Peverley thankful for opportunity Thrashers gave him

As we close in on Thanksgiving, our thoughts naturally turn to the blessings that we are thankful for in our lives. For so many of us, these include family, friends, our health… as well the health of those who are close to us… and for so many of us, we give thanks for the jobs we currently have.

Rich Peverley can certainly be counted as one who can be thankful for his current employment and the position he finds himself in…and last Saturday he shared with us how he is indeed grateful for the opportunity afforded him by the Thrashers last January.

Certainly he, nor anyone else, could not have predicted what was about to transpire as he prepared to leave the Nashville Predators for their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee during the middle of last season…a destination he never had to make. Instead, he was plucked off of the waiver wire and headed for Georgia. A few short days later, he was starting his first game as a Thrasher. On top of that, he was to center the first line that Ilya Kovalchuk played on no less.

Quite a swing there…eh, Rich?

“It was a crazy time”, he told me.” I wasn’t sure if I was going to play the American League or if I was going to be picked up by [an NHL team]. I was lucky to be picked up by Atlanta and lucky to picked up by a coach who was going to play me”.

“I was thankful I got the opportunity”, he continued. “Just going from playing hardly any minutes to playing with Ilya Kovalchuk right away helped me get a good jump”.

Peverley has dispensed 8 goals and 16 assists so far this season (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Peverley has dispensed 8 goals and 16 assists so far this season (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

As I’m sure you’ll all remember, Peverley fit in right away and help spark a team that was not playing well to one that finished last spring on a very positive note. In just his second game in an Atlanta jersey, he capped off a great come-from-behind win against the Maple Leafs by knocking home the game-winner in overtime.

In his comments after the game, it was easy to tell how happy he was to be here and to be playing with one of the top stars in the league. “It’s tremendous to be able to contribute…to get an overtime winner was great but it was also a great play by Kovalchuk.”

He was an instant hit with fans, his new teammates and coaches as well.

“I think he’s exactly what we thought he was, and more”, assistant coach Randy Cunneyworth said of the 27-year old native of Guelph, Onterio. “The more we’ve utilized him, the better he’s played…no matter what line we’ve put him on he’s been a spark plug. It’s so easy to put him on any line and let him go to work and get those guys going”.

The Thrashers carried their good play last spring over to this fall by getting off to a winning start. The same is true with Peverley’s performance. He leads the team with 24 overall points and his 16 assists is second behind Nik Antropov’s 19…helping to bolster his nickname “The Pevs Dispenser” as he has this great propensity to dispense the puck onto teammate’s sticks who then score goals…or just dispenses it into the net himself as he’s done 8 times already this season.

In the case of Bryan Little, Pevs banked the biscuit off his skate to finally get Little his first goal of the season.

Peverley has played in a total of 59 games for the Thrashers and has scored a total of 21 goals and 38 assists during that time. In comparison, he mustered up a grand total of 7 goals and 13 assists in 73 games played in a Nashville Predators uniform. He’s a +20 playing for Atlanta whereas he was an EVEN rating with the Preds. And with all his fine work on the offensive side of the ice, it’s almost easy to overlook his solid, responsible play in the defensive zone…which was a skill set that was much needed by this team upon his arrival. 

As thankful as he says he was to be here, Thrasherville was equally happy to have him.

Fortunately for Thrashers fans, Rich didn’t wait for late November to arrive to display his full measure of gratitude toward the organization that gave him a chance eleven months prior. As the season was just in its first weeks, he agreed to a new $2.6 million contract that’ll keep him in Atlanta for at least 2 more years…doing so instead of testing the free agency market this coming summer.

But why sign here now and forgo the chance to have multiple other teams offer even more for his services? Well, for Peverley…it’s simply a matter of returning the favor to those who took a chance on him earlier in the year.

“Well, you know, they gave me an opportunity”, Peverley said. “It’s a good fit here…I’m playing a lot of minutes. And to be successful in the league you gotta play”.

He went on to further express how much he enjoyed the situation here and again showed his sincere appreciation for the club that reach out and plucked him off of the waiver wire last winter. “I was thankful for that. [The Thrashers] have a lot of good players and I wanted to be a part of a good, winning organization”.

And so the man who was blessed with being given a chance to continue playing at the NHL level last January, returned the favor in the best way he could…by putting pen to paper on a new deal early on in the process and signed for less than he most likely could have gotten after the season ended.

“I wanted to move forward…I wanted to put it behind me and I didn’t want to think about it all year”.

And for that, all of Thrasherville can give thanks.

50 comments Add your comment


November 24th, 2009
3:12 am


November 24th, 2009
3:12 am

…and very thankful for the Pevs dispenser!


November 24th, 2009
6:45 am


November 24th, 2009
6:51 am

Great story for sure, A Happy Ending for both parties, same CANNOT be
said for todd white and bryan little who need to be traded for what we can get, while the gettin is half decent, they are killing us.

Plus a couple GOOD stay at home defensemen, we lead the NHL in SA and that has to stop. Hainsey needs to be shipped out, for starters.

World Be Free

November 24th, 2009
7:34 am

What a great pickup. I cannot think of anything I don’t like about Pev’s game. It is nice to see he is thankful for what so many players (in all sports) take for granted. Most players (in all sports) have an entitlement attitude; not Pevs.

What was Nashville thinking!


November 24th, 2009
8:06 am

Happy Thanksgiving all! That said. No playoffs for these untalented heartless quitters! Loseland required fumigation after that shetty giveup job against Tampa Bay. Thrashers have only themselves to blame for horrendous home attendance totals! Who in Hell wants to watch that uninspired bullshet? Nobody with half a brain! Pavs is becoming a whining excuse maker like Sori Letemin. Wah wah wah! Man up you piece of commode residue. No one feels sorry for your uncaring a$$! Least of all me. I will say this for John Petrino, he is in the same motivational class as Mark Bicht. Nuff said! See nothing to look forward to from here on out. Same gutless and ball-less Thrashers from past seasons! Kaptain Ilya Kovalchuk will soon be gone. Hey, Kari Lehtonen will be back for a few games until he breaks a nail! Losing streak rocks on. Likely to for quite a while! Hope Thrashers enjoy Canada. Losers! ++STENDEC++


November 24th, 2009
8:12 am

Now if we could only pluck some players off the waiver wire that could score in the first period at home……

Get The Puck Out

November 24th, 2009
9:01 am

I, for one am thankful that i have a hometown hockey team to watch in person and on tv. Yes, these twenty minute games they are playing now is unnerving, but this team will show that they can play with the big boys. Anyway i’m gonna cheer for the Thrashers, good or bad. We must remember, this is a game. We all probably know someone or have relatives who are in harm’s way in the middle east, fighting for their country and that is no game. If you have a family that you can gather with on Thanksgiving, thank the man upstairs for their health and be thankful you have food on the table to eat, because a lot of people don’t have either. I will count my blessings this Thanksgiving for a family that is here, and i am thankful for a roof over my head. I don’t have a job right now but i’m still blessed. Anyway, don’t forget what’s really important. I love the Thrashers as much as anybody, and i hope they go far in the playoffs, but i’m gonna root for ‘em win, lose or draw. God bless.


November 24th, 2009
9:22 am

I’m grateful for a fun blog and that that all of the remaining away games (except 1) will be televised.


November 24th, 2009
9:31 am

Sometimes happiness is more important than money.


November 24th, 2009
9:49 am

Great quotes from Pevs. I think he epitomizes the new direction and spirit of our team. Here’s hoping the team continues in that direction.
Thanks Bill for your dedication and all your insightful words and thoughts about our hockey team. I am sure this blog is a life-line for hundreds of Thrasher fans. Your infectious enthusiasm keeps us connected to each other and the team. We are blessed to have yee!


November 24th, 2009
9:58 am

GTPU & Heather – Amen.

five_hole & JLH- And I am thankful for good people like you and all the other contributers to this blog that make it so much fun! I assure you, it is I that feels blessed.

Everyone – If you’re travelling for T-Day, I hope it will be safe and enjoyable. If you are not going out of town…I hope you’ll join us tomorrow night at TJs as we enjoy the Thrashers vs Red Wings game there!


November 24th, 2009
10:21 am

I am thankful that we have NHL here in Atlanta. I remember the “dark years” after the Flames were stolen from us. For 20 years I was able to watch NHL hockey only on TV. During some of those years, even the Stanley Cup Finals was only available only at sports bars, as no network carried the games.

I hope this crew that we have turn it up a knotch, win consistantly at home, and bring the fans back. If we lose this team, we won’t get another one in my lifetime.


November 24th, 2009
10:41 am

Amen brother, AMEN!! I am very thankful indeed to have Ten Gallon Dick slingin’ his pucks to and fro for years to come here in the ATL corral!

Rawhide, we are truly blessed to have you as our fan-blogger. Hell, you’ve even inspired me to write my own musings on a blog…what is this damn world coming to?? :wink:

LAC – right on buddy…we should’ve traded Whitey while his value was through the roof. We could’ve gotten another quality Top 4 D-man and put more pressure on Hainsey to play at a high level. Ronsey does a lot of good things, but sometimes his lack of physical play can be maddening and he is prone to make some boneheaded passes out of the zone. However, in his defense I think he was still a bit sore from getting dinged Sat night versus the Pen-gwens. I must respectfully disagree with you about Little. He’ll come around…he’s still working hard and creating chances for others. When he starts scoring, I think he’ll rack up a bushel of goals…I predict 15 by January 15th.


November 24th, 2009
11:11 am

I too am thankful this city has a hockey team. I was not a fan of hockey at all until 10 years ago when a friend of mine took me to my first game up in Philips. Now hockey is my favorite sport and then some. I will be devastated if the team ever gets moved.

I’m also thankful for this blog. Lots of opinions and perspective to be gained/analyzed.

Rawhide – Thanks for the stats on SA per game on the last blog as well. Interesting…still don’t think we’ll make the playoffs though unless those numbers are trimmed at least a little. Bascially because it translates to zone time (or lackthereof) for the Thrashers.


November 24th, 2009
11:16 am

I am thankful for Pevs and will be even more thankful when Ilya puts ink to the paper and the ASG continus their promise on building a winning team and inks others such as Max and Kubina. Nice piece Rawhide, one of your best.


November 24th, 2009
1:12 pm

I am just plain Thankful. Thank You.


November 24th, 2009
1:13 pm

JLH speaks for me.
>> I am sure this blog is a life-line for hundreds of Thrasher fans. Your infectious enthusiasm keeps us connected to each other and the team
You do a great job, Bill!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the denizens of Thrasherville and especially to Rawhide and the Rowdies.

Putting On The Foil

November 24th, 2009
1:40 pm

Thanks for hockey in Atlanta, from Willie Plett to Ilya Kovalchuk. Thanks for a great blog, Rawhide, that allows me to read all the great insight on the Thrash.
And thanks to Stendec, who makes me realize that no matter how bad things get sometimes, there is always someone else who feels shettier than me.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone and Go Thrashers!


November 24th, 2009
2:31 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Bill to you and all Thrasher fans! I’m thankful to have a fan blog like yours that makes me feel part of the Thrasher family even up here in North Carolina.

Just curious – was the “testing the fee agency” an intentional typo? I thought it was pretty humorous, and figured it must be intentional!


November 24th, 2009
3:07 pm

Everyone have fun traveling, eating, matching your socks or whatever you choose to do with your holiday. The spouse and I plan on visiting TJ’s tomorrow night to enjoy hockey and beer in the company of like-minded folk.


November 24th, 2009
3:14 pm

Paminski – Uh…um…yeah. I totally did that on purpose….ah…um…glad you caught that little “joke”. :oops:

No…it was supposed to be “free agency”… DOH! :roll:


November 24th, 2009
3:34 pm

How nice you’re thinking of me….but the credit goes to Buzzeng for pointing out your “joke”. Today you are officially “Silly Tilly”.


November 24th, 2009
3:39 pm

Paminski – Double DUH!!! Sorry….

See ya’ll at TJs tomorrow night!

Buzzeng – Thank YOU for the tipoff…coreection made.


November 24th, 2009
3:44 pm

I am thankful for a loving God, my family, my job,my health, and for hockey. This club needs to get on a roll, and you know what, I think they’re going to do just that starting tomorrow night.

hip czech

November 24th, 2009
5:15 pm

Another article on the Peverley and Afinogenov reclamations:

I am thankful for God’s grace, family, and friends…have a Happy Thanksgiving all!


November 24th, 2009
9:48 pm

Rawhide, what can you tell us about our newest Thrasher???? Rich Peverlov…

Alan R.

November 24th, 2009
10:16 pm

I’m thankful for good food, good friends, and finally, something resembling good hockey. Go Thrashers!


November 25th, 2009
6:38 am

For those that participate in this blog, be advised….my 17 year-old daughters called me ‘lame’ for being involved in the Ice Man Blog! We have made it BIG!

Thanks Ice Man…and all others that have read my ramblings!

Everyone have a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Go Thrashers!!!


November 25th, 2009
8:35 am

sisu – I wonder if Brian Duff did that on purpose as a joke or if he did indeed butcher Rich’s name ala E.J. Hradek did with “Byron Young”, (aka Bryan Little). :lol:

Regardless, seeing Max on the top of that list is awsome!

hip czech – Nice article!

NorthStarsDave – Funny, isn’t it, how our teenagers calling something we do as “lame” is taken as a complement these days, eh? :cool:


November 25th, 2009
8:47 am

I dunno – I thought it was a sweet nod by Brian Duff to change Peverly’s surname so that he could be included in the Russian five. Perhaps my sense of humor is off – prob why I like those Brit movies.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Alan R.

November 25th, 2009
9:37 am

I dunno – I thought it was a sweet nod by Brian Duff to change Peverly’s surname so that he could be included in the Russian five.

Me too. Wonder if the other four are teaching him Russian so he can be an “honorary memeber?” ;)


November 25th, 2009
10:00 am

I’m thankful hockey has a pulse in the ATL, fans get a chance to debate their views of reality here and that there’s a quality host here with great insight keeping it focused. Another great piece on the Pevs dispenser. Keep up the great work Rawhide. No Bluenote kharma at home, no wins….could there be a connection?

I’m particularly thankful not to have added any hood ornaments in the form of deer to my car last night on a 10 hour midwest roadtrip extravaganza. Also thankful for therapists, anti-depressants and mood-control pharmaceuticals. There’s hope Stendec!

Will be in a different timezone, so must send regrets to the TJs crew tonight. Will lift hoist one in your honor.

Much to be thankful for here. Happy Thanksgiving to all.


November 25th, 2009
10:20 am

Apparently the main reason Kovy hasn’t resigned is because he wasn’t sure if the Buffalo Sabers were serious about winning according to today’s rumors on ESPN.


November 25th, 2009
10:46 am

goose – can’t see the article as i am not an ‘insider’. what do the sabres have to do with anything regarding Kovy? Can you provide more detail?


November 25th, 2009
12:36 pm

I am thankful for a blogmaster who SCORES AN INTERVIEW with Rich Peverley. We do take Rawhide for granted, with all he’s done for the fan blog. Especially keeping it active during the entirety of the offseason, when rosters are set and key personnel changes are made.

Rawhide also got an interview with Coach Anderson. And he organizes events for Philips Arena. What a long way this forum has come since the Ice Princess. Rawhide goes way above and beyond anything required of a fan blogger. I am thankful the AJC gave him this space to do his thing.

And I’m grateful for all the usual things, the blessings of family, the comforts of home, good health, and the means to support it all, including the Center Ice package and NHL Network! And, of course, I am grateful for NHL Hockey in my city.


November 25th, 2009
12:39 pm

J.B. – Its just a typo, but also an typical example of how sloppy and unsubstantiated the ESPN Insider is with its “Rumors” page, and strangely often on Thrashers rumors. ESPN NHL Rumors is often about as reliable as Ecklund.

R. Stroz

November 25th, 2009
1:19 pm

I’d like to give thanks, to what two years ago, seemed very unlikely.

First, the ASG for finally increasing the team payroll which has given team management and the players the opportunity to compete with the rest of the NHL.

Second, the sales/marketing group for the Thrashers which has enhanced the value of being a season/half-season ticket holder. Numerous perks and events have been added to enhance the value of purchasing ticket packages. For the first time in years, I’m happy to be a ticket package holder.

Third, Don Waddell for going out and bringing in Rick Dudley, who is already leaving his imprint on the team.

Fourth, who would have thought two years ago that Rawhide would have turned the fan blog into what it has become today? He has organized events, maintained an active blog site, and reached out as an ambassador for hockey in Atlanta. He has graciously engaged and recognized fans before, during, and after games.


November 25th, 2009
4:15 pm

JB it was just a typo. They tend to have a lot of them when making rumors about the Thrashers


November 25th, 2009
5:19 pm

is anyone watching the game at tj’s tonight?


November 25th, 2009
5:23 pm

Michael – Yes…there will be a group of us gathering at TJs tonight to watch the game. Hope ya can join us!


November 25th, 2009
9:58 pm

40 saves for Pavelec. It’s a 2-0 win for the Thrashers. Ondrej’s second shutout this season. Remember, he also had 50 saves in a win over Ottawa, in addition to a shutout of the L.A. Kings about 2 weeks ago.


November 25th, 2009
10:00 pm

Believe it or not folks, Toronto … as in the Maple Leafs … won a game! In regulation time. Against?? The Tampa Bay Lightning! Woo-hoo!! Thanks Leafs!!!


November 25th, 2009
10:06 pm

The NY Rangers and Florida Panthers are now headed to the shootout, still tied, 1-1. Go Rangers!!!


November 25th, 2009
10:09 pm

Pavelec is really outstanding. He is looking composed, handling rebounds well, and never getting flustered. His turnover in the second could have been deadly, but he had the presence of mind to get in position and make a great glove save. I’m a believer! Opie, Opie, Opie!


November 25th, 2009
10:14 pm

I hate seeing Rangers and Panthers get a free point…


November 25th, 2009
10:15 pm

Slava,..1 on 1….you can take it to the bank.

Great game guys.


November 25th, 2009
10:27 pm

Great game by #31, who needs #32 as far as I am concerned… He has proven he is here to stay, this was a GOOD Game, good defense too, about half their shots were on PP or from the blue line…

Good defensive from Kane tonight, and another Excellent game by Max !

#17 looks slow the past couple games.

With NYR win they move into 8th place we are 9th.

TB lost to Toronto, Exleby got an assist !

Carolina has Staal back so he will be in Friday’s game.

Overall good game, only BAD moment was interview with waddell, he said NOTHING… As usual.

Detroit announcers said Atlanta & 17 have agreed on ten year deal, just working on $… Odd how they offer more info than our guys do.

Alan R.

November 25th, 2009
11:35 pm

Detroit announcers said Atlanta & 17 have agreed on ten year deal, just working on $

I’d be really interested to know where they heard that. If that’s true though, that means so much for the future of this franchise.


November 26th, 2009
12:02 am

It was great to see the #17 was’t auditioning for his next team tonight. I’m not going to worry about the Kovy contract until the third week in January. If it gets signed before then, GREAT!

What I don’t understand is this. If there were, in fact, “counter-negotiations” going on previously, as has been reported in the AJC, why didn’t it produce a contract, way back when? The only answer I can find is this one. Kovy’s counter-offer was a list of players whom the organization had to procure. If it was a dollar amount and years, the proper response was to end contract negotiations by signing the deal.

If I were Kovy, and I were signing a 10-year deal, even at the league maximum, I’d still put in a clause that says, “Kovalchuk has the right to walk away from the team if its Opening Night budget is greater than $3.5 million from whatever the cap is, in any given year.” If the Spirit agree to it, what’s left to do? Kovy gets his LOVE. No doubt of that. Plus, he gets guarantees about the budget. Which is great for everybody. Uhh, with the understanding, of course, this means WE ALL HAVE TO PAY MORE for our seats. Kovy’s contract won’t get paid without those dollars. But, we WANT the ownership to spend more. This way, they can lock up Bryan Little, Pavelec, Kane, Bogosian, and whomever else, moving forward. Including Peverley, two years from now, when the deal he just signed expires.