Blackhawks one win from hoisting the Stanley Cup

What’s that old saying about Democrat voters in Chicago…that come election day, they vote early and often. Well, if that is the case then the Chicago Blackhawks showed up for game five with that same attitude, scoring early and often on the Philadelphia Flyers. They built a 3-0 lead in the first period on their way to 7-4 win.

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks moved past the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4 Sunday night. They will look to close out the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dustin Byfuglien scored twice for Chicago and added another pair of assists. He now has 10 goals and 15 points during the playoffs this spring.

With the win, they could bring an end to the Stanley Cup Finals…and the entire 2009-10 NHL season…Wednesday night back in the city of brotherly love.

However, Flyers fans…and for that matter, Marian Hossa… will be quick to remind us that a year ago the Detroit Red Wings found themselves in exactly the same position the Hawks are. Following a 5-0 game-five win in Motown, the Big Red Borg looked to close out the series against the Penguins in Pittsburgh, but fell 2-1 in game six. They returned to Detroit three days later where the Penguins finished off the Wings by the same 2-1 score.

But if indeed the Blackhawks do win Wednesday night on the road… something neither they for Philly have been able to do yet in this year’s SCF… then it’s quite possible that fans here in Atlanta can begin the Torchetti Watch. It has been widely rumored that the Blackhawks assistant coach is high on Rich Dudley’s wish list for the head coaching position here in Thrasherville.

Either way, there will be something happening with the Blackhawks in Chicago Friday. It’ll be a series-deciding seventh game…or a parade.

Reading Assignments

How much is a Kovalchuk worth? Dmitry Chesnokov explores that very question.

Alan Muir provides his list of possible coaching candidates for those teams in the market this summer.

Speaking of coaches, TSN.com is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets have extended an offer to Guy Boucher to be their next bench boss.

Adam Proteau’s good and bad of NHL commisioner Gary Bettman.

137 comments Add your comment

Kyle

June 6th, 2010
11:45 pm

First? Go Flyers!

goose

June 6th, 2010
11:59 pm

Second? Go Hawks

Josh

June 7th, 2010
12:30 am

Third, Go Hawks!

Nate

June 7th, 2010
1:41 am

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
5:38 am

The last game is always the toughest to win the Stanley Cup. So while the Hawks played the best game so far in the series last night, they still have to have a better game in their hockey bags to win the grand prize. Last night’s game changed when the Hawks finally decided to get physical. We talked about it yesterday afternoon, the need for big Buff, Sharp, Brouwer to use their size. Philly has played alotta hockey, especially Pronger and they have to be getting tired. Chicago still needs to tighten up in their defensive zone. And the HAwks need to count their stars that Washington and Pittsburgh didn’t make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, cause the Hawks’ defense would have been shredded with both teams.

It will be interesting to see how well last night’s TV rating were between our game and the NBA Finals.

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
7:22 am

Would love to have Torchetti getting the Thrashers moving the puck around like the Blackhawks. Did you see how quickly they moved the puck on that Big Buff PP goal?

HookyBob

June 7th, 2010
7:24 am

WBF & Brendan: Yes,…Pronger had a tough night. I’m thinking however he goes,…so go the Flyers (or, at a minimum, he has to play well if they are to win). I’m also thinking that Chicage mgmt may want Byfuglin to repeat whatever he ate, or did, in the 24 hours prior to last night’s game.

On goaltending,…I didn’t think Leighton played too bad (he saw an aweful lot of rubber in the 1st period). However, on the other end Neimi made a few awesome saves. In my mind, those saves were the difference. Was it Brendan in an earlier blog that said you can’t give up 7 goals and expect to win. Winning one of those comes along about as often as a 100 year flood. Doc mentioned that you had to go back 10 years to the Devils-Stars series to find a winning team that scored 7 goals in the SCF. (How often do 100 year floods come? Seems like it has been about every 5 years recently).

Vote early and often. Did anyone catch Doc’s comment in game 1 when the credit for a Hawks goal was changed between periods? In telling the audience of the change he said it was changed by a vote of the city council.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
7:41 am

Hooky-what’s really interesting about this series is that goaltending, overall has been pretty average. We were all raised on the power of goaltending, how a keeper can change a series or even win a Cup (as in Bernie Parent). But these keepers have had their ups and downs in the series. All of the supposed great goalies of our time, Luongo, Miller and Brodeur are long gone-their equipment has already dried and been put back in the bag. You wonder what would happen in this series is one of these guys got hot, like Halak was for the Habs.

The other thing that sticks out for me is how Philly has domintaed in the Chicago zone below the faceoff dots. Virtually all of Philly’s goals are the result of winning battles down low. Even Timonen’s goal last night was the result of superior Flyer play around the net. Chicago lacks a real physical defenseman that can log alotta minutes.

I think Pronger is just getting tired, he ahs carried a tremendous load in this series. The Hawks took their time getting to him physically, something they should have done in the start of Game 4. We all know the Flyers will not go quietly, Game 6 is going to be a war. Can’t wait.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
8:06 am

Hey Bill, any news on the TV numbers for last night?

glovesave29

June 7th, 2010
8:21 am

HB – the Hawks are now between Leightons ears. He should be finished in this series. The Flyers, if they have any hope of winning the Cup, must start Boucher. A goalies, job is to read the play and prepare and react accordingly. Leighton is preparing for situations before they occur because he is fighting the puck right now. Case in point – goal #2 for the Flyers. The puck, behind the goal line to Leightons right. As a goalie, you learn that if the puck is behind the net – you play on the goal line as to not give the forward anything to bank it off of. You tuck your stick side elbow around the post so that the blade of your stick faces the puck, thus also giving no surface area to try a bank shot. Leighton was cheating out well over a foot to anticipate a shot from the low slot and was facing forward. That’s why he got pulled. He was not asked to leave in shame after that, but quietly replaced between periods – classy move.

Now – of course it is not all on the goalie. There were pretty plays by the Hawks and some fortunate deflections too. Philly is lucky that the are not up against a hot goalie, so all is not lost. Niemi is giving up huge rebounds and the Flyers are taking advantage of it.

I my eye – Chicago worked harder and got the results they deserved. Game 6 will be CHI 6 – PHI 4. The last goal is an empty netter – and now Toronto is on the clock for extreme futility…and that makes me happy. Suffer on Toronto!

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
8:37 am

Toronto on the clock-boy will that drive the Leafs’ fans nuts!
St. Louis and the LA Kings are right behind the Maple Loafs.

Buzzeng

June 7th, 2010
9:24 am

There’s still hope for the “Hossa Hat Trick” – three SC losses on three teams. Go Flyers (yes, I gagged a little when I said that…).

glovesave29

June 7th, 2010
9:28 am

WBF – STL and LA are closer to being contenders than TOR. Like to see the Leafs beat the record of 54 years that the NYR set – and beat it handily!!!

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
9:38 am

Glovesave-do you agree with my comments about the goaltending?

I hope the Leafs do not win the Cup for another 100 years. I am not a Flyers’ fan, but I really respect what they have done in this season. Greater leadership and a coach that’s getting another chance.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
9:44 am

“The perception of Kovalchuk not playing defense may be colored by his “plus/minus” stats, but good players on bad teams usually have some of the worst “plus/minus” stats because they want to try to score when their team is down by a couple of goals.”

That’s from the article on Kovy’s value. His +/- is hurt by the woeful teams he played on, but 2 way player and Kovalchuk should never appear in the same sentence together, it’s actually shocking that he’s a minus with how many pts he’s scored in his career.

Phlyers have those Blackhawks right where we want them. With two days off to rest now and coming home to the Orange Crush, I expect a big win and return to Chicago Friday, Let’s go, Phlyers!

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
9:46 am

And on Kovy’s value, he will get paid. The idea that he missed out on a large contract when he turned ours down is just silly. He’s the biggest free agent to hit the market and the bidding war will be ridiculous. Didn’t the cap jump up a couple million as well? $9.5m per 10 yr. deal sounds about right.

Flagstaff

June 7th, 2010
10:00 am

Just a brief note: Kovy will likely get a healthy salary, and here’s why: In terms of free agent snipers, there’s him, Marleau, and… Plekanec? Afinogenov? The point is, Marleau had 44 goals and Kovalchuk had 41, and there is a steep drop to Plekanec’s 25-odd goals, and no shortage of teams looking to add power up front.

glovesave29

June 7th, 2010
10:12 am

Goaltending in the finals has been OK at best, WBF. No one is standing on their head right now. Niemi has the better team in front of him, but his rebound control is atrocious. He’s also go to stay back in his net a bit as Philly is crashing the weak side for easy put ins. Truth be told, that is a D issue – to clog the slot and not allow those cross-ice passes…but if his D is not doing that, Niemi needs to change his tactics and play a bit more conservatively.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
10:15 am

I do not know who is going to pony up to Kovy for the big $$$. When he turned down the Thrashers’ $103M, I predcted he would get $.65 on the dollar from his next team. That was if Kovy wanted to play on a winner and get a Stanley Cup. If he’s looking for $$$ and long term security, he’ll probably get $.85 on the dollar compared to what the Thrashers were offering.

Not Blind

June 7th, 2010
10:20 am

I am amazed that Gagne and Briere are getting a free ride from Chicago. You need to be banging the skilled guys more than the other teams physical players. Way too many of the Chicago forwards are spectating in their own end of the ice. Kane’s play in his own end reminds me a lot of Kovalpuke, ie woeful.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
10:28 am

“I predcted he would get $.65 on the dollar from his next team. That was if Kovy wanted to play on a winner and get a Stanley Cup. If he’s looking for $$$ and long term security, he’ll probably get $.85 on the dollar compared to what the Thrashers were offering.”

Interesting. I completely disagree but am interested in why you’d think the highest profile free agent to hit the market would get less money when the cap has gone up?

I predicted last summer that Kovy will sign with someone else July 2nd and will add now that it’ll be one of the largest, if not the largest contract ever signed. Crosby and Ovy signed with their current teams without a bidding war, there’ll be 10? teams in the mix bidding for Kovy, which is why I think it’ll be a huge contract. Call it the eBay syndrome (ever watch people overbid for iPods, etc. and pay more on eBay than you can go down to Walmart and buy one for?).

glovesave29

June 7th, 2010
10:49 am

JF – I agree with WBF – I see Kovy in the $8 – $8.5M range and here is why – many GM’s have learned what the huge contract does to a team. They do not have the funds available to put the complimentary pieces around that player, and thus the team suffers as a result. The huge contract becomes an albatross. Within a few years, that team ends up shedding quality talent and makes necessary trades without adequate returns based solely on money. It has nothing to do with the quality of play from Kovy.

Just my $0.02….

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
10:52 am

Joe, not surprised you disagree with me, but here’s my thingking. Kovy stated earlier that he wanted to win a Cup. I didn’t see any contending teams that had the cap room or wanted to make such a commitment to player outside their current players. The Hawks have the same issue with Campbell with the money they are paying him and what they have had to pony up to keep their core players. Now supposedly Kovy has shifted to long term security, the kind ATL offered him.

If Kovy was a difference maker, New Jersey would have gone alot farther in the playoffs. I haven’t heard of anyone that is really going to make a push for him, though no team can say much of anything yet because he’s under contract with NJ.

Red Light

June 7th, 2010
10:59 am

Joe Friday: As you said the Flyers have the Hawks right where they want them. The Bullies are 2-0 in this year’s playoffs rebounding from a loss of three goals or more. In the Flyers history, they have lost by three goals or more in a playoff game 49 times, and have a record of 27-22 in the next game, which really isn’t cause to celebrate just yet, considering they were 7-1 prior to the 1979 playoffs.

Anyone else notice that 8 of the top 11 goal scorers in the NHL playoffs are right-handed shooters?

Leino is making just $775k this year and $825k next year before becoming a UFA in 2011-12.

Subtract Laperriere, Pronger and Timonen from the roster, and all others on the Flyers roster are 32 or younger, including 12 regulars under the age of 27, and the Hawks are even younger.

To World Be Free’s point: Anyone care to guess who has the best plus/minus rating of all defensemen in road games during the playoffs? No cheating please!

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
11:01 am

“They do not have the funds available to put the complimentary pieces around that player, and thus the team suffers as a result. The huge contract becomes an albatross.”

Really. Kinda like I hear people around here talk about the Campbell contract being an albatross. Chicago is just getting killed suffering with that one, I see.

WBF, not sure what you’re saying, but I see you’re concerned about the Campbell contract as well. How “bad” is that contract, and the ones they doled out to Keith, Toews, and Kane, if they skate the Cup later this week?

As usual, it’s fun to speculate, but why don’t we take a look back here and see what’s what come July 2nd?

Lee

June 7th, 2010
11:03 am

AWW BABY!!! GO HAWKS! Unfortunatly, with the rowdy crowd, the Flyers with force a game 7….

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
11:05 am

oh, and Let’s go, Phlyers!

glovesave29

June 7th, 2010
11:12 am

Joe – they are managing the contract now…but the Hawks cannot keep the team in tact over the years with a contract like Campbells. They WILL have to jettison talent that they would prefer to keep. It’s inevitable…

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
11:22 am

“They WILL have to jettison talent that they would prefer to keep”

Sure, but if they skate the Cup, I’m sure that given their druthers, they’d do it again and prefer to keep the Cup . . .

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
11:32 am

Joe, we will see what comes on July 1. Some teams have done well with free agency, complimetning their roster with players that fit with the core. It is worth it all if you can carry the Cup.

Can’t believe how bad Bobby Hull looks there days. Stinks getting old.

Red Light

June 7th, 2010
11:46 am

All players who earn less than $1 million per year, complementary players, are even more valuable in today’s NHL than those who make the big money because that’s the only way a team can fit everyone under the cap. That’s why we see so many young players getting an opportunity to play under the age of 21 because of the nature of the entry-level contracts that keep the cap in check. The more teams pay on the top end creates those opportunities for guys like Blair Betts for instance, who will pocket $800,000 and be happy with it.

That’s why professional and amateur scouting is so crucial, more than ever, because you need value players.

The Plus/Minus leader in road games by a defenseman? Brian Campbell!

Rawhide

June 7th, 2010
11:58 am

Hey Bill, any news on the TV numbers for last night?

WBF – Last night’s ratings for the SCF game 5 were very good it seems… 4.689 million viewers. This is escpecially so given it was going head-to-head against the NBA Finals game number 2…just over 10 million viewers.

According to ‘TV By The Numbers’, viewship for this year’s game 5 was up 33% over last year’s game 5.

Midfield

June 7th, 2010
12:09 pm

The viewship is definitely up. From my anecdotal experience, ever since Sydney Crosby departed my TV screen – and it took a few weeks worth of inertia by the Hockey Central to catch up with the fact that the Pens had been REALLY eliminated – I enjoy watching the Cup so much more. And guess what – the quality of this final is definitely better than those of the past few years.

Lee

June 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

I can’t see how basketball is so exciting. Yeah, okay, it’s a good sport, but it’s nothing amazing, and people are like YEAH GO CELTICS!!! FIGHTING IRISH!!! I don’t know….I just don’t think it’s that great…

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Rawhide… Actually, by the end of the game, it looks like 6 million tuned in. Look at the 10:30pm breakdown at the bottom of your link.

Dwayne

June 7th, 2010
1:18 pm

Why is everone saying go Hawks??? They were eliminated by the Magic, 4 zip…..

jack

June 7th, 2010
1:18 pm

Rawhide thanks for the update on viewing and the reading assignments. :)

DWTOO

June 7th, 2010
1:32 pm

WBF – Stinks getting old? Beats the alternative.

As for Kovy – everyone’s right. Depends on what Kovy really wants – if it’s the SC then he’ll have to settle for the 6.5 – 8.0 range. Wants to be the big/only fish in the tank then he can get the 10-11.

rob

June 7th, 2010
1:50 pm

If Kovy gets record money it is bad for the game IMO. Is he a star? sure, is he a goal scorer? sure, do you make him the center of your hockey world? no way! I think he has shown what he has to offer. A shooters touch with zero to add to the team other than that. Don’t see him doing the little things that make a complete player, don’t see him rallying and leading. He is an asset, not a fixture or a building block. 6-7 MIL is my hope, because hockey is not an individual sport, it is a TEAM game. just my opinion, but I’m not the guy who’s gonna throw the money at him so….
LET’S GO HAWKS CRUSH THE BUMS IN PHILLY!!!

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
1:51 pm

Kovy and his next deal are so far off my radar of things right now. Truthfully, I hope Kovy takes his $14-15 million and plays in Russia. He’ll get paid, for sure. The thing I’ve never understood is why Thrasher fans are so hung-up on the money? What flippin’ bit of difference does that make? If Don Waddell and the Spirit had offered $22 million-a-year, Kovy’s answer would still be, “nyet.” It’s not about, nor was it EVER about, the money. It’s entirely about wanting to play for a team that is well-run, that intends to play for Championships. And that’s not Atlanta. Not here. Not now. Not yet.

Chicago, as I’ve said numerous times, was every bit as horrible as the Thrashers were during Atlanta’s rebirth in the NHL. This is only Chicago’s 4th .500 or better season in the past decade, and only their 3rd playoff appearance since Atlanta entered the league in 1999-2000. So? What’s the point? Well, the point is that when old man Wirtz kicked the bucket, policies and ownership changed. Suddenly, free agents the caliber of Havlat, Campbell, and Hossa were attracted to their market. On the very same day, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane’s MEGA YEAR, MEGAMILLON-dollar contracts were announced. I should correct myself. Chicago announced that they’d be winning Cups, in the future. If they don’t win this year, can you say that you DOUBT their chances for another berth in the Cup Finals next year?? I don’t, even with the inevitable loss of certain players that they’d otherwise never jettison, due to the salary cap.

Folks, the Atlanta Thrashers will get their day. It will happen, I believe. But not until Atlanta undergoes what Chicago went through, and what Tampa Bay went through in the early part of this decade, and so forth. It all starts from the top, and the top is ownership. I can only hope Dudley is in charge. And I can only hope the Dudley will educate the ownership and change the ‘minor league’ culture that exists in this dressingroom.

That said, “Go Flyers!” Even though my pick was Chicago. I’ll remind all Blackhawk fans that … you didn’t have to see Detroit this year, so you better win this thing. It was the San Jose Sharks who eliminated the Big Red Borg for you. Chicago’s route to the Finals went through Nashville, Vancouver, and San Jose. I like the Blackhawks. I think it’s darned shame they’ve had to wait 49 years for a Cup, but if the Flyers win … it’ll be that “once in a generation” Cup that we’ll talk about for decades. The 2010 Flyers would be the baseball equivalent of the 1969 “Miracle Mets.”

rob

June 7th, 2010
1:55 pm

Oh and I hope someone got the game puck last night and gave it to Pronger!!!! HAHAHA -6 that is awesome!!!!

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
1:57 pm

I loved Midfield’s comments, about Hockey Central needing a good week to realize that the Penguins were really eliminated. Good stuff.

HookyBob, yes that was me. It’s amazing that seven goals, even if one was an empty-netter, can happen in the Finals. But then again, we do have two rookie goalies in the mix. I don’t think Boucher will start Game Six. I think Laviolette will go with Leighton. Boucher’s probably a bit tired of getting tagged with losses in the Finals, in relief of Leighton. If the Flyers do go with Boucher, I don’t think it’s a horrible move. Both goalies have been more than adequate throughout these past 7 weeks of playoffs.

Midfield

June 7th, 2010
2:15 pm

I saw Chicago player pick up the puck and give it to Niemi yesterday night. For some reason, Pronger had been in the tunnel by then. I think that the Hockey Central should concentrate on precisely this kind of stuff: sand in the Montreal Forum tunnel for visitors, stolen game pucks, refs arguing with coaches and players between periods, etc, etc. Instead, we’re getting a steady does of who’s the better master of the obvious.

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
2:17 pm

Joe Friday, I think what people mean when they talk about Brian Campbell is that … well … for a guy whose cap hit is $7.14 million, he shouldn’t be 5th on your depth chart. But I certainly get your point. Campbell was a big-time free agent, probably the most coveted blueliner to hit the market in 2008, and Chicago got him. However they managed to do it, they got him. If Brian Campbell is 5th on your depth chart, your blueline should be Stanley Cup-ready. And it is. Which is your point, if I read your meaning correctly.

If I read WBF, Hokie, Red Light and others correctly, it’s their position that Chicago will be forced to do one of the following, before Campbell’s contract expires: (1) jettison other players, in order to afford to keep him, or (2) trade him, waive him, rid themselves of his services, due to the cost of his contract. I do agree with that viewpoint. I would think that, eventually, Chicago will move Campbell. Not because they don’t like him, or because he lacks ability, but because of the cap hit parameters of the contract. Chicago overpaid to get him. But that’s what teams committed to winning the Cup, sometimes have to do. With a Cup win in 2010, “mission accomplished.” Such teams need depth on the blueline. Campbell is fantastic depth to have. If Seabrook and Keith are their plan moving forward, great! If they plan on keeping Sopel and Hjalmarsson, that’s their call to make. If they plan on trading Campbell, it does free up money to keep those previously mentioned players. I would think J. Hendry would be the oddman out, in Chicago.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the cap, beyond this current CBA, set to expire in June 2011. Are we headed for another work stoppage? Will the NHLPA and owners agree to an extension? How much will the cap rise between 2011 and 2018? I don’t know. If the growth is substantial, Chicago can keep Campbell, without too much worry. If the cap were to remain between $58 to $65 million for the next six years, then that changes the landscape of what Chicago can do, as it attempts to retain key personnel for the future.

Darren

June 7th, 2010
2:20 pm

I hope Torchetti and Sharp bring much of what they learned this series when Torchetti signs and Chicago has to trade Sharp to us stay under the cap.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
2:21 pm

“The Plus/Minus leader in road games by a defenseman? Brian Campbell!”

Well, lookie there. Still think Campbell is “barely the 5th best dman on Chicago”, WBF? And please don’t think I’m just picking on you, the Campbell subject is long a thorn in my side . . . when Waddell tried to sign him, I highly advocated it and it still burns me that because of what Waddell had done to our team and reputation, that he wouldn’t sign here. Lots of folks said oh well, he’s not worth the money, but yes he most certainly is and I tell you, he is a key cog in Chicago’s offense. They were hurting big time when Ovy mugged him and they really picked up their play when he got back in the lineup.

“I hope someone got the game puck last night and gave it to Pronger!!!! HAHAHA -6 that is awesome!!!!”

I think it was Eager that went and picked up the puck quick and tried to skate it over to Pronger, that was classic, but a linesman cut him off. I’d have loved to have heard what he was going to say to him “for your mantle, Chris?”

That’s ok, Let’s go, Phlyers, Game 6 is all orange!

Alan R.

June 7th, 2010
2:22 pm

Go Hawks. The sooner this is over, the sooner Dudley can snag Torchetti.

Midfield

June 7th, 2010
2:30 pm

I second Brendan on goaltending. There were a few moments of confusion on both ends, but the pace and chaos around the net sometimes looks impossible to keep up with. This is why I am glued to tv this year. Great, great stuff.

Darren

June 7th, 2010
2:31 pm

In Muir’s article, it floats the possibility of the Lightning thinking of trading Marty St. LePuke…

Would Yzerman consider trading St. LePuke to Atlanta? I’m sure Dudley would love to have him here.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
2:39 pm

“I think what people mean when they talk about Brian Campbell is that … well … for a guy whose cap hit is $7.14 million, he shouldn’t be 5th on your depth chart.”

Brendan, please don’t suffer under this fallacy that WBF keeps saying. Campbell is not 5th on Chicago’s depth chart, he’s their second best dman after Duncan Keith. He rates 2nd amongst all skaters in this year’s playoffs with a +9 and his 23:39 of ice time in last night’s pivotal game was second only to Keith’s 27:11. Check out his shifts here: http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20092010/TH030415.HTM

Don’t get caught up in the minutea of #s that you lose sight of the big picture. Campbell’s 7m per year is chump change if it brings them the Cup.

Rawhide

June 7th, 2010
2:59 pm

Rawhide thanks for the update on viewing and the reading assignments.

jack – You’re most welcome…but remember, there will be a test at the end of the week on all reading assignments.

Would Yzerman consider trading St. LePuke to Atlanta? I’m sure Dudley would love to have him here.

Darren – If Tampa Bay did trade away Marty St. Louis, would that be hockey’s version of…ahem…”selling short”?

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
3:03 pm

Eklunds latest…

On Kaberle…

It’s getting much closer. Sources tell me the Devils are also in on this, but the teams to watch are the Penguins, Capitals, Thrashers, Kings and Sabres. Burke has already turned down multiple offers including a few including first round picks. Talking to people close to this situation I can tell you that Brian will not just move Kaberle for a pick. He wants to start winning this year. So a player or two will have to come back for Kaberle.

There are reports the asking price is a scoring winger and some toughness.

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
3:07 pm

Joe Friday, I definitely see what you’re saying. In last night’s game, Cambpell was 2nd by minutes. And Game Five of the Finals, to any reasonable person, is a pretty important game in the history of your franchise.

I wouldn’t think Campbell is 5th in terms of depth, but his minutes have shown up that way, on several occasions during the playoffs. At this NHL link, http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20103CHIAASAll&sort=avgTOIPerGame&viewName=summary, it shows Campbell to be 4th, in terms of defensemen, for minutes played (TOI). But minutes played doesn’t mean 4th or 5th on the depth chart, necessarily.

For the whole team, Campbell is 5th in minutes.

1. Duncan Keith: 28:03
2. Brent Seabrook: 23:55
3. N. Hjalmarsson: 20:59
4. J. Toews:
5. B. Campbell: 19:26
6. P. Kane
7. Sopel: 18:44
8. Bolland
9. Hossa
10. Sharpe
———
8:28: N. Boynton
8:08: J. Hendry

I think Campbell is an impressive defensemen. It’s up to Coach Quenneville how to use his personnel. Me, personally, I would have probably played Campbell more than Quenneville has. I don’t see him as 3rd pairing defender, at all. I see him as a Top pairing blueliner, that I might use in my 2nd pairing, depending on who my opponent is.

Truthfully, I am extremely surprised that Quenneville has played Hjalmarsson as much as he has. I can see using Seabrook and D. Keith as the top pairing, but next has to be Brian Campbell, in terms of minutes played. Now, I hear ya. The average TOI difference between Hjalmarsson and Campbell is only 01:33. Honestly, that’s fairly negligible. But I am surprised that Quenneville would opt to go down that route with Hjalmarsson. It’s worked, so far. But I would play Campbell more.

Then again, I’m no coach.

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
3:10 pm

Q: Has Joel Quenneville ever won the Stanley Cup?

Midfield

June 7th, 2010
3:14 pm

Brendan, these guys aren’t about rankings; these guys are all about match-ups, and hence the minutes distribution. This is the only way to win. I may be way off – certainly not way, way, way off, I don’t think -but that’s what been lacking in Bobby Cox’s play-off management, for example.

Lee

June 7th, 2010
3:23 pm

Game 6 may be all Flyers, but Game 7 is all Hawks!

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
3:26 pm

Midfield, I totally see your point. Bobby Cox misjudges the lefty vs. righty matchups with frequency. Bobby also gets a lil sleepy in the sixth inning, and wakes up about the 9th inning. Sadly, Bobby Cox’s last win in the World Series was Game Two, back in 1996, vs. the Yankees. I hope the Braves can send Bobby out with at least an appearance in the NLCS. Of course, I’d want a World Series win. But hey, we’ll take what we can get. At this point, I just want the Braves to make the playoffs.

Rawhide

June 7th, 2010
3:36 pm

Q: Has Joel Quenneville ever won the Stanley Cup?

Brendan – He has his name on the the Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Avalanche in when they won it in 1996.

alex

June 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

very rarely disagree with brendan. nhl best league in the world we are enjoing watching the best. why you hoping kovy move to russia. we got enough folks like army, slater, boulton, ets. let get all stars from world in nhl even if they play for enemy team. so i am rooting kovy to reject 14 mil. for st petersburg and sign in any nhl wanted him and hi want to play

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
4:02 pm

I bet Toby Enstrom would be amazing on the Blackhawks… I don’t think Campbell is the right fit for that fast, puck moving team.

Not saying I WANT to swap Enstrom for Campbell… just saying Campbell could still be elite in a different system.

What if we traded Enstrom and the 24th pick for Campbell and Sharp?

Oduya Campbell
Kubina Bogosian
Hainsey Kulda

That would be pretty nice, I think.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
4:17 pm

Joe, so you are saying Campbell is better than Seabrooke? Seriously doubt it, or he would have been on the Canadian Olympic Team instead of Seabrooke. I have no issue with Soupy, as a Sabres’ fan, I wish the Sabes would have done the right thing and resigned him. He is decent in his own end, not great. His skill is as a puck mover and point man on the power play, even thought Keith gets just as much time on the on the Chicago power play as Campbell. He’s not worth $7.14M/year, not now or when he was in Buffalo. If the Hawks win the Cup and have to move a bunch of players to keep Campbell, then it’s a bad move. Nobody is going to take his contract. You don’t like Hjalmarsson?

Do us a favor and come up with an original idea, instead of arguing with every else’s ideas. Stop trying to be this blogs version of Mark Bradley.

Lee

June 7th, 2010
4:20 pm

Seabrooke is better than Campbell, hands down….

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
4:35 pm

Hey Joe, from Spector’s hockey -

“Kevin Allen yesterday reported on the cap problems facing the Chicago Blackhawks this summer. He points out if they demote Cristobal Huet it still won’t leave enough money to re-sign RFAs Antti Niemi, Andrew Ladd and Niklas Hjalmarsson, suggesting if they were to get those three re-signed to combined raises of $7.5 million they’d still be over the cap and would have five or six more players to sign. It means UFAs John Madden, Adam Burish and Kim Johnsson won’t be re-signed while Kris Versteeg or Brent Sopel might have to be deal to make it work. Allen also noted it wouldn’t get easier next summer when Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Seabrook will be seeking raises.”

Hjalmarsson has more ice time, Sopel not far behind your #2 defenseman.

Huet and Campbells’ contracts have screwed Chicago badly. They better win the Cup or it will be another 49 years before they are back.

DWTOO-you are correct on the alternative, for sure.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
4:42 pm

GaVA-Burke has to win this year, or risk giving the Bruins 2 high draft picks next season. He wants a playmaker to feed Kessel. Burke will be hard pressed to find such a player, unless he is willing to let the potential trade partner negotiate an extension with Kaberle before the deal is finalized. Rumor has the Sabres offering Drew Stafford one for one. That’s a deal I don’t think Burke will bite on.

“What if we traded Enstrom and the 24th pick for Campbell and Sharp”. Oh but that contract. I think the Hawks are more apt to trade Versteeg, so do we make that deal, plugging in Versteeg for Sharp? I just told Joe that I don’t think Campbell is worth the money, so I would never hear the end of supporting such a deal. Something to consider though.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
4:48 pm

“Do us a favor and come up with an original idea”

Do me a favor and take your skirt off and quit being so paranoid . . .

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
4:50 pm

“What if we traded Enstrom and the 24th pick for Campbell and Sharp?”

Every day and twice on Sunday . . .

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
5:13 pm

Alex, I don’t say it to be meanspirited. I just don’t want to watch Kovy succeed with some other team (Los Angeles, NYR, Toronto, etc.). If he really just wants money, then no one can offer him more than the Kontinental Hockey League, which does not have a HARD salary cap. They may not have a cap, at all. And if, after a year or two in Russia, he realizes that he misses playing in the NHL, then maybe Atlanta will have gotten its ownership problems resolved by then??? I would love for Ilya Kovalchuk to return to Atlanta. I’m not ashamed to say that. Ilya Kovalchuk was my #1 favorite Thrasher of all-time. Bygones. That ship has sailed.

I cannot blame Kovalchuk for wanting to leave Atlanta, to play for a team committed to winning the Stanley Cup. I do not blame him for turning down the money Atlanta offered him, to pursue his dreams. I’d rather Kovy spend 2 years in Russia, playing in the KHL, then return in 2012, when we might be more capable to actually pursue a Cup, with a real budget. I’m hallucinating, of course. But every fool can dream.

In the end, Alex, Ilya Kovalchuk will do whatever he darned well pleases. He might sign in LA? He might go somewhere on the East Coast, like NJ, or NYR, or even Toronto. But I personally believe his next NHL team will be all about winning the Cup, and not pursuing the maximum dollars that he can earn. If it’s truly about MAXIMUM DOLLARS he can earn, the KHL is the best way for him to go. No?

MB

June 7th, 2010
5:14 pm

WBF, no doubt the Campbell contract is onerous, to say the least, but I have to disagree…IF they win the Cup, then it’s not a bad deal (nor are the other ones). This is a team that hasn’t had a Cup winner since 1961, so in my opinion any deal(s) that brings that prize to the Windy City is worth it.

Think about it this way…there are currently 30 teams in the NHL. In the history of the league, there have only been 20 different champions, and a couple of those teams no longer exist. Of the teams currently in the league, 13 have never won a Cup. It’s so hard to win that I think you do whatever you have to do to maximize your chances to grab it when you can. That’s why Lamoriello took a risk on Kovy, and it’s why Chicago (and Philly, for that matter) spent like a drunken sailor knowing that it would have to make some tough cuts next season. But it’s all worth it if your team gets to lift the Cup.

And while I agree that it’d be great to battle for it year in and year out, recent history suggests that it’s more difficult now than ever. For the first time in league history, we will have seven different champions in as many years, and the salary cap is going to continue to make it tougher for teams to win multiple titles within a few years.

So while I agree in principle with you on Campbell’s and Huet’s contracts, to me claiming the Cup (and reclaiming the fans and the additional $$ from extra games/merch) makes them worth the headaches to come.

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
5:15 pm

Enstrom and pick #24 for Sharp and Campbell? Yeah, I think I’d do that one. But what is Atlanta’s budget? It’d be like we plucked Campbell as a UFA. And that’s how we’d have to look at it. Since we would be paying that hefty UFA price. But still, how does Atlanta get Tier I players into this market?

I think the answer is: “Atlanta must draft the Tier I talent here. Then try to re-sign it, before it hits UFA status.”

DWTOO

June 7th, 2010
5:21 pm

Brendan – Glad finally someone said it – “I don’t want to watch Kovy succeed somehwere else”. Couldn’t agree more, but, was always tepid about saying it. Hope he has a couple of tremendous years in St Pete (russia)and watches the AJC for a sale of the Thrashers and says to his family “It’s time to go back – the Octocluster is gone”.

Joe Friday

June 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

“IF they win the Cup, then it’s not a bad deal”

Precisely, the whole point is to win it. You win a Cup and you’re golden for years. It’s like folks that whine about Lecavalier’s contract, who cares, the kid can play and won a Cup for them. Tampa fans aren’t chasing Vinny out of town . . . you have to pay to play, something our owners need to get on board with.

People on this blog lamented about Briere’s contract too, what for? The kid can play and showed it this season. Kovy’s going to get paid as well and some will whine about it being too much, I’ve never understood that, if someones willing to pay these guys, why begrudge them the money. They perform.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
5:40 pm

Joe “Barry Carroll” Friday
You’re a good rock thrower Joe, not much anything else. I doubt you even got off you ass to play the game yourself. There’s a one way bus back to Philly weaiting for you, do us a favor and take a seat wherever you like and please come up with an original idea.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
5:46 pm

You will never get an arguement from me on Briere, he plays flat out every shift. Danny is a playmake, alweays has been going back to his days in Quebec. He benefitted greatly from the new rules. I’d pay Briere what he makes, wish Buffalo would have.

MB-easy to say today, but the breakup or partial breakup will be hard on Chicago in a few weeks. So I hope they get the gold this week before they have to part with assets before July 1. Anyway you cut it, Campbell’s contract is a bad deal that Chicago should not have made then, nor should it be one we should take on today. Brian Campbell just isn’t worth $7.14M.

Lee

June 7th, 2010
6:01 pm

Enstrom and 24th for Campbell and Sharp? Heck yes, money wise, heck no. I’d accept the trade from ATL’s view, but I’d never take that trade from Chicago’s view…

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
6:16 pm

Don’t worry about the salary… this team has more trouble meeting the minimum than the maximum.

I’d rather waste $11 million on Campbell and Sharp than a handful of Vigiers and Larsen and Welch and Popovic and Klee and Rucchin and all those others we threw against a wall to see what would stick.

MB

June 7th, 2010
6:39 pm

WBF, you’re right that the Hawks are looking at a very tough situation this summer, though I think every single player and every single other person in the organization will be able to take it much easier if the Cup is residing at Madison Avenue for the next year.

Basically, I think they looked at the situation with their team and the competition around the league and said, “You know what…we have a great opportunity here. Let’s go all in.” They took a gamble with several outsized contracts while also locking in the key pieces to their team long-term. And right now they’re three periods away from the ultimate victory. If overpaying Campbell is one of the reasons that they win, then yes, it IS a good contract. If they don’t win and then have to dismantle the team and don’t make it back to the Finals, then I think it’d be fair to point to those contracts as mistakes.

Basically I’m saying the ends justify the means in this case. If the Thrashers had won the Cup (stop laughing!) following the Zhitnik trade and the Tkachuk deal, then maybe we’d be cheering Waddell for his prescience (I said stop laughing!). But we got waxed in the first round and those deals have haunted us since. It’s all about the results you get, and right now those contracts that were considered albatrosses for both the Hawks and the Flyers aren’t looking nearly so bad.

World Be Free

June 7th, 2010
6:42 pm

Sorry to everyone for my outburst.
GaVa-great point, when you consider how many slugs have passed through here over the last 10 years. Go into the Thrashers’ shop at the enterence from CNN; they have original games jerseys from a number of players from our glorious past that never say the light of an NHL locker room again.

Red Light

June 7th, 2010
7:22 pm

I think I’d do that one? Guys, NHL draft picks aren’t a sure thing. You take two studs for a 24th and Enstrom any day of the week. I don’t like Campbell, because I think he’s a bit Euro in nature caring first and foremost about himself. Would I take him? Sure, but I’m with WBF here, I’d take three other d-men off the Hawks first because of what they do on the ice first, and if I’m thinking about salary, he drops behind Sopel in my opinion just because of the cost differential.

Anytime you want to give me a bonafide NHL player for a maybe draft pick, particularly an NHLer under 28 years old like Sharp, etc. I’ll take him for a draft pick any day. Even at the top of the draft I’ll take a proven player over a draft pick today, tomorrow and yesterday. For every Jonathan Toews, there is a Pavel Brendl.

Red Light

June 7th, 2010
7:25 pm

Developing players is better left to those who can, and there isn’t much evidence that the Thrashers can. Does anyone recall a 18-year old who was sent through the Atlanta system only to emerge three or four years later?

Smoothie

June 7th, 2010
7:33 pm

OMG! There’s been a Vivlamore sighting! Vive la Vivlamore!

C-Viv reports that Ramsay was interviewed over the weekend and that Torchetti is likely next once the Finals are over. Duh. But to his credit, he did give us this nugget: Jimmah “Slippin’” Slater will prolly be the first UFA to be re-inked. A jubilant day in Blueland! What would we do without Slates?! ;-)

Lastly, looks like Ray “the Wizard” Whitney is goin’ free-agenting come July 1. Would you offer him a 2 year deal to QB the Thrash’ PP and stick it to his old team until Morin, Klinger and Ryan Johansen(?) Are ready to take over on a perm basis? Hmmm, the idea of Whitney setting up Kaner is very appealing assuming few other good options?

Smoothie

June 7th, 2010
7:54 pm

Also, I would have very little problem trading Enstrom and #24 for Sharp and Soupy. While $7.1 M is a bit more than I’d like, he has ATL to thank for helping to drive up his price 2 yrs ago. Of course, we had to settle for Ronsey. In an ideal world, I’d like to trade Ron or Oduya, but you have to give to get. So tell them they can have anyone not named Bogosian or Valabik or Kulda and let’s make a deal! Like R/L said, you take the guarantee over the 55 percent 1st rd crapshoot every day of the week!

Sign Ray Whitney and voila! Automatic contender:

Bergs-Whitney-Antro

Kane-Pevs-Sharp

Slates-Lits-Macho

Hains/Oduya

Soupy/Boris

Bogo/Kulda

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
8:17 pm

Ben Wright tweet…Thrashers did not retain the rights to prospects Jonas Enlund and Niklas Lucenius. Enlund is now a UFA. Lucenius can go back in the draft.

GaVaHokie

June 7th, 2010
8:22 pm

This team would spend $11 million just “panning for gold” over the past 10 years. Just saying, you might as well just buy a pair of gold earrings like Campbell and Sharp instead.

Rawhide

June 7th, 2010
9:16 pm

Scott Arniel will be named the new head coach in Columbus tomorrow.

R. Stroz

June 7th, 2010
10:34 pm

Speaking of gold earrings, GaVaHockie have you heard from Buzilla lately?

Did he ever replace the cubic zirconia engagement ring?

Did his wife learn to read?

Are their any little Zillas yet?

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
10:59 pm

I imagine that if Baby Zilla were born, the nurse might say, “Aww, such a cutie. Do you want your bath now?” And Baby ‘Zilla says, “Come to think of it, I’ll have a Heineken.” Or “Can someone ‘Irish up’ this formula?” “Whose palms do you have to grease to get a beer around here?”

Switching gears, I still think Torchetti will be the selection. But I’d be very pleased with Craig Ramsay as the selection. Decades ago, in Buffalo, Craig Ramsay and Don Luce used to put on a clinic on how to check the other team’s top scoring line. Atlanta could surely benefit from that experience. Goals against has been the achilles heel of this franchise from Day One. Getting the GA down from 285-300 to say, 210 to 220, would be a major and significant improvement.

Brendan

June 7th, 2010
11:19 pm

I do wonder if Finny is Dudley’s ‘cup o’tea.’ Slater, I think, showed some form of physicality down the stretch. What did John Anderson say? “He started fishing.” The issue was whether or not Slater would fish or cut bait. As we’re not a Stanley Cup contender yet, I have no problem with Jim Slater back, at $775,000, or somewhere in this ballpark. Truthfully, I think the Thrashers have always liked Jim Slater. He was an original 1st round pick, 30th overall, from 2002. He’s a fourth line guy. He performs adequately for a 4th line player.

To me, the most important re-signing would be Kubina. Assuming that we don’t get raped, for a player who is 33, or thereabouts.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
6:12 am

GaVa-totally agree, time we go for some sure things instead of trading players for picks and prospects. I just think of those $100 jerseys from players that never made it anywhere else but in Atlanta.

Brendan-if you look at our alternatives in free agency, Kubina for 2-3 years would be a good signing. I like some of the players available July 1, but all of them will cost you what Kubina costs us last season plus. Unless we look at Campbell again.

Congrats to Scott Arniel for getting his chance. Scottie is a good dude and a pretty good coach for the Mosse. Hope he does well in Columbus.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2010
7:22 am

I have to re-iterate that after watching the Blackhawks defence in the Finals, I’m very leery of hiring anybody who’s players haven’t figured out (or had it drilled into their head) which man to take on a pull-up play in their defensive zone after playing together for what? Almost 8 months? 8 months!!! That’plenty of time to get your system installed IMHO.

Now, if Torchetti’s responsibilities are for neutral-zone-to-Offensive zone transitions & set plays for O-zone draws…. then maybe less leery.

I do admit they [Blackhawks] played a much better defensive game in game 5 (really, IMO there wasn’t much more room on the “bad” side of things when you look at their game 4 performance)… They adjusted their PK well, but I haven’t really seen Chicago really lockout an opponent from their zone except maybe for one game in the San Jose series. Remember when Nashville had their foot on the Blackhawks’ collective throat? The Blackhawks didn’t have an answer for them until they were facing elimination then they suddenly had the lightbulb go off or whatever.That’s against Nashville-not exactly what I’d call an “offensive dynamo” of a team…. Not the sort of defensive game/accepted effort I’m looking for out our new bench-boss.

Also, I can’t think of a better alternative to Kubina that will also cost the same or less than Pasha made last season-I mean, I’d LOVE to get Volchenkov down here, but didn’t he already turn down a $20M for 5 years offer from the only club he’s ever played for in the NHL? I might be willing to go as high as $5.5M/per for him, but will he actually sign here???
I do agree w/Brendan that re-signing Kubina should be like, #1 or #1-A priority for the front office.He’s easily the steadiest Thrasher defenceman since Havelid (and quite a bit more feared in the corners I’d bet)-with a significantly better O-ffensive game. If we don’t re-sign him, I’d like to see us seriously involved in Volchenkov sweepstakes.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
7:52 am

Interesting that Boucher turned down Columbus to take the H-C job in Tampa Bay. Kevin Dineen is left out in the cold.

Tony C.-Torchetti (if he takes the Thrashers’ job) will have alot less to work with in ATL than he did in Chicago.

Tony C.

June 8th, 2010
8:05 am

Also, Adam Proteau licks moose-ahem-tracks…

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
8:43 am

Stroz… yep, they had their Baby Zilla at the end of April!

DWTOO

June 8th, 2010
9:05 am

http://www.russianhockeyfans.com/nhl/ska-offers-kovalchuk-14m-per-year-202.html

Don’t know how this link will work, but, KHL offer is 42 mil/three years plus a signing bonus. Not a bad payday. Beats working for a living.

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
9:15 am

GaVaHockie – Was Zilla’s child a Zilla or a Zillette?

rob

June 8th, 2010
9:18 am

I think the Campbell thing is nonsense. You have dmem coming up. You have too much money in Hainsey already, throw in Kubina or hopefully Volchenkov, and then add Campbell? No way. I think if Chicago moves a forward, it’s Versteeg before Sharp, and I like him better anyway. Take one of them definitely but NO WAY to Campbell and his salary unless you are unloading Hainsey or Kubina IMO, and even then his price is still to high for my taste.

Adam

June 8th, 2010
9:37 am

I agree Rob.

We’ve had enough players that haven’t wanted to be here already. The last thing we need now is another locker room cancer from a guy who ended up here via trade and feels he’s in hockey purgatory. Soupy has already turned us down. what makes you guys think he will be “happy” he was traded here?

I wouldn’t want him here for that money unless he had a NTC and waived it to come here. That would tell us he is all for it.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
9:40 am

rob – for those who even entertain the idea of trading with CHI for a combo of Campbell and Versteeg / Sharp, I believe the thinking is that Kubina spurns us for someone else in FA. Now he seemed happy here in his time as a Thrasher and he has a Toronto-formed bond with Antropov. Also, he seemed to be very popular on-ice in terms of younger guys going to him for advice / chat within the game. Obviously there is a lot of respect in the “room” for how Kubes comports himself. However, Kubes may want to find work closer to his home in Toronto so he’s not so far removed from friends and family. Plus, I think there may be a GM out there willing to pay him more than $5 – 5.5 M.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
9:47 am

I wouldn’t say Marian Hossa was so much a cancer in the room as a distraction in the final year of his contract. He seemed quite happy and content to be the “big cheese” in the ATL when he posted his two best offensive seasons of his career:

‘05-’06 – 39 G & 92 points
‘06-’07 – 40 G & 100 pts

Not to mention he was a combined +35 in those two seasons as a T-bird. I think that whole argument of a star player getting traded becoming a distraction is any over-hyped argument thanks to Dany Heatley. Well, most star players in the NHL are classy, team-first guys who conduct themselves with industry, pride and purpose. I don’t see why Campbell would dog it for 5 straight years if he were traded here. He’s always played pretty much the same way no matter where he’s been. Plus, I don’t think y’all give enough credence to the make-up of our lockeroom as several players have talked about what a great group of guys it is.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
9:55 am

Stroz… they had a Zillette. :) We’re expecting Baby Hokie in July.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
10:00 am

Adam… Campbell has a NTC.

I suppose I should clarify… I’m mainly after Sharp, but I think Chicago is going to want to deal with teams willing to take Campbell’s salary. So, anyone interested in Versteeg, Byfgulien, Sharp, etc are probably going to run into a Huet/Campbell roadblock.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
10:11 am

Hokie – congrats!! That’s great news! And I would concur w/r/t your comments on a potential trade with CHI. The object of desire is Sharp and then Versteeg. A salary swap involving Campbell may be the ultimate price. Since CHI is not in a position of leverage, perhaps Duds can strong-arm them into taking Hainsey, the 24th pick and a prospect like Vishnevskiy, who projects to be a good puck-moving D-man. Either way, no matter what D-man, we’d essentially be taking Kovy’s money and use it to absorb the difference for Sharp & Campbell.

Lee

June 8th, 2010
10:19 am

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
10:39 am

News concerning The Wild, including Josh Harding-

“It doesn’t seem likely the Minnesota Wild, hampered by the salary cap, “daunting contracts and lack of high end talent” can improve in the off-season. Russo suggests GM Chuck Fletcher might have to go the trade route and believes he might be shopping blueliner Nick Schultz but his four-year, $3.6 million per season contract could be tough to move. Russo also suggests shopping blueliner Brent Burns but only if the return is that long-coveted first line center or top-six winger. He doesn’t believe shopping backup goalie Josh Harding alone will get it done.”

Harding can be had, the Wild need to shed salary.

Joe Friday

June 8th, 2010
10:43 am

“You’re a good rock thrower Joe, not much anything else. I doubt you even got off you ass to play the game yourself. There’s a one way bus back to Philly weaiting for you, do us a favor and take a seat wherever you like and please come up with an original idea.”

lol. Be careful about those assumptions, you know how they might make ya look…

WBF, I promise I’ll vote for you next year for blog of the year comment, you’ll feel much better then, lol. The mere fact that your panties have been in a bunch ever since that speaks volumes about you . . . it’s a freakin hockey blog, man up, Sally, there’s no cryin’ in hockey!

How ’bout this for an original idea, Kovy gets paid at the bank July 2nd, like I know he will, and you quit your crying. He gets the $.65 you think he’ll get and I’ll never write on this blog again (you’d be a shoo in for next year, Sparky, a shoo in I tell ya!)

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
10:50 am

Hearty Congrats to Zilla and Hokie on the additions and coming additions to their respective families.

I saw that Russian Hockey link … and if it’s true, it’d be hard for Kovalchuk to turn that down. What are the odds that Kovy wouldn’t win a Championship in the KHL over 3 years? I know nothing of that team, but if they’re even halfway close to championship caliber, Kovy will help them get over the hump. Hey … it’s his life, folks. It’s his money. He’s still very young. He’s 26?? Three (3) years in the KHL still makes him a very desireable 29 years of age, re-entering the NHL as a prized UFA. That’s how I see it, anyway. And for those of you hung-up on the financial aspects of Kovy’s contract, he certainly will beat an annual salary of $10 million-per-year, at $14 million-per-year. I suppose, you could then ‘jump up and down,’ doing a victory dance, that “See, I told you so. It was all about the money.”

Well, what if Kovy just wanted his kids to know something of his motherland? He does a little 3-year tour in St. Petersburg, then comes back to the NHL. $45 million richer, with his bonus. His fellow players will say nothing, of course. And, in terms of the NHL image, as the best, most desireable league in the world, this Kovy to the KHL deal won’t hurt that. He’s Russian. If it were Eric Staal, Vinny Lecavalier, or Sidney Crosby headed over to the KHL, eyebrows would be raised in the league offices. But not Kovalchuk. Russians, wanting to play back home, that’s not a big deal.

Joe Friday

June 8th, 2010
10:50 am

“Thrashers did not retain the rights to prospects Jonas Enlund and Niklas Lucenius. Enlund is now a UFA. Lucenius can go back in the draft.”

Don’t you have 2 years to hold their rights before signing them, or just 1?

“they had a Zillette”

A future Blue Crewer, congrats to the zilla family and to you as well, Hokie. You’ll have less time for screwing around on the blog, but well worth it, a child is priceless and a gift from God, congrats.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
10:54 am

Adam, if Campbell does waive the NTC to come play here, that would be rather telling. Plus, he can always ‘claim’ that he ALWAYS WANTED to play here, citing the bidding war between Chicago and Atlanta when he was a UFA. Hmmn. Yeah. Well, like I always say, “It’s fun to speculate. That’s what a blog is for.”

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
10:59 am

Brendan, do we have any idea what the Thrashers’ internal, self imposed salary cap is for the coming season? There has to be one, I doubt we will come close to the league-established salary cap. Raises for RFAs, UFAs and a new goaltender will leave us close to whatever that number is.

Red Light

June 8th, 2010
11:10 am

Slater has indeed signed with the Thrashers. Good for him and well deserved.

Not sure why Kevin Dineen can’t get an NHL job. He was on my radar three years ago, but nothing yet. Curious!

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
11:11 am

Thanks for the congrats… I’m looking forward to being a father!

You’ll have less time for screwing around on the blog, but well worth it, a child is priceless and a gift from God, congrats.

Actually, you’ll probably see more 2am posts from me in the future… if you think my comments are off-the-wall now… wait until sleep deprivation kicks in. :)

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
11:33 am

WBF, that Nick Schultz deal had me shaking my head when it happened. But, at the time, I guess Minnesota needed to maintain its continuity, and show the players and fanbase that they can and will ‘pony up’ when contracts come due.

Here’s what I don’t understand about Minnesota’s team. They sell out every game. Minnesota is known as, “The State of Hockey.” The fans there are rabid. What’s the problem, then??? Why are they short of cash? The revenue stream should be there, for them. They should be an attractive option for players. No one can tell me Minneapolis isn’t a hockey town. I know of their state taxes in Minnesota, or the City of Minneapolis, but at these salaries, the players can afford it.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
11:34 am

WBF, we’d need someone on the ‘inside’ to tell us what the internal cap figure is.

Rawhide

June 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Red Light - Yes they have indeed re-sign Jimmy Slater, per C-Viv’s tweet. This is good news.

GaVaHokie – Congratulations my friend!!! Here’s hoping everything come out OK!! :lol:

Adam

June 8th, 2010
11:56 am

Congrats on the forth coming child Hokie!!

It’ll be interesting to see what happens between the end of the SCF and 6/25. Reports should come out by the end of next week as to Campbell’s willingness to waive the NTC and the 8 teams he’d be willing to go to.

Also, I don’t think Hossa has a NTC/NMC. There’s nothing list on capgeek. So they have the option of packaging him in any deals.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

Hey Joe, thanks buddy and have a great day.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
12:07 pm

On Slates’ signing: good to have our resident recycling guru back in the fold! That speaks to player retention under the new regime eh? ;-)

At any rate, that helps stabilize our 3rd line a bit. Now it’s just a matter of whose gonna play with Jimmah on the wings. Any guesses to what kind of deal he got? I’d say 2 years worth $1.875 M.

WBF – I saw that bit of news on the Wild and the potential for Harding to be dealt. Dudley should be the first in line…sorry Moose, but we gotta get younger!

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
12:18 pm

Here’s the TSN.ca article on Slater’s re-signing. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=323965

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:30 pm

First off, congrats to GaVa and your great news. Life is about to change my friend.

Smoothie-a number of potential goalies have been suggested on this blog, veterans like Nabakov and Theodore, establish goaltenders that will want top dollar. While I am not against these guys, I do not want to pay for reputation, unless it is a 28-30 year old goaltender that we can hook on to long term. I like Ellis cause I believe we can get him for $2.5-3M/year and have a guiy with some upside. Harding is that kind of goaltender, a player that has upside that can be had for a high draft pick or maybe a prospect. We have both and can deal with our goaltending concerns before free angency. Let’s hope Duds is listening.

Brendan-sounds like the Wild are victims of poor management decisions on players and contracts. Their drafting has been average at best. Lemaire’s coaching may have covered for bad decisions by Risbrough and now that he’s gone, the problems are surfacing more and more. I am not sure how close to the cap the Wild were this season, or how they are projected for next year though it sounds like they have little wiggle room without making some deals. Just shows that that as bad as things have been her in Atlanta, other teams have their issues as well.

The full house every night creates other problems for owners that come to realize that it doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, they know fans will pack the house every night regardless. Buffalo is the same way, owners know the place will be packed whether they commit to a winner or not. Like Mike Brown in Cincinatti with the Bengals and Harold Ballrd with the Leafs. Not certain this is the problem in Minnesota, but it doesn’t look like the The Wild is a preferred destination for top UFAs, coaches or management.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
12:31 pm

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

FYI… if anyone is interested in a trip to LA for the Draft. Tickets are free.

http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=61945&navid=DL|LAK|home&navid=DL|LAK|home

I’m heading to LA on business that week, so I’m going to hang around and attend!

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

June 8th, 2010
12:38 pm

Mr. World Be Free – You’re 12:30 pm post has been free from Blog Purgatory.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
12:56 pm

Vivlamore is reporting Jimmy’s deal is for 2 years, $2 M total. $900 K this year and $1.1 M next year. Good for Jimmy! A little more than I expected, but a $1 M average for a 3rd line C is very good value.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

Yup good for Jimmy-and I wanted the guy out of here so bad last summer! He had a great year and I hope he keeps it up. Nice signing by Dudley, I hope it’s a run on signings to show potential UFAs we are serious about getting better.

BlueSpark

June 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

There’s no way Dudley should take Campbell in any trade. He absolutely refused to sign here; why would you trade for him?

Also have to disagree with the gripes about Kovy’s +/-. The Thrashers have always had poor team defense, 39% of his points have come on the PP (so aren’t counted), usually played over 20 minutes per game, and he just finished this year a +10. I’d disregard his ATL +/-. That said, he’s pretty absent on defense. He’s not a two-way player.

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

Actually, you’ll probably see more 2am posts from me in the future… if you think my comments are off-the-wall now… wait until sleep deprivation kicks in.

Congrats GaVaHockie. Don’t worry about the 2am posts, Brendan likes to post at that hour as well. Now if your posts start to exceed Brendan’s posts in length…..well, then we’ll get concerned.

Congrats to Buzilla as well. Later today, I’ll relay an idea Zilla can use 14 years from now.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
1:16 pm

It’s not like Brian Campbell trashed us in the press like Dan Boyle and simply laughed at our overture. In fact, IIRC, he had good things to say about Atlanta and thanked them for the interest. Being in his shoes, I would’ve signed with CHI too. Have y’all ever been to CHI?? Such a better town than ATL, the only drawback being the winter snow. But for a Canadian kid like Soupy, it prolly seemed like home as he is from Ontario.

rob

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

I think the Wild’s problem is the uniforms…..who wants to wear those gaudy colors for 82+ games? No Thanks!! LOL
WBF & JF,
dudes, same team….save all that for sage or someone, you both make good points, at least sometimes HAHAHAHA

Thought to ponder…..may it get ugly in Philly if the Hawks win there?!? The fans there being so nice and accommidating and all? Especially if it isn’t a close game, and the line shake ups for the Hawks may be too much for the Bums to handle IMO

Sage of Bluesland

June 8th, 2010
1:17 pm

“…WBF, I promise I’ll vote for you next year for blog of the year comment, you’ll feel much better then, lol. The mere fact that your panties have been in a bunch ever since that speaks volumes about you . . . ”

Wow. Now that I’ll nominate for an early post of the year! No surprise on the World-Be-Lapdog there, folks…

rob

June 8th, 2010
1:18 pm

speak of the…..

Lee

June 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

GaVa – Congrats!

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:51 pm

Hey Sage, old buddy, great to hear from you today as well.
Somedoby must have flushed a toilet.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

rob-agreed, time to put all that aside which I have. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Funny that you talk about Minnesota’s uniforms. I think we have all disliked their uniforms over the years, but I do like their new 3rd jersey, the all green uniforms that sez something like “Minnesota hockey club” or something like that. Those are pretty nice.

Smoothie

June 8th, 2010
2:08 pm

From old reliable’s (Kevin Allen of USA Today) twitter machine:

kausatoday “Atlanta gave Jim Slater a 2-year deal worth 900K and $1.1 million. Afinogenov re-signing probably won’t happen. Kubina still possible.”

Let’s hope they at least offered Pasha a multiple-year deal. Not sure why they only offered Max a 1-yr deal but guess they figured he would feel loyal and take it. Hopefully they have bigger and grander plans.

alex

June 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

brendan st.pet. good khl team long coached former deitroit assist. smith. chance to win khl with kovy still in my opinion 30% because still “kazan” and “salavat” better. owner is medvedev simultancously khl commish. they also offered contract to frolov and intend to lure semin next year. again better for nhl the best playing here no matter what coutry they born. it’s better for tv ratings revenue money just purely better for nhl to survive competition with nba, mlb. when everybody talking about krosby and ovy it’s better for sport because nobody will talk when kunitz will compete with slater. i wan’t nhl become irrelevant like hourse racing or boxing, because contraction is inevitable. again when the best is here more money revenue, less idiot asg owners, possibility espn tv like before. nhl should prosper with world star but not fall in oblivion with mediocricy.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
6:13 pm

Alex, I hope you’re right. I’d rather than the NHL retain its Russian stars, than lose them to the KHL. I like Russian players. But, in the end, it’s their decision on where to play, and for how much money.

Joe Friday

June 9th, 2010
9:54 am

Lloyd, I’ll take that as you don’t wanna put your money where your mouth is . . . no problem, how bout just a gentleman’s agreement on what Kovy winds up getting paid?

“Not sure why they only offered Max a 1-yr deal but guess they figured he would feel loyal and take it.”

I’m still guessing that it’s what we talked about before, that he’s not a Dudley guy and he wants him gone, and that was the easiest way to push him out the door.

Hokie, those 2/4/6am nights in front of the computer while holding the little darling seem like a nightmare at the time, but it goes so quick, cherish it while it happens, if you can.

DA BEARs

June 9th, 2010
4:26 pm

where are the hawks fans watching the game tonight? Trying to find somewhere to go and celebrate with other hawks fans when we win lord stanleys cup