Thrashers in grave danger of crash landing in Lotterypickville…again

Like a doomed airplane spinning out of control due to its pilot and co-pilot becoming sick to the state of unconsciousness after eating tainted fish, the Atlanta Thrashers have fallen from the lofty altitude of playoff contention and are in grave danger of crash-landing into Lotterypickville.

Ah, Lotterypickville… It’s a rough place, the seediest dive on the wharf. Populated with every reject and cutthroat from Bombay to Calcutta. It’s worse than Detroit.

Most NHL franchises avoid this place at any cost. But not the Thrashers…they actually have a P.O. Box in the local post office.

Just a week and a half ago the Thrashers were riding a 4-0-2 wave after a 6-3 win over then Islanders on March 4, were resting in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 66 points and many were telling me that surely they were ready to make a run at the post-season.

Well, it appears they weren’t…and don’t call me Shirley!

Since that time Atlanta has gone 0-5-1, coming just shy of cracking open a Thrasherville Six-Pack by at least taking Phoenix to a shootout before losing their sixth straight. In doing so, they’ve sunk into 11th place in the east with but 67 points and only six teams in the league have gathered fewer…Edmonton, Toronto, Columbus, Carolina, the Islanders and Florida. However, the Panthers are but a point in back of the Thrashers while New York and the CBJs are two behind…and Columbus plays the Oilers tonight.

I was asked recently by a friend of mine how it felt to be a Thrashers fan recently. My response…” Do you know what it’s like to fall in the mud and get kicked… in the head… with an iron boot? Of course you don’t, no one does. It never happens. Sorry, that’s a dumb question… skip that”.

Anyway…all this means, of course, is that we in Thrasherville may once again be looking at our logo on a certain amount of draft pick lottery ping-pong balls shortly after this campaign comes to an end. Depending on how they drop, we’ll begin anew the time-honored tradition in these parts of discussing just who the Thrashers should select with that early draft pick when the 30 NHL teams gather in L.A. on June 25.

But I say, why wait…let’s get the ball rolling right now.

Here is a list of the top five prospects available in the draft as ranked by back in September 2009. Tell me what you can make of this. I mean, besides a hat or a brooch or pterodactyl…

Taylor Hall: 6’-1”, 185 pound Canadian left wing playing currently for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.

TSN Insider’s Take: Prior to the 2009 draft, several NHL scouts told me that if Taylor Hall were eligible they would take the Kingston, Ont., native ahead of John Tavares, Victor Hedman or Matt Duchene. Hall’s forte is as a tenacious goal-scorer who does everything at a high speed. He’s a dynamic game-breaker who is an excellent bet to be on Canada’s national junior team this year.

Cam Fowler: 6’-2”, 190 pound US defenseman playing currently for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires.

TSN Insider’s Take: The scouts often refer to the young American as the “total package.” He has size, speed and skill and can be a force at both ends of the ice. Originally drafted by the Kitchener Rangers, the graduate of the U.S. national development program went back into the OHL draft when he didn’t report to Kitchener, only to be selected by Windsor, where he’s playing this season.

Tyler Seguin: 6’-1”, 186 pound Canadian centerman playing currently for the OHL Plymouth Whalers.

TSN Insider’s Take: I watched him play minor hockey in his very early years in Whitby. Along the way, he moved to Brampton, Ont., and the Plymouth Whaler centre has now fully blossomed as an elite offensive force who looks like a lock to be a top five pick in this draft. He’s probably viewed more as a playmaker than a goal scorer but he has an outstanding shot. Playing on a line with John McFarland and Tyler Toffoli, Seguin was outstanding at the U-18 tourney in August in the Czech Republic. Scouts raved about his play and he may have done enough there to get an invite to Canada’s final national junior camp in December.

Kirill Kabanov: 6’-3”, 176 pound Russian right wing currently playing for the KHL’s Spartak Moscow.

TSN Insider’s Take: The Russian, who is awaiting the transfer paperwork to allow him to play for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec League, is a highly-skilled, offensive minded lanky centre. Whether he falls victim to the so-called “Russian factor” remains to be seen, because his skills are elite and he’s one of several Russians this year who have Top 10 potential. He was, however, shut down by his future Moncton teammate Brandon Gormley in the U-18 championship game.

Brett Connolly: 6’-1”, 153 pound Canadian right wing currently playing for the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.

TSN Insider’s Take: Injury limited his effectiveness for Canada at the U-18 tourney in August – he got hurt in the first game, sat out the next two before dressing for the gold-medal game — but his excellent production for Prince George in the WHL last year has demonstrated he’s a smooth and polished offensive performer who plays the game with a great deal of confidence.

Here’s a link to the site if you care to review and discuss those further down the list.

Elsewhere, the NHL Scouting Bureau’s midterm rankings show Hall, Seguin, Fowler and Connolly as the top North American skating prospects while Mikael Granlund…a 5’-10”, 176 pound Finnish centerman tops their list of Euopean skaters.

There is also a list of top goaltending prospects at the NHL Scouting Bureau, but if the Thrashers waste another top pick on a goalie like they did in 2002, I think I just might shout out at the person responsible for such a decision, “Jive ass dude don’t got no brains no-how”!

OK, you all chew on this for a while…seeing that it’s better for you than the fish served on flight 2-0-9’er from Los Angeles to Chicago. Meanwhile, I’ll be be doing some light reading….a couple leaflets titled ”Famous Thrashers Playoff Legends” and “How to Succeed as an NHL GM” by Don Waddell.

Today’s blog entry is dedicated in memory of Peter Graves and his portrayal of Capt. Oveur in the classic cinema comedy “Airplane”.

136 comments Add your comment

Stat Man

March 15th, 2010
7:30 pm

Relatives from Kansas in town – I made the mistake of buying 5 tickets to Thursday’s game against Ottawa back after the 4-0-2 stretch.

They are going to wonder why the hell I hate them so much!

So Tanksters, I mean Thrashers – begin your final push to the lottery Friday please and give me a decent going away (no not the team) memory Thursday!

BTW – The Thrashers aren’t going anywhere if the owners insist DW comes with the team, so quit bashing D-Wad, he’s truly the only reason the team is still in town!


March 15th, 2010
7:30 pm

Cam Fowler is my pick! Let’s git ‘em!!


March 15th, 2010
7:41 pm

Time to ship them out of Atlanta. Nobody cares. I would love to know what the radio and TV ratings are. I bet literally less then 100 people, out of 5.5 million, actually listen to games on the radio while driving.


March 15th, 2010
8:01 pm

Sage, I hadn’t thought of it in those terms. But yes, I must correct myself. The defining moment of failure for the organization can be called, “the hiring of Don Waddell.” I keep examining the greatest moment of his failures. When really, I should have been focused on what ownership did. They HIRED him.

Now, I suppose … they hired him with intentions of loading up via the lottery draft. And certainly, Waddell did place the team in the lottery draft for them. But, he was expected to make the MOST of it. The L. Ustrunul? Luke Sellars? Zdenek Blatny? Derek MacKenzie? Ilya Nikulin? Brian Sipotz? Then the Hockey Gods give us a gift, post lockout, with an 8th overall pick. Waddell passes on Setoguch, M. Staal, Anze Kopitar, in favor of Alex Bourret, at #16? Wow.

Sage, I suspect you’re correct. The greatest moment of failure was the hiring and non-firing of Don Waddell.

Lew 39

March 15th, 2010
8:23 pm

I guess the real question is…..
How many five year plans will we go through before we make the playoffs again (not winnig a game, just making it)

I already renewed my season tickets for next year, God this is fun.


March 15th, 2010
8:24 pm

Sage – Thank you for the kind words…I’m glad you and other readers enjoyed it. But if I can pick at one small nit with ya…I don’t think I’ve ever “waffled” into the Waddel camp. There have been certain moves he’s made recently…signing Afiogenov and Antropov, to name a couple…that I’ve liked and have said so. That’s just in the name of fairness.

However, to your point about DW’s hiring as the “greatest failure”…it’s hard to argue with the total picture of ineptitude and failure, that’s for sure, and as such I…like Brendan…agree.

But I would also like to suggest that the purchace of the team by The Great Octocluster be placed into consideration as well. What they have done to this franchise and the future of NHL hockey in this city is an absolute disgrace.

Lew39 – Here’s a suggestion for you. Call your ticket rep. Ask him if DW is still GM. When the voice on the other end of the phone says, “Yes”…then tell them to call you when he isn’t.

But do it every day…every day.

If they stop taking your calls…call the main number. Ask for a ticket rep. Start again…

If all STHs did this…or the ones that are left who “get it”…it would send quite a message.

Lou – That goes for you too.


March 15th, 2010
8:36 pm

Strange you would show a shot from Airplane with Peter Graves… He Passed Away Today.


March 15th, 2010
8:51 pm

Red Light – The team didn’t offer an extension to Peverley – Rich and his agent approached the team with the deal that was too good to for the the team to say no.


March 15th, 2010
8:51 pm

pssssttt…..LAC, look at the bottom of the blog.

World Be Free

March 15th, 2010
9:16 pm

I get a kick out the IDIOTS that come on the blog and state thet only way to remedy the situation is to move the Thrashers from Atlanta.

Really effin smart. Just like the Canadian media sez-it’s all the fans fault.

“When can you land this plane? I can’t tell. You can tell me, I’m a doctor. No, I can’t tell, fog is socked in all the way to Chicago”. Nobody has talked about Johnny from Airplane! the bald guy who worked in the tower that had some of the best lines in the movie. “Your husband’s unconscious-just like Gerald Ford”.


March 15th, 2010
9:21 pm

WBFahem… “Tell me what you can make of this. I mean, besides a hat or a brooch or pterodactyl…”

Just sayin’…

I persnally like Johnny’s beratement of Captain Oveur’s wife, “…and where did you get that dress? And those shoes?”


March 15th, 2010
9:22 pm

I hafta agree with Smoothie:

If ASG fired D-Wad tomorrow, who in their right mind would want to come work for these clowns? Wouldn’t it be D-Wad 102?!


March 15th, 2010
9:30 pm

bugman & Smoothie – This is just me talkin’…but what about one Mr. Dudley? He’s under contract and he’s done the job before. I would think if offered, he’d accept.

Even if not, I’m sure there are 29 asst. GMs that would like a crack at it.

I know it’s easy to say “Oh who would come here”. The Great Octocluster has messed this up beyond measure. But the fear of possible failure that comes with making a change is no excuse or reason to continue to keep the same person in charge that has a history of proven failure.

And besides…sometimes failure in and of itself is reason to dismiss a GM of his position.


March 15th, 2010
9:47 pm

Rawhide – point taken and I would be fine with Dudley for now as I think we’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else to take this job in light of the current climate and ownership operation. Obviously Duds likes a challenge and I think he could take us from perennial cellar-dwellar to middle of the pack, playoffs hopeful. But after that, to truly get over the top, I think we’ll need someone with a bit more cache, let’s say, to attract the true, top-tier free-agents who could transform an up and coming team full of young upstarts on the rise to true contender. Also, playing devil’s advocate, didn’t Duds go on record as saying he prefers staying on the scouting side of things in an advisory role or did I just dream that up…or read it from someone else on this blog?

Wayne stuck in AL

March 15th, 2010
10:22 pm


Wayne stuck in AL

March 15th, 2010
10:28 pm

Re: Iceman’s previous column about being stuck with Waddell yet another season

This being an area where college sports (OK, college football) are king, we can take a tip from wealthy boosters at major college sports programs: When those wealthy boosters get dissatisfied with a coach, they’ll go up to the AD or the school president and threaten to withhold a sizeable donation, or leasing that luxury box, or donating cattle and livestock to the team’s training table (Big 12 people) until said coach is fired. Why can’t STH’s explicitiy tell their season-ticket rep that unless Waddell is fired, they’re withholding their money?


March 15th, 2010
10:35 pm

scotty I did and I see nothing.

There is just nothing to say anymore about waddell, these owners or the team, they ALL SUCK.

We have ALL said what needs to happen and the Educated Idiot Drunk levenson has too much book sense to do the right thing. Can that FOOL even read ? We The Fans want waddell GONE, so why do you owners continue to hide and avoid the FANS like you do ?

Let’s have a Open Arena meeting with ALL owners and let ALL fans in, NOT just STH’s, Everyone and see if you little wimps have the GUTS to face the people who finance your team, We DEMAND change, It’s about DAMN time you made changes !

Come out of the closet owners and Face The Fans in an open forum that we ALL can attend
and answer OUR questions once and for all, Quit Hiding !


March 15th, 2010
10:55 pm

I simply must agree with Rawhide, gang. It’s “too easy” to simply say, “who would come here?” When we could take a few of our regular bloggers, or Rawhide, himself, and do a better job. And that’s just by taking “consensus” NHL Central Scouting picks, making “no-brainer” waiver claims, and promoting those in the AHL who are worthy. It’s not exactly rocket science to be a GM, and to make “incremental progress.” Especially with ownership that doesn’t particularly care if you make the playoffs or not. So, there’s no “win NOW, or Else” ultimatum going on.

Say, for example, the Spirit, LLC in a dumbfounding move, responded to Sage of Bluesland’s emails, then hired him based on his rebuttals. Guess what Sage would do next? No, not bungle the team worse than Waddell. Sage and DW are “tied” for playoff victories. Sage, by his own admission, would contact the NHL for an advisor. And the NHL would probably embrace that prudent decision.

Try to take it from a “we’re just trying not to screw this up worse” approach. Taking Bogosian and Kane is something that 9 outta 10 GM’s would have done. You certainly didn’t need Waddell for that. We can make some argument over Kane. Another GM might have taken Brayden Schenn, or MPS. But generally-speaking, we’d still have these players in our system. And Sage, the GM, might shy away from trades, knowing that trading for players who don’t want to be here is a recipe for disaster. Nor does Sage particularly want to be fleeced by a more experienced GM, looking to take advantage of his inexperience.

Sage, also knowing that ‘real GM’s’ make their living on Draft Day, with their 2nd round pick, would ask the NHL for a Draft advisor. In the process, Sage, the GM, would ask the NHL about strategies, if he didn’t have one in mind. Really? Well, stop. Why WOULDN’T HE ask the league for help? As in, “I’ve just inherited the GM chair of the Thrashers, I need someone to help me evaluate the talent we’ve already got, then devise a strategy that makes sense, moving forward.” The League, I’m the sure, which EXPECTS the Atlanta market to do well, would be ‘thrilled’ to help out the SAGE, and direct the franchise in a positive direction. The NHL could hardly complain, at that point, since they were being consulted on moves to improve the team. I don’t really know what Sage’s expectations of salary might be, but no matter what the AS, LLC paid him, I suspect he’d make do more than Waddell. Which, bear in mind, means two playoff berths, and one playoff win. Sadly, that’s not a typo.

Bear in mind, “it’s a process.” Few GM’s pull off what Mike Holmgren did in Philly, going from 56-points to 95-points and a berth in the CF in the span of a season. Colorado is in the midst of a remarkable turn-around. No one should expect that from Sage of Bluesland, or any other blogger, or any other Assistant GM somewhere in the league.

I’m certainly willing to give someone who wants the challenge, the chance. John Anderson CRIED upon getting the news that he’d been named the next Head Coach of the Thrashers. I should clarify, they were ‘tears of joy,’ not a lamentation that it wasn’t the Red Wings job that he always wanted. And yet, as I recall, we all speculated, “But WHO in their RIGHT MIND would want to be the lame duck Head Coach of the Atlanta Thrashers.”

What if … the ownership … really does … just want to turn ALL decisions over to a GM who knows what he’s doing?, then get out of his way. I’d be thrilled at that!!! That’s the very definition of GREAT OWNERSHIP. Hire a competent GM. Make him accountable for results. But give him the money, then GET OUT OF HIS WAY. Let him MANAGE. If that’s their approach, then I suspect a lot of would-be GM’s would be interested.

Again, let’s assume that the budget is the FLOOR of the cap. It’s still possible to build a Stanley Cup winner within 5 years. Huh? Yeah, just by being in the lottery draft, nailing your 2nd round picks, making good waiver claims, and, above all, PROPERLY DEVELOPING those prospects, your team should be young, fast, and highly skilled. For real. But the GM should be drafting players into ‘his concept’ for the TEAM IDENTITY. There are lots of possible strategies. A depth strategy, rolling 4 lines, filled with 20 goal scorers. Rigorous forecheck, sending two guys deep. Team Defense. Team Speed. Left Wing lock. Trap. Grit. Finesse team. Lots of strategies are tried. Pick one. The implement it. Not rocket science. Yes, there will be difficult choices along the way. It’s not always easy to be a GM. But you don’t need a degree from Havard, Stanford or Yale, either.


March 15th, 2010
11:06 pm

Brendan – Thank you, Professor…and very nicely put.

LAC – I think Scotty was pointing out that I wrote/dedicated this blog entry to honor the late Peter Graves…specifically his role as Capt. Oveur.

An “open air” THM with all fans welcome, you say…not that I’d like to see.

Wayne stuck in AL – I like your idea…and it’s spot on. Those alumni groups and boosters know how to throw their weight around. It’ssimilar to my suggestion to Lew32 earlier in the evening, I think.


March 15th, 2010
11:30 pm

By the way, Columbus did win over Edmonton. Dang it. Anyone feel bad for Pat Quinn? Aw, c’mon. He did well coaching Canada’s Juniors team. The Oilers had a lot of confidence in him to work with the young guys in their organization.

New Jersey defeated Boston, in regulation time. I am worried for the Bruins. In my predictions from the trade deadline, I had Montreal at #9, NYR, at #8, and Boston at #7. I’m starting to think … flip Montreal and Boston. I still like the NY Rangers at #8. I saw Atlanta at #10.

Outscored 22-8 over the past six games, with an 0-5-1 record, I do wonder if Atlanta is a better team, sans Kovalchuk. I suppose, I’ve really got to stop doing that. What does it matter? He’s gone. Time to move on. Time to try a new approach. I hope it’s the “depth strategy” approach, as long as our 20 goal scorers aren’t John Sim, Richard Park, Mark Recchi, Keith Tkachuk types, in their late 30’s, early 40’s, who will have nothing left in the tank, come April. So, I should correct myself. I hope for a depth strategy, with young, skilled players, who can win puck battles with grit. There. Much better.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 16th, 2010
12:19 am

RE: Iceman’s blog on HockeyBuzz: Did Don Waddell Just Give John Anderson The ‘Kiss of Death’?

If this were baseball, definitely; I’ve seen too many “votes of confidence” mean “We’re firing your butt in a few weeks if you don’t turn this around”. But neither Waddell or Anderson are in any danger of being fired because Atlanta Spirit has indirectly admitted they’re completely tone deaf to the hockey fan of Atlanta. Besides, they’re more interested in keeping Joe Johnson (the guy that got them in this mess in the first place) than fixing the problem with the Thrashers.

Sage of Bluesland

March 16th, 2010
1:41 am

Laughing at Brendan’s post and his confidence in my GM ability…However, I could certainly post as many playoff victories as our blustering little fraud of a GM has over the past decade, couldn’t I? That must really grind some of the lambs around here, too! (thinking of you-know-who; by the way, where did some of the older sheep go? funny how they aren’t around too much anymore, isn’t it?)

I couldn’t do ‘much’ worse, could I?

I CAN tell you one thing I would have done–and I said it on draft-day 2002: I wouldn’t have taken the Eurogoalie with the 2nd overall pick. I would have informed Florida that if they moved out of the top spot, then they would lose Bouwmeester, as he would be wearing a Thrashers jersey in just a few minutes. Florida would stay put at number one and take the player they coveted. Atlanta is there at #2 to scoop up Rick Nash. Columbus, stuck at #3, would have to fork over a king’s ransom get the player they coveted (Nash).

Now, some sheep will come by and say “That’s not how it happened; Columbus traded up with Florida to the top spot, thus Nash would have never been a Thrasher”. That is where your ignorance would show, too. Please do some research before you embarrass yourself.

Florida ONLY moved out of the top spot when they received assurance from our blustering little fraud of a GM that we would not take ‘their’ guy (Bouwmeester)…They gave us some inducement to sway our thinking, too (a draft pick which became Slater, I believe). Donny strutted around as proud as a peacock, blustering about getting the player he wanted all along (the glass-groined wunderkind who was many years away from contributing anything).

This (statement) would become a sad pattern, too–as I believe he said words to the same effect when we took the fat kid (Bourret) after trading down a couple of times…Good ol’ “Trader Don”, who likes to be liked by the other GMs…yet he is so far outclassed it’s not even funny anymore. Sadder still is the sheep who continue to believe it!

In the end, Columbus got who they wanted (Nash); Florida got who they wanted (Bouwmeester); Atlanta got who Donny wanted (Lehtonen). However, Atlanta was the pivot to the entire chain of transactions. Despite what some may say of my intellect, I would have laughed at Florida’s offer and stated it very bluntly to all parties: Unless I’m really bowled over, Nash or Bouwmeester (as Heaven knows we need defensemen, too) will be wearing a Thrashers sweater on that podium. Let someone else take the Euroteen–let someone else develop him–let someone else take that particular risk. I believe that if you build enough weapons, the goalie can come via free agency as the final missing piece, the true hired-gun.

If Heatley-Kovalchuk-Nash-Stefan isn’t a young core of a hockey team that’s not the envy of the league, then I don’t know what would be.

I said it that very day, too–and have witnesses (I believe Brendan recalls my ranting over what happened on that fateful day?). When I was informed–by Brendan I believe–that the Florida GM and our bumbling Donny “go way back”, I went ballistic. It became crystal-clear in my mind that we had a clown in charge who either (1) was a buffoon; or, (2) did not have the Thrashers’ true best interest at heart.

I stopped listening to Waddell’s bluster on that very day. I emailed the “classy” Waddell on this specific chain of events on draft-day 2002, as well as where all the “talent” was he had been drafting since 1999 and how it was progressing in the minors (despite the no-brainer picks in Heatley and Kovalchuk–and even Stefan) and why more aren’t trickling into the parent-club, or even gracing the presence of the YoungStars game with a participant every year….I’m still waiting for “classy” Donny’s response, too.

How some continue to defend the indefensible is incomprehensible to me. Oh well, I’m sure the Thrashers know where to find me…Removing the utter and complete stench of a decade of Don Waddell would actually be a pleasure.

(and I would even buy Smoothie a real economics book, one that he could actually understand…)


March 16th, 2010
3:24 am

I picked the Snyuder crash because I think it moved people away from this team. I know that sounds crazy but the area is filled with Conservatives who very much look down at any alchol consumption. I also think it spooked Waddell. And, frankly, I would have fired him after the Snyder crash. Because you simply do not tell an early twenties male you’re paying millions to to drive himself to a team function after he’s been around alch. You put him in a limo. Any scheduler knows that. When I had to handle a shooting sked w/ a RAGING alchy, I always put another behind the wheel.

As I said on an earlier post, I have wondered since before 17 was traded if the original powers that be EVER intended Waddell to be here this long.

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
5:49 am

Rawhide – another Johnny line- “What does it look like? Oh, it looks like a big Tylonol with wings”.
Those votes of confidence sounds like some people are circling the wagons.

Brandon, I wish we would have hired Quinn. I have always been a big Pat fan. He got a bad deal in Edmonton this year. The Oilers are a total mess, talk about overpaying a bunch of stiffs. Boston is a mess right now, Tim Thomas looks like a minor league goalie again. Montreal is making a move and the Habs fans are giving credit to their recent additions like Dom Moore. Dom and co. may get the Habs into the playoffs but not past the first round.

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
8:00 am

OOps, sorry Brendan, not Brandon.
Serves me right for posting before I have had my first cup of coffee.


March 16th, 2010
8:15 am

Well here we are again. As been said the previous 6 or 7 years, The ownership is concerned with their internal struggles of partnership.
They do not care about a GM change. No one knows the first thing
about finding a new one. easier to keep the devil you know than find an
angel you dont know.


March 16th, 2010
8:16 am

The first time it was not there… I liked Peter Graves in Stalag 17, A GREAT Movie !!!

The Real Thrash

March 16th, 2010
8:22 am

1. I think that would be kicked in the head with a hobnail boot.
2. No matter where or when we draft we will whiff on the pick, reach or draft a star that will not be

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
8:48 am

LAC-Great war movie


March 16th, 2010
8:54 am

I liked Peter Graves in Stalag 17, A GREAT Movie !!!

LAC - Indeed…he played the German who was planted in the POW barracks to get info from the Allied prisoners. I love how they sent him off to his doom!


March 16th, 2010
9:17 am

ben, Heatley had consumer half a beer at a tavern, and was not impaired during the crash. We was nowhere near failing a blood alcohol content test. He was driving recklessly, down a narrow, curvy road, down Lennox Rd. One player does NOT a team make. Not even if his name is Heatley. Not even if his name is Savard. Not even if his name is Kovalchuk.

The organization moved past the tragedy in relatively short order. And I do give Waddell credit for that. As well as the Statesman-like way he handled the funeral. Don gets top marks from me on that one.

April 2007 … was a glorious time to do something to retain Kovalchuk. Bygones.


March 16th, 2010
9:40 am

Hilfe! Hilfe! Ich been ein Duetscher! Didn’t work for Security in Stalag 17. One of the all time classics.

“And there’s a sale at Penneyss!”

We need a break from hockey. Just too depressing. I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.

Brendan – I picked the Heatley crash because everything just went downhill from the that point. Injuries, playoff malfunction, we just seem to have a big cloud over our heads. Example – hitting 5 posts (one that would have won the shootout).

Christoph Schubert

March 16th, 2010
9:52 am

Persönlich möchte ich wissen, wer der ein scheißekopf ist der gewählt hat Don Waddell in der anhängerabstimmung zu behalten

Alan R.

March 16th, 2010
10:04 am

Thrashers Fans: Boy, every piece of garbage that comes into the market and you gotta buy it!
D-Wad: Fans, fans, that reminds me. I was coachin’ in Omaha in 1948 and Eddie Shore sends me this guy who was a terrible …, ahem, you know, couldn’t control himself…


March 16th, 2010
10:08 am

Wrong guys! We do not have a pobox or a timesahre in Lotterypickville, we have the first house on the right, the only permanent fixture in town. And, we don’t tank, we totally ‘implode” each year. And, “Teflon Don” will still be answering the door next year but Johnnie Boy will be a mail carrier in the town. Tis the season once again for a rash of “gallows humor”. by the way, I bet that The Teflon One is pouring over the Michigan State roster to see if there is another MSU clown that he can grab and give the secret handshake to.

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
10:10 am

Heatley crash for sure-
The tower! The tower! Repunsil! Repunsil!

Badger Bob

March 16th, 2010
10:43 am

MB, I’m dropping my ST and will let them know the lack of progress is the ENTIRE reason. I will be buying lots of single game tix because “why deprive myself of live NHL hockey when I don’t think a “boycott” will have any effect”.

For franchise turning point, I pick hideous ownership. Mostly because the quickest way to unscrew-up this organization would be the sale of the team to an individual who cares about hockey and about championships. That is also the quickest way to stop the player revolving door and get the considerable potential fan base interested again.

Badger Bob

March 16th, 2010
10:45 am

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetimines…

Perhaps the presence of all those obnoxious Sabres fans paired with a win will be my upper (Sage, that’s called optimism, not sheepism).

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
10:55 am

Sabres fan for 40 years now.
Going to the game with a buddy tonight and he asked me if I am wearing my Sabres’ jersey. I said, heck no, got my Thrashers blue jersey!


March 16th, 2010
10:56 am

I blame Nancy Pelosi for not getting health care passed. Perhaps if everyone had better health insurance, they wouldn’t worry so much about the Thrashers.

There are a lot of reasons this franchise is in such a bad spot, but like any poorly run or mismanaged business, there are myriad factors that have led to their current position as league dormat and schedule fodder. No doubt that this franchise could benefit from a paradigm shift and a change of thinking at the top. However, until I see anything different in terms of the approach from ownership, I’m not very optimistic about either a GM change or a coaching change. And I’m all for both if it changes the direction of this team and changes the perception around the league in the eyes of players and potential FA.

But alas, the Joe Johnson mess may in fact be the biggest precipitating factor in leading us to where the Thrashers are today. And once again, it looks like the Joe Johnson situation is going to determine the immediate future of the Thrashers as it will surely impact the decision-making of the ASG if Johnson walks. I for one hope he does because if he does then that means the ASG didn’t meet his inflated salary demands thus further hampering the budget flexibility of the Thrashers side of the house. Until the owners view this hockey franchise as more than just a tax write-off to offset their tax liability, we will not see any meaningful change as Bob likes to say.

It’s hard enough running one sports franchise let alone two. But if a huge chunk of the Octocluster’s capital inflow is cut off (Belkin) indefinitely and they can’t find a replacement investor, it’s easy to see that they are making decisions out of fear of uncertainty. Don Waddell is one of the few constants they know (good or bad, mostly maddeningly mediocre) and for some unforseen reason, they have decided to trust him implicitly. Either they really don’t give a damn about hockey or they just don’t want to change the hockey side of the house until the ownership mess can be resolved. And to make matters worse, this is not the kind of economy in which you make risky decisions. In their eyes, they must see firing Waddell as a riskier proposition than bringing in someone else who can totally transform the culture of this franchise. In adversity, opportunities often come along, but you’ve got to have the guts to seize them. I’m not holding my breath though.

Tom Lysiak

March 16th, 2010
11:09 am

Brendan, you mentioned something above that you have touched on several times before here. You opined that Sage would probably avoid trades because “trading for players who don’t want to be here is a recipe for disaster”. The reality is players normally have only one option when traded, report or retire. Trades are a part of every major sport. Obviously, trading players is somewhat of a risk due to the emotional toll on the player. But, that is the price of being a professional athlete. It can happen at any time. Players are viewed as commodities. Do you think Melky Cabrera wanted to leave the Yankees for the Braves this offseason? Maybe or maybe not. Who knows how he felt about playing in New York? Do you think Pothier really wanted to leave the Caps for Carolina? Considering the team standings and potential for winning the Cup this year? It happened to them anyway.

Reality is, players are forced to move and change teams all the time. I doubt successful GM’s factor player’s feelings into making trades they think will improve their teams. It’s just assumed that they will accept the move and eventually embrace the situation, or leave the team when their contract expires.


March 16th, 2010
11:48 am

The last thing he said to me, “Doc,” he said, “some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to get out there and give it all they got and win just one for the Zipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Doc,” he said, “but I won’t smell too good, that’s for sure.”

World Be Free

March 16th, 2010
12:02 pm

Smoothie, nice post.

Lysiak-I saw Melky play on Saturday; he’s not an upgrade over anything we had so he should be happy to be in the major leagues. Just my baseball thoughts. You could add what Oduya and Bergfors whether they want to move to “it is what it is”.

Rumac-”Excuse me doctor, I have a plane to land.”


March 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

WBF – thanks, and I am still trying to figure out the Melky Cabrera trade. I understand why they felt it was a good idea to trade Vazquez, but for Cabrera?? Surely they could’ve done better than that!

Y’all are pretty sharp when it comes to your classic movie one-liners!

Red Light

March 16th, 2010
12:39 pm

“You said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger.”

“That’s correct.”

“Then I said ‘grave danger’, and you said, ‘is there any other kind?’”


March 16th, 2010
12:46 pm


Can you PLEASE take Tobi all by himself to one half of the rink during the next practice and MAKE HIM SHOOT THE F-ING PUCK TIL HE FALLS OVER EXHAUSTED!!!!!! All his deflected BS passes instead of pulling the trigger are threatening my 58″ TV with a flying controller!!!!! If you don’t shoot Tobi…….you don’t SCORE (or get a deflection or a rebound or even a scoring CHANCE)!!! Kovalchuck is GONE!!! Forget that phantom in you head calling for the failed one-timer and SHOOT THE PUCK!!!!


March 16th, 2010
12:54 pm

I went to the last Buffalo game with a group of co workers and my brother all from Buffalo…..did I ever hear it for my Thrashers jersey, but I told them that while I am from Buffalo, I am surely not moving back EVER and Atlanta is home so I will claim the Thrashers win-lose-or pity point! Unfortunately I have seen more losses than wins but it is still good to get out there and yell ’til your hoarse and have some fun. I don’t know if I could be a STH just because it takes about 2 days for my voice to come back after a game LOL


March 16th, 2010
1:04 pm



March 16th, 2010
1:06 pm

Surely they could’ve done better than that!

Smoothie – Yes they could have…and stop calling him Shirley!



March 16th, 2010
1:08 pm

Do you know what it’s like to fall in the mud and get kicked… in the head… with an iron boot? Of course you don’t, no one does. It never happens. Sorry, Don, that’s a dumb question… skip that. Now got out there and draft us another superstar that will leave the first chance he gets.