How big of a splash will Dudley make in UFA talent pool?

It’s been a busy week or so in Thrasherville. Big trade with Chicago…followed by Craig Ramsay being named new head coach…the NHL entry draft…RFA qualifying offers…then all the chatter throughout the week regarding UFAs and RFAs contracts.

Yup, very busy indeed. That, plus it’s been extremely hot and humid around these parts as well. So it’s the perfect time to have a pool party…the annual UFA “Talent Pool” party, that is.

That’s right, kids…today we make our yearly mid-summer trek to take a dip in the cool water of the NHL community talent pool. But for the first time in the Thrashers’ history, Don Waddell will not be the one looking to fish out UFAs from the pool…instead it’ll be new GM Rick Dudley.

The question is… just how big of a splash does he intends to make?

Here on the deck surrounding the pool, our good friend Five_Hole has once again agreed to DJ today’s extravaganza while the lovely Joyel from TJ’s Bar & Grill will be serving up drinks behind the bar. Also for those who might, shall we say, overindulge…Tony C. will be proving cab rides back home.

And the best part… it’s all on the AJC’s tab!!

Now…Dudley has indicated that he’d like to snag a 15-plus goal scorer this summer and there are a few to choose from today. But if he’s not able to pluck out such a player from the pool, he’s also said that a trade could be on the horizon to procure one.

But for me, the top priority is finding a #1 goalie for the upcoming season. Dudley has told us that he’s “comfortable” with having Johan Hedberg return…however, the veteran Swede netminder does not seem to be “comfortable” with the terms and conditions of the contract that was extended to him.

The one I would most like to see Dudley & Co. snag is Evgeni Nabokov, who was informed just last week that he will not be factoring into San Jose’s future plans. I’m sure he will be the prize target for those looking to upgrade between the pipes.

The All-Star is netminder is 293-178 with 29 ties and 37 OTLs. He owns a 2.39 GAA, .912 SV% and has posted 50 shutouts in his 563 total regular season games played…all with the Sharks. In the playoffs he is 40-39 with a 2.29 GAA, .914 SV% and 7 SO during San Jose’s nine playoff appearances since 2000.

Nabokov is coming off a four-year deal that paid approximately $21.5 million.

What type of splash will Rick Dudley make in the UFA talent pool?

  • Cannon Ball - Big splash with huge signing or two (26%, 22 Votes)
  • Like Platform Diving - Dives in but no big splash (53%, 46 Votes)
  • Belly Flop - Not pretty and it'll hurt just to watch (21%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 86

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Around the rest of the NHL, Ilya Kovalchuk looks to be the big free agent fish in this year’s UFA talent pool. Joining the long list of superstars who have done so in the past, the Russian winger departed Atlanta last winter for New Jersey but now gets to select where he’s heading next. Could it be the L.A. Kings, Toronto, another NHL team…or even back home to play in the KHL? 

Keep in mind he turned aside an offer by Don Waddell last winter that would have paid him $10 million as season for three, five or seven years. He also said “nyet” to a 12-year deal that was worth $101 mil. It’ll be curious to see what he gets elsewhere.

Oh, and for those of you who still clutch to the hope that Kovy might return here…don’t hold your breath. Well, unless you’re swimming underwater, that is. Sure I’m trained in First Aid and CPR, but I really don’t want to be bother with such things today.

I thank you in advance for your understanding.

One last note before we crash the pool and join in the fun… I will once again warn each and every one of you that a repeat the infamous “Baby Ruth Bar Incident of 2008” will not be tolerated!

Yes, I’m looking at you, Smoothie…

It takes a lot of time and expense to drain, clean, disinfect and re-fill these things, ya know.

UFA Signing Updates

UPDATE 4:55 pm: Thrasher trade Evgeni Vishovskiy and 2nd round draft pick to Chicago for forward Andrew Ladd.

UPDATE 4:40 pm: Thrashers sign goalie Chris Mason…2-year deal paying $1.6 million this year and $2.1 million next year.

UPDATE 1:36 pm: Thrasher killer Antero Niittymaki is now a San Jose Shark.

UPDATE 1:34 pm: Colby Armstrong is now a Toronto Maple Leaf. 3 years, $9-million.

UPDATE 9:01 am: Kevin Allen of USA Today Sports reports via twitter, “Thrashers making another run at G Johan Hedberg this morning, and they will shop for a forward (and maybe a goalie) later today”

617 comments Add your comment

Dwayne

July 1st, 2010
4:02 pm

We made a move…finally, Thrashers extend White out 3 more years. No money involved.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:05 pm

Come on guys, gotta keep it going for another 1/2 hour…gotta get to 510 posts! Of course, it would help if Olli Jokinen would just sign and get it over with already!

Flagstaff

July 1st, 2010
4:05 pm

The problem with Nabokov is the question of his desire to play in the NHL. Would he sooner take a bargain deal here, or go to the KHL, where the money is?

Russ

July 1st, 2010
4:05 pm

Come on, throw $20 mil. for 4 years at Kubina. If he doesn’t bite, then move on, but there are no suitable replacements left out there. It’s a struggle to get to the salary floor every year anyway. The Thrashers always have to overpay players to reach the floor (see White, Todd and Hainsey, Ron).

Russ

July 1st, 2010
4:07 pm

“We made a move…finally, Thrashers extend White out 3 more years. No money involved.”

Dwayne – This extension represents fair market value.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:10 pm

token posting to help beat record

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:11 pm

The more things slow down, the better things look for the Thrashers. At the very least, perhaps Pasha is having mis-givings about leaving a young team with upside in ATL for the miserable cold climes of Buffa-snow and Long Island.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
4:12 pm

Well Smoothie, if you’re only choices thus far are Atlanta, Buffalo and the Island, and you were hoping for some other destination you wait. There are a lot of teams with space and the need for d-men. St. Louis, Colorado, Washington, Anaheim, Nashville to name a few.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:13 pm

Hamhuis is a Canuck

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:15 pm

Frolov is still out there – I still think that would be a good pick up for the right price.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
4:16 pm

Now, Kubina will make the deal!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:16 pm

Volchenkov is supposedly off the market – long term contract with the Devils

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:17 pm

Hamhuis is a Canucklehead, finally!

Yes R/L – the dominoes may start falling now that Hamhuis is OTM. But Volchenkov may end up having to take a tad less money. Haven’t heard anything about a bidding war…were GM’s scared off by Grossman?

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
4:18 pm

Hamhuis 4.5 per…not sure how long. Kubina should be in the 3.5 -4 mil range I would think

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:18 pm

6 years for Volchie! Does this mean Kovy’s next in NJ?

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:19 pm

Wow! 6 years. Martin Brodeur is smiling.

Michael

July 1st, 2010
4:21 pm

I say give Kubina 3 years at $4 and look to trade him at the deadline if the Thrashers are not going to make the playoffs. At that price, he should be movable at the deadline even if it is only picks.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:25 pm

Smoothie – I would think that means NJ can’t afford Kovy with that contract.

Russ

July 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Volchenkov = overrated IMO. Haven’t heard the dollars yet, but if the cap hit is similar to Hamhuis I think this is a rare bad move by sweet Lou.

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
4:27 pm

Mason is ours!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:28 pm

TH – I hear ya, but teams are allowed to go 10% over and then make movest to get back under. You never know, but I’m thinking NY ends up out-bidding a skiddish Dean Lombardi.

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
4:28 pm

two-year deal with yearly salaries of $1.6 and $2.1 million.

Michael

July 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

Nice! Mason and Pavs…I can live with that. Now sign Kubina!

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
4:29 pm

Not a big splash, but the party can finally begin. Drinks all around. Why is the rum gone?

Jack

July 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

we got mason rock on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

don’t look at me, I’m a beer guy

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:30 pm

Sorry Red Light – I drank it all in the last 4.5 hours. I like the deal at the price for sure!

Alan R.

July 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

Chris Mason signs with ATL, 2yr 3.7mil.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:31 pm

Wow, I go to Viv’s blog one time and I get blindsided by the Mason deal!

Great job Duds! 2 years @ $1.85 M per is great value and competition for Pavelec. Bet Pavy got $2.25 or $2.5 M in his RFA deal.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
4:32 pm

Does the make Pav a #2,

FormerIslesFan

July 1st, 2010
4:32 pm

I’ll go on record…I like the Mason signing. Now, let’s get a goalie coach for him and Pavs. So long Moose, and thank you for all you did for us!!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Interestingly Kevin Allen referred to Mason as our new #1

Jack

July 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

yes thank you MOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
4:33 pm

Grossman doesn’t get nearly what he thought he would for Volchie…an avg of $4.25 M per Grossman himself! Ha ha ha!!

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

We’ll all miss Moose…the definition of a class act

Russ

July 1st, 2010
4:34 pm

I like the signing. Give Pavelec 25-30 starts the next two years, then decide if he’s #1 material or not. He definitely isn’t there yet, but could still develop over the next few seasons.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:35 pm

I’ll miss the Moose, but this is a definite upgrade. Need to talk to Mason to see how the hell he wears that mask with a shaved head! Talk about chafing! HA!

Thanks for everything Johan – best of luck to you!

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
4:35 pm

Wow! Volchenkov deal was for 25.5mil…4.25 per

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

hold on to your horses – supposedly we are in on a trade for Ladd

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Wonder what we are giving up?

Michael

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Rumors that we are trading for Andrew Ladd. This is finally getting interesting.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

We got Ladd!!!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

We got Ladd!!!

3stripes

July 1st, 2010
4:36 pm

Trade for Ladd?

Jack

July 1st, 2010
4:37 pm

Michael

July 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

Says the Ladd trade is pending a trade call. What could we be giving up? Hurry up and have the call. The suspense is killing me!!!

Alan R.

July 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

Ladd traded to ATL

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

They are saying the call hasn’t happened yet but looks to be done

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

24 years old and not a smurf!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

I got a feeling we are going to give up something decent – maybe Little?