Is there a For Sale sign in Thrasherville’s front yard?

Is there a For Sale sign posted up in Thrasherville’s front yard? Well, according to John Kincade, co-host of the Buck and Kincade Show air weekday afternoons on the Thrashers flagship station 680AM the Fan, the answer is “yes”.

Last Thursday he made it known on on-air that he is quite certain that the Atlanta Spirit, LLC will field offers from interested parties who are willing to purchase Atlanta’s NHL franchise. And he expects this to happen sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Obviously, this type of announcement is bound to raise an eyebrow or two around the Thrasherville community. Sure, it’s been known for some time that the group of eight owners of the Thrashers, Hawks and Philips Arena have bee actively seeking offers to join them…but selling off the Thrashers alone? Well, that’s an interesting bit-o-news.

Recently, I caught up with Kincade and asked him about his assertion that the Thrashers may soon be under new management.

“A am confident in saying that the Atlanta Spirit is fielding offers to just sell the Thrashers”, Kincade told me. “I expect them to receive an offer on the team in the month of July”.

As for what type of offer and whom it may come from, he could not comment on. But he did add, “The group that will make the offer is not the only one that is preparing potential bids”.

Now, every time these types of stories make their way around the NHL blogosphere, many jump to the conclusion that any proposed sale of the team brings with it the possibility of relocation. This stems from the fact that hockey fans in the area have already felt the heartache of losing a team thirty years ago. That, plus our good friends from Canada love to jump on stories such as this and insist that it will led to the franchise making their way up north. So it’s understandable way any such news of a reported pending sale is greeted with a certain amount of anxiety among the Thrashers faithful.

But Kincade points out that these fears are unfounded here.

“It is 100% my belief that [the AS. LLC] would only be interested in selling the Thrasher if the buyer was intent on keeping the team in Atlanta”.

The reason being…if the Spirit boys are able to sell the Thrashers, then they would see a good deal of cash put in their pocket from the transaction. However, they would not want to lose any money that would continue to flow into their cauffers in the way of rent.

As Kincade explains, “The current ownership would benefit financially from the cash influx of the sale of the team and being the landlord to the team for 41 home games a year”.

So, it’s still in the interest of the AS, LLC to have the Thrashers remain even if they are able to sell them.

And while such a scenario would not play to the wishes of the “make it seven” types to our north, it would actually be a positive turn of events for Thrasherville, I believe. If indeed the Thrashers were sold alone…separate from the Hawks and Philips Arena… then they would have an ownership that were not constantly having to decide how to divvy up capital between two different sports franchises. Their loyalties would be with the Thrashers and the Thrashers alone.

Also…and let’s be honest with one another here…the AS, LLC has been about as dysfunctional of an ownership group as can be imagined since they took over in 2004. Of course it’s tough to do a lot of good when most of one’s time and money are spent locked in a court case with 1/8 of the ownership group.

And while the infighting of the team’s ownership may not be the sole factor in why so many high-profile players have opted to bolt for the door the first time they had a chance… it certainly hasn’t helped, that’s for sure.

Either way…it’s just been un-good with those eight sitting at the top of Thrasherville’s totem pole.

As such, any sale of the team that rids the team of The Great Octocluster and keeps them in Atlanta would be welcome news indeed for me.

167 comments Add your comment

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
12:49 pm

Un premier!!?

Tom

July 5th, 2010
12:58 pm

I ask that the only stipulation of the deal be that Waddell is to remain with the Atlanta Spirit Group.

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
1:07 pm

So Kubina took a pay cut to go to Tampa Bay. Wonder what low-ball deal the Thrashers offerred him?
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5348502

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
1:18 pm

Does Kovy turn into an orange turd?

Inquiring tax payers for Lighthouse Project want to know.

Does the ASG find someone that loves hockey?

Please hockey gods, make 2010 ASG Independence Day for Thrasher fans.

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
1:23 pm

Wouldn’t it be fun to hold up a sign that states:

“Kovy is an an orange turd”

Should make pregame warm-ups with the Islandturds more fun.

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
1:24 pm

As long as they stay in Atlanta, get rid of Waddell and have nothing to do with the Islanders and the Lighthouse Project I am for it!

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
1:25 pm

NEW YORK POST: Mark Everson reports superstar UFA winger Ilya Kovalchuk could potentially re-sign with the New Jersey Devils today. Everson claims the Devils have “the inside track” with a seven-year, $60 million offer.

From Spector’s rumor site. How much can we trust the NY Post? NJ would still need to do a lot of roster jostling to fit Ilya under their cap.

If Kovy signs with the Devils, should Dudley go after Jamie Langenbrunner who only has one year left on his $2.8 M / season deal?

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
1:36 pm

Smoothie- That would be our kind of deal and he did score for them.

Koasterchuk

July 5th, 2010
1:39 pm

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
1:44 pm

TRT – indeed, would love to have his veteran leadership and 2-way skill.

Also, I read somewhere else that we indeed offered Kubina slightly more money than TB, but would not give into the demand of a 3rd year. Thus, he went “home” for less money because he felt undervalued by ATL?

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
1:47 pm

Oooops! Langenbrunner has a NTC on his deal. Oh well, I think LL would be foolish to trade him, but there isn’t going to be much of a market for Zubrus (way overpaid) and Rolston at 35 y/o making $5 M. Guess Brian will be looking for housing in my old “hood”…Slingerlands is a very tranquil suburban setting! Or Glenmont! LOL

bartdunwoody

July 5th, 2010
1:51 pm

We can only hope the ASG sells out, please, please, please.
This whole looking for new investors thing is a joke. If I had 10 or 20 million is cash in my pocket would I invest with the Octocluster? Would you? Heck no!
If the team is bought by another group please appoint 1 person the managing partner and let 1 person call the shots and not a committee. Or have 1 owner with a 51% stake.

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
1:54 pm

Hey Smoothie, if that’s true about Kubina I guess he gave them the home town discount since that’s where he won the cup.

Thrashers27

July 5th, 2010
1:56 pm

Sounds like Kovy is sticking with NJ. At least we’ll only have to see him four times next year.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
2:06 pm

I don’t believe any of this selling the Thrashers BS. And it’s not the kind of distraction we need at this juncture when we are trying to move this team forward, especially when the bloody vultures in Canada will want to find some way to highjack this team up north.

So let’s just put this one to bed right now so we don’t have to listen to all of the BS that will not translate anything positive on the ice.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
2:13 pm

If the Kovy story is true, well then I guess I was not correct about what Kovy would make with a competitive team. The rumored contract would pay Kovy roughly .825 cents on the dollar compared to what Atlanta was offering. It is less years and $43M less in commitment compared to what we offered. By doing this, Lou is committing 14.7% of his salary cap to our player hoping the cap does not go down in the future cuz he’s stuck woth Kovy now. I have no idea how Lou Lam can hope to field a Cup contending team committing so much to one player and having a team that is very long in the tooth.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
2:17 pm

Not only that World Be Free, but it’s only news when the deal is signed and approved by the NHL. And, you all know how long that stuff takes, particularly when you still have three separate ownership units that have to approve the sale. Sure, it could happen, but even if the sale goes through, what do fans stand to gain in the process? More money to invest in players? Maybe. Higher ticket prices when the team improves a la Arthur Blank? Yes. New team president? Wishful thinking.

Back to the Jersey saga…Parise is a restricted free agent next summer, but Arnott and Langenbrunner deals are up, which frees $7.3 million for Zach. Marty retires with a deal left on his $5.2 million deal, and Lou uses more entry level types. Plausible scenarios.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
2:25 pm

I’ll fall over, if that’s true, because my guess was 7-years/$60 million, by “whichever” team signs him. I don’t know that Dudley wants to do a NJ salary-dump like Rolston or Zubrus. I gotta say it, I just don’t see Kovalchuk fitting in, longterm, on a Lou Lamoriello, defensively-sound team. At least on Long Island, he could skate his figure 8’s to his heart’s content. And I’m sure he’ll come close to potting 50 goals playing that style. But if it’s the Islanders, they have a lot of RFAs to re-sign in the next two years, plus this guy name Tavares, who we all might have heard of. And whose Islander team would it be, Kovy’s or JT’s?? Of course, I don’t believe Kovy will go to the Islanders. And if he does, he’s an idiot, and it was all about the money. At least in NJ, he can claim “1st class organization,” and “Cup contender.” Etc. But if the Devils must shed payroll, let’s not help them any. They’re the ones who MUST dump players. We’re not giving up O’Dell, or Machacek, or Holzapfel, or Stapleton. Or Kulda. If they want Esposito, fine. If they want Valabik, I think I can live with that, too.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
2:34 pm

Rumor is that even though Gagne agreed to waive his NTC, the Kings are not in the running for his services. Would anyone like to see Gagne in Thrasher blue flanking Antropov on the top line? I know his price-tag is a bit steep, but he only has one year left on his $5.25 M contract.

Should we run into trouble with Allan Walsh again w/r/t re-upping Pavelec, perhaps the Flyers would be interested in taking him on as their # 1 of the future to play withe Leighton? I’m thinking a trade scenario such as the following:

ATL gets: Gagne, Boucher, 2012 2nd rdr & the RFA rights to Darrol Powe

PHI gets: Pavelec, RFA rights to C-Mac & a 2011 3rd rdr

Our line-up would look pretty formidable with such a proven goal-scorer in the top 6:

Bergie-Antro-Gagne

Buffy-Pevs-Kaner

Ladd-Slates-Lits

Eager-Powe-Thorbs

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
2:41 pm

Smoothie-0not sure on Gagne, I am more focused on getting our guys locked up long term. He’s a talent no question and would help us if he can stay healthy. Taking his salary also frees Philly to get the # goalie they need, so there is an indirect price to “helping” Phillly.

R/L-tough economy for sports teams, unless you want to get full dollar by selling them to a Canadian concern. That’s why this is such bad timing, if it is all true. Just like Kopvalchuk’s contract courtship dance last season-on ebig distraction which is not needed.

Lou knows what he is doing, I just don’t see tying that much money in a player would is not a complete player. And we know Kovy is not complete, heck he didn’t even light the lamp much in NJ last season. That’s a $60M bet on Lou’s part. Must be nice to play with other people’s millions.

Thrashers27

July 5th, 2010
2:42 pm

Really, Brendan? You wouldn’t want to lose Holzapfel, O’Dell, Stapelton or Machachek? I really wonder if any of those guys will ever pan out. Seems like Holzapfel has been in the mix forever. Stapleton is Brett Sterling part 2…although he did look alright in his brief stint here in Atlanta, but Sterling showed a flash too…once. I don’t know, I just don’t see those guys as the caliber of players you protect. I’d rather see what Espo does in a full season before writing him off and I really think Boris is starting to show real promise. You gotta admit he made great progress last year in learning how to use his size without drawing ridiculous penalties and I felt that his skating had improved. In fatct, he made a couple of rushes last season that made me wonder if Enstrom had grown a foot taller. I have great hopes for him in the coming season.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
2:43 pm

Smoothie, if Gagne were willing to accept coming to Atlanta, I’d do that deal right now. And so would Dudley. Waddell might intervene to say, “our internal cap, fellas. Sorry.” But truthfully, that’s a risk worth taking. A year of Gagne puts Atlanta into the playoffs this season. The risk is, “What if Pavelec becomes this great goaltender? We gave him up for one-year of Gagne.” And we only have Chris Mason for one more year beyond the upcoming season. And really, Mannino doesn’t seem anywhere near close to NHL-ready. So, trading Pavelec is a delicate matter. I’d prefer to trade him for at least another RFA with a bright future. Boucher, I assume, would only be a 1-year deal, as well. We would own Boucher’s right until July 2011, if we thought of re-signing him.

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
2:47 pm

First thing the off-season IS the time to talk about selling the team. Not during the season. And with regards to signing players to long term contracts you are talking about the Thrashers right? When have we done that lately? Let the owners concentrate on getting someone who knows hockey and knows players and then have Dudley and Ramsey run the team. Then that owner can say Adios Waddell!

Tom

July 5th, 2010
2:48 pm

From NHLSources on Twitter:

I’m hearing Atlanta might be back in on Kovalchuk. Not confirmed via Tom Gulitti.

If this is the case then my wild prognostication of the Thrashers bringing back Kovalchuk may not have been all that far fetched.

For the hardcore fans like us it will not be seen as a big move, but for the average fan who only saw Thrashers marketing, this will be the move of the century.

And we have the money to do it.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
2:49 pm

Yeah, it’s an interesting scenario to think about but I don’t think we’ll do anything like it unless Pavelec’s agent tries to hold us hostage. There are plenty of other free-agent wingers out there who could be had for less than $3 M per year. And I’m sure there are way more trade scenarios out there for Duds to chew on.

Also, when it comes to signing a D-man as a depth-hedge for Valabik & Kulda, it might be good to look in the direction of Mike Weaver, who only made $800 k last season. According to Andy Strickland, who is always on top of the Blues’ news, Weaver is not coming back to StL:

“Word is D-man Mike Weaver will not be brought back next season. This guy will have no problem landing on his feet somewhere as several teams have expressed interest.”

He’s cheaper than or at the least no more expensive than Schubert and less penalty prone. He’d probably be effective regardless of how many games he gets to play…just a sold, veteran D-man who can stabilize a bottom pairing. Just what you would want!

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
2:50 pm

Way too great to be true!

Tom

July 5th, 2010
2:54 pm

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
2:55 pm

Oh, but World Be Free, didn’t you know? We’d all be cr-pping in our pants if we had to make these deals. (Unlike the mastermind, Don Waddell, who apparently does them before breakfast.) :roll: Ya know, the part people who like to think that way conveniently forget is … you’re FORCED to spend to the FLOOR. So, like it or not, as GM, you must spend $43 million — your comfort-level be damned — if the cap is $59 million. Or $43.5, if the cap is $59.5. You get the point.

Simon Gagne is money in the playoffs. The Flyers do NOT overcome that 3-0 series deficit to Boston WITHOUT him. He scores big goals in the playoffs. He bring intangibles. If we could lock him up …. Yeah, I know. Keep dreaming.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
2:56 pm

Love Gagne but not sure he’d agree to a deal here. He may have waived his NTC, but I’m sure he can still choose parameters on where he wants to go. He did play for Ramsay in Philly so that’s a plus. He’s only 30, but the Thrashers are still batting at a low percentage of getting guys re-signed. What do you want to pay him when he turns 31? Another $5.25 million or more? Only 58 goals in last 162 games, or one goal for every 2.8 games played. A lot to play for 29 goals a season.

Smoothie

July 5th, 2010
3:03 pm

R/L – I wouldn’t bring in Gagne with the preconceived notion of trying to re-sign him at such a high price-tag. If things don’t go well, he’d have big-time trade value at the deadline and we could re-stock the prospect shelves in 2011 or 2012 with some picks. Obviously it’s very risky giving up on Pavelec, but it’s not as though we don’t have goalies in the system: Mannino, Pasquale, Carrozzi, Freddie P-Wenzel now along with Kangas and McIntyre. Or we could still sign Theodore or Robert Esche for cheap if you don’t want Boucher. The Flyers have proven you can get by without a true # 1. However, after giving up on Lehts, I’d be a bit hesitant to cut bait on Pavs just yet. Just throwing it out there for giggles.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
3:09 pm

No way a 22-year-old goalie gets swapped for an injury-prone 30 -year-old forward in my opinion.

Dudley has repeatedly said he likes Pavelec.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
3:10 pm

Real Thrash, yeah I understand our past, like you I have lived it. I am just looking at what makes sense for the future. If you make the deals, you obviously want the players whre so why not lock them up for the future? We have to make ATL a preferred destination and you do that by showing a long term commitment (I can hear you laughing all the way to Kennesaw).

Brendan and Smoothie-Gagne would help us, like these 2 Chicago deals will help us-right now! I like Smoothie’s proposed deal, just not sure I want to help bail out Philly or NJ (if Kovy signs there). But Gagne is money in the playoffs, that’s for sure.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
3:17 pm

Red Light, that is the question. Isn’t it? Out on the open market, Simon Gagne is going to get paid. Probably more than we can afford. But that’s a good player to have, even overpaid. I think his production has been hampered by injuries. But in the playoffs, I don’t really question him, even if his production is sorta of averaging a point every other game. When big goals have to be scored, he has a hand in them. And can we begin to put a price tag on what overtime goals might be worth in the postseason?

I suppose the answer is, “yes.” I defer to an episode of the Simpsons, where a home security salesman has come to Homer’s door, to ask, “Can you really put a price tag on the safety and security of your family??” And Homer says, “I wouldn’t have thought so, either. Yet, here we are.” As he slams the door shut on the salesman.

Tom, Ilya Kovalchuk has not made a lot of friends in Atlanta since he left. Thrasher fans essentially fall into two camps. (1) Those who love Ilya, and blame ownership/management, and (2) those who feel Ilya is a very selfish, egocentric player, who fired a shot across our bow with the statement, “It’s nice to finally play for a 1st class organization.” To quote Austin Powers, “Ouch, baby. Very ouch.”

I think most people, even those who adore Kovalchuk, realize that he is an incomplete player. If he improved his defensive play, then the money starts to become justified. But what would happen, in Atlanta, if “offered and accepted” at $10 million-per-season, is that Craig Ramsay, who’d make somewhere between $600,000 to $800,000, gets fired before the player making $10 million-per-annum. That’s YET ANOTHER danger in locking up Kovalchuk. He holds the power and control. He has the ability, at that point, to be the Jaromir Jagr “Coach killer.” If Craig Ramsay says, “play defense, Ilya. Or sit on the bench. Or up in the pressbox,” when push comes to shove, Ramsay will be shown the door. The paying customers came to see Kovalchuk. No, I think Atlanta has wisely chosen the “depth strategy” approach for the market and situation they find themselves in. If we go back to being a “Kovalchuk-centered” team, we’ll be easy to shut down. It’s better to roll 3-4 lines, where everyone can notch 16-22 goals, and have balance. In that case, who does the other team’s coach “focus on?” Our 1st time? Our 2nd line? Or 3rd line, that’s putting up good numbers, too? Our depth becomes our strength, and the best player on the team becomes the TEAM, itself. If you follow. I know Atlanta likes “stars.” That’s what people who are not native Atlantans want, since their home team plays elsewhere. But I think, in the end, winning games will bring in more people than star players.

Putting On The Foil

July 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

It would make more sense for Kovy to come back to Atlanta as opposed to being an orange turd if winning was truly his motivation for leaving to start with. That would be a helluva coup for the Thrash, now wouldn’t it?

Thrashers27

July 5th, 2010
3:22 pm

No freakin way!!! I don’t know whether I would be pi**ed, or jump for joy. Don’t see it happenin’ though.

Kovy's a Devil

July 5th, 2010
3:25 pm

He’s signed sealed and delivered to NJ…..7 yrs. $60 mil.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
3:27 pm

Putting on the Foil, it’d be one thing if there had been some “secret agreement” that Atlanta were just renting him to NJ, with the plan that he’d return the following season, with the windfall pieces of his rental in place. I really don’t think that’s happened.

I’ve cut the cord with Kovy. Quite a while ago. And I’d have mixed feelings about his return, especially if he gets his “asking price.”

Hockey Biltong爽

July 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

Bring on the new owners!!!!!!

former AIZer JD

July 5th, 2010
3:35 pm

Kovy is not a Devil. Not yet. They would have to dump a bunch of salary just to sign him for that long. That NY Post report was changed right after it was posted and si.com and tsn.ca have yet to change there sites.
If the Thrashers are back in the mix, like some are reporting, not sure how to take that. I guess if the ASG wants to give 119 mil to Joe Johnson, why not give a bunch to Kovy. But team wise, could it work? Again, not sure my feelings on it. But I think by end of today we’ll know where he goes.

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

Although they are not yet citing it’s officially done yet, TSN is reporting Kovy’s possible deal with NJ to be 7 years and $60 million…which is about $8.57 mil per year. TSN is referrencing the NYP story.

He turned down 10 million for 3, 5 or 7 years to sign here last winter.

Also, the Thrashers offered him $100 million over 12 years…which would have been right at the same money he is reported to be agreeing to with the Devils but for almost twice the amount of time.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
3:40 pm

TSN.CA reports that Kovalchuk is “on the verge” of signing of signing with the Devils, but that it wasn’t a done deal, just yet.

Also at that site, I found this nugget, about Ladd opting for salary arbitration. http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326656. The hightlights of which are this: Arbitration cases will be heard between July 20th and August 5th in Toronto. A player can still sign or agree to a new deal with his team up until the arbitrator’s ruling. Both Ladd and Raymond could be awarded as much as $3 million per season, which would be a substantial raise on what they earned last season. Ladd made $1.65 million while helping the Chicago Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup before being traded to the Thrashers in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a draft pick.

I don’t necessarily take this as a sign Ladd wants to leave Atlanta, especially after reading Chris Vivlamore’s article. But I do see it as his agent looking at Atlanta’s cap and thinking, “They’ve got the money to give you a raise, Mr. Ladd. Let’s opt for arbitration.”

former AIZer JD

July 5th, 2010
3:41 pm

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
3:44 pm

World B Free-You’ve got that right! But are we expecting the team to do more in terms of contract length than before? And with regards to making Atlanta a destination most players want to win and is that something we can offer right now? Braves are having the same problem now after being the place to play.

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
3:45 pm

I don’t believe any of this selling the Thrashers BS. And it’s not the kind of distraction we need at this juncture when we are trying to move this team forward, especially when the bloody vultures in Canada will want to find some way to highjack this team up north.

WBF – Actually, if indeed such talks are being made…I’d much rather them do it now than the middle of the season. As for the “make it seven” types, well…it doesn’t matter what does or doesn’t happen when it come to them. As long as Atlanta remains below the Mason-Dixon line, they will always chirp about the team moving. I simply choose to ignore them.

Bill, That TSN report was based on the original NY Post report

former AIZer JD – Yup…as was cited. BTW, how ya been?

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
3:46 pm

And about Ladd this was my comment at the time of the trade. Will we sign him to a one year deal or make a longterm contract offer. World B, this is where the rubber meets the road. This will offer insight into the teams’s mindset.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
3:59 pm

A cap hit of $8.571 million for Kovalchuk, in his prime years of 27-33 could well turn out to be worth it for the Devils. I just hope, for their sakes, he plays defense.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
4:04 pm

You are correct Mr. Rawhide, I just got tired to the sell talks last season and was glad to have them set aside. You guys are all correct in your statements that it is better to have the talks now then during the campaign.

Real Thrash-winning does make things easier. I am glad you brought up the Braves, once a premier destination for free agents, they had to grossly overpay Derek Lowe to get him to come here. He is nowhere near the best pitcher on this staff, paid $15M/season to pitch batting practice for th eopposing teams.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:04 pm

Rawhide, if Atlanta cannot come to terms with Pavelec, or opt to trade him, however unrealistic that seems, would you want 34-year Jose Theodore? Would $3.1 million be an acceptable price for him, in your view? And would you feel good about Mason-Theodore in the Atlanta nets? (It’s just blog for speculation, nobody’s saying anything of the sort is happening, or even might happen. We bounce ideas here. That’s all.)

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
4:07 pm

Brendan: The reason he filed for arbitration is only if the Thrashers don’t meet his demands, he is “protected” in getting the money he feels entitled to. Nothing else should be read into it. I doubt they’ve even discussed a contract yet, as Ladd’s first day home in BC was two days ago. It’s commonplace for all players to do so. Fleischmann filed in Washington today as well. There’s just one hour left to file for arbitration.

The Real Thrash

July 5th, 2010
4:10 pm

World B-on point let’s see what the team does now in regards to contracts to make us that destination. Winning cures all ills.
I’M out!

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:17 pm

Red Light, so let me ask you, “Do you think Ladd is worth $3.0 million?”

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
4:18 pm

Rawhide, if Atlanta cannot come to terms with Pavelec, or opt to trade him, however unrealistic that seems, would you want 34-year Jose Theodore? Would $3.1 million be an acceptable price for him, in your view?

Brendan – Hmmmm….that would mean spending about $4.5 milion or so next season on goalkeeping. That’s not a “high” amount to be honest…but I would rather take that money and see about getting another winger or top-line defenseman in here.

If Opie were out of the piture, I’d had no issues giving Mannino a chance to prove whether or not he could handle backup role here.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:24 pm

The RealThrash, WBF, Smoothie, if this team wins 10 games in October, or even 8, with a winning record, people will start buying tickets in November. It’s that, or they’re not really interested in hockey. Or, they can’t afford it, which is something I think everyone can forgive in shaky economic times. Sporting events reflect “discretionary” income, and not say, “a substitute for paying the mortgage.” That’s the line of demarcation between a fan and a fanatic.

I expect Ladd in the lineup in October. I expect Little, Bergfors, Eager, and Pavelec to be there, too. I hope we’re not done spending, just re-signing these players.

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
4:31 pm

Guess Kovy found out no one wanted him at 10 million/year.

Reality Check, skating on ice is easier than walking on water.

However, I still haven’t ruled out the “ultimate rental” thesis.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:34 pm

Rawhide, I still think we lack a true, Tier I center. And a true Tier I defender. With Kubina gone, we must look to 3rd overall pick, Zach Bogosian, to evolve into that guy. And then, we must ask Oduya, Enstrom, Hainsey, and Valabik to step up what’s expected of them, as well. It’s up the Spirit to spend the money. And to do that, post Joe Johnson re-signing.

Tom

July 5th, 2010
4:36 pm

Brendan

I agree the smart move is not to sign Kovalchuk from a team point of view. However, no has accused the Spirit Organization of being smart.

They are in a sh– storm financially. They need to build up the in arena revenue quickly as they are loosing too much money for the partnership to endure. That is why the Hail Mary on the Hawks side with Joe Johnson and the potential for Ilya Kovalchuk.

Making the team better will fall secondary to selling tickets and saving face. Remember that all ownership decisions are coming out of a committee of fractious and scared owners. These are the sons of power who made their money though connections. Now they are the suckers at the table in the NHL and NBA.

The smart move for the team would not to sign Ilya. When has the team actually made the smart move.

Again, as I have said before, this is still a long shot. But I could see the Thrashers coming in over the top to get Ilya.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:38 pm

Now, now, R.Stroz. The Islanders wanted him, allegedly, at that price. Stupid is as stupid does, I suppose. In a market like New York, it’d be a gamble for the Isles, but it could pay off, too. Grossman was quick to leak that offer. I think the L.A. Kings should continue to spend, however. If they’re not looking at Simon Gagne, why aren’t they??? They’re not signing Kovalchuk, reportedly. They have lots of room.

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
4:41 pm

Brendan – As for centers, I have no issues with Antropov, Peverley, Slater and Comier there. Then Little, Bergfors, Kane and Byfuglien would be on the top two lines as wingers. That would leave us with Ladd and Thorburn on the third line with Slates and Eager and MacArthur with Comier on the 4th line.

Given that scenario, I’d like to see Dudley upgrade MacArthur…possibly with an Artyukhin re-signing.

BTW…yes, you see that correctly. My lines assume a “White-out” scenario in Atlanta.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
4:43 pm

Brendan: Worth $3 million? He’s only 24, has won two Cups, still has offensive upside with the right linemates. Maybe not, but that’s going to be the price. The question is, will he accept a deal longer than 3 years so he can’t leave as a UFA when he turns 27?

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
4:53 pm

Tom, that’s true. They’re not known as the “Octotards” because they are all members of Mensa, in good standing. Let’s see if they have to good sense to listen to Dudley, for recommendations that will make a real difference versus simply adhering to an internal budget.

Let’s not lose sight of something here, folks. If the attendance picks up this year, the Thrashers “revenue-sharing dollars” will go from $14 million back to $17 million, if not MORE. If the cap is $59.5 million, then the floor is $43.5 million. Add $17 million to that figure. What do you get? I come up with $60.5 million. Or, said another way, enough to spend to the MAX CAP LIMIT, if they so chose to. Now, I do realize that there are other expenses besides player salary. There’s staff salaries, coaches, scouts, ticket takers, ticket reps, and TRAVEL. I’m probably something else out. Mea culpa. But the point is, $17 million, with attending in the 13,500 range, offsets some of this salary expenditure, if they so chose to do it. I had hoped that the Thrashers 2010-11 budget would be $55 million, including the bonuses for Kane and Bogosian.

Midfield

July 5th, 2010
5:02 pm

Brendan, are you sure Grossman is still Kovalchuk’s agent? I saw somewhere in the wilderness of the world wide hockey web that he’d ditched Grossman in favor of someone with a Russian name. Of course, it may be just a rumor.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
5:07 pm

Red Light, in Ladd’s shoes, would you sign any longer than your RFA eligibility, with Atlanta? It might turn out to be a one-year deal. But, who knows.

Rawhide, I think Antrov and Peverley are fine players. But is either a true Tier I center? Cormier might become something in the future. I see Bryan Little as a natural Center, moreso than a winger. And I see Antropov moreso as a winger, than as a Center. Teams that go far in the playoffs … are usually strong up the middle, with top flight talent. I don’t mean to belittle Antropov or Peverley, but are they in the category of the true Tier I centers of the league?

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
5:07 pm

I thought this was the off-season?

On a lighter note, right before dinner Mrs. WBF asked “why don’t you get away from the computer for while?” I think she had had enough of the blogging marathon for one day.

Midfield

July 5th, 2010
5:09 pm

…not to mention the tax write off, Brendan. All these big companies they write off everything. They do, and they’re the ones writing it off.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
5:12 pm

Midfield, I’d heard nothing of that. But deep down, GOD HOW I HOPE IT’S TRUE!!! Hasn’t Jay Grossman done ENOUGH to the Thrashers? The sweetest plum would be … that after all that posturing … he didn’t so much as collect a nickel!! HAHAHAHAHA. Exhales, with a sigh. Thanks, Midfield. Your post might have been the happiest part of my day.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
5:15 pm

WBF, I will join you, in getting out and away from the computer for a while. Though, I have really enjoyed the chatter today. Great job, everybody. I’ll peek, sometime before bed, to see if Kovy to NJ has become “officially official.”

Midfield

July 5th, 2010
5:16 pm

Let’s wait for the confirmation first, shall we?

Tom

July 5th, 2010
5:22 pm

Kevin Allen is reporting Bob Probert died today. He was on his boat and collapsed.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
5:23 pm

Sad news to pass along, if no one else has, former Red Wings and Blackhawks forward Bob Probert has died at the age of 45 today.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
5:24 pm

Brett Clark signs for two years at $3 million per season in Tampa Bay.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
5:25 pm

Good healthy talk, led by our leader Mr. Rawhide. Just saw the twitter on Bob Probert too, Probert and Willy Huber in the same week, gone way too soon.

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
5:44 pm

According to Ben Wright, two more Thrashers have filed for arbitration, Ben Eager and Clarke MacArthur. All previous filers for arbitration came to terms before a hearing.

Alan R.

July 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

Wonder what low-ball deal the Thrashers offerred him?

Try the “hometown discount” deal that Tampa Bay offered, instead of concentrating on what “low ball” off the Thrashers may or may not have made. Consider, for instance, that Kubina still owns his house in Tampa Bay.

Things are not always about the Thrashers, you know. It would do people well to understand this.

Putting On The Foil

July 5th, 2010
6:41 pm

While I threw my comments out there playing devil’s advocate concerning Kovy, I personally have moved on and feel the team is headed in a more positive direction. Still, I think most fans, knowing how exciting and how more a complete a player Kovy could have been in Atlanta, have a deep seated wish that Kovy could be a part of this moving forward process as a piece instead of the centerpiece.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
7:08 pm

Kovalchuk’s Russian agent is Yury Nikolaev.

Eklund is so much fun to read, don’t you just wonder sometimes if he writes some things just to mess with people? The dominos are falling!!!!! Brett Clark for $3M/season? My equipment is still pretty good, I wonder how much I can get if that stiff can get $3M?

Rawhide

July 5th, 2010
7:13 pm

Rawhide, I think Antrov and Peverley are fine players. But is either a true Tier I center?

Brendan – I see it this way…I’m not really concerned anymore about players being labled a “top-line center” or “top-line winger”. What I’m more concerned with are two/three productive lines.

If you put Antropov between, say, Bergfors and Byfuglien…then Peverley between Kane and Little…then ya got two good lines, regardless of which one you lable “number one” and “number two”.

If Afinogenov were to re-sign, then you could run Bergie-Antro-Max…Kaner-Pevs-Buff…Ladd-Slater-Little. There ya got three decent lines.

So again, I’m looking more at how many good lines we can run and less about a “true top-line center”.

Thrashers27

July 5th, 2010
7:25 pm

The lack of talent on the right wing makes one wonder if Antro may find himself moved over to the RW. If either Espo, Burmistrov or Cormier prove themselves NHL ready this season that may well be a possibility.

Hopefully, Little has gotten over his sophomore slump and will light it up this coming season, but if he doesn’t return to the form of his rookie year we’re hurting on the the right side.

Not Blind

July 5th, 2010
7:35 pm

I don’t think you can make money with the Thrashers unless you also own the arena. Even the Caps owner Leonsis is losing money. Once he gets to buy the other user of the arena AND the arena rights he will start to make money.

I think the Octocluster is playing a shellgame with the money. They ain’t losing what they are saying they are losing or they would have sold the whole thing already. They are just looking for a rich dumbass or group of DA’s to buy just the Thrashers.

former AIZer JD

July 5th, 2010
7:40 pm

Doing well Mr. Tiller thanks for asking..
I was not questioning your source, simply pointing out that I don’t think the Devils have come to terms with Kovy. I think that TSN and others have jumped the gun on this because of that original erronious NYP story which was changed immediately. They originally said it was a done deal, then quickly changed it to Devils being frontrunners.
Just strange that nothing has been “finalized” yet, when according to the agent it would happen today. I just have a feeling the Devils will not be the final destination when it’s all said and done.

goose

July 5th, 2010
7:44 pm

cap geek has stapleton as a UFA

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
8:00 pm

MacArthur filed for arbitration? That’s a hoot. He’s just a younger version of Charmin.

MacArthur will be lucky to get 1.2 million in arbitration.

The Octotards

July 5th, 2010
8:10 pm

Daddy, can we have some more money.

We spent our allowance on our Johnson.

Not Blind

July 5th, 2010
8:23 pm

Re-signing Kovalpuke would be a disaster for the Thrashers, or any NHL team. His paycheck is going to be out of proportion to his genuine worth to a team. Another over hyped Russian like Kovalev.

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
8:30 pm

If Dudley does a deal with the Devils to clear cap space for Kovy to sign in New Jersey, do the Thrashers get Salmela back again?

Tom

July 5th, 2010
8:33 pm

No Ilya tonight from Grossman on Twitter.

Octotards Parents

July 5th, 2010
8:35 pm

You spent all your money on your Johnson and it didn’t enhance anything.

Putting On The Foil

July 5th, 2010
8:42 pm

Thrashers27 -Agree. Hopefully Little is over the sophomore slump and also hope Slater is really finally starting to catch on as in his end of the year surge.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
8:58 pm

Stroz on MacArthur’s arbi-case, I canjust hear the dialogue-
“I stunk in Buffalo and Atlanta-can I have a 20% raise anyhow?”

I wondered when the “your Johnson” jokes would start.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
9:15 pm

Rawhide, I feel what you’re saying. How long has it been since the Thrashers had two solid lines, much less three? I think the only times we had two full NHL-level lines occured during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. And it came with a hefty price, and league max capacity.

I put a link on Viv’s blog on Probert’s death. He was a memorable player. When I think of genuinely tough players, he’s one I list about Davd Schutz, Dave “Tiger” Williams, Dave Semenko, Moose Dupont, etc.

WBF, Smoothie, Rob, Tom, Spudd Webb, are you enjoying watching Dudley play in the NHL Networks “Raising the Cup” series, which debuted tonight with Philly vs. Buffalo, Game Six, from 1975. Dudley just lost his headband. You’ll also notice the tandem of Don Luce and Craig Ramsay performing checkline duties. If you’re never seen play, tune it NOWWWWWWWW. It’s one RIGHT FREKKIN NOW. Take a good look at how Luce and Ramsay worked together, during this wide-open era of hockey, that was the 1970’s.

It’s Comcast channel # 296.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
9:17 pm

Red Light, Ben Eager I anticipated to file. But MacArthur Park, too? Well, as you say, maybe it’s just a move to ensure he gets paid what he’s worth.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
9:25 pm

At 8:51 PM, the NHL.com updated their Kovalchuk story to say that no decision was forthcoming tonight. Here’s the link. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=533836

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
9:40 pm

If you want to see what Joey Kocur, Ed Olcyzk, Tony Amonte, the Ilitches, and Devellando had to say about big Bob Probert, here’s a link. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=533819

R. Stroz

July 5th, 2010
10:07 pm

Red Light

July 5th, 2010
10:35 pm

Lebrun said that Brett Clark got $3 million total, not $3 million per year. That’s a big difference and a little disheartening that Yzerman pulled Kubina and Clark in to replace Meszaros by adding just $1.3 million and Eliis in place of Niitymaki. Lightning still have only four forwards under contract at this point and $22 million in Cap Space. That doesn’t include RFAs Downie, Thompson, etc.

What about Ilya to Carolina? Cap space for it. Babchuk just signed there again and he’s a Grossman client. They desperately need scoring and have 8 expiring contracts for the 2011-12 season. They have lots of young players who can soften the blow on the cap. Imagine the top line with Staal, Kovy and Jokinen.

Although Rutherford said he wants to stay in the $43-$45 million range, remember he’s the same guy who issued the contract a decade ago to Federov that was matched by the Red Wings.

Mere conjecture of course, but interesting to think about. He’s looking for investors and would that scare them away.

Going back to my hole now.

Alan R.

July 5th, 2010
11:03 pm

Thanks for that link, Brendan. Probert was one of my favorite players growing up. Even after he got traded to the Hawks, I was still a fan of his.

Cocaine is one hell of a drug. If it wasn’t a direct result of his passing, I imagine all the years of using the drug had something to do with it.

Jay is A Gross Man

July 5th, 2010
11:28 pm

You Want The Truth, I Can’t Tell The Truth

Teflon Don

July 5th, 2010
11:33 pm

I’m helping Hawks GM Rick Sund at his job too. I told Rick about this NBA center who was a real star back in the 1980’s, and at 38 years of age, Shaq can still run slow…on good days.

That’s my type of player.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
11:58 pm

Alan R., you’re welcome. Probert could put a world of hurt on someone. Smart players learned to duck. Devellano was kind of harsh on him, but in his position, he’d have to be. I can’t believe it was 2002 that he did retire. He had his off the ice issues, to be sure. But when I think of the Lawrence Phillipses and Darryl Strawberrys of the pro sports world, Bob Probert wasn’t nearly that kind of problem. Unfortunately for Probert, he was caught with cocaine at the border, per the article. NHL teams cross borders all the time, much moreso than the NBA and MLB, with Toronto being the only Canadian city left. (Expos are gone, and so are the Grizzlies.) When I think of NHL players with alcohol or substance abuse, for some reason, I think of Theo Fleury first and foremost.

Wayne stuck in AL

July 6th, 2010
12:28 am

Is ASG gonna get around to replacing the replay board over center ice/court yet?

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
12:29 am

Red Light, that’s interesting insight into the machinations of Stevie Y, down there in Tampa. I still think their goaltending situation is not fully fixed. In their shoes, I would have targeted Theodore, and paid the $3.1 million-per-year. I think they’re going with Smith and Ellis. That seems risky. Boston is hanging on to Tim Thomas, at this point. But, at some point, they’ll need to shed payroll, and Tuukka Rask has got that # 1 spot nailed down. The good news for the team that gets Thomas will be … that each year they have him, he gets paid less and less. It’s still a large contract, however. In Thomas’ shoes, if I’m the backup, and clearly I am at this point, with Rask owning the best GAA in the NHL and nice save percentage, I’d opt to waive an NTC to pick a group of teams where I could be the #1 guy. If it becomes clear that goaltending is the main obstacle for the Lightning, I might opt to go there, to be the # 1 guy. Likewise, at the trade deadline, if SJ doesn’t like the job Niittymaki is doing for them, they could opt for a high-priced goaltender, at a pro-rated salary. They’d be forced, potentially, to put Thomas on waivers at the end of the season, as he has two years left on his deal, after this season. Of course, maybe Thomas loves it in Boston, thinks the Bruins are close to a Cup, and wouldn’t dream of leaving? Thomas was not in net when the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers. Who knows how that is potentially affecting young Tuukka Rask, as the long, long offseason weighs on his mind. It was 35 years between teams overcoming a 3-0 hole. It’s not all Rask’s fault, but I’m sure he’s eager to finally start another game.

Carolina, you’re right, does have ample cap space. Is hockey the # 1 sport in Raleigh? Or is it more like Duke basketball, and Wake Forest football? It’s the only pro game in that town, and the Caniacs are loud. I must give them that. Red Light, I can’t see Kovalchuk there, even though they have the cap room. Down the road, paying Staal, Kovy, and Cam Ward … might gobble a lot of cap space. Brind’Amour did just retire. I think Carolina bought out his last year, and Roddy was retained in some front office capacity, if memory serves me correctly. Red Light, I always love your posts. They make me think things over, that’s for sure. For TB and Carolina, they can point to recent Cups (2004 and 2006) as reasons to believe it could be worth signing there. However, players agents’ all have a handle on which ownership is strong and a good bet. Coming straight out of the lockout in 2005, how many free agents would have looked to the Chicago Blackhawks as a good bet to win the Cup? (Not too many.) It took Rocky Wirtz gaining majority control of them, changing the philosophy, climate, and direction of the team, to lure top tiered UFAs to their market. Plus, the players talk amongst themselves. They know which markets are good ones, in addition to the reseach surely conducted by their representation (agents).

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
1:11 am

R.Stroz, way to go, finding the Cincinnati Stingers! Nice unis! Well done. Well done, indeed. A brief existence in the WHA between 1975-79. Sadly, the NHL wanted no part of this fledgling franchise in the 1979-80 merger, that saw the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers join the NHL.

I never saw the Cincinnati Cyclones play in Ohio. They were founded in 1990. The first Cyclones game I saw was in their IHL days, in Atlanta, versus the Knights. Ya know, back when you were supposed to yell “Knights!” during the anthem. Okay, moving right along. I was very pleased to see them claim another ECHL Kelley Cup. It was Cincinnati’s 2nd Kelley Cup in two years. The 2008 club was the more successful of the two, posting a much better record. The Cincinnati Cyclones joined the Philadelphia Flyers this year as professional ice hockey franchises to overcome 3-0 series deficits, when they won the American Conference over Reading, I believe. They then defeated the Idaho Steelheads for the Championship of the ECHL, as 5th seed in their conference. Their coach, Weber, is seeking an AHL gig in Rochester now. Who can blame him? The Cyclones play their games relatively near where the Cincinnati Reds play. Go Cyclones!! Okay, enough of that.

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
1:15 am

Make that, “2nd title in three years.” The Cyclones did not win in 2009.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
6:01 am

Brendan-thanks for the Duds / Rammer / Luce info, I taped last night’s Game 6 so I can suffer later on tonight. I was unable to make ot th the Finals that year, but I did go to every Sabres series that lead up to the finals. Is it me, or do those guys all look like they are moving slow out there compared to today’s game? I remember the clutching and grabbing that went on in the 70’s and through the 80’s. No helmuts and long hair, guys like Jerry Korab and Battleship Kelly. Not too many places like the old Aud, what a great place to watch a hockey game.

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
7:42 am

Always liked the Addams Family theme on the organ in the Aud!

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
7:55 am

Red Light-totally forgot about that! That’s back when the pipe organs were about the only form of entertainment in arenas other than the fans yelling and those stupid horns in Maple Leaf Gardens. The Aud was also famous for the “1-2-3-4 we want 5″ stuff. Smaller venues, under 16,000 were pretty cool back then, they are all gone now.

rob

July 6th, 2010
8:43 am

WBF,RL,
The noise in there was just amazing. Whole place just rumbling with all the fans and organ. Places like that are where you learn what being a fan is all about. You’d be hoarse and hard of hearing for a day or two!!! The pics of it being torn down were sad, thinking of all the memories there.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
8:51 am

rob, R/L-alotta the old arenas were like old ballparks in the sense that while they had faults they also had charm. The fans were alomost on top of the ice in these places, especially before they had the nets up behind the goals. One time, Pierre Turgeon took a wrister from the off wing, the shot hit the base of the net and went past my head, hitting the guy behind me right in the stomach. He was not well afterward.

Good news-I didn’t spill my beer, an Old Vienna if I remember right.

glovesave29

July 6th, 2010
9:49 am

Never been to the Aud…but the following dumps were also great places to see a game…
1. The Arena (STL)…by FAR the steepest upper deck I have ever been in. I was afraid to stand upand cheer for fear I’d end up down below in the lower bowl. I was at “Save the Blues” night when they thought they were bound for Saskatoon. A full house of blue shirts…and me in my bright red Atlanta Flames garb. Good thing I was just a kid, or it could have been ugly there that night!
2. Cow Palace (SJ) contrary to popular belief, the Seals never played there. It was the home to the Sharks for their first few years in the league. Tiny, cramped and with a pungent odor…but a great vibe even though the first few years of the Sharks brought some SERIOUSLY bad hockey.
3. Stampede Corral (CGY) – too small for even the WHL. Had great sitelines. You could hear the players on the ice from every seat. I don’t think the AC worked there, cause I have sweated less while playing!
4. The Omni (ATL) – where to start…the holes in the outside that we filled with chain link? The really thin concourse walkway(other than in the corners), the constant echoes from the pods in the roof? How about red, orange and fucshia seats. It did have the awesome seats that overhung in the corners.

The only old barn left is the dump in Uniondale.

rob

July 6th, 2010
10:20 am

WBF,
can’t count how many people I saw get hit with pucks when the glass was low and no nets. You had to pay attention to the game while it was being played then. No socializing and just “going” to the game….or at least at your own risk if you did. Good job not spilling the beer….and at least it wasn’t a genessee HAHAHA

Joe Friday

July 6th, 2010
10:20 am

“with a pungent odor”

That would be from all the Dead shows in there . . .

Day 6, NHL held hostage, WWID?

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
10:24 am

Glovesave29. Great call on St. Louis Arena.

As long as you didn’t spill the beer!

I’m going to take you down my fuzzy memory lane.

Best arena to have a smoke: The Forum in Montreal
Stand at the top of the arena and still watch the game without being sent outside. The French love to smoke. Last Leafs-Habs game ever before the Forum closed.

Best historic arena: Maple Leaf Gardens
Great bars nearby, seats were on top of one another so my buddies and I used to stand up against the wall near the green and grey seats. Best behind the goal seats in any arena anywhere. Very close to the action. Great historic photos everywhere.

Best fish & chips anywhere: Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver
Unreal. Fresh, hot, even the tartar sauce was great. Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994.

Chicago Stadium: The Organ
Only went once and it was incredible.

Best new arena: Xcel Energy Center
Went to the World Cup of Hockey in 2006. Unbelievable venue.

Best seat ever: Behind the Devils bench in Calgary’s Saddledome
And I thought I used profanity too much. You should have heard the Devils chirping that night. Every other word out of Krystoff Oliwa’s mouth began with “f” and it wasn’t fantastic either.

Underrated arenas: St. Louis Arena, McNichols in Denver, Met Center in Minneapolis
Remember the Columbine Shooting? Games 1-2 of the San Jose-Colorado series were moved to San Jose, and we saw Games 3-4 in Denver. Very eerie feeling that week. St. Louis Arena was a great old venue.

Best arena restaurant: Prudential Center
Ledge seating behind the goal for Rangers-Devils playoff game in 2008. We had upper deck seats, stood in line to get in the restaurant for three minutes. Gave us ledge seating in the first row, just above the lower bowl. Incredible view, great food, only thing was you had to spend $50 minimum food and bar tab. No trouble there. Heinekens were very cold that night. Rangers won.

Best tale: Continental Airlines Arena, Meadowlands
Triple OT goal when Modano scored the game winner as the Devils were trying to wrap up the series in five games. It’s nearly 2:30 am between the second and third overtime periods, my buddies and I go out for a smoke, and upon re-entering the arena, the doorman asks to see our wristbands for re-entry. In my best cynical tone I said: “Buddy, I don’t think anyone is trying to sneak in at this hour.”

Best atmosphere: Madison Square Garden
Perhaps a little biased, but there is a certain vibe in that building, particularly when rivals are in town. Saw the Oilers hang seven goals on the Rangers in 1981, was there for Leetch’s retirement ceremony, saw both Thrashers playoff losses. First game ever was in 1972 against Marcel Dionne and the purple-clad Kings.

Best Pre-Game Festivities on site: RBC Center
Before games, particularly playoff games, the have live bands outside, barbecues, etc. Great fan environment. Saw Larionov score a 3OT goal for the Wings in the Finals there in 2002, and Game 7 of the Sabres-Canes EC final in 2006.

Most hated: Anything in Philadelphia, the Spectrum and the Wachovia Center
But love being in the enemy camp there, particularly if your team wins.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
10:28 am

rob-I stopped drinking Genny as soon as I was legally old enough to drink and chose my own beer. Old Vienna was the beer of choice in the good seats, Sludge-Weiser and Genny up top. The Aud and Maple Leaf Gardens were old, but nice places to watch a game. Glovesave, let me add to yoyur list the biggest dump of all- The Boston Garden. The Garden was small, dingy, dirt, uncomfortable – but it featured the Boston crowds, which were rowdy, glad in flannel shirts and normally drunk. The Spectrum in Philly had one or two characters as well. Those places had some great fans, you did not dare cheer for your team in either arena! Miss both places-that’s where hockey was hockey.

rob

July 6th, 2010
10:29 am

On another note…any updates on Cormier’s upcoming court date and any chance it gets dismissed???? I can’t find much on the web other than the date itself.

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
10:31 am

Here is an interesting item: Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers at Sabres prospect camp!

http://blogs.buffalonews.com/sabres/2010/07/myers-ennis-among-development-camp-attendees.html

rob

July 6th, 2010
10:33 am

WBF,
I thought my own Grandmother was gonna ask me to leave her house when I walked in with my Thrashers shirt…..until my kids came to my rescue and started chanting let’s go Thrashers clap clap clapclapclap. She couldn’t argue after that!! LOL

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
10:35 am

rob-we should hope for such a loyal fanbase here.

Badger Bob

July 6th, 2010
10:42 am

RL – I’ll add to your list:

Seats the furthest posible distance from the ice: Tampa St Pete Times Forum (Game 7 Cup Finals 2004, top row of an arena where the engineers couldn’t figure out how to build the top bowl overhanging the lower bowl, so it just keeps going back and back – though it was a blast talking to the beat writers in the press box in the row behind us).

Seats with the most ridiculous view: “Partially obstructed seats” in the lower bowl in the old Chicago Stadium, with a 4 foot wide concrete pilar directly in front of the seats. The view was partially obstructed only if leaning into the seat beside you to see one end of the ice. Otherwise, fully obstructed. Then again, in a 20,000 seat rowdy sports bar, who cares!

Arena with the haziest air: Calgary Corral. Too many years of hosting cattle auctions and rodeos to ever clear that place up. Plus, no AC (per glovesave).

Arena with the worst box seats: Maple Leaf Gardens. The only box was where Harold Ballard sat. In decor and size, it resembled a prison cell. Serves him right, the cheap a$$!

kracker

July 6th, 2010
10:48 am

Source: Kovy to Devils. 6 years at $10M per.

Hockey Steve

July 6th, 2010
10:53 am

Kovie is like that really hot ex-girlfriend back in college; you want her back badly, but you know she’s terrible for you.

Stay in NJ, Ilya (with your 1st class org)

glovesave29

July 6th, 2010
10:54 am

Well, kraker…that means we can pick the Devils clean just like we did with the Blackhawks. They will have massive cap issues. (insert maniacal laugh)

McNichols arena….really? I found that place 100% sterile. No vibe at all.

To be fair…anything is really great in Vancouver. What a city! I could certainly be happy living there!

Tom

July 6th, 2010
11:23 am

For the old Buffalo fans out there have you seen the book a friends of mine wrote, AUDieu, by Suzanne Taylor AKA the Aud Braud. An interesting history of the Aud and a way to relive your past.

Here is a link to the book. http://www.buffaloheritage.com/audieu.html

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
11:48 am

Thanks for the link Tom-
Lou must be getting senile in NJ, I didn’t think anybody would give Kovy that kind of money. Good for him, I guess.

Bill Guerin is still out there along with Aaron Asham. Toughness is not an issue with either of them.

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
12:20 pm

Guerin would be a good one-year guy if, and only if, you can’t get a younger guy to fill the role you want for him. Limited though in terms of what he can provide at this point. He can take a regular shift and play on the power play for sure. But, you would think he has other options with a top-5 club, particularly if Modano has an offer from the Wings.

Not an Asham fan. Punk.

rob

July 6th, 2010
12:54 pm

isn’t that a requirement to wear orange?

Dwayne

July 6th, 2010
1:14 pm

Lay of my Flyers….don’t make me sneak up behind you, crack you over the head, then run!!!!
Hey, if Thrashers are trying to change image, get an identity, get a little tougher, don’t you need one punk on the team??

Dwayne

July 6th, 2010
1:15 pm

And yall know how it goes, if he is the punk on your team, he is your punk…that dont sound right…I’ll try later.

Smoothie

July 6th, 2010
1:22 pm

Cannot believe there hasn’t been more activity in the way of Tier 2 UFA signings. I was hoping for a steady stream of activity to help make this week a little more interesting as we move towards prospect camp.

Some have argued that Kovalchuk has held up the market, but I don’t see how his indecision has affected the entire NHL when only 2 or 3 teams have been legitimately involved. Unless Grossman is playing the Devils, Isles and Kings like a fiddle while, in secret, he has fielded offers from 3 or 4 other interested parties. Doubtful, but who knows.

Yea or nea, how many would be okay with Kovy coming back for a 3 year deal worth between $27 and $30 M? Not long-term but big money in the short run that would set him up for life.

I say “nea”, but I might be interested if the price were $6.5-7 M. Problem is that would carry with it a long-term commitment…no thanks.

Bluenote

July 6th, 2010
1:27 pm

Vivid memories of the Checkerdome/St. Louis area Glovesave and Feu Rouge:

The Monday night miracle vs Calgary, May 12, 1986 ranks as one of my best-evers. And Dan Kelly’s. Blues overcame a three goal deficit with 12 minutes remaining in the third period, and got the OT winner on a goal by Doug Wickenheiser. The house was quite literally rocking. At least the cheap seats where I was sitting.

I was seriously concerned about the structural integrity of the building in the resulting pandemonium.

What a dump. The roof leaked so badly patrons sometimes resorted to umbrellas indoors.

Smoothie

July 6th, 2010
1:36 pm

Halak deal done. Took the extra year (4 instead of 3) in exchange for less money up front, but his salary escalates to a high of $4.5 M in year 4. Guess they’re not worried about having to trade him later on.

Guess Allan Walsh doesn’t understand the time value of money? ;-)

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

Halak deal could be one of the best the Blues have ever signed. Cap hit of $3.75 million could be a bargain by 2011-12 season. Nice job by Armstrong and JD.

Thrashers27

July 6th, 2010
1:41 pm

Dwayne,
Something tells me we’ll have our very own “punk” in the form of Patrice Cormier.

rob

July 6th, 2010
1:48 pm

Smoothie,
NOOOOOOOO!!!! The TEAM needs chemistry. We are beginning to do this the right way. Why is everyone so obsessed w him?!?!?! He is GONE. The TEAM is better without him. Now is the time to be excited about this TEAM. Kovy wants mad money that will ruin a team with the selfishness of it. He should play basketball with that attitude of mememememememememe. It was nothing but get the puck to Kovy, get the puck to Kovy. I have a wide open shot and Kovy is triple teamed, but I am passing to Kovy anyway. Sick of it all. There is no TEAM with Kovy on it.

Spud Webb

July 6th, 2010
2:07 pm

Thrashers27, i hope that nik is moved to wing, that would mean someone has stepped up in a huge way. Personally I hope its Espo.
Bill, great blog…i’ve never understood why the ASG bought these teams?? Why?? they don’t care, be a great year if someone bought them and kept them here and put a winner out there. I have 8 dollars I can put towards buying the team!!!!!!!!!! hhahahahhh

Jack

July 6th, 2010
2:13 pm

Any news on the signings. Looks like we pickes up a samll forward and defensemen

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
2:14 pm

Smoothie-there’s the temptation to bring back Kovy. But the way I see it, he wanted to be here (supposedly) then did a 180 turn and went to a 1st class organization in NJ. Bringing him back would kinda like having a nasty divorce then remarrying your ex-wife 6 mos later. There’s plenty of lingering bad feelings. Kovalchuk must be tuning into all the LeBron world tour highlights, watching him play with people’s feelings in multiple cities.

But you never know Smoothie, it just might work out.

rob-remember when Michael Peca left Buffalo in a snit, then talked about coming back? Most people in BUF told him to stick it, it wasn’t a matter of money it was the childish way he acted on his way out the door. We all have long memories.

R/L-Asham the punk-true and I would like Guerin as a team leader. Remember, we still need to name someone captain.

Midfield

July 6th, 2010
2:16 pm

Rob, I understand the point about spreading offense rather than relying on a single line, but saying “the team is better without him” is but an unsubstantiated opinion at this point. I’ve read this here just about every day since his trade – until Thrashers were mathematically eliminated. I say, we at least wait until the roster is finalized; or – better yet – a few official games are played to share our views on the progress.

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
2:22 pm

WBF and Red Light, indeed … the organ music was a staple of the game. And spawned the joke, “NEVER PLAY ‘LADY OF SPAIN’ AGAIN!!” in the movie slapshot. WBF, I was remarking that the level of today’s athlete seems a cut above. I think they’re faster and stronger today. Part of that is advances in conditioning and sports medicine, but some of it is the “rocket fuel” that the FDA allows in our food. (Not literally. I’m talking about growth hormones feed to chickens and cow to comes to us via meat, eggs, and milk, etc.)

R. Stroz

July 6th, 2010
2:23 pm

If Jersey signs Kovy, then it’s nearly impossible for them to keep Parise after next season.

I’ve got a deal for Lou: Yous end us PArise and and we’ll send you Charmin and a first round pick.

Time to sing:

The dream…the impossible dream…

Hockey Steve

July 6th, 2010
2:27 pm

I can see Pevs with the “C”….

Smoothie

July 6th, 2010
2:39 pm

rob / WBF / midfield – in my heart of hearts, I’m reluctant to bring Kovy back for the chemistry issues that could arise. However, to say that we’re unequivocally better without him is a bit pre-mature. A lot of it depends on the development of Bergfors, Kane and Little as well as how Laddy and Buffy mesh in their increased TOI roles. I would like to think we’d be pretty damn formidable with Kovy playing alongside say Antropov and Byfuglien. However, the last thing I want to see is 8 mins of Kovy manning the LP on the PP because his slapshot is so good.

If there was some kind of assurance, or just a short-term trial deal for a trial period, that he would commit to being a bit more responsible in his own end and not command encore performances in the 2nd min of a PP, I’d be willing to try the experiment. Nothing else to talk about other than old dumpy arenas with colorful character so I thought I’d throw it out there. Way to gobble it up guys!!

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
2:42 pm

Midfield, I think what people mean is, “We have more depth for scoring than just Kovalchuk.” I agree with you that the proof is in the pudding. And to quote Joe Friday, “We have this little thing called STANDINGS to aid us” in evaluating how well things are going. But if this team is clicking in October, at least a few games over .500, then tickets should be sold in November. I understand the Missouri “Show Me!” mentality. But by Veteran’s Day, at the latest, we should know if we’ve been sold a bill of goods, or if this team has 2-3 good scoring lines and is making a dent in the “goals against” department.

Remember something folks, last year was one of the WEAKEST years the Eastern Conference has ever had. Teams at 88 and 89 points got in. That’s terrible. The # 8 seed should be more like 94-points, maybe 93-points. If the field is that weak again, next year, then the Thrashers should be in the hunt in March and April for the playoffs, with plenty-o-wiggle room to acquire pieces at the deadline. I can’t explain why the East was so bad, other than injuries to some key personnel on several teams. When Boston and Philly got its wounded back, they took off like a shot. It’s not a “usual” year to see seeds 6, 7, and 8 advance into Round II. And it’s NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE that a 7th seed met an 8th seed in the Conference Finals. So, if the Thrashers happen to find themselves in the # 7 or # 8 slot, we shouldn’t start thinking we’re bound for the CF. What we might be bound for … are our 1st and maybe 2nd-ever playoff wins. “Baby steps,” and whatnot.

I’ll consider this season a raging success if the Thrashers make the playoffs and win two games once there. If we do more than that, it’s icing on the cake, and good things should follow.

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
2:49 pm

R.Stroz, don’t even “tease me” with the idea of Parise. That ain’t gonna happen. They might be more likely to trade Brodeur. And, let ain’t tradin’ Brodeur, either. Lou would dump Zubrus on us, and we’d have to give him something for him. Why oh why can’t the return just be, “future considerations.” I see that Atlanta gets “future considerations” for some of our trades. I never know “future considerations” are.

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
3:07 pm

Future considerations?

It’s like buying a cup of coffee and a bagel…and then waiting six months to eat the bagel.

Badger Bob

July 6th, 2010
3:15 pm

Heck no on ever bringing Kovy back. I changed my screen name from KovyRules for a very good reason. Like the comparisons to hot exs and divorces, I think of him like a highly addictive drug. When the Thrashers had him, we thought we couldn’t live without him. Now that we’re “clean”, we realize we’d be nuts to go back to that and how seriously unhealth it was.

Brendan, I wonder if the guys making “future considerations” trades know what “future considerations” means…

R. Stroz

July 6th, 2010
3:19 pm

I thought future considerations were “forever” postage stamps.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
3:28 pm

brendan-truthfully, the equipment was alot lighter back then too. I had a pair of Lange skates in the mid 70’s, great skates if you wanted protection, they were like 2 armored tanks on your feet. But man where they heavy, like the reast of the equipment of the day. No leather to be found in any of today’s equipment. Nutrients all came out of a beer bottle back then.

R. Stroz

July 6th, 2010
3:33 pm

Last off season, I was in the minority concerning procuring Afinogenov. So, I’m willing to double down. After watching Kovy for years, like many of you, I’m well aware of Kovy’s potential. If Ramsey is as good of a teacher as promoted, he can fix Kovy’s shortcomings in the same manner as Hartley was addressing Kovy’s shortcomings.

If Kovy can be had at 8.5 million per year for 8 years, I’d take that deal in a New York minute.

Hockey Steve

July 6th, 2010
3:36 pm

WBF- My Duluth beer league team is quite familiar with that nutrition plan!

Badger Bob

July 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

Stroz, my biggest concern about Kovy at this point is trust. ATL was clearly looking like a team heading in the right direction as of November, and he got a fair offer from ASG, so why didn’t he sign? He was true cancer for us Dec thru Feb, so even if Rammer could tech him two-way hockey, I don’t trust him in our locker room.

R. Stroz

July 6th, 2010
4:08 pm

Badger Bob – Valid concern. However, when did the Thrashers get serious with their contract numbers..November..December..January? I don’t know.

What I do know is the Thrashers were poorly prepared nearly every game as evidenced by there first period performances.

Kovy started out like gangbusters in October and the wheels came off in late November.

Was Anderson’s coaching the problem, the initial contract offer from the ASG the problem, or both?

Joe Friday

July 6th, 2010
4:19 pm

“Laddy and Buffy”

My eyes! Big Buff, please.

stroz, it’s too early to be drinking, son!

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
4:20 pm

Stroz-right on when it comes to preperation!
Add to this the Thrashers’ inability to protect a lead, especially in the 3rd period. They came back from being down a few times, but they were unable to adapt defensively to protect a lead, leaving their goaltenders hanging out to dry on a regular basis. Poor coaching-that’s why all the coachs are gone.

Buzilla in CT

July 6th, 2010
4:37 pm

So Andy Sutton is a free agent. I am probably alone on this but I think he got a bum rap here in Atlanta. He played a lot of minutes and was a very tough defenseman for us. I think we should give him a contract of like 3 years at 4 Mil. He can take Bogo under his wing and show him what it takes to be a NHL defensemen.

…I am only kidding. Mandy was a freakin’ train wreck. I would buy him for the cheese that grows between my toes. I would like to see my friend Rone have another crack at him from behind glass.

Badger Bob

July 6th, 2010
4:49 pm

Stroz – well said. There are too many variables to lay it all at Kovy’s feet.

So I’ll switch my Kovy objection to “I want to try the depth / no one gets over $5M strategy”

Red Light

July 6th, 2010
4:54 pm

Lets not forget the injury to Kovy and the fact that Russian greed is blinding, which can cause anyone to miss the net frequently.

Jack

July 6th, 2010
5:06 pm

Buzilla nice!!! Does anyone know why Pav did not sign up for arbitration. I am pretty sure he is a RFA.

Rawhide

July 6th, 2010
5:11 pm

Jack – I would assume it means Opie agreed to whatever the offer was that was forwarded by the Thrashers. Same true for the other RFAs that were tendered offers but did not file for arbitration.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
5:19 pm

Mandy is 6′ 6″; he needs to learn how to play that way and stop backing down on fights. We get on Doris for backing down and Mandy has been around awhile.

Jack

July 6th, 2010
5:26 pm

Thanks Rawhide. The last I heard is that they did not like the original offer, so that made me curious. I will also be curious to see if the dman they recently signed is expected to be a contributer on our upcoming season. He has the size it appears but lacks nhl experience.

BTW we need Kchuk to stay away.

Rawhide

July 6th, 2010
5:44 pm

Jack – This is just my personal opinion, but if Opie was offered the same amount he made last seaso…$1.4 million…he really has no gripes. He simply hasn’t worked his way into a raise. The only way he could have run bitchin’ and moanin’ to arbitration is if they offered him anything below a mil, IMHO.

On that note, I wonder what they offered McArthur that made him take the arbitration route. He did little to impress me last spring after he was traded for.

Tom

July 6th, 2010
6:00 pm

Stroz – remember that the Spirit Group screwed around with the contract offer to Ilya and made him dangle for a long time before they got their proverbial Shot together. If I was a team captain and a top tier free agent I would not be thrilled that the team could not make me a timely offer.

You could see Ilya’s play fall off after Christmas when he checked out. I think he got pissed about how he was treated and got short timers disease.

It is interesting how the conversation of Kovy’s coming back has turned. He will never be a defensive player and he is not a great leader. But if you have a solid team that can use a sharpshooter, he fits the bill.

I would never have said Mike Bossy was the heart and soul of the Islanders. Potvin and Trottier filled those roles, but Bossy would get the crowd going and scored his goals. The combination of the 3 players is what made that team special.

I could see Bogo and Kane growing into the Potvin and Trottier roles, tough leaders with great skills. And I could see Ilya circling the blue line looking for his opportunities with a team behind him.

Rawhide

July 6th, 2010
6:18 pm

OK gang…here’s a new blog for you to rip into.

Jack

July 6th, 2010
6:18 pm

thanks again Rawhide. In respects with mcarthur, I guess he thinks he has been in the NHL for a decent period of time and deserves a raise. However I am with you, he has not done much to deserve a increase.

World Be Free

July 6th, 2010
6:27 pm

Hockey Steve-Beer leagues require at least 2 cases of beer in the locker room, preferably to be consumed after the game.

Alan R.

July 7th, 2010
9:35 am

“Laddy and Buffy”

Holy hell, what is this aberration?! This is worse than some of the names I’ve seen people call Valabik! This cutesy crap is horrible.

Hockey Steve

July 7th, 2010
9:41 am

check.

We are one of the best 4th period teams in the league =)

Losing Kovalchuck was a blessing in disguise, I think most of us can agree on that.

Alan R.

July 7th, 2010
10:11 am

Don’t know how many people have seen it, but this is worth your time.