For those still hoping for Kovy to come back – We need to have a little chat

From the comments posted during the past few days, it looks as though most of us agree that Thrasherville A.K. (After Kovalchuk) is not as bad a place to reside as some had feared. In fact…life after Kovy isn’t so bad at all.

However, there have been some who have asked me, e-mailed me, texted and phoned me about the possibility of a Kovy-Thrashers reunion this summer. You tell me the organ-I-zation has the cap space…you remind me that Kovalchuk still has a home in here…you insist that it is still possible, still feasible that Ilya could be persuaded to “come home”. You’re still thinking about…chatting about…hoping for…wishing for…a possible Ilya Kovalchuk return.

And so, it is time we had a little intervention…a “come to Jee-zus meeting”, as it were.

slap…slap…

OK, now that I have your attention, let me introduce a new word into your vocabulary…

Stopit-forgiddaboutit-notgonnahappen-nowayinhell-donotdothistoyourselfanymore

Let’s look at this matter from two different angles…logic and emotion.

First, logic… logic that takes the form of dollars and cents.

I take you back to last summer when I opined that the Thrashers would probably allocate any increase in Kovy’s salary by simply moving the departing Slava Kozlov’s $3.6 million over to Ilya’s column. The combined salaries would equate to roughly the $10 million they offered to pay him over three, five or seven seasons. This way, they didn’t have to shuffle around other funds to pay for Kovy’s increase.

However, Kovy said “nyet” and was then shipped off to skate in the swamplands of New Jersey. As a product of that transaction, we now have Johnny Oduya’s $3 million to account for as well as whatever the team and Nic Bergfors settle on in order to re-ink that pending RFA. Last season he made just over $800,000 and I think the kid played well enough to expect some sort of raise, don’t you?

So as you can see, the money set aside for Kovalchuk’s “raise” has been reapportioned elsewhere…(for those of you from Hall County, that means, “The money done all been spent”).

Taking the monetary matter a little further… if you look at where the organization is right now in regards to players signed for next season, it is true that they have a great deal of cap-space to work with and, theoretically, they are one of the few teams that could actually handle a contract the size of which Ilya will again seek to obtain.

Those roster players currently with a contract for the 2010-11 campaign are Antropov, Kane, White, Reasoner, Thorburn, Peverley, Hainsey, Enstrom, Oduya, Bogosian and Valabik. Combined they have the Thrashers at a little over $28 million in cap.

So, that still leaves them with a lot of money to spend…right?

Uh-huh…

But do you also want to bring back Afinogenov…maybe even Kubina? How about Little, Slater, Bergie and Artyukhin…maybe even Armstrong if the price is right? Well if so… and if they came back at just their same salaries as last year… that alone would add another $12 mil or so to the budget, bringing it to about $40 mil.

But I’m gonna bet that players like Max, Slater, Little and Bergfors will be looking for some love via a salary bump…so maybe the number required to keep them is more like $15 or $16 million at a minimum. It probably could be higher, but I’m trying to keep this simple.

Now you are sitting close to the $44 million range. But we haven’t even begun to chat about paying a goalie or two…and last I checked, those are really good to have around on a hockey team.

Between Pavelec and Hedberg last season, the Thrashers spent a cool two and a half mil. So if you bring back Moose and Pavs, something Rick Dudley has stated he’s comfortable with, chances are good that right at about $3 mil minimum will be going out the door to pay for that goalie tandem…bringing the total to around the $47 million mark.

At this point, what you have on your team are two goalies, six defenders and twelve forwards. You still need to deal with a seventh blueliner, (maybe Pops or Schubie) and another couple forwards to give you some healthy scratches, (Boulton or MacArthur types)…and this doesn’t even bring in to the discussion what to do with the likes of Arturs Kulda, Spencer Machacek, etc.

So let’s say Dudley is thrifty enough to round out the remaining roster spending just another $3 million or so. That would mean the total is now closing in on $50 million.

And for that price, you pretty much get the same team that went 11-11-5 after Kovy was sent off to chase Lord Stanley’s Cup dressed up as a Devil. No upgrades.

I don’t know about you…but I want an upgrade or two.

Personally, what I would rather see Dudley do with that cash is try to bring in a quality starter between the pipes…one that can handle the load for another year or so before handing the job off to Opie full time. Also, a winger to replace Kozlov in the lineup would do the trick nicely too.

Regardless, I just don’t see how Kovalchuk’s desired salary can fit back in the system as far as the accounting department is concerned, even if he would entertain the notion of returning here.

Would you like to see Kovy back as a Thrasher?

  • Sure! We could use the goals (8%, 16 Votes)
  • No Way! He's gone and I'm over it (65%, 128 Votes)
  • Only if he takes less than offered last winter (27%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 198

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And that brings us to the emotion aspect of why I don’t care to see it happen…even if the funds were made available. And the only way I can explain this is with the following analogy.

Ladies, please forgive me as this really is directed toward those in our midst who are of the male persuasion

I’m sure all of us have in our past that one girlfriend that could be classified as “high maintenance”. She was stunningly beautiful and equally as fun to be with. But this chick demanded attention 24/7…and we dropped much coin to keep this young gal happy and well attended.

Yeah…you remember her now, don’t you?

Anyway…something happened and the relationship went Tango Uniform. It could have been caused by any number of things really…you said the wrong thing…you didn’t say the right thing…you forgot her poodle’s birthday…you failed to remember the 7th month anniversary of the first time she allowed you to buy her a piece of jewelry…possibly you just ran out of money.

Maybe, after you’d searched the world over and thought you’d found true love, she met another and …pttthhh…she was gone.

But then, after a few months of time healing the wound, a buddy of yours informs you he’d run into [insert name of high-maintenance ex here] and she had asked about you…she seemed to miss ya, he says. He suggests that you call her up and seeing if the ‘ol flame could be re-kindled…wink-wink-nod-nod.

Now just after the painful breakup, you would have jumped on this chance as hard and fast as Rosie O’Donnell would an open buffet. But now…well, time has passed, you’ve met another cutie pie that is just as much fun to be with… if not more so…and money has somehow found a way to remain in your bank account. Spending time with her didn’t necessarily mean having to spend a pant-load of money on her…at least not every night.

That, plus everything in your little world didn’t have to revolve around whether or not what you did or didn’t do meant losing or keeping her. It was more an “us” thing…not just “her”. And besides…where did you really go in life with her around anyway?

So you thought about it, then handed over to your buddy the ex’s number and told him she likes red roses, dark chocolate, diamond bracelets, fancy cars, five-star restaurants, rock concerts and orchestra level seats at the opera…telling him to have a blast while the money holds out.

Yup, back then you realized that you were a better person without her and it just made no sense at all to go down that road again. You’d discovered that life after [insert name of high-maintenance ex here] not only wasn’t so bad at all…it was actually better.

Today…you can insert Ilya Kovalchuk in those brackets.

150 comments Add your comment

LL

April 20th, 2010
11:05 pm

Those of us from Hall County are educated thank you.

Brendan

April 20th, 2010
11:16 pm

Still, I appreciate what Kovalchuk tried to do for this organization. He tried to FORCE THEM to make the team better. For that, I commend him. He said things like, “I think the fans of this city deserve to compete for the Stanley Cup.” He suggested the team sign more free agents. Okay, I’ll just stop there. He’s gone. He’s not coming back. And we shouldn’t blame him for that. He didn’t want to waste his PRIME years languishing in Atlanta, with an ownership group that couldn’t figure out it needed to fire a failing GM back in 2007. By 2010, Waddell was still here.

I’ll repeat one last time. You wouldn’t hire an arsonist to run the Fire Department. You wouldn’t hire a Priest to oversee an abortion clinic. And competent owners wouldn’t send a GM without a playoff win, in a decade’s worth of seasons, to renegotiate the contract of the “face of the franchise.” It’s not like Kovy could say, “Fire Waddell, then I’ll re-sign,” if he ever had intentions of re-signing.

All I ask, now, is for Dudley to have total oversight and total control over every, single roster decision, whether is who to pick at #8, who to trade at the draft, or which free agents to attempt to romance into Thrasher blue. I want change. And, god help us, maybe this GM can carve out AN IDENTITY for our franchise. That’s be niiiiice, and a ‘real change.’

Nutz

April 20th, 2010
11:22 pm

Sorry, I still have a hard time reading anything after organ-I-zation, seems like a slam to the hockey friends from the north

Brendan

April 20th, 2010
11:27 pm

Erat scores on the penalty shot! Nashville 4, Chicago 1. Niemi still looks a bit rattled. Nashville is going to take a 2-1 series lead.

Flyers are up, 3-1, in the series. Last time that happened, it was the 2000 Conference Finals, and the Devils rallied to win the last three games, en route to winning the Stanley Cup over Dallas, on a Game Six overtime goal by Jason Arnott.

Penguins are up, 3-1. They won, 7-4. Ottawa CANNOT give up seven (7) goals in a “must win” game. There went the series. Pencil Pittsburgh into the next round. I think Pascal Leclaire might even start the next game.

Detroit won, 3-0, to even their series at 2-2. Classic Red Wings, in Hockeytown.

San Jose and Colorado at tied, 1-1, in the 2nd period. Avs lead the series, 2-1.

If the Sharks and Blackhawks, the #1 and #2 seeds, respectively, bow out, this would really open the door for the Red Wings to waltz right into the Cup Finals. Of course, they have to polish off the Coyotes first. And did you see the Staples Center in Los Angeles? That place looked happier than tax payers on the day the IRS was abolished. (Okay, that’s mostly wishful thinking.)

L.A. leads that series, 2-1, over Vancouver. What if Colorado, Nashville, LA, and Detroit all advanced? I think that nearly happened twice before, in 1998 and 2006, where mostly all of the lower seeded teams advanced.

jakass

April 20th, 2010
11:40 pm

Kovalchump. That’s all I have to say

Mr. Heat Miser

April 21st, 2010
12:00 am

Time to find a new “face of the franchise”. Or maybe not. Maybe just a captain that will take charge in the locker room. Maybe just a coach that can whip a team into shape. Maybe an ownershp that gives more than two cents about NHL hockey in Atlanta. Maybe………..

English Teacher

April 21st, 2010
12:43 am

I don’t want him back, even though there are three jerseys in my closet with his name on them. I honestly enjoyed watching J.P. Vigier playing more than I enjoyed watching Kovy. J.P. played like he had something to prove. This is a team sport. We don’t need a face. We need an attitude. Hard work and hustle trump flashy prima donnas. I just look at Philly, Phoenix, Nashville, and Colorado, and I don’t see focus on a superstar. Instead, the focus is on doing what it takes to win. That focus comes from the leadership of the coach and the captain.

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
6:09 am

Ok, OK, forgot I even mentioned the possibility of Kovy coming back. Time to move forward, especially since I am pushing the Dudley regime as a new beginning. I am with you folks.

I still want to fly up north and punch Chico in the teeth. The guy who chastized Kovy so much is now his biggest supporter. Nobody else is getting the puck in New Jersey these days!

Hey Bill, thanks for mentioning about resigning “Arty”. Nobody else has been talking about his lately. As bad as MacArthur was, Arty was a nice surprise.

Lee

April 21st, 2010
6:51 am

I wouldn’t want Kovalchuk back if he was free! The noobies are already used to the new system and to put Kovalchuk into the system again would be a whole new transition. Kovy likes the city but not the team.

Sage of Bluesland

April 21st, 2010
7:01 am

While upset at first, I’m ok with Kovy being elsewhere now. It’s time to embark, again, on our new ten-year “Five-Year Plan” with “new” management at the helm…

(Oh wait, check that last part).

I think it’s moot anyway, as what glutton-for-punishment would ‘want’ to come back to a team still led by this ownership group and by Don Waddell? Haven’t the Thrashers taken enough from Ilya, as it were? Haven’t they grounded him down and crushed his competitive spirit enough?

Jethro

April 21st, 2010
7:06 am

Those of us from Hall County are educated thank you.

Thems peeple frum Hall county has uh infearioratee complex. They do have the right to be there.

Riceowls

April 21st, 2010
7:30 am

I couldn’t agree more. If we weren’t good enough for you then, you aren’t good enough for us now.

And the Hee Haw reference was priceless on a blog in a southern city. :)

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
7:40 am

Kovy and the Thrashers-the divorce is final.

Rightshot

April 21st, 2010
7:42 am

LOVE the Hee Haw refrence!

No Kovy no way. The only way he comes back is as an ice dancer in a disney show. (I hear is figure eights are the best.)

As for the “face” of the francise, they were positioning Kane and Little as that at the end of the season. Most likely Kane will emerge as the “face”

DWTOO

April 21st, 2010
8:11 am

Thanks WBF we needed something to stir the pot. We’re getting a little stale. After all is said and done I don’t Kovy would come back, but, I’d leave the door open. If he would sign for what RD thinks is a fair number – fine. He’s an awesome talent.

And I don’t know why some of the bloggers are so anti Russian. Think Nik, Max, and the A-Train all play the game hard. Maybe they’re not the best “hitters”, but you can’t question their hustle.

Bluenote

April 21st, 2010
8:12 am

I’m still recovering from the Rosie O’Donnell at a buffet imagery. I saw her piling on the Lucky Charms. Don’t get too close children!

Nice girlfriend parable Rawhide.

Color me bitter. After getting the C last year Kovy finished the season playing like a captain and be a leader. It was his team….all he had to do was step up. Whatever happened at the negotiating table after Thanksgiving will be speculated about forever, but the short version is he quit…and failed be forthright about his intentions

This is unforgivable at our house.

Everyone brings joy to the world….some by their arrival, others by their departure. Better to get the goals from young guns with something to prove than one prima donna. Buh-buy prima donna! We’ll be Flyers fans for sure the rest of this series and joyful if they advance

Just guessing here, but I’d venture quitters and part-timers will not be on Dudley’s shopping list
Memo to Todd White: long-term purchases in Atlanta might not be a great idea

Matt

April 21st, 2010
8:17 am

It’s really looking like Kovy WON’T be getting his first playoff series win!! That would just be too, too sweet.
The look of frustration on Kovy’s face is simply priceless and the potential loss would have the added benefit of keeping our other first round pick from falling too far down.

Daculafan

April 21st, 2010
8:25 am

I don’t really want Kovy back…more than anything I’m hoping…nay…praying (though I know it is in vain) that NOBODY in the NHL offers him what he turned down here in February. I would like to see him here, more for emotional than business reasons.

The tail tucked between the legs, and he’d take our offer cause it’s the best he’s getting, only for Dudley to break him down like a shotgun and tell him that any offer from February is off the table.

Now…returning from La La Land….I know he’s gone…I’m glad he’s gone…I wish him luck and happiness and success (as long as it doesn’t come at our expense)

HookyBob

April 21st, 2010
8:33 am

While Kovy brought my butt outa the seat more than any other Thrasher,..I’d say no to his return. Looks like he may even be a pox on the Devils (or any team he plays for). Seems like the notion of “team” is much less when he is on it. Hardwork (ie backchecking) and discipline seem to take a back seat as well.

English Teacher says (OK writes) we need an attitude more than a face,..and I agree wholeheartedly. So with that in mind,…Is it too soon to name Kane our next Captain? OK, how about an “A” this year. Then work on signing him for the next 10 years. Yes I am enamored with the kid,..I see him as the next Iginla.

lola

April 21st, 2010
8:34 am

English Teacher: Ditto – This is a TEAM sport! We agree on JP Vigier as well. My first hockey game was in 2004 – and he was a standout player for me!

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
8:36 am

DWTOO-totally agree on the anti-Russian thing, Nik, Max, and the A-Train are all worth having on our team. Our Russians are worth having here long term.

Not sure I would leave the door open for Kovy at this point. It’s like the old girlfriend reference from yesterday, it’s never the same the 2nd time around. We also have to consider that Kovalchuk is our former captain. That’s the other element people have not taken into consideration; you really can’t bring him back unless you were to name Kovy captain-not gonna happen!

Duds is right-this team needs a new direction and new leadership. He’s looking for an Andreychuk-type leader for the room. Iginla is perfect, though I would consider Ethan Moreau from Edmonton as well.

Bluenote-I have been wondering about Todd White myself, thinking about his contract and the type of player Dudley likes-Todd ain’t it. You wonder if there is a spot for White on next year’s roster.

Rosie O and Rosanne Barr-both make me lose my cookies.

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
8:47 am

Excellent Hee Haw reference! :)

Kovy’s going to LA to become a true diva… there’s no use in fighting about it on here.

It’ll be great seeing his wife get back in show business… I envision something like Maya Rudolph doing Donatella Versace. :)

http://www.indavideo.hu/video/Donatella_Versace

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
9:01 am

He’ll be great in La-La Land

J-man

April 21st, 2010
9:02 am

Yes Ice Man – You get it. I hope that many of the fans who do not get it will read your column, especially the end part. I’m a huge Kovy fan, but even I came to terms with the trade at the time it happened.

Look, the fact that he still has a home here means nothing. I have to choose my words carefully, but I will say that it’s very obvious to me that his supposed ties to Atlanta have been grossly exaggerated by a lot of people, including Waddell. In my opinion, Kovy thought that Atlanta was OK. I doubt that he loved it here, but I think the word “tolerated” might be more accurate. It’s obvious to me that his wife never liked living here. I really cannot imagine any circumstances short of Kovy getting 12 years at the max that would make her and him want to come back here. Every year within days of the regular season ending, Kovy and family are gone from Atlanta until training camp. Does that really sound like the actions of someone who loves playing in this city?

GaVaHokie – You’re probably pretty close to what’s going to happen. While my personal belief is that Kovy is KHL bound, LA is one of the very few NHL teams I think he would agree to play for. And I think you’re probably close to mark as to why. I also view all 3 New York area teams as possible candidates, even the Islanders.

TableHockey

April 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Ha – loved the Hee-Haw Reference Rawhide!

I fully agree on Kovy. If Rankin-Bass were to make a film of the 2010-2011 installment of the Thrashers the title would probably be “A year without a Superstar”.

Oh man – that begs to be photoshopped…

Dwayne

April 21st, 2010
9:05 am

Kane brings me out of my seat now…it hurt when he got hurt. :-( …. I think Kane will be on XM 204 today. Hope I can catch it. Go Flyers!!!

ThrashDawg

April 21st, 2010
9:18 am

Winning teams have leading players with CHARACTER!! Heater- NO, Hossa- NO, Kovy- NO. They all have talent, but without character they are not the stuff winning teams are made.

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
9:18 am

Kane is certainly the face of this franchise, especially in the community… I was sold with this one video.

http://thrashers.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=656&id=63120

[insert name of high-maintenance ex here]

April 21st, 2010
9:23 am

Bill, I can’t believe you’re dragging our old relationship back in the spotlight.

Red Light

April 21st, 2010
9:38 am

Bluenote: The term forthright and contract negotiations, intentions, etc. simply don’t mix. Kovalchuk was trying to placate the fans with those comments. He NEVER had any intention of signing any deal until July 1 IMO.

Thanks Bill for putting the subject to rest (hopefully) for now. Time to move on to much more important matters, like gauging the playoff performances of pending UFAs and RFAs.

A couple of questions for the masses:
• If I told you Marleau, Thornton and Heatley would have a total of four points through 4 games of the Avs-Sharks series, would you have guessed that the series was tied? Advantage: Sharks.

• The so-called leader extraordinaire, Jonathan Toews, has one assist , 5 shots and is -3 in 3 games against the Preds. Hossa has 12 shots, one assist and is -3 through 3 games. Duncan Keith is -4, has one assist and is averaging 28 minutes of ice time per game. So, can Barry Trotz coach or not?

• Which forward, who played in the Olympics, leads the Canucks in ice time with 24 minutes, is +3 with four assists in three games against the Kings? Nope, it’s not Henrik Sedin, it’s Ryan Kessler, the 25-year-old from Michigan, who was a restricted free agent until Vancouver gave him a six-year, $5 million per season extension in March. So, why can’t GMs renegotiate contracts during the season?

• And finally, Mikael Samuelsson, not Afinogenov, has proven to be the best FA signing from last summer. He has four goals, 1 assist and is + 4 in three playoff games after scoring 30 goals and adding 23 assists in the regular season (he missed 8 games, too). He signed a 3-year deal for a total of $7.5 million after making just $1.2 million per season in Detroit. He was snubbed by the Swedish Olympic team coach Gustafsson, who also left teammate Alex Edler off the roster. So, why can’t a former player agent (former clients include Holik, Pavel Bure, Mike Richter and Markus Naslund) be a good GM?

Zoomo

April 21st, 2010
9:38 am

Shuddering at all the love for JP Vigier. OK, he skated hard, but did he ever catch up to the puck?

Have to agree with English Teacher that the Philly/Phoenix/Colo/ Nashville models are where we are headed. Solid, hustling, good character players and lots of them. A better model than what we’ve had in the past.

For those of you that want Kovy back, please call his agent at BR5-49

Red Light

April 21st, 2010
9:40 am

The former agent: Mike Gillis, now the Canucks GM!

Rawhide

April 21st, 2010
9:40 am

Sorry, I still have a hard time reading anything after organ-I-zation, seems like a slam to the hockey friends from the north

Nutz – Nah…more like just friendly ribbing.

Hey Bill, thanks for mentioning about resigning “Arty”. Nobody else has been talking about his lately. As bad as MacArthur was, Arty was a nice surprise

WBF – Certainly…like that kinda guy on our roster. Would take him if it were a choice between he and Bolts, (sorry lola).

For those of you that want Kovy back, please call his agent at BR5-49

Zoomo – HA! :lol: Well played!

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
9:43 am

Red Light-great call on Mikael Samuelsson, I had him on my wish list last summer. He never recd enough credit in Detroit. They guy has an edge and a complete game, complimented Vancouver’s core very well this season. I think the Canucks tied him up for at least 2 seasons, good move on their part.

Iginla and Kane would make a great pair for the future of this team. We are back to Jerome again.

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 21st, 2010
10:11 am

Geez, that’s a lot of math in this column! Is it going to be on the test? Can we use our books? Mr. Tiller, I don’t feel so good….can I get a note to go to the school nurse?

Once a player is gone, I say they are gone and move on. I survived Tommy Glavine moving on and I am all the stronger for it (altho I never accepted Dale Murphy and have always resented Chipper Jones because of it….but I digress).

Anyway, somewhere in that cascade of numbers, I hope a big chunk of it goes to Bergfors because, once the shock wore off, I think we got the better end of the bargain.

World Be Free

April 21st, 2010
10:11 am

Bill–Bolts over Moreau or vice versa?
Not sure I’ll wait for Dud’s decision.

Alan R.

April 21st, 2010
10:11 am

Sports Illustrated has published a story seriously questioning the thoroughness of the NHLs and Washington Capitals investigations into steroid use.

rob

April 21st, 2010
10:13 am

Having NEVER EVER EVER had anything good to say about the Flyers, it is paining me to the nth degree to watch the Devils play them. I like Marty, but don’t want the QUITTER to win. Can’t bring myself to cheer for either, and I only hope that whoever wins gets destroyed in the next go around. I guess for our draft pick I’ll hope Jersy losses….UGH what a decision!!!!
No way in H.E.double hockey sticks Kovalsuc comes back here, he proved his character to the fans here and I hope it is an eye opening experience out there in the hockey world for him, go to the KHL for all I care they can have him.
Just my opinion.

LAC

April 21st, 2010
10:20 am

Need to point this out, if not already. If, Philadelphia beats NJ, then the NJ first-rounder goes to about 15-16, ten better than what was expected… That is NICE !

rob

April 21st, 2010
10:23 am

Rawhide,
the only part of next season that really has me worried is the comments about Pavs/Moose being the combo next year. I just don’t see Pavs being ready next year. I hope if it happens I am proven wrong but of all the things happening that worries me the most. The D will work itself out, enough young guys waiting in the wings, and after the UFA RFA signings 1 more winger will set it up. I see Arty moving up to the 3rd line and Kane into the top 2. Goalie has to anchor the team though, is Pavs ready for that role?

ChippersLoveChild

April 21st, 2010
10:29 am

If the price is right, anything is possible. I don’t want to give Kovy a max deal, but if his price were lower I’d certainly entertain the thought…. Kubina and Max said they wanted to come back.. I’d be shocked if they both did. I think, realistically, we will bring back Max, lose Kubina (too many prospects in the system), lose Armstrong, re-sign Slater, re-sign Bolts, lose Arty… then maybe sign Poni, and get a guy like Biron.. that is pretty much how we roll, nothing overly exciting, but nice smaller moves.

Rawhide

April 21st, 2010
10:30 am

WBF – I would take Artyukhin ove Boulton if a choice was needed to be made between the two.

rob – I share your concerns regarding the goalie situation. I am not 100% sold on Opie yet. Moose is another story…what he did last season was great…but his age might be a concern.

I’ll be curious to see how Dudley deals with this situation.

Smoothie

April 21st, 2010
10:34 am

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/3577/career;_ylt=AgxtH_kcP.BVdH6pwYF.vEhivLYF

Speaking of guys in Calgary (would love to have Iginla but don’t see how that would ever transpire), how about this guy as a 3rd line replacement of Colby Armstrong? Much cheaper at $1.2 M. Only has one year remaining but makes him a candidate for a salary shedding move.

Might buy us one year until Machacek or even Klingberg is ready to rock and roll at the NHL level. Although I think Spence should be able to keep up on the 4th line as a 13th forward at least.

Joe Friday

April 21st, 2010
10:42 am

Kovalchuk is signing in LA. Good riddance, I agree that we need a team with character and spread the wealth around, not build around one guy.

Loved the games last night, even if my Hawks got beat. They are really missing Campbell and the goaltending is subpar.

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
10:42 am

Need to point this out, if not already. If, Philadelphia beats NJ, then the NJ first-rounder goes to about 15-16, ten better than what was expected… That is NICE !

Not sure if it will be that low based on seeding going into the playoffs, NJ was a division winner… but it won’t be any higher than #23… if Pittsburgh had won the division AND the Devils lost the first round, it certainly would have been a 15-20 range. :(

Red Light

April 21st, 2010
10:43 am

Not so LAC. The following teams, if eliminated will pick prior to the Devils.

Montreal 88
Boston 91
Ottawa 94
Colorado 95
Buffalo 100
Nashville 100
Los Angeles 101
Detroit 102

But, you’re right that it could be higher than anticipated!

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
10:47 am

Correction… no higher than #22… the 8 teams that lose the first round will be shuffled into the 15-22 draft spots and (correct me if I’m wrong) will be based on regular season records.

So, we’re also hoping for a few top seeded upsets… SJ, Chi, Was, PHO, Van upsets would bring that pick down to #17.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/standings/?show=league

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
10:48 am

… and by higher, I mean lower. :)

GaVaHokie

April 21st, 2010
10:50 am

On goaltending… I’m all for going after Nabokov.

Red Light

April 21st, 2010
10:52 am

Smoothie???

An undrafted player with a career high of 40 points (same as Army) with six games of playoff experience? True, you can get him cheaper but he has never played a full season due to injury, suspension, etc.

Like your train of thought, but not sure about him!