The morning after in Thrasherville

So, the Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville officially ended last night. However, the sun still came up this morning. Well, at least I’m assuming so…it’s so rainy and cloudy out there today I can’t say that I’ve actually been able to eye-ball confirm that rumor.

Anyway…as widely speculated, Don Waddell and the Atlanta Thrashers dealt away Ilya Kovalchuk… their team captain, leading scorer, centerpiece and face of the franchise. Heading to New Jersey with him is young defenseman Anssi Salmela, who is actually returning to the Devils after coming here in the Nic Havelid trade a year ago.

Say good-bye to Kovalchuk and his potential 90-100 points per season (AP photo)

Say good-bye to Kovalchuk and his potential 90-100 points per season (AP photo)

In return for the pair, the Thrashers gain defenseman Johnny Oduya, forward Nicklas Bergfors, prospect center Patrice Cormier and the Devils first round draft pick this summer.

Let me start off with the two things I actually like about the transaction…first, there is the Oduya part of the transaction. If you tear apart the whole and examine this one part of the deal, we are swapping out Salmela for the 28-year old Swede. I think this is an immediate upgrade on defense. Certainly I think Salmela could turn out to be a fine player, but this helps in the “right now”, IMHO.

I’ll be curious to see how John Anderson shuffled the defensive pairing with Johnny in the lineup.

The second part of the trade that makes me happy…simply the fact that this whole sorted affair is finally over. The Kovalchuk contract drama that has hung over the team like…well, the rainy overcast skies that are with us today…and the team has been severely distracted by the proceedings, regardless of what some close to the organization may say. So, there is no excuse anymore…Kovy’s gone and so too the drama that sucked all the focus away form the players.

Now, with all of that said, what we are then left with is Ilya Kovalchuk…who is on pace for something like 95 points…being replaced in the lineup by Nicklas Bergfors…he of 13 goals and 14 assists in 54 games this season. He’s played a total of 63 NHL games with 28 overall points.

Really Don?…I mean, really?

Now, this isn’t meant to be a knock on Bergfors…and is it too soon to already start calling him “Bergie”? Fact is that it looks like he’s a player that can fit right into Colby Armstrong’s slot when Donny trades him away in the coming days. But how in the world can Don Waddell seriously look the fans square in the eyes and tell them that this helps us at all in any hopeful run for this springs post-season?

Then of course there are the two other pieces in the deal..a QMJHL player who cannot play in that league for the rest of the season given his suspension due to a flagrant hit to an opponent’s head…and a draft selection that will fall somewhere around pick number 26 or 27, if not higher.

Say hello to Johnny Oduya. He has 2 goals, 2 assists, a +2 rating and 18 PIM in 40 games this season (AP Photo/ David Duprey)

Say hello to Johnny Oduya, seen on left. He has 2 goals, 2 assists, a +2 rating and 18 PIM in 40 games this season (AP Photo/ David Duprey)

Those players may or may not work out in the future, and we’ll just have to wait and see how they eventually pan out…you know, much like the prospect and player Don obtained two years ago in the Marian Hossa deal.

Lastly, the two teams swapped 2nd round picks which…if I’m not mistaken…benefits New Jersey because I have a sneaking suspicion the Devils are gonna wind up a little better in the standings then are your Atlanta Thrashers.

So, as for the deal overall as a whole…color me unimpressed.

I guess what bugs the pure livin’ snot outa me the most this morning is the fact that the ONE thing I feared happening…seems to have happened. That being a trade that will more than likely leave us two years down the road no better than today and waiting to see how a couple of pick and prospects develop in order to deem the Kovalchuk transaction a “success” or not.

You know…just like we are now Hossa +2 years.

Now, let me respond preemptively to the most commonly used defense that I heard after the Hossa deal…and so far after the Kovy one. It’s the one that goes something like “But Waddell did the best he could considering the circumstances”.

Really?

Well, I just gotta be honest with ya…I am just sick and damn tired of see this Thrashers teams formed and shaped because Don Waddell found himself in a less-than-favorable circumstance. We have, for over a decade now, seen great players come and go…leaving D-Wad to have to clean up afterwards “the best he can”.

This organization needs a general manager that can direct the circumstances that make up his team…not simply “do the best he can” to make lemonade out of lemons.

After the Kovalchuk trade, the Thrashers are...

  • Closer to the Stanley Cup (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Further away from the Cup (70%, 174 Votes)
  • About the same (27%, 67 Votes)

Total Voters: 248

Loading ... Loading ...

Ya know…I don’t think Kovalchuk, or Hossa for that matter, rejected the offers Don Waddell made them when contract time came around. No, moreover I think it was more a rejection of what this team has become…and probably will be…under the management of Don Waddell and the Great Octocluster that is our current ownership.

In closing…I leave you with the one question that, to me, really is the only one that matters. Don Waddell possessed the crown jewel in this years trade deadline period…and we now see what he did with it. So I ask you, is this team any closer to the Stanley Cup then we were 24 hours ago…or are we a little further away?

It may be raining and cloudy outside today…but I think the answer to that is still clearly seen.

241 comments Add your comment

Badger Bob

February 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

Check out theAirTran billboard visible from connector southboard at Edgewood, featuring Kovy taking a slapshot. The caption: “See Your Breath In Other Arenas”. Hey, how did they know…

Lee

February 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

The good part of this, is that no one is relying on Kovalchuk any more, because when Kovy was on the team, none of the other players tried.

Tom

February 5th, 2010
3:15 pm

Get the feeling Andropov is saying WTF right now? My buddy, Ilya, said come on down and he would re-sign and we could play together for a few years. Now he walked away from a 100 million dollar deal and I am left behind?

five_hole

February 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

They’re still holding their heads over the tiolet. R. Stroz You still got it, brother.

DWTOO

February 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

John – Stopped at the Broadway last saturday night after the game and didn’t notice the mudslide shake. DARN. Probably a good thing since already more than I needed. Mental note to self – nest time remember.

Badger Bob

February 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

…southbound… despte the name change, I still can’t type

Tom

February 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

LOL,

I am wondering if the Season Ticket holder meeting is just to get season ticket holders to attend the game.

Or to forestall a riot…

Spud Webb

February 5th, 2010
3:20 pm

Is anyone else walking funny today after that &ss raping we just took???
WTF did we add Salmela to the deal??? Oduya and he are THE SAME PLAYER…difference is Jersey DEVELOPS players, we make them regress. WTF did we swap 2nd round picks???? What is WRONG WITH DW?????????????????????? J&SUS…DW is talking out of both sides yet again. Paraphrase, kovys been here for a long time and we havent won a playoff series. NO SH&T don, did you just figure that out in the last two weeks???????? WHY didnt don know that the max contract wasnt going to keep him here LAST YEAR?????????????? Can you imagine the take if we had sent him to a team that he wanted to sign with in the offseason last??????????? Un freaking believable. Don’s back to playing tittlewinks today, DW PAY ATTENTION. If you really wanted players that can help us in the playoffs this year, their was a STUD D MAN traded last week, yet we missed out on that??? HOW & WHY?? ACCOUNTABLILITY?? ANYONE?????
We took a talented yet troubled minor leaguer off their hands?? WHY, did anyone tell Don that WE had a top 5 player??? good lord, Im sick…and a 2nd or 3rd line winger, wow, genius don. You’ve made us sooooooooooooooooooo proud. I too am having the FIRE DW shirts made this weekend.
Now Kovy, ahhahhaaha, Kovy, Kovy, Kovy, went to the DW school of talking. “i want to stay in atl”, blah, blah, blah….LIAR, you turned down the chance to be the highest paid player…despite the fact that you cant hold Cindy or Ovys JOCKS…April 6th, I can promise I will be behind the jersey bench and booooooooooooooooooooing him the WHOLE Game. He’s a bigger sellout than Hoss, I Said it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally, please, please, please asg sell this team. DO SOMETHING. YOu’re killing all of us. This is a sad, sad day. Once again, the atl is the joke of the league. WBF says it best, 3 of the top goal scorers since 01 have been thrashers, can someone show me what we have for that??????????? Nevermind, I know, NOTHING.
If DW had any nuts, he’d step down, be a man don, you cannot get the job done. Someone save us please!!!!!!!!!!!

GaVaHokie

February 5th, 2010
3:26 pm

So if Oduya refuses to report, is the trade cancelled?

I’m affraid not… Chad Kilger did that a few years ago and he was suspended without pay… the trade still happened.

http://ballhype.com/story/chad_kilger_supended_by_team/

Kovyoverrated

February 5th, 2010
3:27 pm

Wahooooo! No more brain farts on breakaways! No more asking yourself after a power play turnover “THAT is the best player on our team?” Now let’s look at the real problem here. Will somebody please call Arthur Blank and make a sales call! We need an ownership enema.

GaVaHokie

February 5th, 2010
3:28 pm

Every time I heard Thrashers Town Hall Meeting, I think of this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLni3wbndls&feature=related

Tom

February 5th, 2010
3:28 pm

GaVaHokie – great find. Of course, it did not help my day any, but great find none the less.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 5th, 2010
3:30 pm

Badger Bob-nice move, you picked a fine man to transition your namesake to. I am just hoping we don’t get our asses kicked tonight.

lilibeter

February 5th, 2010
3:32 pm

I wonder what would have happened if DW had called (what I believe was) Kovy’s bluff and offered him the $11.3 million for 10 or 12 years.

Not that DW would ever have had the cajones to make that gamble, but at least we’d know for certain that it was never a money or greed thing – it was a management/owner thing.

DWTOO

February 5th, 2010
3:32 pm

Good News – It’s snowing in DC and airlines are cancelling flights for tonight and tomorrow. Maybe they’ll get snowed in and we can avoid the embarassment of having to absorb back to back poundings.

Badger Bob

February 5th, 2010
3:37 pm

Pirate – thanks. And with respect to tonight, we lost 8-1 last time we played them. In Atlanta. With Kovy. They are coming off a three game road trip with their soon-to-be NHL record win streak intact. U G L Y. I have no expectations but to see how the individual players react – guys like Max and Antro.

R. Stroz

February 5th, 2010
3:48 pm

Could someone send Waddell on a canoeing trip in North Georgia since he seems to be into that kind of stuff.

Viking

February 5th, 2010
3:49 pm

I think this whole thing after some time is going to work out…

And I am very happy one player is not paid 10 – 12 million, while reducing the ability to spend good money on other team members – for a decade or so!

One thing worries me though;

I watched videos showing that ugly elbow Cormier delivered causing him to be shut out for the rest of the season. Someone suggested earlier that he should not be judged because of that one incident and something about that it is good we got some grit. Maybe I could have agreed if I had not seen another video showing exactly the same elbow move toward another unsuspecting opponent. This time during the Junior Championships. I hope that Cormier guy is biding his time during his suspension changing his view on what belongs in hockey. Otherwise he will seriously injure someone (even worse than previously). But if he tries any of this coward ugliness in the NHL, experienced NHL goons will gladly “adjust” him (with me cheering them on).

Eileen

February 5th, 2010
3:49 pm

R. Stroz, he couldn’t do that. They were beating the Rangers in the 3rd period. We have our work cut out for us tonight. Hopefully our players are not hung over from the “emotional” farewell Kovy dinner.

ben

February 5th, 2010
3:59 pm

This is a new chapter in the team’s history. This team will get better. There is money that there wasn’t before, Kovy’s departure saw to that. This team will be sold. Maybe the new owners can put the team in the northern suburbs, say north Fulton. If the NHL wants a team here it could help to finance the building. There is a way out of this. I miss 17 too, but his +/- was bad. Defense wins, winning not Kovy will bring the people.

Buzilla in CT

February 5th, 2010
4:00 pm

“I am very excited,” he said after taking part in the pregame skate for Friday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “**This is the first time in my career I got a chance to play for a first-class organization**, the team who won three Stanley Cups. You just look around the locker room, and guys like Martin Brodeur, legends in this game, and it’s very exciting.”

ouch…

Alan R.

February 5th, 2010
4:04 pm

Burnside actually has something nice to say. Even if it is wrapped in some subtle snark.

Russ

February 5th, 2010
4:10 pm

I would like to get people’s opinions on the following:

Will the Thrashers win a playoff game while the franchise is still in Atlanta? a playoff series?

I’ll say a game, yes…a series, no.

Tommy

February 5th, 2010
4:12 pm

The ‘Waddell had no choice and did the best he could’ argument is pure bull.

Had he drafted well, built a farm system that could develop players, made some astute free agent pickups and trades, Kovalchuck never would have wanted to leave.

This disaster started years ago. Waddell is a complete disaster. If Atlanta ends up losing its NHL team, the blame can be laid squarely on his shoulders.

Lots of teams make it with less money and crappy ownership. Look at the Marlins and Twins, for example.

This team lost me when they canned Bob Hartley. My wife and I used to go to 5-8 games a year. I haven’t been back since late 2007.

What a mess.

StateBird

February 5th, 2010
4:19 pm

Trying hard to find something positive … but I hope that Oduya and Enstrom can play together at the Olympics and come back with some chemistry.

Trash

February 5th, 2010
4:21 pm

Good on ya’ R.Stroz! And, thanks for posting the Dontalk after the Hossa trade. Smooth talking Don, no wonder he is still the manager after the history of results he has procured and promised this team. And, how anyone can even, in the slightest, be satisfied with this trade is really beyond me. Oh, but wait. . . yeah I forgot, let’s build for the future, let’s build a Philips house of cards……and this is the best we can do ?? Apparently it is.

East Point Bob

February 5th, 2010
4:30 pm

Rumor going around the team will be in Kansas City next season.

This from KMBZ 980 in KC, friend heard it this am, citing deal all but done. Just wish someone could do something to keep the team here under new owner/ship, not owners, and we must have Don Waddell terminated at all costs. If moved he will surely get axed, but is that what it takes ?

timthebrave

February 5th, 2010
4:31 pm

I will be at the game saturday as long as the Thrashers can make it out of DC……I will be cheering as loud as ever because I root for the name on the fron and not the name on the back and I love live hockey…That being said screw don waddell and the spirit group…Do Ted Turner or Arthur Blank like hockey? Go Thrashers

Gatorwsc

February 5th, 2010
4:45 pm

It is a sad, sad day in the Atlanta hockey circuit. With decisions like trading Ilya, it is no wonder the team can not make it to the playoffs. If the organization is so worried about money, then why are the continuing to trade away players that bring the fans in. I know several people that are boycotting the games until something is done with Waddell. So my question in the end is this: Do the owners really want an NHL hockey team in Atlanta? If so then WADDELL needs to GO!!

Nikita

February 5th, 2010
4:47 pm

Cormier is a serial offender. I don’t want him on our team.

*Had he drafted well, built a farm system that could develop players, made some astute free agent pickups and trades, Kovalchuck never would have wanted to leave.*

Gotta argue here. The farm system worked and works fine.

*This team lost me when they canned Bob Hartley. My wife and I used to go to 5-8 games a year. I haven’t been back since late 2007.*

…but canning Hartley was the thing to do. Hartley’s major shortcoming was his inability to develop young players.

Hockey Biltong

February 5th, 2010
4:49 pm

John, great comment…
Bill – the morning after? Is this like “coyote ugly?”
where you chew off your arm so you don’t wake up the person next to you in bed??????

LAC

February 5th, 2010
4:50 pm

Well if THIS cannot tell a TALE, I don’t know what does !!!

Quote from IK today in NJ… Says IT ALL !

“I am very excited,” he said after taking part in the pregame skate for Friday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “This is the first time in my career I got a chance to play for a first-class organization, the team who won three Stanley Cups. You just look around the locker room, and guys like Martin Brodeur, legends in this game, and it’s very exciting.

Wow, I agree NJ, formerly The Kansas City Scouts, have come a LONG way since their awful days at The Kemper Arena. They ARE a class team top to bottom, with a REAL GM who KNOWS what he is doing.

Like we all have said, Atlanta SUCK Group, does exactly that SUCK !
Where is Mr.Pottymouth hiding, or that LIAR rutherford Stupidnydle,
or BugEyed michael geron what a little petty wimp A$$ he is and finally that drunk punk beau turner ? Where are they and the others HIDING like little panty wastes they are, just a sick joke they have control of the team, just NUTS, and they are THE LOWEST CLASS of human SCUM you can get ! So come ou from hiding asg and FACE THE FANS and tell us ALL you are trying to win, BS BS BS ! I hope ALL of you burn in HELL when you die and let’s all hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Lasty stuipd waddell, hey “don” please skid off the road tonight and hit a telephone pole and not be discovered for a day or so, THEN we will be rid of you once and for all, and there are LOTS of nice BIG telephone poles to run your car into, I will laugh for weeks if that ever happened !

Alan R.

February 5th, 2010
4:50 pm

Rumor going around the team will be in Kansas City next season.

Doubtful.

Alan R.

February 5th, 2010
4:54 pm

Cormier is a serial offender. I don’t want him on our team.

Teach the kid to keep his elbow down, and we’ll all be fine. This team lacks grit, and we need some sandpaper on this team.

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
4:55 pm

Let me just say how much I appreciate our blogmaster, Rawhide. This was yet another outstanding blog and topic.

I am concerned … that no one in the major newsprint media … has yet, to my knowledge, offered up this sentiment. “How does a player, like Savard, Hossa, or Kovalchuk, tell the negotiating GM … that he won’t re-sign until said GM is fired, in order to move the franchise ‘in the right direction.’” And see … that’s the CRUX of the issue. To me, Kovalchuk stating that he has NO PLANS to EVER MOVE his family from Atlanta, and that he plans to live here YEAR ROUND … SCREAMS something obvious.

Anyone not yet figure it out? Here it is, in plain English: “Even though there’s an NHL team in the city where I live, I have ZERO faith in them to ever win a Stanley Cup. Therefore, I will play elsewhere.”

How does the ownership … KEEP MISSING this???????? They keep sending a failing GM to try to keep a player in the fold. When the player is awkwardly squirming, “Fire Waddell and I will re-sign. Don’t send the dufous to negotiate with me. Send him to the unemployment line.” Man, they just DON’T GET IT. And it’s painful to leave with the aftermath and consequences of that failure to find the SOURCE of the problem.

Bob

February 5th, 2010
5:07 pm

You know what? It’s Friday, it’s beer thirty, and it stopped raining. It’s only hockey, let’s all tip a few (I’ll be sipping me Jamesons all night) to that rascal Kovy who got away from under the Waddell/Octocluster and let’s see how these hockey players left behind react tonight. This game will be very telling, methinks

Badger Bob

February 5th, 2010
5:14 pm

“Rumor going around the team will be in Kansas City next season”

Rumor going around for years that we’ll be in Hamilton/Quebec City/Winnipeg/Las Vegas/KC… what else is new. If Bettmann goes to the mat for PHX, he’ll jump in front of buses to keep Thrashers here. Changing cities changes nothing (there are badly run teams in Canada, too, you know). What we MUST have is change in ownership. That’s the only potential way to get credibility with players thinking of coming or staying here.

Go Devils

February 5th, 2010
5:16 pm

Well Would the Thrashers have traded Kovy if we were second in the playoff race?

FlamesFan

February 5th, 2010
5:23 pm

After losing the Flames, I waited 20 years for the NHL to return. It looks like deja vu all over again.
But if by some miracle we do keep our team, I foresee the following AJC headlines in the future:
FEB 28, 2017: THRASHERS TRADE UFA BOGOSIAN FOR #5 DEFENSEMAN AND ONE-ARMED PROSPECT. WADELL CALLS IT A GOOD MOVE.
FEB 17, 2018: THRAHSER TRADE UFA EVANDER KANE FOR 3RD LINE WINGER AND SPARE ZAMBONI WHEEL. WADELL LOOKING FORWARD TO FUTURE.

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
5:26 pm

So far, Bob’s 11:42AM post is my favorite. http://blogs.ajc.com/iceman-thrashers-blog/2010/02/05/the-morning-after-in-thrasherville/comment-page-1/#comment-19879.

I still say, if the team were 60-20-2, playing before 11,000 fans every night, Kovy would have stayed. It’s about winning. Not holding out for money. In fact, he’ll settle, like George Costanza, for LESS money. He’s not going to get $101 million. He might still pull off $70 million over 10-years. That’s possible.

But remember something, here, folks. Ilya’s already made $37 million playing hockey in the NHL. He doesn’t need to make another dollar in his life. He’s already set for eternity. No, Ilya’s next contract is 100% based on who is the most likely to win a Cup over the duration of the contract he signs. He won’t sign in Phoenix. He won’t sign in Columbus. He won’t even sign in Vancouver or Calgary or Edmonton, or Montreal. I don’t think he’d go with Toronto, but I could be wrong on that one. He’s going to pick a team whose ownership is committed to win the silver chalice. And that means … an organization that demands “accountability” over the performance and selection of the GM. Ya know, the person principally charged with oversight, not UNDERsight of the franchise.

Let me ask you something. And beeeeeeee honest. Do you think that Don Waddell … is out there … feeling sorry for himself, right about now? He should be. He might NOT be. But he should be. Here’s your vote of “confidence.” Savard left. Hossa left. Kaberle left. Kovalchuk said, “adios.” But ya know who’ll STAYYYYYY?

In fact, you’ll have to CHASE HIM OUT THE DOOR … Slava Kozlov. Slava Kozlov and Don Waddell are like two peas in a pod. They’re cut of the same cloth. “I don’t care what happens, so long as I get paid. I like it here, in my anonymity … my nice weather … my low taxes … and my “accountability-free” job!! Makes me SICK.

Before the Kovalchuk trade, there were players sweating it out … that they’d be moved to Atlanta for Ilya. And now, there’s even more of them. For Kubina is next. Then Colby. Then Moose or Kari. And on and on. Guys in other markets are smelling the reality … that they’ll be moved to Atlanta now. And they are trembling with dread.

Red Light

February 5th, 2010
5:35 pm

Your posts are always so charismatic Brendan, that I dread posting after you.

I think several more deals are coming, but the extra No. 1 from the Devils is likely to help land the Thrashers someone like Poni or even better.

Thrashers lose in the shootout tonight!

Bob

February 5th, 2010
5:36 pm

Brendan, let me re-post it then and fix my typos:

If some of you guys think Kovy left over money, you need to stop sniffing Waddell’s jock, step back, and take a whiff of reality.

He left because of Waddell and this horrible ownership. He left and he’ll wind up taking about the same money, or less money, from someone else who has a GM and ownership team that can put together a winner.

Why would Kovy want to tie himself to play here under Waddell and know he has no hopes of a Cup for the rest of his career? Kovy even just said he’ll keep his home here and this will be his 2nd home. It’s not about money, folks. It’s about Waddell and the Spirit. Same with Hossa, same with Heatley.

The day they fire Waddell and bring a real GM in here is the day that many of us former season ticket holders will return. The day they bring a real GM in is the day we have hope again. The day they bring a real GM in is when the players will want to stay here and compete and win.

Wake me up when that day comes.

Until then, the best thing you can do is stop subsidizing the incompetence of Don Waddell and stop making excuses for him. Those fans who naively have made excuses for him from the early years on are just as culpable in this mess as Waddell is. Why? Because you enabled him and you enabled the owners to be able to retain his incompetent rear through your support.

Stat Man

February 5th, 2010
5:39 pm

Record with Kovy this year: 21-20
Record with Kovy injured: 3-3

As the old saying goes “we coulda finished last with you or without you”

Get over it folks – he turned down $100+ million. We need a TEAM, not a single puck-hog grabbing 1/5 of the team’s salary cap!

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
5:42 pm

WBF, isn’t this Kovalchuk situation … EXACTLY like what happened in Toronto when Lanny MacDonald left the Leafs? In Tronna, it was like a death in the family. But worse yet, in their ANGER over his departure, they strangely understood. I don’t know if this analogy is entirely apt, but it’s like … dating someone BETTER than you. Where … you sadly and dejectedly come to the realization that … you are holding the other person BACK from achieving and BECOMING all that they otherwise would. That you’ll never be the ‘trophy wife’ that the Head of the Company should have. That you’ll never be the husband that the “belle of the ball” ought to land. Toronto fans knew … Lanny MacDonald HAD TO LEAVE to get a Cup ring. And, I think, they were happy for him that it happened.

Will I be happy for Kovalchuk, if he lands a Cup ring? Without hestitation, “Yes.” Why not? He served his time in H#LL. Eight seasons’ worth. Kovalchuk did not fail the Thrashers. The Thrashers failed him. And there it is. With no sugarcoating. Can we really blame Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane for leaving, when it comes their turn? Heck no. They’re professionals. They strive to succeed. They realize … that it’s hopeless in this environment. There needs to be a new business model. And there needs to be a new GM. And talking about rearranging lines, or ‘player acquisition’ strategy … is utterly futile and pointless under this regime. It’s just rearranging deck chairs. Even if you pluck something GOOD from the trade deadline, it will leave. Unless, segue ….

Unless it’s draft picks. Like Boston’s, via Toronto. That’s what I had hoped Kovalchuk’s trade would get. I wanted the trade with Boston, for BOTH their 1st round picks (3rd overall and 18th overall). Or whatever they wind up being. That’s what I wanted. I like Johnny Oduya. I do. I can’t lie and say I don’t. But, and beeee honest, would you have ever said, “I want Johnny Oduya SO BADLY … that I’m willing to give up Kovalchuk to get him.” See, ‘cuz I don’t. Bygones.

bartdunwoody

February 5th, 2010
5:47 pm

Brendan – You are correct. It all starts and ends with the Octocluster. The most dysfunctional owners in all of the NHL and probably all of major league sports continues to employ Don. Why?
Ownership is driving away fans and players with their lack of commitment to any kind of quality product.
If the people who participate in these blogs, agents and players can figure this out why can’t the Octocluster.
Bettman must have steam coming out of his ears when thinks about what the Octocluster is doing to the NHL in Atl.
It’s not the fans who are killing hockey in Atl its the Octocluster.

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
5:54 pm

Stat Man, I’m not upset about the money. Or that Kovalchuk left. Hear me out. I’m UPSET that the franchise environment CAUSED Kovalchuk, Savard, Hossa, and Kaberle to leave. Obviously, paying 20% to one player reflects a GROSS and very serious payroll imbalance, that isn’t healthy for ANY team. I get it! I do!! I don’t need it explained to me. What I want people to realize … is that players, when it’s THEIR choice, will opt to leave precisely BECAUSE THE FRANCHISE IS MISMANAGED. That’s the whole frekkin’ point.

And ownership … STILLLLLLLL … doesn’t get it. Unbelieveable.

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

Bob, it reads even better this time around.

Russ, after your posts, there is very little left to add, as well. You do a great job. Especially in your research.

R.Stroz leaves me in hysterics. I particularly liked the line about the players still having their heads draped over the toilet. As in, “Hold my hair, while I puke.” And don’t think, for a second, that there aren’t players having nightmares in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, that they’re NEXT to come to Atlanta.

Brendan

February 5th, 2010
6:03 pm

I beg your STH’s going to the Town Hall meeting to ask Bruce Levenson, Michael Gearon, Ed Pescowitz, and whoever else shows up … why they think marquee players keep opting to leave Atlanta. On second thought, that question is posed incorrectly. Here’s how it should read. “Ask when a marquee player on the Thrashers will decide the organization is being run well enough to stay.” Then jump in, “I mean, not an RFA, who CANNOT leave, because the CBA traps them here.”

I’d love to watch them squirm with that one. I’d love to see this question asked. “Bruce, don’t you think that 9 Top Ten overall picks, including six (6) lottery draft selections, would have netted you a berth in the Conference Finals by now?” Follow up question, “Shouldn’t it have at least resulted in winning a playoff series?” Follow up question, “Shouldn’t it have at least resulted in one (1) playoff win?” Follow up question, “Well then, why haven’t you fired Don Waddell. Waddell once said, “I don’t much care for the ‘name calling,’ but I’ll answer for wins and losses.” Well, there you have it, Bruce. Don Waddell is ready to ANSWER for wins and losses. When are you going to fire him?

Smitty

February 5th, 2010
6:09 pm

Yeah, we got fleeced but why cry about it. Kovy abandonded ship back in Novemeber and his situation became the major distraction we all thought it would become. Time to move on.

I agree with what Burnside wrote concerning how much this team now has to prove. Hopefully they will not tank it as their former captain did. They can now show how much character they have and they can prove to everyone that this was not a one man team. They can prove that they are for real NHLers. They can prove through hard work and effort that they belong in this league and that they are worthy of our support.

Or they can mail it in and remind us of the lousy judge of talent that our GM brings to the table. I think Dudley made a good call on Cormier. Yes he exercised very poor judgement at the World Jrs and at his last game. He is paying a severe penalty for those indiscretions and hopefully he will learn from it. But this guy has an edge along with some size to go with it. Other than the elbows he could be another Dudley.

Maybe this is the start of something new. Building through the draft with someone who can really evaluate future NHL talent. I hope they give us something to cheer about on Saturday night with a real effort tonight against the Caps.

j

February 5th, 2010
6:18 pm

I think i’ve lost all respect for the peole blaming the ASG for Heatley leaving … how would you feel if you were the person responsible for killing a teammate and had to go games/practice and seeing that empty locker. You’d want to be traded as well … duh you bitter numbnuts!!!