Thrashers newcomers have ‘been there, done that’

So what do Jimmy Slater and Eric Boulton have in common? Well for one thing, they are the only two players that remain on the Thrashers 2007 playoff roster. The pair were held without a goal or assists in the four game sweep to the Rangers and were a combined –3.

Since then, we’ve seen the other twenty or so players depart Thrasherville, including Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Kozlov, Kari Lehtonen and Garnet Exelby in the last 14 months.

But Boulton and Slater will be surrounded this season by a number of players who have “been there, done that” in regards to the Stanley Cup Playoffs… a total of 365 collective NHL playoff games in fact. Add that to the 8 between Bolts and Slates, and what you have a roster that could represent a grand total of 373 NHL playoff games worth of experience.

Upon learning that number, I set out to see if there were any rosters of Thrashers-past that compared to the one assembled now. To be honest, I thought I would have to make my way back four or five years in order to find a squad with near as many playoff games under their collective belts…back to the 2005-06 or 2006-07 teams that consisted of Marian Hossa, Peter Bondra, Greg DeVries, Nic Havelid and Kozlov just to name a few.

As it turns out, I only had to go back twelve months.

The Thrashers entered last season with a group of players that had suited up for 370 NHL playoff games in their careers. And that’s not counting the two that Kari Lehtonen started in 2007 given the fact that Kari began last season on injured reserve. He did not play in a single game for Atlanta before being traded to Dallas in January.

However, almost one-third of those 370 games belonged to just one player, Slava Kozlov who played in 118 during his long NHL career. All but four of which came while wearing Detroit’s red winged wheel. Maxim Afinogenov and Pavel Kubina took with them another 87 career playoff appearances.

Now the Thrashers’ leader in playoff game experience is defenseman Brent Sopel with 64. Then there is Freddy Modin with 57 and Andrew Ladd with 53. Add in Dustin Byfuglien’s 39 playoff appearance, Ben Eager’s 37, Nic Antropov’s 35 and Chris Rissmiller’s 30, and you can see the Thrashers have a decent amount of players who have “been there, done that” when it comes to participating in the annual hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Buff, Ben and Brent won the Stanley Cup just last June along with Ladd. For Ladd it was the second time skating the Cup, his first being in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes. Freddy Modin was a part of the 2004 Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning, making it a total of five Thrashers players who not only have “been, there, done that” but have their name etched upon the Cup to show it.

Brent Sopel kissed the Stanley Cup last June. His 64 career NHL playoff games now leads all others on the Thrashers roster (AP Photo)

Brent Sopel kissed the Stanley Cup last June. His 64 career NHL playoff games now leads all others on the Thrashers roster (AP Photo)

Another big difference can be found behind the bench. New head coach Craig Ramsay has experienced not only 89 playoff games as a player, but he’s also seen significant action as an assistant coach for NHL teams in the playoffs. He sipped Champagne from the Cup in 2004 along with Modin and the rest of the Lightning.

Last year the Thrashers had a coach who had played in 37 NHL postseason games. Prior to that they had a coach in Bob Hartley who had coached the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship in 2001. But this will be the first time they have ever had a bench boss who has played in and coached during the NHL playoffs. They also have an associate coach, John Torchetti, who won an NHL championship, coming to Thrasherville after last spring’s successful run with Byfuglien, Sopel, Eager, Ladd and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Also worth mentioning is assistant coach Mike Stothers who played in five NHL playoff games as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers back in the 1980s.

The question is, can this collection of players and coaches who have “been there, done that, got my name on the Cup to show for it” make a difference for those Thrasher players who have not done so yet? Can players like Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom and possibly a handful of rookies like Arturs Kulda and Patrice Cormier benefit from their experiences should the Thrashers find themselves in a playoff push or…dare I mention it…playing past the scheduled 82 games?

These are the answers that will be revealed as the Thrashers 11th season finally gets underway next month. But going into it, the organization is deeper than it’s ever been in regards to those bringing with them previous experience…and success… playing in games 83 and beyond, both at the playing level as well as coaching.

And that certainly can’t hurt.

162 comments Add your comment

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

September 13th, 2010
11:30 am

Mr. Tony C. – There…is that the way you like it?

Cornbread

September 13th, 2010
11:32 am

Of course this experience and success will matter. This aspect of the off-season acuisitions have been the most overlooked, especially by the Canadian press. The Thrashers proved that they did not have the leadership or experience when they wet the bed several times when it mattered most while in the hunt. The old leadership of Kozlov, White, and Chelios was innefective.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
11:38 am

Tony C – considering ELC for the top 10 picks will pay in the neighborhood of $800 – $925 K for base salary this season, I’d say $900 K for a 20+ goal-scoring, All-Rookie Team player is a bit of a low-ball contract. The idea of the two parties still “feeling each other out” seems like a stretch when he’s only 23 and the CBA is up in 2 years. Why not do at least a 2 year deal for similar money? Paying him $1M – $1.25 M hardly makes him un-tradeable if things don’t work out.

But I agree with you that a trade could certainly be in the works. His agent could be making this negotiation very difficult knowing that any commitment of additional years brings more leverage their way. So perhaps Dudley told them “take it or leave it for now” or else you’re going to slip on the depth chart behind Kane, Little, Ladd, Pettersson etc. They can always re-open the negotiation process if Bergfors scores 10 goals in his first 20-25 games.

I full expect a trade. It may not be Bergfors, but we need to add salary. Dudley is in a good position of strength now with such a low payroll and so many “value” contracts at his disposal. Makes complete sense that he will test the trade market again.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
11:41 am

Joe, I can’t imagine who you are referring to on the WIngs aging roster. They have two players on their current roster (Ritola and Kindl) inked for 3 years each that still will be RFA. They have played a combined total of 10 games for the Wings. Frankly I am wondering why they are even signed for 3 yrs each. They have a couple of more promising players (Helm and Abdelkader) signed for 2 years.

Maybe I missed somebody but it appears that the Wings have no stud RFAs signed for 4 or 5 years as you expect to have Dudley accomplish for the Thrashers.

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
11:42 am

NHLnumbers.com had the Thrashers salary total at $49.189 million last year, with a total cap hit as $51.266 million, including Kovy’s $4.178 million hit into February, Zhitnik’s $1.167 million buyout and Lehtonen’s pre-trade hit of $2.036 million. Including Bergfors, the figure they have listed right now is $45.229 million (Valabik at $775,000). That includes Krog’s $550,000 but none of the rookies or Dawes. And, it doesn’t include Brashear’s buyout either.

“Are we clear?”

“Crystal!”

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
11:50 am

kracker…

In recent years, Holland locked up Filppula when he was 24, Hudler earlier this season, Zetterberg when he was 26-27, Franzen at 27, Kronwall at 26, in addition to the two-year deals issued to Helm and Abdelkader this year.

Tony C.

September 13th, 2010
11:50 am

Smoothie-exactly my point-$900k is a song for a player with Bergfors’ potential… My personal feeling is that this contract is easily amended during the season (Holiday break most likely), and if the feeling is that Bergfors is just counting the days until he can get out of ATL, then it’s a very palatable contract to other teams. I wouldn’t be surprised that we see Bergfors get a new deal once the (hopefully) impending trade for another scoring forward is completed. In the meantime, that number allows Dudley to fish with some pretty attractive bait in the form of Bergfors and the other “value+” contracts we have on the books.

Trixie you know it!

Alan R.

September 13th, 2010
11:51 am

Re: Bergfors signing. This is something I actually expected. I think it was Flames who said something about Bergfors being willing to take less on a shorter term. This year he gets to prove himself, as last year’s stint in Atlanta had a small sample size.

Bergfors can be extended starting on 1 January 2011. If he doesn’t live up to expectations, there’s always the trade deadline.

Rawhide

September 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Bergfors can be extended starting on 1 January 2011. If he doesn’t live up to expectations, there’s always the trade deadline.

Alan R. – There’s no pressure to have to deal Bergie away at the deadline. He’ll be an RFA this summer, so we still have the negotiating rights with him.

As for the signing it’s self…I have no real issue with it. If the two parties could not agree to a long-term deal at this time, then getting him signed to a relatively decent salary for one year is good. It gets him in camp to prepare for the season and takes away this little ‘mini-drama’ for now.

Let him prove his worth throughout the season and he’ll get his payday this summer.

Tony C.

September 13th, 2010
11:56 am

Also, just got an email from Le Thrash inviting me/us to the 2010-2011 season preview; lecture and brief Q&A with Dudley, Ramsay and Mason(?!?). 23 september 1900-2100hrs. comp parking and hors d’ouevres.

RSVP here

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
11:59 am

Bill…that illustrates the contrary point perfectly, if he scores 30 and goes to arbitration, you’re looking at a sizable salary hit next year. Again, I think it smacks of being reactive rather than proactive. And, if you go by that logic, then why in the heck did you ask for him in the Kovalchuk trade?

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
12:05 pm

“I can’t imagine who you are referring to on the WIngs aging roster.”

Why does this not suprise me?

He locked up many of his key young guys when they were RFAs, they’re signed sealed and delivered. It’s his M.O., as a matter of fact (keep a core intact and sign them and keep them in the fold)

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

Again, I think it smacks of being reactive rather than proactive. And, if you go by that logic, then why in the heck did you ask for him in the Kovalchuk trade? <—— THIS.

Tony C – apologies if I misinterpreted what you were saying (writing). His $900k deal could be a very good thing for both parties. But I'm more in the Joe F, Red Light, stroz camp on this one. This smacks of silliness and short-sighted pettiness, AGAIN. However, it could just be a prelude to a trade or further evaluation. But hey, if y'all think nickel & diming RFA's till they get pissed and leave is a good way to build a hockey team, perhaps you're smarter than me! ;-)

kracker

September 13th, 2010
12:08 pm

Red Light and Joe, I agree that the Wings have in the past signed some of their RFA, though a 26 or 27 year old signing is much different to me than a 23 year old (Bergfors). The Thrash did sign Kovalchuk at a young age. They probably would have with Heatley as well if he had not permanently altered his future here by crashing on Lenox Road. Anyway, aren’t most of our promising young guys 24-25 or younger? I just don’t feel it’s the time to pull the trigger on the long deals for these still young RFAs that can tie your hands and quickly get you cap-strapped in the future. JMO.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
12:09 pm

Oooopsie!! Too many times to the well and I’m stuck in the filter. Eventually it gets you just like Troy Polamalu.

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

“if he scores 30 and goes to arbitration, you’re looking at a sizable salary hit next year.”

Bingo.

“Again, I think it smacks of being reactive rather than proactive.”

Hit the nail on the head here.

” And, if you go by that logic, then why in the heck did you ask for him in the Kovalchuk trade?”

Yep. And I’ll say it again, either h is spot on with his idea that this sets up a trade for a cap stressed team, or our mgt. is continuing to be penny wise and pound foolish.

I will state right now that no one is this idiotic to sign Bergfors to a one year deal and leave yourself open to the arb. award he’ll get after banking pts playing top line and top PP minutes on the Thrashers. The only thing that makes sense is he’s the trade bait to be used to go snag a proven top 6 guy off a cap stressed club, and allow that club to replace a roster player with only a $900k hit.

And it makes sense in that Bergfors really doesn’t fit the mold of the style of play Dudley is developing here.

rob

September 13th, 2010
12:10 pm

It is what it is, isn’t it? He’s signed, so that thundercould is not hanging over us. It would be great if they would enlighten us as to why they do these things, but I don’t see it happeneing yet. Is he trade bait, is he proving himself for a big payday next year? If he does, well we will have the cap space for it, and if he doesn’t, no loss, right? Who knows, since Duds ain’t talking to any of us about the goings on of our favorite team.

World Be Free

September 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

I have been reading the reactions to the Bergfors situation. I agree with what has been stated, in general about the 1 year low budget deal for Bergfors. I expected more in terms of money and years. At the very least, I was hoping to break the trend of short term commitments. One year worked in Bob Feller’s day, times have changed. as rob stated, he’s signed and that in itself is a positive.

But I am leaving this in Dudley’s hands. He clearly has a budget that he needs to maintain, as low as it may be. All I can think is that there’s something else happening here that may explain the current payroll compared to what it may be on opening night.

h

September 13th, 2010
12:35 pm

It will be interesting to see how our front lines look by end of training camp….my guess is something like (assuming no trades)……
Bergie – Antro – Little
Pevs – Kane – Ladd
Modin – Slater – Burmy
Eager – Dawes/Petterson – Thorbs
Boults – Rissmiller/other

You can switch Slater for Dawes/Petterson, and maybe Cormier slips in, but certainly you don’t bring in either Cormier or Burmy unless you plan on playing them, so healthy scratch doesn’t do it….These lines seem ok, but they get a ton better if you use one of your “extra” D-men to solicit a trade for a top 6-er (from a cap strapped team) and then bump Ladd down to 3rd line. MHO.

Sara

September 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

How to explain this … you have to look at the big picture in the long-term. The budget was aroundish $50M last season right? So assume that’s the most Atlanta Spirit can commit to payroll in any given year based on current factors (a 30% partner in name only and crap ticket sales). If those factors do not change, and it would be foolhardy to just assume they will, then Dudley has to plan not only how to spend this years’ $50M but also how he’s going to spend that $50M 2 and 3 seasons from now. If he commits too much money now to players like Ladd or Bergfors, that could mean not being able to resign Kane or Bogosian down the road. Budgets are not done solely on a yearly basis and future projections have to be practical based on historical knowns. Maybe something changes in the next couple of seasons and there is a cash influx. But if nothing changes and Dudley overspends now, it could come back to bite him in the arse later. So yes, he has to be cautious about overspending. When there isn’t lots of money to go around, one has to watch every single dime.

It’s why I find people who complain about Waddell’s FA signings in 2001 and 2002 so funny. Payroll under AOL/TW was impressive if it even hit the $20M mark for the year. Knowing that in a couple years in the future he’d have to commit major $$ to Kovy and Heater, and having to presume AOL/TW would never give him much more to work with for payroll (after all in those years he had no way to know new owners would show up), he couldn’t exactly go blow a wad of dough on some fancy FA. Cause if he did, and that meant he had to move Kovy or Heater due to budget constraints, he really would have been crucified.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
12:38 pm

Hey Smoothie, are you at rookie camp? Or anybody there…give us jealous workers your thoughts, please.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

Now there you go again, Sara, trying to introduce a logic-based reality tempered with sound financial planning into the blog again. C’mon on, where’s the fun in that?? We all know every pie has three halves.

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
12:48 pm

Nope, that doesn’t wash Sara.The expiring RFA contract of Bogosian is easily offset by the expiring UFA contracts of Sopel, Thorburn, Boulton, Modin, Rissmiller, Eager and Meyer after the upcoming season, and for Kane the expiring contracts in the following year of Oduya, Mason, Peverley and Slater.

We understand future budgetary concerns, which is why if you can lock up a guy like Ladd or Bergfors, rather than going to arbitration, particularly when you gave up “valuable assets” to acquire them (Morin, etc.), then I think you must try to do it.

Even if you’re planning to re-up several of those UFAs listed above, none are budget breaking contracts!

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
12:59 pm

“And it makes sense in that Bergfors really doesn’t fit the mold of the style of play Dudley is developing here.”

If he does get jettisoned in a trade over the next couple of weeks, then we’ll have a pretty good indicator that Don Waddell did in fact have a big role in the Kovalchuk trade (shudders). I was hoping Dudley was steering the ship on that one or at least influencing greatly the outcome based on his “scouting expertise”…apparently not.

kracker – I’m not there today, but I plan on going up Wednesday to take a look-see. I’ll try to make some notes on certain guys like Espo, Cormier, Pettersson, Zubey and Burma of course.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
1:01 pm

Red Light – nail meet hammer. Money spent today for the long-term is cheaper than money spent later…locking him up early also saves you the headache of arbitration squabbles that can squeeze the life right out of any goodwill that may have existed prior to the hearing.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:09 pm

Red Light, what is the functionality of mentioning all those expiring contracts? The money for them – a quite resonable amount, in the aggregate – will be used to resign them or to bring in other players of their caliber. Or perhaps Dudley is able to sign better players for a higher salary. Either way, any way I look at it, I don’t see that expiring contracts of that size (small) have much effect on how we will deal with our promising young crop of RFA.

The problem with attempting to sign too-young RFAs to long-term contracts is that you can not sign them to a long enough contract to get them well into their UFA years. Or if you do, you may find out that you have hitched your wagon to the wrong showhorse not to the right workhorse.

I feel Dudley has no prudent way to go, as an underfunded GM, but to try to get these guys to within a year or two of UFA and then go for the four-five-six year deal. Signing them to three or four years of RFA years will surely set them up for leaving if their level of play exceeds that of the team.

glovesave29

September 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

Before I get all up in it with the Bergfors signing – does anyone here know if Duds has said anything about signing players to extensions during the season? I always thought that was a silly policy that DW had in place.

Sara

September 13th, 2010
1:19 pm

Red Light – except you have to replace Sopel and Thorburn and Boulton and Rissmiller and Modin and Eager and Meyer. Plus Oduya and Peverley and Slater and Mason. Unless you expect Bogosian to be an entire D-pair all on his own (and I’m being overly snarky there – I’m sure you don’t actually expect that). Those are by and large not big money contracts that will come off the books, so you aren’t going to save alot by resigning other 4th liners or rookies – it’s not like you’ll be replacing a $3M player with a $750K player under those circumstances so that you get back $2.25M to give some RFA a raise. The highest salary of that group is Oduya at $3.5M and in two seasons he’ll be 30 years old – not exactly a point in his career where I’d be kicking him out the door.

And freaking out over arbitration is silly, as if that hasn’t occurred to either Dudley or Larry S. It’s “what if he scores a bunch of goals then we have to pay him big money” – except it sounds like he was already asking for the bigger money without having proven anything and that “what if” scenario goes two ways – what if they lock him up now and he’s making $3M+ in another year or two, except he doesn’t pot more than 20 or so goals a year. Then you’ve overspent on an asset that doesn’t produce, screwing your bang for the buck, and you violate Dudley’s rule cause if Bergie doesn’t score, no one’s going to take that contract off waivers.

Better to overpay for something that has value than to overpay for something that doesn’t.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:22 pm

Surely Dudley doesn’t have to mention it…but then you are right, that could be a policy that Waddell could definitely affect how Dudley deals with players. So I agree it does need to be clarified.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
1:30 pm

replace Sopel and Thorburn and Boulton and Rissmiller and Modin and Eager and Meyer

Let’s see, okay here we go: Kulda, Machacek, Paquette, Aliu, Pettersson? (Modin’s a stop-gap short-term measure), Klingberg and Zubarev. Done.

And I bet you can do it for the same money or less. The point is you don’t have to worry about future budgets as much if you have a talent-rich pool of talent to draw from in your system. We have that, or are closer to having it than ever before. We’re not advocating overspending on Bergfors, just simply paying him what he’s worth. Take a look around, there are several comparable contracts. Plus, you can tell from watching him play he’s at least as good as (or has the potential to be better than) Sam Gagner.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

Plus, you can tell from watching him play he’s at least as good as (or has the potential to be better than) Sam Gagner. I am looking forward to seeing just that, Smoothie. And definitely, yes, I hope we always have a talent-rich pool of talent to draw from in our system.

TableHockey

September 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

The Devils have to shed several million just to make it under the cap (not to mention what they need to have extra for Parise’s contract next year). They’d love to have Bergfors back at at that price I just wonder if it’s not part of a deal for us to get a solid top 6 in return.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

Are we involved??…

Eklund Was also just told to look for the NJ Devils Cap Space Deal in the next 36 hours. trying to hunt down who is involved.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:41 pm

If Lou wants Bergfors back, it follows that I want to keep him.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

Tweetle dum: @ajcthrashers “For those asking, after agreeing to one-year deal Niclas Bergfors will be RFA with arbitration rights after the season”

Not calling C-Viv dumb, mind you, just this ridiculous 1 yr deal for Bergfors. Just don’t understand why we wouldn’t try to avoid ARB for a player that was supposedly the center-piece of the Kovy deal. Now watch him score 25 goals and get an award of $3.5 M / year when we should have locked him up for 2 years and $4.5 M TOTAL.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
1:51 pm

kracker – sorry for my redundancy…talent-rich pools o’ talent! Yes indeed, that’s what we need! Ben Wright says Zubarev and Freddy the Fly look really good at camp. Then again, they ought to right?

If we do trade with NJ, we better damn well get Zajac back!

kracker

September 13th, 2010
1:54 pm

This guy I will pay $2.3M (using McCarthy’s ridiculous award as an example) if he gets that, which I couild see if Nic has the season we hope and expect him to have.

ajcthrashers For those asking, after agreeing to one-year deal Niclas Bergfors will be RFA with arbitration rights after the season.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
2:00 pm

My comment about it isn’t worth retyping or retrieving. Here is what C Viv says about Bergy’s status:

ajcthrashers For those asking, after agreeing to one-year deal Niclas Bergfors will be RFA with arbitration rights after the season.

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
2:00 pm

Yes, Sara, that is overly snarky!

OK, lets just look at one very isolated situation…Bergfors vs. Patric Hornqvist, signed by kracker’s favorite GM, David Poile in Nashville, and I personally think he does a great job too.

Hornqvist
Age 23
Birth place: Sollentuna, Sweden
Seventh round pick in 2005, 230th overall
Games played 80
Goals 31
Assists 20
Plus/Minus +18
Played in 23 games prior to last season
Restricted free agent in summer of 2010, signed a three-year deal for $9.25 million; will still be a restricted free agent when current deal expires

Bergfors
Age 23
Birth place: Sodertalje, Sweden
1st round pick in 2005, 23rd overall
Games played 81
Goals 21
Assists 23
Plus/minus -10
Played in 9 games prior to last season
Restricted free agent in summer of 2010, signed a one-year deal for $900,000, will still be a restricted free agent when current deal expires

So, what are the differences here outside of the obvious stats? Commitment!

Red Light

September 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

And by the way, I’m not saying that Dudley is making a mistake — he very well could come out smelling like a rose in all instances — I’m just saying there are other considerations that are not so black and white (like perception by current players and those who might consider Atlanta in the future).

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
2:18 pm

Red Light and Smoothie get it, Sara and Kracker? Not so much . . .

Sara, you talk about setting budgets, which is precisely why you lock him out up now. Or you risk blowing your budget when the guy you’re planning on playing on your top line racks up the points and has arb rights next year.

No, this is all moot. It’s pretty clear that h has hit the nail on the head earlier today, Bergfors was signed to be able to trade to a club that needs cap relief. Sweet Lou has to move a forward making $5m (or more) and take Bergfors back to take the spot on the roster. Elias? Rolston? Neither one excites me and I’d guess that’s who Lou would want to move. I’d love to have Parise, Parise would fit right into this lineup, what are the odds that in Lou’s mind he’s “replacing” Parise with a younger Bergfors, solving his two problems with one fell stroke.

Dudley pulls that one off and you’re going to have to climb over me to shake the man’s hand . . .

Diego from Lilburn

September 13th, 2010
2:22 pm

Shake his hand? Shake his hand?

If Dudley gets Parise here I will kiss him on the face and I don’t care what you wanna call me for doing it! :D

kracker

September 13th, 2010
2:25 pm

That is a very nice comparison, Red Light. I can’t go so far as to say that ‘commitment’, or the lack of it, is the only difference in these signings but it may well be one of them. From what we heard from the grapevine, the Bergfors camp wanted a longer deal for higher money than Dudley was able to go. Or would go, whatever the case was.

Diego from Lilburn

September 13th, 2010
2:26 pm

off topic: What fantasy league should I join? I’ve never done that before and I see a dozen out there. NHL.com is promoting the Yahoo one. That’s fine with me but it says “join a league” or “create a league”. Do us Thrasher fans have a league that we mostly use? I’ll admit I’m very out of the loop in this. I’m happy to join a league where I feel like I know somebody even if the only people on this blog I’ve ever met are Tablehockey (we work together) and Rawhide (I introduced myself in the food court at CNN late last season when I saw you sitting there eating before the game).

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
2:31 pm

I’m not one for these made up trade scenarios, but there’s some serious smoke here:

To Atlanta: Arnott and Parise
To NJ: Bergfors and Peverly

What say you? Brings us the pivot and top LW we need, , NJ gets a pivot and LW in return and gets under the cap safely. We have the room even in our self imposed budget and that would bring us to $51m in salary on the year. Get ‘er done, Dudley
What say you? I t

five hole

September 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

I’m glad to see they signed Bergfors.

Here’s the thing with players and their salaries; they have a cost/value relationship. If they’re considered to be ‘overpaid’ then their relative value goes down. No one want them at that price. Witness Mr. McArthur, whom we walked away from because he was deemed to ‘not have value at that salary’. The same could be true of Marc Savard, after having signed the big money contract. Yes, Toronto signed McArthur, but not at what the arbitor awarded him.

Players need to worry that they’re ‘pricing themselves out of the market’.

And if he’s an RFA for another 3 or 4 years, he has time to establish his ‘market value’.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
2:39 pm

Joe F – that would be lovely, but really?? Parise?? He’s one of the best 10 forwards in the league IMO. And his overall game is better than Kostalchuk who I put at or near #9 or #10. That would be nice, but don’t you think a more realistic target would be Zajac to man our top line C position? Go with Kane-Zajac-Antro \ Ladd-Pevs-Buf or Little OR Lits-Zajac-Antro \ Kane-Pevs-Buf

In a trade for Zajac, we’d only have to give up Bergy and either a 2nd round pick or a mid-high prospect. The player swap gives them just about an even $3 M in cap relief. But then again, they are thin at C so Zajac may be out of the question. In that case I would only want Langebrunner. To hell with Arnott, Dainus, Rolston or Elias.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
2:47 pm

That’s above my paygrade, Joe. Neither guy is signed. Parise is RFA. Arnott is UFA and getting up there, he will be 36 in a month. I might prefer to go it with Pevs. I would have to be able to have an idea if Parise will resign. I (Dudley, I mean) already have an idea already about Bergfors.

But you are asking for an answer. I guess I do it if I know Bergy will not stay here and take my chances w/ Parise. But not if I feel confident of keeping Bergfors and Peverley.

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
2:50 pm

“they are thin at C so Zajac may be out of the question”

That’s what I was thinking, they’re thin at C and will want Zajac going forward. You have to give to get, and the giving here is us taking Arnott off their hands AND they get Peverly in return. And Bergfors can be good justification for letting Parise go. They’re not going to be able to pay Parise what he’ll demand next summer so might as well move him now and get value back in return (what smart GMs do, and Sweet Lou is smart).

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
2:53 pm

Let me re-post something that got hung up in the filter to further accentuate Joe’s / Red Light’s point:

Just don’t understand why we wouldn’t try to avoid ARB for a player that was supposedly the center-piece of the Kovy deal. Now watch him score 25 goals and get an award of $3.5 M / year when we should have locked him up for 2 years and $4.5 M TOTAL.