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

Hokey P. Clisters

July 1st, 2010
9:58 pm

I just dove into the cement pond……where’s all the water? There’s nothing left in here except some guy named Kovy. This Kovy guy keeps telling me I should have “tested” the water before I dove in.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
10:00 pm

Theres always the KHL

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
10:04 pm

Glovesave29, I notice that Dallas picked up some Kari Lehtonen insurance in the form of Andrew Raycroft, the former Calder Trophy winner. I really hope Kari can have a decent career in Dallas. Will they get him that goaltender coach? And a conditioning coach? And a nutritionist? And a shrink?

Somaatl95

July 1st, 2010
10:06 pm

On my way home from work I heard the guys on XM’s NHL channel talking about ole #17 and how by his waiting 6 months he’s lost “AT LEAST $30 Million” and kind’ve made Kovy sound like an idiot for not sticking with the Thrashers… I’ll admit, it was nice to hear.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
10:06 pm

Okay, posters. How far away are O’Dell, Holzapfel, and Machacek from making the Thrashers roster? Let’s toss out Klingberg, too? Heck, will Burmistrov be here longer than a 9-game audition?

Somaatl95

July 1st, 2010
10:11 pm

Brendan, how hard do you think they want to work to make the squad? If they feel that this years team is going to go places they will be working their butts off to be part of it. I think Ramsay may have a hard time making cuts when necessary to trim the roster down.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
10:11 pm

Somaatl95, is Kovy an idiot, though, if his next team is a lot closer to winning the Cup than Atlanta? Remember 2008, when we were bidding on Brian Campbell? Well, many posters thought, “Chicago isn’t exactly a model of efficiency, Cupless since 1961.” Several of us countered, “But can you say that the Blackhawks are much farther than 3 years away from a Cup?” Turns out, they were only 2 years away. Well, then Campbell (and his agent) chose wisely. Kovy is probably looking for a Cup moreso than a payday. I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see him sign some 1-year deal to get with a team he thinks can win next season, so long as that team can swing his “discounted” contract.

Does Detroit have ANNNNY room? Can you even imagine Kovalchuk as a Red Wing? They would probably embrace him well in Detroit! Of course, I think Kovalchuk is a natural fit in Los Angeles.

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
10:12 pm

This is funny! … from jksockey via twitter

Atlanta unveils new logo:
http://tinyurl.com/newthrashawkslogo

Hokey P. Clisters

July 1st, 2010
10:13 pm

I really believe that Burmistrov is the Anti-Kovy. I really like this kid’s attitude and demeanor. Would not be shocked to see Ramsay give him every chance to make the club. That says alot for an ole coot like me! Duds has made it well known that he is sky high on Cormier and Klingberg. The others would be longshots.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
10:13 pm

I forgot to add the name, Tim Stapleton, as part of the Exelby and Colin Stuart trade. Also, I mistakenly listed Zbynek Michalek as Zybnek Michael, in my novel above.

A27

July 1st, 2010
10:14 pm

Let’s get Kubina signed and we shall have a team to be reckoned with!!! Wow over 6 hundred comments today…- think that’s a new record.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
10:15 pm

Hokey P. Clisters, well … ya know … even Jeff Schultz would say that “raiding the Stanley Cup Champions isn’t a bad idea. As opposed to say, raiding the Columbus Blue Jackets.”

Ty Webb says, “Cannonball it!!” Hope the pool party was a ragin’ success.

kracker

July 1st, 2010
10:16 pm

What’s this I read about Kincake saying on 680 today about an announcement within 2 weeks of new owner(s) who will keep the Thrashers in Atlanta??

James Brown

July 1st, 2010
10:20 pm

I think Ramsey will give Cormier and Burmistrov every chance to make the club out of training camp…….we should get a better feel for Burmistrov after he gets a look at prospect camp.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
10:23 pm

yeah Kracker I saw that too. Very interesting. Can’t wait more details

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
10:27 pm

So what might we have now…up front

Byfuglien Peverley Kane
Bergfors Antropov Little
MacArthur Machachek Ladd
Eager Slater Thorburn
(White, Burmistrov, and Cormier)

Maybe Cormier, Machacek and Ladd form a future “league’s best shutdown line”….I like that idea.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
11:11 pm

WOW!…you guys simply destroyed this blog! 600+ comments!!!!

Well done…so here’s a new one for you to have at.