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

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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

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
6:28 pm

300 posts and alot of them coming on July 4th-I thought this wasn’t a hockey town?
So where does Kovy go now?

Alan R.

July 4th, 2010
7:09 pm

Jameson, and everyone else looking for streaming hockey:

Avoid ATDHE. They do not link properly to the pages where games are actually displayed. As a result, some of those pages shut down in the middle of games and the links to those games end up republished.

Where are they republished? http://www.myp2pforum.eu/

Again. Avoid ATDHE at all costs, unless you like having your broadcasts permanently interrupted. :P

Hockey Biltong

July 4th, 2010
7:36 pm

What is up with Spezza? Did he get resigned by the Sens???

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
7:42 pm

Alan R- I’ve definitely had trouble with streams being cut off, but if the NHL isn’t going to offer me Thrashers feeds, I’m going to try to find them somewhere, and that place has been the most consistent that I have found.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
7:47 pm

Alan R.- That being said, if I can ever get my Mythbox up and running like I had it a year ago, I’ll be back in business, and won’t need these sites.

World Be Free

July 4th, 2010
8:01 pm

Biltong-I think Spezza has a few more years in Ottawa at $7M/season. Makes him tough to move, though I have to say there is a bit of not-so-nice blood between Spezza, Sens’ management and the fans over this entire ordeal. All this comes on the heals of Heatley’s exit and what little the Sens received in the trade. Cory Clouson is a good coach, maybe he can bring the players and management together in Ottawa and the Sens’ fans will come along for the ride.

Alan R.

July 4th, 2010
8:33 pm

Trust me, Jameson. Use my link instead. It’s better for you and the rest of us who want streaming Thrashers games. ATDHE users hinder my efforts for watching the games.

HookyBob

July 4th, 2010
10:04 pm

Happy 4th of July to all (albiet almost belated). Hope you took time to reflect on the meaning of this uniquely American day. I gotta say the Marist College poll last week that indicated 40% of 18 to 29 year olds did not know who we fought in the Revolutionary war has me more than a bit dismayed. I’m feeling more “old school” all the time.

As for the business of our “boys in blue” tell me more about this Shoane Morrison. WBF: I too am skeptical of Frolov when the home team doesn’t try to resign him (sort like being wary of buying a used Chevy off of a Ford lot, and vice versa.) On the flip side it makes me wonder why we haven’t tried to resign Artukin (I guess that one coast to coast rush/goal has me overlooking some things.)

So,..with the player side of things is slowing down,…. I am anxiously awaiting to hear who our other coaches are going to be. Is Torchetti still a possibility? How about a goalie coach? A specialist for offense? Would Kozlov (the professor) be an option here?

What will the Thrashers become known for under coach Ramsay,… defense,.. accountability,… effort,.. conditioning,… smart hockey? Will the shots against per game go down? (Someone mentioned cutting goals against by 30.) What is the Ramsay offense,…given what he has to work with? What aspect of the game will the Thrashers be known as “the best” at?

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
12:13 am

That would have been me, HookyBob. It’s a bold statement, based solely on his playing days, mind you, but the Craig Ramsay I remember as a Sabre, paired with Don Luce, was a shutdown specialist in an era of “wide-open” hockey. If he’s that same man, today, he won’t tolerate players who don’t backcheck. And with that emphasis, I really do think Atlanta can make a dent in the GA this season.

Re: R2Kin, he’s probably heard his best offer by now. It’s practically July 5th. He may be trying to pull a Manny Malhotra. And by that I mean … sit on Atlanta’s offer for weeks on end, hoping a contender like San Jose comes-a-callin’. That’s what Manny did last year. If Arty has said to Dudley, “I really appreciate the offer, but my answer is no,” then that’s probably it. It ends there. If he’s still amenable to an offer from Atlanta, Dudley could offer to beat any other team’s offer by $100,000. Atlanta has cap room. That’s not an issue. Even “internal cap” room. Or, it could just be that Dudley doesn’t want him. In which case, the matter is closed. I never bothered to look at Artyukhin’s +/- numbers. But he didn’t strike me as an albatross.

Re: Kozlov, I think think there’s too much sour-grapes there to bring him back in any capacity. It’d be an interesting poll to see who Thrashers fans LEAST want in the lineup next year, (1) Todd White or (2) Slave Kozlov.

Re: Kovalchuk, well … remember when Don Waddell said he had “no interest” in Mark Recchi as a waiver claim? Somehow, Atlanta wound up claiming off waivers anyway. If the Kings say, “We’re out of the running,” I only half believe it. I think Lou Lamoriello wants to keep him. But how can he fit into their cap, without moving personnel? And I suspect Lou would have never let him hit the open market, if he were really serious about signing him. Then again, Grossman probably intervened to say, “We won’t entertain offers until after July 1.” And maybe Lou thought, “fine, you’re not gonna get the numbers you think you will. And when you don’t, we’ll be here to negotiate a fair price.” But I’ll state it again, I will fall down laughing if Kovalchuk signs with the Islanders. He’d be the biggest idiot in the NHL, and I won’t feel sorry for him, as he languishes on Long Island … for 10 long years, presumably all under Charles Wang’s ownership.

Red Light, I think I’d take Jose Theodore at $2.8 million. Maybe even $3.1. If he could really come at that price, it’s something to at least consider. I’m sure Theodore, who has never advanced past the 2nd round of the playoffs, is seeking a better bet than Atlanta. Theodore made his reputation by TWICE upsetting the Northeast Division Champion Bruins in the 1st round of the playoffs, in 2002 and 2004. Theodore turns 34 in September. Chris Mason turned 34 in April.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
7:46 am

Morrison is a good, stay at home defenseman. Came over to the Caps a few years back as a prospect for Sergei Gonchar when many thought Gonchar was kind of fading, only to see Sergei rejuvenate his career. He would be a good pickup on most teams, but I am concerned he might block a position for Kulda. You have to give at least one of 2 youngsters a chance every year, can’t close the door on the kids. I think Dudley will get to Arty or Bolton at some point, not both.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
9:11 am

Can Joe Johnson play relentless, hard-checking 2-way hockey?? For $120 M he better do more than jack up contested threes! Oh wait, wrong blog. Sort of. Well, I guess any hope of a couple more UFA signings just went out the window with JJ’s acceptance of the Hawks’ ridiculous deal to keep him in ATL.

$20 M / year to play basketball?? A game in which you need not worry about losing your teeth or eye or brain thru concussion? How long can the NBA continue throwing money away like this before a quarter of the league is bankrupted? Is bankrupted a word? Didn’t they have $400 M in losses as a league last season? Is Tim Geithner the new league commissioner-adjunct for David Stern? Wow.

Enjoy it Atlanta sports fans: more second round knock-outs and unfulfilled expectations.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
9:13 am

Well, with everyone home from work today, I guess the blog filter is going to swallow up a ton of posts. Bill, if you’re lurking in the shadows, please free my tirade of a post from blogging purgatory.

Thanks and I hope you had a fun and blessed 4th of July!

Spud Webb

July 5th, 2010
9:14 am

WBF, I have no idea where Kovy ends up now. My gut is he waits a little longer, takes a 1 year deal from a contender for say 6 million and tries to get a cup??? I really don’t know. The guy is burning bridges EVERYWHERE. KHL?? Who knows, karma is a b&tch, I know that. Top FA in a week class and Kovy isn’t signed!!!

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
9:25 am

Sure, take Frolov at $2.5 million but not at $4 million, which he made last year. He’s not going to take that kind of offer in the post-Ilya era here.

Morrisonn is a nice fit and a perfect partner for Toby, but would restrict a spot for Kulda and/or Valabik. Keep in mind, your 7th d-man must be a guy that you don’t mind putting in the press box or has a one-way contract. Kulda won’t be in the press box. He needs playing time. So, if he’s not No. 6, he’ll be back in Chicago where he can keep playing.

Ramsay wants to play from the red line in with an up-tempo style. Forecheck first, backcheck or trap second. Wants to focus on keeping the puck in opponent’s zone. Tough to score from there and frustrates opposing offensive-minded players. “It’s no fun playing in your own zone.”

Several people brought up good points about Kovy negotiations. If the Kings were out, then why broadcast it? Few of the others who supposedly passed didn’t go to the same lengths Lombardi did by telling everyone he was out. Grossman must have a deal in hand from someone if they won’t budge from their demands with LA.

Deal will be done by Wednesday with someone if my guess. I think pressure is on Lou L. since he dispatched so much to Atlanta for Ilya. He won’t get $10 million there unless it’s a shorter term deal. I think Lou wants one more Cup before he and Marty ride off into the sunset together soon.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
9:49 am

I know the Devils think they are in the running, but unless they can convince Kovy to take between $6 and $7 M, how in the world do they expect to take on that kind of salary. Even if they go over the cap by the allowed 10% for the time being, who are they gonna cut, trade or demote? Look at these salaries!

Elias – $6.0 M
Rolston – $5.06 M
Arnott – $4.5 M
Zajac – $3.88 M
Zubrus – $3.4 M
Parise – $3.13 M
Langenbrunner – $2.8 M
Clarkson – $2.67 M
Zharkov – $.85 M

Volchenkov – $4.25 M
Tallinder – $3.38 M
White – $3.0 M
Salvador – $2.9 M
Greene & Salmela – $1.35 M

Brodeur & Moose – $7.7 M

That’s $32.3 M tied up in 9 forwards, $14.9 M tied up in 6 d-men, $7.7 M for goalies and they also have $1.0 in buy-outs! If you’re scoring at home, that’s nearly $55 M before they sign anyone else let alone Kovalchuk. If Kovy were to get anything close to say $8 M, then the Devils need to scrap 1 or 2 veterans like Zubrus or Rolston (at 35, could he get buried in Albany??). And honestly, who would be crazy enough to trade for Rolston at $5 M per??

Just pure madness if you ask me.

And yes R/L, Frolov at $2.5 M please!!

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
9:49 am

Smoothie-if you can stand to watch ESPN (I can’t these days) you’ll see that the NBA is all about the individual player. LeBron’s world tour of potential teams (including the Clippers) is a joke. JJ isn’t worth $5 bucks and hockey fans would not stand for his selfishness, which is why we all shake our heads at the Kovalchuk situation and his “I” tour. Kovy wanting outta here will end up being the best thing for this team and town.

So many fans outside Atlanta give Kovalchuk so much credit for scoring 40+ with lousy Thrasher teams. Kovy is very talented, but he also go alotta ice time in ATL in all the jey situations, including almost all the power play times. I think this explains why he did not score as much during his time in NJ. He had to share the prime ice time with other players, cutting into his opportunities to pile up the points. Just a thought-he was “the man” in Atlanta hwere he was not the same in New Jersey. It’s alot like Allen Iverson scoring so many points in Philly, which makes sense when you look at home many shots he took for the 76′ers.

Red Light-NJ still has Parise to sign next year and that will take alotta dough. Elias is too old, they should have cut him like Pandolfo. You wonder where the Devils go from here. I like Morrisonn too but like you, worry about him cutting into the youngsters opportunities.

Spud-we have never seen a situation like this in hockey, though Hossa came close last season. The “I” does not belong in the NHL, hence the bridge burning as you have noted. Go on some Canadian based blogs, they all want him to go back to Russia.

R. Stroztradamus

July 5th, 2010
9:52 am

Dudley isn’t done dealing yet.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
10:23 am

WBF – yeah, watching ESPN is damn near impossible these days. They don’t even have decent talent for Baseball Tonite other than Kruk and Kurkijan once and awhile. Not that I would know really. I’ve watched ESPN three times for an extended period of time in the last 6 months: Masters coverage, US Open coverage and one World Cup game, which turned out to be annoying as hell due to the vuvuzelas and boring-ass play by play…they didn’t even have JP Dellacamera!! Losers.

I guess ESPN is single-handedly keeping the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, Okie City Thunder etc in business with their huge TV contract for the NBA. I understand that the players are a big reason why the NBA has been so lucrative, but should anyone make between 20 and 35 million a year to play any game?? Hell, I cringe at any salary that approaches 7 digits in any sport. And let’s not get started on free-agency in baseball! But in the age of DVR, Tivo etc, can networks really expect to make the same advertising revenue that they used to? How long can this continue especially with a shrinking economy that is so unpredictable and seemingly unstable?

Oh well, has anyone signed a contract yet today? Good Lord this is going to be a looooong day at work!

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
10:28 am

Smoothie, that JJ contract does make me ill. Johnson isn’t worth this kind of money. Look at his shooting percentage in Round II? His numbers aren’t there, whether its rebounds, blocked shots, assists, etc. JJ will always get you to the playoffs, particularly in a weak East, but all we’ll see is 7-game series in Round I, and out in four, five, or six games in Round II. Okay, let’s add it up, math majors. Anyway you slice it, that’s three (3) home playoff games in Round I. And a minimum of two (2) in Round II. So, for $20 million, you’re paying JJ to be able to host five home playoff games, every year. On average. How much profit is involved from hosting 5 home playoff games? Is it $20 million? If so, I guess they broke even on JJ’s deal. If not, it’s not lookin’ so good.

Is that worth it? What if you don’t even get that far? I understand that the Spirit has a negative PR image. I understand that they don’t want to ‘throw away’ all they sacrificed by hanging on to Billy Knight and Woodson for so long, to build ‘properly.’ And that they probably felt that losing JJ would set them back to 8th or 9th spot in the East, and put them back to re-building, infuriating the fan base that hung with them. Okayyy. Fiiiiine. And, clearly, they prefer basketball to hockey, so they’re following their passions. But, I tell you this … they’ll wish they could spend more money when the Hawks get bounced every year in the 2nd round. They’ll get ‘tired’ of taking radio call-in show comments like, “Surely you knew, by making a contract as egregious as this, that it would hamper you from acquiring the remaining pieces for an NBA title. I’ll hang up and listen to your response.” And Gearon would sit there, perplexed, “I reject this caller’s very premise. We were COGNIZANT all along how IMPORTANT JJ was to our prolongd playoff run. We didn’t feel it impeded us in any way. We have a roster capable of winning the NBA title. I know this, because my GM and Coach tell me so.” And the bile just oozes to the tip of your throat.

I’ll say it again, “You fix stupid.” Stupid will always be on display.

Hockey Biltong

July 5th, 2010
10:38 am

Dudley aint done….thank you Strozadamus!!!!!

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
10:47 am

I was so fired up, I left out the word, “can’t.” As in, you CAN’T fix stupid.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
10:52 am

Brendan – indeed that contract will look quite silly in due time. It’d be one thing if they still had enough cap flexibility to bring in another good player or two, but they don’t. They might be able to lure one solid contributor due to the exception rules in the CBA, which is a joke if you ask me…why have a salary cap then? If Jeff Teague doesn’t take his game to the next level and Horford doesn’t develop his low-post game beyond what he has, they are in trouble. Another sweep at the hands of the Magic or Cavs will be in the offing.

rob

July 5th, 2010
11:08 am

leave for 5 days and you guys put this many comments up to read through?!?!? Like the signings. Nothing flashy…..solid. I have to agree I was not suprised to watch Kubina walk, and glad they didn’t overpay. If he took a 2 year deal in TB, there was a reason behind it, and watching the second half of the season, it seemed he was playing catchup a lot (not that he didn’t do a good job of it, but..).
Anyone know the status of Antropov’s hip problem he had last season? I know he was missing practices because of it and logging a lot of ice time.
I liked hearing Bogo put on more weight, he should be a force next season if he can stay healthy.
As for Artyukin, I like the guy, but he seemed to take a lot of penalties, granted most seemed to be just that he was soo much bigger than the other guys and got called when in fact there wasn’t a penalty, but could be they looking at that?
Won’t have time to get to the prospect camp, but I am sure everyone who goes will fill us in here as to what happens.
The “push” for the playoffs cost us valuable opportunities, as Moose and Colby both should have been traded then instead of lost to free agency, but I am sure that was a gamble ownership thought they could pull off, and I guess it is their team and money after all.
Too much Kovy talk on here. F him and the team that signs him! NY, NJ, or Cali can benefit from the taxes he generates. We will have a TEAM for the first time in a….well….um….maybe hockey has finally arrived HAHA

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
11:23 am

Stroz-you are too much man

rob-is Atlanta a better Hockey town than Buffalo? Sabres fans are fuming because of the inept managment in Buffalo while Thrashers fans are looking towards a brighter future, mostly because of 2 ex-Sabres.

Smoothie-ESPN used to be great, now it is filled with a bunch amateur comedians that all want to be like Stuart Scott.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
11:30 am

And Stu Scott was hardly someone to emulate! ;-)

Indeed, the future is brighter but I still don’t think I’ll buy a full season tkt package. I’ll pick my spots as usual. But I do think we’re in a position to surprise some people assuming everyone starts the year healthy and Ramsay gets the staff he needs (i.e. GOALIE COACH!!).

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
11:34 am

Except that we’re talking about Basketball, I’d nominate Smoothie’s 10:52 AM for the “post of the year” hopper.

WB, Rob.

Okay, so … which team has made the best 2010 offseason moves? Ottawa? Vancouver? Pittsburgh? New Jersey? Chicago, just for keeping Toews, Kane, Hossa, and Sharp? If you ask me, they should have moved Campbell, but there’s that NTC, right? Anyone think Atlanta is one of the best offseason movers-n-shakers? We have added Byfuglien, Eager, Sopel, Ladd, Slater (ha-ha), and Chris Mason, while essentially being at the floor of the cap. Anyone think “the plan” is the leave “wiggle room” at the deadline? We’ve got so much cap room, we could essentially annex Carolina Hurricanes entire roster.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
11:39 am

Smoothie & WBF, does Stuart Scott still do that, “boo-yeah!” and “cooler than the other side of the pillow” lines? ESPN is so “New York-centric,” that Internet sports coverage basically had to take its place. Imagine if you’re a Cornhusker fan? How much coverage does ESPN give to that? To Bristol, Connecticut, Nebraska is farm country, for campin’ out.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
11:46 am

Brendan – it wasn’t too bad when Stu Scott used to holler “boo-yeah!” at us through the TV screen. But he lost me when he started that “don’t hate the player, hate the game” crap. WTF does that even mean?? I hate the game because of the selfish, spoiled brats who play it. I can barely stomach football even with all the foolishness that abounds, but at least those guys risk life and limb out there on the gridiron…and their contracts aren’t even guaranteed!!

I think Pittsburgh has made some stellar moves. If they can find a suitable replacement winger for Bill Guerin and / or Ruslan Fedotenko, then they will be a tough team to play against…even if they score less than usual. Their top 5 d-men are quite formidable now.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
11:48 am

rob – good to have you back. Hope you had a restful and enjoyable break away from the cyber-world and the ajc blogs. I know I shoul take an extended break, but until free-agency dies down completely, I am a captive audience. Good question about Antropov’s hip, but I have heard nor read anything. The Thrashers are usually pretty quiet when it comes to injury stuff like that but I can only hope and trust Nik to do what is necessary to come back healthier and stronger than ever.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
11:49 am

Brendan, of the teams you mentioned, i think all of them may have a move or 2 letf-
Ottawa-lost Volchenkov and picked up Gonchar; their power play will be better next season with Gonchar and Karlsson on the points. The Sens will miss Matt Cullen, Sutton is in limbo.
NJ-improved their defense but still too old up front.
Piitsburgh – incomplete until they get Kariya to play with Crosby which I think will happen somehow. They need more quality wingers.
Chicago-4 roster players gone, one in return in Marty; they will miss Buff more than they know.
Vancouver-all depends on if they move Bieksa for quality, good improvements on defense but no new forwards.

Atlanta-potentially coming out of the Dark Ages, but there is more work to be done. Dudley has to make ATL a oprefrred destination and get some of these guys signed long term so we have a dfined core for the future.

Brendan-ESPN has lost the meaning of why they were created and that won’t change until they get some competition.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
11:57 am

Smoothie-Baseball Tonight used to be the best, then ESPN lost Dave Campbell and Peter Gammons. Kirk can’t keep it going alone, Kruk-ster is there for levity-he has player insight but lacks overall baseball game insight. Kruk reminds me too much of Jack Black.

rob

July 5th, 2010
12:07 pm

WBF,
I was up there visiting. Wore my Thrashers hat and shirts a lot, much to the dismay of my grandmother and others! LOL Not many happy up there right now…..but they still have Miller to fall back on and so who knows. I think we are looking good, especially if 2-3 guys come up to join the team, and who knows. I like the way things are going. All the changes will certainly need some time to work out, maybe we get lucky and they have a fast learning curve? A lot of new faces for sure, but that should be a good thing if we want to change the very mindset of players, and even the fans. I went to the Thrashers website to see about ticket plans and the damn thing showed 08-09 plans w a pic of the dreaded 17!!! WTF? And no plans other than whole season without signing up…..guess I may have to break down and call the persistant tix rep back :)

Jack

July 5th, 2010
12:11 pm

I see there are reports that Dudley is not done. Is there anything out there stating what he will do next? Along with a tar forward or Kubina replacement, would love to see another goalie so Pavelec could go back to Chicago.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
12:17 pm

Jay Grossman just tweeted to everyon that Kovy is looking to make a decision this afternoon. Either Lombardi’s ploy worked and Kovy got down on his knees to beg LA to re-table the $7-8 M offer they made or he is going to don the Long Island blue and orange turd. Oh my! I am, to quote Ilya, “very exciting”! LOL

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
12:47 pm

As we await more possible moves by Dudley and Co…as well as which team Kovalchuk will allow the priviledge of paying him $10 million or so per season…here is another topic for your consideration.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
2:00 pm

rob-we have made our conversion to being thrasher fans first