Allan Muir likes us… he really, really does!

First of all, if you haven’t yet heard…the Thrashers avoided a salary arbitration hearing by signing forward Ben Eager to a one-year $965,000 deal. C-Viv has all the particulars here.

But I bring you even more good news. Yes…it seems as though the Thrashers have gained some accolades from a member of the press, one who is not a resident of Thrasherville.

Uh-huh…Allan Muir of SI.com has posted a list of the eight teams he feels have improved the most so far this summer. Counting down Muir’s most improved list… No. 8 Calgary Flames, No. 7 Dallas Stars, No. 6 Boston Bruins, No. 5 St. Louis Blues, No. 4 Toronto Maple Leafs, No. 3 Vancouver Canucks, No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning…and the number 1 most improved team this offseason according one Mr. Allan Muir…

Yourrrrrrrrrrrr Atlantaaaaaaaa THRA-shers!

In his recent entry, Muir explains his reasons for placing Atlanta on top of his “Most Improved” list by saying…

“Gone, finally, is dithering GM Don Waddell, replaced by Rick Dudley, a manager who clearly understands that today’s teams need a little steak to go with the sizzle. Example? After seeing the Cup-winning ‘Hawks flattened by a salary cap semi, Dudley flew in like a crow to pick the meat of Chicago’s exposed bones. And while no one should mistake his acquisitions for Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane, he added significant talent along with that winning attitude in Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager, along with assistant coach John Torchetti. He made a savvy move by signing free agent Chris Mason, a reliable netminder who can handle the mail as often, or as little, as necessary to expedite the development of Ondrej Pavelec. He also quietly tabbed Boston assistant Craig Ramsay to take over behind the bench, ensuring that an offensively aggressive, physically accountable style will become the hallmark of this club moving forward.

These Thrashers may not boast the wattage of previous editions, but it’ll be a more consistent and more competitive group. A playoff berth is within reach.”

Nice. But Allan…don’t go jinxin’ us by tossing the “P” word around here prematurely, m-kay?

Do you agree with Alan Muir’s assessment that the Thrashers have improved enough to be a playoff contender?

  • Yes! Playoffs here we come (45%, 65 Votes)
  • No! We are no closer to the playoffs (10%, 14 Votes)
  • Dude, don't use the "P" word prematurely! (45%, 66 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

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Personally, I will say that I agree with the assessment in general. I’ve gone on record as saying the Mason signing was a very positive step in the right direction and that the trades for the Chicago-Four were great acquisitions…and bringing in Ramsay as well as Torch was nothing short of a minor coup as well.

But I’d shy away from declaring the work of Dudley and Co. as big of a success as Muir has here…simply because I’d like to see the final product of their efforts first.

Still to be determined is what it’ll take to get Andrew Ladd’s signature on a contract…if Dudley can get Maxim Afinogenov to re-sign here…if not, who might he get to fill that void…if the Thrashers can acquire an adequate replacement for Pavel Kubina…who we might see as a goalie coach/consultant hired…can Arturs Kulda and/or Patrice Cormier crack this lineup…can Cormier stay out of jail…you get the picture.

Regardless, it’s always nice to read some positive things about the Thrashers than what we’ve become accustomed to over their first decade of play.

Hmmm…would Allan call that the Dithering Don Decade?

106 comments Add your comment

Brendan

July 29th, 2010
12:06 am

Joe Friday, Allan Muir has always struck me as a curiosity. I don’t read his column often, but I do it often enough to know he comes up with some doozies. Whether it were his playoff predictions, trade scenarios, or regular season projections. I’m happy for some good press for the Thrashers, but I think you nailed it, earlier. Unless we bring someone, like a Frolov, and get stronger up the middle, maybe with someone like Zajac in a trade, we’re merely flirting with the playoffs. Now, that’s certainly better than playing “meaningless” games in March, as spoilers. But it’s still not good enough.

I think it was Red Light who posted a link that said, “The line of demarcation for a playoff berth is +20 on the goal differential,” I don’t know how we’re gonna get there, as assembled, unless various players overachieve. Hey, I’m open to that. But last year, we were -22, with 234 GF and 256 GA. To get into the playoffs, we’ll need to be 246 GF and 226 GA. Just to get down to 226 GA, means we need to shave 30 goals off of last year’s totals. I’m not saying we can’t do it, but it’s easier said than done. Chris Mason will have to deliver for us, unless Pavelec has a breakout season. Again, I’d love for that to happen. I think we’ll know by Thanksgiving, maybe even by Veteran’s Day, if Waddell/Dudley has given us a team that can avoid having to concede the season at the trade deadline in favor of KNOWING that it ought to ADD pieces, rather than SALVAGE them, for the stretch-run.

Flagstaff

July 29th, 2010
12:07 am

This division is sure going to be interesting…

Wayne stuck in AL

July 29th, 2010
12:13 am

We’re still gonna need a scorer to go along with Bergfors.

James Brown

July 29th, 2010
1:03 am

Brendan……..I don`t post as much as the early days but We are so much closer to being a solid club than I can remember…………well ….ever…….it won`t take much to get us to going deep in the playoffs……just got a good feeling about this team!

Cornbread

July 29th, 2010
3:26 am

The Thrashers made significant upgrades to the team this time last year. Those who were paying attention knew they would be in contention for the playoffs, and they were. The usual suspects who were not paying attention, picked them to finish in the bottom 5 of the league. They were not far from that assessment but can anyone honestly argue that they played to their true potential or were not hampered by one or two former players? Management certainly does not think they ended up where they should have and has upgraded the team even more so than last year. The Thrashers, as a whole, are are a better team now than they were last year at this time or at the end of the season when they were in the playoff hunt. They are a top 16 team and I agree with Muir. What other team has made such major moves in the off season?

Defensively they are a little different than last year without Kubina. They should not need a replacement for him. It is time for a healthy Bogosian to step it up and put up Kubina like numbers that he is projected to and capable of. Sopel takes Kubina’s place as the veteran shut-down guy. Kulda comes in as number 7 and an up and coming stay at home blueliner. Valabik will be healthy and a force while still being a year or two away from being a physically dominant NHL shut-down D-man himself? Who does that leave out? Salmela, Schubert, and Popovic. As much as I like those guys on D can anyone really argue that the Thrashers are weaker on D now than they were last year?

Last pre-season the biggest question was the goal situation. When would Lehtonen be back, was Pavalec up to the task, was Moose able to step in as the number one? This year there are not those questions in goal. Mason is the proven number 1 and Pavalec has the opportunity and potential to work his way there. No question Moose is one of the top back-ups in the league but the Thrashers are better in net as well this time over last year.

I’m on the fence with Max. Why? Because he is a turnover machine. Maddeningly so (and I am not a guy who likes to say that but in this case it is true). If he comes back and Ramsay gets him to play a smarter more responsible game, great, but I have my doubts.

The Thrashers are going to surprise more than a few people this year. Everyone is used to a couple of top goal scorers and a bunch of lightweight push-overs. That’s not the Thrashers anymore. They are a bluecollar team with grit and punch that will demand and get respect for a change. There are plenty of teams like that that make it to the playoffs year after year. A top playmaking center or scoring winger would be a nice addition. But, at what cost? Add the right piece without subtraction and they may be a definite playoff contender.

Tony C.

July 29th, 2010
4:11 am

depth is great, but I’d like just a bit more “sizzle” to go with my “steak” as Muir puts it. The suddenly leaden feet of NHL GM’s is going to make more than one agent scream “COLLUSION!” if we don’t see some more UFAs come off the board early next week… I expect we will see that, as well as one eyebrow raising trade and several “salary cap influenced” deals… I’m also kind of surprised we have only seen one offer sheet so far.

World Be Free

July 29th, 2010
5:51 am

He’s saying what most of us have said for the past 4-6 weeks, those of us not stuck on Don Waddell getting a paycheck and the 5 year plan B/S. This team has improved, both on the ice and behind the bench. I would have liked to have added a center like Lombardi, maybe retain Max. We will see.

Thrashfan01

July 29th, 2010
6:44 am

We do not need Sizzle, we had sizzle for seven years and it equaled one playoff. No thank you. I will take strong two way play, a team that others hate to play against, a team with a + in goal differential, a playoff team. I paid for Sizzle and found it wanting.

The Real Thrash

July 29th, 2010
6:51 am

Have to get shots on goal down and scoring up.
But fingers crossed.

R. Stroz

July 29th, 2010
7:40 am

I hate to dump on the parade, HOWEVER I’m extremely concerned about the pace and progress of the RFA negotiations.

Ben Eager just received a one year contract that moves him from RFA status to UFA status. Didn’t the organization just do the same deal with Colby Armstrong last season? What’s the definition of insanity?

The “new core”, which are mainly RFAs, aren’t being signed to contracts which put them several years into their UFA status. This type of situation doesn’t show the fans that the Atlanta Thrasher movie Escape from Atlanta hasn’t stopped.

Little, Bergfors, Ladd, Eager, Pavelec…none have been signed to contracts that keep them in Atlanta into their UFA years.

Big Buff and Bogosian could be proactively re-signed, but they haven’t been.

If the ASG/Waddell/Dudley, nickels and dimes these players as evidenced by the lack of UFA re-signings, arbitration hearings, contracts that take players from RFA status to to UFA status, the revolving door of young talent continues, players continue to view the team as “cheap”, and players aren’t motivated to do their best for a “cheap” organization.

Dudley can bring in the best talent in the NHL, however the problem remains the same RETENTION.

World Be Free

July 29th, 2010
7:48 am

I don’t know if Eager is part of the core for the future. But like you Stroz, I’d like to see the multi-year contracts on the table long before the season starts. This trend is not only in ATL, but it is league-wide.

Toby

July 29th, 2010
7:57 am

It’s nice to see the Thrash at #1, but he also ranked Calgary. Credibility is now lost.

DWTOO

July 29th, 2010
8:31 am

Sorry, but, I want to make a point on the political discussion on the previous blog. If you’ve ever read the political blogs on the AJC you’ll know that the’re one big FU fest. Just folks going after each other personally w/o any real exchange of ideas. We should be proud that we’ve risen above that. We have a real good exchange of ideas here and respect for each other.

And our trolls would get chewed up on the political blogs.

As for Mr. Muir I like what he says and am glad someone realizes we’re making progress, but, I’m taking a wait and see approach. Believe we have the capability to make the playoffs, but, think we need to cautious before counting our chickens. And sign Max already!

rob

July 29th, 2010
8:32 am

Cornbread,
Agree with your assessment. This is a BUILDING process. I know Thrashers fans dont want to hear that but that is what it is. Let’s see this team come together, see who works out, and then decide who stays and who doesn’t. “Sizzle” is great, when you have built a solid base first. Let’s make it into the playoffs and get a taste of that for these young guys, show the league we are a legit team to play for, then go fishing for whatever piece we know we need to make that deep run into the playoffs. This year should be exciting. We should make the playoffs and win a few games there, maybe even pull off a series. Either of those scenarios have to be seen as a coup. The team has to get an identity this year and use that to make the step up to a contender. It doesn’t happen all at once. All of the turnover and new faces will have to sort themselves out. Until we know how that works, why get locked into long term contracts that wont allow for change? Let’s see what we have to work with before doing that, then we can more accurately see what we need. Just my opinion.

glovesave29

July 29th, 2010
8:48 am

“Valabik will be healthy and a force while still being a year or two away from being a physically dominant NHL shut-down D-man himself? ”

Cornbread….really? C’mon – that is NOT going to happen to cement skating Valabik. He has shown nothing in his time here. I am concerned about this team if Boris is anywhere other than Chicago (Wolves, that is…not our other farm team the Blackhawks!). Only way I EVER see him gaining a roster spot for any length of time is if he moves to wing as a 4th line grinder.

Stroz – TOTALLY agree about retention. I think Duds is banking on a good season here in 10-11 and that success and a bright future will help to not only attract top talent, but to retain those who we already have. It’s a gamble, sure…but I am much more comfortable with Duds vs. Waddy playing the cards.

As for Muir…I can take him of leave him. “Experts” are so often wrong. Last year all crapped on the Avalanche as being years away…they make the playoffs – the Coyotes were a group of has beens, never was and misfits – they make the playoffs. In MLB everyone dumped on San Diego – look where they are. You just never know. I do like our toughness. We should see more open ice for skill guys like Bergfors and Little (and hopefully Max and Lee) to operate. I think we just might crack 90 points this year. Might not make the top 8 – but I would not be surprised if we did.

Rawhide

July 29th, 2010
9:22 am

:!: THRASHERS SIGNING ALERT!! :!:

Per Ben Wright re-tweet – “Looks like no arbitration for Ladd. RT @RealKyper: Newly acquired Andrew Ladd settles with Atlanta. 1 year deal for 2.35M”

kracker

July 29th, 2010
9:23 am

Great news!! So, is everybody happy now??!! Sheeesh…have a little patience.

BG33Brown

July 29th, 2010
9:33 am

Brendan, +20 goal differential will definitely assure you a playoff spot, but you certainly don’t need to be +20 to make it in the eastern conference. In 08-09 the rangers made the playoffs at -8 Goal Differential and last year the senators made it at -13!!!!

I believe we are certainly capable of a positive number this year. Especially without the one way players we have highlighted in the past.

Glovesave, I have to disagree with you re: Boris. In the month prior to his injury I thought there was significant progress. I don’t expect much this year but i do feel he can be a solid #5/maybe #4 defenseman. I doubt he will live up to his draft position, but he is going to be a solid NHLer.

Spud Webb

July 29th, 2010
9:36 am

I find it interesting that Duds has put together a solid team with all the same resources (money restrictions) that DW had. I mean the overall feel of this team is upbeat…not that of a circus or the laughing stock that we were. All in one offseason, crazy. A solid coach, solid, hard working characters…a genuine team feel at this point, always subject to change. I just cannot understand how DW held his post for so long??????? I love it, thank you RD, as of right now, you’re the man!!

BG33Brown

July 29th, 2010
9:36 am

Another 1 year deal…..shoot. I think we are going to end up with nothing but a sack full of pucks for Morin after next year.

I understand the players not wanting to commit for longer. This season is going to be so critical to this franchise. It is a show me year for the Thrashawks!

Jack

July 29th, 2010
9:36 am

okay now to sign a couple more UFA. :)

Smitty

July 29th, 2010
9:46 am

ATL is going to have to settle for these one year contracts until its management shows and proves a commitment to winning. It needs to show this commitment not only to RFAs and UFAs but more importantly to its fans.

kracker

July 29th, 2010
9:46 am

I agree that the Thrashers have to show –everyone– that a team identity is being formed, that the Thrashers have realized there is no ‘k’ in team, that just missing the playoffs will be the bottom level of achievement for this team for the next several years.

Me, I’m just looking forward to not being out-worked in most periods in the upcoming season.

Midfield

July 29th, 2010
9:51 am

Muir’s piece is really not so much an assessment of the current state of Thrashers, but the post-mortem of historic failure called Don Waddell. His optimism is really based solely on the fact that the team is finally being run by pros, not some AHL level suits (Anderson included in this category). But the roster is not nearly complete to make a good judgment as to where the team might end up in April.

Adam

July 29th, 2010
9:59 am

I find it very hard to get excited about another 1yr deal. As it stands ATM the payroll is $40,708,333 with 18 players signed. They have 9 signed beyond this season with 6 UFA’s & 3 RFA’s. Granted there is still 2 we’re waiting to see inked, Little & Bergfors, which hopefully will be for multi-year deals.

Red Light

July 29th, 2010
10:01 am

The RFA market presents a slippery slope, particularly if you gave up so many “assets” to acquire them in the first place. The only way Ladd gets a multi-year deal is to agree to a new contract before his hearing. That leaves the Thrashers heading into the 2011 trade deadline with no fewer than nine expiring contracts, and a possibility of three more if Bergfors, Little and Ladd don’t sign multi-year deals. Five of the would-be total of 12 will be restricted free agents, but that means if the team isn’t squarely in the playoff hunt, more contracts could be moved next spring.

Dudley fully intended to sign Ladd and Byfuglien to long-term deals when he acquired them, and I fully expect him to keep trying between now and March 1. But, as others have pointed out, this is a dangerous and tentative position for the team — again. Someone has to deadbolt the revolving door.

I’m a bit shocked that Eager got less than $1 million, and that was a piece of great news, but if you want to take a look past this season, only nine players are currently under contract for 2011-12: Kane, Antro, Pevs, Hainsey, Toby, Oduya, Mason, Pavelec and Slater.

If Bergie, Little, Ladd, etc. are long-term core players for this franchise, today and the next few weeks are crucial for the future. I have been unable to find any arbitration award longer than one year during the past two seasons. I guess it’s just not done.

It would be a sad state of affairs if some of the new acquisitions walked after the season or were dealt at the deadline.

I guess we can begin the bashing of those who could leave by calling Ladd…Lassie, Eager…Disinterested, Dopel, Whoreburn, etc. etc.

Red Light

July 29th, 2010
10:03 am

Purgatory reared its ugly head again Trixie!

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

July 29th, 2010
10:06 am

Mr. Red Light – Your 10:01 am post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

By the way, I’d like to have a discussion with you regarding all these “districts” around the world that have been named after you. Do you have any idea what goes in there?

glovesave29

July 29th, 2010
10:08 am

BG33 – I hold nothing against Boris himself re: his lofty draft position. That is no fault of his. But he is a terrible skater – and in today’s NHL, guys of his size need to be able to skate as well as the smaller players. Gone are the days when a slow footed D could clutch and hold the speedy forwards…for those bygone days – well Boris would have been just fine. I don’t ever seeing him be anything than a good AHLer.

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
10:14 am

Guys, wake up and smell the incompetence in Muir’s article. Calgary?!? Does he know how screwed up their moves are? Dallas? Referencing Lehtonen in goal as an improvement? Really? Us #1? lol.

I posted Muir’s article last night as fodder for ridicule. If you think this lineup is competitive and not riddled with question marks (and now apparently a bunch of new guys that don’t want to be here), you’re just not being honest with yourself.

Ladd only agreeing to one year now? You know we tried to sign him longer, and failed. Eager only taking one year at the same price.

Kubina out and Sopel in weakened the d and we are still without a true #1 dman. Mason in and Moose out is status quo compared to LAST YEAR’s goaltending, not better, but not worse. We are different at forward, definitely grittier, but Kovy and Max’s scoring has not been replaced. There are multiple huge question marks at forward on this club. To call us the most improved club in the NHL is ludicrous. Guys, to even equal last year’s scoring, we need huge jumps in production from Kane, Little, and Bergfors. You think any of those guys can pot 30 goals playing against the #1 d pairing of the competition in this league?

When’s Ladd eligible to be a UFA? We really needed to lock him up long term to make that deal look good for us. Big Buf is only signed through this year as well, as is Sopel. So all 4 guys are only signed for one year. Not impressed with what Wadudley has done here. I would have been very impressed if they signed Ladd long term or can proactively extend Big Buf to a long term deal as well as guys like Little and Bergfors.

It’s only July, so I will keep hoping for some significant moves to be made to bring in more help and make this club competitive. If this is the lineup they run with though, they struggle for an 8 spot, again. But they’ll be grittier doing it, which is at least different. I tired of watching the Kovy and Max figure 8/no backchecking show.

How about making a trade for Savard? Ladd only getting $2.35 and no way Little is going to cost us much should leave some room here to make more moves. We need more moves to be truly competitive, guys.

Red Light

July 29th, 2010
10:16 am

Mum’s the word on that topic Trix. I established them all before I was married! Sssshhhhhh

Get The Puck Out

July 29th, 2010
10:27 am

Until the defense proves that the can get the job done, the offense is irrelevent, unless we score a LOT of goals. Would the one year contracts have anything to do with new owners coming in and the old owners not wanting to invest any more than one year?

Red Light

July 29th, 2010
10:33 am

Joe Friday: Tomorrow morning, ask for one shot of espresso, not four!

Spud Webb

July 29th, 2010
10:51 am

King to the caps, no more bullying there. Wonder if Max Talbot saw that!!

Spud Webb

July 29th, 2010
10:51 am

Redlight, road trip to Tenn, week two, steelers vs titans, you in?

Hockey Biltong爽

July 29th, 2010
10:52 am

Throw Muir under the bus.
+1 to James Browns’ comment….

BlueSpark

July 29th, 2010
10:52 am

So assuming Ladd signs, my lines are:

Antropov – Little – Bergfors
Kane – Peverly – Byfuglien
Eager – Slater – Ladd
Boulton – White – Thorburn

That leaves NO ONE on the the bench. Need another forward or two still. Need a fourth line center so White can sit. Cormier maybe. Not if he’s in prison, obviously.

Spud Webb

July 29th, 2010
10:52 am

Maybe we can visit one of your districts in Nashville?? ahhahaaaah

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
10:53 am

Bah! Doctor won’t even let me have caffeine (but then again I’m not supposed to drink or bum smokes off of you either, and we know how well that’s going).

kracker

July 29th, 2010
10:56 am

Let’s see. We see around the league a lot of teams in cap trouble. We have the Thrashers uncertain about the owners, their budget, the fanbase and incoming revenues going forward. We have a new GM, new coaches and we just made a lot of personnel changes. Plus, as always, young players and prospects are maturing.

Isn’t it reasonable for Dudley to want to see who plays well (and hard) in the upcoming season before offering multi-year deals for good money?? Answer: Yes, it’s quite reasonable. Remember, all these one-year deals can be negotiated throughout the season.

Bottom line: Dudley, IMO, is much smarter than any yahoo that lives on a hockey blog, especially me. We b!tch, moan, whine and pontificate. Dudley does.

[All due apologies to RH and C Viv are given in advance, we love the blogs]

Adam

July 29th, 2010
11:01 am

I would have to agree with Joe. With only having rights to Buff beyond this season and the other 3 from Chitown either in their last year or signing 1yr deals what’s to say they’re not already looking for the door? If they play like it’s a contract year and maybe like what they see from the organ-I-zation and then decide to re-up great!

The problem is that the precedence has already been set in Hotlanta. You can coast your way through the season and either get traded at the deadline or hop on the first Plane, Train or Automobile out of town at seasons end.

Alan R.

July 29th, 2010
11:06 am

Thanks, kraker, for being a rational voice in the face of irrational conspiracy.

glovesave29

July 29th, 2010
11:15 am

But Adam – to play devil’s advocate – the precident was set under DW’s reign (of terror) and not Dud’s. Yup, still go the same cluster#*%& of an ownership group, but the team is now run by experienced NHL execs and coaches.

I side with Kracker here…I don’t mind the 1 year deal. I think of it as a chance to prove what we can accomplish. If we are having a good season, I can see opening up talks for the long term. Let’s face it, we have a horrible track record here. If I were a player, i’d certainly take a wait and see attitude!

Smoothie

July 29th, 2010
11:16 am

kracker – good points certainly and a reasonable take on it.

However, Joe F is right. This one year deal smacks of either boundless parsimony or gross incompetence. We traded two assets for Ladd. He is a RFA next season as well. He will likely never get an offer sheet in his time as a RFA. There is no reason NOT to get this deal done for 2 years. Why is his “employment still under review”? This is supposedly the player we wanted and traded two good assets to get him. He should get 2 years for at least what Mason Raymond got…and M. Raymond Esquire does a Stanley Cup not have.

schroeder

July 29th, 2010
11:25 am

I would like everyone to look around the league and tell me how many 3-4 year deals have been signed this off-season. All I have heard is all the moanin and bitchin about how Waddell stuck us with Holik and Charmin deals in the past.Now all of a sudden we sign players to one year deals and they automatically don’t want to be here? Maybe the trend has changed around the league,GM’s don’t want to get saddled with a long term cap hit with a 15 goal scorer,but on the other hand the same guy suddenly gets a lot more ice time on our team that he got on his previous team and becomes a 30 goal scorer and you can talk extension during the season up to March,by the same token if say Ladd or Eager turn out to be a stiff then you don’t have the long term contract to have to deal with. How many times have you seen a player work his butt off when he has no guaranteed employment facing him for next year. I like these deals a lot better than long term as players of any professional sports teams will play better even if only to enhance their next contract and we benefit from the harder play. I see no down side.If Ladd truly did not want to be here common sense says let it go to an arbitrator and get the most and worse case scenario ATL walks away and hes a UFA and can negotiate a better deal with a better team. “YOUR FATHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR MOTHER SMELLLLLLLED OF ELLLLDABERRIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

glovesave29

July 29th, 2010
11:28 am

Smoothie – I figure that the former Hawks have a favorable opinion of Duds. They know him, they like him and they respect him. They figure he would not have joined the Thrashers if he did not believe he could make a difference here. But the players aren’t stupid (well some are, but they no longer work here) and they know the reputation Atlanta has. I think they are kicking the tires. If things go well, Rick can use his longstanding relationships with these players to get a long term deal done.

Let us not forget the cap is likely to decrease to $48M next season. GM’s need be careful.

kracker

July 29th, 2010
11:30 am

Yeah, I can’t argue that the one-year signings can be, or are if you prefer, a bad sign for the franchise’s future sucess in retaining players. I’m as frustrated as everyone. Some people come on here and have their say and rarely go to games I buy the tickets, so heck yeah, I want improvement!

Positive changes have been made. Now the coaches and players have to carry it out onto the ice. Win games and pound the crap out of the opponent while doing it. And if you don’t win, still do the pounding so that nobody looks forward to a game off in Atlanta.

Do that and some of those one-year players will want to stay longer.

Red Light

July 29th, 2010
11:31 am

I, for one, am thrilled for the first time with the direction of personnel matters. However, I also would like to utilize the assets acquired for more than one year. And, if those guys are re-signed past this year, then we all have reason to celebrate. Now, if the team’s track record of inability to re-sign RFAs and UFAs continues, then none of us will be pleased.

The one year deals are scary because the organization’s continuity on the ice is jeopardized and while you can tweak your line-up on an annual basis, extreme makeovers are counterproductive to long-term success.

I think it would be much more positive to have 15 or more of the same players on this team playing together for more than just seven months. If that makes my opinion irrational, then so be it.

Smoothie

July 29th, 2010
11:32 am

I don’t think anyone is talking about a 3 or 4 year deal at this point. He’s 25 and can’t go to UFA until he’s 27. 2 year deal makes sense because A) he earned it, B) we traded for him and obviously want him here, C) he’s not gonna break the bank and D) you don’t have a lot of $$ committed already in 2011-2012.

So unless we’re about to give Little and Bergfors 4 or 5 year deals worth in upwards of $10 – 12 M each, what’s the problem with 2?

Now we gotta go through this whole stupid charade next summer.

Dwayne

July 29th, 2010
11:35 am

Adam…Planes, Trains or Automobiles…Martin/Candy…funny stuff.