Don Waddell is right about the Thrashers needing new identity

For those of you who have been regulars around here since I’ve been hosting this little online forum for the past three seasons, you know I’ve not been shy about dipping the pen in poison ink before opining about the Thrashers general manager on occasions. But tonight, I happily write about something I totally and completely agree with Don Waddell about…and that is his statement recently about how this team needs a new identity. As he said, the roster for the longest time had been constructed around him.

But with Kovy’s departure, the organization is in a bit of an identity crisis…and I think Don was correct in pointing it out.

For too long, whatever identity the Thrashers might have had was based on icing a team that formed from the idea of winning 4-3 and 5-4 games almost every night. As we have seen over the past several seasons…that simply does not work. If you have to rely on 4 or 5 goals every night, you aren’t going to win more games than you lose.

Given that, I have to say that I hope…I pray…that the type of team Waddell is thinking about as he sits down again at the drawing board is one that takes the form of a tough, physical, defensively responsible, hard-nosed squad that is made up of quality character guys who fight for each other each and every shift. A kind of team that opposing players simply do not want to travel to Atlanta and play because they know they are going to have a fight on their hands win lose or draw…OK, win lose or overtime loss.

In short, the new identity needs to be, in a word…tough.

The kind of Thrashers team I would love to see in the future, to be honest, was on display during Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. I hope I see it more often…and that style of play is what Don builds around, not just one player.

Thrasherville celebrates with Niclas Borgfors after he scores his first goal for Atlanta. It put the Thrashers ahead 3-2 in the third period (AP Photo/John Amis)

Thrasherville celebrates with Niclas Bergfors after he scores his first goal for Atlanta. It put the Thrashers ahead 3-2 in the third period (AP Photo/John Amis)

This was a gut-check night for the team. They had departed Atlanta with Kovalchuk, said good-bye to him later in the day, and then were beat by probably the best team in the league…their third loss in a row. Adding to their misery was a commute back home Saturday that resembled something out of the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”…departing Washington D.C. that was in the midst of a snowstorm by bussing themselves to Richmond where they caught a flight to Atlanta.

I believe Don Waddell even mentioned that the airport closed shortly after they got off the ground. Regardless, they arrived at Philips Arena around 6:30 or so…and there was some sort of fender-bender along the way.

The game was pushed back to allow time to dress and adequately warm up…but they found themselves down 2-0 after the first period. Honestly, if they had been blown out of the barn on this night, I think most people would at least understand why.

However…instead, what emerged from the locker room was a group of players that decided they might was well play hard since they were there anyway, put some bodies on opposing players, busted their collective humps in the defensive zone and evened the score before heading back in for the second break.

It lead to an eventual game-winning goal by new Thrasher Niclas Bergfors with 4:26 remaining in the game…and what a wonderful way to introduce himself to Thrasherville…but it all began with the gritty, tough, focused, edgy attitude that accompanied the team when they came out for the second period.

The team played tough tonight…worked themselves out of a funk, they did.

The Ilya Kovalchuk era in Thrasherville is over. With that is a chance to rethink and retool this organization…to actually start building a team from the goal-out and put ice a team that will bring the hurt with them night in and night out.

That’s what I hope Don has in mind.

One Jacked-Up Crowd

I wasn’t planning on being at Saturday night’s game. I spent know I was spending the entire day at Ft. Benning down in Columbus…and would need to get up at O-dark thirty to get down there. But once it became clear this was going to be the first game of the post-Kovalchuk era, I know I needed to be there.

So…I broke a few speed-limit laws on I-85 to make it by 7:00.

What I was most curious about was what type of mood the fans were going to be in. As was the subject of my last blog, it looked like Waddell and the ownership could face some tough questioned at the town hall meeting and the assembled masses could be loaded for bear given the current state of things in Thrasherville.

What I witness, however, was an emotional welcome to the team as they took to the ice…and all through the game they were loud and raucous. A lot had to do with the game itself and the way the home team played…but it seemed as though most came to the arena with the mindset that they wanted to show full support for the players on the ice and even welcome Bergfors and Johnny Oduya, whom the Thrashers picked up on their trip to D.C.

My impression was that Thrashervillians were ready to move on from this whole Kovalchuk drama and get back to simply pulling for their team. We can discuss and debate the trade and reasons for it…but in the end, when the game is on, that stuff gets put aside.

From what I understand, the THM was mostly civil…a good two-way discussion between fans and management.

As I said at the top of this entry…I can be tough on Don Waddell, but I’ll give the an kudos for not shying away from standing up there and answering the to the paying customers.

188 comments Add your comment

Tim

February 7th, 2010
1:46 am

First? Whatever…

Tim

February 7th, 2010
1:54 am

I’m proud of the fans and the team. My wife and I are regulars (BTW… she’s been to 13 or 14 games in her life, starting last season, and they’ve lost ONE, and that was last season… can we get her some tickets please?). Anyway, I was proud to take 4 new fans to the game tonight. I expected a smaller crowd and I personally saw ZERO negative signs and whatever negativity people came with was squashed by the great vibes.

Observations:

1) Kane gets ZERO love from the officials.

2) Olduya (spelling?) is a stud

3) If you weren’t there you have to go to NHL.com to see #4’s fight. OMG!!! I don’t recall who that player was but he won’t be dropping gloves with Bogo again. WOW! Actually, I’m not sure that there’s solid food in his immediate future.

Ron Mexico

February 7th, 2010
2:07 am

Well said Bill!! From what I saw on the highlights Kane really hustled his tail off. The boys started off slow and given the travel, that’s understandable, but they really fed off that crowd tonight. Lets keep it up boys!! As for the Kovy trade, I really think that while we lose some firepower, we now have the potential to reshape our identity and be a gritty and more defensively responsible team without the aforementioned Captain turnover who is allergic to backchecking around anymore. Great to see the new guys chipping in too, all around a great day. I’m gonna miss Kovy as much as the next guy, but you can put me among the group who is guardedly optimistic about the future as now guys like Little won’t have to defer to Kovy as much anymore and I think his production will take off. The trade is of course a bitter pill to swallow, but honestly it had to be done. If tonight’s game is a true indication of things to come, we’ll be a more united team than ever before.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2010
2:20 am

Bill – thanks for posting this blog and in so doing, featuring the main topic of our discussion throughout the evening perched above the ice in our “customary” nose-bleed seats. The only way to ressurrect this foundering franchise is to not only change the identity of this team, but to foster hope by emboldening hard-working players who care about each other by empowering them with more opportunities to excel and play as a team and not so much as complementary parts supporting a star or stars.

I can only hope and believe that this is a step in the right direction. Does tonite’s inspired, hard-fough win mean we won’t suffer more bumps along the road post-Kovalchuk. No, of course not. But you had to be in complete denial to not recognize the passion with which the team played tonite. I am positive that the players could not have ever imagined (even in their wildest dreams during a long bus-ride induced slumber) the outpouring of support they received tonite. It’s almost as if people decided to show up in order to see if the management REALLY DID TRADE the face of the franchise. But I’m more inclined to believe that the majority of the 15,000+ (felt like 17,000) came to the arena tonite to show athlete prima donnas everywhere that a team is worth supporting if they play hard, play for each other and leave every ounce of their will on the ice after 60 minutes. Even had they lost tonite, I could not have been disappointed with the effort.

I’m getting too old (and to think I’m only 36) to live and die with every win and loss and only watching sports for the fulfillment of some wonderful fantasy that my team will win the big game or hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. I simply want to enjoy the game for what it was intended to be: a passion-filled, hotly contested battle of wills between two worthy opponents who both want the same thing. If you root for a team simply for the wins and the glory, you will be sorely disappointed more often than not. Pull for the players because you appreciate the effort they give and for the aplomb with which they conduct themselves in executing their dream job. Or the passion and fervor they exhibit when defending a teammate’s honor with a series of upper-cuts and right hooks in skate-to-skate combat.

I want to be a fan because I care about the players and because I want them to succeed and realize the fulfillment of dreams they’ve had as kids. The same ones I had growing up and which drove me to play home-run derby with tennis balls against my father’s church, or tennis by myself against a wall who was the Borg to my MacEnroe, or break windows in the basement of my parents house with plastic pucks I fired on a cardboard cut-out of Bartles & James to see if I could beat Roy top shelf where momma hides the cookies!

What am I trying to say? Simply that it was such a refreshing pleasure to see so many enthusiastic people at a hockey game just days removed from one of the darkest moments in our beloved franchise’s history who came out to support their TEAM and the new members of that team. The ones most casual fans have never heard yet embrace and welcome with open arms in the form of hearty applause, raucous chants and pure unadulterated jubilation when one of the new kids on the Blueland block roofs a bullet over the shoulder of the goalie who has owned us the last 2 times we’ve played against him. That is reason to cheer. That is reason to celebrate a new beginning and again begin to dream about what it would be like for this group of individuals unite as one and realize collective goals and dreams that fermented in their minds as children — the same dreams that carried them here to Atlanta. Like it or not, their YOUR ATLANTA THRASHERS.

Smoothie

February 7th, 2010
2:29 am

Apologies post-posting for the numerous grammatical errors, typos and run-on sentences. But it’s very late and I’m surprised I can still formulate one sentence let alone 50 after the night of bourbon-infused fun I had tonite down at the Bulb. Great job fans! Way to give Ilya “let me wait and see if my teammates are worthy of my hard work” Kovalchuk the big 1-fingered salute…keep it up. This team will need every ounce of support it can soak up to be “successful” and make a true run at the post-season. Why not believe? It’s more fun than arguing with the LAC’s, Sages and EastPointBobs of the blog world I can tell you that!

Sharon

February 7th, 2010
3:48 am

Smoothie… That was a wonderful post. Thank you :)

Let`s Start the Season

February 7th, 2010
3:48 am

Sure is nice ole Smoothie spouting off with a dose of humility. Tonight, we`re all proud of our team. Haven`t been able to feel this good about Le`Thrash in I don`t know when. Don`t let it rub off.

GBiscuit

February 7th, 2010
6:10 am

not a nefarious question, but how many games have the Thrashers started out down 0-2 this season? I cannot find the stat. Does anyone know?

GBiscuit

February 7th, 2010
6:25 am

Mike Milbury from the Hockey Channel’s Saturday night broadcast and Chuck Oliver from 680TheFan both let Don Waddell have it this week over the Kovy trade and his carrer missteps. Good to hear word getting out on this guy on a larger stage!

jimbo

February 7th, 2010
7:55 am

Donnie Brilliance- DUH. It took you ten years to recognize that toughness and defense are part of the NHL. You’ve been asleep too long. The game has passed you by. Move on. You may have lucked out on the Kovy deal- Bernfors and Oduya are certainly not in the Christensen mold. Two good hustling, skilled players. Way to go guys.

Putting On The Foil

February 7th, 2010
8:02 am

Rawhide-4th paragraph of your write up just described the old Atlanta Flames.

HookyBob

February 7th, 2010
8:08 am

The team played a fine game tonight. Maybe we should bus them to Athens or something before every game.

Two things caught my eye. First was that we did seem much more physical. And I think it contributed to the victory. Hainsey even got in his first fight as a Thrasher.

Second, the refs missed calls, and made-up phantom, penalites. Of course one of them was none other than Stphan Auger (recall a recent dust-up between him and Alex Burows of the Canucks?). Perhaps he didn’t have time to inform the players beforehand of what his calls would be.

Bergfors and Oduya looked good last night. The way this team played I feel better about our play-off chances. Sad to say there have been rumors about more trades coming. Does anyone have an update on contract talks with Kubina?

Tom F.

February 7th, 2010
8:09 am

The Red Wings talked about it being time to trade Yzerman and “get a new identity” back around the mid-ninties. The fans were in an uproar, owner Illitch stepped in and stopped all the trade talks between the GMs and the rest is history, Wings won back-to-back cups a few years later and again shortly after that — all with Yzerman wearing the ‘C’.

Sorry, I for one cannot buy into Don Waddell’s face-saving campaign he’s been on since the trade. I have never seen an NHL GM meet personally with the fans to explain a move–I look at it as a desperate move to save face and one that reeks ‘amateur’. Gotta say though smart move by DW, now he has some of the bloggers and media writing things in his favor and cooling down from the shock of his franchise-destroying move. ‘Smooth move, Teflon’.

The Kovy trade will destroy this franchise–wait and see and it was totally unfair for the fans who have supported this team through DW’s awful run as a GM.

Finally, players of the caliber we got from NJ are a dime-a-dozen and DW could have easily found a slew of guys like that in the off season–should have kept him and tried to make a playoff run.

Also with Kovy not in a Thrashers sweater, dont expect to attract any more established players like Antropov or Kubina any time in the near future. These guys must alreadybe packing their bags. Sorry to say but that move has the boat sinking fast.

Sage of Bluesland

February 7th, 2010
8:14 am

God, P.T. Barnum must have had the wittle Bwuewanders in mind all those years ago–some of you never fail to disappoint me!

Wow, so after over a decade, Donny figures out that his team needs an “identity”? Really? Too bad the head coach HE selected is an offense-only minor leaguer?

Yeah, don’t let that thought get too deep in your collective minds. Donny is a real revolutionary in thought on considering building a “tough” team! (I wonder if he reads the blogs around here sometimes for ideas–as Brendan has been saying the EXACT thing for how many months now).

Laughable “admissions” from the “braintrust” in the form of these Sara-Specials seem to be occurring every year lately–and the “fans” buy it more each and every year! Now THAT is funny!

I wonder how long it will take to build this new “vision” of Waddell’s? Another ten years? Or, is Donny being reasonable with a mere “Five Year Plan”? I’m also going to assume we’re going to “Build through the draft”? Hmmm, next will be the new round of playoff “guarantees”?

And, then, surely there will be more “town meetings” to recognize all failures and assure the “fans” they weally, weally want to win a Cup…

Wow. It really is Groundhog Day in the proverbial joke otherwise known as Blueland…

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
8:22 am

Bill – thanks for posting this blog and in so doing, featuring the main topic of our discussion throughout the evening perched above the ice in our “customary” nose-bleed seats.

Smoothie – The Thrashers are 3-0-0 when I join you and the Blueland Chronicle in their perch.

Just sayin’…

Rawhide-4th paragraph of your write up just described the old Atlanta Flames.

POTF – Thanks for recognizing that. I had actually typed that in…that what I saw last night resembled an old Flames game…but I wanted to see if I wasn’t alone in that.

Second, the refs missed calls, and made-up phantom, penalites.

HookyBob – Yeah…it was frustrating…but I don’t like using refs as an excuse. Sometimes teams have to play through bad calls or bad no-calls. It’s called character.

Whitaker - I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to post your comments from the last blog that you posted last night. Good recap of the THM…

Great game!! Great Game!! There was definitely a different team on the ice. Without Ilya, I think the team looked at the game as a way to prove that they did not need Ilya to win. They played like they had something to prove. This was great.

My highlights from the town Hall meeting. Yes, as a geek I took notes.

When Don walked into the square arena, to much of my surprise he was met with cheers, not many if any boos. I guess the boo birds were the ones that decided it was not worth going… shame their voices were not heard.

On Ilya:
We got the same lines from Don that he has been saying all along, Ilya is a good man, Don does not want to be negative, and it was all business. The facts that Don stated were that back in April Don met with Ilya and his agent to get the ball going informally. Ilya wanted “to see where the team was headed”. Before the free agent period Don met with Ilya to go over a list of players Ilya would like to bring have on the team, and see if any were possible and likewise compare his list of players to Ilya’s. When Ilya was reluctant to discuss a contract Don and the front office were taken back. Ilya wanted to “see how the season was going to start, what the chemistry was going to be like.” When the team was above 500 Ilya told Jay that he had the green light to start talks about a contract. The rest is what Don has said in the media over the past few days:
Ilya wanted more money than Ovechkin.
Want the max, 11.3 mil for 12 years
And so on…

What I took away from this was:
Ilya had a great deal of input into making the team what it is today. In my humble opinion, I think they gave him a bit too much input. I do not think roster players should plan the line up. As in the case of Ilya bringing Max to Atlanta, the “hey I know this guy who might fit our needs” approach I am all for it. But Ilya did not do too badly at picking guys. Ilya like everyone else knows that what looks good on paper may not be that good on the ice, so he wanted to see what kind of a monster he, Don, and the Ownership built. When the team started off good Ilya was willing to have his agent talk about a contract.
Then the story about the money, Don REALLY pushed the money issue home, IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

As I said before and was quoted, I do not buy it. Playing hockey is a JOB for NHL players. In this line of thinking there are people everyday (less now than a few years ago) who weigh different job offers against each other, some have a better salary but the benefits are not that good, some have great benefits but the salary is not that great, and a few have great benefits and a great salary. Now apply this to Ilya, if the benefits are the play-off and the Cup. He was at a job with good pay (current contract around 7 mil.) but felt the benefits were lacking. To make up for the benefits and to start negotiations Ilya asked for as much money as he could (wouldn’t we all??). He boss did not like this so Ilya was moved to a sister company till his contract is up. Ilya is not happy about this move because the benefits have been majorly upgraded. When he has to look for a new company to work for he may take a lower salary if the benefits are as good as he is currently receiving.

People may laugh but that is my stance and what I choose to believe.

Don and the owners have admitted to building the team around 1 player. Any educated fan knows you cannot plan a team around 1 player, in hockey there should be at least 3 goalies, a defender, a forward. If you pick only one to build around the team is going no where unless that player is VERY good and can carry the team by themselves. I do not think there is 1 player in the league that can carry a team on their own, not Crosby, Ovechkin, no one.

The locker room has welcomed this change, some are very happy about this change as they felt Ilya needed to be more of a leader. [Don] “They felt like at times they were not getting enough from him.” This is not something new this happens from time to time on teams, hey think one player would be a great leader and they promote them too quickly being the captain. I think Ilya is very much like Thornton in this regard. Thornton was giving the ‘C’ in Boston too quick. He knew how to lead, how to be a presence on and off the ice, but at times he did not want to be in the limelight, avoiding media after a bad lost. I never got the feeling that Ilya enjoyed the media or would get used to having to answer for the team. It is a tough task and only a select few can handle it and want it.

Let’s face Ilya wore the ‘C’ because the Thrashers were using it as a carrot in the hopes of keeping him here.

On the goalie situation:
Don all but confirmed that Kari is the goalie that they want to trade [Don] “There really is not much of a market for a goalie who has not played much hockey.” “We are looking to see how we can get him into games.” When asked why Kari, do did not shy away from the question by much, but one had to read between the lines. He compares Kari to Moose. “Moose has never missed a practice, and he has been here for what 4 years. Moose is the first one on and off of the ice. The players know that they can trust him in net to give the same performance night in and night out. The players in the looker room like playing in front of Moose.”

OK, So Kari is a slack butt and the players do not trust him to play well.??? Ok I seem to remember a goalie that looked like Kari (he wore 32) facing the amount of shot each night that goalies in the play-offs with over times sometimes see, playing VERY well. On night where he face 54 shot he would on average only give up 4 goals, I will take that save percentage.

Don made it clear that he has no intention on carrying 3 goalies for the rest of the season, so someone is going, going, gone and it is not Moose. So who should it be? The Goalie that starts off great each year he plays for us, but hit a wall and cannot play a full 60 minutes, or the goalie that acts a bit like a rock star and is a bit injury prone but has proven he can play 60 minutes under a hail storm of rubber? I am sure you can guess which I would pick out of these 2 options. My true pick is simple but going to be very well liked. Trade Moose, keep the 2 young goalies, have a 1 – 2 punch, and have them fight it out in net for who is number 1 and 1a.

The owners:
We were told how much the owners are involved and want the team to be successful. Bruce stated that yes, they have made some very bad mistakes, but they have learned from them and he is hoping the future will be better.

The Owners are 100% behind Don and the decision he makes. [Bruce] “I have heard from current Season ticket Holders that if we do not fire Don that they will stop supporting the team. I have heard from former season ticket holders that say if we fire Don they will come back. Well at the risk of financial lost I am going to state that Don is going no where.” So folks no matter how much people complain it really will do no good.

The lack of fans and how to bring them back.

Both Don and the Ownership are of the mind that at the end of the day the only way to get fans in the seats is to win it does not matter who the owners are or the GM people do not care about that stuff when a team is winning. True, the fans that come because you are winning are the fans that will not be there when you are loosing. Don broke it down this way: They believe there are about 5,000 hard-core Thrashers fans, 3,000 hockey fans that they lost that come to a few games a season, 3,000 fans that were thrasher fans but have decided not to return to the arena, and 7,000 (most fans) that do not know much about hockey and will not till the team is winning.

When ask to give a reason for STH that might not want to renew to renew Don, thought about it and said to support the team that is on the ice. “Fans should support the crest on the front of the jersey not the name(s) on the back.”

One season ticket holder said that he was unsatisfied with the way he was being treated by his rep. “I have spent over $100,000 in the past 10 year on premium seating, and I feel I do not get anything back for that.” Don said he was right that they do owe him something, he never said what. Don did say that he is very disappointed that STH do not feel like their reps know them or have a good relationship with them. He went further and said that any person who feels that their ticket rep is not treating them well to email him [Don] and he will make sure that it is fixed. I have had 3 (Kat, Barry, Brian) reps over the years and I feel none of them treated me well nor took the time to figure out what make me tick.

It appears their solution to the STH not getting what they want is to next year giving us a menu of options…. Does this mean we will be paying more base on the options we want? No one asked.

The only time Don lost his cool was when a fan brought up Hossa, Savard, and a few of the other top tear players that have left Atlanta. I was a bit shocked at the reaction as the question was asked very politely, no cursing, no anger words. Just how do you explain these players leaving and what will be done in the future to try to stop this? I am not sure if Don is just sick of us bringing this up or if he feels that these were personal failures and he hates to think of them.

This is getting wicked long, so let me end with some tidbits or quotes.

“A defensive system like Minnesota is boring to watch.” – This was in reply of why not switch to a much more defensive system while rebuilding. I say if wins are all you want then who cares if the system is boring you get wins fans come back right?

“We knew from day one that [the] Hossa [negotiations] was not going to work out.” – Really!!??? That was not the story back then.

Oh one more thing there will be more Molson Beer in the upper level since there keep running out.

Thanks

Get The Puck Out

February 7th, 2010
8:25 am

Kovy didn’t want to be here. Period.

Matt

February 7th, 2010
8:26 am

Can someone help me out. On Kane’s goal, was it awarded to him due to throwing stick and there being an empty net?

NHL.com highlights showed Bogo’s fight. Nice.

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
8:30 am

Matt – Yes…that is why Kane was awarded the goal. It was an empty net on a breakaway and if a defending player throws the stick to knock away a shot…it’s a goal.

Ward

February 7th, 2010
8:39 am

Goodbye Kovy….you and your agent used the system to get your non-checking style into a Stanley Cup contender’s jersey. Now that the issue is settled it appears to fans have made their “statement”. Last night’s crowd was solidly supportive of two-way hockey, grit and a “team” concept.Hockey is a great sport and Atlanta has what it takes to support the team. The Waddell and Spirit issues will be there for an undetermined time but what we see on the ice will bring us back for more.My family and I will be back….and those two rookie goals last night were “sweet”. Thanks Moose for being the “face” of our team through all this with your class act.

Putting On The Foil

February 7th, 2010
8:41 am

As much as the Kovy trade has brought out the bloggers the last few days, maybe it will also bring out the fans. Rawhide surely must like his blog attendance these days. As Thrashers management keeps us, the fans, confused, we, the fans probably keep them a little confused also. Bottom line, there is a lot of fair weathered posturing going on. I’m as guilty as anyone at times. But it’s kinda like bitching about politicians and not voting. I vote. Fans can make a difference. As Smoothie said, these are our Atlanta Thrashers. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I’ll support them. Mainly, because I’m a home team guy and also in hopes of keeping hockey here in Georgia. Done lost it one time, don’t want to feel that way again.

LAC

February 7th, 2010
8:58 am

So, levenson was at this STH meeting ? Saying waddell is going nowhere.
Typical, Their choice and I will not be at Philips until waddell is gone, MY choice… And I have not missed it all that much !

thrashville

February 7th, 2010
9:07 am

I was not expecting that type of crowd last night… thank you fans for your support!

thrashville

February 7th, 2010
9:08 am

and for those that missed the town hall, there was quite a bit of positive energy in there … for those that missed the game, you missed the valentine’s puck surprise!

thrashville

February 7th, 2010
9:09 am

LAC – and i for one do not miss your negativity there … you are not a true fan as it is

Badger Bob

February 7th, 2010
9:12 am

Great blog, Rawhide! You do a nice job calling it as you see it without going over board one way or the other.

Two notable examples of the new (hopefully permanent) grit and determination: Bogo ripping his arm out of his sweater so he could start pummeling Moore. Kane flipping the puck toward the empty net, then outracing the FIVE Panthers between him and the puck. That’s the stuff the wins games, wins over fans and changes identities.

Lee

February 7th, 2010
9:16 am

Bergalisious
Definitious
Make them ‘Cats go loco

Putting On The Foil

February 7th, 2010
9:17 am

On a side note. Kovy attempted a hit along the boards last night, but missed.

Tincup9

February 7th, 2010
9:20 am

Several of you already made these observations, but I went last night as much to see the crowd reaction as anything. What a shock. Pleasant for a change. Darren Elliot said it best in his “Keys to the Game” when he told the crowd to KEEP IT LOUD AND KEEP IT PROUD. The played with pride. That hasn’t always been the case.

I also think Hainsey wears the Captain’s “C” next season. Already a team leader, he was obviously fired up by the crowd during warm ups and it carried over to his leadership on the ice.

Rightshot

February 7th, 2010
9:25 am

I made a couple of observations myself last night.

1. Todd White has played well over the last two games, even throwing some good checks. I’m upgrading him from “Charmin” to “Two ply”

2. (My friends observation) Kovy has left the building, Don should follow.

3. The team showed hussel, determination and a true desire to win as a team, not defer to a “superstar” and see if he can win the game for them.

4. Obviously, to many penalties, otherwise I would think we would have had about 2 more goals.

5. Bill, you are right as always. This team ,IMHO, should be know as a tough, skilled team that never quits and opposing players do not want to face, especially at home ’cause the arena is so loud. (With Thrashers Fans, not other teams fans)

Good win and hopefully many more to follow.

Rightshot

February 7th, 2010
9:43 am

The Jimmy, Armstrong, Kane line. The JAK line.

thrashville

February 7th, 2010
9:48 am

Rawhide – you forgot the portion in the Town Hall meeting where one fan called for the firing of Jeff Schultz, but i guess you can’t report that considering he works for the ajc … that was the loudest applause i heard at the Town Hall

Also, the comment made by one of the other season ticket holders regarding heatley/savard/hossa/kovy was more of an attack on Don b/c that season ticket holder was the same one who asked don to resign … i didn’t have to take notes to see that was a personal attack which fell mostly on deaf ears there. That season ticket holder did not represent the thoughts of more than 80% of the people there, including the 500 or so of us in the fan club that were there to support the thrash in nashville last weekend. The rest of your notes were dead on though … i’m personally ready for a change to this franchise and i would like to see a new identity b/c what we had before wasn’t working …

WoodstockDave

February 7th, 2010
9:53 am

Of course, it’s way to early to determine if the trade has been a negative OR positive in the near term, but I was really encouraged by what I saw last night. This team played like a team for the first time since the first month of the season.

The power play looked different as the game wore on and that a good thing! While at first they had Bogo and Kubina stepping into the left circle, they hit the net, which 3 out of 5 times Kovy didn’t do (and out of the zone the puck went). That would kill so much time and take the rhythm out of the PP.

The TEAM looked like a team. Guys like Enstrom, Slater, and Little skated with the confidence that they are being relied on to work, bang, and put the puck in the net. Again, a good thing.

I think focusing on star power is what got this team into this mess, and hopefully getting rid of the guy who wasn’t necessarily the best team player will get them out of it.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
9:58 am

To add on to HookyBob and Smoothie’s comments-

I was sitting in the end and saw the Bergfors goal right in front of us; man that was a sweet goal! The kid has goal scorers hands.

What a difference in a team, playing physical, old time hockey. Hainsey and Bogo I fights, Jimmy playing VERY physical and watching Evander Kane come out again. I thought Kane was the best player on the ice last night on both teams. Why? Because of his drive; that kid had his motor working last night. He had the “John Tonelli” going on with a little more speed. You must drive to the net. Believe me, defenseman HATE players and teams that drive the net.

What was more evident last night, in the team and the crowd was the exorcism of Kovalchuk. We have exorcised the Great Russian Elephant (sorry to OUR Russian). Screw Kovalchuk AND his agent for their “I love Atlanta” BS. Enjoy the Chemical Dump State.

Hey Don, if we are so committed, it’s time to resign some of these UFA guys NOW.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 7th, 2010
10:08 am

For what it’s worth, I am not buying into Don Waddell’s realization of what we need, after 10 years of losing and failing to resign so many key players. This guy is as close to “Rasputin” as I have seen since Wayne Fonts in Detroit a decade or so ago. Again, here we are talking about comparing the Detroit Lions to the Atlanta Thrashers, not a glowing comparison.

The Thrashers may become a success someday, despite having Don Waddell. We may be that lucky. Until then, I will continue to support hockey in this town, despite having the “Teflon Don” running this operation.

Sabres’ fans have to deal with Darcy Regier. Ranger fans with Glen Sather. Braves’ fans have to deal with idiot Frank Wren (i.e. Bird Brain). All 3 GM’s make more stupid moves than good ones.

We need to keep the heat on Donnie, don’t let up.

Hockey Biltong

February 7th, 2010
10:10 am

We won, with about 17000 friends. Was it worth the trip last night ???
Hainseys first fight, Bergfors scoring and Kane being screwed by the refs again!!! Hell yes….
I didn’t go to the sth meeting, but heard from R.Stroz about it.Thank you R. Stroz for what you asked!!!
When we started winning last year around this time, you will recall the team finally picking up on JA’s system. They are re-acquiring it again , albeit with JA a year wiser.
BTW Dudley is the ‘man’ now and will be in the future. This bodes well for us.
Rawhide, good to see you again and sorry to hear about Valabik. I hope Schubie heals quickly, cause we are gonna need some of his grit back there….

rob

February 7th, 2010
10:18 am

Awesome game….about damn time the boys in blue ran somebody outta town with an all around whoopin’. It was fun, it was loud, and the game wasn’t decided until the very end. They checked, fought, and fore checked hard. It was a fun game to watch (even though I was worried at end of 1st).
That being said, it sounds as though some of you are thinking as long as that happens, all is well. Anyone who was there should have recognized that the final 2 minutes, when you know Fla. is gonna try to press and you better have your STRONG D on the ice, Mad Max was on. I like the guy a lot and he played pretty well last night, BUT HE IS A DEFENSIVE LIABILITY, and Kozlov out there with him too. HORRIBLE COACHING choice, and not just a mistake by him because if you go back a few games prior, he did the same thing with #17, which nearly cost us the game when Nik couldn’t clear the zone cause his winger was cutting figure 8s. Time for a new coaching philosophy. They are CRAZY if they think Pavs is the future, cause let’s be frank here, Moose probably isn’t here more than maybe 1 more season. He might fare longer as back up. Sounds as though the Wolves goalie is doing nice and that is well, but Kari has to be the goalie and it will be a mistake to let him go.
WADDELL IS RIGHT…… we do need a new identity, starting at the top with someone who won’t lie, mislead, and not talk to the FANS until it is way too late. The ASG was at the meeting you say? Heard from a fan while he was laughing about my FIRE WADDELL tshirt and ASG=Taking the “SPIRIT” out of Atlanta Hockey they were there and that the “Owner” said that they were on top of things and “very involved”. If you buy into that, then why has the team been in the shape it has been in for SO LONG?!?!?!?!?! Don’t fall for this again people. Support the team, cause they are dam sure gonna need it, but it is time for wholesale change, not just cosmetics!
Finally, LAC, I agree with some of what you say, but if you say you don’t miss being able to see a live hockey game, then frankly, it is time to stop blogging about it.

Ice Daddy

February 7th, 2010
10:24 am

Here are some random thoughts…..or maybe just a stream of consciousness (unconsciousness?)

Kovy trade – when you think of this in the short term, this was an amazing trade for the Thrashers and I have to commend Don for making it. You don’t trade players, you trade player contracts/rights and the Thrashers made out great. In the long term view, this trade would not have been necessary if Don had been able to put together anything resembling a team that at least has a chance at the playoffs year in and year out. I firmly believe Kovy would have signed (and not for the max contract) if we were even making the playoffs every other year.

Last night – from everyone’s comments, last night’s crowd was bigger and louder than usual. I just thought it was because I haven’t been to a weekend game lately. It definitely was a lot of fun although it did get a little quiet when we went down 2-0. The physical play and especially the fights brought the noise back and the Bulb was at full wattage by mid second period. Now if we could all just make it out to the mid-week games.

New guys – I’m glad they made the 3 stars of the game because they both deserved it. This was definitely not some “give the new guys the stars to make this trade look good” thing. They earned it with hard work and skill and I look forward to seeing them push us towards the playoffs.

Refs – for awhile there, I was thinking that maybe there was a new emphasis on goaltender interference when we picked up two of these penalties on plays I’ve seen 100 times with no call. If there was such a directive, the refs should let both coaches know before the game. However, I realized there was no such emphasis when TWO Panthers crashed into Moose in the third at the same time with no call.

I am really energized with how our team looks right now. I think Kari will be gone soon and I just hope we get value for him. I’m thinking we will most likely stock our system and keep the big club as it is right now. I’m okay with a trade if it happens, but I just wish he could have stayed healthy because he is a great goalie when he can stay on the ice.

I’m glad to hear the THM was civil. I didn’t get to go, but someone near me who went said it was a blood bath and Don was getting hammered. While many believe he deserves it, that is really not the point of these meetings. I also think Don has some big ones to have the THM right after the trade and also to show up at the post game show.

Zoomo

February 7th, 2010
10:24 am

So far, it looks like Bergfors knows how to get his shot off. That is something we need more of from all players. I like that trait a whole lot.

GaVaHokie

February 7th, 2010
10:26 am

I’ll just say… that was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve attended in Thrashers history, when I expected it to be one of the worst.

One of the biggest crowds I’ve seen this year… especially for the Panthers.

I didn’t see one “Fire Waddell” sign in the building… for what it’s worth.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
10:29 am

Biltong, that was the best game of the year last night, despite the refs.

On the refs-we should use the new rules in periods 1 and 2 and goal back to the old rules for period 3. Let the players play! I don’t pay a dime to see a referee. #15 from last night had his arm up so much, he is going to need shoulder surgery tomorrow.

Yankee

February 7th, 2010
10:31 am

Disappointed in our STH – he was met with cheers, not many if any boos. I don’t want to hear one more STH complain about spending money if that is your reaction. Once again, this is why the team will not change. If ownership hears cheering from the most loyal then they will think all is OK. You guys are idiots! Keep flushing your money down the toilet and stop whining!

BTW – I WAS a STH but I got smart with what money I do have.

HookyBob

February 7th, 2010
10:36 am

Following up on refs,..they were just plain bad,..to both teams. My apologies to anyone who read my comment above as an excuse. However, I do concur w Tim’s earlier comment on Kane. That kid really coming into his own.

To para-phrase a classic post from last month. “That Bergie feller can really shoot the puck.” His getting open, picking up the pass, deking a defender, and rifling the puck topshelf was a thing of beauty. Hope to see more. (Just wait til he gets to practice with his teammates.)

Oduya makes our D better too. They kept the puck to the outside and didn’t give up too many shots. Perhaps Florida normally doesn’t take many shots though.

Also, concur with comment on Hedberg being a stablizing influence who brings his “everything” every start. Sounds like he does it in practice too.

Twisted Wrister

February 7th, 2010
10:40 am

The exchange between Don Waddell and the fan that asked Don Waddell to resign was very interesting. First, I would not consider the banter a personel attack. The fan posed a fair question based on facts in a polite manner.

This is my best recall of the discussion between the two.

The fan had a rather long winded opening, which went something along the lines of:

“Staios, Brunette, Savard, Hossa, and Kovy, we have never retained a top tier UFA, Mr. Waddell you were quoted as saying that Kovy has been with the team for eight years and the Thrashers have only one playoff berth and zero playoffs wins, so its a time to change the identity of the team, with that in mind, Mr. Waddell you have been with the organization ten years with the same number of playoff berths and playoff wins, as part of the identity change shouldn’t you step aside and let Rick Dudley take over as GM?

Mr. Waddell replied, “If you’re asking me to resign, I’m not going to.” At this point many fans clapped their hands, I’d estimate about 25% of the audience. Mr. Waddell continued asking the fan, “If I had re-signed Kovy at his asking price, which player, Kane or Bogosian, would you rather not keep when they are due for a contract extention?”

The fan replied, “Mr. Waddell, at this point, it doesn’t really matter because, as history has shown, you’ve not been able to keep any of our top tier players in the organization.” At this point, many fans, I’d estimate about 25% again, cheered, acknowledging the fan had a solid point based on Thrasher history.

Mr. Waddell, asked the fan, “could you name that list of players again”, the fan did so, “Staios, Brunnette, Savard, Hossa, and Kovalchuk.” Mr. Waddell asked the fan if he said “Heatley”. The fan said, “No, Heatley is not on the list due to the circumstances of the situation.”

At this point, “Mr. Waddell admitted making mistakes along the way and hoped a change in identity, winning, and making the playoffs would address the retention issue in the future.”

I’ll give both the fan, and Mr. Waddell credit, the discourse remained civil, yet a lively interaction between the two.

Bob

February 7th, 2010
10:57 am

That’s because they got confiscated on the way in, Hokie. What did stroz ask at the meeting?

Let’s pray that Levenson just gave Waddell the proverbial vote of confidence/kiss of death last night.

Last night’s was a great game to watch. Friday night’s game also was good to watch as the guys really hustled. Keep in mind that over a 82 game plus playoff season, you can’t bring an effort like that every night (well, in the regular season), or you’ll burn out. The guys simply outhustled the Panthers as they outhustled the Caps Friday night, problem with the Caps’ game was that club is so much more talented, it rose to the top.

They need 4 out of the 6pts in these next three games, and then rest over the break and see if they can’t just try to hustle their way into a playoff spot, that would be great to watch.

The main underlying problem remains as long as Waddell is in charge (anyone suffer under the delusion that either Armstrong or Kubina will re-sign here?), but I’d love to see these guys hustle their way into a playoff spot.

Mrs. Zoomo

February 7th, 2010
11:04 am

Great piece Bill. Now I wish we were there last night, sounds like a great crowd.
On a side note, this is what happens when you play for a “World Class Organization” Welcome to NJ/NY Kovy!
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=516652&cmpid=fb:wallpost:averykovy

English Teacher

February 7th, 2010
11:18 am

Last night’s game reminded me of the Toronto game last year when things turned around for the Thrashers. Same energy in the building, same determination on the ice. I’ve said it before, hustle and hard word trumps raw talent, and I think the team we saw last night proved that.

The new guys looked really good, while Thorbs and Marty were outstanding on the PK. I LOVED seeing blue jerseys crashing the net and the gritty work along the boards. Hainsey and Bogo both dropped the gloves…the only thing that was missing was a shorty during the 2 Minute Drill!

It took long enough, but I think we are starting to get a sense of “the hockey way” in Blueland.

rob

February 7th, 2010
11:27 am

You can’t sustain that kind of play for 82 games?!?! Um, I beg to defer. There will be nights when we are out worked/outplayed, or when a guy is flat, but the only way a winning team happens is to bring that kind of effort day in and day out. I think the long ride on the bus may have been a blessing in disguise. Hopefully it gave the team time to hash it all out amongst themselves and come to the conclussion that it is time to make hockey fun around here again. As for Kubina/Armstrong, only time will tell, but if you don’t want to stay here, then get the f276 outta here. No need to have people who don’t want to play. But secretly I think Colby might have seen the light, said it before. Slater/Kane are on fire and playing FUN hockey, and that may be what Colby needed cause I think he has been much better since being put with them. As for the refs….UGH. LOL but what do you expect, we are the Trashers, and we have a LONG way to go before we start getting the benifit again, and I am sure that all of Kovy’s crying about “missed” calls when the opposing team wouldn’t let him get to the slot to shoot will be with us for a while. Oh well, just BOO them too.
Next month will be crucial. How many people are gonna show up for the week night games? How many people will support the team and question owners/gm/coaching? I hope enough to make REAL, LASTING changes here, both for the NOW, and for the FUTURE.
LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!!

Hockey Biltong

February 7th, 2010
11:39 am

Enjoyed talking to you last night rob!!! Loved your shirt….lol was sitting right in front of you.

Albert

February 7th, 2010
11:42 am

I’d love to see that stat for the Won/loss when Kovy sat out for suspensions or injuries vs how the team performed overall with him. My recollection is that the team never really seemed to miss him and played just as well without him.

Until ownership is fixed the team will have to be built through the draft or trades. Signing free agents will be much harder until then. I wasn’t a fan of the David McDavid sale but miss it now. Why did Ted have to sell out to Time Warner or can we blame this on the AOL merger?

Ted, please come back!!!

Schultz and Bettman Talk

February 7th, 2010
11:51 am

Lee

February 7th, 2010
11:51 am

Man, I was at the game last night, and was it loud or what?! Geez, It was hard to talk to the guy next to you.

Cup Guy

February 7th, 2010
11:56 am

That was by far the best game I have seen in person by this team in a long long long time. I have to bring it to everyones attention. Did you see Bergfors smile during the interview after the game? I mean WOW! Did kovy every smile like that? Hell did he ever smile at all? This is a kid who wants to win. This kid reminds me a lot like Kane. I think it is going to be great watching him grow up with us.

The STH meeting was not what i was expecting at all. I was sure people were going to crucify Don. I was glad and excited to not see that happen. He had it right when he said the crest of the front was more important then the name on the back. i think he stole that from Herbie Brooks but that is ok. I agree. Kovy is a good player, but he isnt great. He was only worth half of what he wanted because he only plays half of the sport. You have to play D buddy to get what you want. I am glad to see a new identity. It is one that has been long waiting.

We are going to be just fine without Kovy. The way we played last night was because of the crowd. The team got down but the fans didnt and they fed off of us. People say that teams win games. I disagree with them. A lot of times the fans win games because the team feeds off of you. Players say they like to play in front of big crowds, but many will say the like to play in front of crowds with big voices. That is what is going to help them win a lot of games. Big crowds and big voices. So this is where we network out. You love hockey and go. Bring another person to a game with you. Get more people into the arena and make that crowd larger. There is an excellent game coming up where you can get great seats at a great price with the money going to a great cause.

March 7th. Sunday against the Canes. Tickets that are normally $42 will be $20 with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross to help Haiti. People in Haiti live off of about $3 a day. $3 A DAY!
Come on guys. We can raise a ton of money to help our these people in need. If you need more info or want to purchase these tickets. You can email me at
Cupguy20@gmail.com

See ya after the olympic break!

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 7th, 2010
11:56 am

Hey Yankee-you wonder if DW would have the same courage if he were the Flyers’ GM, going into a room with a group of Philadelphia fans? I think Thrasher fans are way too kind.

Twisted Wrister

February 7th, 2010
12:03 pm

Most of the fans critical of Waddell have given up, leaving the Kool-Aid drinkers in the town hall meetings.

rob

February 7th, 2010
12:04 pm

Biltong,
And nice to meet you too. What a game huh? I think I saw Rahide talking w you at one time but didn’t get to introduce myself. Awesome to see the team get supported like that, you could see the guys game reflect the emotions on the ice. Think there were more body checks in that game then in any 10 game stretch the whole season.

Side note,
I was down by the glass for the game winner and was banging on the glass and cheering and yelling, and afterwards the usher lady actually came up and told me not to do that again……really?!?! NEVER saw that before, and was wondering if others have experienced that as well?
Or did she not appreciate the Fire Waddell tshirt? hahahaha

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

Two more notes-despite his recent decline in play, I would take Ethan Moreau on my team anytime. You never have enoough grit.

The Florida Panthers were laying down in front of shots again last night. My response? They want to do that, hit them with the damn shot! That stuff wears on you over a season. They’ll get up eventually, alot slower than they did earlier in the season.

Buzzeng

February 7th, 2010
12:23 pm

Bill – as always, thanks for your posts and thanks to those who post behind you. I read them all and enjoy the humor and knowledge that is routinely dispensed even though I rarely post.

Quick question – who, on the bus or during the first intermission, do you think stepped up and took hold of this team and got them to start thinking that they could come back from a 2-0 deficit and get back into the game and even win it? Who is the team member in the locker room that got it done last night and could do it again?

Nice to follow the Thrashers win last night, and especially seeing one of the “traded” get the GWG. Go Thrashers!!

The Real Thrash

February 7th, 2010
12:55 pm

The identity the Thrashers need is the one without Waddell. And since he has been the GM since our inception who is more responsible for having or not having and indentity-Waddell. Rawhide, start being what is expected and needed on this blog.

Brendan

February 7th, 2010
1:24 pm

Let me begin by saying, I’m proud of Atlanta’s fans for being a loud and solid presence, post-Kovalchuk. I’ve always said that the level of hockey interest in this town is very strong. All this market really needs … is committed ownership and accountable management. Sadly, they’ve done very little in those two categories. That Atlanta is willing to support them in spite of that … shows just how BADLY the fans (1) LOVE HOCKEY and (2) want to keep their team. It is remarkable to witness.

Segue, well … you’ll excuse me if I point out something obvious. Don Waddell is not the “newly made GM” of this franchise. It’s been his job, since Day One, to formulate an identity for his team. Brian Burke formulates an identity for his teams. Why doesn’t/hasn’t Waddell done the same? Anyone have any answers for that? There’s an awkward silence. Some crickets chirp. Off in the distance, a coyote howls. Then some tumble weeds roll by. He had a DECADE to do his job, and he didn’t. He deserves no more time. The only thing that there’s TIME FOR … is change. Change at the GM position. If we’re going to be headed down an identity of “team grit/team toughness,” let’s let another GM be the architect of it. I’m more than a little bit tired of Don Waddell’s “on the job training.”

I get it. I’m a ONE (1) voice on a blog. Nobody cares. Fine. If you STH’s, the paying customer, tell the ownership … “everything’s SUPER. Stay the course.” You’ll continue to get what you asked for.

To piggy back on my posts of late last night to Whitaker, I think he’s right that Moose should be the goalie who is shopped. He’s a 30-WHAT year old career backup, who is having a FABULOUS season! Translation: This is the HEIGHTH of his trade value. You’ll never get more for him than right now. Just like last offseason … was the zenith of Todd White’s trade value. What did Kenny Rogers sing? “Gotta know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.” It’s that time with Moose. I love him. Hedberg is one of my favorite Thrashers, to be honest with you. But he’s the guy whose HIGHEST Trade Value is right now! You wait to trade him, his value decreases.

I’m not sure the same can be said of Kari and Pavelec. Pavelec … is still a developing prospect. Clearly, his best days are still ahead of him. All he needs … is to be properly developed, with a goalie coach. As for Kari, if he’s fully recovered, he can be a VERY CAPABLE goalie. He, in fact, may be this team’s #1 goalie. But at this particular juncture, what GM wants to trade for him? They want to see more. They need to know … if Kari is really healthy. And they are leery enough of him, given his substantial injury-prone past. I don’t know who’s really worth more … on the trade market. I’d guess Lehtonen, given his pedigree, would be #1. Pavelec, would probably be #2. And Moose #3. But Atlanta can still “attempt” to build around Lehtonen and Pavelec. Moose is too old for that now. He’ll turn 37 on May 5th. Hanging on to him accomplishes what, exactly?? What does it accomplish? He’s not our goalie of the future. He’s a CAREER backup. I’d rather have Lehtonen as the backup, if the organization thinks Pavelec is the #1 guy now.

Now, I hear ya, if you just said, “trade Lehtonen at the Draft, then pluck a Tier I goalie from free agency.” Well, forgive me for this, but isn’t this where we CAME IN, back in 2002?? Our options then were draft this STUD GOALIE named Kari, from Finland, or go claim Curtis Joseph off of waivers (at $8 million, with two years left on his deal with the Red Wings), or go after Eddie Belfour, Hasek, Irbe, Nabakov, or Khabibulin in free agency. Folks, let’s be honest. Free agents aren’t coming to Atlanta. And to trade for them is risky, too, since they NEVER EVER AGREED to sign here. Which means? It means … they’ll likely leave the first chance they get. I’m willing to give Pavelec a chance to develop. He’s only 22. He’ll be 23 in August. Time to cut bait????? I don’t think so. That’s very irresponsible. Kari till turn 27 in November. Old??? Over the Hill??? Career, OVERR?????? Well, not based on age, anyway. The goalie in our midst that is closer to 40 than 30, is Moose. I love him. But he’s gotta go, for whatever Don can get for him.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
1:30 pm

R. Stroz

February 7th, 2010
1:35 pm

What did stroz ask at the meeting?

Bob – Read what twisted wrister wrote about the meeting and you’ll know what I did at the meeting.

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
1:40 pm

The Jimmy, Armstrong, Kane line. The JAK line

rightshot – You mean ike…we gonna JAK you up? Love it!

Bill – as always, thanks for your posts and thanks to those who post behind you. I read them all and enjoy the humor and knowledge that is routinely dispensed even though I rarely post.

Quick question – who, on the bus on during the first intermission, do you think stepped up and took hold of this team and got them to start thinking that they could come back from a 2-0 deficit and get back into the game and even win it? Who is the team member in the locker room that got it done last night and could do it again?

Buzzeng – My pleasure…thank you for reading. You are 100% correct about those who post here…I’ve always said that is the best part of this forum.

You can get some quality writeup all around the blogosphere about the Thrashers, but IMHO, the best conversations happen right here and on C-Viv’s blog….hands down.

As for your qeustion…I would venture to guess maybe Hainsey or Reasoner…maybe even Moose and/or Kubina. But I really think what we saw last night was everyone deciding it was time to step up. Either way it was good to see.

Rawhide – you forgot the portion in the Town Hall meeting where one fan called for the firing of Jeff Schultz, but i guess you can’t report that considering he works for the ajc … that was the loudest applause i heard at the Town Hall

Also, the comment made by one of the other season ticket holders regarding heatley/savard/hossa/kovy was more of an attack on Don b/c that season ticket holder was the same one who asked don to resign … i didn’t have to take notes to see that was a personal attack which fell mostly on deaf ears there. That season ticket holder did not represent the thoughts of more than 80% of the people there, including the 500 or so of us in the fan club that were there to support the thrash in nashville last weekend. The rest of your notes were dead on though … i’m personally ready for a change to this franchise and i would like to see a new identity b/c what we had before wasn’t working …

thrashville – That wasn’t a report of the proceedings by me…I was driving back from Ft. Benning and didn’t get to the arena until just before 7:00. Whitaker posted that up last night on the previous blog and I thought it was worthy to re-post here.

As for the Jeff Schultz comments, like I said, I wasn’t there…so I had no idea it was made. Sounds like Schultzie hits a nerve with Waddell and his supporters…I guess that sometimes happens when journalists are free to be crtitical and not just opine in the manner that the organization wants them to.

And it is good to see so many of the Fan Club members post here recently…last weekends trip to Nashville was a hue success and it made for a very impressive sight with all tose Thrashers jerseys in Sommet Center.

Rawhide, start being what is expected and needed on this blog

The Real Thrash – And exactly what would that be? What I have always “expected” of myself is that I set the table for discussion and allow others to come add to the converstation with their side-dished of information and observations.

Given the amount of comments posted around here lately from all sides of the issues, I think I am doing exactly what is “needed”.

Red Light

February 7th, 2010
1:51 pm

Well done R. Stroz!

Brendan

February 7th, 2010
2:04 pm

WBF, thanks for the link This Bucky Gleason didn’t mince words, did he? I enjoyed that read. I continued on to the Ken Hitchcock firing item, in Columbus. It raised my eyebrows that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson made the decision to fire him at NOON, then let him run a 2PM practice, before firing him at 3:30PM. Of course, the bigger issue, in my mind, is why Howson waited past January 15th to fire Hitchcock. Hadn’t he seen enough, by then?

Folks, this is what I’m talking about. Nobody ever said … EVER SAID … that it’s “easy” to be a GM. GM’s get “second guessed” and “third guessed” all the time. But the bottom line is … SOMEONE has to make the tough decisions. SOMEONE DOES. And they have to be “timely” and “correct.” Often, based on “imperfect data.” And the GM’s must be held accountable for those decisions. I have sympathy for failing GM’s. But only up to a certain point.

Did I think Neil Smith got a fair shake out on Long Island? No. He was CANNED after 41 days. Largely, because Charles Wang is a certifiable moron. Did I think David Nonis got a fair chance, out in Vancouver? No. The guy had two winning seasons in three years, but they fired him simply because he didn’t put the Canuks in to the Western Conference Finals. In 2007, when Columbus fired the “village idiot” Doug MacLean, did I say, “poor guy–that wasn’t fair?” No. He deserved to be fired. He was ineffective, and he made bad choices. There’s a body of work there, to evaluate. And MacLean just didn’t get it done.

And right here in Atlanta … there are no words to justify the indefensible. For the record, Sabres fans, I think Darcy Regier is a good GM. He has terrible ownership around him, named Larry Quinn and Tom Golisano. And yes, you must also include Golisano, for he put “village idiot” Larry Quinn in charge.

Let me ask you bloggers something. Raise your hand … if you think Red Wings GM Ken Holland should be fired? Detroit is outside of the playoffs, and it’s February. Put … your hands … down. No, he should NOT be fired. You want to know what a ‘fair weather’ fan is, it’s a fan of Detroit who is screaming, “Fire Holland. Fire Babcock.” They’ve had injuries. But way more importly, Detroit has been a Top Four contender, every year, since 1993. No one should utter a “peep” of criticism their way. They are a 1st class organization, that runs itself very capably. Thank you.

What about Atlanta? Well, per Kovalchuk, New Jersey is the only 1st class organization he’s ever played for. And he’s not lying.

HookyBob

February 7th, 2010
2:05 pm

Stroz: Thanks for echoing my sentiments at the STH townhall. Donny just keeps learning from mistakes doesn’t he? If so, he’ll soon run out of mistakes to make.

A27

February 7th, 2010
2:12 pm

I don’t post often, but I have to say that I was proud to be a Thrashers fan last night and I was proud of the team to. A couple of more games like that and my ass will be back at Phillips arena. I have no problem paying my hard earned money on some hard working hockey… win or lose.

Brendan

February 7th, 2010
2:14 pm

R.Stroz, thank you for asking the tough questions. Like Renee Zelleweger says to Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire,” … with my need to make the BEST of things … and your need to be RESPONSIBLE … we could LOSE TEN YEARS … being “polite” (to each other). Those comments on the epiphany Zellweger has that, perhaps, her marriage in NOT in a very good place.

So, R.Stroz, I thank you for not being docile. For cornering this GM … trying to wake Bruce Levenson up from his stupor.

Thrashers27

February 7th, 2010
2:26 pm

Great game last night! The crowd was excellent and the team played as a team. Great to see!

Anyone else notice that the talked about the prominent olympic teams…went through the Canadian Olympians, the Americans and the Russians making mention of the NHL stars who were set to participate, but not a single mention of our dearly departed figure skater.

How incredible would it be for the Thrashers to make the playoffs and sweep the Devils out in the first round. That would be hilarious!

Yung JB from MTL

February 7th, 2010
2:30 pm

hey, i know Edmonton needs a goalie
send them one of our goalies and white for horcoff,moreaou, osullivan (one or two of them)

i know they want to get rid of souray also…

Yung JB from MTL

February 7th, 2010
2:48 pm

TURN ON NBC GUYS what a game in Washington

Sharon

February 7th, 2010
2:59 pm

R. Stroz… I thank you too for your pointed questions. I damn near lost my mind when I read Waddell’s comments in the paper regarding the 8 yrs of Kovy and only 1 playoff berth. Talk about deflection.

Waddell can spin it all day long, but for me, it comes down to one thing. All of our top players have marched out the door season after season. And top free agents have taken less money rather than play here. They simply don’t have faith in this franchise. That stack of unsigned contract offers absolutely SCREAMS of your incompetence. Don Waddell, I’m going to take their word over yours… every time.

Red Light

February 7th, 2010
3:00 pm

Rangers need a back-up. Philly needs a No. 1 goalie. Edmonton has Khabibulin who is hurt and they’re out of the race. Other than those two, not sure any team is really needy.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
3:05 pm

You know Brendan, I’d hate to be the GM in hockey. Very few GM’s ever get the respect they deserve. How many GM’s currently in NHL get the benefit of the doubt? McPhee, Holland, Lou are about the only ones that are free to do what they do with very few detractors.

I have talked about Darcy Regier in Buffalo. Darcy Regier does not hold town hall meetings. He rarely takes fan calls on call-in shows. The nature of the job is to constantly be on the defensive.
So, I give Waddell some CREDIT for at least meeting and takling the tough questions. You can question the autheticity of his responses, but at least he is there to meet the people.

Some of you may not like that last sentance, but it’s the truth.

rob

February 7th, 2010
3:17 pm

Thrashville,
If you are crying about Shcultz most recent article, which I saw you doing over there, you are the problem. It is time to turn the heat up and keep the spotlight focused where it needs to be…..squarely on DW and ASG (note to JA, you may be collateral damage here). Bettman all but said it is NOT going to let this abomination continue. It is a detrement to the league, the players, and oh yeah, the FANS in Atlanta. I actually took hope in the fact that Schultz asked those questions and got that kind of answer. Now I can only hope that we the FANS hold up our part, and that the media will follow this story to its’ end, which will be either a huge change in ownership philosophy or new ownership……either will work, and both will take DW down if he isn’t by then.

rob

February 7th, 2010
3:20 pm

WBF,
I have to think WD meeting was a direct deflection tactic designed to keep the STH from revolting, which would put the spotlight even more on the problem with ownership. Once again it sounds as though DW did his job and made believers out of the very people this organization has fleeced for a decade……dam

alex

February 7th, 2010
3:24 pm

nothink new about levenson. only wild suspicion why he felt on love with donny. no common sence whatsoever. i hope we will feel same optimistic after road trip to chi.-min.-col. but doubt. kovy haters keep digging off to find some negative about hin. in russia, canada, usa, sweden he considered same star as ove and malkin no more no less, but all expert wrong except stendec and Thrashers27. good dream to beat nj in playoff, not going to happen because according to levenson waddel here for ever. just to beat lou (not talking sweep) donny need brain surgery, but he could’t afford – not enoght money he rob from levenson. need 20 more years of robbery.

EA

February 7th, 2010
3:26 pm

Rawhide, just to clarify. DW said nothing bad about Jeff Shultz. It was the fans who gave the loudest applause when someone in the crowd asked if we could get him fired. The question was asked in jest. In fact he told a nice story about having him over for dinner at his house.

Yes, Thrasher27, I noticed a certain Russian olympian who was not mentioned.

I think the positive comments on the blog area much needed and welcome change from all of the drama of the last several weeks of the Kovalchuk ordeal. Sometimes it is nice to take a break from all of the negativity, even if it is justified. What a night last night! Never been so proud of the Thrashers. Keep it up guys.

Blueland Buddha

February 7th, 2010
3:27 pm

Hey Rawhide- I met you at Taco Mac after last nights game and wanted to say I enjoyed meeting you. While I had said my handle in some previous posts was AngryThrashFan, I decided to change it. After last night, how can one be anything but optimistic? Especially the crowd! What a great way to change the dynamic in probably THE most important game of the year! Even though today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I am actually having a SB Party, all I can think about is hockey! Wednesday cant get here soon enough. Enjoy the game, all! I look forward to being a part of the conversation on this blog through the run to the playoffs.

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
3:30 pm

EA – Thanks for the clarification…I read the comment wrong. My apologies to Thrashville.

Blueland Buddha – Wonderful to meet you as well….pleasure chatting with ya.

EA

February 7th, 2010
3:41 pm

Rob and others, I typed this in my previous entry, but deleted it. After your comment, I have to type it again. I find it so insulting that you and others think that the STH who attended the meeting do not have a brain. Everyone can think for themselves. No one is being fleeced by DW. Everyone has their own reasons for making a financial commitment to the Thrashers. I think I speak for all of us when I say we are capable of making our decisions. Geez.

R. Stroz

February 7th, 2010
3:43 pm

Wow, I thought, for at least one game, I was watching the Atlanta Flames again. No big name stars, hard working players, physical hockey, with a few good fights mixed in to increase the energy level.

During the game, I had two thoughts:

1) The players must have watched Slap Shot twice on their trip back from D.C.

2) Someone told the players Ilya’s money was up for grabs and whoever knocked the crap out of the most Panthers players was getting a raise.

ThrashMom

February 7th, 2010
3:46 pm

Hey Rob and others who make similar comments, no one was fleeced by DW. et.al. How insulting for you to assume that everyone is so ignorant that they can’t think for themselves. Just knowing a few in the crowd from other professions, I would most likely put their academic credentials up against many who throw these constant insults at the STH.

Bob

February 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

“Read what twisted wrister wrote about the meeting and you’ll know what I did at the meeting.”

Good for you stroz, I figured that was you, but nice to have you confirm it.

You know, most of us are former season ticket holders directly because of Waddell but you still go and you speak for thousands of us. The vast majority of Thrashers’ fans got sick of Waddell and won’t come back until he’s gone, but good for you for still going and speaking the truth.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
3:56 pm

rob-I am just giving him credit for one thing, facing the people. I know too many GM’s that won’t do that the save their lives. This is no reflection on anything else.

SA

February 7th, 2010
3:56 pm

Hi Rawhide,

Bloggers, my Mom wants me to apologize for retyping her entry with corrections under EA to ThrashMom, one in the same. That is my nickname for her. She doesn’t want to look as loony as she feels today after celebrating following the game last night! She was in such a great mood until she read Rob’s comment! Just kidding.

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
4:04 pm

SA – Hi kid-o…give this to your mom for me and tell her I said ‘hello”.

only, whisper…

alex

February 7th, 2010
4:06 pm

amazing same minority people hate kovy and hate shcultz, assuming they fall in love with dw. so thrasher27 and stendec you got good news yersteday – levenson promised more more years of donny services. and keep dreaming of sweeping hj in playoff. like i mentioned early his @$$ has more brain than donny head and i trust his 3 cup in assesment kovy yours. just to be in convesation for playoff thrasher need 4 point from trip to chi.-min.-col. not to easy. go thrashers without mr. waddell.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
4:43 pm

Yung-I know Edmonton wants to get rid of Horcoff and that awful salary of his.
How did Edmonton get in this mess?

Yung JB from MTL

February 7th, 2010
4:49 pm

euh easy answer… Haaving souray, pitkanen, khabibulin and a overrrrr paid Penner on the same team

BlueSpark

February 7th, 2010
5:04 pm

Wow; I wish I would have gone to that game. The crowd really surprised me.

Paraphrasing something I read once: “We are not at the bottom; we are at the beginning.”

JA can concentrate on developing Little, Kane, Bogosian, and Pavalec instead of having to appease a prima donna.

I would hate to see him go, but I think Moose has the most value of the 3 goalies right now. If he can be dealt for another young scorer with a few years left on his contract, I think that would be a good move. So what team in contention has goaltending issues and a young scoring winger (or center, I guess)?

POTF

February 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

Biggest beef with Schultz is that he only chimes in when times are the worst and he gets to be the bearer of the bad news.

tom

February 7th, 2010
6:05 pm

I did not see a request from you that Waddell resign for being inept. Fires the best coach they ever had and the best player. time to go Mr. Waddell.

rob

February 7th, 2010
7:27 pm

EA/ThrashMom and all STH on here PLEASE READ NOT NEGATIVE BASHING HERE,
Not going to get into an arguement with you about what your degrees/jobs/whatever are. THAT is not what I am getting at. I LOVE THE GAME OF HOCKEY. I am now a dedicated Thrashers FAN (from Buffalo and long time Sabres fan). I have been to a number of games this year and you have probably started cheering Lets Go Thrashers (if you do that sort of thing)after I repeatedly yelled it to get it started. What I am saying is that there should be a sense of accountibility to ALL the FANS. The STH, the never seen a game before first timer, and to those who make as many games as their schedule and jobs allow. It is FACT how DW has run this team. As a STH you HAVE to see this. Your INVESTMENT in the team as a STH means you should expect a return (ie hard work and a playoff worthy team. The game last night was INCREDIBLE! Where was that effort from DAY 1 this season? Who is DIRECTLY responsible for it? DW. And who is responsible for DW? ASG. READ Schultz article. THE PRESIDENT OF THE NHL SEES THE INCOMPITANCE THAT IS THE THRASHERS ORGANIZATION. So, all I am saying is, as a STH, you can MAKE a difference with this team, or you can watch the draft picks and traded FA continue to leave this place for an organization with a HOCKEY mentality. I am not degrading you or any other STH. I am asking that as a FAN of the Thrashers you demand better. For yourself, for your fellow fans, and for the players that you support. Oh, and by the way my wife and I are considering becoming STH, had to put it off this year because of money, so I will see you there soon hopefully and I hope you will see I am interested in what is best for the team and the players who call the Thrashers home.

LAC

February 7th, 2010
7:45 pm

Well thrasherville, How long have you been a hockey fan HUH ?

Ever see an Eastern Hockey League game between the Charlotte Checkers and the Nashville Dixie Flyers or New Jersey Devils in Charlotte in the 1960’s, my dad had season tickets and we knew some players and team owner Al Manch we were at all the games it was GREAT !

Did you miss only 18 home games during the duration of the Atlanta Flames ? Did you travel to Montreal to watch the FLAMES win the Stanley Cup ?

Did you have ST’s the first seven years of the Thrashers and not miss but a handful of games ?

NO NO NO NO NO

I have forgotten more about hockey than someone like you will EVER know, have you played the game ? I did at Iceland in Marietta in the 1970’s, in a summer league with some Flames players and others, ever been in a hockey fight, I have…Do you thrasherville even know what icing is ?

So shut your mouth about me not being a hockey fan, I have always
been a fan and my comments go right to the heart of being a fan. I wish we were talking about a 14 game winning streak or will we finish first in the East, but with this ownership & waddell it is hopeless.

But saying I am not a fan is BS, so get off my back and YOU try to be a little fan and maybe when you grow up you will understand the difference between going through the motions and WINNING !

War Eagle

February 7th, 2010
8:57 pm

Rawhide:

We enjoyed meeting you at The Second Fiddle in Nashville last weekend and in section 317 right before the start of the Florida game on Saturday.

As for the game…I don’t remember Kozzy being as physical as I saw him against FL, either. That was a very welcome sight. Glad to see Hainsey and Bogosian get gritty and get the team fired up and get a regulation win. This team is capable of winning games when they want to. It looked like the players and the crowd all had a good time!

DWTOO

February 7th, 2010
9:32 pm

Just feel the need to chime in onlast night’s game. The team and crowd really seemed to feed off each other – each spuured the other. The key moment was Hainsey’s fight – it seemed to wake everyone up. And I’m sure Moore’s still wondering what hit him.

We have a tailgate group that usually meets around a fire. Last night someone thru a “Kovalchuk Army” shirt on the fire as the group cheered. Think we’re all going to bring something like that to the next tailgate. Very cathartic.

One comment on the goalie situation – I would carry all three or put Letemin on IR for the year. If we trade him now the return would be minimal and with Moose’s age he may not be back anyway, Wouldn’t break up the Pavs/Moose tandem for the palyoffs, but, let all three compete next season.

Sage of Bluesland

February 7th, 2010
10:14 pm

LAC–don’t let these ignorant tools deter you from telling the truth…Take the latest emboldened stances by the sheep as comic relief, which is what it really is…

Priceless comedic gold!

It’s a shame, the kool-aid drinkers now “represent” the fans’ opinions at the Sara-Specials…Real fans like yourself gave up on this failed organization a time ago.

Oh well, at least you have some self-respect. At least you refuse to subsidize incompetence. At least you know when you’re being lied to and cheated.

These poor fools do not…so, in a way, I pity them…

Rawhide

February 7th, 2010
10:15 pm

War Eagle – HA! Il knew I’d get one of you to post sooner or later…see, that didn’t hurt, did it?

It was great to see ya both last night…and The Second Fiddle was a blast! Hope to see the both of you again soon.

World Be Free

February 7th, 2010
10:53 pm

LAC-I saw the hit on you. I was just surprised you took so long to respond!
Keep up the good work, stirring the pot and reminding everyone what the product should be.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 8th, 2010
7:44 am

Shoulda asked Waddell why the Thrashers can’t retain their top talent, but ASG has the money to retain the Hawks’ talent.

Obvious commitment to basketball over hockey.

Thrashville

February 8th, 2010
7:46 am

Best crowd i’ve seen all year … normally, you’d expect that type of crowd with a long break in February most years but that really caught me off guard … Thrashers could use that type of crowd every night to help them win and Cup Guy, i agree with you, most teams feed off the crowd (of course, it doesn’t help when half the crowd is wearing Caps jerseys like 1/9)

Tough road trip coming up before the break, lets hope they can at least get 3 points!

Yankee

February 8th, 2010
7:56 am

Brendan – Completely agree with ya about the GM. You couldn’t be more on.

Pittsburgh Pirates Fan – As I may be able to tell from your moniker and you may be able to tell from mine, I am a lifeling Steelers fan and even with 6 Super Bowls we still boo when necessary (Mark Malone? Bubby Brister?). When change is needed, change is needed.

J-man

February 8th, 2010
8:13 am

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan – The Hawks are 20th out of 30 in salary in the NBA, so while it seems that the ASG spend more on the Hawks, it’s really not much better. The Thrashers were 23rd in salary prior to the trade. Joe Johnson rejected a 4 or so year extension and seems determined to leave. I cannot say whether he might stay for a better offer or if he just wants out. His offer was not bad, but it also wasn’t very much above his current contract, so it could just be that he thinks it’s not enough. I don’t know.

DW’s plan to remake the team as a tougher team is likely to fail. Instead of losing games 4-3 and 5-4, they’ll lose games 4-2 and 3-1. And with all the love that DW and the ASG got from the fans on Saturday, that was just a complete vindication of every bad move they have ever taken. I have a feeling that by the beginning of April these same fans that are happy now will be just as puzzled as to how the team could fall so far out of the playoff race and they won’t understand why it happened.

Yankee

February 8th, 2010
8:32 am

J-man – you are correct in your statement about the Thrashers and the happy fans.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 8th, 2010
8:53 am

Yankee-good to hear you follow a true winner in the Steelers. I changed my name to Pittsburgh Pirate Fan to mirror the Thrashers’ success with another loser team, the Pirates. And I remember the Pirates when they were very good, Willie Stargell-Chicken On The Hill was one of my favorite players.

J-Man-thanks for your numbers on the Thrashers and Hawks. It seems like ASG favors the Hawks. Maybe they don’t favor either!

R. Stroz

February 8th, 2010
8:59 am

it doesn’t help when half the crowd is wearing Caps jerseys like 1/9

Over half, no way…based on your capacity to count and compute percentages, I’d suggest a remedial math class at an elementary school, or possibly a psychoeducational facility.

Red Light

February 8th, 2010
9:16 am

PPF: The Hawks, along with all other NBA teams, start with $30 million of National TV money in their coffers, while NHL teams are lucky if they get $2 million from their current deal with VERSUS/NBC. Hockey is more dependent upon attendance and local TV money, so both franchises are hamstrung. Consider a local TV contract in Metro areas such as NY, LA, Chi, San Jose, Bos., Miami, Dallas and Philly rank higher than Atlanta because of the sheer population numbers and potential viewers, but if only 11 NHL teams and only 10 NBA teams have a larger local viewership base than Atlanta, than there really is no reason both teams shouldn’t be a little higher ranked in salary unless there is a problem with ownership. Oh, it couldn’t possibly be that?

LAC

February 8th, 2010
9:55 am

Does anyone remember several years back in Raleigh, when things were not going all that good, they had a Q & A session with THE Owner and Gary Bettman. They took the glass down and fans sat in the stans and asked questions of the Owner and League. This was NOT for Season Ticket Holders ONLY, anyone could attend.

Why do STH’s get invited to these little meetings and everyone else does not? It would be a breath of FRESH air to have the OWNERS and Gary Bettman here for one of these. ALL owners show up , not one or two,
and NO don waddell, for this he would be OUT of the equasion, he has said enough.

Then ALL fans could have the chance to voice their thoughts & questions
and it would be very interesting to see the answers the “owners” would
give, given The Commissioner was there.

Then ALL fans could attend, not just the STH’s who get special treatment
all the time, a LOT of others go to a lot of games and they deserve the right to ask questions too !

Is THAT Asking too much ?

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
10:16 am

Fire Waddell, don’t fire Waddell, whatever. If he was still picking the talent, I’d be all with rob and Brendan and LAC and those posters who actually bring some insight. But he’s not picking the talent; Dudley is, and it gives me great hope.

The Thrashers have a terrible name among the players, so we’ll have to overpay to attract talent – no doubt. But there is no doubt that every player in the league took notice of what Kovy was offered and perhaps they’ll say “Let me at least explore my options there, because obviously there’s some money being thrown around”. Octocluster is still FAR from ideal, but perhaps they are turning a corner. I dared Rutherford to be in his seat all game – he was, for once, so that’s at least something.

There are a dozen good angles to talk about in the last two games – some have been brought up, but shouted down by the fire Waddell crowd; some haven’t even been touched on (like Max, the player most likely to call it in after Kovy leaves – based on his reaction to the collision with Bogo in Wash, I’d was worried he might have an attitude problem. Based on his play Saturday, I’d say he’s in step with the team).

Brendan, you have good insights, but to claim STH who aren’t demanding DW’s resignation are saying “everything’s SUPER. Stay the course” is ridiculous. Again, without Dudley, many more would. With Dudley, most of Don’s past mistakes won’t be repeated. And your Jerry McGuire 10 waste years reference may be more on target that you realized – remember, Jerry repented, or “changed his identity”, and got the girl. So you can be Renee, demanding the change, and DW can come to you, tell you how you complete him, and it will be a beautiful ending. Okay, maybe not.

Finally, I owe Sage an apology. Sage, you know I’ve asked repeatedly for you to post insight and wisdom rather than chaff. Then I realized, you chose your name not because you are “wise, judicious, or prudent”, but for the other meaning: “a plant or shrub with greyish-looking leaves”. We sheep know exactly what to do with shrubs.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 8th, 2010
10:57 am

LAC-great idea, but you are asking way too much of these owners. They would have to come down from the ivory tower and get involved. DW is their “messenger”.

Sage of Bluesland

February 8th, 2010
11:10 am

Wow, a “funny” from Badger-Sheep!

Your comedic gold with your, umm, “thoughts”–I beg you to keep posting your sunshine!

I’ll be sure to laugh at it whenever I visit here!

Brendan

February 8th, 2010
11:13 am

Badger Bob, I hope so. All I want … is what’s best for this team. And if Dudley is the answer, why not make him the GM? Ya know? To merely take some of Waddell’s duties away … doesn’t, to me, feel like ‘real change.’ Real change would be, “We thank Don Waddell for his years of service. But we are announcing the interim selection of Rick Dudley as the new GM of the franchise, at this time.” Or heck, just promote him and NAME HIM the next GM. So long as you have accountability for Dudley’s performance.

drajax

February 8th, 2010
11:37 am

Rawhide, you took the words right off my computer. Well done.

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
11:50 am

Brendan, I hear ya. I’ve just always heard RD prefers the role he has now, where he can spend his time in rinks evaluating talent and helping build franchises rather than the other crap that comes with GM-ship. While that avoids the accountability of a GM spot, I wouldn’t want to lose him by pushing him into a spot he doesn’t want. That would be really bad personnel management. Holding him accountable is an issue, though. Perhaps a contract with incentive clauses? He’d be more inclined to speak up or take charge when he sees the inevitable future DW or Octocluster screw-ups.

And in another attempt to change or at least expand topics, anyone want to talk PP? I like adding Bergie (after he actually gets to practice with his new team), but we can’t be relying on Hainsey as the puck handler on D like the last 2 games, even on the second unit. He’s not brutal, but we’ve got better options (Enstrom, obviously, and even Bogo).

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
11:59 am

Ray Ferraro has some interesting thoughts on Washington (except for missing the fact that the Devils have won two Cups since 1998) and on Kovy:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=309433

Smoothie

February 8th, 2010
12:20 pm

Badger Bob – appreciate your comments and the “sunshine” sentiment expressed above. I could not agree more. The problem with the constant pissing and moaning by certain posters on here is that most of the fans who take the time to post on this blog KNOW THE PROBLEMS OF THIS FRANCHISE ALREADY AND DO NOT NEED TO BE BEATEN OVER THE HEAD WITH IT!! Enough already. Can we not just discuss the events that unfold without having to constantly think about the specter of abject failure that is the ASG and to an extent Don Waddell? I’m sick of it. Just like you Bob, I’d much rather talk about what needs to be done to improve out PP. Because the only way this team will be able to have any shot of winning 55-60% of their games the rest of the way is through 1) great goaltending and team D and 2) a reinvigorated PP that can score clutch goals when needed.

In my opinion, there is enough talent on this team to make the playoffs. Will we do anything once there? Meh, probably not. But doesn’t that beat the hell out of lamenting the fact that we are stuck with the ASG in the immediate near future? Seems to me that both the ASG and Don Waddell are much more willing to admit their mistakes and own up to past failures. A key for me will be what happens with Kubina, Armstrong and Finny. Personally, I’m okay with the second two departing, but convincing Kubina to stay for 2 or 3 more years would be a huge step in the process of making up for Kovy’s departure. The big Czech has been there, done that, and can step into the leadership void left by a certain Russian defector.

Alan R.

February 8th, 2010
12:22 pm

LAC, I would be all for the idea of a Q&A session with the ownership (all of them) and Gary. I would even pay admission to get into such an event, as I’ve got a few questions of my own I’d like to ask both parties; however; I’d settle for listening to the questions and answers.

World Be Free

February 8th, 2010
12:24 pm

Good stuff Badger Bob.

I am not totally sold on Washington in the Stanley Cup playoffs, because of the quality and depth of their defense. Who is their shutdown defensemen? Poti, Erskine and Pothier have played on multiple teams. Schultz? When will Simeon be ready to play? How long will it take for him to get up to speed? Washington has the offfense, but I am concerned about their team defense.

I STILL like Pittsburgh; they are great down the middle, they have goaltending and a sound defense. Ray Shero will pull the trigger on a deal near the deadline. Watch out for Ottawa too, if they make a deal.

rob

February 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

Badger,
Good content to your posts there, I agree if Dudley is comfortable where he is, don’t push that part and hope like heck ASG gets a “comeupance” by Bettman. Gotta thank Schultz for that article, there may be hope for the FANS here yet.
As for the PP Smoothie had a post on vivs blog along those same lines. White needs to be removed from PP until he can show he has earned it again. Kane and Bergfors would gain some invaluable knowledge with Kozlov now before there is a chance he walks. And while I haven’t done much looking does Oduya have any PP experience? I think we have to get back into a 2 D men on the PP scenario and let them bring the shots.

World Be Free

February 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

On Dudley-I think his job, what he is doing today is what he wants. Duds does his best work talking to scouts and evaluating talent. Maybe he doesn’t want to be a full time GM? He may be happy with what he’s doing.

Side note-I thought he was a pretty good coach when he was in Buffalo. Duds is highly respected by the players, he had their attention. Just something to add becuase I like John Anderson.

stendec

February 8th, 2010
12:49 pm

stendec

February 8th, 2010
12:34 pm
Was on a natural high after Saints beat arrogant Colts in Super Bowl. Then I read this shet! So much for that feel good frame of mind. One cancer is eradicated (Ilya Kovalchuk) only to have another resurface (Kari Lehtonen)! I am beyond being disgusted and nauseated. Liked Thrasher playoff prospects. Now believe they are shot to Hell! Well, all you damn apologists got what you wanted. Sori Letemin? Sori Letemin! Tell the new guys they should have remained in New Jersey. The Atlanta hockey club only has one legitimate NHL caliber goaltender! It damn sure is not that untalented LaLa Land quitter from Finland. Enjoy the four and five goal nights apologists! You have damn sure been clamoring for them! ++STENDEC++

stendec

February 8th, 2010
1:04 pm

Hi Bill. Forgive my omission to delete tag lines on post. Just so damn mad and frustrated right now! Team was ready to got on a run! Dang it.

Want to get your opinion on sport other than hockey. On Saint interception return was not Peyton Manning hit/shoved in back by a Saint? Penalty? Glad it was not called! Wanted Saints to win. Told everyone I knew Saints (probably every other NFL team) would win a Super Bowl before Falcons. Getting to one first and losing does not count! Oh well. Awaiting your comment. Best. Peace my friend.

++STENDEC++

World Be Free

February 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

Stendec, I wanted everybody but New Orleans. They are a bunch of loud-mouthed cheap shots. They should have never beat Minnesota. Cheap shot or 2 on Brett Favre, slamming the guy to the turf after a hand off.

Can’t say I like the Colts either. They packed up and left Baltimore in the middle of the night like a bunch of cowards. Baltimore is the real home of the Colts.

stendec

February 8th, 2010
2:00 pm

Kudos WBF. I actually did not personally favor either team. Falcon fans (like me) will never live down fact that Saints hoisted Super Bowl trophy first. Agony beyond comprehension! Have despised Colts since they departed Baltimore like thieves in the night. Are we both that old? Just got piSSed off when everyone conceded invincibility to them! Glad the blue boys decided not to finish the regular season undefeated. Makes them just another top echelon NFL team. Nothing more! Also sick of hearing/seeing Peyton and baby Manning all the damn time! Enough is a freaking enough. Chose lesser of two evils. At least New Orleans is located in the South! Regards. Peace. ++STENDEC++

LAC

February 8th, 2010
2:12 pm

If you did not hear Bob Gainey is OUT as GM in Montreal, gee I guess
so-so preformances by the GM there get you FIRED, what a novel idea for Atlanta… But Montreal has SOLID ownership, who not only wants to win, but needs to in that market. Here it’s just another day at the beach with waddell & company, WHO CARES is their Logo !!!!

I was thrilled to see Gary Bettman IS watching how the problems in Atlanta are not getting better, but worse, we the fans see it, but these owners REFUSE to listen to those who support their product.

Well owners, now someone ABOVE you has checked in on your issues and you BETTER get things turned around or you WILL BE OUT by your own making. You people need to quit thinking you are so high & mighty,
because you are not, there is always someone higher than you and we can only hope The NHL pulls the plug on your circus sooner… Rather than later, so we CAN start to win and be Proud of our team.

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
2:31 pm

Smoothie and WBF – no illusions about how ATL stacks up even if we make the playoffs. vs Washington, its 4 and out. Washington may have weaknesses, but Ovy can will them through the first round or two. vs any of the other 4, I could see us winning a game or two, especially with good goaltending. Either way, playoffs exceeds most every blogger and reporter’s prediction of where we’d be, so for now I’ll cheer just to get there. Baby steps (yes I know, stendec, we shouldn’t be thrilled when our ten year old takes a baby step, but I guess I am just Mr Sunshine… baaaa).

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

Lord knows I’ll regret giving the “Fire Waddell” squad any encouragement, but here goes… some quotes from Montreal’s owners about Gainey just two months ago:

“We have a group of managers, the big leaders of this team (general manager) Bob Gainey and (president) Pierre Boivin, and I have a lot of confidence in them” and “I think Bob Gainey has done an excellent job rebuilding this team” Geoff Molson, 12/1/09 (when the Habs were in 12th place; they are now in 6th place).

Nate

February 8th, 2010
3:12 pm

Town Hall Meeting…

Thanks for the notes. Same old, same old though. It’s funny that both Levenson and Waddell mention winning as a cure all since those two parties have yet to produce one. Seems like they would figure out that they don’t know how to build one and so the franchise/attendance will continue to suffer until new a new GM and ownership are brought in.

But I guess we’re talking about two of the most well-paid morons in the entertainment industry aren’t we…

Gary Bettman

February 8th, 2010
3:27 pm

Atlanta has solid ownership and a great GM. I could not be happier. Lets go to another caller….Stendec, your on the line.

World Be Free

February 8th, 2010
3:49 pm

Stendec-I am old enough to have seen Johnny Unitas play in person.
I think about all the guys I have seen play (hockey and football) that are dead; confirms my age and my lack of tolerance for BS from GM’s.

Bill-the undertone in Montreal was that even though Gainey is a “Montreal Great”, he’s not French Canadian. See who took his place? The expectation in Montreal is to win a Stanley Cup, just like with the Yankees. Safe to say the current Hab team is nowhere near be a Cup contender.

Adios Mr. Gainey

jwizzle

February 8th, 2010
3:51 pm

Smoothie: “Way to give Ilya “let me wait and see if my teammates are worthy of my hard work” Kovalchuk the big 1-fingered salute…keep it up.” I could not have said it better myself. I am REALLY hoping we finish STRONG this season sans Kovy. He stopped being a Thrasher quite a bit before he was traded.

Rawhide: I noticed your positive section 317 record before you even posted it. I think its something worth repeating! Also, we could have carpooled from Benning as my brother and I had business down there. Glad you made it back for the game.

Badger Bob

February 8th, 2010
3:55 pm

Who wants that Habs job right now? Having to do a “rebuild” with $45M in salary already committed next year for just 13 players (so less than $15M available to sign 7 – 9 guys). Some speculate Patrick Roy. Good luck…

Red Light

February 8th, 2010
4:12 pm

Gainey simply wasn’t a good GM in Montreal. That being said, if I had lost one of my daughters at sea in a tragic accident and my wife to cancer, I’m not sure I could remain focused on the job either. You have to issue him a pass just because of those factors. But, BB made a great observation, they should be an active trading partner because they need some flexibility with their cap space. They have to deal Plekanec, one of their two goalies: Halak or Price, and hope someone will take one of their defensemen off their hands: Gill or Hamrlik, and Laraque. It won’t be easy!

Smitty

February 8th, 2010
4:57 pm

Like to see what Dudley can do with two first round picks even if they are late in the round. Add to that an additional 2nd round pick for one of our goalies which will give us 4 picks in the first two rounds. I do believe that is a good start for Dudley to rebuild or retool.

Brendan

February 8th, 2010
5:46 pm

Look at the situation in Montreal. After a series of miscalculations, perhaps the worst of which was hanging the fate of the franchise, when it was the #1 seed in the East in 2008, on rookie goaltender Carey Price, Bob Gainey is out. Gainey decided to move netminder Cristobal Huet to Washington for a 2nd round pick at the 2008 deadline … when he should have kept him. They still have Jaroslav Halak, though. And if they ultimately decide to make Halak the #1 keeper, what does that do to Carey Price? Is this where Waddell comes in? And what about Halak? He’s not terrible, either.

The thing, to me, about Kari Lehtonen is this. He was a former 2nd overall pick. J.S. Giguere was 28 years old … before he showed so much as a “spark” of ability. Goaltenders mature at the rate they do. Is Kari immature? Well, frankly, the signs point to “yes.” But that doesn’t mean he cannot become a star goalie, if healthy, at some point. If Waddell is thinking, “Yeah, but I can’t waste anymore time than I already have waiting for him,” he’s got to make a move. At least, ON PAPER, Lehtonen for Price looks comparable, since Price was a 5th overall pick. Read: High-end, first rounder.

Of course, ladies and gentlemen, Montreal might laugh hysterically at the mere suggestion that Carey Price might be on the move. And they might be right to laugh, in that regard. But right about now, Montreal seems desperate. An “icon” in their midst (Gainey, multiple-time Stanley Cup winner, 4-time Selke Trophy winner, perennial all-star, and Hall of Famer) has just stepped down or been “quired.” (Quit/Fired = quired) Tanguay, acquired via trade with Calgary, along with Calgary’s 5th round pick, didn’t work out. The Habs coughed up their 1st round draft pick to the Flames, #25 overall, who turned out to be a sniper prospect name Greg Nemisz. Montreal had 10 pending UFA’s last season when they snuck into the playoffs at #8 seed, and they let them all walk, including Kovalev. Christopher Higgins, along w/3 other players, got traded to the NY Rangers in the offseason for Scott Gomez’ monstrous contract and Tom Pyatt. On June 1, 2009, GM Bob Gainey felt that Jacques Martin would be a good choice as Head Coach. As you know, and in case you didn’t know, naming a Head Coach is the MOST IMPORTANT THING a GM does. Was Jacques Martin the best choice out there???? Beeeeee honest. Yep, that’s why he’s not the GM of the Montreal Canadiens anymore.

Did it help Montreal that Gainey’s other offseason moves included overpaying for Mike Cammalleri (Calgary castoff), Jaroslav Spacek (Buffalo castoff), Brian Gionta (NJ castoff), and Hal Gill (Pittsburgh castoff)? They also acquired D-man Paul Mara and LW Travis Moen in free agency. They re-signed Guillaume Latendresse, but then they traded him! I think he’s in Minnesota, now. At least Gainey had the good sense to re-up Tomas Plekanec.

Enough of that. This is an interesting call with Kari Lehtonen. Trade him or keep him? He’s a pending RFA, so … he can’t walk for nothing. Atlanta still controls his rights, not that I think some RFA offersheet might be coming for him. Pavelec is not ready now. Not really. But why throw him away, at the tender age of 22, in some pointless trade? But if Kari Lehtonen has GOT TO GO, then the return had better more than a “song and dance.”

Old Time Hockey

February 8th, 2010
6:09 pm

Bag of pucks for the fat, lazy goalie is all you’re going to get. Don’t be shocked that was all DW could get for him.

They played as a TEAM Saturday night. It was nice to see some guys step it up and show a little more of what they have. What has Hainsey been waiting for? Thought he would look like that every game when we signed him. Kane’s going to be huge. Bergfors impressed me with his speed and passing. Love seeing the D jump into the rush. If they continue to play with that level of intensity they will win more than not.

Bring back Hartley? Pleeeez don’t inflict that again. He was so well thought of he was immediately picked up by…ummm…uh…no one. With the constant rotation of coaches in the NHL, that says something.

I would not enjoy watching my team play like the Wild. 2-1 games with a trap? ZZZZZZ I’d rather watch soccer (not really).

Nikita

February 8th, 2010
6:31 pm

*Trade him or keep him? ? But if Kari Lehtonen has GOT TO GO, then the return had better more than a “song and dance.”*

I’m not sure he’s got to go. He’s pretty cheap, and may yet rally. Plus, of the three, he has the best technique.

As for the others…Moose is serving us well, so I’d hate to see him go in the middle of the season. But I don’t think he should be resigned. I think his next role should ideally be goalie coach.

And Pavelec, well…kinda sucks right now. He’s just not good enough to play as our #1 yet — it will probably be a few years before he is. If he is. He’ll have to fix his tendency to play out of goal and flop on the butterfly. Which he can do, but not immediately. Given his age, I suppose I’d like to see him go back to Chi-town.

World Be Free

February 8th, 2010
7:14 pm

Brendan, you know I have been all over teams that try and build a winner through free agency. As you stated, you overpay for castoffs, many of whom are on the decline. Add to this the fact that Montreal DOES have players in their system. They keep holding them back, for reasons unknown until sunday. The Habs brought up 3 guys from Hamilton which made up their fourth line. So the new guy in Montreal has to figure it all out, wtih so much money already commited to roster players AND their top scorer coming up on UFA status. And you think we have it tough in Atlanta

J.S. Giguere is an intersting comparison, drafted by Hartford and came of age with the Ducks. I have said this before, no way Kari gets any better until he learns to train and stay in shape. Pulled muscles (his issues in the past) happen to old farts like me, not young guys that stay in shape! He has to stay healthy or nobody will bother to give him a dime.

Back to Duds-if Dudley can generate good talent from the draft and validate trades, that will be good enough for me. It’s the personnel decisions that have been killing us the past 10 years. Staois was supposed to be over the hill when he left, but he’s still around.

Smoothie

February 8th, 2010
8:14 pm

Unreal! Did yall just see what Jeff Carter did to Anssi Salmela as he was scoring his goal? Gosh I hope he’s okay.

ben

February 8th, 2010
8:15 pm

I’m listening to the Devils. Salmela just left w/ a vicious knock to the head.

ben

February 8th, 2010
8:17 pm

2-0

Kovy quiet so far

Smoothie

February 8th, 2010
8:38 pm

Carter’s hit definitely treads dangerously along the line between dirty and irresponsible. He essentially hit Anssi from behind right after he released his wrister. He caught him just right on the back of the shoulder and may have caught him in the face. Anssi’s body was off balance so he spun 180 degrees a la Nat Moore of the Dolphins vs the Jets back in the day. His face / head hit the ice hard and he seemed to be knocked out cold. There was a preety large pool left in his wake after being put on the stretcher.

Brendan

February 8th, 2010
8:43 pm

I hope Salmela will be okay. What was goin’ on in Carter’s cabeza?

GaVaHokie

February 8th, 2010
9:17 pm

Sage is also a spice I put on my spaghetti… I take the time to digest it, but ultimately I crap it out and flush it.

Anyway, I’ll take the momentary lapse in doom and gloomers to discuss some potential positive moves that might be coming. As I’ve said, I think the stage is set for more moves.

Reading the Falconer’s take on the Town Hall, he seems to think Armstrong might be requesting a trade… I’m seeing rumors Atlanta is interested in Ponikarovsky to play with Antropov… I know Burkie likes Armstrong.

Also, as I hoped, Atlanta is interested in Peter Mueller from Phoenix.

Smoothie

February 8th, 2010
9:41 pm

Kovalchuk, with the game on his stick, and a chance to help his old team, screws the pooch going high and wide as time expires. Thanks Devs for blowing a 2 goal lead and letting Philly put two more points between the Thrash and the playoffs. BTW, sounds like Anssi was okay and did not need any extensive treatment.

Brendan

February 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

Smoothie, right on, bro. The Devils tried to set up Kovalchuk 8 times in the final four minutes. He’s commandeered that team, too. Jacques Lemaire is going to have to tell them, “If you’ve got the shot, don’t pass it up, to feed Kovalchuk. Take it!”

Stay Thirsty My Friends

February 8th, 2010
10:03 pm

Brendan, you are totally right on. And, just to add another movie reference for you. I think Kovy is like that chick in Something About Mary. It appears that wherever he is everybody falls in love with him and defers to him. It’s like he has Kovysciples everywhere!!! I really thought I was going to miss him, but after watching the game tonight and seeing him continue to skate figure 8’s, take the puck from behind his own net to only lose it at the opponents blue line and miss the net the far too often – good riddance!!!

Yung JB from MTL

February 8th, 2010
10:08 pm

Yeah Kovy is HIV, just catch it without knowing (no personal experiences reference ;) )

Btw, i just hope we get through that tough schedule and i hope we play Leths to see where hes at

Smoothie

February 8th, 2010
10:11 pm

Update on Anssi, per his agent: broken nose and several lost teeth. Carter should get a suspension. Had he been against the glass, it would have been obvious boarding. Carter was late getting there and didn’t have to lower the shoulder in my opinion.

17 SOG for Kovy and no goals. Thanks for giving us your best for the last couple of months Kovy!

Nikita (in PA)

February 8th, 2010
10:22 pm

Agreed, Smoothie. Th result was worse than I would have expected, but it was still a late-blind-side hit.

R. Stroz

February 8th, 2010
11:08 pm

Es Carter loco en cabeza?

Saga of Bluecheese

February 9th, 2010
12:41 am

I’d like some sage with that morbier, please. Oh and do pass the aged gouda, it’s good for my ‘roids.

stendec

February 9th, 2010
12:51 am

Good morning Rawhide.

All of you thought I was way off base about Ilya Kovalchuk being a cancer to my team!

The following is from a New Jersey Devil fan:

So far I think you guys got the best end of the deal*. Kovy is altering the way the Devils play*, esp(ecially) on the power play* — and so far they’re not looking too good when he’s on the ice*. He took, what, 9 shots tonight* — and (only) God knows how many he fired into the glass****.

Consider these things (*) smiling faces since I do not have a clue how to place them in my posts. Maybe soon Devil fans will be ready to tar and feather the choker themselves.

All of us have been watching the Kovalchoke ice follies for years. Not a critical success in another venue either. Tsk tsk tsk. Maybe New Jersey will take Sori Letemin too. Just asking!

++STENDEC++

LAC

February 9th, 2010
1:28 am

Gee Stendec, you are right…. AS ALWAYS !!! Very interesting yake on the game and play… I liked the move of our new guy the other night to score the winner, never saw #17 do that very often.

Plus we have outshot both DC/FLA byu wide margins since #17 left, even Zach started to play defense again, roughed up a couple guys which I was HAPPY to see !

Keep up the GREAT work Stendec, you are always spot on with 99% of your comments !!!!!

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
5:47 am

I am not sold on a Carter suspension. I thought his hit was borderline cheap, actually one heck of a hockey hit. Always pushing going to the net, but there’s a price to pay driving the net as well. Hope Anssi is OK, good kid.

Kovalchuk-Kovy is going to find NJ fans allot shorter on patience and higher on criticism. He basically did what he wanted in Atlanta for YEARS and got away with it.

First Class Organizations = High Expectations

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
7:41 am

Kovy is going to find NJ fans allot shorter on patience and higher on criticism.

Kovy may also find their form of criticism to be considerably more distasteful.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
7:43 am

The Kovy situation could turn out to be alot like the Jay Bowmeester in Calgary. Jay Bow wanted to fulfill his dream of playing in a “hockey city”, even his father derided Florida as being not worthy of having his son.

Now Jay is in Calgary having a subpar season, not playing to what Calgary expected or what they are paying for. Add to this, the fact that Calgary had too much $$$ invested in the backline. They had to ship off one of their stud defenseman to Toronto for poor return (in my opinion).

All of a sudden, it’s not so rosie in Calgary; Florida is not looking too bad right now. Especially in the dead of winter! This is what YOU wanted Jay, live with it!

HookyBob

February 9th, 2010
7:54 am

Carter’s hit was legal,…but dirty none-the-less. It is up to the NHL to make hits like that suspendable. Not sure what needs to be done,..perhaps hits from that angle (almost behind), hits after puck is released, or hits that contact the head need to have some sort of capital punishment. This needs to be addressed for the sake of our grand old game.

Interestingly Philly exemplifies both sides of the issue. They give out these hits and have had several players seriously injured from them.

I wonder if Kovy is feeling some pressure to produce now? He should, he asked for it. Maybe he is squeezing the stick a bit to tight, or trying to do it all alone (still?). If his production, and the team’s, doesn’t get better (and 3 games is far too soon to judge this) he may not get any NHL contract offers over $8 M.

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
8:25 am

I would be willing to bet Kovy is saving some juice up for the Olympics.

JT

February 9th, 2010
8:29 am

Enough Thrasher talk already I Love Hockry but we Need New Management for crying out loud!! Waddell just ain’t cuttin the Mustard, no Good Players wanna play for a Losing Org!!!

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
8:31 am

On a different subject, given the list to follow, which of the following pending UFAs would you keep and which ones would you move before the deadline? For the sake of the discussion, assume none of them are willing to re-sign until after July 1, 2010.

1) Armstrong

2) Mad Max

3) Kubina

4) Hedberg

5) Slater

6) Schubert

7) Popovic

Kozlov is not on the list for obvious reasons.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
8:40 am

HookyBob-no matter what happens, I think Kovy will be getting $.60 on the dollar in his new deal, compared to what he was offered by ASG. It goes back to something I said months ago-you either want the maximum contract ($11.36M/year) or you want the Stanley Cup. Take your pick cause you can’t have both.

I saw the hit again; I just don’t know if it deserves a suspension. I remember when Scott Stevens hit The Jelly Head (Eric Lindros) on a similar hit about 10 years ago. The hit wasn’t as high, but he knocked Lindros out. I just don’t know, I have been knocked for a loop going over the middle myself.

Stroz-agreed, how long do you think he’s been holding out?

rob

February 9th, 2010
8:43 am

Didn’t see the hit so I can’t comment on it specifically, but here is my take on going to the net. REAL hockey players go to the net, and you know when you go to the net that you are going to get hit, that is a given. Ask Pat Lafontaine if he didn’t think he was gonna get hit every time his CRAZY a$$ crashed the net? OF COURSE he knew it. This isn’t basketball, it’s hockey. It is a contact sport and as such there will always be hard hits. Will it end guys careers early? Sure but that is the nature of the beast. Unless the hit is so obvious a cheap shot, it is a part of the game and always will be. Just like fighting. To tell the guys to stop hitting each other is to change the game into something it isn’t meant to be. The physical nature of the game is what makes it one of the most exciting games to see live, and one of the toughest to play. That being said, I think obvious cheap shots deserve the contempt of everyone, and I would say that an obvious cheap shot that results in a player missing games due to it should result in a large suspension the 1st time and a life time for a second. That was why I was concerned the other night when Kane made Pronger look soooo bad going around him, because I am sure most have seen that cheap bastard hurt someone just for the sake of it. But that is just my opinion on it so…. LOL

rob

February 9th, 2010
8:45 am

Anyone know what happens to posts that get sent but not posted?

rob

February 9th, 2010
8:55 am

Stroz,
I have to think that the new team makeup will make the future interesting. I REALLY think Armstrong will stay, Slater, Schubert, Popovic, and Kubina I would also like to see stay. But honestly, I don’t want ANYONE on the ice that doesn’t want to be here. Fthem if they can’t take a joke, but seriously if you don’t want to sign, trade them to Vancouver or Edmonton. I think the welcome Mad Max has gotten here should earn us some loyalty. Anyone know off hand if we have any tough D men in Chicago? I mean, physical hard hitting kind? Unless Hainsey has decided to change his mind and is gonna give us 100% and show Bogosian the way, I would like to see that kind of player in the lineup here.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
9:02 am

ROB-TOTALLY AGREE
We don’t need any players who consider Atlanta a second or 3rd option. They want to play in Calgary or anywhere else, let them go.

Dwayne

February 9th, 2010
9:03 am

Put players on notice that these last 25 games are an audition for a job in Atlanta next year….I’m with anyone who say “If a player does not want to be here, GOOD BYE”!!!!

Russian

February 9th, 2010
9:09 am

**to R. Stroz**
From your list:
1) Armstrong – let him go. We got young players for 3-d line

2) Mad Max – keep him at least two years

3) Kubina – keep him for 3 years (but I do not think so)

4) Hedberg – let him go, if Kari play good

5) Slater – let him go. He is playing good, but he is still 4-th center. White can take his position.

6) Schubert – keep him. He is good and strong D-man

7) Popovic – let him go.

DWTOO

February 9th, 2010
9:18 am

As for who to deal at the deadline – the season really comes down to next week. If we’re succesful on the road trip and within legitimate striking distance of a playoff spot think we’re more in the buyers market. However, I don’t want us to mortgage the future becuase don’t we’ll go far. So, I think we stand as is – keep everyone and see how it plays out.

If we’re out of the playoffs then I think we look to keep Max, Army, and Slater hoping that they’ll want to stick with the Thrash. The Moose has as much value as ever and would probably bring a good return. I doubt there’d be much demand for Shubert or Popovic. The big question is Kubina. If he shows some inclanation to sign a reasonable short term contract for next two years I’d keep him around. Otherwise I’d trade him. With the arrival of Johnny O. and having Kulda in the wings we’re stacked at D.

WBF – appreciate your remark about getting knocked for a loop. Lost a battle for the puck with a guy who had about forty pounds on me. Hit butte, back, and head on the ice. Took about five minutes to get my wind back and the whole rink swayed for about half an hour. Fortunately I’m at the advanced age where you appreciate the fact that it’s time to get off the ice for the night.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

February 9th, 2010
9:21 am

Anyone know what happens to posts that get sent but not posted?

Mr. rob – I just freed your post that was hung up in Blog Purgatory.

Nikita

February 9th, 2010
9:40 am

1) Armstrong — maybe. He really is crucial to our physical game, and has consistently displayed a good Corsi number.

2) Mad Max — again, maybe. Yes, if his end-of-season play warrants it.

3) Kubina — YES! Top priority here. And btw, I have now decided that Kubina would look good with an A.

4) Hedberg — hmmmmm. No. Unless we still don’t have a competent #1.

5) Slater — No. It’s been long enough.

6) Schubert — mmmaybe. I’m thinking no. He’s got a lot of developing to do, and I’m not sure how skilled he’ll be at the end. Plus at the STH meeting it was indicated that we plan to carry our top 5 into next season, if possible. That leaves Pops, Schubie, Valabik, and all the potential callups battling for two spots, right? I’m not sure Schubes is the best of that field.

7) Popovic — no. well, maybe. how cheap is Pops?

rob

February 9th, 2010
9:46 am

Trixie,
LMAO thank you ma’am, no need for the Mr, just rob.

Russian,
Really? You would let go of Slater’s grit for White’s lack of…..ugh. That line has been a catalyst to feed off of. Kane/Slater/Armstrong IMO is the most entertaining to watch and playing true hockey. I would hope the fun they are having keeps Armstrong here if he was considering leaving. But as I said, f anyone that doesn’t want to play hockey here.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
9:48 am

Russian-I’d keep Slater. Jimmy’s earned a spot, as much as I hate to admit it. He has played smart and tough all year. Better late than never. Agree on Army, we can get alot for Armstrong on March 3rd.

DWTOO-I got him by Jim Burt during a high school hockey game. Burt went to Univ. of Miami as a nose tackle, then went on to win 3 Super Bowls with the Giants and 49ers. Burt was remembered for many things, including knocking Joe Montana out of the 1990 or 1991 NFC Championship game.

He hit me once so hard that I swear I flew 10 feet. Somehow, I got right back up and went looking for the guy that hit me, until I found out it was him! He was the best hockey player I ever played against-true story.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
10:08 am

Wasn’t it Leonard Marshall, or was it Harry Carson, who knocked Montana into next Sunday during the 1990 NFC Championship? I remember flying high that week after the Bills trounced the Raiders 51 – 3 to make it to their first Super Bowl…actually got to watch the game while on vacation in south Fla. That’s all I’ll say about that…it was a great week to vacay in Florida!!

Schroeder

February 9th, 2010
10:09 am

If the rumors are true of Army to Tor for Ponikorovski,I’m in,can you see a line w/Kane-Slater-Poni.I could work w/that!!

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
10:10 am

Oh, one more thing, I can’t imagine Jim Burt playing hockey…he must’ve been a beast on skates! How unfair, especially if he was a good hockey player and not just a big, lumbering goon looking to unload on people.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
10:13 am

Smoothie-it was Burt on Montana in the Meadowlands and Leonard Marshall on Montana at Candlestick in 1990 before they played the Bills.

Burt was about 230# when I played against him, I was about 155-160#. We all had our heads up when he was on the ice and he was fast too!

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
10:22 am

Stroz, great question. And realistically we apparently have the budget to keep all of them (and take care of Little, Bergie and Pavs RFA contracts too). Since all are worthy of at least an offer from les Thrash, I’m going to prioritize them:

1) Kubina – he’s a stud, no doubt, with at least a couple good years left. Some say we don’t need a $3M dman in our third pairing, but if we can get him for $3.5M or so I’d jump at having that kind of depth. I suspect a sticking point will be length of contract – I’m sure he wants at least a 3 or 4 year contract at this point in his career.

2) Slats – he was on my sell list for the first 20 games (as my pick for last off Schneid Island), but has really impressed since he’s been on lines with some offensive ability. Plus I doubt he’s on any other team’s radar, so we’ll get him at the right price.

3) Mad Max – we won’t get him for 1 yr / $0.8M again, seeing as he’s stayed healthy, but I think we’ll need his offensive ability while Kane and Bergie continue to develop

4) Army – We don’t have to have him, especially with Cormier in the wings, but he’s an asset to any team. Plus, with Ex gone, we need him for the comedic spots on the video features…

Hedberg is 100% dependent on the Kari situation, which is a whole separate controversy. The rest, I like them all but frankly they are a bit interchangable with others we could pick up as UFAs. If we sign Kubes, both Popper and Schubie are gone (with Kulda moving up).

Regarding Kulda, I know some of you watch Chicago closely. Looking at +/-, I assume Kulda is paired with Chelios. So the question is, which of those two is most responsible for the impressive +/-? Is Kulda just riding the Chelios coat tails, or is he the real deal?

And dine on, GVH and Saga!

ben

February 9th, 2010
10:29 am

Slater-3 yrs

Kari-bye

Mad Max 2

Kubina 3

Hedberg whatever he’ll agree to

Army-4yrs make capt

Bob

February 9th, 2010
10:34 am

1) Armstrong – moot point, he wants out of here bad

2) Mad Max – mooter point, he wants out of here badder

3) Kubina – probably also a moot point and I’d be amazed if he signed and I think it’s pretty obvious why they took Oduya in the Kovy deal, Oduya is Kubina’s replacement for next year

I’d like all three of those guys, but I don’t think there’s a chance in Hades any one of them re-signs with the Waddell/Octocluster show.

“I think Kovy will be getting $.60 on the dollar in his new deal, compared to what he was offered by ASG.”

Come on now, guys. That’s just silly talk. Kovy will sign for about the exact same as what we offered, or slightly less. No one will pay him the max, but that’s just not realistic to think he’s going to get much less. He will get paid and there will be multiple bidders.

I also am lol-ing about some of the comments above about Kovy. While I think we’ll be better off in the long run without him, as we’re not a club that can spend to the cap max, some of you are just pulling the “she was a whore anyway” after your girlfriend broke up with you. Kovy will do great in NJ and we’ll struggle to make the playoffs without him, even in this ridiculously untalented East this year.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
10:42 am

WBF – oh yeah, I forgot all about the game at the Meadowlands. Sounds like Burt was a terror everywhere he went and I’m sure buffets like Golden Corral and Ponderosa hated to see him walk through the door!!

On the topic of UFA’s, here’s my quick take:

1) Kubina – go after him hard if he expresses any desire to be here. Tricky part is he may still see himself as a Top 2 guy (and perhaps rightly so) so the ASG may not want to pay him top dollar to stay. Perhaps a 3 year deal with a sliding scale? $4.5 M, $4.0 M and $3.5 M. That way he’s a tradeable asset later if he declines or we’re out of the playoff hunt.

Okay, so that wasn’t so quick, sorry.

2) Armstrong – the fact that he didn’t sign for 2 years I thought was telling. Doubt he’ll stay because he’ll get better offers in FA. We’d be foolish I think not to trade him at the deadline.

3) Slater – should be a very affordable target for some stability on the bottom 6. Ideally, he will continue to flourish in his new role as 3rd line checking catalyst. No more than 2 year deal though.

4) Schubes / Pops – both are great guys and are probably good for the room. However, we’ve got too much talent in the pipeline and I see no reason why Kulda won’t make the club next year. If not, Oystrick is still there for depth. In two years, we should be welcoming Postma.

5) Moose – this one is so tough and it does hinge on the Kari situation. If DWad is that down on Lehtonen, then we must be careful in handling the Moose situation. He’s given us his best and deserves another year, although he may want a 2 year deal. If we tell him that he’s on our radar before trading him to a contender, I have no doubt he will do a Tkachuk for us.

Finny) Totally depends on his new price-tag and his willingness to play within the system. Lately, he seems to be playing just as hard and battling in the corners more so than most of January. He’s such an enigma. If he could finish more often, than we’d be talking about whether or not we should pay him $4 M or more to stay. I’ll say pass. Plenty of FA in the pond and we should be sitting outside of Stan Bowman’s house waiting for him to give us Patrick Sharp or Versteeg.

rob

February 9th, 2010
10:48 am

To those who say trade Kari,
If Kari goes who are you going to let go to egt a quality goalie? THAT has to be priority #1 or everything else is for nought. Pavs can’t/isn’t ready yet if he ever will be. Wanna ride it all on Moose? I love the guy but being realistic here. The goalie situation here will be the REAL season dilemna, not 17. We went all season with mishmash waiting on Kari, so to dump on him now would be a complete waste of the entire season, I think. Of course if he comes back and isn’t solid/dependable, we have to reconsider again huh? I say throw him at this westcoast road trip and have the Olympic break to scratch heads and ponder.
ben,
not comfortable w the C there, not now. I think the C is gonna take awhile to sort out and BETTER go to a true team captain this time.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
10:48 am

Bob-Kovy on his money; let’s talk on July 2nd. Like I said, the money or the Stanley Cup. Which do you want? Most teams that have overspent on individual players (Brian Campbell, Danny Briere) are spending alotta time trying to unload them. Kovy, being in his age/prime is more desireable than others, that’s for sure.

Kovy is a great player, I didn’t diss him as a Thrasher, but I am concerned about his ability to play in a team game. He had the freedom to do what he wanted here, only us as bloggers called him out on his shortcomings.

Would I like to have hinm back? Sure thing, but he’s gone and we will have to “struggle” to get to the 8th spot. So many teams in the mix, we will need a hot goalie and 4 lines playing all the time.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
10:49 am

Bob, you’re probably right on Army, Kubina and Max. However, the FA may prove to be a bit funny this summer as there are so many salary cap-strapped teams and only a few big names on the market. While Finny and Kubina will be coveted, will they get what THEY think they are worth on the open market. The ASG may be one of the few owners who can offer either one not only market value, but above that. Question is: will they? And I think most of us have the same answer to that question.

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
10:58 am

Smoothie, big thumbs up on Sharp and Versteeg, and perhaps Byfuglien. Not sure what we’ll have to give up – just non-first round draft picks hopefully, but more likely some prospect forwards. I expect Dudley still has Stan’s phone number.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
11:12 am

I would love to have Patrick Sharp because he is the quintessential two-way forward. He can do everything and play in all situations. And his price-tag is really not unreasonable. But the lure of either Versteeg or Buffy due to their youth may be too good to pass up. Plus, they are RFA’s which makes them easier to sign.

Bergie – Little – Antro

Kaner – Pevs – Sharp / Versteeg (I druel at this possibility)

Slater – White – Machacek (not ideal, but will we spend on FA when we have Klingberg, Morin and Cormier waiting in the wings?)

Boults? – Reasy – Thorbs

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

February 9th, 2010
11:15 am

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning!

Brendan

February 9th, 2010
5:44 pm

R.Stroz, Slater, Hedberg and Popovic are the ones I’d consider re-signing. And if I had a glimmer of hope that Kubina would re-up, I’d talk turkey with the guy. No more than 3 years, however, at age 32.