I never thought I’d say this… but I’m OK with the Thrashers defense returning

As we have opined here many times, the Thrashers have never been remotely close to being an NHL defensive powerhouse. More times than not over the course of the past decade, their play at the blueline looks more like a turnstile allowing opponents free access to the defensive zone than a tollbooth that requires stiff payment to pass through it. And once they’ve entered the D-zone, opposing forwards have spent so much time there that they’ve been able to file for Homestead exemption.

Indeed, this has been a team built more upon the philosophy of outscoring other teams in order to win instead of keeping the puck out of their own net. The Thrashers brain trust…as admitted by then-GM Don Waddell last winter… have looked to construct this franchise around an Ilya Kovalchuk-type scorer and not around the concept of team play, whether it be inside the defensive zone or out.

Pavel Kubina played in 76 games last year for the Thrashers scoring 6 goals and 32 assists and had an EVEN +/- rating. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Pavel Kubina played in 76 games last year for the Thrashers scoring 6 goals, 32 assists and had an EVEN +/- rating (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

This strategy has led to exactly one playoff appearance and just as many postseason victories as I have trips made to the moon…zero.

It is also the main aspect of this team that I hope the new coaching staff will put their focus and attention to changing. A new focus on team defense has to be job-one for any new coach whomever that may be.

In summers past, many people…myself included…have looked for an almost complete overhaul of the blueline. The thinking being, “Surely any group of veterans and young up-and-comers could do no worse than what we’ve become accustomed to in these parts”. But this year, well… not so much. In fact, I’m not at all opposed to seeing the vast majority of them back in Thrasherville this coming fall.

And that is something I thought I’d never be able to opine here.

If you take a look at the raw numbers… Atlanta allowed 33.1 shots on goal per game last season, which was 27th in the league and up 0.4 SG/G from the previous season. However, the 3.05 goals against average was down from the 3.40 GA/G of 2008-09. In fact, only twice before have the Thrashers allowed fewer goals…2.96 in the season prior to the lockout and 2.94 in 2006-07, the year they actually qualified for the playoffs.

One reason for last season’s GA/G improvement was certainly the play in goal… primarily Johan Hedberg. But it also can be credited to just where those shots were coming from. Unlike previous seasons, fewer shots were fired from close range.

Another huge factor has to do with the improved play from the penalty kill unit. Last year they were successful 82.2% of the time, (16th in the NHL), when playing a man down. This was significantly better than the previous four seasons…76.0%, (29th) in 2008-09, 78.8%, (27th) in 2007-08, 79.8%, (26th) in 2006-07 and 72.2%, (T-25th) in the first year following the lockout.

For this, many thanks can be given to Mr. Kane, Mr. Reasoner, Mr. Kubina and Mr. Slater, (who the team announced today has been re-signed).

But moreover, I don’t think that last year’s defensive unit was given much of a chance to succeed simply given the style of play employed by the coaching staff. John Anderson’s system relied heavily on a fast-paced offensive scheme…even more so than normal around here. Many times defensemen were left to handle things on their own as back checking was not a practice high on the priority scale it seemed.

In short, I’d like to see what this D-unit could do if given the right circumstances…the right playing scheme and coaching strategy.

The Thrashers already have under contract the bulk of last season’s blueline…Ron Hainsey, Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom, Boris Valabik and Johnny Oduya. Those five along with someone like Arturs Kulda could conceivable make up your three defensive pairings if need be. However, re-signing Pavel Kubina would be a huge plus for this organization, (DUH5).

If so, the he along with Enstrom, Oduya and Hainsey could take the top-four, leaving Bogey to pair up with Kulda on the third line with Valabik rounding out the seven-man unit.

Think about that for a moment…how far has this team come if players like Bogosian, Valabik and Kulda needed to be “relegated” to the third line rotation?

I would also have no issue whatsoever with returning either Christoph Schubert or Mark Popovic. Were it left up to me, it would be Schubie…I just like having that physical presence in front of our net and that cannon of a shot he has.

That would free up Valabik for trade, possibly helping to bring in players up front. This summer the Thrashers will look to replace the likes of Colby Armstrong, Slava Kozlov, and possibly Evgeni Artyukhin and/or Eric Boulton. Of course if I had my way, Todd White would need replacing as well as I’d like to see him rotated into the contract buy-out column when Alexei Zhitnik rotates out on July 1.

Wow…I just suggested sacrificing a Thrashers defender to help bolster the offense. I think I need to go lay down.

148 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

Rawhide – Put the bottle down dude, you’ve had one too many.

Mr. Awesome

June 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

Is it October yet

MB

June 8th, 2010
2:00 pm

Couldn’t agree more, as long as we re-sign Kubina. The talent is there to, at the very least, be a solid mid-tier defensive unit, given improved team defensive play and better coaching.

As mentioned by a number of others, goaltending is an issue, though I advocate sticking with what we have with the intent of seeing how OP handles his second season as a #1. Unless there’s a UFA out there who Duds really likes, I’d rather take our lumps again this season to see what his future holds.

Forwards…now that’s another issue. Look at our lineup. As much as I like most of those guys, I think it’s fair to say that few teams are going to fear playing against these guys, either offensively or defensively. We need to boost our skill and leadership up front. Hopefully RD and Coach 5 can come together fairly quickly to identify some guys who can help turn this ship around.

alex

June 8th, 2010
2:34 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.

Zoomo

June 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

>>In short, I’d like to see what this D-unit could do if given the >>right circumstances…the right playing scheme and coaching strategy.

I think that’s the key. The Anderson system was somewhat adverse to things like: stay at home, stop ‘em at the blueline, or take ‘em off the puck.

I think the personnel is pretty good. If Kubina doesn’t re-sign, that’s a big hole to fill. Bogo has got to get over the sophmore slump. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Kulda and Postma contend for spots. The team gave Postma the word to get more physical/bulk up a bit in the offseason and if he does, I predict he’ll make the team this year and bump Pops.

BigMomma

June 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

Agree 100%, Rawhide! I’m excited about next year’s defensive corps – especially if Kubina re-signs.

Now if we could just get a coach in place!

TableHockey

June 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

Great read Rawhide.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen is reporting a deal with Max is probably not going to happen and that a Kubina deal is still possible. No idea where he gets his info but he sure seems to be right on most things (in fact I believe he broke to Kovy to NJ trade).

I am hopeful that Kubina resigns – I’m not convinced we have FA options that are as good.

Savannah Blueland Fan

June 8th, 2010
3:00 pm

Todd White—-AAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Way to go, Rawhide HAHA Just mentioning his name makes me unaccountably depressed.

Rusty

June 8th, 2010
3:07 pm

Good points, Rawhide. While I didn’t believe it at the time(s), the best thing to happen to this franchise (other than a new ownership group who could spell “H-O-C-K-E-Y,”) may have been the loss of Heatley, Hossa and Ilya. The hot shots were fun to watch…but those fleeting moments of joy never eased the frustration of going home a regular loser.

It’s obvious the sport’s big names see the Thrashers as the NHL version of Siberia, with the threat of “we’ll trade you to Atlanta” instilling instant discipline in even the most wayward . Not long ago, the same was said of the BRAVES. After decades of losing, it took a collection of talented unknowns to launch a legacy at Turner Field. So, rip a page from their playbook and adapt to reality with aggressive, skilled, something-to-prove young guys and who can also spell “T-E-A-M without the “M-E” dominanting. I pray Dudley (can) Do-Right.

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

TableHockey – Kevin Allen usually gets his info directly from Waddell. Waddell has used Allen as his “trial balloon” source for years.

Alan R.

June 8th, 2010
3:24 pm

Stroz, he won’t put the bottle down. If he does, he knows I’ll be there waiting for it. ;)

glovesave29

June 8th, 2010
3:26 pm

Sure you could trade Valabik…you could get a few boxes of leftover “pink in the rink” Komen themed tape, maybe a very used coal powered skate sharpener, perhaps some paint thinner to remove the annoying baby blue paint from the glass stanchions. If Dud’s is a SUPREME negotiatior, perhaps he could swing a 5% ownership in the ECHL Gulf Coast Swords for Boris.

Keep Schubert around as a forward like in Ottawa. Can always fill in on D should the need arise.

TableHockey

June 8th, 2010
3:28 pm

Thanks R. Stroz – that’s good to know. He does always seem to have the inside line.

Buzz Aldrin

June 8th, 2010
3:30 pm

Don’t worry Rawhide, I can get you to the site in Arizona where we filmed the moon landing. Just say the word….

R. Stroz

June 8th, 2010
4:01 pm

Time to Place Your Bets Everyone:

If you really want to know who is running the Thrashers ship, watch to see if Waddell or Dudley takes the podium to announce the draft picks in two weeks.

So, place your bet, will we see Dudley or Waddell at the podium?

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
4:11 pm

Stroz, I think they will both go up on stage, but Dudley will go to the podium and make the announcement of the pick.

glovesave29

June 8th, 2010
4:20 pm

I sure hope that Waddell has the good sense to stay out of it. (!)

Savannah Blueland Fan

June 8th, 2010
4:36 pm

Will Waddell have his hand behind Dudley’s back pulling the strings?

Lee

June 8th, 2010
5:36 pm

As long as Kuby re-signs I’m ok, if some of the players back off, then we look into the big brown eyes of Rick Dudley and he SHOULD sign some free agents. I’m excited for this year, but I say that every year and towards the end of last year, I wasn’t very excited so the thrashers might be losers again. Big confidence boost huh?

Lee

June 8th, 2010
5:37 pm

Just kiddin’….I am actually excited for this year.

No really!….

Red Light

June 8th, 2010
6:00 pm

Draft Day is the one day that Waddell can’t be at fault because a 17- or 18-year-old hasn’t yet stepped onto the ice in an NHL game. As such, he will be there in tow because there is no game for him “to scout” on June 25 unless he plans to attend the Yankees-Dodgers game at Chavez Ravine. He’s going to be there to shake hands, pat Duds on the back and play good guy just like he always has in front of the cameras.

As we all have known, a pair of defensemen comprises just 40 percent of the defensive workforce at even strength. The defensive corps is the best this organization has had collectively ever, and even without Kubina it can be mediocre to good. If Kubina doesn’t re-sign, his spot should be taken by a full-fledged shutdown defenseman with size, strength and skating ability. There are a few out there and that should be the team’s top priority – no questions asked. Secondly, it’s a bonafide playmaking center.

There is no question that the new coach’s defensive system has to have the pieces in place to limit shots and scoring chances. There are several forwards on the “signed” roster that can help in that regard, namely Thorburn, Slater, Reasoner, Kane and Peverley. But, is there a true shutdown-type center or solid checking winger on the roster? Your call.

There are still may openings to be filled on the roster, which gives you either concern or hope, but that’s why the next 24 days are crucial to the fortunes of this team, next year and beyond. The pressure is clearly on Dudley to choose the right coach and to sign and draft the right guys. Not an enviable position when you’ve got so many roster spots to fill and the mission to improve the franchise’s depth.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
6:23 pm

I think Dudley’s taking the reigns at a relatively good time. Lots of cap space. Lots of open roster spots. He’s not saddled with Bobby Holik’s $4.25 million-a-year. Slater’s new deal barely touches the cap. Apparently, per Vivlamore, every UFA but Kozlov has an offer on the table. That includes Finny. Max is probably thinking, “I can get better than a 1-year deal” out on the open market. And that’s true. But let me ask you this. And beeeee honest. How confident are you, that if Max got one of his patented 3-year deals, that he wouldn’t start to disappear again?

Seeeeee. See, that’s it. Right there. That hesitation. That’s the cause for concern. I think a 2-year deal for Max is relatively safe. But my guess is … Max thinks he’ll find a 3-year deal out there. Good luck to him. I enjoyed having him here in Atlanta, last season. I wish him nothing but the best, with his next team.

Brendan

June 8th, 2010
6:27 pm

Alex, I replied on the previous blog. But with Medvedev as the KHL Commish and owner of St. Petersburg, I wouldn’t be surprised, at all, to see Kovy win a Championship there, over the course of three (3) years. I wish Kovy good luck on his next team. He’s still my favorite Thrasher of all-time. Any word on whether NJ has extended an offer to him? In the Devils’ shoes, I’d try to move Kovy prior to July 1, to his intended NHL team, if there is one, and pick up some later round draft pick in the process. Or try to pluck a player of that team’s roster, so that it can accommodate Kovy’s new GOLDEN deal. Depending on who that team is, they may be forced to jettison players anyway? Why not let the Devils try to get someone they like from that team’s roster?? Just a thought.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
6:49 pm

Bill, do your numbers suggest that we resign Hedberg for one more year? Just asking…

To add to Bill’s thoughts on John Anderson’s concept of team defense-poor coverage down low by the centerman, leaving pointmen uncovered contributed to our high shot total. I do not know our success rate in the faceoff circle, but I have to assume we were in the lower half of the league winning draws in our own zone. As Red Light noted, let’s hope the next coach has an NHL-caliber system. Craig Ramsay would be a perfect selection.

Keeping the defense intact is probably important to Dudley, since we have to assume he is shopping for a new # 1 goaltender, a top 6 forward to replace Max and a few other odd parts. One battle at a time.

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
7:02 pm

Red Light-agreed on the shut down d-man, like Volchenkov.

Getting the #1 center means we would have to get in on the Jason Spezza derby, if there is one. What would we offer up for Spez? The Sens would want a bunch. I think the bridge has been burned for him in Ottawa.

Hope Plekanec or Lombardi hit the open market and offer either of them big bucks?
Getting a center would allow Antropov to move back to wing, his natural position.

glovesave29

June 8th, 2010
7:30 pm

rob

June 8th, 2010
7:41 pm

Rawhide or Vivs…..
Can we get an idea of just what Duds REALLY thinks we need and what he wants? A lot of talk is going on about who what blah blah, but I am curious about having something from the horses mouth as to the state of the team as he sees it, and not just some rosy, I like where we stand comment but an actual in depth look at our strengths, weaknesses, and what he would like to do to improve them. A GM talk with the fans kind of thing to see where we really stand.

GaVaHokie

June 8th, 2010
7:43 pm

rob

June 8th, 2010
7:58 pm

GS,
That is hilarious!!! Now if they had Carcillo in a diaper and bonnet for all his childish talk too!!!

LAC

June 8th, 2010
8:47 pm

Sign Boogard from Minnesota, He WOULD keep it order on the ice. Boulton has done a decent job, but this guy would be a Monster to go up against, Hear that cooke, and those other Pittsburgh crybaby’s ???

Rawhide

June 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

Bill, do your numbers suggest that we resign Hedberg for one more year? Just asking…

WBF – That wasn’t really my intention, but Dudley has indicated he has no problem returing the Moose & Opie show between the pipes. Oh, and BTW….check your e-mail, dude.

Rawhide or Vivs…..Can we get an idea of just what Duds REALLY thinks we need and what he wants?

rob – C-Viv is the one better suited to answer that. I’ll pass it along.

War Eagle

June 8th, 2010
10:02 pm

Good breakdown Rawhide. The opening paragraph about opposing forwards being able to file for the Homestead exemption was good for a laugh out loud. It never gets old seeing our defensive men smash opposing players into the glass. Looking forward to some old school hockey.

glovesave29

June 8th, 2010
10:18 pm

sigh…I sure wish the AJC would need to print this -

http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/2010-05/54023508.pdf

World Be Free

June 8th, 2010
10:32 pm

LAC-I am totally on board with Booghard or however you spell his name. He’s a monster, a Tony Twist and Stu Grimson type player. Like having Clint Eastwood as your sheriff.

André Benjamin

June 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

Now who else wanna fu<k wit the thrashers?!

LAC

June 8th, 2010
10:54 pm

WBF, I read he is like 6′8″ and saw a couple fights on Youtube and he beats the CRAP out of anyone who dare fights him. If they don’t try to fight… They Turtle for sure !!!

I think he would keep order on the ice for us and would be a good signing, but he won’t be a top
contender for the Art Ross by no means…. But try to bully us around then.

Getting him would be cheap and a solid move, but when WE the fans know what would be good for the team, You can bet the Thrashers are looking at signing som 5′6″ guy who will never play in the NHL… Too bad we have such IDIOTS owning and running this franchise !!!!!!!

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
6:06 am

LAC-YouTube Duds and you can see he’s dropped the gloves a few times as well, so he knows the value of a policeman. Looks like Minnesota might not have the $$$ to retain him.

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
7:57 am

Goalie prospect-looks like Jose Theodore is not going to get a new contract from Washington. Theodore endured some struggles in November and December, but he rallied down the stretch and finished with a 30-7-7 record, a .911 save percentage and a 2.81 goals against average. He made $4.5M with the Caps last season. He is only 33, so maybe a 2 year deal for Jose?

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
8:18 am

WBF… I want nothing to do with Jose. I don’t trust his consistency.

glovesave29

June 9th, 2010
8:28 am

Jose is a decent goalie, but the guy’s been through the ringer emotionally with the death of his son. I just see him being like a hockey version of Steve Avery…great guy and great tools, but dealing with issues that we can only hope to never have to address. That’s why I don’t sign him.

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
8:30 am

Yeah he’s had his ups and downs over the last few seasons. The Caps need the “cap” space too, if they are going to retain their role players and make a run at Volchenkov. If they jettison Jose, the Washington’s combined goaltender cap hit for next season will be less that $2M.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
9:11 am

I’m fine with our goalie tandem… I think Pavs will continue to improve, which should reduce the amount of games Moose is having to play.

I don’t want Moose going anywhere else… I want him to finish out his career as a back up and move into an Administrative position within the organization… whether it’s Goalie Coach or Front Office, I don’t care.

Red Light

June 9th, 2010
9:31 am

Ah, but Theodore would be available for a song in comparison to his existing deal because of the issues outlined above. But, I still think there are better, cheaper options. Like Boogaard too, but as he only plays 5-6 minutes a game, what’s his real value other than dropping them?

Interesting choice of Guy Boucher in Tampa. Operates a 1-3-1 forecheck with the onus on good puck movers and skaters on defense. He has a few of them, but let the bidding begin for a new No. 1 goalie there as if the forecheck breaks down, lots of open shots will be the inevitable result. Sound familiar?

Dwayne

June 9th, 2010
9:33 am

I have one positive on Todd White….Isn’t he due for a good year?? one bad, one good, one bad, one good. Go Flyers!!!!

Red Light

June 9th, 2010
9:34 am

Why wouldn’t the Caps go with the Neuvirth-Varlamov tandem at a steep discount to the Theodore-Varlamov tandem? If Varly isn’t a true No. 1, they need to find out quickly. They will earn more than 100 points again next year too, while the rest of the division seeks improvement.

Putting On The Foil

June 9th, 2010
9:51 am

Is Todd White not gone yet?

rob

June 9th, 2010
9:53 am

RL,
Agree on the division. The key here is if the Thrashers actually play as a team, but because of the shake up at the top and the learning curve the guys will need to coach etc., will the fans come back? A lot is being thrown around about Duds being such a good team builder, but as with anything else, it won’t happen overnight. There should be a lot of positive movement, but not necessarily gonna happen at once, so what would be considered a positive for a team that is being overhauled from the top down and searching for the identity that they have never had before?

Joe Friday

June 9th, 2010
10:05 am

“If you really want to know who is running the Thrashers ship, watch to see if Waddell or Dudley takes the podium to announce the draft picks in two weeks.”

Great minds think alike and all. I’ve been waiting to see the same thing. But to me it’s to watch if Waddell is even there. Dudley will surely be the one to be at the podium making the announcement, but if things have truly changed, then there’s no reason for Waddell to be there, he’s only business side now and out of personnel decisions, right?

My guess is that yes, he in fact will be there as he’s still in on all the decisions, but to continue the charade he’ll stay at the table and let Dudley go up there.

Two biggest improvements this club needs that can turn it around quickest are getting the solid goalie, not more projects, no more making backups like Moose or Ellis et all into your starter. And the 2nd is getting a true #1 dman that can eat minutes. Those guys don’t grow on trees. My only hope for that is for Bogosian to turn into that guy. I’d put chances at 25% he could do it next year and that it’s more realistic for him as he matures, but that’s our best hope. You really have a hard time trading for or signing a UFA true #1 (Pronger aside).

It’s back to our house. Orange Crush. Pronger has a monster game. Leighton shuts them out. Briere skates circles around Campbell. Let’s go, Phlyers!

Lee

June 9th, 2010
11:02 am

The poster is hilarious!! LOL…

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
11:03 am

R/L-I still think Valamov’s knee is hurting him a bit. That’s the only downside of letting Theordore go. Neuwirth is a pretty good backup, we saw him last season during that 8-1 victory for the Caps at Philips last year. Not that the Thrashers tested him much during that disaster of a game.

I am still interested to see what Dudley will do with the scouts. He has to be evaluating their performance as well. Bet some of those guys are nervous.

Dwayne-I will be really surprised if White isn’t bought out. If Max isn’t Dudley kind of player, how could White be? I think he’s gone.

Lee

June 9th, 2010
11:04 am

Spud Webb

June 9th, 2010
11:06 am

Move Boris to the wing, let him and the big guy artugo be our 4th line. They’ll be no more pushing the trashers around, which also along with the bad blueline been our montra since day 1!!!
I hope we re sign kubina, but I doubt that we will.
Very sad that hockey is almost over!

Lee

June 9th, 2010
11:06 am

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
11:06 am

If you really want to know who is running the Thrashers ship, watch to see if Waddell or Dudley takes the podium to announce the draft picks in two weeks.

Oh, that’s easy… Waddell will certainly be there, but Dudley announces the picks… another $1 bet, Stroz? :)

Alan R.

June 9th, 2010
11:07 am

Come on, Chicago. You’ve got one nail, and a coffin full of feathers. It’s time to close this thing once and for all.

Lee

June 9th, 2010
11:08 am

If the Hawks lose today, where is game 7 gonna be played???

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
11:10 am

Here are your choices…

A) Waddell and Dudley are both there; Dudley makes the picks
B) Waddell and Dudley are both there; Waddell makes the picks
C) Waddell is not there; Dudley makes the picks alone
D) Waddell is not there; Waddell makes the picks via satellite. :)

Red Light

June 9th, 2010
11:44 am

In Chicago Lee!

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
11:47 am

GaVa- “A”

Red Light

June 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

I think Laviolette made the right call going with Leighton tonight. He has won six straight playoff games at home and is 14-1 since Jan. 6 in the City of Brotherly Love.

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
12:33 pm

J-F
Agreed, on the shut down d-man, been hoping for that for a long time. Look what Pronger did for Philly as the season progressed and in the playoffs. Dan Hamhuis is of interest, he would be a top 4 d-man pickup in free agency.

kracker

June 9th, 2010
12:40 pm

A – of course.

3stripes

June 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

I vote A. I think Waddell will be there, but understands the animosity toward him from the fans well enough to allow Dudley to make the pick. In fact, even if he is there, I don’t think Waddell takes the podium at all. Or at least I hope that’s the case.

Cliff Fletcher

June 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Can we tell Waddell that the draft is in Montreal?

The Real Thrash

June 9th, 2010
1:22 pm

Anyone who wants the same defense, statiscally or team-wise does NOT want us to be successful and make the playoffs.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

Waddell won’t make any of the picks, but he’ll be involved when trade scenarios come around I’m sure, he’ll let Dudley know to ‘bite’ or ‘don’t bite’ when Lamoriello and Burke try to fleece him.

Dudley will use Waddell to get info on other GM’s, I would think. How to get the most out of a trade.

They are friends after all… I’m sure they respect each others opinions.

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
1:34 pm

Thrash-I accept the current defense because I believe Dudley will be concentrating on a new #1 goaltender and top 6 forward. The time and resources might not be there to make changes in the current defensive corps. Hamhuis in place of Kubina might be the only change, if Duds can’t get Kubina signed by July 1.

Lee

June 9th, 2010
2:03 pm

I think it’s D, nah, A….

Telfo

June 9th, 2010
2:32 pm

of course Waddell will be at the draft

Trades happen at the draft
trades involve players that make money
money involves Waddell

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
2:36 pm

Actually, Dudley should let Waddell pick in the 7th and 8th round. :)

7th round picks: Postma, Kulda, Oystrick
8th round picks: Exelby, Enstrom

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2010
2:50 pm

Trades happen at the draft

Yep, the 2005 draft is proof positive of that.

How did that turn out? Where is Alex “I Could Win the Nathans Hot Dog Contest with my Big Buck Teeth” Bourret now?

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

Glovesave29, that was a funny Chris Pronger photo.

Hokie: Choice A.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
2:54 pm

R.Stroz, per Wikipedia, he’s currently with a relatively successful Czech Republic team. I notice he hasn’t played any games for them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Bourret

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
2:57 pm

Ohh okay. He played 16 games for the Czech league team. He had an assist. Bourret had 18 goals last year in the ECHL, playing for the Las Vegas Wranglers. Here’s a link. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=70696

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
2:59 pm

Cue Sage of Bluesland for the famous Waddell quote, “Bourret was who we wanted all along. (At pick # 8 in the 2005 draft)”

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

GaVaHockie – I’ve been keeping that dollar in a very special place.

glovesave29

June 9th, 2010
3:11 pm

Ah, I am ready for a night of silver polish and white gloves…but the end of hockey for a few months. Glad the World Cup will take up a pretty good chunk of that time. Go USA!

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
3:13 pm

Well, the Alex Bourret “disaster” was based on poor prospect evaluation. The logistics of the trade were fine… lets say Waddell brokers a trade that moves us down to #12 or #15 and we pick up an extra 2nd round pick. Now we let Dudley make the pick and he gets Ryan Johanson, Jeff Skinner or John McFarland at #15… I don’t think we’ll be complaining.

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
3:19 pm

Hmmm, that got the Hamster Wheel spinning… I just noticed Boston is sitting at #15.

Patrice Bergeron and a swap of the 8th and 15th pick?… Blake Wheeler?

Anybody see a trade partner you like in the #10-#15 range?

GaVaHokie

June 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

Anybody see a trade partner you like in the #10-#15 range?

Meant to give a link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_NHL_Entry_Draft

kracker

June 9th, 2010
3:30 pm

Bourret > Kopitar

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2010
3:40 pm

I really enjoyed the Bourret pick. Guys like that make me look less ugly…..and fat.

glovesave29

June 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

Not so sure that is possible, Stroz.

C’mon man – you walked into that one.

R. Stroz

June 9th, 2010
4:16 pm

glovesave29 – Then maybe we should bring Zhitnik into the discussion.

kracker

June 9th, 2010
4:21 pm

The next to the last game is tonight!!!….oh wait, nevermind, it’s tomorrow night.

Cliff Fletcher

June 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

Looks like the Yotes are staying in Phoenix. Bet there will be a great deal of crying and belly aching in Canada tonight!

rob

June 9th, 2010
4:42 pm

WBF,
I think Duds made it clear he is happy w Pavs/Moose which is kinda scary but what he said. That being said I still would like to let Kubina go and find someone younger for him who can work more with our young guys and wont be a liability as he continues slowing down and becomes a liability with a high salary we cant move. If you sign Kubina for 3 years, and after 2 want to deal him….good luck is all I am saying. But a younger guy with similar contract might not be as hard. Just my thought. I like Kubina but think this isn’t the time to give him a big 3-4 year contract. Other than him I am OK with Zach, Hainsey, Olduya, Enstrom, maybe Pops coming back and Kulda coming up. And a strategy drawn up to tighten up defensively as a TEAM.

kracker

June 9th, 2010
5:01 pm

I was right the 1st time, it is tonight :)

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
5:15 pm

rob-Dudley is happy with the current tandum. I still think we need to do better and get a real number one goaltender. The position is too important to hope that the 2 guys you had last year can duplicate their efforts next season. Especially since we do not have another NHL-ready goaltender in our system. That’s too much hoping for my comfort. I’d be surprised is Kubina gets a 3 year deal out of the Thrashers for big money; Hamhuis is younger and very sound defensively. Still gotta replace Max too, since it looks like he’s headed towards the open market.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
10:42 pm

What a finish to Game Six!! Wow.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
10:50 pm

Will the Stanley Cup be won in overtime???

Okay, bloggers. Put your “thinking touques” on. Pick me 3 players from each team to win it. For Philly, I’m going with Gagne, Hartnell, and Pronger. For Chicago, I like Toews, Hossa, and Byfuglien. Just imagine if Toews scores the Cup-clinching goal?

Okay Hossa-haters, rejoice in knowing that the “very late” game-tying goal for the Flyers was deflected into the Blackhawk net by Marian Hossa. For Hossa to score the Cup clincher, wouldn’t be the 1st time a former Thrasher scored a Stanley Cup-clinching goal. Frank Kaberle did it for Carolina, in 2006.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
10:52 pm

WBF, I think Atlanta has to get a goalie in free agency. Even Waddell hinted at that.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:15 pm

Jonathan Toews is the Conn Smythe winner for Chicago. An interesting choice. But it’s made. Congrats to Marian Hossa for winning the Cup. Congrats to Pat Kane, for scoring the overtime winner. Congrats to the Flyers for a memorable run.

Somaatl95

June 9th, 2010
11:24 pm

Nice. Congrats Chicago! Now the Thrashers can get their coach and next season can get here faster…

Joe Friday

June 9th, 2010
11:27 pm

Kaner!!! Woo hoo!!!!!

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:29 pm

Is someone gonna say it? That was a “weak” goal let in by Leighton. That’s a tight angle shot that should just be sticked aside. Very comparable to the Gold Medal overtime winner by Crosby, that just left people stunned and confused that the game was suddenly over. Leighton must feel terrible. But he had a tremendous playoffs.

Flagstaff

June 9th, 2010
11:30 pm

I always like to joke that while our Kane beats up Matt Cooke, theirs only beats up innocent cab drivers. Now, he’s come full circle from being drafted there in ‘07 (when, on an interesting note, he noted that his favorite NHL player was Kovalchuk). What a series!

Now, Torchetti Watch™ is officially on.

glovesave29

June 9th, 2010
11:37 pm

What did I say after that bad goal in game 5? That last one is on Leighton too – not squared up to the shot and he paid for it.

Congrats to the Blackhawks. They certainly deserve this.

LAC

June 9th, 2010
11:38 pm

What a complete turn around in Chicago, New Family owners who WANT to win, know how to win and get the Players to win with.

In Atlanta, SOS, They DO NOT WANT TO WIN, lose key players, know nothing except how to lose, lose, lose and resign a player that they will NEVER win with.

How refreshing would it be to have a COMMITED OWNER, who wants to win and do what it takes to win.

But I look for NOTHING this of season except more of the same crap we have had to endure for ten years now, another non playoff season in 2010-2011.

Lastly, if you are a player and want to WIN you MUST LEAVE Atlanta, because they have NO desire to win and until we get a new OWNER, we will never win with Atlanta STUPID Group in control.

It hurts to be a fan and want to WIN so badly and see these owners and SOB waddell scam everytjing, leaving NOTHING for the fans to be looking forward to, a total SHAME !

stendek

June 9th, 2010
11:38 pm

Hi Bill. Just cannot say anything. Too aggravated. Here:http://hubpages.com/hub/National-Hockey-League-Outcomes-Rigged?done

stendek

June 9th, 2010
11:38 pm

Adam

June 9th, 2010
11:41 pm

in twenty minutes Toronto is on the clock ;)

Tom

June 9th, 2010
11:42 pm

I want Sharpe for 2010-2011. Bad…

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:44 pm

Jeremy Roenick was nearly in tears, lamenting that he did not win a Cup during his time in Chicago. He insists he won’t touch the Cup, because he’s never won it. He’s retired, I believe. So, I think it’s safe for him now, lest he be planning a comeback.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:45 pm

Tom, Sharp’s game tying goal, 2-2, during the 4-on-4 was huuuuge for Chicago.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:48 pm

Brian Burke knew Toronto was on the clock before they interviewed him for the GM job. Burke is one of the few people who WANTED to go into that hornet’s nest, in the Mecca. For Burke, winning another Cup in Anaheim wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying as being the GM who finally got the Leafs off the schneid.

World Be Free

June 9th, 2010
11:50 pm

Congrats to Chicago, they earned the Cup. Big ups to Philly for never giving up. They made the playoffs on the last shot of the regular season and rode it all the way to the finals.

Who is going to the airport tomorrow to pickup Torchetti?

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:57 pm

Joe Friday, be sure to remind everyone, years from now, what a tremendous run the Flyers put together. Because it WASSSSS just that. They gave us a great series in the Finals. Their 2nd round comeback against Boston, down 3-0, hadn’t been done in 35 years! Philly overcame injuries. Boucher had to step in. Then Leighton returned. Gagne returned in the 2nd round. The Flyers made a coaching change in mid-season to bring in LaViolette. Philly has reached the CF twice in the past three (2/3) years. As disappointing as their fans must feel right now, I’ll remind them that, since 1974, their team has reached the CF 36.1% of the time. And the Flyers have been in the Finals 22.1% of the time, since 1976. That’s an average of a trip to the Finals a little better than once every five (1/5) seasons.

Now, I hear ya. Don’t think I don’t. That’s six straight losses for the Flyers in the Finals. Okay, yes. That’s true. There’s no denying that, but the Flyers have to be “in it to win it.” So, at least they’re getting their opportunities. Philadelphia has a good nucleus of players. They won’t be dismantled next season. They’ll lose players, just like Chicago will lose players. But this is what GM’s get paid to do. They have to make these tough calls. Is Leighton their guy next year? Will Boucher even be back? What about Ray “the headcase” Emery? Will they move ‘em all, and get Nabokov? Ya never know. The Flyers were awesome in these playoffs. They were fun to watch. And I just love their attitude. They never quit. If Leighton makes that save on Kane, who knows? We could be going back to Chicago for Game 7. Bygones. It’s still a fabulous run, for the ages.

Brendan

June 9th, 2010
11:59 pm

I meant, 1974, not 1976. Mea culpa.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
12:22 am

Tough way to lose a game for sure but the real problem is: WTF do we watch for the next four months? Sad to see the playoffs end but at least we can now fully focus on the next chapter in Thrashers lore.

a la Brendan in the past, we should all pick who will be Atlanta’s first unrestricted free agent signing on July 1 or July 2, not currently under contract with the Thrashers.

I’ve got two upset picks who will come at a considerable discount from what they made this year, and both have a connection to Dudley. Any guesses? Tell us all tomorrow and I’ll post the two who are more logical than you think!

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
12:31 am

I have no clue, Red Light. I can’t imagine any UFA signing at a discount with Atlanta. Not even Slater. Are we talking Blackhawks, or former Lightning or Panther players?

Red Light, did you know Briere came within a point of tying Gretzky’s record for points in the Finals? I guess I can’t complain about his cap hit anymore, eh? Briere was a legitimate Conn Smythe candidate. Toews won it. I don’t know why I seem surprised by that.

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
12:36 am

Lost in this, of course, will be Leighton’s 37 saves. No Flyer fan wants to hear that, I’m sure. They’ll just want to talk about how Leighton should stopped it. That’s rough. As fans, I think, we hope for a good goal, on an exceptional play. But, it is what it is. I do happen to think that the better team did win the series. But the Flyers deserve much credit.

Red Light, I finished 10-5 this year. (Yo Adrian!! I did it!!!)

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
1:11 am

I hope someone reminds Kane to properly tip his taxi driver tonight.

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
5:45 am

Stroz, shot tip a cabbie in Philly and he’ll cut your arm off.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
7:16 am

Yes, I am thinking of two former players that Dudley coached or managed, one from Dudley’s Florida stint and one while he was in Tampa Bay.

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
7:50 am

Here’s a opinion of Brian Campbell that I found surfing the web with morning. an intersting take on a guy who has been the subject of several recent posts–

“Campbell will be moved as soon as Bowman can find a buyer willing to commit $7.14 million guaranteed for the next six seasons. GULP! Its hard for Bowman to justify paying his 5th best Dman $7 large season. Keith, Seabrook, Kjalmarsson, and Sopel have been head and shoulders better than Campbell in the Hawk D zone in the 2010 playoffs. Campbell’s only contribution to his squad is that of 5 on 5 hockey. He has not impressed Joel Quennville enough to earn PP and PK time.”

From HockeyBuzz

glovesave29

June 10th, 2010
8:25 am

Brendan – Roenick will and SHOULD NEVER touch the cup. He has not earned the right. Retired or not…traditions must remain. Bettman can get rid of as many as he wants, but the players hold steadfastly onto those traditions. Reason # 35861745 that hockey is the greatest sport in the world.
Yeah, Leighton made 37 saves…but his effort was pedestian at best. Nothing terribly spectacular considering the Cup was on the line. You know me, I always stand by the goalies. They often take the blame when it was a defensive lapse that leads to a goal. But the D did its job in OT. Forced Kane wide…the slot was clear. Leighton was jumpy again last night and decided to anticipate a centering pass instead of play the shot. He was not squared to the shooter – and thus a seemingly innocuous shot wins the Cup for Chicago.

rob

June 10th, 2010
8:26 am

While many will say it’s a “bad” goal to give up….that is why you put the puck to the net any chance you get. A funny bounce, deflection, whatever. GOAL!!!! The Flyers “faithful” booing their team during the game is just……WOW. The 7 seed doing what they did…how they did it…to get there…and you BOO them? Retards. No class. No wonder the Flyers are such idiots, they take after their fans. I “greatly dislike” the Flyers, but a fan of that team has to LOVE what they did. The rest of the hockey world was watching JEALOUS because their team wasn’t there, and you BOO your team!!! Anyway, now we wait, impatiently, for next season to begin, and wonder what it will bring. The wife will be happy to have her evenings back for awhile, and I will get a little more sleep.
LET’S GO THRASHERS!!! now that Lord Stanley is handed out we can start to believe again

glovesave29

June 10th, 2010
8:26 am

uh…that’s will not and SHOULD NOT – sorry

glovesave29

June 10th, 2010
8:28 am

Rob – I did not hear any booing. All I heard was “Lets Go Flyers” even as the Hawks were celebrating. I am not a fan of Philly even a little bit, but I thought they behaved with civility last night.

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
8:31 am

I like how Pierre interviewed Patrick Kane last night and said “you be sure to behave during the Stanley Cup Parade.” and Patrick replied, “Not a chance.” :)

I would suspect that Dudley gives Torchetti a week to celebrate, and maybe even another week to rest and vacation before interviewing for Head Coach… it’s going to be awhile.

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
8:42 am

I think alotta the boos were directed towards Bettman, who gets booed in every arena in the league. Think it’s time for that to end.

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
9:26 am

Philthy fans booed Santa Claus. Bettman, the Crotchby promoting stooge, was bound to hear jeers.

Adam

June 10th, 2010
9:28 am

WBF there was a point in the middle of the 3rd when when Chicago was just pounding away keeping the puck in the Philly end when the fans did boo some. I thought it was classless as well. Once the game was over I was shocked by how well they handled the loss.

Adam

June 10th, 2010
9:44 am

I still can believe most of you guys falling for Joe Friday’s pulling for Philly. I knew is was all just sarcastic diatribe meant to stir things up ;)

The win still seems anticlimactic to me. The way that shot went in and jammed under the padding kinda robbed you of that jump out of your seat moment. But I’ll take it :D Growing up in Chicago and watching the frustration of an owner that only cared about money really left little hope for so many years. Then the one Cup run in 92 ended in a sweep left me wondering if I’d ever see this moment. Once Dollar Bill was out the way Rocky stepped out of the shadow of his dad and did everything right.

In a couple of years I will have been in Atlanta over half of my life. I hope I don’t have to wait as long to see the Thrashers hoist the cup…

Joe Friday

June 10th, 2010
9:57 am

“I still can believe most of you guys falling for Joe Friday’s pulling for Philly. I knew is was all just sarcastic diatribe meant to stir things up”

You’re half right. See, every team I root for loses. Cubbies, ‘Hawks, Thrashers. So I decided to foil the hockey gods and root for the opposition, and it worked like a charm. I rooted for the Pens (well, they’re my wife’s club, kept the Cup in the house!) as I figured them as our opposition in the Finals, gone. I rooted for the Canuckleheads, gone. I rooted for San Jose, gone. Then I rooted for Philthydelphia (threw up in my mouth, but you’ll notice I never typed their name right), gone. You guys should pay me to root for every club the Thrashers play next year, they’d be assured of the Cup.

Grew up in the old barn watching Tony O backstop Makita, Magnusen and the boys. Had season tix in the Larmer, Secord, Savard days. Never thought I’d see it until old Dollar Bill kicked the bucket.

Booed their own club when the Hawks were all over them while on the kill, booed Bettman, booed Toews when he lifted the Conn, booed Toews when he lifted the Cup. Crap, even Detroit fans cheered the Pens last year. Stay Classy, Philly.

Lloyd, Eklund? Really? Come on, brother! Campbell and all the boys drank from the Cup last nite. That’s all that matters. Woot!

Smoothie

June 10th, 2010
10:02 am

Red Light – just off the top of my head: Voinny Prospal and Cory Stillman??

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
10:08 am

C’mon Smoothie. Prospal is 35 and Stillman is 37 and has a year left on his contract. Dudley won’t go for the aged. Geez, I thought you knew hockey? JK LOL.

World Be Free

June 10th, 2010
10:09 am

Adam-I was in a bar and couldn’t hear the booing too well until Bettman stepped on the ice.
Joe-Eklund under Garth, the Sabres’ contact. I agree, it is all that matters. Just look at Roenick’s tears at the end of the telecast, especially when 2 of his former teams were duking it out for the Cup.

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
10:34 am

For a good laugh, click the link below, courtesy of J.K. Sockey.

Warning, a few special words are used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okb_CTmUNIE

Joe Friday

June 10th, 2010
10:35 am

“Just look at Roenick’s tears at the end of the telecast, especially when 2 of his former teams were duking it out for the Cup.”

I have no problem with JR’s tears, his heart was always as a Chicago Blackhawk and if not for Dollar Bill, he’d have retired one. JR epitomized Blackhawk hockey during his tenure there. My distaste for Waddell pales in comparison to my disgust at what Dollar Bill did to the Hawks. JR and Cheli should have both retired Hawks. To see Cheli go out as a Thrasher was surreal, to say the least.

rob

June 10th, 2010
10:39 am

GVH,
Did you hear Kane’s “oh crap” just before that part about the parade?!?! About fell off the couch laughing….too funny
GS,
The fans got on them during a PP when they got hemmed up in their zone and the Hawks had a couple of shots short handed, and then of course afterwards. For a sport that has such tradition and hand shakes after spending a series slugging it out, I was disappointed in the boos
JF,
I cheered enough for the Hawks for you, and appreciate the sacrifice you made to ensure the Bums loss…as noted in a previous post. I don’t think I could have done it, even using other names for them!! :)

Lee

June 10th, 2010
10:48 am

OH MY BOYS! “HAWKS WIN” WAS ALL I SAID LAST NIGHT!

Rob – Kane’s a funny guy. Did you see when Hartnell slipped for no reason, I love when they do that, ecspecially “tough guy” Hartnell.

Brendan – Thought you might know. Has there been any time when the Cup was dropped/broken?
If the Hawks broke it, I would be rolling on the floor laughing….:)

Larry

June 10th, 2010
10:51 am

Who is going to the airport tomorrow to pickup Torchetti?

I’m in Chicago today on business… anyone know where Torchetti lives? Maybe I could stop by and pick him up on my way back to Atlanta :-)

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
10:52 am

If Hossa dropped the Cup, would that still be considered the “Hossa Jinx?”

Flagstaff

June 10th, 2010
11:06 am

Joe Friday– Chelios could always sign a one-day contract with the Hawks, to retire as one. Because nobody wants to retire as a Thrasher.

rob

June 10th, 2010
11:08 am

Giroux has to have had a sleepless night. He missed some point blank scoring chances last night, and after his OT goal in 3, I just cringed watching, but Niemi and the D held him off enough to nullify his chances. Twice he had Niemi down and out only to be stoned glove side once and blocker the next!!! The d on the blocker shot pushed him out just enough because he had an empty net he couldn’t shoot at because of the D position, which gave Niemi enough time to throw the blocker up!!!

Joe Friday

June 10th, 2010
11:13 am

“I cheered enough for the Hawks for you, and appreciate the sacrifice you made to ensure the Bums loss…as noted in a previous post. I don’t think I could have done it, even using other names for them!!”

And I appreciated it! There’s not many clubs I just plain can’t stand, but Philly is one of them, with the Wings of course being the other. But they put up one hell of a fight and had an amazing run, when they tied it up late all I could say was “who are those guys?!?”. I kept thinking last nite that the Hawks probably would not have beaten the Pens in the Finals, so we were very lucky that Philly had the run they did. I give all credit to Laviolette, he did one whale of a coaching job.

On another note, has anyone ever seen such poor tending in a Cup Final, on both ends of the ice? Those rebounds Niemi was giving up were atrocious, and of course Leighton giving up 5 hole on a shot from that angle is inexcuseable, his Game 5 meltdown was pretty bad as well.

No asterisk on this Cup win though, ala Brett Hull’s!

Somewhere, Keith Magnusen is smiling that gap toothed smile today…

GaVaHokie

June 10th, 2010
11:15 am

Lee

June 10th, 2010
11:16 am

I was looking at the frozen moments on NHL.com and it’s blackhawks pictures, game pictures, then….Justin Bieber? Holding the cup. Why should he hold the cup? Usher gave him a ferarri for his 16th birthday. Really? I know he’s famous and all, but….

I don’t know.

rob

June 10th, 2010
11:25 am

JF,
Agreed it was not what one would expect of goaltending in the SCF. Think everyone ran outta gas emotionally just getting there, and relaxed knowing it was over one way or another.

R. Stroz

June 10th, 2010
11:30 am

For some extra insight, check out stendek’s very own sports page.

http://hubpages.com/hub/National-Hockey-League-Outcomes-Rigged

Adam

June 10th, 2010
11:30 am

I grew up in Niles and as a teenager during the mid 80’s would go to as many games as I could. My step-dad took my to my 1st game in 82 or 83 and I was hooked. So coming from a broken home without much money this meant taking the El from Cumberland or Harlem to Ashland & Lake and walking the rest of the way to the Stadium. The only time I ever felt safe doing this was for Hawks games. Sometimes other fans would give us a ride back to the station after the game. I got a car in 88′ which made it easier. Then in 92 I moved down here in September and I jonesed for Hockey for some time. With Dollar Bill running the show very few, if any, games were ever televised. What a change his passing has made for the team & city, as sad as that is to say.

Red Light

June 10th, 2010
11:36 am

Hokie: Maybe the NHL should consider Indianapolis for expansion. Didn’t know the Hoosiers cared about hockey but outdrawing Minneapolis and Boston is impressive. The Pacers drew only 14,202 per game this year, so maybe they’re like everyone else, their fans are waiting for a winner. I guess their 32-50 record didn’t help matters but the hockey TV numbers are strong.

Rawhide

June 10th, 2010
11:37 am

Now that the season is officially over…is Atlanta about to be “Torched” again?

Brendan

June 10th, 2010
1:24 pm

Lee, yes. The Stanley Cup has been dropped and dented in the past. Someone put out a book on this very topic. It chronicles the Cup’s foibles, such as being left in a ditch, kicked into the River in Quebec, and discovered in some secretary’s office, filled with soil, with flowers growing in them.

Barry

June 11th, 2010
9:26 am

Actually Rawhide I agree with you about our defense. If we can get Kubina back I think we will have a very solid defensive group. The issue has always been our forwards not playing good defense and those players like Kovy and Kozlov will be gone. Also I don’t think the past few seasons the Thrashers had a good scheme for playing defense or handling very aggressive forechecks. Compounded with the fact that alot of our forwards are smaller and just downright overworked and out muscled along the boards by some other teams leads to spending too much time in our own zone. Hopefully a new coach can help allieviate this problem and maybe sign another big body up front should help out.

Lee

June 11th, 2010
10:27 am

Brendan – Hmm, interesting. Thanks.