Which ex-Thrasher do you find yourself missing most?

With any stroke of luck, the hockey gods will smile upon us sometime early this week and we’ll hear news of whatever decision the arbitrator has made in the Kovalchuk contract saga. Personally, I’ve been over his departure for some time now and I think this latest “As The Kovalchuk Turns” drama has long since jumped the shark.

And while I also believe that more and more Thrashervillians have come to say to themselves that Kovalchuk’s departure is The Best This That Ever Happened To Me, I Can’t Fight This Feeling that there are still a few of you that still more than a handful of fans still suffer from a sort of jilted lover syndrome when it comes to number 17. You know…loved him and told him You Are Everything while he was a Thrasher…then, through the bitter breakup period of last winter, many seemingly sang to him Don’t Give Up On Us and If You Leave Me Now you’ll take a way the biggest part of our offense. And once he ultimately took off for New Jersey, some among us felt Bluer Than Blue-Sadder Than Sad.

Since that time, many have gotten over the latest jilting of a star player. They’ve thanked him For The Good Times and moved on with their hockey lives. Sadly though, others still have not dealt with their Feelings and have been seen nightly in the Thrasherville Tavern drowning their sorrows while listening to breakup songs on the old jukebox.

But Kovy is not the first fling to take leave of us. ..and to that point, I wonder if there are other players out there you might like to play a song for. You know, as a way of letting it known you’d welcome then back to Thrasherville with Open Arms. If so, step on up and select a tune to send out to your favorite former Thrashers.

I’ll start things off with some song selections and players to dedicate them to. If you like them I’ll drop the record down onto the turntable and we’ll spin it for all to enjoy.

Selection K17 “Nobody Does It Better”– This number is dedicated to the aforementioned Ilya Kovalchuk, who is currently a New Jersey Devil. He’s the all-time leading scorer for the Thrashers and, while he would not be atop my list of players returning, many would still love to see him back in Philips playing for Atlanta. Let’s face it…50 goal scorers don’t just grow on trees, so once you land a good one ya gotta find a way keep ‘em. Unfortunately, former GM Don Waddell’s inability to keep such a good man is the reason why the Thrasherville Tavern has been kept so busy for the past decade.

Selection S09 “Baby Come Back”– This is my personal selection and it goes out to our old number 9, Marc Savard. Savy came to us back in November of 2002, acquired from Calgary in exchange for Ruslan Zainullin. While with Atlanta, Marc scored 63 goals and 133 assists in 184 games played. Although he was a –12 in the three seasons here, he has been a +30 player over the past three years in Boston…including a +25 in 2008-09. Imagine him between Kane and Buff right now.

Selection H18 – “Maybe I’m Amazed”– In his almost three seasons here, Marian Hossa dazzled us with his strong play on the right boards. Well, that is, up until the winter of 2008 when he seemed to hold a little back for whoever his new team would be after the trade deadline. As we all know, that was Pittsburgh. And after falling just short of the Stanley Cup there he then fell just short again the next season in Detroit. Last year, though, he finally caught up with the Cup and his name is permanently engraved upon it. While with the Thrashers, he netted 108 goals and 140 assists. In the playoff season of 2006-07, he amazed us with a 100-point performance.

Selection H01  “Unforgettable”– Johan Hedberg was certainly a player that fans loved having in Atlanta. And it’s hard to imagine just where we would have been last season without the Moose in net. Not only did he perform his job well on the ice, but he was well respected in the locker room as well. His time here will certainly be unforgettable.

Selection L32 “Precious and Few”– Not all of our ex’s live in Texas…but Kari Lehtonen does play there now. And I chose this tune for him because it best illustrates the number of happy memories he left us with…precious and few. The second overall selection in the 2002 draft has all the natural God-given abilities you can ask for in a goalie, and the potential for greatness in definitely there. But with Kari, the issue isn’t as much his play between the pipes as it is what’s playing between his ears. He’s has a new start in Big D right now and honestly that may be the best thing for him…maybe for us too.

Which ex-Thrasher would you most like to see return?

  • Ilya Kovalchuk (15%, 35 Votes)
  • Marc Savard (36%, 83 Votes)
  • Marian Hossa (17%, 38 Votes)
  • Johan Hedberg (12%, 28 Votes)
  • Kari Lehtonen (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Maxim Afinogenov (6%, 14 Votes)
  • Todd White (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Garnet Exelby (4%, 9 Votes)
  • Another player (8%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 230

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Selection A61 “Do You Know Where Your Going To?”– The latest player to officially cut ties with us is Maxim Afinogenov. His fling with us was brief, just one season. But his time here was full of excitement and thrills. He scored a career-high 24 goals playing in all 82 outings last year…quite a few of them coming late in periods and games. But Friday it was announced he was heading to play in the KHL…the league that Alexander Burmistrov called an old man’s league. While that may or not be true, last I checked it’s damn-near impossible to win a Stanley Cup Championship over there.

Selection W12 “I Was Only Joking” – Todd White. Again…I Was Only Joking.

Selection X02 “Never The Same”– Kind of tough to speak about ex’s here without at least giving some mentioned to Mr. X himself. Last season was the first time since 2000-01 that the Thrashers with without the services of the defenseman that was selected in the 8th round of the organization’s very first draft. He was definitely a fan favorite while here and the first few seasons we saw much promise in the hard-hitting blueliner. But Garnet just was never the same player after suffering a concussion a few seasons back.

There are my suggestions…but like I said, maybe you have other players you’d like to dedicate songs to as a way of letting us know they are still welcome. And remember, whomever you may desire back in a Thrashers uniform can be based purely upon emotion. Your choice is not tied to whether or not it’s feasible, practical or even possible for this player to be re-acquired.

So just for this one time, spare us the “this player doesn’t fit into our cap structure” and “that player’s team won’t trade them” logic. We are dealing with matters o the heart here!

However with that said, let me also acknowledge the one player we all wish was back with us… Dan Snyder. S37 will always be #1 on our play list and the song of Danny’s memory will always be in our hearts.

232 comments Add your comment

Dwayne

August 9th, 2010
8:11 am

There is a reason they are called —- EX’s

kracker

August 9th, 2010
8:25 am

That’s easy…Pasi Nurminen! I assume we are assumining that our favorite returning players are forever young and still in their prime.

Gotta love a goalie that will destroy a perfectly good hockey stick on the goal post in a micro-second after giving up a game-losing goal.

hip czech

August 9th, 2010
8:27 am

LOL at the Lehtonen song choice…

I’ll drop my quarter in and select S09..but will not stay to hear the whole song, instead will listen to Don’t Look Back in the car on the way home

kracker

August 9th, 2010
8:36 am

Bill, I second your thoughts about Dan Snyder.

Alan R.

August 9th, 2010
8:37 am

Easy. Of the players listed, Afinogenov will be missed most.

Nate

August 9th, 2010
8:40 am

Rawhide – You stole my player and song before I even got to Savard. Great minds/hearts think alike I guess. LMAO

DWTOO

August 9th, 2010
8:49 am

Has to be Savard. IMHO his leaving spiraled the downfall of this once proud franchise. HUH? Actually think if Marc had signed we could have retained a couple of other key players and stopped this yearly bleeding and retooling.

The Smooth Spark

August 9th, 2010
8:50 am

Uh, Daniel Tjarnqvist?

Seriously though, Savard and Hossa. They were fun to watch for those two prolific goal-scoring years I must say. No Kovy for me, but alas, time heals all wounds, right?

SomaAtl95

August 9th, 2010
9:01 am

You forgot Zhitnik and “Another one bites the dust”, but in this case thats kind’ve a happy song for everyone involved.

Mr. Willson

August 9th, 2010
9:03 am

This jukebox dedication goes out to my wife, who’s first Thrasher-love was Patrik Stefan. She didnt know much about hockey.

Mr. Willson

August 9th, 2010
9:04 am

But seriously, who doesn’t miss the lumbering beast that was Andy Sutton.

Russian

August 9th, 2010
9:12 am

I like to have Time machine and come back to October 1 2003. As you remember we had a good and promising team. We had new Coach, two first draft pick Heatley and Kovalchuk, young goalie Kari, Marc Savard and Slava Kozlov. It was not bad team. Also we were only 4 year old team. Thrashers did not have a BAD reputation. I really like to get that team back.

Rawhide

August 9th, 2010
9:13 am

Kracker – Selection N31 “Saving All My Love” can be played for Pasi Nurminen.

Mr. Willson – Selection S05 “Running To Stand Still” for Andy Sutton.

SomaAtl95 – Selection Z77 “Big Mistake” for Zhitnik.

kracker

August 9th, 2010
9:15 am

I also 2nd the nomination of Savard as being a key loss. But since most of those guys listed above didn’t care to stay here or will ever return, I chose a player, Nurminen, who is my favorite and who would have returned with a fierce game had he not gotten injured.

Pasi quite likely would have gotten Kari to train properly and motivated him to hone his game to ideally take over for Pasi in a year or two. The scenario of Pasi as a mentor/motivator to Kari elevates him from simply being a sentimental fave of mine to the loss (to injury, mind you) of a player that adversely affected the team more than the mere loss of his skill as a goaltender.

Get The Puck Out

August 9th, 2010
9:16 am

Pasi Nurminen and Mark Savard. Pasi’s was cut short and Waddell helped mess the other one up.

kracker

August 9th, 2010
9:21 am

Umm I think I will choose as the flip side to your N31 “Wild Thing” for Pasi. He certainly earned his nickname of The Frantic Finn.

Anyway, lots of good ideas and songs so far and there will be many more to come. This will be a fun day for a boring Monday at work.

Rawhide

August 9th, 2010
9:24 am

Anyway, lots of good ideas and songs so far and there will be many more to come. This will be a fun day for a boring Monday at work.

kracker – Indeed. And Trixie has made sure the Thrasherville Tavern is well stocked and she’ll be serving ‘em up from behind the bar.

*popping cap from cold bottle of Blueland Brew*

Here…first one’s on me.

kracker

August 9th, 2010
9:29 am

Jack

August 9th, 2010
9:36 am

rawhide great read. Only one adjustment K17 should be Highway to Hell.

Seriously I totally agree with you on Savard, but one name off the records is Belanger. He had some great years once he left Atlanta. If there was only someway we could get Snyder back I think all of us would agree that would be the #1 move.

Alan R.

August 9th, 2010
9:37 am

Selection M12 – “Rats” for Scott Mellanby

Darkhorse

August 9th, 2010
9:40 am

If we’re talking about former players in their prime, I’ll go with Chris Chelios. What a difference maker he would have been here, again, in his prime.

Otherwise, it’s tough to wish back several guys that gave the organization the finger. I really enjoyed watching Max last season. I don’t think he’s the difference maker this franchise needs, but he could be fun to watch. And Hossa was my favorite player here until he mailed it in. I’ll take the Hossa of the first two seasons here.

Red Light

August 9th, 2010
9:44 am

Hmmm. Not a single mention of Slava Kozlov, although he may have been as important as any one person that led to the firing of Anderson, hiring of Ramsay and other recent developments.

Until this past season, Kozlov was a pro and a joy to watch even though at an advanced age. Remember, this guy wasn’t faster, stronger or more skilled than everybody, but he did know how to play the game. I think if you can just forget about his last four months in a Thrashers uniform, you’ll see a guy who played 500 games and averaged more than 20 goals and 40 assists per season. Solid family man who put the needs of his wife and kids ahead of his wants.

But, I agree that in terms of personality and combativeness, Pasi ranks at the top!

Also, if Slater plays a full season, he will become 3rd on the all-time list for games played as a Thrasher behind Kovy and Kozzie and will vault ahead of Stefan.

As far as the song? How about The Great Compromise by John Prine? Could go well for all Russian re-defectors…

I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory
And awake in the dawn’s early light
But much to my surprise
When I opened my eyes
I was a victim of the great compromise

Michael B. Shapiro

August 9th, 2010
9:49 am

Per Svarvardet?

GaVaHokie

August 9th, 2010
9:50 am

“Can’t Get No Satisfaction”… Marc Savard.

“I’m Already Gone”… Marian Hossa

Shawn@GSG

August 9th, 2010
9:54 am

I miss Per Svartvardet myself….way back when we were just happy to have a team here.

World Be Free

August 9th, 2010
9:54 am

Russian, around here we refer to the time machine as “Mr. Peabody’s Way-Back Machine”.

Skellinton

August 9th, 2010
10:02 am

If we are going with players in their prime

W8 – Keith “WALT” Tkachuk
R8 – Marc Recchi

J-man

August 9th, 2010
10:03 am

Yes, as Red Light says Kozlov should be on the list, but I don’t think he had much to do with Anderson getting fired. I wouldn’t have played Todd White over Kozlov, but you could make an argument that White’s intangibles (marginal PK work and ability to win face offs) were more important than what Kozlov had left. I think the bottom line was that Anderson didn’t win and that’s why he was let go. Plus, I think that Dudley wanted a direction for the team that was at odds with what Anderson was trying to do.

R. Stroz

August 9th, 2010
10:06 am

The Thrashers theme song should be Separate Ways.

Tom Lysiak

August 9th, 2010
10:07 am

Gotta go with A-20 – “I Shot the Sheriff” for Jeff Odgers.

Rawhide

August 9th, 2010
10:09 am

Red Light – Slava Kozlov was nothing short of a complete professional. The Thrashers were served well by #13. Father time just caught up with him, IMHO. But he’ll always be one of my all-time favorites of all the players that passed through here.

Maybe Selection K13 should be Bob Hope’s “Thanks For The Memories”.

Red Light

August 9th, 2010
10:13 am

R. Stroz…I thought you would have cited: “Ball of Confusion”

Red Light

August 9th, 2010
10:15 am

Rawhide: Thanks for the clarification, I didn’t think you were playing the Barbara Streisand card on a Monday morning. Oh, the ridicule you might have endured!

Smoothie

August 9th, 2010
10:19 am

The Atlanta Thrashers!!!

Also known as “My Friend of Misery”, but I can’t help but love them “All Nightmare Long” and even though they always seem to leave me “High N’ Dry” and “Livin’ on the Edge”. But alas, perhaps this year will be the year they have me “Flyin’ High Again” instead of humming that same old “Song Sung Blue”.

Just a nod to a few of my favorite bands through the years.

Spud Webb

August 9th, 2010
10:22 am

I want Denny Lambert back!! He’s who I miss the most!!!!!

puckedup

August 9th, 2010
10:23 am

Guy was a one-trick-pony, but I liked Darcy Hordichuck. I always think of Boom by P.O.D. when I think of his play.

puckedup

August 9th, 2010
10:24 am

Oh, and I think you should put “Mandy” in there for Mandy Sutton.

JOHNNY

August 9th, 2010
10:24 am

What about Francis Lessard?

TommyT4

August 9th, 2010
10:29 am

Also wanted to notch a vote for Frankie Kaberle…underrated defenseman who played really well while he was here and who also got his name on the Cup after his departure from Blueland.

Steve Rucchin

August 9th, 2010
10:30 am

no votes for me?

kracker

August 9th, 2010
10:33 am

Fransic Lessard is now playing lead guitar in the Bleeding Eyes Metal / Rock / Punk Band.

J.P. Vigier

August 9th, 2010
10:36 am

I had 46 points in 213 games, doesn’t that count for something?

GRITS and Pucks

August 9th, 2010
10:41 am

Fun and creative article :-)

I would have to say drop in some dimes for H18 and H01 for me; then play the tunes of K17 and L32 for my boyfriend.

Ahhh, hockey love – it gets ya every time!

kracker

August 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Hey! Lay off J.P.! He was also one of my faves…why I do not know.

Jeff97

August 9th, 2010
10:46 am

it really says something that nobody has mentioned Dany Heatley given the talent that he is. too bad he turned out to be the jacka$$ that he is.

Smoothie

August 9th, 2010
10:48 am

Hmmm grits! Damn I wish I could’ve had sausage, eggs and grits for b’fast this morning…might have to hit up IHOP this week for lunch!

G&P – good to see you come out of the “shadows” and post on Bill’s blog. We know you’re out there, but we need all the voices we can muster. And tell your bf to come out of hiding too…or is he already on here as well?

Can’t give a shout out to JPV without a tip o’ the hat to his linemate and partner in crime, Serge Auuuuuubiiiiinn!! Loved me some Serge.

zontar

August 9th, 2010
10:48 am

JP Vigier, Tomi Kallio, Kelly Buchberger, Alex Bouret, Niko Kapanen, Yannick Tremblay

World Be Free

August 9th, 2010
10:53 am

No love for the Nigerian Nightmare, Ruman Ndur?
He and Todd White need a generous portion of Air Supply.

byron defoe

August 9th, 2010
10:53 am

Does anyone miss me or Mike Duhman?

rob

August 9th, 2010
10:54 am

Got back to the computer today after time off and posted to the last article only to find a new one was made!!! Here is my post before I reply to this one.
Too much talk on here about Kovalsux and the Octotards.
A SOLID forecheck will cause turnovers and lead to the goal differential everyone is so worried about. No need for an “elite” prima dona to come in here and ruin what is a working mans game. 4 hard working lines will be fine. If they can do that, then it may in time bring in HARDWORKING “elite” players. THOSE are the ones you want. The ones with the drive and spirit, the “will” to win who bring everyones game to the next level. Filling a spot with a goal scorer without that mentality will only get you some pretty goals, nothing more. All those who see Kovalsux as an “elite” player……he has never LED a team anywhere…EVER. Giving him the kind of money they are throwing at him is an afront to the game of hockey. What will his legacy be? The highest paid player. BFD!