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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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:

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.


July 2nd, 2010
12:10 am

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

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.

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

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


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!


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?


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.


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.


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.


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


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???


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?


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…….


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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. ;)


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.