A look at where Thrashers are prior to UFA season

It is said that one cannot know where they are going unless you first know where you have been…or even where you are now. With that in mind, let’s take a look-see at exactly where the Thrashers are right now before we embark on our trip to the NHL’s UFA talent pool later this week.

Given the players that Atlanta has currently under contract as well as RFAs that have received qualifying offers, I’ve put together a possible lineup that Craig Ramsay could skate out on the ice. Next to each player, I’ve placed their salaries… basing the information on numbers listed on gapgeek.com.

Since I do not yet know what the RFAs have been offered, I have listed their salaries from last year’s contracts…though certainly those will be adjusted once we gain an appreciation of their new offers.

Nic Bergfors, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov should be back o celebrate more goals together. But who else could Rick Dudley bring in to join them? (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Nic Bergfors, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov should be back o celebrate more goals together. But who else could Rick Dudley bring in to join them? (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Forwards:

Bergfors – RFA ($800,000)

Antropov – $4,062,500

Byfuglien – $3,000,000

Kane – $3,100,000

Peverley – $1,325,000

Little – RFA ($900,000)

MacArthur – RFA ($1,400,000)

Slater – $1,000,000

White – $2,375,000

Eager – RFA ($1,000,000)

Cormier – $845,833

Thorburn – $660,000

 Press Box: Kingberg – $790,000/ Machacek – $858,333

Defense:

Hainsey – $4,500,000

Enstrom – $3,750,000

Oduya – $3,500,000

Sopel – $2,333,333

Bogosian – $3,375,000

Kulda – $516,000

PB: Valabik – $762,500

Goal:

Pavelec – RFA ($1,400,000) / Mannino $500,000

Considering the roster listed above, the salaries of those currently under contract totals $37,253,499 and the RFA numbers from last season come to $5,500,000. This would bring the estimated total to $42,753,499…leaving the team with about $16.5 million in cap space.

Should so chose to do so, other players that could be mixed and matched above are…

Forward Anthony Stewart – RFA ($600,000)

Forward Angelo Esposito – $916,667

Defense Ivan Vishnevskiy – $821,667

F.orward Fredrik Pettersson – $615,000

Defense Paul Postma – $875,000

Either way you would put the team together, it can be safe to assume this will not be the lineup we see in three months. But this at least gives a decent snapshot of where we are at the beginning of our journey.

Could Boris Valabik find himself fighting for another NHL team next season if Pavel Kubina re-signs with the Thrashers? (AP Photo/John Amis)

Could Boris Valabik find himself fighting for another NHL team next season if Pavel Kubina re-signs with the Thrashers? (AP Photo/John Amis)

Now, looking forward…where might Rick Dudley look to improve upon what he has to work with at this time?

In goal, I would be stunned if we see a Pavelec/Mannino tandem. I’d also me very, very concerned. But if Hedberg is to be re-signed, then Mannino heads back to the AHL Wolves and we see a return of last season’s pairing between the pipes.

Hedberg made about $1.1 million last season…so his return would elevate the payroll about half a mil or so if he replaces Mannino.

The other options here are a UFA or trade.

On defense, most of us are hoping to see Dudley and Co. bring Pavel Kubina back into the fold. To that measure, Dudley has said the two parties are still a little ways apart and Ramsay hopes the veteran defenseman is will to accept a “hometown discount”.

Kubina seems to like the Thrashers’ decision to hire Ramsey saying, “I like the direction of the team and I really like Rammer. He’s a great teacher”.

If Kubina does return…adding $3-4 million to the payoll…then that alters the makeup of the Thrashers’ blueline. My take would be that he’d replace Valabik on the roster…making Boris expendable for trade. It’s either that or Dudley keeps Kulda in Chicago. But personally, if a choice had to be made between the two, I’d rather see Kulda in a Thrashers jersey than Valabik this season.

Mark Popovic and Christoph Schubert are slated to be UFAs Thursday morning. Dudley has said that they expect the two to take a dip in the UFA pool this week.

Up front…I would love to see the Thrashers come to terms with Maxim Afinogenov. The 24-goal scorer from last season had indicated he’d be willing to play here again, however I can’t blame him at all for turning his nose up at a contract that spans only one season. Personally, I’d have given him at least two years, possibly three given what he did here.

What part of the Thrashers roster concerns you most?

  • Offense (30%, 43 Votes)
  • Defense (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Goal (48%, 68 Votes)
  • All Three (20%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 141

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But it looks more and more likely that Max will seek employment elsewhere come Thursday morning. As Dudley recently told Chris Vivlamore, “We’ve talked to Afinogenov, although it would seem now that Max will test the free-agent market. We’ve made him an offer”.

Colby Armstrong, Eric Boulton and Evgeny Artyukhin are also pending free agents. Bolts is mulling over an offer from the Thrashers while Army and Arty will more than likely seek employment elsewhere.

Dudley has indicated he would like to add a 15-goal scorer. To get one, he could test the waters in the UFA pool, of course…or take a Valabik and/or Todd White, package them up with picks/prospects and go on a little shopping spree.

As far as cap issues are concerned, an apples-for-apples type of deal involving those two would be offset by a player that earns somewhere in the neighborhood of $3-3.25 million. While that seems like a lot of money to shell out for a 15-goal scorer, keep in mind that that level of production would more than double White’s output of last season.

And for only about a mil more. Just sayin’….

227 comments Add your comment

Jack

June 29th, 2010
12:59 pm

MattyJ

June 29th, 2010
1:00 pm

Smoothie

June 29th, 2010
1:08 pm

15 – 20 goal scoring options for Thrashers:

Lombardi – prolly too expensive, but I think would be a perfect fit
Whitney – prolly wants one year too many, but has couple years left
Ponikarovsky – former roomie of Antropov…may be the right fit in terms of salary and term
Jokinen – risky but could gel very nicely with Kaner and Buff on 2nd line thus allowing Pevs to play pivot for Antro and Bergie?
O’Sullivan – skilled but small, might be available at 1/2 price on re-entry waivers
Moreau – another Oilers’ waiver victim could be good leadership in the room for a very good price…but honestly I don’t get excited by him
Versteeg via trade? – I hope not as he is, in my estimation, a less talented version of Bergfors; we need Little to rebound and be our Versteeg with upside

Dwayne

June 29th, 2010
1:14 pm

O’Sullivan….. a minus 35, would fit in nicely with the Thrashers. PASS…
Do you take a chance on Olli??? Like we did with Max last year?
I agree that Little must rebound, Zach too. Steady year from Pevs, Kane and Bergie is much needed…
Easy to state the obvious isn’t it??

Joe Friday

June 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

What are the chances that we take that $16m in cap room and fix all three problem areas via free agency? What I’d do if it was my checkbook and decisions is to sign Frolov, Kubina, and Nabokov and have a little cap room left over for a deadline move. I know, not gonna happen with the cheap cheap group, but mabye we can get 2 of those 3 done?

The Real Thrash

June 29th, 2010
1:21 pm

16.5 BELOW THE CAP, AGAIN!

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

Aaron Asham-goals, toughness too

Former AIZ-er JD

June 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

Good article Bill.
Say we re-sign Kubina at 5 million a year… Wow that’s a lot of money tied up in d-men. Does any team in the league have all 6 of their top d men making over 2.3 mill a year? Don’t think Kubina will be back. As great as he was last season, rather spend that money up front.
Wish Max was a part of the team next season.

TableHockey

June 29th, 2010
1:29 pm

Good write up Bill – based on that math we are about a million under the floor right?

Good list Smoothie – would Frolov be a possiblility as well? He’s goals dropped last season but still a 50 pointer. Not to mention we are lacking for LW.

Rawhide

June 29th, 2010
1:30 pm

Jack, Former AIZ-er JD & TableHockey - Thank you.

What are the chances that we take that $16m in cap room and fix all three problem areas via free agency?

Joe Friday – I guess that all depends on how much the Great Octocluster will allow Dudley to go over the cap floor to fulfill the “Win Now” mission they have given him…shrugs…

16.5 BELOW THE CAP, AGAIN!

The Real Thrash – Again…this is where the organization finds itself now. I will wait to see where they are and who they have acquired before passing judgement.

Smoothie

June 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

Yikes! -35!! Should’ve checked that before posting. Oh well, that may have been an anomaly since he’s never been higher than a -8 in his career. Moreau is big and tough, but too old. Nevermind. I’d rather go after Peterri Nokelainen for some depth and PK mins off the bench.

glovesave29

June 29th, 2010
1:40 pm

Modano scored 14 in 59 games last year. Translates out to a 20 goal scorer. He was told by the Stars his services are no longer required.

I’m just sayin’….

Russian

June 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

QUESTION:
Are you comfortable to see this Roster at October 8 2010 in Phillips Arena???
I am saying. NO!!!! :-(
Let’s build a lines.
Little-Antro-Berg
Kane-Pevs-Buff
Mac-Jimmy-Eager
Comrie-White-Trambon
Wow. I am scared already.
We have very Expencive D-men on this year. Will they play good?
Hainsey – Oduaya
Tobi – Sopel
Bogus – Kulda

I am not going to talk about our Goalies. They are out of Number One.

Zoomo

June 29th, 2010
1:44 pm

So right now we are probably looking at something like this, which may not be too far off from how we start the season:

Byfuglien Peverley Kane
Bergfors Antropov Little
MacArthur White Cormier/Machachek
Eager Slater Thorburn

That 3rd line looks weak. I’d expect we deal one or more of those guys for a 20 goal scorer if available. Maybe Burmistrov challenges for a spot there.

I think the D is set except for Kubina in or Kubina out.

Moose or a UFA (Dan Eliis maybe?) + Pavs in goal.

On paper, that’s not a team that gets me too excited. I hope I’m wrong, and/or we get more change on Thursday.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
1:47 pm

Do we have any idea of what the internal salary cap will be for the Thrashers? That’s a good question for Dudley, to know how much money we have to spend. On the positive side, $16.5M under is better than being up close to the cap and having bad teams like Calgary and Tronna.

I would estimate our internal cap at $50M. Any other guesses on the number? That’s what it is, just a guess.

Rawhide

June 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

MacArthur White Cormier/Machachek…That 3rd line looks weak.

Zoomo – Here, let me fix it for you….

MacArthur – Cormier – Machachek.

Better? :lol:

Lee

June 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

I’m a little worried for the Thrashers this season….

Zoomo

June 29th, 2010
1:53 pm

Zoomo

June 29th, 2010
1:54 pm

Whitey loves you, Bill

Smoothie

June 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

Looks like Arty isn’t giving up on Atlanta just yet…

http://www.sportsdaily.ru…yil-tak-i-ostalsya-37643

Russian, care to translate and summarize for us? Thanks!

kracker

June 29th, 2010
2:04 pm

TWITTER CraigCustance Piggybacking off @kausatoday thoughts, Dan Ellis is interested in ATL, among others. “They’ve made some good moves,” he told me today.

Ellis is interested!

TrueBlue

June 29th, 2010
2:06 pm

Smoothie, just go to google translate and copy and past it. I did it earlier, and he is basically saying that the KHL is a huge mess right now and that he would like to stay in Atlanta if they make a little better of an offer. He also said he disappointed he was when he was not truly given a shot at the World Championships a few months back. He said that when Malkin got there, he was pretty much brushed aside and forgotten.

Sara

June 29th, 2010
2:06 pm

IMO the only two things we need is a top-6 LW and another goalie. I’d rather bring up Kulda and start getting him some NHL action than go chasing a UFA on D – even Kubina.

Personally I’d go for Poni and Dan Ellis and call it a day. Give it a season, see how the kids continue to develop, see what Ramsey’s system generates, then tinker a bit more. I sure don’t want to clog up the roster pipeline with more over-priced UFAs (y’all forgetting about Todd White already??). The kids are where it needs to be at with this team right now and we have enough to fill the roster holes except at LW and in goal (I’m not willing to rush another goalie prospect personally).

Smoothie

June 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

Thanks kracker! Just saw that and I asked Custance what are chances are in his opinion? Dudley needs to get serious about Ellis as his presence gives us insurance at an affordable price. Plus he’s a hard-worker who will push Pavelec to get better just like Moose. The difference though is about 7 years and this team is certainly moving in that direction.

Smoothie

June 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

True – I would have but I’m on a very unreliable connection as I’m not home on my own computer. Thanks for that…just figured Russian could help confirm and perhaps pick up on some nuances that are only detectable as a native Russian speaker / reader. Hidden meaning that is.

I say give him a contract and let him, Eager and Cormier beat the living hell out of people. He can even step up and play 3rd line minutes given the right line-mates. Plus, perhaps Rammer will make him a smarter player when it comes to decision-making that has typically led to bad, ill-timed penalties.

TrueBlue

June 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

I completely agree. I really liked his game and feel that he is actually better than Thorburn. That could be an excellent 4th line.

Sage of Bluesland

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Donnie and “Duds” will do and how they’ll spin what they’ve constructed…and what their estimated timetable is.

I’m thinking it’s a “Five Year Plan”.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling that sense of deja-vu all over again…

rob

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Is it Bill Tiller….or Rawhide, someone even called you Iceman on last blog?! :)
thing is….it isn’t Oct 8th yet. And until this is solidified….no use getting too upset.

Yogi Berra

June 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

SoB – Funny you mention deja-vu, because anytime I read anything of yours it’s like deja-vu all over again.

Russian

June 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

**To Smoothie and TrueBlue**
Arti said nothing interesting on his Intereview. He wants to stay in Atlanta. He likes a team and city. He does not want to go to KHL. Rest of interview is all about KHL and last World Cup. I think Dudley and Ramsey will make dessision about Arti.

Dwayne

June 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

Ellis wants to be here? Cool!! Do not here that often.
Modano in Atl. would be a boost for the young guns we have. Would he be a better version of Mellanby?

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
2:29 pm

I’ll let you know my feeling around July 7th.

puckedup

June 29th, 2010
2:29 pm

before people get all hot and bothered about the octocluster spending money . . . They lost $20 million on the Hawks. Anyone have any ideas what they lost on the Thrashers? That might bear in mind any decisions on getting anyone.

Would really be happy if they could get some more investors. This basement-warping payroll crap is getting old.

glovesave29

June 29th, 2010
2:36 pm

Be careful with on line translations…you can get the “gist” of what is said, but I can tell you as a person fluent in Portuguese (Brasilian), that the google translation is often wrong – especially going from English to whatever you want translated.

How can you call this another 5 year plan when we are trading picks and prospects for current NHLers? Both Kubina and Ellis have gone on the record as saying they like what Atlanta is doing…find something new to complain about, Sage – cause you are way off (as usual) on this one.

Sign Ellis first. Other UFA players will see now that we are solid in the goal, that we have a solid D and a young core of forwards. Players will be interested in playing in Atlanta. I am cautiously optomistic.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
2:53 pm

Great call on the goaltender Glovesave talked about Ellis weeks ago.
He wants to be a #1 again. I’d like to get Kubina back too. We shall see, like I said, I’ll be ready to react more on July 7th or so after we have some factual information.

Jack

June 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

Dont know alot about Ellis, but looks like his numbers are 2nd to Moose. Would he be there just in case moose doesn’t sign or take him over moose? At least he would like to be here.

Russ

June 29th, 2010
3:05 pm

Wow, talk about inexperienced forwards. Antropov is the only proven, consistent point producer at the NHL level. That being said, I am cautiously optimistic Little will have a bounce-back season and Bergfors/Kane/Peverly will keep improving. This team is only an upgrade in goal and a re-signing of Kubina away from me giving them the kiss of death and picking them for a playoff spot next season.

Joe Friday

June 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

Please raise your sights from Ellis, there’s a reason he rode the pine behind a weak goalie in Nashvegas . . .he is NOT our #1, Moose would be a better option than Ellis. Raise the bar, we need to improve from the net out, we especially not a stud goalie as Ramsay is going to push the dmen up ice

Rawhide

June 29th, 2010
3:20 pm

Regarding Dan Ellis…if nothing else he seems very consistent. Consider his 3 years in Nashville…

07-08: 44 games – 2.34 GAA, .924 SV% & 6 SO
08-09: 35 games – 2.93 GAA, .900 SV% & 3 SO
09-10: 31 games – 2.69 GAA, .909 SV% & 1 SO

In the 2008 playoffs, he posted a 2.52 GAA and .938 SV% against the eventual Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

For his career, he has a 2.64 GAA and .912 SV%.

Moose’s numbers are 2.93 and .900 while Opie’s is 3.33 and .902.

He’s coming off a contract that paid $1.75 million.

R. Stroz

June 29th, 2010
3:21 pm

I say give him a contract and let him, Eager and Cormier beat the living hell out of people.

Smoothie – I agree. Dudley needs to pony up and re-sign the A-Train. With Big Buff, the A-Train, and Antro, our offense will finally have some meat to push other teams around.

And, while we’re at it, get rid of Charmin.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
3:23 pm

Ellis is not the stud, but he may be what we end up with when all is said I done. Joe-I know you are a Nabokov fan, but I don’t thionk he’s coming here. I favored Ellis because I thought he was the guy we’d end up with when all was said and done. Ellis is eitht years younger than Moose; trying to get another great season out of Moose may be too tall an order.

We could go back to Minny and get Harding.

Adam

June 29th, 2010
3:31 pm

JF- I know you’re high on Nabokov but would you mind seeing Mason signing here?

Not Blind

June 29th, 2010
3:33 pm

I can’t help but feel that the whole ‘lost $20M on the Hawks’ and ‘lost $xxM on the Thrashers’ is a shellgame. Tell us what the profit or loss numbers are on the Hawks, Thrashers AND Phillips arena combined. I can’t see any group of millionaires truly throwing away money like that. They are making money or they would get out ASAP. They wouldn’t be putting a happy face on it like they are now.

glovesave29

June 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

Rawhide – to expound upon your stats…lets not forget who Nashville has to play on a regular basis. His stats are superior to Moose, AND he plays in the tougher Western Conference.

I am not going to trash Moose…he gave us one heluva season last year. He is a tireless worker and good leader. If I was more confident in Opies ability to stop overcommiting all the time, I’d say get Johan for one last season. But I see Ellis as an opportunity to get a quality goalie for the next 3 – 4 years. I’d split time 60/40 with Pavalec to keep the wear and tear to a minimum. If Pavs then turns outto be more that I think he will be, you have a nice piece to trade with.

Harding is a good young goalie…but we’d have to trade to get him, and I cannot see Minny going for a combo of Valabik and Charmin. We need to gain with out subtraction…that’s why I go for Ellis.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
3:53 pm

I target Ellis cause this is the guy that I think we can attract at this time. He is alot like what Antropov was to us last season, in the sense that both players are tier 2 free agents. I think he’s the best we can attract at this time. I also believe he’d be an upgrade on Moose, in both the short and long terms.

KLS1

June 29th, 2010
3:57 pm

You guys didn’t have any lines with Burmistov in them. Appears they intend to give him every chance to make the team.

Rawhide

June 29th, 2010
4:00 pm

KLS1 – Burmistrov isn’t yet under contract. Once he is we can throw him into the mix.

I’m sure the team is going to give this kid every chance to make the squad…but IMHO he’s gonna need to bulk up a bit.

LAC

June 29th, 2010
4:25 pm

Note to Bill, Back home, been tough past couple weeks+. Will let you know later on train ride, Just lucky to be around after that wreck… Thanks for your email, Wife let me know in Hospital.

Rawhide

June 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

LAC – Great to hear from you and glad you are doing better!!!

World Be Free

June 29th, 2010
4:47 pm

LAC-good to have you back on board again.