Thrashers need to ‘Just Win’

November 30, 2009…34 days ago. That was the last time the Atlanta Thrashers won a regulation game. Since that time they have played to a record of 4-10-3, earning 8 points in the standings while surrendering 34…29 to teams in the Eastern Conference.

Since their last win of any kind…a 6-5 overtime victory against Dallas…they are winless in eight consecutive going 0-5-3.

After starting the season with a road record of 9-2-1 in their first 12 away from Philips Arena, they have stumbled to a record of 1-8-2 outside of Thrasherville since. The last time they won on the road was on December 14 when they downed the Rangers in a shootout. The last time the won in regulation outside of Philips was back on November 27 when they lit the lamp 5 times in the third period up in Carolina.

Ahhhh…these are indeed the times that try mens souls. At least, if they are Thrashers fans.

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates Saturday's game-tying goal with Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Ilya Kovalchuk celebrates Saturday's game-tying goal with Toby Enstrom and Rich Peverley (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

The Thrashers wake up this morning tied with Tampa Bay and the Islanders for ninth place in the east with 42 points. When they began this little seven-game excursion on the road, the held the sixth spot and looking to leap over the Bruins for the fifth spot with a win in Boston to start the trip.

Looking back over the six games played so far on this roadie from hell, only once have they been totally destroyed in a game. That was the 4-0 B-slappin’ they suffered from the hand…er, paws…of the Boston Bruins last Saturday. They lost 4-3 in Tampa, 3-2 in New Jersey and the 6-4 loss in Beantown to start the trip was 5-4 prior to the empty-netter at the end. Most recently are the back-to-back losses in OT to the Sabres and Islanders to begin 2010.

Now, the only thing they have to do in order to avoid an Oh-fer the road trip is travel up to western Pennsylvania and beat the defending Stanley Cup champs…something they haven’t been able to do to the Penguins in Pittsburgh since Dec. 27, 2006.

It’s tough to put a finger on one single thing that has one wrong over the past seventeen games given that there are several options to chose from…defensive lapses, lack of full 60-minutes worth of effort, goaltending not being able to keep up the torrid pace of October and November, forwards failing to backcheck regularly, intensity level, etc.

Which quote is best applied to the Thrashers now?

  • "Just win, baby" - Al Davis (37%, 45 Votes)
  • "Change" - Barack Obama (11%, 14 Votes)
  • "Try just a little bit harder" - Janis Joplin (14%, 17 Votes)
  • "Playoffs?...Pl...Playoffs?" - Jim Mora (38%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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And of course, there is this little matter of the Kovalchuk contract issue looming over the team’s head that will just keep growing in size and importance as each and every day that passes between now and when the ink gets put on paper or…or….or…Well, just “or”.

So what is the answer to what ails this team? Well…I’ll echo what radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal said prior to the Islanders game in his “Key to the Game”

“Just win”.

They need to find a way to piece together 60-minutes of effort…find a way to work through the adversity…man-up to the situation and get the job done. The talent is there, I believe and I still have faith in the coaching staff.

But like Kamal said…they just have to win. Sometimes that’s the entire breakdown needed. And they’d better find a way to do it…and soon…because the second half of the season is now upon us.

105 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
10:54 pm

Rangers have a gem in Derek Stepan! Wow that kid can handle like Jagr.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
10:55 pm

Smoothie, when Brian Burke, (Maple Leaf GM,) moved 3 high-end draft picks for Phil Kessel, I had raised eyebrows? It might just turn out that it’s a “wash,” or it could even benefit the Leafs. They traded for an essentially “know commodity” for the unknown. But philosophically, I do not support trading away 1st and 2nd round pick at a time when a franchise, ANY franchise, is (re)building. In my view, those high-end picks how you FIX things. You’re absolutely beholden to using those picks to get out of trouble.

In this regard, Smoothie, I can’t support DW or Rick Dudley moving a 1st round pick of Atlanta’s. It very well could be pick #5 or #6 or #7 in the draft. To move a pick like that, would have to be for a known commodity, WILLING to play in Atlanta for YEARS to come. I suppose Brian Campbell, it could be argued, USED TO HAVE interest in playing here. Although, I think that’s a dubious claim. But the bidding war for his services was between Atlanta and Chicago. I think Campbell’s agent just used Atlanta to drive up the price for Chicago. But, if it’s true that Campbell actually WANTED to play here, then that’d be at least ONE GOOD ASPECT of a potential trade for his services. The bad news would be, of course, that Campbell is an even higher cap hit than KOVALCHUK is now.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:07 pm

WBF, other Sabres I think Buffalo should have kept were J.P. Dumont, (signed for $2.1 million with Nashville, folling salary arbitration), and Mike Grier (who left for San Jose. He has since returned.) But imagine, if all the Sabres lost were Jay McKee, and a few others. Even if they lost Briere, keeping Dumont, Grier, Drury, and Campbell, at “responsible” pricing, would have kept the Sabres in the playoffs, probably all this time.

Oh well. I feel bad for that organization. From an “outsider’s standpoint,” I see a BILLIONAIRE owner in Tom Golisano, who places control of his NHL franchise in the hands of a man in “walking coma.” Imagine, if instead, he empowered Darcy Regier to make the decisions. What a concept! He is, SAY IT WITH ME, the GM of the franchise. Why isn’t Regier making the decisions???? Instead, they leave decisions like, “who to draft” and “who to trade” to him, rather than letting Regier make the overall roster decisions, vis-a-vis payroll and “player retention.” It’s got to be maddening for Sabres fans.

I sure wish we had a BILLIONAIRE owner, who put trust and power into a competent, very capable GM, for oversight of the franchise. But it is what it is. But, mark my words, bloggers will come here to this very AJC site … to BLAST fans for their LACK OF ATTENDANCE for a badly mismanaged organization. Well, in total honesty, what do these owners do … to instill CONFIDENCE in their fanbase?

USA scores!!! 3-2!!!

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
11:09 pm

Yes, I doubt we will trade our 2010 # 1 under any circumstance even if we must trade Kovy.

Shot from the point, SCORE!! 3 to 2 USA. A nice rush and stick-handle move by Morin before the puck got kicked back out to the point. Jeremy probably would get more ice time if he were a more fluid skater…these Swedes can fly!

Damn it, they flipped the puck out from the D-zone again! PK coming up.

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
11:12 pm

Shorty!!! 4 to 2 US of A!!!

Stepan to D’Amigo…gorgeous play and wrister to finish!

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:13 pm

SCORES!!!! USA up, 4-2!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
11:13 pm

Anyone know who drafted D’Amigo? He’s pretty darn good too.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:14 pm

D’Amigo looks good. I think he might be a Ranger prospect.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:18 pm

Jerry D’Amigo, taken 158th overall, Toronto’s sixth selection in the 2009 Entry Draft. He’s listed a 5′11″ / 196 pounds. He’s born in Binghampton, NY. He’ll be 19 years old on Feb. 19, 2010.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:19 pm

Jenks just scored the empty-netter. USA vs. Canada for the Gold!!

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
11:21 pm

It’s salted away! 5 to 2, perhaps 3 with :50 secs left. Morin feeds Jenks who hammers it into the open empty net for the US. Nice impressive performance by our young guns. Think they may have a chance to beat Canada in the rematch.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:23 pm

Switzerland vs. Sweden for the bronze, on Tuesday. I like Sweden in that one, but ya never know! Who thought the Swiss would knock off the vaunted Russians! I give the edge to Canada, in the Gold medal game. But, tonight, the USA just clinched the “silver.”

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2010
11:23 pm

Wow, D’Amigo was taken that late?? Holy cow! Makes you wonder if the draft should be for 19 y/o because this kid obviously flew under the radar. Now, he might be a top 60 pick. Just seems like 18 y/o are more of a crapshoot, why not wait one more year before drafting.

Figures the two players I really like (Stepan & D’Amigo) would be a Ranger and a Leaf…kack!

Rawhide

January 3rd, 2010
11:24 pm

THAT was a fun game to watch, guys!!!! Now we’ll have to keep our eyes on two games Tuesday night….the P in P will deffinately be in use!

USA!! USA!! USA!!

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:25 pm

For the USA juniors to knock off Finland and Sweden is a mighty coup for them. Well done. I hope people out there, in blogosphere, are swelling with pride. This is a great moment for our national hockey prospects.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:31 pm

USA!! USA!!! USA!!!

I think this is the residual effect of the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980. That’s what started a hockey surge. The US under 18 and US under 19 developmental programs are now placing players inside the NHL lottery draft. It’s working, folks. Our country is now producing some of the top tiered hockey talent in the world.

I repeat, we just knocked off SWEDEN. As in the nation that’s been winning the World Cup and Olympic Gold, lately. When a GM is in the 4th, 5th or 6th round a draft, and he is ABSOLUTELTY NO CLUE who to take, he should look at list of Swedish players still available. Nicklas Lasu comes to mind, in the Thrasher front. And nowwwww, we just BEAT them.

This is a nice moment. We should rejoice in it.

R. Stroz

January 3rd, 2010
11:33 pm

Although I was hoping the U.S.A. won the game, I was paying more attention to Morin and Klingberg. If nothing else, we drafted two players in the second round that enjoy a physical game and goodness knows the Thrashers need more grit.

StateBird

January 3rd, 2010
11:35 pm

Nice to hear JP on the telecast. Always preferred his steady call over McConnel’s constant chearleading and deaf ear (voice) to negatives. Great win for the US. Looks like we have a replacement in the wings for Slater. Morin played with energy, albeit on the “grinding” line. Even missed an empty net just like Slates.

R. Stroz

January 3rd, 2010
11:40 pm

Even missed an empty net just like Slates.

Statebird – But Morin did stay with the play and passed the puck to the guy that scored the empty netter.

Brendan

January 3rd, 2010
11:52 pm

In 2003, Ryan Suter was a US under 18 development program prospect taken 7th overall by Nashville. In 2005, Jack Johnson, taken 3rd overall by Carolina, was a US National Under 18 developmental program prospect. At #7, same year, was Jack Skille, taken by Chicago Blackhawks.

In 2006, Jaime McBain was selected 63rd overall by Carolina in the 1st round. At #56, was Blake Geoffrion, taken by Nashville. Nigel Williams was taken 51st overall, by Colorado, from US National Under 18. At #42, Michal Ratchuk, was taken by Philadelphia. At #28, Chris Summers was taken by Phoneix, as a 1st rounder. And 1st overall, was Erik Johnson, US-Under 18, by the St. Louis Blues.

In 2007, James vanRiemsdyk went 2nd overall, from US National-18 program. Kevin Shattenkirk went 14th overall, by Colorado. At #18, Ian Cole went to St. Louis, from US National Under 18 development program. Theo Ruth went 46th overall, to Washington Capitals. Mike Hoeffel went 57th overall, to New Jersey.

In 2008, Danny Kristo went 56th overall to Montreal. In 2009, at #26, Kyle Palmieri went to Anaheim, in the 1st round. In the 2nd round, at pick #36, Chris Brown went to Phoenix. Picks #43-46 were all US National 18 prospects. William Wrenn to SJ, Drew Shore to Florida, and Jeremy Morin to the Atlanta Thrashers. Pick #50 went to Toronto, Kenny Ryan, US-18 program. At #56, Kevin Lynch.

So? So, we’re gettin’ it done.

StateBird

January 3rd, 2010
11:52 pm

Not meant to be a knock on Morin. His backchecking in the first period probably saved a goal and was a better effort than our Russians have given on the backcheck this year.

R. Stroz

January 4th, 2010
12:04 am

Statebird:

Not meant to be a knock on Morin.

Understood, I’m just glad he stayed with the play instead of sulking.

His backchecking in the first period probably saved a goal and was a better effort than our Russians have given on the backcheck this year.

AGREED

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
12:16 am

Hey guys, Florida won today, handily, over Pittsburgh. For the Penguins, it’s their 5th straight loss. But for our purposes, the win puts Florida AHEAD of us in the standings. Yikes.

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
12:25 am

Well, I’m wrong. Per this link: http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20092010&type=CON, Florida only has 41-points. So they trail Atlanta.

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
12:42 am

Well, something else is official. Remember when the Toronto Maple Leafs began the year, 0-7-1, on October 24th? Well, since October 24, the Maple Leafs have gone 14-8-8. Here’s a link: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/teams/schedule/TOR/toronto-maple-leafs

Since October 24, 2009, the Atlanta Thrashers have gone 14-14-5. Here’s a link. http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/teams/schedule/ATL/atlanta-thrashers

That’s right, folks. Toronto, cellar dweller of the league, has banked points at a better clip that we have. They’ve had 36-points in 30 games. We’ve had 33-points in 33 games. If things continue at this rate, Toronto will finish ahead of us, by season’s end.

Amazing, huh? On October 24, 2009, the Thrashers were 4-3-1. We’ve been a .500 club since then. And it’s only going to be harder to bank points from this point onward. We better NOT trade our 1st round pick anytime soon.

lynx

January 4th, 2010
4:56 am

Thrashers need changes. Our defencemen Schubert, Valabik, Salmella plays very bad, we need recall from Wolwes Kulda, he have second +/- in all AHL (+19).

LAC

January 4th, 2010
6:14 am

Wanted to say Happy New Year to You Rawhide, Your blog ALWAYS provides
insight, promotes discussion and you really have you finger on the pulse of Hockey here in Atlanta, Excellent job and I always enjoy reading your thoughts, keep it up in 2010… We will likely need it !

Nice USA WIN last night, I do like this Morin kid, he looks a lot like Parise of NJ, WOW !

FYI, Pittsburgh is on a 5 game LOSING streak right now… Could this bode good for us ? Lack of scoring of all things, seems to be the issue
as well as spotty goaltending. Bet Johnson starts.

Lastly Thanks for the SUPPORT Mr.Stedec & Mr.Sage, I am glad to have it and THANK-YOU, nice to have a REAL blogmaster here, rather than a little pip-squeak who can only call you names and NOT do his job, but like Sage said… You get what you pay for and at ajc, The Fans DON’T COUNT ONE BIT ! At least to that clown who covers the team, only making losers look like winners, That is called LYING, he and waddell must be related ! Happy 2010 !

jerry

January 4th, 2010
6:52 am

Pulse? They have a pulse? What we need is some kind of eviction law.

DWTOO

January 4th, 2010
8:08 am

WBF – Sorry I missed the Stooges marathon. The Gentlemen were truly classics. And Disorder in the Court is a classic. Think the line is “That’s not a derby – that’s a tarantula” or something like it when the guy’s toupee is shot. Spent the New Year watching football in Orlando. Like Rawhide said – rainy and chilly. But the alchol helped.

Anyway back to hockey.

hip czech

January 4th, 2010
8:50 am

if you believe the rumors and the Thrashers have given Kovalchuk a deadline of TODAY to sign their ‘final offer’ there would be a real possibility that the Thrashers take home ice on Thursday minus Kovalchuk. How weird would that be?

I hate athletes who publicly say ‘I want to stay, love the city, the fans, etc.’. BS.

Is there really a difference between a 70 million dollar deal and a 100 million dollar deal?

Let’s for arguments sake say the average salary in the US is 100,000 (I know, a whole lot of people make a lot less and some people make a lot more, but I am just using a nice round number). For you and me that means it would take us SEVENTY years to earn ONE year’s salary of a 7 million/year contract. I know, there’s taxes and other ramifications, but come on…unless Ilya has to foot the bill for uncle Boris and cousin Natasha and the rest of his extended family what is the practical difference between living on 7 million per as opposed to 10 million per???

How many athletes have REALLY given a home town discount? Hudson sort of did for the Braves, but he’s coming off injuries…Hossa had some panache to sign a one year deal with Detroit (not a hometown discount, but still signing for less than market value), other than that I can’t think of any…I’m sure others have examples, I’ve only had one cup of coffee.

Makes me sick.

Hockey Biltong

January 4th, 2010
9:06 am

WBF- I’ve switched to needles for Thrash games. No need for beer anymore…
USA Jrs looked good. At one point reminded me of Thrash when Sweden pressured heavily in US zone and we couldn’t get the puck out!!!!
Should be a rock’em sock’em game on Tuesday.
Hip Czech – you are making my head hurt….

R. Stroz

January 4th, 2010
9:20 am

hip czech – Although I agree with your overall points, I’d think Peverley provided a loyalty discount.

Optimist

January 4th, 2010
9:24 am

we got 2 out of the last 4 possible points…..

J-man

January 4th, 2010
9:58 am

I don’t believe for a minute that the Thrashers have given Kovalchuk a deadline to sign by today or else. I also don’t believe for a minute that the Thrashers have made a realistic offer. I have believed since the summer that their plan was to offer Kovy a deal that while not a complete joke was lower than they believed he would accept with a willingness to sign him only if he did somehow agree. I also believe that if we fans knew what the team was offering him, many of us would not consider it a realistic offer. Kovy will get blamed for supposedly being greedy when he gets traded, but DW and the owners are to blame. They could end this right now by simply agreeing to what Kovy wants or better yet actually trying to work out a reasonable deal. It’s not like there is no offer on the table. The owners are cheap and they don’t want Kovy back because THEY JUST DON’T CARE about the Thrashers. The Thrashers are headed for the bottom of the standings. Expect a fire sale once Kovy is traded. Kubina and Armstrong will surely follow, Kozlov will too if he waives his no trade clause.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 4th, 2010
10:08 am

Biltong-ooouch on the needles! The sun comes up every day, with or without a Thrashers win. Yes, it did look familiar.

Stroz-you in 222 this week, “The Cowbell Section or Stroz’s Little Piece of Heaven”?

Smoothie

January 4th, 2010
10:26 am

If the ASG / DW haven’t offered Kovy at least $9-9.5 M / year (yes, I know it’s more than Ovy and Crosby, but consider it an inflation adjusted comp salary), then Kovy should be insulted. However, if we’re talking about $8.75 vs $ 9.25 M and Grossman is bristling at the “low-ball” offer, then Kovy has more leverage because a $500k – $1M difference should be workable. But if Kovy’s agent is asking for max bank ($11.25 M) over 8-10 years, I don’t blame the ASG for not wanting to do that. If that’s the case, he WILL BE TRADED.

The one thing I don’t get is that Kovy could sign a 1 or 2 yr extension and continue his “wait and see” approach with very little risk. I bet ASG would be willing to pay him $10.5-11 M per year for 2 years. Invest that wisely and you’re set for life. Hell, just put 1/4 of it in bonds and another 1/4 in “high” interest MM and you’re set for life.

Check out what his countrymen did recently:

http://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/7078812444

Then again, Caps are closer to a Cup and Semin’s a bit older is he not? But if he’s older, shouldn’t he be less apt to take a short-term deal.

Regardless, something needs to happen this week or next…no later. If Kovy is playing with another team by 1/15, I’ll understand…I think.

Bob

January 4th, 2010
10:45 am

“I belive it was Bob who posted the question, “How many times will te Thrashers have to score 6 goals to win games?” last October.”

That’s the makeup of this team, and I’ve questioned it since Day 1 this year. You don’t win NHL games, and you certainly don’t win playoff games, over the long haul playing pond hockey. Anderson’s system just doesn’t work in the NHL. But it is “fun” for the casual fan to see a club like ours come back from 3 goal deficits, pot 4 goals in a period, etc., but it doesn’t do you much good when the opposition has a shooting gallery going in your own zone. The only way I thought this D worked this year, with it’s makeup, was if Bogosian turned into a true #1 shutdown dman, but it’s too early in his career for that responsibility, and they burned him out with all the early season minutes they gave him. Coach’s system just won’t work in the NHL, and we also don’t have the proper players to implement it.

I read that speculation about the Blackhawks making a big trade for Kovy, but step back and think about that. Hawks are going great, why would they blow up their team and bring in someone like Kovy when things are going so well for them?

“That’s right, folks. Toronto, cellar dweller of the league, has banked points at a better clip that we have. They’ve had 36-points in 30 games. We’ve had 33-points in 33 games. If things continue at this rate, Toronto will finish ahead of us, by season’s end.”

Yep, where o’ where is Sara? Takes fortitude to admit you were dead wrong, not suprised to see her disappear. Brian Burke will have the Buds very competitive within a year or two, while we are stuck with Waddell. oof.

sisu

January 4th, 2010
10:50 am

Hard to say what Kovy will do, at least Ovie did his own deal. Agents can muddy the waters very easily and who really knows where this is going? Is Kovy worth the money that is being talked about? Heck, I don’t think the team would have been any better off with winning the Campbell sweepstakes rather than the Black Hawks!

I agree that something needs to give, even the Blues made a coaching change recently…

Lee

January 4th, 2010
10:54 am

Kovy is in a very tough position, he, just like anyone else, would want the max salary, or pretty close to it. And I think Kovy understands that he can’t ask for too much money, because, that would be selfish, and I know Kovy is not a selfish man…..or I don’t think so. Why would it be selfish, cuz the team can’t sign anyone else! Now, Kovy also doesn’t want to sign a 12 yr contract like Marian Hossa did. The reason Marian Hossa did that, he knew that the Blackhawks had the money, and he knew that the blackhawks were a team that can win the cup. Now, the thrashers? Maybe one of the most unpredictible teams in the league. Kovy doesn’t read the future, and it is so hard to say, hmmm, if I sign for 3 years, will they make the playoffs all three years?? If he doesn’t want to sign here, I don’t blame him. With a weak franchise and a young team that needs to develop, you can’t blame him. He has been so loyal to this team. And I know, some Kovy haters out there, cough cough, stendec, don’t think he has, but, he has. He could be on Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago and make TONS of money, but no, he decided to stay on a team that is not a Detroit, Pittsburgh or Chicago. Do you know how risky that is?

LAC

January 4th, 2010
11:35 am

statebird, the puck Morin shot was bouncing, so he got a divet on it, but was heady enough to follow it and make centering pass for ENG…
I’d like to see Atlanta do THAT Tuesday night ! Sending Cindy Chrotchby whining back to the lockerroom… Would be at the VERY least a nice end to this awful trip.

Since Dec trip 4 games, and this current one…we are 1-6-2 combined Wonderful !!!!

Dwayne

January 4th, 2010
11:48 am

Stendec loves everyone when Thrash are winning, except Kari. AND….
I think everyone knew without a HEALTHY Kari, the Trashers were going to have to score 5 or 6 a game to win. JA’s system is the reason, Is our D better than last years? Just looking at the players makes it seem we are better than last year, the record says we are better than last year. So what is the constant now? JA’s system, its great when you are 6 games over 500 and in 6th place. But aggravating when you haven’t won a game in in your last 10. So what do we do now? Since i can’t move any players out of Atlanta, I bring anyone up, I can’t sign Kovy, can’t fire….oh well, you get the picture. But I can pray for divine intervention. and world peace too. Thank You.

hip czech

January 4th, 2010
12:32 pm

Some interesting comments:

http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/the-morning-skate-will-the-thrashers-trade-kovalchuk/

a sample:

“Can the Thrashers win without him? It’s almost impossible to think they can, but they aren’t winning much with him (no wins in regulation since Nov. 30 and none at all in their past eight games). They are a skilled team that scores a lot of goals but surrenders even more. They’re frequently outshot, often sloppy with the puck and undisciplined without it.

If they decide to move Kovalchuk, they’d have to get serious talent in return that would help infuse more balance into their game. It would be the most crucial transaction in Waddell’s career, which is also to say the Thrashers’ 10-year history.

If they don’t deal him before the trade deadline, they could lose him for nothing, or — as the Panthers did when they moved Jay Bouwmeester prior to June’s entry draft — very little.

The larger question is, is Kovalchuk’s future really tied to the Thrashers staying in Atlanta? This organization has continuing legal issues within ownership that have drained resources (Forbes said in November the combined lawyers’ fees had run to $10 million). And they have made the playoffs only once, even with Kovalchuk in the lineup for the last eight seasons.

“Years of mismanagement and/or neglect ran down a franchise in a second-chance N.H.L. market, where Commissioner Gary Bettman desperately wants hockey to succeed,” Schultz wrote last week. “Rumors persist that the remaining owners will be looking to sell the team” — something they’ve long denied. “Problem: Finding an owner who would keep the team in Atlanta is not going to be easy, especially in this economy.”

“I think the only thing that’s going to bring our fans back is if we’re a winning team,” Waddell said two weeks ago. “We went through it a couple years ago. The year we won our division and the second half of the year I think we had 11 sellouts and we sold out the two playoff games we played, and we were winning. I think this city has proved that stars themselves aren’t going to sell tickets. It’s going to be what the team does on the ice.”

Hockey Biltong

January 4th, 2010
2:01 pm

Nice link, thanks, HC…

LAC

January 4th, 2010
2:03 pm

don waddell raked over the coals on NHL live, E.J’s last comment, if he were fired, I would not feel sorry for him, he has had enough time to produce a winner… and has not.

He also spelled out what WE all know, what a bunch of LOONY TUNES owners we are stuck with a complete group of dishonest LOSERS in sports and life.

I now really really believe the team will move after next season and the ONLY people to blame are these worthless owners and LIAR don waddell ! Face it folks it is about over for the second time here in Atlanta. AHL anyone ?

Paminski

January 4th, 2010
2:22 pm

Right on, Rawhide. Just win. Even the most anal analysts get aggravated repetitively rehashing the reasons. I’m dumbfounded after no dearth of defeats that we cling clumsily to #9 in the conference.

Sage of Bluesland

January 4th, 2010
2:45 pm

LOL at Bob on the question of where our wittle spweadsheet-preparer (Sara) is…Skulking like our blustering fraud of a GM is, I suppose.

When is the league going to step in and do something about this embarrassing abomination?

It will take less than 1,000 “fans” showing up…Do the wittle sheep have the courage to do what’s BEST and boycott the product until ownership divulges what its real plan is for this franchise?

Wake up, folks. While I think it’s too late, why on earth would you want to put any further dollars of your hard-earned money into their UNDESERVING pockets???

It never ceases to amaze me. Mindless sheep, I guess…It only proves that P.T. Barnum was indeed correct when talking about folks…

(Look in the mirror for the real problem here in Thrashersland–those that still go down and subsidize the incompetence…)

Lee

January 4th, 2010
2:55 pm

Guys can you please say something positive about the thrashers. I’m getting sick of you people complaining. If you don’t like the thrashers then why are you blogging?? Go blog on the, uh, toronto maple leafs blog!

Smoothie

January 4th, 2010
3:19 pm

Okay Lee:

We will trade Kovy, Lehtonen and a bag of pucks to Chicago for Versteeg, Barker & Huet. Then we’ll rattle off 7 wins in a row at the end of January to grab back the # 8 seed. We’ll flourish in March, win 65% of our games, move into # 6 and then take down a tired Miller and Sabres in the first round of the playoffs. Kovy will come back and sign a 10 year deal worth $95 M and we’ll win the Stanley Cup in 2 years.

How’s that?

Russian

January 4th, 2010
3:27 pm

**to Smoothie**
Fantastic Post!!! LOL :-)

Brendan

January 4th, 2010
3:31 pm

The Thrashers next game is at Pittsburgh, I believe. And the Penguins have lost 5 in-a-row, as LAC mentioned above. We’ve lost eight in-a-row, at 0-5-3. The thought that naturally occurs to me this this one. “Before each and every game, one outcome is certain. Someone has to win.” If the NHL adopted my hardline stance of straight up wins and losses, game philosophies would change. Teams wouldn’t play for “pity points” in the standings, claiming a moral victory in the loss.

My point? Well, shouldn’t the Thrashers ALWAYS be trying for a win? Every single game. “Who says they aren’t?,” is the usual rebuttal. Well, when I only see about 20-30 minutes of hard effort in any given game, I’d say that they’re NOT TRYING for a win. They’re TRYING to hang-around long enough to get it to overtime. I see a team treating its schedule … as if it were a BEER league. That is, that they show up to play pond hockey. This is not a social gathering, for “buddies.” That’s what FANS DO at games. It’s a social occassion for US, the spectators. But for them, they’re paid professionals. HANDSOMELY PAID professionals. If they cannot come out of the lockerroom READY to play … at “puck drop,” then there ISSS a problem.

Let me ask you something. And I want total honesty. When was LAST OUTSTANDING first period of play, that you can recall, by the Atlanta Thrashers? If it takes a long time to formulate an answer, there’s a problem. And if your answer is, “about two weeks ago,” the problem’s even BIGGER than originally thought.