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

World Be Free

April 8th, 2010
1:59 pm

Smoothie, Stapleton was at the bench before the game being interviewed by Natalie Taylor. He looks like a 12 year old kid.

Rawhide-3 regulars out? I have my gear in the attic ready to step out as an emergency fill in. Even though I told DWTOO that I am officially retired; what the heck, Brett Favre has changed his mind once or twice.

DWTOO

April 8th, 2010
2:01 pm

C’mon WBF – Lace ‘em up!

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
2:08 pm

WBF – yeah…like DWTOO says, let’s lace ‘em up. What the hell. I might fall flat on my face all night but it’ll be fun as heck!

What was that Red Light said above about Rawhide’s 300? Let’s storm the ice and defend Thrasherville!!!

“Children, gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Thrasherville lore. And by Thrasherville lore we will stand and fight… and die. A new age has begun. An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Thrashervillians gave their last breath to defend it”!

Alan R.

April 8th, 2010
2:10 pm

And Feu Rouge, great write-up on SSE.com featuring Slater.

Link?

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
2:16 pm

Alan R. – Look to the right in Rawhide’s Reading Roundup and see the link to “Red Light Report”.

alex

April 8th, 2010
2:23 pm

i heard yersteday kincade on 680 got very angry on thrashers ahd teflon don particulary demanding fireind. please add if someone listen.

HonkyTonkHero

April 8th, 2010
2:47 pm

A source close to management tells me that Friday Waddell and others in management find out whether or not they will be offered another contract.

MB

April 8th, 2010
2:55 pm

Definitely Kovalchuk. He called out D-Wadd at the end of last season and forced him to upgrade talent in the off-season with Kubina, Antropov, and Max. Then he forced the Wadd to trade him at the deadline, bringing in Oduya and Bergfors, along with the prospect Cormier. The Kovalchuk situation also brought heightened attention and scrutiny to Donny, leading to even more questions about his “leadership” of the franchise. Oh, and Kovy leads the team in goals and is third in points.

But since he’s not eligible, I’ll go with Antro…he’s really done a heckuva job for us all season.

World Be Free

April 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

DWTOO-we and others like us, you know old guy hockey players can have a pickup game and provide the “humor” between the 1st and 2nd periods. Most of my gear has been held up in my hockey bag for 10+ years. Nice and ripe.

Alan R.

April 8th, 2010
3:31 pm

Thanks, Bill. I was having trouble figuring out what “SSE.com” is.

Willie Stargell

April 8th, 2010
4:33 pm

Pittsburgh Pirate Fan: “We Are Family”

I need a Buffalo win tonight in Boston.

Dawg Man

April 8th, 2010
4:38 pm

Kubina, though Mad Max has had a great year too.

Dawg Man

April 8th, 2010
4:39 pm

I meant Antropov…doh

Footballguy

April 8th, 2010
4:41 pm

You mean we have a hockey team here? Seriously? I didn’t know that.

Kovyoverrated

April 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

Colby Armstrong! He left everything on the ice every shift. Antropov was a slow skating, no hitting robot for the first 2/3 of the season.

goose

April 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Savannah Blueland Fan- I agree give the MVP to moose (though I voted for Antropov) and give Antropov a C.

Brendan

April 8th, 2010
5:21 pm

Red Light, it’s not as sad as you might think, regarding the departure of Kozlov. I was ready to part ways with him in 2007. That he hung around until 2010 was very fortunate for him. I do thank him for his service, however. It’s not as if Slava was a total bust. He just got older. Father Time catches up with us all. I bid him every success in his future, whether that’s in the KHL, the NHL, or retirement.

Brendan

April 8th, 2010
5:39 pm

Remember when each and every Thrashers radio ad was, “Imagine a team filled with nothing but Ilya Kovalchuks? And even the parachutes jettisoned from the rafters, were little, tiny Ilya Kovalchuks.” Every time I heard that commercial, all I could think was, “Man, is this advertisement gonna get pulled quick when he doesn’t re-sign.” Plus, it was sort of offensive to the rest of the Thrashers. We go to see our team, not just one player.

Brendan

April 8th, 2010
5:42 pm

I tells ya, if I were in charge of marketing and promotions, I’d be rallying the troops around Nik Antropov. The ladies think he’s cute. He’s a big guy. He’s a team leader in goals, points, and plus-minus. He’s the pony to bet on, especially with 3 years left on his deal. Also, I would think Evander Kane is a good choice for the marketing department. Maybe Pavelec, too.

Mrs. Zoomo

April 8th, 2010
7:41 pm

Definately Moose with Bill a close second : )

Hope to see everyone at the game on Saturday!

Frosty the snowman

April 8th, 2010
8:31 pm

I vote Kovalchuck as MVP for getting out of this dog and pony show of an organization. Hope he wins the cup with NJ

R. Stroz

April 8th, 2010
8:45 pm

I’ll nominate Alexei Zhitnik for maintaining a neutral positive/minus rating for two consecutive years with the Thrashers.

Not just any player can show that type of consistency.

Rawhide

April 8th, 2010
9:01 pm

i heard yersteday kincade on 680 got very angry on thrashers ahd teflon don particulary demanding fireind. please add if someone listen.

alex – I spoke with John this evening and asically he’s not unlike so many fans who have followed this team since day one. He’s frustrated and…to be blunt…pissed. He simply doesn’t know how in te heck The Great Octocluster can continue to keep DW around given the track record….the entire organizations needs to be stripped down and started over from the top down, in his opinion.

He also refered back to his opinion Kovy should have been dealt not last summer…but two summers ago, as opined in this column…and if he had been, no only would the team have not gone trhough the drama this winter, they would have gotten even more for him and the team would have been that much further along the road of improvement.

Matt

April 8th, 2010
9:54 pm

Had D-WAD been fired yet? Why in the He!! NOT?

Smitty

April 8th, 2010
10:34 pm

How about trading DW and JA for Darcy Regeier and Lindy Ruff? Has anybody noticed the prospects the Sabres have?

RM

April 8th, 2010
10:46 pm

IMHO, I would like to see the fans have just as much passion for Kozzy and the players who are on the Thrashers as they showed Kovy Tuesday night. Our team needs to know we are on there side…not just for/against a former teammate. No one will want to play for the Thrashers if the fans only pay attention to people who are not on the team.

Tony C.

April 8th, 2010
11:16 pm

great point RM…. Atlanta in general could take a page from some of the other cities around the country and actually support the home team. Trouble is, when you get gold-plated dog-poo instead of the genuine article, chances are people aren’t gonna get behind it.

My vote for MVP: Pasha Kubina. While Big Nik definitely stepped his game up and showed us some fire that was generally unknown outside of the room, you look at the past collection of must-win games and….once Kubina was out, so were we-that alone speaks to his value to the club.

And as much as I like Hedberg, I just cannot bring myself to vote for him for MVP-especially after his admission that he was not infac, watching the puck when the season-ending goal was scored. I know that’s how you play the position, and I admire his courage to be honest, just can’t bring myself to vote for him as MVP.

the fish

April 9th, 2010
1:44 am

MVP?!?!? On this team?!?!? How about “nobody” for MVP? They all suck. Fire the whole damm team, from the jerks of the Spirit down to the towel boy and start over. The genius who pulls this off is the MVP. There is no MVP on a loser team.

Dwayne

April 9th, 2010
6:59 am

JA says he can’t fault team for lack of effort. What darn team was he watching two thirds of the year? What a asinine statement!! Is Don writing his answers for him???

Adam

April 9th, 2010
7:15 am

Whichever member of the octocluster hands DW his walking papers…

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
7:39 am

Frosty-I am surprised Kovy hasn’t received more votes.

Smitty-I was looking at the Sabres’ farm yesterday. They could jettison 1/4 of their team and be better next year with all the kids they have. I would like to see Pominville and Butler out the door as soon as possible. They are both so soft.

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
7:46 am

Brendan-player retention; at least we know Antropov and Kane will be here a few more years. There is no future for this team if they cannot find a way to keep the desired pieces together, draft better and get the odd UFA to come here without overpaying him.

I like last year’s draft, probably the best one we have had in awhile and I have to give the credit to Dudley. Time for another one to stock the shelves a little more, or make a deal. This team must change their perception amongst players throughout the league if we are going to progress. The antropov move looks like a very good one now. I liked it when it happened, partly because I saw Antropov in Toronto. He just needed the right situation.

Feu Rouge

April 9th, 2010
8:10 am

Thrashers are inching closer to a meaningful spot in the draft lottery. With two regulation losses and a Carolina win, Atlanta could move up to third with the right ping pong ball mojo. And, if Atlanta loses twice, and the Isles get three points in their two remaining games, Atlanta could move up to second with a bit of luck.

After their solid play during the past month, it looks like Nashville will face either Chicago or San Jose in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They are locked in seventh right now and to move up they need Detroit and LA to lose their remaining games. Would love to see the Hawks or Sharks in Game 6 in Nashville.

The Rangers have to win in regulation tonight for a chance to advance unless Boston lost both of its remaining games and Montreal lost to Toronto tomorrow night in regulation.

Do not agree with you, World Be Free, about Pominville. While soft, he gives you everything on a nightly basis. Butler hasn’t looked good, but Pominville is a consistent offensive producer. I’d take him in a minute. Plays in all three situations nearly every night for Ruff.

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
8:22 am

Feu Rouge-I understand the attraction to Pominville from an offensive standpoint. But I do not like his overall game; he makes Todd White look like Dave Schultz.

Example-last night’s game against Boston, where he handed the puck to Miro Satan in the defensive zone. Satan drove the net and tied the game. It is very sad when you are out muscled by Miroslav Satan.

This has been the story of Pominville’s career. His greatest savior is that he’s a Lindy Ruff favorite. Talk to me when the Sabres are knocked out of the playoffs early. This team is too soft.

FormerIslesFan

April 9th, 2010
9:07 am

I struggled with this question for a while, RH. For a while, I sincerely wanted to check the “None of the Above” option (and realized that by doing so, I might be mistaken for Stendek). However, despite my disappointment with the season, the Boys in Blue gave it a shot and were not eliminated until the third to last game of the season. For that, there should be some accolades, although I hope the players think it is a bitter pill to swallow and that they never really did reach their potential.

While my gut reaction was to say that Moose deserved the MVP, I have to go with Antro (or “Nikki” as Lilibeter has taken to calling him). He came here when he had a choice to go anywhere else in the league. And while he COULD have pouted when Kovy was traded (seemingly a major reason he came here in the first place), he did the exact opposite and put this team on his shoulders and clearly was among the leaders; all the time without any letter on his chest (at least, until Army got suspended). All the while putting up career numbers and the second best +/- of his career (tops until the horrible -3 against NJ).

Like so many others here, I think we will see Antro with a letter on his sweater next year, quite possibly a “C.”

But, it all goes back to the question I have been asking for the last few weeks: If the Thrashers do not make the playoffs, but they still have improved on their point total, is the season “successful” (if not a “success”)??

FormerIslesFan

April 9th, 2010
9:08 am

One other point on the whole D-Wad thing, which I did not address above. You want to see accountability? Watch what the Flames do over the next few weeks and see if they stand pat (players/coach/GM) after not making the playoffs just one year (and being booted in the first round in years prior).

Cliff Fletcher

April 9th, 2010
9:14 am

FormerIsleFan-yes, watch what Calgary will do in the coming weeks, or what other unsuccessful teams did to underperforming GM-coaches over the last 2 seasons.

Changes happen everywhere but here.

J.B.

April 9th, 2010
9:21 am

Posted on Chris’ blog as well…

Despite this season’s struggles, I hope Kozlov gets similar treatment/reception from the crowd and the team tomorrow night…

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-Modano-Dallas-fans-join-in-memorable-te?urn=nhl,233098

whitaker77

April 9th, 2010
9:27 am

Since the Thrashers love old players, what do you guys think of Modano putting on the “Thrasher blue”? My bet is he will retire after the season, but as he showed last night he still can play.

Feu Rouge

April 9th, 2010
9:56 am

I’m sure this post will be met with quite a bit of derision, but hey, this isn’t exactly science now is it?

Let me be the first to toss Hainsey in as an MVP candidate?

• Plus/minus rating after the Olympic break: +7
• 2 goals and 9 assists after the Olympic break
• A close third to Kubina and Toby in time on ice, 22:04 per game for the season.
• Played more than 23 minutes per game after the Olympic break
• Second to Oduya in average shorthanded time on ice for the season, 3:43 per game, and fourth in even strength minutes per game, 17:10 per game
• Was even or better in 50 of the Thrashers 78 games this season
• Played against the other team’s top lines more than any other defenseman
• Only 37 penalty minutes all season

Final point: Defensemen are most noticeable when they make mistakes. Of course, Hainsey makes mistakes, but he has been very solid for this team and takes responsibility for his shortcomings. Not a vote, just food for thought!

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
9:59 am

Feu-Hainsey’s play improved steadily this season. I may not agree with MVP status, but I think he evolved pretty well this season. He and Oduya had better chemistry than his time with Bogosian.

Thrashy Thrashy

April 9th, 2010
10:22 am

Whoever fires Waddell will be my MVP.

As far as the players go, I’ll give it to Moose. He vastly outperformed my expectations for him. There’s no doubt that this franchise needs a better full-time goalie, but Moose gave his club a shot in ‘09-’10.

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2010
10:34 am

At the first town hall meeting this season, Waddell and Anderson agreed that this is one of the best teams the Thrashers ever had and that the season would be considered a failure if the team didn’t reach the playoffs. And thus, by using the metric provided by team management, the season was a FAILURE.

So, go find a slovenly dressed, morbidly obese lady and have her pose with team management presenting the FAILURE award.

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Did anyone else see the article about the Slovenian hockey team that beat up their American coach after the team won the Slovenian league championship? Title or not, obviously the guy is not popular.

DWTOO

April 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Stroz – I agree with Waddell that, on paper, this was probably the most talented team the Thrashers have ever fielded. And the addition on Oduya and Bergfors for Kovalchuk was not a step down. But, by their ommission – THEY FAILED! A wholesale firing is in order from the GM, coaches, etc. They can keep the trainers. They’re good guys.

DWTOO

April 9th, 2010
10:44 am

WBF – Haven’t heard it. Wonder would they would have done to him if they lost? Sent him to the Thrashers?

Smoothie

April 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Feu – good points about Ron Hainsey, but I think some of his late season “success” was really more the by-product of having Oduya as a partner. Not to take away too much credit, but fans of the Thrashers who are not all that familiar with Johnny have far-underestimated his talent and ability. He’s a better skater than given credit and on the whole makes much better decisions than “rim-it-around-the-boards” Hainsey. I’ll give Ron a lot of credit for elevating his game after the trade and becoming more of a shutdown D-man to stabilize our defensive corps, but for $4.5 M / year, I still want and expect more. Sadly, I think that’s as good as Ron can do without signifcant PP time.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

April 9th, 2010
10:50 am

:!: RANALLO WARNING!! :!:

This is your official 10-minute Ranallo Warning.

Smoothie

April 9th, 2010
10:57 am

Yes, the season was a failure. The degree to which they failed is open to interpretation, but scoring 2 goals in your final 4 home games during a “march to the playoffs” is a pretty monumental failure in my humble opinion. MacArthur was a veritable bust, Artyukhin showed glimpses but took dumb penalties like we expected, and Bergie showed how streaky he could be. But Bergfors’ production seemed to go down as Nik Antropov’s injury worsened. As good as Nik was all season, he really cooled off in the last 10 games with only 3 G, 3 A and a -3 in the last 10. But more often than not in those key games, he was a non-factor and / or was neutralized.

Rawhide

April 9th, 2010
11:06 am

R. Stroz, DWTOO & Smoothie – I, too, put the FAIL label on this season…in fact, I think the whole playoff “march” was more towards a mirage and not actually in the direction of the oasis known as post-season play.