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

Jack

July 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

Is this Ellis singing official

Tom

July 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

Interesting how the clubhouse will change. Nice guys Moose, Army, and Marty look to be replaced by hardasses Buff and Eager. I think this will be a win for us.

The Chicago guys will be pissed they were traded from a winner and will try to instill on our boys what it takes to succeed.

It is why I do not want a primadonnas like Olli J in our world, they are clubhouse poison. I want guys who will bring a winning tradition and the attitude that coasting for a night is unacceptable.

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

NHLSourcesSay on twitter has the early news, but not confirmed yet.

goose

July 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

morris re-ups with the yotes 4 years 11 million

erock

July 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

Thrashers please do something. Dont wait to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

Wow, 4 pages and 305 comments already and it’s only 2 hours in.

Rawhide, what’s the record for posts on FA Frenzy Day?

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

Rawhide, what’s the record for posts on FA Frenzy Day?

Smoothinator – 506 last July 1.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

Ideal situation, Ellis goes to Toronto and Nabokov signs in ATL for a reasonable price.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:10 pm

Not that many teams still need a # 1 goalie. Turco / Mason to San Jose and Nabby left with ATL @ $3.5 M per???

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:11 pm

Well Rawhide, to answer your question…”nary a ripple.”

Sigh……

hip czech

July 1st, 2010
2:12 pm

here come the sky is falling posts…none of these guys except Ellis should have been on the Thrashers radar…like someone else posted earlier let the first day guys get overpaid and then get who you really want at a decent price after today.

If Moose is not re-upped then the big splash is Nabokov (though I’d rather take Mason)

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
2:13 pm

GS29 – Keep in mind that last year no UFA signings were made by the Thrashers on July 1…only the XLB/Kubina trade. Antropov was signed the next day.

Two summers ago we didn’t hear of Hainsey being signed until about 4:40 or so.

So if history tells us anything here…it’s don’t look for anything too quick from the Thrashers.

Also, as I have said before…I will judge based on what the team looks like when Dudley is done, not as it’s being constructed.

As for today, I’ll judge the “what”…not the “when”.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
2:15 pm

But Rawhide, Waddell is upstairs now and Dudley is running the show. Are you telling me things are not completely different than they were in the past?

/end sarcasm

Lee

July 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

Who else is in the battle for Nabokov?????

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:16 pm

Yeah, but what of the new regime? That was under Waddell. I love last weeks trade and want to build on it.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Reports are Martin to LA and Hamhuis to PIT

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Very true Rawhide, very true. Antropov’s signing looks brilliant in retrospect as prices might have been higher for him this year with the paucity of good forward prospects available.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Dudes…be patient.

of course I say that while I sit here on pins and needles with my ear glued to NHL Power Play on XM’s Channel 204

Jack

July 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Dudley says he takes pride in not overpaying for anyone. this could be the reason why we willnot here anything today…

Tom Lysiak

July 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

“Tom, I can hear Neal Boortz in my head right now…”Flames goal…scored by number 12, Tom Lysiak. Assists to number 27, Eric Vail, and number 16 Guy Chouinard. That’s Lysiak, his 25th of the season from Vail and Chouinard at 16:29″”

Ahhh, glovesave29…..music to my ears. Thanks for the trip back in time.

Russ

July 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

Tom – Buff cruises through entire regular seasons. Hopefully, not anymore though.

Will L

July 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

Rawhide: “So if history tells us anything here…it’s don’t look for anything too quick from the Thrashers”

But our history is of Donny calling the shots. (Shutters) Hopefully Duds proves much better.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2010
2:18 pm

We are 1 hour and 19 minutes into this folks

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:19 pm

NHLSourcesSay jumped gun on Boogaard to NYR and now scrambling to get more info. Says Philly signed Shelley so perhaps he was anticipating. And no other confirmation on Ellis, Lebrun checking into it. False alarm? It’s happened before.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

You need to check your watch WBF!

Lee

July 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

I’m about to burst. It’s not even funny…..

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:20 pm

World – unless you are in Cleveland or something, it’s already 2:20. :cool:

Jack

July 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

@DarrenDreger – Joey Crabb just signed with the Maple Leafs. 2 way deal

Huh?? Did Crabb get re-traded to TOR in the Versteeg deal?

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Anyone hear anything on Lee Stempniak? Other than Morriss, seem like Phoenix is bleeding players. He’s a guy good for 20 a season.

Boone7

July 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Toronto becoming the Thrash dumping ground…now Joey Crabb

Will L

July 1st, 2010
2:23 pm

Crabb to the leaves too. 2 way deal

Michael

July 1st, 2010
2:24 pm

Ellis to Tampa is confirmed. 2 year deal.

Will L

July 1st, 2010
2:24 pm

Ellis, done deal to Tampa

Dandylions

July 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

Just flipped my office Thrashers wall calendar to July – yikes I have to stare at Todd White for 31 days – shoot me.

Michael

July 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

Turco or Nabs?

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

Can’t believe Army got 3 million…geez…the guy showed up for only half the games he played in.

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:26 pm

Crabb is a Leaf. Why the hell does Burke want all of our sloppy seconds?

Jack

July 1st, 2010
2:26 pm

better than Staring at Waddell or Belkin for that matter

Smoothie

July 1st, 2010
2:26 pm

Dandylions – hey, don’t I know you!!?

Russ

July 1st, 2010
2:27 pm

Has anyone heard anything on who Kubina is talking to today? I would really like him back.

Will L

July 1st, 2010
2:27 pm

Dandylions – Just skip to August and go by the small little July on that page

Tom

July 1st, 2010
2:27 pm

Time for a new calendar Dandylions.

Jack

July 1st, 2010
2:28 pm

So Ellis said he wanted to come here. Not only did he not show up but he is dancing with our sister. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

glovesave29

July 1st, 2010
2:28 pm

Martin in a Penguin

Zoomo

July 1st, 2010
2:29 pm

Martin to Pittsburgh

Russ

July 1st, 2010
2:29 pm

I would have rather had Mason than Ellis anyway. He’s still out there.

Alan R.

July 1st, 2010
2:29 pm

Huh?? Did Crabb get re-traded to TOR in the Versteeg deal?

I believe he was UFA.

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2010
2:29 pm

Dandylions – Just roll your calender with Charmin.