John Kincade: ‘Cautiously’ optimistic Thrashers fan

Remember the pouring rains that came our way a couple weeks ago that were almost of Biblical proportions? Well, on that soggy Monday afternoon I engaged the 4-wheel drive of the big, gas-guzzling suburban assault vehicle and trudged my way through the flooding deluge down to Hudson Grille in Brookhaven. The reason I was traveling through such a mess was to have lunch with my good friend John Kincade who, along with former UGA quarterback Buck Belue, handles the afternoon drive show on the Thrashers flagship station 680 AM The Fan.

We had attempted to get together to break bread all summer long… however, our schedules just couldn’t seem to sync up. But we had agreed to do so on this day and, by golly, if John wasn’t gonna let a few trillion-gazillion raindrops stop him that day…well, I wasn’t going to either.

So, what is a fan blogger for the Atlanta Thrashers and an on-air sports personality going to chat about over grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches? Well…the weather, of course. But eventually, we found our way around to the subject of hockey.

In the mid to late ‘80s, John worked with Mike Keenan during his days with the Philadelphia Flyers. Along with the coaching staff, Kincade would chart shots during the games. He also provided analysis for the TV side of the Thrashers broadcasts during their inaugural season and, as he likes to point out, “during their one and only playoff season”…wryly smiling as if he had something to do with it.

John Kincade sports the hockey mullet

John Kincade sports the hockey mullet

This season, Thrashers fans will again see Kincade during TV broadcasts starting in November. “I will fill-in on the TV side for Natalie Taylor some games and will even do the in-house stuff I used to do for some games”, he told me. “I am thrilled to be once again working with a great group of people on a ‘situational’ basis”.

During some of these games he may even come to us from the area between the team benches…much like Pierre McGuire does for the NHL on NBC.

Always a big supporter of the Thrashers since they have been in existence, Kincade… like so many others… has seen a lot of good from this team over the past decade. Unfortunately, there have also been way too many disappointments experienced as well. Recently he opined about those observations in this column listing the Ten Defining Moments of Ten Tumultuous Years for the Thrashers.

Of course, no discussion of the Thrashers these days can be held without the topic skating it’s way to Ilya Kovalchuk and the team’s efforts to re-sign the captain. Like myself and so many others, Kincade feels that it is imperative that Waddell and the organization accomplish this mission. Not just because of the caliber player he is, but also because he is the face of this franchise… to die-hard fans as well as the casual Atlanta area sports fan. He and I also share the belief that Kovy is of the frame of mind to wait until he sees just how this team fairs before putting ink to paper here.

Regardless of the timing, I asked what he thought the chances were that a deal would ultimately get done. He replied, “I think that if the Thrashers are in the hunt at Christmas and things are looking up, there is a chance to get the deal done”.

And what if things don’t go so well this fall?

“Another poor start and we may see him gone even before the trade deadline”.

Given that response, I also asked for his feelings about the team and the general direction of the franchise…is he optimistic going into this, the tenth NHL campaign for the Thrashers?

“I’d say that I’m ‘cautiously’ optimistic”.

He went on to explain that he likes the lineup that Waddell has iced and believes a lot of last spring’s success will carry over. “I think they have been better 1 through 10 before but NEVER 1 through 20”, he told me. “I’m also a believer that what we saw down the stretch [last spring] was not a mirage and that the Anderson system had caught hold… We should not see the learning curve be so tall this season”.

Continuing about coach Anderson’s system, “I love the style of play”.

So why is there the disclaimer of “cautiously” attached to his optimism? Well, he has been “optimistic” before about this team…seen good players brought in…had his hopes raised…felt good about draft picks…only to see that “optimism” soaked by harsh reality as the season unfolded.

“I guess I’m just jaded by the past”, he lamented.

Are the playoffs a possibility at all this coming spring? Well, yeah…of course he thinks they’re possible. And if things go according to plan and players play to their potential, it’s not inconceivable. But a lot has to go right.

If there is one main area of concern of his, something that could prevent things from going well for the Thrashers, what would that be? Not surprisingly, John pointed between the pipes…citing that, given that the forward lines are as solid as ever and the defense, (while not without some questions), looks to be much improved over seasons past…the goalkeeping issue remains as Kincade’s top worry. And what happens there…especially now that we are experiencing “Kari Down ‘09″ so early in the season… will be the major factor in determining whether wins will rain down upon Thrasherville this season or if any and all thoughts of postseason play are washed down the same stream that so many others have gone over the past decade.

“Without goaltending, all hopes and dreams of a playoff push are not a reality…I’m hoping that we see somebody step up quickly to fill the void until Kari is ready to go 100%”.

99 comments Add your comment

swtephen

October 6th, 2009
1:36 pm

kracker

October 6th, 2009
1:36 pm

J.B.

October 6th, 2009
1:40 pm

To me, Kincade doesn’t sound as cautiously optimistic when discussing the Thrashers on the radio (unless he’s interviewing a Thrasher, Coach, DW, or Gearon, of course). I enjoyed reading his more candid thoughts here away from “the show” where I’d guess there’s at least a slight need to cater to the audience which, in this case, is largely non-hockey folks…

five_hole

October 6th, 2009
2:10 pm

I am thrilled. Kincade may not be as pretty as Natalie Taylor but infinitely more interesting.

Darkhorse

October 6th, 2009
2:17 pm

Good article Rawhide. As much as Kincade irritated me in the past, the Thrashers need all the local media they can get on their side. I’m more excited though he will be taking some TV time away from Natalie Taylor.

Natalie Taylor-”Hey Ilya, how does it feel to win at home!?!?!”

Ilya-Bewildered, deer in headlights stare, sound of crickets in background. “Ummm….good.”

J.B.

October 6th, 2009
2:30 pm

I cannot adequately express how awful I think Natalie Taylor is at her job. I’m embarrassed for her when I see scenes like Darkhorse has described. Certainly there’s someone better in town who knows SOMETHING about hockey AND interviewing!

Smoothie

October 6th, 2009
2:31 pm

Kincade must’ve picked up his manners on the air from Mike Keenan. He’s unmistakingly Philly in his sensibilities…I care for him not!!

But good blog Bill…I’m sure he’s better in person without his huge ego and butthole radio persona getting in the way.

Sara

October 6th, 2009
2:42 pm

I have so much to say … unfortunately when it comes to all the above topics, I’m a little raging ball of hate … so I’ll pass. But, just, grrrrrrrr…….

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 6th, 2009
3:06 pm

Don’t forget, this is the same Kincade who was saying Kovalchuk should have been traded before last season began, because at that time failure to re-sign him was a foregone conclusion.

I guess I have nothing to say other than I’m still not a Kincade fan nor a Taylor fan.

5 will get you 10

October 6th, 2009
3:21 pm

John Kincaid is tired. His predictions and declarations are regularly off the mark and he refuses to entertain ideas that differ from his own. Just another yahoo in town full of sports talk yahoos.

MashaPlayer7

October 6th, 2009
3:29 pm

Thanks Kracker. I’ll take the Canes’ or Hawks’ ice girls any day! (Not that I would kick the others out of bed either).

Rawhide

October 6th, 2009
3:34 pm

kracker – You officially have my permision to go off topic in that manner anytime you wish!

Cornbread

October 6th, 2009
4:21 pm

The hottest girls in those photos wear hockey skates! C’mon Blue Crew ditch the toe picks!

At least John Anderson was not the one busted in that last photo. Anyone have any idea who the Wolf who was is or if he’s now skating with the big club?

Smoothie

October 6th, 2009
4:22 pm

Cornbread, was it Sterling? Too funny…perhaps he should pay closer attention to learning the system!

Dwayne

October 6th, 2009
4:41 pm

those 2 islander girls are ugly, so is the beast from ottawa, no wonder Dany wanted out.
i thought john kincaid was the dude who painted pictures of houses in the woods and crap like that. i didn’t know he liked hockey. And why don’t he paint any pictures of hockey players?

Me Love Hockey Chix

October 6th, 2009
5:55 pm

Natalie Taylor is a girl I would love to kiss, but she needs to be sitting next to me in the stands at Philips with my arms around her to keep her warm instead of using a live microphone to ask the First Star of the Game about “this great crowd tonight” and “what tonight’s win did for the ‘energy’ of the time.”

Good Grief!

Me Love Hockey Chix

October 6th, 2009
5:57 pm

Sorry, “…’energy” of the T-E-A-M (not ‘time’).”

LAC

October 6th, 2009
6:15 pm

I vote RAWHIDE as new rinkside reporter… Natalie is WAY TOO Out of her league !

Hockey Biltong

October 6th, 2009
6:25 pm

sisu

October 6th, 2009
7:30 pm

I would have to agree with the cautiously optimistic part. Until Kari comes back all hope is with the flopping goalie we got to see on opening night. Here is a small part of an article that one could consider when discussing Kari…
PASCAL LECLAIRE, Ottawa
The Senators are desperately hoping their years of searching for a bona fide No. 1 goaltender are behind them. Leclaire, drafted eighth overall in 2001 by Columbus, has had a bumpy entrance into the NHL due to his propensity for injury. But he compiled a 24-17-6 record in 2007-08 for the non-playoff Jackets, including a 2.25 GAA and .919 save percentage. More importantly, he impressed the Sens with his quickness during the pre-season, giving the team some much-needed confidence in its goaltending.

Matt the Brave

October 6th, 2009
9:42 pm

WE HAVE A HOCKEY TEAM IN ATLANTA?!?!

Just playin’ y’all. I’m hoping that this is the year that we break out in the NHL. I’m just worried that if the team goes up for sale (as is being predicted) that they will not be distracted by it. I have a good feeling about it, though.

Rawhide

October 6th, 2009
9:56 pm

I vote RAWHIDE as new rinkside reporter…

LAC – Oh no…I don’t think they would want me cussin’ into the mic when the Thrashers screw up or a ref blows a call.

WE HAVE A HOCKEY TEAM IN ATLANTA?!?!

Matt the Brave – What the…??????

HA! Nicely played!

Curly

October 6th, 2009
10:00 pm

A Blog about John Kincade?

………. No Comment.

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
10:29 pm

I’d vote for Sara to take Natalie’s spot on the show. But, all things considered, HOW does what Natalie does … DIFFER from what any ‘eye-candy’ sideline reporter does at Halftime of a football game? Gee, wonder if the sideline reporter will ask the Head Coach what adjustments they need to do to either (1) bring home the win or (2) get back into this game? Ooooooh, better have a MENSA candidate for that assignment!

What, EXACTLY and SPECIFICALLY, is Natalie Taylor supposed to ask? I’m just asking a question. Feel free to provide SPECIFIC answer. Maybe she reads this board and would appreciate some ‘constructive criticism.’ Natalie Taylor’s 1st period intermission guest will be … GUESS WHO? That’s right, whoever scored for Atlanta. And she’ll ask the player to “take us through the goal.” Well, isn’t that, pretty much, what she’s SUPPOSED to ask? And then, she’s going to say, “Good luck the rest of the way to hopefully bring home a win.” Again, this isn’t rocket science. Natalie Taylor is there, folks, to stand there, try to look her very best, smile a lot, and be pleasant. Then toss it back up to Darren and Matt for further comment. If you can name SOMETHING ELSE that she should be doing, let’s hear it! Unload!!! Maybe it’ll get passed along to her.

Okay, John Kincade. Or as Buck Belue calls him, “Philly John.” Boy, that schtick never gets old. (Rolling eyes.) Kincade is challenged, DAILY, by the mental GIANT that is Buck Belue. I think you could wake Kincade up at 3AM and he’d still be more cogent than Belue. Kincade is often … well … outspoken. But he’s not always wrong. He CAN be insightful. And is. Lately, over the past few years, he’s taken the ’sugarcoating’ off of the Thrashers woes. There are a few things that stick out in my mind, other than what Ranallo has pointed out, namely, that Kincade advocated during the Summer of 2008 to trade Kovalchuk, to obtain maximum value. I think Kincade may have even repeated that during this 2009 offseason.

I can recall, in the Inaugural season, how Kincade chastised fans who demanded that the Thrashers attempt to ACQUIRE players at the trade deadline. Kincade fired back at them, “Well WHAT do we trade? And WHY make a trade to improve the team from 27th place to 26th?” There was logic in that statement. But by 2005, I was hearing statements from Kincade like, “The Hockey News reports that the Thrashers have the BEST UNDER 25 TALENT in the NHL.” I tried to reason with Kincade, that they were talking about Heatley and Kovalchuk, one of which had just been TRADED AWAY. Let’s face it, folks, in 2005-06, Braydon Coburn wasn’t ready to help, neither was Big Boris, Kari Lehtonen had played all of four (4) NHL games in his life. It’s not as if all those 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 latter round draft picks had made the roster, making Atlanta the ‘youngest, fastest, most skilled’ team in the NHL. Hardly. Atlanta was the 2nd OLDEST team in the league, despite is recent EXPANSION status.

Then Kincade proclaimed, “I LOVE THIS TRADE,” referring to Dany Heatley for Greg deVries and Marian Hossa.” When he knew all along that Hossa would leave after this three year ’sentence’ was complete. I credit Kincade for foresight there. If he’d qualified, “for purposes of the next three seasons, Hossa will equal or better Heatley’s production, so I like this trade,” I could let it slide. That’s a sufficient explanation. But bear in mind, at the time of the trade, Dany Heatley was arguably the face of the franchise. At least as much as Kovalchuk was. And anytime a team trades the face of its franchise, it’s not exactly a BANNER DAY. Especially when you KNOW AHEAD OF TIME that the replacement ISN’T STAYING.

I usually defend Kincade. Sometimes we agree. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes Kincade is obstinent. Sometimes, you can reason with him, if your argument is FLAWLESS and irrefutable in its construction. Well, that’s a ringing endorsement, huh? Truthfully, I enjoy listening to him on 680TheFan. You guys might not care for him, but put the prejudice aside … just long enough … to be fair. That’s the most you could ask of anyone.

Viking

October 6th, 2009
10:31 pm

Another two extra points handed out to teams in our division. Tampa and Washington were the recipients tonight.

I really, really dislike the current point system.

Sara

October 6th, 2009
10:45 pm

I dunno about the Tampa game, but Washington certainly earned their point tonight – that was one heck of a game tonight.

Brendan I’d love that job – unfortunately I am neither blonde nor bubbly nor willing to allow myself to be “dumbed down.” Now, if they want a brunette who is both smart and a smartass, then I’m their girl.

Mr. Heat Miser

October 6th, 2009
11:41 pm

I vote for Rawhide to do the between period interviews. I’m sure he won’t mind the makeup.

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
11:42 pm

Well, I’d second the vote for you, Sara. But, I’m probably a minority voice, in the big scheme of things.

Viking, did you just read my post over at Vivlamore’s blog? I just expressed that very sentiment. So, I AGREE with you! :)

I’m watching a great game between Anaheim, and one of my TWO (2) adopted Western Conference teams this year: Minnesota. It was 3-0, Duck, with 11:00 left in the 3rd period. The Wild have just tied it on a PPG that made Giguere look like a rented goalie. There’s 45 seconds left.

My other Western Conference team, THIS YEAR, is the L.A. Kings, who now lead the Heatley-led Sharks, 2-0. Go Kings!!!

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
11:45 pm

The Ducks and Wild are now in OT. The Stars and Oilers are tied, 4-4, with 8:00 left in regulation time. Calgary is off to a 3-0-0 start, I believe. They got a win over the Habs, who were 2-0-0, coming in, I believe. Whenever I see the Flames and Canadiens, I think of 1986 and 1989. I love the Flames in those Atlanta-era jersey throwbacks. Maybe I should have adopted Calgary this year???

World Be Free

October 6th, 2009
11:47 pm

You will all have to type louder-just got back from the U2 concert.
I may be old, but that was LOUD!

Matt-there we idiots before that said the same thing. We don’t hear much from them these days.

You touch upon Anderson’s style of play. We have a tough road trip starting Thursday. Let’s hope Anderson’s style carries over to the road. We need to paly better team defense too, cut down on the shots.

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
11:49 pm

Wild win!! Wild Win!! Former Thrasher, Andrew Brunette, with the winning goal!!! PPG!!

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
11:52 pm

What a choke by Anaheim! Up 3-0, after two periods, with 11:00 left in regulation, they wind up losing, 4-3, in OT. Unbelieveable. I hope people out there saw this game. There’s just over 2:00 left in the 3rd, out in Edmonton, where it’s Oilers 4, Stars 4. I smell overtime.

Brendan

October 6th, 2009
11:55 pm

Viking, you made your post well before I did. I must have been channeling you tonight!! You know what they say about ‘great minds.’ They’re … uhhh … GREAT!! :)

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
12:05 am

Shootout in Edmonton. Oilers usually win these. Let’s see if they do. Hey, hey. Looky here!! The Kings are up, 4-1, over Heatley’s heap.

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
12:12 am

Ales Hemsky gets the winner for the Oilers on a “fanned” shot. Hemsky whiffs on it, but it’s got just enough of juice to go in. Turco looked like a batter fooled by a change up. He was noticeably upset with himself. Stars have now lost two shootouts already this year.

Viking

October 7th, 2009
12:13 am

Brendan, I am sure the present point system is here to stay, since it “tightens” the standings.

But I would rather see no extra points given. Or, alternatively there would be 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for OT/SO win and 1 for OT/SO loss.

Sharon

October 7th, 2009
2:33 am

I don’t listen to Natalie’s content because I can’t get past her poor presentation. Her plastic persona, if you will. A skilled reporter is polished and believable and she is neither. Her presentation is more of a caricature, or a skit, but definitely not realistic portrayal of a reporter. Maybe that’s the issue — she’s less reporter than actress. I’m curious how she got this far without anyone in her professional life addressing this. I’m not meaning to hate on this woman, but this is not her forte. She simply cannot ‘sell it’.

five_hole

October 7th, 2009
7:37 am

Brendan No one here questioned Erin Andrews doing the job that Natalie has now, as Erin was able to ask questions while demonstrating an understanding of the game. Perhaps we were simply spoiled by having a talent like Erin replaced by Natalie.

In fairness to Natalie, I’m sure that appearing on live television and trying to not embarrass either yourself or the player is tough enough. Maybe she can grow into the job.

World Be Free

October 7th, 2009
8:08 am

Natalie has to tone down the enthusism and focus on the subject matter, only then will she have a chance to improve. Erin Andrews was much more in control, which is why she was able to move on to her current gig. She’s one of the few ESPN announcers that actually tries to do the job. The rest are just amateur comedians.

Toby

October 7th, 2009
8:24 am

Last time I talked with Kincade, he hung up on me on the air because I agreed with the decision to fire Hartley (on the day it happened). He did not so he hung up and called me a jerk with no hockey knowledge. HA!

Rawhide

October 7th, 2009
8:38 am

I vote for Rawhide to do the between period interviews. I’m sure he won’t mind the makeup.

Mr. Heat Miser – HA! :lol: Just keep the eyeliner away from me…I can’t stand the thought of a stick near ny eyes!

Could image that, tough…me doing the interviews? It would go something like….”We’re here outside the locker room with Boris Valabik. Tell me Boris…JUST WHAT THE HELL WHERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU TOOK THAT NEEDLESS HIGH STICKING MINOR IN NEUTRAL ZONE”??????

Sara

October 7th, 2009
8:54 am

five-hole I beg to differ. A LOT of people questioned the job Erin Andrews did while she was here (I remember entire threads on the official boards getting deleted because of the Erin bashing). She asked fluff questions, screwed up in-game recaps, and butchered name pronunciations. I even brought it up again after she had left – I think when Natalie started. Craig was still our regular beat writer and while I do not want to put definitive words into his mouth, his defense of Erin left the distinct impression that the higher-ups intentionally dumbed her down. I didn’t point out at the time that that “explanation” only made Erin look even worse. Better her to actually be incompetent than to have allowed herself to be exploited, thus continuing the cycle that has brought us to Natalie. Sad part is perhaps Natalie isn’t incompetent or airheaded herself but just goes along with what the higher-ups want. Kinda like the Blue Crew. I hear from people who know them all the time saying how sweet and smart some of these girls are, etc etc, but when you allow an organization to essentially present you as a bimbo, that’s how you’ll be perceived (and those “Become One with a Blue Crew Member” skits pretty much seal the deal).

Sorry – this is a high-horse issue with me – both as a female and the mother of two girls. You should have heard the ear-full my ticket rep got the first time I saw one of those Blue Crew spots. It’s even more aggravating because there are women out there, shockingly even attractive ones, who are capable of providing insightful commentary and journalism on sports. Even crazier is that most guys I know are way more impressed with the double-package of beauty *and* brains … so why not give it to them instead of demeaning women?

/rant

five_hole

October 7th, 2009
9:21 am

Sara That’s not my recollection of Erin while she was here but I agree to disagree.

I do agree that the commentators/announcers “slant” their blurbs to create a positive view of the team. They’re hired by the ASG specifically to promote their product, and so I’m sure they’re not allowed to make Rawhide’scomment “JUST WHAT THE HELL WHERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU TOOK THAT NEEDLESS HIGH STICKING MINOR IN NEUTRAL ZONE”??????”. Plus, I have a horrible mental image of him in makeup & heels. I do question that the ASG would ask Natalie to “bubble-head” it up a little. If that were true, then they’d probably dress her in the 2-band-aids and a g-string that the Blue Crew wears (not that I’m complaining, mind you).

And I disagree with World Be Free that “She’s one of the few ESPN announcers that actually tries to do the job. The rest are just amateur comedians.”. I think women from Robin Roberts to Andrea Kramer have done a fine job there.

R. Stroz

October 7th, 2009
9:58 am

Maybe Natalie Taylor is on the same 10 ten year on the job training program that Waddell has been on the past ten years.

So the real question is this, after five years will Natalie Taylor have to be rebuilt?

Glovesave29

October 7th, 2009
10:04 am

Personally, i’d get rid of these silly distractions altogether. Erin, Natalie…all of them. The time between plays is time to discuss what just happened with your buddies, and what the team should try next. If we are with our kids, to explain what just happened and why…build their knowledge and appreciation of the game and pass the love of hockey on to the next generation. We don’t need to be artificially stimulated (boy that comment taken out of context could open a can of worms!) every second we are at a game.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 7th, 2009
10:04 am

There’s not many players who would like to work their butt off for 20 minutes to come down the hallway and be asked by a reporter “why did you suck?”. Most would simply ignore him/her and walk to their locker room, and the reporter would never be granted an interview by the coaching staff again.

I’m not excusing the fluff questions EVERY reporter asks between periods, but there is no chance in hell that someone can ask what Rawhide wrote above and truly keep their job as a reporter.

KLS1

October 7th, 2009
10:08 am

The last bubblehead who knew nothing about hockey doing Thrashers games was Erin Andrews. Now I have to watch her do everything from football to the Stanley Cup games….good grief.

Remember one time she did highlights between periods and pronounced Simon Gagne (Simon, like from American Idol)…nice homework.

Buzilla in CT

October 7th, 2009
10:23 am

off topic…

Jets trade for Brandon Edwards….

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 7th, 2009
10:24 am

To be honest the only person I have actually enjoyed listening to during a hockey match at Philips was Billy Jaffe, even though the people I knew claimed he was an arrogant jerk. He definitely came across as a well knowledged hockey mind with the ability to be personable with the players while not having that “best buddy” appearance that so many reporters try to purvey to the audience (like Kincade used to do).

Darkhorse

October 7th, 2009
10:44 am

ranallo10(in AT)-Every time Jaffe’s on NHL Live the last few years and the Thrashers come up, his comments about the team, city or players come across with a bitterness or slight in his body language. He doesn’t trash the team, but his tone seems to say otherwise. Maybe he left here with a big chip on the ‘ole shoulder.

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
10:55 am

I hear from people who know them all the time saying how sweet and smart some of these girls are, etc etc, but when you allow an organization to essentially present you as a bimbo, that’s how you’ll be perceived (and those “Become One with a Blue Crew Member” skits pretty much seal the deal).

I actually have to agree with this. These women might be intelligent, but they’re not being presented as such. I am far more interested in intelligent women than I am a pretty body. It’s almost an injustice to present them as ditzy or airheads. A pretty body is nice to look at, but I’m more “substance over style.” Of course, I’m probably just speaking for myself, here.

Sure, they’re essentially cheerleaders, but not all cheerleaders are morons.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 7th, 2009
11:11 am

You’re either good at your job or bad at it, it doesn’t matter to me how you look while doing it. If the “Ice Girls” were fat old men but got the ice cleaned quicker and better while wearing spandex, I wouldn’t give a crap. If the reporter is as fugly as Rawhide but knows his/her stuff and can fill their brief minute or two with substance instead of fluff and a giggle, I would be completely content.

Darkhorse — I know what you mean and it’s quite disappointing. Ferraro comes off the same way.

B. Thenet

October 7th, 2009
11:12 am

Erin vs. Natalie?

Too much time between games

Erin was a class act, on and off camera. I have never met Natalie, but she does her job well. No complaints.

Chris

October 7th, 2009
11:27 am

Just a few Kincaid comments from last year (7/31/08), when he was arguing that we should trade Kovy, and how he knew more than anyone else about the situation:

“You don’t know Kovy or his representation or what is being said behind the scenes. He is gone. Unless this team was sold and moved and they spent a ton of cash. None of those things are going to happen.”

“If you think the new coaches and players that are currently assembled are impressing a guy going into the prime years of his career who wants to win a cup, you don’t know hockey.”

“This team is arguably the worst assembled talent in the NHL. They also have THE worst owners.”

“Two, you tell me that Kovy wants to see what the new coaches and players are bringing to the table.
Where did you get that? Personal information?
Listen to me or not, but spare me insulting replies, he is gone.
Just like I said Hossa was gone, Kovy is gone.
Go be a fan and cheer for your team.
I hate to be the one that brings realism to the table.
I can’t explain to someone who does not care to listen what the facts are.
By the way, hockey player, coach at the high school, junior and collegiate levels.
NHL coaching staff employee for 7 years.
NHL broadcaster for 3 years.
Plus I know the situation PERSONALLY.”

It’s for these reasons that I don’t listen to anything Kincaid says anymore. He is insulting to people who don’t agree with him, and then when he realizes he might have been wrong, he starts hedging his bets. Strangely enough, what Kincaid had the biggest problem with was my belief that “it makes sense to any rational person that since Kovy is under contract for two more years, he might as well see what the new coaches and players can do instead of giving up before the season even starts.” Strange how Kovy has said that exact thing this year, but Kincaid had “personal knowledge” and I didn’t know what I was talking about.

When I was having this “discussion” with John, I even told him it was great that he brought some hockey passion to this city, but like most journalists and fans in this city, it seems that bashing a team is always the preferred method of trying to prove they know what they are talking about.

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
11:35 am

Amen to that, ranallo

Triumph the Insult Dog

October 7th, 2009
11:40 am

John Kincaid knows as much about hockey as Natalie Taylor knows about verb conjugation and appropriate tense usage. But how her boobs were presented in her tight black shirt the other night made me appropriately tense!!

Toby

October 7th, 2009
12:15 pm

Per Ben’s Twitter:

Boris Valabik has a high ankle sprain in his left leg and will be out 4 weeks or so. Surgery might be an option.

World Be Free

October 7th, 2009
12:21 pm

five_hole//I’m with you on Andrea and Robin. Remember I said “one of the few”. I was focusing most of my negative attention of ESPN on most of the announcers on their talk shows and gameday “clubs”. I believe the female sideline reporters for ESPN do a real good job. They have to do a good job to earn respect. We don’t see enough of Robin Roberts these days.

To add to this, Brian Kinny (not sure on the spelling) is the best reporter/announcer on ESPN. He focuses on his subject and doesn’t try and be a bad commedian. ESPN needs more like him.

I’ll try to avoid generalizations in the future-I guess I just remember when ESPN was a first class network, compared to what it has become.

How does Bob Davie keep his job? Master of the Obvious!

Smoothie

October 7th, 2009
12:26 pm

Does anyone here know if surgery for a high-ankle sprain is common? Seems a little odd to me and an excuse to put Boris on LTIR and then give him a waivers-free conditioning stint in the AHL. I reckon we won’t see Boris until mid-December. Hopefully he’ll be healthy and fresh for that brutal 7-game road trip we have over the Holidays.

World Be Free

October 7th, 2009
12:40 pm

I have never heard of surgery for an ankle sprain Smoothie. Sounds like he’ll get to Chicago just in time for the first major snowfall.

Mia

October 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

Well, the trade Kovy rumors are starting in Canada. Pretty soon, the rumors will start to mushroom and the entire situation will become a total distraction for the entire club. also, the lack of signing will majke it difficult to negotiate with the upcoming RFA’s (Little) and UFA’s (Kubina, Army).

Kovy, just sign the darn contract and get it done with. Enter your comments here

Rawhide

October 7th, 2009
12:51 pm

If the reporter is as fugly as Rawhide but knows his/her stuff and can fill their brief minute or two with substance instead of fluff and a giggle, I would be completely content.

ranallo10 – Nice…real nice. Now you’re gonna make me cry!

Putting On The Foil

October 7th, 2009
12:52 pm

I prefer Erin, even though I don’t think I ever heard a word she said.

ranallo10 (in AT)

October 7th, 2009
1:05 pm

“Nice…real nice. Now you’re gonna make me cry!”

I’m sorry buddy. Don’t let the tears ruin your makeup.

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
1:05 pm

Well, the trade Kovy rumors are starting in Canada.

This is not a repeat from 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, or 2008.

Dwayne

October 7th, 2009
1:45 pm

Erin asked me to marry her thru telepathy, I told her no. Miley already asked me with sign language while playing Hannah Montana on that award winning show of hers. Unfortanatly I had to say no to her too. Billy Ray still has a man crush on me.

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
2:22 pm

Dwayne, you’ve been proposed to via telepathy and sign language, yet I haven’t been asked out on a date verbally in years? I’m growing quite envious…

R. Stroz

October 7th, 2009
2:37 pm

Smoothie – More than likely, if you’re not a professional athlete, you would not have surgery for a high ankle sprain. Based on your health insurance policy and doctor, you would probably be told to just keep weight off of it for six weeks and rehab it slowly.

However, if you’re a professional athlete, surgery is a short cut to a faster recovery. If you remember back a few years ago, T.O. blew out his ankle and had surgery to repair it so he would be available for the Super Bowl. T.O. could have opted to just sit out the remainder of the season and given his ankle time to recover slowly.

So, in some ways, surgery is an elective and more expensive choice to hasten the recovery.

R. Stroz

October 7th, 2009
2:39 pm

Alan R. – You need to work on your telepathetic skills.

five_hole

October 7th, 2009
2:42 pm

Dwayne That wasn’t Erin that sent the telepathic message. The message came from Kincade.

R. Stroz

October 7th, 2009
2:52 pm

As far as John Kincade goes, I don’t have much respect for the man, here’s why:

I couple of seasons back during the ticket discounting issue and Hossa trade propaganda, Kincade stated that he was going grill Bruce Levenson during an interview over the way the fans were being treated and the lack of resources put into the Thrashers organization. Instead of grilling Levenson, Kincade kissed his butt the entire time. That’s right, Kincade totally wussed out and then chastised anyone who accussed him of doing so later. So Kincade equals BIG MOUTH NO NUTS.

On the Natalie Taylor discussion, I’ve spoken with Natalie before games at the CNN food court, as have a few other regulars on this blog, and she has been surprisingly personable. We joked about the keys to the game and she would be more than willing to state the obvious if her job wasn’t contingent on following the script. All in all, Natalie is doing her job, sticking to the script, and drawing a paycheck, much like Waddell.

Smoothie

October 7th, 2009
2:56 pm

Stroz, fair enough…that certainly makes sense. But I was actually asking my question with respect to pro athletes, not the common Joe. CViv said that he injured a tendon in his upper ankle so I can see why surgery may be needed / preferred. Let’s hope it doesn’t become career threatening for the big guy and a speedy rehab is in his future.

In other news, Eric Boulton loves Top Chef.

Toby

October 7th, 2009
2:58 pm

Mia

Any link to these rumors?

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
3:00 pm

Stroz, don’t get me confused with someone else here. At least I can tell the difference between Kinkade and Andrews!

five_hole

October 7th, 2009
3:18 pm

Alan R. Would that difference be 1 b00b versus 2 b00bs?

August

October 7th, 2009
3:49 pm

What I don’t get is how in an economy like this, with unemployment at 9.8%, cities going bankrupt, every other house on the street in foreclosure, is how someone that is clearly as unqualified as Natalie can possibly hold that job? It’s not the questions she asks or the things she says – it’s the way she asks the questions. Every word out of her mouth is said in the same tone I use when I talk to my 5-year old nephew.

But, her breasts are bigger than mine so that answers that.

DawgDad

October 7th, 2009
3:55 pm

So Kincade lays claim to another temporary part-time job, if you want to call sports reporting a job. Hmmm.

I, too have experience with Mike Keenan, as a die-hard St. Louis Blues fan. Mad Mike was a hockey genius, just don’t expect him to look out after YOUR interests.

Thrashers over the years have played [collectively] the worst hockey I have ever seen at the pro level. Maybe Anderson can straighten them out, I don’t know. Trading Kovi when you could have maximized the return would have been a truly savvy move. Blues actually got BETTER after Brett Hull and Shanahan left, although saying either of those players was the PROBLEM would not be fair. If you don’t have top talent all across your 1-2 lines and 1-2 D-pairs you’d BETTER have a roster full of disciplined, competent grinders and steady goaltending. THAT is were the Thrashers have been absolutely abysmal over the years. Blues were masters of finding the grinders on the cheap for twenty-five years, and they’re getting back on track again after ownership transition. Thrashers are going nowhere until they dump all the “me first” players, and I put Kovi in that category.

Sara

October 7th, 2009
3:59 pm

Apparently Gearon is on with Buck and Kincade. Per Ben’s Twitter:

“Thrashers owner Michael Gearon- No truth to Winnipeg rumor. Owners are talking to noone in Canada about selling/moving team.”

Not sure how I feel about that qualifier “noone in Canada.”

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
4:14 pm

Sara, I have to wonder whether that qualifier was added by Gearon or by Ben.

five_hole, I’d have to say two. Two boobs are always better than one!

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
4:25 pm

I have to say … that I agree with Sara. And R.Stroz and Ranallo, and Alan R., for that matter. This is a question of professionalism. If the organization is painting Natalie as an ‘eye-candy Bimbo,’ and that’s what they want and expect delivered, then there is a fundamental flaw in the approach. I think Sara is right when she expresses a sentiment like, “There are plenty of women who are intelligent and capable enough to ask the pertinent, hard-hitting questions that a sports journalist/reporter should. Even pretty ones, too.” Like Ranallo10 (in AT) suggests, “as long as the person is doing their job, capably, who can ask for more?” And like R.Stroz says, “Natalie is just doing the job that the organization expects of her.”

Now, I’ll listen to the argument that says that the job they expect of her is insulting to females. But I’m not about to walk up to Natalie Taylor and insult her, or try to make her feel bad about herself. She doesn’t deserve that. She’s trying to do her job. Just like Waddell’s trying to do his job. I couldn’t tell ya if Natalie is actually very smart. Maybe, she is. Maybe she doesn’t deserve to be insulted. Maybe the Thrashers organization should take the clamps off her and let her BE that sports reporter? I’d be in favor of that, over the current strategy of telling her to ’smile, look pretty, be bubbly, and if possible, make her hair look blonder.’

It’s easy for me to sit her … and say … “If I were the Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, GM, and general overseer of the franchise, I’d hire Sara instead.” Believe me, I’d think very seriously about doing that if I actually were the GM. But at a bare bones minimum, I’d FREE Natalie to be the sports reporter she probably wants to be. And maybe CAN be. If, at that point, she shows herself to be incapable or inept, then I think the word ‘accountability’ comes into play. I’m a BIG FAN of this word. But just think about this. If the organization actually FIRED Natalie Taylor for NOT BEING bubbly, blonde, and/or smiling enough, … then WHAT EXACTLY would follow?????

Who just screamed ‘Jenna Jameson?’ That’s uncalled for. Can I vote for Robin Meade or Christi Paul, from Headline News? What? I’m jus’ sayin’. That’s a joke. I’m kidding. I do that sometimes. Unless these lovely ladies happen to have some background hockey coverage, I once again my throw my support around someone more like Sara.

Paminski

October 7th, 2009
4:44 pm

Free Natalie Taylor!!!

Does anyone else feel like we’re going through an entire additional off-season waiting for this next game?

Alan R.

October 7th, 2009
4:49 pm

Can I vote for Robin Meade or Christi Paul, from Headline News? What? I’m jus’ sayin’. That’s a joke.

I’ve forwarded this comment to the ASG for further evaluation. It is, after all, a cheap solution. Best of all, they can provide commentary from the CNN studios if they so chose. However, it’s not like they’d have to go far to talk hockey.

Doris Balavik

October 7th, 2009
4:58 pm

Maybe I’m the only one who could give a plump rodents arse about Natalie’s ability to do her job,I watch the game and do not rely on her “insight” to the game.I am my own judge and can discern what actually happened during the previous period.I am glad for her if her looks and personality laned her that position,but I believe that all this uproar about whether or not she is some kind of puppet is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the TITANIC.I would rather read on this blog about maybe some sort of trade in the works for a quality goaltender or that the SPETNAZ is working to aquire Schubert a work visa.Sorry if I don’t get too worked up over Miss C-cup and her being under appreciated.

ben

October 7th, 2009
5:08 pm

T-Birds have got to be very lucky at this point. They have a devoted and passionate following despite years of futility and being new. They’d make more money here than any Canadian market outside of the GTA. We’re in a pretty big city, and there are very few markets in the US where hockey is anything higher than 2 out of 4 sports.

I remember when the Canadian Press was chirping on about Boston moving. Now that I’ve done research on the ‘Peg . . . pro sports would have to either find someone who never wanted to make a dime; use that team as the face of a far more profitable conglomerate; operate the team as a non-profit; or just be stark raving mad to do it.

Another Canadian team would be an atendence black hole on the US teams. This area is good for about the size of 5 Mannatobas. Mannatoba’s smaller than Alabama. Could you see Alabama having a non-NFL team?

Sure, read the Canadian Press, I do. I’m just learning not to believe the rumors.

Doris Balavik

October 7th, 2009
5:42 pm

The Canadian press has absolutely nothing else to report on other than conjecture,unfounded rumor and outright lies.Ignore them and they will soon go away,If no one other than Canadians read this swill then who will think of Canada as being viable.BTW it’s Manitoba.

Doris Balavik

October 7th, 2009
5:46 pm

Besides,what do you expect from a country that worships a pathetic public drunk like Don “Canadian Mist” Cherry? REAL JOURNALISM? HAH!!!!!!!!

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
5:51 pm

Paminski, I’d also vote to FREE Darren Eliot. In my opinion, Darren is a very sharp guy whose 1st Amendment rights are shackled. He must ’sugarcoat’ that which cannot be defended. To listen to him do a Thrashers game might leave your exasperated. But check out his work on Versus, and you’ll see what I’m talking about, as well as to read his SI columns. I repeat, Cornell University doesn’t graduate many idiots.

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
5:58 pm

Re: Kincade, I am disappointed when I hear stories about Kincade hanging up on fans, or calling them names, or telling them they don’t know hockey. I suppose there’s a time and place for that. I mean, if a caller phoned in to say, “Damian Rhodes was the best Thrasher goalie in franchise history. The problem was, the franchise didn’t utilize him properly,” I might see “ol’Kincade” dumping that call, on the air, dimissing that fan as some fringe element.

I think Kincade has gotten better about those things. And I’ve heard him stick up for “reality.” Buck Belue said, “I’m tellin’ ya, John. That Kubina … he’s gonna make all the difference next season. You watch.” Kincade’s reaction, “See, that’s just it, Buck. He’s not. He’s really not. The Thrashers need to do more.” I think Buck’s next reaction was to declare “Philly John” to be a naysayer. Or something along these lines. That’s Buck’s usual schtick.

Sara

October 7th, 2009
6:17 pm

Paminsky – right on with the gulf between games! It’s killing me here.

Scotty

October 7th, 2009
6:52 pm

“Free Natalie Taylor”? Did I see that right? Someone is advertising a “Free Natalie Taylor”?

I’ll take one!

HookyBob

October 7th, 2009
7:14 pm

So,…Stroz says “You hold the nail and I’ll pound.” With a bit of trepidation I held the nail,….and Stroz hit it directly on the head,..regarding Natalie (as he has hit the nail on the head on most other Thrasher issues).

To be honest I doubt this topic would generate many blogs in Canada. However,…they follow Cherry’s every word (Uff,….da). Thrasher fans its all relative. With Natalie there may not be much insight gained but there is no harm done. I do miss B Jaffe’s interviews though.

Dawgdad,…Kovy first???? I gotta question that. What exactly is “me first?” To me it is tough to distinguish this from wanting to win (Was/is Hossa “me first?”). No doubt Kovy was that way in the early years. Now that he’s older, & captain, the perspective is much different. All in all I think Kovy is being very accountable. I’m not sure “accountable” comes up too many times when you are looking at this organization. My personal feelings are that he wants to extend here,..but is using his remaining here as a lever in seekng some level of increased “accountablility” from the ownership.

I’m sorry to hear Boris has a high ankle sprain. Not that I miss his play,…but being on the bubble as far as making it in the NHL (and in my mind he is “soooooo on the bubble.”),..this could be career ending. On the other hand it is an opportunity for Wolves D-men. Is Oystrick the obvious call-up? I’m OK with that.

So Kinkade is “cautiously optimistic.” I’m in the same boat. The biggest question in my mind (as Kindade’s) is betwixt the pipes. If we can come out of this road trip with a 500 record I’ll be less cautious and much more optimistic. These next 5 games are big. Bloggers what are your thoughts?

ben

October 7th, 2009
7:21 pm

the next ten games could very well determine the playoffs or lack thereof

World Be Free

October 7th, 2009
7:38 pm

Ben-nice piece, problem is our Canadian friends to the north just don’t get it.

The other issue relates to the taxes in Canada, on players and teams, especially in Quebec. You cannot avoid taxes!

Canada = 51st state!

Rawhide

October 7th, 2009
7:54 pm

If we can come out of this road trip with a 500 record I’ll be less cautious and much more optimistic. These next 5 games are big. Bloggers what are your thoughts?

HookyBob – Excellent question…thanks for the nice segue into the next topic! :cool:

Brendan

October 7th, 2009
10:55 pm

Well look, there’s been this giant lull between games. It almost feels like the Tampa Bay game was part of the preseason. So, we’ve vered off into these topical tangents. It’s not the end of the world. Don’t look now, but the “in disarray” Phoenix Coyotes just won again. And they didn’t just beat a NOBODY. They went into Pittsburgh and shutout the Stanley Cup Champions, 3-0. If Phoenix keeps playing like this, they won’t be off everyone’s radar.

Yes, yes … the Penguins played backup Brent Johnson tonight. But Johnson wasn’t the reason the Penguins lost. Nor was Bryzgalov particularly standing on his head for the Coyotes. It was more a case of Phoenix playing really well, defensively, as a team. Nobody would really want to be in Phoenix’s position right about now. But clearly, they’re trying to make the best of it.

Mia

October 8th, 2009
7:51 am

Phoenix has Bufalo tonight.

Brendan

October 8th, 2009
10:36 pm

Buffalo won, 2-1, over Phoenix.

sean

October 9th, 2009
8:46 pm

I’m just hoping the Thrashers stick around and don’t go the way of the Atlanta Knights. I’ve been a Thrasher fan since the beginning and have always loved having hockey in Atlanta. If this team was to be sold and moved to say Winnipeg I don’t think we would ever see another NHL franchise in the ATL.

JSS

October 11th, 2009
7:24 am

I’d take my hockey advice from that flea bitten little dog in Athens before I’d listen to that sleaze bag club player on 680 the Slam. If John Kincade is attached to the game, there is another reason not to listen or watch the Thrashers… He’s turned off more potential fans on the game in the Penta-State region then even the inept ownership has since they came into the League. By the way, I still have my number 4 Bruins sweater from 1972 which the “true” great one signed for me in 1980. So don’t tell me I do not know the game…