Rangers look to cut in front of Thrashers waiting in Playoff Cafe line

While the Thrashers were busy dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a couple of other outcomes that effect Atlanta didn’t go our way either. The Montreal Canadiens whipped Florida 4-1 and Philadelphia gained a loser point in their 4-3 OT loss to Minnesota.

However, Boston was defeated by Tampa Bay 5-3…which was a positive result for the Thrashers.

With that, a quick look at the updated standings show the Thrashers with 76 points after 74 games played…matching the season totals for last year and the one prior…and are trailing the Bruins by two, the Flyers by four and the Habs by six.

Atlanta and Philly have eight games left to play, Montreal seven and Boston nine.

Ondrej Pavelec kicks out one of his 28 saves against the Maple Leafs Thursday night (AP/John Bozemore)

Ondrej Pavelec kicks out one of his 28 saves against the Maple Leafs Thursday night (AP/John Bozemore)

Thus, Atlanta remains on the outside looking in through the front window of the Playoff Café…shaving but one point from their deficit behind the eighth-place Bruins, remaining the same amount behind Philly and falling one more point behind the Canadiens.

But don’t look now… scooting in close behind us in line are the New York Rangers, one point back after their 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. And if it’s tough to be standing in the doorway of the Playoff Café, “outside looking in”, waiting for a table to clear in order to take the spot…it would be even that much tougher if the Rangers were to cut in line.

And that’s a real possibility if you simply look at the upcoming slate of games between the two teams.

After playing Carolina twice between now and Monday night, then go to Toronto, the Thrashers begin the much-dreaded five-game stretch with New Jersey, Washington and Pittsburgh to finish the season. Many believe that to be the final steps in what could be described as their 2010 Death March from the Playoffs.

Even if they do manage to take all six points from the Canes and Leafs…who are a combined 12-6-2 in their last ten games…that will leave them with 82 points with those last five games remaining.

Now, if you are one of those who are hoping to catch the Caps, Devils and Pens “napping” because they are sitting pretty at their Playoff Café table… I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Yes, Washington has a firm grip on the top spot in the east and are nine points up on San Jose in regards to the President’s Cup…but they do not seem to be playing out the string as they’ve gone 6-1-3 in their last ten.

Then there are Devils and Penguins who are in the process of slugging it out for the Atlantic Division championship, both with 91 points. The difference between finish first or second there is the difference between possibly being a number 2 seed in the conference and taking on someone like Philly in the opening round…or finishing fourth and facing either Ottawa or Montreal.

So, I don’t expect either of them to be “coasting” toward the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have a little easier road to hoe…two with Toronto, the Islanders, Tampa Bay, Florida, Buffalo and then they will close the season with a pair against the hurting Philadelphia Flyers. No, it’s not a cakewalk…but between the Rangers and Thrashers, which schedule would you rather have right now?

So in light of that, I would not be the least bit surprised if the Rangers finish above Atlanta when all is said and done, regardless if New York makes the playoffs or not.

Not trying to be the pessimist, mind you…but it not too hard to think that the morning after the Thrashers lost to the last place team in the Eastern Conference while at the same time the Rangers were beating the second best one. New York has outscored their opposition 9-3 in the last two games while the Thrashers have mustered up a solitary goal in the last two games plus 39 second of overtime and have surrendered six.

Which team do you think is playing like they still have the post-season as their goal right now?

Uh-huh…that’s what I thought too.

So, while the Thrashers may be continuing to stand in the doorway of the Playoff Café… “outside looking in” as it were… and looking for an opening, they are in serious danger of being caught by the Rangers and tossed to the curb.

84 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

March 26th, 2010
11:43 am

Do the Rangers have the right to be there?

Midfield

March 26th, 2010
11:53 am

Speaking of playoffs: Kovalchuk seems to have miraculously transformed into a plus +/- player all of a sudden – after all those years of stubbornly refusing to play defense, or so we’re told. Go figure.

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
11:58 am

The Rangers ran their collective March-April record during the past four seasons to 37-17-13 after last night’s win at New Jersey!

Bob

March 26th, 2010
12:02 pm

Guys, the playoff hopes ended with the debacle Tuesday night against the Bruins, them the facts. That game last night would have been a blowout except the Buds hit the pipes 5 times during the game, that was brutal. Canes and Devils always play us tough and we can’t match up with the Pens or Caps.

Armstrong is out of here as he’s UFA this summer and there’s no way he re-signs, but it’s still unprofessional for him to dog it. Slater and Reasoner seemed to have the urge to win, but the rest of the guys just are out of it. Not that impressed with Bergfors or McArthur. I like Oduya, he’s solid. Peverley seems to have hit a wall. Enstrom continues to be a liability out there as he just gets pushed around in his own zone and isn’t an offensive threat, at least he attempted to throw the puck on net a couple times.

There’s a core group of guys here that a new GM could build around and the only thing left for me worth hoping for the remainder of this year is what happens on the Monday after the regular season ends. We get a presser and they remove Waddell, then there’s hope for next year, but if that Monday comes and goes with dead silence, it’s just more of the same old same old next year and the next and the next until he’s gone.

Who’s our core guys a new GM could build on? Antropov, Little, Kane and Peverley on offense? Bogosian, Hainsey and Oduya on D? Kubina is pretty much a must to re-sign. The rest of them are pretty much replaceable parts.

World Be Free

March 26th, 2010
12:04 pm

Bob, I still saw some of these guys would be playing better if the Thrashers had a captain. I think Kubina is a must resign.

litz

March 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

Whether or not the Rangers have the right … watch them play, then watch us play.

Who do you think deserves it more?

BTW – did you see the STH Renewal email that states if you do not renew by 3/29, you forfeit all your “bonus bank” dollars, and free Hawks tickets? Brilliant marketing move.

What a way to reward probably the only fans y’all got left, guys …

Matt

March 26th, 2010
12:10 pm

I feel like having a “Howard Dean” moment and screaming incoherently over this teams pitiful play in the last two games!! Most…Maddening…Franchise…Ever!

Rawhide

March 26th, 2010
12:24 pm

Bob - Agreed about the Boston game being the “pivotal” game. Had the Thrashers taken that game, they would be two points ahead of Boston and sitting in 8th place…two points behind Philly. Totally different scenario had that been the case.

R. Stroz

March 26th, 2010
12:33 pm

Whether or not the Rangers have the right … watch them play, then watch us play.

litz – You get the point. No one has the right to anything. Playoff positions must be EARNED.

Sage of Bluesland

March 26th, 2010
12:36 pm

“…BTW – did you see the STH Renewal email that states if you do not renew by 3/29, you forfeit all your “bonus bank” dollars, and free Hawks tickets? Brilliant marketing move.

What a way to reward probably the only fans y’all got left, guys …”

Wow. This organization treats the fan with nothing but contempt–yet folks still come back spending their hard-earned dollar! (well, to be fair, that latter statement–the ‘hard-earned’ part–was an assumption on my part.)

I don’t know which is more unbelievable, either.

Then again, reading some of the excuses and ridiculously misplaced sunshine, I know precisely why we have what we have….It’s DESERVED.

How much more comic relief can I have? Even I get tired of too-much-of-a-good-thing…

Captain4

March 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

Let’s hear it for the Atlanta Spirit. The drive is on for STHs and today, those of us who haven’t renewed, receive an email telling us what will happen if we don’t renew. So I am supposed to feel warm & fuzzy about renewing but instead I receive a threathening email. Great PK by the ASG. Well between the last two games and the charming email I probably won’t renew. As much as I love hockey and have wanted the Thrashers to gain the playoffs and improve they have let me down. My emotional and financial ties are at the point where they can’t take it anymore.

So here’s to the ASG, thanks to the product on the ice, courtesy of DW, and an email that certainly boosted my eargerness to renew my season’s tickets. It looks like another fan is lost.

Way to go DW and the ASG!

glovesave29

March 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

I am not even thinking about catching the Broooons. They are strong in the net, and at this time of year, that is huge. I have my sights set on Philly. Lost 4 in a row, 3 wins in the last 10, and blew it against a Minnesota team playing out the string by giving up 2 in the 3rd. They are doubting themselves and with no true starting goalie, they are doomed. Thrash might end up backing in, but in none the less.

Bob

March 26th, 2010
12:43 pm

“It looks like another fan is lost.”

Don’t look at it that way. To me, you’re being a better fan if you stop subsidizing the mess they’ve created and if you hold out and don’t renew, you’ll force their hand. It’s simple economics.

I can’t believe they are threatening the few season tix holders they have left. But don’t worry, you’ll get better deals later by waiting, and you’ll also be sending them the message that the status quo is unacceptable. That WILL force change. If you like the status quo and don’t have any problem missing out on the real NHL season every year, then go ahead and cow tow to their threats.

rob

March 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

I agree it has been an ugly 2 games again. That being said I thought Pavs positining has looked A LOT better his last 2 games then I have seen it previously, so maybe that is something to be glad about. Frustrating how the team as a whole is so good 1 game you think, HELL YEAH!, and the next, you wonder who the guys on the ice are and what did they do with our Hockey players? I have to think there is hope for us yet, and looking forward I see good things, if we can get the right people in places of leadership on and off the ice.

Badger Bob

March 26th, 2010
12:49 pm

Bob, it is now more fun to look at next year’s lineup than the prospects of post-season hockey. I see us as having about $8-10M to spend on UFAs, assuming:

> a cheap a$$ $48M budget
> resigning our RFAs Bergie, Little, MacArthur and Pavs for somewhere between $7 – 10M, but those numbers will be highly dependent upon contract lengths
> resigning Boults and Slats for about their current contracts of $2M total.

We’d have five “top 6″ forwards – I use the term loosely with the recent play of some of these guys – including Antro, Kane, Bergie, Pevs and Little; six “bottom 6″ forwards including White, Slater, Boulton, Reasoner, Thorbs and MacArthur; six Dmen including Hainsey, Enstrom, Bogosian, Oduya, Valabik and Kulda, and one goalie, Pavs.

So we need to buy, trade for or bring up 1 goalie, 1 Dman and a couple forwards. I really like Kubina and don’t look forward to next year without him, but he’d tie up almost half our UFA budget. I think goaltending and added scoring punch are higher priorities, so we let Kubes walk and Vishnevskiy is our 7th dman at $0.847M. The only way to fit Kubes is to trade one of our other $3M dmen before July, which is an attractive idea if there are buyers.

With a UFA/new signing budget of $10M, I’d trade for Sharp ($3.9M), resign Max if its less than $3M, and spend $3M on a goalie.

Or I could go in to the post-season without a plan, like DW…

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
12:55 pm

As if the news couldn’t get any worse, the Canes could have Cam Ward back in goal Monday night. Peters has been sent down and Ward will back up Legace tomorrow night in Carolina.

BB: If Plans A, B, C and D are no longer applicable, then Plan E must be a real doozy!

Bob

March 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

Badger, I think there’s going to be more than to be spent. Rawhide and Brendan both did some work on figuring out what free $ there is to be spent in terms of contracts that we’re losing (Kovy, Kozlov, Colby, there’s more), mabye they can chime in, but that’s why I’m hyped up (again, like every year) about us getting a new GM to spend it wisely. I’d go for $5m on the goalie, it’s time to get a proven guy and that’s job #1. Love your idea on Sharp, Max is an eh, have to re-sign Kubina.

Rawhide

March 26th, 2010
1:04 pm

BTW – did you see the STH Renewal email that states if you do not renew by 3/29, you forfeit all your “bonus bank” dollars, and free Hawks tickets? Brilliant marketing move.

What a way to reward probably the only fans y’all got left, guys

litz - The AS, LLC sent out a “Renew or else”, letter? Un-good.

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
1:10 pm

Bob, there are no $5 million goalies to sign?

The only ones I see as available are Lalime, Legace, Toskala, Turco, Ellis, Danis, Nabokov, Biron, Auld, Emery, Leighton, Brent Johnson, Chris Mason, Niittymaki, Raycroft and Theodore.

Turco and Nabokov make more than that now. Would love to get Nabby here, but he’s not going to accept $5 million.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 26th, 2010
1:12 pm

The most telling aspect of last night’s game was when the Leaf’s swarmed around each other after the OT win. Here’s a team that has absolutely no chance in hell of going anywhere after the season ends, yet they acted as though they had just bought a $1,000,000.00 scatch-off lottery ticket. That is called passion and that is what the Thrashers don’t have. Period. End of story.

Badger Bob

March 26th, 2010
1:20 pm

Bob – Kovy, Kozzy and Colby (plus Kubes and Lehtonen) free up over $20M off last years payroll, but the RFAs soak up 25-50% of that. I hope we have $15M to spend, and the size of the Kovy offer gives me hope. With $15M, I agree with $5 on Kubina, $5M in goal, $3.9M on Sharp, and whatever is left on Colby’s cheaper replacement. Not sure if Cormier will be ready/mature enough.

There are only other 3 teams (COL, TOR, VAN) with a $3M dman in their third pairing. Do we join them, or move one of our $3M+ guys?

Bob

March 26th, 2010
1:25 pm

Red Light, you closet Ranger fan you, I am thinking Nabokov may only get $5m, isn’t he getting up there in age like the rest of us old guys? Or we could trade for a goalie, seems everyone else is able to trade for proven goalies.

rob

March 26th, 2010
1:30 pm

Do you guys think it is a good idea to spend $5M on Kubina?

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

I’m not really in the closet, Bob, and as I told Badger Bob last night, I follow teams with the two worst GMs in hockey, Not easy being me these days for a variety of reasons. No wonder I have an appreciation for Buffalo and Nashville!

Nabby will be 35 in July.

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
1:40 pm

And at my age, that means I have two good years out of 46 of following the Rangers, 1979 and 1994.

Badger Bob

March 26th, 2010
1:45 pm

RL – there you go messing up our plans with facts! Can’t we just go to the goalie factory and order a $5M goalie who will give us 60 games, a sub-2.5 GAA and a .925 save %?

Sadly, it is a thin list of UFA goalies. Consider, Nabokov is the only upgrade from Moose on that list with regard to GAA and save % (among goalies with at least 30 starts). Nitti, Theodore and Turco are statistically similar to Moose. Making a big run a Nabokov would be an interesting offseason angle.

Badger Bob

March 26th, 2010
1:50 pm

RL, as a closet Flames fan, I’m not much ahead of you. They don’t look playoff bound, and are 4-and-gone against any of the western powerhouses (and Sutter is only slightly better than DW and Sather). One good year out of 31 since Calgary received the Flames – 1989.

Bob

March 26th, 2010
2:36 pm

I don’t see any reason why we can’t sign Nabokov to a $5m per 2 year deal, unless he’s dead set on not playing here.

rob, yes, I think $5m per on a 3 year deal for Kubina would be great. Spend the rest of the cap money left over on a top line RW and a top line LW (Bergfors and Little both need to be on the 2nd line with Peverley). Kane needs another year on the third line before he’s ready for top line minutes.

Alan R.

March 26th, 2010
2:41 pm

Atlanta Spirit Group shall, from this day forward, no longer be known as such. They will now be known as Atlanta Short Bus Group. A registered trademark has been filed, and the term is copyrighted to ARR. Stroz Industries, a Limited Liability Corporation.

World Be Free

March 26th, 2010
2:54 pm

Glovesave, where you been? We need your goaltending expertise!

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
3:13 pm

More 35-and-over goalie facts:

Hedberg, 36, $1.175 million
Thomas, 35, cap hit of $5 million
Brodeur, 37, $5.2 million
Osgood, 36, $1.4 million
Khabibulin, 36, $3.75 million
Roloson, 39, $3 million

Coupled with the fact that Nabokov ranks 6th in save percentage, .922, is 39-15- 9 (tied for 2nd in wins) with a 2.39 goals against average (8th), and I’d say 2 years at $5 million per year is out of the question. Not too mention that he’s a greedy Russian and it might be his last NHL contract.

Lee

March 26th, 2010
3:13 pm

The Thrashers just sit there and drink their coffee….

Look for the last 5 games to be 5 losses……

Dictionary

March 26th, 2010
3:15 pm

The thrashers definition of playoff:

Playoff – Our off days (the games that they play)

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
3:28 pm

FREE NHL TEAM
If the Supreme Court also upholds the Court of Appeal’s ruling against Turner Broadcasting, in essence, David McDavid can purchase an NHL franchise, open five new car dealerships and purchase 2.375 million shares of AOL stock with Turner’s money.

Anyone know a good lawyer?

Twisted Wrister

March 26th, 2010
3:46 pm

you forfeit all your “bonus bank” dollars

What are “bonus bank” dollars? I’ve been a STH for awhile and haven’t heard about “bonus bank” dollars before.

Joe Friday

March 26th, 2010
3:49 pm

Ok, I’m the poster formerly known as Bob. It’s time to retire Bob. See, Bob isn’t my real name and Rawhide is going to develop a tic at games if he has to keep calling me Bob when my name’s not Bob. And Red Light is gonna have the same problem as well. Bob was my dear departed father who turned me into a hockey fan, and I used his fine name as a tribute, but changing it to Joe Friday today as 1)I love Fridays and they called me Joe Friday in college as I always used to look forward to them so much and my friends knew I hated b/s (just the facts, ma’am). One of the reasons I loved being a season ticket holder was Friday night hockey, nothin better.

So, today I, Joe Friday, am making my open application for the job of GM of your 2010-2011 Atlanta Thrashers. See, we need to take control here fellas, we have to get this ship finally headed in the right direction.

So, my plan is as follows this summer to get us headed in the right direction and in the real season come April 2011. I am assuming we are going to have some good money to spend this summer on some new players (in addition to re-signing our RFAs that we would like to keep) and after cutting some dead weight that are indicative of the old and soft Atlanta Thrashers. My plan, if named your GM, is:

1)Sign Nabokov to a 2year $5m per contract
2)Take my asst. GM’s, Badger Bob’s, advice and trade NJ’s #1 and “pick your favorite off prospect list” for Patrick Sharp and take his $4.15m per that he’s owed for the next 2 years
3)Sign Alexander Frolov to a 4 year $4m per year deal
4)Re-sign Kubina to a 3 year $5m per year deal

We’re going to trade Tobias Enstrom to the highest bidder, we’ll take a #2 and a good prospect or a 5/6 dman in return. We’re going to trade Todd White to whoever will have him, we’ll take a 3rd or 4th rounder in exchange for him straight up.

We’ll try to hookwink Bryan Little’s agent into signing a 4 year $1.75m per year, if he won’t do it, we’ll take the 1 year qualifying raise he’ll get. Ditto with Berfors and MacArthur. We’ll re-sign Slater and Boulton as UFAs to 2 year deals, making the same amount they made this year. We’ll be thanking Popovic, Shubert, Chelios for their service and wish them well in their future endeavors.

We’ll be closely watching who gets the coaching axe at the conclusion of this year’s campaign and pickup the best available candidate. Moose Hedberg will be offered the position of goalie/bench asst. for your Atlanta Thrashers.

We’ll be jettisoning the Blueland campaign and associated pansie blue uniforms. Phillips Arena will now be known simply as Our House. You come into our house, you better keep your heads up, we are playing hockey, old style. Every shift, every period, we’re going to lead the league in clean hard checks. Our new home unis will be Black and Blue. All marketing will show our colors, we are black and blue and we send our opponents off the same way, win or lose.

Your starting lineup for the 2010-2011 Atlanta Thrashers:

Frolov-Antropov-Sharp
Peverley-Little-Bergfors
Kane-Slater-MacArthur
Boulton-Reasoner-Thorburn

Kubina-Hainsey
Bogosian-Oduya
Kulda-Valabik

Nabokov (Pavelec backup)

Drop the puck.

Savannah Blueland Fan

March 26th, 2010
3:58 pm

Since we are confessing…..my name isn’t really Savannah; it’s Jim.

Joe Friday

March 26th, 2010
4:14 pm

Oh, and there will be one price and one price only for each seat in the building on a single game basis. No more freebies and giveaways on tickets undercutting season ticket holders who paid for the full year.

$78 ticket in the lower bowl is now $70 per game (similar drops for every seat in the place) and there’s going to be two and only two season ticket holder plans:

1)Full season ticket holders buy that seat for every regular season game at 25% off the listed price, receive complementary preseason tickets, and get exclusive meet and greets with the players as well as the option to buy additional seats on a game by game basis at $25 per seat as available. Only full season ticket holders will receive game day giveaways, bobbleheads, etc. Full season ticket holders will have access to the new season ticket holder pavilion for exclusive food and drink discounts.

2)1/2 season ticket holder plan geared toward weekends receive 15% off the listed price and also get the exclusive meet and greets with the players

The cheerleaders go. There’s no cheerleaders in hockey. The girls cleaning the ice during timeouts will stay but they’re going to be decently clothed. Thrash will go back to being the old Thrash who can actually dance and rappel down a rope from the ceiling. The jumbotron will be replaced with an actual high def screen that isn’t covered with screen burns. AC/DC will be prominently played pushing our Black and Blue theme. An actual organ will play music in Our House, a real pipe organ, played by someone that has a clue on how to get a crowd rev’d up. And we’re going to hire our award winning in-game producer back away from the Crapitals.

All weekday start times are 7:30pm, Saturday 7pm, Sunday at 5pm.

Drop the puck.

Lee

March 26th, 2010
4:47 pm

Joe Friday – I like your plan. I’d take you over Don any day. Don just needs to waddle himself outta here. Now drop the puck. And score a few goals while you’re at it.

litz

March 26th, 2010
4:56 pm

Rawhide –

Yeah, essentially they set a deadline, and stated that if you renew after that deadline, you won’t get the “extras” …

Twisted Wrister — “Bonus Bank” dollars are “ticket value” dollars you’re fronted to put towards bonus tickets you can redeem of your choosing … for instance … let’s say your ticket plan qualified you for $250 in bonus bank dollars … you put put all that towards 1 seat on the glass … or 10 $25 tickets. There are also a certain number of freebie Hawks tickets that get forfeited too, if you don’t renew by the 29th.

Just one more way, I guess, of shorting the value of the package for the STH’s

LAC

March 26th, 2010
5:21 pm

I loved seeing the verdict against Turner was UPHELD, thus these owners, REALLY…
should not be where they are ! Just proves it should be Atlanta LIARS Group.

Playoffs are history now after a clunker last night… Just how these guys can be so flat with a real chance at the playoffs, just makes NO sense.

litz

March 26th, 2010
5:28 pm

As I said above, about the Rangers …

Watch them play … watch us play.

The 11 year old junior hockey players sitting a few seats over from me on Tuesday night had some choice comments about the way the team was playing. The comments were not, however, printable. Guess kids learn a lot more than hockey in locker rooms these days …

Anyways … If the kids were able to pick up that easily on the utter crap being displayed before ‘em … who do YOU think deserves the playoffs berth?

From what I saw this week, most definitely not us.

I’m not quite there yet, but “baseball mode” is becoming more and more likely, and far quicker than any of us (I’m sure) hoped.

Not Blind

March 26th, 2010
5:31 pm

Until the Spirit is gone we are doomed. Coming to Atlanta seems to eventually crush the spirit of any player. All the players that end up traded here at the trade deadline probably need a shrink. This organization is the laughing stock of the league. This has to be the WORST organization to end up on. The only fix is new ownership. Until then this city’s hockey fans are screwed. I suggest NHL Center Ice if you want to watch some NHL Hockey.

Schroeder

March 26th, 2010
5:42 pm

I would like to cast my vote for Joe Friday!!!!!! Joe Friday, ladies and gentlemen!!!(Raucous applause here)

Red Light

March 26th, 2010
6:07 pm

Overheard at last night’s game!

Question: “Why don’t the Thrashers have a team psychologist?”
Answer: “Because he’d be spending too much time in the GM’s office!”

Brendan

March 26th, 2010
6:17 pm

Bob/Friday, we’ll have quite a bit of money, if ownership really wants to spend it. No matter WHERE the swarthy NHL accountants set the cap figure. I’ve been wondering about Bryan Little. In the past, I’ve advocated trying to lock him up, proactively, with an 8-years/$32 million deal. But then … I got to thinking that, he hasn’t put up a season really worthy of that kind of commitment (8 years). It might send the wrong message. Now, I hear ya. “Brendan, you’re always saying, lock ‘em up, longterm, sends the right message.” Yeah, I know. I’m conflicted. I do think Bryan Little, who once scored 31 goals, can be a 30-goal scorer, if utilized as a center, all season long. If that were the case, then during his future UFA years, $4 million would be substantively UNDERPAYING him. That’s good, from a GM/ownership position. It allows the team to be able to do more with its roster, while still enjoying a quality player. On the other hand, if Bryan Little really isn’t going to be a 30-goal scorer … then 8-years is too long of a commitment to make to him, and $4 million in cap hit is “too much.” Bryan Little should, at least, put up another 30+ goal season before he gets handsomely rewarded with a nice long deal like that.

It’s a difficult position. An organization doesn’t want to appear “cheap” or “incapable of retaining players,” yet … the organization shouldn’t be foolhardy with contracts, either. Being GM isn’t easy. It’s also NOT rocket science, either. Maybe with Bryan Little, we do a 1-year contract. Or a contract that places him on our roster through his remaining RFA years. Little is a former 1st round pick of ours, taken 12th overall, I believe. I want to reward the kid. But, at the same time, I want him to EARN it, too.

Joe Friday

March 26th, 2010
7:15 pm

Yep, Little hasn’t earned that big contract, 2 out of 3 years he’s a .3 per game player or so and that’s just not worthy yet. We’d probably settle on a 3 year $2m deal with his agent, otherwise it’s the 1 year qualifying offer.

Upon consultation with our new marketing dept. that although we will be establishing a new identity for your 2011-12 Atlanta Thrashers we’ve been advised that we’ll bridge the marketing campaign and not completely abandon the old naming scheme. Next year Phillips will be Our House, but the collective nation of our players and fans will be now known as Black and Blue Land.

Drop the puck.

R. W.

March 26th, 2010
10:27 pm

I would really look at trading for Sharp, Retaining Kubina Acquiring Nabokov and Marleau. Then also looking at Frolov. All of those players could help our team next year in their in devour to reach the playoffs and take the cup. We also need a team that is a lot tougher and will stand up for each other when push comes to shove. I go on hockeyfights.com I watched Brasheer beat the breaks off of Bogo when he was 18. Not one player went back after him that night to stand up for Bogo. We need guys who will go to the wall for each other every night. I want a good tough team both physically and mentally to take the ice next year.

Sharon

March 27th, 2010
2:41 am

Have ya’ll seen the player’s poll in the latest issue of ESPN Magazine? Here’s one of the questions asked, and though it’s a small sample size, the follow-up question makes me quite sad. We look ridiculous to hockey fans, the league and, of course, to the players so maybe this isn’t much of a surprise. This is why I no longer get excited about free agency. But hey, at least we signed Chelios!
.

Poll: Should the NHL contract teams?

Even with job security at stake, players aren’t so sure. Many (48 percent) voted against the notion, but a whopping 38 percent saw its merits. And 40 percent (yeas and nays alike) favored relocating a floundering crew to “Anywhere in Canada.”

Full Results:

Yes: 38 percent
No: 48 percent
No comment: 14 percent

If yes, which team(s) should go first? (Percentages based on 29 votes)

1. Atlanta Thrashers: 41.3 percent
2. Phoenix Coyotes: 31 percent
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: 17.2 percent
4. Florida Panthers: 10.3 percent

Sharon

March 27th, 2010
2:50 am

My post from a few minutes ago isn’t showing up. Is it in the junk box?

In other news, Marc Savard is holding a press conference tomorrow at noon (Saturday).