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

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:33 am

Brendan… oh, I know all about Andrew Ladd. He’d be a great replacement for Armstrong. Actually, I’ll say Ladd > Armstrong.

I really liked watching him in Carolina and thought it was a great swap of Tuomo Ruutu for Andrew Ladd straight up a few years ago.

five_hole

July 1st, 2010
9:34 am

glovesave29 – I said should still have some gas left in the tank. not a lot in the tank. And I’m guessing the Shark’s decision was based on not “can he play” but “bang for the buck”.

For Kovalchuk, as I’m guessing the only place he’ll get the bucks he’s looking for is in the KHL, I’d like to switch the music to “Back in the USSR”.

And for us to sign a d-man (Kubina); we’d have to trade one first.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:34 am

hip czech… re: Kovy… I’ll say 8 years $80 million from the Kings.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
9:35 am

Red Light, we better get a goalie. I’m looking at Biron as something plausible. Boston may or may not want to unload Tim Thomas. That’s a hefty contract, even if it is a downward sliding one, in terms of payout. Thomas probably does need to get out of Boston to be the #1 goalie, again. Tuukka Rask had the best GAA last year. What bothers me about Rask is … he was still sitting on the board at #16 in the 2005 draft. I think he went 20th. Waddell said that he traded down so that he could find a goalie in the 2nd round. That goalie turned into Ondrej Pavelec. Waddell could have drafted both goalies, if he’d wanted, by passing on Alex Bourret. Enough of that.

I love the Moose, but it’s time to part ways. Carrying three (3) goalies is possible, but probably not the best scenario.

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
9:35 am

My Kovy Guess: 7-years/$60 million, L.A. Kings.

kracker

July 1st, 2010
9:35 am

At the risk of irritating R/L…..kausatoday On the basis of modest cost and untapped potential, goalie Dan Ellis suddenly looks like he will be a hot free agent.

I hope Duds is all over this.

And I further hope Dud isn’t a dud today.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:39 am

Red Light… actually agents like Alan Walsh tweet a lot.

http://twitter.com/walsha

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:42 am

I’ve found that most “sources” are the agents themselves… not so much the GM’s… but it’s all a game. Agents use writers to create hype for their players.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
9:42 am

Ladd for Vish, a 2nd next year and Chris Thorburn as they need a cheap player to complement Marty Reasoner! Hell, try to get Skille and Hokie will dance a jig of joy!!

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
9:43 am

Hey Bill, quick question. Is there any way I can sign some of that talent located in your pool?

Alan R. – Ummm…do you remember two years ago when Waddell tried to sign Campbell? Do you remember Campbell’s response? You get the picture…

And for us to sign a d-man (Kubina); we’d have to trade one first.

five_hole – Yeah…like, Valabik. Then the blueline would consist of Kubina, Hainsey, Oduya, Enstrom, Bogosian, Sopel and Kulda

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
9:43 am

Hokie…no way the Kings go 10 mil per….if they do Dudley better be on the phone with them talking Kopitar/Brown/Doughty/etc. because there is no way they are going to be able to afford them.

If Kovalchuk wants a shot at a cup then I agree the Kings are the best fit, but if it’s more than 50 million total (I’ll say 6 years at 8 per = 48) I’d be surprised.

The only teams that can offer him anything close to what the Thrashers offered him would be the NYI, possibly St. Louis or Colorado.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
9:44 am

Smoothie – I was actually throwing Kypreos under the bus, not you my friend! I just don’t like his smug demeanor, nor the fact he thinks he’s never wrong – or how he fights the rest of the panel for daring to doubt him.

Five_hole – everything today south of Kovy is a crap shoot. I could be dead wrong and Evgeni plays until he is 40 and retires with teams STILL wanting to retain his services. I am just playing the odds. I know nothing of Nabby’s training methods. He could be a work-out maniac and keep in great shape.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
9:46 am

I think Brendan is right on – I don’t see Kovy getting anywhere near the 12yrs we offered. 7-8 max unless he goes to the Leafs (Burke says no) or some such team. Salary wise I think he gets in the 8M per year range.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:50 am

hip czech… oops, I type too fast. I was thinking $8 million per year for 8 years. So, 8 years at $64 million… I’m pretty sure Kovy will get $8 million a year.

Smoothie… haha, I think Jack Skille will be on the Blackhawk roster next year. They’ll need him after all these trades.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
9:53 am

glovesave – no worries mate, no harm done! Just givin’ ya a hard time! I haven’t actually seen Kyper on TV so I only know what he tweets and he seems to have some reliable sources. But then again, a lot of former players do. Of course, the rest of the media has jumped on what he was saying and they’re all reporting same about Ellis…DUH. Why would he even want to be in MTL? I think he might fancy Atlanta, seriously.

Mr. Tiller – great work with the photoshop. I can totally see Duds wearing an old-timey 20’s swimsuit like the one in the picture. I reckon he’d be sippin’ virgin pina coladas; for some reason he strikes me as someone who gave up the sauce a long time ago.

Kovy will get 8 years at an avg of $7.5 M per. $60 M total. Just want that on record. Other than that, who the hell is Kovy? Bygones.

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
9:53 am

hip czech, I’ll take the over, please.

Kevin Allen is the main guy that’s in the know on the Thrashers. That is very bad news that they’re going after Moose again today, it means no Nabokov who is obviously the prize goalie to be had.

Sounds like we’ll add a forward via free agency, please let it be Frolov, sign Moose and Kubina is gone. Then we may make a trade. That is very bad news for the Hawks. By the way, Brian Burke stole Versteeg from the Hawks, nice deal on his part, we really could’ve used Versteeg here and we wouldn’t have had to give up nearly as much as we did for Buff and Sopel.

Rawhide, thanks for coming, we have a pool, we have a pond . . . ponds good for you.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
9:58 am

A little funny to think Versteeg was actually a bit surprised he was actually traded. It’s not as though Chicago’s salary cap troubles weren’t widely reported. In fact, I even wrote a blog entry on it although my prediction of a $5.2 M penalty was off a bit. However, Mirtle’s estimate of $4.1 M may not be actual. Hawks are in “troubs-ville” when it comes to icing a full roster! Even if they bury Huet, but are they comfortable with Corey Crawford backing up Niemi?

After crunching some numbers in a spreadsheet, I have come up with a pretty good rough estimate of what the Blackhawks adjusted salary cap ceiling will be next season. The bottom line number is quite startling compared to the expected league-wide ceiling of $59,440,000 or so. Per my calcs, the adjusted figure for the Hawks will be only $54,216,000, a difference of nearly $5.25 M!! Here’s how I determined their cap penalty for next season:

– under CBA, the max allowable cap ceiling was $61,060,000 (w/ bonus cushion)**
**bonus cushion is calculated as 7.5% of ceiling or $4,260,000

– per nhlnumbers.com, Hawks’ final salary was $60,724,000 (diff of $336 k)

– expected bonus due to Toews for playoffs’ MVP: $ 1,300,000

– net effect of Toews’ bonus applied as an overage: $ 964,000

– Total Penalty in 2010-11: $4.26 M + $964 k = $ 5,224,000

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
9:59 am

Joe Friday… I’m guessing by the Versteeg deal that it would have cost Atlanta something along the lines of Esposito, Leveille and Holzapfel.

To a GM, that’s probably expensive… as a fan? I wouldn’t miss them.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:03 am

Smoothie… plus, Chicago only has 13 players on their active roster right now. Only 3 Defensemen and 1 goalie under contract.

http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=CHI&season=1011

World Be Free

July 1st, 2010
10:07 am

Brendan-I have no issue with Tallinder at this point in his career. But I think he will be one of the overpaid guys today because he does not have one real aspect in his game that makes him stand out – kind of sounds like Ron Hainsey, doesn’t it? Here is Buffalo’s problem-Tallinder played so well with Myers last season, who is going to take his place and allow Myers to keep playing his game? That’s is how STUPID the Sabres are-other GMs are making moves today and Darcy Regier is playing pocket pool. Ironic in the sense that Buffalo supposedly is looking at Kubina. Sabres don’t need another right hand shot on defense.

Like you, I guess I wish Kovy the best. Just amazed how he “wanted” to be the man here, then turned down millions to facilitate a trade. I hope his next team realizes that when they sign him long term.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:11 am

Joe Friday… actually, let me try that again…

DeDominico = John Albert
Phillipe Paradis= Carl Klingberg or Daultan Leveille
Stalberg= Machacek

Those are the closest comparisons I can make based on Draft and Prospect status reports.

So Kris Versteeg for Albert, Klingberg and Machacek.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
10:12 am

Hokie: If anyone would take Esposito, he’d be outta here in seconds.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
10:14 am

Silly predictions…cuz I should know better!

Goalie – Ellis or Biron after Moose spurns our “take it our leave it” offer for Philly or NYR

D-man – I think we may make a run at Shaone Morrisonn and then opt for McKee or Pothier if he’s too expensive. Leopold may be a darkhorse.

Forward – either a trade for Ladd or after we acquire another D-man, we trade for a top-6 forward if the market is somewhat over-priced. Possible targets include Ponikarovsky, Fedotenko, Torres or Stephane Veilleux for PK depth and 4th line stability (if we make a trade)

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
10:15 am

Does it not seem silly that if a player is traded mid-contract, that the balace of what is owed count against the cap, and not the full amount of the contract – as much of it has already been fufilled? For example – Sheldon Souray (no, I dont want him) has a $5.4M cap hit, but a salary of $4.5M over the last two years of the contract. The front end of the contract was obviously loaded. So if Edmonton were to keep him, the $5.4M cap hit is fair. But if he were to be traded, makes more sense to have him be a $4.5M cap hit, as that is what he is due to be paid. Would certainly open up for more trades.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:16 am

EXCELLENT, must read from Falconer… great job Falconer if you’re lurking around today.

http://www.birdwatchersanonymous.com/2010/7/1/1546925/the-state-of-the-thrashers-pre

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
10:19 am

Hokie – if you ask me, the two prospects that should be off-limits are Klingberg and Postma. Even Machacek should be in play. We have enough flexibility to make up for his departure. Klingberg’s ceiling as a rugged, speedier version of Tomas Holmstrom is too high. To hell with Cormier, I hope Duds has been talking him up just to elevate his trade value. Do work Duds, do work!!

Oh yeah, I also think we re-sign Artyukhin before it’s all said and done. Shore up the 4th line to go with Thorburn at C if we do end up trading Patrice “hi-bows” Cormier.

Old Time Hockey

July 1st, 2010
10:20 am

No need to sign Oystrick unless he is happy in Chicago. He would have to be much improved over what I remember for me to get excited and doesn’t sound like it. PLEEEEASE…no Jokinen. I’ve never seen a “star” go invisible as much as this dude. He is a follower, not a leader. Remember, we need some of that cap space to fill out the rest of the roster.

Alan R.

July 1st, 2010
10:30 am

Ouch, Bill! Just ouch!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
10:32 am

Strange rumblings coming out of Calgary – they are scheduling a presser for this afternoon. Maybe they are going to confess that they’ve totally screwed up that team and that 2010-2011 will be a rebuilding year.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:33 am

Smoothie… I have no problem signing Arty to play 8 minutes a game as a “rover”… like a hockey version of the “wild cat” offense. Put the puck on his stick and let him take it end to end a couple times a game.

Flagstaff

July 1st, 2010
10:34 am

Wild guess on Kovalchuk: LA, 6 years, $45M

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
10:38 am

Why am I so hyped up for something that will probably affect the Thrashers so minimally?? Oh yeah, that’s right…I LOVE HOCKEY!!

Hokie – these bottom 2 lines look pretty good if we get Ladd & Arty?

Ladd – Slates – Pettersson

Eager – Thorbs – Arty

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
10:39 am

“So Kris Versteeg for Albert, Klingberg and Machacek.”

I concur. Like I said, Brian Burke got a heck of a deal in that trade. I look for Burke to be active over the next few days as well. I would assume that the influence that Dudley is bringing to our lineup meant that Versteeg didn’t fit his mold of what he’s trying to turn the lineup into. Versteeg tends to be a bit of a floater, think of a Max type, and takes shifts off and doesn’t forecheck hard. I’d make a guess that Chicago talked to us about Versteeg but we just passed as we didn’t want the player.

Come on, Waduds, please be using Allen today to get everyone off your scent as you go in to swoop on Nabokov

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:40 am

Oh, and while we’re sharing “Baby Ruth’s” in the pool jokes… :)

http://www.hulu.com/watch/148070/american-dad-canon-ball

Carl the Groundskeeper

July 1st, 2010
10:46 am

It’s no big deal….really.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
10:46 am

My figure for Kovalchuk, and it’s a slightly educated guess, is an average salary of $7.95 million for eight seasons. Just a bit of food for thought: Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Joffrey Lupul and Ilya Kovalchuk playing in front of Jonas Hiller. They’ve got room to do it and even though coach Carlisle is much like Hitch, that’s a ton of primary and secondary scoring and they’ve got the cap room to make it happen, particularly if Ryan’s new contract is front loaded.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
10:53 am

Red Light… I still can’t get over Anaheim getting Etem at the end of the first round. Unreal!! That team is going to be sick if they can keep Ryan long term. Not to mention throw Kovy in the mix.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2010
10:59 am

TableHockey-I concur, Calgary has done a great job screwing up their team. They need to trade Iginla for assets while he still has value, but that will never happen. Tronna robbed them blind, then the Flames overpaid Matt Stajin! What a mess.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
11:01 am

AHM could be the ultimate sleeper in the Kovalsuck Sweepstakes. But some sources say Carlisle would either strangle Kovy for his piss-poor D or quit his job before agreeing to coach Koastalchuk.

T-minus 3600 seconds…Day of Reckoning is upon us!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
11:03 am

Bring the Flames back to Atlanta (in pieces) – Iginla and Dawes!

Can you imagine? Two power forwards in Iggy and Buff? Tough guys in Dawes and Boults. Son of a fighter in Kane? Give a lot of room for smaller guys like Begfors, Little, maybe Frolov to play around in! Sigh………

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
11:09 am

Smoothie: With that firepower, Carlisle would get canned if he couldn’t appease them all offensively. I saw that tweet too, and let me just say that if Kovy could play for Lemaire, he could play for RC.

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
11:09 am

Should I be excited about Raffi Torres? And if I do, should I seek treatment?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
11:12 am

glovesave – stop it man! You’re getting my hopes up and I’m about to burst with excitement over the prospect of Iginla playing opposite Evander Kane with the Pevs Dispenser dishing them dimes like Magic Johnson to James Worthy and Mike Cooper.

I think we might trade Joe Johnson to the PHX Suns for the rights to Matt Lombardi, Z Michalek, Boris Diaw and Tom Gugliotta.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
11:16 am

One of the least complimentary tweets of all-time. Tallinder is actually Swedish for “Giant Vagina”

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
11:19 am

Red Light – Wasn’t that one of the mobsters from The Sopranos?

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
11:21 am

Sorry Smoothie…but ya gotta agree the best way to fill Philips is to have a BIG TOUGH team…sprinkle in some smooth skaters with room to move. I wont be able to sit in the 100’s for $20 anymore!

schroeder

July 1st, 2010
11:25 am

Red Light I think I may have dated her in high school!!

Tom Lysiak

July 1st, 2010
11:25 am

Totally agree glovesave29…..back to the Flames style of play.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
11:26 am

Bada Bing Bill!

schroeder

July 1st, 2010
11:26 am

She always smelled of herring.