How long will Thrashers continue to circle the same sand dunes in Desert of Mediocrity?

This weekend will bring to a close the Thrashers’ 2009-10 excursion through the NHL schedule…one that saw a “March to the Playoffs” fall just short, ending officially with the 3-0 loss to New Jersey Tuesday night. Thus, the good people of Thrasherville will once again be left to observe the post-season festivities minus their team’s involvement.

Now, many will claim that this season was not like the one experienced last year…and the one before that. Where those campaigns ended with just 76 points and our playoff fate written much sooner, this year we where “in it” until the last week…that plus the Thrashers have earned 81 points with two games still left to enjoy. This, as someone once said, is movement in the right direction…right?

Eh, maybe…maybe not.

See, there is also the notion that this year’s “March to the Playoff” wasn’t actually a journey in the direction of the promise land known as post-season play…but rather an optical trick created in our playoff-starved minds that simply made it appear like we were moving closer to that much desired and sought-after oasis.

A mirage, as it were.

Sure, for a while it looked like “movement in the right direction”, but as we drew closer and closer to it, we realized that we were simply continuing our circular journey throughout that vast wasteland known as the Desert of Mediocrity.

Like I said, it is true that our Thrashers did remain in the playoff race right up until the final week of the season…as opposed to the last two seasons in which their fate was sealed by the trade deadline. And please don’t get me wrong, I certainly did enjoy seeing the Thrashers play meaningful games in late March… even into April. But one cannot help but ask, “Did they last this long because they made significant improvement in their play, enough to rise up to the lofty level of actual post-season contention… or was something else at play here”?

Now that we no long have the sand caused by the “playoff chase sandstorm” blurring our vision, let us take a second look… shall we?

In the debacle that was 2007-08… the first season in Thrasherville A.P., (after playoffs)… the Thrashers gained 76 points while winning 34 games. Last year they equaled that total while winning 35 times. This year, with two games remaining, they have 81 points. So, that’s 5 points better at least, right?

Well, yeah…but to date they have only 34 victories.

In fact, over the course of the Thrashers ten years of play, they have averaged 33.75 wins per season. So, these past three years they have performed right at their “average”…34 wins in 2007-08, then 35 wins last year and now 34 wins with only two games left against the Penguins and Caps.

This is progress? This is “moving in the right direction”?

In reality, any “improvement” has come by way the proverbial overtime loser point gained for simply dragging an opponent to beyond 60 minutes of play before eventually watching them skate away with the all-important second point in the standings. They have 13 such loses this years…as opposed to 6 a year ago and 8 the year prior.

Hmmm…is this what we have been told is “incremental progress”?

Moving right along…

While this team has been on it’s “March to the Playoffs”, they played sub-.500 hockey…even the way the NHL calculates it. Since the Olympic break ended, they are 8-9-3. Going back to New Years, they are but 16-16-9. In contrast, last year they were 23-20-1 from January first to the end of the season. Most recently, after beating the Flyers 5-2 back on March 20, they have failed to win a home game since…going 0-3-1 and being outscored 13-2 with a pair of goose eggs dropped on them.

Now, we combine that with the fact that there are a handful of teams…Philly, Boston, the Rangers and Montreal… who haven’t exactly run away and hid in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Three of those will qualify for spots number 6 through 8 and could do so with fewer than 90 points. Last season 93 was the cutoff point in the east…and the Florida Panthers even finished in ninth place with that exact total. Buffalo’s 91 was just good enough for tenth in the conference.

And even though the Thrashers benefited from having so many playoff contending teams in the east performing below what would normally be considered playoff-caliber play, they were not able to capitalize on such good fortune. What’s more…when doors were opened up, they failed multiple times to seize the opportunity.

They had a chance early in the month…but went on a six game skid.

They found themselves back within striking distance just two weeks ago…but lost 4-0 to the Bruins.

Once again they were afforded another chance to reach the eighth spot…but fell flat 4-1 to the Canes.

Then Saturday’s come-from-ahead loss in Pittsburgh…well, you get the picture.

Either way you look at it, given their record and performance in the clutch, this is simply not the type of play indicative of a post-season worthy team, my friends.

So, after being teased with a brief sip from the playoff fountain three years ago…which took eight years and seven seasons to even reach that point… we are once again left to discuss the hope for next year. You know, much like we did this time last year.

We’ll look forward to seeing how Nic Bergfors will do when he plays a full year in Thrasher blue…much like we did last year with Rich Peverley.

We’ll discuss how much better Evander Kane will be next season after a full year of NHL experience is under his belt…much like we did Zach Bogosian the year prior.

We’ll look forward to seeing the new “face of the future” when the Thrashers make their first pick in this Junes draft…much like we did a year ago leading up to Kane’s selection.

Yes, we will once again be facing six months of hoping and speculating, wishing and dreaming of the team next year that could just lead us out of this Desert of Mediocrity and towards that playoff oasis…just as we did last summer…and the summer before that.

But unless changes are made …and I mean serious changes made from the top – down … in the leadership of this organization, I see the good people of Thrasherville doomed to wander in this vast wasteland for the foreseeable future. And they’ll become even more parched from the time elapsed since they last sipped from the playoff fountain… and still await their fist big gulp of an actual playoff win.

However, I fear that the Great Octocluster will continue to keep their collective heads stuck up their…ahem…buried in the sand and once again opt to retain the services of the same general manager who led us to where we are today. They’ll once more fill our empty canteens with their Kool-Aide laced with “Moving in the right direction” rhetoric and have us believe Don Waddell… and his third “five-year plan”… is the man to lead us out of this Desert of Mediocrity to the plush splendor of that elusive oasis known as post-season play.

Meanwhile, we continue to circle the same sand dunes year after year hoping that the next time we’ll actually find the playoff oasis waiting on the other side.

106 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2010
11:05 am

Alan R.

April 9th, 2010
11:13 am

FIRST TO COME AFTER FIRST

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
11:14 am

I think it’s a stretch to say we are mediocre

Jason

April 9th, 2010
11:15 am

FIRST AFTER THE GUY WHO SAID FIRST TO COME AFTER FIRST

Jason

April 9th, 2010
11:17 am

Much like the Thrashers have been circling in the Desert of Mediocrity, it seems that the rest of us are becoming The Incredible Shrinking Fan Base.

Charlton Heston

April 9th, 2010
11:17 am

I have brought forth this carved stone and yet the Octocluster continues to worship Don Waddell.

How much more will attendence have to drop before the Octoluster realizes that they worship a false GM?

DWTOO

April 9th, 2010
11:23 am

March to Disaster. Until changes are made doubt that we can expect anything else than medicrity. This whole situation just SUCKS!

That being said I’ll probably continue to attend games. Actually the best part of all this junk is the social aspect – the tailgates, before game Gorins beers, parties @ TJ’s, etc. Expect tonight/tomorrow to be the same. We should be at Tj’s tonight. Tomorrow we’ll attend the GA State scrimmage, drink and eat in the Gulch, the only reason to go to the game is to see who wins the Snyder Award and if the Older Folks (can’t remember their names shame on me) win the Seventh Man.

Cliff Fletcher

April 9th, 2010
11:31 am

Rawhide, we keep coming back to the same thing, regardless of your blog subject and that is the face of D-W and his performance. Mediocrity is our best hope, as long at the Big D-W continues to call the shots.

don waddell

April 9th, 2010
11:33 am

We are getting closer. Now you may understand that what I meant by “right direction” really meant moving to Canada. I believe we’ll be there after next season. That will be also the end for me with the Blueland.

Rawhide

April 9th, 2010
11:38 am

I think it’s a stretch to say we are mediocre

WBF – I was trying to be nice…

Rawhide, we keep coming back to the same thing, regardless of your blog subject and that is the face of D-W and his performance. Mediocrity is our best hope, as long at the Big D-W continues to call the shots.

Cliff Fletcher – Uh-huh…and there in lays the real frustration. Unless real changes are made, starting there…we continue to wind up in the same place every year.

Sherry Taylor

April 9th, 2010
11:52 am

I think it was more like a crawl to the play-offs, not a march. I love the Thrashers, they play at home, I’m there, but until changes are made from the top down mediocre is the best we can expect. And, yes, we’ve been having this same conversation for ten years. Why? Because nothing has changed at the top, well the owners have and that’s worked out so well for the team and fans.

Feu Rouge

April 9th, 2010
11:55 am

A mirage indeed!

Yes, the team has a better young nucleus of players than in seasons’ past, but with 10 UFAs and four RFAs on the current 23-man extended roster, there is no guarantee that the roster will be improved from this season to next. And given recent summers have yielded only Antropov and Hainsey, and this year’s crop of UFAs is a desert of top-flight talent, management will be hard pressed to replace the would-be departures of Kubina, Armstrong and Afinogenov, for example.

With as much as $28 million available to spend (if they were committed to doing so), you would think the Thrashers will be among the most active pursuers this summer. Of course, it is more likely that they will spend no more than $23 million but they have to take care of Little, Pavs, Bergfors and MacArthur before making any other moves. None will deserve huge raises but $5 million for those four seems like a low estimate. That leaves $18 million and if Kubina gets $5 million and Max gets a deserving $2 million, you’re at $11 million to complete the roster. Toss in Slater for another $1 million and that leaves you $10 million for the rest of the roster.

D-men: Kubina, Bogosian, Hainsey, Oduya, Valabik and Enstrom (6)
Forwards: Slater, Afinogenov, Little, MacArthur, Bergfors, Kane, Thorburn, White, Peverley and Reasoner (10)
Goalie: Pavelec (1)

So, under those auspices, you need a minimum of three forwards, one defenseman and a goalie for $10 million. And thus, how much improvement can really be expected?

Now, if they opted not to renew Mac, and let Kubina and Max walk, then they’d gain another $7.2 million but then have two major holes to fill.

Any way that you look at it, unless two or three youngsters can fill some of the open spots capably and inexpensively, are we truly looking at a Top-8 roster?

Cliff Fletcher

April 9th, 2010
11:58 am

Rawhide-I still think we can focus on trying to improve with what we have. Nothing will change without a #1 goaltender. Should be have traded Kari away so soon? Don’t know, but we are committed tyo finding a #1.

Feu Rouge

April 9th, 2010
12:06 pm

Cliff: Why do you think Kari is a No. 1 goaltender at this point in his career? Where’s that proof coming from? He was 36-44-8 in his last 88 decisions in Atlanta, and 5-4 so far in Dallas. I’m sorry about his injuries, but 41-49-8 is not the record of a No. 1 goalie.

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

Bill-on subject, I think our future successes will be dictated by Rick Dudley’s involvement. Why pay a guy if he’s not going to have input? Duds is not the kind of guy to sit around and collect a paycheck either.

Let’s look at a few issues that work in our favor-free agency and the salary cap-stay with me on this one.

Our free agents-we have a number of UFAs that we would like to keep. What are their options? Most teams have very little money to spend and have their own UFAs. So where are our UFAs going to go? Big paydays for a bunch of players on July 1 are a thing of the past. August 1 is more important, once players realize the big paydays are gone, ruined by slugs like Bobby Holik, half the guys the Rangers and Leafs overpay for.

The salary cap is not going up much this year. Even with raises to the RFAs, the Thrashers should have space to work with to maybe prune a few contracted players from teams against the cap that are close to being cup contenders. Chicago is always a good example, Detroit too. It seems like most teams have the bulk of their cap space for next season consumed with a small number of players and more to sign.

I am not trying to reach here folks. But our financials assets, coupled with other team’s liabilities or obligations should work in our favor.

Smoothie

April 9th, 2010
12:25 pm

Feu Rouge – if we can get Max re-upped for less than $2.5 M, then I’d be okay with it…I think. But if Donnie Brilliance gives him 3 years in exchange for less money, then I’m not sure I’m okay with it.

Here’s the problem. Evander Kane is going to be the next face of the franchise. Without a doubt in my mind. The ASG are even bigger fools than we think if they don’t capitalize on this opportunity. Kane has the intangibles to be great along with the physical attributes (speed, increasing size and great balance on his skates). If he commits to working hard, which I believe he will, he should be as good as anyone on this roster next season outside of Nik A and perhaps Max. I love Bergfors’ game, but this is Kane’s team going forward. Period.

Thus my potential issue with re-signing Max. If he comes back, he becomes your de facto 1st line RW. In my mind, regardless of the results, Kane should be our top line RW, if not C. His natural position is C and he may very well be our best C if not for his average passing skills. But he needs to be on his off-wing (right side for a lefty) to capitalize on all of his strengths. If we face the very realistic possibility of being “mediocre” again, then we might as well let Kane learn as much as he can before the pressure intensifies in 2 or 3 years when we are ostensibly in a better position to compete for the playoffs.

I’m not saying we can’t compete next year, but unless we get Frolov or Sharp or Versteeg via trade from Chicago, I don’t see how we are going to upgrade our offense enough to score the requisite goals to win close 3 to 2 games against the middle of the pack teams next year at this time of the season. If you’re Top 6 consists of Bergie, Antro, Little, Kane, Peverley and Max, you might have a shot. But that is still a very unproven group of 6. CMac is not the answer and Little may be an excellent 3rd liner so unless we bring in more scoring now, I’m not so sure I want Max to be our go-to guy in our continuation of mediocrity.

Cliff Fletcher

April 9th, 2010
12:30 pm

Feu-I would have bumped Kari after we secured a #1 or had somebody waiting. Now everyone knows we don’t have a #1, so we have set ourselves up to overpay a UFA or overpay a team for a goalie under contract.

You have to have a #1 to win; we paid Kari to have the surgery, maybe we should have at least seen if he was capabilty before dispatching him. We traded for a player that’s similar to our current defenseman.

Alan R.

April 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

Boston, Montreal, and Philly can all clinch the playoffs tonight if the Rangers lose in regulation. For some reason, I find this highly amusing.

Smoothie

April 9th, 2010
12:47 pm

Alan – as much as I hate Boston and Philly, I will be pulling for NY to lose as I delight in any misfortune that comes the way of Sean Avery and John Tortorella. It pains me a little more because I admire and respect Henry, Ryan C and Capn Drury.

World – Dudley and his ties to Chicago may be the key for this franchise getting turned around in the quickest fashion. Not only could it net us a very good player (perhaps even 2), it will buy Duds more time to draft players who can help and impact this team in 2 or 3 years. Although I am hopeful that Morin and Klingberg will be in the Opening Night line-up in 2011.

Wayne stuck in AL

April 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

From an email I sent Thrasher bloggers and other media members:

It kills me to say this, but I see Don Waddell as GM as the Thrashers next season…Oddly, the reasons he should be fired are the reasons he will be kept:

1. Thrasher attendance has declined 1,153 fans/game from last year and 2,767 fans/game from 2007, the post-inagural season high, meaning less money to spend/buyout Waddell (if he has a multi-year) or for a GM search.
2. Because the team drew less than 14,000/game this season, they won’t qualify for full NHL revenue sharing, which would normally be $10 million, but might be only $5-7 million (if that much).
3. Because of declining attendance and even lower TV ratings, hockey board and on-ice advertising will decline even more, meaning that whatever arena advertising we see will have to be given away at a discount.
4. Dickey Broadcasting (a/k/a 680 The Fan) will drop the team after Saturday night’s game, focusing on the recently acquired Braves’ radio rights. I don’t see ANY station in Atlanta willing to throw any money at the Thrashers, meaning even less income going into next year. (Hell, I don’t even see WGST 640 wanting this team…look for them to be a time-buy on a low-watt Spanish-language station, like the Knights were)
5. Atlanta Spirit is far more concerned with trying to keep Joe Johnson with the Hawks (the person that got them into this mess in the first place) than overseeing the hockey operation.

Simply put, Atlanta Spirit, which is already in a financial bind, would rather stick with the Devil they know (and can afford) than try to exorcise him. Sadly, they value stability…

Sage of Bluesland

April 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

Most of the teams in the conference simply ‘make’ the playoffs. That’s mediocrity. We can’t even achieve that ‘lofty’ goal!

Wow.

An excellent article by Rawhide.

But, it won’t matter until the stands TRULY reflect the desolate pictures above. The sheep need to stop subsidizing this incompetence IF they want things to change–for the better.

If that means the owners take their completely inferior product elsewhere, then so be it. A better deal is the NHL Ticket (or whatever it’s called) in that case, thank you very much.

Cut the funds entirely and watch how fast the league steps in and forces a change…Why the sheep can’t figure this out, I’ll never know…They’re so afwaid of the widiculous…

(by the way, where is Sara these days? I always ‘enjoyed’ reading her, umm, ‘views’…but, now I relish Smoothie’s ‘insight’…)

Oh well, at least the suffering for this year is almost over…

cadreamin24

April 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

We desperately need someone to LEAD this team outta the desert. Clearly, DW is no Moses.

J-man

April 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

Both Little and Bogosian took massive steps backwards this season. I am concerned about both of them, but mostly about Little. Is this an organization that simply does not know how to mature young talent? Yes, we can point to Enstrom who has not declined at all since his rookie year, but he basically arrived as a finished prospect and he was older than both Little and Bogosian. We’re talent thin and we just simply cannot afford for Little and Bogosian to both crap out, only to have them move elsewhere and maybe turn things around. I have to admit, I’m a little concerned about Kane. Will the organization’s “magic” find him too? Maybe next season Kane scores 30-35 goals and then after that it’s back to 10-15. Or maybe Kane never becomes more than a 20 goal guy even though he should be able to be more.

Like many other fans, I’m just waiting to see if the owners hold anyone accountable or not. I think DW really let us down with his rinky dink trade deadline moves. MacArthur ended up not really being any better than White or Kozlov, but I’ll give credit to Artyukhin for scoring more than we had any reason to expect. But upgrading one third line winger and one fourth line winger on an offensively challenged team was not enough, nor should it rationally have been thought to have been enough.

Somaatl95

April 9th, 2010
1:43 pm

DEAR ASG: Those that do not LEARN from history ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT! Does D-Wad have a picture of you all pleasuring yourselves collectively in a luxury suite during a Hawks game? Is that why you are going to torture your fan base for yet another season with a GM who couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag? What will it take for you all to extract your craniums from your rectal cavities and do what most of the people who spend their hard earned money on the Thrashers want?
WE WANT CHANGE AND IT MUST START AT THE TOP!

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
2:03 pm

Sorry I can’t join ya’ll at TJ’s tonight. Too much being jammed into the weekend. I could use a night out; maybe during the 2nd season when “playoff” teams are playing?

thebigharybeast

April 9th, 2010
2:29 pm

Yes the Thrashers have cap money. And yes they have the potential to sign the players they want to keep and the flexibility to pursue a free agent or two. BUT nothing is DW’s track record shows that he is capable of evaluating player worth, signing quality free agents, or providing an enviorment condusive to attracting anything more than mediocre free agents whom will be over paid to come here.

The only hope we have for anything next year is for the octoclusterf**ks to can DW as soon as the season is over and get a true leader in here.

English Teacher

April 9th, 2010
2:36 pm

TWENTY-FIFTH!!!

No Kool-ade for me, thanks. I’ll not be reupping. Oh, I’ll go to some games, but they’re not getting my season ticket money. Things are too tight, and they aren’t working hard enough to earn what I work hard enough to earn.

I’ve always said that a fish rots from the head down, and this is one stinky fish!

Feu Rouge

April 9th, 2010
2:43 pm

I know you are probably exhausted with the stats-backed opinions, but here is a something to consider.

Little, in my estimation, will be most effective in the high slot. He’s not a creator and must be set up by others. His shot percentage last season was 18 percent and is now at 7.5 percent. Last year, he took 172 shots, 11 more than this year to date. To me, that shows that he’s not getting shots from the right areas on the ice, not being paired with the right line mates and perhaps a confidence problem.

Last year, Little had 12 power play goals and this season he has 3. Last season he averaged 4 mins per game on the PP, this year he averaged 3. Last year, Little benefited from playing with Kozzie and White, and don’t laugh. Kozzie assisted on 18 of Little’s goals, while White assisted on 16. Kovy assisted on eight of his goals. So, not counting his two unassisted goals last year, there was a chance for 58 assists on his 29 other goals, and White, Kozzie and Kovy accounted for 42 of those.

This season, Antro assisted on three and Kovy on just two of Little’s goals. Kozzie and White contributed none! So, maybe it’s more about who Little played with?

Kane will score, but he doesn’t strike me as a 30- or 40-goal per year player. His value might be better as a player that can create space for others, an incessant forechecker and a quality defensive forward. He’ll get his 20 to 25 but that could very well be the ceiling. I hope not, I’d love for him to score 50!

World Be Free

April 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

BIGHAIRY-I can’t argue with you, but I hope Dudley will emerge and play a more significant role. He is respected throughout the league by both players and management. If Dud’s role expands, it will work in our favor.

ben

April 9th, 2010
2:54 pm

as long as D-Wad is here, and ASG is in charge, this team shall suck.

Fuskie

April 9th, 2010
3:06 pm

Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years before his people were led to the promised land. We have 30 more years to go.

Alan R.

April 9th, 2010
3:10 pm

Fuskie: Waddell has also been wandering the desert. Consider this: How many people will be left following him in 30 more years time? As each year passes, more people start to watch from a distance. Soon, there will be no one left following him.

Well, okay. Maybe there will be one person following. From a distance.

Charlton Heston

April 9th, 2010
3:25 pm

Octocluster, let our people go. They suffered from years of your disinterested oppression.

How many more plagues such as Rhodes, Krupp, Rucchin, Modry, Kapanen, Klee, and Zhitnik must you see before you change your ways?

Darkhorse

April 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

I get tix for free, and even with that I have not felt like going much the second half. Waddell and management has succeeded in sucking the enthusiasm right out of my family.

Going forward, doubt I will go much unless it’s to entertain clients or someone really begs me to. Sad state of affairs…..

Alan R.

April 9th, 2010
4:15 pm

Charlton Heston: Since there’s eight tentacles in the octocluster, I surmise there will be one more plague before the light will truly shine upon them.

Rusty

April 9th, 2010
4:16 pm

Excellent synopsis, Rawhide. Mediocrity is the defining term for this franchise. I was intrigued by the Coach-in-Charge’s comments after the loss to the Devils. “They played hard and gave it their all…they left it all on the ice…they played to their full capability.” Yet, they lost 3-Zip. Outstanding effort is fine in Mighty Mites, but in “the bigs” only results matter.

Let’s assume Anderson’s post-Devils comments are accurate and the team played to its full capability throughout this weeks-long run where they lingered a tantalizing two points out of play-off position. If so, that thud sure sounded like the coach throwing his GM under the bus. Did Anderson mean to imply that Waddell had saddled him with a collection of lovable, hardworking mediocrities? The results, I suppose, speak for themselves.

After all, great teams highlight their record; mediocre teams talk about their effort. Great teams figure out how to win (i.e. Pens trailing with 74 seconds left); mediocre teams somehow find a way to lose (i.e. Thrashers leading with 74 seconds left). Great teams have a vision of the future that their players buy into; mediocre teams lose their stars because they don’t have a vision for the future that top-tier players find credible.

Meanwhile, as that great sports writer, Solomon, once said, “where there is no hope, the fan base perishes.”

August

April 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

So will there be more Pens fans at the finale or more Thrashers fans? Will the Penguins be part of the “Jersey Off Our Back” deal at the end of the game? Otherwise they may not find enough people to take the Thrashers jerseys.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 9th, 2010
4:41 pm

If we step back a bit and leave “thrasherland” and see hockey in general…..pretty much everyone was mediocre this year. Let’s blame the Olympics and be done with it. Moving on…..

BTW–going off-topic for a bit—anyone besides me think that Vancouver was the last of “good” Olympics for a while? London? It’s gonna rain the whole time. Sochi? It’s the Russian version of Florida–not much iceskating going on. Rio? RIO!!!! Are you kidding me? A disaster waiting to happen!

Alan R.

April 9th, 2010
4:58 pm

Last good Olympics? Lillehammer. 1994.

bartdunwoody

April 9th, 2010
5:46 pm

How long before circling in the desert becomes circling the drain? Bettman has made clear that he wants hockey in Atlanta. If our civic leaders don’t step up and help find an individual or a group with 1 managing partner to buy the Thrash how long will Bettman be committed to Atlanta?
It’s not for lack of hockey fans, don’t even go there. Circling in the desert has lost many season ticket holders as well as many casual fans who would rather spend their entertainment dollars on a better product.
It’s simple; Octocluster = circling the drain, new ownership = oasis. We need an oasis not a mirage.

Brendan

April 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

How long will they circle the sand dunes of mediocrity? Answer: For as long as Bruce Levenson says. And there it is. I cannot fault Waddell to collecting a paycheck for as long as an ownership entity is stupid enough to give it to him. It’s not Waddell’s job to decide if he stays or goes, it’s ownership’s. But I’ll tell you this much, it would be a shame … to allow Don Waddell to hire a 4th coach during his Administration. It’d be five coaches, counting himself.

Ownership is aware, in my opinion, that the problem is not at ice level. What I don’t understand is … with that knowledge … why is there accompanying inaction. They know Waddell is the lone constant. But yet, they won’t fire him. It’s like a bad marriage, where one person is deathly afraid of being alone (Octocluster in hockey decision-making land) and the other is incapable (Waddell). So, the result is … due to their phobias and shortcomings, they stay together, keeping the marriage intact.

It’s quite remarkable.

bartdunwoody

April 9th, 2010
6:10 pm

Brendan, remarkable is an understatement, these guys are going to redefine dysfunctional.

thebighairybeast

April 9th, 2010
7:37 pm

Hmm does this mean someone is going to lose their firstborn before we are free of Waddell. Loved the Exodus references! Good stuff!

Brendan

April 9th, 2010
8:14 pm

Welcome to “HomerLand, home to Simpsons Hockey,” bartdunwoody. Actually, I think Homer Simpson would make a better GM than Waddell.

Brendan

April 9th, 2010
8:16 pm

Maybe we should all go home and put ram’s blood on our doors?

LAC

April 9th, 2010
8:47 pm

Well a decent game so far this evening…

I have a list of players to keep and to despose of.

Keep/Resign etc…

Max/Kubina/Popovic/Artukin

Let go…

Slater/White/Bogosion/Little/MacArthur/Moose

Kane better pick it up BIG time next season as well as Enstrom, on DEFENSE !

This zach B has turned into a WIMP defenseman, and I have seen enough this season
to realize he will NEVER be a solid player, so get what you can while you can. Maybe a second round pick would be sufficent…

Little has faded into a third or fourth line player, Slater fast but little else and todd white… YUCK !

However most of all don waddell MUST BE LET GO. No excuses from these “owners”.
There are any number of qualified GM types out there and the Stinch of don waddell MUST
be sucked OUT of this franchise. Will they even be here next season ?

If so, it will likely be the last, as NOBODY is going to continue to support this ownership and waddell… Just NO way, read the blog comments, The Fans DEMAND Change, and you STUPID owners better get rid of this idiot waddell a minute after the game Saturday night.

No More Excuses owners, put up or sell the team !!!! We are ALL tired of being jerked around by a bunch of panty wastes like you guys !

rob

April 9th, 2010
9:37 pm

Rawhide,
Mediocrity gives this leadership/management too much credit!!!

Single handedly the lack of accountability top to bottom has doomed this team to tragic consequences. They say we will wait for Kari and go with an unproven and a steady backup goalie tandem. They say Kovy will be signed, and allow him to keep his captaincy when he FLAT OUT GAVE UP and the team tanked in that horrible December slide. During that slide NOTHING is done to attempt to correct the team play, including shaking up the lineup with a call up or two. With a week to go we are told that YES INDEED, Bogozian did in fact have an injury to his hand that made it HURT TO SHOOT (and I am sure that means poke checks etc., and maybe kept him from being as physical?). When Kovy is finally traded, and a stretch run needed to make up for the funk the whole Kovy drama put the team in, no one is put into the leadership role AKA CAPTAIN even if only for the rest of the season. DumbWad (AKA DW) holds his THM in an attempt to hold Kovy as the only part of the problem during the whole mess. Kozlov watches the way the team treats Kovy and speaks out against them, and his less than spectacular season is used to bench him the rest of the season. Not that his play shouldn’t have warranted it before but only Slater and White were really benched for that reason. They follow this up by jettisoning Kari and at the same time allowing the team to continue with the goalie problem down the stretch. Further this with the fact that NO ONE at the arena knows about hockey and getting the crowd there involved to motivate FANS that do show up. The coach blames the losses on the bad bouncing puck, again dodging holding anyone accountable and pushing said accountability away from him. At the end when the team really falls apart and it is obvious to all even though they aren’t mathematically eliminated and there is talk that the coach may hold some responsibility for the teams demise, he holds a “closed door meeting” which is followed by another in an obvious attempt to show he has control over something he does in fact have no control over. All in all I think the biggest FUBAR of the season was the goalie situation all season. We HAVE TO HAVE someone that can slam the barn door shut on those off nights and steal points for us, and to stay steady during those close games to give us the 1 goal wins. Sad to say that even when we could have had a better season, decisions were made by off ice personnel that affected the outcome of the on ice performance and the frustration of the FANS and players. That being said they are still the home town team and I will support them by going to see as many games as I can afford to see from both a money and time standpoint, cheering the boys in blue (can we get rid of all of the Thrasher Thursday burgundy jerseys? LOL) as loud as I can, wearing a few more tshirts with writing on them about the sorry excuse we have for owners and upper management, and enjoying the thrill that is live hockey when we win and booing the opposing team and any boys in blue who aren’t giving it their all. I won’t stop going because I love the game, and refuse to let anyone, be it ASG, DW, Sage, Standec, or even Kovy ruin that for me. I question anyone who stops going to see a live hockey game because of any of that. Center Ice is great to watch and you get to see a lot more you won’t normally, but it still can’t beat a live game. I’m not saying go get season tickets but go see some hockey because if you don’t see a few now, you might not get to see even more if they ever get better but move now will you? Just my opinions, and reading all of the comments there are a lot of different ones out there.

stendek

April 9th, 2010
9:39 pm

Wow! What a game. End to end action! Chances galore. Saves in abundance! The way professional hockey is supposed to be played. I am completely breathless! The Flyers and Rangers are putting on quite a show. Guess some of the mentally challenged watched the Trashers go bellyup for the untold time against the overrated Washington Crapitals! Why bother? Just another one the worthless oxygen wastes based in Atlanta mailed in! The Trashers are complete filth. Not fit to be categorized as professionals! Unless you are talking about professional quitters and scumballs. Hope all the uncaring bestards are in Hamilton (or Hades) next season! Go Flyers. ++STENDEK++ Oh well. Ranjerks got two points. Damn them!

Michael B. Shapiro

April 9th, 2010
9:53 pm

Words cannot even describe how much we sucked in the 3rd. Cannot believe we gave the Crapitals 47 shots in the game. Lousy penalties and no heart. Nice to have the penultimate game of the season looking like the way we’ve played much of it. Clueless.
Ten years as a STH come to an end tomorrow. I can and will no longer support “Donnie Brilliance’s” work. Not even sure if JA should return next year.

WADDELL MUST GO

April 9th, 2010
10:10 pm

The THIRD BEST season in team history lands us no worse than the 8th pick in the draft, maybe the 5th! Good job Don!…..feel the progress!