Next three weeks should be very interesting in Thrasherville

Now that the playoffs are over and the NHL is officially over, we now focus our attention towards events that will shape the makeup of the Atlanta Thrashers. From the coaching staff to player signings, the next several weeks look to be pretty interesting in these parts.

First off, the Falconer is reporting that the Thrashers have signed Swedish left wing Fredrik Pettersson. He’s 23-years old and scored 20 goals last season in the Swedish Elite League.

So, the fun may already be getting started.

Outside of that, I fully expect that sometime this week we will begin to hear of a planned meeting with Rick Dudley and John Torchetti. Once that occurs, I’m sure we in the Thrasherville blogosphere will be looking for white smoke billowing from atop Philips Arena in anticipation of the decision.

Maxim Afinogenov, seen here scoring against the Buffalo Sabres, will be a UFA on July if not re-signed by the Thrashers (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

Maxim Afinogenov, seen here scoring against the Buffalo Sabres, will be a UFA on July if not re-signed by the Thrashers (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

And as the organization is in the process of putting together an entirely new coaching staff, they will be preparing for the entry draft. That event is scheduled to get underway in Los Angeles a week from Friday and the entire hockey world will be abuzz leading up to that extravaganza.

Now, speaking of the draft…I’ve been told, and Ben Wright has tweeted, that the Thrashers will be holding a draft party down at Philips Arena on the 25th. This is where I plan to view the first round of the draft proceedings and I hope to see all of you there as well.

But the summer will not end with the festivities of draft weekend. Once we get through with that, we then grab our swim trunks, our towels and get ready for the annual dip into the Free Agency Pool.

So far this offseason, the Thrashers have re-signed one pending UFA…Jim Slater…and still have several left to take care of, not the least of which are Pavel Kubina and Maxim Afinogenov. If they aren’t able to come to terms before July, then these players could very well leave the pool party with someone else.

To that point, C-Viv is reporting that Max and the Thrashers are no where close to a deal. Furthermore, Dudley indicates that all pending free agents have been forwarded offers that are in line with what the team is willing to compensate for their continued services. So, has the Thrashers’ GM basically said, “Here’s the deal…take it or leave it”?

shrugs…maybe so.

Oh, and there is this matter of qualifying offers to be forwarded to such pending RFAs as Bryan Little, Nicklas Bergfors and Ondrej Pavelec.

Ondrej Pavelec is looking for his offer from the Thrashers. He is slated to be a restricted free agent this summer - AP

Ondrej Pavelec is looking for his offer from the Thrashers. He is slated to be a restricted free agent this summer - AP

Regardless, between the coaching staff hires, entry draft and free agency…the look of the 2010-11 Atlanta Thrashers is going to transform before our very eyes in the coming days.

Meanwhile, in news outside of Thrasherville…while we’re all keeping an eye on all-things-hockey, some of us are also focused on this little soccer tournament being held in South Africa. Maybe you’ve heard of it…it’s called the World Cup and the U.S. team is looking to make some noise there.

I bring this up because I have found that many hockey fans are also keen on the sport of soccer…or football, to the rest of the world. I guess maybe that’s because the two sports are heavy into international play, which to me is just intriguing to watch. Entire countries stand still and national pride flows in the stands as two countries square off on the playing field.

Personally, I have followed the World Cup since Argentina defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in the finals back in 1978.

Great stuff, really…but honestly, I could do without those insipid horns that are constantly heard from the stands. I understand that a test on these plastic horns…also known as a vavuzela…can reach 127 decibels. In contracts, air horns pop off at 123.5.

As you no-doubt already know by now, Team U.S.A opened up their Group C action with a 1-1 draw with England and will take on Slovenia Friday. Slovenia defeated Algeria 1-0 yesterday.

We benefited from a gaff made by England’s goalie Rob Green…who allowed a multi-bounce shot that was taken well outside of the penalty box to squirt through his hands and into the goal. It tied the game with about five minutes remaining in the first half and led to such headlines in Britain as “The Hand of Clod”.

Many of you, like myself, also have other countries whose teams you follow along with the United States. My second favorite team is Germany…who is fielding a fairly young squad, but squashed Australia 4-0 Sunday in their tournament opener.

Really, I have to thank the sports gods for the way they scheduled things this summer. We go straight from the Blackhawks hoisting the Cup Wednesday night, to the World Cup opening just days later. And as the games go on in South Africa, we will also get to follow a coaching staff take shape in Thrasherville, the NHL draft and free agency take form over the next several weeks.

Enjoy the fun while you can, however…August is still slated to make an appearance this summer, and that is usually the worst month of the year to get through for hockey fans.

105 comments Add your comment

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
8:31 am

Joe Friday… Draft tickets are Free. The draft starts on Friday night, June 25th.

http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=61945

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
8:34 am

Brendan, Rawhide… Pettersson will be on the official roster. He left for Sweden because he wouldn’t accept an AHL contract with Edmonton. Can’t imagine he comes back without an NHL-only deal.

I’ve heard comparisons to Valteri Filpula if Filpula had balls to hit somebody.

Dandylions

June 15th, 2010
9:04 am

Watching soccer is pure agony for me – like watching paint dry – but those horns are the most annoying thing I have ever heard. It’s good to know when purchasing tickets for next season to be as far from section 222 as possible.

Barry Beck

June 15th, 2010
9:54 am

Hooky,
You missed a city in the Devils history. The K.C. Scouts went to Denver as the Colorado Rockies, then split for Jersey.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
9:56 am

The buyout window opens today. Will Todd White be the first one defenstrated?

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
10:12 am

Thrashers hire Barry Brennan for Strength and Conditioning from Columbus… not a good track record.

http://blog.dispatch.com/cbj/2010/06/brennan_will_not_return.shtml

Last season, Brennan drew more attention than he would have liked. Many observers thought the Blue Jackets appeared out of shape compared with other NHL clubs. The thought was cemented in February when interim coach Claude Noel rated their fitness level to be “3 out of 10.”

kracker

June 15th, 2010
10:31 am

twitter – BenThrashers Don’t expect any Thrashers buyout news. GM Rick Dudley doesn’t think it’s an option the team will use this offseason.

Dwayne

June 15th, 2010
10:35 am

Alan R….Todd White will have a 50+ point year….soon, somewhere, anywhere, in some league. You heard it here first. No really, he will center our 3rd line, Little and Berfores will score 20 each, Kane will get 25. Thrashers squeeze into the 7th spot on a OT goal and go all the way to the SCF. Nevermind, that was Philly this year.

R. Stroz

June 15th, 2010
10:39 am

GM Rick Dudley doesn’t think

I’ll help.

Alan R.

June 15th, 2010
10:41 am

Dwayne – While I appreciate the comedy, I can’t see our resident toilet paper spokesperson scoring anywhere near that ever again. If we’re serious about playing kids and getting younger and stronger, then Mr. White should be sent packing.

R. Stroz

June 15th, 2010
10:44 am

If Charmin stays, Waddell is still in control.

Also, if Charmin stays, I’ll bring a milk carton to the Face-Off Event for him to sign.

Mr. Whipple

June 15th, 2010
10:47 am

Buy Todd White out, who is going to carry the bags if you buy out #12?

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
11:04 am

Looks like the deal with Pettersson is done, per the Falconer… I guess we have to wait for it to filter through Thrashers PR before we get an official announcement.

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2010/6/15/1518884/pettersson-excited-about-signing

I’m surprised he accepted a two-way deal… that’s pretty sweet!

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
11:05 am

Stroz… there’s still the trade option.

kracker

June 15th, 2010
11:08 am

twitter – ajcthrashers According to Columbus Dispatch, Barry Brennan will be Thrashers’ new strength and conditioning coach.

R. Stroz

June 15th, 2010
11:24 am

Stroz… there’s still the trade option.

GaVaHokie – Yes, but how many NHL GMs consume non taxable substances?

rob

June 15th, 2010
11:45 am

Stroz,
maybe we can trade him for some teams last round last pick of the draft in 2015

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
12:23 pm

Should be interesting to see who is bought out around the league in the next 2 weeks. Edmonton has a few guys they want to send packing; a few more UFAs though I don’t think this will add alotta talent to FA pool.

Looks like the Hawks are REALLY trying to dump Campbell’s salary but nobody is taking. I do not know if Campbell has a no movement clause. Soup was good to have on the Hawks for the Cup run, but now he’s a liability to the cap. Hossa may be gone too?! The Hawks owe Hossa almost $8M next season. You don’t know what Mary Anne is thinking sincer he won his Cup. Interesting times.

R. Stroz

June 15th, 2010
12:28 pm

rob – I imagine Alex Bourret is available, unless he chose to open a Krispy Kreme franchise with Zhitnik in Russia.

Red Light

June 15th, 2010
12:50 pm

World: The Hawks owe Hossa $7.9 miilion through the 2015-16 season, but his cap hit is “only” $5.633 million. If they dump Huet, they’ll get rid of the nearly the same amount during the next two seasons, $5.625. Hossa stays put. Campbell’s cap hit is his $7.14 million salary through 2015-16 too. Who thought those salaries were a good idea, Tallon?

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
1:04 pm

R/L-thanks for the clarifications on Mary Anne’s numbers. I think there are 4-5 guys n CHI that are safe, the rest are “possibilities” to move including Hossa-maybe. As for Tallon, he was under alotta pressure to get the Hawks to the promised land when he signed those deals. We all knew the contracts were inflated, especialy for Campbell with Seabrooke and Keith, better defenseman on their roster. Nobody in Chicago was bitching, as long as they hauled in the silver, but now there’s a price to pay. It would be ironic if Tallon caught some of Chicago’s low hanging fruit.

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
1:09 pm

Capgeek.com has posted Pettersson’s contract so I guess it’s official. And yes, he is signed with Atlanta! But for less money than the Swedish paper was reporting. However, the amount of $615 k per season does not include his signing bonus of $180 k. I like this signing. Judging from the limited video of him I’ve seen, he seems like a skilled “tweener” with a pretty wicked one-timer. If he is as gritty and aggressive as the scouting reports say he is, he may wind up being a very nice compliment to Slater and say, Klingberg?, on the 3rd line. Obviously, he may be talented enough to crack the Top 6 depending on other circumstances. Pretty low risk at that price-tag. Well done Duds!

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

Forgot to link the darn thing: http://capgeek.com/players/display.php?id=1793

Team page: http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=7

Hey, we’re up to $31 M after the Slater signing!! ;-)

kracker

June 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

spector buyout candidates:

Ales Kotalik, Calgary Flames.

Sergei Samsonov, Carolina Hurricanes.

Cristobal Huet, Chicago Blackhawks

Brent Sopel, Chicago Blackhawks.

Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers.

Robert Nilsson, Edmonton Oilers.

Patrick O’Sullivan, Edmonton Oilers.

Sheldon Souray, Edmonton Oilers.

Roman Hamrlik, Montreal Canadiens.

Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens.

Georges Laraque, Montreal Canadiens.

Wade Redden, NY Rangers.

Michal Rozsival, NY Rangers.

Jonathan Cheechoo, Ottawa Senators.

Jeff Finger, Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nikita (in PA)

June 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

You guys said the magic words, requiring me to rise from the land of the Stanley Cup runners up and defend the name of Todd White once again. Not because I’m a fan, but because as usual I don’t think he deserves your ridicule. His stats sucked, particularly in comparison to last year. They didn’t suck as much as those of four other guys, some of whom you guys like to drool over, and he didn’t pan the coaching staff in the media or hint that he was sucking because he refused to cooperate with the coach. He just sucked — though he managed to show some improvement down the stretch and bring in 26 points. Obviously he had a bad year. Which is now over. Leave it.

Further, there is absolutely no connection whatsoever between Don Waddell and Todd White. The reasons he remained on the roster are probably: a) versatility and willingness to do cleanup duty, PK, power play, or whatever. Which became pretty crucial as injuries and roster issues loomed up, b) general work ethic, c) a faceoff percentage north of 50%, sometimes substantially so. d) his contract is cheap.

WBF: do you think Edmonton can make substantial improvement? I’m skeptical.

Looking to what people are doing right now…Tampa’s still trying to buy its way out of sucky coaching, low self-esteem, and a limited talent pool. Ottawa’s not looking good, and not making much of a splash. Boston’s probably going to be quite deadly, though — they had a competitive roster, and are making incremental improvements.

Brendan

June 15th, 2010
2:04 pm

I’d take a cup of coffee over Alex Bourret.

Nikita (in PA)

June 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

I’ll suggest my off-the-island list, and why:

1. Christoph Schubert. Nasty temperament, delicate body, no discipline, penalty magnet, and tepid scoring.

2. Eric Boulton. Because I think we can work around his enforcement abilities (Slater and Thorbs have improved significantly, plus Kane), he’s aging, and he is a fairly limited 4th liner.

3. Bogosian, if he’s not significantly improved by a summer’s R&R. Though I don’t think he should be waived or traded. I think he should get some seasoning with the Wolves.

…and White can go, as well. But only if it’s advantageous for us.

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
2:15 pm

Unless White is traded, he’s part of this team next year… as a result, he must be included in Smoothie’s line combinations. :)

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
2:16 pm

… like the saying goes. “Wish in one hand, and crap in the other. See which fills up faster.”

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
2:27 pm

Hokie – I included him (Charmin) on my blog as the 4th line C for the time being. Until things shake out a bit more and we have a better idea of what’s going on with the 3rd line (I’ve got Reasoner at C and Slater on the LW), I’ll keep White on the 4th line depth chart while Klingberg, Cormier and Machacek remain on the “5th line” or bench.

kracker

June 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

NHL attendance dips by 2.5 per cent

http://theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/nhl-attendance-dips-by-25-per-cent/article1605083/

Thrashers #25, down 7%….attendance down but revenue and cap up…hmmm

kracker

June 15th, 2010
2:51 pm

Eklund tweet – Eklund The Big devils/caps trade rumor… Brodeur for Semin. Ilya might stay in NJ. more > http://bit.ly/cdO9FE

Red Light

June 15th, 2010
2:55 pm

Revenue up?

Accountable to R. Stroz’s and Smoothie’s continuous sweater purchases at the Team Gear Store?

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
3:11 pm

Nikita-Edmonton has too many bad contracts, even if they can buy guys out. Horkoff at $7M? Kovy-like money for an average player at best.

Nilsson and O’Sullivan are not bad players, I heard they want to buy out Ethan Moreau too, didn’t hear about Souray. The have The Bulin Wall sitting there making big $$$ with an old, bad back. The Oilers are a total mess, they makes us look like the Red Wings (OK, just kidding).

kracker-I heard a rumor involving the devils and Montreal for Carey Price a few weeks back. Looks like Lou is trying to bump Brodeur while he still ahs some value.

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
3:12 pm

R/L – hey man, I buy my merchandise from a joint in Canada. Other than some tickets, I do as little as possible to help the ASG finance this mess. I even sneak in my own refreshments! ;-)

kracker – I don’t think revenues are up that much, but the chances of the player’s union voting to activate the 5% escalator clause in the final year of the CBA seem to be very good. Hence the expectation of the Cap ceiling going up to $58.8 M.

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
3:13 pm

Todd White is not significant. White is one of the few bad contracts we have, other teams have alot more dead weight. White isn’t lazy, he’s just not very good. Will Charmin be squeezed out?

kracker

June 15th, 2010
3:27 pm

R. Stroz and Smoothie, the shadow 9th and 10th owners!

kracker

June 15th, 2010
3:28 pm

“Will Charmin be squeezed out?” – Too bad he’s not an Islander, that joke would be perfect!

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
3:35 pm

Eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww….what stinks in here??

Nikita (in PA)

June 15th, 2010
3:38 pm

Charmin’s old and small. But also cheap and versatile. Altogether, I’d put him after those other three in terms of dead weight. And the other players love him — even Cherrychuk was on record as a Todd White fan.

Speaking of people the other players love…i’m going to Toronto in a few weeks, and might go to the hall.

kracker

June 15th, 2010
3:38 pm

WBF – Marty wasn’t exactly a playoff wall (15 goals in 5 games), though he had some help in losing but gee…well I guess anybody can be traded, like they say “But what have you done for me lately?”

Smoothie – If I could vote my salary up by 5%, it’s done already.

R. Stroz

June 15th, 2010
3:41 pm

Perfect, trade Charmin to the Islandturds for…um…fertilizer.

GaVaHokie

June 15th, 2010
3:48 pm

I would LOVE to see Washington make that deal… do it, please! They could have just about any player in the league for Semin. They want to waste it on 38 yr old Brodeur? Hell yeah!

Lets see how Brodeur does facing an extra 320 shots a season.

Scotty

June 15th, 2010
3:50 pm

“….old and small. But also cheap and versatile….”

Sounds like an ad one might find describing a Vietnamese mail order bride.

kracker

June 15th, 2010
3:57 pm

Blueland Blog – BenThrashers The Thrashers have signed Swedish free agent forward Fredrik Petterrson. Thoughts and quotes from GM Rick Dudley: http://bit.ly/9zU9cc

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
4:05 pm

kracker-amazed me how the devils went out without a wimper, I haven’t seen a Devils team like that in a long time. That team lacked leadership. Funny what happens when Kovy appears on the scene?

kracker

June 15th, 2010
4:13 pm

Funny tweet – JapersRink C’mon, people – it’s more likely that @andyroddick and I trade wives than that the Caps and Devils swap Brodeur for Semin

Smoothie

June 15th, 2010
4:16 pm

Scotty is such a dirty dog…and I love it!

Brodeur would get shelled in WSH, I would hope McPhee isn’t THAT desperate. They don’t seem committal on cutting bait with Jose T so I can’t see them giving up Semin for a goalie not named Price. But then again, he only has one year left so perhaps they want 1 year insurance for Varly and Neuvirth knowing they won’t be able to afford UFA Semin.

kracker

June 15th, 2010
4:33 pm

Could the Devils even afford Kovalchuk and Semin, even w/ a cheap goalie? (I only ask because Spector or somebody opined that there is a good chance Kovy stays in NJ)

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
4:41 pm