Archive for June, 2010

A look at where Thrashers are prior to UFA season

It is said that one cannot know where they are going unless you first know where you have been…or even where you are now. With that in mind, let’s take a look-see at exactly where the Thrashers are right now before we embark on our trip to the NHL’s UFA talent pool later this week.

Given the players that Atlanta has currently under contract as well as RFAs that have received qualifying offers, I’ve put together a possible lineup that Craig Ramsay could skate out on the ice. Next to each player, I’ve placed their salaries… basing the information on numbers listed on gapgeek.com.

Since I do not yet know what the RFAs have been offered, I have listed their salaries from last year’s contracts…though certainly those will be adjusted once we gain an appreciation of their new offers.

Nic Bergfors, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov should be back o celebrate more goals together. But who else could Rick Dudley bring in to join them? (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Nic Bergfors, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov should be back o celebrate more goals together. But who else could Rick Dudley bring in to join them? (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Forwards:

Bergfors – RFA …

Continue reading A look at where Thrashers are prior to UFA season »

Seven Thrashers RFAs receive qualifying offers – Four do not

The Thrashers have extended qualifying offers to seven players slated to become RFAs later this week. Four did not get offers and will become unrestricted free agents.

Thrashers RFAs Receiving Qualifying Offers

Nic Bergfors– Forward obtained during the trade last February that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to the Devils. He was a first round pick by New Jersey in 2005. Bergfors is coming off a contract that paid about $800K.

Nic Bergfors celebrates his game-winning goal against the Florida Panthers last season. Two of his eight goals scored as a Thrasher were game-winners (AP Photo/John Amis)

Two of the eight goals scored by Nic Bergfors as after joing the Thrashers were game-winners. He is shown here celebrating one of those against the Florida Panthers last February (AP Photo/John Amis)

Bryan Little – Forward, first round draft pick by Thrashers in 2006. He has 50 goals, 51 assists and is a –13 in 206 NHL games. Little’s contract paid him $900 K last year.

Ben Eager – Forward acquired last week in the multi-player deal with Chicago. He was the Phoenix Coyotes’ 23rd overall pick in 2002. eager is coming off a contract deal that paid just under …

Continue reading Seven Thrashers RFAs receive qualifying offers – Four do not »

Dudley keeps balance at draft by not losing arm and leg

The Atlanta Thrashers have now wrapped up their first entry draft with Rick Dudley as general manager. In the end, the grabbed up nine prospects…one each in the first, third and fourthrounds, then two in the fifth, three sixth-round picks and one in the seventh.

Atlanta had no pick in the second round as it was traded it away to Chicago Wednesday night in a multi-player trade. But Dudley made it known he was willing to make a deal to procure one.

Only the price wasn’t right for Mr. Dudley, and so they went without.

“We tried to move up, but teams were asking an arm and a leg”, He told Chris Vivlamore. “In some cases, the player they wanted was still available and they asked way too much”.

But as Dudley put it, it really didn’t matter because they wound up with the type of prospect they were looking for anyway. “Melchiori was one of the players we were trying to move up to take. We were pretty happy with how it worked out”.

Here is a quick recap of the players that were drafted …

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Thrashers take Barrie Colts Burmistrov with 8th pick-But don’t look for him to bolt to KHL

Friday night the Atlanta Thrashers used their eighth overall pick in the NHL entry draft to select Alexander Burmistrov of Kazan, Russia. NHL.com’s Central Scouting ranked him 11th going into this weekend’s draft and list him at 5’-11” and 157 lbs.

Last season he played for the Barrie Colts of the OHL and scored 22 goals and 43 assists in 62 games played.

Alexander Burmistrov was the player the Thrashers used their 8th overal draft pick on (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Alexander Burmistrov put on a Thrashers jersey after being selected 8th overall by Atlanta. How long will it be before he wears one in an NHL game? (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

“He’s not a big man yet”, general manager Rick Dudley said of Burmistrov. “He’s now 175and he might be 185 by the time training camp rolls around. But the two things are the ability and the hockey sense…I got to believe that when Craig Ramsay watches this kid in training camp, he’s going to be exciting”.

HockeysFuture.com lists Burmistrov’s main abilities as, “speed and his playmaking ability. He is probably one of the more electrifying players in his age …

Continue reading Thrashers take Barrie Colts Burmistrov with 8th pick-But don’t look for him to bolt to KHL »

Time to open up Thrasherville’s 2005 draft time capsule

There has been a great amount of news breaking around Thrasherville lately…new schedule released, big trades, coaching hires and all that. But allow me please to steal you away from that for just a moment and direct your attention back to the subject of the NHL entry draft. And not just the one scheduled to take place in Los Angeles this weekend, but one that took place a few years ago.

See, I was listening to NHL Live on XM Radio the other day and Don LaGreca and E.J. Hradek made the suggestion of DVR-ing the draft for future use. Call it a type of “time capsule” in which one can preserve the feelings, projections and emotions during the draft, then review it later in historical context… seeing how certain players lived up to their hype and which one’s exceeded their perceived potential.

As I listened to the pair, I thought about how people might judge last summer’s Thrashers draft class five years down the road. It’s one that most people in these parts seemed to think was a …

Continue reading Time to open up Thrasherville’s 2005 draft time capsule »

Dudley does right in trade with Blackhawks – TSN reports Ramsay new head coach, Torchetti assistant

NOTE: Shortly after posting my thoughts on the trade with Chicago, news started hitting about the reported coaching hires of Craig Ramsay and John Torchetti. Thus, there are some updates found below the original post.

Rick Dudley made a deal with his previous employer to pull off his first trade as the Thrashers general manager. Heading to the Chicago Blackhawks will be centerman Marty Reasoner, prospect Jeremy Morin as well as the 24th and 54th picks in this weekend’s entry draft. Those picks were acquired last February as part of the deal that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey.

Coming this way are forwards Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager as well as defenseman Brent Sopel. The Thrashers will also get prospect Akim Aliu, the 56th overall draft pick by the Hawks in 2007. He currently plays for the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL.

Dustin Byfuglien, seen here in action against the Vancouver Canucks, is heading to Thrasherville along with Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu (AP photo/Paul Beaty)

Dustin Byfuglien, seen here in action against the Vancouver Canucks, is heading to Thrasherville along with Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu …

Continue reading Dudley does right in trade with Blackhawks – TSN reports Ramsay new head coach, Torchetti assistant »

The new schedule is here! The new schedule is here!

The new Thrashers schedule is here! the new Thrashers schedule is here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity the Thrashers need! Their name in print! That really makes them somebody! Things are going to start happening to them now!!

OK…maybe I’m getting a little more excited about this then I should, but I really do look forward to having my first look a new schedule when it is released. And as I’m sure you have already heard…the new 2010-11 Thrashers season schedule was just posted today.

After my first quick glance at it, here are some initial obeservations and thoughts.

For the fifth straight year, we’ll begin the season at home against a division foe. This year it’ll be the Washington Capitals who have won the Southeast Division three years running. The Thrashers are 2-1-1 in the past four years during those home openers and have won the last two.

After playing the Caps, they then head out on a four game road trip that will take them to Tampa then out on a west coast …

Continue reading The new schedule is here! The new schedule is here! »

Torchetti close to being officially named new Thrashers coach?

Is Thrasherville close to getting it’s new head coach? Well, according to Andy Strickland… who covers the St. Louis Blues over at Hockeybuzz.com… the answer is ‘yes”.

 Strickland tweeted last night that the Thrashers and Torchetti are close to a deal that would bring the Blackhawks assistant coach to Atlanta to fill the head coaching here. He cited that a close friend of Torchetti told him that a “deal is all but signed”.

To be honest, I raised an eyebrow when I learned of this “twitter rumor” given that I haven’t heard or read anything about the two parties even meeting yet. It was only recently revealed that the Thrashers received official permission by the Blackhawks to talk to Torchetti about the job.

 But if this is true, then the timing of any announcement could coincide with the NHL entry draft this weekend…something Don Waddell and the Thrashers wanted to do two summers ago when they announced John Anderson would be the new head coach in Atlanta.

UPDATE: Chris …

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Looking ahead to next week’s NHL draft

Next Friday in Los Angeles NHL teams will gather for the entry draft. As you no doubt already know, Atlanta has nine picks in the seven-round draft…two in the first round as well as two in the fifth.

Boston, Phoenix and Anaheim also have a pair of first-round picks.

Here is a quick recap of where and when the Thrashers will take their turn claiming new prospects for the organization.

In the first round, Atlanta has the 8th overall pick based on their position in the standings last year. Edmonton, Boston, Florida, Columbus, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay and Carolina will pick one through seven prior to the Thrashers first pick.

As for whom the Thrashers might select with that number eight pick… well, if certain stories and studies on the matter are to be believed, we might hear Rick Dudley announce somebody like Ryan Johansen or possibly Nino Niederreiter. Both play for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.

If the draft plays out in the order NHL.com’s Central Scouting Rankings …

Continue reading Looking ahead to next week’s NHL draft »

Will Todd White ‘be a big part of our future’?

The ‘buy out’ period in the NHL began this week. Teams have until June 30 to determine if any of the players currently under contract should be dropped from their payroll…paying them a portion of what that contract is worth and sending them on their way.

The last time the Thrashers used such an option was in the summer of 2008 when Alexei Zhitnik was bought out. This happened just days after then-general manager Don Waddell stated that the defenseman would “be a big part of our future”. Since then, the organization has spent the last two years paying him $1.16 million to not play for them. However, it opened up a roster spot for another defender to fill and freed up about two mil of cap space.

The current general manager, Rick Dudley, has indicated recently that he “doesn’t think it’s an option the team will use this season”. That may be so, but I can’t help but wonder if this topic might still come up between Dudley and [insert name of yet-to-be named new head coach here] if …

Continue reading Will Todd White ‘be a big part of our future’? »