Sunday Morning Thrasherville Times

Is there anything better to do on a chilly winter weekend morning then to remain between the sheets with the Sunday paper to peruse through? Well, this morning you may do just that. Yes, just sit back on your pillows, nestle yourself between the flannel sheets, sip on a nice hot copy of morning nectar and enjoy this morning’s Thrasherville Times… written, published and editorialized by yours truly.

And the best part of this is, given the publication’s web-based nature, you didn’t even have to wander outside in your robe to pluck it off the driveway…something I am certain that your neighbors greatly appreciate.

I just hope my online editor doesn’t have an issue with the AJC online sports page hosting my little startup cyber-publication.

Anyway…headlining this morning’s rag…

WAKE UP ATLANTA!

That’s right, its Sunday morning…the last day of February. And as the calendar flips over to March tomorrow, the Atlanta Thrashers will be preparing to play 12 of the 17 games scheduled during the month inside the friendly confines of Philips Arena. In light of this fact, the team will awake to greet the sun as it rises tomorrow as to kickoff of their “Wake Up Atlanta…for the March to the Playoffs” campaign in the streets of Thrasherville.

The Thrashers have partnered with AM/PM to carry out this mission. As such, players, coaches, Thrasher and Blue Crew members will be at select locations handing out free coffee, prizes and tickets to upcoming games. Here’s the list of scheduled AM/PM appearances…so if you find yourself nearby, please drop in and take part of the festivities.

610 Spring Street in Atlanta, GA: Scheduled to appear between 8:00 and 9:00 am are Rich Peverley, Bryan Little, Niclas Bergfors, Jim Slater and Tony Borgford.

5018 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Chamblee, GA: Scheduled to appear between 8:00 and 9:00 am are Nik Antropov, Slava Kozlov, Christoph Schubert and Steve Weeks.

10965 Medlock Bridge Road Duluth in GA: Scheduled to appear between 8:00 and 9:00 am are Johan Hedberg, Todd White and Todd Nelson.

2001 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth, GA: Scheduled to appear between 8:00 and 9:00 am are Eric Boulton, Chris Thorburn, Mark Popovic, Zach Bogosian and Randy Cunneyworth.

As well as the above-mentioned scheduled appearances, there will also be players and coaches taking to the airwaves to “Wake Up Atlanta” tomorrow. Evander Kane will be on 95.5 The Beat between 9:00 and 9:15 am. Marty Reasoner will be on 790 The Zone between 9:00 and 9:15 am. Ron Hainsey will be on 680 The Fan from 8:00 to 8:30 am. And Jim Slater will be on DAVE FM from 8:00 to 8:30 am.

Coach John Anderson and Thrash can be seen on WXIA with “Commuter Dude” at the AM/PM on Pleasant Hill Road. Thrash is slated for the 5:30 to 6:30 am timeslot while the coach will be in later, starting at 6:40 and going to 6:50 am.

Friday Night Follies at the Duluth Ice Forum

I don’t know who was the brainchild behind Friday night’s 3 on 3 game/skills competition held at the Thrashers’ practice facility in Duluth, but whomever they are deserves a big pat on the back. It was a lot of fun to watch and it really looked as though the players and coaches were having a good time out on the ice as well.

All of the Thrashers who were not a part of the Olympic games in Vancouver…or injured…participated in the exhibition. Peter Mannino, who practiced with the squad this week before being sent back down Saturday, was also on hand and was the acting keeper for the Blue team.

For me, it was well worth the drive out to Duluthland from the twin cities of Acworth/Kennesaw. And I wasn’t alone as the rink was completely packed to beyond capacity with fans. If the place ”seats” 500 officially in the bleachers, then I would say there were a good 600-650 people in there.

Thrasherville Set For Many Moose Sighting in March

Head coach John Anderson told AJC Thrashers beat writer Chris Vivlamore that Johan Hedberg should see the bulk of work between the pipes from here on out. Pavelec will assume the role of backup.

Look for Moose to be the man between the pipes on most nights the rest of the way (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Look for Moose to be the man between the pipes on most nights the rest of the way (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

“If [Hedberg] continues to play that well, he’s probably going to get the majority of the games”, Anderson recently told C-Viv. “Right now, it’s not about [Pavelec] or him. It’s about who is winning and we have to get as many points as we can”.

Continuing, the Thrashers bench boss added, “Whoever is going [well], is going. It’s the same with the power play or penalty kill. Whatever is going, we have to use it at that point”.

Hedberg is 14-9-5 with a 2.56 GAA, .920 SV% and one shutout for the season.

Despite a very strong start last fall, Pavelec is now 12-15-5 with a 3.45 GAA, .900 SV% and a pair goose eggs left on the ice.

Now to some of us, giving Hedberg the lion’s share of work down the stretch doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as there have been calls to “Ride the Moose” to victory for some time now.

Just sayin’…

Schubert Looks ready to Re-join Blueline That Could Be Changing Soon

Defenseman Christoph Schubert participated in Friday’s event, so it appears that his recovered from the lower body ailment that has kept him out since the January 16 win in Carolina. Thus, the current slate of blueliners at the ready for Atlanta are…Olympians Kubina, Enstrom and Oduya along with Hainsey, Bogosian, Popovic and Schubert. Valabik is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

So, what do you think of that defensive corps heading into a playoff push?

Uh-huh…well, something tells me it might not be exactly the same in about three more days.

There is little matter of the trade deadline that looms ahead of us this week…Wednesday at 3:00 pm to be exact. So the question is, what will that mean for that defensive unit makeup? With Kubina slated for free agency this summer…as well as Schubert and Popovic…there’s been a swirl of discussion regarding his trade value. Last I heard however, Don Waddell is discussing a possible extension for the Czech veteran.

As discussed above, with the return of Schubie we have seven defensemen ready to go at this time. Add in a healthy Boris Valabik next fall and one Arturs Kulda…who did absolutely nothing in his two games played but show his is ready for serious consideration for one of the D-slots here…and you come up with nine.

That’s too many.

Therefore…one has to be prepared for some sort of deal this week. Given that, here are the “hands off” players…players that under no circumstance do I want to be dealt away… on defense. These players we selected and endorsed officially by the editorial staff of the Thrasherville Times…me.

Bogosian, Enstrom, and Oduya. I’ll add Kulda as well.

Next are players that, if traded, would have to bring in return NHL-proven talent that would help the team right now…Hainsey, Kubina, Schubert and Popovic.

That leaves Boris…who is scheduled to be an RFA in 2011 and could be running out of time on the development patience clock. But given his injury status, it would be tough to get much in return right now. He might get some decent offers next summer during training camp if he can show he’s 100% healed.

Thrasherville Prepares for Trade Deadline-A-Palooza 2010

Which pending Thrashers free agents do you NOT traded this week? (Pick three)

  • Afinogenov (UFA) (25%, 49 Votes)
  • Armstrong (UFA) (14%, 27 Votes)
  • Bergfors (RFA) (74%, 148 Votes)
  • Boulton (UFA) (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Headberg (UFA) (32%, 64 Votes)
  • Kozlov (UFA) (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Kubina (UFA) (43%, 85 Votes)
  • Little (RFA) (54%, 108 Votes)
  • Pavelec (RFA) (21%, 42 Votes)
  • Popovic (UFA) (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Schubert (UFA) (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Slater (UFA) (13%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 199

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As we look forward to Wednesday’s trade deadline, there are a number of players on the Thrashers roster that will certainly get their fair share of attention. As mentioned in the previous section of today’s fish wrapper, Kubina, Popovic and Schubert are two blueliners that could possibly be facing trade winds head on given their pending UFA status. But forwards Maxim Afinogenov, Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater, Slava Kozlov and Eric Boulton will also be UFAs come July 1 as well as goaltender Johan Hedberg.

Niclas Bergfors, Bryan Little and Ondrej Pavelec will be RFAs.

Now to me, the trick Don Waddell and Rick Dudley have is…how do you deal with these pending free agents while at the same time keeping a roster of players that give the best shot at making the playoffs this spring. With no less than nine players that will be UFAs this summer and another three that will be RFAs, thats a lot of talent to allow slip away with nothing in return, should the team chose to keep a number of them around. On the other hand… many of those players can help the team in the push for post-season play right now/

So, which ones go and which ones stay? I have a feeling this is going to be a very interesting three days to come.

If I had to pick just one who is almost certain to remain, my guess is Moose. He’s is too valuable a commodity given the trading of Kari and Pavelec’s yet-to-be-proven reliability. And if I had to pick just one player that is an almost certainty to go, that would be Kozlov…if there is a team that will take him. After that, I would say Armstrong.

We will have a special Trade Deadline-A-Paloosa blog posted first thing Wednesday morning to track, announce and discuss all moves made on that day. Until then, today’s fan poll question is… which of the above listed Thrashers pending free agents, both of the restricted and unrestricted variety, do you NOT want to see traded away this week.

Trade Deadline Not The Only “Big News Day” in NHL This Week

Remember, Thrashervillians…Wednesday the 4th is not the only really big news day for the NHL this week. The very next day, Thursday the 5th, is the date we’ve been told that a press conference is to be held in Winnipeg announcing the sale and relocation of the Thrashers to that city.

snicker…snicker…snicker…

I asked Trixie if she’d be willing to head up there to cover this major sports news event for me. It will considered business travel, of course…totally expensed.

Yeah, I know. To Winnipeg… in late winter…to cover an event this isn’t going to happen.

She laughed so hard at me that she almost dropped her nail file…almost.

Bergfors Making Friends Fast in Thrasherville

Since coming over from New Jersey with Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors has been making himself quite the popular fellows with his new teammates. He’s been place on the Thrashers’ top line with Nik Antropov and Bryan Little and has accounted for 3 goals and an assists as well as a +2 rating. The three have 7 goals and 9 assists in those five games played since Bergie’s arrival and are a combined +5.

Of his new linemate, Antropov was recently quoted as saying, “We’ve played five games together, but it feels like we’ve been playing forever”.

Indeed…let’s just hope that the “forever” type feeling will last another six weeks or so.

Oh, and one last thought on the subject of the Bergie, Little, Antropov trio. For those of you into naming lines, try this one on for size…the “Dull Razor” line. Uh-huh…it’s the one that gives you…ahem…a Little ‘Nick’ twice.

sigh…OK, maybe not.

Trade Request from Kozlov Just Another Example of the Veteran’s Class

As we learned a few days back, Kozlov has requested a trade and is willing to drop his NTC to facilitate one, if that is Don Waddell can arrange a swap with a team of interest. His reasons are very simple and straight forward…he doesn’t want to end his career sitting in the press box.

“I asked [general manager] Don [Waddell] to find a team,” Kozlov said per Chris Vivlamore. “I don’t know if I’m going to be on this team or another team. If we can find a team which I like and which is good for me and my family I will go. If not, I’m going to be here”.

Kozlov, seen here last fall vs. the Blues, holds the Thrashers team record wit 251 consecutive starts .(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Kozlov, seen here last fall vs. the Blues, holds the Thrashers team record with 251 consecutive starts .(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Continuing he added, “With coach [John Anderson] not playing me, what can you do? That’s why I feel I could go play for somebody that needs my help. If so, I’ll waive my no-trade clause”.

Personally, I see this as a very classy move on Slava’s part. He sees that he is the odd man out, spending most of his time in the press box while the other twelve plays. He knows he is in the latter portion of his playing days and the only way the organization can do the best thing for both he and the team is to allow him to move on…so he informs his GM to see what he can work out and he’ll discuss any such deal with his wife and family.

Honestly…can you ask any more out of the man?

If in fact we have seen Kozlov’s last game in a Thrashers uniform, I would like to thank him for his years of service and for his professional attitude. You’re a class act Slava…good luck in all of your future endeavors.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

And for our final entry in today’s daily grind…here’s an interesting stat for you. The Thrashers are currently 26-24-10 for 62 points. That record amounts to a .517 points winning percentage, which is 21st in the NHL.

However, in the Eastern Conference…that ranks as the eighth highest.

162 comments Add your comment

Southside Rob

February 28th, 2010
7:02 am

First! Go Thrashers

Mrs. Duluthland (aka Mrs. Zoomo)

February 28th, 2010
7:20 am

Friday night was alot of fun, a great way to generate excitement for the “March to the Playoffs”. Ryan told us he saw you…we got stuck behind that huge crowd of autograph seekers afterwards. Considering how much we go there we should have known better!!!
I’ll give Todd White your regards if I get over to that AM/PM tomorrow.

The Real Thrash

February 28th, 2010
7:41 am

Can we just trade the GM for a real one?

LAC

February 28th, 2010
7:50 am

I Agree with The Real Thrash… Could we get a broken stick for waddell, because he has broken the
team to almost nothing !

The Real Thrash

February 28th, 2010
8:19 am

Just wondering, why would one think that we would “receive players that, if traded, would have to bring in return NHL-proven talent that would help the team right now.” That has not been the history of the GM. The history is to receive players that have marginal experience and marginal history of contributions with great “potential”.

Ashe

February 28th, 2010
8:36 am

Real Thrash : LAC

You guys dont understand how well he has done the past two years now that he isnt completely hamstrung by owners and finances.

We have to overpay to keep people here because we dont have a track record.
And it started with Heatley, Who got us a newly signed Hossa who didnt want to be here, followed by Kovy asking for a ridiculous ammount of money that we offered, and it wasnt good enough.

Being from Saskatchewan, Its actually nice up here this time of year, i just hope i can watch the remainder of the games.

I doubt we see Kubina going anywhere this year as well. Schubert/Pops are more then able to disappear.

Kozzy, Army, White, Boults, are all guys i see gone by the deadline.

Ashe

February 28th, 2010
8:38 am

Hossa,Kubina, Bergfors, Army, Oduya say hello to you.

Red Light

February 28th, 2010
8:54 am

So, the three UFAs Kubina, Army and Max don’t have to make an appearance at AM/PM nor on the radio? Hmmmm!

Duh 5

February 28th, 2010
8:59 am

And it started with Heatley

Nope, it started with Staios as well as Brunette and has continued through Savard, Hossa, and now Kovalchuk. Some people refer to this as a retention problem. And the one constant has been? Waddell

R. Stroz

February 28th, 2010
9:00 am

Red Light – In poker, we call that a tell. Good spot.

Heather

February 28th, 2010
9:08 am

I sure would like to keep Kubina and Army. But I’m afraid that, at least, Army is gone.

Red Light

February 28th, 2010
9:21 am

Here’s another spot R. Stroz:

If Moose, Slater, Boulton and Kozlov sign elsewhere as UFAs during the off-season, not a single player from the 06-07 roster and playoffs will remain with the team. Oh, the legacy!

Red Light

February 28th, 2010
9:23 am

Except for Popovic who played seven games that season, but he too is a UFA!

NorthStarsDave

February 28th, 2010
9:32 am

Anyone see the ‘exchange’ between Kubina and Kovelchuk in the Olympics??

The Thrashers need to worry about THIS YEAR….they have a chance THIS YEAR!!! UFA’s and RFA’s…who cares??!!!

If the Thrashers start winning…the UFA’s/RFA’s would want to be here….not somewhere else…

Tom

February 28th, 2010
9:57 am

Looks like the KHL is going to make a big run at Ilya. I wonder if there ever was a chance at keeping him.

Think about it, his wife could try to resume her career as a singer, Ilya would be a national hero, and (drumroll please) his tax rate would go from 45% (thanks Congress) to 13%. That in itself would be a huge difference.

If I was a cynical man I would say a deal has already been roughed out by his agent. That is why Ilya asked for the max contract. If he got it, fine, lets stay. Otherwise he knows he is guaranteed the same dollars in Mother Russia.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4952551&campaign=rss&source=NHLHeadlines

“Unless he signs an extension with the New Jersey Devils, Kovalchuk will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Medvedev’s company Gazprom owns the KHL club in St. Petersburg and he’s hopeful the former Atlanta Thrasher will be open to a lucrative offer to jump ship from the NHL.

“The difference between 45 percent taxes and 13 percent taxes is substantial,” Medvedev said. “We could top that [NHL] money he would receive by a substantial sum up. He will decide.”

In other words, a $7-million salary in Russia for Kovalchuk is akin to making almost double in the NHL and that’s what Medvedev hopes will be the biggest allure.”

GaVaHokie

February 28th, 2010
9:59 am

Wow Rawhide, you’re such a “mouthpiece” for the organization. ;)
Promoting March to the Playoffs.

Anyone read the latest from Eklund… Sources say it’s “blatantly obvious that Kovy wants to play for the Kings, that’s why the offer was so low from the Kings. They can have him for free this summer.”

GaVaHokie

February 28th, 2010
10:06 am

How many times do I need to point out the team budget for the Thrashers was $11 million and $17 million during the Staois and Brunette years?

The first you can make any argument for player retention is Savard.

Lee

February 28th, 2010
10:23 am

I voted: Afinegenov, Bergfors, and Hedberg

HookyBob

February 28th, 2010
10:33 am

Yes, the NHL returns to ATL like a Tsunami. A game at Philips Tuesday, trade deadline Wednesday, and a game Thursday. All this with our boys in blue being on the play-off bubble. It may be a reach to make the play-offs,…perhaps they can learn a thing or two about “reaching” from our boys in red, white and blue.

Redlight and Stroz,….I’m with you that Kubina and Armstrong won’t be wearing Thrasher burgandy at this Thursday’s game. They will be hard to replace and I wish we could find a way to keep them. I’d like to see Kozlov go to cup contender,….regardless of what we can get in return. I wonder who else around the NHL will be fitted for new unis on Thursday?

One big game to be played before the NHL returns. I want the US to win,…but am OK with Canada winning if they play the better game. Above all,… I hope the gold isn’t determined by some fluke goal or bad call Go red, white and blue..

R. Stroz

February 28th, 2010
10:51 am

I actually view Armstrong as the key pending UFA that the Thrashers need to keep. Although Armstrong is by no means a top tier player, his re-signing would send a message that the young core beleives in the future.

With the re-signing of Peverley coupled with new contracts for Armstrong, Slater, and Little (whose contract needs to go into his UFA eligible years), a positive message would be sent that the youngsters see a future for the organization. Otherwise, the revolving door continues and the fan base is churned, instead of being built up.

Armstrong is the pivot; however, I believe the writing is on the wall.

jimbo

February 28th, 2010
10:55 am

Who cares about the UFAs/RFAs/UFOs, etc. Get us a team of guys who bang behind the net and go full bore at the first puck drop. The play of the US Olympic team reminds us of what good, aggressive hockey is all about. I don;t understand why our lads stand around every first period at home. Maybe with the Koaster gone and Kozzy watching, the others will shed the “we’ll wait until the third period” mentality and actually play for 60 minutes. What a delicious thought.

kracker

February 28th, 2010
11:21 am

I want a vote do-over. I voted two RFAs that aren’t going anywhere anyway. Seems better to vote which FA you think will be traded, not counting Kozzy because he is publicly asking out: Kubina, Army and probably Max. I’m assuming these guys are not interested in staying so bye-bye and I’m not saying that with malice. Our UFAs that probably would re-sign: Boults, Pops, Shubert and Slates. Any could be moved, perhaps along with one of the four to-be-traded FAs mentioned above.

The big surprise would be if either Kubina or Army stays via agreeing to a new contract. Max is probably going but who knows, maybe he likes it here and is grateful for the chance to get back into the game. Not likely, though.

Next week is going to be pretty darned interesting around here…and oh yeah, there’s some games to be played, too.

DWTOO

February 28th, 2010
11:55 am

Reading the blog sure beats what I should be doing – painting the sunroom before the tile guys start with the floor. I’d like to see us add players rather than trade for prospects – we have plenty of them. We need to keep Kubina and Max for the run. Realize we proabaly won’t go far, but, it’s still better than we’ve done in the past. Think it’s important that we at least get the experience.

Well back to the grind.

kracker

February 28th, 2010
12:29 pm

Oh, I was remiss in not thanking the staff of “The Thrasherville Times” for their Herculean effort in publisning their inaugural issue! Thanks to all involved and I look forward to devouring the Sunday editions to come. Salute!

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
12:32 pm

Kubina gets one of my Thrashers MVP votes for this season, along with Moose. However, the trade value of many of these players should not be ignored. I’d shop them all, without intending to trade them all. I’d, at least, want to see what is being offered. Hedberg, too? Yes. He’s not getting any younger. In FACT, Johan Hedberg will turn 37 on May 5, 2010. And do they (the hypothetical trading partner) have a stud goalie in their system, as part of the exchange? If so, … I think we have to consider that. With a heavy emphasis on … just how far away is their prospect goaltender? If there’s a surplus of NHL goalies with that team, we could opt for one of them, as well. I want to be clear on something. I like Johan Hedberg. He’s one of my favorite Thrashers. Now, he’s one of my All-TIME favorite Thrashers. But even I, a supporter of his, can see that he’s not the goalie to build around, closer to 40 years of age, than 30. I repeat, Moose turns 37 in two months. Calendars don’t lie, folks.

The other point of clarification? I have always, still, and continue to tell you all … that this is “Year Three” of a “Four Year Building Project.” Former beatwriter Craig Custance told us, “This NY Rangers playoff sweep has set the organization back by 5 years.” I argued, “No, only four years.” And this is Year Three. Is making the playoffs THIS YEAR worth derailing what this organization is, allegedly, supposedly, trying to build? I say, “No, it isn’t. Trade Kubina. Trade Armstrong. Trade Max, UNLESS they’re willing to re-sign here.”

I like Schubert. But we’re hardly married to the guy. He was a waiver claim, last Fall. I like Mark Popovic. I’d like to keep him. But I’ll listen to what other teams are willing to offer. If I don’t like the offers, I say, “thanks, but no thanks.”

Re: Kubina, if he won’t re-sign, he MUST be traded. Like Kovalchuk HAD TO BE TRADED. He was a “one year loan” by Waddell’s buddy in Toronto, named Brian Burke. Burke tossed him a bone. Now, it’s up to Waddell to get get a 2nd round pick for him, or maybe even something better than that. He netted a 2nd rounder for 40-year Matthieu Schneider last time around. If Kubina wanted to stay, on some 2-year deal, I wouldn’t think twice about it. But in Kubina’s shoes, a player who will turn 33 years of age on April 15, 2010, I’d be looking for a 4-6 year deal, on a contender. That makes him 37-39, by the end of that contract. Is this the “direction” the Thrashers need to be headed in? I say, “No, it isn’t.” But it’s Waddell’s job to find out what Kubina’s intentions are. He can’t just bury his head in the sand like an ostrich. I love Kubina, but he’s gotta go. Period, the end. He’s too valuable to simply let walk in free agency.

Re: Armstrong. If the organization were to engage in a “depth strategy,” which I’ve outlined countless times now for bloggers, then Armstrong is an important element to retain. But he holds the cards, folks. If he wants to leave, then that’s what he wants. And Waddell must trade him.

Re: Kozlov, read the previous blog. I thanked the guy for his years of service, in lean times, to this organization. But it’s time for him to go. I just hope Waddell can find a suitor for something good.

Re: Bergfors. He must be retained. He’s an RFA. Advantage: Atlanta. We can match any offersheet. We’ll wind up overpaying, but that’s kinda of okay, all things considered.

Re: Finny, he’s cheap. You keep him. Unless an offer too good to be TRUE comes along. Then, you trade him.

Re: Slater and Boulton, there won’t be trade interest. These players cost nothing. So, you keep them.

Re: RFA’s, other than Bergfors previously mentioned, you must re-sign Ondrej Pavelec and Bryan Little. In the case of Little, the goal should be to get him to forego some of his UFA eligibility years in the interests of saving money. The way it works is … you OVERPAY him in the first 4 years of the deal, but you substantively UNDERPAY him the last three years of the deal. The issue, to me, is how Bryan Little will be used by the organization. If they force him away from his natural center position, to that of a winger, I think the returns on Bryan Little will be diminished. Therefore, I don’t want to pay him so much. But someone grows a brain, and makes him a center, when he scored 31 goals last season, and he can replicate that kind of performance with capable linemates, then I’m fine giving him a hefty raise, on an 8-year deal.

Re: Pavelec. Grabbing R.Stroz’s bullhorn, “Ondrej is twenty-two (22) years old!!!” Raise your hand, and get ‘em wayyyyyy high up in the air, if you think, if you HONESTLY think, that Ondrej has reached his “learning curve.” That, Pavelec has reached the limits of his capacity, at age 22. Now quit airing out your pits, like darned fools. Pavelec turns 23 on August 31, 2010. Hardly an age when you should QUIT on a goaltender. It’d be the equivalent of cooking your Thanksgiving Day Turkey for an hour and ten minutes, then abandoning the effort, in favor of some Chinese takeout. Pavelec needs a goalie coach and a decent corps of blueliners, and he’ll be fine. Plus, Waddell gave up a LOT to get Pavelec in the 2005 draft. He passed on Marc Staal at #12 to fall back to #16, to go select Alex Bourret. Bourret was traded to the NY Rangers for Pascal Dupuis and the Ranger’s 3rd round pick, which the Thrashers used to trade for Chris Thorburn. Dupuis was packaged with Hossa to the Penguins for what you might call Colby Armstrong, today. If you prefer to think of Dupuis as Erik Christensen, then Dupuis is prospect Eric O’Dell, today. But any way you slice and dice it, Pavelec cost a lot to acquire and should be “untouchable.” That said, “Any player can be traded.” But if you opt to trade Pavelec now, or at the draft, you better get something a kin to 12th overall pick in the draft, for that’s what he cost.

kracker

February 28th, 2010
12:44 pm

DWTOO – It will be interesting to see which, if any, of our top FA(s) will be kept for the playoff push. It’s seems likely that some may be retained, depending on what type of offers Waddell gets. I figure Waddell will be seeking a signed D-man back for Kubina, for example, though one of lesser ability. If none is offered Kubes may play out the season here.

We’re all just speculating, of course. There are too many unknowns, such as will Waddell allow other teams to contact our FAs and their agents about a summer signing agreement prior to the trade. I’m sure I read that the NHL doesn’t allow actual sign and trade deals between teams but a player can talk with the other team, right?

kracker

February 28th, 2010
12:50 pm

Anyway, we know the Spirit Group is going all out to make the playoffs. After all, they are springing for free coffees Monday morning at the AM/PMs for the Wake Up Atlanta player/public greetings.

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
12:54 pm

Folks, I’m still gonna root hard for the Thrashers to make the playoffs. Why wouldn’t I? I just don’t think that the Atlanta Thrashers are the pony to bet on, for the 7th or 8th spot in the East. Barry Melrose says, “no.” Jeff Schultz says, “no.” Scott Burnside, I haven’t heard from in a while, but I’d suspect he says, “no.” Rawhide, our blogmaster, says, “They’ll make an exciting race, but finish just short, in 10th place.” I agree with all of them. It’s an uphill battle for the Thrashers. They didn’t do themselves any favors with that 1-7-4 stretch of season, after previously being 14-7-3, at one point. I’m not blaming this on Kovalchuk. It’s Barry Melrose who says, “plus now the players and organization have an excuse for missing the playoffs, since they lost their captain and face of the franchise.” I don’t think that’s the reason Atlanta will miss the playoffs. I think they’re in Year Three of a Four Year Building Project, and Kovalchuk got tired of waiting. Who answers for accountability for results of the Atlanta Thrashers?

Normally, the answer to such a question is clear. But in Atlanta, the answer is usually a string of circular arguments over ‘totality of circumstance.’ I think we’ll finish 10th in the East, and add another piece at the June Draft. I won’t fly off the handle because of it. I understand the situation. But if you’re a fan who demands the Stanley Cup or CF every year, you’re probably not reading this anyway. You’ve given up on the team AGES AGO, when it was clear that it was mismanaged. I sit here, hoping that Waddell improves, since he’ll never be fired. I sit here, hoping that the organization will start to care for hockey, and hold people accountable. I sit here, knowing full well, that teams ebb and flow in their evolution. I don’t get angry because of it. I know that building years are part of the contending years. And so forth. All I’ve ever asked … is for some accountability over direction and results. That continues to be my wish.

five_hole

February 28th, 2010
12:56 pm

Me, I’m just looking forward to 3PM. I missed the game last week, ’cause it was a 7PM start and at that time I was sitting in Heartsfield, waiting for my plane. The game had ended after I landed. I am so hoping that someone puts a shoulder into Cindy Crosby’s chest (ala Army on Hossa). Go U-S-A!

With respect to who stays & who goes, we’re on the cusp of a playoff spot, and will only have the one game Tuesday (which I’ll miss – again) to make the decision of being buyers or sellers. I’m hoping we’re buyers. Keep the blueline depth & add a decent scoring winger.

EA

February 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

USA! USA! This is the only time I will root for a Buffalo Sabre. Ryan Miller may be the difference. Can’t wait!
Friday night in Duluth was a blast. Kudos to the fans and the players as well as the organizers of the event.

Jeff97

February 28th, 2010
2:26 pm

Good turnout today at Thrashers practice. things seem to be really upbeat and the boys seem poised to make a run.

I would like to see them get maybe one more grit player. Those are the types of players that you need this time of the year to get into the playoffs and succeed in the playoffs. One player that comes to mind is Steve Ott of Dallas. He fits that mold. One of those guys that you dont like to play against, but you like to have on your team. He might only be a rental, but we might be able to give him up for Popovic and maybe a mid-low round pick.

I would hate to see us have to trade Kubina, but if he has no intention of staying here after this year, then i say see if we can get a good return for him. Same goes for Army. He is such a fan favorite, it would be harder parting with him than most any other of the FA’s we have.

Lets hope Tuesday is the start of a wild and fun ride to the playoffs. Go Thrashers!

Rawhide

February 28th, 2010
2:42 pm

GaVaHokie – I don’t know about being a “mouthpiece” for the team…but I don’t mind doing whatever I can to assist in their efforts to fill Philips Arena. Also, I think the PR and marketing department people have really stepped up their efforts to promote the team and their product.

Just doing my small part when and where I can.

Kracker – On behalf of Trixie and the enitire cyber-staff, you’re most welcome…and thank you for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t know if I can pump one of these out every Sunday…too much like giving birth. LOL! :lol:

EveryonePer C-Vivs tweet…it looks like Belkin ponied up his $2 mil as ordered.

kracker

February 28th, 2010
5:38 pm

Overtime 4 on 4!!! yeah!!

HookyBob

February 28th, 2010
5:42 pm

May the best team win.

Let it be a quality goal.

HookyBob

February 28th, 2010
5:55 pm

Can’t begrudge Canada.

But we played them pretty close. Head held high.

Lee

February 28th, 2010
6:03 pm

SAY WHAT??!! USA played a great game, but Canada deserved it. Bitter-sweet win…

I love Kane’s mouthpiece!

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
6:41 pm

Well, for Canadians, these Olympics will probably always be “the best ever.” The most event to them, Ice Hockey, resulted in Golds for both the Men and Women. And both times, they beat the United States to do it. Does it get better than that, for Canada? Plus, Joannie Rochette got that bronze in figure skating, under difficult circumstances. Their Canadian Curling team lost in the 11th end to Sweden. But that’s still a silver for them, in an important sport for Canadians.

Their national “icon” in sports probably is Sidney Crosby, at this point. For him to score the OT winner is just the cherry on top. I congratulate Canada. But what I want to talk about … is how the USA Hockey Program went from 1-4-1 in Torinto to 5-1-0 in Vancouver. Folks, that’s what proper planning and accountability will do for a program. The United States was NOT expected to be on the medal podium … AT ALL. As in, NOT … AT … ALL. Instead, they were “one shot” from being Gold Medalists.

There are a lot of people who deserve credit for this REMARKABLE turn-around from Torinto. Brian Burke. David Poile. Lou Lamoriello. And even Don Waddell had some hand in it. A clear strategy was implemented. And it works. Gloriously. This American teams did defeat Canada in these Games. That’s a fact. The final score … was 5-3. They came up one goal short in the Gold Medal. This was NOT some 7-2, or 5-0 pasting … at the hands of the much favored host nation Canada.

I feel GREAT about this tournament. Two silver medals for the USA in Ice Hockey. That’s tremendous achievement. It really, truly is. They almost wrote an improbable script. But the USA will get another chance at the World Cup later this year. And let’s see what happens in 2012. Several of this year’s team will be back for that one, assuming NHL players will still be participating.

Matt

February 28th, 2010
6:41 pm

Nooooooooooooo, NOT “Cindy”!!

Dang.

Great tournament for Team USA, but disappointing final result. USA gave great effort all tournament long and just was not meant to be, I guess.

R. Stroz

February 28th, 2010
6:46 pm

Great game by both teams.

Final Thought: At least Dany Heatley didn’t score the winning goal.

Smoothie

February 28th, 2010
7:18 pm

Not enough Ryans on the team. Needed one more to put us over the top.

I blame Waddell.

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
7:21 pm

Heatley did not score, that’s true. :) And Marian Hossa did not medal. And Marc Savard did not play for Team Canada. And Pavel Kubina did play very capably for the Slovakians.

Smoothie

February 28th, 2010
7:27 pm

Keep Kubina if you can. If he says, “hell no! I won’t sign”, then trade him and hope to get a player and a pick. No prospects unless it’s some other team’s top 2 rated prospects.

Trade Slava for any pick you can get…he can probably help someone in limited action and S/O.

With respect to Colby, only trade him if someone is willing to overpay. In other words, either a 2nd round pick or a top 5 prospect. Otherwise, keep the hardest working line in hockey (Kane – Slates – Colbs) together for the stretch run.

As far as Afinogenov is concerned, trade him if and only if he has come to you and requested a trade. Even then I’m not sure we can afford to not have his speed on the ice. He’s a game-changer when he’s on the ice and keeps a D on its heels. As long as he keeps back-checking, he’s very valuable to us. We gave up nothing to get him so I have no problem getting nothing for him at the deadline if he’s a difference-maker on the ice.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 28th, 2010
8:04 pm

Screw Canada, it’s the 51st state anyhow

DWTOO

February 28th, 2010
8:13 pm

What an awesome game today. We were at Firebird’s and the place just erupted when Parise scored – after which 30 million crapped their pants! Tremendous outporing of enthusiasm. And Ryan Miller getting the MVP!

Smoothie has it pegged on Finny. We need his speed – and he does play both ends of the ice. Sometimes just not real effectively, but, the effort is there.

I have to disagree with the “Professor” on this one – I want us to keep everyone unless we get an immediate return in exchange. We’re loaded with prospects – we need to push now.

Maybe Johnny Weir is available. He’d be an addition in the locker room.

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
8:45 pm

R.Stroz, I never got your official prediction for today’s gold medal game. I don’t it’s too late to make that projection. Please, grace us with a final score.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 28th, 2010
8:58 pm

I hope somebody runs over Cindy Crosby in the first game back and he has to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Most of Canada disliked him until today-the great Canadian hypocracy.

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
9:02 pm

These closing ceremonies have been interesting. Nice to see the Canadians poking some fun at themselves, over the fourth pillar malfunction from the Opening ceremonies. I tells ya, I’ve come to have some respect for figure skater Joannie Rochette and curling player Cheryl Bernard.

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
9:07 pm

It’s always a bit sad when the Olympics end. Any Olympics. For you know the end of the “feel good-isms” are over. And we’ll go back to the way we were, prior to the two week moratorium on squabbling with each other, as peoples and nations.

We always say it, right about. “If the world can gather and GET ALONG with each for two weeks. Why not three weeks? Why not a month? Why not a year?” Well, maybe it’s because we know it’s only two weeks … that it becomes possible?

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

February 28th, 2010
9:28 pm

Let’s get back to all the players who want out of Atlanta because of the way this franchise is ran.

It’s reality week folks, time for more players to tell mngt “I am outta here” with no intention to resigning with the Thrashers. Only players staying are those too young (held captive) or already under contract.

Pretty sad week coming up-another rebuilding campaign and I am not sure I have the stomach for another failed effort.

WTF-not whiskey tango foxtrot

Brendan

February 28th, 2010
9:52 pm

Do the Atlanta Thrashers brass even care that their players want out and have given this GM as vote of “no confidence” when the decision of where to play becomes exclusively theirs? No, their answer is, “In an era of salary cap, all teams lose good players.” Allrightee then.

If you suggest that it might not be easy to fix things via free agency, Mr. Levenson’s response is to say, “I think we know how to sign free agents.”

If you suggest that the GM chair needs a new occupant, they’ll tell you, “Don Waddell is extremely respected in NHL circles.” And on and on it goes.