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

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

Marty St Louis got a 4 year extension

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

Oh crap, forget what I said, Eklund tweeted and agrees with me:

tip from a source, “The fact that Kovalchuk has yet to sign is interesting and shows more than just LA”

Kevin Allen thinking the same thing about tampering as well when he tweeted: “So it took under 14 minutes for Gonchar to negotiate a three-year deal worth $16.5 with Ottawa.”

Russian

July 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

Look like we going to see little St Louis for more 4 years. He resign with Tampa.

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2010
1:03 pm

The Dixie Cup is Ours!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

Great getting tired of St. Louis

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

I was just joking Joe. I read that NYR are going to up the ante and drive his price up. Perhaps Sather wants to screw over the Kings by making them pay more than market.

Marty St. Louis trying to steal some spotlight…reportedly inked to a 4 year extension by Yzerman.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
1:04 pm

JF is right. It takes a long time to return all phone calls and iron out a complicated deal like Kovy’s. We’re not talking three years at $5.5 million like Gonchar’s. I’m sure Grossman’s head is spinning with Volchenkov, Hedberg and Kovalchuk this morning, the least of which is Hedberg’s deal, of course. Same thing goes with all free agents and their agents who are weighing numerous offers.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:06 pm

If someone is foolish enough to pay Gonchar $5.5 M / year, then Kovy will likely get closer to $9 M like his buddy Ovechkin. If the Rangers really are interested, I would not be surprised if LA backs off. Lombardi seems ambivalent.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:06 pm

LeBrun reporting Ellis news soon – and not MTL

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:07 pm

Per Pierre Lebrun, Ellis close to signing with someone and its not MTL!!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:07 pm

Sorry glovesave or shall I call you Quicksilver?

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:09 pm

We still have a chance for Ellis. :)

Russian

July 1st, 2010
1:09 pm

May be Dudley will take Ellis. Do it!

World Be Free

July 1st, 2010
1:10 pm

I liked Gonchar, but not for 3 years. In three years we would be saying we had a 38 year-old puck moving defenseman.

Flagstaff

July 1st, 2010
1:10 pm

Gotta be us. Not sure how I feel about it… but he IS a decent goaltender.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:11 pm

Damn it Pittsburgh!! Michalek gone.

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
1:12 pm

Michalek to Pitt. Martin going elsewhere! LA?

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:12 pm

.912 career save percentage seems a bit better than “decent” especially compared to Moose’s .900 or whatever it is.

Great job by Shero to wrest Zybnek loose from PHX.

Bring home Lombardi Duds!!! Riiiiiiiight.

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:12 pm

Nobody is gonna pay Kovy what he wants. Unless he lowers the price drastically, he’ll be a free agent for a while…

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:13 pm

If Martin goes to LA, Kovy might have to pack some sweaters for NY!

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:13 pm

Turco? Nabokov? Still out there….

Former AIZ-er JD

July 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

Love Twitter..especially on days like today.
Kincade tweeted that someone will make offer to Spirit group to buy Thrashers only in the next few weeks.
Michalek -20 mil for 5 years… How much does that make Kubina worth?

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
1:15 pm

$4 million a year for Michalek. Smart deal for Pittsburgh. Shero is at it again, but who wouldn’t want to play with Pascal Dupuis?

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:15 pm

Hamuis, Volchenkov and Martin stil out there…maybe Pavel is reconsidering our offer!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:15 pm

Kovy to KHL is my thought

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:17 pm

Jack – Yep. He’s asking more than Ovi, and I don’t think Kovy is better than him.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:17 pm

R/L – ba dum bum! Good one. But a pairing of Michalek and Goligoski could be very good. Orpik and Letang as a 2nd pairing. Now who do they go after for Sidney’s wing-man?

Flagstaff

July 1st, 2010
1:18 pm

Smoothie– Not denying that Ellis is good. But there are better candidates out there. Really, though, it all comes down to how Pavelec progresses.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:20 pm

Thanks Lee no way in gods green earth is kovy better than ovy. Besides Ovy not afraid to hit somebody and play D

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:23 pm

Flagstaff – not unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. Who’s better in your mind for $2 – $3 M?

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
1:27 pm

Look to Wilkes Barre Scranton Smoothie for Crosby’s next winger!

Brendan

July 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

I’m on the road. Enjoy the rest of the day. Good luck, Thrashers!

Joe Friday, I hundred percent agree. There must be tampering if deals are made after 18 minutes of free agency. And yes, Brian Burke pulled a coup on that Versteeg trade. Bygones.

kracker

July 1st, 2010
1:30 pm

BDGallof MTL gets Alex Auld…well not really someone to push Price. But will push to the coffee machine button for him

THOUGH EKLUND SAYS ELLIS/FLYERS ARE CLOOSE

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:31 pm

Eklund claiming Ellis to Philly. Which means he will sign ANYWHERE else.

kracker

July 1st, 2010
1:31 pm

oops sorry for the caps

goose

July 1st, 2010
1:32 pm

auld to the habs

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

Habs apparently are desperate……

Michael

July 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

Colby gets 3 years in Toronto

Michael

July 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

Nittymaki to San Jose

Red Light

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Niitymaki to Sharks. Army to Leafs.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Yeah, hopefully that means Ellis to ATL rather than Philly!

Damn that would suck if the Flyers get him. But he should be able to overtake Leighton. Might make perfect sense for Dan.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

NIttymaki going to San Jose :)

Russian

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Armi to Toronto for 3 years!!!!! No WAY!!!! I am shok.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Colby might be a Maple Laff! Good riddance

Will L

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Colby to the leaves for 3 years

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Well, we all called that (Army to Leafs)…Burke will regret it. He’s not as tough as he thinks

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Niittymakki is a Shark

Michael

July 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Colby gets 3 million per.

TSN’s site is great: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326225

Live blogging!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Jeez, y’all are quick. I need to hit refresh more often!!!

kracker

July 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Nittymaki is a SJ Shark