Waddell could face a cranky crowd Saturday night

Thrashers fans have had a rough week, (duh1).

It started with the 4-3 loss in Nashville last Saturday night…continued with a lack-luster performance Tuesday during a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay…then came the news that general manager Don Waddell had informed Ilya Kovalchuk he’s going to be traded…the promised trade Thursday and we saw yet another star player depart Thrasherville…all of that was then followed by Friday’s 5-2 loss in Washington to the Capitals, the Thrashers third straight defeat and fifth in the last seven.

So it’s understandable that Thrashers fans might just be in a cranky mood as they enter into Philips Arena for the first home game post-Kovalchuk.

And Waddell won’t have to wait for Saturday night’s  game to begin gauging the mood of his paying customers. Nope…he’s extended an invite to season ticket holders to attend a town hall meeting an hour prior to face off. And I’m sure there are some who are just chompin’ at the bit to tell Don just exactly what’s on their mind.

I’ll give the man this much…he doesn’t shy away from standing up in front of a crowd of people, many of whom that may be looking for his immediate firing, and take it. Regardless of what you or I might think of his performance as GM, that isn’t an easy thing to do…especially given what the fans of this team have been through recently.

I’m sure later on we’ll hear from those of you who will attend about what was said and discussed in the meeting…but what I would like to know now is what you are thinking of saying to/asking Waddell, should you get the chance tonight.

Are ya planning on telling him you are still behind him regardless of the circumstance?

Are you going to tell him you are sick of the constant “re-building” with little to show for it?

Are you planning on telling him just how much you think the team is closer to the Cup after the trade with the Devils this week?

Will you ask him if he thinks Rick Dudley will make a good replacement general manager?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Oh, And There Was a Game Tonight

As for the loss to the Caps…look, the Thrashers ran into the proverbial buzz saw. In beating the Thrashers, Washington has now won 13 straight and 16 of their last 17…the lone loss coming in Tampa Bay back on January 12. They didn’t seem to be bothered at all from playing in New York the night before, beating the Rangers 6-5.

Washington is now 40-12-6 and are making a joke out of the Southeast Division…their 86 points are tops the NHL. With the loss, the Thrashers are now 24-24-8….and Don Waddell along with the Octocluster are making a joke out of this franchise.

rim-shot…thank youuuuuuuu.

Ondrej Pavelec started and saw 4 of the 31 shots he faced get past him.

Johnny Oduya make his Thrashers debut Friday night (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Johnny Oduya make his Thrashers debut Friday night (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Rich Peverley had a multi-point night, assisting on Toby Enstrom’s goal that put the Thrashers up 1-0 early on. He then scored on a breakaway in the third to make the score 4-2. It looked like Washington goalie Kichal Neuvirth had stopped Peverley’s attempt…but his defender helped to knock the puck over the line following the play.

The newcomers that came over in the trade with New Jersey were able to see action with their new team on this night. It’s really tough to judge them after one game…after traveling to D.C. in the morning and having no real practice time with the squad.

Johnny Oduya had no points or shots and was a –1 during his 20:38 TIO. He, along with Enstrom, Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian and Pavel Kubina were called on to play more given the fact that Boris Valabik left halfway through the game with what was described as a “lower body injury”.

Nicklas Bergfors had no points and was a –1, but was able to get off 4 shots during his 12:53 TOI. Those four shots tied him with Rich Peverley for second most on the team…Zach Bogosian and Slava Kozlov each had 5.

Nik Antropov and Todd White were each a –2 on the night…White is now a –17 for the year.

228 comments Add your comment

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 6th, 2010
1:10 pm

Alotta good posts today-
I hope somebody goes to the meeting tonight, so we outsiders can get a full report on what happened. I see Stroz is still on his horse-are you in your regular seats tonight?

Rick Dudley will never be a great dresser or great interview. He’s a good evauator of talent. I hope the organization has plans to expand his role in the future. Anyone who wants to knock him should do it to his face, if you are that brave!

five_hole

February 6th, 2010
1:11 pm

I think Kracker meant maroon. Ever seen a Buggs Bunny cartoon?

I won’t be there tonight, but I’d like someone to ask the following:
The 5 year plan failed. The 10 year plan has failed. Why should we believe in your 15 year plan? What is different in the Thrashers organization now that’s going to bring winning hockey to Atlanta. Is there some Nixonian “secret plan” to win the cup? And why should we believe you now?

At this point, I don’t believe it’s a question of talent. It’s more about organization and leadership. It’s in the best interests of the Thrashers for Waddell and Anderson to fall on their swords.

Alan R.

February 6th, 2010
1:12 pm

five_hole, I’d love to see him rock something this. Rick Dudley is a pimp!

Brendan

February 6th, 2010
1:22 pm

Folks, let me ask you something. And beeee honest. If the Columbus Blue Jackets offered Kovalchuk $121.2 million over the next 12 years, do you honestly believe that Kovy would take it? Well? Do you?

I feel pretty confidently that the correct answer is, “No, Kovy’s Stanley Cup dreams are not for sale, to play for a mismanaged club.” And Blue Jackets fans would scream to their beat writer, “Can’t believe we made such an IRRESPONSIBLE offer to begin with!,” missing the POINT entirely. Which is? It’s not about the money. It’s not about Kovalchuk GREED. It’s about Kovy … FINALLY … getting the chance to play for an organization that is well-run and is also committed to winning the Stanley Cup. And ladies and gentlemen, that just wasn’t going to happen here. Just like it isn’t going to happen in Columbus, either. Ilya Kovalchuk has made $47 million playing hockey for the Atlanta Thrashers. He doesn’t need to make another dollar in his life. He’s set. $47 million isn’t even a MegaMillions lottery pay out, most times. Ilya just didn’t want to stay in Atlanta, working for Bruce Levenson, who KEEPS GM’s the pedigree of Waddell in place, in perpetuity.

Now, believe it or not, Don Waddell isn’t a complete moron. He can walk and chew gum at the same time. He’s not a ‘differently abled’ person, with ’special needs,’ and a drool cup. (No, I will not segue to Kari Lehtonen at this moment.) Moving right along.

Witaker, great to have you back and posting again. I think the reason Waddell didn’t make the Boston trade … was, in part, due to the 8th and final playoff spot possibly being contested between Boston and Atlanta. So, if Waddell had given the Bruins the piece they needed to make the playoffs, Thrasher fans would have just screamed bloody murder. I wouldn’t have, though. Fleecing Boston out of their #3 overall and #15-17 overall pick, coupled with our #6 or #7 overall pick would have had us sitting pretty on Draft Day. Three (3!!) picks inside the top 17!! Sweeet! All that’s needed now, is a proper GM to make sure they don’t turn into assets that walk out the door within a decade (Stefan, Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen?, Coburn, Bourret).

Folks, I cannot lie to you. I’m not concerned about missing the playoffs. If we get in, we’ll get swept. Our franchise is run the way it is, and has been. I was watching the Sabres-Canes game, and in the intermission, Kevin Sylvester, Harry Neale and Rob Ray, during the “round the Whip” segment of the show, discussed the “Atlanta situation.” Not just, “The Kovalchuk trade.” They opined, unamimously, that the Atlanta franchise had to be redone, “from Top to Bottom.” And they cited the losses of Savard, Hossa, and Kovalchuk as proof that star players just don’t want to be there or have confidence that the organization can really succeed. And they really weren’t being smug, crude, rude, condescending or arrogant. They were genuinely concerned for the welfare of our franchise. One summed it up this way, “Guys, something’s got to be done in Atlanta. They just can’t continue like that.”

One last thing. Jay Grossman, I know you’re just doing your job, but let me tell you WHY it is that I dislike you. You TWITTER with fans in Atlanta. You tell them they need to call their team reps that “You want Ilya to stay!”

Do … you … know … what … that really means? Do you?!!! It means he knew that Kovy wouldn’t stay under any circumstance. At any price. But yet, he’d encourage you to push Atlanta’s offers higher. And who knows? Grasping at straws here, but once Atlanta agreed to pony up the money, Kovalchuk’s agent could then say, “Great. Thanks. We demand to be traded now. Per our “new” contract agreement, my client has up to six teams he’ll accept a trade to play for.” And if Waddell doesn’t trade him, he can, technically, walk to the KHL and never set foot in the NHL again. He’d be personna non-gratta over here. Ya sign a contract, ya gotta honor it. And truthfully, Kolvalchuk did honor his contract. Every bit of it. He didn’t bolt to the KHL during these last terrible seasons. Now I hear ya. With a “locked up” Kovalchuk, the returns could be higher than Oduya, Cormier, Bergfors, and a late 1st rounder. I just think sports agents are swarthy, smarmy people.

rob

February 6th, 2010
1:33 pm

DR,
Really? Then why aren’t they “reporting” on the problems that plague this team YEAR AFTER YEAR? I understand the whole deal. Don’t want to cause a disturbance or anything here. Only at what point to you say they are part of the problem for not trying to get to the heart of the matter? OK, I will put it this way for your sensitive side. CAN THEY JUST DO THEIR JOB then? Is that better? The only ones reading their articles are the FANS of the team. But are they reporting on things which effect the team in a negative way, and thus effect the FANS also? So before you make a petty little attack and name calling again, grow up already and put on some big boy pants.

POTF

February 6th, 2010
1:35 pm

Thrashers27- That you tube video was to funny. On another subject. How come every goalie we face here lately looks like the second coming of Patrick Roy? Anyone else noticed that $hit? Reminds me of the Bravos facing some kid just called up from AAA. Pitches like he’s Steve Carlton.

R. Stroz

February 6th, 2010
1:36 pm

I’ll be Section 222, Row E, Seat 9. If Waddell doesn’t re-sign tonight at the meeting, I’ll cheer for the team and scream FIRE WADDELL all night long.

No, its not about Kovy. Kovy is just the straw that should break the camal’s back.

I’ll also be at the Town Meeting. If I get the microphone, I’ll ask for Don to re-sign as part of changing the team’s identity.

The time has come, the fans deserve better, the players deserve better.

j nes

February 6th, 2010
1:36 pm

I am sick of blaming Wadidiot and the ownership. Yes they are incompetent. Yes they are foolish. Yes they are (insert deserving insult here). But, without the financial support of the season ticket holders and other fans, dwindling as they may be, these bums would not be able to further the destruction of the franchise.

Message to all Thrashers fans: If you want to end the incompetence, stop spending your money on tickets, refreshments, half-off Kovalchuck jerseys, hideous 3rd jerseys, or anything else with a Thrashers logo on it.

Your point will not be made on blog or message board! Our only hope is that the team bleeds enough money to decide to sell the franchise to someone who cares, or have Gary Bettman step in and save hockey in Atlanta.

Disclaimer: I never really liked Bettman, but he may be our only hope.

R. Stroz

February 6th, 2010
1:37 pm

I’ve typed too much, that should reead resign, not re-sign.

kracker

February 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

Saying moron as maroon is an old Vaudeville joke…it was one of Bugs Bunny’s favorite lines, etc.

POTF

February 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

Not to take any heat off Waddell, but as long as your only shouting “FIRE WADDELL”, the ASG feels like the moat is intact. “ASG SUCKS” should be more prevalent as a cheer.

Barry

February 6th, 2010
1:40 pm

While I don’t blame Waddell for the Kovy situation because honestly Jay Grossman wanted 11.3 mil a year and was willing to accept nothing less. I’m sorry but Kovy isn’t worth that much and Don is right…this franchise can’t tie up that kind of money into one player that’s not even worth it. Kovy is a one dimensional player. His lack of defense and many turnovers costs Thrashers as many goals as he scores. I do however blame Waddell for not being able to build a more consistent competitive team after 10 years. This is embarrasing.

I didn’t see the Bergfors interview but saw the Oduya interview and you could tell he was seriously lying through his teeth about “happy to be here”. Hopefully Thrashers somehow someway make it to the playoffs so it will help them to swallow this trade a little easier.

I also agree about Thrashers shooting. OMG how many times must they shoot right into the chest of the opposing goal tender? This team doesn’t seem to have many good NHL caliber players who can actually shoot the puck and score with any accuracy. Alot of the players on this team doesn’t exactly scare the opposition anymore with Kovy gone because nobody is a real talented threat to score.

Waddell better be fired after this season’s end no matter what happens. Enough is enough. Time to Dudley to evaulated talent and help bring in some better NHL players on this team.

kracker

February 6th, 2010
1:41 pm

btw, Stroz, I think most people will be happy if DW hands the reigns over to Dudley. From what I know of Dudley, though, and it’s not much, he prefers to do the prospect scouting, watching a lot of jr and college games, etc.

Dr. R

February 6th, 2010
1:46 pm

Rob, it’s not rocket science, hoss. You have a fractured ownership group that doesn’t have the financial heft, or the collective will, to pay for a winner. You have a hockey team in the middle of college football/NASCAR country with a loyal but limited fan base and thin revenue from marketing and TV rights. I don’t go around town and see a lot of folks wearing Thrashers gear, to be honest. It’s a weak franchise, and the only way to fix it is with new ownership. I’ve gathered that much from what I’ve read in the AJC, and it makes sense to me. If you think there is some great smoking gun clandestine secret that is keeping the team from succeeding, I would beg to differ. Sometimes what you see is what is, and I think it’s pretty clear in this case. Great players will gravitate toward the winning franchises and traditional fan bases in most cases in most sports. It’s why we baseball fans get blasted all year long with “Red Sox” this and “Yankees” that. Because their fans are numerous and they care, and their ownerships respond to that. Supply and demand, my friend. As long as 11K transplanted Yankees will show up to Philips to watch hockey, no matter how good the team is, there is little incentive to invest more in it. Face it, the team wasn’t that good with Kovy; spending millions more to keep him would not have brought in that much more at the gate to make it worthwhile from a business sense. The Thrashers either need a committed owner willing to go out on a limb to buy a winner, or a new city full of hockey fans that will demand it. Short of that, what you’ll have is a second-division club struggling to get by well into the future. It’s the business of sports, pure and simple, which is run on reason not emotion and why most fans don’t get it.

rob

February 6th, 2010
1:49 pm

might have to go to a Hawks game and chant ASG SUCKS, as I hear that is the only game in town they attend

John

February 6th, 2010
1:50 pm

The new guys had jet lag? From the draining 45-60 minute flight from Newark to Regan? With guys that fly almost daily 8 months out of the year? Methinks it’s not jet lag…Also Oduya was left off of the Vivlamore Olympic piece…welcome to the team we’re glad you’re here…

Dr. R

February 6th, 2010
1:54 pm

Well, we can agree on that. And forgive me if I sounded too condescending. I’ve worked in newspapers before and I’m a little defensive when people want to blame EVERYTHING on the reporters and the coverage, like they’re the ones out there playing. Buy the paper or don’t but don’t expect them to have anything to do with the success of a franchise, at least not in this day and age.

jared

February 6th, 2010
1:55 pm

As fans i think it is time to start writing and learning chants and cheers. We need to be aggressive, if 8000 of us can scream loud enough the arena will sound full. Im going to start writing right away. I hate how quiet we are as a fan base… GO BLUELAND.

MarriedASwede

February 6th, 2010
1:56 pm

Here’s a no brainer trade for the ole Wadster to pull off, and that would GUARANTEE 3-5 more wins a year:

Trade for Nittymaki. Have him wash cars, or something. Just get him off our schedule.

rob

February 6th, 2010
1:58 pm

DR,
I understand the whole ownership is the problem here, and that is why I questioned the writers to delve a little deeper into it all. It is painfully obvious that they care nothing about the team or the fans that support them. Before all the transplants moved down here, there was a team here which had a loyal following (so I understand at least). Now if you can incorporate that old southern base with the transplants there is a strong case for hockey in Atlanta. All that is needed is a committed team, top to bottom. Doesn’t have to win the Stanley Cup (right away) but it has to have a hard playing team philosophy. FANS want to see a team that leaves it on the ice every night, win or lose. Plain and simple. THAT would sell tickets, jerseys, hats, etc etc etc.
But in order to move forward, sustained pressure should be brought to the owners, which actually means coverage by the press.

Nikita (in PA)

February 6th, 2010
2:05 pm

I’m totally sick of hearing about how loyal, high-minded Kovalchuk just couldn’t sell his dreams to a bunch of pikers. It’s true to some extent, but please — he was on the team for 8 motherfreakin’ years. He’s part of the failure. In fact, arguably with his completely ridiculous +/- and his continual and easily-observed tendency to motivate himself for short bursts and lag/abandon/loaf the rest of the time, he’s a big part of the failure.

I wish the man luck. I wish the team luck. But I am tired of hearing about how a guy who was part of a failing team for 8 years is somehow not involved in the failure.

(And before you guys get into it, yes, I think that applies to more than just Kovy. But I’m not sorry to see him go. I think the trade was the right decision for both parties.)

Brendan

February 6th, 2010
2:10 pm

An open letter to those attending the Town Hall Meeting:

While I stopped paying for ticket packages long ago in disgust, (not over losses, but rather, over ‘direction and concept’ of the team,) I continue to care about this team and wish it well. I would like it to compete for and win the Stanley Cup one fine day. I have a closet full of Thrasher merchandise, ready to wear, on just such an occasion. I even have a recording of the very first Thrasher game ever broadcast. And yes, I was there for that 4-1 loss to New Jersey, where Kelley Buchberger, our 1st Captain, tallied for Atlanta. And the guy wearing #17 … was Matt Johnson. These owners don’t care about me and never did. I’m one voice on a blog. Frankly, they laugh at me and the non-luxury box/non-along the glass dollars I used to toss their way every year. I’m not their customer anymore because of that. And well, they’re perfectly fine with that, too. It’s their view that fans like me simply weren’t hugged enough as a child. They’re not interested in my business. They’ll replace me with a Flyer fan … when Philly rolls into town.

But I digress. There’s a scene in the movie the movie, “Jerry McGuire” that I find apt today. It’s the scene towards the end of the movie … where Renee Zellweger realizes that things aren’t going so perfectly in her marriage to Tom Cruise. And she suddenly has an epiphany, enough to utter these words to Jerry McGuire (Cruise):

“(With) My need to make the best of things, and your need to be responsible … If we don’t do something now, we could lose ten (10) years being polite.”

Ouch. That’s a direct hit. I apologize for it. I do. I apologize for that movie reference. But, ya know, it is really apt, isn’t it? So, if you are going to the Town Hall Meeting tonight, you might ask yourself if “being polite” is worth losing A-NOTHER 10 years. In Atlanta, we’re polite. We are. We’re passive. We’re docile. The organization can keep heaping steaming piles of excrement on us … and we sit there … grateful for an NHL venue in our city. When the truth is … all it takes to fix this whole situation … is an ownership committed to winning the Cup, who’ll hold GMs, scouts and coaches accountable for the decisions they make. They’ve got to stop being a bad joke throughout the NHL. They might really … even need to consider RENAMING the team and designing new logos and uniforms. For this club, from Top to Bottom, feels like a minor league franchise. It tries real hard. It’s just incapable, at this level.

So, please. You paid for this product. So your voice should be heard louder … and carry more weight … than mine. You have the chance, tonight, to tell this franchise, “No Mas. You must change. You must have a different business model. You must change GM’s. Do it now. Don’t wait.”

Dr. R

February 6th, 2010
2:11 pm

But, OK, if you know all that and you believe that’s the case, then the AJC has DONE its job by giving you that information. It has reported on the problems within the Spirit and its shortcomings. I just don’t think there’s anything there that we don’t see. Maybe I’m wrong, and if that’s the case, it’ll eventually come out. I hope you’re right that the team can succeed, but I’m frankly pessimistic. The NHL expanded into too many nontraditional markets in the 1970s and very few of those teams are in the same cities they started in. It did the same thing in the ’90s and the result is headed in the same direction. The economy is tough, the sports dollar is stretched thin, and as a result only the strongest leagues and teams will do well right now. It doesn’t help that hockey tickets are among the most expensive in sports. Most fans these days would probably rather pay half of that and go see the Gladiators, while not having to fighting parking and traffic downtown.

Yung JB from MTL

February 6th, 2010
2:11 pm

Im just eager to see what will happen at the trade deadline….
we have a lot of D depth, we could get some forwards

Go Thrashers

And Kovy is stupid saying there was a crowd supporting him… Yeah like 9,000 ! i saw the game and those empty seats freaked me out. They just landed a top notch sniper and cant get there seats full

Just saying… We have a strong fanbase, but bad owners…

Bugs Bunny

February 6th, 2010
2:15 pm

Ive never heard of a maroon..,but that Elmer Fudd is a moron.

JR

February 6th, 2010
2:15 pm

the northern transplants have been here longer than you think. much of the flames’ base was northerners.

the flames became the darling of atlanta when they first moved here and they never learned to market so that when the newness wore off, they didn’t react well. also, they failed to realize that their fan base lived in the suburbs and didn’t make the start time of games a bit earlier to accommodate these fans..

POTF

February 6th, 2010
2:21 pm

Plett, Lysiak, Bennett, Quinn, Bouchard, Da Boom, Jiggs, ah the memories.

POTF

February 6th, 2010
2:25 pm

Marketing the northerners hockey game with a little southern whoop ass mentality. That’s what put folks in the stands back in the day my friends.

Yung JB from MTL

February 6th, 2010
3:02 pm

Since OV was named captain:
WAS 16-1-0
OV, 32 pts during that span

Since Staal is C:
CAR: 6-3-0
14ots in that span, including 9game point streak

Kovalchuk is a bum

alex

February 6th, 2010
3:13 pm

i want just one question for the owners. on what merit they keeping DW. good team performance year after year, good drafting, good trades. it’s total faulure everywhere. who sincerely think that in 29 other nhl team similar result coul be firing long, long time ago. it’s biggest mystery for me unless DW working for free or paying asg to keep him on the job. just speechless need to take shot of wodka. it’s so depressing. waddell please resign. a lot of good hockey guys around will operate in same limited finance and get it done, for sure. atlanta is cursed, first stan kasten, now this jerk, enought.

Yankee

February 6th, 2010
3:21 pm

Brendan – I totally agree. Here in the ATL we have been too nice and polite but enough is enough. The STH and fans MUST let ownership and DW know how you feel. If not, they will keep crapping on us and taking our money. It’s one thing to be polite but another to get run over!

Whitaker

February 6th, 2010
3:31 pm

People want action, people want their voice heard, and right now the [National/local] media’s eye is still somewhat focused on the Thrashers. How can we take advantage of that? If the the Winter games were not this year or if we had one more home game before the break I wouls suggest a picket line, before the next game. We still could do that, thou the effect will not be as great as it would be now. I liked the shirt idea (putting fire don shirts on the empty seats around the arena), but as we know the ushers would tell us to take them down. Having a picket line, outside Philips is bothe legal, cheap (poster board and maybe a 2×4), and it will get media coverage.

How many of us have turn in to fans that were transplants, changed our colors for the Thrashers and because of the mismanagement have gone back to our first loves? How many of us loved the Flames in the 70’s – 80’s and were excited that the NHL was coming back to Atlanta only to have our hearts broken by Don, and the onwership; and now wish they were still dreaming of a team rather than living this nightmare?

How many of us were introduced to Hockey through the Thrashers? Fell in love with a player and when they were trade or sign with a new team moved our loyalty to that team? How many new Devil fans are there now?

The Season Ticket Holders are used, abused, and taken for granted. It does matter where your seats are, for the 2007 – 08 my wife and I sat in 113, due to the economy and me losing my job I had to get tickets in 411, the way I have been handled is night and day.

I will be a season ticket holder next season, because I love the game. It is my zen moment, I can have a $H!TTY day at work, and the fact that there is a game that night will brighten that day. I may not be as passionate for the Thrashers as I once was because of the terrible job of the front office, but I will be there for every game cheer for the team on and hoping that HUGE changes are coming.

I hope people know who’s fault it is that 17 is not in the lineup. As Brendan said it is not about the money, it is about the cup. If the Thrashers were moving in the right direction as far as getting to the play-off would he being on the ice tonight for us yes! Would he signed a contract for 101 million, maybe but I think he would be willing to take less to help the team. It is about the Cup and it is about his career. Ilya is as everyone knows is a stud, and I expect to see him take off, I would not be surprise to see him win the Rocket Richard outright by the end of the season.

AGS and Don knew what was coming this year. While some would argue that they brought in Max and Nik to show Ilya they are moving in the right direction, that just is not ture. Yes, I am sure ASG and Don did think that (heck they thought Todd White was a number one center), but what did Ilya need? Max did give us some depth that is true, and Nik gave us a big body who should have had a bigger impact. Maybe if Nik was on the wing he would have. The team since Savard left needed two things better defense and a puck moving centerman. The defenses each year has gotten better, bit by bit… guess they like babysteps. As for a centerman, we are somewhat weak up the middle our #1 is a winger, Peverley is a good number #2, Jimmy has shown that he can be a great #3 as well has Marty, but our top line is hurting. What can a Great centerman do, just look at Thornton and Cheechoo the first year Thornton was traded to SJ. Or what Savard has been able to do with Lucic.

I truely hope that the Thrashers fan are smart enough not to boo Ilya when he comes back with the Devils, that would be very unclassy.

I have rambled on long enough and it is time form me to leave to head to Philips… hope to see some of you there.

Thanks

Whitaker

February 6th, 2010
3:32 pm

Market Boults and Thorburn’s fights….

rob

February 6th, 2010
3:45 pm

Rawhide,
Now that the dung has hit the fan (or fans depending on which way we look at it), I was wondering what you and others think about the playoffs. Is it in the best interest of the team to make the playoffs and get biotch slapped as will surely happen or fall on its’ face and miss it all? I actually hope we can somehow miraculously make it in and here is my thinking. 1st I hope the players are all playing for that, even if the chances of going anywhere is null. But with the team being on the young and untested side, any playoff experience we can get them will help for the hope that when we actually have a chance at going anywhere (big jump there I know) it might help that they actually experience it. So is the experience worth missing out on picks?

Bob

February 6th, 2010
3:57 pm

they’re pushed the start time for the game tonight back to 7:30pm. Our guys are still on a bus heading south to pick up a flight back here

Get The Puck Out

February 6th, 2010
4:01 pm

YEA–What Brendan and Whitaker said.

Alan R.

February 6th, 2010
4:08 pm

Our guys are still on a bus heading south to pick up a flight back here

I knew about the change in start time, but really? They’re still on that bus??

Bob

February 6th, 2010
4:29 pm

darren eliot was tweeting pics from the bus ride, it was pretty funny looking. Kamal’s tweet said “still on bus, don’t ask me where we are, the signs are all covered with snow”

AJC article that just went up said they made the plane out of richmond about 4pm

donwaddellsuckssodoeskovy

February 6th, 2010
4:32 pm

First of all if the thrashers want to make their fans happy here is my opinion of how they can pack the stands like the good days when they ACTUALLY MADE THE PLAYOFFS!

1. Make coaching changes. Obviously, John Anderson’s pond hockey system does not work. Hire a defensive minded head coach. There are plenty of candidates like: John Stevens, Ken Hitchcock, or bring back the coach who led the thrashers to the playoffs! Please do this for your fans.

2. Hire a better goaltending coach. Period. If you give up 3 goals a game your chances of winning will always be low. Its simple math the thrashers executives don’t know about.

3. Re-up players like anfegenov, little, and bogo and kane. These guys are the team’s future. Do it now or sign a bunch of crappy AHL Level players and get ready to pack to canada.

4. FIRE DON WADDELL. MAKE DUDLEY GM. He was a major reason why the blackhawks are doing great. He knows what talent is about, don doesn’t because he’s to busy counting how many star players he has traded.

5. If trade get what you deserve. To my opinion the thrashers should have gotten at least Parise or Zubrus and Niedermeyer. Complete ripoff! Kovy for two unproven players in oduya and bergfors. Keep up the shitty work Don Waddell!

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 6th, 2010
4:38 pm

New ownership and a new GM. Those are 2 steps in the right direction.

I don’t know how these owners have not figured this out by now. How many years has it been? Why do you want to lose money be attached to a loser franchise? Not caring is one thing, but pissing away millions of dollars every year is another.

They are so foolish with money, you’d think Obama owned the Thrashers.

LAC

February 6th, 2010
4:40 pm

I agree with Rob, Great idea, we sure cannot trust that vilimore or whatever, to ask the tough questions, he will start calling us fans names, just another controled tool of asg… Sad !

rick

February 6th, 2010
4:43 pm

the thrashers staff have to realize that a pond hockey system of play doesn’t work in the NHL. FIRE coach Anderson. Ever since day one of his coaching job he has brought nothing but inconsistency to an already bad hockey town. We’ve got good enough talent to compete but because of the shitty coaching staff our talent in the ATL is not developed. I bet if bogo, pevs, pavelec, antropov, even kovy would be in a team like the Capitals their talent would be 2x better than what they are playing rite now. Good for Kovy he deserves to be with WINNERS because his talent can only drive teams if that team is willing and ready to win. Get over it thrashers fans! Dont blame kovy blame the executives and owners and the coaching staff! THRASHERS SUCK 4 LIFE!

stendec

February 6th, 2010
5:21 pm

Having served as a newspaper news/sports reporter for over three decades before becoming physically disabled I wish to make a statement. Reporters depend on sources (people) for news. I know from experience that 99.9 percent of politicians are liars who cannot be trusted. From the local all the way up to the federal levels. Sports folks are generally straightforward. Normally. Ask Don Waddell a straight question. He will waffle, stretch the truth or lie. Why bother? Ask the owners something. If you can find the rocks they are hiding under. Same scenario. Ask DW about his daughter and he will speak for hours with the eloquence of Shakespeare. Most parents will. Do not blame him for that. Ask him why the highest paid player who had no intention of upping again was allowed the hold the entire team hostage for eight years. DW will shift conversation to the color scheme at Philips Arena. If hard questions continue the answers will become even more evasive. Answers are duly reported. Anything resolved? No. Fans appeased? No. What does that exercise in absurdity accomplish? Not a damn thing. Sorry. Just wanted to clarify. Damn sure hope Thrashers win tonight! That would show old what’s his name. ++STENDEC++

Get The Puck Out

February 6th, 2010
5:22 pm

Git ‘em tonight BLUEland fans. Let ASG and Don Waddie know how ya feel! Testify fellow Thrasher fans! TESTIFY!

Max Cap

February 6th, 2010
5:24 pm

Anyone got the start time for the Kovalchuk Memorial Ceremony tonight?

Snookie Puncher

February 6th, 2010
5:38 pm

WHO CAN BLAME KOVY FOR LEAVING? I certaintely cannot. What hockey player ever dreamed of playing professional hockey for just the money? I cannot imagine many at all. Those young boys dreamed of hoisting that Stanley Cup in the air, on the ice in front of their loyal fans. So while Kovy said it was all about money, I knew deep down that it was more than that. He is 26 and hasn’t played in one legitimate playoff run. Wouldn’t you be frustrated? Wouldn’t you think, “was this what I practiced and worked so hard to get to?” – NO. I have never played hockey and I am a girl. But I know one thing, he didn’t want to stay here and I cannot blame him. Thanks to Don, he watched talented player after talented player leave the Thrashers organization… leaving him behind. SOme of them went on to win Stanley Cups, while others simply went on to win. So can you blame Kovy for wanting to go to another team where he can play with those of equal talent? I cannot.

I am by no means trying to belittle or take away from the current Thrashers team. Kovy leaving might be the BEST thing that ever happened to them. This is a real opportunity for these young players (ha, except old Koslov) to really show what they are made of. It’s a chance for this struggling team to show to NHL and the world that it belongs in Atlanta and it can compete against the best of NHL teams.

So let’s get out there tonight – in front of a home crowd – and lets show everyone why the Thrasher ARE a FIRST CLASS ORGANIZATION that can live without Kovy and can THRIVE without Kovy.

GO Thrashers!!

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

February 6th, 2010
5:42 pm

I agree with those who are calling out the ownership. I understand that it’s a business, but being a fan is a passion. Put something on the ice that we can be passionate about!

Don’t forget Coach Anderson. We was supposed to have this fantastic system, what happened? He was supposed to be familiar with our AHL talent, we haven’t seen a single player from Chicago!

stendec

February 6th, 2010
5:44 pm

TO THE NEW GUYS:

If you bust your butts every second on the ice, take losing personally, want the team to win, do not fret personal stats as long as the team is successful, regard men in different colored uniforms as sled dummies to be pounded, take shots when appropriate, make passes when appropriate and accept losses grudgingly I welcome you with open arms!

If you coast on the ice, accept losses graciously, are apathetic to wins and losses, seek personal stats over team success, avoid physical play, always shoot, never seek to pass to open teammates and embrace defeats then go the Hell back to New Jersey!

Should be proud you escaped from that damn cesspool state anyway.

++STENDEC++

stendec

February 6th, 2010
5:56 pm

Snookie Puncher. Hello. Glad to have fairer sex active in posts. Understand your passion. However. Ilya Kovalchuk misled (lied) when he strung fans along. I could care less what he did to management. I am talking about fans? Fans like you, LAC, Sage, Smoothie and myself. IK knew he was not going to stay. Yet his abysmal play immediately prior to his departure (skating figure eights, allowing goals with defensive lapses, avoiding contact like a debutante in a prom dress) probably cost us critical points. A true captain has a way to elevate his team to one, if not two, points in single goal defeats. IK mailed it in. Think his teammates failed to notice? Think fans did not notice? I preached from the start that IK was looking to jump ship at the first available opportunity. I sensed it then. IK lied and reamed the fans. That is what I cannot forgive. To Hell with what he did to DW and the idiotic owners. I guess what I am saying is that the fans supported IK through thick and thin. Then he shet on them. Was that fair? No matter how anyone attempts to justify or sugarcoat it. Welcome. Hope to see more of your comments. ++STENDEC++

Thrashers27

February 6th, 2010
6:41 pm

What kills me is that there is so much speculation as to what did, or did not happen in the Kovy situation. The bottom line is that THERE IS NO WAY anyone on this blog has any idea of how it all went down.

I do agree that Kovy was lolly-gagging recently and I’m not sad to see his defenive lapses leave, but how did you expect him to play this? how do you think it would look if he were honest about his feelings? I can see it now “Um, this place sucks and I can’t wait to go to a real organization.” Nobody in their right mind would say anything like that even if that’s how they truly felt.

It’s clear that the biggest issue here is ownership and Kovy recognizes this. That’s why he made the “first time playing for a first class organization” comment. That was a huge shot at the ownership and nobody else. I guarantee you that Kovy really appreciates the fans, coaches, players and most likely the general manager here. I really believe that if the ownership didn’t have such troubles that Kovy would still be here, but hey, that’s just speculation and I don’t want to get into that.

Anyhoo, it’s time to move on. Let’s hope that Bergfors does well here Oduya finds his game quickly and that Cormier turns into what Waddell thinks he will. With Dudley’s fingerprints on this deal, I’m a little more optimistic.