2009
10:20 am

Great to see Tobias smiling and having a good time delivering season tkts with Colby yesterday. I was so worried about him, but it looks like he either got some amazing care to repair his face or the injuries sustained looked worse on the video than they were in reality.

At any rate, welcome back Tobes!! Hope you have a terrific season!

Smoothie

September 11th, 2009
10:23 am

Mr. Barker, I’d like to bid $1 please…thanx!

J.B. – I love your optimism…I hope you’re right!!

Brendan — what was my points prediction again? I may revise it.

Glovesave29

September 11th, 2009
10:30 am

This should make the day of our of the Sabre fans around here…

I am a jersey / logo geek. I actually went to school to get a sports design degree, so it’s kinda a passion of mine and one I follow closely to this day. That being said, I have stumbled onto an interview with Sabres GM Larry Quinn, where he mentions that the team will drop the Buffaslug logo at home and go with the retros full time.

Glovesave29

September 11th, 2009
10:32 am

Uh, thats MP – the GM would be Darcy Regier. Info on the uni stays the same…

Smoothie

September 11th, 2009
10:46 am

Glovesave – can you clarify that last statement? Here’s to hoping they came to their senses and poured salt on the Banana Slug logo!

J.B.

September 11th, 2009
11:09 am

Smoothie – I really do feel amazingly optimistic about this season and I hope I’m right also. I gon’t know, but I just have this feeling we are going to do fantastic this year.

I did formulate my guess on the assumption Zherdev signs with us because I do think it will happen and that he’ll flourish under Anderson and with our Russians playing much better and more responsibly than he did with Columbus & New York. I also think Kane will be up and we’ll trade one or more older and/or less point-productive players to make room especially if Kane plays like he did in Traverse City.

I did not factor in the question marks at goal because there are just too many. My guesses also assume reasonably consistent goaltending, regardless of who’s between the pipes.

Thank you for noting my Price Is Right-esque guess. The reference was certainly intentional. I think the $1 bid you responded with might be a little low for the Thrashers… unless you talk to a Canadian of course.

Viking

September 11th, 2009
11:24 am

Brendan, your Hossa post is completely aligned with my thinking.

I wonder what would have been the outcome of our “Hossa! Hossa! Hossa! chant season” without the 5-Goalie mess. Certainly better than anything yet accomplished. Hossa was our best player at the time.

FormerIslesFan

September 11th, 2009
11:54 am

On a different but related note, I have it on good authority (R5) that Kovy is back in Atlanta and practicing with the rest of the Thrashers that are in town at the Ice Forum.

“Well, FIF,” you ask, “how do you know that?” Well, see, Lilibeter called me on the way into work this morning to tell me that she just pulled next to an SL600 on the 85N. When I asked her why she was telling me this, she was all excited and said, “because Kovy is driving it!” That was the exit before the exit for the Ice Forum in Duluth…

FormerIslesFan

September 11th, 2009
11:55 am

Brendan, put me down for $48.8M. Also, to whomever is keeping track, I’m going to 93 points (yes, it’s a good day to be optimisitic) with a re-sign date of 11.27.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

September 11th, 2009
12:05 pm

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10 minute Ranallo Warning!

New blog posting at 12:15 pm.

Got that Smoothie?

World Be Free

September 11th, 2009
12:18 pm

Brendan-I really have no issue with how Hossa handled Atlanta. My problem with Maryann is him chasing the Stanley Cup all over the place. Get on a competitive team and make a difference, earn your Stanley Cup. His lack of allegiance to anything but himself puts him in the scumbag category.

Glovesave-thanks for the update on the Sabres’ jerseys. The original uniform (with a twist) works for me. Most Sabres fans hated this new jersey anyhow.

What the Sabres should do is purchase the rights to the old Buffalo Bisons AHL logo, the “Buffalo in a bottle cap” logo that went away when the Sabres came to Buffalo in 1970. The family that owned the Bisons owns the rights to the AHL logo. The Sabres are too cheap to pay for the logo.

J.B.

September 11th, 2009
12:19 pm

Forgot to include my guess for a contract date:

Ilya Kovalchuk resigns Oct.1st

Toby

September 11th, 2009
12:32 pm

Good interview with Kane. Looks more and more like the spot is his. He does say he’s up to 190 lbs. now.

http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/dubhub/default.aspx

Viking

September 11th, 2009
1:07 pm

More in line with the blog heading, Zherdev is a skating highlight reel (as some other blogger called him – can’t remember if it was here or somewhere else).

Kovy, Little (and Zherdev) are habitually capable of generating material that not even the NHL Channel and their commentators could ignore. Zherdev is a great TV performer. Sign him and exploit the highlights!

Metro Atlanta has a big population (over 5 million). The attendance to the games and the likely amount of hockey fans living here does not jive. Myself, I have financial reasons to mostly watch TV instead of going to a game, but when it really counts, I would not miss crucial moments in Thrashers history without being there live. I had season tickets for 14 years in the Swedish Elite League before moving to the US. (I moved here because of love, not because of finances). There is certainly enough hockey folks around town to fill the house if a good product was presented.

Anyway, as said, Zherdev is a skating highlight reel, and he (together with the result of his actions) will certainly generate increased attendance. I hope this is considered by Wadell (and the owners) in the decision whether to sign Zherdev.

By the way, I am still worried about the PK….

Brendan

September 11th, 2009
4:00 pm

Smoothie, you Points pick is 89, tied to 3rd in the SE Division, and 8th in the Conference. You can change it all the way up ’til the puck drop of Opening Night. After that, all voting has concluded.

Speaking of CONCLUDED contest submissions … the Kovy re-sign contest ended sometime in May/June. No more votes can be accepted. It’s just not fair to the bloggers who participated from April through today, following the offseason blog. That Kovy Re-signs Contest began in the 2nd week of April. I think we allowed 7-8 weeks worth of time to submit a vote.

September 11th, at 11PM, concludes the “Budget Guess” contest. Guesses submitted after that date will not count. We have to have cut off dates. And this was opened on August 28th, for a season which is rapidly approaching. If we allowed everyone to vote until Opening Night, every guess would win. (Besides, that’s not really the point of the whole contest. The point of the contest is to display Atlanta Spirit, LLC’s commitment to hockey, and retaining Kovalchuk, in Atlanta, by financing a roster that reflects a serious ATTEMPT to reach the playoffs and do some DAMAGE once there. Which is, after all, what Kovalchuk ASKED them to do, back on April 11, 2009.)

FIF, you’re registered with 93-points, with no tie-breakers. You may want to submit some. You do that … by indicating what place in the Southeast Division and what ranking in the Eastern Conference, you think the Thrashers will earn. FIF, you’re also logged in at $48,800,000.

J.B., you’re in at 97-points, 2nd in SE, and 7th in the Conference, with $49,900,001 as your budget guess.

I have no budget guesses from Alan, Smoothie, Thrashers27, mutton, or Bob, or Sage of Bluesland. Or Glovesave29, who correctly predicted 76-points last year, but lost the “tie-breaker” to a poster named “Don,” (Not Waddell,) who won based on rank in SE Division. It was a nail-bitter last year. It took the final two games to eliminate the remaining six contestants.

R. Stroz, did you submit a budget guess? I don’t have you down. And it ends at 11PM, if you’re going to make one.

WBF, is Hossa a “scumbag” or just “selfish?” I can’t think of a player who doesn’t want to win the Stanley Cup. But I’m also hard-pressed to think of a marquee player in his late 20’s, early 30’s, who signs 1-year contracts every offseason, hopping all over the league, from season-to-season. We can’t put Hossa in that category anymore … since he signed a 12-year deal, with Chicago. And, perhaps, the reason he didn’t sign a 12-year deal with Detroit … was because he was “the outsider” who came in for a 1-year ‘try-out?’ I suspect, without proof, that Hossa has wanted to make a longterm commitment to Detroit for quite some time. But if that team doesn’t want him, or can’t afford him, Hossa can’t FORCE Detroit to lock him up. Well, I suppose if Hossa asked for $2.2 million-a-year, for the next 12 years, Detroit would do it. But that’s not really an adviseable way for Hossa to proceed. When I think of a “scumbag,” I think of a really, shady character, who hangs around with swarthy people. My first thoughts don’t turn towards Hossa. Though, I certainly advocate that people have the right to think whatever they want about things and people. Ted Kennedy (the Massachusetts Senator, not Teeder Kennedy, who also died this year) just died. Look at the wide array of opinions and judgements that produced! If Hossa is a “scumbag” in your eyes, then that’s the final word/decision.

Hockey Biltong

September 11th, 2009
5:30 pm

Brendan- Have I submitted my cap and standings to you???

World Be Free

September 11th, 2009
7:27 pm

Brendan-Hossa is a selfish scumbag.

I really liked Hossa when he was here, he was a great 2 way player for the Thrashers. He played 100% when he was in a Thrasher uniform. I understood his desire to winner and I am glad that we got something for him.

The he turned into the selfish scumbag that he is today. Not sure how long he’ll stay in Chicago, especially if they don’t win.

I am old school when it comes to commitment. Hossa is me first, team second. In my book, that makes him a scumbag. Maybe not as bad as Dany, but a scumbag nonetheless.

Where is Earl of Bud?

Brendan

September 12th, 2009
1:28 am

If Hossa requests a trade out of Chicago, WBF, it will probably raise some eye-brows. Much the same way Heatley’s trade request has. If a player doesn’t want to make commitments to where he plays, then 1-2 year deals do seem like a way for that player to proceed, that is honest to himself and the team for which he currently plays. There isn’t really a “mis-representation” of intent, with a 1-year deal.

(George Clooney never got married. Was honest and steadfast about never wanting to marry. Does it make him a scumbag that he changes from woman to woman, throughout the years? Is he a “selfish, opportunist?”)

But when a guy signs for 5 or more years … he made a commitment. Hossa has “made a commitment” to Chicago. If he wants out of what he PROMISED TO DO, CONTRACTUALLY, then that’s out there for scrutiny. Nobody put a gun to Hossa’s head when he signed that deal. Nobody put a gun to Heatley’s head when he signed his deal in Ottawa. So, I’m right there with you, on the “commitment” part. He must honor his contract. If a player is unwilling to play for a team for 5 or more years, he shouldn’t sign a contract to play that long. I’m not sure I see Hossa as “swarthy,” however. Swarthy in the sense of “dirty, and weather-beaten,” due to the nomadic and/or sinful lifestyle he leads. Hossa may be on Team #5, but Ottawa TRADED him. Atlanta TRADED him. Now, I hear ya. And I don’t disagree that Hossa FORCED his way out of Atlanta. And that Pittsburgh made Hossa a nice offer to stay. And, even that Hossa FORCED his way INTO Detroit. But I think Hossa would still be in Detroit, if cap restrictions weren’t an issue. They were, for Detroit. And now he’s in Chicago. I saw a pic of Janke, Hossa’s “life partner/special friend, with benefits.” She’s a rather “striking woman.” But I don’t know that Hossa is runnin’ around on her, or touring the strip clubs, in his free time. I couldn’t say if Marian Hossa has a chick in every NHL city across North America. Or if he frequents the “red light” district of Amsterdam, while in Europe. The closest example of “cheating on his hockey club” I can muster … was that “audition” he did when playing in Detroit, for the Atlanta Thrashers. Remember? He scored a “hat trick” in that game. Red Wing Head Coach, Mike Babcock, during the 2nd period intermission of a Red Wings-Senators game in 2008, admitted that “we began recruiting Marian Hossa ever since that game.” Exactly what that means seems to be open for interpretation. That could mean, “He entered our radar screen and we monitored him.” Or, it could mean FAR WORSE.

R. Stroz

September 13th, 2009
12:09 am

R. Stroz

September 13th, 2009
12:09 am

R. Stroz

September 13th, 2009
12:10 am

R. Stroz

September 13th, 2009
12:10 am

World Be Free

September 13th, 2009
12:46 am

Brendan, we will see what the future holds for Hossa in Chicago., It’s either about a Stanley Cup or money, which he has as part of this contract. Hossa the player is worth big money. Hossa the person is not. Chicago has done some wild things recenly, hope this move doesn’t bit them.

I still think he’s a scum bag. He’s no Joe Sakic, I can tell you that.

Brendan

September 13th, 2009
11:43 am

Few people are “a Joe Sakic.”

World Be Free

September 13th, 2009
4:29 pm

Just using Joe as a total opposite of Dany Heatley.

Sakic had the best wrist shot of his generation (all respects to Messier).