Dudley takes it one year at a time…maybe two

The Atlanta Thrashers came to terms with RFA Andrew Ladd on a 1-year $2.35 million deal Thursday. This signing takes care of the one remaining player of the three that had filed for arbitration this summer. Just the evening prior it was announced that Ben Eager had accepted a 1-year $965K deal and last week the Thrashers balked at the $2.4 mil salary that was awarded to Clarke MacArthur.

Also last week they signed goalie Ondrej Pavelec to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.3 million. Earlier in the month we learned that Eric Boulton had accepted a one-year deal worth $650,000 while Jimmy Slater signed for two years at $1 mil per. The big UFA acquisition so far this summer came on July 1 when Chris Mason was inked to a contract that will dish out $3.7 million over two seasons to the netminder.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

Every Thrashers player that has come to terms on a new contract this summer has done so for either one or two years. New Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley has yet to commit more than that to any player since taking over the job last spring.

I use the word “yet” because it’s still yet to be determined what terms RFAs Bryan Little and Nic Bergfors will accept…plus there is still plenty of time left for another UFA signing or two. But don’t be stunned if any future deals follow the same path as the ones we’ve seen so far…one or two years, nothing more…as Dudley and Co. seem very leery of committing long term to anyone as they move forward with the latest Thrasherville reconstruction project.

So if Maxim Afinogenov is looking for a long-term contract, this would explain why he’s found all offers from the Thrashers “unsatisfactory”.

Now, this bucks the trend of the last few offseasons in which the Thrashers did indeed commit to long-term free agent signings…each one generating mixed results.

Last summer it was forward Nik Antropov agreeing to a four-year contract that hit the cap at just over $ 4 mil per season. I think it’s safe to say that his 24 goals, 67 points +13 showing more than justified his salary and terms.

The year prior had defenseman Ron Hainsey riding in to town thanks to a deal that will pay him $4.2 million through the 2012-13 season. In the two seasons he’s already spent here he’s only missed one game and is a –22 in that time while contributing 11 goals and 54 assists. While he has been a good addition to the blueline, there is still a debate as to whether or not his play equates to his pay. I’ve read comments about Hainsey that range from “trade his butt outa here” to “slap a C on his jersey”.

And then there is the much discussed, much debated and much maligned signing of center Todd White in 2007. His 4-year contract that will pay him a total of $9.5 million will end after this coming season. And unless I havegrossly misread the mood of Thrasherville, that day cannot come soon enough for most.

So, maybe Dudley is just a tad gun-shy to over-commit to anyone for fear of tying another Todd White-esque anchor around the organization’s neck.

Another reason for all these short-term deals may also circle around the notion that it allows both the Thrashers and the player try each other out…get a feel for each other…before deciding one way or the other. Also… and let’s just be honest with each other here…it isn’t as though star players are beating down the door to grab their share of the great Thrashers’ winning history. And unless and until a string of playoff runs are actually put together, the Thrashers are going to have to overpay for talent and/or accept players that are only willing to commit to one season here. It’s an “it is what it is” situation.

That being said however, I think what we are seeing has more to do with Rick Dudley’s stated strategy of not bogging the system down with veteran players to the point where prospects are not able to find an opening on the roster once they have ben properly seasoned. That logic seems fairly sound when you have such promising youngsters that are in the pipeline like Patrice Cormier, Arturs Kulda, Paul Postma, Carl Klingberg, Fredrik Pettersson, Alexander Burmistrov, etc.

The flip side of this one/two-year strategy, though, is that the Thrashers could be looking at quite a turnover in personnel over the next 24 months. Of the players currently on the Thrashers payroll, five are slated to become UFAs next summer and another four will be RFAs, including Zach Bogosian.  In 2012 Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec will become RFAs while Rich Peverley, Jim Slater, Johnny Oduya and Mason will become UFAs. This means that until we learn the terms and duration of the Little and Bergfors deals only Antropov, Hainsey and Toby Enstrom have contracts past the next two seasons. 

As for the most recent signings, consider Ben Eager will only be 27-years of age next summer and if he proves himself worthy of re-signing Dudley will be competing with others to keep him. And if a pending RFA like, say, Andrew Ladd has the type of season many feel he can, what is it then going to cost Dudley to re-sign him next year as a 25-year old RFA?

Given that, the Thrashers current course of action naturally causes concern given the Retention Deficit Disorder that has plagued them for the past decade. Obtaining talent around here hasn’t been a problem. Keeping it… well that’s a different story.

Regardless of the rhyme, reason or ramifications, when it comes to player contracts it looks like the Thrashers and their new GM are content to take things one year at a time…maybe two.

194 comments Add your comment

Buzzeng

July 29th, 2010
9:56 pm

Maybe old news – NHL.com reporting Mannino signed.

Josh

July 29th, 2010
9:57 pm

Good read, I have faith in dud’s until he proves other wise, so come on october you can’t get here soon enough!

Buzzeng

July 29th, 2010
10:00 pm

New coach – new players… hard to make any long term commitments when there are so many unknowns. It will be a good test for the coach, and a great opportunity for players to shine and build up a resume for longer-term, higher-dollar contracts. On the flip side, no one’s tying themselves to a team that has been a perennial league anchor.

Rawhide

July 29th, 2010
10:01 pm

Buzzeng – Yes…per C-Viv tweet, “Mannino deal with Thrashers is two year, two way worth $500,000 over $105,000″.

Josh – Indeed, October cannot get here soon enough.

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
10:37 pm

So I see that Custance reports that indeed Wadudley did try to sign Ladd to a longer term contract, did you miss that, Rawhide? It’s not his intent to sign Ladd to only one year, he would’ve loved to have locked him up at least 3 to 5 years (into his UFA years) but Ladd wouldn’t sign (”couldn’t agree on his value). It’s not a question of us not wanting to lock up a solid player like Ladd, it’s the fact that he didn’t want to sign.

I’m sure the sad club apologist will come and attack faulty logic, paranoid ramblings, etc. Or is it simply the basic truth? Inquiring minds want to know (and rational thinking people can clearly see what the answer is).

Rawhide

July 29th, 2010
10:43 pm

Joe Friday – I saw it. It does sound a lot like the Colby Armstrong situation of a year ago when he signed just before arbitration…but I sure would like to know what the gap was beteen the two parties.

ex-STH

July 29th, 2010
10:47 pm

If Duds proceeds to sign Little and Bergfors to each an average of $2.5 – $3 mil each, aren’t the Thrashers still $8 – $10 mil below the floor? What will they do then? Duds still has room for a $4 -5 mil forward and a $4 – 5 mil d-man. I really think he is getting ready to make a BIG trade for either a top 6 forward or a top 2 – 3 d-man to replace Kubina

Rawhide

July 29th, 2010
10:55 pm

ex-STHCapgeek shows the Thrashers right at $40.7 million after the Ladd signing. That’s with 18 players on the roster, (10 forwards, 6 defensemen & 2 goalies). If signed at the rates you suggested above, Bergfors and Little would take that to right at about $46 mil or so. Add in Arturs Kulda to complete the blueline and you are now at about $46.5 million.

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
11:00 pm

“Add in Arturs Kulda to complete the blueline and you are now at about $46.5 million.”

Boston wants to move Savard and he makes what, $5m? Just sayin . . . there’s more moves to be made, methinks

Rawhide

July 29th, 2010
11:03 pm

JF – Methinks you are correct in that thought that there are still moves to be made

Cornbread

July 30th, 2010
12:32 am

Make it to the playoffs, make some noise, and all will work itself out. That is the plan. Don’t make it to the playoffs and the plan falls to pieces. Methinks Dudley knows the Thrashers are going to make some noise.

Alan R.

July 30th, 2010
12:39 am

Difference between Colby and Ladd: Ladd is still RFA.

Brendan

July 30th, 2010
1:11 am

Rawhide, what an awesome blog you just wrote. I loved it. I touched a little bit on this very topic in the previous blog, when discussing the contracts of Hainsey and Antropov. These are the biggest deals, aside from Kovalchuk’s 5-year RFA contract back in 2005. On the one hand, thank God we are no longer saddled with a contract like Bobby Holik, or a roster full of Rucchins, Klees, and Suttons. On the other hand, Joe Friday has made some very sound points about player contracts. More specifically, that when the choice of where to play is exclusively that of the player, they tend NOT to opt for Atlanta, prefering the waters of the open market.

R.Stroz, Red Light, Smoothie and other regular posters have commented on the player retention deficit. For the past few blogs now, I’ve been asking, “Let’s see how many of our RFA players are willing to concede ANY of their UFA eligibility.” So far, the answer is none. I think it was poster Rob who said, “If anyone will/does, it’ll be Bryan Little.” I agree with him on that aspect, for I really am not confident that Nic Bergfors will go long with Atlanta.

Look, I know I jump the gun a little bit on contracts. Last offseason I said, “Better lock up Bryan Little, proactively, or it’ll cost us in 2010.” Well, maybe I was wrong about that. Bryan Little didn’t pot another 31 goals, to usher in an enormous pay day. I’ve been saying, “Better lock up Zach Bogosian, PROACTIVELY, while you still can, or you’ll pay him through the nose for his RFA contract in 2011.” Once again, I could be wrong. If Bogosian underperforms, we won’t see that big pay day next July. And probably won’t see any RFA offersheet coming his way, either.

But what if I’m not wrong? Let’s say Zach Bogosian plays 78 of 82 games next season, healthy as a horse. And he becomes one of the biggest stars on the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club. Still with me? Apparently, the NHL “allows” 17 year contracts, that average out to “marginal” cap hits. Are we prepared, next season, to match some ridiculous RFA offersheet for Bogosian? Before you say, “Pfft! That would NEVER happen,” I’ll remind you that there was a REASON why Bogosian went 3rd overall in his Draft year, and was considered as one of the top two blueliners in his Draft Class. GM’s coveted him.

Some posters suggest that our native songbirds sing like this, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.” Well, if you were a GM who was in a poaching kind of mood, what would make you think you couldn’t pry this guy out of Atlanta?, for the cost of some throw away draft pick compensation, if your team is a serious contender?

Okay, I get it. The organization has the right to match. And if by matching the offersheet, we lock up an essential piece for the future, at some marginal cap hit, perhaps the RFA offersheet is our new “best friend,” since we can’t seem lock up players with our VERY OWN offers. Would Buffalo still have Vanek if Kevin Lowe hadn’t tried to poach him with the RFA offersheet? I seem to recall that Don Waddell once said, “I hope there is an RFA offersheet for Kari Lehtonen.” Stop. Waddell traded him to Dallas one year after making those comments.

If we’re going to make a mistake with a contract, by over-extending years and salary, at least Bogosian seems like a good bet. He was, after all, a “lottery draft pick.” Yeah, in these pars, that conjures up images of Patrick Stefan and Kari Lehtonen. I hear you. For some others, you envision Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Evander Kane, thinking, “those didn’t seem like bad picks.” But two of those three escaped, along with their substitute assets (Hossa, deVries, picks #24 and #54 in the 2010 draft, etc.). What’s the point of having high-end 1st round picks, like a Braydon Coburn, if they’ll never play their careers right here in Atlanta? Or they’ll never be properly developed, right here in Atlanta? As a franchise constructs its house, the house needs a foundation and a roof. Once that’s in place, we can start to talk about corian counters, berber carpets, gold-plated faucets, and elaborate tile work for the bathrooms, and beveled glass for the front door. Ten years down the road, who would have thought that the roof (Kovalchuk) would blow off and the foundation (Heatley) would crack, forcing us to rebuild? If Bogosian is the new foundation, and Evander Kane the new roof, don’t you think we should get started on furnishing the new “House of Thrashers?” You don’t do that … with a series of one year deals. Or even two. No, the formula should be a draft quality players inside the lottery draft, then to lock them up.

But I’m not a GM. I’m just a voice on a blog. So what could I possibly know?

Brendan

July 30th, 2010
1:13 am

Trixie, I had to wake you, taking you away from whatever Rawhide’s assigned duties are at this hour, but could you salvage my post from around 1:10AM?

barry

July 30th, 2010
1:47 am

I agree with the fact that this coming season we have a new GM putting this team together and all new coaching staff, so it might be a good idea to not commit to players beyond a year or two. We are all not sure how everyone and everything will come together yet. Hopefully as the season wears on Dudley and company will see just how all these moves really come together and then can be more certain who to really keep long term.

I’m not opposed to getting Savard back here as I think he’s matured into a better play than when he was with us the first time, BUT who can we really afford to give up that’s going to please Boston at the same time not actually adding to or equaling the payroll Savard is already forcing them to pay?

Rawhide (Trixie's Secretary)

July 30th, 2010
7:07 am

Mr. Brendan - Yawwwwwwwn…..Your 1:11 am post has been freed from Blog Purgatory. You people just don’t sleep much, do you? This place has become 24/7.

Now, I must go brew the morning coffee.

OmniFan

July 30th, 2010
7:15 am

Does this suggest the possibility of a change from DW’s old policy: will we see in-season negotiations for contract extensions after Dudley and Ramsay have had a chance to kick the tires?

R. Stroz

July 30th, 2010
8:00 am

Yes, capgeek.com has the Thrashers at 40.7 million and nhlnumbers.com has the Thrashers at 40.6 million before the Little and Bergfors contracts.

HOWEVER, those cap totals include FULL bonuses. If you take out the bonuses, the Thrashers payroll currently stands at 35.6 million.

So, lets add Little and Bergfors into the payroll at 2.5 million a piece per year for a total of 5 million.

This puts the Thrashers payroll in a range from 45.6 million to 41.6 million with three roster spots remaining. The lower end of the parameter is below the NHL salary floor. So, to be safe, MORE salary must be added to avoid the penalties associated with failing to meet the cap floor.

Now, if somehow someway Charmin’s payroll is removed, another 2.375 million is in play. The only reason the Thrashers have for keeping Charmin is to meet the payroll floor. That’s it. Remove Charmin from the equation and the Thrashers payroll ranges from 43.225 to 39.225 million. If Charmin was disposed of, the Thrashers would have to collectively spend 6 million more in salary to fill three roster openings in order to insure meeting the payroll floor.

Anyway, either with or without Charmin, the Thrashers must fill three more roster positions and spend a minimum of between 4 to 6 million to insure meeting the salary floor.

Didn’t we have this discussion several years ago? You remember the year the Thrashers signed Hainsey and Zhitnik’s buyout money of 1.16 million kept the Thrashers over the salary floor.

Sounds like deja vu all over again.

Anyone picking up on a pattern yet?

Well, at least Dudley has procured better coaches and players, but I still have this bird outside the window singing CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP.

Dwayne

July 30th, 2010
8:11 am

rob

July 30th, 2010
8:20 am

If you have better coaches and better players and all that cap space, why is that a bad place to be? I am curious. There are many teams with cap problems that will need to shed players to get under the cap. IK is still in the wind and who knows what disaster he will create. That notwithstanding we have a good core group here, and someone who seems to be pretty shrewd making the calls now. Methinks it is good to be us, and if we get to the playoffs and continue to grow, we will need that cap space to get the needed parts to go deep into the playoffs right?

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2010
8:22 am

Joe and Rawhide… well we saw what Kovy wanted to stay in Atlanta. We’ve already seen that he was willing to take less for even longer term with NJ.

Atlanta doesn’t get a hometown discount. It gets the hometown mark-up.

If Armstrong was willing to take $3 million to play in Toronto, what do you think he wanted to stay in miserable Atlanta? But I hear ya, I’d still like to hear the figure.

Andrew Ladd was the 4th overall pick in 2004. He’s performed admirably, with two Stanley Cups and is making less money than fellow draftee’s Trave Zajac, Wojtek Wolski and Radislav Olesz, all taken lower with not much more of an impressive resume. Certainly he wants in the $3-4 million range, and I’d have to agree with him.

Smoothie

July 30th, 2010
8:30 am

Stroz – with your astute analysis it becomes quite clear what we need to do:

SIGN KOVY to a 17 year deal worth $112 M!! $6.5 M per. LOL

Unfortch, since White had shoulder surgery and has not been cleared yet by doctors, we’re stuck with him. He can’t be bought out even if the wanted to.

Perhaps Savard would come back to ATL now that Ramsay is here to make him feel at home? And I’m the king of wishful drinking!

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2010
8:34 am

I’ll add that Andrew Ladd’s current salary ($2.3 mil) now matches up with Drew Stafford… also a 2004 draft pick, lower than Ladd, with no Stanley Cups.

Eric

July 30th, 2010
8:45 am

no one has mentioned the expiration of the current CBA as a possible reason for all the short-term contracts…word is that Colorado refuses to sign anyone for longer than two years because the cap could go down significantly after the negotiation of a new CBA.

R. Stroz

July 30th, 2010
8:45 am

And I’m the king of wishful drinking!

Smoothie – Have you procured Premature Weekend Imbibing Disorder?

I’m actually expecting a salary dump trade at some point. Remember the trade with the Ducks for Schneider to exchange for Klee & Larsen?

The Blake Wheeler arbitration ruling could bear heavily (pun intended)on the Bruins.

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2010
8:46 am

Ladd is still making less than Clarke MacArthur’s arbitration award.

… should I continue? :)

Smoothie

July 30th, 2010
9:06 am

Again, if Laddy really thought he could get $3 – 3.5 M from the Thrashers and instead he gets a 1 year deal for LESS than C-Mac’s arbitration award, how is that going to help him feel warm and fuzzy in ATL. Not to mention he’ll feel peeved that he must once again prove himself to a new team.

The one good thing I didn’t realize is he is 24 and not 25. So he may be stuck here for awhile. I think he’ll thrive here and like it just fine. The boys from BC — see XLB and Kaner — seem to like ATL very much.

Joe Friday

July 30th, 2010
9:11 am

“well we saw what Kovy wanted to stay in Atlanta. We’ve already seen that he was willing to take less for even longer term with NJ.”

Hokie, the Devils contract is more than what we offered him, but I agree with your point. We are not a preferred destination and we have to overpay.

“Anyone picking up on a pattern yet?”

Will you stop with this logic you are deduced by analyzing the solid information we know?!? Sheesh, get with the program will ya and start dreaming up faulty logic based on flimsy information such as the Spirit Squad isn’t Cheap Cheap Cheap, they’re Great Great Great, it’s not that these players don’t want to sign here, it’s not that we can’t spend the money to be competitive, we choose not to sign guys long term that we give up a boat load of assets for!!!

Adam

July 30th, 2010
9:23 am

The key for this team, like I said last summer, is to host 4 home playoff games minimum, preferably 6-8. Yes that means winning at least 1 series. Why is that “The Key” you ask? Because until that happens this team will have the same disadvantage it’s had for the last several seasons. AN INTERNAL CAP!

MashaPlayer7

July 30th, 2010
9:30 am

I think calling the team cheap at this point is unwarranted. In the past, yes. But our new focus on a “team identity”, not a “Kovy/Hossa/Heatley” identity allows the wealth to be spread out more. And don’t forget these are young players who don’t have leverage to demand the big paychecks…although they will come some day. We can only hope so.

Just think of the Blackhawks; outside of the ridiculous Hossa and Campbell contracts, they are now having to pay for the success of their young players (Niemi, Toews, Keith, etc.). If we win the Cup or go far in the playoffs, I think all of us fans beg that we have the problem of retaining Bogosian, Enstrom, Little, Kane, etc….

I like the philosophy….and having some major cap room allows us to pick up a sensible salary dump in September or maybe a big name player at the mid-season to help give us that push into the playoffs.

DJ

July 30th, 2010
9:53 am

The “key” is way more than hosting 4 playoff games oh keymaster Adam. The Thrash need to create the buzz and hype that Atlanta sports fans in this market tend to attach to. With that “buzz,” people will once again to pack Philips. This team WILL win. Playoffs will happen. Count it.

Hey Rawhide, Keep it up man! Love how you care!

GaVaHokie

July 30th, 2010
10:07 am

I like the philosophy….and having some major cap room allows us to pick up a sensible salary dump in September or maybe a big name player at the mid-season to help give us that push into the playoffs.

Actually, that has been a Waddell philosophy… always leaving cap room for the March trade deadline. (FWIW)

DWTOO

July 30th, 2010
10:15 am

Per our friends @ TSN. Blake Wheeler 2.2 for one year.

MP7 – have to respectfully disagree. ASG is cheap, cheap, cheap (as Stroz says). We’ve been a bargain basement team from day one. The only change this year is we’ve got some up and comers on the roster. Hope that things change and we can retain some long term.

rob

July 30th, 2010
10:43 am

2 sides to every story, and this one shows it. Only time will tell because obviously no one is going to change the other sides mind, just going to continue to go back and forth. As long as we can all agree that we are fans of the team…..

Ryan C

July 30th, 2010
10:45 am

Does anyone else think that if Chicago can’t pay Niemi that we should offer them OPie at the 2.3 mill for two years and get Niemi in a trade? I like Niemi’s upside more then OPie’s and either way they are both young, and Dud’s has the in with Chi-town, just sayin’ it, anyone else thinking it?

Smoothie

July 30th, 2010
10:52 am

Jay Feaster was truly the mastermind in Tampa, not Rick Dudley!!

Bwaaa haaaa haaa haaaa

He got Ian White for the bargain basement price of $2.9 M barely quadrupling his previous salary. Great job Jay!!

Mikey

July 30th, 2010
11:08 am

I agree with rob. I would much rather be in a position where we are closer to the floor than the cap. Gives us room to maneuver for trade deadline deals if we are in the playoff hunt.

There is a difference between being “cheap” and managing your money/assets wisely.

Trick is getting into the playoff hunt. And I mean realistically, not like last winter when we were in it because so many other teams in the east were mediocre.

rob

July 30th, 2010
11:08 am

even if they can pay Niemi, from the sounds of the article on the arbitration hearing and his agent…..Niemi is not happy about the whole situation, and while I am glad they got the Cup instead of the Bums, how do you think this dismantling and shakeup is affecting the team there? It has to be tough for all involved, fans and players, to watch this and wonder if they will get another run like this soon.

Adam

July 30th, 2010
11:16 am

DJ, you’ve got to crawl before you can walk. Keymaster Adam says the key is to get those 4-8 home games in the PO so the budget can go up the following year and the team can take the next step. A deep run into the PO.

I’m all for leaving room for trade deadline moves. But 1/4 or more of the cap is a bit much, no?

R. Stroz

July 30th, 2010
11:53 am

There is a difference between being “cheap” and managing your money/assets wisely.

Yes, there is. Managing your assets wisely is tying them up for five years while they are in their mid 20s instead of waiting until they are in their late 20’s, where you’ll have them under contract in their waning years.

The Thrashers have been in the bottom 20% of the NHL payroll structure for all but one year of their existence. They have only made the playoffs one season in ten years.

For those of you who are relatively new, this is the business model the ASG employs. Bruce Levenson even bragged about it at last year’s Towne Hall Meeting, pointing out how well the Atlanta Hawks were doing with a low payroll relative to the rest of the league.

The owners are proud of their “cheapness” thinking they are smarter than everyone else. Rather “blissful” aren’t they.

Now, after years of killing their fan base, they finally decided to bring in someone else to improve the organization’s image.

I applaud the changes, however, if the individuals brought in to fix things find out that ownership isn’t willing to “pony up” in order to maintain the needed adjustments, I wouldn’t expect to see Dudley, Rammer, or Torchetti here three years from now.

The writing is already starting to appear.

Joe Friday

July 30th, 2010
12:00 pm

“It has to be tough for all involved, fans and players, to watch this and wonder if they will get another run like this soon.”

I am a Hawks fan as are many of my buds up in Chicago. Believe you me, no one is over the buzz yet or worried in the least. Big Buf turning into a hero and the newbie bandwagon fans up there were bummed to see him go, but they’ve let none of the key guys go. Sopel, Eager, Ladd, are all replaceable but Big Buf is not. However, all the fans up there know he stunk it up in the regular season, so the key to Buf is if he can bring it all regular season, that will be interesting to see here. I’m worried he dogs it, but then we can put him back on defense (did you know he’s really a dman?).

Toews, Kaner, Hoss, Sharp, Bolland, Keith, Campbell, Hjalmarsson, Seabrook are all staying and the Hawks are the prohibitive favorites again, name a club right now that has a better lineup (Pens could hang with them and I’d really like to see that Final this year). The plan for Huet is to bury his contract in the minors (nice to have an owner that will go max cap and take an extra $5.6m and bury it in the minors, eh?). Niemi is not the end all be all. Goal was the weak link on the Hawks all year. He made me nervous all freakin year with his tending. He played decent in the playoffs and that absolute wealth of talent in front of him carried the team to the win. Niemi is expendable. Turco will be brought in if Niemi has to go.

The thought of mine and the other Hawk faithful is can we win 2 or 3 in a row ala the Isles clubs, Oilers, or dominate for years like the Wings.

It’s kind of an interesting position I’m in. I had season tix to the Hawks back in the day (Savard, Secord, Lamar days) but the Hawks were always hamstrung by their Waddell at the top (Dollar Bill Wirtz). Things changed for the Hawks when they changed at the top and Dollar Bill went to the great bar in the sky . . . and Rocky took over. The moves he made were so quick and so decisive and so needed, things really took off. I know the same can happen here, but the old Waddell/Spirit mentality at the top has to go for that to happen. But at least Dudley is shaping some things first. The biggest long term big picture help this club can have is a new owner who wants to win and Waddell gone. Dudley has a track record of helping to turn a club around for a couple years, then he goes and the bigger gun comes in and puts the finishing touches on his building process to get a club over the top. Step 1 has happened, Dudley is GM. Step 2 is a new owner.

Mikey

July 30th, 2010
12:10 pm

RStroz, I understand what you’re saying but I have to believe Dudley, Ramsay and Torchetti knew what they were getting into when they came here. They knew who the owners were and what the history has been as far as any internally set budget.

Given the choice, I’d rather be a penny over the floor than a penny under the cap.

Red Light

July 30th, 2010
12:16 pm

R. Stroz

July 30th, 2010
12:28 pm

Given the choice, I’d rather be a penny over the floor than a penny under the cap.

I’d like to see a payroll somewhere in the middle of the heap for once.

rob

July 30th, 2010
12:34 pm

Yes, I know Buff played d. And I realize they still have a large group of talent there, and Niemi seemed to have Pavs penchant for sliding out of postion, but they still lost pieces and I don’t see it being over yet. They have a great group but will somehow have to get the little parts that make the whole together again, that was all I was saying. If they do it good, the league needs a change of power and it is good for it, but it has to be kind of uneasy watching how fast the changes are happening.
As for the situation here, and I know this is a stretch and all….but. Who’s to say that the Thrashers don’t cause a bit of a stir around here and get some fans back in the seat. They make the PO and let’s say they win a game or 2, maybe even get a series (who knows). Duds turns to the octotards and says, “will ya look at that. Now let’s spend a little more and see if I can make you guys some money?” He will have shown a short time turnaround on investment here. Something dumbwad NEVER did, which probably soured the octotards on the team as they watched the Thrashers become a moneypit to them.
Since that scenario hasn’t played out here before (and still hasn’t yet) who knows if there will be a mentality change even without different owners? I know this is a stretch and you can beat me up about it that is NBD. I would just rather look forward to the upcoming season, go see some enjoyable HOCKEY played here by the hometeam, and have fun with it instead of moping about how sad it all is. Now if this all backfires and we sink faster than the Titanic, I will be one of the ones yelling, but until that time, I am going to remain hopefully optimistic about the boys in blue chances for success.

Alan R.

July 30th, 2010
12:35 pm

Red Light: OH NO! We simply CANNOT have any teams losing money! Especially in America! Move ‘em to Goodsoil, SK! A Good Canadian City™ that KNOWS hockey!!

;)

R. Stroz

July 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

I just figured out how to blow my vuvuzela at a downward angle.

Now, all need is a twitter account.

DWTOO

July 30th, 2010
1:10 pm

Prudent management of assets equates with playoff experience, exciting hockey, and player retention.

Cheap – consistent roster turnover, signing over the hill players, no playoffs, uncompetitive teams.

Which have you seen here?

Dwayne

July 30th, 2010
1:18 pm

There has been a great white shark spotted off the coast of Cape Cod. They are not closing the beaches there.
If only there was a popular movie to remind them of what a bad decision that is.

rob

July 30th, 2010
1:35 pm

DW,
“seen” being the key. Yes it is our history, but the only history we have known here is “dumbwad in charge”. And even if they are not going to let Duds spend, I think this has to be one of the better teams they have iced here. They should compete if nothing else, and as close as they were to the PO last year, how many games did they take the entire night off collectively as a team? I hazard a guess there won’t be too many of those this year without serious repercussions on and off the ice. The mentality is already changing to an extent. Embrace it and hope it continues to do so!!! LOL Glass is half full here IMO and I for one will buy into it, and if I am disappointed by it, oh well.