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

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

“When we got married, my wife told me I was one in a million. I found out…she was RIGHT”!!!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:08 pm

I guess it’s not tampering if they send “feelers” to the agents of the player. Perhaps they cannot talk to the player themselves. Still, pretty shady if you ask me.

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
12:09 pm

Biron turned down a 4 year $3m per year offer last year from Philly? Doh.

Allen says we’re still waiting on Hedberg’s decision, please let that be a head fake they’re throwing Allen’s way as they try to scoop Nabokov!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
12:09 pm

Will the Hockey gods please make a western team sign Nittimaki!!!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:09 pm

According to Kevin Allen, we’re waiting on an answer from Hedberg?

Take it or leave it Moose!

five_hole

July 1st, 2010
12:11 pm

“My neighborhood was tough; kids on my block? They bowled overhand!”

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:11 pm

Wait a minute! Since when does Meszaros make nearly $5 M a year? Nevermind then. Forgot Tampa overpaid him that severely. Please strike my dumspter comments from the record. Overzealous on my part. What the hell is Philly doing? Trade us Carter!!

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
12:12 pm

C-Viv – Thanks for the update!

According to Kevin Allen, we’re waiting on an answer from Hedberg? Take it or leave it Moose!

Smoothie – If he hasn’t agreed to terms by now, I’d assume he’s “left it” and move to snag Nabokov if I were Dudley

five_hole – “The neighborhood where I grew up was so poor…the rainbow was in black and white”.

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:15 pm

Moose should be gone. I want Nabokov.

schroeder

July 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

“Last time I saw a mouth like that ,it had a hook in it!”

JLH

July 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

Ladd is an RFA…… that should make him a little cheaper, or at least an offer sheet………

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

Think the rumors on MTL with Hedberg have legs – I could see him retiring there. Hope we move soon – not many goalies out there and I still thenk Ellis is the best option for a tight purse string organization

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
12:19 pm

And Gonchar negotiates a 3 year $5.5 deal with a NTC with the Sens in the first 18 minutes of free agency? I call b/s on this whole thing, it’s a sham.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:20 pm

Ouch Ottawa!! $5.5 M per season for a guy who plays “ole” defense!

TableHockey

July 1st, 2010
12:20 pm

Yeah Joe – got to wonder – actually you don’t. Only makes sense that deals are cut beforehand with those timelines

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

Appearently former Thrasher Erik Christensen has re-signed with the Rangers. Don’t know the perticulars.

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

Wow… Gonch took a big Pay check

BlueSpark

July 1st, 2010
12:22 pm

“When I was a kid, my parents used to move a lot. But I always found them.”

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
12:23 pm

“Only makes sense that deals are cut beforehand with those timelines”

Yep, I’ve had my eyebrows raised for years seeing some of this big deals done in the 1st minutes. Makes no sense at all that the Rangers waited until noon to contact Biron and then did a deal in 30 seconds, no way. Same with Gonchar and many others. His agent talked to everyone that was interested already and Ottawa had the best offer, so it was done. No way you negotiate a NTC and a $16.5m deal in 18 minutes. No way.

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:24 pm

Crusher is Ranger now. Interesting move. They waived him.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

Joe Friday – Gary Bettman is on NHL Live and he pretty much admitted that the league cannot/does not take a strick stand when it comes to teams not being able to speak with pending UFAs. He said the NHL front office isn’t a Police State when it comes to such things and that he’s sure agents and GMs speak about such matters…even if it’s done in an indirect fashion.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

Rodney-
“My wife was a horrible cook. In our house, we prayed after we ate. I don’t think Meatloaf should glow in the dark.”

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

“he’s sure agents and GMs speak about such matters”

gee, Gary, ya think?

Marek is saying that with Philly re-signing Coburn, they have no money for Nabokov, come on Waduds!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

Way to run things Gary. GB is such a waste. But then again most of us already knew that

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

Volchonkov and Pittsrurgh are talking. :-(

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
12:31 pm

Tanguay back to the Flames

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

Coburn re-ups with Philly

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Detroit offered one year to Modano. He is thinking.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Former Thrasher Braydon Coburn re-signed with Flyers…2-years $ 3.2 mil per.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Calgary got out the podium for Alex Tanguay???? LOL

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Mum is never the word when it comes to contract negotiations in any sport. Agents and players discuss options, and then when a team that showed an interest prior to today makes the offer, BANG, it’s done. Why is this a concern?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:35 pm

Tanguay to CGY not official…yet.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Nevermind, TSN has confirmed I guess…it’s on their tracker. One year deal for $1.7 M. I reckon Poni or Fedotenko will cost us b/w $1.7 and $2.1 M if we go after ‘em.

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:38 pm

Tanguay to Flames done deal ($1.7)

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:42 pm

Thank God, somebody said we were interested in Tanguay. Hope we snagged Nigel Dawes off waivers. Sign Poni, Ellis and Jay McKee and call it a day!! What’s taking Kovy so long? Unhappy with your one measley offer from the Kings? Hoboken gets cold doesn’t it Ilya?

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

Poni will be great.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

Tanguay signed for $800,000 less than he made last season. I guess he couldn’t capitalize on his 10-goal, 27-assist season. Must have been Tocchet’s fault. More salary savings for the Lightning. Beware of Stevie Y today too.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

McKenzie said Dawes cleared. That makes no sense to me.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
12:47 pm

I think are realizing kchuk thinks defense is an afterthought. Would love to see him sign for alot less than we offered him, and go to a bad team

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

The Thrasher team identity can best be described by two factors: LACK OF RETENTION and PROCRASTINATION.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

R/L – puzzling indeed, but perhaps GM’s are a bit pre-occupied in the ultimate game of chicken. I think the winners will be the value signings on Day 2 a la Nik Antropov last summer. Oh dear, did I just indirectly compliment Don Waddell? SoB will smite me if he could.

schroeder

July 1st, 2010
12:50 pm

Guys,please post any news you get,some people have a boss who blocks all twitter on computers.He thinks that if I could get that,I might waste the whole day watching FA signings and not doing my work. What a Maroon!!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:52 pm

Back from the USSR…Babchuk re-ups with the Canes for a year @ $1.4M

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:54 pm

Babchuk is Russian Spy! :-)

Russian

July 1st, 2010
12:55 pm

Blues resign Alex Steen for 4 years. Who is he?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:55 pm

Russian – he better not bring Nik Zherdev with him!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
12:55 pm

Tanguay got a NTC!!!!

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
12:56 pm

Former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen’s son who played in Toronto before getting dealt to St. Louis. Quietly ineffective. LOL.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
12:57 pm

Wow, JP Rutherford of St Louis reported the Steen deal. 4 years for Alex eh? Guess he can move back into his beautiful basement that Candace Olson designed for him.

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
12:59 pm

“What’s taking Kovy so long? Unhappy with your one measley offer from the Kings? Hoboken gets cold doesn’t it Ilya?”

Actually, no signing yet means the exact opposite, that there’s more teams in the mix and the price keeps going up . . .