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

Jack

July 1st, 2010
11:01 pm

and according to TSN we still have a good shot on Kubina

J.C. Thompson

July 1st, 2010
11:18 pm

I’m happy about what we have done today. I won’t mind if we still re-sign Kubina, but I’m really interested in seeing whats in store for our ownership.

JLH

July 1st, 2010
11:26 pm

I’m wondering if it is the term or the money that is holding up a Kubina signing – here or somewhere else. I’m hoping his respect for Ramsay and his family in Tampa (? is this true), will win the day for us. If he does sign I can’t see Kulda here next year, even if we trade someone. I think he would better served continuing to develop in Chicago, instead of the 7th defenseman here:

Kubina – Enstrom
Oduya- Hainsey
Sopel – Bogosian
Valabik

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
11:34 pm

J.C. Thompson – If you’re referring to John Kincade’s announcement that he expects a bid to be made to by the Thrashers “within the next two weeks”…yeah, I’m curious about that too. I’m gonna try to chat w/ him tomorrow about that.

JLH – Drop Valabik…add Kulda.

Tom

July 1st, 2010
11:35 pm

5th, and a gratuitous one at that.

J.C. Thompson

July 1st, 2010
11:39 pm

That would be awesome if you could find out some more details Rawhide, and yes definitely drop Valabik and add Kulda. Kulda was a much better skater in his own zone.

Chris

July 1st, 2010
11:42 pm

Hope to see us get things worked out with Kubina, as having him in our D pairings for another 2 years would give us (in my opinion) the best set of defenders and goaltenders we’ve ever had. Also wouldn’t mind seeing us talking to another top 6 forward (Frolov? Mad Max?) to help put us over the top…but all things considered, I’m happy with where we are at the end of July 1.

Barry

July 1st, 2010
11:47 pm

I’m fairly pleased with the players we got but I still think we need a top 6 scoring forward who can put up at least…AT LEAST 25 goals. Hopefully Ramsay can get the team playing a much better complete team defense because with the loss of Kovy and Max, who were our biggest goal scorers last year, our GF might be down a bit this season. I could be wrong and we could have about 6-9 forwards with 15+ goals this season and we could score as a collective team.

JK Sockey

July 1st, 2010
11:49 pm

When was the last time Kincade scooped anything? He’s the Eklund of Atlanta radio.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2010
11:54 pm

I could be wrong and we could have about 6-9 forwards with 15+ goals this season and we could score as a collective team

Barry – I think that’s the plan.

When was the last time Kincade scooped anything? He’s the Eklund of Atlanta radio

JK Sockey – Last winter he announced he knew that Kari was days away from being traded. Two days later…he was gone.

That, and I believe he was one of the first in the nedia to proclaim Kovy was gone as early as New Years.

shrugs

Anywhooo…I loved the Thrashers/Blackhawks logo to posted up

Tom

July 2nd, 2010
12:00 am

I have to say this is the best Canada Day we have seen in Atlanta, ever.

My hat is off to Dudley for making the moves he did.

There is one thing we are not thinking about and that is how the roles have changed for our forwards.

Evander Kane and Brian Little should have the rink open up for them much more with the added size and strength on our team. These guys have some scoring chops, Adding players that can protect them and allow them to get some more space is going to make a big difference.

We also are going to beat up other teams. All 4 lines now will be looking to hit. The soft small European team that Waddell loved is gone. Now we have big old North American Asshats who will be looking to pound guys with a few speedsters who will attack.

I am liking the new Thrashers.

Thanks Duds

JMAYNE

July 2nd, 2010
12:01 am

hey can anybody give me a an insight to what the thrashers are looking like. i see these moves but theres so much turnover i dont know who is gonna play with who? Sounds like gm and asg is finally stepping up. Kovy would have been amazing with these guys. The power forward from CHI-town and kovy!! omg….would have killed.

Wayne stuck in AL

July 2nd, 2010
12:05 am

This could be what Kincade was referencing:

http://blogs.ajc.com/hawks/2010/07/01/atlanta-hawks-why-asg-wants-j-j-back-even-for-the-max/?cxntfid=blogs_hawks

ASG rejects the view expressed by David Aldridge and others that a potential sell of the team influenced the max offer to [Joe Johnson]. Michael Gearon Jr. has insisted that he is not interested in selling his share. It’s expected that Steve Belkin eventually, finally, mercifully will be bought out and another investor will be sought. The Hawks are said to be one of the few teams with no debt on their franchise.

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
12:10 am

JMAYNE – Here’s a suggestion based on who we have under contract:

Forwards:
Bergfors – Antropov – Little
Kane – Peverley – Byfuglien
Ladd – Slater – Thorburn
Eager – Comier – MacArthur

PB: White and Machacek

If Max re-signs (or any other Max-esque type winger), put him on top line, move Little to third, Mac to fourth and White to the waiver wire.

Defense:
Hainsey – Oduya
Sopel – Enstrom
Bogosian – Kulda
PB: Valabik

If Kubina resigns, I like what JLH posted above with Kulda instead of Boris

Goal:
Mason/Opie

Thrashy Thrashy

July 2nd, 2010
12:22 am

If we don’t add a veteran player, look at those four lines, boys. Only one guy in there will be 30. That is crazy, but I think it bodes well for us.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
12:24 am

Introducing your Atlanta Thrashawks!

sisu

July 2nd, 2010
12:30 am

ok, so why is everyone saying Pavs is here to stay? Is he not signed? What about all the other RFA’S? Does everyone think they will all sign or will someone make an offer sheet?

Kovyoverrated

July 2nd, 2010
1:10 am

A FRANCHISE-CHANGING WEEK! We’ll have a better coaching staff and a much better roster than we have ever had.
Whoever buys the Thrashers, they will not leave the ATL.This market is way too valuable to the NHL.

Badger Bob

July 2nd, 2010
1:15 am

Per Rawhide’s line up, Ladd bumps MacA to the fourth line – excellent!
If we can bump Little to the third line with another legit top 6 forward, this line up is outstanding. Get er done!

Gotta update my payroll spreadsheet and see what we’d have available to pay another forward.

Badger Bob

July 2nd, 2010
1:33 am

So were at $35.6 M in contracts, plus $11 – $12M in likely RFA contracts (assuming Ladd gets similar to Colby’s deal), plus $1.4M for Kulda and one of Cormier/Mach/Petterson/Burmistrov, and were at 23 players and $48 – 49M. That might be the budget, folks. I’d like to see us spend $3 – 5M more for Kubes or, more preferable, a legit top 6 scorer, but alas, we may be done.

On the other hand, we are young, fast and big, and we haven’t said that here before.

Badger Bob

July 2nd, 2010
1:37 am

Wait, all my numbers include Charmin, so that’s a mistake. Duds, please clear his $2.3M off the books somehow.

Acer

July 2nd, 2010
4:35 am

I’m not going to overreact because the Thrashers just made two moves. Mason can be a nice replacement for Hedberg and a placeholder until Pavelec is fully ready for action.

Trades involving Ladd give me the impression that GM’s speculate that he has a much higher scoring upside. I’m not so much worried about losing Vish because of the flight risk. Losing the 2nd rounder in 2011 for Ladd is an okay move.

P.S. I freaking love what the Hawks are doing. They just won the Cup and MASSIVELY recharged their prospect pipeline via trades and the draft.

Fan from Carolina

July 2nd, 2010
6:24 am

What wonderful moves! Ladd was always a pain to play against when he played for the Canes and he looked super with Chicago last season. I can’t believe he is playing for the Thrashers. Excellent. Mason gives the club solid goaltending finally. Could this be the year??

The Real Thrash

July 2nd, 2010
6:52 am

Hopefully we can sign Ladd next year as an UFA.

POTF

July 2nd, 2010
7:13 am

Liked Dudley’s move getting Ladd yesterday as well. Signing Kubina still needs to get done. As for Mason, is he really an upgrade over the Moose other than age, and is he just a safety valve on Dudley’s roster for now in hopes of still grabbing Nanokov? Also, Kulda is definitely a better piece in someone’s roster above over Valabik. Getting excited about this team. Still think Dudley will pull another rabbit from the hat in another scorer.

POTF

July 2nd, 2010
7:15 am

Anyone still think money is an issue with the ASG after that ridiculous contract they threw at the Hawk’s Johnson?

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
7:32 am

Ladd will never get to UFA status. Dudley said Ladd is dues a substantial raise as an RFA and plans to keep him long term and will negotiate as such. As Dudley described him yesterday, he could be captain material.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
7:32 am

I am still holding my final evaluation until July 7th. But so far, I’d have to say we have made some real good moves towards winning now vs later. Last week’s trade, yesterday’s pickups are all positive moves in the right direction.

There are still some good UFAs available, this courtship dance is far from over. Shocked that Nabakov was not signed and that he is contemplating going to the KHL. I too would like to see Kubina back. But all in all, it was a pretty good day.

I think now we can retire the “Five Year Plan” nonsense.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
7:42 am

Here is a better evaluation of Rick Dudley (and Brian Burke) from an out of town paper-

“Two general managers who are known for getting things done, Atlanta’s Rick Dudley and Toronto’s Brian Burke, didn’t mess around. Both jumped on opportunities when Chicago unloaded Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and Kris Versteeg.

Just imagine, Big Buff in Buff, breathing life into the dressing room and toting the requisite amount of tenacity and terror while protecting Tyler Ennis the way he did Patrick Kane. Let’s face it, not many players can say Chris Pronger brought out the best in him in the playoffs, but Byfuglien can.

Eager isn’t blessed with an abundance of talent, but he’s an honest player who adds punch. Sopel is still a solid D-man who would have been more productive on a team less stacked along the blue line. Versteeg had 20 goals in each of his first two full seasons in the league and killed penalties.”

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
8:05 am

Mason is a definite upgrade over Moose…no disrespect to Hedberg, but Mason seems to have the same clubhouse character as Moose and has much better career numbers. Moose was a very good backup, Mason is a very good starter.

Some quotes:
Per Chris Vivlamore: “Most important thing for me is to try my best every day. My work ethic won’t be questioned.” — Mason

Good things happen to good people. Only downer his is Mason signs for less than he was making and seeking from the Blues. Two things Mase never will be: outworked or outdone in a mustache-goatee competition. — Ray Slover

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
8:07 am

WBF – Nabakov is 34, wants at least $5M a year, and blows it in the play-offs. I’m not surprised at all really. The fact SJ was willing to let him walk spoke volumes all on its own.

I like the overall look of the roster but there are two things that concern me – as in two important pieces we’ve lost and IMO have not yet replaced and that’s Kovy and Reasoner. We lost a LOT of goals moving Kovy and the scoring by committee approach everyone is looking at isn’t enough IMO. Sure we can probably expect the younger players to contribute more this season and newer players to contribute as well but losing a consistent 40+ goal scorer is still going to hurt. Buff replaces Army, Ladd replaces Kozzie. Bergfors, Kane, and Little can probably increase their goal scoring enough to help make up for losing Max. But none of that replaces Kovy. And Reasoner was our best penalty killer and I don’t see anyone like that added either. Those aren’t roles that Ladd or Buff had in Chicago. And if we are going to be a physical, gritty team, we’re going to be taking penalties.

Now if Ramsay can teach this team some defense, we can afford to score fewer goals and perhaps he can also coach up some of our other players to be more effective on the penalty kill. But if I’m the GM and I’m still looking to tinker with the roster, those are the two issues I’d keep foremost in my mind at this point.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
8:12 am

Sara-agreed on Nabakov, but he has been a premier goaltender for some time. I thought somebody would step up and sign him 1st day. San Jose has issues beyond Nabakov, so we will see how they turn out next season. The Sharks lost Rob Blake and Malholtra, who was very serviceable for them last season as a versatile forward and top faceoff man.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
8:16 am

I thought it interesting that there are rumors Tampa Bay may be looking at Nabakov. I guess Mike Smith is not seen as a viable #1 there.

I thought either Malhotra or Matt Cullen would have been nice replacements for Reasoner…does Slater keep up his slow, incremental improvement and become a Reasoner type player?

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
8:28 am

Hip-tough to replace Marty, but they obviously feel Slater will be able to fill his position. Still some talent out there.

da' boomer

July 2nd, 2010
8:31 am

what’s the word on the Max Af—-ov front???

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
8:38 am

Sara – Regarding Nabokov…his career regular season stats are 2.39 GAA and .912 SV%. In the playoffs, those numbers improve to 2.29 GAA and .914 SV%. I would hardly call that “blowing it”.

However, in fairness…in the past three postseasons, his GAA and SV% numbers have been slightly worse than his regular season stats of that season.

I would have loved Nabby here…but I cannot tell ya how happy I am with the Mason signing. Quality ‘keeper…quality person…very good value in the payroll column.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
8:42 am

WBF, I think now we can retire the “Five Year Plan” nonsense.

Maybe we call it a “Five Month Plan” now?

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
8:43 am

So when we now refer to Chicago when speaking of Thrashers player development…do we need to specify as to if it is the Wolves or Blackhawks were are talking about?

I think Kubes signs now, and that gives us one hell of a D in front of Mr. Mason!) I still want to know how he shaves his head with all of that rubberized foam inside that mask.)

I would like to see us make another move to upgrade the offense. I would like to see us bring in Lee Stempniak. He’s another good locker room guy…still young at 27, has the ability to score 20 goals. Would be a nice addition at a relatively cost-effective price. Put him there with Max…that’s a decent offense.

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
8:44 am

Bill, I LOVE our third and fourth lines on what you posted!! Legit lines, tough, some skills!!!!!! wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! Man I am jacked. I’ll be broke all of october going to games, but who cares!!!!!
I keep seeing if we sign Max. I don’t believe this is gonna happen, KHL is my guess. Nobody wants to risk the kind of money he wants. Always the problem with max, thinks he’s better than he is and thinks his value is more than what it is. Max, take a mill a season, keep your head up, work hard, cut down on turnovers and taking shifts off, BE A PART OF A SPECIAL thing going on down here in the ATL!!! Won’t happen!!
I’ll be very interested to see where Naby ends up. Head case, but talent, playoff failures (along with all of san jose). Remember how marleu and thorntan used to be the goats over there??? Now it’s nabys turn.
Side note, is there anyone worse than Matt Barnaby on TV?? Geez….he drives me nuts!
Anyone hear anything on Espisito?? This has got to be his year, correct? I know he was hurt last season but I still can’t see him in chicago again???? Big team or traded?? Thoughts…
Finally, the ducks are nuts for giving turnover tony 3 mill a season, NUTS…….

five_hole

July 2nd, 2010
8:45 am

I’m lovin’ the Mason signing. Younger and cheaper than Nabokov would have been. Also liking the Ladd trade. We’re deep at defenseman, Vishnevsky has a reputation of poor defensive play (and we’ve got too many of that already).

The Moose will be missed, and I’ve already circled Dec 18 on my calendar.

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
8:46 am

PS…finally gonna have my own tax exemption folks…Febuary 16th, my first child!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

jimbo

July 2nd, 2010
8:53 am

I agree with a number of posters that we will need to determine who is going to man the PK if we do move to a more aggressive style of play. Sopel, Kubina, Kulda have done it well at the D level, but who will be the forwards. Slater? Do we risk the use of top forwards who have proven themselves on the PK in junior ranks- Kane, Little and Cormier?

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
8:55 am

PS…finally gonna have my own tax exemption folks…Febuary 16th, my first child!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Spudster – Great news!! Congrats!!!

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

Wow Sara, your once rose-colored glasses have turned into insightful spectacles! Great points.

First, lets examine Mason. His best career numbers came in 2005-06 when he only appeared in 40 games for Nashville. Dudley said ideally he’d like to see both goalies play 41 games. We know that’s unlikely, but the tandem looks more capable than ever, despite Moose’s fabulous performance (career year) in 2009-10.

Dudley said Ladd is a special player who can do some many things on the ice and works his tail off. He had the best role model in Carolina named Rod Brind’amour in terms of hard work and dedication. He leads by example according to Dudley.

Now, there is no question that the recent acquisitions have made the Thrashers a bigger, stronger, tougher team than any we’ve seen before. Reasoner is tough to replace and Dudley continues to point to Cormier as a guy who might be able to fill that role. He said others will have a chance to supplant Reasoner. Will they be as capable as Marty initially? No way.

In terms of replacing Ilya’s offensive production? Sure, that’s an issue if Antropov’s numbers don’t match last season’s, and there isn’t any guarantee that Bergie won’t have a bit of a sophomore slump. There is no question the Thrashers secondary scoring has improved but I’m concerned with which players can actually be playmakers. Dudley indicated that MacArthur, Little and Cormier could be the guys that are tried in the center position. I personally don’t see Little in that role, but you never know how that might work out long term. I still believe they need another top-6 forward, a playmaker who can distribute the puck.

Should be interesting to see what happens with the roster going forward, but you have to expect that two or three young guys will be given every opportunity to make the team.

Concerning Nabokov. He’ll find a spot and will make good money. But, I’m the anti-Joe Friday on this one. I’m not paying that kind of money for a post-35 goalie, no matter how good he is.

RFA money to the six guys could be 2x or 2.5x what they made last season, which was roughly $7.2 million including Ladd.

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
8:59 am

WBF – agreed that San Jose has way more issues than Nabby … like an apparent dearth of character. But that’s their problem and I hope as a Wings fan they keep it up for many years to come.

Rawhide – think really questionable goals at the worst possible times. I’m not saying Nabby sucks (cause he doesn’t), but the dude wants Brodeur money and he ain’t no Brodeur, especially not when it matters the most. Especially in a cap era, $5M (or more) is a lot to pay an older goalie who has no Cup rings, not even a SCF appearance, and the only award he’s won was a Calder 10 seasons ago.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
9:03 am

Keep Nabokov away! After the selfish display he put on in Vancouver (I start all games or I don’t show up) he is the last thing I want in my locker room. I want quality players who are quality people. Moose was the epitome of that. I hope Mason carries on that tradition.

Congrats Spud – being a Dad is the best job you will ever have.

Toby

July 2nd, 2010
9:08 am

My own tax exemption arrives August 30 : )

OK…My crazy prediction of the day. In order to fit Kubina under our internal cap, we trade Oduya and his $3.5 cap to someone who still needs D (Buffalo?) for a 2nd. Boris then remains our #7 D with Kulda and Bogosian being paired.

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
9:10 am

R/L – I’m generally an optimistic person. No matter what incarnation this team has taken or will take, I’ll look for the positives and hope for the best. It’s hockey, not life or death here – not worth getting the panties in a wad. Besides, being a perpetual crabby pants is no way to go through life IMO. ;)

five_hole

July 2nd, 2010
9:13 am

Congratulations Bill. Just when you thought you got them out of the house; it starts all over. Sounds like the premise for a “Twilight Zone” episode.

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
9:15 am

“The fact SJ was willing to let him walk spoke volumes all on its own.”

Please. I turned the volume up and all I hear is that Nittymaki is their answer? Yeah, right! Major screwup on San Jose’s part.

Mason is a younger Moose. He never impressed me in Nashvegas and I didn’t see a lot of him in St. Louis, but I see he got swept by the Canuckleheads last year. As we see year in and year out in the playoffs, you need a goalie that can steal you games (and we really really needed a goalie that can do that) and Mason ain’t that guy. Only guy building walls in Phillips this fall will be Roger Waters.

Love the Ladd pickup. He is a hard worker and has upside. I see the Dudley mold being put on this club but I am concerned about primary scoring. It’s not there. Can’t count on Bergfors or Kane to bring that, mabye Ramsay can coach up Little and he can break out to 30?

With us staying weak in goal, we need Kubina more than ever and more scoring, keep at it Waduds.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
9:15 am

Toby, to be honest, I’d rather keep Oduya and not sign Kubina if that is the choice.

I think Kubina can be signed with no other moves needing to be made. Sign Kubina, and if not then use the money on Stempniak

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
9:16 am

I’m happy about Mason… but would like to point out we have another goalie who likes to put video game characters on his helmet. :)

Lehtonen is a kid, but Mason is 35 years old.

POTF

July 2nd, 2010
9:18 am

Toby-Does ASG really have an internal cap after giving the Hawk’s Johnson that ridiculous contract?

Bluenote

July 2nd, 2010
9:19 am

600+ comments yesterday? Clearly there are a lot of people with too much time on their hands.

Great news and props to Dudley on what look to be some great moves. Now get Pasha signed!

Tip of the hat to Moose for being a class act and best wishes in the swampland. You’ll be missed and we’ll be cheering for you…except when the Thrashawks play NJ.

Tip of the hat to Spud: they know what causes that now. Congrats and enjoy every minute of the ride. It goes by fast. Just got back from an excellent European adventure with mine which involved a lot of World Cup action, camraderie and bistros. What an embarrassment. Memo to FIFA: video review works in the NHL. Try it.

Everybody looks good at the starting line (Paul Thorn)…but I’m loving some strong moves yesterday.
Well played Mr. Dudley.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
9:19 am

Sara..truer words never spoken. It is after all…just a game.

Toby – no way do I get rid of Oduya. He’s 28 and will be an asset for years to come. Not for the sake of bringing back Kubina…especially when we have the ability to do both. Any idea that keeps Valabik in Atlanta is, in my mind, a bad idea. And congrats to you to on the little one!

POTF

July 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

Rawhide- I think you spammed my posts.

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

Toby – Congrats to you too!

Sara, RL & GS29 – Points taken. Like I said…I like Nabokov, but that in no way means I’m unhappy with Mason here. Very good signing.

Looking back 2 years, I really wanted Waddell to sign Campbell…thought our blueline really needed that kinda player. We didn’t, of course, and as I look back on it…I’m happy we were not able to bring him in. I trust…hope…two years down the road I will look back at not getting Nabokov the same way.

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
9:21 am

I won’t bust his balls too much… his helmets are much cooler than Lehtonen’s…

http://www.eyecandyair.com/goaliemasks/chrismason.htm

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
9:21 am

five_hole – errr…uh…unless you know something I don’t, I’m not the one in line for congrats. Toby and Sput Web are.

To that point…I would also like to give GaVaHokie a big shout out on the recent birth of his tax exemption!!!

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
9:23 am

Only guy building walls in Phillips this fall will be Roger Waters.

I would like to nominate Joe Friday for an early “post of the year”… good one! :)

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
9:23 am

“we’e at 23 players and $48 – 49M. That might be the budget, folks. I’d like to see us spend $3 – 5M more for Kubes or, more preferable, a legit top 6 scorer, but alas, we may be done.”

I think you’re spot on here. Dudley said previously he didn’t care what the budget was, just let him know what the # is and he’ll build the club, and I think that’s why we’ve seen the moves we’ve seen. Not top end guys but he brought in a bunch of quality 2nd and 3rd tier guys. And it’s why we saw them go cheap on goalie, again. The budget just isn’t there for the top end guys who are difference makers.

You generally get what you pay for, but let’s hope Ramsay can coach them up and that there’s some money left over in the budget for deadline deals to bring in RedLight’s playmaker and make a move for a solid goalie if they can stay in the hunt. Question is, who do they have to move to afford Kubina if they can re-sign him?

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
9:24 am

Rawhide… no here yet… July 27th is the due date, but there’s a chance it could be earlier.

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
9:30 am

“Mason is 35 years old.”

Whoa, I thought he was younger than that. Is he an older Moose then? Nabokov is 35 as well. I did not know Mason was that old.

“I would like to nominate Joe Friday for an early “post of the year”… good one!”

counting the days to the show, got my tix 1st minute of the presale . . . Mother, did it need to be so high?

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
9:31 am

Joe Friday – I won’t disagree with you that the Sharks blew it by taking Nitty over Nabby (though I’ve heard rumblings they have some interest in Turco as well … the one UFA goalie I’d want less than Nabby).

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
9:32 am

BTW, Tampa just signed Kubina for 2 years.

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
9:32 am

Something I just Tweeted. Is there new meaning to the term “Eastern Bloc(k)?” There are 20 Russians, Slovaks, Czechs etc. that went unsigned after day one of free agency. Did greed price them out of the early market? You decide, but here are the names. Some are a bit too old to worry about, but I would have thought some of these guys would have been in play yesterday.

Kovalchuk, Nabokov, Kubina, Demitra, Kozlov, Grebeshkov, Afinogenov, Ponikarovsky, Salei, Frolov, Svatos, Fedentenko, Sykora, Jurcina, Lang, Artyukhin, Krajicek, Satan, Ivanans and Skoula.

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

Hokie – OK…thanks for the update. I hope everything…ahem…come out alright!

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
9:38 am

I wonder how much Kubina got?

da' boomer

July 2nd, 2010
9:39 am

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
9:41 am

Plan B should be Arturs Kulda.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
9:43 am

hip-based on past history, I understand, appreciate and agree with the skeptics. You cannot blame anyone for being skeptical about the Thrashers, there’s too much history to deny negativity. I appreciate people for sticking to their guns until there’s evidence to prove otherwise. But I think it is time to move forward. Wish Kubina would have resigned, but thems the breaks.

A27

July 2nd, 2010
9:43 am

Wow!!! That sucks that Kubina went back to T.B. Man… I hope Duds has a Plan B. Total bummer:(

Alan R.

July 2nd, 2010
9:47 am

From PuckAgency on Twitter:

Pavel Kubina Signs Two-Year Deal With Tampa Bay Lightning 34 minutes ago via TweetDeck

Alan R.

July 2nd, 2010
9:48 am

Wow, I should really learn to refresh these pages before posting stuff. Oh well. Looks like Kulda gets an extended look this year.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
9:48 am

That really sucks. We lost him and now he is going to TB. :(

Michael

July 2nd, 2010
9:52 am

I can’t believe we were off on dollars and TERM if he only signed for 2 years. He is only 33…would have been happy to have him for two more years. I am confident Duds knows what he is doing. I am looking forward to Bogo and Kulda together next year.

Sara

July 2nd, 2010
9:53 am

Yzerman is kicking tail and taking names in TB. They are going to be a solid team next season. But that’s ok – to be the best you have to learn how to hang with and beat the best as well. Since we play the divisional teams the most, it benefits our developing players to have the competition in order to learn.

See – bright side. :p

Toby

July 2nd, 2010
9:53 am

Thanks much to all…

Well…my prediction went to crap in about 5 minutes. I think we’ll be just fine with Bogosian – Kulda.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
9:53 am

Losing Kubina is not the end of the world….let’s see which direction Dudley goes now. A forward (Stempniak or Torres) would be OK, maybe a Corvo/Salei type defenseman?

Carlo Colaiacovo from Stl wouldn’t be bad in my book…we’ll see.

WBF, I meant the ‘five month plan’ to be taken in a positive light….Dudley will have accomplished in a 5 month plan what Waddell said he would do in (2) five year plan. This team is getting a ’style’ and identity and a good young core.

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
10:05 am

Sara:

Tampa has only added Ellis and Kubina, re-signed Marty STL and lost versatile Kurtis Foster and Niittymaki. Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet. He still has five roster spots to fill not including RFAs Downie, Thompson, Lundin and Ranger. Sadly, he has plenty of Cap Space too.

TableHockey

July 2nd, 2010
10:07 am

GaVaHokie – thanks for the link. I’m sure Mason will have a cool ATL helmet. On that topic I’m actually anxious to see Moose’s helmet in NJ. He has always had some of my favorite designs.

I’ll mourn the loss of Kubina for a bit but I think Sopel will actually be a better puck moving D-man. I think Kulda is ready to come up but I am a bit concerned about how his stay at home play will mesh with Ramsay’s system.

I actually thought Boris showed decent improvement before his last injury. If he could stay healthy I think he could be a viable option for our D.

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
10:09 am

Just asking… I wonder what Kubina and Army would have brought in return at the trade deadline. Likely the two second-rounders we sent to Chicago? Bygones!

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
10:24 am

“Tampa has only added Ellis and Kubina, re-signed Marty STL and lost versatile Kurtis Foster and Niittymaki. Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet.”

No doubt. Ellis is a win for us, not Yzerman, he and Smith as a tandem blow. They had to get Kubina to solidify D in front of weak goaltending.

Re. Kubina, I think BadgerBob figured it out. We’ve hit our internal cap. There was no room for Kubina and it’s why we went cheap on goaltending. It’d be nice to be able to spend up to $55m or so and get Kubina and another scorer, but I think the best we can hope for is another $2m forward, anyone see somebody left out there that would fit the bill? It may be that Waduds are done here and this is our lineup.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

hip-I caught your positive spin. I like the 3 month plan!

Sara-TB has a horrible defense, traded Mezaros for very little. Pavel is not an upgrade over Mezaros. They still have alot to do on defense, both on the backline and their forwards. Re-upping St. Louis is not going to improve their forward lines.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

I would say that the only reason Nabakov won’t be back in San Jose next year … is because of the salary cap. They’d pay him and keep him, if they could. They opted to re-ink Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski to nice deals. I already posted that Niittymaki is not the answer for a Nabby replacement. But, who knows? I’ve always liked Niittymaki, aside from the 17 times he defeated the Thrashers.

Joe Friday, Mason is three years younger than Moose, and paid about $200,000 more a year, in terms of cap hit. I think the Thrashers made the right move. Or, at least, a better move than keeping Moose.

Sara, I think the Thrashers won’t have to score as many goals next year. The Thrashers shouldn’t be giving up 260-285 GA anymore. Hopefully, that figure will come down significantly this year. I think the Thrashers have embarked on that “depth strategy” that I’ve so often talked about, where you have 9-10 forwards that can each score 16-22 goals a year. I think Ladd replaces Colby Armstrong. And then some. And that Byfuglien replaces Kozlov, and then some. And, hopefully, Bryan Little is returned to his natural CENTER position, and scores 20 or more goals. With some luck, 25 goals. (He once scored 31. So, it’s not utterly inconceivable to be at 25.) As Red Light points out, we need another strong year from our statistical lead, Nik Antropov. I’d build the marketing campaign around Antropov and Kane. And speaking of Kane, I suspect he’s going to have a terrific year. When you add it all up, Kane, Antro, Little, Buff, Ladd, … it starts to offset some of that Kovalchuk production. Who knows what Eager might contribute? And let’s not forget that Ramsay talked of rushing defensemen. We know Bogosian can score. Hainsey can score, too. Enstrom, who knows? Enstrom’s known more for assists. Oduya will be a steady force on the blueline. I’m ready to drop the puck, already. Trouble is, it’s July 2. Oops.

TableHockey

July 2nd, 2010
10:28 am

Joe – I think you are right. I tuned in to 680 on the way home yesterday and caught an interview with Dudley. He basically said they were happy with the team now but if something came along that would be a good option they would consider it.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:30 am

Joe Friday, with some luck, Joe Johnson refuses to sign Atlanta’s $119 million offer, and we can push that cap figure closer to $55 million. Wishful thinking, I do realize. What’s the cap this year? $59 million?

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
10:31 am

Joe Friday… have a few friends going to that show as well. I was never much of a Floyd fan… more of a GNR/Van Halen/AC-DC kind of guy. It should be a great show! And that’s an understatement.

The money from that show should pay quite a few Thrasher salaries. :)

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
10:31 am

“I think Sopel will actually be a better puck moving D-man.”

Sopel is more of a stay at home defensive guy than Kubina is, and he’s a worse skater. Kubina banked a lot of pts for us on the backline last year. We went backwards on D with the loss of Kubina and adding Sopel, what we gained was $2m, that was all about money with that move.

My hope is that Bogosian takes a big step forward for us this year. He’s my key guy on the club this year. I think the injuries and soph slump really hit him hard last year and he’s ready to step up. This club looks a lot different if Bogosian can turn into a top line dman that can eat 25 minutes a night.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:33 am

Guys and gals, I’ve always said that we have to compare ourselves against Tampa Bay, Columbus, Edmonton, Phoenix, Buffalo, etc. Over the years, we’ve been in close proximity to these clubs at the draft, and in our market size and spending situation.

Hopefully, we beat Tampa Bay this time around. Back in 2001, when the Bolts were the worst team in the league, they won the Cup by 2004.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
10:36 am

Rawhide, I’m still on the road today. Hopefully, I can catch up with the posters a little later. C’mon Thrashers, let’s keep adding pieces!!

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
10:42 am

Sopel is more of a stay at home defensive guy than Kubina is, and he’s a worse skater. Kubina banked a lot of pts for us on the backline last year. We went backwards on D with the loss of Kubina and adding Sopel, what we gained was $2m, that was all about money with that move. …My hope is that Bogosian takes a big step forward for us this year.

Joe Friday – Where we may disagree on the Mason signing, here we mostly agree. Sopel is a good addition to the blueline assuming Kubina was here as well. My hope is that with the extra $$ now available by not signing PK, we might still be able to make some sort of trade to bring in another top-line defenseman.

As I have said before, though…I’m going to wait until the process of building this team is complete before passing judgement on whether Dudley has done his job or not. I want to see the “whole” product. That said, I think he’s done well overall so far.

As for Bogosian…agreed. I’m looking for Zach to have a big year.

Brendan – Safe travels!

Matt

July 2nd, 2010
10:43 am

As I posted on Chris’s blog:

“This post would be FILLED with expletives if I were allowed to curse on this blog. WTH, ASG, you make some nice moves and then blow all of that potential goodwill by being cheap and playing games with Kubina?? WTH, already?”

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
10:43 am

Lebrun says Kubina got $7.7 for two years.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
10:45 am

I wonder what Kubina and Army would have brought in return at the trade deadline.

Army should have been moved for a second round draft pick. Anyone with a luke warm temperature IQ could see the writing on the wall with that situation.

Oh well, the Thrashers needed to market there “March to Playoffs” campaign to sell tickets which was to the long term detriment of the team.

In Brendan’s words, Bygones. BTW, do Bygones = Waddell?

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
10:46 am

Interesting quote from Dudley on Chris Mason… “He was our #1 choice, and it helped that our President and his Agent were really close friends.”

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
10:47 am

“Joe – I think you are right. I tuned in to 680 on the way home yesterday and caught an interview with Dudley. He basically said they were happy with the team now but if something came along that would be a good option they would consider it.”

Badger Bob’s the one that figured it out. And I think they’re done because as BB also pointed out, there’s some RFA’s to be negotiated. They want to lock up Ladd and some other guys long term.

I know we all wanted more (me a better goalie, etc.) but (I hate this) it is what it is . . . in terms of dealing with the FlufferCheapCheapSpiritSquad internal cap. Duds did the best he could with the parameters given to him and it’s a more cohesive group, on paper, than what Waddell would cobble together on his own, and he’s got a good coach.

In the big picture, these guys could stay in the mix with Ramsay coaching them up. There will most likely be some short term pain with all the new guys adjusting to new systems, Hawks on hangovers and missing their old teammates, but if they gel by late fall there’s probably some internal cap money left to go get a piece or two to make a playoff run. All in all, it’s hard to be overly critical as they really only can spend the money they’re given to work with. And I’d rather watch Buff and Ladd bang bodies and work hard than watch Max and Kovy float around cherry picking goals yet give up odd man rushes all night the other way.

All in all, it’s a grade of B in my book for Waduds given the internal cap they have to work under (a C+ overall for the team when grading the SpiritSquad as well due to their internal cap, let’s hope Kincade’s rumored sale of the Thrashers leads to something).

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
10:51 am

“Lebrun says Kubina got $7.7 for two years”

further proof that we’re done adding pieces. That’s a great deal to get Kubina at that price, and we couldn’t afford $3.85m? Oof.

Brendan, I think the cap went up to $59.5m for the league this year and our internal cap is probably around $50m.

“Interesting quote from Dudley on Chris Mason… “He was our #1 choice, and it helped that our President and his Agent were really close friends.””

Great. I knew I smelled the stink of Waddell’s hand on that deal. Mason is a Waddell blue light special. But gee, mabye Waddell will get one right after all, he’s the guy that brought in Damian Rhodes, Norm Maracle, Dunham, ah never mind . . .

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
10:56 am

Any thoughts on Plan B now that Kubina is gone….

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
11:02 am

good analysis of the goalie signings from a Phlyer perspective:

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Grinder/entry/view/70416/flyers_fail_in_free-agent_goalie_shuffle

Rumor has it that Kovalchuk’s asking price to the LAK is 10 years at 10 mill per…no way he’ll get that.

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:07 am

Kulda. No, not Valabik!! Kulda.

enough said.

Thrashy Thrashy

July 2nd, 2010
11:08 am

So LeBrun is saying that Kubina’s getting $4.2 million in the first year of the deal.

Hainsey’s getting $5 million (cap hit $4.5 million) in 2010-11. If you want to blame anybody, blame Waddell for tying that much money up in Hainsey. Otherwise, I think the Thrashers will be just fine. We’ve never had good team defense. If that changes, we won’t be whining as much about top-4 defensemen and all that crap.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:08 am

no wonder he has not signed. Thats the same money we offered him

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
11:16 am

“Thats the same money we offered him”

No, we offered him $8.4m per year on the long term 12 yr deal or $10m per year on a shorter term 3, 5, or 7 year deal. They’ll settle in the middle something like 8 year $9m?

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:18 am

it may go lower than that with teams bailing on Kovy. that is of course if he doesn’t go to the khl

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
11:20 am

Someone needs to explain to Kovy that there is a difference between skating on ice and walking on water.

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
11:21 am

Kovy shoots but Jesus saves!

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

Kovy thinks he deserves more than Ovechkin, Crosby, and any other NHL player.

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

Haha. I like that!

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:25 am

yeah maybe he deserves 50% because he does not play defense, or check.

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

Let’s go, Netherlands! Just took the lead on Brazil, 20 minutes to go, tune in to see what’s sure to be a fantastic push by Brazil

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:30 am

Brazil done just got red card

Dwayne

July 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Can’t wait for Oct 8th!!! Don’t forget the vuvuzuelas!!!!!

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

lol at Kevin Allen’s subtle dig at our internal cap here:

“The Atlanta Blackhawks are probably done, although they could probably use a $500,000 defenseman”

waffleboy

July 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

Disappointing to see Kubina go at that price, but I agree, it’s not the end of the world. However, we need another top 4 d-man. The idea of Valabik and Kulda as our last options is not promising. There are plenty of d-men available and we need to spend the money to go and get one.

J.C. Thompson

July 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Kovy is really confused about how important he is. He doesn’t understand team play, he is worth about 7 million a year as a 40 goal scorer.

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:40 am

Sorry Joe, I’m going for Brazil….

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
11:41 am

Kevin Allen better be careful or Waddell will stop leaking info to him first.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
11:42 am

This from a San Jose blogger on NHL.com:

“The big winner so far in the offseason in my opinion is Atlanta. The Thrashers have taken advantage of the Chicago Blackhawks Cap Mismanagement and scooped up some key Stanley Cup crew. Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel,Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd are now in Georgia. GM Rick Dudley also nabbed Chris Mason between the pipes. The Thrashers are going to be a very improved, tough and playoff team this season.
Rumour is that the remaining Hawks are upset, feeling that the toughness and hard edge has been jettisoned from the team. Besides Chicago’s youthful skill that edge was a big reason they are the Champs.”

Wow…who’d a thunk we’d ever see THAT written?

Tom Lysiak

July 2nd, 2010
11:42 am

I would love to see Lombardi put the squeeze on Kovy if he is really the only NHL team in the game. Play for this or head to the KHL….

Dwayne

July 2nd, 2010
11:45 am

Thrashers place Boris Valabik on waivers, sign Orange Cone, a 2′6″, 38 lb defensmen from Atlanta’s Public Road works division.
“This is a definite upgrage on D” Atl. Prez Don Waddell.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:46 am

HC that is awesome to see. It would be nice to add one more piece. Of course if Pav still thinks he is somebody that deserves money we might.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
11:47 am

Dwayne – As long as the cone doesn’t have Sutton written on it.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
11:50 am

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:52 am

Haha, Good game though…;)

Tom

July 2nd, 2010
11:55 am

Okay, this is going to be dumb. Really dumb. But, I have to throw it out there.

The Thrashers have a bunch of money available against the cap right now.

Ilya Kovalchuk has just realized that his market worth is no where near what his agent promised him.

What if the Thrashers came over the top and offered 8.5 mm a year for 5 years to Ilya.

It is not the deal that he wanted, but he has his house here. His wife is happy here. He could reclaim the high ground saying he really did like it here.

The team is built right now so that he would be much more effective as we have the size in the middle and the strength to back him up.

And we would get 40-50 goals a season while selling a hell of a lot more tickets. The Thrashers would make their money back in 2 weeks with ticket sales.

Again, it is dumb, but intriguing as hell.

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:56 am

Jack – Who you going for at 2:30? Uruguay or Ghana??

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
11:57 am

Congratulations to Mrs Spud :) and to you too buddy!

Lee

July 2nd, 2010
11:58 am

Tom – I think it’s a good plan, but I have to say, I kind of like it without Kovy. When Kovy was here, everybody depended on him to do the work and nobody else tried. Now, everybody really has to give a good effort to get the wins.

Russian

July 2nd, 2010
12:02 pm

I am with Lee also. Whole team was working on him. But I will be happy to see him here again.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
12:03 pm

hip-thanks for the last post, rare indeed to hear anyone talking about “good moves” and the Thrashers.

.65/dollar for an elite team and .80/dollar for average teams (like Los Angeles) – can’t wait to hear what Kovy eventually signs for.

Stroz-you have been around for awhile, seen alot with this team, more than most people. Question-what would the fan reaction have been had the team dumped Colby, Kubina or any other player at last year’s trade deadline? The theory at the time was to bring in some short term pieces (Mac and Arty) to make a run at a playoff spot that we barley missed out on. Would we have truly been better to have cut bait?

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
12:04 pm

At first blush, I’m disappointed to learn that we weren’t “able” to sign Kubina. Making matters worse of course is the fact he signed with another team within the division — can’t really blame him for returning “home” where he’s spent the majority of his career. However, it isn’t a matter of not being “able”, it is more a matter of not being WILLING — willing to spend that kind of money on a player who could potentially block the growth and maturity of younger players like Bogosian, Kulda and even Valabik.

If you’re going to commit to your younger players, at some point you have to make opportunity cost decisions that will help you not only in the short run, but also longer-term. Bogosian is only 19. The ASG, well Dudley and Co., are banking on Bogo as their franchise D-man for years to come. In order to achieve his potential, he must be given at least Top 4 minutes. And if they are right, we will have to pay him mad bank next summer at the end of his ELC.

With Kubina in the fold, the demand for minutes is greater than what’s available. Oduya, Hainsey and Enstrom can all log a lot of minutes and they can fully expect to play 20-22 mins apiece. But it’s Bogo that will be expected to bear the brunt of the load due to his ability to score and potential as a pre-eminent PP QB. If Kubina is on the team, that cuts adversely into Bogo’s minutes as a PP presence. While Bogo may not always play against the other team’s top lines, we must accept that Duds sees him as the guy who will log the majority of PP mins as well as his fair share on the PK.

I will miss Kuby. I think he’s a class act and good for any locker room thanks to his quiet, steady leadership, sometimes vocal, but mostly by example. But with every loss comes opportunity and it’s time to invest in our young guys and the potential they possess. Kulda showed he’s ready and he will need 12-16 mins per game to develop effectively. And a healthy Valabik can log heavy minutes on the PK unit as well as help anchor the bottom pairing should Kulda struggle at times.

Kuby, we hate to see you go, but the future is now. And we still need a few mill for another veteran forward who can pot 20 goals. I don’t think we’re done — and our cap number is still right around $44 – 45 M depending on the RFA deals — as Dudley said on 680 the Fan “no, I don’t think we’re done” (his exact response to Kincade’s question) when asked about additional moves. While I think he would prefer a sensible trade — cuz that’s what he does! — I’m not so sure we won’t sign a veteran winger for $1.75 – 2.25 M if the fit is right.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
12:04 pm

I guess Uruguay

Tom

July 2nd, 2010
12:08 pm

Lee and Russian – I do not disagree, I was just throwing it out there. I was always impressed with Kovy’s skill but never with his heart.

But I was thinking that we now have a playoff team. This team will be expected, barring injuries, to make the playoffs.

Would Ilya, if he learned the lessons in New Jersey that he should have, be a player that could make the difference for the team to go further?

It is pure speculation, I admit it, but we could have added Oduya, Bergfors, and Comier to the team and get Ilya back. I think everyone of us would have thought this an amazing turn of events last April.

GaVaHokie

July 2nd, 2010
12:16 pm

Well… looked up some Mike Siklenka highlights on Youtube… I don’t think he’s a replacement for Vishnevsky. :) This guy is a jack hammer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UORlJfwWOgc&feature=related

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
12:17 pm

“Brazil done just got red card”

What a selfish penalty. Melo is going to have to change his name, adopt a new country.

The Dutch!

Hip czech, some “blogger on NHL.com”? nice to read, but some blogger on AJC.com keeps writing about sheep, does it make it true?

“However, it isn’t a matter of not being “able”, it is more a matter of not being WILLING — willing to spend that kind of money on a player who could potentially block the growth and maturity of younger players like Bogosian, Kulda and even Valabik.”

Smoothie, nice spin, but you don’t really believe that do ya? If you think for one moment that Waduds wouldn’t have signed Kubina (or taken a run at Martin et al) if they had the money to spend, then you’re just fooling yourself. Sopel in and Kubina out is all about money and operating under the FuffleCheapCheapSpiritSquad cap. Same reason it’s a dream to look at the $10m in cap room we have left and think about bringing Kovy back. Our cap is $50m or so for opening night, and I’m sure the mandate is they can exceed that if they’re in the running for playoffs by bringing deadline guys in or to go below that and jettison salary at the deadline if they’re out of it.

Russ

July 2nd, 2010
12:21 pm

We were so close and then to see Kubina go for an affordable price is very disappointing. If Kubina would have re-signed I think this would have been a solid team from top-to-bottom, a sure playoff team possibly capable of winning a round. Now they are slightly better than last season, a borderline playoff team, pending any additional moves.

Does anyone know if Kim Johnsson has been given a clean bill of health from his latest concussion towards the end of last season? He’s a definite health risk because of his history, but because of that could also be an affordable d-man that is a capable minute muncher to replace Kubina. Could be an injury waiting to happen, but at a low cost might be worth the gamble.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
12:22 pm

With the additions to Vancouver, Bieksa is probably available via trade. That’s a nice piece. Still want Stempniak and Max to sign.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

Congratulations Toby!!!

Thrashy Thrashy

July 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

I think we’re looking solid for a playoff spot right now, but it would be nice to see the wallet opened up a little more to try to make it a sure thing.

Then again, nothing’s a sure thing, is it?

Hockey Biltong

July 2nd, 2010
12:28 pm

Baie goed Oranje!!!! Gaan aan jou goedste kerels!!!!
HOLLAND!!!!!!!

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
12:31 pm

JF, here is the complete article – http://media.fans.sharks.nhl.com/_FREE-AGENT-BREAKDOWN/BLOG/2425395/122899.html

It is not just you and me making comments on a blog…it is the San Jose ‘beat’ blogger for NHL.com.

But, I understand your point, that is just one man’s opinion….still, it’s nice to see some ‘national’ press recognizing that there is some improvement being made here.

Russian

July 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Souray put on waiver. Anybody interesting?

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
12:35 pm

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
12:37 pm

WBF – I fully expected to see Army moved at the trade deadline. Frankly, I was tired of screaming at hime to “move his feet” and “screen the goalie.”

Army had been putting forth a half measured effort most of the season. So from my perspective, the Thrashers would have been better off “cutting bait” and obtaining the lowest draft pick possible.

Kubina, well, that’s a different story. Good leadership, Smart player. I think he was willing to stay in Atlanta and could mentor our young d-men.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

Congratulations to GaVaHokie too!!

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Put Charmin on waivers…please…please…please

Yung JB from Montreal in Lebanon now

July 2nd, 2010
12:42 pm

URUGUAY FOR THE CUP! Plus i love opening my computer in lebanon on july 1st and see this new team.. cant talk alot g2g catch the game GO THRASHERS GO URUGUAY!

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
12:42 pm

Kubina gave TBL the home town discount for 2 years to go back and be with his family. I’m sure he wanted more money and 3 or 4 years to stay in Atlanta.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Guiness #2 now emptied. Still po’ed about Brasil loss. Uh, waitress….

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Souray, nope. Somebody may take him on re-entry waivers

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
12:49 pm

GaVaHockie – That guy has one heck of a right cross.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:03 pm

Of course we have a self-imposed budget! You don’t give anyone enough credit Joe F. You think you’re the only one with any answers that are remotely correct. There is always more to these decisions, especially now with Dudley in charge. He is going to build the team his way with the budget he’s been given. Sure we could have thrown $4.5 M at Kubina and stayed within our budget, but then you not only hamstring the development of the player who is supposed to be your stud D-man of the future, but you tie up money long-term (even 2 years makes it harder to commit money to younger RFA’s and a guy like Bogo coming off an ELC) and make it harder to keep your core intact. Dudley has identified his core, but will certainly want to add a veteran scoring winger ($2 M max) and perhaps a cheaper depth D-man like Jay McKee or someone of his ilk who would not cost more than $1.25 – 1.5 M. It’s all about being realistic and managing all your assets, not just throwing money at Nabakov and pretending your defensive problems are solved in one move.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Finally, a signing! FLA gets Chris Higgins for $1.6 M and one year. The market for run of the mill forwards has been set. FLA v. ATL games could get very physical this year…unlike years past.

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
1:15 pm

I have a feeling someone is about to be called Sparky.

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
1:29 pm

Thanks Mr. Stroz, we think very much alike on this one. I think management was concerned of the outcry had we tanked the season being so close to the playoffs. I probably would not have wasted 2 nice picks on MacArthur, at least we would have had most of our compliment in the last draft. Armstrong is a stiff, he had better get his act together in Tronna cuz they’ll burn him.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
1:30 pm

mirtle Kubina on going back to Tampa: “I still have my house there and even though I had other offers on the table, I couldn’t pass this up.”

Yep, home town discount. Kubes would have cost more here likely for a longer term.

Brendan

July 2nd, 2010
1:32 pm

Joe Friday, I think we all could have lived with 3-years/$12 million, for a $4.0 million cap hit for Kubina. It’s a whole lot easier to stomach losing Kubina if Kubina got $5 million or more. Or at least $4 million or more. To see what he AGREED to sign for … just tells me … that he WANTED to play in Tampa Bay.

And as Ranallo10 says, “In the end, the UFA signs where he WANTS to be.” Truer words …. I wish we could have convinced Kubina to stay. Truly, I do. But there’s something else to consider. Kubina was 32 or 33. Something like this. We’re in the midst of a youth movement. And we’d be paying him until he was 35 or 36, depending on what his demands were, to stay here. That starts to get “risky.” Skills and footspeed start to deteorate. And then, in the mid-30’s comes the dredded “susceptibility to injury” issues.

I want to see how Dudley addresses the loss of Kubina. Perhaps his response will be, “That’s what Sopel is for.” Shrugs. Joe Friday, you said it, and I AGREE, we gotta have a big year from Zach Bogosian.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:33 pm

Lastly, losing Kuby is far from a disaster, even if you view it as a pure cost-cutting measure. Can you blame ASG and Dudley for standing firm when Kubina faded badly down the stretch after Christmas (sure the Olympics didn’t help). He’s big and aging. He’s slowing down and long seasons take a greater toll on big guys who play big minutes with few exceptions (Pronger, Hall Gill? lol).

Take a look at Pavel’s stats for his last 23 games (2/1 thru 3/30): 1 goal, 9 assists and a -9 over that stretch. Keep in mind he was a +15 or so mid-way through the season. GM’s see and know this and probably are reluctant to commit that kind of money on a fading player. Tampa needed a puck mover and PP guy with Foster leaving and they probably think re-uniting with old bud, Paul Ranger, will help Ranger as much as anything. At best, Pavel gets 2nd pairing minutes and serves as their chief PP quarteback. We have three other guys who can play QB and even Oduya is serviceable if neccessary. We could still use another big body, but not for $4 M / year!!

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
1:38 pm

Sources say, including LA Times, that Kovalchuk is holding out for 10 years @ $10 M per. LOL

Who will blink first?

The KHL, if that price is non-negotiable. The Kings don’t need scoring that badly. I’m sure they’d rather give Frolov $4 M / year for 25 goals.

Thrashers Kool-Aid Man

July 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

OH, YEAHHHHHH!

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Kovy will blink first. The Kings are a damn good team and getting better – with or WITHOUT Ilya. They have 3 members of their core who are RFA’s next season that they need to get re-upped. If no one else in talking with Ilya, why should the Kings give in? They are negotiating from a point of strength.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
1:53 pm

Here’s an LOL
mirtle “Based on last year’s ice-time, Boogaard will be paid around $4,700 per minute. Alex Ovechkin gets paid about $5,000.”

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
1:54 pm

I know, I know….
Eklund Flames, Blue Jackets, and Thrashers showing interest in Ponikarovsky.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I am at a loss please tell me what makes Kovalchuk even near a 10 million dollar man. Last time I checked he only plays 50% of the time when he is on the ice.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
1:57 pm

wouldn’t mind seeing ponik here

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
2:01 pm

Now Joe Friday is correct when it comes to Eklund…I can count the times on one hand…shoot, I can count the times on one finger, when Eklund has actually called something correct before the fact or scooped something.

If we are in the market for a cheap D then maybe Morrison (sp?) or Jurcina from the Caps would fit the bill or, how about someone like Brett Lebda from Detroit?…Corvo if we are looking strictly PP QB and a little bit higher priced.

I’m comfortable with the D, give Postma a long look in camp.

Matthew Lombardi or Stempniak would not be bad pickups either. I’d rather see Stempniak instead of Ponikarvosky, but I don’t know which would be a better fit position-wise.

If White were to be waived, how much of his salary would we eat?

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
2:02 pm

I would not be surprised if Eklund was right about our interest in Poni. Of course, he had us involved with Kubina (DUH), but for some reason, his sources failed to inform him that TBL would be a logical return destination. You just never know in UFA!

TableHockey

July 2nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Wow Mark Eaton to the NYI 2yrs at 2.5M per – that seems a pretty steep price to pay for Eaton.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
2:11 pm

Interesting news from waaaaay down in the minors. The SPHL is revamping the point system. Winners will continue to get 2 points for a win, but team losing in either the OT or the shootout will no longer get the consolation point. Rule changes in the NHL – 2nd ref, trapezoid behind the net, etc often start this way at the behest of the NHL (thankfully the 2x width lines did not pass, they looked silly!) Could this mean the end of the road of the “loser point” is approaching? Me hopes so. It have always disliked this rule and would like to see it go. Then they can move along and remove the stupid trapezoid area behind the net (why penalize a player for having a skill, like a goalie who passes well – why not make fast skaters wear weights to make it fair? Same thinking). Then go back to the penalized team serving the FULL TIME of a penalty no matter if the opponent scores during a power play. You want morons like Chris Pronger to cut the dirty stuff out? Try skating back to your bench after seving 2 while the opponent scored twice (or more!)…that’ll make you think a second time about hitting that guy in front of you while you can read his name clearly!

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
2:14 pm

The SPHL is revamping the point system. Winners will continue to get 2 points for a win, but team losing in either the OT or the shootout will no longer get the consolation point.

GS29 - Interesting…but if that is the way they are going to go, why even hand out 2 points? Just go with Ws and Ls.

Cornbread

July 2nd, 2010
2:16 pm

Sopel is quite capable of playing top four minutes especially in ATL. Look who the top four were in CHI. Was there a better top four in the league? I don’t think so. Sopel also put up some respectable numbers and played a lot of PP time for several seasons. That said, I’m not sure he steps it up into the top four and instead steadily anchors the third paired with Kulda and Valabik while logging big PK minutes. I don’t see his role being much different. He is now a solid shut down stay at home D-man who just won a Stanley Cup. He’s not going to dazzle anyone but playing smart D will win games and championships. ATL needs those type of players. A good replacement for Kubina, whom I hate to see go.

Now what are the top 4 pairings going to be? Hard to see Hainsey and Oduya being broken up as they were solid at the end of the season. A similar pairing as Campbell and Hjalmarsson in CHI. Hainsey and Bogosian? Can’t see that happening as Bogo clearly drug Hainsey down with him. Enstrom and Bogosian? Not much better. Could Kulda be ready for a top four pairing with Toby? He’s not that far off the experience pace of CHI’s number 4 Hjalmarsson. I think Bogo is due a turnaround and hopefully Ramsey can help in that area. Time for him to step it up. Could Postma make the team? He definitely deserves a look sometime during the season especially with the numbers he put up.

Losing Kubina hurts but ATL is still pretty deep and solid on the blue line.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
2:17 pm

I have no problem with that at all. Makes total sense. But the point system has tradition on its side, so even though you no longer get the split in the case of a tie, I can see the point system sticking around.

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
2:19 pm

Smoothie: “GM’s see and know this and probably are reluctant to commit that kind of money on a fading player.”

Recent “fading players” signed presents a contrary view
• Derek Morris 31, $11 million for four years
• Sergei Gonchar 35, $16.5 million for three years
• Lubomir Visnovsky then 32, in 2008, $28 million for five years
• Jaroslav Spacek then 35, in 2009, $11.5 million for three years

If you are among the re-sign Kubina sect, which I am not, he should have been offered three years at $3.75 million or $11.25 million total. I thought he’d require more but I was wrong. If you wanted him, he was worth that kind of money based upon the other totally ridiculous contracts that were dished out to some defensemen yesterday.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2010
2:29 pm

Notice I didn’t say “all” GM’s or even “most” GM’s. There are always GM’s who are willing to overpay because their owners are either hell-bent on winning at any cost or delusional about a player’s true value. Of those you listed, the Derek Morris signing looks the least worrisome on paper as he is still only 31 and can still move pretty well and handle the puck with adroit skill. But for PHX to commit that kind of LT money seems a bit crazy. However, Maloney and the NHL realize they must spend some money to remain playoff-calibre. Also, they probably have a bit more leeway withe the Ice Holdings deal seemingly more certain than ever. I have a feeling Ottawa will regret that deal to Gonchar just like they are having buyer’s remorse on Spezza. But even worse. Gonchar plays very little defense anymore.

Cornbread

July 2nd, 2010
2:30 pm

I’m going to have to have a talk with an SPHL GM friend of mine about this. I can understand the two points for OT and shoot-out wins and not giving any points to the loser in OT. But, not giving a point to the “individual skills competition” loser and two to the winner does not seem fair in a team game. Giving one point to the shoot-out winner and none for the loser seems more appropriate.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
2:38 pm

Cornbread – as a goalie, you can imagine that I hate the shootout…and I do. You are absolutely correct – it is an individual competition within a team game. I’d prefer that after 4-on-4 for 5 minutes, have a 3-on-3 for the next 5. If after that, the game is still tied, then that’s the hockey gods speaking and perhaps the game should be a draw. I can’t imagine that after 10 minutes of all that open ice that no one will score. Will happen from time to time…but not often.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
2:41 pm

hmmmm….one point for the shoot-out winner and no points for the shoot-out loser, that might have some interesting legs to it.

In that case though I say get rid of the OT altogether then…you either win it in regulation and get two points or you get either one or no points based on the shootout.

That would definitely put an end to the coasting the last 2 minutes to get the guaranteed point.

Or, go back to the old system of each team getting a point for the tie…play the OT and ditch the shootout.

Rawhide

July 2nd, 2010
2:46 pm

I propose 2 points to regulation winner….zero to regulation loser. Then split 2-1 in OT.

In shotout then they give 0.75 points to winner and 0.25 to loser, but only if the shootout ends after 3 rounds.

If it goes to a fourth round, then 0.74 points to winner and 0.26 points to loser. If it goes to a fifth round, then 0.73 points to winner and 0.27 points to loser…so on and so on…. :lol:

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
2:47 pm

make that ‘go back to the old system NOT play the OT and ditch the shootout’

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
2:48 pm

“You don’t give anyone enough credit Joe F. You think you’re the only one with any answers that are remotely correct. There is always more to these decisions, especially now with Dudley in charge. He is going to build the team his way with the budget he’s been given. Sure we could have thrown $4.5 M at Kubina and stayed within our budget”

Settle down, Sparky (quit laughing, stroz). My point is that this wasn’t a decision that you laid out where they made a decision that they didn’t want Kubina b/c they wanted to give more ice time to young guys, my point is that it’s a internal cap money mgt. issue. He couldn’t stay within the budget at $4.5m or he would’ve done it in a New York Minute. But reports are coming out that say we did offer about the same as Tampa and the sticking point was years, which doesn’t make much sense to me–why not go the 3rd year? I didn’t see Kubina failing down the stretch as the #s you cherry picked showed, and many UFA overage dmen are getting bigger contracts, so not sure where I see this radical slowdown as these guys are aging, I mean he’s not Chelios.

If we were still in negotiating with Kubina when the Ladd deal was made, then that’s good news and there’s still $ for another solid player to be brought in. But if we were out of the Kubina sweepstakes and then made the Ladd deal, then the money is spent and we’re done here.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
2:51 pm

maybe they could have a drawing at the end of OT to determine how to settle the game (or better yet a fan vote…text 1234 for beer chugging, text 1235 for fighting, etc.)

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
2:53 pm

If the shootout continues, each team should have five opportunities to score with the requirement that each team have three forwards and two defensemen take the shots. If the initial shootout results in a tie, each team should continue shooting with the requirement changing to a two forwards to one defensemen ratio until there is a winner.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
2:59 pm

C Vic ajcthrashers Going on Team 1260 Jason Gregor show at 6:25 p.m. (ET) to talk Thrashers. I’m big in Edmonton!

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
3:00 pm

That’s C Viv of course

Smoothie (Sparky)

July 2nd, 2010
3:04 pm

“But reports are coming out that say we did offer about the same as Tampa and the sticking point was years, which doesn’t make much sense to me–why not go the 3rd year? I didn’t see Kubina failing down the stretch as the #s you cherry picked showed”

Who are you in this silly blog play we act out? Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men??

Can’t handle the truth eh? Just gotta refute anything that doesn’t fit your tidy little view of things.

If you didn’t notice Kubina breaking down over the last 3 months of the season, then I don’t know what to tell you. 10 points in 23 games after 28 in the first 53. And he was getting a ton of minutes and you know it. And don’t give me all that, “but Kovalchuk was gone and everything was different” hogwash. Several players put up good numbers and actually improved after the trade.

Smoothie (Sparky)

July 2nd, 2010
3:09 pm

“But if we were out of the Kubina sweepstakes and then made the Ladd deal, then the money is spent and we’re done here.”

Uh, he just decided this morning AFTER the Ladd deal so obviously we were in the running. Yes, we have a limited budget but I don’t think it’s as limited as you think it is. There’s no guarantee Bogo and Kane will even earn half of their incentive bonuses, which is at least $4.5 M total potential.

Just keep twisting things to make them sound better. And by the way, dropping from a +15 in early December down to an E by the end of the year seems like a fairly steady decline if you ask me. And he took Enstrom down with him. But then again you’ll just blame Enstrom for being small.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
3:10 pm

Just dump Smoothie and keep Sparky! It fits your electric personality.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
3:12 pm

Btw, I vote Spark’s arguments.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
3:13 pm

sheesh Sparky’s arguments….not that anybody’s interested how I vote the discussion.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
3:13 pm

Jurcina signs with the NYI….man, what a slow day

Smoothie (Sparky)

July 2nd, 2010
3:21 pm

kracker – I might just do it for you man! Lord knows I have too many handles in all of this technology media, but what’s one more! I’m hardly all that “smooth” although I do like a good smoothie from time to time…the Asian lady at the juice bar knows how to get the job done!

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
3:22 pm

Smoothie, take a deep breath. Good. Now take two, in, now out real slow . . . Nurse Ratchet will be here soon, but let me talk to you first. What we have here is a failure to communicate. But before you get back to work earning my taxpaying dollars (smirk, kind of), we very well could have been out of the negotiations with Kubina before he inked with Tampa. Happens all the time, price gets beyond a point and certain teams drop out. Kind of like a poker game, all hands are in until bidding gets too high, weak hands drop out, strong ones stay to the end, see, so I ponder whether we dropped out and decided to then close the Ladd deal (which Dudley said he’d had on the table for quite a while) or if we closed Ladd and still tried to ink Kubina.

Second, you can cherry pick stats all day long on any player, proves nothing in the big picture . . . want to cherry pick Kovy’s cold streaks and tell me that means he’s lost his touch? I’ll tell you right now Kubina is not over the hill, he will perform well for Tampa for the next two years, and we’ll be worse off for it, but that’s ok, they’ve still got two weak goalies, so I’m not fearful of them even if the good old boy NHL insiders network are tripping over themselves to pat good old Stevie Y. on the back . . . now be a good worker and get back to it, Monday’s the Federal Holiday.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
3:24 pm

Wow…Ghana’s got a 1-0 lead at the half. I cant imagine them as a semifinalist

Smoothie (Sparky)

July 2nd, 2010
3:39 pm

I’m perfectly calm and I’m not a federal employee, but thanks for being such a concerned tax-payer. Let us know if you ever need to file an extension because you failed to report your full earnings the first time! We have some very patient and caring employees, probably a lot more patient than me!

Just trying to provide a more positive perspective to offset the continuous stream of negativity that tends to take over the day to day tenor of this blog. You have great insights Joe but I’m just trying to balance you out a little cuz you seem to have a healthy habit of taking big craps on other people’s opinions! Someone has to be your foil with ranallo in hiding over in Austria. ;-)

Anyway, back to my boring day off. Has anyone signed Jason Williams yet? Willy was simply on an isolated “cold” streak while he was here. He never had a chance like Todd White! :cool:

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
3:52 pm

Much better, there you go. Don’t let me bother you, I’m just an old curmudgeon, I should have been an attorney, I’ve never heard an opinion I didn’t feel up to arguing about. Is Jason Williams still in the league? Mabye he and Chelios can start a roller hockey team together?

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:01 pm

apparetly the islanders have to pay ordane amounts of money to get a FA. That sounds pretty familar of what happend here during the DW regime

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
4:04 pm

Jack: As in a priestly amount?

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 2nd, 2010
4:07 pm

Joe F – truce mate. I don’t really take this stuff that seriously other than throwing my money away on 1/2 season tkt plans! But I’ve gotta do my part to keep the economy going, especially as one of the “lucky” govt employees in this country. I’m just returning your tax dollars to their rightful place after washing them through the ASG’s dirty coffers. There are too few of us to get too riled up and nit-pick each other. Sorry for getting a bit too “electric”, but you helped me with a new moniker. Was getting tired of the old one. Watch Jason Williams end up in Chicago, now that would be funny!

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:08 pm

apparently worth 2 priests and a monk. :)

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:10 pm

Isa anything going on today, any pulse from Dudley. Or is he at the pool with his long island ice tea.

hip czech

July 2nd, 2010
4:12 pm

The Islanders still won’t have a prayer

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:18 pm

true that, wish they were in our division

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
4:23 pm

“Watch Jason Williams end up in Chicago, now that would be funny!’

I find your sense of humor not so funny in this case, unless you mean on the Wolves!

I really think Dudley may be done and that the Kubina money went/is going to Ladd. But I’d love to be wrong on that.

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
4:24 pm

Joe: Check your F-book

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
4:28 pm

Something’s gotta be up…I can’t imagine every GM is doing the same thing I am doing at work today…perusing the blogs and keeping up with the World Cup on ESPN GameCast.

Eklund says the Flyers are up to something big. So you know that is wrong.

We do need some veteran leadership. Thrash are a bit to you. Need a calming influence to keep the team steady over the inevitable highs and lows of an NHL season.

Bill – any word on who Ramsay will be getting to complete his staff? (goalie coach, goalie coach, goalie coach, goalie coach – oh please oh please oh PLEASE A goalie coach)

Sparky (Smoothie)

July 2nd, 2010
4:30 pm

Yes, Wolves. That would be some tasty irony. Not to mention Willy getting relegated to AHL.

kracker

July 2nd, 2010
4:30 pm

I’d like Levenson, scotch in hand, to call up Duds and say “Oh, what the he** let’s spend another 5 or 6 mil.” Even if he is a day and a half late in calling.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:31 pm

Torch would be good too, although its taking along time so I am afraid Torch is staying in Chicago

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
4:32 pm

Hey kracker – to get that to happen, it’d have to be a BOTTLE in his hand, not just a glass!

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
4:37 pm

There is little question that the Flyers must make a move with the restricted free agent contracts of Carcillo and Powe coming due by the 15th.

Edmonton might still be looking to shed salaries because of the restricted free agent contracts of Gagner O’Marra and Cogliano.

Rangers signed Prust but still have the restricted free agent contracts of Girardi and Staal to iron out.

This thing ain’t over by a long shot. But, I think past 4th of July weekends were a bit slow too.

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
4:39 pm

Simon Gagne would look gook in light blue.

I am imagining a hockey game where the players fake injury to try to get penalties like in the world cup.

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
4:41 pm

I am sure the rangers would participate in that game

Dwayne

July 2nd, 2010
4:42 pm

Didn’t sign Kubina??? OK, give a little bit more $$ to Torch, who I thought would be the Head Coach. Where is Max?? Waiting too see where Kovy signs??

glovesave29

July 2nd, 2010
4:55 pm

Heres some humor – looks like the Hamilton Ti-Cats are leaving Hamilton for the burbs (which are actually much, much closer to Toronto than Hamilton). People are screaming about “stealing” their team. Buuuuuuut – it IS ok for them to take the NHL team from Phoenix. Nice. Hypocrites.

Somaatl95

July 2nd, 2010
5:02 pm

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326388
TSN saying that Canada deserves more teams…

Jack

July 2nd, 2010
5:03 pm

Ghana blows last second penalty shot after hand ball. Reminds me of the bud light comercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
5:06 pm

Lombardi to Nashville for $3.5 million per season for three years. Poile strikes again for someone to play with Horn

Red Light

July 2nd, 2010
5:06 pm

Badger Bob

July 2nd, 2010
5:50 pm

Would have liked Lombardi here, especially at that price.

Not to stir up the Sparky/JF battle again, but I fully agree with Smoothie’s thinking on Kubina, especially after aquiring Sopel. If we kept Kubes and didn’t trade anyone at D, then you’ve got two good Dmen logging 3rd pair minutes. No matter what our budget is, you’ve got to be wise in distributing the cash and no team succeeds with the kind of substantial imbalance we’d have had with Kubes and the other 5 on D. I worried back at the trade deadline that Kulda and Boris would end up being our third pair – now, even without Kubes, that won’t happen, so I’m not overly worried.

RL – great insights and perspective throughout the days, as usual, but I’ve got to question whether the RFA contracts at 2 – 2.5x previous contract “rule” will hold for our group. For Little and Bergie, it may be north of 3x. But I doubt we offered MacA much if any raise from the $1.4M he barely earned last year. And no way we pay Opie more than Mason, so a 50% raise should be all he can expect. I’m still hoping the 6 RFAs come in at about 12M total (up from $7.1 for their 6 contracts last year). If so, I think there’s a bit to spend. If they get raises to $14 or 15M, then we are done as far as budget (i.e., no signings, just trades that balance in terms of salary).

HookyBob

July 2nd, 2010
6:16 pm

New reality,… to look down the road….

UFAs still available include Kovulchuk, Nabakov, & Turco. “Winds of philosophical change appear to be sweeping through the NHL’s fraternity of general managers.” So says Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Brave new world,…we are looking at? Extraordinary situation,…the road less travelled. Any allstar willing to sign under $5 M / yr seems to have a job. Those wanting more,….are still unemployed (Gonchar excepted). The salary cap and a microcasm of the US economy??? (I never thought of the NHL an “economic leading indicator”) Could this be good news for the KHL. There’s no timing like “good timing.” (Just ask Obama.)

Ilya, Evgani and Marty may find it hard to save face (or have bad timing). My bet is that Ilya and Nabakov are KHL allstars in 2010-11 season. Maybe Max too? :)

So, is another “wind of change” going to the difficulty in trading someone with a spendy long term contract? Tim Thomas, Campbell & Vinny come to mind (but the list is long). Is the under $5 M /yr contract going to be the norm for the next few/several years? Once again,…there’s no timing like good timing,…just ask Ovie, Sid & Malkin (players you’d never trade). In this respect I have to say the Thrashers are in good shape (swallow hard),…except they can’t even get a “hometown discount” from their own players. Who is our highest paid player today? (Hint,… first name is Ron and his contract is one of those old reality ones.)

So this is the brave new workd? Will be most interesting to see it play out.

Curly

July 2nd, 2010
8:15 pm

RAISES? Are you kidding? RAISES?
No Playoffs = No RAISES!

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
8:57 pm

Hooky-some of these guys are victums of the Cap era, teams like the Rangers love to sign old guys, pay them top dollars to play on the 3rd line or backup the #1 goaltender. But the money isn’t there, just like Malholtra playing the waiting game last year then signing for $700K. See Adam Laroche in MLB.

Any other names of interest out there or have we tapped the corporate bank? (no laughing please)
Ponikarovsky?

Russ

July 2nd, 2010
8:59 pm

Badger Bob – While I respect the opinions of you and Smoothie, I have to agree with JF on this one. I think having Kubina out of the picture moves Oduya/Bogosian/Enstrom/Hainsey one spot up the depth chart, meaning the combination of them will have to play heavy minutes against other teams’ top two lines. They are all very capable second pairing d-men IMO, but Kubina was the steadying influence that was used to playing 22+ minutes against other teams top lines. Now I think you have four guys that aren’t quite capable and/or ready to fill that role. Hopefully Bogosian will be that guy eventually, but to expect it this season after how he played last year (possibly because of injury) is a rather large stretch. I hope I am wrong.

Joe Friday

July 2nd, 2010
9:47 pm

“having Kubina out of the picture moves Oduya/Bogosian/Enstrom/Hainsey one spot up the depth chart”

Bingo, that’s the point.

“Hopefully Bogosian will be that guy eventually, but to expect it this season after how he played last year (possibly because of injury) is a rather large stretch.”

Yep, but hope springs eternal so that’s our best shot for this year (hey, reports say he’s put 15lbs on and he was hurt last year/soph slump, he could step up to a 2/3 guy)

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
10:03 pm

Wow, really, I know we’ve had a good offseason, but 3.8 for two years??? I’m certain we could afford that. jesus. that pisses me off. Thank you ASG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hokey P. Clisters

July 2nd, 2010
10:05 pm

I got out of the cement pond for a while but after hearing vuvuzelas and reading about red panties………I gotta get back in the water.

In other news…..Elrod is a brick mason so he is enamored with our new goalie. He thinks the guy is alot like him. I then proceeded to explain Mr. Rawhide’s hyperbole to Elrod……but I think it was over his head.

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
10:05 pm

And thanks for the congrats people!! pretty freaking cool!! Toby you’re close, enjoy!!!

World Be Free

July 2nd, 2010
10:08 pm

Spud-could be worse-you could be a Sabre fan

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
10:13 pm

WBF, DOH!! ahahhaha
Hey, I know a few of us had discussed Jokinen a few blogs ago. How about the dumb &ss flames, 3 million for 2 years!!! I love it, boogard a 4 year deal!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spud Webb

July 2nd, 2010
11:08 pm

R. Stroz

July 2nd, 2010
11:22 pm

Joe Bob Friday and Smooth Sparky – Youse guys made my day.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
12:42 am

Glovesave, I like the SPHL’s thinking about not handing out points for losses, but I do think they should award the shootout winning team a point. So, in essense, games are either worth one-point or two. My other thought is what I’ve been saying pretty consistently for years now … “if we’re gonna have the shootout, and assign it a full win in the standings, then we have to assign a full loss to it, as well.”

I know hockey fans don’t want to hear of “games up and games back.” It seems unnatural. We’re used to cliches like, “two big points, tonight.” But I really think, especially down the stretch, fans want to know what their teams have to do … to secure a playoff spot. And they don’t want to hear, “Well, they have win their remaining games and not lose any games in REGULATION time, while their nearest rival must lose in REGULATION time at least once, etc.” Nobody wants to hear that, who isn’t a die-hard hockey fan. They want to hear, “we have to win our remaining two games while the other team must lose to either Florida or Tampa Bay over the weekend.” That’s clear cut, and easy to follow.

Now, I hear ya, those of you who still want 3-points awarded for a regulation time win. There probably is some merit to that, but now we all have to be math majors. Nine games might equal 27-points, so long as all of them are won in regulation time, etc. If 3-points ever got adopted, then I support 2-points for an OT win, and one-point for an OT win, with still nothing (zero) given to the loser. In that case, here’s how you look at things, in a more simplified manner. Games are either won for 3-points, 2-points, or 1-point. In those last two minutes of regulation, dogging it won’t guarantee you anything, other than getting fewer points if you win.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
12:44 am

I’m tired from a long day of traveling. Make that one-point awarded for the shootout win, with zero to the loser.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
1:05 am

I know it’s late, and Rawhide is likely to start a new blog in the morning, but guess what? That’s right, all of our extremely knowledgeable blog posters are now OFFICIALLY WRONG on our “Guess the Kovalchuk re-signing contest.” The final two eliminees were FrostyTheSnowMan with his guess of July 1, 2010, with the Washington Capitals, and Bob (Joe Friday), with his guess of the NY Rangers, on July 2, 2010.

And now thissssss :roll:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326429

That’s right, per Darren Dreger, an NHL-Insider at TSN.CA, the NY Islanders are in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. It’s his claim that the NY Islanders are looking to jumpstart their new arena deal, and landing Kovalchuk could just be the cheese they need. He cites, “The Islanders are BELOW THE FLOOR of the cap, and are no strangers to 10 and 15 year deals.” The article says that “late Friday night texting” confirms the Islanders interest in Kovalchuk. And the reported offer is in the 10-years/$100 million range.

Ummn. Smacking my lips. Are the Islander any closer than the Thrashers to winning a Cup? (No, no they’re not.) Methinks this is a Brian Campbell-like ruse to get the L.A. Kings to open their checkbook. In Kovalchuk’s shoes, I’d sign the Islander contract with dissoluble ink. They turn to the camera, as Ashton Kutcher jumps out, “Charles Wang, you just got PUNK’D!!!”

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
1:34 am

According the Philadelphia Enquirer, 30-year old Simon Gagner, currently of the Flyers, is willing to waive his no trade clause. Wonder where he wants to go? Los Angeles? If the Kings don’t land Kovalchuk, Gagner’s not a bad option at $5.25 million for one-year.

Here’s your link: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326408

World Be Free

July 3rd, 2010
7:47 am

World Be Free

July 3rd, 2010
7:49 am

Spud-you beat me to it! Sorry I double posted on this one!

Joe Friday

July 3rd, 2010
8:43 am

“the reported offer is in the 10-years/$100 million range.”

Let’s see, that’s 100% of the Thrashers $10m per year offer, but ours was 3, 5 or 7, so it’s 143% of our $70m offer at $10m per year. We made a long term offer of 12 years, but at $8.66m per year so $10m per year long term is 115% of our long term offer. Who’d a thunk it?

I think this is Ilya’s agent leaking the Isle offer to get the Kings and Devils to up theirs, reports last night are that Sweet Lou and Brodeur are still in there pitching to Ilya’s camp.

Red Light

July 3rd, 2010
9:27 am

Badger Bob: They will try to lock them all up with multi-year deals and Ladd is assured of $3 million or more because he still has arbitration rights. All others at an average of $2 million and you’re up to at least $13 million.

R. Stroz

July 3rd, 2010
9:55 am

Joe Bob Friday – I agree. Greaseball Grossman is trying to use the Islanders to drive up Kovy’s price so Grossman can get a ten year payday.

Since Grossman gets around 10% of Kovy’s money, all he wants is a ten year stream of agent fees at around 1 million per year.

Someone better warn Kovy about the cost of living and taxes in California. Net income is alot different than total income.

glovesave29

July 3rd, 2010
9:56 am

Not buying this Kovy to the Isles story – it’s purely a ploy by his agent. Why on earth would he sign with the Isles if he rejected the Thrash for the reason of wanting to win the cup. The Isles are light years behind us…sure they have a few nice pieces in Tavares and Okposo, but they have been hamstrung in the past by really bad, long term contracts like DiPietro and Yashin. I think they have learned their lesson.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
10:29 am

Oh, the Islanders are stupid-enough to do this contract. They are. “You can’t fix stupid.” Stupid will continue to put its wares on full display. But there’s no chance Kovalchuk will sign that deal. As I said in my initial post, this is just a ruse to get the true targets to open their checkbooks.

I’d love for the Rosen article to be correct, whereby the GM’s band together to say, “We’re not falling for this, anymore. We’re not doing $10 million deals. And really, UFA’s will all come in around the $5 million mark.”

Hmmn, that’d be interesting to see! Wonder how long it would take to crumble? 10 minutes? 20 minutes?? Imagine if Jay Grossman picked up the phone and said to Dudley, “Okay, my client is willing to do $19.3 million over 2 years, for a cap hit of $9.65 million, which is above Ovechkin’s. Deal?” Dudley takes the offer to Waddell, “Don, you won’t believe it. Kovy’s willing to come back on a 2-year deal. He loves the team we’ve assembled. His wife and family wants to stay. Can we do it? Will it all fit under the cap?” Don crunches the numbers, “Wow, we’re flush against that cap, with not much for wiggle room, but our owners would sure like the positive P.R. for once. And with Kovy locked up for two, he won’t be another trade deadline distraction. On the other hand, maybe we could “rent” him again, for 4 more players. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

Relax. None of that is gonna happen. Kovy’s not gonna come back, and if he did, there went the “depth strategy” that we’re seemingly embarking on, and Bogosian and Kane’s contracts have to be arranged, as well. We’d wind up being the Chicago Blackhawks, forced to move players to get under the cap by Opening Night.

Get The Puck Out

July 3rd, 2010
10:37 am

I know, iknow- Eukland says FA’s that Atlanta is looking at is in this order Ruslan Fedotenko, Aaron Asham, Ryan Johnson, and Alexi Ponikarosky in that order. I know it’s Eukland, but it’s really slow right now. Just sayin…

World Be Free

July 3rd, 2010
10:39 am

Alexi Yashin, Rick DiPietro and now possibly Kovalchuk. These potential mistakes make out Zhitnik fiasco small in comparison.

I wonder what FormerIsleFan has to say about this one?

Jack

July 3rd, 2010
12:11 pm

Thats hilarious he coud, go to a worse franchise than ours after being offered siilar money. Go figure. No cup for Kovy

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
1:12 pm

Jack, “No soup!” for him, either. He won’t sign on Long Island. Might as well have stayed here, for the same results.

Alan R.

July 3rd, 2010
1:13 pm

WBF, I daresay the Yashin deal makes our Zhitnik “year of failure” look bad. DiPetero is icing on the cake.

MI-THRASHFAN

July 3rd, 2010
1:45 pm

I love this signing, we got a quality starting goaltender without having to pay the major bucks.

Red Light

July 3rd, 2010
2:49 pm

OK, here’s some light reading for you. Bobby Ryan wants more than $5 million per year for five years. Simon Gagne asked to waive his no trade clause in Philly. Vancouver needs to rid themselves of a d-man like Bieksa, and Mason Raymond could be involved too. Garth Snow and “Hey, Wang. What’s with the pictures? It’s a parking lot! Come on!” are said to be truly interested in Kovalchuk. Or, none of all of these rumors will transpire.

If Ruslan Fedetenko becomes a Thrasher, I’ll personally run him out of town with bad sushi recommendations!

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

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