How long will Thrashers wait on Pavelec?

Sunday afternoon, as the Thrashers were in the process of dropping that giant steamer on the ice surface of Philips Arena, I had the pleasure of sitting on the end of the arena that Carolina defended twice. Normally I would call that the Thrashers’ “attack twice” side…but…sigh

Regardless, the position I took up allowed me to view the proceedings from behind the net Manny Legace was protecting for 2/3 of his 27-save shutout performance. As such, I couldn’t help but sarcastically utter to Smoothie and the Blueland Chronicle boys, “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a goalie like him in a Thrashers uniform”.

Of course my tongue-in-cheek remark alludes back to last summer when Atlanta did indeed have the veteran Legace… who turn 37-years of age last month…in camp on a professional tryout. However, he was sent on his way in favor of Ondrej Pavelec, the Thrashers next “goalie of the future”, whom it was thought could handle the load while Kari Lehtonen was nursed back to health. Start Pavs for the bulk of the games for a month or so…was the thought…then allow Kari to slide in much the same way he did a year ago when he performed so well in the second half of the season.

Things started off well enough after the brain trust of Waddell-Dudley-Anderson chose this path…Opie got off to a very strong start and Legace signed with Carolina after Cam Ward went down with a nasty cut to the groin area. He cost the Canes all of $500,000.

But round about the same time Manny began suiting up for the Canes, Opie’s performance started to drop off. More and more the team found themselves having to turn to another veteran in goal, Johan Hedberg…which was something I advocated earlier on…and by the time the Olympic break rolled around, it was clear this team’s chances for post-season play rested squarely on the back of the Moose.

Ondrej pavelec is 0-4-1 and has a .879 SV% in his last five starts (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

In his last five starts, Ondrej Pavelec is 0-4-1 and has a .879 SV% allowing 18 goals (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

In his last five starts, dating back to the 5-2 loss to Carolina on January 21, Opie is 0-4-1 and has allowed 18 goals on 149 shots, (.879 SV%). This has dropped his season record to 12-16-5 with a 3.47 GAA and .901 SV%.

Conversely, in Manny Legace’s last five starts, he is 5-0-0 and has allowed only 8 goals on 136 shots, (.941 SV%). During that stretch of games, he’s beaten such teams as Buffalo…twice by the score of 4-3…Florida and Ottawa 4-1…and of course most recently, your Atlanta Thrashers 4-0.

The season numbers… Legacy is now 9-5-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .909SV%. Pavelec is 12-16-5 with a .3.47 GAA and .901 SV%.

As for waiting for Kari Lehtonen to heal up and come to the rescue, well he did not return in October. Nor did he in November…or December…or January. Finally, Waddudleyson grew tired of waiting for the current “goalie of the future” to finally be the “goalie of the present”, decided to finally cut bait seven and a half years after using a second overall draft pick on him… and he’s now Dallas’ concern.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20…and one can argue for why Waddudlyson opted to cut lose a soon-to-be 37-year old goalie over sending Opie back to Chicago. However, ask yourself this question…right now going into a playoff drive during the last few weeks of the season…stop laughing…would you rather have seen a goalie tandem of Hedberg/Pavelec or Hedberg/Legace? I think the numbers support the latter of the two options.

But directing our attention to a more forward outlook now, I would then pose this question you those of you in the blogosphere…

With the Thrashers’ decision to finally cutting bait with Lehtonen still fresh in their minds… just how long is this organization willing to be patient with Ondrej Pavelec?

Another year?

Two seasons?


As long as it takes?

Sure, Pavs isn’t injury-prone like Kari, but I just can’t see the Thrashers waiting around for several more years waiting for him to come around like they did the last “goalie of the future”.

As you ponder your response, consider this…if given as much time to develop as Kari, that would mean Opie has another three years before the GM…whomever that may be… runs out of patience. You willing to stick around and wait for that?

I’ll answer that question right now…no.

How long should the Thrashers continue to wait for Pavelec to finally become the team's #1 starter?

  • Another 3 years, if necessary (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Two more years, but no more (15%, 20 Votes)
  • End of next season, tops (47%, 63 Votes)
  • End of this year, then move to someone else (10%, 14 Votes)
  • His time is up already...bring in Mannino (27%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 134

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Now, maybe that’s because I, like so many of you, are still jaded from the past several years of living through the Kari Lehtonen experiment. But as I see it right now, if sometime in the future the Thrashers find themselves completely out of the playoff picture…and if last weekend is any indication of things to come, that could be as early as Sunday…I’d rather see Peter Mannino be called up from the Wolves and be given his first shot an NHL play. Never too soon to get a look at the next “goalie of the future”, ya know.

Like Pavelec, he’s scheduled to be an RFA this summer. So why not get a sneak peek at what his worth could be before deciding how much to pony up for him.

Besides, if 21-3-0 with a 2.14 GAA and .926 SV% doesn’t earn a keeper a good look-see, what does?

Looking even further down the road…when July rolls around, I would like to see Waddudlyson have a look around at some of the goalies swimming around in the UFA pool. There’s a few out there to pick and choose from…not the least of which is Thrasher-killer Antero Niittymaki.

Hey, you know what they say…if ya can’t beat ‘em, pay him to join ya.

Regardless, I’m just not prepared to wait around several more years to wait on Opie to develop…at least not at this level. Let him season a while longer in Chicago, or do what you did with Lehtonen and end the experiment…only much sooner than they did with Kari.

This Thrashers organization simply doesn’t have the time to wait for a “goalie of the future” to develop into the “goalie of today” anymore.

110 comments Add your comment


March 8th, 2010
2:40 pm

um, First?

Pavelec is very young. So I don’t think the org. should cut bait. I do, however, think they should have someone else at the ready — his technique is poor and he’s not performing as well as we should expect at this point.


March 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

I wonder if Opie had been left in several games earlier this year after he gave-up four if he would be different now? Moose can give-up a ton of goals and not have to worry about the hook. This is an area I really don’t agree with JA’s moves to yank Opie when he gives up goals.


March 8th, 2010
2:46 pm

Yeah, Pavelec is less than inspiring. He needs more seasoning and that should be done in Chicago.

I would like to see him be given another year in Chicago (next season) and then bring him back up. If he can’t cut it when he comes back up, then cut ties with him. So I guess I’d give him 2 more years to make it.

Yes, if we fall out of it over the next couple weeks, then bring Mannino up now to get a taste and to see if he can handle the NHL speed.

I completely agree with you re. Legace, but Moose is going to get all the starts for the rest of the month (mabye even that back to backer at the end of the month).

And go to the UFA market and sign a Nittymaki or other proven goaler for our starter for next year and keep Moose as the backup.


March 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

I would give Opie two more years, max. Mannino, perhaps Hedberg, and a UFA goalie should be in camp this year to push Pavelec and give the staff as many options as possible should Ondrej not rise to the occasion. Obviously he needs a lot more coaching on his fundamentals. In his defense, he did look better last night on post to post moves. Perhaps Weeksie has been working on that since the Olympics ended. Or perhaps Ondrej’s been spending a lot more time with strength and conditioning coach Ray Bear while Moose gets all the starts.

Also, please keep in mind that Moose didn’t get the quick hook most of the year because it hasn’t really been necessary. Moose was pulled after the 1st period debacle vs San Jose. Oddly enough, that was the very next game after Ondrej had been yanked the first time. Pavs got yanked twice more before December 10th. But it’s because JA had no other choice really.

Just a little perspective as I wrap up. Starting the year, Pavelec was “the” guy. He got all but 2 of the first 13 starts. At times he was brilliant, at others he was dreadful. But he was often lucky to be as effective as he was due to his positioning problems. In thos 13 GS, Pavs was an enigmatic 5 – 5 – 1 with a .909 SV % and a 3.14 GAA. As we know, the kid faced way too many shots. But I think teams quickly realized what a flopper he is and just started throwing rubber on the net to crash the crease and catch him out of position. It worked.


March 8th, 2010
3:10 pm

Ya I was thinking after last night’s game that Waddell needs to seriously consider signing a real NHL starting goalie. Pavelec started the year good but the second half of the season he hasn’t been all that good.


March 8th, 2010
3:22 pm

Ya know, folks. This season isn’t exactly over. But, let’s pretend, hypothetically, that it is. Still with me?

I want to ask a serious question, Henny Youngman jokes aside. This organization is forever saying, “We’re headed in the right direction.” Or “We’re on the right path now.” When, out of curiosity, did they ever say, “Ya now what, AJC writers and AJC bloggers, I gotta be straight up honest with you. We’ve been on the wrong path, and in the wrong direction. But we just don’t know how to correct it.”

For as much as many of you would laugh, and laugh heartily hearing that from Levenson, Gearon, or Pescowitz, or Beau Turner, I’d stand up and applaud. For it would mean that they think what they’re doing, including their business model, might be flawed. I come from the school of thought that says, “pencils have erasers, precisely because corrections will need to be made.” I’m also the sort who says, “If you went to Vegas, got addicted to gambling, you can get help for that.” If you partied too hearty in high school or college, became a drunk, there’s help for that. If you live your life like a graduate of the Clinton/Roethlisberger school of womanizing, again, I think there’s HELP for that sort of thing. But what if, what ails you, is an inability to recognize failure and missteps? Then what? I suppose, the answer is, “someone has to politely tell you … that you’re NOT on the right path.”

Why mention this, at all? Well, if this team misses the playoffs. Even by a point or two. It still missed. And that would make nine out of ten (9/10) years. And there’s a matter of Waddell’s contract to renew, come April, as well. I’m just saying … that … perhaps … what is indefensible remains indefensible. Missing the playoffs nine times in ten seasons … isn’t a good track record, for an organization moving in the right direction. By definition, they must have been moving in the wrong direction for a lot of that time.

People want to blame Heatley. People want to throw Kovalchuk under the bus. They want to blame Hossa. They want to blame Todd White. They want to blame Waddell. They want to blame ownership. But really, no matter WHERE you want to assign blame for bad decision-making, the entity most empowered to change things … is ownership. If, for example, Kovalchuk were a 10-year old boy. And Bob Hartley were his Dad. And Don Waddell were his Mom. And the Dad tried to be stern, benching the child as a form of discipline. But really, it was “Mom in charge” of the house. And Kovy (the child) controlled “Mom.” So much so, that Dad (Bob Hartley) eventually got kicked out of the house. So, the 10-year old boy wound in sleeping in his Mom’s bed the entire time, and running the house, too, never picking up his toys, forgetting to do homework and turning in assignments/projects, playing with his friends Slava, Max, and Antro, while deciding when and if Mom and her new boyfriend (John Anderson) would do something that day. Well … don’t blame the mortgage company for loan on the house/property. The mortgage company didn’t put that house in disarray. The parents did. That includes Waddell, as “Mom,” and Curt Fraser, Bob Hartley, John Anderson, and even Waddell,” as “Dad.”

Ownership has to regain control of this team (House). If they renew Waddell, it’s no different than letting an irresponsible mother … continue to let a child walk all over her, dictating terms and conditions of how the house is run. (”Shut up, Mom. Buy me TWO video games, ‘cuz I’m not sharing with Kaitlyn.”) I’m delighted that the Thrashers are playing more like a team (family), than an inmate asylum, led by a spoiled brat. But if Sgt. Schultz remains in charge of the prison camp, then Hogan is still the hero. If you follow.

With respect to Pavelec, he’s still 22. He’ll be 23 on August 31, 2010. He’s nowhere near finished in his development. But Moose, who turns 37 on May 5, 2010, is not the future. If this team were serious about the playoffs, it could have moved Moose for the highest offer, while picking up Biron or Rolosson for the stretch. Again, there’s that word again, “decision-making.” And “accountability” for decision-making. This offseason, someone has to replace Moose. Atlanta must target a goaltender in free agency. That doesn’t mean, push Pavelec out the door. It just means Pavelec isn’t entirely ready, at age 22 or 23, to be the #1 goalie in Atlanta. Let Dudley pick the next Thrasher goaltender. I’ve seen enough of Waddell decisions, in goal.


March 8th, 2010
3:24 pm

All points about Pavelec both positive and negative are valid, and for the record I do think he’ll mature into a better goalie as he is still very young for the position, but I don’t think you could pin any of the four goals against yesterday on him; the fault for the Carolina steamer lies on pretty much each and every skater in front of him. I don’t recall seeing one Thrasher yesterday NOT making some sort of boneheaded play like a bad pass, over-skate, turnover, dropped puck, etc.

I would go sign Niitymaki in a heartbeat this summer and overpay for his @$$ too.


March 8th, 2010
3:31 pm

J.B. – If I’m not mistaken…Niittymaki only cost Tampa by $600,000 this season. If we paid him $1 million, it’s be $2 mil less than what Kari was taking from us the last few seasons.


March 8th, 2010
3:41 pm

I’d offer him what we were paying Kari without reservation. We will without question have to overpay UFAs. Good thing I-liar Koastalsuck didn’t sign, so we have a ton of money to do so. I think he’d be a great UFA target with the added bonus of signing him means we don’t have to play against him any more…


March 8th, 2010
3:43 pm

As Brendan mentioned, Pavs is just 22…way too early to give up on him. How about we give up on Steve Weeks instead? Seriously. We’ve basically had ten seasons of sub-par goalie play and Weeks has been around for seven of them.

Continue developing Pavs and Mannino and bring in a FA tender this summer…looks like there will plenty available with solid experience as starters. And yes, please have Dudley make this decision…thus far D-Wadd is 1 for 16…and that one is a gift just because I like Moose.


March 8th, 2010
3:45 pm

My first choice for a UFA goaltender is Evgeny Nabokov. My 2nd choice is Chris Mason. My third choice is Marty Biron. If Montreal cannot or will not re-sign Halak and/or Carey Price, then I think, even as RFA’s, we should consider a trade. Forget the RFA offersheet. That won’t go over well in Montreal. I can see the newspaper headline, “Now, Atlanta attempts to poach Montreal property.” Speaking of former Canadiens, Jose Theodore is out there. I’d say, “pass” on him. Vesa Toskala is out there. He’d have no media pressure here, that’s for sure. In that regard, Carey Price might do better in Atlanta than Montreal. And Price was a 5th overall selection in the 2005 Entry Draft.


March 8th, 2010
3:59 pm

MB, even as a Waddell critic, I do give him “some credit” for Pasi Nurminen, a former 6th round Thrasher draft pick. If only Pasi hadn’t blown out his knee in Finnish National camp, in September 05. Though, I doubt very seriously Pasi would have stayed much longer than that, had he been healthy.

It’ll be interesting to see, MB, what the Dallas Stars do with Lehtonen in the offseason. He is still an RFA. But if they don’t tender a qualifying offer, Kari becomes unrestricted. He’d probably beg the Thrashers to let him return. His ‘custom-made DREAM house’ is right here in Atlanta. I bet he’d come cheaply, too. But, I don’t think the organization wants Lehtonen anymore, even if his price were $1 million per season.


March 8th, 2010
4:04 pm

Now that Pav’s has been up here think that sending him back to Chicago would not help. Best choice is to bring in someone along the lines of Nabby who can start most of the games and split time with Pavs thus allowing him exposure with limited pressure.

As much as I like the Moose he’s not #1 material and a career backup. No disrespect as it’s still better than most.

The one goalie who intrigues me is Carey Price – perhaps a different enviroment than Montreal would be good for him. In that case I’d keep Hedburg and jettison Pavs.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

Since I had the pleasure of driving 500 miles roundtrip Sunday to watch what I thought was to be hockey but instead turned out to be “Dancing on Ice”, allow me to remark that equal or more blame should go to the weak defense (that’s defenSe, Winnipeg!) that allows the puck into the zone. As far as pulling goaltenders, I would have pulled the Moose after the first period in Tampa Bay. I’m not saying Opie is perfect, but at the start of the season we couldn’t sing his praises loud enough; so let’s be consistant.


March 8th, 2010
4:07 pm

Speaking about Lehtonen, back in August I had asked if there was any health screening done to any NHL player upon entering a contract. I’d still like to have an answer.

Red Light

March 8th, 2010
4:08 pm

Outside of Marty Brodeur and some of the NHL’s top goalies, few do much of anything until they are 25 or older. Look up the stats. That’s why you never draft a goalie in the first five rounds. Let some other team train them for six or seven years and then sign them as a free agent. It’s a simple solution to an age old problem. You don’t give up on a 22-year-old, you wait for him to gain valuable experience. Here’s a look at the top three goalies taken in each draft from 1997-2005, the year Pavelec was drafted as the 5th highest goalie selected. It’s not exactly laden with quick ascents.

Roberto Luongo first meaningful NHL season 2000
Mika Noronen
JF Damphousse

Patrick DesRochers
Matthieu Chouinard
Phillipe Sauve

Brian Finley
Maxime Ouellet
Ari Ahonen

Rick DiPietro first meaningful NHL season 2003-04
Brett Krahn
Ilya Bryzgalov first first meaningful NHL season 2005-06

Pascal Leclaire first first meaningful NHL season 2007-08
Dan Blackburn
Jason Bacashihua

Kari Lehtonen first first meaningful NHL season 2005-06
Cam Ward first first meaningful NHL season 2005-06
Hannu Toivonen

Marc Andre Fleury first first meaningful NHL season 2005-06 (13-27-6)
Corey Crawford
Jim Howard first first meaningful NHL season 2009-10

Al Montoya
Devan Dubnyk
Marek Schwarz

Carey Price first first meaningful NHL season 2007-08 (where’s he right now?)
Tukka Rask first first meaningful NHL season 2009-10
Tyler Plante
Jeff Frazee
Ondrej Pavelec

Relax folks. Better shore up who’s playing in front of the goalies first before using them as scapegoats.


March 8th, 2010
4:10 pm

I believe the fastest and easiest way to improve the goalie stats (goals against, save percentage) and shots on goal is to bring Chelios and Kulda up together.

I supported Pavs over Legace last fall and still do. Stats can be deceiving in this case. I, or C-Viv the Sieve, could have won the game in net for the Canes on Sunday. There simply wasn’t more than 4 quality shots on the goal the entire game. I imagine that Legace’s recent numbers against other teams are similar due to the defense that the Canes play. By comparison the majority of goals that Pavs allows, or Moose and Kari in the past, are the result of a pourous defense that allows continuos high quality shots from the slot, on odd-man rushes and on PPs.

Not saying that Pavs is a great goalie but I don’t think it really matters who you put in net right now. Likewise I wouldn’t be oppossed to giving Manino a shot and/or replacing Weeks but my expectations wouldn’t change until something changes with the defense.

On that front I understand JA is an offense first guy but I think better coaching on the back end could yield results. In that regard I would think bringing up Chelios as either player and/or coach could yield better results in lowering the goalie stats than simply replacing the goalie. Add Kulda and bring a pair with an astronomical +/- stat and I would be shocked if the numbers didn’t approve.


March 8th, 2010
4:11 pm

I’d like to point out that Kari just gave up a 6-spot in his first start with the Stars. Pavs is still learning, Moose has been a savior this year. But, for next year…I’d overpay for Nabokov and let Pavs learn from him. Oh, and pay Nitty whatever he wants, then trade him to the western conference.


March 8th, 2010
4:15 pm

Dream scenario = Nabakov signing here

1) Dan Ellis
2) Chris Mason
3) Antero Nitty
4) Ty Conklin
5) Marty Biron

The most telling stat for me w/r/t Pavelec is the avg shots against when he’s between the pipes. Over the first 3 months of the season, teams averaged 36.3 (roughly) SOG against. The SOG numbers for Moose are much closer to 30 (right around 30.4). 6 SOGA is a huge number over the course of 40 games. If Moose & Pavs are splitting time and he’s facing 240 more shots per game, then roughly 24 more goals are going in the net over half a season! Most of them rebound putbacks most certainly.

Pavs doesn’t know how to handle the puck and thus he’s a liability every time he comes out of the net. Moose knows not only how to handle the puck, but when to take that chance (with a few exceptions here and there). Moose is also better at steering shots into the corner or absorbing close range shots to avoid rebounds and extra chances. Until Pavs improves in those three areas (including his lateral movement), we cannot count on him to win games for us…last night notwithstanding.


March 8th, 2010
4:21 pm

“I believe the fastest and easiest way to improve the goalie stats (goals against, save percentage) and shots on goal is to bring Chelios and Kulda up together.”

StateBird – AMEN brother! What do we have to lose? Schubert, Pops & Bogosian, without some sage veteran leadership, are not the answer.

But with respect to Pavelec, I must disagree a bit based on the numbers I’ve provided. There is no doubt that Moose gives this team a better chance to win more often than not. Once in awhile Pavs will stand on his head, but he can’t sustain it. Not to mention he got worn out facing between 35 – 40 shots per game for the first 3 months. But you have to admit that several aspects of his game are flawed. Give Moose his size and he’d be a Vezina Trophy candidate…well, on another team.


March 8th, 2010
4:23 pm

6 Goals back? In your first NHL hockey game against the Pens? You dont say? In over a year? No way.

Nabby has sh#t the bed since Team Russia, He’s only getting older, and will want a 4 year deal.

Our best options, Are Nitty, Biron, Or Trade.

Trade for the Rights to Halak(He is better then carey price, and Carey wont get traded)

I would prefer Having Hedberg back as the Goalie Coach, with NItty/Halak up in the big leagues.

If anyone here says a .867 save percentage is good. Think again. Kari was putting up .915’s with this team on a worse calibur of defense and two way players. Pav’s needs to go to the AHL and fix himself. There is no excuse for being as bad as he has been. He is a Goalie like Kari. Except Kari at his age, was better. In every single aspect. His reaction, His sprawling, His glove, His pads.

World Be Free

March 8th, 2010
4:28 pm

Only Ellis is a proven UFA starter. Others are good backups.

Last night wasn’t Pavs fault, the defense played poorly at best.
But he never came up with the “big” save that would have inspired his team. Those guys were out of it last night.

He has some functional flaws that require a good goalie coach.


March 8th, 2010
4:30 pm

Savannah Blueland Fan, Red Light and StateBird – I agree 100% in regards to the play in from of Opie. yesterday’s loss cannot be put totally on his shoulders. The defensive play of late is a topic we could go off on all day, too.

However, that being said…I just have to wonder how long the the team will be patient with any goalie given how the Kari Lehtonen ordeal played out.

I agree with those who state this team should have…and should now…have looked to bring in a proven keeper with a solid track record to build in front of. Also, as I stated above, I do not want to see the organization held back for 2 or 3 more years waiting for anothe “goalie of the future” to develop.

Old Time Hockey

March 8th, 2010
4:37 pm

You can’t compare Legace’s stats with Pavelec because of the teams they play on. Look at the chances Carolina had yesterday. Anyone playing goal on a team that gives up chances like those is going to have crap stats. But as I’ve said many times, as the goaltending goes so goes this team. The team developed some confidence in Pavelec early on and it showed. As the confidence in him eroded so did their play in front of him. He seems to have the tools and just needs confidence. But confidence is hard to build when the team in front of you plays like a dog and you give up a couple early. Tough situation for the team. I’d definitely give Mannino a look. Nabokov would be a good one, but I’d stay away from Biron. He’s already had a couple of shots at starting and didn’t impress. He’s a younger version of Hedberg.


March 8th, 2010
4:40 pm

Brendan, funny you mention Pasi…I almost gave Donny an extra half point for Pasi, who is my favorite Thrashers goalie. At the very least, you knew he was going to battle.

Dallas is in an interesting situation. They currently sit in 11th place, six points out of 8th. I believe Turco is an UFA at the end of this season, and is 35 years old, and my take is that they don’t plan on keeping him around…might be wrong about that. They bring in Kari and waive Alex Auld, who gets picked up by the Rags, and presumably this is Kari’s tryout with the Dallas organization. Thus far, it’d be fair to say he has underwhelmed. Once one of the most promising young goalies in the league, Kari’s career may be slowly circling the drain unless he can turn things around. Sad, really.

Tony C.

March 8th, 2010
4:58 pm

Yall really think nabakov would sign here after the #17 drama?


If he did, it’d be for waaaay too much. Although I feel he’s an excellent keeper and if they’d limit his starts to something around 50-55 during the regular season, the sharks would’ve gotten themselves a ring sometime in the past three campaigns… Nabakov plays like 65+ starts a season, and is worn down once the playoffs are underway.

Or he folds under pressure (see olympic debacle-the only thing about that is that he played SO poorly, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was paid to “drop” that game-Russian gangsters are pretty convincing)- either way, I’m not convinced Nabakov would be the best move. I am however, all for signing Nittymaaki. Should’ve done that THIS summer.

Again, the problem is more abot how hard our keepers have to work. Whenever people poke holes at Brodeur it’s because of the excellent support he’s enjoyed from his defenders in front of him in NJ… Likewise, I feel that Lehtonen will excel in Dallas provided he stays healthy because of their commitment to team defense as an organization. It’s tough to be in the “upper echelon” of netminders when you face 10-15 more SOG/per game than the rest of the league.

Also, anybody able to figure out why on earth White was out their Sunday? I would’ve scrathed him, dressed Boults and moved R2 “up” a line.


March 8th, 2010
5:51 pm

You think other russians don’t know Kovy’s a whiny beeatch?

Tony C.

March 8th, 2010
6:06 pm

Not really Nikita-he seems to be held in pretty high regard by his countrymen-GT & GW goals in world champ. last season wins “sportsman of the year”; finally able to get Malkin & Ovechkin to bury the hatchet etc., etc. all this while “wasting away with Atlanta Woodpeckers” (that was lifted from a translation of article)…

But more to the point, (and this is a generality yall so please let’s not get bogged down by exceptions that prove the rule) russian players pretty much demand top pay, and top billing. While #17, was given one and offered the other, his reaction to us (and who knows how badly the front office steped on their crank back in the beginning of the season when everything pointed towards the deal being done) can’t be a positive factor for other russian players that have the option to sign here.


March 8th, 2010
6:12 pm

They may not have known previously, but surely they’ll know after he sinks the Devils’ playoff hopes. Seriously, Atlanta was willing to accommodate, but the Devils can’t handle a player who only plays offense. It’s a credit to their relatively string system that they haven’t done worse.


March 8th, 2010
6:31 pm

What I think is Waddell needs to go after a real solid #1 starting goalie next season via FA and let Pavelec back up and still continue to grow and learn at the NHL level. I really don’t think Pavelec can really benefit from being in games at the AHL level. To learn how to play at the NHL level and handle NHL players and shots…he needs to actually playing at said NHL level.


March 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

We don’t need a new goalie. We need a new goalie coach, maybe 2 of them. And a solid goalie development system like San Jose has – starting from the Wolves or maybe even the Glads all the way up.


March 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

Did Atlanta ever have a goalie coach? If the answer is yes, what happened to him? If the answer is no, Rick Dudley better find us one for next year. Save a horse, RIDE THE MOOSE.

Putting On The Foil

March 8th, 2010
7:50 pm

Saw Manino in your poll and also Sunday against Lake Erie in the Wolves game. Definitely not ready from what I saw in that game.

Get The Puck Out

March 8th, 2010
8:57 pm

What about Tim Thomas?


March 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

I agree get Nitty here, so we cannot lose to him at least for a couple years… We DO need
a Quality Goalie, our defense is not the best, some games they play like Cup Champs and others like Point fodder for playoff teams, more of the latter than the former.

But a QUALITY Goalie is needed.

Also when WILL this franchise move in the right direction ? It is Always running around in circles like a dog chasing it’s tail, it always ends up where it started. Would ANY other NHL team out there tolorate another season of worthless waddell ? HELL NO !

That is still the biggest obsticile to winning here, don waddell, if we could only get rid of him, the team would have, at least, a new outlook, not the same stale odor we all know so very very well coming from waddell, dead fish smell better than he does !


March 8th, 2010
9:14 pm

Rawhide, I begged and pleaded for Moose to be traded, qualifying it with, “even though he’s one of my all-time favorite Thrashers.” I love Moose. If everrrrr, anyone who played here … could make any serious claim to being “Thrashers to the core,” it’s Hedberg. When Moose’s playing days are done, he could, and should, be given some kind of token job for the club. But, for me, Moose’s trade value would never be higher than what it was at the Trade Deadline in 2010.

Now, I hear ya, whoever just screamed, “But Brendan, we ‘rented’ Moose, for OUR OWN playoff berth.” Again, this speaks to judgement. If we were out there, gunning for Biron, Rolosson, Turco, or others, we’d have a more serious chance at a playoff berth. “But Brendan, weren’t you the one who said the Thrashers aren’t going to make the playoffs; they’ll finish 10th, trade Kubina, Army, Moose, Max, etc.” Yeah, I was on record with that. My comments were as popular as fly in your soup. But I always speak from the heart. I think Florida correctly assessed their situation, whereas Atlanta did not. That said, the Thrashers ‘could’ still make the playoffs. But they cannot come away with zero (0) points from games against Tampa Bay and Carolina, at this stage of the season. Wins over the Isles and Pathers are fine, but those teams aren’t exactly San Jose and Washington. Any moment now, Jeff Schultz will write an article stating, “outscored 10-2 by the Bolts and ‘Canes” is how some of you assess a BETTER TEAM, now that Kovalchuk is gone.”

I don’t blame the Thrashers for trading Kovalchuk. I blame them for not realizing the situation back in July. September, at the very latest. It’s the GM’s job to assess the situation. And if the Thrashers miss the playoffs, did the GM correctly assess the situation in goal, on defense, on the PP, etc., if the Thrashers are not playoff-bound? The answer should be rather self-evident.

MB, I was watching the USA vs. Switzerland game today on Comcast. It’s available, along with any other men’s Olympic hockey game, until March 12, 2010, “on demand.” If any bloggers want to immortalize these Vancouver Games on DVD, the clock is ticking. But I digress. As I was watching some of the Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey, I also saw the USA vs. Finland. It got me to thinking … that back in 2002, when Kari Lehtonen was drafted, that Finland probably EXPECTED Kari to be the starting goalie in that game, rather than the 33.3 year old Kiprusoff. I admit it. I feel bad for Kari Lehtonen. Much was expected of him, both here and abroad. It hasn’t happened for him. Oh sure, he’s gotten PAID. I think he’s made roughly $15 million tending net in the NHL. He shouldn’t need any more money. At this point, his career is really about just trying to remain viable in the NHL. Then again, maybe Kari wants to play in the Finnish Elite League or the KHL, or some other European league? I wish him well, MB.


March 8th, 2010
11:28 pm

In respect to KL he was the Top Prospect in the NHL for two seasons during his AHL tenure according the The It’s a shame his talent has gone to waste due to back issues and his work ethic. Another one of those might have beens. IMHO his days are about over – once you have a bcak issue in sports they are tough to overcome. It’d be fine if he proved me wrong, but, don’t seeit.

Rawhide – Good to see you and the tax exemption at the tailgate yesterday. Great to enjoy some hockey talk before the game. Can do the yard work saturday.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
5:51 am

Turco played well last night against Washington and he’s available after the season.
Niiti might be a good option too cause TB has some cap issues.
Carolina played a great road game Sunday, Manny didn’t have much to do.

Kari is paying the price for never truly being commited to being a 12 month athelete.
He never was commited, his body can’t take the punishment. He keeps this going he’ll be out of the league in 3 seasons. Or he could turn it around.

Kari needs a “heart” transplant.

Alan R.

March 9th, 2010
7:00 am

Dwayne, here’s what the bio page for Steve Weeks says:

In addition to his regular duties as an assistant coach, Weeks serves as a goaltending specialist for the club, working closely with Kari Lehtonen, Johan Hedberg and the team’s other goaltenders on a daily basis.

There’s something wrong with that sentence, whether or not you like the guy.

And believe me, hardly any of us do. I’m of the opinion that Lehtonen could have succeeded here, had we actually had a real goalie coach. Instead, we have this guy. He is a “goaltending specialist,” and yet where’s the on-ice results? Maddeningly, he’s been with the organization for this long, and yet we’ve always had problems in goal.

Maybe Lehtonen was a problem here, and he is better served playing elsewhere. However, no one can deny they wonder if Lehtonen could have panned out for us if we had a real goalie coach.

… and here we are, faced with Pavelec. Will he make it? Or… will he eventually go the way of Lehtonen? Time will obviously tell, but Pavelec has a better chance of success under a real goal coach.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
8:20 am

It doesn’t matter if the position is goalie or any other spot on the roster. The individual player has to be committed to being the best.

Kari was not, do believe Pavs is committed? He’s been beat out for the #1 goalie spot in Atlanta by a 36 year old career backup and he seems to be taking it well. Does that mean he is not committed to truly being a #1? I understand people are talking about him being young. But the former #1 is gone, the spot is there for the taking. I don’t see Olie jumping on the opportunity to be a big time #1 goalie in the NHL. He has not so far, and will he ever? Seize the moment, as Richard Nixon once wrote.

By the way, I give Jimmy Slater full credit for seizing the moment, raising his game to the point that I would support resigning him. He has made the most of his opportunity. You can quote me on that.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

March 9th, 2010
8:24 am

I just looked at Kari’s Dallas Stars stats. In 2 games he’s allowed 8 goals on 50 shots.

Anyone remember that goalie the Thrash signed last summer, Peter Mannino? He’s having a pretty good year in Chicago. He has a 21 wins, 3 losses.


March 9th, 2010
8:42 am

Nice article in the AJC about Bolts, Pops, and Colby’s wives. But why not Hannrahan’s wife?


March 9th, 2010
8:49 am

Nittymaki is a rather ordinary goalie. That’s why Philly didn’t keep him. He owns the Thrashers, but take away his stats in those games and I don’t think he’d be the answer here.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher – did you not read the article? Calling up Mannino was specifically mentioned.

The first home game after Kovy’s trade was almost a sell out. The town hall after the game was filled with kool aid drinkers who turned it into a love fest. DW and the owners were basically told to keep doing what they were doing. The fans spoke. It’s kind of late now to act surprised by all of this.


March 9th, 2010
8:51 am

Don’t most goalies usually take until their mid to late 20s to mature into a dependable keeper? Heck, Lehtonen was still young as far as goalies go. If, and that’s a BIG IF, the surgeries had finally cured his chronic back pain, I would have kept him to at least see if he was now healthy and ready to be a #1. If yes, he looks good to go, great. If yes but the players don’t want to play for him then you trade him in the off season for a better return. But, as far as Pavs goes, it’s way too early to dump him. This season should have told him he needs another year or two in Chicago. Hopefully he will willingly go down next season after camp. And the Thrash can go goalie shopping this summer.

Not Blind

March 9th, 2010
8:55 am

Until the skaters on this team start competing it won’t matter who you have in goal. Nittymaki isn’t beating the Thrashers by himself. The Thrashers just don’t have a chance against a quick, hustling team. Against such teams [ TB and Car ] the Thrashers are on their heels on every square inch of the ice. It’s pathetic.

On Kovalpuke; I’m pretty sure the Thrashers record without him is better than NJ’s record with him.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
9:22 am

DWTOO-Slap Shot references are always welcome. Wish we could quote Paul Newman on this blog as to what he said to get under Hannrahan’s skin.

I am not in favor of dumping Pavs, I am in favor of challenging him. He needs to steal of game or challenge his defensemen for me to be convinced he wants to be an NHL goalie.

Alan R.

March 9th, 2010
9:32 am

Wish we could quote Paul Newman on this blog as to what he said to get under Hannrahan’s skin.

What, you mean “Hey Hanrahan, your wife is a barrier used to contain the flow of water!”



March 9th, 2010
9:37 am

Hey Hanrahan! I know! I know!!! Suzanne …. “Geez Reg, what’dja say to him?” “No, his wife really is.”

Enough of that, Alan R. and WBF have very good points about a capable goaltending coach and a goalie truly willing to step forward to claim his spot. With Kari, and maybe I’m wrong, but I think there was this sense of entitlement. As in, “no organization would be stupid enough to draft me 2nd overall, then go shopping for a Tier I UFA in July.” Three years later, in 2005, Waddell coughed up the 12th overall pick in the draft to nab Pavelec in the 2nd round, sliding back to 16th, to draft Alex Bourret, while passing on Marc Staal.

Can we say that Pavelec feels the same sense of entitlement? I’m inclined to say, “no.” Pavelec knows the organization sacrificed a lot to get him, but being picked 41st overall is still being picked 41st overall. If some team makes him an RFA offersheet, I’ll be stunned. I think he got on the NHL’s radar with that 50 or so save performance in Ottawa, early on this season. But, with goaltending, it’s about consistency.

For well over half of the HOF-bound Martin Brodeur’s career, his critics dogged him over ‘how great is he, really?’ comments. They said, “Well, he benefits from a system.” It’s Tom Brady argument, in football. But after 109 shutouts, 3 Stanley Cups, Vezina Trophies, most minutes played by a goalie, darn dear 600 wins, having the most wins ever in a season (48), and holding the mark for most consecutive and most total 40 win seasons in a career, Marty Brodeur finally shut those critics up. And gee, that’s ALLLLL he had to do to silence them. Luckily, he wasn’t charged with curing cancer, and colonizing Mars for human habitation.

In Atlanta, we have someone named Darren Eliot. He’s a TV commentator. But he’s also a potential goalie coach. Maybe Moose, once retired, will become a goalie coach. In the very early stages of this franchise, there was a goalie named Milan Hnilicka. He never exactly set the world on fire. But he tended net during arguably the franchise’s worst corps of defensemen, and managed remarkably, given the totality of circumstances. In that offseason, it got a 2-year deal extension, and faltered badly on the heels of that. So much so, that Waddell paid the Los Angeles Kings $750,000 just for him to play there, instead of here.

I don’t have the answers in net. I think Pavelec could become a very good goaltender. But again, here we are, trying to rush a prospect. If we can snare Nabokov, that’d be tremendous. Chris Mason isn’t a bad option. Heck, even Carey Price, if Montreal has seen enough, is worth kicking the tires. Obviously, Price wouldn’t have been drafted so high and rated so highly by NHL Central Scouting, without a reason. Halak is also good. They’d be anonymous in Atlanta.


March 9th, 2010
9:47 am

“Kari needs a “heart” transplant.”

Yep. Or another way to say it is he’s got a Million dollar body and $.10 brain.

Goaltending is 3/4’s mental and the other 1/2 physical (or so Yogi would say)

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
9:53 am

Bad work day so far, so reverting to Slap Shot quotes is a great escape. Toss in Blazing Saddles and Airplane while you are at it.

One more S-S quote – “Does that make him a que–?”

Tim Thomas-if Boston will trade him in the Eastern division.

Only the Braves are dumb enough to do that!

Alan R.

March 9th, 2010
9:55 am

Toss in Blazing Saddles

Your wish …

“The Sheriff is *DOOOONG*”
“He said the Sheriff is near!”
“No gosh-darnit dag-nabbit, I said the Sheriff is *DOOOONG*”

…is my command.


March 9th, 2010
10:09 am

Bob, it does make me wonder if coaches and scouts are doing a disservice to fine, young “bluechip” prospects, ya know? If the future Kari Lehtonens of the world are thusly coddled, protected, and given preferential treatment, they’ll think it ‘perfectly fine’ to show up to training camp 35 pounds overweight. They’ll think their positions on the team, ’secure.’

Make Step One on Draft Day … an explanation of what’s expected of the player, both on and off the ice. If a player has a gambling problem, get him into Gambler’s Anonymous. I’m pretty sure they don’t give their applicants 2:1 odds they don’t make it. If the guy’s got a drinking problem, get him into AA. And make sure he goes. If he’s a womanizer, explain the dangers of that to him, financially as well as from a P.R. standpoint. And if the guy’s got a substance problem, get him treatment, there, too. But don’t just draft the guy, BLINDLY.

I’m the sort who says, “Look, if by passing on Angelo Esposito or Alex Cherepanov … because of a character issue or a work ethic issue, I can respect that.” I’d rather draft a Colby Amstrong than a Theo Fleury, if I know what’s coming ahead of time.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
10:41 am

“I wish you a laurel and hardy welcome to our new….”


March 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Brendan, “I also saw the USA vs. Finland. It got me to thinking … that back in 2002, when Kari Lehtonen was drafted, that Finland probably EXPECTED Kari to be the starting goalie in that game, rather than the 33.3 year old Kiprusoff.”

They have “Goalie inflation” in Finland. Before the start of this NHL season in Helsinki, I remember reading an article about Finnish goalies in the NHL. Folks around town did barely – if at all – know who Kari Lehtonen is.


March 9th, 2010
11:22 am

Minnino is not the answer. He lets too maney softies in last game sunday 2 softies


March 9th, 2010
11:27 am

Mannion also was quoted as saying after coming back form the pratice sessions with atl during the olympic games the every body had such quick releases in the nhl and that includes the thrasher team. He is not a polished goalie. goes down quickly and allows high shots in the net. The record he has in chicago is because of the team in front of him. something the tharshers do not have in front of there goalie. get somebody who plays defense and blocks shots and your golaies would look a lot better.

Tarmac the insufficent

March 9th, 2010
11:35 am

Thrashers win tonight.


March 9th, 2010
11:41 am

So, who’s going to press on Seydel to explain his bizarre interview to Sov Sport? I dare say that this has more to do with this team’s future than rehashing Kari Lehtonen’s coutstanding career or whining about whining Kovalchuk – although, honestly I’ve never heard him whining about anything, but who cares either way? I want to know what’s going on in the heads of these wonderfully (should I say dis-) functioning entrepreneurs.


March 9th, 2010
12:14 pm

I actually don’t think it’s bizarre. It’s been known for several years now that the Spirit is seeking new partners. Additional partners, most likely. So we’ll have the dodecacluster or worse. But we’ll also have more money, and I would assume the Turner kids might try to get out after that. (It’s known that they are among the partners who are most challenged to meet their obligations.)

It’s still highly unlikely that the team goes anywhere, or does anything other than work with a little more money.


March 9th, 2010
12:21 pm

So, what’s the problem? Why going on record in Russian, so none of STH is aware of it? Not a mention of it anywhere else.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
12:28 pm

Bring back Frederic Cassivi

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

That idiot Eklund is starting his let’s move a team to Winnipeg thing again. Did Winnipeg import 250K people or something?

Doesn’t matter which team they are considering for the move. Nothing has changed on the Winnipeg landscape to make the city or province more viable than before.

No more HockeyBuzz


March 9th, 2010
12:36 pm interviewed waddell of ALL the GM’s at the GM meeting… Why this LOSER ?

They, Like Everyone outside Atlanta, seem to love this bumbling IDIOT !

Here is his LAME response to a question poised… What do you enjoy most about your job and what’s most agonizing?

Waddell: Certainly, I enjoy the pressure that comes with the job of putting a hockey team together and watching it every night. Probably the most disappointing thing is when the team doesn’t perform to a level that you feel they’re capable of reaching.

This exposes him for what he is a CAREER LOSER !!!!!!!


March 9th, 2010
12:52 pm

WBF –> “Bring back Frederic Cassivi” – Or Adam Berkhoel or Steve Shields or Mike Dunham lolol…..Michael Garnett, he was actually pretty good for a while. Is he still in the KHL? He’s probably better than Pavs or at least has the better goalie game-to-game temperment so he would be more consistent.


March 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

I was hoping when they brought up Mannino just before the trade deadline that a goalie was going to be traded. Like, as I suggested before, send Armstrong (who doesn’t seem to want to be here) and Kozlov (who wants to go anywhere) and even White (who is worthless here with all the new edition forwards) for either Halak or Price. (I prefer Halak). It was yet another disappointing trade deadline. The Thrashers definately need a number 1 goalie signed or traded for this summer. For the remainder of this season why not bring Chellios up to play next to Bogo or even put Bogo in the press box and play Kulda with Chelli???

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
1:04 pm

kracker-Steve Shields is my favorite fighting goaltender.
Steve-o can toss ‘em with the best.

Ex-not sure Montreal wants to trade either yet. Halak is the better of the 2, but Price is the all-Canadian boy. “Montreal factors” that always seem to get in the way of making the right deal.


March 9th, 2010
1:04 pm

When the video screen shows Harvey Korman from Blazing Saddles I always think of Cleavon Little peering around the rock and “Where the white women at?”. That was a classic. Mel Brooks used satire to the nines in that movie. Poked fun at bigots without them knowing it.

May Little and Korman RIP.


March 9th, 2010
1:05 pm

ex-STH –> “…send Armstrong (who doesn’t seem to want to be here) and Kozlov (who wants to go anywhere) and even White (who is worthless here with all the new edition forwards) for either Halak or Price.”

At this point, saying “why didn’t they make this deal or that deal” is pretty pointless. The why they didn’t do it is because the other GM has to like the deal. But it’s fun to speculate before the trade deadline.

Diego from Lilburn

March 9th, 2010
1:27 pm

I’m with Biscuit. We need a dedicated goalie coach and a real development system. I think Hedberg will be a great goalie coach once he decides not to play anymore. I wish he could teach Pavs right now how to not give up so many rebounds. The flopping and rebounds are killing him. I think he still needs a few years to really firm up.

I’m probably gonna get roasted for this but… I hope we didn’t pull the trigger too soon on Kari. If this latest surgery really fixed his back he certainly had the size and skills to turn into a super goalie. Time will tell.


March 9th, 2010
1:32 pm

Diego…but remember Kari’s problem was “in the head” not necessarily the back!


March 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

*So, what’s the problem? Why going on record in Russian, so none of STH is aware of it? Not a mention of it anywhere else.*

Several reasons: 1. he was asked in Russia, which is probably the #1. 2. why would he hide it? it’s not necessarily something that STH need to know. And he hasn’t been on record a lot this season.

I agree with you, Diego. Unfortunately, though, hindsight is 20/20 and right now we’re just prognosticating.


March 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

Well Diego, if Dallas does not tender Kari a qualifying offer, the Finnish netminder becomes unrestricted in the offseason. If Atlanta really wanted him back, as UFA, nothing stops them from bidding on his services. As Waddell is a snake oil salesman, he’ll claim, “We were just RENTING him all along. We plucked a fine defenseman prospect in the process.” But honestly, I don’t think Waddell or Dudley want Kari back. I don’t think Kari will get $3 million from Dallas, or anyone else. At this point, he should settle for $1.5 million, and be glad for it. He’s twice operated back, glass-groined goaltender, whom Jeff Schultz called, “just this side of a drool cup.”

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

DTWOO-who can forget Ms. Stein?


March 9th, 2010
2:09 pm

“….Kari’s problem was “in the head” not necessarily the back!” That’s very true, especially for Kari.

But it’s generally true, to one extent or another, for most goalies. I believe that is a big part of why it takes goalies several years to mature into an NHL goalie capable of dealing with the pressure of playing several games a week. You get hammered one period or game, you bounce back the next period or game. If your team uncharacteristicly does not play well in front of you on Thursday, you know they will play better on Saturday.

If Kari puts it all together, he will be winning games in Philips Arena again.


March 9th, 2010
2:34 pm

“it’s not necessarily something that STH need to know” Oh, yes. That is the ASG Mission Statement – written with invisible ink on the back of their business cards. The problem for them is that most STH have already caught up, and the rest are simply hopeless.

Tony C.

March 9th, 2010
2:47 pm

“I’m broke and Laura’s dad won’t take my calls anymore!!!…..”


March 9th, 2010
2:58 pm

alright, I went to Sunday’s game brimming with confidence that we’d see a good effort and come away with a win.

Today, I have no hope again and think they’ll stink the joint out again.

Conclusion? Thrashers probably win tonight, go Blue.


March 9th, 2010
3:26 pm

I hope my visit to Vegas in April pays off better then the many gambles the management have made with this team.

I wish Kari the best. He has considerable natural talent. All he needs to do is apply himself. He can take pressure situations. His faults lie in conditioning.

Pavs would be a fine back-up for many teams with the potential to be develop into more with the right coaching. If piano lessons were Jim Slater’s answer, what instrument can Pavs try for a goalie’s mental game?

Hedberg, no matter if he’s the back-up or number one, is only good for 2-3 consecutive games. He has the mental fortitude, but only for limited blocks of time.

I have no idea what free agent might be a good match, but Nitty sounds good just so that whatever other team he might have played for, we’d have a chance to beat.

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
3:31 pm

Paminski-enjoy Vegas, my fav place other than NYC, should be GREAT weather there next month. Where R U staying?

Another subject-listening to some Black Hawk games last week, has anyone heard that stupid goal celebration song they are playing? Like, dit-dit-dat-dit-dit-dat-dit or something. What’s up with that? It’s Chicago, blow the horn and play the pipe organ!

Chicago was the first NHL team to blow the semi-horn in goal celebration. Stick with tradition!

Sage of Bluesland

March 9th, 2010
5:51 pm

Laughing at some of the sheep who continue to subsidize the incompetence–and actually thinking that ‘things have changed’ in that figurative joke otherwise known as “Blueland”.

Waddell will probably burn a high draft pick on a Euro-teen goalie–and then bluster “just you wait until this kid gets up to the parent club!”.

It worked once before–and the sheep bought it hook, line, and sinker. Based on reading some of the gems here, it will work again…easily.


March 9th, 2010
6:29 pm

Pavelec has shown at times this year that he can be the future. Remember the game where he made a maskless save. He was stellar that game but i still feel he is very inconsistent and plays very “soft” in goal and gives up “soft” goals. Send him to Chicago and keep Hedberg for 1 more year and sign our biggest enemy Niitymakki. Hey if ya can beat em’ join em!


March 9th, 2010
6:43 pm

Whatever happened to Dan Turple?


March 9th, 2010
6:46 pm


you get my point this organization ain’t gonna improve mark my words no matter who they draft they end up with wasted talent because of poor coaching staff and bad owners. Good luck thrashers tonite yall will need it.


March 9th, 2010
6:47 pm



March 9th, 2010
6:50 pm

Bob, my favorite part of attending a Thrashers game is the Wetzel Pretzel and Guinness beer, from the Irish Pub. That, and the cute girls trying to sell me on the 50/50 raffle. Years ago, PowerTel had a booth. And wow, was that blond who worked it ever gorgeous. She was prettier than Amanda Jahn. And people would tell her that, too. She’d play it off, of course, but she was prettier. That was ages ago. How many incarnations has PowerTel undertaken? I guess they’re T-Mobile-USA now. Who can keep up with these phone companies. It’s like they get bought out every few months. Why don’t they just reassembled AT&T? They’ve almost bought their way back to their original “Ma Belle” status.


March 9th, 2010
6:56 pm

Brendan and WBF said this before when Kari was coming back. Moose never had a better trade time than this year. He should have been the one to go, and we needed a TRUE goalie then. Too late for any of that now, just have to hope for the best.
Don’t like Nitty, his record if you take us out is average. Moose doesn’t have the size, Pavs doesn’t have the…….I don’t even know where to begin with him. When he was hot at the begining it was PAINFULLY obvious that he had no net presence and was SERIOUSLY out of position a lot of the time, just took the league a while to see it, and he hasn’t fixed it yet soooo. I don’t think he needs to be at this level now. Chicago would be his very best bet now. Being out of place at this level will never help him, he needs someplace to play at their speed and hone his skills. Let him and Manino play with the wolves another 2 years then come talk NHL. We have the money, let’s go talk commitment in the off season. Thomas was good enough to back Miller for US, get him, and while your at it, how about Biron? Then in 2 or 3 years we can bring our goalie “prospects” along. Between the D we have now and the ones in waiting, I like the looks of it. Said it before and I’ll say it again, and again. Goaltending and D wins Lord Stanley. May sound boring to some, but a grinding, hard hitting team with a good goalie will prevail most times.
So as we March to the Playoffs, I will keep my fingers crossed and cheer the boys in blue, but DAM I hope that by not getting a goalie at the deadline, somehow DW knows we need one for the near future.


March 9th, 2010
7:21 pm

Is it wrong to post that I’ve always liked the Predators? We talk about their GM, David Poile, a lot. Poile assisted Brian Burke on the Team USA Hockey program in Vancouver. The Preds, for all their talent and ability, have never advanced past the 1st round. That’s a fact. It’s a bit of surprising fact. But there it is.

What about their “5-year plan?,” I hear Sage of Bluesland ask. Well, Nashville missed the playoffs for each of their 1st five years, with some fluctuation along the way. Their 3rd season, for example, resulted in 80-points. That’s just 2-games under .500, NHL-style. But their 4th season saw them fall back to 74-points, a six game slide. In the 5th year, Nashville was in a playoff race, at 91-points, but lost.

In their sixth year, the Preds embarked on a playoff campaign that continued four seasons. But they never advanced past the CQF. They had two (2) series with Detroit, that each went six games. And they had two (2) series with San Jose, that each went 5 games. In 2006-07, Nashville put together a 110-point season, that included 51 wins, and a franchise best 272 goals.

David Poile was named GM of the Predators on July 9, 1997. They began play in 1998. In that time, Poile has had some memorable draft picks, beginning with his 1st ever, at 2nd overall, David Legwand, who leads the Preds in games played, goals, assists, points, and seasons played. At pick #191, Poile found Martin Erat. Poile drafted Scott Hartnell at 6th overall in 2000. At 6th overall the previous year, Poile selected Brian Finley (??). In 2001, Poile went with Dan Hamhuis at 12th overall. That year, he found Jordin Tootoo at 98th overall. In 2002, at 6th overall, Poile picked Scottie Upshall. In 2003, the famous “Braydon Coburn debate” that resurfaces every so often saw David Poile pick D-man Ryan Suter at pick #7. Poile found Shea Weber with the 49th overall pick. In 2004, at #15, Poile took Alexander Radulov, now in the KHL, I believe. At pick #178 he found Mike Santorelli and at #258, Pekka Rinne. Hmmn. In 2005, Poile took Ryan Parent, d-man, at 18th overall. In 2006, Poile took Blake Geoffrion at pick #56. In 2007, Poile went with Janothan Blum, at #23 overall. At #119, he took Mark Santorelli. In 2008, he took Colin Wilson, in a fleecing of the NY Islanders at #7 overall. Poile tossed in a 41st overall pick to the Isles, so that NY could move back to 9th overall, to take Center Josh Bailey. Preds took Chet Pickard at #18 overall, same year. Last year, Poile selected Ryan Ellis, with the 11th overall pick.

Last year, the Preds missed the playoffs. Nobody clamored for Poile’s head on a pike. And yet, Poile has not advanced his team into a Conference Finals or Conference Semi-Finals. Perhaps this is their year? Seems like the Preds always run into either San Jose or Detroit. But maybe this year, they’ll get either Vancouver, Phoenix or Los Angeles. In a very intriguing first round matching, the L.A. Kings might face the Phoenix Coyotes.

Phoenix, in their history, dating back to 1979, have only won two (2) playoff series. Both against Calgary. A matchup with L.A. could produce a playoff series win for them. Meanwhile, the L.A. Kings have not danced in the postseason since 2002, where they lost in seven games to Colorado, in the opening round. In case you’re curious, in 2001, the Kings pulled a 1st round upset of Detroit, 4-2. In the 2nd round, they lost to Colorado, 4-3.


March 9th, 2010
8:12 pm

I agree GO Nashville, Thrashers, point fodder, NOTHING more.

When will these owners realize how waddell has killed this franchise !


March 9th, 2010
8:39 pm

Terry Crisp was awesome in relief of Darren Eliot during the 2nd period telecast. Terry spoke highly of the caliber of great looking women in Atlanta. Antropov has made it 2-1, in favor of Nashville. Poor Mark Popovic. If the ice hadn’t been so snowy, maybe he wouldn’t have whiffed on that pass? Que sera, sera.

Gotta get ‘em here in the 3rd period. Otherwise, Jeff Schultz will pounce. Atlanta has been outscored 12-3 in the past three games, going into the 3rd period.


March 9th, 2010
8:48 pm

Does this team have any heart? We are about to find out.

Pressure is on as MTL is prolly gonna win. Leave it to Tampa to figure out multiple ways to screw us in the same week of play.

Nuck Fittymaki

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
8:49 pm

Great game between Brunes and Tronna, 2-2 after 2 periods.

Sage, you spend your money your way and we’ll spend it our way.
Your Jeff Schultz act got old a long time ago.


March 9th, 2010
9:10 pm



March 9th, 2010
9:20 pm

LAC, go find a Nashville blog and join it.
Smoothie, completely agree there was way too much passing and not enough shots.
Anyone else think the refs are screwing us on these non calls?!?! I’m all for letting them play if it isnt flagrant or doesnt affect play but lot of things let go


March 9th, 2010
9:22 pm

This team just isn’t tuff enough on their skates to score off rebounds in front. Sickening. Almost as much as Toby’s refusal to shoot.

Did anyone else notice the musical chairs defense? Auditions to see who gets to play with Chelios on Thurs?


March 9th, 2010
9:28 pm

I will celebrate joyously when the Thrashers relocate to Hamilton or any place hard up enough to take them! Long to have a professional hockey team in Atlanta with heart. Guess that is never going to happen. More is the pity. Too late to exchange these quitters for Wolves? Maybe then there will be a glimmer of hope for playoffs. Not with the untalented play out the stringers on the ice now. Not angry anymore. Just numb with utter digust! ++STENDEK++


March 9th, 2010
9:30 pm

rob – I don’t know man, I’m at a loss. Apparently this bunch of guys is short on confidence. They often seem to be lacking purpose and decisiveness in their play. Hesitation is death, often in life, and always in hockey.


March 9th, 2010
9:31 pm



March 9th, 2010
9:37 pm


Sage of Bluesland

March 9th, 2010
10:14 pm

Wow, now it’s the refs fault for us being what we are…How sad and pitiful! (but awfully funny!)

Laughing at those who still bewieve in Bwuewand!!!

The Kool-Aid tastes pretty bitter, doesn’t it? Enjoy this debacle, as you’ve bought it…Don Waddell and the ownership thank you for your support!


March 9th, 2010
10:17 pm

Well, I suppose there are no moral victories. But if you’d told me we’d only lose, 2-1, to Nashville, I’d have said we played a good game.

Here it comes. “You’re such an apologist, Brendan.” It’s a loss. In a must-win game. Every game is a must-win game. We covered that 4 weeks ago. I don’t know what to say? We had to take four of six points (4/6) and we took a goose egg. And tomorrow, is the 10th of March. The ides of March are nearly upon us. By the way, Montreal just won, 5-3, over Tampa Bay.

Guys, I certainly don’t want to pile on, but this franchise had the chance to assess the situation prior to the deadline. If you’re not going to go with Kari, arguably the franchise #1 goalie, then you must have a replacement plan. I’d listen to the argument that says, “Pavelec is that guy, down the road,” but he’s not that guy today. So, the ‘braintrust’ of the franchise sized up Moose Hedberg, soon to be 37 years old, and said, “You’re going to be the guy.”

Well, here’s my take on that. And this isn’t some revisionist history, as I begged and pleaded for Moose to be moved while the conditions were ripe for the highest return possible on Moose. I said, “Moose is a career backup, closer to 40 than 30. The calendar says 2010. He must be traded.” Fine. I’m some idiot on a blog. I get it. But SOMEONE gets paid to be the GM of the Thrashers. Someone is supposed to know BETTER than a blogger. Well, this franchise didn’t come away with Turco, Rolosson, or Biron, or any other well-know commodity in net. Instead, it ‘rented’ Moose. Think of it this way. We borrowed from our own 401k. Now, I love Moose. I want him to remain a part of the organization into retirement. But to expect Hedberg, who GAVE US AN UTTER GIFT OF A SEASON, up to trade deadline, to deliver down the stretch … is to fundamentally misplace your calendar. Ya know, the 2010 one. If the organization didn’t address goaltending at the deadline, then it might as well have firesold the team, starting with Kubina, Army, Moose, and Finny. It speaks to ‘judgement.’

If the Thrashers do miss the playoffs, when will the Thrashers dictionary include the word, ‘accountability?’


March 9th, 2010
10:20 pm

Boy I touched “rob’s” nerve !!!!!!

Rawhide, what is NEXT for this team ?

What CAN be done ?

This has to STOP and get better !

I have NO confidence in waddell to do Anything right, 10 years and a record like his UNACCEPTABLE Period !!!!

Winning is The Best Promotion there is, it is too bad these owners cannot understand
this, What are They afraid of ?

Lastly WHY do these owners continue to hide from the FANS ?

Bill this has got to change, there is NO moving forward, this team is stuck in the
quickly melting season !

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

March 9th, 2010
10:26 pm

Well, I am finally to the point of giving up. The schedule is in the Thrashers favor and they are sucking wind.

The first thing that must happen is Don Waddell must go. This has gone on too long, way too long. He must go; people won’t come back if he is the GM because a team lead by Waddell has no hope. This team is just like the Pittsburgh Pirates-hopeless under the current management.

Stendic, no idea why you think the Thrashers leaving Atlanta is the answer-it’s not. Give us something to cheer about, which is what I though you were about anyway. Maybe that’s why you are Stendic.


March 9th, 2010
10:28 pm

Oh God, I sense a Ranallo Warning coming. That’s a shame. I wanted people to read that earlier post.

Florida and Minnesota are in overtime, tied 2-2. I thought Minnesota had that one in hand. If the Cats win, wouldn’t that be their 3rd in-a-row? And this AFTER their ownership told Season Ticket Holders, “We goofed assessing talent this season. We’re dedicating the remainder of the season to building for the 2010-11 season.” Florida seems ‘content’ in their spoiler role. Maybe this mentality might work for the Thrashers???? It’s worth a shot.

Where is Atlanta is the standings now? 10th? 11th?


March 9th, 2010
10:38 pm

Here’s your boxscore.

Notice that Oduya & Hainsey were a +1, while Popovic and Kubina were a -1. I feel terrible for Popovic. His gaffe led to the GWG for Nashville. Those are the breaks. Moose, by the way, made 30 saves tonight. Hedberg did not play a bad game. My comments about Thrasher goaltending are in reference to the “big picture,” moving forward to the end of the season.


March 9th, 2010
10:42 pm

Here’s your updated Conference Standings. Look out, the Florida Panthers won tonight, 3-2, in the shootout, over Minnesota. So, the Cats are catching us. That’s the EFFECT of zero points out of six, while the Panthers went on a 3-game winning streak.


March 9th, 2010
10:43 pm

World Be Free

March 9th, 2010
10:47 pm

I thought the Panthers sent their fans a letter telling them they were mailing in the season?
They must have got the wrong mailing list.


March 9th, 2010
10:49 pm

Brendan – Sorry…no Ranallo Warning given on the new blog I just posted.

Ladies and gentlemen…the playoffs have just left the building.

Michael B. Shapiro

March 9th, 2010
10:52 pm

Must be time for the “Push to the Playoffs” to change to the “Push Ourselves Off a Friggin’ Cliff”

Yeesh, 3 games, ZERO points. What gives with these guys?


March 9th, 2010
11:08 pm

If you remember, Kari had to step in when the goalie and back up went down. That year had AHL and ECHL goaltenders the entire season. They did a better job than Opie has this year.

Also, there was Opie’s threat to go back to his homeland because he did not want to go back to the AHL. (Not sure who he expected the team to get rid of) DW promised him something then to make him stay. This kid has too much power already.

As far as Opie having a good first part of the season, the trend this season has been to give up goals in the first period and the team scoring the win in the third period. It seems to me the team has been bailing him out over and over.

If they want to develop the kid, fine with me. But get a real number 1 goalie. Thrashers don’t have one now.