Thrashers hire Mason to build brick wall in front of goal

Thursday afternoon Thrasherville saw a changing of the guard in goal. First, free agent netminder Chris Mason signed a two-year deal with Atlanta that will pay him $1.6 million this coming season and then $2.1 in 2011-12. The cap hit will be figured at $1.85 million. Mason’s coming off a contract that had paid $3-mil per year.

Chris Mason has a career 2.54 GAA and .914 SV% with 20 shoutouts. He signed a two year contract Thursday to play for the Thrashers (AP photo)

Chris Mason has a career 2.54 GAA and .914 SV% with 20 shoutouts. He signed a two year contract Thursday to play for the Thrashers (AP photo)

Shortly thereafter, Atlanta fan favorite Johan Hedberg then agreed to terms with New Jesery…the team that drafted Mason in 1995 with the 122nd overall pick. It’s a contract that will pay him $1.5 mil this season.

And with that… in just a matter of minutes, the Thrashers hired a Mason to help build a solid brink wall in front of the Thrashers goal, then we watched as Moose rode off into the Thrasherville sunset.

Yes, I know… New Jersey is not to our west, it’s NNE of here

The 34-year old Mason has spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Blues and prior to that he was with the Nashville Predators. Last year he was 30-22-8 with a .913 SV% and 2.53 GAA and 2 shutouts. His career mark is 115-86-26 with one tie and a 2.54 GAA and .914 SV% and 20 SO.

Even though the Blues were swept by Vancouver in the 2009 playoffs and Mason took all four loses, his stats were still very good…2.34 GAA and .916 SV% facing an average of 29.75 Canucks shots in the series.

But Rick Dudley’s work wasn’t through just yet. Before long we heard of a trade that brought another member of last year’s Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to the Thrashers. Forward Andrew Ladd was traded for in exchange for prospect defenseman Evgeni Vishnevskiy and our 2nd round pick next summer. The left winger joins fellow former-Blackhawks Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager who were traded for just last week.

Last year, the 6’-2”, 200-pound Ladd played in all 82 regular season games scoring 17 goals, 21 assists and was a +2 with 67 PIM. During the postseason, he netted 3 goals and 3 assits and was a +4. The 25-year old native of British Columbia scored the second period goal in the deciding game-six in Philadelphia that put the Hawks up 3-2 with 2:17 before the second intermission.

Ladd was the 4th overall pick in the 2004 by the Carolina Hurricanes and has played in 321 career games where he has scored 63 goals, 86 assists and is a +42. He was a +26 two seasons ago for Chicago and has never finished a season with a negative +/- rating.

He’s an RFA who has been extended a qualifying offer and made $1.6 million last year.

However, Rick Dudley still wasn’t quite done yet as later in the evening it was learned that the Thrashers had signed defenseman Mike Siklenka. This would be nothing more than a depth move…more than likely replacing Vishevskiy in Chicago, I’d guess.

Siklenka is from Saskatchewan and was selected by the Washington Capitals with the 118th overall pick in the 1998 draft. He’s played in four NHL games…two with the Flyers and two with the Rangers…and has no points and no PIM to show for it.

He has spent the last two seasons with EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Erste Bank Hockey League. They play their home games in Salzburg, Austria.

As for the day’s activities, my initial reation is a positive one.

First of all…Ondrej Pavelec is not ready to be anointed the number-one goalie here. Hedberg had a great season last year, but he is a career backup and I simply was not comfortable with pinning next season’s hopes on him repeating that performance.

What do you think of the Mason signing and Ladd trade?

  • Thumbs up to both! (88%, 146 Votes)
  • Thumbs down to both! (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Thumbs up Mason-Not Ladd (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Thumbs up Ladd-Not Mason (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Siklenka? The Cup is ours! (6%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 166

Loading ... Loading ...

Mason has started 50+ games over the past three seasons and he has never posted a goals against average lower than 2.90 in his career, (exept for the 5.21 GAA posted in 1998-99 when he played in but 3 games). So he’s shown he can hold up over the course of a season and post consistent numbers.

Would I have preferred Evgeni Nabokov? Sure…but Mason is a solid pickup and we are better at that position now than before the signing.

As for Ladd…well, this was the 15+ goal scorer that Rick Dudley hinted of this week. To procure his services, we gave up a second round pick and a propsect blueliner that quite frankly had no chance of playing at the NHL here this season. Not a bad excahnge at all.

Here’s another way to look at it…

Six months ago the Thrashers were looking to move the oft-injured Kari Lehtonen, the goalie taken with Atlanta’s 2nd overall pick in 2002. Last winter he was dealt to Dallas for Vishnevskiy and the Stars’ fourth round draft pick…used to procure Russian left wing Ivan Telegin. Dudley and Co. then used Vishnevskiy and a future draft pick to bring in Ladd.

So in essence, we parted ways with Lehtonen and a 2011 second round selection in exchange for Ladd and a 2010 fourth rounder. Then, Mason takes over the top spot in the Thrashers’ goal that was once held by Kari…after Moose filled in valiantly last season. In the end, we wind up with a number-one goalie, a 15+ goal scorer and a mid-round prospect…all for roughly the same price as Lehtonen alone.

Nice work, Mr. Dudley.

Now, Give Yourselves A Big Pat On The Back

Yesterday, Rawhide’s Rowdies showed up in full force to the 2010 UFA Talent Pool Party! At the time of this posting, 616 comments were posted on that blog…by far surpassing the old record of 506, set last July 1.

After a while, the techno-geeks downtown at the AJC office had to toss a few extra hamsters on the wheel to provide more power to this little blog-thingy.

Thanks to all of you who joined in the fun!

336 comments Add your comment

Thrashers27

July 3rd, 2010
3:45 pm

There is no way Kovy goes to the “big orange poops”…he has to be tired of being on a team that’s “building”. He may as well just sign in L.A. and get it over with…at least that’s what I’m hoping for and then we dont’ have to see him, but once, maybe twice a year.

World Be Free

July 3rd, 2010
4:02 pm

It is difficult to figure out what Kovalchuk really wants-max money or a Stanley Cuo, cuz you can’t have both in a salary cap world. I will vomit if he signs for max money with the Islanders, mostly because it will blow my prediction of him getting .65/dollar on his next contact, .80/dollar at the most. At least with Hossa you knew all along his goal was to win the Cup.

Alan R-boy, I think the Yashin deal was the worst one ever. Made no sense at the time, makes less sense today. That’s what could happen if the owner throws the checkbook at the GM. Not that I wouldn’t want that to see that happen here!

Red Light-some teams still under the gun with the cap, especilally considering these teams all have needs. No idea what the Ducks are doing playing fire with Bobby Ryan, the kid is a player and deserves good money. I think his issue is both term and money. This should have been worked out by now. Thanks for the Rodney quote-”hey kid park my car and put on some weight”.

Glovesave-I normally would not buy the Isle story, but you have to consider what Charles Wang is try to do with his Lighthouse Project. Kovy may be what gets his the project, which is much bigger than hockey. I am also not sure Wang ahs learned from his previous mistakes, like giving Mike Milbury ANY authority to trade talent for turds. Kovy to a rebuilding team makes no sense unless you are talking about the Islanders, who rarely make any sense these days. Or Wang may be getting Brian Campbell-ed.

Thrashers27

July 3rd, 2010
4:11 pm

…on an unrelated note: It’s very sad to see Moose go, but I can’t wait to see his “Devilmoose” mask. Should be pretty cool.

Best of luck Johan!

Alan R.

July 3rd, 2010
4:17 pm

I agree, WBF. The Yashin deal was really the pits. Signing Kovalchuk for $10m/yr for 10yrs would be an albatross of a contract, and it would not be a very smart move for any team trying to move forward.

Nice knowing you, Kovalchuk, but if you want that kind of money, your motherland is calling for you.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
4:57 pm

Game Six of the AHL Finals between the Hersey Bears (up, 3-2 in the series) vs. the Texas Stars is on the NHL Network, right now, if anyone cares to see it. It’s, 2-0, in favor of Hershey, at the moment.

Red Light, call me crazy, but I’d pay Bobby Ryan that money. He’s a keeper, and will be worth all of that, and more, down the road. And while I’m being crazy, I’d place a call to the Flyers to see what, EXACTLY, would be required to land the services of the ‘just 30-year old’ Simon Gagne, in the final year of his deal. I’m just afraid of the asking price. Could be HEFTY rental. I’m hearing whispers that Gagne wants to play in Los Angeles, if they’ll make room for him. And that would be easy, if Kovy doesn’t sign there. Again, what’s the asking price? 1st and 3rd? 1st, 2nd, and 3rd? 1st and 3rd and a prospect? When the Flyers trailed Boston 3-0, Simon Gagne’s return spurred them on. I think he had the OT winner in Game Four.

Red Light, I don’t know much of Bieksa. My memories of him are that of a 3/4 defender. Would you want him, here in Atlanta?

Re: Kovalchuk, there’s no way he’s signing in Long Island. And if he does, I’ll admit I was totally wrong in assessing Kovalchuk’s intentions. In theory, a salary cap is supposed to level the ice surface, and to allow the ‘have nots’ a mechanism to catch up and compete, when the successful teams are forced to jettison players to fit under the cap. In this respect, Atlanta has profited from Chicago’s surpluses. In theory, a team like the Islanders, who are under the floor, should be put in a position to shop for talent out on the Free Agent market, with their revenue-sharing dollars further aiding them.

Is this true? Is this the ‘reality’ of the salary cap? Or, is it more true that the top teams are always the ones who have top tiered talent clamoring to get within its walls? (See Detroit, etc.) And the reality is that Tier I talent takes a discount to go play for some winning franchise.

If Kovalchuk takes the money, and nobody’s really talked about this, then the salary cap has really allowed the NY Islanders to go from laughing stock to within the playoff picture within two years. I don’t put an ounce of credibility in Kovalchuk signing there, but if he did, look what that does for the Islanders! He’d join Centers John Tavares (1st overall, 2009), Josh Bailey (9th overall, 2008), RW Kyle Okposo and Blake Comeau. That’s some promising young talent, if retained for any length of time. Sean Bergenheim is a 15 goal scorer, who plays 14-15 minutes. Trent Hunter. Matt Moulson. A depth guy like Frans Nielsen. Mark Streit and Brendan Witt, along with Gervais and MacDonald on D. DiPietro and Roloson in net. It doesn’t look so horrible, if Kovalchuk joined that group. It’s still clearly a work in progress, but how do all those RFA’s get re-signed if Kovy’s gobbling up $10 million in cap hit? Imagine what Tavares will cost, down the road?!! If Isles pulled it off, it’s a very aggressive move, but it has to succeed. And relatively quickly. Kovy’s not a $10 million-a-year guy. But, they say the market sets the value, and stupid GM’s don’t help any.

R.Stroz: Wonder if Kovy’s agent has told him what the property tax is like in the Empire State of New York. You don’t really escape traffic, out there on Long Island, either.

World Be Free

July 3rd, 2010
6:30 pm

I would take Bieksa in a heartbeat, nasty guy, plays good and tough. He gets injured because he plays so tough-good d-man too. I wonder why Vancouver would want to trade him.

Alan R-agreed, I bet Kovy could get even more than $10M/season in Russia-term would be an issue there.

Brendan-taxes are an issue in NY. I got a nice “raise” when I moved from NY to Georgia just from the lower tax rates here in GA.

Jameson

July 3rd, 2010
7:44 pm

So, did I miss all of the jokes about Armstrong making like a tree?

Red Light

July 3rd, 2010
8:06 pm

The only reason Vancouver would trade him is because they have 8 d-men under contract, and are just $1.3 million away from the max, he makes $3.75 million and he’s only got one year left on his current deal. With Hamhuis and Ballard on board, someone has to go. Tossing in RFA Raymond who is due a big raise too, frees up more than $5 million in cap space and he could yield a solid player in return.

Seriously you all jest right? It’s never, ever been anything other than money with Kovalchuk and there was obviously something here that he didn’t like, like no exposure. If he can get similar money in New York, he’ll get huge press to feed his ego, play in the Atlantic and get lots of big market TV time, play against Malkin and Sid six times a year, etc., etc. etc. I’m not justifying it at all, but that might be his and Grossman’s m.o. Volchenkov, Salmela and Hedberg in NJ. Kovy and Kovy to NYI. It’s like Puck Agency’s own little domain.

Remember this too. Suppose Grossman tells Snow, you do this deal with Ilya, and work out a deal for Radulov from Nashville, and we’ll make sure you get him for three or four years. And, oh by the way, Grossman also represents Morozov and Kalinin too. Wouldn’t that be a cozy group on the Island?

Conspiracy theory? Would that surprise you? That’s the Russian way of life.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
8:06 pm

WBF, Sabres owner Tom Golisano once said, by moving from New York to Florida, he saved $16,000 a day.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
8:19 pm

Red Light, I think he wants to go to a contending team (while getting PAID in a manner that announces him as one of the premier players in the NHL). If I’m wrong about that, I’m wrong, and the irrefutable proof of it will be that he signs with the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, or St. Peterburg in the KHL, etc. I don’t doubt that hockey being buried in the back of the AJC sports section had some role in Kovalchuk’s decision not to re-sign. But I honestly feel, that had the Thrashers been a better assembled team, with years of previous playoff history, with committed ownership, that he would have re-signed in last year’s offseason with little prodding.

I’ll be stunned if Kovalchuk inks this deal with the Islanders. I’ll also be laughing. Think about it. If ever there’s a case for worse ownership than ours, the Islanders are it. A thought occurs to me … that Ilya’s NHL career playoff victories stands at one (1). If he’s on Long Island for 10 years, when will he see that coveted second (2nd) playoff victory? Shoot, the Thrashers might get there first. For those of you who are mad at Kovy, and want to see him punished and falter, root for him to sign with the Islanders. You’ll get your wish.

Thrashers27

July 3rd, 2010
10:41 pm

Anybody else think Frolov would be a good pickup? We are kinda weak on the right wing. Especially if we see Little move back to the pivot. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt at all.

Hockey Steve

July 4th, 2010
8:54 am

Phoenix, LA, or the Iron Curtain is where Kovie is headed. He’d be a fool to sign with the Islanders.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
9:19 am

Jameson-don’t know, but I dare say there will be alot more asked of Armstrong by Wilson in Toronto than there was of him in ATL by Anderson. He may become the player we wanted to see under Ron Wilson.

R/L – it has always been about the money for Kovy. He “acted responsible” in ATL when it came to negotiating a new contract, he was never captain material. I can’t fault Waddell for wanting to get the most out of Kovalchuk, if you are going to pay him mega money. I don’t see Kovy as being a Dudley-type player either so let’s not even think about brigning him back. Duds would say “no thanks”.

Brendan-it is amazing to see the difference in tax rates from New York to states like Georgia and Florida, especially FLA with no state income tax. Golisano was truly wise for moving, though it moves his interest in winning even further away from the Sabres and their fans. The weather is slightly better in FLA too. All these tax issues never seem to hurt the Yankees!

Get the puck out-saw you list and immediately noted Aaron Asham is still available. That would be a pickup for sure. Still plenty of talent out there, wish we could have signed Lomabardi. That may the best UFA pickup of all so far.

Happy Fourth of July to all- Put the flag out today folks, I flying my grandfather’s flag, he was a vet of WW I and WW II. This was always his favorite day.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
9:23 am

Thrasher27-Frolov
He is a talented player, but I always get concerned when a player’s incumbent team makes not effort to resign a player, as was the case with Frolov and LA. He has a reputation of disappearing for periods of time and he wants $5M/year. His talent would be an asset, not sure if he is the type of team player Dudley would want. Duds is not keen on players that need to be kicked in the butt.

All in all, I think the money will move him to another team or to the KHL where he was rumored headed just a few weeks ago.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
9:37 am

Trixie-help me out – I know it’s Sunday morning, but….

One more morning post-Smoothie, I see Shaone Morrisonn is still out there. Will he be our depth defenseman?

Smoothie

July 4th, 2010
11:47 am

World – let’s hope so! The spelling of Shaone makes him seem like Dudley’s kind of ruff and tumble bad-ass! Morrisonn and Poni would be nice additions to round out the roster.

Bergs-Antro-Poni

Kaner-Pevs-Buff

Ladd-Slates-Lits

Eager-Cormier-Thor

Hainsey / Oduya

Enstrom / Shaone

Bogey / Sopel

Kulda

Mace and Pavs

Then again, Kulda might just be the bad-ass we need!

Happy Independence to everyone in the hockey blog family!

Hockey Biltong

July 4th, 2010
11:49 am

I miss Kubina , but hope for a good replacement….Dudley is not done yet…and prospect camp looks to be very interesting this year….
Asham
Bieksa
Johnson
Frolov
Poni
Belanger
hmmmmm.
Great reading everyones input during this exciting time.
Keep the fire stoked with your wit and bits of widom….

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
12:03 pm

Biltong-I have a feeling the fire never dies in this crowd. We can talk hockey 24-7, 365.

There’s a Frolov post from this morning that is caught in space somewhere. I am a big Belanger fan too, he an excellent penalty killer and faceoff man, like Craig Ramsay’s old linemate, Don Luce. He is still out there and I doubt Washington has the $$$ space to bring him back. Belanger will sign somehwere and contribute in the 3rd period, when teams need a shutdown center who can win draws in the defensive zone. Are you listening Duds?

Smoothie-Shaone is a good Scottsman. There are some simiarities bewteen Morrisonn last year’s low-budget prize, Dennis Siedenberg. Both are big, similar in age and defense-first type d-men. He is another guy Washington will need to jettison for Cap reasons. The Caps are very quiet these days, you wonder what’s up in George McPhee’s world.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
12:34 pm

Thrashers27, Joe Friday has been the most vocal and consistent-backer of a Frolov acquisition, all the way back to his “Guest Blogger for the Day” column, months ago. I support the acquisition of Frolov, as well. He’s capable of 30-35 goals. But I am concerned, slightly, about his two-way play. I’m sure Frolov is looking for a contender and weighing that against the $$$ of the KHL.

For years here, on this message board, we’ve weighed how to get players here. (1) draft them, (2) Free Agency, (3) Trades, (4) Waiver Claims, etc. It seems like the Dudley approach is trading. That’s how Sopel, Eager, Byfuglien, and Ladd got here. Gone are Kari, Kovy, Vishnevskiy, Jeremy Morin, and several draft picks. Yes, we also picked up a prospect in Akim Aliu, who will be at prospect camp. Dudley’s only player re-signing was Jim Slater. And Dudley plucked Chris Mason off the free agent market. So, we’ve seen Dudley draft, trade, sign a free agent, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a waiver claim. I noticed that Sheldon Souray cleared waivers, in Edmonton. Souray would be half-price on re-entry waivers. Thoughts on Souray??? I wouldn’t jump up and down, even at half-price.

I also noticed, per the NHL Network ticker, that our ol’ pal Brett Sterling got a 1-year deal with the Penguins. It’ll be interesting to see if he ever cracks the lineup.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
12:37 pm

Okayyy, I just realized that I left Johnny Oduya and Nik Begfors from the listed of Dudley-traded players. Waddell was the GM at the time, but Vivlamore reported that Dudley masterminded the Kovalchuk trade.

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 4th, 2010
12:37 pm

WBF – I wonder if McPhee is laying in the weeds waiting for Kovy to get so tied up and confused in his decision that he’ll be vulnerable to a 1 year deal in the neighborhood of $5 – 6 M and a run at a Cup a la Hossa. Obviously, WSH needs to re-up their key RFA’s Fehr, Gordon, Fleischmann and Schultz, but I think those guys can get done for around $9 M or so. That still leaves them $7 M before Neuvirth and say Quintin Lang as a 13th forward. There’s been talk of letting Tomas F play his natural position of C on the 2nd line so they need not worry about wasting money on guys like Morrison (Brendan) or Belanger. Although Belanger is hardly a waste. If they were to do this, their line-up would look something like this:

Ovy-Backstrom-Knubes

Kovy-Fleisch-Semin

Chimera-Gordon-Laich

Bradley-Steckel-Fehr

That’s a pretty formidable line-up still. It’d be a one-year thing for sure, but the following year is the year to think about a massive overhaul, if neccessary, when Semin is due to come off the books.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
12:45 pm

… And Cormier. Sheesh, it never stops.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
12:49 pm

Smoothie, that’s a scary lineup for Washington, if it happened. Just imagine Kovy with Ovechkin, on a PP unit. Wowza. What’s their situation in goal? I know they have Varlamov. Did they re-sign Theodore?

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 4th, 2010
12:50 pm

Brendan – please say “NOOOOOO” to Souray!! Locker room cancer.

I wonder if Sopes is being so quiet because he knows that he is likely to be involved in another trade if Dudley keeps dealing. Sopes should certainly know Dudley’s M.O. and as a veteran pendng UFA, he knows he is fodder for a trade throw-in sweetner. Until training camp, we really won’t know what the full line-up will look like, but it’s fun to speculate. Hell, Burmistrov could completely knock everyone’s socks off at Prospect Camp and then get a hard, long look at Training Camp. That could really throw a wrench into the works. Although I can’t see giving him more than a 9 game try-out with the big club before sending him back to OHL. Just hang the carrot enough to keep him working and striving. We could certainly benefit by not burning a year off his ELC prematurely as we’ll need him the next year for sure. If we really need to change things up, don’t forget that Kane is capable of playing C. Perhaps they move Pevs up to 1st line with Antro sliding over to RW. Kaner plays 2nd line C between Big Buf and a guy like Ponikarovsky. Or you go big and tough on the 2nd line by flanking Kaner with Ladd AND Byfuglien and Kane will have all kinds of room to operate in front of and around the net. Hmmmm….

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 4th, 2010
12:52 pm

Brendan – I think they are committed to Neuvirth as he has proven all he can prove at the AHL level. Remember he has already stoned us a couple of times. We feasted on Theodore, but couldn’t score on either Varly or Neuvirth. Hopefully, Mason can even things out a bit. How man days till Opening Night?! Wouldn’t it be crazy if Kovy lined-up opposite Evander Kane on the opening face-off?

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
12:57 pm

I keep wondering if we are going to sign anyone else or stand pat and let the kids fight it out for a roster spot. I think Cormier is a given, considering how management favors the kid. Dudley seems to think he had what it takes to make the team now, other teams wanted him in trade conversations. Kulda for Kubina’s spot, maybe bring back Schubert for depth.

Smoothie-won’t that be something! McPhee is waiting on something.

Brendan-how about a trade comparison?
The disaster of the Hossa trade, in players, prospects and draft picks in comparison to what we might see if the Kovy trade- Oduya a top 4 d-man, Bergfors a top 6 forward, Cormier a roster-maker this season and the #1 pick, which was parlayed into another roster player.

Souray has a cannon shot from the point, but I am concerned about father time catching up with him. I was surprised when Edmonton signed him to the big contract. Not sure what spot he would take on our defense.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

Agreed on Souray, Smoothie. So, Jose Theodore is still out there, as a UFA goalie? Wonder where he’ll end up? Smoothie, I like your idea of going big and bad on the 2nd line, with Ladd and Buffy. I kinda like Antropov in the middle of that line. I know. I know what you’ll say. “You can’t put Bryan Little as our 1st line Center.” I do realize, that’s wishful thinking on my part. But if the kid could score 31 goals in the past, why can’t he do it again? We’ll see how training camp goes. I never sweat these line combinations. I trust Ramsay to know what will work best. I really, honestly look to have the Thrashers bring down their GA by 30 this year. Craig Ramsay is not going to allow Kovalchuk figure 8’s like Anderson would. Every forward will backcheck, or they’ll get comfy in the pressbox. Or maybe traded, knowing Dudley. I already want to call him, “Trader Ric.”

If Theodore is still out there, Smoothie, what’s a fair price for him, in your view? And bear in mind, RFA Pavelec is not under contract yet. And his agent has known to make waves in the past. Dudley’s more apt to trade him than take him to arbitration. Remember something else, Dudley didn’t draft Pavelec, Waddell did. Dudley probably feels no sense of responsibility or loyalty to him, the way Waddell was with several of his picks. As its been explained to me, Waddell just tells Dudley “how much” he can spend, not WHAT he can do with it. So, if Dudley finds a nice trade for Pavelec, it’s all blessed, so long as the team is still adhering to its internal budget. I don’t know why Pavelec is not under contract. I don’t know if it’s the money, or the length of term, or what. What’s a good price for Pavelec? $2.5 million? $3 million?

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 4th, 2010
1:29 pm

Brendan – that’s a tough one re: Pavelec. With Walsh as his agent, anything is possible eh? I think he tops out at around $2.25 – 2.5 M on the payscale, and that’s simply because of potential. You gotta figure he’s in a position to get at least a little more than Mason due to his youth and upside. He has shown just enough flashes of brilliance to get that. But you’re right, Dudley could turn around and trade his butt to Philly for Gagne and Boucher to back up Mason. I’m sure Philly would love the extra cap room, but we better get a decent prospect back as well if we give up Pavs.

Man, all this crazy speculation can make your head spin! As for Jose, I don’t see him getting more than $1.5 – 1.75 M on the open market, if he gets signed at all. There is a glut of goaltending out there and Niemi and Leighton proved you don’t need to spend big to win big. And like you said, it’s all about back-checking and playing a TEAM game. Looking back over the stats for the last couple of seasons for CHI and I see that Ladd and Byfuglien are always near the top for Takeaway / Giveaway ratio on the team. Of course, Sopel is much more prone to turnovers as a slower-footed D-man but he makes up for it with Blocked Shots (nearly 2 per game). At any rate, if you look at our roster, you see Little, Slater and even White with really good TkA to GvA ratios. Problem is we gave up Kubina, Reasoner and Colby who all had good TkA numbers relative to GvA and minutes played. Hopefully, Ladd, Buff and Eager, along with Cormier can make up for those losses. And we know Kaner will be more responsible with the puck in his own end than Afinogenov.

James Brown

July 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

Brendan………if you think about it, what kind of strength is the Pavs camp dealing from………….I still consider him a raw talent with a lot of question marks………..I don`t blame Dudley for balking at 2.5 or 3mil……….that would be overpaying him by a longshot. He is not a proven commodity and doesn`t deserve that kind of money………..He won`t get it anywhere else that has a GM that knows what he is doing.

Sean

July 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

Happy 4th! want to say thanks to Bill and everyone here for a great informative blog. I checked this blog as much as TSN or any other source on FA opening day.

I keep hearing friends talking about dumping their cable/satellite/etc and using hulu and similar sites/services instead. My first question is always what about hockey? My best guess is that hockey and other sports would not be real time and that the # of games would be limited.

Anybody here know about hulu or other sites when it comes to hockey? Are there any hockey-centric alternatives?

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
1:48 pm

Anyone visit the tsn.ca UFA tracker lately? It’s so dead.

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
1:50 pm

Sean: Plenty of out-of-market games are available on NHL.com’s Gamecenter Live.Up to 40 games a week of live games and the Multi Game View – allows you to watch 4 games at once. I think it’s just $4.95 per month right now and they have a great archive of Classic NHL games too.

I don’t know HULU, sorry.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
2:01 pm

Smoothie, James Brown, good posts on Pavelec. If Pavelec is holding out for $3 million, that’s really aggressive on their part. I don’t think an arbitrator will award that much. During an arbitration, the GM brings forth detailed examples of how the player cost the team in critical situations during the year. Pavelec would walk away angry, even iffff he could get the arbitrator to give him the money he seeks. It’s a hurtful process. Your whole season is put under the microscope, and every flaw is magnified. It could get ugly, with Pavelec. Who knows? Maybe Dudley walks away from a $2.75 to $3.0 million decision, if Pavelec were to be so fortunate.

Smoothie, at $1.5 million or $1.75 million for Jose Theodore, I think I’d do that one. Mason and Theodore isn’t a bad combination in net. Okay, look, they’re far from “spring chickens.” And it’s an 82 game season. I feel ya, there. Hopefully, Pavelec will sign soon. The Rangers got Marty Biron for a song. I had thought we had a shot at Biron, before we got Chris Mason.

Thrashers27

July 4th, 2010
2:22 pm

I have to say that I’m disappointed to see that Arthukin hasn’t received an offer from Atlanta. With his speed and size, I thought he fit in very well here. I got the feeling that he was truly happy to be here last year too. When that guy drops his shoulder and drives the net, there’s very little that’s gonna stop him.

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
2:49 pm

NHL Sources Say that Canucks are receiving lots of interest in Kevin Bieksa, up to 10 teams have inquired.

Lets keep the following in mind about Theodore. He lost his infant son late last summer and still managed to go 20-0-3 down the stretch for Washington after Jan. 13 and won the Masterton Trophy. He finished with a 30-7-7 record, a 2.81 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. No way, or at least I seriously doubt he signs for less than $2 million, nor should he when he got $4.5 million last year. He had a damn good year considering but why wouldn’t you go with two 22-year-olds with a cap hit of $1.7 million rather than include Jose? It’s just smart business not a condemnation of Theo’s play.

Remember, it’s not that he had only to deal with the loss of his infant son, but his wife’s emotional state too. He creatied “Saves for Kids,” to benefit the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, the hospital where his son died.

Here’s the problem with Souray going back to 2000.

12/09/2000 Missed 29 games (lower abdominal strain)
3/30/2002 Missed 41 games (wrist injury).
4/05/2003 Missed all 82 games of the regular season (left wrist injury).
3/19/2004 Missed 17 games (left knee injury).
12/11/2007 Missed 25 games (separated shoulder).
4/05/2008 Missed the last 30 games of the regular season (shoulder injury).
11/15/2009 Missed 16 games (concussion).
4/11/2010 Missed the last 29 games of the regular season (broken hand).

As for Souray being a cancer, here’s what Shawn Horcoff had to say…

““If Shelly was a cancer in the dressing room when he was healthy, then it would be an issue we have to address but that wasn’t the case,” said Horcoff on April 12. Most of those assertions are found on message boards and blogs, not by teammates.

He just doesn’t play enough to warrant $2.25 million at this point, particularly here.

James Brown

July 4th, 2010
2:58 pm

Happy 4th everybody………….enjoyed hangin` out the last 4 days and watching the FA frenzy unfold on the ajc blogs….I think all Thrashers fans have a right to feel good about this young and talented roster that has been put together by one of the best talent evaluators in the biz…….need to ease outside and start the grill up and enjoy a few Flying Dog Pale Ales and with the ipod cranking out all the old classic rock tunes………………….Rock on!!!!

Rawhide

July 4th, 2010
3:14 pm

Sean – On behalf of myself and the many who make this blog what it is…you are quite welcome. Thank you for making this a part of you’re hockey reading routine.

As for “Hulu”…can’t say I know much about it.

WBF – Trixie has the holiday weekend off, but I was able to free your post.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYONE!!!!

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
3:28 pm

Thrashers27, I was just checking out NHLnumbers.com/atl and saw Artyukhin’s name, thinking, “Now, why doesn’t Dudley try to re-ink this guy. Seems like his kind of player?” R2Kin is un-signed, at present. Who knows? Maybe further overtures are being made, but Arty’s mulling over his options, looking for a contender? Or, maybe he’s eyeballing the KHL? (Geez, Brendan! All you do is talk about the KHL, KHL, KHL! It’s not gonna happen!!)

Red Light, what would you say is a good price for Atlanta to pay Jose Theodore? I’d prefer to have some youth in the nets. Excellent history on Jose Theodore and his family’s loss. Those numbers don’t look bad. For Theodore, if Washington won’t pay him, joining a Southeast Division team would be a way to get back at the Capitals several times a year. If Theodore became a Thrasher, I’d start him practically every game vs. Washington. He knows all their shooters tendencies.

Brendan

July 4th, 2010
3:33 pm

I meant to post, “Happy 4th of July!” We did a few fireworks last night. Not a whole lot left for today.

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
4:21 pm

$2.8 to $3.1 million is my best guess in a year goalies have not been able to command the salaries of the past such as Vokoun, Kiprusoff, etc. Not comparing him to them, but Theo’s career stats are above the mid tier (Mason for example) and below the top tier. Slot him in the middle.

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
4:22 pm

If Niittymaki gets a two year deal at $2 million per season, I’ll got with my number above.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:22 pm

Red Light- That has always been my issue the the NHL’s online package. I’d pay for it if I could get Thrashers games, too.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:25 pm

Thrashers27- I thought Arty was like a freight train, myself. And, I’d much rather see him in Thrasher-blue than MacArthur.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:28 pm

Judging by the info about games Souray missed that Red Light dug up, it seems like he’d be better off only playing every other season.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:35 pm

Rawhide- Hulu is a site put together by ABC, NBC, and Fox to stream high quality video of TV shows and movies. I haven’t actually checked it out, myself, but I hear it’s pretty quality stuff. Between it, Netflix streaming, and the NHL online package (if it carried local games), I’d probably do away with any cable/satellite bills.

Sean- I believe it probably falls into a legal gray area in most countries, the quality is mixed, and you can’t find every game there, but if I’m stuck at work, and want to try to watch a game, I usually check http://www.atdhe.net

Dwayne

July 4th, 2010
5:47 pm

I liked Ar2kinin the little bit we got to see him last year too. We have to trust RDuds is putting a puzzle together and Arty does not fit. Not because he is a bad fit, but becuase he has like pcs in Buff. Maybe Rammer and RDuds looked at MacArther’s Park and see something we dont in the scheme of things. RDuds put aplan in place last year, he is exicuting(need a better word) that plan this year, time will tell.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
5:51 pm

Rawhide – you are one heck of a great boss giving Trixie time off from her stressful job.
Brendan-I think Duds will get around to Arty eventually.

We are all starting to notice how much bigger this team is with the 4 amigos from Chicago. The Thrashers have size, skill and a little bit of nastiness. I am going to go out on a limb and predict Ben Eager will be the most popular Thrasher after the first month of the season. The thoughts of Ben and Buff bearing down on them will keep a few defensemen up at night.

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
6:05 pm

Kovy says “nyet” to the latest Kings’ offer. So, does that mean it’s the Battle of the Hudson between NJ and NY?

Red Light

July 4th, 2010
6:09 pm

From LA Times Helene Elliott…

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said Sunday afternoon that the high-scoring free agent decided against joining the Kings.

“We took our best shot to meet his needs and the team’s,” Dean Lombardi said in an email.

Tom

July 4th, 2010
6:21 pm