Pressing question regarding Thrasherville blogosphere

Should the Atlanta Thrashers issue press credentials to bloggers who write about the team?

This question periodically gets kicked around the blogosphere from time to time. Those who support such an idea believe it would allow them to gain certain insight and information for their readers and would help the team tap into this new form of online journalism. There are some who even feel that these blogs, specifically sports blogs, are a natural evolution from the so-call mainstream media.

As most of you already know, there are a number of Thrashers blogs out there that are set up and hosted by some very talented and entertaining writers. You can find a sampling in my Blog Roll normally located to the right of this column. Their styles of blogging vary from the very serious and insightful to those who take a more light-hearted and satirical approach. The beauty of these online forums is that the author can inject a great deal of his/her personality into them as they discuss the team.

Recently I asked a handful of these online journalists that make up Thrasherville’s “internet news agencies” what their thoughts were on the subject of press creds for bloggers.

Laura Astorian runs Thrashing the Blues…a blog that revolves around her two favorite teams, the Thrashers and St. Louis Blues. She favors of the idea of blogger access to the Thrashers…citing her desire for additional information outlets.

“I actually think that it’d be a good idea, since the only media in Atlanta that covers the Thrashers is the AJC”, she shared with me. “The bloggers are excellent free press. We can provide analysis and opinion that people who work for a newspaper can’t do”.

This is a feeling shared by one of the most sharpest and, in my opinion, smartest bloggers in the Thrasher community… the Falconer, who opines at Bird Watchers Anonymous . He feels it is only a matter of time before the blogging community is officially embraced by one and all in the journalism profession.

“I absolutely think that ‘bloggers’ will be recognized as part of the digital press”, says the Falconer. “The process has already begun with teams such as the Captials, Predators and Hurricanes leading the way. The NHL granted me press access last year to the entry draft and USA Hockey did the same during the U-18 Tournament. The NHL main office has embraced bloggers, YouTube and social media”.

However, the organization certainly has to walk a fine line between just whom it is that they allow outside the locker room and up on press row.

“Of course, you need to be selective with who you give press creds to”, Laura added. “Maybe bigger blogs or blogs that are part of a network that have a solid reputation and that the leagues and other teams respect and give credentials to”.

The Falconer agrees saying, “The challenge for each team is to figure out how to handle the array of blogs that exist. In the past teams could just assume that newspaper writers knew and understood journalism ethics and practices. In the future teams may find it necessary to draft a formal statement of acceptable practices before granting access. They might also consider hosting workshops in journalism for aspiring hockey writers as well”.

“The term ‘bloggers’ covers a wide range of internet hockey writers”, Falconer continues. “At one end of the spectrum you have those who have no desire for access. At the other end, you have other sites (such as my own or Hockey’s Future for example) that aspire to conduct internet journalism. Not all bloggers have the same goals”.

These points are shared by my good friend Smoothie, who is a frequent contributor to this blog as well as the host of As the Birds Thrash.

“As a fledgling blogger myself, I think the idea of press access for established bloggers is, in essence, one with strong merit, especially in the case of the Thrashers in which actual media coverage is limited and sometimes lacking. In bigger towns where there are multiple media outlets…not just papers… giving extensive coverage to their team, I don’t think the idea makes as much sense”.

“It can be a good PR tool for a team trying to establish more of a presence in the ever-expanding sphere of internet-blogging influence”, Smoothie goes on to say. “But, unless the blogger has a reputation of consistently frequent, thorough and fair coverage of the team, I’m not keen on the idea of letting every Tom, Dick and Harry have a chance to sit in the press box on a regular basis”.

The view from 'blogger row' in the press box of Philips Arena (photo/Laura Astorian)

The view from 'blogger row' in the press box of Philips Arena (photo/Laura Astorian)

“In a city where the TV media barely pays any attention to the hometown hockey team, I think bloggers can provide a valuable and important vehicle by which expanded media exposure can be achieved”.

Certainly not all on-line hosts are hip to the jive of rooting for the Thrashers from press box row. To them, they gain the best perspective from the seats that they pay for and that is where they would prefer to remain for the most part.

Such is the case with Big Shooter of the The Blueland Chronicle… a self-described “war blog” in which bombs are thrown and the bodies allowed to fall where they may. It’s not only one of my favorite daily reading stops, but is actually Trixie’s most favorite. In fact, pinned up in her office are several posters of Big Shooter in various…ahem…poses.

“Some blogs are really suited to getting a press pass, while others are not”, Shooter says. “Personally I would much rather be in the stands yelling and having a good time as opposed to sitting in the press box. I have no illusions that I’m a professional media member. I do the blog for fun and to bring a very unique perspective from a fan”.

Mr. Shooter isn’t opposed to having access to press row… just not at the expense of being able to openly cheer for them while enjoy a couple of cold adult beverages from the seats he and TBC foursome have purchased located in the upper deck front row of the attack twice side of the arena…dubbed TBC Perch. There, he and Mortimer Peacock, the editor in chief over at TBC, take up residence during Thrashers games like Statler and Waldorff…joined by other TBC contributors Razor Catch Prey and French Catalogues.

“I have enjoyed participating in non-game day events…helps us bring some insight to our readers that they won’t get elsewhere. But ultimately, I think game days should be left to the professionals”.

He also feels the Thrashers would be walking a fine line by offering up credentials to members of the new cyber-media. “I think they need to be careful about that, because anyone can start a blog and some may do so just to gain closer access to players and to get a press pass”.

Mr. Peacock is open to the idea of blogger creds… but he too takes a cautious approach to the mater. Also, he wonders if the access gained by some would be linked directly to how critical the writer may/may not toward the play of the team and the decisions made by the front office.

“It’s ultimately up to the Thrashers who they issue press credentials to, and in some cases whether or not they issue press credentials at all”, he told me. “My own opinion is that it’d be a fine thing to see blogs with a record of decent writing and reporting get press credentials, and I would hope that getting a press pass wouldn’t be conditional on how gung-ho about the Thrashers a blog may or may not be”.

“But as we all know, any idiot can start a blog. I’m not in favor of issuing press passes to just anyone who requests them. It’s up to the Thrashers…or to whoever handles their PR…to decide which blogs are worthy of being credentialed”.

As for his own online forum, Mr. Peacock went on to say, “If we’re making newspaper/blog analogies, the Chronicle tries to be more of a loud, colorful tabloid than an august daily. So I would understand completely if the Thrashers didn’t deem us appropriate for press credentials”.

However, I think Morty could be persuaded…if the situation was right.

“But if they would allow us to cover the Thrashers in our own style…my goodness, Rawhide, you’re putting crazy ideas into my head. I think I’m going to send the Thrashers an official request for press credentials, printed on official Blueland Chronicle LLC letterhead”.

Unfortunately for Peacock, I don’t know how persuasive a letter can be when it is printed in crayon on a brown paper bag that once covered the contents from a package store or adult novelty shop.

As for my thoughts on the matter…well, I would be lying if I said the thought of being credentialed doesn’t interest me. Last year the team did invite some of us in to chat with players and coaches after morning practice and later, we were invited upstairs to enjoy the game from “blogger row” atop the press box. For that, I am truly appreciative and hope I will be able to do more of that during the coming season.

The Thrashers marketing guys have also done a very good job of recognizing that there is indeed an alternate news format in the community…one that contains more than a few very talented, interesting and thought-provoking writers. Opening doors to them is a good way to promote their product in the community and they should receive kudos for doing so.

However, I agree with those who express that a certain amount of caution should be exercised when it comes to who is eligible for press creds. Since virtually anyone can create a blog, it could be difficult to determine who and who does not qualify…though the Falconer does make a compelling argument for such with his suggestion of a formal statement of acceptable practices being drawn up by the team.

I am also one who believes that the demise of the traditional newspaper has been greatly exaggerated…even though it’s true the mainstream media is undergoing a process of evolving from the “paper on the porch” format to an internet-driven media. But papers like the AJC and others have, in my opinion, recognized that fact and have taken steps to change accordingly…finding ways to generate revenue by way of online advertisement as opposed to subscription fees. As such, in one form or another, there will continue to be a beat writer from the local paper covering professional and collegiate sports for some time for the most part.

My belief is that the new cyber-media or will include the blogging community alongside of the traditional media…but not replace it.

94 comments Add your comment

Cliff Fletcher

June 11th, 2010
10:11 am

I wanna be there when Sage interviews Waddell

Virginia Flowers

June 11th, 2010
10:12 am

Nice post! I have to say I’m kind of torn about the credentials thing. I immensely enjoy blogger day, but as you said above and I’ve said before: any hack can have a blog. Then how do you decide whose blog is good enough yada yada yada. I am very happy that the Thrashers did embrace us bloggers in some way last season and I hope they continue to do so.

Somaatl95

June 11th, 2010
10:28 am

The newspaper is not going anywhere – the ones that die are the ones that try to reach a specific audience in an area where many people disagree with the views of said paper. For the life of me I don’t understand why the AJC even has a liberal viewpoint. Read the “Conservative” blogs and about 80% of the people who post comments are giving a digital “Thumbs up” and agree with the speaker. Now go to a “liberal” blog on the AJC and see about the same number of folks insulting the author and talking about how evil Obama and pretty much anyone with a viewpoint near the center (much less the left) are. It blows my mind. Without getting on a discussion of politics (because these days everyone seems to be so passionate for or against whats going on) there is no such thing as “Liberal Media” in most markets, including Georgia.
In reference to the Thrashers and Bloggers, I was under the impression that after the private invites of specific blog writers to interview players and coaches in recent seasons that they would be issued press credentials. The Thrashers are treated like crap from almost all “regular” news sources (Iceman and C-Viv are the only exceptions I see) Looking at the sports section of any paper you see everything about college football, the braves and falcons. After football season ends the AJC STILL gives more space to NFL and College football when they have an abused NHL team that could definitely use some love. Bad thing about this town (and I will say till my last breath) is that most people here are fairweather fans and will ONLY support the flavor of the month (anyone who went to the mid-season Pens / Thrashers game knows that) and if the team had a little more mainstream coverage that would help keep them around. Everyone bashes on the LA Clippers but I’m sure they get better coverage in LA than the Thrashers do in Atlanta.
Give the Bloggers press credentials. Let them do the job that the papers in Georgia should be doing right now. When they get to the playoffs (and I am confident they will make a run one day soon) then the bloggers and anyone who has given support to the team should get first dibs on interviews and stories. Make the “mainstream” media that treats the Thrashers like a red headed stepchild actually EARN the right to cover the team by giving them the attention they deserve.
If my rant makes no sense, I apologize. Just rambling thoughts now that hockey season is over.

Mortimer Peacock

June 11th, 2010
10:38 am

Today, we are all hacks with blogs.

Excellent article, Rawhide. How you found that photo of Shooter and me in our Muppet costumes I’ll never know.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
10:49 am

Bravo Rawhide, bravo! As my American Lit professor once wrote on one of my term papers, “BOFFO”! And kudos to all of the dedicated, and in my case, not-so-dedicated, bloggers who contributed to this piece. A very insightful and colorful read, despite my dry, stilted remarks. I wanna blow sh!$ up on my hockey war blog too!! Just so everyone knows, Morty and Shooter are my heroes, right behind Chris Pronger and Sean Avery!

Joe Friday

June 11th, 2010
11:01 am

I think it’d be foolish to give press credentials to any blogger. Anyone can set up a blog with no experience, no training, no degree. A journalist has formal training and is paid by a professional magazine or newspaper, or radio/tv station. A blogger is just a fan like any of us. No press credentials for bloggers. Only for paid professionals.

WolfKeeper

June 11th, 2010
11:19 am

But alot of “paid professionals” suck at what they do, ESPECIALLY in media.

I say yes, but the team should be able to dictate who gets credentials based on quality/quantity of posts.

GaVaHokie

June 11th, 2010
11:22 am

“Of course, you need to be selective with who you give press creds to”, Laura added. “Maybe bigger blogs or blogs that are part of a network that have a solid reputation and that the leagues and other teams respect and give credentials to”.

This.

It only takes one bad apple to screw it up for everyone.

GaVaHokie

June 11th, 2010
11:24 am

I think Rawhide should get Alan Muir’s press credentials.

Daculafan

June 11th, 2010
11:32 am

Hey Rawhide

Though my blog has been on a hiatus since the end of the season mostly I thought I’d add a few things.

I’m with the majority that thinks that anybody can start a blog and that doesn’t automatically make you credential worthy. I liked the “Blogger Day” events held by the Thrashers last season. In fact there was pretty much 1 each month throughout the season.

I almost think it would be nice to have a combination, have certain proven blogs and their authors credentialed on a full time basis and then have some blogs not deemed as full time worthy be able to participate in “Blogger Day” events that are organized and more directly supervised by somebody in the Thrasher organization.

I also agree that there is a certain code of conduct and ethics that amateur bloggers may not be aware of and they could cross a line and not even know it and hurt the amateur community as whole, so it would be good if those types of things were laid out for those writers that were given some type of access.

Another idea would even be types of restricted access, with it being only during certain times or in certain areas.

No, the newspaper isn’t going anywhere and C-Viv does an awesome job of covering the Thrashers but for fans craving for information and discussion about our team it’s nice to have multiple outlets to go to and the exposure is good for the team and the sport since, other than a quick blurb on the TV news and what the Viv does it’s up to the amateurs to get it done.

Big Shooter

June 11th, 2010
11:39 am

Smoothie – What are the two main rules I have always had with you? 1) Do not make direct eye contact with me, and 2) You are to refer to me as MR. Shooter, not just Shooter. Don’t let it happen again.

Dwayne

June 11th, 2010
11:57 am

I’d be for it. I would not want anything to do with it as far as credentials, but it would make for intresting reading.
Stendec, yes, give him a all access pass, will the Stars be in town next year?
Brendan, yes, no novels please.
Sage, of course, but he and Sara have to sit next to each other.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
12:06 pm

Sincerest apologies Mr. Shooter! Where was my head? I was caught up in the moment. Twill never happen again your Bigness.

R. Stroz

June 11th, 2010
12:07 pm

Here’s an interesting suggestion that has a few holes, but is a start:

Press creds for any blogger that whose site receives advertising revenue from reputable advertising sources.

Rawhide

June 11th, 2010
12:08 pm

Daculafan – Hey buddy….

jen

June 11th, 2010
12:09 pm

I think blogging about the team should be encouraged. I’m kind of in Smoothie’s camp here. I think decisions should be made on a team by team basis, because every team has different levels of media coverage in their respective city, and therefore some teams need the media exposure more than others. I think (and no offense to Vivlamore or Custance), the budget allowed for the AJC Thrashers coverage is not suffecient to provide as much coverage as the team needs or warrents (note numerous AP articles replacing local author driven content for away games this year). However I think there are some specific elements that hockey teams can use to make the judgement call between who is just blogging for giggles and who’s taking the job seriously. I think in any case, blogger nights and blogger specific events should be increased to encourage growth for the coverage, expecially in the case of the Thrashers. I think in order to recieve actual press credentials you can lay out a criteria for the blog to meet and the blogger themselves can decide if they want to persue blogging from a more media oriented position. My suggestions on this:
1. At least one year of consistent blogging once per week on team related issues
2. Relationship or affiliation with mainstream blogging conglomerate site such as SB Nation, FanNation, The Hockey Writers, etc OR
5. A minimum of 5 specific references from established mainstream hockey blogs such as Puck Daddy, From the Rink, etc. and blogroll links from 15 mainline hockey blogs
6. Subscriber base of 300 or more readers
7. Average viewership of 400 or more per article. (stats available from google or whomever)

In return for press access, I think the team should be given the blog’s analytics on a regular basis to monitor interest in the coverage being provided (subscriber data should be protected and bloggers should not provide this email or contact info to the team), and the blogger should have to generate a reasonable number of blogs per year (and not just during the season). For those bloggers who don’t currently meet the above criteria, the increase in team generated blogger related events would provide those people with material and insight to increase their readership and thus meet the above criteria to become a credentialed blogger. If they’re not that serious about it, then they most likely wouldn’t bother.

R. Stroz

June 11th, 2010
12:26 pm

Then again considering the Atlanta Thrashers website has more emphasis on the Blue Crew than hockey, should there be any parameters.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
12:33 pm

Jen – wow, great post! And not just because you agree with me ;-)

Establishing criteria and guidelines should not be that hard to do. Using Falconer’s site as an example, I would gather at least 100 or so people view his site regularly and probably a lot more than that during the regular season. However, in a relatively lagging hockey market like ATL, getting 300 regular readers / subscribers would be hard to come by. But considering the impact of today’s technology on the youngest generation of kids and you begin to realize hockey’s best bet for increasing interest and fan support may be via internet blogging sites that make up for the crappy coverage (no offense to C-Viv and Bill) in this city. Other than FOX5, I don’t think the other TV stations even realize there is a 4th big-time pro franchise in this town. Although they probably think it’s UGA.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
12:35 pm

The fact that none of the broadcast TV stations even mentioned that we have a hockey team in Atlanta is difficult to understand. Throw in the “sports” radio statons in Atlanta that talk Georgia foorball 24-7; it’s tough for hockey to get any coverage here.

So I am in favor of issuing credentials to bloggers for covering the Thrashers. If the bloggers can compliment or improve on the limited local coverage, then I think it would be a good thing. Schultz and Bradley are idiots, so any additional coverage would be an improvement.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
12:43 pm

WBF – don’t throw FOX5 under the bus. They are the only ones who gave a damn when Evander Kane was drafted and even interviewed him live in studio before prospect camp. The dude who does sports there, can’t think of the name off the top of my head, really seems to like hockey and seems to be the only one who makes semi-regular treks up to Duluth to see what the heck is going on.

But you raise a good point about Schultz and Bradley. At least Jeff used to be the beat writer for the Thrashers so his perspective has some merit, although he is almost as nauseatingly negative as Sage. But he’s been there done that so his opinion has a lot more value than Bradley. But the point is that they are doing what Falconer, TBC and Bill do on a regular basis and they do it consistently BETTER. If they can get the requisite advertising revenue to make it more than just a hobby, then that’s there perogative and ajc’s folly for not realizing the potential and thus helping to build and foster interest in the game.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
12:47 pm

Sorry, that sentence about Falconer et al really sucked. What I was trying to say is that Schultz and Bradley now blog FOR A LIVING and they can’t hold a candle to the efforts of Falconer, TBC and our very own Rawhide who do this blogging thing mostly as a labor of love. If that’s the direction news media is already heading, then why not give the most serious bloggers a chance to get up close and personal? Especially if they can do more to fuel interest in the game. Hell, if Helen Thomas can be allowed to sit in the White House as the “Sitting Buddha” some 10-15 years beyond her “prime”, what is the harm in giving out some limited access creds to Falconer, Bill and a few others?

rob

June 11th, 2010
1:30 pm

Well Rawhide, interesting story. I don’t follow other Blogs, spend too much time on this one to be looking at others (no offense to any of the other Blogs, just got hooked on this one off the AJC). This would be my suggestion. Any bloggers interested in getting credentials to get access to the team should have the Blog posted to a website which contained all the Blogs together. That way the fans can go to the sight and see what is happening. Now if for some reason the Blogger or the team decide it isn’t working, the Blog is removed from the site and the credentials taken back. I think giving some Bloggers credentials would be a HUGE benefit, as many FANS are left in the dark as to the goings on of the team because the few (that implies more than 1 and I am not sure there is) writers who care about the Thrashers often won’t ask or don’t have time to ask, questions we want to know about. Now I know that some questions aren’t answered regardless, but if no one asks we don’t know, and if they have more questions to answer, maybe the team will be a little more accountable for the way it is run. Don’t know if any of that makes sense or not, but I like the idea of more people having access to the team for us FANS out here wanting to know more about what is happening!!

Somaatl95

June 11th, 2010
1:41 pm

Like “The Official Atlanta Thrashers Blog” list on thrahsers.nhl.com ? That would be where all blogs that are given cred could be compiled.

HockeyWench

June 11th, 2010
1:43 pm

Last season was a step into the Thrashers opening up to bloggers and I believe we all appreciated the access that we were given. I feel there should still be a line between the access main stream media gets versus bloggers. Bloggers do give a different feel to the view of the game and here in Atlanta we have such a great group of bloggers who give many perspectives on the game. I think we all also like the support we all give to each others blogs as well as the individuals.

I disagree with Jen’s view however. There are a lot of great bloggers here in Atlanta that do not get paid to blog, do not require paid ad space and do not have to have subscriptions. Just because a blogger is not with SB Nation, Hockey Writers and such does not make any of them any less valuable to the blogosphere versus those that are on those hosting sites. Not every blogger requires notority from the rest of the blogging world to blog about their team.

We had great access last season, I for one think we may be offered up even more this season. We just have to wait and see what we are offered and be appreciative for what we do get. In all honesty, there is no difference in what you see from the press box as there is from sitting in the seats. It is nice to sit in the press box and talk hockey with all the rest of the bloggers. Access to what you can and cannot do outside of the locker room should still be limited as we already have it.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
1:49 pm

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-spt-0611-blackhawks-dan-mcneil–20100610,0,4923995.column

Good read and the somewhat op-ed piece even touches on the subject matter of this blog…albeit indirectly. Enjoy! Unless you hate the Blackhawks of course.

HockeyWench

June 11th, 2010
2:10 pm

Smoothie I need to get in touch with you about a blogger event this weekend and I do not have your contact info recorded yet. Is it listed on your blogsite?

Hockey Mom in VA

June 11th, 2010
2:14 pm

I have been a credentialed blogger with the Washington Capitals for more than 2 years now. As mentioned in the article, the Caps organization was on the forefront of embracing new media. One of the reasons was that until the past few years, they were competing with the Redskins for print/network coverage. Now of course, everyone wants to start a blog. The Thrashers should grant access to the bloggers who’ve established themselves as responsible and dedicated members of the new media corps. It doesn’t come without risk but in the time I’ve been in the press box, I have not seen any glaring issues with my fellow bloggers and doing anything that was potentially crossing the line. As a matter of fact, Comcast SportsNet (who provides game coverage) works very closely with the established new media and we have been asked to host live chats during games, etc. for the network. New media is the future of sports coverage and it’s a matter of time before all the teams will grant press access!

Brendan

June 11th, 2010
2:33 pm

I wouldn’t want someone like Falconer to be denied a press credential. But, I wouldn’t want to let some hack get one, either. I suppose, the blogger should petition for one, with a link to his/her blog, for the team to evaluate whether or not to issue one. That seems fair.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
2:36 pm

I could be wrong, but I think Jen was referring to the idea of extending more than just limited, once in awhile, access to bloggers and how you could potentially go about determing criteria for such. I don’t think she was trying to diminish anyone’s blog, but the smart folks in the Thrashers PR and marketing dept seem like a savvy lot to me and I think they are capable of determining a good blog with integrity from a lousy one. However, page views and ad revenue could certainly be used as more quantitative criteria in doling out more “serious” access.

As for my personal information, I don’t think there is anything on my blog other than a silly profile page. I’m flattered you would want to invite me so please feel free to get my e-mail address from Bill Tiller. Actually, it’s time that I update my blog and get the ball rolling again, so I’ll see about posting some contact info at As the Birds Thrash. Unfortunately, I don’t think this weekend will work but it would be great to keep up with the goings-on in the “blogosphere”.

HockeyWench

June 11th, 2010
2:48 pm

No I didn’t take Jen that way at all. There are a lot of bloggers who choose not to join on the networks she was talking about and I understand why.

We are in the process of changing the look of our blog and updating fellow Thrashers blogger links so we will be linking you up there as well as via the ATFC link page.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
2:58 pm

Smoothie-My issue I have with Schultz and Dooley (Bradley) don’t do their homework. It’s easy to be negative, the club has given anyone and everyone the opportunity the chance. But you expect trained, educated journalist to have an idea what they are talking about when they hit the keyboard. None of us have an issue correcting a fellow blogger if they screw up, so I have not issue ragging on the paid guys, who should be held to a higher standard. Schultz and Bradley are idiots.

R. Stroz

June 11th, 2010
3:03 pm

If no paramters are set other than being a blogger, any knucklehead who sets up a blog and does little more than post the starting line up, which is subject to change, would think they have the right to press creds.

Parameters must be set to quantify and qualify bloggers for press creds. Most accomplished sites have a revenue stream of some sort, such as advertising.

Failing to have parameters does nothing more than insure some knucklehead blogger will procure access and “muck it up” for those bloggers who behave appropriately.

Can you imagine a blogger being able to ask Todd White if he likes being called “Charmin”, a blogger asking Lehtonen whether he considers himself a “Finnish piece of @#$%”, or a blogger asking if a soon to be UFA “has his bags packed?”

Trust me, it would happen eventually.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
3:07 pm

Actually Stroz, I think it’s high time Vivlamore asked Todd White about his nickname and his feelings towards Rawhide’s milk carton theme! ;-)

Laura

June 11th, 2010
3:29 pm

I have absolutely no illusions about what I do – I blog for fun, really – it’s my hobby. I do write for a few sites, all fan run, because they’ve asked me to and apparently like what I have to say, or at least how much space that I can fill up. I wanted to clarify that I don’t want the same press access that actual members of the press get – they get paid, they get the access. I also appreciate very much the blogger days that the Thrashers have had for us over the past season.

I do think that the NHL teams need to follow the lead of the League itself and embrace blogging and social media – SB Nation blogs were featured on the main NHL.com page, were they not? The league gives credentials to bloggers for things like the draft, as Falconer says. It’s nice to get to go to things like that because of the opinion value of it – we can write what we want. I don’t think that being a “Thrashers Approved” blogger would entice me to only write good things about the team. Heck, I ripped Anderson several times last year on my blog before and after blogger days, and I still managed to be invited back. I think as long as you phrase things rationally and normally, the team really won’t have a problem with it. It’s not as though they’ll be paying us.

Brendan

June 11th, 2010
3:29 pm

Well, LAC would surely get his chance to have that question he wants asked so badly.

World Be Free

June 11th, 2010
3:50 pm

Stroz-you said knucklehead twice

timmyf

June 11th, 2010
4:39 pm

Well, obviously, I’m in favor of press credentials. I’d probably do press on weekday games and enjoy from my own seats on weekends. Keep in mind that true press access means a lot more than just watching games from the press box and occasionally being allowed to question a player or two: if we had the same ability to question players and coaches, we’d be able to bring you better content.

It’s a lot easier to try to explain what the Coach is thinking if we can, well, ask him.

Thrashers Recaps

June 11th, 2010
4:50 pm

We might use this as an opportunity to think of what the blogging community may bring to the Thrashers organization, i.e. a need that is not being met by traditional media.

If we can find a way that puts fans in seats at Philips arena, then from the organization’s perspective the question of giving bloggers press credentials is a no-brainer.

HockeyWench

June 11th, 2010
4:51 pm

R. Stroz you are refering to my blog and I am for one not a knucklehead as you so call me. Yes I post up game day lineups with a hell of a lot of stats with it. Yes it does say subject to change because lineups can change at the last minute before a game. Since you have no idea how much time it takes to put one of those together your opinion of those game day blogs holds no merit. If you want to get into what any blogger does try writing one instead of posting comments trying to rip one. All bloggers use stats and we all do writing as well.

timmyf I completely agree with what you are saying.

Smoothie

June 11th, 2010
5:19 pm

Okay, I’m officially unofficially a blogger again…I apologize to anyone who actually stumbled upon my blog before and liked it. I plan on blogging regularly again at least a couple times a week, even if I don’t have much of anything to blog about. Enjoy:

http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-that-and-ricky-barnes-trousers-o.html

Hockey Wench – if you can’t get a hold of Bill, who I think is traveling, I’ve enabled the link to my e-mail in my blog profile. Thanks and happy blogging!!

timmyf

June 11th, 2010
5:21 pm

To those who suggest advertising/revenue as part of the process, I don’t think that’s particularly useful. While there are ads at BWA, we don’t receive any revenues. Those are kept by SB Nation. And do we actually want to *encourage* more advertising on the internet?

Truth is, folks involved in the Thrashers organization know most of the Thrashers bloggers. Many of us are season ticket holders. We’re at all the events. We talk to folks like Ben Wright pretty frequently. There are people who could vouch for those of us who would actually benefit from press access. It’s not quite as hard as it seems… right now…

The problems start when folks start blogging simply to gain press access. Those bloggers may be more likely to cause trouble.

But seriously, if you’ve never done a blogger day, I’ll say this much: anybody who has the intention of causing trouble would very likely chicken out. Trust me.

LAC

June 11th, 2010
6:19 pm

I’d be a BAD pick to interview any ownership or waddell, I simply ask questions they would walk away from.

Not much else to say, I feel there should be someone like Bill or an alternate when he cannot be there.

Bill, still awaiting your reply, want to ride ?

R. Stroz

June 11th, 2010
6:59 pm

Hockeywench – What is your website named?

I made a generic statement about how easily anyone could consider themselves a blogger without a great deal of content and therefore press cred worthy?

Do you really just post up the line up? If so, that is kind of funny.

My main concern is how easily someone with a “loose cannon” for a mouth could “muck things up” for everyone else.

Once again, there must be some line of demarcation established. Otherwise anyone, excuse me, any knucklehead, could go on blogspot.com, set up a blogger site, and bingo they would be “cred worthy.”

R. Stroz

June 11th, 2010
7:16 pm

The problems start when folks start blogging simply to gain press access. Those bloggers may be more likely to cause trouble.

timmyf – Bingo and that is exactly what will ruin things for everyone.

Fan from Carolina

June 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

It would be a decent idea if someone would actually read the blogs. Is there anyway of knowing how many Thrashers fans actually read or post? It just can’t be very many so what is the point in the team allowing this? I follow hockey closely, within our division especially, yet I rarely post or even read the blogs. Too much nonsense from far too many, plain and simple. I read nothing at all as far as blogs except Rawhide’s, ever since he took over from the idiot that proceeded him. Anyone remember his crap about the Thrashers playing well in the playoff series? Unreal. As a serious fan, you just tune out.

HockeyWench

June 11th, 2010
7:58 pm

Stroz I am one of the contributors on The Thrashers 411 which has been around since 2006. While we do post game day lineups we have a healthy content of articles and post game scenarios.

Just because someone sets up a blogsite anywhere does not make them cred worthy. I saw several pop up last season when the blogger events started but they quickly faded away. I agree there does have to be a line of whom gets that cred or not.

I feel like the rest of the fellow bloggers here, having the chance to ask the coaches and players questions after a game would be a way to get more feel from a fan perspective that you do not get from mainstream media.

Like TimmyF stated, anyone who possibly went in to one of these events with ill intentions would chicken out fast.

Dwayne

June 11th, 2010
9:00 pm

I blog, therefore I am!!

Rene Descartes

June 11th, 2010
9:16 pm

I think, therefore I blog.

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
12:12 am

Bill, you have brought folks out of the woodwork for this subject. Nice job, as usual.

LAC-I’d pay good money to see you interview anyone from this organization. But most of all, I’d like to see you interview Duds. I think you two would hit it off very well.

Tony C.

June 12th, 2010
7:17 am

They should have a standards of practice-”rules of the road” so to speak… As per any press credential, to be pulled at the clubs discretion should there be conduct “unbecoming” (colorful language, blogger/staff’s behavior etc, etc) a “respectful dialog”. Basically, if you want a big-boy press pass, then you need to act like an a responsible adult.

Now on to today’s most important item:

Where are we gonna watch USA vs. England at????

J.K. Sockey

June 12th, 2010
8:48 am

Can’t believe you didn’t come to me for my opinion. I’m easily the best blogger in hockey history. Who gets you the inside scoop like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okb_CTmUNIE&feature=youtube_gdata

Mr. Whipple

June 12th, 2010
8:55 am

Tod White can’t wait to meet Rawhide.

Mr. Whipple

June 12th, 2010
8:57 am

Todd White can’t wait to meet Rawhide.

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
9:24 am

We have talked alot about goaltending, going to free agency to find our next number one. In Philly, it sounds more and more like Michael Leighton will not be back, the Flyers may opt for a short term upgrade which will require more $$$ that Leighton and Boucher made this season combined. So that opens the question, should the Thrashers target Leighton as their new number one? He’d be cheaper and younger that other options like Nabakov or Turco. Leighton could be next season’s Craig Anderson.

I keep hearing more and more that the Leafs may target Kovalchuk. If Kovy signs in Tronna, it would confirm that he has no desire to ever win the Stanley Cup.

Red Light

June 12th, 2010
11:31 am

IMO, Leighton doesn’t have nearly the upside that Pavelec does and as such I wouldn’t want him as a No. 1, plus he may never recover from the awful goal he allowed to Kane. Four good months doesn’t mean he’s a top-flight NHL goalie and the Thrashers already have invested the time and money in Pavs.

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
11:35 am

R/L-he may be a short term solution in goal until Duds can fully evaluate Pavs.

R. Stroz

June 12th, 2010
12:15 pm

J.K. Sockey – Those Philthy folks just don’t have a very good sense of humor.

jen

June 12th, 2010
12:45 pm

Just to clarify @HockeyWench there was an OR between item 2 and item 3. Not everyone wants to be affiliated with a meta-blog conglomoration. Which is you would have the option of getting the references and blogroll listings, because I do read blogs like Blueland Chronicle, which for me personally are highly entertaining, are certainly not MSM-type journalism. It doesn’t make them any less valuable to the Thrash blogging community. In addition, if 15 different sites are referring them, then the chances of someone happening in on the site are greatly increased

@Fan From Carolina: Anyone with a website can set this up analytics with Google and have instant access to information on pageviews, clicks and location stats. So yes, bloggers, if they want to, can see how often their page is viewed, which articles are the most viewed and where geographically, the views are coming from

For the record, if I said anything about revenue stream generation from the blogsite, I didn’t mean to, becuase advertisings should not be a pre-req. for a “legit” blog. Many blog hosting sites force google ads onto pages and the bloggers have no control. I was referencing the statistics which are available to anyone who runs a blog.

And btw to all you bloggers out there. thanks for what you do. I really enjoy reading the perspectives you provide.

Dwayne

June 12th, 2010
2:05 pm

On another note…Hawks go cheap and promote asst. Coach Drew
What might this mean to the Thrashers?

Brendan

June 12th, 2010
2:14 pm

The Blackhawks parade and celebration is on the NHL Network, right now.

Smoothie

June 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

Dwayne – why it means their saving the big bucks for the Thrashers for a change!!

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. ;-)

Torch or even Ramsay may not be that expensive. They may just want the chance to be the “man”.

Brendan

June 12th, 2010
2:33 pm

If Philly’s fans and media push Leighton out of town, simply because he gave up a bad in overtime, they deserve to lose him from the roster. What’s the sense in making Leighton mad, and wanting to leave? If that’s even the case. In Philly’s shoes, I’d try to keep Leighton and Boucher and trade Ray Emery.

Can any post a list of the UFA goalies that will become available on July 1? I remember names like Biron, Ellis, Nabakov, and others. Let’s also not forget that there are RFA who can be had via trade. I would Carey Price is on this list. If you want Halak, it’ll take an RFA offersheet to pry him away. The possible compensation is 2 first rounders, a 3rd rounder, and quite possibly a 2nd rounder. So, think that one over, first.

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
2:50 pm

Dwayne-not sure who was left for the Hawks to hire, though I think we’d all react the same way you did if the Thrashers hire any of the assistants they just fired other than Cunnyerworth (maybe).

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
2:56 pm

Brendan-from what I see here is all the UFA goalies available July 1 and their age-

Joey MacDonald (30), Moose (36), Dany Sabourin (29), Patrick Lalime (35), Vesa, Toskela (32), Manny Legace (37), John Grhame (34), Marty Turco (34), Wade Dubielewicz (31), Curtis Sanford (30), Dan Ellis (29), Yann Danis (28), Martin Biron (32), Alex Auld (29), Steven Valiquette (32), Ray Emery (27), Johan Backlund (28), Michael Leighton (29), Sebastian Caron (29), Evgeni Nabakov (34), Chris Mason (34), Antero Niitymaki (29), Andrew Raycroft (29) Jose Theodore (33)

Dwayne

June 12th, 2010
3:29 pm

Avery would have been the right one…but the Spirit clowns went cheap. I know why clowns hired Duds, he basically said “the team I put together can be coached by a monkey and win” well, he didn’t say it that way, but you know what I’m saying. Can’t wait till the draft then July 1. Guess I’ll watch USA soccer.

Tony C.

June 12th, 2010
5:45 pm

Take Emery off that list-word out of Philadelphia is that hip injury may be career-ending…. I’d look at Turco, but I doubt he’ll sign with us-otherwise I think Dudley is right.

Considering that Pavelec is the “heir apparent”, and we don’t have the budget to bring in Nabakov-I don’t think there are any options on the UFA front that are a significant upgrade to a Pavelec/Hedberg combo. I would however look at seeing what it would cost to get Vokun in a trade (can’t imagine Tallon’d go for it-but it doesn’t hurt to make a phone call), or maybe Budaj…Budaj’s no great shakes but he makes the saves you want him to-let’s face it unless the goalie is freakishly talented, they’re going to look like crap behind your standard-issue Thrashers “defence”.

I guess what I’m trying to say is-Pavelec Hedberg is as good as any other option that is realistically available. Especially since Dudley seems to have made getting a dedicated “goalies coach” in here. That alone I think will do wonders. I doubt we’ll get Burke to let Francois come hang out with us at all, but I understand The Beezer has been looking into getting into coaching at the NHL-level, but the whole “n-word” thing while he was coaching the Greyhounds probably makes him a tough sell in ATL… IDK, but I would like to see somebody who knows what he’s doing come down here. Whoever the guy is for Jokeritt-seriously let’s just get a solid & committed person in there now.

In other news:

Thankfully, The Futbol Gods love Eminem A/K/A Clint Dempsey…

USA 1 England 1

HUGE point, and a good result for a USA team that didn’t play as well as I’d hoped, but still come away with a good shot to win their group.

Tony C.

June 12th, 2010
5:46 pm

“…Dudley seems to have made*…”

Smoothie

June 12th, 2010
6:36 pm

I like Budaj a lot as well, but I’m afraid he already re-signed a new deal with Colorado.

If not Moose, Ellis, Biron or Nitty would be good options.

Tom

June 12th, 2010
7:41 pm

Rawhide

You want the brutal truth?

I would not come to the AJC for Thrasher’s coverage if it was not for your blog and the people posting here.

Not to throw C Viv under the bus, but the coverage of the team has been lacking. Being the only paper in town and with the only full time reporter for the Thrashers, he still is scooped by the national press.

Not asking the tough questions and not getting the heads up is not a good combination.

Now I do not expect the Thrashers to give media credentials to the bloggers. Why, because who wants to face tough questions when you do not need to?

Now a group of business people that are focused on marketing would, because they would get added exposure and also be held to a standard on a daily basis. Smart owners would think that being under this kind of scrutiny is good for the GM, coaches, and players.

But when you can discount it as pajama wearing bloggers asking the tough questions and have a cowed local media, life is good if mediocrity is your goal.

Now saying all this, I see Dudley being much more open to bloggers than Waddell. He may tell the bloggers to F$#! Off, but he will tell you that. Don will hide behind the PR people and give you a his smile and a lie.

I would love to see access to bloggers for the Thrashers. An ideal compromise would be setting up a pool of blogs and have 2 a night be given access after the game. This way the pressure is off the bloggers to be “full time reporters” but still get the occasional access. With texting and email, questions could be submitted to the pool by those not covering the game and the audio and text uploaded afterwards.

HookyBob

June 12th, 2010
9:55 pm

No commenton the blog host access,…. other than,…… the devil is in the details.

As for hockey goalies,…how about we stick with what he have,..and get a a genuine goalie coach?

World Be Free

June 12th, 2010
10:43 pm

Tom-this is one of the best hockey blogs ANYWHERE. Most other team or media based blogs just blast their local teams. Here we have spirited conversations, agreements and disagreements on issues related to our team and the league. Helps having alotta people from different regoins and different perspectives.

Again on the goalies, I am worried about Moose duplicating this past season. I am hoping for a more responsible coach and responsible coaching system. Leaning towards Ramsay, which means it will probably be Torch and I am Ok with that.

I keep hearing Ellis is rumored to Philly.

Joe Friday

June 13th, 2010
12:02 am

“Tom-this is one of the best hockey blogs ANYWHERE”

why yes, yes it is!

Joe Friday

June 13th, 2010
12:03 am

watched Miracle tonite, can we resurrect Herb and name him coach?

Red Light

June 13th, 2010
9:36 am

12 days until the draft. 17 days until free agency. Slater only UFA signed so far. For the draft, you have to project what the make-up of your team looks like 2- or 3 years down the road, much more so than next year. So, in 2011-12, you will still have Antro, Kane, Pevs, Toby, Hainsey, Bogo, Oduya, Kulda, Boris and presumably Bergie and Little. Looking at those pieces, the Thrashers must look for a center first, a winger second, and then the dreaded “best available” player with the No. 8 pick.

And thus, if the draftee isn’t ready to make the NHL club, which is very likely, then you have to use that same logic in free agency until the young players are ready, don’t you?

Of course, many of us have said for the past five years the team needed a playmaker at center. Just wondering if and when that will happen.

rob

June 13th, 2010
9:43 am

I think it should be more than just 2 bloggers……..go to any hockey town where the media actually does it’s job and how many media people are there after every game? All the TV channels, the newspaper(s), and the radio station. Here???? Never saw much of ANYTHING. I think as long as the bloggers can ask questions appropriately, realizing they can ask tough questions in a non offensive way, and doing the job of INFORMING us about what is going on, this is a great idea. I DON’T think Standek, Sage, or any other bitter or vulgar hacks being granted access. The reward for being granted access to the team is actually being able to see what is going on, and why things are happening. If more people are given access, the better able we the fans are able to see what is happening with the team. Having someone who actually is concerned with the team and the sport would lead to better coverage and help the team IMO.

World Be Free

June 13th, 2010
10:53 am

Red Light-I agree with projecting out to 3 seasons. I think they will go for the best player at #8 and look to trade # 24 for an established player. As for free agency, we need to focus on a top 6 forward and my choice is Matthew Lombardi. Lombardi had 53 points last season, made $1.8M last season on a defense-first team. He has great speed and we will need to replace speed if Max is not resigned. Aside from goalie, center is the hardest position on the ice and the toughest to fill. Lombardi is only 28, with plenty of hockey left in him.

Next up-a coach
I think we will have a new coach by next weekend, no later.

Brendan

June 13th, 2010
11:03 am

WBF, thank you. Here’s that list again: Joey MacDonald (30), Moose (36), Dany Sabourin (29), Patrick Lalime (35), Vesa, Toskala (32), Manny Legace (37), John Grahame (34), Marty Turco (34), Wade Dubielewicz (31), Curtis Sanford (30), Dan Ellis (29), Yann Danis (28), Martin Biron (32), Alex Auld (29), Steven Valiquette (32), Ray Emery (27), Johan Backlund (28), Michael Leighton (29), Sebastian Caron (29), Evgeni Nabakov (34), Chris Mason (34), Antero Niittymaki (29), Andrew Raycroft (29) Jose Theodore (33)

Actually, I think there are several intriguing options there. The issue would, of course, be “at what price” and “how many years.” I do agree with Tony C. that Pavelec is the heir apparent. As I’ve said several times, Moose Hedberg is one of my all-time favorite Thrashers. But I just don’t think it’s realistic to expect a now 37 year old Hedberg to play 30 or more games-a-year. I thought the trade deadline was an excellent time to shop him for the best return possible. And if nothing better than a 5th round pick was in the offering, stand pat with him. Thrashers didn’t make the playoffs. Bygones.

Off that list, WBF, I do have some interest in Marty Turco, but my issue is price. I agree with Smoothie that Niittymaki is worth a second look. I don’t know what he’d cost, but I don’t think it’s cost-prohibitive. I’m intrigued by Ellis, but I think he’s out of our price range, and will want a multi, multi-year deal. Nabakov is my 1st choice, of course, but we’re nowhere near being able to seriously think of tossing our hat in that ring. And if Nabby’s agent tries to use Atlanta to drive up the price, then the GM calls their bluff. Plain and simple. “Okay, sign with Atlanta, then, if that’s our haggling partner.” See, that won’t work. Suddenly, Nabby’s agent is back on the phone, trying to invent a story about how Atlanta decided to go in a different direction, renigging on the offer they just made. Agents can’t bluff using Atlanta ANYMORE. Everyone learned from the Brian Campbell non-sense, with Atlanta. I was surprised to see Jose Theodore’s name on this list, WBF. I think he will be signed at a discount, where he goes. But I don’t know what his asking price will be. Jose’s a gamble. I wonder if he’ll want job security, or UFA money? The team opting to go longer with him, might score him for a nice price.

Okay, what does that leave, as a realistic option. Hmmn. What about Biron? Seriously. He wants to be a #1. It won’t cost the moon-n-stars. He’ll only want a 2-year deal from Atlanta, unless he’s made up his mind to retire early, and is looking at 2010 as his last, big contract. Okay. None of this will happen. But, it’s fun to speculate. I’ve always liked Curtis Sanford. I always saw him as excellent “bang for the buck.” He’s had injuries, though. And, in a new environment, I am also curious about Vesa Toskala, on a 1-year deal. We’re not Toronto. Our media won’t eat him alive. He’s not expected to do anything, so anything he does would be welcomed. What would Toskala cost? What I’m saying here is … come July 3rd … if we’re not going with Moose and Pavelec … for WHATEVER reason … then there are some alternative options, unless other teams swoop up this lesser, Tier II UFA goalies. Remember, Moose is a UFA. He can sign anywhere he wants, if he doesn’t want Atlanta. Pavelec is an RFA. He has to get a qualifying offer before July 1. All that means is … something a 10-percentage raise. At that point, it’s Pavelec’s option to either sign the qualifying offer, or elect for arbitration. If Atlanta fails to make a ‘timely’ qualifying offer, then we remember what happened to Chicago. They had to scramble to quickly sign those RFAs, at UFA pricing, to cover for the gaffe. Nobody is stupid enough to let Pavelec become a UFA, for failure to make a qualifying offer on time. Pavelec can make a counter offer, if he doesn’t like what he hears. If Atlanta doesn’t like that counter prosposal, the Thrashers can elect for salary arbitration. Any way you look at it, arbitration is bad. Hurtful things are said about the player, in an attempt to reduce the salary judgement. The player is angry over the comments. The player is “forced” to stay the season, unless the team REJECTS the artibrator’s salary award decision. At which point, the player then becomes unrestricted (UFA). I doubt any of this is going to happen with Pavelec.

But uhh … it will be telling what kind of contract Pavelec gets, no? Pavelec has YEARS to go before he can become unrestricted. YEARS. So, what will Atlanta do? In Kari Lehtonen-like fashion, he will get a series of one-year deals? Will this upcoming contract pay him ONLY THROUGH his RFA years? (I’m in this camp of belief.) Or, will the organization declare Pavelec is their “goalie of the future,” with some 7-8 year deal, that encompasses some of his UFA eligible years? Yeah, might be too soon for all that, no? Maybe it’ll be a 2-year deal, still leaving him restricted at its conclusion. This is ultimately what I think the Thrashers will do.

World Be Free

June 13th, 2010
11:34 am

Lots to think about Brendan. A few thoughts-

Ellis looks like he may be headed to Philly, if the Flyers decide not to resign Leighton. He’s projected at $3.5M/yr, which isn’t bad if you consider he’s pretty good.
Turco-I think he’s going to want to go to a winner. Turco and Nabakov with both be looking for $5M+ (if Nabakov doesn’t resign soon in SJ).
Theordore-I suggested him awhile back and it was not well received by our fellow bloggers. I still think he has some gas left in the tank, having put his personal issues behind him. He will want both UFA $$$ and job security. If Moose walks, any goalie that comes to Atlanta will have job security because there are another NHL caliber goalie in our system other than the new goalie and Pavs.
Moose-I too think we can’t ask for more from Moose than he gave last year. It’s a gamble to try, a big gamble.
Toskela-he seems to break down physically if he’s played too much. Vesa has never had the stamina to play alotta games in a short period of time. He was in a no win situation with the Leafs because they gave up alot to get him. I keep hearing he still wants to be a number 1, which means he may end up in Europe this season.
Pavelec-I am not sold on Opie yet, not even close. He needs a good goaltender coach, one that will deal with his temperment. The kid gets too emotional and he loses his focus.

I keep going back to Josh Harding. Harding has played well when he has had a chance. The Wild need help, they need players and cap relief. Harding won’t provide alotta relief, but we may be able to get Harding for a prospect so we can focus on guys like Lombardi and Asham on July 1, maybe a defenseman if we cannot resign Kubina. I still think not resigning Max is very risky.

Smoothie

June 13th, 2010
11:47 am

WBF – I like the idea of signing Lombardi to a L/T deal because not only is he a fast skating, potentially dynamic player capable of 60-70 points, he should have 6 to 8 years of good hockey left. Even if he slows down a bit into his 30’s, he seems like the type of hard-working player who would be able to solidify a tenacious, fore-checking 3rd line. We should be able to offer him what he wants without breaking the bank. I would hope we could outbid just about anyone if he is the “shoe that fits best”. We shall see.

Adam

June 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

There have been a lot of good comments on this topic. I particularly like Jen’s ideas but the common theme seems to be how to keep the hacks out. Other than meeting a set list of criteria the team could also just set a limit to the number of passes they issue. Say 10-15 and that’s it, no more. This will also keep the traffic down and easy for them to manage.

Brendan

June 13th, 2010
1:01 pm

WBF: Regarding Theodore, I don’t know that he can command such a high salary anymore. He’s not a spring chicken. He hasn’t delivered the goods, in terms of a Stanley Cup. He’s had roughly a handful of 30-win seasons. He turns 34 in September, and if it’s a 3-year deal he seeks, that pays him until he’s 37. How many GM’s especially want to do that? He’s won roughly 20 games in the playofs, while losing roughly 30. That’s a win percentage hovering around .400, in the postseason. I think, but don’t quote me, that Theodore has only won four (4) playoff series in his career. To the best of my recollection, Theodore has never played in the Conference Finals. As GM’s assess goalies in the UFA frenzy, while contemplating $5 or more million, they’ve got to be looking at things like … HOW FAR has this goalie ever taken a team?, and if he hasn’t taken them there yet, at age 34, HOW LIKELY is he to do that in the next few years?

As best I can recall, Jose Theodore made his “career” in a series of STINGING 1st round upsets of 1st place Boston, in 2002 & 2004. When you are a Montrealer, nothing tops eliminating Boston. So, naturally, Montreal’s press was quickly smitten with him. But Theodore, for whatever reason, has never won a series in the 2nd round. Now, at least in terms of those upsets of Boston, they ran into tough teams that would go far in those respective years, in the form of Carolina (won Eastern Conference in 2002) and Tampa Bay (won Stanley Cup in 2004). In 2006, Theodore’s Avalance lost to Anaheim, who went to the CF vs. Edmonton. In 2008, Theodore’s Avs lost to Detroit in Round II. Detroit went on to win the Cup that year. So, I suppose Theodore does have legitimate argument that, in latter rounds of the playoffs, he lost to clubs that eventually won the Cup or went to the Finals and lost. That’s sort of “forgiveable.”

My point? I don’t think Theodore, at this point, can expect to be one of the most highly sought after UFA netminders. But to a team like an Atlanta, he’s very attractive. He can get paid, and be the presummed # 1 goalie. In that regard, I think Biron would look at the Atlanta market. If Theodore and Biron want championships, I don’t know what to tell them. Beg Detroit to take them at a pittance of salary. Tell Chicago to trade Cristobal Huet, and they’ll be Niemi’s backup?

Jameson

June 13th, 2010
1:31 pm

Brendan- I’d want to leave at least one year of RFA eligibility for Pavelec. That way we’d still have one more RFA contract to try and lock him up long term if things are looking good.

World Be Free

June 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

Back on subject-I think it would be a great idea to give bloggers media access for the benefit of THE PLAYERS. Blogs give players greater access to the fans and visa versa, since we get most of our hockey news from alternative media outlets.

Brendan-I think Theodore has matured as a person. I also agree with your reality of Theodore’s true affordability, which is why I suggested him a few weeks back. Theodore and the Thrashers may be a mutual option. The biggest question here is Pavs, is he the long term solution? If he is deemed to be the long term guy, then a 30-ish goaltender as a stop gap solution is OK. Mason, Theodore, Biron or another 30 year old on a 2 year deal is fine. I am just not sold on Pavs, that’s why I prefer Harding, Ellis, Quick or Bernier – a goaltender with upside that can fill the position long term if Pavs does not progress.

Smoothie-I like Lombardi alot. I even see him in the #1 center role, moving Antropov back to wing, his natural position. A line of Lombardi, Bergfors and Antropov would be an improvement over the same line was with Max last year. I still wish we were resigning Max to a 3 year deal. I question the decision to let him walk, but if we are, then Lombardi would be the best replacement. Lombardi for Max, Asham for Armstrong. We would be a better team.

World Be Free

June 13th, 2010
3:19 pm

Zherdev to Thrashers rumors are starting again. Which begs the question, if Max is not Duds kind of player, how could Zherdev be?

Brendan

June 13th, 2010
9:39 pm

WBF, what Russian players are left on Atlanta, if Max leaves? Russians in Atlanta buy hockey tickets. I’m not too sure Zherdev would pack ‘em in like Kovalchuk could, but it is interesting to think that Zherdev could possibly be considering Atlanta as an option.

WBF, I guess I just don’t know enough about Josh Harding to be sold on him, either. If, for whatever reason, Bernier is the odd man out in Los Angeles, I say we scoop him up! But, I think he’s staying in L.A. The Kings invested a high-end 1st round pick in Bernier. If they don’t want Quick, I think he’s got potential.

Jameson, I think your wish is exactly what the Thrashers are planning. Anyone think there could be RFA offersheets for either Pavelec or Little? My guess is, “no.”

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
5:49 am

Brendan-Russian newspaper indicate that Zherdev is coming back to the NHL and that Atlanta may be a destination, since we must have had contact with him last summer. His contract in the KHL has been completed and there’s no indication he is going to resign. Kings have Ensberg in goal too.

Offer sheet? Little maybe, Pavs I don’t think so.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
8:29 am

Ten business days till the draft…one player re-signed…less than half a team under contract…TICK TOCK…TICK TOCK

Anyone else getting a little concerned?

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
8:35 am

Stroz–if you look at the long list of UFA league-wide, there are very few UFAs that have resigned with their current teams. I’d like to have Kubina resigned by now, but I think teams are jockeying for position, ready to poach the cap-stressed teams.

GaVaHokie

June 14th, 2010
9:27 am

Rumor: It seems Atlanta has signed Fredrick Pettersson of the Swedish Elite League. If true, it’s a great signing… I forwarded the rumor to Viv for confirmation.

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2010/6/14/1517046/thrashers-sign-frederik-pettersson

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
9:40 am

Stroz / WBF – the good news is we haven’t heard or seen any other rumors about Kubina testing the UFA market come July 1. It seems that when talks break down, agents are very quick to leak to the press their client’s intent to test the market. We’ve heard about Max and even Arty very early on going to KHL possibly, but I have yet to read any rumor or report regarding Kubina. That may be a good thing for the Thrashers.

But just like WBF said, we have seen very few UFA’s signings thus far. I think there have been about 7 or 8 “big name” signings (top 9 forwards or top 4 D-men) since the end of the season. Last year, we signed Reasoner on June 8th. This year, Slater. Other than that, I don’t recall a heckuva lot of activity for the Thrashers until the week of the 25th of June when RFA contracts are tendered.

Hopefully this week we lock up our coach and then next week we get our 4 RFA’s under “tender” so we can at least have the upper-hand in negotiations should another team even think about an offer sheet.

The next 10 days or so should start to pick up in terms of activity and intrigue. And the fact that we are reportedly involved in an attempt to bring over one of Klingberg’s teammates shows that our GM is very high on Carl and his prospects of playing in the NHL very soon.

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
10:17 am

Smoothie-I think we will have a coach by the weekend. No need to stretch this out, especially if it is a coach who could be used to persuade existing UFAs and July 1 candidates to be in Atlanta for the future. I think Ramsay is that kind of coach; we will see.

Lee

June 14th, 2010
10:22 am

According to C-Viv, Afinegenov is not close to deal.

Dwayne

June 14th, 2010
10:33 am

I’d love to see Kubina and Max in a Thrasher uni for at least 3 more years. Continuity with a new Coach might be a key. Even tho Duds was here last year, this year seems different. I’m an optimist, not a sheep(sage). I still feel Coaching, (head n goaltender) might be more important than who is signed. Thrashers lost a lot of 1 goal games last year, we all know JA did not know how to make any adjustments in game. I wonder how much Duds will “coach” his new team. I’m having hockey withdrawls, looks like I picked a bad week to stop using amphetamins.

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
12:35 pm

Not too sure what to make of the Max negotiations. This team (and fanbase) could use a couple shots of good news to ensure we have plenty of interest going into the draft and free agency.

No updates on Kubina negotiations