Who is your Thrashers MVP?

With the season winding down, let’s take a look back at the Thrashers top performers and vote your selection for team MVP. But before we do…a couple of brief items to discuss, starting off with one player that I wish were able to be on this list, Slava Kozlov.

I hope that coach Anderson opts to start #13 Saturday night and allow the fans in Atlanta a chance to watch Slava play one more time in Thrasher blue and give him a proper farewell. He has been nothing but a consummate professional for the seven seasons he’s been with us. I don’t know if he plans on trying to latch on with another NHL team or maybe play next year in Russia, but regardless he’s been nothing but a great part of this team, regardless of this season’s numbers.

Thank you Slava for all you have done here, God bless and good luck to you and your family…I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors.

Also, congratulations are in order for Brett Sterling as he has been awarded the 2009-10 Chicago Wolves Dan Snyder Man of the Year.

Oh, and I want to wish a very happy birthday to Mini-PJ. I hope it’s a wonderful day for you, kid!

And now…my five MVP nominees submitted for your consideration.

Nik Antropov: The Thrashers leading scorer with 24 goals and 67 overall points. If he can squeeze out another two goals this weekend, it will tie his career high of 26. Antropov is also leading the team with a +13 rating. Good to know this guy is signed for another three seasons.

Who is the Thrashers MVP?

  • Nik Antropov (50%, 80 Votes)
  • Maxim Afinogenov (7%, 11 Votes)
  • Rich Peverley (6%, 10 Votes)
  • Pavel Kubina (6%, 9 Votes)
  • Johan Hedberg (27%, 43 Votes)
  • Other (Write-in below) (4%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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Maxim Afinogenov: In today’s economy it’s always helpful to find a good bargain, and Max has been just that. The $800,000 investment has yielded 24 goals, a career high, and 37 assist. 10 goals and 15 assists have come since the beginning of the New Year…so much for the Mr. October label he came with his discounted price tag.

Rich Peverley: In his first full season with the Thrashers, last year’s waver-wire steal of the season has amassed 22 goals and 33 assists. Last fall he was rewarded with a new contract extension and the Pevs Dispenser has continued dishing out hard work, effort and points since.

Pavel Kubina: I liked this trade when it went down last July and I like it more today. The veteran defender who will turn 33 this month has been a strong presence on the Thrashers blueline and has chipped in with 6 goals and 32 assists on the attacking side of the ice. He’s one helper shy of his career mark of 33 set in 2005-06, the last season he was with Tampa Bay. He is also EVEN during his 76 games played this season.

Johan Hedberg: Where would we be without the Moose this season? He’s been the most consistent and reliable of the two keepers throughout the season with a record of 20-16-6 with a .913 SV% and 2.68 SV%. The win total is the most since he put up 25 with Dallas in 2001-02 and the save percentage is the best so far in his career.

So, there are my five…if you have another in mind just vote “other” and write in your choice in the comment section below.

101 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2010
11:01 pm

FIRST!

And Congrats to Brett Sterling!

Telfo

April 7th, 2010
11:39 pm

Antropov and its not even close

Kaat

April 7th, 2010
11:39 pm

I agree with you about Kozlov. He deserved better after all he has given to the Thrashers.

HookyBob

April 7th, 2010
11:42 pm

My vote is for Kubina,…but there are plenty of deserving players. I’d like to see Kane mentioned in there somewhere too.

Clang = Keith Tkachuk. But this is a clang heard throughout the NHL. I came to love that guy in his short stint as a Thrasher. Will he make it into the HHoF?

I wonder who else might be retiring after this season. Kozlov, Moose, Brind A’Mour, Modano, Weight, Guerrin, etc.

Sherry Taylor

April 7th, 2010
11:43 pm

Gotta go with Moose. He’s brought a stability in goal that we really haven’t had before. I know others will disagree, but his confidence and calm have carried the team and the fans a long way this season. I don’t know if this is his last season with the Thrasher’s or not but I am very grateful for his leadership on and off the ice.
You’ve put up a good list, it would be difficult to argue with any of the names listed. Antropov has certainly given us size on the front and it is fun to watch him use his big body to shield the puck from defenders. I like Max, what a deal we got with him. Now, it will be interesting to see what they do with him. And I’ve watched Pavel Kubina be a general on the ice, and liked it. He was a stellar move by management, (and you have no idea how I hate to admit that.) Peverley continues to grind it out, although he seems to have fallen off a bit of late. One thing I do like is that they did NOT fall apart after the Kovalchuk trade. I think they’ve found they don’t need one player to be their collective identity. They are a team and they’ve pulled together and played as hard (most of the time) as they could. They didn’t end up where most fans wanted but they certainly did better than many expected. And, that is what we can take hope in for next year (if they all return). Especially if Slater and Kane and yes, even Armstrong can put together that line that had really begun to pop before injuries stalled it. Sigh.

Brendan

April 8th, 2010
12:44 am

My vote goes to Pavel Kubina. Without him, the playoffs, or talk of the playoffs, would have ended in February. Kubina is one of the best Thrashers defensemen this franchise has ever had. I wish him well with his new team next season. We “rented” him at the trade deadline, just like we “rented” Moose, and “rented” Colby Armstrong, and “rented” Max Afinogenov.

In other news, the Phoenix Coyotes shot themselves in the foot/paw tonight, by defeating the Nashville Predators. Had Nashville won, Phoenix could wind up facing Nashville in the 1st round, instead of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit beat Columbus tonight, as expected. I really don’t want to see the Red Wings-Coyotes as a 1st round series. There would be far more interest and intrigue in a Predators-Coyotes series, for someone would have to win!

Brendan

April 8th, 2010
1:04 am

Here are your updated Standings: http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con#&navid=nav-stn-conf

Some interesting matchups out West. #8 Colorado vs. #1 Chicago. #2 San Jose vs. #7 Los Angeles. #3 Vancouver vs. #6 Nashville, I smell an upset there, maybe. #4 Phoenix vs. #5 Detroit, and Red Wings win that series.

Sharon

April 8th, 2010
1:53 am

I voted for Kubina for all the reasons listed above.

As a Wings fan, I’d rather not face Phoenix. There’s something about that match-up that makes me uneasy.

mrtn36

April 8th, 2010
7:06 am

The obvious choice would be Moose — followed by Mad MAX

rob

April 8th, 2010
7:12 am

CHELIOS!!!!! J/K! Antropov hands down. All assists when he first got here w Kovy, but once Kovy stopped then left has picked up his game to help carry the team as far as they went. Looks like he has a strong chance at the C next year. Coming here at Kovy’s request, he didn’t get mad or quit when Kovy bailed, but stepped up his game. Kane’s enthusiasm and grit even during those games when everyone else was coasting should get him mention. Moose? NAH he was put in a bad spot and made the most of it but MVP? Pevs? a great addition to the team but not MVP. Same for Max. Kubina helped anchor the D but don’t think it was MVP worthy either. Just my opinion.

Hotrod

April 8th, 2010
7:20 am

I’d say Antropov gets MVP.

Moose really stepped up this year though. I know he stumbled a bit
in the last week, but overall he saved this team from basically a disaster when Kari went out. Pavs, I think,will be our future though.

What a crazy year. At any given moment , we were either in a playoff hunt or facing the bottom. I really hope this ownership thing gets figured out. I say give it to that David guy for free, we owe him 300 million anyhow. Turner gives TSG there money back, TSG gives the team to the David guy,boom,done.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

April 8th, 2010
7:54 am

MVP-me for having to put up with this organization, again.

World Be Free

April 8th, 2010
8:08 am

Antropov-I was pushing for the Thrashers to sign him last summer because he’s a playmaker. I have to say his performance exceeded my expectations. Max better take Nik’s setup skills into consideration when resigning.

We need to focus on a captain too.

Thrashfan01

April 8th, 2010
8:19 am

Kubina and Antro are neck and neck. Considering Antro is +13 playing much of the season with Kovy flaoting in the defensive zone he gets the nod over Kubina who played with the much more responsible Toby much of the time.

DWTOO

April 8th, 2010
8:29 am

Antropov. Leads in points, has played thru an injury, could have folded when Kovalchuk was traded. Instead literally put the team on his back.

LAC

April 8th, 2010
8:31 am

I vote Bill Tiller…. AKA Rawhide as BEST Blogger for this season.

Bill you are ALWAYS on top of the action, Always asking thoughtful questions and Always
bringing out the BEST in us fellow bloggers. You are the ONE Soliode voice of reason and fact during another TRYING season and I commend you and your efforts to The Highest Degree !!!

Thank-You Bill !

Red Light

April 8th, 2010
8:45 am

MVPs can’t be goalies unless they play more than 60 games. Moose had a career year, no doubt, but Antropov turned into a bonafide top line player here, whereas he was merely a fringe/complimentary player in Toronto and New York.

BTW, the Kozlov ship has sailed and I am 99 percent sure he will never pull on the sweater again. Sad, isn’t it?

Until TJs tomorrow night! Ciao!

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

April 8th, 2010
8:47 am

You sit back and wonder sometimes-how can the national media be so stupid? You hear Chico ask “why don’t we support our team?”, when it is clear to anyone with a brain that the team sucks and has sucked for 10 years with no hope for improvement. In their eyes, it is our obligation to be sheep.

A sports franchise is entertainment. Entertainment entities have a responsibility to entertain, regardless of whether it is a sports team, a movie or a circus. They must put a competitive or entertaining product on the field, stage, court or in this case, ice to entice a citizen to spent their hard-earned dollars on this form of entertainment. People in Atlanta chose to stay away because they are not entertained, just like they stay away in traditional hockey markets such as New York (Islanders) and New Jersey (Devils) at times when the product did not warrant their entertainment dollars. The proof is clear and evident.

So why do people in the media miss the obvious that we “regular people” see all the time? I take the name Pittsburgh Pirate Fan, not because I am from Pittsburgh, but I associate the quality of our team with what Pittsburgh has to deal with. No commitment on the filed or ice to filed the type of team that can compete for a playoff spot, much less a championship.

There is no accountability in the national media to hold owners or management responsible for wanting to win. We saw it for years in Cincinnati with the Bengals. Owners basically laughed at the fans for showing up to see a bad product. Now the media joins in and makes the fans the scapegoat or in this case, the blame for failure AND accountability.

Makes me want to barf; everyone in the media has adopted ESPN ignorance.

Jason

April 8th, 2010
8:56 am

If you focus on the “valuable” part of the equation, I think it’s Max. A 25 goal scorer for $800,000 is a flat out bargain for us. I hope Don doesn’t do something stupid and let him walk…oh wait, this is Don we’re talking about.

Something that I heard yesterday is that next year, there won’t be a 400s section. Anyone know if it’s just going to be a giant tarp up there or if they have some other plans?

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 8th, 2010
9:17 am

I’m feeling like a Puerto Rican because I couldn’t cast a vote for MVP on account of that whole 75 mile rule crap. But if I could vote, it would be for Moose (although secretly I hope Antropov gets it).

Here’s why: Moose won’t be here next year so it will be a nice parting gift. Kind of like the Turtle Wax they give away to the losers on the “Price is Right”. So MVP to Moose and a BIG HONKING “C” on Antropov’s shoulder!

Boone7

April 8th, 2010
9:20 am

LAC, I agree Rawhide makes me want to read the blog every day. Okay and maybe some of the comments from everyone else as well…”Russian” cracks me up…

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
9:27 am

I’m feeling like a Puerto Rican because I couldn’t cast a vote for MVP on account of that whole 75 mile rule crap. But if I could vote, it would be for Moose (although secretly I hope Antropov gets it).

SBF - You can indeed vote on this or any of my polls, my friend. None of that stupid 75-mile disqualification %$#@ here!

If you focus on the “valuable” part of the equation, I think it’s Max. A 25 goal scorer for $800,000 is a flat out bargain for us.

Jason- Excellent point…focusing on the “value” part of it.

LAC – As always, you are too kind. Thank you.

Boone7 – Thank you as well…and nice to know there’s someone else out there reading and enjoying what it is we do here. Oh…and Russian is a great dude!

Alan R.

April 8th, 2010
9:32 am

Congrats to Sterling for his achievement.

Also, I nominate Antropov. He stepped up after Kovalchuk departed, and played that much harder to make up for the loss. He definitely deserves the honor.

kreedham

April 8th, 2010
9:44 am

In regards to to no 400 section that is a possibility. The Hawks don’t offer those seats until all the others sell so if it happens that is the reasoning. Get 3 levels full first. If they do like the Hawks then some 300 level seats on the end will be priced at $10 and the 400 level (when sold) will probably go up in price. No Tarp!

Atlanta Dream does the same thing but they don’t sell the 300 level unless the 100’s and 200’s sell out. Happened recently at Alicia Keys…sold only 100’s and 200’s.

Red Light

April 8th, 2010
10:05 am

Kreedham

The simple solution is to offer open seating Mon.-Thursday when only Rawhide’s and his 300 followers are in the building, and reserved seating for weekend games. Season tickets for any sport other than football are a ridiculous concept. Raise your hand if any of your season tickets go to waste during the 41 home games.

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
10:30 am

MVP is Nik Antropov by a country mile. Big man has done everything asked of him and performed admirably except in the F/O circle. However, his presence up the middle has been very important to this team’s success…well, any success they’ve managed to achieve along the way. Like someone else said, Antro dished the puck to Kovy and Max early in the season and then took on more of the scoring burden when teams started shading Kovy and Max was bouncing between lines. The fact that he has scored 24 goals in his last 55 or 56 games is quite remarkable. He’s gelled well with Little and Bergfors and he always plays responsible hockey. He’s been over +15 for most of the year since January 1 and that is quite impressive playing the majority of the time with freelancers like Max and Kovy who aren’t exactly defensive stalwarts.

Had the Thrashers made the playoffs I may have chosen Kubina, but since the trade deadline, Kubina and Enstrom have faded badly as our # 1 pairing. They have given up the most ES goals since the trade and both of them saw their solid +8 / +9 ratings evaporate into thin air. Obviously they see the most difficult competition every night, but Kubina has worn down over the course of the season. And so has Enstrom. I think the Olympics took a greater toll on them than say Max or Kovy. Not to say Kubina hasn’t been solid even after the break, but Antro has been this team’s “steady Eddie” and deserves the MVP nod over his old chum from Toronto days gone by.

World Be Free

April 8th, 2010
10:52 am

Smoothie, you wonder what’s happened to Kubina and Toby. Maybe the grind, coupled with losing has gotten to them. Pevs has fallen back too.

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
11:04 am

World – I think Pevs has settled in to what he is in reality. Now that other teams are more aware of his skills, he is a very solid 2nd line player for us and perhaps a 3rd line C on a really good team. Hopefully, with consistent line-mates next season, he can have a shot at breaking 60-65 points. Looks like he will fall just short of 60 this season. As for Kubes, I think his body started to wear down and Enstrom couldn’t pick up the slack against the best competition night in and night out. Remarkably, Hainsey and Oduya have gelled to become a very solid 2nd pairing as they have been on the ice for only 14/15 ES goals but are a +9 together playing 20-23 minutes every night since the Olympics. And the competition they face isn’t too shabby either as JA doesn’t seem to match up his best pairing with the top lines as much as other coaches do. Hainsey & Oduya get their share under JA.

World Be Free

April 8th, 2010
11:14 am

Smoothie-so who do we retain next year? We have 2-3 defenseman in Chicago that need to either have a shot here or be moved as assets to anothe team.

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
11:36 am

That is one very tough question. If you can’t re-sign Kubina, and I’m not even sure we should, then do you look to use Oduya or Enstrom in a trade for a # 1 goalie or Top 6 forward with 25-30 goal potential? I love Tobes but he and Oduya are the same player and I actually think Oduya is more decisive with the puck. And with Kulda, Postma and Vish all potential NHL D-men, perhaps you move Toby now when his value is the highest and re-sign Kubina for 2-3 years to help groom Kulda. Plus, you know Waddell isn’t ready to give up on Valabik so he will be in the mix next year. If we had a crystal ball and could determine whether Bogosian will become a legit Top 2 D-man, then some of these decisions would be much easier to make.

Dwayne

April 8th, 2010
11:42 am

Antropov, with Stendec a close 2nd.

Thrashers27

April 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Here, here on your Kozzie sentiment, Rawhide. He’s been a great guy to have on the team all of these years. Thanks Kozzie! Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

I’m gonna have to go off the beaten path for the MVP voting. I really believe that Jimmy Slater was the greatest catalyst for the team down the stretch. He hustles constantly and he is really working to find his niche. My MVP vote goes to Slates.

Tears for Beers

April 8th, 2010
11:45 am

My MVP will be whoever informs Don Waddell that his services are no longer needed.

Dwayne

April 8th, 2010
11:51 am

I’ll drink for that T’s 4 B’s

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
12:17 pm

Vivlamore tweeted that Kozlov will def play Saturday night. Antropov, Kubina and White all out with injuries. Prolly look something like this:

Bergie – Little – Kane

Kozzie – Pevs – Max

Slates – Reasy – Army

Boults – Thorbs – Arty

Bogo & Tobes

Hains & Oduya

Pops & Vish

DWTOO

April 8th, 2010
12:17 pm

WBF/Smoothie – The D situation is a good problem to have. Like the idea of trading Enstrom/Johnny O for a #1 goalie. However, before trading Toby I’d want to sign Odyua to a longer term contract. Also, think it’s time to part ways with Boris. There are better alternatives with Kulda, Postma, and Vish. Think Schubert is on his way out too.

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

April 8th, 2010
12:22 pm

As bad as DW may be, Frank Wren is even WORSE!
wren’s big free agent acquisition this year was Troy Glaus, he of 4 consecutive strikeouts last night!

At least the braves have a system in place to make sure Frank Wren isn’t a total failure!

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 8th, 2010
12:26 pm

How about a “mini mvp” to Stapleton for giving us hope for the future!

Always Hoping

April 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

Easy……Kovalchuk!! 1) He’s the one who helped bring Antro and Max here and 2) He was good enough to leave which brought in some nice talent for the future.

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

My MVP will be whoever informs Don Waddell that his services are no longer needed.

Tears for Beers – That’s a very good suggestion.

How about a “mini mvp” to Stapleton for giving us hope for the future!

SBF - Do you believe, as I do, that Stapleton’s presence pretty much removes any and all chance that Brett Sterling will ever see time in Atlanta again?

Easy……Kovalchuk!! 1) He’s the one who helped bring Antro and Max here and 2) He was good enough to leave which brought in some nice talent for the future.

Always Hoping – Well played…very well played indeed.

ben

April 8th, 2010
12:38 pm

Spud Webb

April 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

We the fans are the MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spud Webb

April 8th, 2010
12:51 pm

Pirate Fan why would you care what Wren or Glaus do?? You’re a pirate fan??????????????????

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan

April 8th, 2010
12:52 pm

How bout that chick on the Blue Crew that scored a goal when the kids were playing between periods, earlier this year.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

All I know is that I hope Stapleton comes back next year and stays if what little we saw is any indication of his talent. He obviously didn’t come to Atlanta just to eat at the Varsity. Although he does look like he is only 12 years old.

Red Light

April 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

Well, I was wrong. Glad to see the olive branch extended to Slava. ‘Bout time!

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
12:58 pm

If Stapleton is playing significant minutes for us next season, we are in more trouble than most of you think! Might be okay as a 13th forward, energy guy who can provide some offensive spark on the 3rd line, but we need serious upgrades on the 2nd and 3rd lines. A Frolov / Torres combo plate would be a good start.

Feu Rouge

April 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

Agreed Smoothie. Stapleton is just more of the same AHL dirt we have seen here in the past trying to fill a third or fourth line.

Changed my name to French to jinx the Canadiens from winning tonight. Go Canes!

Smoothie

April 8th, 2010
1:22 pm

Yes, Go Canes…and for that matter, Go Isles and Go Wild!!

I want the 6th pick and a shot at Nino Neidereiter. Hopefully picks 3 thru 5 will all be D-men starting with Cam Fowler. We certainly don’t need another D-man.

And Feu Rouge, great write-up on SSE.com featuring Slater. Chock full of great quotes. Nice to see at least one guy committed to staying, even if he is only a role player. But he’s an important cog for continuity just as you say. There will be some definite turnover.

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

C-Viv reports that 2 of our MVP finalists are done for the year…Antropov and Kubina. Same with Todd White.