Matt McConnell is enjoying second tour of duty in Thrasherville

Matt McConnell…the Atlanta Thrashers’ original TV play-by-play man has, in his own words, quite the whirlwind journey in life so far…but his travels have brought him back to Thrasherville for his second tour of duty for the team and he’s loving every minute of it.

McConnell was born in Gary, Indiana and his father worked for a steel company…a job that would eventually move the family around quite a bit. He lived in Indiana for the first 12 years of his life and that’s where he became a fan of hockey…a big Chicago Blackhawks fan, he told me.

“I remember one night when I was about 4 or 5 years old”, McConnell recalled, “My dad turned on a Blackhawks’ game on WGN and I just kinda started watching it…and just really seemed to enjoy it”.

Then his dad came home with some tickets and he soon got his first taste of live hockey action. “That became something we did ten times a year”, Matt recalled. “We’d go to Blackhawks games… those Sunday night games. I grew up loving the game and following guys like Bobby Hull, Stan Makita and Tony Esposito. They were all my heroes”.

In 1975, just before Matt went into the seventh grade, his dad was transferred to northern Minnesota…a town called Virginia. “John Harrington, who played on the U.S. 1980 Olympic team was from that area”, McConnell remembers…and that’s where he began playing bantam hockey himself.

“Basically, I got my butt kicked”, he told me with a laugh. “And I realized it probably wasn’t going to be anything that was going to take me very far”.

In McConnell’s tenth grade year, his dad’s job took him to Pittsburgh where they lived between ’78 and ‘81…and naturally, he began to follow the Penguins.

Matt McConnell's whirlwind tour has him back in Atlanta calling Thrashers games on TV

Matt McConnell's whirlwind tour has him back in Atlanta calling Thrashers games on TV

After high school, McConnell was off to Michigan State where he got his first taste of broadcasting. “I started out as an accounting finance major but quickly telecommunications with an emphasis in economics. I also began working with the campus radio station…and they had a really good hockey team at the time, always went to the tournament. In my senior year they were upset by Provenance, which was a monumental upset…but they had some really good teams up there and that’s when I began broadcasting”.

After college he did some play-by-play work in the International Hockey League for a few years… “Making about $250 per week in Flint, Michigan in 1985”, he remembers. “The team almost folded mid-season, then went to Peoria for a couple of years. And then my big break came in 1993 when I got hired by the Ducks in Anaheim…so I was the first guy to do Ducks games”.

Given that he was there to see the startup of both the Ducks and Thrashers organizations, I asked him to discuss the similarities between the two.

“I think there are a lot of similarities…I think you always try to build through draft picks. But the fun part about starting up with a franchise is the buzz, you know…the initial buzz with everyone so excited about the team being there and they have the franchise in place. In Anaheim we won, I wanna say, nineteen road games and were in the playoff race the first year right until the final weekend when Winnipeg won a couple of games to take the final playoff spot. So that was a lot of fun”.

Continuing, he added, “I think when it’s an expansion team… everybody’s new, everybody’s kind of coming together as a family. We had a really good group out there…and I think Atlanta was the same in a lot of ways…you know, non-traditional hockey market, so I was used to how all of that unfolds”.

“There was an incredible buzz here those first few years [here in Atlanta]…and the team wasn’t very good back then. But now we’re fighting for a playoff spot”.

After about three years in Anaheim, McConnell returned to Pittsburgh where he did some TV work between 1996 and ‘99. “Working with the Penguins was fun…I got a chance to call games with Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis”.

He then came to Atlanta for their inaugural season in 1999. After the 2002-’03 season, though, it was off to Minnesota for one year before returning to Atlanta. Once back, he did some freelance work for college sports television, doing college hockey, basketball and lacrosse.

He also hosted Thrashers Live for two seasons…2006-07 as well as 2007-08.

“It’s been a whirlwind, for sure…and I’ve truly been blessed to have worked for some very good people, “he said while nudging Darren Eliot to his right. “This guy is one of the handful of people who can really break down the game analytically and not just regurgitate replays”.

“It’s been a lot of fun and I hope it can continue for many more years”.

Regarding this current edition of the Thrashers and their chances of making the playoffs, McConnell told me he likes what he sees for the most part… but there is that issue of playing the full 60 minutes. Sure, they don’t get blown out of the barn, but the slow starts are somewhat of a concern.

“The fact of the matter is that we are in the middle of a playoff race. They are fun to watch…very talented. Ya know…you see flashes of what this team can be. They go into Philadelphia and get down 3-1, come back to win it. But I think since day one, it’s really been a matter of consistency…when are we gonna see a run of consistency over the course of a number of games? …I think that’s the next hurdle and I think that they’re really close”.

“We’re going to have this incredible spring in March with all of these home games…there is so much parity right now, it’s one or two games [separating several playoff contending teams]…so it’s exciting from that standpoint”.

“The thing that I’ve taken away from this team just being around them is that they don’t seem to let a lot of things bother them. I think the chemistry this year has been as good as I’ve seen. They seem to genuinely have a good time, they seem to genuinely want to play for one another. And I think with those attributes I’m pretty bullish that they’re gonna stick around and make a serious run for a playoff spot”.

Regarding his comments about things not bothering them…I asked if that was true during the recent drama surrounding the Kovalchuk trade situation as it unfolded.

“If it did bother them”, he responded, “Then they did a pretty good job of keeping it behind closed door. I thought John Anderson had a great quote when said that if Don and Jay had done a good job of keeping the negotiations in the board room and not letting it effect that team”.

When I asked Matt what were the best things about his job, he again directed my attention to the man he shares a broadcast booth with. “When I was down here for the first tour of duty, we lived closer together and so we would drive in together, carpool to the airport and we’d have long talks about the team and about the shows and I think that really helped us initially get to know each other”.

“But he’s as easy going as you’ll find…and I don’t know what it is, why we don’t always step on each other, but for some reason it just flows”.

“Besides working with Darren…who teaches me something new every day…what I like is just being around the game. Ya know, I found out in bantam hockey that I never had the ability to play professionally like these guys do, so I like being around the game and I have fun calling the games”.

Matt went on to add, “What else makes it fun is all of the stories. Not just from the present-day players but being around a group of guys [that date back over the past]. When I was working in Peoria, we had a game in Salt Lake and our coach was Rick Mohar, the All-American at B.U…and he told me, ‘Hey, I’m going out with a bunch of guys from the 1980 team that are in town’. He was a good friend with Mike Eruzione…and he asks me if I wanna go and I say ‘sure’. So we walk across the street to this hotel and there’s about eight or nine of them in this mini-reunion of the 1980 players. And as like to tell Darren, for the first time in my life I shut up for about two hours and just listened to the stories”.

To which Darren interjected…”I only wish I could have been there to enjoy it”.

McConnell also says he enjoys the travel that comes with his profession…getting to go to different cities and see different things. But overall, it’s the entire hockey experience that he enjoys…being around the game and the players that make and have made it what it is.

Of course, the big question for anyone so close to the Thrashers is…what will it take for the Thrashers to make the playoffs and what are their chances of doing so?

“For me, I’m going to keep my eye on special teams”, Matt said. “That’s going to be key. And we’ve talked a lot about secondary scoring and how the emergence of a guy like Jim Slater…which I think is a big deal. But I really think that they’ve got what it takes…but I think they would be in a much better position if they came out and started dictating play more, especially on home ice with all the home games coming up”.

Either way it unfolds, Matt McConnell will be there bringing us these all-important games the Thrashers will be in…and alongside him will be his partner Darren Eliot, who we’ll hear from later in the week.

124 comments Add your comment

Lee

February 23rd, 2010
9:25 pm

First!

I like Matty, he’s a good guy…..

spell check

February 23rd, 2010
10:04 pm

it should be parity not parody.

Tony C.

February 23rd, 2010
10:26 pm

I’m glad this guy is doing the play-by-play…Delacamera was a pro, but you can tell McConnell has a passion for the game that just isn’t there with J.P.

NYC

February 23rd, 2010
10:46 pm

Matty’s a good egg!

Badger Bob

February 23rd, 2010
11:10 pm

Good story, Bill!

Brendan

February 23rd, 2010
11:53 pm

It’s a nice item, Rawhide. And nice of Matt M. to make the time to do it. He’s a good egg! I like to tease ‘im because he uses the term “stretch pass” with a little too much enthusiasm, but really … he brings passion to the job. And unlike J.P. Dellacamera, he doesn’t say the words “hockey stick.” (What other kind of a stick could it be, I do wonder. But I digress.)

Folks, it’s not an enviable job to cover a team that is perpetually in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference. But Matt McConnell, and Dan Kamal, and Darren Eliot, along with Natalie Taylor, do their best to make their respective broadcasts good ones.

If you’re a hockey fan or a Thrasher fan who has given up on watching Thrasher telecasts or radio broadcasts, beeee honest. You didn’t leave or quit your support of the team because of Matt McConnell. Or Darren Eliot. Or Natalie Taylor. Or Dan Kamal. These are the personalities trying to keep this boat afloat. Do I blame any of them? No.

They take their jobs seriously and try the best they can. Can we say the same of the ownership? No, we can’t. And to blame it all on Waddell is all too easy. In his shoes, you’d milk the AS, LLC for every last nickel, too. It’s not Waddell’s job to point that he’s a failing GM. And really, as employees of the AS, LLC, it’s not Matt McConnell’s job, nor Darren Eliot’s, nor Natalie Taylor’s, to point that out, either.

Nice job with this blog, Rawhide. I think Matt McConnell is really happy to have his position. And it’s good to see, for an organization whose Tier I pending UFA players have HISTORICALLY given it a vote of “no confidence.”

Brendan

February 24th, 2010
12:20 am

Latvia has tied it! Latvia has tied it! Latvia has tied it up! It’s 2-2! And we’re going to overtime!!!!!

C’mon Latvia, you CAN do it!!!

Badger Bob

February 24th, 2010
12:30 am

Sorry, Brendan. We are seeing some GREAT hockey, though!

Brendan

February 24th, 2010
12:41 am

Oh well. David Kreji has won it, for the Czech Republic. It was a fairly benign-looking shot. What a shame, after such a wonderful performance from the Latvian goaltender.

Norway has just scored to cut Slovakia’s lead to 2-1.

Brendan

February 24th, 2010
12:43 am

No sooner spoken, than Zednik has scored for the Slovaks. Another PPG. It’s their 3rd powerplay goal of the game.

LAC

February 24th, 2010
2:10 am

Our Announcers are every good and second to none, ever hear that guy in Buffalo or Washington ? they are awful

Derrin does excellent color and you can tell… he wishes he could say MORE.

But at least our guys in the booth are near the top of the NHL broadcasters and we should
be very thankful for that fact, one point for asg I guess !

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
6:20 am

LAC, don’t gop picking on Rick Jenneret now!

Nice piece Bill-I think Matt is doing a very good job, I like JP a little better int he role. But Matt is better than alotta play-by-play men in the league. As LAC stated, you see how good our guys are when you flip around on Center Ice.

Eliot is one of the best color men in the league, that’s my opinion.

Who is the worst? My vote is Pete Weber in Nashville. He wallowed on Buffalo radio for years, doing P-B-P and other misc. sports in Buffalo until he got bounced. Weber has the personalty of a wet shoe. How he has kept his job in Nashville since day one of that franchise I will never know.

Lee

February 24th, 2010
6:49 am

Canada – 8
Germany – 2

Go Canada…..and USA!

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
7:47 am

Hey Bill, not to change subjects but…..
The NHL trade deadline is March 3rd, next Wednesday at 1500 hours.
Any news from Thrasherville on what they have up their sleeves?
We have a number of key UFAs-are they staying or going?
More importantly, are we buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
I am surprised we don’t have more team direction and trade skuttlebut by now.

The key UFA keepers are Kubina, Colby and Jimmy (can’t believe I included Jimmy). Are they staying or going? Negotiation on new contracts? We can’t have another Kovy situation, where the player controls the situation. You either want to be here or not. I think the word is commitment.

MASHAPlayer7

February 24th, 2010
8:47 am

I think Matt and Darren do a great job, but like any home team broadcaster, they definitely have a substantial pro-Thrashers perspective on plays in the game. I guess that’s the job of the home broadcaster, but I prefer a more unbiased approach to the game.

I grew up watching Whalers and Bruins games…Rick Peckham (now in TB as TV color) is also a very good broadcaster. John Forslund, who did minor hockey in Springfield and now does the Canes’ broadcasts (and some Versus TV) is very good. On the opposite side, Fred Cusick (RIP) and Derek Sanderson of the Bruins team was terrible…i don’t even think “rose colored glasses” is a strong enough metaphor for how one-sided they called Bruins games.

Sorry World, but although I do love Rick J.’ soccer-esque goal calls, he is extremely bias and never gives appreciation to an opponents play. The guys in Pittsburgh are bad too.

MASHAPlayer7

February 24th, 2010
8:50 am

So I was a Sports Management major in college and took a few sports pyschology classes. But I never thought of this until now…it would be fun to survey fans in different in NHL cities and compare that with the broadcasters’ perspective on games. I bet you that the majority of fans mirror the perspective of their broadcasters. That’s why Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit fans think the hockey world revolves around them, and that’s why Atlanta and Tampa Bay fans have hopeless enthusiasm that (someday) things will finally get beter:)

Interesting to think about.

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
8:59 am

Masha-Rick J was better when he had Jim Lorenz as his partner. Jim would reel him in and offer a full game perspective of what was happening. His current partner, Harry Neal is barely awake during current Sabre games.

Speaking of the Bruins, I really think their current announcers, Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley do a great job. Fred Cusick was such a homer it was sickening. He was always offended when the old-style Bruins would get penalites, usually for mugging an opposing player. Peckham is first rate in TB, as he was in Hartford. Good call

Putting On The Foil

February 24th, 2010
9:04 am

Bring back JP. Would prefer Kamal. Where the hell is Jiggs? And enough of the “drive by” references Matty.

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
9:04 am

WBF – Yes indeed…Trade Deadline-A-Palooza 2010 is indeed upon us. I would think that we’ll see three days of action next week once the roster-freeze is lifted, (Monday morning I think).

As for the Thrashers, that really a tough call…Given our standings, we are in “buyer” mode I believe…but just how much we are looking to purchase is the question. The one thing I don’t want to see is another Zhitnik-Cobourn type of deal. Remember, the last time we were in this position, that’s what D-Wad did to us.

He’s done better as a “seller” the past two seasons, IMHO.

So in short, my response to your questions are…stay tuned. It should be an interesting three days next week.

MASHAPlayer7

February 24th, 2010
9:30 am

I liked JP too, but I know people who know JP (name dropper alert!), and he is a soccer guy first,and a full hockey schedule would have interfered with his soccer broadcast schedule.

rob

February 24th, 2010
9:43 am

Hometown announcers better be biased towards their team! At least enough to say the ref missed an easy call or we got away with one there. Boo the bad guys and cheer on the good guys. If he doesn’t share the hometown enthusiasm, why do it, and why listen to them? I personally would like to hear a little more of that from our guys. Jenneret is awesome, I love listening to him call the games. He has the fans and home team at heart and calls it that way, mirroring many of the same things the fans are saying or thinking about what is going on during the game. The excitement in his voice is great.
“lalalalalalafontaine!!!!” and
“he put it upstairs where mama hides the cookies”
are things every Sabres fan remembers hearing watching the games there

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
9:48 am

MASHAPlayer7 – I really do enjoy a soccer game announced by JP….the man knows his stuff with that sport.

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
9:59 am

Rob-Falalal goes with Wowie – Housley and Oh-la-la Pierre (Turgeon)

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
10:01 am

Bill-I have not heard the Thrashers on ANY rumor sites. They need to make a decision on Colby, or he needs to make a decision on what he wants to do. I did hear about Colby back to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. I don’t see this happening unless there’s salary coming back this way.

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
10:06 am

WBF – Yes, it’s been quiet. Maybe…maybe too quiet!

Smoothie

February 24th, 2010
10:08 am

I am so ready for Trade-a-palooza! I even started a twitter account so I don’t miss a tweet from Double D, Kevin A or Craig Custance. Man am I sick in the head! ;-)

As for Daren and Matty, they are a pretty good tag team. However, after having Matty for a full season, I do find myself more and more annoyed with some of his repetitive phrases like “drive-by” or “carom” and some of his exaggerated calls when he gets excited. But he knows his hockey and he offers a lot more than JP ever did.

I like JP’s voice and his overall call, but his “play dumb” routine where he asked silly and naïve questions in the attempt to set up Eliot were so amateurish and silly. Daren doesn’t need a set up man; he knows when to speak and what to speak about. Now if Matty could just work on expanding his lexicon of phrases like Emrick or Benninatti (sp?), he’ll elevate his stock around TV broadcasting circles.

Bill – did you ask him why he moved around so much? I reckon the answer doesn’t mesh with the positive piece you were intending, but perhaps there were extenuating circumstances.

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
10:20 am

Bill – did you ask him why he moved around so much? I reckon the answer doesn’t mesh with the positive piece you were intending, but perhaps there were extenuating circumstances.

Smoothie – In his early years, obviously, it was due to his dad’s job. In his professional life, I think he went where the work was…not unlike so many other people.

War Eagle

February 24th, 2010
10:21 am

Good article, Rawhide. Very interesting. If you haven’t done a piece on Kamal, that would also be an interesting read. Kamal can make an instant hockey fan out of you. His excitement level reminds me of the late Jim Fyffe of the Auburn network and Al Ciraldo and Wes Durham for Tech and the Falcons. Too bad WGST doesn’t come in real well in Douglasville anytime after dark. Not always convenient to listen through the internet.

ChippersLoveChild

February 24th, 2010
10:25 am

Excellent read, thanks for this.

Matt is a good guy, but I guess I’m in the minority on this one, I just don’t like him on the play-by-play.

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
10:41 am

War Eagle – In fact, I had the honor of sitting down with The Grand Kamalian last summer and was able to post up a two-parter on the radio voice of the Thrashers.

Here is part one.

Here is part two.

Look forward to seeing ya’ll again soon.

ChippersLoveChild – I was at Hooters the other day…thought about you.

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
10:42 am

Smoothie-where you been? I knew this trade talk would bring you out.

Libby

February 24th, 2010
10:50 am

Rawhide, enjoyed your article very much. On Powerplay at 4 PM on NHL Network, Darren was the guest. He said that he believed that Waddell was looking to find a big winger to increase our size.

Smoothie

February 24th, 2010
11:20 am

Libby – Ponikarovsky is a “big” winger, ain’t he? ;-)

Bill – I meant after he was all grown up. He moved around quite a bit when he could’ve just stayed put in Anaheim. Sounds like he had a pretty good gig there in Cali…don’t quite understand why you would leave the Big C when you’re in broadcasting and have a good job. But alas, perhaps the pull of the Minnesota was too great for such a hockey lover as Matty.

WBF – I’ve been lurking mostly lately because I don’t have as much to say when it comes to the non-Thrashers chatter. However, I am armed and ready with plenty of blog fodder and I’m starting to ramp up my own blog again with some Olympic hockey material. Check it out if you’re looking for more stuff to read. But I can promise you the material is going to shift back to a Thrashers focus very soon!

PS – Bill, I disagree with your view on trading Afinogenov. Just like Colby, it boils down to his desire to be here and help this team — you know, the one that helped put him back on the map! If he says “nyet”, trade him as he would get a good return. Then flip some of that return for Ponikarovsky as he’s a better fit in this system.

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
11:25 am

My thoughts on Max-
Max better remember that NOBODY wanted to take a flier on him before the season, only the Thrashers gave him a chance at all! If he wants out, then let him go. Mark “61″ on the wall when he returns so everyone can take a run at him.

Red Light

February 24th, 2010
11:50 am

As posted before, Max has been an October-November guy most of his career. If another team likes him and you can get another pick or a better player by tossing him in a deal, by all means do so.

Let me bring up Penner again, because Poni is going to be in high demand as a rental, and Penner is signed for a few years. Thrashers can’t be in the player rental business or have we all forgotten the 2006-07 deadline debacle?

Smoothie

February 24th, 2010
11:56 am

Why would the price tag for Penner be lower if he has years left?

I know rentals are expensive, but we’d surely have to give up a pretty hefty return to get Penner, especially considering he’s had a very good rebound year. Plus, his high cap number might screw up our budget and chances of bringing back Kubina. But if you don’t think Kubes in the plans, then Penner might be a good idea (assuming Kulda is ready and Bogosian improves).

rob

February 24th, 2010
12:28 pm

WBF- exactly, those were the things you remembered, and his excitement for calling the games. I understand some people down here might not like how fast he talks, I have slowed down quite a bit from when I first moved and people were always telling me to talk slower LOL

da 'boomer

February 24th, 2010
12:29 pm

I listen to a lot of games on my XM radio and have watched TV broadcast from other cities…we have a top-notched crew here in Atlanta. All are total professionals and know the game. Trust me, I have heard some that are almost ‘un-listenable’. The Devils have a female color person on their radio network. It’s horrible. Nashville radio is a joke since Terry & Pete moved to TV. Carolina is awful, too.

Red Light

February 24th, 2010
12:33 pm

Because Edmonton needs to dump salaries to create cap room. Thrashers have plenty of cap room to sign four Kubinas.

Rawhide

February 24th, 2010
12:35 pm

da’boomer – I’ve heard the duo that broadcast the Devils game via XM, the dude and the lady. They are just awful…both of them. They sound like they are talking to kindergardeners.

DWTOO

February 24th, 2010
12:36 pm

Thrasher trade rumors – see Fouth Period. Article about Slava primarily – he’s also on the top 25 tradeable players.

Smoothie

February 24th, 2010
12:51 pm

Red Light – ha! Good one! Cap room and Budget room are entirely different things when it comes to ASG. I hope they spend about $52 M but would not be surprised if they stay right below $50 M if they can’t find another investor to replace Belkin.

After raises for Little, Pavs and Bergie, they will have roughly $12.5M to sign 2 FA forwards, a top-flight D-man and a back-up goalie at a $50M budget. If you bring back Hedberg, then you have about $11M for 3 players. Penner may fit in that equation depending on what you pay for a D-man.

rob

February 24th, 2010
12:58 pm

If we are talking about getting people for a serious run at the playoffs, shouldn’t we be thinking goalie? Or is the consensus that what we have now is the best we can get? If you are looking to get better for next year, than it isn’t as pressing and we should solidify the forwards. I guess the real question is, are ASG and DW hoping we will make the playoffs this year on a prayer, or serious about a run at it? If rentals are all that is out there, I say leave them out there. Beggars can’t be choosers but at the same time, we have to find a way to get people to STAY here. I hate ASG and what they are doing to hockey here, but at the same time I love the game itself. So what do the FANS do to help fix things here? Ignoring hockey here will only make a bad situation worse. You want the team sold, but who will buy if they see that there isn’t as much interest? Sure there were lots of tickets sold before, but a buyer will be looking at now and the future. I think if we want to voice our opinion and make it make some type of difference, the best place to do so which will work best for FANS and the team is at Philips. That will show potential buyers there are people going to the games, it will show the guys playing out there that Atlanta is a place they want to play, and if you want ASG gone, make some noise at the games.
Got a little off the starting point there LOL

PhiK

February 24th, 2010
1:03 pm

Moooooose is going to be on NHL live – nhl.com in a few minutes…….

Wayne stuck in AL

February 24th, 2010
1:12 pm

I’m sorry but Matt (Ambien CR) McConnell is just a snooze; just like Bob Rathbun, he sounds like he should be hosting game shows…

BRING BACK KEN DOUBLE!!!

Wayne stuck in AL

February 24th, 2010
1:14 pm

BTW: Does anyone know that status of radio rights for the Thrashers after this season? The contract is up, and 680 seems to put all its money into the Braves.

World Be Free

February 24th, 2010
1:23 pm

rob-I have to check myself sometimes cause I talk too fast.

You are totally correct ont he goalie thing. we have painted ourselves into a corner by trading Kari. Whether it was a good move or not, I would have waited until after the season, just to see if he had anything left before getting rid of him, with no clear no. 1 to replace him.

Red Light

February 24th, 2010
1:49 pm

29th in shots against. 28th in goals against. Pavelec has a .902 save percentage and a 3.45 goals against average. Both figures are way below Hedberg, BUT, the kid has only appeared in 54 NHL games, so I still say you have to have some patience. If Moose sticks around, he’ll get plenty of action during the course of the last five weeks of the season, BUT, the goaltender of the future is Pavelec. I think we all better get used to that fact and be patient with the 22-year-old. Same with Bogo.

Schroeder

February 24th, 2010
1:58 pm

I read where Mannino is at practice today,Is something in the wind? Why fly a guy to Atl to practice when you could send a cab to Gwinett for their backup to practice w the parent club. Is something up or did we just have a “DOH” moment? Just sayin.

Smoothie

February 24th, 2010
2:12 pm

Pekka Rinne was just extended per the twittering of his agent…some guy by the name of Grossman. ;-) Looks like Dan Ellis could become a viable target for us in FA. He might be a good guy to have battle Pavelec for the starting job next year. The best way to get Pavs to improve is to push him as hard as possible. He knows that Hedberg will never take more than half the games from him going forward so bringing in a guy like Ellis might help make Pavelec great instead of good.