For Thrashers, what will be the lasting legacy of letting Manny go?

If you’re a loyal resident of Thrasherville, you undoubtedly know by now that Manny Legace was released and sent off to find employment in the nets of some other team. Now, after hearing of the news, I must admit that my first thought was, “Certainly their must be a logical explanation for this decision”.

Well, I mean, that was my first thought right after, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot”???

See, this is what I was trying to make sense of…

On one hand, you have Kari Lehtonen…dubbed our “goalie of the future” for the past seven years now…once again out due to pulled groin, flu, strained back, hangnail, split-ends, back surgery and won’t be able to start the season this Saturday. Heaven only knows when he’ll be healthy enough to return.

Then you have young Ondrej Pavelec…the newest “goalie of the future”…who has a career record of 6-10-0, 3.42 GAA, .890 SV% and zero shutouts…who last season, when called upon because of “Kari Down ‘08″, played to the numbers of 3-7-0, 3.60 GAA, .880 SV% and no shutouts…and who has seen 8 of the most recent 39 shots in four periods of preseason play get past him. Just last Sunday, five of the 26 shots faced needed to be pulled out of the net.

As I’ve opined here before, my confidence level in Pavs in not very high at all… and the game against the Bolts did nothing to ease my mind. Especially given that on Saturday we will be treated to a return visit by our Southeastern Division brethren for the first game of the regular season.

Sure, there is the reliable Moose in the back yard…but he’s dependable as a quality backup. He’s not the guy to have play eight-nine of your first ten or eleven games.

What are your thoughts on the Thrashers releasing Legace and going with Pavelec?

  • Love it! I'm just oozing with confidence in Opie! (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Manny would have been a nice, but I'm OK with his leaving (17%, 27 Votes)
  • They must be high on Opie-um! (80%, 126 Votes)

Total Voters: 157

Loading ... Loading ...

But then…there is this Manny Legace dude who is dressing out in your locker room, practicing on your ice, who possesses a career mark of 177-92-18… with 18 ties to boot… a 2.38 GAA, .912 SV% and 23 shutouts, (which is only 2 less than Opie, Kari and the Moose combined).

He’s 36 years old…but his most recent three years of play in St. Luis has seen him put up a record of 63-49-15, 2.73 GAA, .901 SV% and 10 shutouts.

Why, given the current situation in goal, you count your lucky stars a guy like Legace is in camp for you to turn to in your time of need…right?

Uh…no.

Apparently, you cut Legace and go with Opie.

So obviously then, this must mean that things are so good for you in goal…life is so exceptionally hunky-dory in the nets…you are sooooo confident in your current keeper situation…that you tell a Manny Legace type of player, “Ah, thanks big guy…but you’re just not gonna crack the lineup here. But here, please take this nice Thrashers schedule magnet for your refrigerator door and 10-year logo lapel pin as a token of our esteemed gratitude for trying out”.

sigh…

But somehow…I just think there is something more to this than meets the eye.

Maybe the money issue wasn’t something the two parties could come together one.

Maybe Legace didn’t want to accept a 2-way contract, fearing a return to the AHL once Kari…knocking wood…is healthy enough to not only start but complete the rest of the season…don’t laugh.

Hey, maybe he was holding out for Don Waddell’s parking spot, a personal company car with Thrashers decals on the sides and member of the Blue Crew as a chauffeur.

Or maybe…just maybe…Don Waddell, Rick Dudley and John Anderson honestly and for-true felt that Opie and the Moose are the duo to see us through “Kari Down ’09″. And after all, let’s not forget what it cost the Thrashers to bring him in and have a look-see at him.

shrugs…

Regardless, do you think that there will be any ramifications or, shall we say, any lasting…ahem…legacies of the team cutting Manny loose at this time?  Do you fear the team will not get off to as good of a start as I and many others have thought it could have? Or will Pavelec finally take this opportunity to step up and prove he is the goalie the franchise trusts he can be?

175 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

September 29th, 2009
9:14 am

Will we ever learn the real reason as to why Manny was released?
Certainly cannot be the overwhelming confidence of the current set of goaltenders.

Darren

September 29th, 2009
9:24 am

Whatever the reason, I don’t think it was just another case of Manny being Manny.

R. Stroz

September 29th, 2009
9:32 am

The answer is found in the sounds emitted from a bird, maybe even a brown thrasher, the ASG is cheap, cheap, cheap.

Russian

September 29th, 2009
9:35 am

When I saw that Manny has been released, I was shoked. He is a good goalie. He is old, but still have good expirience to win a game. But after few hours I just realize that Organization want to make a big push. If Kari will return and play good that we will have two Goalies: Kari and Pavs. Moose will be somewhere after Kari return.
Until Kari is not back, Pavs will be playing and he will play good. He has a Chanse to make a team as Number #1. I did not believe that Sunday gane was 100% effort from a team. They did not play like that. I hope team will be ready to battle at Saturday and Pavs will takes care team until Kari get healthy.

Baldheaded Thrasher

September 29th, 2009
9:35 am

Makes you wonder why he was invited to camp, he did well Opie didn’t so bye bye Legace? Why waste everyone’s time?

TrueBlue

September 29th, 2009
9:40 am

I have posted this over and over and over on the message boards, but I will say it here too. This was a giant mistake. They never gave Legace an honest tryout at all. He got 40 minutes of play, allowed one LEGIT goal and one goal off a D-mans stick. How does that NOT warrant another look? I feel that the top dawgs never meant to truly give Legace a chance. They are so consumed in their quest to make their “drafted goalies” top tier goalies that they go blind to other goalies. So, if Pavs goes down, is this team so confident in Hedberg that they are willing to give him the # 1 spot? There are SO many questions in this goalie fiasco that it boggles my mind. Pavelec just had surgery on his knee. Will he stay healthy? How long will Kari need to rehab and re-condition to get into the # 1 position? With Pavs past showing and his weak rebound control, I fear for this team once again. I never felt more confident about a Thrashers team until this year. Well, now I just dont know.

Hockey Biltong

September 29th, 2009
9:44 am

7th and we are utterly powerless to know why.

Hockey Biltong

September 29th, 2009
9:45 am

Darren- nice!!

World Be Free

September 29th, 2009
9:48 am

Baldhead-I have been the same thing about Max. Why waste everyone’s time?

DWTOO

September 29th, 2009
9:53 am

Hoping that Waddell and Dudley are either working on a trade or searching the wavier wires. Manny looked good in practice, but, was never given a real shot.

We’ll probably never know the whole story, but, the way Pavs and Moose have looked so far I can’t see letting this guy walked.

And what about Waddell’s comment from sunday that he would be talking to Legace’s agent?

Russian

September 29th, 2009
9:54 am

Let’s see a worst scenario. We will start Pavs and Moose and we will be loosing 10 games. Can we send Pavs back to Chicago? Can we call to Lagacy back? Once again, I think we will be OK until Karik come back.

Laura (hildymac)

September 29th, 2009
9:54 am

After chatting you up at the pre-season opener, I kinda figured I would see this post this morning. Thank you for not disappointing. I’m hoping that there is a legit reason other than “Pavelec’s AWESOME!!!1!!!!” behind this.

Pavs needs another year in the AHL. I’m sorry, I’m not bashing him, but he does. Kari and his constant problems (split ends – brilliant! He’s the Thrashers’ version of Chipper Jones) needs to go to a team who needs a really good backup and who can give us something on the PK.

Keep Manny for a year, bring up Pavs next season, problem solved. Or was that just too much common sense for people to catch?

Rawhide

September 29th, 2009
10:01 am

After chatting you up at the pre-season opener, I kinda figured I would see this post this morning. Thank you for not disappointing.

Laura (hildymac) – It’s all part of the service, ma’am. And it was great to see ya again last week.

And what about Waddell’s comment from sunday that he would be talking to Legace’s agent?

DWTOO – I guess technically he did…and the converstation on Don’s end went something like, “So…would you like for me to write Manny a letter of recommendation”?

Daculafan

September 29th, 2009
10:06 am

I have stated in my own blog and it has been stated all around the Thrasher blogosphere that really there were two keys to this season’s success that had to be answered, that was Goaltending and Penalty Kill.

After last Sunday how does everybody feel about those two keys…great huh?…I can’t agree more with True Blue…I felt like they never gave Manny any real look and the 40 minutes of goal time he got was a mere insult. I don’t feel like his “tryout” was much of one at all…if it were he would’ve gotten more time in net. I think he was brought in to motivate other goalies and scare them into believing their spot may be in jeopardy if they didn’t play to their best. Unfair to Manny mostly..but to the fans I think also…I think we had all figured that with his experience and past track record that he would have gotten a more legitimate look.

If Pavs works out (hopefully) then this will be the right move…but if this goes south…well this will just be another thing in a long list of reasons why Thrasher fans are frustrated with the front office.

Rawhide – Hey Buddy

AB

September 29th, 2009
10:10 am

Thanks Rawhide for saying what I’ve been thinking and trying to say all along. Opie gets all the playing time in world during camp and swims in the sea of mediocrity and yet we let go of a goaltender who has been for the most part a winner all of his career as a starter and back-up. And why? We’ll never know. But that’s Don Waddell for you. Be careful John Anderson, if you loose the first 6 games you’ll go the way of Bob Hartley. There again is another example of how stupid the mgmt of the Thrashers are. Was Manny the answer, no. But I believe he would have been the best option to give us the chance at starting the season off strongly.

Russian

September 29th, 2009
10:14 am

**to Dacula**
This is excatly what I was thinking, that Manny came to Camp. He made our Goalies play hard and try to get spot on the team.

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
10:16 am

My biggest fear is that Pavs lets in two goals in the 1st Period on Saturday and the arena erupts in “Boos!”

That will be a really nice way to start the season. (sarcasm)

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
10:19 am

If Manny wasn’t willing to play in the minors when Kari returns, then frankly, he wasted his own time.

Not sure we’ll ever get a clear-cut reason to this move, but I’m sure it will be wrapped in a pretty bow of “Pavelec is our man”.

Zoomo

September 29th, 2009
10:27 am

>>And what about Waddell’s comment from sunday that he would be talking >>to Legace’s agent?

You’d have to believe that there may have been unreasonable demands – i.e. not accepting a two way – that played into this.

You also have to think that Rick Dudley is discussing every move with Don. So it’s not just a single person making these decisions. Maybe they saw something with Manny that prevented them from wanting to him a shot.

I’m puzzled, like everyone else. Maybe will try to plunk a proven back up off the waiver wire tomorrow as a stop gap. Maybe a trade is in the works?

j nes

September 29th, 2009
10:30 am

You would think that a wide open offensive system like John Anderson’s would rely on stellar goaltending to make up for the inevitable odd man rushes. It is obvious to all the “experts” that a solid goalie is something this team lacks, hence the last place projections. I guess an all-star goalie from 2008 was not as solid as a broke back Fin.

Riceowls8891

September 29th, 2009
10:34 am

I wonder if Manny’s chirping in practice wore thin? Personally, I think chemistry is important in hockey, more than any other sport.

In any event, Kovy & Krew better be ready to score 6 goals a game, because I think we’re gonna need it.

Adam

September 29th, 2009
10:37 am

I wanted to vote “Love it! I’m just oozing with confidence in Opie!”

Just because when you look at it doesn’t it just “ooze” sarcasm?
But I’m glad not to have been the one to remove the goose egg that sits there.

All I can say is I hope, like Zoomo states, that there is another plan in place the involves sending Opie back to Chicago.

I’ve been wait to vote on the seasons standings to see how this all shook out and all I can say now is I think 80pts is gonna be a stretch unless Kari is on the fast track to returning——-> HEALTHY!

Rawhide

September 29th, 2009
10:42 am

In any event, Kovy & Krew better be ready to score 6 goals a game, because I think we’re gonna need it.

Riceowls8891 – Preach it, brothah!

I wanted to vote “Love it! I’m just oozing with confidence in Opie!”

Just because when you look at it doesn’t it just “ooze” sarcasm?
But I’m glad not to have been the one to remove the goose egg that sits there.

Adam – Sarcasm? … Me? :cool:

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
10:45 am

I wish Giguere’s salary wasn’t so inflated… he would seem like a prime candidate… perhaps Josh Harding in Minnesota?

Dunno… I think the simplest answer is always the right one… Pavelec is our goaltender until Lehtonen is healthy.

Somewhere, Alan Walsh is sporting a smug grin.

Gary the Goalie

September 29th, 2009
10:50 am

Enter your comments here
First, let me say that I live in the St. Louis area. Second, I’ve watched Manny play in both Detroit and St. Louis. Third, I’ve been a goalie for 35 years, so I kinda know what I’m talking about.

I think it was a shame the way the Blues organization treated Manny. After they assigned him to Peoria in the AHL last year, he only posted a 2.0 GAA and a .940 save percentage. I don’t know about you all, but I sure wouldn’t mind having him on my Tuesday night team. I was shocked that he was released by St. Louis, but with the goalies that we have in our system, it was easier to understand why, although I didn’t necessarily agree with it. But no one from the front office called me to get my opinion either.

It’s been said that Manny has “issues.” Well, duh! What goalie doesn’t. I know I certainly a few. We netminders have a mentality that we need to stop every puck, and I DO mean every, that comes our way. If we harbor a belief that we don’t need to stop them all, then we have no business occupying the blue real estate. But when we give up a bad goal or two, or other things just don’t seem to go right, that can really get into our feeble, little brains and mess us up bad. So maybe Manny has a bad day at the office and everybody is ready to lynch him. People like to do that to goalies. That’s why I carry a gun, to ward off the crazies. But I always tell ‘em, if they think it’s so easy to stop pucks, please feel free to strap on the forty pounds of equipment that I have in my bag and get your sorry ass out on the ice and let those guys shoot a five ounce piece of rubber at you 90 MPH through a forest of legs, THEN tell me how easy my job is. Same holds true for Manny.

He has a record. A long record, and a damn good one, I might add. Maybe the issue was money. Maybe the issue was a two-way contract. Maybe the issue was motivation for the other guys. Regardless, the Trashers organization have done a disservice to their fans. The ultimate goal is to put a product on the ice that entertains as well as wins. If the other guys step up to the plate, great. BUT, if they don’t, don’t go crying to Manny. He did his job.

Toby

September 29th, 2009
10:52 am

Favor:

For all those attending the Face Off party or Town Hall Meeting or whatever it’s called…Please grill Dub. Nothing new on Kovy (haven’t heard anything since the 9/15 Custance article)? Why is our goalie situation so bad? Why did we do nothing to address the worst PK in the NHL? …and so on. Thank you in advance :)

Barry

September 29th, 2009
10:58 am

This was a bad move on Waddell’s part. Ya Pavelec’s first two games were great, but the Tampa game brought back memories of his inconsistent play last season during Kari Down 08. He would have a couple of great games only to follow it up with a couple of games where he looked completely lost and couldn’t see and track the puck even if it was the size of a basketball. I don’t think the coaches gave Legace enough due time in the nets this preseason to make the team. They really didn’t give him a fair shot. I think Moose should start most of the games until Kari comes back ready to play. They should only let Pavelec play on back to back nights or when Moose needs a game off. Right now though Anderson better let Moose start Saturday night. He’s definately earned that honor.

Buzilla in CT

September 29th, 2009
11:03 am

If anything we could have fired Week’s as goalie coach and give Legace that position. Week’s is a hack. He had one year in his career with over 20 wins (in a 12 year career). He never good enough to earn a starting gig for any lenght of time. But I guess those who can’t do, coach. Isn’t the goalie coach supposed to teach positioning, help with conditioning, and above all else, get the goalie’s head right? Actually, Moose should be the coach, and Legace should be the “backup”. I can’t believe they dropped him. Dumb @sses…

Russ

September 29th, 2009
11:07 am

I know there have been comments that Legace wasn’t given a fair shot (40 minutes during the preseason). What about MacIntyre? Can anyone tell me how much time he got in the preseason? I was glad when the Thrashers brought him in to add some competition. I looked up his career stats at the AHL level and they are slightly better than Pavelec across the board. I thought the point of adding competition at every position in camp was to bring out the best in each player and let the best man win. I agree with most regarding Legace and also am wondering if MacIntyre was given any chance. It seems as if Ondrej was handed the #1 job on a silver platter and therefore it was pointless bringing in the others to “compete”.

I was actually somewhat optimistic about possibly challenging for a playoff spot this season until the news broke of Kari’s surgery. This episode continues my hopes for this season heading in a downward spiral. It has reaffirmed that this organization (and I use the term loosely) can’t distinguish its’ a$$ from a hole in the ground.

Rawhide

September 29th, 2009
11:20 am

What about MacIntyre? Can anyone tell me how much time he got in the preseason?

Russ – he was in goal for the first preseason game in Nashille when the Thrashers got whacked 5-0. He saved 31 of the 36 shots faced…all goals were even strength. But remember, that team was primarily made up of players that are heading for Chicago right now.

He also played the 3rd period in Carolina during the 4-3 loss there…allowing two goals on 11 SOG…one was on a Canes PP.

Gary the Goalie – Very, very nice post, my friend…and welcome to you.

Russ

September 29th, 2009
11:29 am

Rawhide – Thanks for the info.

Don *(Not That One)*

September 29th, 2009
11:38 am

Here’s the only logic that makes sense to me. Manny would not accept a 2 way contract, the Thrashers wanted that flexibility. The goalie market is not dying for another goalie on a 1 way deal at the moment, so they sent Manny to go check with the other 29 teams, after they all say no, maybe they can sign him to a 2 way deal.

That’s all conjecture on my part, and there is a lot of hoping that is the scenario and that Manny comes back around.

Get The Puck Out

September 29th, 2009
11:41 am

There really wasn’t any goalie competition as russ stated. The BRAINTRUST knew who would be starting and backup before training camp even started. The only reason drew and manny were there was to make opie and moose work a little harder, mostly opie. How can anyone put there hopes in kari? He is a liablity and not the one to put your hopes in. If the BRAINTRUST doesn’t have a trade or really get lucky on the wavier wire, this season could push my blood pressure where it don’t need to go.

TrueBlue

September 29th, 2009
12:04 pm

Question…When was the last time this franchise had a PROVEN # 1 goalie?

Question….When was the last time this was a winning franchise?

YAHTZEE!!

Sara

September 29th, 2009
12:18 pm

Updates from Ben’s Twitter about today’s golf outing –

Both Popovic and Afinogenov are playing.
So are former Flames Tim Ecclestone and Dan Bouchard.

World Be Free

September 29th, 2009
12:18 pm

Let’s hope people don’t start booing on opening night!

Brendan

September 29th, 2009
12:21 pm

I would be shocked if Don Waddell were permitted to fire John Anderson. That’d be 3 coaches, four if you count himself, who had tried to make this team a winner. If anybody winds up getting fired, it should be Waddell. Of course, I doubt anyone would be getting fired for quite some time. (How soon is April 2010?) I don’t know how long John Anderson’s contract is, but Forbes says Waddell’s is up at season’s end. Maybe Anderson’s is, as well. I cannot say. Contracts are kept “internal” by team policy. Only the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of the National Security Agency, and Leon Panetta really know. And good for them!

About 15 days ago, or so, Don Waddell came on 680TheFan to discuss the upcoming season. His point #4 … was that “Kari’s doing well after surgery.” Well, that’s what he said. I can only go by what he said. How did we go from “Kari’s doing well after surgery” to … no definitive return date? Shrugs. I don’t know. Maybe Waddell should explain it.

But here’s something to consider. If Kari does come back, ready and able to go, with Moose as the backup, what would Atlanta do with Manny Legace’s “one-way” deal hitting their cap? Stop. I’m assuming Legace was unwilling to sign a “two-way” deal, and that’s why he’s gone. Well, in this respect, I’m not surprised to see Manny released. Pavelec may not be ready. No argument. My ‘Go By’ notebook says, “Goalies take 5 years to develop,” as the general rule. With Pavelec being a 2005 draft pick, that means he should be NHL-ready in the Fall of 2010 (2011 season). Fine. I’m GREAT with that. So, we’ve got Moose under contract for this year, but not BEYOND this year. I’m also “fine with that.” Kari was the organization’s 1st round pick in 2002, selected 2nd overall, the TOP-RATED goaltender prospect of his draft year. While I never thought that was the ‘right’ decision, if I were to draft a goalie in the 1st round, in 2002, I probably would have taken Kari Lehtonen. Needless to say, the organization is heavily vested in Lehtonen. While the “P.R.” aspect of claims by Waddell … that Kari CANNOT assume he’s the #1 goalie here … have manifested themselves, they do not CORRESPOND with the reality of the situation. The reality is … Kari is our #1 goalie.

Digest that one, yet?

Kari … is our #1 goalie. We can try to pretend he isn’t. Let’s try that for a while. Okay, let’s pretend MOOSE is our #1 goalie. Ummmn. Well. On second thought, “No.” Okay, let’s pretend our #1 goalie is Pavelec. “Yeah, well … ya see … the thing is ….” Okay, let’s try another one. Let’s pretend Drew McIntyre is our #1 goalie. “PFFT!” Allrightee then!!

Okay. So … what have we learned? Ostensibly, we’ve learned Waddell is angry at Kari. Okay, that’s not fair, or necessarily accurate. Let’s just say that Waddell is “concerned” about Kari. That seems fair. But who is the #1 goalie for the Atlanta Thrashers? Who just screamed, “Olaf Kolzig!” Allright, someone show the Capitals fans the door to nostalgia. No, it’s not Olaf Kolzig, who is RETIRED by the way.

Kari Lehtonen, no matter how much it potentially “irks” people … is our #1 goalie. Period. The end.

LAC

September 29th, 2009
12:39 pm

No GM in hockey LIES more than don waddell, he NEVER tells the truth and this shows, as will this season, how BAD he is and HE is the sole reason this franchise is in the dismal shape it is in…

Don’t slam me now, wait and let’s see just what happens, the if we WIN, which I hope we do, I deserve it, but right now, we look like the last couple years teams and we are not going anywhere.

If we do get off to a horrible start, I expect waddell to be FIRED, we will see.

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
12:39 pm

Let’s hope people don’t start booing on opening night!

I’d almost bet money on it.

j nes

September 29th, 2009
1:01 pm

Does anyone think that at least some of the blame for the Thrashers inconsistent goaltending should fall on “Goaltender coach” Steve Weeks. It seems like he has had two opportunities with top prospects at goalie and neither one has panned out. Considering his scouting background I would also imagine he had some hand in selecting our current group. And yes, I am trying to point the finger, because that is what frustrated fans do.

five_hole

September 29th, 2009
1:05 pm

You could argue that at 36, Manny was on the downside of his career, except if his last 3 years, his record was 63-49-15, 2.73 GAA, .901 SV% and 10 shutouts (courtesy of Rawhide above). Those are pretty darn good numbers for a team that’s been really bad the last few years (Sorry Blues fans, it’s true).

If given a choice of Manny or Moose, I’d have kept Manny.

In reality, I’d have kept all 3 (the Lehtonen situation to be resolved). I’d still like to give Opie a chance to start the season & prove himself. If, after several weeks, Pavelic plays up to the #1 goalie title, we could have let Manny go then.

After all (and this really hurts me to say), “it’s only money”.

TrueBlue

September 29th, 2009
1:05 pm

When Kari comes back? Do you realize how LONG that could potentially be?! Has anyone ever hurt their back? Has anyone ever had back surgery? You dont JUMP right into sports and you dont even THINK about jumping right into the rigors of the NHL. He will not only have to start skating hard and go through a rigorous conditioning, but he will need to hit the gym. How long will that take? Quite a few weeks. THEN he will need to probably do a stint in the AHL for a few games. How long are we looking at here?! 2 months!?

You telling me we couldnt sign Legace to a contract and send Pavelec back down to the Wolves? When Kari returns you see what has been working and what hasnt. Is Moose cutting it as a back up? Is Legace cutting it?

What people dont understand is that Legace was, and could potentially still be a # 1 goalie. You do whats best for the team. If its trading one of our goalies or placing Hedberg on Waivers, thats what you do. Plain and simple.

DB

September 29th, 2009
1:11 pm

I’m having a hard time understanding why DW signs Kari to a contract knowing that he hasn’t had surgery and not having a medical opinion. And then he’s surprised when Kari spends more time on his motor boat terrorizing Georgians rather than rehabbing his injury. All the punishment he gets is a your not the #1, all the while not having a true competition for a goalie. I’ve been a long time DW supporter but this stinks. Do enough to stir a bit of excitement, maybe pick-up some additional ticket sales and then viola’ (pronounced waa-laa for Chuck Oliver), dump a tried and tested goalie who is better than Moose. Moose is a good guy but its win now time or bye-bye to Kovy.

AB

September 29th, 2009
1:15 pm

True Blue-
We’ve never had a franchise goalie. We came real close when we signed Byron Dafoe (going out on a limb here) but as is the case with all goalie’s in the Thrashers organization, he wound up, like all the others, hurt. Rhodes, Dafoe, Hinlikia (sp), Dunham, Lethonen, Miracle (wait was he a starter or back-up?), Hedberg have all at some point in their tenure with the birds been placed on the DL for a variety of reasons and always been a bust. But let’s be honest here. What respectable goaltender would want to put on a Thrashers sweater? We have a GM that’s a joke, a revolving door of linesmen, p*ss poor defense, p*ss poor PP & PK, a coaching staff (while doing the best they can) that isn’t NHL caliber, and so on. As much as I’d love to have a Lunongo, Kipusoff, or Osgood type lace up for the Thrashers, it won’t happen until the powers at be open up the check book, the Birds put together consecutive winning seasons, and DW is shown the door. My biggest fear is that if things don’t change in the next couple of years, the Thrashers could become the next Coyotes.

10 years and all we have to show for it is one, ONE, division title. I believe had we stuck with Hartley we’d have at least another and several playoff wins and a decent goalie, but I digress. W

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
1:25 pm

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
1:31 pm

Kevin Allen reporting it to on his twitter… http://www.twitter.com/kausatoday

So, I guess Popovic has officially stolen Oystrick’s spot.

Kubina Hainsey
Bogo Enstrom
Valabik Salmela
Popovic

Don *(Not That One)*

September 29th, 2009
1:49 pm

Scratching my head on that one. Oystrick looked stronger than Valabik by a long shot. Guess he’ll due better playing in Chicago, than watching in Atlanta.

That leaves 1 spot to go, since Kane doesn’t have to clear waivers, that could have already happened and not get picked up in the news for a bit.

Smoothie

September 29th, 2009
1:52 pm

Well, I see there isn’t much optimism burning bright as we head into the tenth season of Thrashers hockey. And with good reason I’m afraid.

As several people have said, the primary weaknesses of this team were 1) penalty killing 2) poor team defense and 3) questionable goaltending.

What has our esteemed GM tandem done to address these weaknesses?

1) Given up on a guy (Fritsche) who by all accounts was working very well on the PK and seemed like a solid stop-gap measure in the wake of losing Colin Stuart in a trade.

2) Committed 2 years of contract to a guy (Thorburn) who has never played on the PK and up til now has failed to convince anyone he is worth a starting spot on the 4th line. He has been given extensive time in the pre-season to prove that he is a bona fide special teamer, but the results have been mixed at best.

3) Toyed with the fantasy that Kane is ready to play in the NHL as a 3rd line checking forward with the potential to play Top 6 eventually. What will Evander’s role be if he is on this team to start the year? I have not seen enough of him to be sure, but if a guy like Nazem Kadri who was seemingly scoring every game in the pre-season gets re-assigned, why is DW / JA so convinced EK is ready?

4) Brought in a very controversial and sometimes electrifying forward who has earned the nickname “Minimum Effortgenov” to ostensibly make Kovy feel right at home as the Russian Hockey Czar for the ASG. We’ve already thrown Antropov into the mix for our Top 6 and then we add even more chemistry uncertainty by bringing in Max. Now we are looking at the very real possibility of demoting a PPG player for 35 games to the 3rd line or a guy who just had a career year of 73 pts playing Top 6.

5) Flirted with a guy (Legace) who has the reputation of a bona fide winner / battler / gamer / success over a ten year career only to annoint an unproven, erratic and befuddling youngster whose agent Alan Walsh thinks he’s the end-all, be-all to goaltending greatness.

With Kari potentially on the shelf 2, even 3 months, why do you not commit to a one-way deal with Legace and send Pavs back to the AHL for more seasoning? His time will come. We need to win now and the team in front of the goalie must believe in their netminder.

This team cannot afford to start slowly and give Kovalchuk further misgivings about not re-signing here LT. Choosing an erratic and mystifying offensive player in Afinogenov over a proven winner of a goaltender in the not so veiled attempt to please Kovy may in fact be the demise of this franchise’s ability to ever turn the corner towards becoming legitimate in the eyes of the hockey world.

I think most of us have always had the suppressed fear that the urge to do anything at any cost to keep Kapt Kovy happy might end up undermining the progress this team made at the end of last season and thusly destroy our chances for a good start and the continuation of the chemistry that was seemingly brewing and ready to explode into the new 2009-10 season.

Thrashers27

September 29th, 2009
1:52 pm

Eklund saying that Max has made the team.

GaVaHokie

September 29th, 2009
1:54 pm

One thing I thought about with Oystrick… last year, when he made the team, the organization told him to “find something a little more permanent” when it came to housing.

Hope he didn’t buy a house or condo… that would suck.