No, I don’t think Anderson should be fired. However…

Well, as sure as hell is hot, one thing that a nine-game losing streak will spawn is calls for a coach to be fired.

“His system doesn’t work”…is what we’ll hear.

”He’s losing the locker room”…will be the reasoning.

”Someone has to be held accountable”…people will demand.

Certainly, it’s to be expected from paying customers and passionate followers of a team mired in the type of slump the Thrashers find themselves in. This is especially so here in Thrasherville given the fact that not too long ago one coach was axed the day following a sixth-consecutive loss to begin the 2007-08 season.

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

About the only place that is warm around Atlanta these days is the seat John Anderson is on. But is he the only person in the organization whose backside should be a bit toasty? (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

That man was Bob Hartley and, as many will point out, the losing streak that cost him his job was not six but actually ten games dating back to the four-game sweep just the spring before during the one and only playoff appearance in the franchise’s history. And John Anderson, along with the current edition of the Thrashers, are but loss one away from that magical ten-game slide…albeit, there have been three charity points given them for at least getting a few games into overtime during this frustrating string of losses.

Now, as I stated above, with this nine-game nightmare comes the inevitable and no-so-surprising calls for Anderson’s ouster. But don’t count me in that number…at least, not just yet.

Personally, I put far more of the blame for the current predicament the Thrashers are in on the players than he or the current coaching staff. You can disagree with me if you wish…but I’ve seen what his system can do when players are where they are supposed to be and doing the things they are supposed to do. So, I’m not ready to give up on the good coach at this time.

However, if…IF…IF the Atlanta Spirit gang actually does decide that “enough is enough” and move to make a change, then they need to decide that simply changing just the coach… again… is not “enough”. They need to also give careful consideration to the notion that the man who has hired the first three head coaches in the franchise’s history should not be given the opportunity to hire the fourth.

In short, if a firing of any kind is in order here, this time it simply has to be Don Waddell that is shown the door…whether or whether not the coach is on his way out as well.

There’s a couple of reason’s why I opine in this manner…beginning with the previous statement that Waddell has already been given three chances to place a coach behind the Thrashers bench. Seriously…can anyone out there tell me when the last time is that a GM has been allowed to hire that many coaches…fire that many coaches…then been given the opportunity to try yet again with the same team before being asked to gather his personal effects and turn in his ID badge?

And I’m not just talking about the NHL…but any professional sport.

Thus, if an “accounting” for the team’s performance is in order, then shouldn’t the person who has been in charge of the operation of the franchise for over eleven years also be included in that action?

I mean… at least this one time?

Don Waddell has been the one consistent with this team since day one. Well, that… plus consistently not making the playoffs. The Thrashers have played nine and a half seasons with no playoff victories and as each game passes without the benefit of actual points in the standings it becomes more and more clear that that number will reach ten.

Whose backside should be feeling the most heat?

  • John Anderson (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Don Waddell (68%, 111 Votes)
  • Both of them (26%, 43 Votes)
  • Neither of them (4%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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The only tangible evidence of any sort of “success” to be seen in Thrasherville is the 2006-07 Southeast Division Championship banner that hangs in Philips Arena. But given the fact that zero playoff wins came from that “success” …and that we now have three years in which to assess the overall effectiveness of the Waddell’s moves to sure up the team leading up that “success”…it’s pretty clear that the “success” that banner represents came at a very, very heavy price for this franchise.

But being in charge of the on-ice personnel is only part of the issue here. 

Have you been to a Thrashers game at Philips Arena lately? Give the number of empty seats each game, chances are very good that you answered “no” to that question…that, or 8,000 or so of you show up disguised as empty seats most nights.

But contrary to the yammering that spews forth from the “Make-It-Seven” types… this is not because Atlanta is a bad hockey market or that the NHL simply cannot survive in this area of the country. There is a great fan base in the metro Atlanta area…many have relocated from traditional markets that grew up loving the game as well as many, like myself, who are natives of the area and have learned to love the sport.

Nope, it’s not the fans nor is it the market. Rather, I suggest, it is that most of the potential paying population simply isn’t buying what Don Waddell is selling anymore. And it doesn’t matter if there are going through a winning stretch…as they did last spring and this past fall…or, as has been the case of late, losing nine straight games.

In essence, if it’s thought that the coach has “lost the locker room”…then it’s crystal clear that this general manager has “lost the market”.

And in this fan’s humble opinion, that’s worse.

Given all of that, I would contend that if a change once again is needed…this time Don Waddell could should needs has to be a part of what gets change.

Otherwise…what really gets “changed”?

124 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

January 6th, 2010
7:37 pm

With Don Waddell’s 10 years of “incremental progress,” the Thrashers will be “moving in the right direction” in the desert for the next thirty years.

Matt

January 6th, 2010
7:40 pm

Oh please, please, please, please Fire Waddell.

And, Erste??

Rawhide

January 6th, 2010
7:46 pm

Oh, and one more thing…the Thrashers have played 780 games with Don Waddell as GM. They have 291 wins to show for it. This means Ilya Kovachuk has scored 31 more goals in his career then the Thrashers have victories.

Not sure if that really means anything…but I thought it was worth the mention.

ThrasherFan

January 6th, 2010
7:57 pm

Rawhide,

I am one of those fans that just doesn’t buy into the product anymore. I am a diehard hockey fan and have followed the Thrashers since season 1, going to several games per year and watching every single game I could on TV.

This year, I almost do not care. I went to opening night and have not been back since. With SportsSouth not even showing many of the games early on the year I stopped paying attention. I was disappointed that I couldn’t even watch the team “Win” a game, not to mention win “many” games. By the time the games are back on TV, we are losing 9 in a row and I am switching off the game by the middle of the second period which I honestly have NEVER done.

I am not a Don Waddell hater, but clearly his time HAS to be up. Some sports teams do well with stability in coaching/ownership, but this is not one of those cases. I have also recently had 2 children who could end up paying hockey fans down the road, but at this pace, that won’t be happening.

Just my thoughts – sort of validates your argument.

Alan R.

January 6th, 2010
8:22 pm

Bill, if Waddell goes, Weeks should go too. He has been a pox on our goalies for a very long time. Hell, I’d get rid of Weeks before Waddell, at this point. Both should inevitably go, though.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 6th, 2010
8:40 pm

I like John Anderson as a coach. If his systems needs adjustments, it is up to the GM (his boss) to demanding changes. Some players need to sit (coach’s responsibility) and some guys need to be traded or waived (GM). Neither has been done so far.

Getting rid of Hartley was Waddell’s mulligan and you don’t get a second one.

10 years into the program and we have waiver guys (Schubert) making the team and taking a starting spot days before the season starts. Schubert has played pretty well, better than some of our high draft choices. That happens with expansion teams, not established franchises.

These are all reasons why people don’t come to the games. This IS a hockey town, if we had a real hockey team. The time to make a change in the GM’s position was 3 years ago. So let’s say firing DW right now is late, but not too late. Take some of these scouts with him. The Kovy situation is in itself, justification for termination. Everyone saw this coming, waiting to the last minute and letting the player dictate to the franchise.

These guys at ASG must have inherited their money.

Red Light

January 6th, 2010
8:46 pm

Bravo Bill! Rather than to justify your comments or my opinions for the past decade about the GM, for those of us who have been attending games since Day 1, why is it that we don’t see the same people in my section, the neighboring section or much of the lower level where I sit, and have sat for the last nine seasons? The answer is because they didn’t want to go through the same agony, the same excuses, the same lame excuses about why this franchise has failed at nearly every level. Screw the apologists; the time has come, six years too late (or 10 if you prefer) to cut ties with the entire regime assembled by Waddell, including the scouting staff, ass’t GM, Weeks and anyone else that can fit onto the bus to take them back to Northern Michigan. I attend games because I love hockey, certainly not to support this bumbling cast of characters.

Thank you for this blog, your opinions and your fairness!

Somaatl95

January 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Well said, DW has been given too many mulligans already. It has shown in this past decade that success usually starts from the top down in any sport (Anyone remember all the boneheaded things the Falcons did when the Smith family was in control?) I doubt the Atlanta Spirit would sell their teams to an owner that gives a damn about STH’s, Fans, Growing the Market, or doing something as simple as moving game start times to 7:30 to accommodate Atlantas horrendous rush hour, and unlike Mr. Blank the AS would NEVER admit that problems as well as successes, start at the top. The saga in Phoenix has shown what happens when you finally put an owner (this case the NHL) that wants success – success comes. For some reason a prerequisite to being an Atlanta Pro Sports team is to have season after season of miserable failure so it seem exciting when a team can do something as exciting as, say, WIN A GAME. The NHL is fickle, and a lot of people in Canada foam at the mouth to Trash the Thrash (going as far as to call our team THE TRASHERS) and they are all ape$h*t crazy at relocating to Canada. Us fans are tired of saying “Ownership Dispute” or “Goofy GM” and the only way to show the rest of the NHL crowd in North America is to START AT THE TOP. DW if you had decency you would resign. Atlanta Spirit, if you had BALLS you would show your “red headed stepchild” of a market that you want Success and would FIRE DW. Don, don’t take it personally. If you go then maybe the Thrashers would actually rebuild and grow (instead of perpetual rebuilding). Growing would be hard and growing pains would be addressed and fixed – and maybe those of us still willing to put our butts in the seats would actually feel like we aren’t getting bent over and stiffed a hard one from The Owners, Management, Coaches and Lazy Players. THINGS WOULD ACTUALLY GET DONE!! In closing, those who remember this rant from “Christmas Vacation” will enjoy what I have to say to DW and the Atlanta Spirit (with slight changes for flair) – I want to look them straight in the eyes and I want to tell them what a cheap, lying, no good, rotten, floor-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, di**less, hopeless, heartless, fat-a$$, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed, sacks of monkey sh** they are! Hallelujah! Holly Sh**! Where’s the Tylenol?

ben

January 6th, 2010
8:53 pm

DW isn’t going anywhere and I don’t know why. Kovy shall be missed. Anderson should go 2 more years. Longterm this team is pretty good. A solid platform on which to build. That Kovy money has to go somewhere. This team will be better next year.

Darren

January 6th, 2010
8:53 pm

Is Waddell’s daughter going to try to delete this post?

LAC

January 6th, 2010
8:59 pm

Well Well Well, great points Bill, shows don waddell, who deserves NO RESPECT from anybody, is what he is… A Career LOSER.

He is a loser in every regard, as well as a total liar to ALL us fans.

I am getting to the point I don’t care about this team any longer, with this STUPID spirit group running this Circus and waddell the ringmaster
of the show, we are DEAD forever ! No hope except trying not to finish last in the NHL !

Sage of Bluesland

January 6th, 2010
9:32 pm

Try this on for size: Guess who the one really laughing is? That’s right, sheep–none other than Don Waddell has laughed all the way to the bank depositing in his bank account your hard-earned dollars.

Oh well, sheep, look in the mirror for the second half of the real problem (the first being Don Waddell–or your general inability to spot a fraud in your midst until recently).

It is what it is. Waddell has had the incredible fortune of having an uncaring ownership and an ignorant fanbase that ooh’d and aah’d at every one of his promises.

All of his failed promises–yet he is still employed! I love the wittle excuses for buying tickets creeping out of some pie-holes now! They are just as precious as wittle Sara’s spweadsheets assuring us that all is well–that Donny actually drafts ‘better’ than league average!

I want to heartily congratulate you, sheep who continued to buy despite the evidence to the contrary, for filling this team’s coffers and allowing the ownership or league to do nothing about it.

Too late now, folks. Too wittle, too wate for too many….

DB

January 6th, 2010
9:45 pm

Thank you. I like DW personally, but it is time for a change.

12345

January 6th, 2010
9:49 pm

Time to boycott all games at home until changes are made, the least being the firing of this Don Waddell, I simply do not understand why and how he is still in control, like a run away bus going down a mountain road at 100mph, this is a lost franchise and Don Waddell is to blame for it all !!!!!!!

Rawhide

January 6th, 2010
10:22 pm

Somaatl95 – Dude…that ‘Vacation’ reference…it was beautiful!

Somaatl95

January 6th, 2010
10:37 pm

Rawhide – Thanks! Classic movie and the rant fit the way the current situation makes me feel. Almost makes me want to get a screencap of when “Cousin Eddie” brings the boss to the Griswold household in PJ’s and in chains with a big bow on his head, and superimpose DW’s face on it. But I digress…

Bob

January 6th, 2010
10:55 pm

Waddell has to go, been saying it for years. Once we get a real GM, watch this club take off. It makes me literally ill to think where this club could be today, if Waddell was jettisoned years ago and a real GM had been in control of this club. But for the love of all that is holy, don’t delay it any longer.

Get a real GM in here and let’s get on with the business of building a hockey club. Then watch the fans come back. Red Light, it’ll be like a reunion in your section and my old section. We’ll all come back. But the root of the problem has to go first.

The Joker

January 6th, 2010
10:59 pm

Looking at the poll results, it’s obvious that Waddell’s daughter cast the only vote for the fourth choice.

TrueBlue

January 6th, 2010
11:19 pm

It just blows my mind that one man will go down in Thrashers history as the man that let, one way or another, star players as Dany Heatley, Marc Savard, Marian Hossa, and Ilya Kovalchuk walk away. I know a lot of players play for a lot of teams in their career, and a lot of teams serve as revolving doors in the league, but the inability to keep any of these players for an extended time is just baffling. It is a damn shame that these types of things happen. Don’t the fans of this city deserve better then what we are served? It’s like serving a tv dinner and labeling it as Filet Mignon. They must just think we are stupid rednecks that know nothing. Hey guys, guess what, more then half of the die hard fans have seen through your little game, and are starting to take a stand. Look at the damn stands. No one is coming because they are tired of being shat on. Plain and simple. I pray something good happens for this team. At the very least, the fans deserve SOMETHING good.

Somaatl95

January 6th, 2010
11:29 pm

I was at the Thrashers very first home victory (against the Flames) The Thrash were the very first Atlanta team I had gone to and saw a victory – In the 80’s every Braves game I went to was awful, when they were good in the 90’s they lost the games I went to see, and I always had the bad luck of seeing the Falcons play the Cowboys (when all of Atlanta would go to the dome in Blue and Silver, being the fairweather fan town Atlanta is) and I will never forget the rush of Atlanta showing Calgary that we were real and that the Flames should have never left. That was October 26, 1999. It took waiting till 2007 to feel that wonderful feeling again, just to get swept by the “Rump” Rangers in our only playoff appearance. I (like many Blueland faithful) am to the point of frustration with this organization that they need to make a DRASTIC change, beyond head coaching, to show us that ownership has the ability to make some sort of realistic reach for success. Unfortunately everything about our team has changed, except DW. We still act like an expansion team. Not to beat a dead horse but DW NEEDS TO MOVE ON TO ANOTHER DESTINATION. We fans should demand it, and in unison all STH’s should say the same thing at the next town hall meeting. If we act and make our displeasure known, maybe we can have something to look forward to, especially in April and May.

Brendan

January 6th, 2010
11:59 pm

Well … I can listen to an argument that says, in the strictest of terms, that it’s the GM’s job to draft and sign the best available players, while it’s the coach’s job to develop those players.

Fine. Fair enough.

But, at some point, doesn’t a GM have to answer for who his coach is?, what system/strategy is tried, and the overall direction/oversight of the franchise? Humming the theme to Jeopardy now… “do,doo, do-do, doo-doo-doo. Bum, bah-dum-pump-bah-dah-dum.” Allllrighteeee then. Isn’t it a fair statement to say, “The MOST IMPORTANT THING that a GM does … is hire a coach?” Yes, yes it is. For the coach is charged with getting the most out of the players on the team. A great coach can be stifled by a terribly assembled roster. But likewise, a sure-fire winning roster can be messed up by a Coach. Either way, the person who ANSWERS for wins and losses, over a body of time, is the GM. The GM hires the coach. And in some cases, like Atlanta’s, the GM has SERVED AS COACH, during Ilya’s “minus WHAT???” career. The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, that Ilya Kovalchuk has not been properly developed. What he is … is the greatest pure sniper in the NHL today. He has the best raw skills that, maybe, I’ve ever seen. The one-timer. The wrister. The smooth skating. The passing. His breakaways. It’s just one-big WOW. Notice how I didn’t say, “And his ability to excel defensively.” For his does not do that. He circles up the ice, while the puck is in his own zone, and not in possession of his own team. He’s a cherry picker. He’s constantly thinking, “OFFENSE.” That is NOT … being a COMPLETE player. Ergo, Ilya Kovalchuk has NOT been properly developed by the coaching staffs, plural, of the Atlanta Thrashers, since 2001. Bob Hartley TRIED with Ilya. He’d bench him. He’d constantly tell him, “Ilya, you’d be the best player in the NHL if you learned how to play a more committed two-way game.” And Ilya sat there thinking, “Yeah right. I’m already the best winger in the NHL.”

It is as Redlight and Bob say. And have been saying, FOR YEARS, on this blog. But my favorite quote comes from the BLOGMASTER himself, Bill “Rawhide” Tiller, with this gem: In essence, if it’s thought that the coach has “lost the locker room”…then it’s crystal clear that this general manager has “lost the market.”

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
1:01 am

I want to add something else here, folks. Before ANY OF US had a clue what failure would ultimately follow this franchise, this was the scene: Atlanta soldout 38 of 41 home games, while establishing an all-time NHL attendance record. (That record was quickly broken by the Minnesota Wild, another expansion team, that entered the league in 2000.) That was during the WOEFUL Curt Fraser Years. People were willing to sit through BAD HOCKEY in this southern market.

So?

So, there is NO LACK of HOCKEY INTEREST in this town. There is a LACK OF FAITH IN DON WADDELL in this town. People no longer believe that “we’re building something WORTH HAVING.” Therein lies a very important point. As amplified by this next statement, “Hockey hasn’t BEGUN YET in Atlanta. And won’t, until OWNERSHIP COMMITTED TO WINNING THE CUP is installed.”

For all the vitriol of the Sage of Blueland, he’s right about something. If this ownership won’t respect you, THE HOCKEY FAN, by stepping in and doing what is necessary for the improvement of the franchise, to advance towards winning the Cup, then you must LIKEWISE treat THEM disrespectfully by withdrawing your financial support. It’s how you gain their attention. There’s not a business in the world that doesn’t understand the ramifications of the word “cancellation.”

Let me explain what cancellation means. It means that the Atlanta Spirit, LLC can no longer ESPOUSE THE BELIEF that they are in possession of one of the greatest hockey minds of his generation in Don Waddell. Which is how I think … that THEY operate. For if not, it’s FAR, FAR WORSE than originally thought. If this ownership DOES think he’s something of a bumbling idiot, guaranteed to put them back into the lottery draft on an annual basis, then WHAT, EXACTLY, is their plan? Well, my first thoughts are that the easiest and best way to sell a franchise would be to have it chock-filled with high-end 1st round picks like Bogosian and Kane, while keeping overhead low, in the form of league minimum payrolls. Uht-oh. Isn’t that what’s been going on for the past few seasons? Wouldn’t any OTHER market but OURS, demand someone’s head on a pike?

Stop. Atlanta’s been inside the lottery draft in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2009. Add it up, folks. That’s six times. And in the midst of an 0-6-3 patch of season, a 7th time isn’t out of the question, especially when the “face of the franchise” is saying “nyet” to a contract extension in the very real possibility that he’ll be FREE TO CHOOSE his next team. But we’re not done yet. For in the years 2003, 2004, and 2005, Atlanta owned these original draft positions, respectively: 8th, 10th, and 8th. So, in addition to six lottery picks, that makes NINE (9!!!) Top 10 overall picks with which to build this franchise.

So? So ask yourselves this question: “Why AREN’T the Atlanta Thrashers the youngest, fastest, most highly-skilled team in the NHL, at this point?” And really, that’s a fair question to ask. Unfortunately, the answer is that a significant number of those draft picks wound up ESCAPING THE CLUTCHES of this franchise, like a PRISON-BREAK at Alcatraz. Or are “marginally” still here, eyeballing the exit. Our CORE AREA of “player retention” is abysmal AT BEST. Heatley, Savard, Hossa, Kaberle, Audette, Brunette, Staios, Donovan, Sim, Metropolit, etc., whether marquee guys or merely role players who performed their function well, too many got away. The only player we haven’t been rid of … is Slava Kozlov. He, seemingly, will re-sign NO MATTER WHAT. He loves it here. His play doesn’t get scrutinized in the media and he can live out his life in total anonymity, in nice weather and low cost of living. Oh, not that money were ever the issue. Kozlov is all too happy to be enjoying his ‘no trade clause’ and Top Six forward minutes. Bobby Holik, and his crippling contract, was a cancer who wouldn’t leave. How many years did J.P. Vigier occupy a roster spot. And the “thrill a minute” type play of “Mr. Electricity,” Per Svartvadet. How much money did Chris Tamer get out of this franchise, over the years? Before you answer, it’s dwarfed by the amount Andy Sutton got. Poster Bob has the laundry list of blunderous blueliners this franchise has employed throughout the years. And worse yet was that Don Waddell was a defenseman himself. In this regard, he should have had THE MOST insight into the position. Bygones.

Joe

January 7th, 2010
1:38 am

1. fire DW
2. hire someone who knows anything about making a winning team, even a shuffleboard team at this point
2. Charge him with “impersonating a GM;” garnish his wages retroactive to 2002. Redistribute to fans.
3. JA: teach your team to play defense consistently. trade anyone who won’t or can’t. You’ve got less than half a season.
4. Win 3 games in a row. Then three more. etc.
5. Drop ticket prices for the remainder of the season. Otherwise i’d rather do something cheaper that sucks less.
6. Owners: at least make it look like you give half a s**t.

12345

January 7th, 2010
5:44 am

Just how can the owners justify any sane reason to keep Waddell around for a day longer, Would someone, anyone please answer that ?

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
6:39 am

Brendan-great point on Curt Fraser. We forgot Curt, a guy that should never been allowed to coach and NHL team. That was his last NHL head coaching job. He is a scout at best.

Sage is right-he has to be laughing at us.

Look at the product and tell me this isn’t a GREAT hockey town! We have sat throught this garbage for 10 years! You want to save hockey in Atlanta? Get rid of this guy now and get someone in here that knows hockey.

Mr. Dudley’s phone should be ringing.

A quote from The Natural -
“Losing is a disease, odd but curable”

Let the curing begin.

jerry

January 7th, 2010
7:37 am

I don’t believe it’s the coaching. The players are not skilled enough or are skilled enough but don’t have enough pride to play hard for 60 minutes every game. That falls on ownership which is responsible for the GM who is responsible for the roster.

Zoomo

January 7th, 2010
7:41 am

There’s an easy and fast change that should be made today. Make Dudley the GM. Now!

I’ve given Waddell the benefit of the doubt, at times, because of several issues. Savard could NOT be retained here. Do some research on the backstory. No GM would have re-signed him in this market given the circumstances. And, don’t forget that Don was the guy that resurrected Savard’s career, when he was being cast off. The Heatley/Snyder accident which led to the subsequent Hossa fiasco was a tragedy that no GM should have to deal with.

But, Brendan is right about all of the other role players that have passed through here. There’s a lot of talent in the list and they were simply left to walk. Kunitz? Belanger? Pothier? I’m sure there’s more.

It’s time to end Waddell’s reign.

And I agree that Atlanta will support a winner. Those two home playoff games were packed with ravenous fans. That was proof positive.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
7:57 am

Just look around and see all the ex-Thrashers still in the NHL, contributing to their teams. And look at the trash we got for those NHL players.

ASG-you want fans in the stands?
Get Dudley in as GM and get ride of the Clown!

Bluestreak

January 7th, 2010
8:48 am

Could the impasse with Ilya also be blamed on ‘Wads’? Shouldn’t that alone be enough to get the goomba canned?

That should be the interview process for the next GM, ‘can you get a contact signed with Kovy before he hits FA?’

My concern is that Don will be here long enough to wave to Ilya as he leaves for NY before getting canned.

ben

January 7th, 2010
8:52 am

I feel that he was never meant to stay around this long. I also think he’ll be going sooner rather than later. But, the team won’t be all that bad next season. I mean that Kovalchuck money has got to get spent. Maybe they can go out and pay for a goaltender or something.

J-man

January 7th, 2010
8:58 am

I agree with the Ice Man that Waddell must finally be held accountable. The ultimate problem is the owners, who are now the jokes of two professional sports leagues. Their best basketball player turned down an extension and 2 years ago another player decided he’d rather play in Greece than stay here. The face of their hockey team is willing to re-sign, but they don’t like what he’s asking for. Changing Waddell won’t fix the ownership issues, but it might lead to better decisions with the team players. Too many of our 1st round draft picks have failed to live up to expectations. As a friend pointed out, it’s interesting that the 2009 draft, which is regarded as easily the best draft in the team’s history, happened after Dudley was brought on board. Anderson’s system doesn’t really seem to be working consistently, but I don’t see any coach being able to salvage the season now. I think the entire Kovalchuk saga has damaged the morale of the players more than the owners and GM realize. And remember that Anderson was not the first choice but he got the job because nobody else would take it. All the other candidates turned it down. Neither Fraser nor Hartley can get a job as a head coach in the NHL after working here. The Thrashers job is a coach killer. Hartley is the only Stanley Cup winning coach I can think of who wants a job and can’t get one.

I think the lack of fans isn’t totally due to the economy but a sign that they have had enough of this losing. After the inevitable Kovalchuk trade and fire sale, I forsee the team quickly falling towards the bottom of the league standings. It’s going to get a lot worse here before we see any improvement.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
9:08 am

Here’s the thing… we signed all these scrubs because we knew the day would come when we had to sign Kovalchuk to a significant deal… and now that day has arrived.

If you don’t like the team now, as is, why would you want this deal to happen?! You’re basicly saying you want the team to operate, as it currently does, for the next 10 years. One superstar contract with a bunch of “jobbers” that fit into the budget.

I’d be more curious how the Kovalchuk money gets spread out to make a fuller, more balanced roster.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
9:10 am

re’s an easy and fast change that should be made today. Make Dudley the GM. Now!

Ah! Which reminds me… I think someone around here owes me a $1. :)

Paminski

January 7th, 2010
9:41 am

Imagine it…your dreams come true…this years big casino night announcement is given by GM Dudley explaining how DW was let go earlier that day.

sisu

January 7th, 2010
9:47 am

If and when DW goes there is a guy already in his place so no extra dollars need to be spent by the owners. Let Dudley take a shot at this, how bad can he do?

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
9:48 am

Imagine it…your dreams come true…this years big casino night announcement is given by GM Dudley explaining how DW was let go earlier that day.

Paminski – OK…now your just teasing me. That’s unkind…

Russian

January 7th, 2010
10:05 am

Don did lot of mistakes. I am not going to tell you those mistakes. We already knew them. This year he built a TEAM. Team is best what we got for all 10 years. May be Dudley helped him, I do not know. Final point is Don bring a Winner Team. Anderson must win games and make His “SYSTEM” worked. He did not. Coach should make lines up. Not GM. Coach should keep Hot Goalie in the net. Not GM. Coach should tell players what they have to do on PP or PK. Not GM. I saw all problems became from Anderson. Yes, the best scenario is fire Anderson and Don together. Dudley became as GM and he will choose Head coach.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
10:06 am

I do not think Don is a dirt ball, scumbag or anything people say he is. He’s simply in over his head, as far as running a hockey club from A – Z. The same can be said for Curt Fraser and probably half the scouts on the team.

Kick him upstairs and put Dudley in as GM.

Smoothie

January 7th, 2010
10:08 am

Paminski – that would be hilarious and I would certainly join in a toast to GM Dudley and “change that we can believe in” cuz right now there isn’t much to feel good about.

Funny thing is that if the Thrash could somehow win tonite (in regulation!), they would jump back into 9th place, with games in hand on MTL in 8th, and in a position to reel off some wins as the next 3 at home. I figure a 3 – 0 – 1 (not that I’m counting on it) run would put them right back into 8th place and perhaps spur them on into a good stretch of hockey before the Olympic break. Wishful thinking? Probably.

Buzilla in CT

January 7th, 2010
10:10 am

Big Willy Tilly for GM. GAVA Hokie as Scout. Bring back Mandy Sutton and Buzek to bolster the defensive. Sign Thrash to a huge contract to be “the guy” to score goals and lead us into the playoffs.

To get more people to come to the game? Simple. Each person gets a beer served to them from there favorite ice girl.

Russian

January 7th, 2010
10:13 am

I checked Head Coach available. This is a list:
Bob Hartley-why not. Carolina did bring old coach.
Denis Savard from Chicago – Dudley knew him
Michel Therrien from Pittsburg. I like him. He made Crosby, Malkin, Stall as NHL players.
Guy Carbonneau from Montreal. I do not know about this guy. We can try.
Tom Renney from NYR. He is very good coach.
Blues just fired Coach.
We can find good coach. Anderson is done, he does not have NHL experience. If we will loose game tonight, Anderson MUST GO.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
10:23 am

Brendan… I understand your points on Atlanta as a “hockey market”, but when I hear ownership and Waddell continually point out that this is a football area of the country and “attendance generally picks up during the second half of the season after football”, I don’t believe they’re thinking along the same lines as you.

But I think they do understand that Atlanta likes a “winner”… I don’t think they’re purposefully trying to lose… I think, personally, they’re trying to build a team around a “wild hair” in Kovalchuk, because Atlanta also likes a “face of the franchise”.

I’m pretty sure I’m wrong about wanting to trade Kovalchuk, simply because Mike Milbury agrees with me. :)

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
10:25 am

Responding to various:

1. If Kovy wants league max, then we should let his contract expire or trade him. Because he’s not worth it and he actually probably won’t get it from anyone else. So if that’s really what he’s inisting he’s worth, then he’s bluffing. I’m guessing his actual value is in the $7-9 mill. range.

2. Bob Hartley should absolutely never be rehired. As a coach, he was pretty decent. But as a developer of young talent he was quite poor. And a team like ours, that is trying to work with a lot of less expensive, younger players, can’t afford a coach who doesn’t know how to recognize and develop that kind of talent.

3. Anderson’s not the problem. Among other things, I’m not sure he has the discretion to do what he wants to do on the bench. And this issue with the team’s morale? It’s been the case for, what, three coaches now?

East Point Bob

January 7th, 2010
10:29 am

We are no better than in year 2 or 3. We have no drive or desire to win
or play for 60 minutes. The coach has lost the room and the GM has just simply “lost it”. Why, when in a losing streak like this, is the GM at the World Juniors ? He should be here trying to improve the team and salvage something of the season, he is not doing that.

What is going on with the owners, where are they ? Why are they hiding ?
Why are they afraid of change ? I am so happy David McDavid won his case, proves these people are not legit owners, at least in my book.
I am at the point I will not go to another game until drastic changes are made, new coach, new GM and lastly new owners, it will likely be years before this ever takes place, and I will bet the team moves before real change takes place. Because nobody will take Don Waddell’s
crap record and run with it, yeah he is a nice guy and all, who cares, I want to see winning hockey played here and Don Waddell is not one bit capable of providing it. In the business world, when you do not produce, you are fired, something these owners need to wake up and do
before all the fans turn away and they have only themselves to blame !

One last comment, Where is the National Hockey League ? Do “they” think
things are running smooth here ? Do they have even a clue ? They did
everything they could to save Phoenix, why can they not help the suffering fans here ? Do they not care about Atlanta ?

MashaPlayer7

January 7th, 2010
10:39 am

I agree Waddell must go, but ultimately the players this season are accountable. Anderson has proven his system works, but we have lazy players who aren’t willing to pay the price to backcheck or stand in front of the net. Even if the Thrashers got back on the winning trail and make the playoffs, it would be another early exit. Playoff hockey is grinding, physical, back-checking hockey. The Thrashers are not built this way. Sure they may be an entertaining product in the regular season (when they win), but they are not a team built for April, May and June hockey.

Wings fan in Ga.

January 7th, 2010
10:40 am

“Seriously…can anyone out there tell me when the last time is that a GM has been allowed to hire that many coaches…fire that many coaches…then been given the opportunity to try yet again with the same team before being asked to gather his personal effects and turn in his ID badge?

And I’m not just talking about the NHL…but any professional sport.”

Detroit Lions’ Matt Millen. He hired four coaches, but one lasted a few games after he fired Mariucci.

Hang in there, Thrashers fans.

MashaPlayer7

January 7th, 2010
10:47 am

I would make the following moves right now:
- Kozlov and White on waivers
- Move Little to center
- Send Pavelec down bring up McIntyre or Mannino (AHL Player of the Week last week) until Kari is ready
- Sit Bogosian for a few games (let him see the game from a different perspective-it usually helps the young players who try to do too much)
- I would rotate Valabik, Salmela and Popovic with 2 of the D spots – that means one of the Top 5 sits and makes sure the likes of Kubina don’t get too comfy
- I’d bring up two young hungry guys to replace Kozlov and White and send a message of competition to the players (Machachek, Kulda)
- FINALLY, I’d trade Kovy. I know you can never replace a superstar, but I’ll trade his 50 goals a year for 3 players who can total 60-70 goals a year, AND backcheck and bring other elements to their game (namely grit).

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
10:48 am

Detroit Lions’ Matt Millen. He hired four coaches, but one lasted a few games after he fired Mariucci.

Wings fab in Ga. – Thanks…and as we all know, that really worked out great for the Lions…didn’t it? :roll:

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
10:48 am

Wings Fan-I see similarities in Wayne Fontes and Curt Fraser

Spud Webb

January 7th, 2010
10:54 am

Full Circle…I remember me and my best friend downtown, 12 years ago (?), we were at a rally to bring hockey to the ATL again. Exciting, Betman was there & a few thousand people. I think we knew that day, we we’re going to get a team here, sheer excitement. And 12 years later, my guts are turning bad. UGH…wtf is going on? I fall asleep watching “on the fly” and wake up just WAITING TO HEAR KOVY has been traded. Sad. I’m tired, tired of losing, tired of being the laughing stock of the league, tired of the contracts and gaffs by DW. I’m tired of the excuses. Accountability for the ASG and this orginaziation is ZERO. I’ve hit rock bottom, I’m not a basher, I dont think, but just gassed. I have no other way to put it. I’ve been avoiding the blogs because I don’t have anything positive to say. I’m actually LOOKING FORWARD to Kari coming back. WHAT?????????????? CRaP, SH&T, %$@%, I gotta go kick the dog (kidding). thanks for listening. I’ll see everyone next thursday, when a low money team from up north shows up and where a team is held accountable, not only by the coach (lindy) but by the GM. Wierd huh??? Accountability.

ThrashDawg

January 7th, 2010
10:55 am

Have we not discussed this before? Is this groundhog day?

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
11:05 am

*I know you can never replace a superstar, but I’ll trade his 50 goals a year for 3 players who can total 60-70 goals a year, AND backcheck and bring other elements to their game (namely grit).*

Amen, brother.

True Hockey Fan

January 7th, 2010
11:24 am

I wasn’t long ago we played Boston for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. We can all blame the coaches, the GM or the owners. Bottom line is the players have to play every second of every minute of every shift of every game to be successful. ther are nnights that some players have not shown up at all. Our Captain and I call him KKK ( aka ) Kaptain Kotton Kandy is the biggest defensive problem this team faces game in and game out. KKK very seldom checks and contains his man. KKK only wants the puck . KKK wants tp brinig a winner to Atlanta but he is selfish to ask for so much money and handicap this team for future years. Management did everything KKK asked for. It is time KKK stands up and MAN’S up for the good of this team. If we don’t make the playoffs than I am sure that DW will be gone. We played 500 hockey without KKK. I say trade this defensive liability and selfinsh player. A winning streak shuts us all up.

Nutznorm

January 7th, 2010
11:29 am

This is the first time I will call Rawhide crazy. The proper first move to right the ship after a ten game losing streak is fire the coach now, replace with an assistant or other candidate to get the players attention. At the end of the season, if the playoffs are not made, no excuses Wadell goes too. You cant fire the GM and the coach at the same time. At that point you are kissing off what still could be a happy ending. PS if you win 10 games in a row, you can forget about firing anyone and we can go on our merry way.

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
11:40 am

Nutznorm

This is the first time I will call Rawhide crazy – And certainly you will not be the last :grin:

At the end of the season, if the playoffs are not made, no excuses Wadell goes too – Which was exactly what was being said after Hartley was fired over 2 years ago.

PS if you win 10 games in a row, you can forget about firing anyone and we can go on our merry way. – I would love nothing more to happen.

While I understand what it is you are saying, my point is that IF the organization moves to fire anyone because of this losing streak, then THIS time DW has to be a part of the change. We have tried the “fire the coach and evaluate the GM after the season route” before…and this time, IMHO, the GM needs to be a part of the accounting.

As for JA, as I said in the post…you may disagree with me about whether or not he should be fired. I’m good with that.

Smoothie

January 7th, 2010
11:41 am

Masha – could not agree with you more. I’d like to see Crabb and Macho-check come up here and bang the hell out of everything that moves. To hell with these soft, finesse veterans! Time to shake things up and see what happens. Especially if they lose more than 2 of the next 4. These next 4 games at home are CRITICAL!! They must find a way to win 3 of them or else they will have too many teams to leap-frog later.

If you trade Kovy, which I think we should, who would want Semin and a young grinder like Boyd Gordon in return?? Custance seems to think Wash might be interested at the trade deadline. I wouldn’t mind at all as long as there are some picks involved too. Semin has another year left and if he tells us he doesn’t want to stay, then you can turn around and trade him over the summer when his value is still high.

Smoothie

January 7th, 2010
11:46 am

Forgot to mention that I doubt Waddell would ever trade Kovy to a division rival, but it is intriguing nonetheless to think Wash might make a play for Kovy. But why make your already questionable team D any worse than it is?? :wink:

Darkhorse

January 7th, 2010
11:48 am

Maybe we can hire some old KGB guys as “consultants” to help motivate the players on the ice. They can stay with the players families to keep “costs” down. That seems to be about the only thing that may light a fire under their butts.

Bet because of the supposed “snow storm” there won’t be 5000 at the game tonight.

Drew

January 7th, 2010
12:16 pm

Great article. Only a GM with a track record suck as Lou Lamierello gets to make this many hires & fires. Donny HAS to go. I like John Anderson, but I dont think his brand of hockey works at this level. Oh for the days of Bob Hartley sitting Kovalchuk for his defensive lapses. We have some good prospects in the pipeline, let’s give them the chance to blossom into NHL players with a solid franchise from top to bottom. And most of all shame on ASG for perpetuating this mess.

Question on old history – What was the reason we did not re-sign Marc Savard? To me that as bad or worse than the Coburn/Zhitnik disaster.

Miami Screaming Eagle

January 7th, 2010
12:18 pm

The deterioration of this season started as a result of the Kovy contract situation dragging into the season. The longer it lasts, the deeper the death spiral.

And who is responsible for that?

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
12:38 pm

Per Dan Kamal…IMoose in goal tonight, probably against Chad Johnson. Antropov’s injury keeps him out again while Boris Valabik sits.

Cup Guy

January 7th, 2010
12:50 pm

After reading all of these posts (maybe well thought out, others just ranting about how eveything Thrasherville sucks), I am pleased to announce that DW was fired just 3 hours ago! Oh sorry. I had a dream about that. Anyways. I like Rawhide don’t recognize DW regime but the name of Blueland. We ditched that long ago (I just the end of last season). It is time for a new regime to step in. Someone or a group of someone’s to turn this team around. We have one hell of a team. We just don’t have the motivation to play night in and out. Many want to blame Kovy and his stupid contract. They get paid money to play regardless of who else dresses up to play with them. Heck some nights I could dress up and play just as well if not better then them. There are nights that I want to go to practice the next day, pull out a whistle and yell again, again, again, until someone gets it right. They don’t play for Team Russia, Team USA, Team Sweden. Heck they don’t even play for The Atlanta Thrashers. They all play for what make up the Atlanta Thrashers. They play for the fans of the Thrashers, They play for the people who love hockey and come to watch it regardless of who is playing. They look like crap on the ice, but who they really make look bad and feel stupid are us fans who love them, throw our money at them because we grew up to love this sport, this team, this group of men (some young). This team can suck for the rest of its life and I would still pay to watch. Why? Because I’m stupid, crazy, love to waste money, and because it is a passion of mine. I love hockey. I’m a fan, a true fan of all my favorite teams. The Texas Rangers, suck never won a playoff round in baseball, DIE HARD FAN. Dallas Cowboys, haven’t won a playoff game since 1996. DIE HARD FAN. Atlanta Thrashers, haven’t won a playoff game ever, DIE HARD FAN. How big? I bring a replica Stanley Cup to every game for the 4th season. That my friends is dedication and love to a team that right now doesn’t dedicate it’s time and love back to us. They just half a** it night in a out. 1 period here on a good night 2 periods. Rawhide you are a scholarly man for trying to instill that little hope for us fans out there. You are the one who tries to fire us up when our team can’t. You even tell us straight up, Well Thrasherville they sucked again tonight. The TV commentators go on, I thought they played an excellent game they just fell short…AGAIN!

Tonight I have a meeting with a group from within the Ticket Department. My goal is to go higher. So high that I can talk to a few owners about how to turn the ticket selling around. I will try to meet with Rawhide later tonight to discuss how that meeting went and get him on board with me. Tonight my friends is going to be a big night. Hopefully with regards to the future of this franchise. I will see you all during the 3rd period when the video clip comes on, once again holding up the beloved, most treasured item in all of hockey, The Stanley (Replica) Cup.

Riceowls8891

January 7th, 2010
12:51 pm

Lawyer alert:

To answer, current GMs that have fired three coaches in the NHL: McPhee (5) Washington. Lamoriello 12 (N.J). Rutherford’s fired 2. Although he hired one back. Does that count?

None of McPhee’s Caps coaches have a Cup. Although Lou could fire a hundred with his 3 Cups.

I didn’t got to the other leagues. But how about the Redskins?

Waddell has a job for one reason: He has done what the owners want. As long as that continues, he has a job. On ice results notwithstanding.

And before you pin it all on Waddell, how many playoffs occurr without the Heatley accident, the season of 7 goalies, and without Hossa bolting for less money?

And keep your sheep comments. If the beginning alert isn’t enough, there’s nothing left to be said.

NASCAR Dave

January 7th, 2010
1:09 pm

FIRE WADDELL!!! FIRE WADDELL!!! FIRE WADDELL!!! FIRE DONNIE FRAUDELL!!!

Mr. Heat Miser

January 7th, 2010
1:15 pm

This team needs an enema

Trash

January 7th, 2010
1:21 pm

The coach does earn some responsibilty by being the coach of a team that is on the longest losing streak in franchise history. The hiring of Anderson was always suspect from the beginning as another case of ownership trying to go the cheapest route expressed in dollars and cents. Was he the best qualified coach at that time ?? Maybe he is just a big fish in a little pond and not a NHL-caliber coach. Or is his system a risky venture ?? When it works that’s fine and exciting but can this system retain value all season long ?? When defensemen play offense as a priority does defending become secondary ?? When goals are not being scored what does the system provide as options ?? Seems like we may be here now. . . . . .

Now, why the general manager is still the general manager has been another well-traveled path which the less being said the better. With all the “let’s trade Kovy, he’s part of the problem” >> well after the Hossa trade fiasco (basically Hossa for Armstrong) there better be some wealth and value in return for a few years to come if that trigger is pulled.

erock

January 7th, 2010
1:31 pm

Why are we sitting Boris. We are on a losing streak. Sit Hainsey …Sit Kubina..Sit Schubert…mix it up COACH !!

polskidawg

January 7th, 2010
1:33 pm

Well put, Mr. Rawhide.

My interest level has gone from 10 to 1 in a matter of 3 years (it stayed at 10 1999-2006).

Things won’t improve until ownership changes, or at the group hire a professional to lead.

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

Riceowls8891 – Thanks for that info…

Bob

January 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

“Question on old history – What was the reason we did not re-sign Marc Savard?”

Because Don Waddell didn’t think he was worth the $5m per year he was asking for. Anyone watch Bruins’ games? Savard is even playing (well) on the PK for them.

I’ve been saying it since the 3rd year when it was apparent to me that Waddell was simply incapable of the job and incapable of judging NHL talent, and I’ve been told by some naive folks that I’m wrong (naive folks who have all disappeared by the way) but year after year we suffer through the same and time has proven it true: nothing meaningful will change here until meaningful changes are made and a real GM is brought in.

Watch this thing take off if they can get a real GM. I still can’t believe they could’ve hired Brian Burke back in 1999, and passed over him to hire Waddell. That single move has doomed this franchise for 10 years, but the past is the past. We can only look to the future and the only thing that matters is what happens going forward. Get a real GM in charge asap, and watch it all finally happen for all of we long suffering fans.

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
1:50 pm

With all the “let’s trade Kovy, he’s part of the problem” >> well after the Hossa trade fiasco (basically Hossa for Armstrong) there better be some wealth and value in return for a few years to come if that trigger is pulled.

Trash – To that point…the one thing I keep hearing some people say is, “Don Waddell could ask for and get a ‘King’s ransom’ for Ilya Kovalchuk…and the team will be better because of it”. And while I can certainly understand the logic that such a notion is based on, I simply have to ask anyone who subscribes to such a belief one simple question.

“Do you want Don Waddell in charge of making a deal that would bring in the highest return for Kovy…should that become necessary”?

Wait, before you respond…let’s look back to the last time Don Waddell was forced to trade a superstar player because he was unable to re-sign him. That was two years ago when Marian Hossa forced his hand. In return for Hossa…and Pascal Dupuis…Waddell received Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and the Penguins first round draft pick of 2008.

Colby Armstrong has turned into a very fine third-line winger for the Thrashers, and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic fashion.

Erik Christensen…well, the best contribution he made for the team was helping to bring in prospect Eric O’Dell.

Angelo Esposito was in Chicago where he suffered his second ACL tear in as many years.

And the Thrashers selected Daultan Leveille with the 29th pick in that year’s draft.

So…that’s a third line winger who will be a free agent this summer and possible could be used as trade-bait come the deadline…a forward who has twice injured his ACL…and two prospects, one playing hockey at Michigan State and another developing in the OHL.

All for Marian Hossa. Oh yeah… and Pascal Dupuis too.

Now…somebody wanna tell me again how DW made out like a bandit in that deal?

The next question I would ask is, “How are you going to feel, say, two years from now if we are looking back at the Kovalchuk trade in the same light”?

Uh-huh…

IF Kovy is to be traded…trusting Waddell to be in charge of that deal would be the same as trusting a “King’s ransom” to be negotiated by the court jester.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
2:01 pm

Sigh… I’ve been singing Soul Coughing “Circles” in my head all day… soooo tired of this conversation… it really is Groundhog Day.

Red Light

January 7th, 2010
2:02 pm

The Dregs of Pro Sports…always safe as long as the Lions are around!

Record during past 10 seasons:
Detroit Lions: 42 W, 118 L, winning percentage: .263, 0 playoff appearances
L.A. Clippers: 307 W, 465 L, winning percentage: .398, 1 playoff appearance
Atlanta Thrashers: 291 W, 444 L, 45 T, winning percentage: .396, 1 playoff appearance

Record during the past nine seasons:
Columbus: 262 W, 405 L, 33 T, winning percentage: .392, 1 playoff appearance

OTL count as losses in above computation.

The Joker

January 7th, 2010
2:14 pm

Court Jesters are smarter than Waddell.

Somaatl95

January 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

Actually this isn’t “Groundhog Day” – in “Groundhog Day” Bill Murray wakes up next to Andie Macdowell after finally getting things right and he is really happy. As noted before as long as DW does what ownership wants, he has a job. Our metaphorical Andie Macdowell would be ownership that gives a damn about the team and a GM that doesn’t make Barney Fife look like Rambo…

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
2:45 pm

*sigh*

Hate to argue with you, Rawhide, but I’m gonna.

DW, with regard to Hossa, did fine. Any assessment of that trade needs to take a number of factors into consideration:

1. An angry Hossa, who wasn’t going to play well for the team under any circumstances and was going to expire anyway.
2. A particularly ugly coaching situation, which made it hard to bring in anyone at the time.
3. Heavy pressure to go young and a heavy need to invest in the future in the form of picks.
4. Maybe you have a crystal ball, but I do not and I’m pretty sure DW doesn’t either — I doubt he had any way of knowing which of those players would shake out. (I personally always expected Army to work out, Espo to wash out, and had no expectation with EC except that he would do well in the shootout. But with players that young, it’s hard to predict.)
5. Another issue in getting value for Hossa is in the obligation associated with it — we’re really not onligated much, at all, right now. Praise the hockey gods.

*Trash – To that point…the one thing I keep hearing some people say is, “Don Waddell could ask for and get a ‘King’s ransom’ for Ilya Kovalchuk…and the team will be better because of it”.*

You know, I don’t care if we trade him. Either way, at the end of this season we get to redirect his salary. Honestly, if I didn’t think his lazy princess self would drag the whole team down, the direction I’d favor most would be letting him expire in the press box.

*“Do you want Don Waddell in charge of making a deal that would bring in the highest return for Kovy…should that become necessary”?*

Possibly. What better trader do you have in mind? I haven’t had an issue with his trading from the Hossa trade forward, though of course I share the same despair you all have regarding the Zhitnik debacle.

But if someone’s gotta get fired, I certainly saw Waddell over Anderson.

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
2:47 pm

skipping back to other stuff…Savard, well, hate to say it, but we probably weren’t capable of developing him at the time. Likewise Dupuis at the time that he was on the block.

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
2:51 pm

Nikita – Now…you know that agreeing with the blog host is not a prerequisit for participation. You and I can simply agree to disagree about the Hossa trade…no problem here. Now, as to your question as to what better trader I might have in mind….I’ll go with my old standby with that one.

N.E. Body…that’s who. :lol:

Hokie – My friend…I know where you’re coming from. But unfortunatley, as long as DW is the GM and the team under-performs, there is going to be heat given to him.

Smoothie

January 7th, 2010
2:54 pm

Not capable of developing Savard?? Whaat?! He had already developed!!

Into one of the best playmakers in the game! How do you figure he hadn’t developed? Because he wasn’t asked by Hi! Bob ‘Artley to play on the PK?? I understand he had some issues with taking some bad penalties, but that is something easily fixed. I’d rather have an “under-developed” Savard dishing the puck to Kovy 50-60 times per season rather than Todd White forgetting to have his stick on the ice when someone feeds him wide-open in front of the net.

Pee Wee Herman

January 7th, 2010
3:00 pm

He…He…HEH!! It’s SNOWWWWwwwwww-ING!!!

Christoph Schubert

January 7th, 2010
3:08 pm

Don Waddell gleichgestellte umwerben Hofnarr. Das ist ja funy. Ich sorge mich nicht, wer Sie sind.

LAC

January 7th, 2010
3:12 pm

Gee Whiz nikita, I’d rather have Daffy Duck trading #17 instead of IDIOT waddell, What planet are you on ? The waddell moon ?

The man is a career LOSER, always has been and Always will be, he $UCKS ! period. I am at the point now I’d rather they leave town and we get a good AHL team and be done with it, The Thrashers are DOOMED in Atlanta.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
3:27 pm

Hokie – My friend…I know where you’re coming from. But unfortunatley, as long as DW is the GM and the team under-performs, there is going to be heat given to him.

Understood, but I’m more thinking along the lines of Lloyd Dobbler in ‘Say Anything’… “If you guys know so much about women, how come you’re here at like the Gas ‘n’ Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?”

Jimbo

January 7th, 2010
3:29 pm

291 wins in ten seasons and no playoff wins in our one and only appearance and the leader of it all keeps his job? Incredible! Absolutely incredible. And we seem to take a step forward and then three back. I have followed this team from inception but don’t anymore. There are thousands of us in the metro area that are transplanted northerners who would flock back to a “credible product”. I too don’t put too much blame on Anderson’s shoulders but his system seems to be inflexible with no defensive element in it. Perhaps its because DW has loaded him up with personnel who have no interest in defense. I too believe that there is enough of a solid hockey base in Atlanta to support a decent NHL team. We haven’t really had one in 10 years and now all we have is once again a long losing streak and the theme that we’ve heard played before “we’ll work out a contract solution”. It isn’t going to happen and unfortunately DW “the other teflon Don” will hang on his job. Sorry but true!

Bob

January 7th, 2010
3:29 pm

Nikita, are you trying to be funny? First this gem:

“Honestly, if I didn’t think his lazy princess self would drag the whole team down, the direction I’d favor most would be letting him expire in the press box”

Wha? If we trade him, we still have the exact same position come next July 1 of having all that money to spend (same position as if we just let him “expire in the press box”). But of course you have to trade him and not let him expire, this club is no playoff threat. You can’t just lose that asset for no return, they have to get return for him, and they will. But as Rawhide 100% correctly points out, Waddell cannot be the one to do it, he screws up everything he touches, the Hossa trade included, we got zippo out of that deal, is Armstrong UFA this summer as well? Sayonara.

then you come with this humdinger: “Savard, well, hate to say it, but we probably weren’t capable of developing him at the time.”

Do you follow this team? Savard put up what, 100, 90 points for us? How much more you want him to develop? Hoo boy, with fans like this, it’s no wonder the Spirit thinks they can just pulling the wool over these people’s eyes and have kept Waddell in place.

Paminski

January 7th, 2010
3:32 pm

GaVaHokie – Choice!

I gave the Thrashers my heart and they gave me a nine-game losing streak.

Riceowls8891

January 7th, 2010
3:55 pm

As to Savard being worth $5 million, AT THE TIME, he was a career minus player with 1 plus season and 8 minus seasons. First year in Boston minus 19. (People here would have screamed bloody murder if DW had signed him). Its only the last 3 years he’s been a plus player. Given his track record, that was not forseeable. Also, he was a penalty taking machine with PIMS of 77, 85 and 100. Three years with Atlanta he had 47, 52 and 97 points. Ask San Jose how Chechoo worked out after his career year. Savard is hindsight.

And we didn’t get Armstrong, Christensen, Esposito and the 29th pick for Hossa. We got that for 2 months of Hossa. And what does Pittsburgh have to show for the trade? Dupuis. A 28 point per season player.

DW got the better of the deal. What else was out there, is all speculation.

Zhitnick: better stats before and after the trade. Played big down the stretch. Only the next season was he dreadful. Again, its hindsight.

DW the best? Of course not, thats Lou Lamoriello. But he’s not the worst either. (Ask Garth Snowe how that 15 contract for Dipietro is working out.)

Fire DW for his body of work is fair, because its all about winning. But criticizing some of his decisions looks like pure monday morning quarterbacking to me.

Diego from Lilburn

January 7th, 2010
3:58 pm

The Thrashers need:

1) a dedicated goalie coach
2) forwards that will backcheck (especially Kovy)
3) to stop shooting the puck the instant it crosses the blueline with no one coming with you to pick up the rebound

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
4:08 pm

Also the philosophy with Savard was “why pay a career minus player $5 million when I can put any Tom Dick or Harry out there with Kovy and they can rack up 40-50 assists in a season?”

A reasonable theory… but didn’t work out quite that well… but that’s what you should consider when thinking of Rucchin (Tom), Holik (Dick) and White (Harry) over the past few years.

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
4:09 pm

*You can’t just lose that asset for no return,*

Well, yes, we can, because we’re not “losing” – we’re simply making a different kind of trade. The question is whether we want to trade a rental or apply his salary to buying UFAs and RFAs. Either option won’t get us a premium return.

*Butas Rawhide 100% correctly points out, Waddell cannot be the one to do it, he screws up everything he touches, the Hossa trade included, we got zippo out of that deal, is Armstrong UFA this summer as well? *

I don’t agree, and won’t, on the Hossa trade. I don’t think it’s fair, first, to compare a player who is traded when not actively vying for a trade, with trading a player who didn’t want to come here and blackmailed management until he got the trade he wanted. I don’t take issue with any trade Waddell’s done since then, or the Heatley or Rucchin trades, either. (Because those were both tragic in their own ways.) Savard and Coburn I take issue with. (and I said “Savard” when I meant “Coburn” above. Not smart.) Hanging on to a whole roster full of middle-aged pylons I take issue with. But all of that’s several years back.

I’m fine with replacing Waddell — I just want some idea about who that’s better than “anybody but Waddell.”

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
4:15 pm

And we didn’t get Armstrong, Christensen, Esposito and the 29th pick for Hossa. We got that for 2 months of Hossa. And what does Pittsburgh have to show for the trade? Dupuis. A 28 point per season player.

DW got the better of the deal. What else was out there, is all speculation.

Riceowls8891 – Point taken…however, whomever Kovy might get traded to could only be “renting” him for a couple months as well. Then he can test the free agent waters in July. As for the Hossa trade itself…again, you and I are going to have to just agree to disagree on that my friend.

My point was that in the months leading up to the Hossa deal, I heard much the same chatter about what the Thrashers could get in return for him. Here we are 2 years later and …well…sorry, I just don’t see how Waddell vastly improved this team from that trade.

Was getting what we did “better” than nothing at all? Yes…of course. But in light of the Hossa deal, I’m just leary of buying into the whole “King’s ransom” hype some people keep bringing up.

Especially so considering the Hossa deal and who orchestrated it.

Riceowls8891

January 7th, 2010
4:28 pm

I absolutely agree that we will not get a King’s ransom for Kovy. Not for a rental player who wants a max salary. (I beginning to think the KHL is where he ends up). No argument there at all.

But, can anybody point to a deadline deal that vastly improved the team that lost the star? I honestly don’t remember one, but maybe its happened.

Here’s Versus’s take: (they all inspite whatever from me).

http://www.versus.com/nw/article/view/77090/?tf=NHLArticleWrapper.tpl

Teams get better by drafting well and signing smart. And with the exception of Lou L., its all hit or miss. Even Detroit has had its ups and downs. Trade deadline deals are short term for the buyer, and make the best of it from the seller. I don’t think DW does any worse than anyone else. Again, Lou L. the exception.

Can anyone show a pattern of deadline steals? Not just one-offs?

Fire DW for his body of work? No argument. Thats he’s plain awful, not convinced.

Now, time to head to Taco Mac.

Thrashy Thrashy

January 7th, 2010
4:46 pm

If Anderson goes, Waddell’s got to go right along with him. It would be completely unacceptable for Waddell to stay here if Anderson gets fired.

Russ

January 7th, 2010
5:03 pm

I haven’t commented lately, but have still been following the team and tried to keep up with the blogs for the most part. I have grown too frustrated to put forth more of an effort than that.

However, whenever the debate about Waddell comes up and someone inevitably says something to the effect of “but who would you replace him with” or “what if his replacement does worse”, I feel I must comment the same thing for the umpteenth time. A) Take a good look at this team’s track record: you would be very hard pressed to do worse. B) If a new GM actually was worse, so what. Columbus is probably the only team you could make a legitimate argument that Atlanta might be ahead of during DW’s tenure, so if we fall behind them who cares? Wouldn’t the chance a new GM could significantly improve the product on the ice be worth the remote possibility that he could make it worse? But, I guess we don’t want the Thrashers to look like a clueless organization, so nevermind, just keep DW.

Nikita

January 7th, 2010
5:28 pm

Nobody’s saying that, Russ. What we’re syaing is that anybody-but-Waddell isn’t productive.

I think his trading legacy is so-so…pretty good since the Hossa trade. Also, we all talk about what we’ve gotten in trade, but I think it’s also important to note what a great job he’s done as the garbage tosser for the last two years. Ex, Christensen, Schneider, Klee, Brad What’s His Face, Williams — all no longer our problem.

NASCAR Dave

January 7th, 2010
6:29 pm

Yeah DONNIE can sure pick some winners, that’s for sure!!! LMAO

FIRE WADDELL!!!

Rawhide

January 7th, 2010
6:54 pm

What we’re syaing is that anybody-but-Waddell isn’t productive.

Nikita – Again, I’ll respectfully disagree. In the real world…the one you and I live in…if someone is deemed by their superiors to be underperforming at their job, they get fired. The company then searches for a viable replacement…sometimes they already have one in mind.

There are more than enough viable candidates out there to replace Waddell. Namely…Rick Dudley and any/all Asst. GMs around the NHL. Is any one of them a 100% sure-fire, slam-dunk gaurantee for success? Nope. But that, in and of itself, is not a reason for the Spirit Boys to not dismiss DW if indeed they are of the belief a change needs to be made in the front office.

So…in a sense…yes, “anybody” would be a viable option.

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
7:00 pm

The Hossa deal results are still pending on the futures of Leveille, O’Dell, Esposito and the resigning or trade of Armstrong. That’s the point of a deadline trade; long-term leverage… Loading the cupboard… flexibility.

stendec

January 7th, 2010
7:58 pm

Want to know about total disrespect? How about when the New York Ranjerks start a goalie with peach fuzz who has zero NHL starts. As in absolutely none. Guess Yardbirds have put the fear of God in these rotten Big Apple losers! Guess what? The heartless Loseland tenants have no goals after 20 minutes! Zero. Zilch. Nada. Against a netminder only just removed from high school hockey. Hard to understand why fans fail to shell out big bucks to watch these gutless wonders. Not! Aplogists will whine about close calls. Shove it up your candy a$$es! El Kapitan Ilys “Show Me More Money” Kovalchuk will skate untold figure eights at blue line until Olympics commence. Then Russian will then compete with fire on ice. At least until Russia goes bye bye in Winter Games! Damn losers. Worthless oxygen wastes. To Hell with all of the overpaid prima donna bestards. Will losing streak continue? Bet on it! On to BSC championship. ++STENDEC++

LAC

January 7th, 2010
8:16 pm

It’s over… TEN GAME LOSING STREAK !!!!!!!!!

No Hustle, No nothing and what else can you say… A Terrible team.

Eric C. knida avoided the questions about #17, but not the fact “Only a few hunderd fans show up”

Then they had The Master of Disaster don waddell himself interviewed by MSG. OLD don looked OLD, again as he ALWAYS does, he does NOT look at the camera… Who can blame him the FOOL !

Then we come out and give up, and a rookie goalie making his FIRST EVER START, will beat us as has happened HOW MANY TIMES over the years ????

I say move this awful team, bring in AHL and hope for the best !

stendec

January 7th, 2010
8:29 pm

El Kapitan Ilya “Heartless Scumbag Quitter” Kovalchuk will not score for his team but is not adverse to standing around watching players from other teams score. Perhaps the Ranjerks will shell out millions to the overrated and highly overpaid piece of Siberian shet! To Hell with the captain. Captain my a$$! ++STENDEC++

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:18 pm

Did I just hear Derwood say, “let’s just call him <strong, second-half Slater." Aye, aye, aye. While it is a statistically anomaly that Slater has three goals in two games, if he genuinely becomes our “go to” scoring leader in the second half of the season …. No, I won’t finish that sentence. I prefer to let, YOU, the reader, finish it.

Hokie, I find it utterly disheartening that a GM of ANY team, much less ours, would go public with a statement like, “We expect attendance to pick up after the football season ends.” Oh my goodness. How is that any different from saying, “The first half of the season attendance is irrelevant to us.” Wow. Thud. Here’s an idea, build a winner, and the attendance takes care of itself, no matter WHAT OTHER COMPETITIVE SPORT season might also be underway. Then again, wouldn’t that speak to ACCOUNTABILITY for results? And, you know, I snuck into the offices of the Atlanta Spirit once, just to STEAL their dictionary. (Yeah, they can bill me for it.) And sure enough, the word accountability wasn’t in there. Here’s my offer. I’ll buy them a dictionary with that word in it. Free of charge.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:20 pm

Second-half Slater had better score another one, or we’re headed to overtime. It’s 1-1, with 5:00 left in regulation. Slater, maybe, has been the best Thrasher skater all night.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:35 pm

Thrashers and NY Rangers are in overtime now. It’s about half over.

HookyBob

January 7th, 2010
9:40 pm

Well,…I gave my tickets for tonight’s game to some fellow office workers who show great promise for becoming serious hockey fans. I hope the Thrashers don’t let them down. (with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd I think they may be hooked on our grand old game).

RiceOwls: What Taco Macs do you frequent? If it is the Decatur store we are most likely “two ships passing in the night”. Same with the Philips store before games.

Biltong: Where do you find the curious (French) brew? I’m a fan of Allagash, especially Dubbel & Grand Cru, but have not been able to find the Curieux (Have you tried the Innis and Gunn oak aged offering?). Also, let me know the next time you are planning to be at Twains. Assuming I can make it, the 1st round (and/or 3rd, 4th, etc) is on me). Might also be able to make the Midway Tavern for a game. If you are from Saskatoon area,..well I’m just from just a few hours downwind. Forget the wind,…do you think it is going to get cold here?

Zach!!!, as Eliott notes, when you are 200′ from your net don’t blindly pass the puck back. Eeeech!!!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:42 pm

My heart nearly STOPPED. Bogosian went DEEP into the Rangers zone and throws a blind back pass, which quickly is intercepted and sent up ice, creating a partial 2-on-1, where Marian Gaborik is the likely recipient of a cross-ice pass for a goal. And the Thrashers CHASING him, in the backcheck, is Max Afinogenov.

I couldn’t watch. I couldn’t watch. Somehow, Finny got back and there wasn’t a goal on the play. So, we’re headed to the shootout. Where Moose usually shines. He is, statistically, one of the all-time best NHL goaltenders in the shootout.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:45 pm

Slava scores! Kovalchuk can win it! No!! Now, it’s up to Moose to get the win.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:47 pm

Gaborik scores. Peverley now. No!! Lost it off his stick. Peverywhere is in a funk. Now it’s up to Moose to save it. And he does! It continues!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:47 pm

Bryan Little scores!!!

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
9:48 pm

Del Zotto misses! Moose wins! Atlanta is 1-6-3, for five out of a possible twenty (5/20) points.

Dwayne

January 7th, 2010
9:51 pm

its over….yeah

Dwayne

January 7th, 2010
9:51 pm

back in first….yeah

stendec

January 7th, 2010
10:00 pm

Sincere thanks to Moose Hedberg who refused to allow the losing streak to continue. Way to go big guy! Only Yardbird who truly gave a damn tonight at Loseland. El Kapitan “Figure Eight King” Kovalchuk made an ultra pathetic uneffort in shootout which could have kept slide intact had Moose not been super sharp. Moose would have shut out Ranjerks in regulation were it not for IK who stood by like a damn statue as the Rankjerk goal was scored. Overrated Russian scumbag bestard! Proud of Moose. Rest of the wingless Yardbirds can dive into Hell. ASAP! ++STENDEC++

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:08 pm

Moose said, “Nij!”

GaVaHokie

January 7th, 2010
10:09 pm

So, Bogosian’s been playing with an injury for what did they say? Six weeks? He definitely looks like a changed man the last two games.

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:10 pm

Ranallo Warning?????

Bob

January 7th, 2010
10:24 pm

“Savard is hindsight.”

You’re just making stuff up. There were a couple of the usual suspects, mabye you were one of them, who didn’t care that we were letting Savard go as he was a “penalty taking machine” if I remember right, and “good riddance”.

However, most of us, myself included, were pissed that we let him get away. There was no hindsight involved, most of us called it at the time as it was clear as day that he was a top line center in the NHL and had a great knack for making the key pass, something Kovy has always needed. Waddell goes and replaces him with Rucchin et al, and you can’t see the idiocy in that? Oy vey.

Speaking of foresight, that’s the definition of what it takes to be a successful GM in any sport. Waddell has none and the couple of you that can’t see clear as day that Waddell is completely inept after watching him for 10 years, well, not sure what I can say to you, but you are definitely in the vast minority on that.

LAC

January 7th, 2010
10:37 pm

Hedberg was Steller tonight… Glad we won ONE… What will we see Saturday night… Helps, but blood still pouring from the wound.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

January 7th, 2010
10:37 pm

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning!

Sage of Bluesland

January 7th, 2010
10:38 pm

Donny isn’t going anywhere as long as the sheep still actually give him ‘credit’ for his, umm, “work” during the past decade!

Wow. Should have placed an “idiot-alert” at the beginning of some of the posts I just read.

Oh well, sheep aren’t too swift–and that’s been proven time and again…

Brendan

January 7th, 2010
10:39 pm

The thing that irked me so much about Waddell, pre and post-Lockout, was hit reliance on yesteryear’s vets. He’d give anyone a shot, from Uwe Krupp, to Rucchin, to Holik to Ken Klee? I kept thinking, “how is this really going to work? What’s the plan?” When I think of the typical job description of a GM, I think, “Responsible for oversight of the team, including TEAM IDENTITY and TEAM STRATEGY. Where the most important thing is hiring the right coach to make it work.”

Well, as Sage of Blueland is fond of saying, “I have as many NHL playoff victories as Waddell has to his credit.”

Ice Dawg

January 8th, 2010
7:55 am

Well stated my man! This franchise will be lost under Waddell’s leadership (ha!). He’s already negociated Heatley, Savard, Hossa, and now Kovy out of Atlanta. No one wants to play for Waddell! Could you imagine if we still had all of those players???

God save Blue Land! (Waddell won’t…)

thrashersfan

January 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

Brendan, buddy, we don’t need a play-by-play on the Blog.

SickenedThrasherFan

January 10th, 2010
1:02 am

What a great way (blog) to vent some of the frustration caused by the miserable performance of this team. I grew up watching the Islanders of the 80’s with consistent contirbutions from the entire team including Trottier, Bossy, Nystrom, Giles, Bourne, Goring, Tonelli, Potvin, Smith, Pearson, Johnson, , Sutter, Sutter, Murrow, , Hedberg, Parisi, even Howatt and Carrol contributed to the dynasty. Behind the bench was Al Arbour and in the front office was Bill Torrey. Everyone did their job and when you compare those great teams to the Thrashers of today – it is impossible to find anything in common. This team is in deep trouble from the ownership down. Where is the GM Waddell ? Why have they not fired Anderson yet? Why would anyone pay Kovy ten billion dollars when as the face of the franchise he is the leader of arguably the worst team in professional sports? It is time for change – whatever fan base is left will be gone soon. If this team were a person, they would be attached to a defibrillator by now – - it is time to press the switch…….