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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

kracker

July 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

They sure are fast! I think I’ll just read…and do a little work lol

Will L

July 1st, 2010
1:39 pm

good thing Nittymaki went out west. that is just one loss verses four or more.

Judge Smails to Thrasher fans

July 1st, 2010
1:39 pm

You’ll get nothing and like it.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
1:44 pm

Thrashers just got potentially 5 wins better with Nitti moving out west.

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:44 pm

Man, I was hoping Duds would snag Nittymaki.

Cya Army!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

I think San Jose is on our schedule :(

Tom

July 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

Kevin Allen is reporting Army went to Toronto for 3 years. That is a good fit, hopefully Army will start playing hard again.

Former AIZ-er JD

July 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

Does Burke want Todd White? He seems to like Thrashers overpriced and/or overrated players . X, Colby…..

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

Tom – great point!! But Nabakov could end up in Tampa! They cleared space by shipping Meszaros out. Unless that money was earmarked solely for Mini-me St. Louie!

Tom

July 1st, 2010
1:46 pm

Forgot to mention, Army got 3 years at 3 million a year. Those are some expensive 10-15 goals a year.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
1:46 pm

Forgot to mention, Army got 3 years at 3 million a year. Those are some expensive 10-15 goals a year.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:46 pm

We could end up playing Nitty on 10/16 in San Jose after playing Kovy in LA on 10/12 or whatever the heck it is. Perhaps Anaheim will sign Afinogenov and Moose to back up Hiller.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
1:48 pm

Thrashers just got potentially 5 wins better with Nitti moving out west

Tom – That would have been good enough to not only get us into the playoffs last year but put us in as the #6 seed.

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:49 pm

Pav was born to be a backup. Mannino, came from the AHL. We’re in trouble…

FormerIslesFan

July 1st, 2010
1:49 pm

You know what? Call it a “Curse” or just having a team’s number or just being in their heads. But, I for one am thrilled that Nitty is going out West. Playing him only 1x per season is a hell of a lot better than playing him 8x per year in our division.

Of course, if we have Nabakov to be in the pipes against him when we play SJ…. Just sayin’

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

Toronto fans are penciling Army in for 25 goals! Ha! Talk about dreaming. They are more nuts now than they were last year when X was the new stud D man there and Pavel was a waste of space.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Malhotra is a Canuck

DWTOO

July 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

Knew Armstrong was gone. The curse of Casino Night continues! We sit at your table at Casino Night – you’re gone the next year. Savard, Vigier, Belanger, DuPuis, Armstrong.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

Knew Armstrong was gone. The curse of Casino Night continues! We sit at your table at Casino Night – you’re gone the next year. Savard, Vigier, Belanger, DuPuis, Armstrong.

DWTOO – You should have sat at Todd White’s table, dadgummit!

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

Malhotra to VAN…interesting. Good replacement for Wellwood. Oh, to live in a “hockey” town.

Michael

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

DWTOO – Please sit at Todd White’s table next time. Thanks.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

DWTOO – can you sit next to Valabik and White next year?

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

“LeBrun reporting Ellis news soon – and not MTL”

So glovesave, with the Habs now signing Auld, are you re-thinking their plan now? They wanted Ellis as a backup, not to push Price, but to give Price the confidence that he’s #1. Auld is not a guy that will push Price, they’re showing Price the confidence that he’s the guy.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

DWTOO – that’s it man, you’re not allowed at Casino Night unless we need to get rid of Clarke MacArthur!!

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

DWTOO why couldn’t you sit at White’s table

five_hole

July 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

The classic Rodney joke: “when I was born, I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother”.

That was an interesting point about Nabokov possibly going to Tampa. We need to sign him, just to keep him away from Tampa!

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

TSN is showing “Canada Only” on the website, but you can watch it at this website…

http://www.channelsurfing.net/watch-nhl.html

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

I said all along JF, that the main reason the trade was made was it was a money move and to get Kostitsyn the cancer out of town.

Lee

July 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

If Don’s there, sit at his table!

Will L

July 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

DWTOO – forget sitting at White’s table, sit at Don’s table.

Boone7

July 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

NEED SOME NEWS!!! Even if we sign a moron…

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

Kevin Allen says we’re in on Dan Ellis…c’mon Danny boy!!

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

“Toronto fans are penciling Army in for 25 goals! Ha! Talk about dreaming.”

That’s his high end but not dreamland. Army is a good player, he had mentally checked out of here, but you can pencil him in as 15 goals at the low end, 20 for an average year if he skates 2nd line, and 25 in a good year.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
1:57 pm

Phoenix’ loss (Michalek) is Derek Morris’ gain — jackpot!

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

The Thrashers should have traded Army at the trade deadline and picked up a second rounder.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

No way JF – there is no one to feed him the puck in TOR. Mentally focused or not, he just doesn’t have the pieces around him in TOR to do more that he did here….

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

With Armstrong gone that leaves us with, ummm, let’s see, aaah, maybe Angelo Esposito for Marian Hossa?

Jack

July 1st, 2010
1:59 pm

Sit at the owner’s table!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

Rumors of Savvy going back to Calgary.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

We still got Eric O’Dell!! Woo hoo!!

goose

July 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

hip czech- and o’dell when we traded christiensen

Russian

July 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

Ellis goes to Tampa. We have to take Nabokov.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

glovesave – that would certainly explain the podium / presser. Perhaps they are going to unload some other pieces, but not sure why BOS would want to trade with CGY. Hmmm…

Joe Friday

July 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

“he just doesn’t have the pieces around him in TOR to do more that he did here”

Keep in mind that the Buds have the best GM In the game, he ain’t done yet (look what’s he done in the past few months, Phaneuf, Versteeg, Colby, did he get Stempneiak?)

Lee

July 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

Who’s he??

Jack – Haha.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

Kevin Allen just Tweeted Thrashers are going after Ellis.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

Great! Can’t even persuade him to choose ATL over TB…well, can’t understand why he would like white sand beaches and tan redneck hotties.

Russian

July 1st, 2010
2:04 pm

Too late. Ellis is in Tampa. Done deal.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

Russian – where ya getting that? Not seeing that anywhere.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

We’re gonna end up “stuck” with Moose! Oh well.