Blackhawks take 2-0 series lead – Thrashers sign pair of prospects

Hey there gang…I’m back in from a week off in sunny Florida…the east coast, far removed from any effects of the nasty oil mess in the Gulf of Mexico. One interesting highlight I’d like to share if I may…we spent the last couple of days on Cocoa Beach, just south of the Cape and got to experience a night launch of an Air Force rocket right over our heads. If you’ve ever experienced something like that at such close proximity before then you know just how thrilling and awesome that truly is.

And while we are on the subject of vacations, let me and the readers know where you are planning to head off to this summer. I already know that one of you is taking your family to Switzerland very soon. Nice!

 In case you missed it, there was this one piece of Thrasher-related news that happened over the Memorial Day weekend. Per C-Viv, the team announced that they have signed a couple of their recent draft picks…Carl Klingberg, the 34th overall selection last summer and Danick Paquette, who was chosen in 2008 with the 64th overall pick.

Both were signed to entry-level pro contracts.

Also, Ben Wright has posted up Rick Dudley’s radio interview on Toronto’s Fan590…interestingly enough, according to Ben, the hosts of the program indicated that Chicago Blackhawks coach John Torchetti will indeed be named the new head coach for the Thrashers…a belief that is shared by Adam Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

Speaking of the Blackhawks and Torchetti, since they now own a 2 games to none lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Dudley and Co. could be able to chat him as soon as next week if Chicago is able to finish it out in games three and four. Those games will be played Wednesday and Friday in Philly.

However, just ask Marian Hossa just how quickly a 2-0 series lead can disappear in the SCF.

In dropping the two games in Chicago over the weekend, Philly has now extended their Cup Finals losing streak to seven games dating back to the 1987 series loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers won game six then by a score of 3-2 on May 28 to tie the series at 3-game apiece…but then lost the deciding game seven 3-1. They were then swept by the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 in the last Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

When the Blackhawks defeated Philadelphia 6-5 in Friday night’s game-one, it snapped a five-game SCF losing streak of their own dating back to the game-six loss in 1973 that ended that series with the Montreal Canadiens. Prior to this weekend, the last time the Blackhawks had won a SCF game was in game-five of that series, an 8-7 win over the Habs.

They were then swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.

And finally…former Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby has been hired as an assistant head coach in St. Louis.

102 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
9:53 am

So Torchetti is the lead horse-I have no issue with that selection.

Joe Friday

June 1st, 2010
10:02 am

I think it’s clear now that Torchetti is the guy. Good.

Hossa has been one of the best players for them and Coburn was the best guy on the ice for us last night. That’s kind of sad, as a Thrashers’ fan, but good for those guys. Coburn still has plenty of upside as well.

Phlyers have them right where we want them. Tomorrow night we bring the Orange Crush to bear and get back into the series.

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
10:28 am

JF-do you think the Flyers will have the dollars and desire to resign Asham? He had some good numbers in Juniors, his skill has come out this year.

Matt

June 1st, 2010
11:06 am

Just absolutely KILLS me to see Hossa score last night and be so close to the Cup. *sigh*

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
11:11 am

Does Asham score more than Eager? I really like Eager’s gritty, work-the-corners style and he has better hands than Thorburn and Boulton. How ’bout a rotation of Boults, Eager, Thorbs and Machacek for the 4th line with Spencer and Thorbs getting a look on the 3rd line from time to time?

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2010
11:12 am

Torchetti should be pretty obvious now… I think we’d have a coach already if it wasn’t him. Dudley knows Torch well enough to know if Ramsay, Arniel, etc are better options.

kracker

June 1st, 2010
11:24 am

So everybody thinks Torchetti is the right guy? I was hoping there wouldn’t be a “best friends” association in the coach hiring. Maybe that’s not a factor at all and Torch really is the best available coach for this team at this time. Perhaps Torchetti is better qualified to be a head coach than weeks was to be a goalie coach.

Oh well, like I’ve said, I will trust Dudley until I have a few reasons to doubt his decisions.

kracker

June 1st, 2010
11:25 am

That should read ‘Weeks’ as in Steve Weeks.

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
11:46 am

We know that Dudley has interviewed two guys because he said on the radio interview in Tronna that he has only spoken to two guys. We know one was Scott Arniel. The other? Was it a courtesy interview for Lever? Or did he chat up his old pal from Buffalo and Tampa, Craig Ramsay?

Too bad our beat reporter can’t find the time right now to call up Duds and find out who the “other guy” is. I guess they’ve got him working like crazy covering a Braves game twice a week. BTW, I thought the ajc already employed Dave O’Brien and Carroll Rogers for baseball?

Also, why did we only offer Max a one year deal? According to interweb rumors from Russian SovSport.ru, Max is going to test free agency.

R. Stroz

June 1st, 2010
12:09 pm

Afinogenov should have been offered a contract that ran concurrent with Antropov’s contract.

Oh well, based on prior history, Afinogenov will sign elsewhere and end up in the NHL All-Star game next season.

Joe Friday

June 1st, 2010
12:11 pm

Philly will keep Asham I’d think, is he due a hefty raise?

Smooth, I’m guessing Afinogenov isn’t a “Dudley type” and he doesn’t want him, no other reason to push him out the door with the one year take it or leave it offer. Unless Waddell’s still making the decisions, and then it makes sense as that’s Don’s MO (”go test free agency if you think you can do better” and then we get to watch other clubs snap them up come July 1st).

I would guess Dudley made his mind up long ago on Torchetti, and a GM wants his guy in the spot so they’re on the same page in terms of types of players brought in and system played.

J.B.

June 1st, 2010
12:13 pm

Smoothie, can you post a link to the russian article?

Telfo

June 1st, 2010
12:16 pm

it would be nice to have Afinogenov back, but losing him and Kubina wouldnt be the end of the world either.

ESPN reported yesterday that Dudley interviewed Arniel and Lever already. It was in a Pierre Lebrun blog… im too lazy to post a link right now

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

J.B. – sorry man, but it was just a twitter comment he posted. He breaks a lot of news about Russian contract signings and the like. Take it with a grain of salt. But still, no one in ATL is asking the right questions…as usual.

Telfo – agreed, but after the loss of Kovy and the potential for a sophomore swoon by Kane and continued struggles by Little, where is the goal scoring going to come from? I hope we are active in FA, but I’m wondering if Duds is more serious than a heart attack when it comes to going with youth. And thanks for the Lebrun nugget. Not happy to hear he hasn’t interview Rammer.

Joe F – I reckon you’re right about Duds’ view of Fin’s style of play. However, he would seem like a more than serviceable stop-gap measure for top 6 scoring for at least 2 years until Morin and others are ready and Kane and Bergs are 30 goal scorers…we hope.

Brendan

June 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

I don’t care if Hossa wins the Cup. I have no ill will towards him. We learned he had a shoulder injury that needed surgery, which is postponed from 2008 to 2010, in hopes of winning Cups with Pittsburgh and Detroit. He’s had the surgery, healed up, and now he’s on the verge of winning the Cup.

Yeah, yeah. Hossa had an obligation to do his best for his employer, named the Atlanta Thrashers. Following this line of thinking to the maximum length, he should have missed the 2008, out with an injured shoulder, spending the year on longterm IR. Right? Hossa at 60% was better than nothing. Hossa never really took any parting shots at Atlanta. The worst he said was, “If were really just about the money, I would have re-signed with Atlanta.” Which is just a thinly veiled declaration that Atlanta doesn’t know how to run its hockey club. Well, anyone keeps up with the Thrashers, at all, knows that.

I don’t hate Hossa. I don’t think him to be a scumbag. I don’t think him to headcase or a problem child. Or obsessively self-serving. I don’t think he conducts himself like a primadonna. He was traded here, and he put up his CAREER BEST season, 100-points, as a Thrasher. We all like to blame Hossa, as fans of the Thrashers. But really, if you can put aside your anger and frustration with the ownership and Waddell just long enough to be fair, I think the image of Marian Hossa changes. Doesn’t it?

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

Thanks Telfo, figured the 2nd had to be Lever. Not sure what Duds thinks of Max, but you know he lives part time in Buffalo and heard alotta bad stuff over the years about his overall game. Russian media has every Russian going to free agency and coming back to Russia. Not sure that’s for Max.

Smoothie-you know I have been up for having Ramsay here, but he’;s been available for a few weeks now with no indication that Dudley has asked permission from the Boston to talk Rammer. I think the ChowderHeads will let Dudley talk to Ramsay.

Asham made $640K this season, so I would say he’s up for a big raise, maybe double what he is currently making which puts him out of Philly’s budget. He’d be a good third liner in Colby’s place.

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
12:41 pm

Brendan-Heatley is the scum bag. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I think Hossa is the best player to ever wear the Thrasher’s uniform. He is a 100-point man who can play both ends of the rink.

We lost Heatley, Hossa, Kovy, Savard and I am sure others over the fact that ATL is not yet a preferred destination for premier NHL players. This has to change.

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
12:42 pm

WBF – hopefully Duds will pay Rammer a visit in Boston after the Draft Combine proceedings (i.e. later this week). Unless he already knows Rammer doesn’t want to be the big cheese behind the bench.

Let’s hope if Torch is the one that he has some pull with some of their available FA’ss who may want to stay with a system they know. Namely, Andrew Ladd and Ben Eager. I would love to see Ladd playing with Slater and hopefully Klingberg or Machacek.

BTW, I think Danick Paquette could end up being the biggest surprise of the last 3 draft classes. He just seems like a hockey player’s hockey player if you know what I mean. He along with Kulda. They just seem to get it and play solid hockey no matter what.

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
12:54 pm

Smoothie-don’t know anything about Paquette, but maybe he will turn out to be the diamond in the rough other teams seem to be fortunate to find.

Your hunch on Ramsay may be correct; maybe he doesn’t have an interest in being a H/C anymore. He will be 60 next year, having survived cancer and played 14 seasons in Buffalo, including 10 straight seasons without missing a game. He may just want to stay a teacher.

Rawhide

June 1st, 2010
12:56 pm

Just updated today’s blog to note that former Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby has been hired as an assistant head coach for the St. Louis Blues.

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
12:57 pm

I don’t think anyone thinks Hossa is a scum bag. Just a quitter when he had the chance to keep the Thrashers from plunging into the depths of futility. Had he stayed, then perhaps Kovy sings a different tune when it’s time for a new contract and there might have even been money left over to lure Nik Antropov here for even less than $4 M (say $3.5 M). You might have had a line-up that looked like this in ‘09-’10:

Kovy – Antropov – Filatov??

Kozlov – Little – Hossa

Slater – White – Machacek??

Even had Hossa stayed, we likely would have been in the bottom 8 anyway and may have had a shot at Filatov, Colin Wilson or Josh Bailey. Of course, I have no idea what the defense would look like with all the money tied up by Kovy, Hossa, Antro and probably Hainsey.

glovesave29

June 1st, 2010
1:43 pm

Lidstrom just re-upped for one more year with the Wings.

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
1:48 pm

Glovesave-at the same $$$ amount or did he give the Wings a discount so they can sign some of the free agents?

kracker

June 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Anyone hear or have thoughts on what Cormier may be facing? When does he go to trial, if he does? Plea bargain to get probation, assuming that’s done in the Canadian legal system?

I know the hit, an elbow wasn’t it, was pretty vicious but can you really separate it from all other hard hockey hits to the extent that it deserves criminal prosecution? Couldn’t the player that shoved Enstrom’s face into the dasher board just as easily been charged in that incident? Or many of the players where they throw a hit from behind and it results in lost blood, teeth and consciousness? Or any Pronger/Sutton type of elbow. Just asking….Is this more of a case of a headline seeking prosecutor than anything else?

Having said that, I will be quite happy if Cormier gets something like a fine and probation and learns to play not like a drunken playground bully. We sure need a tough player like him jacking up the other guys.

RS

June 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

The Columbus Dispatch is pushing Kevin Dineen to be the new head coach of the Blue Jackets, and they seem to feel that they are in some kind of race to hire him before another bottom feeder (i.e. Atlanta or Tampa Bay) snap him up.

GaVaHokie

June 1st, 2010
2:13 pm

Things are going to get pretty nasty if Cormier and Paquette make the team… not to mention Valabik still around.

R. Stroz

June 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

Things are going to get pretty nasty if Cormier and Paquette make the team… not to mention Valabik still around.

Put a stick in em and let um know you’re there.

Midfield

June 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

[twitter]Dan Carcillo is reported to be undergoing a crush course on How to Spot a Guy in the Right Uniform to Knock Off His Skates. He is expected to rejoin the team by Game 3.[twitter]

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
2:32 pm

RS-I am certain Portzline / Porkloin would never admit the Jackets are bottom feeders.

glovesave29

June 1st, 2010
2:36 pm

WBF – Lidstrom made $7.45M last year, and is signed for $6.2M for this upcoming season.

Lee

June 1st, 2010
2:47 pm

I’m down with Torchetti being coach. I’ve heard good things from him.

ThrashDawg

June 1st, 2010
2:55 pm

The other ThrashDawgs and I are headed to Puerto Rico this summer, never been there and looking forward to something different. I am on record as saying I believe the next head coach should be somebody that has previous head coaching experience and a winner at the NHL level. I also think that if you keep jumping to potential cup winners eventually Hossa will find a winner. Every blind squirrel finds a nut eventually!

Smoothie

June 1st, 2010
3:05 pm

GS29 – did something change? Custance tweeted that the deal would be for $7 M per year. Did he jump the gun?

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
3:08 pm

Thanks Glovesave-sounds right.

glovesave29

June 1st, 2010
3:26 pm

The Detroit Free Press is reporting $6.2M.

TD – enjoy PR. We stayed out in Dorado and had a good time. Be careful on the highways – especially where there is a grass median and no cement walls. People will bolt across them and exit the fwy on the entrance ramp to save time. Also be ready for people sitting on the median walls selling drinks and snacks. Ive seen people throw on the brakes in the fast lane to get something to drink. Not quite as strange as the items sold off of the highway medians in Sao Paulo, Brasil (electric razors and cell phone chargers) – but be weary none the less! Bacardi factory is a waste of time, but the largest satellite dish, the rainforest are really nice as is old town San Juan.

kracker

June 1st, 2010
3:34 pm

“Driving laws? We don’t need no stinkin driving laws.”

Sounds like umm….fun! But definitely not the place for a (not so) smart car.

ThrashDawg

June 1st, 2010
3:34 pm

Thanks for the info glovesave29. I am just looking forward to the clear blue waters, white sand beach and doing some snorkeling.

Elrod from Hall County

June 1st, 2010
3:57 pm

What is I and the whole fam-damnly gonna be doing for vacation this summer? Well since ya aksed, Thelma and I will be takin’ the eight younguns down to Miss-sippee next month to her antie Martha’s place. It’s just a few click the other side of Beluxi and shes gotta nice double wide down there with a window A/C unit. Just last fall she have real gravel dumped on the driveway.

The kids will enjoy the swimmin’ hole out back but this year we’ll be having to pack actual swimmin’ britches as some nar-do-well types got the local gov’ment to pass some “no skinny dippin’” deal down there.

It’ll be nice to get away from the five-n-dime store for a few days, thats for sure. And since the new baby got here Thelma was able to quit one of her jobs, so she’ll be able to relax some too.

Lee

June 1st, 2010
3:58 pm

glovesave29

June 1st, 2010
4:06 pm

hmmmm….decisions, decisions -
game puck or my name engraved on the cup…..?
game puck or my name engraved on the cup…..?
game puck or my name engraved on the cup…..?
The Hawks are gonna have the last laugh Chris!

glovesave29

June 1st, 2010
4:44 pm

Just watched a video about the Penguins “student rush” – game day tix are available for $20 with valid student ID until the game is sold out. All seats are available at that price starting 1 hour prior to game time. This game, those in line got free sweatshirts and pizza delivered by the players. This kind of community interaction has been suggested here many times. GT, GSU and the AUC are all within 2 miles of Philips – we should be doing this to get a loud, rowdy crowd into the games!

rob

June 1st, 2010
4:47 pm

I yelled loudly for Hawks first goal, only to be saddened it was Mary Ann. Just don’t like him. I know some of you think he walks water and all but I greatly dislike him. That being said I will take him on the cup over Dumb Carcillo, Cheap Pronger, and any other player associated with Filly Bum orange! LMAO Anyone else see the elbow Pronger was in the process of throwing when he caught the slight stick in the face? Poetic justice. And will Carcillo do something other than run his mouth? Seriously the guy is annoying with all his childlike pettiness, and I’m just watching. Can’t imagine how he doesn’t end up getting knocked out on the ice. Him and Avery should be locked in a room together far away from the game of hockey.

Yung JB from MTL

June 1st, 2010
5:36 pm

2 awesome signings for the Thrash, exactly what Dudley wanted. As for the Finals, Pronger wants to win and Chicago is officially gonna see what a real hockey-crazy crowd is when they arrive in Philly.

Go Flyers!

goose

June 1st, 2010
6:55 pm

World Be Free

June 1st, 2010
6:59 pm

Yung-any news from the Montreal media as to who the Habs are going to try to keep?
I keep hearing Price is going to be the goalie to go, maybe to NJ or Sj?

The article posted about Pronger calls him the most hated player in the league.. I have never hated Pronger, I always wanted him on my team from the time I first saw him as a skinny 19 year old kid. Go back 20 years and you will find defenseman alot dirtier that Pronger. He backs up whatever he says and does-always has.

Tony C.

June 1st, 2010
8:45 pm

since when does Pronger fight?

Cliff Fletcher

June 1st, 2010
10:46 pm

Watched “Broad Street Bullies”. No wonder the Flyers nearly ruined the NHL in the 70’s, giving the game a “black eye”. You want to talk about not fighting? How about Bobby Clarke, he never dropped the gloves just ran away and let everyone else fight his battles for him.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2010
12:38 am

WBF, I agree on Heatley. Of all the Thrashers who’ve come and gone, I think I view Heatley in the most unfavorable light. Hossa?? Hmmn. Well, I don’t especially like him. But I don’t hate him. And I don’t blame him for what happened here. I’ll never be able to prove this, but I suspect Hossa told Waddell, in April or May or June or July or August or September … or all of the above, that he wasn’t going to re-sign here. I also suspect Hossa asked, privately, to be traded during the offseason. I think the organization refused the request … on the basis that it needed to sell tickets, as much as it needed to sell the idea of “playoffs” to the masses.

If Hossa wins the Cup, good for him. If he doesn’t, well that’s too darned bad, then. He’s had three chances at it, at that point.

Here’s a boxscore to Game Two: http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2009030412. Pronger played less minutes, at 27 and change. No mention of Ryan Parent, who played only 41 seconds in Game One.

Brendan

June 2nd, 2010
12:40 am

It’s good that we signed O’Dell. That’s a nice acquisition and retention, by the Thrashers. I don’t remember the details of the O’Dell trade.

World Be Free

June 2nd, 2010
6:09 am

Brendan, much of my dislike for Heatley comes from his actions away from the rink. He couldn’t handle being in Atlanta anymore, so he used this to force a trade. He was all smiles when he landed in Ottawa-good to be back in Canada. I think that string of events told the world what kind of person Dany Boy was. Those actions have translated to the rest of his hockey career to date, which has been marked by talented, yet selfish play. I woun’t want him for a teammate; in contrast, I would have no issue having Hossa on my team.

Enter another pompous idiot, Colby Armstrong, who has worked his way out of Atlanta believing he will be an in demand player with his 29 points last season. Idiots like Toronto will overpay him, then want to trade him in a year.

I believe O’Dell was traded for Christensen straight up.