Ilya has left the building

By now I’m sure all of you have heard or read what 680 The Fan’s John Kincade had to say regarding Ilya Kovalchuk and his eminent departure of Thrasherville. He’s as good as gone, says the co-host of the Buck and KincadeShowwhich is heard on the team’s flagship station during the drive home.

Yesterday I discussed this with John and he told me, “I can’t reveal the sources, but have confirmed it from both sides of the story”. Continuing he said, “I am 100% certain Ilya Kovalchuk will be leaving the Thrashers…I think he will be moved before the Olympic break with almost the same certainty”.

In a nutshell, Kincade is stating that Don Waddell and the Thrashers have offered the pending free agent, “The largest contract ever to an unrestricted free agent and that he turned it down”.

The number I’ve heard kicked around is a long-term deal that would pay him about $10 million per season.

Ilya Kovalchuk may soon be shaking hands good-bye with his Thrashers teammates (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Ilya Kovalchuk may soon be shaking hands good-bye with his Thrashers teammates (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Even with this revelation, John wasn’t ready to toss the only GM the Thrashers have ever had underneath the next MARTA bus coming down Peachtree Street for this latest failure. Nope…instead he pins it right on the captain.

“I think it tells me that the Kovy camp song and dance about ‘wanting to be here’ was obviously a load of crap”, said Kincade. “All Waddell can do is offer him a great contract, if he wanted to be here as his camp has said repeatedly he would be here”.

Me? Well, sorry…I certainly see where my pal John can come to that conclusion. But the team’s inability to retain big-name players is a major issue in Thrashervilleand, in this fan’s humble opinion, responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the man who is paid major bucks to do just that…convince the Savards, Hossas and Kovalchuks to remain here.

Along with the Kovy bomb Kincade dropped on us yesterday, he also indicated the he has been led to believe Kari Lehtonen has played his last game as a Thrasher and he will be moved potentially to Dallas or St. Louis.

And none of these reports came with a (k3) disclaimer at the end of them.

Also reported yesterday was this line in Chris Vivlamore’s latest blog entry…

“Thrashers general manager Don Waddell had no comment other than to say that the franchise and Kovalchuk’s agent have not had any new talks in more than a week. Both sides currently have proposals on the table that differ in salary and length of contract.

Waddell was in Philadelphia last week scouting the Flyers and Islanders. It also has been reported recently that the Kings and Bruins are interested in obtaining Kovalchuk.

Several NHL teams, including the Flames and the Rangers, have cleared salary cap space recently.”

Now, let’s fast-forward to the Taco Mac Post-Game Show hosted by radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal and TV color analyst Darin Elliot. As I was making my way home from the latest disappointing 1-goal loss of the season, I listened as they made reference to the number of close losses the team has suffered this year. I believe it was Elliot who observed that… and I am paraphrasing… “If the entire team was on-board for all these games, including the captain, then how many of those defeats could have been overcome”.

Reading between the lines…Ilya has left the building!

Given all of that, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to believe that the whole Kovy saga is just about ready to wrap itself up in much the same fashion that the Hossa saga of just two seasons ago did. Don Waddell…once again…is going to be forced to trade away a key player, maybe even the key player, of the franchise because he was unable to convince said player to remain with the organization he general manages.

Of course, many will say that Kovalchuk’s impending departure will actually be a good thing for the organization. Yeah…maybe. We could get this player…or that group of players, maybe even along with some draft picks…upgrade the team and continue to improve.

Uh-huh…and didn’t we hear the same thing just two years ago as well?

Since that time, the team tanked to finish the 2007-08 season with 76 points…finished the following season with 76 points…and, with Tuesday night’s loss, are heading towards something around 83 points this time around.

If Waddell “improves” the team as well as he did with the Hossa trade, the team should be closing in on the 90 point mark somewhere around…oh… 2015.

As I have opined before, I’m not really bothered with the thought of life in Thrasherville A.K., (After Kovy). If he’s looking to move on, then…see ya! But what does make my stomach feel kinda icky is the thought that we are going to be sitting here 2 years down the road with nothing, zilch, zero, nada to show for the transaction that sent him packing.

That, plus it will also mean that the Thrashers franchise will be starting over… yet again…building around another player or set of players. And that the same man who has been the architect of the first two “five year plans” will be sitting down to the drawing board to pencil up yet a third one.

Yes, I feel that Kovy has indeed left the building. Not just the “building” that is Philips Arena…but the “building” that has gone on for a decade now with so little to show for it.

And Now…About Last Night

I’ll keep this short and sweet. The Thrashers lost …again…to Antero Niittymaki, this time 2-1 to he and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is now 16-0 against Atlanta. I fear we shall never break this Niitty-curse.

The Thrashers outshot the Bolts 27-24.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 22 of the 24 SOG he face…all 21 shots after he saw 2 of the forst 3 get past him.

Wasted in this effort was a Todd White goal, score in the second period when he neatly deflected in a Mark Popovic shot. Not good at all when the team isn’t able to net a win on the night White scores his one goal for the month.

The loss drops the Thrashers to 24-23-8 and drops them to fourth in the Southeast Division and eleventh in the Eastern Conference. Boston is in twelfth place with 55 and they play in Montreal tomorrow night. The Islanders are in thirteenth place with 54 points and are in Tampa Bay Thursday night.

Happy Birthday Carly

I want to wish a happy birthday to the lovely and vicarious Carly…a.k.a. Tony C’s “baby-mama”. She was in attendance with Tony over in section 117 and I had the pleasure of spending some time with them in Taco Mac after the game.

That, Tony C., is a great gal!

211 comments Add your comment

Cup Guy

February 3rd, 2010
12:59 am

First! No comment other then, when you get down there behind the bench with the CUP beat on the glass players turn and look at you then make a bad smirk and turn away, I think I just lost respect for a lot of them. Slates nodded at me and Army cracked a smile. This is truly sad that this team acts the way it does. Kovy sucks and doesn’t deserve all that he has gotten. Hey I will skate in a circle for $50 for the entire season. Why do we have to pay him Millions to do it? Rawhide good seeing you and I agree on all your points in this blog. Time to move on. Good bye Kovy!

LAC

February 3rd, 2010
1:09 am

Bill, there are a number of other teams in both the East & West that are in the playoff picture WITHOUT a 30 goal scorer.

Look at Phoenix and LA, Who just beat NYR 2-1, and several others
that have only a few scorers over 20, but they are in the playoff hunt.
You CAN win without big scorers, but Defense comes first…

What WINS, Goaltending & Defense. We have average to good goaltending
but BAD defense, which lies at the feet of this “system” we play,
which should BE SCRAPPED ASAP. It is not working, so now what ?

I do agree #17 and his agent have played all of us and lied just like waddell. When is TEN MILLION A YEAR NOT ENOUGH ? Why do players need these idiot agents they then have to pay a ton to for something they could have done themselves.

Lastly, This ownership “group” needs to sell the team, with the specific
understanding the team stays here. don waddell MUST be fired, he has done more than any human being has ever done to destroy the game of hockey in this town, He is nothing but Human Street Trash, Total SCUM !
Got that “don” ? His lies and his failure to sign key players
to put togather a winning team… Have to be OVER ! He alone is killing this team more than anyone or any one player !!!!

It sure is funny how players want to leave here, the Stars and only the lesser ones come in. That alone is why this team needs a culture
shock to right the sinking ship and try to rebuild and mainly WIN BACK THE FANS ! If these “owners” have any brains, which we know they do not, putting a WINNING product on the ice will support itself with sellout after sellout. All you need do is look at Washington, empty arena, then they make BIG POSITIVE changes on the ice and behind
the bench and they are a top Stanley Cup Contender…

Look at the lack of improvement of our young players year after year,
what has happened to zach ? He looked great last year, this year,
really BAD. Same with Little, nothing…

So trades are coming, fine, but if they are they better net some BIG fish for us, and I have ZERO confidence waddell will do the right thing and he will futher destroy the Thrashers, I am starting to believe he
wants to destroy the team, as well as the owners, Why Do The Great NHL Fans in this city have to continue to endure this CRAP from drunk owners and a GM who is complete LIAR ? Damn Sad Right Bill ?

Phil Foley - Atlanta Thrashers Examiner

February 3rd, 2010
1:35 am

Ironically, Kovalchuk also left the building last night without talking to reporters. He sidestepped the awaiting media, which included two of the local TV stations, and duck out a back or side door after getting dressed.

Even if the contract question was so-called “off limits” in the scrum last night, it would have been good to hear from the captain on breaking his stick in frustration after the loss or how they can’t seem to break the Niittymaki jinx. Instead we got the two-step, leaving Anderson to be the only one answering any sorts of questions. Very poor.

Ace

February 3rd, 2010
1:41 am

This is going to destroy me I have a feeling

Brendan

February 3rd, 2010
1:50 am

What’s the bigger impediment to the future of this franchise? (1) Losing Kovalchuk or (2) retaining Waddell? Choice #2.

There are 29 other teams who don’t have Kovalchuk. Many of those teams are well-constructed and are headed for “decent” things. Even if the Thrashers could re-sign Kovalchuk, they wouldn’t know how, or be capable of finding the right balance, to make it work with this GM. That these owners can’t see that Waddell is the problem … is really rather staggering.

When Marc Savard left … the cap was small enough that people could get away with making an argument that $5 million was too much for him, especially with Hossa, Lehtonen, Coburn, Little and Kaberle’s contracts still coming due over the next four years. But by the time Hossa refused to respond to a contract offer, with the floor now exceeding the previous cap limit, the owners should have fired Waddell and replaced him. Say … in April 2007, right after the NY Rangers sweep. A new GM might have been able to honor Hossa’s trade request during the 2007 offseason. Hossa could have been moved at the 2007 Draft. Ya know, the one where we gave up our 1st and 3rd round picks to “rent” Keith Tkachuk. Not to mention the very same draft that Atlanta coughed up a 2nd round pick to Anaheim for the services of Vitaly Vishnevski. Whom they traded to Nashville for center Eric Belanger. Trading Hossa at the 2007 draft might have returned a “higher than pick #29″ position in the 1st round of that draft. Instead, they got Daultan Leveille at #29, in the 2008 draft, as a result of hanging on to Hossa until the 2008 trade deadline.

It’s the GM’s responsibility to make the right moves … at the right time. This GM’s hallmarks are “procrastination” and “inaction.” Un-good. Very un-good. That these owners didn’t see this coming … is like not noticing that an Oak tree has fallen on your house, crushing the roof.

Segue, in the Scott Burnside proverbial “House of Thrashers,” Dany Heatley was the foundation (slab) of the house. And Ilya Kovalchuk was the roof. The foundation cracked. And the roof just caved in. Yet, the owners don’t think that the house is in disarray. They probably even think they can sell it as “a fixer upper.” So, it’s a “handy man’s dream,” right?

Oy. Well boys, you reap what you sow. And you’re not going to get nearly what you hoped for your ‘caretaker’ years of stewardship over the franchise at the closing table. The NHL had better step in. I stopped to ponder, “what would be worse?” The choices? (1) re-signing Kovalchuk for $11.3 million-per-season, for however many years he says or (2) renewing Waddell’s contract. And honestly, even at $11.3 million, I think Kovalchuk’s contract could be moved at some point in the future, for some form of return. But I cannot find one possible “positive” of renewing Don Waddell’s contract, which is said, by Forbes Magazine, to be expiring at season’s end. But rest assured, you cannot assume that the Atlanta Spirit, LLC are done with Waddell. They like him. A lot. They estime him. And they think him a “prize” for the GM chair. And really, what more is there to say?

Obviously, they don’t get it. Savard, Kaberle, Hossa, Kovalchuk … and the list of names will continue. Why don’t they want to re-sign? Isn’t the answer … because all of those players KNOW that Don Waddell is not the right man for the job. And how does one ‘delicately’ say, “Fire the GM, or I’m outta here?” When that GM is undertaking the contract negotiations. I refuse to feel bad for the owners, if they really, truly wanted to keep Kovalchuck. And thought that they would have been successful in that regard. Well … they might never understand it. And who knows? Forbes Magazine might come out with an article that states that Don Waddell is the #6 GM, of all four major pro sports. Forbes is a financial publication, not a sports publication. In that regard, you musn’t blame them for being athletically-challenged.

Avery

February 3rd, 2010
2:16 am

Keep him until the end of the season. Given the cap situation of most teams, no one can afford to offer him this type of contract in June.

On top of that, I have no confidence that D.W. can get anything in a trade.

So keep Kovy, have a shot at making the playoffs, and get him to resign for less in June. Win/win.

Hockey Biltong

February 3rd, 2010
2:27 am

If I was Kovalchuk, after 9 years or so in this organization, and I had a chance to test the free market, are you fr@#king kidding me…. I’m going like a boeing, grand like a piano and gone like a scone. Not one second thought, not an iota of hesitation.

Why would I stay??? Really? I’ve seen it all unfurl right in front of me. Heatly, Hossa, the coaches and of course Waddell and ASG.
There is no amount of money in the world that could keep me in this clusterf73k.

It’s too bad, cause they tried this season, moreso than in the past, but when ownership says, we really like basketball and would prefer to have another group buy out the Thrashers and keep them in town, Ilya does not have to be an expert tea leaf reader to know which side of the bread will be buttered.
Rankin Smith and the Falcons come to mind. Until Mr. Blank stepped in, they were a lost fart in a perfume factory….and so truly, are the Thrashers. Until a responsible and driven owner can step in and rectify all of the bungling that has buried this team, they are toast.

docsbro

February 3rd, 2010
5:42 am

Good points HB. I don’t put this on Kovy one bit. You can say what you want but I do believe he wanted to be here. I think he was waiting to see how things played out and it is clear that this team is STILL mediocre at best. As long as DW is in charge this team is toast. He has not done one thing in 10 years to make me think he can put a playoff team on the ice. The draft picks that succeeded where all “no-brainers” and the others where all BUSTS!! He tried to build Detroit south with small “skilled” players but he forgot one thing….Scotty Bowman.

Little has regressed, Bogo has regressed, why would you sign here. Coach JA has really dissapointed this year, he has stuck with players(Kozzy) too long and combinations too long(Hainsey, Bogo). I don’t get the feeling this team respects him and they definitely don’t “fear” him. As for “all these players signed to appease Kovy” how bad would we be without them. Good luck Kovy I will still support him. He has put in too many years beating his head against the glass not to support him. Lets face it people it’s not like Hossa or Savard who where here briefly…this guy has left a lot of himself on the ice for this team and I appreciate that.

ben

February 3rd, 2010
5:52 am

Honestly, why did they wait this long? If all the smart money said he was leaving, why wait? What were those outlets doing when they reported he was staying? I’ll still watch, because it was going to end anyway, but what really happened?

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
5:53 am

Marc Savard
Dany Heatley
Marian Hossa
And now, Kovy-they are all doing the same thing
So tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
You can also line up every Tier 1 free agent.
Even Manny Malholtra!

Tell me the one destination they are all avoiding…..

In the end, I really can’t blame Kovy. If things were ran correctrly, the ink should have been dry on the contract a long time ago OR the player should have been moved. Kovy has given enough of his prime. Now he’s going to do what the rest of these guys are doing—getting in the mix for the Stanley Cup.

And all we can do is watch in envy.

KovyRules

February 3rd, 2010
5:53 am

Amen (to all posters above except Avery). Goodbye Kovy, and no one will be paying you more than $100 M in July, so good luck with that. I was a DW defender until as recently as November, but if he’s not gone then this franchise has no hope. It’s a dark day in Blueland…

Lee

February 3rd, 2010
6:41 am

Why don’t we give up the rest of the team as well?

Rightshot

February 3rd, 2010
7:17 am

When this all started I was thinking, we really need to resign Kovy. A few weeks ago, it was I would be great if he resined, but if not ok. After watching him the last 2 games and reflecting how he has been mailing it in, (4th class) I was wondering what he was still doing here.
The problem is, since most teams aren’t willing to give up what donny is reportedly asking for, a big name player who can help right now, he will most likely just take whatever he can get and claim it’s the greatest trade ever because he got something for Kovy and he didn’t walk for free. Hey don, a bunch of 3rd and 4th liner and prospects will not cut it.
I would suggest that during Saturdays game, we start another round of “Fire Waddel” I know it won’t do any good, but at least we can protest somehow.
There is one good thing about Kovy on another team. When the Thrashers play LA, (or who ever), when Kovy is on the ice, it will be like a five on four.

Russian

February 3rd, 2010
7:48 am

Блять. Дон-Пидор!!!!! :-(

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
7:54 am

On the lighter side, good to see so many of my fellow bloggers last night. And it was great to meet Russian, who despite my original doubts is really a Russian!

LAC-Bogo totally blew the first goal last night. I have not been as harsh as you have been concerning his play, but that one was so obvious it made me sick.

What’s the right thing to do with Bogo during the Olympic break? Send him to Chicago for 2 weeks to work with Chelios. His game will not correct itself on it’s own.

Nice game by Bryan Little, he drove the net and worked very hard.
Jimmy also had a good game; is Jimmy our #1 center?
And finally, Marty was Marty, again. He is one of THE best penalty killing forwards in the league.

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Kovy has always scored lots of goals but has done little besides that…….He plays no defense whatsoever and will not mix it up in the neutral zone to win pucks. He pouts when things aren`t going his way and is no where near being worth 10 million a year……He is no where near the player Ovechkin is and never will be……..I`ve heard Boston is interested also……………If I`m not mistaken they own Toronto`s number 1 this year…….Grab that pick and a couple of young NHL ready players………this is the deal I would shoot for. Trade Kovy…………..he will never be any better than he is now.

On the other hand a total house cleaning is needed upstairs…..duh………….ASG needs to fire Waddell,Anderson and Dan Marr……………..let Rick Dudley try his hand at it………….We need a defensive minded coach and not this minor league system we are running…………..I will still go to the games and back the team………………………..Things need to change………….they can`t get any worse!

Mr. Heat Miser

February 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

This team needs an enema

Mark

February 3rd, 2010
8:17 am

If Kovy wants to be a $11+ million a season man, then he needs to step up and do all the things that come with such a price tag. I don’t think Alex Ovechkin would mail it in as bad as Kovy has of late. In fact, Alex was pushing his game BEFORE the big contract and his play has elevated to new levels AFTER his big payday. IMHO Kovy hasn’t truly been the captain he should be because he doesn’t understand what being CAPTAIN truly means to a team. Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Mark Messier – these are players that understood what was expected of them as captain and even when they had off nights they were still motivating their teams towards greatness. Yes…someone will pay Kovy’s price tag this summer, but as to what value they’ll get is a mystery.
The Thrashers need to go ahead and deal Kovy, announce that Waddell is either being fired (which is highly unlikely)or being made into Executive VP of Paper clips for Thrashers and elevate Dudley into GM position. Thrashers ownership needs to stop handling the team lika an unwanted science experiment. Get serious about winning, not worried about tax write-offs and losses. In Atlanta, winning teams put people in the seats and cash in the coffers. Support for the pro teams in Atlanta has always been like that. Teams winning: people come out of the woodwork to watch. Teams not doing so good: so we have most of the core fans only watching. There is a very good core of hockey fans in Georgia. Some of them have been in love with the game since the Flames, some grew up on the play of the Knights and others discovered it through the Thrashers.
Star players will always be on the move. No one is ever untouchable. Life will go on after Kovalchuk.

Boris

February 3rd, 2010
8:20 am

Hey Stendec you are so stupid!!!!!!
Kovy will play for good team.
So kiss his Siberian ass.

The Real Thrash

February 3rd, 2010
8:22 am

Again supposed hockey fans with no clue. Does LAX and PHX have no 30 game scorers? Yes. But here is the rest of the story: LAX GAA-2.54, SAV%-0908. Phx GAA-3.25, SAV%-.919. ATL GAA-3.43 SAV%-.903 (Pavelec). We have to score goals AND play defense. So let’s again let our best scorer go and start over. How many more years will we real fans accept this drivel from Waddell?
By some of the blogs on this page it looks like we will continue to get the hockey we deserve, until the team leaves town.

Matt

February 3rd, 2010
8:22 am

Man, what a depressing way to start the morning!

Rawhide-Agreed that the responsibility falls directly on our inept GM for failing to make this team one on which players want to play. For 10 years this GM has tried to do things on the cheap and hope the lightening would strike as it did for Todd White last season. That is s recipe for disaster.

I’m just waiting to see how badly we get hosed in this deal. *face palm*

How long have we been talking about Kovy and his extension, since last April?? Ridiculous, utterly, utterly ridiculous.

Toby

February 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

I agree that this franchise and the people who run it are a huge joke, and no I don’t blame Ilya for wanting to play elsewhere….but….what I do blame him for is stringing this along for a better part of a season saying he loves Atlanta and wants to finish his career here, and then turning down more money than the entire franchise is worth! Trade him today and lets move on.

Russian

February 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

I can not takeit anymore. Kovy gone – First pick, then Kari gone, that another first pick. What’s Hell? I hope Don and Anderson will be FIRED before Olimpic Break.
I see a next season and Thrasher will bring lot of young players. Anderson will not give them support. He is not NHL Coach. I hope Dudly will build a team as he did in Chickago.

hip czech

February 3rd, 2010
8:35 am

further proof about building from the net out…Toronto shuts out NJ last night. I know the Devils are offensively challenged with Elias and Clarkson out, but still for Phaneuf and Giguere to come in and lay put up a goose egg must have Burke smiling.

Phaneuf got into a fight, engaged the media, and won over the fans in 60 minutes.

I agree whoever commented that the players don’t respect Anderson. I watched the program on SS last night after the game…Anderson is a nice guy no doubt, but you could just tell in the meetings and in the locker rooms the players were tuning him out.

Dump Waddell, get a coach in here to shake this mess up and get some players who want to give 100% every night.

EA

February 3rd, 2010
8:36 am

In addition to ownership, the team’s stability etc. I believe that the attendance at Philips has something to do with Kovy wanting out. It just can’t be a fun place to play. As a fan, it is depressing.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
8:45 am

Various thoughts:

1. I’m sick of hearing about how Saint Kovy is less culpable than Don Waddell. And don’t get me wrong — I agree that he’s made some stupid mistakes over the years, and I would thoroughly agree with you that at various points he should have been unemployed. But I don’t think he’s made any egregious errors in the last two years, and I think he’s done an o.k. job given what all he has to work with. So…ok, Fire Waddell and all. But…
2. Ilya shouldn’t let the door hit him on the way out. This franchise has done almost everything that it can to retain him. And therein lies the problem — the franchise listened to fans and held onto a player that is actually not the best fit, is not a net asset, and shouldn’t be here. Kovalchuk still isn’t mature enough to be captain. But he’s also not responsible and not interested in the cohesion of the team or the holistic wellness of the team. Eff him. Also, when you’ve been on a team for a majillion years, and you’ve been allowed to weigh in on the composition of the team, it should be your team — and furthermore, if the team isn’t winning, then the problem is probably at least partially you. But it’s not Kovalchuk’s team, and he’s not taking any responsibility for anything. And that’s why I wish him luck finding another team.
3. Ancient history is what it is, but I was looking at my Heatley bobblehead the other day, and I can’t fault anyone for dealing him. It was the right thing to do, and furthermore Heatley is a toxic, if talented, asset. Ditto Marian Hossa, who never wanted to stay anyway. We need to stop pretending that we have neutral assets — they have opportunity costs, and sometimes those aren’t worth assuming.
4. You know, the team played pretty well while Kovalchuk was injured. I think this indicates what the problem is with Anderson’s “system.” It’s 800-lb. gorillas who get to pick their linemates, cherry pick, and not play any more of the system than the portion that benefits them.
5. And you know our youth movement? It’s probably doomed if Cherrychuk stays. It’s based on individual accountability and team play, and it’s very hard to get people to buy into it when the members of the team aren’t treated equally.
6. As a corollary to #3, I don’t want to hear about how Don Waddell blew the Hossa trade when the fact of the matter is that Hossa was unhappy from early in his tenure here, and it was due partially to tension with our little ice princess captain. When does Kovalchuk take responsibility for his actions?

Fan from Carolina

February 3rd, 2010
8:58 am

Not signing Kovy to a long term deal is probably a good thing. It can take the ‘edge’ from the player and you don’t need a player coasting for 10 years. Look at Lecavalier since his contract. He just isn’t the same great player. He is good, very good, but not the hungry Stanley Cup winner everyone saw in the past. Last night he hit a skate with a gaping wide open net. He has done that all season, not a guy worth HUGE $$$ and a big signing mistake by the Lightning. I think Kovy would be even worse if locked up forever. Watching him coast for years would drive all the remaining fans away. Quality players in return might actually benefit the Thrashers, even this year, but not the average type player that we saw in the past season like the Maple Leaf rejects that were supposed to help this club.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
8:58 am

So in the history of this franchise we will soon have next to nothing to show for these first round draft picks; Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Coburn, Stefan, and the kid we sent to the Rangers…. which tells me in about three more years we will have nothing to show for Valabik, Little, Bogosian, and Kane….. but don’t worry, the one constant is Jimmy Slater will still be here… and oh, so will Teflon Don…. depressing.

Tom

February 3rd, 2010
9:00 am

Why Ovechkin is worth 10+ million In 48 games he is a +36 and has 77 points . The biggest concern is that he plays 2 way hockey too hard and risks injuries.

Why Kovalchuk is not worth 10+ million, In 49 games he is a +1 and has 58 points. And we know the biggest concern is that he plays 2 way hockey. He rarely visits the defensive end and still scores 20 points less that Ovechkin at this juncture.

A team would have to be STUPID to pay him Ovechkin money, but that is what Kovalchuk is looking for.

Miami Screaming Eagle

February 3rd, 2010
9:00 am

EA-attendance is directly related to what people feel about commitment from ownership. We as fans have proven that we will open our wallets and support the team. Problem is, the team has not supported us. It works both ways; the idiot media in Canada has not figured this out yet.

I think of all those people that plunked down big dollars for Kovy jerseys. They were all over the arena last night. These people have a tough time accepting the statements that they do not support their team.

Give us a team that has ownership commitment. The people of this city, 65% of which are Yankees, will come out and supprot the team.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

Yep, Waddell did everything he could to keep Kovy.

Lets review:

1) Last summer, the Thrashers weren’t willing to bring Zherdev when Kovy all but signed him himself.

2) Kovy recruited Mad Max and what did Waddell do, offered him $800,000 for one season. Wow, I’m sure that offer showed Kovy the level of commitment the Thrashers have toward respecting his recruiting efforts.

3) Why did it take UNTIL THE LAST YEAR OF KOVY’S CONTRACT TO TRY AND IMPROVE THE TEAM? Waddell is like a used car dealer, he waits till you’re walking out the door before you get taken seriously.

Waddell is an idiot. Waddell always has an excuse. When players waive their no trade clause to avoid hitting waivers (Dan Boyle) and ending up in Atlanta, that speaks volumes as to the vote of no confidence about the Thrashers.

Oh, and should I remind all, WADDELL HAS NEVER RE-SIGNED A TOP TIER UFA.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Why, because everyone, players, agents, zamboni drivers know he is a moron of epic proportion.

FIRE WADDELL!

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
9:06 am

Pretty much agree with Miami Screaming Eagle… I’ve supported this team with blind loyalty, despite all of its bonehead moves, spent my money on tickets, merchandise, even purchasing Centre Ice just to watch the games that aren’t broadcast locally, but these moves may be the final straw that breaks my back. I will continue to love my Thrashers, but they will no longer get my money until the prove to me they are committed to winning and getting good talent in here, and not just because their superstar player demands it, but because they really, truly want to build a winner.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
9:09 am

“3) Why did it take UNTIL THE LAST YEAR OF KOVY’S CONTRACT TO TRY AND IMPROVE THE TEAM? Waddell is like a used car dealer, he waits till you’re walking out the door before you get taken seriously.”

Bingo, R Stroz hit it right on the head. This is why I don’t blame Kovy for leaving… It takes more than one last ditch effort to prove you want to win. Then what? He re-signs and we go back to signing next to no one, only getting enough so we hit the cap floor on spending? Good luck with a real franchise Kovy, we will miss you.

Tom

February 3rd, 2010
9:15 am

We are the Los Angeles Clippers of hockey.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
9:19 am

*1) Last summer, the Thrashers weren’t willing to bring Zherdev when Kovy all but signed him himself.*

I’ll give you that.

*2) Kovy recruited Mad Max and what did Waddell do, offered him $800,000 for one season. Wow, I’m sure that offer showed Kovy the level of commitment the Thrashers have toward respecting his recruiting efforts.*

I agree with that decision. Mad Max is flukey, and also displays sucktastic two-way commitment. Dollars aside, the time period is right.

*3) Why did it take UNTIL THE LAST YEAR OF KOVY’S CONTRACT TO TRY AND IMPROVE THE TEAM? Waddell is like a used car dealer, he waits till you’re walking out the door before you get taken seriously.*

That’s not true. Unless you meant “why did it take until the last year of Kovy’s contract to let Kovy dictate the composition of the team?”

We’ve mentioned all these players that we lost, which I assume we acquired to improve the team. If we didn’t have that intent, then why bother drafting? Why bother trading? Why not just take what you get and raid the scribs from Chi-town?

The fact of the matter is that at least two years ago Kovalchuk was dictating his linemates, which was probably an effort to keep him happy. It’s only in this last year that he gets to pick the roster as well, and that’s an extraordinary concession to make.

Incidentally, I’m not opposed to resigning Kovalchuk if that’s how it plays out, but I don’t think that’s the best outcome. The second-best would be to have Kovalchuk on contract for $7-9 million/season, with a short-term (2-4 years) commitment.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
9:21 am

Chipper’s L-C
I wonder if Chipper was a Thrasher, if he would have resigned and given the Trashers a hometown discount?

Tom-The Clippers have been a job for an entire generation of basketball fans. I remember when the Clippers were the Buffalo Braves, went to many Braves games as a kid. They were good for a time in Buffalo, in the mid 70’s. That’s a very long time ago, back when I was in high school. I am alot closer to a AARP card than I am to high school!

Toby

February 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

Stroz…Then why didn’t Kovy ask to be traded last summer. This has been a complete waste of a year now.

I do agree though…Fire Wads and give Duds a shot!!!!!!!!

hip czech

February 3rd, 2010
9:32 am

If you believe the reports that the Thrashers offer to Kovalchuk was 100 million for 10 years I cannot fault the Thrashers for ‘not trying to sign Kovalchuk’. That is a ridiculous amount of money for a one-way player. If anything, I’m glad he DIDN’T sign for that length/amount.

Maybe Kovy really DOES have the franchises best interest in mind by NOT signing :-)

I just can’t stomach the hypocritical statements about ‘loving it here in Atlanta’ and ‘wanting to only play for one team’….blah, blah, blah…hypocritical BS. If the Thrashes offered him 80 million for 10 years Kovalchuk should have been flattered and signed that.

Not Blind

February 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

Why would any good player [ Savard or Hossa ] want to stay here knowing that their fortunes were tied to a slacker like Kovalchuk ? Also, this team has NEVER had a decent coach. If Hartley was so great he would still be in Colorado. His cup was won with a team that needed no coach.

LAC

February 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

WOW !!!!! Everyone is ON TARGET this morning… Just how sinister do we need to get to get rid of LIAR waddell HUH ?????????????

HE HAS TO GO !

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
9:44 am

To quote on of my favorite Tool songs:

Fret for your owners and
Fret for your skating and
Fret for your defense and
Fret for your G.M. and
Fret for your Goalie and
Fret for your scorer and
Fret for his contract and
Fret for your star.

It’s a
Bull-spit, three ring, circus sideshow of
Freaks

Here in this hopeless freaking hole we call Phillips, eh
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
Any freaking time. Any freaking day.
Learn to win, We’ll see you there one day.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by nine of the dumbfounded Spirit.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we’ll see no D-Wad soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly twit, stupid twit…

One great big festering neon distraction,
I’ve a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to sign.

NHL’s gonna fix it all soon?
NHL’s comin’ round to put it back the way it ought to be?

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
9:44 am

The Lightning have a bigger problem-Vincent Lacavalier
Did anyone else notice how invisible Vinny was last night?

This is Stamkos’ team now. Vinny looks over the hill and TB has that huge contract to try and move or eat. Lacavalier has 14 goals, 39 assists in 55 games. Almost a point a game, but not worthy of the jack he’s making.

Bring Back THE SLAVA !

February 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Ilya is to Defensive Consistency what Michael Vick was to Animal Rights.

Good Riddance, Kovalchuk!

EA

February 3rd, 2010
9:47 am

Miami, I could not agree with you more.

10 yr plan

February 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

Bill, great read as always. Time to say goodbye to Kovy. Unfortunaty, we’ll see Kovy’s true talents on display during the Olympics. He will be a man posessed, backchecking, hitting people, blocking shots, etc…. This is his ultimate goal, to win the gold medal for his country. The Stanley Cup is probably 3rd behind the World Cup. It is time for this franchise to have a North American roster built on toughness, grit and a passion to play the game hard every night. Waddell will be a topic for another day, Brendan always does a fine job detailing his “accomplishments”. Thanks again to Harvey Schiller for hiring DW over Brian Burke or Cliff Fletcher. What could have been!!!

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
9:56 am

That’s not true. Unless you meant “why did it take until the last year of Kovy’s contract to let Kovy dictate the composition of the team?”

Well, why shouldn’t Kovy try and improve the team?

How well has Waddell done over his ten year tenure? How many years have the Thrashers made the playoffs in a league where half the teams make the playoffs each and every season.

Waddell has brought in Niko Kapenen, Glen Metropolit, and Todd “Insert name to describe Bucky Dent” White to replace Marc Savard.

Who else has Waddell bring in the last few years…Ken Klee, Jason Williams…What a joke…What a commitment to winning…bringing in Jason Williams to replace Marion Hossa…bringing in Todd White as a top tier center to keep Marion Hossa on the team.

Waddell always has an excuse, never a solution.

Paminski

February 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

Kovy left the building in the beginning of December. He’s been about as efficient as a holographic projection of himself since then, so I propose the theory that he’s really been relaxing on a beach somewhere and allowing an illusion to take all the heat.

The owners and Waddell should be ashamed of their handling of business matters. However, Kovy also should at least put in some effort. He IS still being paid. If I didn’t show up for work, I’d get written up. I can’t fault him for not signing on to such an inept organization, but he’s still being a bit of a diva.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:02 am

Nobody wants to play for an empty building… how can any player get excited about that? Guys aren’t trying to leave because of Don Waddell… they’re trying to leave because Atlanta is a shitty hockey town.

Furthermore, there is zero merit in saying the building will be packed all the time if the team is a winner. You can only say that for cities like Boston and Philly. How many division titles did the Braves win in a row and still couldn’t sell out the playoffs and World Series?

The most important thing is to keep hockey HERE… paying Kovy $125,000 a game is a bad idea.

Get a group of players that care about the logo on their chest… it’s about finding the Peverley’s of the world… guys that know the “grass isn’t greener” in other cities. The Kane’s and Bogosian’s that know in any other franchise, they’d be in the Juniors right now.

That’s why a Kovalchuk trade needs to get some guys in here that aren’t getting a fair shake in other cities… Jack Skille, Oscar Moller, Andrei Loktionov, Jonathan Bernier, P.K. Subban… guys getting buried in the depth chart like Dave Bolland, Kris Versteeg, JVR, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Peter Mueller… on and on.

Will it work in every case… probably not… but you don’t cripple the franchise in doing so.

Atlanta will always be a revolving door for superstars like Hossa, Savard, Heatley and Kovalchuk… at some point, you have to stop relying on those guys.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
10:07 am

*If Hartley was so great he would still be in Colorado. His cup was won with a team that needed no coach.*

I like Hartley, but not as Atlanta’s coach. He seems like a nice guy, and he was willing to hold players accountable. Unfortunately, though, Hartley didn’t know how to develop talent. Which has a lot to do with some of our ill-considered trades in his era — if he’d gotten an up and comer, he wouldn’t have known what to do with him.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:09 am

Nikita… You could replace Kovalchuk with Zherdev next year for half the price and still get the same results.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:12 am

1) Last summer, the Thrashers weren’t willing to bring Zherdev when Kovy all but signed him himself.

That’s because Zherdev wasn’t willing to “audition” like Afinogenov agreed to do… he probably wanted $4-5 million which was probably a gamble.

… I don’t fault that decision.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:14 am

Kovalchuk pissed me off last night taking a line change on the breakaway that led to St. Louis’s game winning goal… so, I said my final goodbye’s last night.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
10:15 am

Just a reminder: Do you know who Ilya Nikulin’s agent is?

It’s Jay Grossman.

Miami Screaming Eagle

February 3rd, 2010
10:23 am

GaVa-I totally disagree, this IS a hockey town with the right hockey team. Not the crap we have been forced to watch over the last 10 years!

Take the current team and their track record since 1999 to another town and the building would be half empty there too. Do you want a list of cities that have abandoned their teams over the last 15 years, when it was clear that management did not care?

St. Louis, Chicago, Buffalo-all hockey towns

Give is a commitment from the top and see the barn fill up again, like it did in the early years when we had some hope!

Russ

February 3rd, 2010
10:26 am

10 yr plan – I think you will also see Kovy play a two-way game for his new team for the remainder of this season, which will be very frustrating for Thrasher fans. He will be motivated with a decent team and to “earn” his next big contract. It seems like he comes out each season and plays effectively both ways for about 20 games before he regresses to his typical one-way play. So, I think whoever trades for him will reap the benefits this season, but at some point next season the real Kovy will show himself.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
10:27 am

Guys aren’t trying to leave because of Don Waddell… they’re trying to leave because Atlanta is a shitty hockey town.

BULLSH!T

Waddell has emptied the building for the past ten years with his drivel and excuses. Why should the fans continue to put up with this crap without repercussions.

GaVaHokie – Go up to TJ’s and ask Tim Eccelstone about the Atlanta hockey market in the 1970’s, before the influx of northerners came to town. The OMNI rocked.

The empty building is a symptom of the problem: Don Waddell.

Bob

February 3rd, 2010
10:28 am

Waddell should have set a deadline of the opening of training camp for Kovy to sign and if he wouldn’t, then you deal him at that time. It shows Waddell’s ineptness that he let Grossman lead him around by the nose for all these months until we sit here today just waiting for the headline to show up on the page and begin to cry about the Colby Armstrongs we get in return.

It has been obvious to many of us for years that Waddell is incompetent. If he isn’t fired after this year, there’s just no hope left. The only thing that is going to turn this club around is a competent GM being brought in. But I fear that we’re going to be subjected to a Waddell presser where he extolls the potential of the prospects and draft picks we get in return for Kovy, and then we are subjected to next year’s Ken Klee/Uwe Krupp signing to replace Kubina, etc.

If it wasn’t all so sad, it would be pretty darn funny.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
10:28 am

*Well, why shouldn’t Kovy try and improve the team?*

a. “improve,” for Kovy, means “bring in my countrymen to make my line more effective” — it doesn’t mean “bring in better players to make the team function better” or “recruit better talent” or whatever. b. because that’s not Kovy’s role, or shouldn’t be in a properly run organization.

*How well has Waddell done over his ten year tenure? How many years have the Thrashers made the playoffs in a league where half the teams make the playoffs each and every season.*

We already agreed on this. He hasn’t done well until recently — and we can argue about how well since, say, the beginning of the ‘08-’09 season. But how is this entirely Don Waddell’s fault when Ilya Kovalchuk was on the ice for a large portion of the same failing time, and demonstrated failure at various points along the same trajectory?

*Who else has Waddell bring in the last few years…Ken Klee, Jason Williams…What a joke…What a commitment to winning…bringing in Jason Williams to replace Marion Hossa…bringing in Todd White as a top tier center to keep Marion Hossa on the team.*

Ken Klee was consistent with the constraints on Waddell at that time, which were an ownership that didn’t want to pay and a coach who couldn’t handle developing players. We both know Jason Williams isn’t a 1 to 1 trade for Hossa. I continue to think that the trade was not equal value, but couldn’t be done any better given Hossa’s circumstances, which incidentally involved issues with Kovalchuk. Again, why’s this all Don Waddell’s fault? Because he’s a convenient scapegoat?

*Waddell always has an excuse, never a solution.*

I get sick of hearing from Waddell, and I’m not a big fan of his. But I think it’s a mistake to discount all the other factors in his decisions, including the ones we can’t see.

drajax

February 3rd, 2010
10:32 am

we didn’t or couldn’t win with Kovy despite being him being an exceptional player. Want to win right away? lets get some defensemen who can defend; players not afraid to take or give a hit; a new coach who can light a fire under the team would also help because from what I see the team doesn’t have the sufficient drive to win every game, some games most of the team takes off. We need an instigator, someone like Avery, maybe that will inspire this bunch. The team needs some punch, a personality, truthfully right now I’d take a team made up of Slater, Thorburn, and Kane clones, with Kubina and Enstrom clones on defense. The team should not give up on Bogosian, he has all the traits of a great player.

George

February 3rd, 2010
10:34 am

Unfortunately ATL needs to clean house from the top. The ownership does not have any heart or passion for the sport. I certainly agree that Kovy can make $9M+ per year where ever he decides to go; that being said why would he stay in Atlanta where the stands are half filled every game and no sign of change. Atlanta is a city that ONLY supports it’s pro teams if they win. One player move here is not enough to change the direction of the team and it’s future in Atlanta.

- Organization – The ownership has to change and with that DW. Anderson has a good system unfortunately the team has to execute and this team does not have a natural born leader. Get the NHL involved in stabilizing the organization since the clock is ticking for hockey in Atlanta. Although the problem is the ownership Waddell has done nothing to keep the star players in Atlanta and has rebuilt the team numerous times without success. We need a GM that can call it as it is and not be just a “yes” man to ownership just to save his job.

- Team Leader – ATL has been involved in 30+ 1 goal games most of them disappointing loses; a proper team captain who can communicate and leave his heart on the ice would not allow that to happen. Kovy is a highly skilled player that I believe still has his best years ahead, however he is not a true captain or leader YET. Putting him to team captain was premature and only done to appease him during the negotiations.

- Coaching – You can’t only blame Kovy’s lack of leadership. Anderson is good but he has to be better. It’s the coaches job to prepare the team for the game and in almost every case the Thrashers are playing from behind starting the second period. You don’t win too many games that way.

- Trade now before another chance goes by for the playoffs
– KARI LEHTONEN (too many injuries), PAVELEC and HEDBERG are a good 1-2 punch in goal.
– VYACHESLAV KOZLOV (I believe passion has left his game)
– Kovy (for obvious reasons) .

- Get the most you can now, trade for a high draft choice, some youth, 1 potential leader and with the money saved on Kovy get another top scorer and defensive defenseman during the summer.

We need a hockey team that can fill the stands to save the franchise. That means filling several missing elements, Ownership that cares, a GM that manages and a new “face” to the franchise which is a born leader.

Mrs. Zoomo

February 3rd, 2010
10:34 am

I can’t take this anymore either….if he is going to be traded, just do it.

Chris

February 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

Whoever said we’re the LA Clippers of hockey has absolutely nailed it.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
10:41 am

I think we should make this selfish, money-grubbing Russian play out the string in ATL or perhaps ship him off to Edmonton for Ethan Moreau, Souray and a prospect. Then he’ll have complete control over what team he gets to screw over with an overvalued contract.

Schroeder

February 3rd, 2010
10:41 am

I posted a comment on Viv’s blog a little while ago stating that this entire sideshow was a charade by #17 as he had no intention of ever re-signing.He has put forth this mantra of “I want to remain a Thrasher” since this all started.I’m calling BULLSHET,if this “organization”(Ive seen monkey shet fights at the zoo that were more organized)has offered the amount of money and years that is now coming out and he still won’t sign,all that posturing he did was to keep his image from being tarnished,He is an assbag and the 4 stooges(asg and wadell)could not close an umbrella,much less a deal of this magnitude.Stroz is dead on,they have never been able to re-sign an RFA.Trade the slug and get it over with.Change the “system” or change the coach,people say that “trap defense”and low scoring games are boring.Winning games is Not boring.NJ is going to the playoffs with a boring game,are we? I think not.If the “Braintrust”of this org can find someone desperate enough to take Ilya off our hands and get back a couple of decent players and a prospect or picks,I hope that Forrest Gump and Co have the sense to take it and run like they stole somethin’. Please for the love of God, do something right for a change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
10:43 am

Again, why’s this all Don Waddell’s fault? Because he’s a convenient scapegoat?

Well what is the general managers job? So who is at fault? Who brings in the players?

Is Waddell the only GM in the league that faces challenges?

Waddell’s “success” as a GM speaks for itself.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:44 am

Miami… fair enough… I’m just saying there is nothing to support that statement… I think this MIGHT BE a hockey town with the right hockey team… what’s the proof?…a sold out All Star game and a sold out Playoff series against the NY Rangers?

As far as taking the team to another city… The cities you listed are tradional markets with history… I think most players would say it’s safe to sign in Chicago, Buffalo, or Boston when the team is bad because “surely things will get better, they have to, there’s too much history here”… Why would Tomas Kaberle NOT want to leave Toronto? Because he knows, eventually things have to get better.

I don’t think that can be said about Atlanta. The Thrashers are only 10 years old and have never spent to the cap… the first five years they didn’t even spend over $35 million… there are no signs telling a player “surely things will get better”.

Hockey Biltong

February 3rd, 2010
10:46 am

On fans – I’ve surfed a couple of Hawks games on the tube and they aint exactly bristling with fans either. All the while having a great season. It would make a difference to the players to have a 3/4 full arena.
On Kovy – there are good reasons to say goodbye. His first few years were learning years. He developed slowly, albeit with fantastic skills. He is in his prime now and most bloggers on this site feel he is wasting space by not playing a strong, responsible 2 way game.
My Red Kovy sweater is polarising me. I hate it but can’t leave the house without it….

MrsDWTOO, Russian, WBF,Blue Note and lurker friend, nice to meet you all last night!! Wild Bill, sorry we didn’t hang with you in Nashvegas!
May the following weeks or months bring us winning hockey in Atlanta…….

May we all

j nes

February 3rd, 2010
10:48 am

If the thrashers have to trade #17 I hope they can at least make it a package deal and send him off with the third jerseys. I dont care what we get in return because that would be addition by subtraction.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
10:49 am

Just a reminder: Do you know who Ilya Nikulin’s agent is?

It’s Jay Grossman.

I thought it was Allan Walsh.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
11:08 am

*Well what is the general managers job? So who is at fault? Who brings in the players?*

The GM’s job is to acquire the players, given his coaching staff and ownership and authorization to act. All of those factors have been sucktastic for pretty much the entire length of the franchise. Let’s see…1. flakey authorization 2. to spend too little 3. coaching that can’t handle rough talent 4. no coach at all to even maintain specific types of talent, much less develop it and 5. a fundamental lack of context, created by an ownership group that has no background and won’t pay to acquire it. plus 6. Some straight-up horrible luck. ex: Rucchin and Heatley.

*Waddell’s “success” as a GM speaks for itself.*

Let me repeat: I’m not a fan of Don Waddell. But I think he’s done reasonably well in the last two years, and I get tired of seeing blame placed on him when it belongs on him on his coaches, on his players, and on his ownership. Especially when the failings of some of those are glaringly evident.

Hockey Biltong

February 3rd, 2010
11:12 am

I am a fan of TOOL. Well done Somaatl95!

Barry

February 3rd, 2010
11:13 am

Ya I’m losing faith fast this team can make the playoffs. They powerplay still continues to struggle for over 2 months. Kovy still refuses…not can’t…REFUSES to play any sliver of defense. Thrashers still can’t seem to understand YOU NEED NET TRAFFIC not only to screen goalies but bang in rebounds. For a team that supposedly is the best team we’ve had Thrashers are still a .500 hockey club. Please if Kovy isn’t signed Waddell better be out the door at the of this season if not sooner. This franchise is going no where fast unless it get’s moved to another city.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

Lol, Nikita, are you sure you’re not a fan of Don? Because you sure are quite the apologist for Don….. “The blame lies on his coaches, on his players…” Who do you think hired those coaches and brought in those players? Stop contradicting yourself.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

Barry – “This franchise is going no where fast unless it get’s moved to another city.”

Wrong… this franchise is going nowhere fast unless we get new owners…

Spud Webb

February 3rd, 2010
11:21 am

WBF, I swear to god we’re brothers, both from upstate and closet sabre fans and a lot of the same views!!! Great posts from a lot of folks on here as usual!
“Marc Savard
Dany Heatley
Marian Hossa
And now, Kovy-they are all doing the same thing
So tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
You can also line up every Tier 1 free agent.
Even Manny Malholtra!

Tell me the one destination they are all avoiding…..”

I mean look at that, 4 STUDS and we’ll keep NONE of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blame can/will go to 3 spots, the ASG, DW and Kovy. Nobody is innocent here. I will be sure to booooooooooooooooooooooooooooo all of them. It starts with the ASG, if we want to show everyone that we’re a real franchise, this deal would’ve been done a long, long time ago, see rick nash. They’ve been blowing smoke up STH &sses for years now. A small signing here, trading for Kubina (who will also be gone after this season), the wool being slowly pulled over our eyes. We’re NOT bafoons, we’ve known all along this was going to happen, but we bloggers CHOSE to hope that this wasn’t the case. DW will never again be taken seriously in the NHL, and he used to be HIGHLY respected. Now Kovy, Kovy has also pulled it over our eyes, “i wanna stay here”, “i love ATL”, “i wanna see us in the right direction”. BS, Kovy, you’ve known that when this deal is over you’d be gone. Shame on all of them, because in the end of all of this BS soap opera, the folks who suffer are us, the fans. SO SPUD WEBB IS GIVING A GIANT BIRD TO THE ASG, DW & ILYA KOVALCHUK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go sabres!!!!!!

Viking

February 3rd, 2010
11:25 am

If the offer of “largest contract ever” is true and it was turned down, I am very happy it was. It also appears to be more to the story, otherwise I do not get why Kovy would not yet already have signed.

I have a hard time imagine any other club than ours making a financial commitment of this magnitude for many years to come. The Thrashers have an additional factor to worry about in satisfying Kovy fans like no other organization has. The rare defensive wholehearted efforts Kovy makes are usually due to a self inflicted lost puck. A one way player is simply not worth the kind of money that is rumored. It is also crazy to commit to a long term deal resulting in a future top salary for a player in his late thirties, which also for years diminishes the available money that can be spent on the rest of the team.

It really sunk in last night as Kovy was boo’ed after his last offensive zone screw-up. Perhaps his display of frustration after the signal reflected that his career as a Thrasher ended with boos.

By the way, did you know that Thrashers have have a disproportionate 3 players in agent Jay Grossman’s 10 man roster of active NHL players? (Hedberg, Salmela & Kovalchuk)

My smiling Kovy bobble-head with eyes gazing at the sky, is more than ever depicting a player that has dreams of the biggest contract – somewhere else….

Rawhide

February 3rd, 2010
11:25 am

Ya know gang…we can pick and choose each and every one of the deals, drafts and happenings of the Thrashers and Don Waddell over the past decade to debate.

DW did trade Cobourn for Zhitnik…which was a USDA, grade ‘A’ disaster.

DW did trade Exelby for Kubina…a trade I feel most would agree was a good one.

DW did draft Patrik Stefan over the Sedin twins as well and Kari Lehtonen over Jay Bouwmeester. I think those have turned out to be less-than-good selections…especially if Kari is traded away soon, as rumored.

DW did pick Jimmy Slater, which is turning out to be a good thing….and then there is Evander Kane from last summer.

So…we can see all of the good and all of the bad.

But I choose not to judge the parts of the sum…but the whole. And that, my friends, is not very good at all.

Under Don Waddell’s management, the Thrashers have 297 wins, 390 losses, 61 overtime losses and 45 ties. We have exactly one playoff appearance and zero playoff wins.

But that is not the entire story. The GM’s job is run the business of the organization…not just the in-ice product. Part of that responsibilty includes getting people’s butts into the seats for games. The past 2-1/2 seasons the team has played to half-empty seats more times than not.

So, after 11-1/2 years on the job… 9-1/2 seasons played… eleven NHL entry drafts with three overall #1s, one #2, one#3, one #4, one #8…a total of 8 top-ten picks…the Thrashers are little better off in the standings then when Don Waddell’s first five year plan came to an end.

But worse than that…they are far worse off then they were in regards to attendance.

And now…the player Waddell set out to build the team around is about to be traded away.

This, simply put, equates to epic fail.

Period.

DWTOO

February 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

Darn Rawhide – Look what you started here. Giving credence and space to a radio host whose credability is only surpassed by Eklund’s. Kincaide’s job is to generate ratings – the only thing that generates ratings is a story that will stir things up. If he reported hat Kovy was close to siging no one listen. Between Chris V’s and your blog he’s getting more pub than he deserves. He’s a hockey guy (or claims to be) who pretty ignores the Thrahsers and regularly trashes Kovy. And all of a sudden he’s a journalist. Give me a break.

We’ve allowed a prima donna and an incompetent whose had more time that he deserved to become our focus. It’s a distraction unworthy of our attention.

We’re in the playoff race – we’ve lost a couple of tough games, but, we’re still there. Last night we lost to a goalie who stood on his head.

We should be concentrating on the playoff race and let these buffoons go on their way.

How about Marty Reasoner last night? He set up more scoring chances short handed than the our power play!

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
11:33 am

Thanks Biltong! Read what Mr Heat Miser said about the town needing an enema and I though of Tool, for the obvious reference. It was either that or the Joker from the first batman movie in 1989. I wanted to do the whole song but would have taken WAAAAAYYYYY too long to edit for content :)
Last time I saw TOOL was at the Coca-Cola Arena…. errr… Philips Arena… and it was one of the best shows of my life.
The Thrashers need to sell to Ted Turner or Arthur Blank – so far the only owners of Atlanta teams that gave a squat about the product given to the fans. Then they need to bring in a GM of John Schuerholz proportions to manage the team more than just GENERALLY! I like JA, but we need an even system that not only encourages scoring, but defense as well – and players that play lazy (like making a change in the midst of the opposition on a game winning breakaway) should be sat. We Atlanta fans are tired of losing. Remember the Tomahawk Chop? The Dirty Bird? They came to be from fans being excited about winning teams. Right now the Thrashers just give us all that feeling like we’ve been forced to take a fleet enema and all we want is to flush it all away and feel better.
I feel sorry for the person assigned to clean up the collective mess in the toilet of our current situation.

Rawhide

February 3rd, 2010
11:36 am

DWTOO – Sorry buddy…but that was a story I simply could not let go by without comment. As for Kincade, we will simply have to agree to disagree there. After spending some time with him, and seeing as a number of his “off the record” predictions have come to pass…I gotta go with my gut feeling that he’s giving us the straight story as he knows it.

I agree 100% about Marty last night. He is a valuable assset to this team. I thought Little played well too.

BTW…so good to see you along with the lovely and charming Mrs. DWTOO last night!

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

Lol, Chipper, I’ll listen to what you have to say when you learn to read — “on him on his coaches, on his players, and on his ownership.”

So I left out a comma — you apparently disregarded the two words that didn’t fit your preconceived notions.

DWTOO — Reasoner was a stud last night. And actually I thought we played well in some regards — on the PK, on certain lines.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

Right, I saw what you put Nikita, you are blaming pretty much the entire organization from top to bottom, way to really lay the hammer down and single one person out. The fact is DW is responsible for three of the things you’ve listed, himself, his players, and his coaches… he hires them and brings them in here… so, again, the blame lies on the hands of Waddell, one good offseason, in which we brought in Rick Dudley to hold his hand, does not attone for his sins of the past 10 years. Adios Teflon Don, we knew you all too long.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

On a lighter note, did Grossman call the VP of merchandising at Dick’s Sporting Goods and tell him to put the Atlanta Thrasher Kovy jerseys on the clearance rack last fall?

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
11:51 am

GaVaHokie – Well, we’re both wrong. Nikulin’s agent is Scott Lites.

J.B.

February 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

sidenote: what’s up with the picture of the orangutan barfing? And why is that woman taking a picture of it?

Tim

February 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

Not going to side with DW or IK here. But as much as I like IK, I think it’s time he goes for this organization to move foward. We play hockey that is too predictible, especially when on the Power Play. With IK gone, it would force us to be more creative. However, just like when Hossa’s exit, missing a 50 goal 100 pts player in the lineup will surely affect a lot of things.

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Side note, can anyone tell me the trade that netter San Jose our first round draft pick in 2005? I’m at work and with restricted access to pretty much everything I am relying on wikipedia, so obviously it could be wrong, but it says in the 05′ draft San Jose had our first round pick (we ended up picking 16th that year) and drafted Setoguchi… How did they acquire this pick? I’m drawing a blank here.

Spud Webb

February 3rd, 2010
12:06 pm

Tim, I don’t disagree, but here is the problem. Dandy Don has sat on this wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to long now. We’re going to get some pucks, a 12 pack of molsen (good beer) and 3 players to be named later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, why wasn’t DW in on the Phenouf deal?? Affordable player available and we sit on it??? It’s a joke. We’re going to get Richards from philly and 6 4th round draft picks for Kovy?? Unacceptable…DW should’ve had this worked out, traded or signed WAY before this.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
12:10 pm

Waddell traded the #8 pick to move back to the #12 pick for a second round draft pick that ended up being Chad Denny. Subsequently, Waddell traded the #12 pick for the #15 pick, which ended up being Alex Bourret, and a second round draft pick, which ended up being Pavelec.

That worked out well didn’t it.

Way to go Donny, way to go…

Daculafan

February 3rd, 2010
12:11 pm

If Kovy wants to be a $11+ million a season man, then he needs to step up and do all the things that come with such a price tag. I don’t think Alex Ovechkin would mail it in as bad as Kovy has of late. In fact, Alex was pushing his game BEFORE the big contract and his play has elevated to new levels AFTER his big payday. IMHO Kovy hasn’t truly been the captain he should be because he doesn’t understand what being CAPTAIN truly means to a team. Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Mark Messier – these are players that understood what was expected of them as captain and even when they had off nights they were still motivating their teams towards greatness. Yes…someone will pay Kovy’s price tag this summer, but as to what value they’ll get is a mystery.
The Thrashers need to go ahead and deal Kovy, announce that Waddell is either being fired (which is highly unlikely)or being made into Executive VP of Paper clips for Thrashers and elevate Dudley into GM position. Thrashers ownership needs to stop handling the team lika an unwanted science experiment. Get serious about winning, not worried about tax write-offs and losses. In Atlanta, winning teams put people in the seats and cash in the coffers. Support for the pro teams in Atlanta has always been like that. Teams winning: people come out of the woodwork to watch. Teams not doing so good: so we have most of the core fans only watching. There is a very good core of hockey fans in Georgia. Some of them have been in love with the game since the Flames, some grew up on the play of the Knights and others discovered it through the Thrashers.
Star players will always be on the move. No one is ever untouchable. Life will go on after Kovalchuk.

This…totally agree with you Mark

waffleboy

February 3rd, 2010
12:12 pm

Way to stand up after the game and be a man Kovy! Slipping out of the locker room without taking questions is just the kind of captain you have turned out to be. Get him the hell out of here!

J.B.

February 3rd, 2010
12:13 pm

I agree. Not speaking to the media at this juncture and after that kind of game is a horrible thing for a Captain to do. Definitely a poor choice.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
12:17 pm

IF the Thrashers want to see my money next season, they’ll need to fire Waddell and NOT hire Mike Milbury, Don MacLean, or Pierre McGuire.

Dwayne

February 3rd, 2010
12:31 pm

Mark my words, wherever he goes, he will be a madman on defense and score 40 plus goals a year. Who wants to bet….get out your wallets.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
12:39 pm

Here’s an interesting question:

Will the ASG clowns, trying to save money, force Waddell to trade Kovy before the Olympic roster freeze in order to avoid paying three weeks salary, prior to the best and most desperate offers materialize before the trade deadline on March 3rd?

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
12:39 pm

On a lighter note, did Grossman call the VP of merchandising at Dick’s Sporting Goods and tell him to put the Atlanta Thrasher Kovy jerseys on the clearance rack last fall?

I’ve been thinking the same thing for the past month. :)

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
12:44 pm

Stroz… I have a feeling we’ll get hosed on March 3… I’d much rather trade before the Olympics. Especially while so many teams think they have a playoff chance.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Dwayne… of course Kovy will score 40+ goals… but what will his +/- be? ;)

Mrs. Zoomo

February 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm

R. Stroz – when Zoomo came home with his clearanced priced Kovy jersey in the fall I said “does Dick’s Sporting Goods know somethiing about Kovy that we don’t?”

Sharon

February 3rd, 2010
1:06 pm

No, not the LA Clippers of hockey… that’s too generous.

We’re the Detroit Lions of hockey.

How awful is that?

Rawhide

February 3rd, 2010
1:12 pm

No, not the LA Clippers of hockey… that’s too generous…We’re the Detroit Lions of hockey…How awful is that?

Sharon – Ouch, baby…just ouch!

English Teacher

February 3rd, 2010
1:13 pm

To borrow from the math department: hard work > talent

I would rather have more Reasoners, Slaters, Kanes, & Littles, and fewer Kovalchuks. This means we need a new GM. Maybe we can trade Kovy for some hard workers and Waddell for a cinnamon pretzel.

Dwayne

February 3rd, 2010
1:17 pm

GaVaHokie…he will be a plus player. I can see it now, it is as plain as the WTF’s that cross JA’s mouth every 10 minutes. What other coach, gm, owners would put up with Kovy’s lack of “D”??? Some team will give him 7 to 9 million a year, but I gaureentee you he will know about “D” from that team before he signs the contract. The other players will demand it of him. Heck, the Captain of his new team will demand it. No one in the Thrasher organization have said squat to Kovy, they just want him to sign.

Dwayne

February 3rd, 2010
1:21 pm

That pretzel sounds good.

Schroeder

February 3rd, 2010
1:24 pm

Don Wadell=Matt Millen

Lew 39

February 3rd, 2010
1:24 pm

As much as I am bummed (as a season ticket holder)over “being in this situation again”, the basic fact remains; we aren’t “winning” as much as we need to with Kovy; so one would believe we can lose (a lot more) without him. Not making the playoffs by one point or 20 points is not making the playoffs.

There is a fundamental weakness with this organization and the weakness has been present for the past six years. The organization has been unable to mature, it has been unable to develop a winning chemistry and the reasons for this are stated in all of the comments on this BLOG. Maybe it’s a lack of commitment on the part of ownership and management. Maybe its the inability of professional athletes to want to give 60 minutes of themselves or knowing they start games flat, be able or want to change that.

If Kovy wanted to sign he would (I personally do not beleive it is only a money issue); no one knows what is really going on behind the scenes. This franchise needs change, because for eight years we have changed players and coaches and the results for the most part have remained the same; we are a .500 club.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
1:28 pm

I genuinely think the best thing would be for Kovalchuk to get traded to or bought by a team that won’t let him be a star unless he earns it. But given how much he wants and what his skills are and how he behaves toward other stars, I would suspect that he’ll go somewhere where he can be the big guy on the team. So…I’m guessing Ottawa or Rangers. Where he won’t do any better than he does here, and neither will the team.

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
1:37 pm

P.S. Chad Denny — ugh. That guy’s still stanking up my NHL09, along with Brad Babydaddy.

Mark

February 3rd, 2010
1:39 pm

Yeah…Let’s trade Ilya to the Rangers! The Media up there will absolutely eat him alive after the new honeymoon period and he starts mentally showing up for 1/2 the games. There’s a LOAD more scrutinyin NY up there with the media then in Atlanta. If Kovy is running and hiding after this little down period because he can’t take it, then I’d really love to see how he deals with that sort of attention.
Better yet…let’s trade him to Montreal!!

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
1:40 pm

Spud-I am with you brother, good to have the Buffalo experiences to draw from. Being from Lakeview/Hamburg area, I am glad to be out of Buffalo and the snow belt!

Sharon

February 3rd, 2010
1:42 pm

I’m convinced that Don Waddell attended Matt Millen’s School of Soul Shattering Ineptitude. And he graduated first in his class… I just know it.

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
1:55 pm

Rawhide – Wysh just gave you major props on his chat. He said this particular blog on Kovy is a “must-read”…wow, how much did you pay him for that comment!? :wink:

Sage of Bluesland

February 3rd, 2010
1:55 pm

Epic fail, indeed (describing the sum total of Waddell’s tenure in Atlanta).

Only in Atlanta would this brand of incompetence be allowed to exist for near a decade–even Detroit got rid of Millen after about HALF as much time…and remember there were Detroit fans who became very vocal to force the change?

Instead, all we have are mindless sheep, who nod their heads and believe everything Donny has promised them…all we have are wittle-spweadsheet makers who actually try to pwove that Donny has actually ‘outperformed’ the market as a GM on draft day…

Insanity. Silliness. Ineptitude.

I am SO thankful I woke up when I did–and stopped subsidizing the obvious incompetence…too bad more didn’t listen…too late now…

Oh well–enjoy it, you bought it!

NASCAR Dave

February 3rd, 2010
1:59 pm

FIRE WADDELL
FIRE WADDELL
FIRE WADDELL

F+++ YOU DONNIE FRAUDELL!!!!! If I ever see you in public I WILL SPIT IN YOUR F+++ING FACE YOU STUPID, LYING, PIECE OF S++T!!!!

F+++ YOU AND YOUR STUPID ASS DAUGHTER.

I F+++ING HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NUFF SAID.

NASCAR Dave

February 3rd, 2010
2:03 pm

DON FRAUDELL better hire security detail….YES! THAT IS A THREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

adam

February 3rd, 2010
2:12 pm

Maybe it is Waddell’s team, but 10 years of Kovy have netted us exactly zero playoff wins. So while it’s unanimous Kovy is a great player, one of the best, he certainly hasn’t carried the team on his shoulders. He’ll be a great piece for a contending style team somewhere though. We need to find a true franchise player, though I doubt Waddell can come through with something like that.

John

February 3rd, 2010
2:14 pm

Getting another Colby Armstrong wouldn’t be all that bad…his interviews with other players on the site are pretty funny.

DWTOO

February 3rd, 2010
2:18 pm

OK by me Rawhide – we’ll have to agree to disagree on Mr. Kincaide. I’ll still respect you in the morning. Actually I find John entertaining, if just a bit bombastic. And I think he knows his hockey. Think it’s best to be a bit skeptical of talk show hosts – even Boortz challenges his listeners to verify his on the air statements. He’s certainly generated a lot of traffic to yours and Chris V’s blogs.

Just wish this whole mess was over – it’s time to move on. Reminds of a situation many years ago at the Dayton 24 hours. We were trying to grab some rest while the couple in the next tent fought all night. Finally my friend went over and said “Make Love, Kill Each Other, but SHUT UP! It doesn’t matter anymore – make a decision and move on.

Bob

February 3rd, 2010
2:27 pm

“It doesn’t matter anymore – make a decision and move on.”

I understand your sentiment, but this is really a pivotal moment. The return that Waddell gets on Kovy can make our break our next couple of years. Either we go into another rebuild, or we can step forward with the guys we have and the guys that are brought in.

Now, who expects Waddell to make the proper trade that allows us to step forward? Quit laughing, it’s actually reason #298 why Waddell should have been fired last year (or the year before, or 5 years ago when most of us were calling for it).

Tom

February 3rd, 2010
2:35 pm

The Strozolator spoke:: “On a lighter note, did Grossman call the VP of merchandising at Dick’s Sporting Goods and tell him to put the Atlanta Thrasher Kovy jerseys on the clearance rack last fall?”

My answer, “that is because Dick’s is worried about making money. “

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
2:37 pm

Where oh where is “Common Sense Man” when you need him? Our team could sure use him right now.

Tom

February 3rd, 2010
2:39 pm

Sharon – Touche’

Rightshot

February 3rd, 2010
2:40 pm

Got back from Thrashers practice a little while ago. Got my Dick’s $35.00 Kovy jersey signed. It’s now worth $36.50.

Got to meet Chris V there too. According to him, LA is most likely out. As I told him, as long as he ends up out west, I don’t care. The quicker he goes the better.

Bucky

February 3rd, 2010
2:41 pm

Sharon…Ooo that hurts (Being from Detroit) But I have to agree with you!

Rawhide

February 3rd, 2010
2:46 pm

Rawhide – Wysh just gave you major props on his chat. He said this particular blog on Kovy is a “must-read”…wow, how much did you pay him for that comment!?

Smoothie – Um….I let Trixie negotiate those deals for me. She’s very persuasive.

NASCAR Dave

February 3rd, 2010
2:49 pm

Why is all of this FUNNY to you idiots???

YOU helped this happen by continiuing to SUBSIDIZE THE INCOMPETENCE!!! (thanks, SAGE)

Where is SARA when you need her to blow some “positive” (sic) PR up your A$$E$?????????????????????

LMAO at those who didn’t see this coming…

TableHockey

February 3rd, 2010
2:52 pm

rightshot – LOL at the $1.50 increase in value.

What was the atmosphere like at practice?

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
2:57 pm

In order to show Waddell’s “skill” as a GM, and as a coach at the time, I’d like to share the following text from a Thrasher email from two years ago with everyone:

Earlier this afternoon we traded Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, a 2008 first-round draft pick, and highly-touted prospect Angelo Esposito. While it is difficult to see players like Hossa and Dupuis depart, we are excited by the players we received in return and look forward to them helping us down the stretch as we push towards the 2008 NHL Playoffs.

Armstrong is a physical winger who skates well and contributes offensively. Christensen is a talented center with offensive skills and above average stick-handling abilities. Both of these young players have been solid contributors to the Penguins the past few seasons and we look for them to play a vital role on our team while contributing significantly to our future success.

Esposito was selected by the Penguins in the first round, 20th overall, in 2007. He is currently playing with the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Montreal Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he has averaged 1.4 points per game the past three seasons. He was also named the 2006-07 winner of the Mike Bossy Trophy, given annually to the QMJHL player judged to be the best professional prospect.

This trade works well for us in the short and long term as we were able to get two players that can help us immediately, a top prospect and a valuable first-round draft pick, which also gives us flexibility to consider viable trade options if they present themselves as we approach the NHL Entry Draft.

We thank Marian and Pascal for everything they have done for our organization and wish them well in the future. They are both hard working professionals that gave us their all, which is greatly appreciated.

Please join me in welcoming Colby, Erik, and Angelo as part of the Thrashers family. We look forward to seeing you cheering them on.

Sincerely,

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President, General Manager & Head Coach

Now the part I found funny was this:

Armstrong is a physical winger who skates well and contributes offensively.

Although I like Armstrong’s grit, he is one of the slowest forwards on the team. How does that constitute “skating well?”

and this:

Christensen is a talented center with offensive skills and above average stick-handling abilities.

Too bad those stick handling skills didn’t include putting the puck in the net. Yep, he is so good that we was waived by the Ducks.

Wow, Don sure knows his hockey.

TableHockey

February 3rd, 2010
3:12 pm

I didn’t hear the 680 The Fan show yesterday that everyone is referring to – is it true in regards to Lehtonen that Kincade believes he is either going to Dallas for Fabian Brunnstrom, or St. Louis for a second round pick?

ChippersLoveChild

February 3rd, 2010
3:23 pm

See, Stroz, the part I found to be funny in your email was this….

“Sincerely,

Don Waddell
Executive Vice President, General Manager & Head Coach”

Paminski

February 3rd, 2010
3:31 pm

Maybe we can trade Kovy for some hard workers and Waddell for a cinnamon pretzel.

That’s why I go to games now. For the Wetzel’s.

Darkhorse

February 3rd, 2010
3:38 pm

Here’s the link to the trade speculation……

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308800

J.B.

February 3rd, 2010
3:38 pm

RDS is reporting DW met with Kovy today and told him to expect a trade in the coming days. It’s on now!

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
3:38 pm

Per Bob Mac, “it’s on” as DW reportedly told Kovy to expect to be traded in the next 2 days. Perhaps last nite was truly his last game in Thrasher blue.

Rev. Whitaker

February 3rd, 2010
3:39 pm

Whose fault is it that Ilya is leaving the Thrashers? It truly does not matter! Both sides have issues, and I can see reasons to blame each one. What matters is what will happen after for the sake of the team and of hockey in Atlanta.

I believe Don should be fired/step down there is no doubt!!! The time is now for a change.

However I have some sympathy for him in that I can only imagine the pressure he was under, as we all know he is the only GM the Thrashers have had there was no one else’s failure to learn from. He had to blaze the trail, and like all trail blazers sometime they blaze the wrong trail, that is what Don did. It is easy for all to say what we would have done differently, know that we know where this trail has lead. Some of us could see where the trail was going before we got here, but most liked the “bad” decisions Don made, like the Coburn trade (I hated it from day one, and was told I was a fool), letting Savard because he was awful on defense (that sounds familiar), and so on. People say that Don cannot draft well, I think it is more that we trade our drafted players away too easy/too soon. Think what a team we would have if we did not trade away our drafted players especially on the Blue Line (Foster, Coburn,…). Don’s job is not to just build a team but put butts in the seats, and in that regard Don felt the pressure to get the Thrashers in the play-offs, and to do that he made trades at the time most fans liked but now look on with scorn (ex: Tkachuk). I agree Don had a X year plan and it is an Epic fail, whether it is because he did not stick to it and change because of outside pressure or he did stick to his plan because he was to stubborn it does not matter, he needs to leave. If I was Don I would call a press conference after the Ilya trade and say
“I am done I tried everything I could think of rightfully or wrongfully for this team to be a success
and I have no more ideas or the ideas I do have seem to be grounded in desperation. For the best
of the Atlanta Thrashers I am stepping down effective right now.”

There always has to be a person to learn from and Don had no one, and each city is different what he saw that may have worked in LA, San Jose, or Boston may not work in Atlanta. Don just needs to be a man and step down.

We have become the new Buffalo in the NHL, I am sure Sabres fans will thank us. I like what Phoenix did over the past few years not on the ice but in their philosophy of how to right the ship scout (even over pay your scouts), form a very in depth draft selection (back-up option of a back- up option of a back-up option, of a back up option…), draft VERY WELL, and trade away few if any of your rookies. As I said before we may not currently be a Stanley Cup team, but I think we would b much better if we did this years ago. Again hindsight is 20/20.

Life without Ilya will be tough but not impossible; players come and go more so now-a-days in sports more so than in the past but it is still a fact of life. My concern is what will happen to the fan base when Ilya is gone and what kind of backlash with there be.

Ilya, like it or not is the Thrashers, we here on the internet can bad mouth Ilya’s playing all we want, but most of us were at one point or are a mark (fan) of his. Ilya is the face of the Thrashers, the draw for the team, and the player that people outside of Atlanta think of when they think of the Thrashers. When Heatley asked/demanded a trade we had two “faces” Ilya and Heatley. The Heatley trade brought us another “faces” Hossa. At the time most of us knew Hossa was not going to stay if the team did not turn around quick, and were not shocked when Hossa left. That left us with one “face” Ilya, even if the marketing department has tried to add others (Bogo, Army, Enstrom, and now Kane) there currently is not one. Sure we have players with marketable personalities but not a superstar that is marketable, yet.

How many fans will no longer come to the games because 1) Ilya is gone 2) yet again the Front office F***** up again?? The easiest and most financial sound way to send a message to the front office that you are not happy is not to attend the games. The only problem is this causes a vicious cycle, and make is hard for a front office to correct it.

No fans = income troubles = not spending to the cap = not willing to pay (over pay stars, which currently we have to do) to come here = missing the playoffs = less fans coming to the game ->back to the beginning or worst NO HOCKEY IN ATLANTA!

It seems to me that what most people want is Don gone, and then they would come back to the games… this is what I would purpose Brendon, Rawhide, Saga, and other that have a following here could help with this. To remove Don from office and help the team this is what I suggest:

I would be willing to organize a petition (more of a contract) that has teeth in the sense that I am asking you all to be men/women of your words. If were a season ticket holder that did not renew because of the Don still being GM or are a current STH and you are thinking of not renewing because of Don. The petition would state that we the under sign promise that we will become season ticket holders if and only if Don is removed from office. There would be more verbiage such as he has to be removed by this date. As well as a date that we (the under sign will have made our first payment). That is the teeth part and why we would need to be men/women of our word. Anyone can write anything on a piece of paper (which most of the time will not be listened too, but if you grantee money to someone you might get their attention. Hence why this is more of a contact we promise to become STH if they remove Don, with enough people on board we could get it done. The question is does enough people have the balls, no the pucks to do it.

I have rambled on for too long but I would like to throw in my buck twenty on yet again Atlanta not being a hockey city. First I need to say how I define a hockey city as everyone has their own definition. A HOCKEY CITY to ME is a city/state where Hockey not just the NHL is part of the culture. A place where your local sports store carries hockey equipment. A city where when autumn hits there is a buzz in the air a tension that forms as the season approaches. Boys/men play it outside all the time year round “Car….Game on …. Car….Game on”. The media covers it. Now do I think Atlanta is a hockey city? No, what Atlanta is, is a city becoming a Hockey City. Each year more and more children are playing the game, more rinks open, and the word of hockey grows. The next step it to get more high schools playing it, the problem is not enough rinks, and if band is getting cut from the school’s budget they are not going to approve building of a hockey rink. Could we be a Boston, Calgary, Detroit, or Toronto? Yes, but We HAVE TO WANT IT and yes a little help from people with money would help.

For Atlanta to be a hockey city a few mindsets have to be done away with:
1. Hockey is a transplant sport, that is not true hockey was here before the Thrashers
2. You cannot play it year round here in the south, you can there are rinks and plenty of roads :0)
3. You cannot just play hockey like you can baseball, basketball, football.. that is not true. If you can
play full contact football in the park you can play hockey, hard ground or ice either hurts like heck.
All you need is a stick, puck/ball and a net (if on ice yes skates).
4. Hockey does not belong in the South. If you are reading this you know that is not true.

Thank you!

Brett

February 3rd, 2010
3:40 pm

LAC

February 3rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Stroz you are RIGHT… Atlanta is a GREAT Hockey town, but ANY NHL town would not put up with this Freak Show we have in control here.

The Flames played to a packed house nearly every night, ALWAYS outdrawing the Hoodlums named hawks !

But this is gava, always finding a way to not blame those at fault, asg & waddell the most worthless man on the planet…

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
3:55 pm

I have no problem replacing Waddell… none whatsoever… whatever produces results, I’m all for it.

TableHockey

February 3rd, 2010
3:56 pm

Hokie – it will be a shame to lose Kovy and not lose DW.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
4:06 pm

Maybe we’ll hear that Kovy has fired Jay Grossman as his agent. :)

Bob

February 3rd, 2010
4:14 pm

The trade is imminent if he already alerted Kovy, probably just waiting on approval from the league office

Tincup9

February 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

Thrasher 1st Round Picks

1999 – Stefan – Never reached potential
2000 – Heatley – Traded for Hossa, who is also now gone
2001 – Kovalchuk – About to be gone
2002 – Lehtonen – About to be gone
2003 – Couburn – Traded for Zhitnick – He is gone, but his salary is on the books
2004 – Valabik – Apparently a LONG TERM project
2005 – Bourret – Traded
2006 – Little – Sophomore slump
2007 – No Pick – Getting swept in the playoffs for a rental was so worth it
2008 – Bogosian – Stud, should succeed when the team moves
2009 – Kane – Stud, should succeed in new city too

Thrashers are MOVING TO QUEBEC CITY

February 3rd, 2010
4:19 pm

Why do you even care! The team is leaving!

Taneesha

February 3rd, 2010
4:21 pm

I heard that on NHL Live today,but it is still being negotiated,as at least 4 other teams have to agree to a re-arrangement of divisions.It is likely Pittsburgh and Philly will have to agree on a switch.

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
4:22 pm

Whew……….lots of great posts here…….everybody is mad…..But I guess I`m feeling very mad at Kovy and Waddell and the invisible ASG…what if Kovy is still here Saturday?……………do we pull what we did on Heatley and boo everytime he touches the puck or do we chant Kovy! Kovy! all night……….Maybe boo all Kovy`s touches and chant Waddell SUCKS between his shifts……………How about ASG SUCKS all night long???

Reg Dunlap

February 3rd, 2010
4:22 pm

The Quebec City offer may not top what Kansas City has proposed,and their group would accept to stay in the same division,making it easier for the league.

Ogi Ogelthorpe

February 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

It’s funny,cuase now Ilya has 2 chances to wind up in KC! 1 if he stays,and the Thrashers move to KC instead of Quebec,2 if he goes to the Islanders,and Wang moves to KC!

Reg Dunlap

February 3rd, 2010
4:26 pm

either way,we lost our team

Thrashers are MOVING TO QUEBEC CITY

February 3rd, 2010
4:29 pm

I am boycotting the last 3 months these bums are in Atlanta! Good riddence!

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
4:31 pm

ALL TALK OF THE THRASHERS MOVING NEEDS TO CEASE! GIVE THE FRIGGIN TEAM A CHANCE TO REACH SUCCESS AND IF ALL COMPLAINTS STILL ARE A FACTOR (NO ATTENDANCE, NO COMMUNITY SUPPORT) THEN LET THEM GO AND SAY “WELL SCREW IT, WE TRIED!” SO TIRED OF HEARING ” OOH HAMILTON, OOOH KC, OOOH QUEBEC!”
STFU
STFU
STFU
STFU
STFU

rob

February 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

CAN I GET SOME SIGNS DOWN ON THE ICE SAYING “FIRE WADDELL” pretty please? And maybe another saying “WANTED: REAL OWNERS”? I would but no way am I forking over money for front row seats to these morons! Will Phillips allow signs to be taped to the walls around the arena? We used to do it ALL the time in Buffalo. If so there needs to be a “NEW OWNERS AND GM” theme night. Make it against a quality team that will be seen on TV around the league and make a statement to the ASG pansies and the NHL that we are SICK OF IT!!! Could have a FIRE WADDELL tshirt night and have a whole section get one saying that!

THAT would be “The Hockey Way”!!

Nuubuutu

February 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

This is the second time we have lost our NHL expansion team to another city.Perhaps we could replace them with a nice AHL team.What about ECHL? That would be swell too! Either way,I will attend every game,preseason,regular and playoff,(home only),and be there for warmups.

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

Oh man…….who is negotiating a move to Quebec City?….that` funny………such a tiny market that couldn`t keep the Nordiques there…………..No American team is moving to any tiny TV market in Canada such as Winnipeg, QC or Hamilton(Toronto and Buffalo would block that move in a heartbeat) That is all talk from a bunch of snow tossers with nothing better to do………………the only market that has a chance in the future to get a new team is Kansas City and they have the worst economy in the US…….Look it up………….ain`t gonna happen folks.

Bobby

February 3rd, 2010
4:34 pm

WTF?! They are leaving after this season? We have no one to blame but ourselves.The team has never had fan support.The arena is half empty,and only 2-5,000 fans watch on TV!

Tincup9

February 3rd, 2010
4:35 pm

Don’t put this on the fans. 500 people drove to Nashville in the snow to watch this team. And what would you define as a reasonable timeline to achieve success? 10 years is sufficient by anyone’s standards. No one wants this team to move – ASG has put us on a collision course

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
4:37 pm

What’s your point, Tincup? Also, I’m not digging it up, but somewhere back in the Bird Watchers Anonymous archives is an analysis of hw the Thrashers have done in terms of turning picks into players. The gist was about average.

Also, surely you’re not implying that losing Lehtonen is somehow a fault of management.

DWTOO

February 3rd, 2010
4:38 pm

Remember the Kansas City Scouts? Or how about several years ago it was supposed to be the KC Penguins. If the Phoenix didn’t move this year doubt if we are either. Although I do hear a retirement community in Florida is looking for a team.

Last time I heard we still have owners interested in keeping the team here. They may be horrible, but, it’s what we have.

Raider Fan

February 3rd, 2010
4:38 pm

I hate my life right now. Trading Kovalchuk is a new low for us. And that’s hard to do. Better get one helluva package back. But still, losing Kovy? The captain? The star of this team? Jesus.

Tincup9

February 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

Nikita – Average is my point. With the high level picks the Thrashers have had, I would have assumed more success from the picks. We gave up on Couburn and Bourret. Stefan and Valabik were busts. And before you rattle off Enstrom, Little or Slater, or Kane and Bogo, I would simply point to 10 years, no playoff wins, one appearance. That isn’t average. How is this team still searching for an identity? I look at Chicago, the Capitals etc. My point is – I am frustrated like everyone else on this board. I love hockey, I love the Thrashers, and I am frustrated.

Moose

February 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

Folks I don’t disagree with Waddell needing to go but I don’t care who the GM would/should have been from at the start they would still be handicapped by Turner Sports and the Atlanta Spirit. Hockey was an additional sport that would utilize the arena another 82 days of the year. It was never meant to be the #1 sport out of Philips compared to the Hawks. We need a new owner period I sure as heck don’t want another ownership group. You need the alpha owner, not a group of wannabees.

Chris16

February 3rd, 2010
5:04 pm

Man that sucks wait half a season and Kovy wants to go. I think Kovy knew he was not going to sign back in December. This team is done No one great will sign here, Sale the team so I can start to support a real hockey frachise that wins game Go Caps!!!!

Nikita

February 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

I’m feeling argumenatative today, so please bear with me:

*With the high level picks the Thrashers have had, I would have assumed more success from the picks.*

That’s the point, though — that’s not a realistic expectation. Especially for certain players in certain rounds, and depending on the depth of the talent pool each year. Also, I’m not really sure drafting takes a lot of discretion in the upper rounds. Sometimes people make more complicated decisions, but often the top pick consists of taking the best-ranked pick you can get — this was especially true as you go back in history, to the time when it wasn’t realitic to see any of your draft picks mature to the NHL for years.

*We gave up on Couburn and Bourret.*

I don’t agree with the Coburn trade, but I understand why it was made. Bourret — meh.

*I would simply point to 10 years, no playoff wins, one appearance.*

That’s also a completely different set of outcomes than the outcome you’re looking for in seeing how your picks do.

I’m frustrated, too.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

Well, it’s time to sit back and see how bad Waddell gets screwed.

Get Those FIRE WADDELL signs ready for Saturday night.

Flagstaff

February 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

Rawhide, I have been a regular lurker on these blogs since about 2008, and I have met you in real life (When I met you I was wearing a blank red third jersey, a goalie mask, and carrying a Blueland flag on a silver pole.). I love reading your blog, and this is my first post on it. I’m sorry it didn’t come on a happier occasion.

What I think is a bigger problem than the absence of scoring in Kovalchuk’s leave is the lack of a captain. Even though he obviously didn’t care enough about his team to sign here, a captain is a captain, and a team without a captain is like a ship without a rudder. (See fall 2008.)

The biggest question remains: Who would be this team’s next captain?

Examining this current squad doesn’t render very much possible captain material.

Kane: Way too young. Great work ethic and scoring potential, but a captain must lead be experience to a certain degree.
Kozlov: Too old. He will likely retire after this season, and this team needs a captain who cares enough to stay.
Hedberg: Goaltender. (No need to mention age or contract.)
Hainsey: He is not the most talented player on the team, and has made some costly errors. However, he does have some leadership capability, and could possibly be named captain.
Peverley: Seems like the most probable choice for captain, although he is not even an alternate captain. He likes Atlanta, and he scores regularly and puts in good effort, but perhaps lacks true leadership experience.
Reasoner: Again, a player with great work ethic who simply lacks experience in leadership.
Slater: See above.
Bogosian: Maybe someday. But today? No way.
Antropov: Good goal-scorer, and under contract for a while, but is he really captain material? I’m not sure. Perhaps. But still, probably not.
Armstrong: Only under contract for this season.

I know there are others who could step up and be the team’s captain, but the bottom line is this: Unless we trade for a real leader like Scott Mellanby or The Sheriff, the question will be more “Who’s better than the other guys” rather than “Who’s the best captain material player on the team”.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ASG clowns see this as a postive event for two reasons:

1) It saves money.

2) New jerseys to sell.

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
5:26 pm

Ever had that feeling that maybe the ASG wants DW to do so poorly so they can unload the team after all of the fans have lost their hope? My spirit is officially broken. Gotta love the situation we are in. Hopefully the ASG and DW are better lovers than they are owners and management. Why? Because they couldn’t find the G-Spot on a 12lb p***y. I’m so angry at the moment I am debating if I want to even watch any more hockey this season.

Hockey fan for life (Red Light)

February 3rd, 2010
5:45 pm

The best hockey fans in Atlanta know this is a 20-man game not a one-man game. Many of us said long ago that he was leaving. There are too many other solid teams with money and opportunity. Where he is traded is insignificant. What is significant is what the Thrashers get in return. It has been long ago said that the longer Waddell waits, the less he would get in return. There are still lots of players that can contribute to this franchise, certainly not with the offensive skills Kovy has, but as also has been pointed out by the savvy posters here, that Atlanta will support hockey. So, I say, rather than spend our time whining about Kovy leaving, Waddell still having a job and the owners potentially leaving us high and dry, that we embrace what we have.

Slater, Kane, Boulton, Thorburn, Reasoner, Peverly, Hedberg and others bust their butt to play to the best of their ability. Why get caught up with those who are leaving (more are coming) and support the hell out of guys who bust their butt and are still here. Have an appreciation for the work guys do along the walls, in the corners, in the defensive zone and forget about flash. You all say you remember the Flames and how the place was packed and the support they got. They were never the most skilled but nobody wanted to face them, particularly at the Omni. That’s because they were tough and came to play most nights.

I say rather than boo Waddell or Kovy, that you get out of your seat and cheer like Hell for the ones that are here and make them proud to be in Atlanta because you support them.

We all know the problems upstairs with this team but it’s not the fault of the guys left on the ice for this team. The few thousand that remain in the stands can’t make a big difference, but until the moving van pulls up outside of Philips Arena, we should embrace the fact that we still have hockey here and I’m glad of it. Quite frankly, I’m glad the Kancer is gone, talent and all, and hope that by some miracle the Thrashers get something in return.

And, if you just can’t stomach those ideas, start pulling for the teams you can stand and pull for them. It’s still hockey, maybe not the product we want to watch 41 times a year, but it beats the hell out of watching it only on TV.

By now, we all should have realized that our romantic notions about this game disappeared a long time ago. It’s a business with a game attached to it.

If you like burgers and you don’t like McDonald’s, there is always Five Guys, Burger King, etc. If you still like hockey, like many of us here, and don’t like the Thrashers, there are 29 other options for you to choose from. If you do still like the Thrashers after all this BS that has happened, then pull for the guys that really deserve it, not a Russian or Slovakian mercenary who couldn’t give a hoot about you or anyone other than the guy who signs his check.

Guys who appreciate the opportunity to play in this league are the ones we should cheer, not the ones who take advantage of their teammates’ hard work.

I think it would say a lot for hockey fans in this city if they filled the building Saturday night to make a statement to anyone who says Atlanta isn’t a hockey town.

I’m sure this isn’t a popular statement at this point in time, but to me, hockey is way too important to let Don Waddell, Ilya Kovalchuk or the owners to ruin it for me.

ukyo

February 3rd, 2010
6:12 pm

Careful, Hockey fan for life (Red Light), you are toeing the line of being a shweep. :rolleyes:

The reality of Kovy leaving has been sinking in on me all day. I still don’t want to believe it, but the larger part of me will be glad when the mess is over. I can’t blame Kovy for wanting out. I can blame him for the overall lack of effort while he was here. I don’t think I can boo him for wanting to be in a better run organization with designs on going deep in the playoffs and fighting for the cup. This is his one shot at life and his one shot at a dream career (to be in the NHL, that is), no one should fault him for wanting the best. However, we all should fault him for not giving his best… be it here or anywhere else. That is the difference.

Chris16

February 3rd, 2010
6:19 pm

So does Kovy change his jersery number like Savard and Hossa did?

Red Light

February 3rd, 2010
6:28 pm

ukyo: I think the word you were looking for is shepherd! Never a sheep to this franchise or any other.

DWTOO

February 3rd, 2010
6:32 pm

Good points by Red Light, and ukyo is right he’s being a bit of a sheople, but, the points are valid. If the true fan checks out now it just gives the hosers and other’s more ammunition. We’re fans of the Atlanta Thrashers, not an individual player. Yeah, it would’ve been nice if he stayed, but, that’s life – how many of us haven’t moved on from one job to another.

If you only go when things are good you’re just a fair weather fan. Your perogative. Fine, sit at home and post negative comments. However, it’s your loss. The rest of us will continue to enjoy some hockey. Someday this will all pass – the boneheads that call themselves the ASG, Don Waddell, et al will all be gone and we’ll actually have a team.

At least I can dream and we certainly need something positive today.

I’d really like to see new ownership and a new GM along with some more talent.

ukyo

February 3rd, 2010
6:50 pm

I look at it this way, in the past two seasons we have proven we can win at pretty much the same clip with or without Kovy (IIRC, our best winning streak last year was sans Kovy). The question becomes will the ~83 points we are on pace for now be enough to eek in to the playoffs? No. History tells a different story. There is no way the cluster of teams in the middle stays in a 1 point race to an exciting 85 point playoff dance with a series of tie breakers to decide who is in. A few teams in the middle are going to wake up now. Let’s hope we make the right moves to be one of those teams. We aren’t out of it, but we are getting further away by the second.

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
6:52 pm

Don’t put this on the fans. 500 people drove to Nashville in the snow to watch this team. And what would you define as a reasonable timeline to achieve success? 10 years is sufficient by anyone’s standards. No one wants this team to move – ASG has put us on a collision course

Your 10 years argument only holds water if there was a consistent effort during that period… The team salary never broke the $35 million barrier until 2005-06… the very first season, the salary was $11 million… that’s just pathetic!

This organization was never going to spend the proper money until the league forced it to with the minimum salary cap.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
6:55 pm

Not so sure this team is going anywhere. Bettman isn’t into moving teams, especially from a top 10 market to smaller markets like KC and outposts like Quebec City. He’ll do what he’s doing in TB, find an owner. Could moving happen? Maybe, but remember the M.O. of this commissioner and the league when it comes to relocations. Just ask Hamilton.

LAC-it is nice to see people come to their senses today.

Trading Kovy-be done with it; look at Florida without Bouwmeester, no real GM and a young coach-they are better!

Ken Hitchcock was fired today for underachieving-there’s a novelty!

LAC

February 3rd, 2010
6:57 pm

Time for some fans to corner waddell and beat the LIVING $HIT out of him, Then “maybe” he will get the message, GET OUT OF TOWN !

Lastly this grossman thug is as much to blame, is he blind ?
IK is NOT a complete player, not tough, no forechecking or backchecking little hustle, only waiting for an outlet pass or on the pp point.
He is NOT worth anywhere near the cap max, wonder what grossman drinks everyday ??? Because he is as blind as a bat.

I would not advise ANY NHL team to even speak to an agent, either the player does it himself or forget it !

Lastly we want to FORGET you waddell, WATCH OUT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE
“don”. WE do not like you or YOUR LIES so GET THE LIVING HELL OUT OF ATLANTA NOW you F’ing FOOL !

GaVaHokie

February 3rd, 2010
6:57 pm

… Atlanta is the VERY reason Gary Bettman created revenue sharing and made the minimum salary $40 million… that doesn’t exactly make guys want to line up to play here.

It’s not exactly Waddell’s fault that agents and players are keenly aware of this notion.

I’m not trying to be an apologist… if someone else can do a better job on a shoestring budget, I’m all for giving them a shot… but I feel any GM is set up to fail here.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
6:59 pm

English Teacher-totally agree, look at New Jersey and Buffalo, great goalies and decent skaters. I’d say both are doing pretty well this year.

Rawhide-excellent summary of our sorry draft history.

Biltong-great seeing you and Mr. B. last night, or as I stated to you “your better half”.

Miami Screaming Eagle

February 3rd, 2010
7:10 pm

This really stinks; another star player walking out the door. Where would this team be had we paid the key players and built a creditable team?

Doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Hawks, does it? Always plenty of money to resign players and keep the core together for a playoff run.

So what do you thing ASG’s priority is here folks? Gangster basketball

Scott in St. Louis

February 3rd, 2010
7:26 pm

TOOL Rules Somattl95!!!!!!!!!!! Nice my friend!!!

Somaatl95

February 3rd, 2010
7:38 pm

Thank you, Thank you! Now I could literally post the Lyrics to “The Grudge” about how ill we have all become at this mess. In fact, those of you whom aren’t familiar with the band can at least read the lyrics and somehow infer them to it all…

And for your time wasting pleasure I present “The Grudge”

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip ‘em to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

Saturn ascends, choose one or ten. Hang on or be humbled again.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip ‘em to the lonesome end.
Saturn ascends, comes round again.
Saturn ascends, the one, the ten. Ignorant to the damage done.

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what you will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Wear the grudge like a crown. Desperate to control.
Unable to forgive. And sinking deeper.

Defining, confining, sinking deeper. Controlling, defining, and we’re sinking deeper.

Saturn comes back around to show you everything
Let’s you choose what you will not see and then
Drags you down like a stone or lifts you up again
Spits you out like a child, light and innocent.

Saturn comes back around. Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone to
Consume you till you choose to let this go.
Choose to let this go.

Give away the stone. Let the oceans take and transmutate this cold and fated
anchor.
Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and transmutate these leaden grudges
into gold.

Let go.

And I promise to not make this a habit, I’m just 110% pissed at IK, DW and the ASG and can’t rationally discuss hockey now – and I am confident Rawhide will be starting a new thread soon anyways.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
7:45 pm

This kid, #8 from TB Matt Walker was hitting everything last night, old time hockey. He nearly knock Thorny into the cheap seats.

Hey, I have some good news from last night; by allowing 2 goals, Pavs goals against will actually go down a bit.

Tom Lysiak

February 3rd, 2010
7:48 pm

Kevin Allen from USA Today on Twitter about an hour ago:

1.Kovalchuk deal won’t happen tonight. 2.Surprise teams in the mix; 3. Atlanta will get better return than it got for Hossa. Go watch hockey

Rightshot

February 3rd, 2010
7:56 pm

TABLEHOCKEY – Practice was lighthearted, every one enjoying themselves except Reasoner, he seemed to be having a generally bad day.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
8:33 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ASG and Waddell are just trying to get payroll down to sell the team. They’ll claim they were forced to sell due to poor attendence. They’ll fail to mention that their ineptitude, or possibly their intent, was to demoralize the fan base.

Since Philips is trying to get out of the arena licensing agreement, this is an opportune time for the ASG to flip the team. Dump the team’s only premiere player and boom, the fan base dwindles some more.

Get ready, Kubina and Armstrong are the next to go. With Kovy, Kozlov, Kubina, Armstrong, and Zhitnik off the books next season, we’ll easily have the lowest payroll in the league.

Lets hope Bettman steps in and gives hockey “a real chance” in Atlanta.

Brett

February 3rd, 2010
9:19 pm

I know we’ll never hear anything. But I’d sure love hear what the players have to say about Kovy once he’s gone.

B. Thenet

February 3rd, 2010
9:20 pm

The only thing left to do is wait to see just how poor the return for Ilya and whoever else DW pisses away is.

I have to give DW a little credit, at least he started real trade talks several weeks before the deadline, instead of several hours before the deadline like he did when Ray Shero fleeced him several years ago.

Eileen

February 3rd, 2010
9:28 pm

Last year we all would have been happy if the Thrashers were still competing for a playoff spot at this time of the year. I just want to interject a positive point in an otherwise upsetting situation. The rest of the guys deserve our support. It is not their fault, nor ours, that we are stuck with this lousy management team.

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
9:41 pm

Stroz…………..if Bettman kept a franchise in Phoenix he`ll keep one in Atlanta. The Southeast market is where the growth in advertising dollars are. The Versus TV contract is a joke and Bettman wants back on ESPN……..I`ve said this time and time again……………….you don`t trade a top ten tv market for a small Canadian market…….In the big picture Montreal and Toronto are small players when it comes to getting National TV coverage in the US……….TSN and the Rogers networks are small frys when compared to NBC and ESPN Numbers………….fact of tv sports ratings………In Canada its the only game in town and in the US its just a niche sport……but…………….the amount of homes that American tv can be seen in just blows Cananda away and that is what sways the advertisers……….Empty seats don`t mean that much except for public perception and playoff money(then your seats are filled)…….Philips will take a royal bath trying to get out of this deal…………don`t see it happening

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
9:50 pm

James Brown – There is a difference between selling the team and moving it. After reading some of Jeff Schultz’s recent articles, it sure doea sound as if the ASG is trying to offload the team.

Philips wants out of the naming rights deal.

We just need properly capitalized new ownership with a good management team. Translation: No more ASG or Waddell.

Brendan

February 3rd, 2010
10:16 pm

I tell you, even with this inept group of owners, I’d be energized by the prospect of a real GM gaining control.

Now, I don’t rightly know who that is. A logical choice is Rick Dudley. Pat Quinn is struggling mightily in Edmonton as Coach. He’ll probably survive the season. Neil Smith may not exactly be anyone’s top pick, either. But he’s out there. Would Darren Eliot be a disastrous choice? He’s pretty sharp, when his tongue isn’t censored. There are only a couple of names that would reflect a step backwards. Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury are those names. “Iron” Mike Keenan is out there. Of course, I don’t recommend that, either. If Waddell is “too soft,” then Keenan is “too tough.”

What about giving another minor league GM a shot? Uhh, no. And who knows? Maybe there really is someone deserving of a chance. But really, it’s got to be someone with prior NHL GM experience.

R. Stroz

February 3rd, 2010
10:19 pm

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
10:34 pm

Stroz…………next few days are gonna be interesting………..Schultz agrees that the NHL wants this team here………hell what do I know…………….Las Vegas wants a team too……..uh………….nah…………..

James Brown

February 3rd, 2010
10:36 pm

Big Ken Hitchcock became available today…………NHL channel says he is too sarcastic to last long anywhere………..I guess he`s like a fat Bob Hartley

Miami Screaming Eagle

February 3rd, 2010
10:39 pm

Attendence-watch any Hawks games lately?
It doesn’t look like the Hawks are doing much better than the Thrashers when it comes to putting fannies in the seats. Ironic, considering that we all believe (me included) that ASG it TOTALLY commited to basketball and doesn’t give a heck about hockey.

Eileen-right on, couldn’t have said it better myself. Give the rest of these guys a chance, maybe they’ll surprise us with a new attitude. Waddell better not blow this one, that’s for sure.

World Be Free

February 3rd, 2010
10:57 pm

How bout the Chicago Cubs? Haven’t won a World series in 102 years. Now that is sad!

Here are some rumored deals and my grades-

Anaheim – Lupul, Mitera, 1st in 2010 (ANA), 2nd in 2010 (ANA) grade-F garbage dump

Boston – Ryder, Ference, Bitz, Hamill, 1st in 2010 (TOR) Grade-D+ Mini garbage dump, Bitz and Toronto pick OK

Calgray – Langkow, Boyd, Backlund, 1st in 2011 Grade-D- no impact players or high picks

Chicago – Barker, Versteeg, 1st in 2010 (CHI), 1st in 2011 (CHI) Grade-B- 2 now players and no 1’s

New Jersey – Zubrus, Bergfors/Clarkson, Cormier, 1st in 2010 (NJD) Grade-D garbage dump and potential players

Philadelphia – Gagne, Coburn, 1st in 2011, 3rd in 2010 Grade – F an old injured player, a guy we got fleeced for and 2 future picks

Chicago has the juice to make this deal, so does LA. LA needs to make the deal to make an impact in the LA sports scene (just like getting Gretzky). CHI needs to make the deal if they are going to compete with San Jose. That’s why they got Hossa, isn’t it?

Smoothie

February 3rd, 2010
10:58 pm

Stroz – why do you put so much faith in Jeff Schultz? He has no real sources anymore and he has no reason to present a fair and balanced story as all he does is harp on the negative. We as fans already do that; we don’t need him piling on. Do you really have any sympathy for Kovy if in fact what Grossman told Schultz is true? That they never came off the counter-offer of max cap for 10-12 years?? That’s absolutely absurd. You can’t tell me Kovy advised Grossman to do that just because the negotiations didn’t start in earnest in October when Kovy was sooooooo ready to talk turkey at the negotiating table. Like Kovy had any involvement. All he ever says is that it’s his job to focus on hockey and that’s why you have agents. Blah blah freakin’ blah. He’s been saying the same line for 7 months straight. None of Jeff’s arguments really make any sense and are easily countered. His arguments only fit his agenda and that is to simply bash Waddell and the ASG. Rightly so perhaps but he could’ve done that AND used his noggin’ at the same time. Utter and complete tripe.

Harry Sinden

February 3rd, 2010
11:45 pm

Hey Don Waddell, YOU’RE FIRED!!! 10 years of cheapskate losing ways will doom NHL hockey in Atlanta for a 2nd time! This ownership rivals the Charlestown Chiefs of Slap Shot fame.

R. Stroz

February 4th, 2010
12:24 am

Would we even be having this conversation if Waddell hadn’t traded down in the 2005 draft for Alex Bourret thus passing on Anze Kopitar?

I’m sure that decision showed Kovy the level of Waddell’s hockey acumen.

As Brendan would say…Bygones.

stendec

February 4th, 2010
1:06 am

Do not fall asleep on me Rawhide.

Most on this site will disagree/become infuriated with the following. I believe it to be true. I did warn long ago that the player was looking for whiter ice elsewhere. First these unedited comments from Captain Ilya Kovalchuk (thanks Chris):

“I’m the player and my job is to go on the ice and play hard. We are all professionals. I’ve worked here for eight years and hopefully I will stay but you know it’s a business and you never know what’s going to happen. I talked to some guys. You don’t want to be a distraction. We are in a playoff race and we are only one point from the playoffs. Whatever it takes. That’s why we have agents. They talk to management. Hopefully, we are going to figure something out.”

I believe those comments to be completely dishonest and manufactured but I will not comment on them at this time.

The Thrashers will be a much better TEAM without IK. The talent on this club has been stifled in an effort to appease the captain who was not only underperforming but deadened team morale. How? Glad you asked.

Know why Thrasher power play is one of worst in NHL? All attempts are made to feed the captain so that he can score. Opponents discovered this then proceeded to make necessary adjustments. Can any other Thrasher score a power play goal? Hard to tell because no one fires a shot toward the net. All feeds find their way to one player. It is placate IK. Let us let IK get his goals and points. That will now change out of necessity. A few of the Thrashers will surprise!

A premiere player in my personal opinion does not accumulate a minus rating approaching minus 100 (-100). IK has!

IK almost cried during a recent rare victory when he was not allowed to score into an empty net. A teammate did instead. Honest fans still remember that moment. Selfishness does not benefit a captain!

Johan Moose Hedberg and Pavs have a hard enough time already. Imagine how they feel when under siege as IK merrily skates circles awaiting a breakout pass. How many times has IK failed to impede his man or go to the bench for an ill timed line change which resulted in a goal? Too many!

When was the last time the captain got really physical with an opponent? Blocked a shot? Cleared a puck out of his own crease? Crashed the net in an effort to score? So long I cannot remember!

What gripes me? REALLY GRIPES ME? The consensus among many is that IK is a premiere scorer. How many times has he misfired on completely open nets? How many breakaways has he frittered away? How many shootout attempts were worthless duds? How many shots clanked iron? These failures cost the team valuable points in close defeats. Close does not count!

The Thrashers will be a stronger club without him! Of this I have no doubt. His uncaring attitude has become a cancer to a young team. The youth of the group makes this doubly disastrous!

Bye bye Mr Kovalchuk. I do wish you well elsewhere. I WILL root against your new team! I will boo you like blue blazes whenever you are within earshot of me. Only because you quit on the fans and your teammates!

Please forgive post length but I saw this coming since early in the season when IK sustained the injury which put his mind squarely on the Olympics. Know few of you put that two plus two together! Remember? Remember how Thrashers hustled without IK in lineup? Remember? Glad most fans finally woke up. Best. Regards.

++STENDEC++

Brendan

February 4th, 2010
2:09 am

Bygones, indeed, R.Stroz. Nothing we can do.

Alex Bourret. I don’t know why… but when I think of Draft Day ineptitude by Waddell, it’s not Patrik Stefan’s face that I see. It’s this fat, unkempt Alex Bourret who pops into my cabeza. At 8th overall, you either find someone to select … or you trade the pick for a PROVEN COMMODITY PLAYER. We traded that pick for, if I recall correctly, Chad Denny, our 2nd round pick, who is a guy that is still in the ECHL. At #12, I think we still had some shot at Marc Staal. And truthfully, not knowing any better, I probably would have selected Marc Staal with pick #8 overall. And been wrong? Yes. Sadly. But, we’d have Marc Staal. That’s not so horrible. Yeah but, I hear ya. Then we’d have missed out on Chad Denny and Ondrej Pavelec. D’oh! Truthfully, I do see Pavelec as a worthwhile goalie. Pavelec was drafted at about the “right position” for finding a goaltender. But, wouldn’t a free agent goaltender have been a better way to go? Waddell and good goaltender decisions are like oil and water. They don’t go well together.

World Be Free

February 4th, 2010
5:55 am

Stendec-a well written post and a departure from your usual Dennis Miller-type rant. I think things will be fine, if we get the type of return Kovy is worth. And the power play will be better.
++I CONCURE++

Stroz-I forgot about bypassing Kopitar to Bourret. That just ruined my breakfast.
Jeff Schultz-I read Rawhide and Dave O’Brien’s pieces in the AJC. The rest of the writers on the AJC are worthless.

Brendan-right on! You have a pick that high you do not trade down! Get the player! Some of these good teams we are talking trade with want to give us their no. 1 picks. What good is getting Chicago’s no. 1 when it will probably be 27th or 28th in the draft. We need high number ones for Kovalchuk then keep the pick and use them!

Harry Sinden-I’ll never forget what Reg Dunlop (Paul Newman) said about the owner’s son in Slap Shot. One of the many classless laughs in a great movie.

Next discussion-who is the next captain? My vote is for Rich Peverly.

Dwayne

February 4th, 2010
6:06 am

The Pev Dispenser for Captain.

Harry Sinden

February 4th, 2010
8:22 am

14th in the East, 70 pts, SOL for this season. This is the towel and we are throwing it in. Sell this team to someone who cares and fire Don Waddell immediately!! This team will move to KC or Hamilton or Quebec and NHL will never return to Atlanta again.

Smoothie

February 4th, 2010
8:38 am

stendec – indeed! That was a thoughtful and heartfelt post, most of which I agree with completely. Reading Schultz’ article along with most of the reactionary posts about how amazing Koastalchuk is and how terribly wrong management is really got under my skin. If Kovy’s demand was max cap, there was no negotiation. I for one think that report is completely BS. If that was their counter-offer as early as November, then Kovy shouldve been traded then. Waddell isn’t free of blame but do you really think hed waste this much time on a pointless exercise unless his owners advised him to? Schultz’ story seems very flawed or unbalanced at best. Did he even attempt to contact ownership to call Grossman’s bluff on the max cap offer? Perhaps Grossman is just trying to undermine the trading of his client because he knows his ONLY shot at getting more money than Ovechkin is in ATL or the KHL. Go to hell Grossman and take your selfish figure skating client with you. Does anyone have any integrity anymore?

R. Stroz

February 4th, 2010
10:06 am

Does anyone have any integrity anymore?

Peverley.

Hockey Biltong

February 4th, 2010
10:27 am

Red Light, I like that post.
MSEagle – I swear we echo each other all the time. re; Hawks attendace.
BTW wasn’t that Bernie guy who left a couple of years ago,the one keeping people in the seats?!?!?!?
Not anymore…

Joyaman

February 4th, 2010
10:37 am

Just to recap …..

We find ourselves at this juncture because ASG are total slumlords, who knowingly retain an incompetent GM because they have neither the budget nor the knowhow to field a competitive NHL team. Their stewardship (or lack thereof) has devalued the franchise’s value to the point where they’ll be lucky to get their franchise fee back.

Wake up ASG. It’s time to sell this team now and avoid losing another year’s salary cap floor. Sell them to a someone who gives a rat’s ass about hockey and puts their money where their mouth is.

Oh, by the way, you’ll also have to sweeten the deal with a favorable lease agreement to get this done. It’s least you can do for squandering Atlanta’s potential as a viable hockey market. Let competent ownership and management step in and show you how it’s done. At least you’ll get a reliable tennant out of the deal.

TaxDawg

February 4th, 2010
6:30 pm

If the Atlanta Spirit Group were serious about NHL hockey, they would convene a press conference immediately after the Ilya trade was completed to announce that Waddell had been relieved of all duties. No playoff wins, no stars, what is left for Thrasher fans?

Sun

February 5th, 2010
12:48 am

Nikita, I respect the fact you don’t want to point the finger at someone who’s a genuinely nice person. But I honestly can’t understand why you’d spend so much time, thought, & energy in defending Don Waddell. There isn’t much point in arguing with you about it, but I do think at some point you’ll be able to step back & see why he’s ultimately responsible for the Thrashers’ failures. This blog might help put it in perspective:

http://www.640toronto.com/Blogs/ABradyBlog/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10093310

JPM

February 5th, 2010
7:44 pm

Atlanta fans were very excited when the Thrashers first arrived. The place rocked. Then year after year went by, and they could not make the playoffs. Fans started to come less and less. Great players got traded away. New guys showed up, some good, mostly not. Kovy arrives, Hossa, Holik, Tkachuk, and suddenly we make the playoffs. Joy, fans, house rocking. We go out in flames (ironic?) in 4. And from then on, it’s a slow slide to oblivion.

I had season tickets early on, and loved going to games. By the time I stopped going 2 years ago, it was painful. It all rests with DW. When the guy from the front office called me in 2008 to see if I wanted my normal seats, I asked “is Don Waddell still GM?” He said yes, of course. I said no thanks and hung up. I have not been to a game in two years, and it’s so painful as a fan, I don’t even watch on tv. Glad to hear Kovy got out of here.

And to all who say Atlanta is not a hockey town, it sure was back in the early days when there was hope. I still remember the 1-0 game with the Flyers, when the Thrashers FINALLY beat them. I was horse for 3 days. (And I am from Philly and am a long time Flyer fan, back to their two SC’s…) The Thrashers got an ovation that has not been exceeded since, at least in my experience.

DW has sucked all that from the room. And the fans won’t return to Philips until he is gone and the Thrashers show some life…

Regards, JM

Brendan

February 7th, 2010
9:31 pm

Nice post, JM. You said it all.