Can Mark Pop A Surprise?

As the Thrashers players took to the ice at the Duluth Ice forum Sunday, one player that I had my eye on was former Atlanta defenseman Mark Popovic. Recently, the 6’-1”, 210 pound native of Stoney Creek, Ontario was invited back to tryout for a spot on the Thrashers blueline.

When we last saw Pops play at the NHL level, it was during that dreadful 2007-08 season in which Atlanta’s defensive corps  finished last in GA/A, (3.24), last in SA/G, (33.9) and fourth to last in killing penalties, (78.8%). I think we can all agree that was an era of Thrashers history that we all just wish could be ripped out of the hockey record books, shredded, burned and the ashes sent adrift down the river of forgetfulness and sent over It Never Happened Falls.

However, even though the Thrashers finished with a record of 34-40-8 that year, when Mark was skating on the blueline Atlanta played to a slightly better record of 15-15-3.

The 33 starts made by Popovic that year were the most games he played in Atlanta and he accounted for a pair of assists and 10 penalty minutes to go with his –4 rating. He appeared in 3 games in the year following the lockout and 7 the year after that. He also played one game with Anaheim in 2003-04 season.

So, if the 07-08 campaign is the only real year to make a judgment on his abilities, certainly that would qualify the man for a Mulligan, wouldn’t you say?

He played for two years with the John Anderson-coached Chicago Wolves where he played in 138 games scoring 28 goals and 50 assists in Anderson’s system and racking up 117 PIM. During 15 playoff games in 2007 he netted 3 goals and 9 overall points.

Will Mark Popovic earn a spot in the Thrashers' lineup?

  • Yes! He's good enough to play here. (26%, 15 Votes)
  • No! He's Chicago-bound. (37%, 21 Votes)
  • feh...He's got as good of a chance as the rest. (37%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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Last year he played with the KHL’s St. Petersburg SKA where he accounted for 8 goals and 14 assists with 40 penalty minutes during 52 regular season games…no points and a single minor penalty in 3 playoff games.

Now, he’s back on the Thrashers’ practice ice and is looking to land a roll within the organization. If nothing else, Pops adds another level of depth for this defensive corps…one in which the term “depth” has more times than not been defined as “how deep in a hole its play can land the team in the standings”.

But this year is a bit different. With the acquisition of Pavel Kubina, the top two pairings of Hainsey-Kubina & Enstrom Bogosian are as solid as we’ve seen in these parts. Then there is Oystrick, Valabik and Salmela that could have easily made up the three D-men left to ice a third pairing and provide adequate patronage of the buffet spread up in the press box.

The team had also brought in Noah Welch earlier in the summer and had the likes of Arturs Kulda and Grant Lewis in the system as well. But you add in a player like Popovic to the mix…and now you’ve got yourself an all-out contest to see who can rise to the top of heap.

This is a good thing, my friends.

Another thing to consider here is, as discussed above, John Anderson is familiar with this player given their days in Chicago. Plus, the team has obviously seen something in his play that impressed them enough to give him a chance to play up here previously.

Personally, I think Popovic has a better than even chance of making the team when the season opens on October 3…rounding out the bottom 3 defenders that would consist of he, Oystrick and Valabik. Even if he doesn’t, he should be around to provide that certain level of depth that we just aren’t akin to in these parts.

So with that, I’ll open up the floor for discussion with the question… “Can Mark pop a surprise by making this squad”?

168 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

September 15th, 2009
12:17 pm

re: Zherdev… still sounds like Agent tricks to me… Eklund reporting “Edmonton close to signing Zherdev” and Russia reporting “KHL close to signing Zherdev”.

World Be Free

September 15th, 2009
12:21 pm

Eklund sez that the Leafs are offering 2 first round picks and 1 second round pick for the rights to Phil Kessel. Kessel is a restricted free agent without a contract for the upcoming season.

You wanna screw the Maple Leafs? Let them make the deal and drop an offer sheet on Kessel. It would cost you first, second and third round picks.

Toronto gives up 2 first and a 2nd and gets and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in return!

Now that would be nasty! Wonder what Brian Burke would say about a GM if that happened?!

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
12:24 pm

Seems like Zherdev’s agent is throwing up smoke signals again. The guy loves to blow more smoke than Whitney Houston! Even if Z were to sign in Russia at this point, you get the feeling his agent will try everything he can to get an “out” clause written into that contract.

Rawhide – sorry for the PRA, but it must be residual teeth rattling I was feeling in the wake of all that hard-hitting, bone-crunching checking we experienced in Dooo-luth last night….yowzers!!

World Be Free

September 15th, 2009
12:28 pm

Brendan-yup, the Bills just tossed the offensive coordinator under the wheels. It’s Dickie Boy’s turn next! Last night was a major league “wide right”.

Zherdev-hey, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Maybe management thinks Kane is ready and they don’t need Zherdev? Or maybe one of the other kids that’s playing well?

Edmonton is desperate to have somebody, anybody to play with Hemsky. Zherdev would be that anybody, but they has prospects too. I would take Cogliano in a minute.

Sara

September 15th, 2009
12:30 pm

Edmonton is supposed to sign Zherdev with what cap space exactly? They have less than $1M available. No chance cause if Z were willing to sign that low, he’d already be a Thrasher.

World Be Free

September 15th, 2009
12:31 pm

Smoothie-are we starting a list of well-known “burners”?

J.B.

September 15th, 2009
12:36 pm

The Zherdev signing by Atlant of the KHL and not Atlanta has been noted in allhockey.ru and khl-news.com as well as Sovetsky Sport. I have no idea which of these if any are credible…

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

WBF – how about Bunsen?!

Zoomo

September 15th, 2009
12:59 pm

Someone noted Kane as a class act above. As we left the rink last night he and his dad were heading out at the same time and he took the time to exchange pleasantries with my son and give him a pat on the head. Up close, the kid has that certain star quality/charisma.

Then as we were walking to our cars it was apparent that the Kane’s were parked in the lower lot where we were – I wished Evander luck and told him I hope he sticks with the big club, but in any event we’d be seeing a lot of him soon. He seemed genuinely happy to have the fan support and gave be a big thanks!

I also noticed as we arrived at the rink before the game, Mr Kane was wearing a Vancouver Giants pullover and as we lest he had a nice new Thrashers pullover on. Nice move by the staff!

This kid will be a marketing dream for Le Thrash if he’s half the player we think he’s going to be.

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
1:12 pm

Zoomo, twas me. Look forward to making your acquaintance at some point. Glad you had a chance to chat with Van and his Dad Perry. I saw his dad there in his Giants regalia and I was tempted to tap him on the shoulder and welcome him to the ATL, but I didn’t want to scare him with my exuberance. I’m sure the Kanes are feeling quite welcome here in what is hopefully their new, semi-permanent home away from home.

Marketing dream indeed…don’t eff this up ASG!!!!

World Be Free

September 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

Smoothie-Bunson, speed, wood burner, stuff like that.
Best burner or one to get burned- D Hall!

Pam on Weck

September 15th, 2009
1:42 pm

*Completely Off-Topic Warning*

I have an idea for the Rawhides Rowdies logo, however, there are two problems.

1) The idea probably violates all copyright and licensing laws surrounding current team logos.
2) I am no artist, graphic or otherwise.

That said, I am picturing the Thrasher of the main logo wielding the alternate logo (overhead view of a Thrasher flying from original blue-fronted jersey) in both hands like weapons.

Russian

September 15th, 2009
1:45 pm

Latest news from Russia about Zherdev.
Contract should be sign at Wednesday 9/16/2009. GM “Atlant” will return from Magnitagorsk. My opinion is something will happendvery soon. I do not lost my wish to see Zherdev in Atlanta, GA in NHL, not Atlant in KHL :-)
“Контракт Жердева с «Атлантом» будет подписан в среду
Контракт подмосковного «Атланта» с российским нападающим Николаем Жердевым будет подписан в среду, после возвращения генерального директора клуба Андрея Веревко из Магнитогорска, где «Атлант» во вторник проводит матч чемпионата КХЛ, сообщает Sports.ru”

Troy

September 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

Brendan – You can scratch Chad Denny off that prospects list, he can’t even crack the top 6 in Chicago after 2 years there, and makes Valabik’s skating look like Dan Jansen.

J.B.

September 15th, 2009
2:23 pm

Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy is tweeting that Zherdev to Atlant (KHL) is done and will be announced by the team tomorrow.

Sorry Russian.

Russian

September 15th, 2009
2:38 pm

**to JB**
Damn! It is too bad. I guest Don put all his money on Kane. I hope kid is going to be good. Any way I am not agree to put Kane to 3 line. He should be on 1 or 2-d line. He is offencive forward.

R. Stroz

September 15th, 2009
2:47 pm

Well, all bets are off for a Kovy signing anytime soon.

DW just called Kovy’s bluff with a pair of twos.

The ASG may make their full revenue sharing number, but at what long term cost?

If this team doesn’t come out early and win, things are going to get real ugly.

Earlier in the summer, didn’t DW say that Kovy would be re-signed by opening day. Two weeks and counting…TICK…TOCK…TICK…TOCK

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
3:02 pm

No one knows if Kovy made any overtures to management about Zherdev. I think he is already pretty excited about Antropov, a bigger & stronger Little, a full year with Pevs, Marty and Colby coming back and the addition of his old bud Kubina on the blueline. After seeing the team gel after he was appointed Captain and the dead weight had been jettisoned, I think he realizes there’s more to hockey success than simply signing every big-name FA that comes along (see Tampa & NYR).

J.B.

September 15th, 2009
3:05 pm

Stroz~

DW just called Kovy’s bluff with a pair of twos.

Just for clarification, what does this mean? I haven’t seen any new news today on Kovy…

Are you referring to Zherdev signing in the KHL? If so, we never did find out whether Kovy wanted Zherdev here for sure. He may very well have told DW that he liked the kid but it was too risky considering his past performance, attitude, etc. Ilya probably also knows that if Z was signed to a multi year contract with us, that $$$ hit might cut into the raise he’s sure to get if we re-sign him.

Note: I am well aware that Kovalchuk is more interested in winning than a paycheck, but money still a salient point…

J.B.

September 15th, 2009
3:11 pm

…what Smoothie said; +1

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
3:22 pm

Seems to me that #17 lobbied pretty hard for Antropov, but was kind of ambivalent regarding Zherdev-kind of like the guy at the car dealer when he’s being sold “premium” floormats:

SALESMAN(Read Z & agent): *These floormats are a leather/ShamWow hybrid that actually dry your feet before they touch the mat and give the car that rich leather aroma everyone loves”

KOVALCHUK(Car-buyers son): Really? They dry your feet automatically?? Yeah, but y’know we could just go with the regular ones…we got the sweet 20″ wheels already… But that leather/ShamWow stuff is pretty cool

WADDELL(Car-buyer): Howabout you do these “premium” floormats for 15% above the regular ones?

SALESMAN: These floormats are highly regarded the world over-I couldn’t put them in the package for less than 45% over.

WADDELL: Uhhh-huh. Tell you what, Let us take the car home for a test-drive first…I mean those are pretty impressive floormats… Me and my boy could…- Son?

KOVALCHUK: riding on DUBS son!!! Dayum! I think this is gonna be the first car I can actually not get laughed at for driving up to schoool… Rollin on DUBS!

WADDELL: You know what? We’re just going to go with thee floormats I found at autozone… They’re made here, in North America-not in Germany or where-ever…

SALESMAN: But these floormats are all the rage in Moscow!

WADDELL: Mmmmm-Hmm! Well, enjoy the snow! Son? SON!?

KOVALCHUK: THEY’RE SPINNIN’ B!TCHES!!! THEY’RE SPININN’!!!!!

It went down just like that. I have a realiable source (E99).

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
3:23 pm

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
3:26 pm

J.B. – keen use of the word “salient” ;-)

I still think we have a good shot at picking up a PK specialist, which we need FAR more than Zherdev at this point, either during the pre-season or right before the reg season starts if the coaches aren’t please with Kane’s 2-way game and / or Fritsche, Crabb or Macho-check don’t step up and show some serious “jam”…we got some hearty bread and lots of smooth peanut butter, but now we need some JAM!

Brendan

September 15th, 2009
3:26 pm

Pam on Weck, I toyed with going with GF vs. GA, that’d only be needed by identical guesses of points, rank in SE division, and Conference rank, or a situation of being “equidistant” to Conference rank. In such cases, I’d just want to see both posters win.

In case anyone’s curious, the “rock,paper,scissor” method deciding outcomes … is always a best “three out of five.”

The deadline for Points contest guesses is, as Rawhide said, “puck drop” of Opening Night. Now I hear ya. “Like it’d reeeeeallly matter if the pick were made during the 2nd period intermission, or even after the game. It’s an 82-frekkin-long game season!!! What does one game in October matter?!!!” Yeah, well … we’ve got to set a cut off sometime. How would you feel if the contest ran until Christmas? Allriighteee then. “Puck drop” of Opening Night it is. Still plenty of time to get your vote in. This contest is the exception to rule: “Abstinence works every time.” If you abstain, you cannot come … to be the winner. Of the contest. And not Seinfeldian-style.

J.B.

September 15th, 2009
3:35 pm

Wow…just wow. It must be a slow day at work for Tony C. but A+++++ for creativity on that little dialogue. I’ll never look at contract negotiations the same way again. Not sure what else to say…

Smoothie – thanks, i was happy with it.

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
3:37 pm

90 pts 2nd in SE, slides into 6th spot of the final 8 in the East. #17 pots 63 ties for Richard trophy. Adams trophy for the walrus, and after a 3-goal, seven assist explosion in the playoffs SlavaMatic wins the Masterson.

Brendan

September 15th, 2009
3:43 pm

Do KHL contracts have an “out clause?” Is that standard? Or possible? I’m asking … because I don’t know. All I know is this. If Atlanta did acquire Zherdev, it wouldn’t cost anything but money. No prospects would be lost, and no draft picks would be surrendered. And there’d be a pretty good chance that Zherdev would ‘outperform’ a prospect. Not to mention that Zherdev could be DEALT at the trade deadline for picks and prospects, if the wheels feel off.

Bygones?

I can’t say. But “penny wise-pound foolish” strategies rarely work. I’d love for Kane to make the club, be a Top Six forward, and win the Calder Trophy. Truly, I would. But I am not wanting to heap pressure on a eighteen year old (18) to “cover the GM/Ownership decisions” as it relates to OVERSIGHT of the franchise. To quote David McDavid, “Do you know what a camel is? It’s a HORSE designed by a committee.” I actually feel sorry for Don Waddell. He has to put up with a lot. This is not a GM chair that many would want to occupy.

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
3:46 pm

J.B.-Now you know why I have such a high opinion of my aptitude as an NHL GM.

Brendan

September 15th, 2009
3:47 pm

I want whatever Tony C.’s having. ‘Cuz his creativity is boundless today! You are registered, at 90-points, 2nd in SE Division, and 6th in the Conference, with Kovy winning the Rocket Richard Goal Scoring Trophy, John Anderson winning the Jack Adams “Coach of the Year” Award, and SlavaMatic winning the Masterton Trophy.

Midfield

September 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

You’re right again, Brendan. Besides, if Waddell does not explain clearly why Zherdev was not signed, he would be blamed for not signing him – among all other things he did, would, did not, or would not do. And rightly so. Like I said, not only he looks inept by his actions, he looks inept by his communication skills. Being “likeable” does not cut it for an NHL General Manager, Don.

Rawhide

September 15th, 2009
4:11 pm

Thrashers prospects dropped a 3-0 decision to the Preds today. Two goals in the first period…the second coming with but 8.5 seconds left on the clock. Nashiville’s third goal was an empty-net job toward the end of the game.

Josh Unice was in the nets today.

Toby

September 15th, 2009
4:18 pm

“I haven’t seen any new news today on Kovy…”

Well…here ya go.

http://today.sportingnews.com/sportingnewstoday/20090915/?pg=39&pm=1&u1=friend

Toby

September 15th, 2009
4:18 pm

…nothing big…just a Custance update

Darkhorse

September 15th, 2009
4:23 pm

Tony C-I thought Paul was the walrus?…. goo goo g’joob

http://www.morethings.com/pictures/music/beatles/walrus-sheet.gif

R. Stroz

September 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

J.B. – This is largely from a previous post.

Zherdev was largely a trial balloon used by Kovy to gage whether the ASG was committed to hockey in Atlanta. If Zherdev had been signed, the ASG would have exceeded the full revenue sharing cap number.

At this evening’s Thrashers towne hall meeting, I hope someone asks Waddell whether Kovy wanted the Thrashers to sign Zherdev. It’s a simple yes/no answer. If Waddell dodges the question, we can take that as a yes. If Waddell answers no, then Waddell either pisses Kovy off by lying or actually gives us the answer to the question.

Don’t you know Jay Grossman, Kovalchuk’s agent, has pointed out to Kovy that the ASGs willingness to exceed the “full revenue sharing” cap number is a “tell” as to whether the ASG will ever be committed to hockey in Atlanta.

If the ASG isn’t willing to exceed the full revenue sharing cap number this year when Kovy has leverage, isn’t it obvious that they will not do so in the future when the leverage is removed?

Waddell and the ASG are trying to bluff Kovy with a pair of twos. And when bluffing with a pair of twos in poker, you will lose money nearly every time. If the ASG loses Kovy, they’ll be lucky to have revenue at all.

Smoothie

September 15th, 2009
4:25 pm

Preds prospects get their revenge and take down the Baby Birds 3 – 0.

GaVaHokie

September 15th, 2009
4:25 pm

Wow, this Zherdev thing is being WAY over hyped and over evaluated as far as Kovy is concerned… the only reason Kovy is involved in this discussion is because Zherdev brought it up. I seriously don’t think it has any baring on the Kovalchuk negotiations. Kovy could have been fluffing his balls for all we know. “Uh yeah, Nik, we’d love to have you in Atlanta” *snicker* …and then behind his back Kovy says “not a chance in hell, prick”.

When I was sticking up for Zherdev a few weeks ago it was because he has pretty mad skills and gets a lot of shots on net, I think it would be a nice experiment but it’s hardly spilled milk.

We’ve got the best Thrashers camp in history going on right now and people are still grasping at straws to throw Waddell under the bus.

Midfield

September 15th, 2009
4:47 pm

GVH, you’re right too, if your point is that it is more about Waddell than it is about Zherdev. Guess what, the way I see it this far, Don has moved just a step closer to this very upcoming bus. Unless of course, he clarifies the situation in some semi-decent manner.

Alan

September 15th, 2009
4:49 pm

KOVALCHUK: THEY’RE SPINNIN’ …

Thanks for the laughs, Tony! Best laugh I’ve had all week!

R. Stroz

September 15th, 2009
4:56 pm

Waddell has been standing in front of the bus for years, but Levenson is driving off the road.

GaVaHokie

September 15th, 2009
5:01 pm

Guess what, the way I see it this far, Don has moved just a step closer to this very upcoming bus. Unless of course, he clarifies the situation in some semi-decent manner.

I don’t see why it needs any clarification at all.

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
5:19 pm

Darkhorse-I beieve he has studiously gone and erased the image from the web, but back in ‘08 during the Wolves Calder Cup run, they grew “playoff mustaches”…anyway, Coach Anderson’s was magnificent-his viking forefathers were done very proud-hence the nickname of “Coach Walrus”

If anybody has a copy of the image (or can get some former Wolves to fwd one) of Coach Anerson with the mustache, I’d be happy to give them $5.

BTW Brendan I’m on something called “I don’t work in a cube anymore”-it does wonders for your creativity…although your bank account fluctuates like a drunk sailor in a typhoon.

Tony C.

September 15th, 2009
5:21 pm

Ok I found a pic finally…not the best but you’ll get the idea.

http://www.chicagowolves.com/news/features/?article_id=962

Funny article.

Brendan

September 15th, 2009
5:44 pm

Maybe a different approach is needed. Maybe the question should be, “Did the Thrashers do ENOUGH?” Which then begs the question, “Enough to what?” Well, I think Kovalchuk made his intentions clear. We can go by what he said, not what ‘we think’ he said or what ‘we think’ he meant. Or by what ‘we think’ he wanted.

I don’t think it’s remotely REASONABLE to ask a team, from 76-points last season, to be a Stanley Cup contender in the space of ONE YEAR. But that’s what Kovalchuk asked for. (Well, it is.) So, in your deliberations, was Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina ENOUGH, in addition to what was a GIVEN (#4 overall pick in the 2009 Entry Draft)? Keep in mind, that a guy like Saku Koivu was out there, willing to sign a 1-year deal out in Anaheim, I think. Zherdev was there, as something to consider. Atlanta did not get Komisarek, in what might turn out to be a good non-acquisition. There is the matter of Kessel, and the draft pick compensation that that would require. Players like Marcel Goc and Mike Grier went ELSEWHERE than Atlanta, as did Steve Montador, in terms of players that might “fit” within the economic framework and general “concept” of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Was Antropov and Kubina enough? Keep in mind, Kubina was part of a Maple Leaf salary dump and a means to help the Thrashers stay over the FLOOR of the cap, at the time that move was made. And Colin Stuart got tossed in as a bonus to Toronto. For their part, Toronto tossed in Stapleton. Many of us will miss Exelby, but plenty won’t. This is an upgrade and GOOD JOB by Waddell. At the trade deadline last year, Waddell moved Christensen for Eric O’Dell. I loved that move. I’m not too sure O’Dell can contribute right away. But I think it’s reasonable to project that he’ll be a Thrasher … down the road. Waddell re-signed Lehtonen, Crabb, Thorburn, Salmela, Colby Armstrong, Oystrick, Slater, etc. I don’t think these moves were disasterous. I’d say they were good moves. If this were a Stanley Cup contention season, I would be right there with WBF protesting the Slater re-signing. But, see, that’s another matter.

Does it sound like I’m throwing Waddell under the bus? The poor guy is trying as best he can, given his situation. But be honest, did he do ENOUGH? Or rather, did the OWNERSHIP “enable” him ENOUGH? Is this a team that is a ’sure lock’ to make the playoffs? So far, no major hockey publication thinks Atlanta is in “sniffing distance” of a playoff berth. That’s why they play the games, of course. But was ENOUGH done … to get to the playoffs … and CONTEND … AND send the message to Kovalchuk that, “Play time is OVER!! We’re going to be taken seriously now, as an organization … and DRIVING FORCE in the National Hockey League.” Kovalchuk no longer has to WAIT or HOPE for the organization to grow a set. He doesn’t have to play here … past April 2010. He can opt for franchises that DON’T CARE about “full revenue-sharing dollars.” He’ll get his money, FRONT LOADED, by whatever team signs him. Have the Thrashers done ENOUGH to convince Kovalchuk that they are going to win the Stanley Cup, now or down the road? Your thoughts?

ben

September 15th, 2009
6:03 pm

how do we know the Zherdev thing was ever real? Is there any evidence at all. Maybe it was Atlant all along. Just chill! The season is coming, and Kovy appears to want to be here.

R. Stroz

September 15th, 2009
7:45 pm

ben – Enjoy reading about the Zherdev situation:

http://www.beyondtheblueshirts.com/2009/09/another-zherdev-to-the-khl-rumor/

and why the Thrashers didn’t sign him:

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2009/9/8/1021635/can-the-thrashers-afford-nik

and why rushing Kane isn’t a good idea:

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2009/9/10/1024105/should-evander-kane-play-in-the

Now, lets just hope if White or Kozzie get injured, Esposito is ready to play in the NHL sooner than later.

Sara

September 15th, 2009
7:55 pm

Instead of just assuming that no Zherdev means no Kovy or presuming to ask Waddell to explain himself and justify the non-signing, how about we wait for the writing on the wall? As in, Kovy’s signature on a contract (or lack thereof). If you honestly think Waddell would personally make the decision to not sign Zherdev if Kovy had made it very clear he wanted him here, you haven’t been paying attention. Waddell would swim across the Atlantic Ocean, then walk the breadth of Europe to Russia if Kovy told him he’d sign a contract upon arrival.

Kovy said himself he is now out of the negotiations…it’s between Grossman and Waddell. I can guarantee that means contract amount and length. Now that doesn’t preclude the idea that Kovy gave Grossman special instructions, ie. only bring me the paperwork if they sign Zherdev. But I’m more inclined to think that if Kovy is out, he feels his personal requirements have been met and he can let his agent get him the $$ he wants.

Though I am also inclined to wonder why there is a negotiation going on at all – as far as I’m concerned, whatever counter-proposal Grossman sent back should be signed immediately by management. :)

ben

September 15th, 2009
7:56 pm

Brendan,

Maybe. We need to wait and see, but the fact that Kovy is swapping numbers is a good sign. I still stand by what I said about Zherdev and improving the team longterm at their current address in-town. People will not go where they don’t feel is safe. It’s a problem of perception.

Sara

September 15th, 2009
7:59 pm

BTW, for the Dudley enthusiasts in the bunch, courtesy of Ben Wright’s twitter:

Rick Dudley builds profiles on every player in the NHL so he’s prepared if they become available.

Sara

September 15th, 2009
8:01 pm

Actually I might as well post his whole series cause it’s lots of good stuff – especially the last one (again, courtesy of Ben’s Twitter)

Rick Dudley says Evander Kane reminds him of Toews. Says Thrash are set up better to succeed than CHI and FLA were when he took over there.

What do you do for fun on the road? Colby- me and Rich Peverley sit in our room and go over John Anderson’s systems.

Anderson says the coaching staff has been watching tape of the top PK teams to see if they can borrow ideas from them.