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

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
12:45 pm

The kid Green is getting pummeled in England. wish we knew more about Kubina and where he stands.

GaVaHokie

June 14th, 2010
12:48 pm

I’m looking forward to seeing the dollars associated with Pettersson… should be a great 3rd line player to replace Colby Armstrong at 3rd line prices.

I’m actually going to attend the Draft in LA this year! Can’t wait!

Alan R.

June 14th, 2010
12:55 pm

My only issue with attending the draft party this year is transportation. If I can secure a ride back home, you bet I’ll be there.

Eternal Optimist

June 14th, 2010
1:05 pm

What we are going to see this year is a rebuild using the youngsters. I know that this is not something the fans want to endure, but I do believe that Dud’s offers have been strategically made so as to keep the cream of the UFA crop currently on the roster, and letting the chaf go.

My guess is that he has his eye on a specific group of hungry player that he wants to bring up and build from. Just look at the deadline trades and the signings during the last cople of months. Bring them up, build them up and, to keep the ASG happy, somewhat on he cheap.

Everything I have seen so far leads me to believe that Duds is a good evaluator of young talent and that if properly handled, he will be able to keep that talent at crunchtime a few years down the road.

I know it is a lot to ask but Duds has built a solid reputation so far. Not a Championship reputation…yet….but a soid one. I don’t think he is going to do anything to mess that up as he result of taking the Associate position and now the GM position in Atlanta, if there was something going on that he had no control over.

Watch the draft for moves and more to come when the Coach is chosen. We may not be as bad off as others would lead you to believe.

Lee

June 14th, 2010
1:16 pm

Can’t wait for the fun to start!

GO USA! But Usa is going up against England, and England is pretty darn good, so if the US gets out, GO SPAIN!

PhiK

June 14th, 2010
1:21 pm

If the Thrashers have a draft party this year I hope it is more organized and better planned then a few years ago. We went with another couple hoping for a good time with other Thrashers fans but there was no real section to sit in and they wouldn’t let anyone in the arena area b/c of a concert the next day. We ended up just sitting in Taco Mac – also there were no bevs available in Phillips.

Zim

June 14th, 2010
1:24 pm

Slovaks are from Slovakia. Slovenes are from Slovenia.

TableHockey

June 14th, 2010
1:40 pm

I feel pretty good that Little and Pavs will accept their qualifying offers. I HOPE Bergfors does but sadly it wouldn’t surprise me to see him not accept it. He does get the benefit of high ice time in ATL – hope that’s enough to get him to stay.

joedaiceman

June 14th, 2010
2:07 pm

I with you Table H. Would love to have Bergfors back on the ice – a lot of upside potential in that kid.

DWTOO

June 14th, 2010
2:47 pm

Loved the Hand of Clod remark. Let’s see there was the Hand of God, Hand of Gaul, and now. Looks like Tim Howard will be abck in goal. Outide of all the US fans at Firebird (with the exception of the FF England fan)and my daughter, who has reffed soccer – did anyone not think Hesky should have been red carded? Anytime you come in cleats high you should be shown the gate. Guess I’m partial to protecting goalies as I’ve seen my daughter get knocked senseless several times.

Red Light

June 14th, 2010
2:49 pm

It is highly unlikely any of the RFAs will pass on the offer to play in the NHL this season and beyond. What are the other options for them: Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Russia and the Czech League? They don’t accept, they point a gun at their own heads. If they don’t accept, more signing flexibility for Dudley.

The Slovenian hockey team? Anze Kopitar!

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
2:55 pm

Don’t forget about Clark’s MacArthur! We traded a third and fourth rounder for his mediocre butt, so I don’t reckon we will ignore him when it comes to tendering some RFA offers. Here are my predictions of how $$ shall be showered upon them:

Bergfors – $2.75 M per (3 years)
Pavelec – $2.5 M per (3 years)
Little – $2.25 M per (4 years)
C-Mac – $1.75 M per (1 year)

Total would be $9.25 M but could be a little more, could be a little less. Obviously there is some precedent for a deal that would pay Bergie over $3 M based on potential alone, but I think Versteeg and players like that produced for consecutive years, not just one.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
3:20 pm

Lets review, compared to last year:

No Kovy, No Kozlov, No Kubina, No Armstrong, No Afinogenov.

So the Thrashers look like they have lost two of their top scorers, the shoot out specialist, the best defenseman…

Are we moving in the right direction?

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
3:33 pm

OOPS! I forgot, the Thrashers still have the “great White hope”.

Yes, Todd White.

Joe Friday

June 14th, 2010
3:40 pm

“I’m actually going to attend the Draft in LA this year! Can’t wait!”

I’ll be in Santa Monica at the end of next week (Pebble this week!), when does the draft start and where is it held? Tickets?

But stroz, Dudley is in charge now, all is well, you curmudgeon! I’m still on a high from last week so I’m willing to let Duds get through the draft and the 4th of July weekend before he gets the stink eye.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
3:45 pm

Joe Bob Friday – I’m starting to get the idea that Waddell told Dudley to go pick his team; however, Waddell failed to tell Dudley that there is no money to pay them.

rob

June 14th, 2010
3:58 pm

Really people….get a grip. The team is rebuilding with a complete new staff. Next year might provide some interesting hockey, and I expect to see 100% more effort…..but I wouldn’t be shocked if the results were only marginally better. There will be young guys here next year, probably a lot of different faces. What’d you expect? If 2 years from now we are having the same tired old conversations…….then Sage can burst forth and scream from the mountaintops…..BAH! BAH! All you sheep I told you nothing would ever change! Ever! And we can all get together and go to one game wearing t shirts saying Groundhog Day! You want to worry? Worry about Pavs. If he can’t move forward we will need a new goalie. Next year will be about finding an identity for the team. The rest should take care of itself with the right leadership.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
4:04 pm

If 2 years from now we are having the same tired old conversations

The problem is we’ve been having this conversation every two years for ten years.

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
4:07 pm

Rawhide, will the Swedish player we just signed play in the AHL, in Chicago? Or, is that what training camp is for? As in, he must EARN his spot. These next three weeks will be interesting, for sure.

I’m willing to keep the stink eye off of Dudley until July 10th. If only half the team is still signed at that point, I’ll know how things are going. Waddell said, last April, that Atlanta would be looking at Free Agency with acquiring a goaltender in mind. I know it’s not Waddell’s job to be the GM, by name, but if he has any influence, which he does, then Dudley will have to find someone to tend net. Now, I hear ya. The “big” free agent netminder signing … just maybe Johan Hedberg. I’m just afraid we’ve gone to that well one time too often.

Rawhide

June 14th, 2010
4:14 pm

Brendan - I dunno…C-Viv says that we haven’t actually signed him. The team has contacted the agent, so there is interest…but no signing as of yet.

Red Light

June 14th, 2010
4:15 pm

Way too high Smoothie. It’s not necessary to give those kids that kind of money, yet. I like your length of term for all but Little. All should get a three-year deal, except for Mac, who should get one as you said. I think the average per-year should be closer to the following:

Pavelec $1.7 million
MacArthur $1.5 million
Bergfors $1.5million
Little $1.5 million

And, I think that is all you need to keep them happy at this point.

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
4:20 pm

For what it’s worth, becoming the GM of the Thrashers at this point, just might be a very good thing. With only half the team signed, a new GM can truly put his STAMP on this team. The worst situation to inherit … is a team full of Bobby Holik’s, with unmoveable contracts. While no GM, but an expansion one, gets a 100% clean slate, this is a good time for a ‘real GM’ to take the reigns.

I want to see what Dudley does. I also expect him, during the Press Conference to announce the Torchetti, or whomever, signing as Coach, to explain what the STRATEGY will be. When Brian Burke took the helm in Toronto, he laid out, in specific detail, what the plan would be, moving forward. He said, “The top six forwards will be very skilled players. The bottom six guys will do the plumber’s work, winning puck battles in the corners. The top 4 defenders will be very skilled players, who are intelligent, pucking moving, quick skating defensemen. The bottom pair will do the plumber’s work.” I expect Dudley to announce his philosophy, as well. I don’t care what the philosophy is. I just want to hear it declared.

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
4:24 pm

Red Light, I think there’s some wishful thinking there. Here’s where I think salaries will be, bearing in mind that I’ve been known to be wrong:

Pavelec $2.55 million
MacArthur $1.5 million
Bergfors $2.65 million
Little $2.35 million

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

Yeah, I may be a bit high w/r/t Bergfors and Pavelec, but no way do we lock up any of these guys long-term by low-balling them. You gotta pay for potential in this league and I’d say $2.5 – $3 M per year is not out of the question for the two held in highest regard by Dudley & Co. If we show a little faith in them now, we have a better chance at re-upping them when they become UFA’s in 3 or 4 years. But if you keep giving them the “take it or leave it” service year after year, eventually they will “leave it” and not think twice.

Red Light

June 14th, 2010
4:44 pm

All I am saying is that RFAs don’t get long-term rewards. Bergie is in his second year. Little is coming off a subpar season. Pavelec had moments of brilliance and Mac had none. At 22 or less, you don’t need to give them the store or the $2 million plus deals. Their next contract makes them rich, not this one. These are not Ovechkin, Backstrom, Toews kind of players. They’re pieces not showpieces. I stand by conservatism in all cases because they can’t go elsewhere unless it’s abroad.

rob

June 14th, 2010
4:46 pm

difference w burke in tor and here in the atl is we have no media voice, and no fan base to cry for that info because Octotards have run interest outta here. I hope things will change moving forward. Hard core hockey people only won’t carry this team too much farther. There has to be a change….I think it is almost here!!!

Flagstaff

June 14th, 2010
5:05 pm

On a slightly different topic, Bill, what do you think of Kirill Kabanov? Do you think we should go near him, possibly with our second first-round pick, as one NHL mock draft predicted? There is a Dudley quote about him which reads, “If he comes in and there’s a certain level of humility and you get the sincerity in the player and a commitment to play in whatever league he’s asked to play in by his National Hockey League team, that means something.” Any thoughts?

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
5:25 pm

R/L – just think Wojtek Wolski. After one season in which he scored 21 goals and 45 points, he got a 2-year deal worth an avg of $2.8 M. Really, what else has he done that Bryan Little hasn’t or is capable of? Like I said, we could sign them all with one year tenders and continue the wait and see approach. But when it comes time to locking them up as UFA’s, don’t you think the lack of a commitment in the short-term might stick in their heads in 3 years? Hell, the last time we locked up a RFA, it was 2005 coming out of the lockout and his name was Kovalchuk. We don’t really have any history to go by when it comes to locking up so many young players other than Kari Lehtonen. And he got a 2 yr deal in 2007 worth $1.85 M per. I’d say low $2s isn’t unlikely with salary inflation and all. That is if we’re serious about locking them all up for 3 years.

Smoothie

June 14th, 2010
5:29 pm

Sorry, make that 2 years of avg 20 goals and 49 points for Wolski. But the point stands. I’m not saying I won’t be surprised if they all get tendered for one year and then they discuss longer-term contracts next season, but in order to change the perception of our term culture, I wonder if we shouldn’t lock them up now. But it could be business as usual like you say.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
6:06 pm

Octotards

Love It

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
6:24 pm

What amazes me about Toronto, with all the “great” fans and media is that team has sucked for a long time. Look at the Leafs over the last 30 years, they have had maybe 5 good seasons, 7 more decent seasons and 18 or so bad seasons. If Toronto was such a great hockey town, a self-proclaimed Mecca of hockey, they should have boycotted the team long ago. Instead, they go to the A/C or the old Gardens like sheep and pay top dollar for a bad product. Tronna has had bad hockey alot longer than us. The best they can hope for next season is respectability and that’s a reach.

Is that a great hockey town, no real accountability with all those fans and media? Think about it. Harold Ballard used to laugh at Don Cherry and the rest of the Toronto media, just like we do today.

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
6:59 pm

R/L, while a bit unlikely, the Thrashers might be a little bit more generous, just to avoid the “holdout” situation and arbitration. Even RFA’s are making good money, these days. Bryan Little didn’t help his cause last year. If he’d put up 25 to 30 goals, we’d be paying him a hefty sum. And maybe even looking to go long, with an 8 year deal. But, he’ll get 2-years probably, still leaving him restricted. Bergfors can make an argument about the numbers he would have put up here, in lieu of New Jersey. He was great for us. He dwarfed Kovalchuk’s numbers in NJ. Okay, that’s a stretch. But you get the point. Pavelec played well in critical games down the stretch. I think he’ll get $2.5 million. And if we won’t pay it, he could get that in an RFA offersheet. It’s an unlikely scenario, but who really wants to go through “holdouts” with the image the Thrashers already have? Arbitration might not be our friend, either.

HookyBob

June 14th, 2010
7:08 pm

I’m still basking in the SCF thrills,…but I see Rawhide wants us to move on. I didn’t see any mention of it but I believe there is also the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas in the coming week or so. Of course since there aren’t any Thrashers involved,…it may not have qualified for mention.

In other NHL news,..Larry Fesler has an article in the Buffalo News about the differences betwixt the Sabres and Hawks. Made me think he is reading too many WBF blogs.

Larry Simmons in the Toronto Sun points out that the Leafs are really tied with several teams for the longest Cup drought. He mentioned St Louis, the L A Kings and,….(get ready for this one) the California Golden Seals franchise. I’d say they are a bit touchy on this one,..eh?

Finally, what do you say we pass the hat and get Stroz a vavuzela?

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
7:34 pm

Hooky, Felser is Buffalo’s version of Furman Bisher. Lotta differences between Sabres and Hawks, which will keep Buffalo away from the Stanley Cup for the foreseeable future. They are the softest team in the NHL.

On the Leafs-I understand they are tied with the Blues and Kings for the longest drought, but I give the edge to Toronto cause they were an established team that fired the man that took them to their last 4 Stanley Cups, Punch Imlach. Toronto divorced Imlach, while the Kings and Blues were just starting out. So the futility edge goes to Tronna and I hope it’s another 43 years before they win again.

rob

June 14th, 2010
8:27 pm

Hooky,
maybe we all need a vavuzela for next year!!! We can drown out the nonsense when we want to make a point…….and all of the out of town fans who are louder than us and outnumber us too!!!

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
8:46 pm

Finally, what do you say we pass the hat and get Stroz a vavuzela?

If had a vavuzela combined with THE BULLHORN in conjunction with the cow bell guys, no one else would sit in Section 222.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
9:03 pm

Thanks guys, I just bought several of them in royal blue off the amazon site.

If you’re interested, here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Vuvuzela-South-African-Horn-Royal/dp/B0031DGU2K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1276563559&sr=8-1-spell

Joe Friday

June 14th, 2010
9:15 pm

“I just bought several of them in royal blue off the amazon site.”

Don’t you dare. I’m never sittin in front of you again, Festus!

World Be Free

June 14th, 2010
9:24 pm

Festus? More like Don Zimmer

Sage of Bluesland

June 14th, 2010
9:42 pm

Gee, with all of this newfound “sunshine” (reminds me of when the ‘usual suspects’ tried to blow Coach Sunshine up our backsides…that would be Coach Anderson for the uninformed…)

In a way, it IS deja-vu all over again…Soon enough, “Duds” will be talking of ‘his’ “Five Year Plan” and “building through the draft!”…

Uh-huh….and the ‘usual suspects’ will continue to spout their cheerful tripe…

Rawhide

June 14th, 2010
9:47 pm

On a slightly different topic, Bill, what do you think of Kirill Kabanov?

Flagstaff – The kid is, what, 6-3 and 174 pounds? I dunno…

Besides, given that Ilya Nikulin and Andrei Zubarev probably meet at a bar every year the NHL holds the draft to share a drink and laugh…personally, I’d be cautious about the Thrashers drafting Russians. :lol:

Brendan

June 14th, 2010
10:05 pm

Well, the simple truth is this. “On the clock” means “between Stanley Cup wins.” Los Angeles and St. Louis very well may be Cupless in 43 years, but the truth is they never had one. And, point of fact, if Toronto never had one, they wouldn’t be “officially on the clock.” I think the Leafs have 13 Cups in their history. Or something like that. For such an established franchise to go 43 years without a title … speaks to their futility, just as the Blackhawks going 49 years without a Cup, speaks to theirs, and the Rangers 53-year separation from the chalice, too. Like it or not, Toronto … YOU ARE ON THE CLOCK.

Now, HookyBob had me in stitches with that California Golden Seals reference. The California Golden Seals are a defunct club, that CANNOT win the Stanley Cup. If you want to get truly technical, there is a team that traces a portion of its history to the Seals? Anyone know who it is??

Answer: The Dallas Stars. When the Seals left Oakland, California, they relocated to Cleveland. Ohio. They fared no better there, as the Barons, and folded in a merger with the Minnesota North Stars. The Minnesota franchise relocated to Dallas, TX. But I assure you, no remnant of the Cleveland Barons/Oakland Seals, not even a draft pick or prospect, still remains in the NHL today. When hockey historians refer to “Expansion,” they mean the 1967-68 season, which saw St. Louis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Oakland/California, and Minnesota enter the league, doubling its size from six teams to twelve. For Toronto to even suggest that the California Golden Seals have somehow failed to achieve at the same level they have … is laugh out loudable. It’s like wondering why a dead man didn’t win the Tour de France again, this year. It’s quite impossible.

St. Louis did get to 3 Cup Finals, and two more CF in their history. Los Angeles got to a Cup Finals in 1993. But the Leafs haven’t had so much as a “sniff” since 1967. Segue to the Blackhawks, they ‘Hawks lost five Cup Finals in ‘62, ‘65, ‘71, ‘73, and ‘92. Not exactly utter futility. The Flyers won Cups in 1974 and 1975, then lost six more Finals in ‘76, ‘80, ‘85, ‘87, ‘97, and 2010. Not really the failure that it might suggest. Since 1974, the Flyers average a trip to the Finals BETTER than once every FIVE seasons, at 22.1 percent. They reach the CF 36.1 percent of the time, since 1974. That’s better than once every THREE seasons, on average. The Leafs, by contrast, have been to four CF, in 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2002, losing all of them. That’s four CF trips in 43 years, less than once a decade, on average.

Who’d I leave out? Minnesota North Stars. Minnesota went to the Finals in the 80’s, can’t remember if is was 1981 or 1982, the again in 1991, in a Cinderlla run. Then they won the Stanley Cup in 1999, after relocating to Dallas, Texas. Pittsburgh has won 3 Stanley Cups since 1967, and been to several Conference Finals. And they lost the Cup in 2008.

Sorry for the history lesson, folks, but I find it hilarious that Toronto’s media is attempting to deflect attention away from the very FACT that they are “on the clock.” Instead, they should focus on how and why they won’t be “on the clock” that much longer. But, they sabbotage Brian Burke at every opportunity, always second guessing him, and pressuring him into deals like Kessel for four high-end 1st round draft picks. And though Kessel certainly has performed very well, it has come with a cost. Boston will get either Taylor or Tyler in a few days, and control his right for 8 long years. They also stand to draft 32nd overall, in the 2nd round.

R. Stroz

June 14th, 2010
10:17 pm

Festus? More like Don Zimmer

How about Don Rickles?

And yes I did, the first preseason game should be a blast.

I just wonder how long it will echo…echo…echo…echo…in a nearly empty preseason attended game.

Badger Bob

June 14th, 2010
11:21 pm

Can’t stay out of a good TO-bashing session! One of the most painful events of the Thrashers season for me was falling behind 5-0 to the Laffs in TO, and thinking about how the fans would be taunting and partying all through the third period. But unlike in a real hockey town, where fans revel in their team’s success, the stands were half-empty at the start of the third. Here’s to 43 more years of futility!

HookyBob

June 15th, 2010
4:05 am

Don’t you just hate it when you can’t get to sleep! Reading this blog is only going to rev me up too.

Anyone interested in adding Tomas Kaberle should read the following link,…as should anyone who enjoys a “laugh at the Leafs expense” (aka LLE). Does anyone see this “fun at the Leafs expense” as a growing trend?

http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2010/06/leaked-brian-burkes-letter-to-other-29.html

I heard (ok read) some talk here lately about how this is the best blog. That gives me the old “animal house” (the book, not the movie) goose-bumps. To follow up I would have to say that DGB is one the better “other hockey” blogs out there.

Brendan, thanks for the lineage of the Golden Seals. In my mind they went to KC then New Jersey,…but that didn’t fit. I think it is really pretty remarkable that so many different franchises have won the Cup, especially recently. No dynasties since the eighties, and the last back to back winner was 12 years ago.

Bloggers, I’m torn,….”Octotards” maybe quote of the year material,….but it is sooo contrary to Rawhide getting press access. Which would you rather have,…great, creative comments or inside info?

Stroz,….perhaps some pulmonary exercises are in order?

HookyBob

June 15th, 2010
4:21 am

You know,..I think Orwell’s book was “Animal Farm,”..not “Animal House.” Tells you what popular culture does to the old mind eh?

Still not tired. Now watching “Hurt Locker” which isn’t helping either.

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
5:56 am

Stroz-Festus, Zimmer, Rickles – Rickles maybe be the closest, based on your personality.
They are all rich, so what the heck?

Brenden-Hooky
If it’s about mocking Toronto, then count me in. Leafs blogs are laughable, you’d think they could get a 1st round pick for every player on their roster. Then again, I know alotta Leaf fans that are way too smart to post the idiocy we see on their blogs. Howard Berger is the most hated journalist in Toronot and why? Cause he tells the truth, which is very painful when you are on the clock and a long way from being a contender. I hope it’s another 43 years, especially when you hear Toronto’s 2 UFA targets, Colby Armstrong and Raffi Torres. They will be looking to trade both guys by Christmas, naturally for a 1st round pick.

Brendan, thanks for the history lesson. Saw the California Golden Seals in my 2nd NHL game against the Sabres in the old Aud before they raised the roof, a shutout for Roger Crozier. The Seals had the white skates, which we all thought were pretty cool back then. Saw a Barons/Sabres game in Cleveland too when iI was in college, so I guess I have some Seals history. Can’t mock the Blues, especially when they had Dan Kelly and Gus Kyle calling their games on KMOX which you could get anywhere in the east. The Kings are closer to the Cup than Tronna.

So let’s have some fun at Toronto’s expense.

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
5:58 am

Sage, Thrashers can’t afford another 5 year plan. The stands are thinning every day, more fans moving away as the seasons progress; it’s win soon or fold the tents. Your assessment may be close to the mark, but we hope you are wrong. Hope is all we have right now, but it’s better than nothing.

Sara

June 15th, 2010
7:48 am

Frankly I’m more concerned with the coaching decision than any roster/drafting decisions. I expect we’ll see a lot of kids come up this season, maybe more than Dudley intended if some UFAs don’t sign back on but nothing that I think is a big deal. Neither Kubina nor Max are part of the long-term plans IMO but simply place holders as we draft in more talent and develop what we have. I’d say the only possible concern to losing those UFAs is being back where we were two seasons ago which was below the cap floor – I dunno, haven’t really crunched the numbers yet plus there are so many players not under contract yet.

I’m more concerned with the continued development of the young players on the roster and the addition of a system that actually involves team defense and defensive zone clearing strategies other than whack-a-mole.

rob

June 15th, 2010
8:11 am

Stroz,
Remind us all as the season nears about your vevuzela so I can bring some ear plugs LOL Most of the games I was at last year I ended up sitting down on that end.
Sara,
Agreed. How long will it take for everyone to get on the same page? My hope is that, even if it takes a while, the young guys will make up in enthusiasm what may be lacking in cohesiveness.
Sage,
Smile dude, it’s summertime. At least give the team a chance to really suck next season before getting all depressed about tending to your flock of sheep in bwuewand. :)

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

kracker

June 15th, 2010
4:48 pm

100 and FIRST!

Hockey Biltong

June 15th, 2010
5:15 pm

Is the draft here yet??? Wake me up when it arrives…

rob

June 15th, 2010
5:59 pm

If NJ even THOUGHT of trading Broduer after all he has meant to the team and hockey there, it would be the ultimate slap, unless Broduer wanted to for some crazy reason. I agree that the Devils lacked that certain grittiness they seemed to always have. They will have to find that new identity as there old standby’s slowly fade into hockey lore. Hope they lean hard on Kovy building their future……and sink like a stone for awhile.
As for the thought of voting Bogo off the island to the wolves or anywhere……he played hurt most of the season and for some reason no one thought it was a bad idea……I would like to know whose bright idea THAT was. I was one who was upset by his play but knowing that he was hurt, my ire is directed at the MORON who didn’t sit him to get better. If every shot hurt too bad to put everything behind it, I imagine it also hurt his play defensively and was why he kept his distance most of the time when we all wanted him to stand up and knock someone on their a$$. Might be wrong….who knows. Maybe he didn’t want to sit after missing so much time last year with his leg, but someone in charge has to think of the future here.

Rawhide

June 15th, 2010
6:19 pm

Interesting that the topic of whether or not Todd White should be bought out or not has been touched upon today. It’s as if you folks have been reading my mind.

World Be Free

June 15th, 2010
7:31 pm

Biltong! where have you been?