Archive for September, 2010

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 …

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Do the Thrashers still need another top-six forward?

I’m quite sure that upon reading the question posed in today’s header, most of you already answered the enquiry out loud. And I’m certain it was phrased something like… “Do we need another winger for one of the top two lines? Well, yeah…DUH, Rawhide”!

Nik Antropov scored 24 goals for the Thrashers as the top-line center last season (AP Photo)

Nik Antropov scored 24 goals, 43 assists and was a +13 as the Thrashers top-line center last season (AP Photo)

Uh-huh…and maybe there were a few other special words strategically placed as well.

But let’s take a look at this for just a second. Right now the top two lines that could be rolled out October 8 could possibly consist of Nik Antropov centering Nic Bergfors and Bryan Little as well as Rich Peverley in between Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane.

So…which one of those players isn’t worthy of top-six status? I’m sure that debate will be waged in the comment section below.

Regardless, there are a couple of issues here to take into consideration. First of which is that Bergie is still yet unsigned. When …

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Coach Ramsay believes defense can be Thrashers strength

So, how did new Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay spend this past holiday weekend? Well, taking advantage of the beautiful weather that was experienced here in Atlanta, he and his wife checked out some of the sights in Buckhead and did a little shopping. Being out and about in the fair climes of the south is something Ramsay says he could get used to.

“I spent 22 years in Buffalo and was asked if I would ever leave”, he told me. “I said ‘yeah if they ever put a team in Florida’. So I’ve been with both teams in Florida and now Atlanta”.

Of course, the weather down here wasn’t the only thing about Atlanta that coach Ramsay had heard of, “The traffic has been found to be everything it was proposed to be”.

However, his commute to the Duluth Ice Forum has been nothing but a pleasure, he insists. The coach says that’s because he truly is enjoying the people he is working with. He and general manager Rick Dudley and team president Don Waddell have known each other …

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Thrashers rumored to have signed veteran forward Fredrik Modin

There’s a report coming from Sweden that the Thrashers have signed veteran forward Fredrik Modin to a one-year contract. I’ve yet to see any official confirmation of the signing, however Dan Kamal tweets and TSN reports that the deal has indeed gone down. Regardless, it wouldn’t surprise me that the rumors are true, given the fact that the 6’-4”, 223 lb forward has past ties with both Craig Ramsay and Rick Dudley. All three were a part of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning team.

Modin will be 36 years old on October 8 and is currently a UFA coming off a three-year $9.75 million contract which brought with it a $3.25 mil cap hit. Last season he split time between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings, netting a total of 5 goals and 6 assists during 44 total games. He was a –6 in 24 games with Columbus and a –2 in 20 games in LA. Last spring he played in 6 playoff games with the Kings during their round one loss to Vancouver, scoring 3 …

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Hey Thrasherville, It’s five o’clock somewhere so…

At 5:00 this afternoon, so we’ve been told, we’re finally going to hear from the league office regarding the latest chapter of this summer’s saga, “As The Kovalchuk Turns”. If the revamped contract is accepted, then it will all finally come to a merciful end. If not, it will just seem like another one of the Thousand Steps To Nowhere in this drawn out fiasco.

Why was there a delay in the announcement? Well, to hear Larry Brooks of the New York Post tell it, it’s because the NHL has given the players union somewhat of an ultimatum. They’ll agree to “grandfather” in the contracts of not only Kovalchuk, but also those of Roberto Luongo and Marian Hossa. Both Luongo and Hossa will be entering into the second season under their deals. In return, the league wants to amend the current CBA to change how salaries affect the cap, specifically for those that take the player past the age of 40.

If the NHLPA refuses to show An Attitude Of Gratitude and rejects the offer, …

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NHL teams employ new concept when dealing with RFAs: Common sense

With just over a month left before the puck drops on the new season, RFA forward Nic Bergfors and the Thrashers are still yet to bridge the gap in their ongoing contract negotiations. General manager Rick Dudley stated last week that the two parties “are not close” to a new deal. Bergfors is the last remaining Thrashers RFA needing to be signed.

But as Ken Campbell of The Hockey News tells us, Bergie isn’t alone in this little predicament. Players like Carey Price, Bobby Ryan, James Neal and Marc Staal and others are still yet to ink new deals with their respective teams.

Niclas Berfors is not alone in being a still et to be signed RFA (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Niclas Berfors is not alone in being a still et to be signed RFA (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The reason for this, according to Campbell, is because teams around the league are beginning to employ a novel new concept when it comes to locking down these players as they enter into their playing primes. Its something called…common sense.

Campbell explains, “In particular, their dealings with players …

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Who would you put on Thrashers All-Time Defensive Team?

During the first ten Thrashers seasons, there have been a number of outstanding players that have passed through the organization. Names like Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Marc Savard, Peter Bondra and Dany Heatley come to mind. Regardless of how you might feel about some of them personally, or what kind of bad taste they left in your mouth upon their departure, those names represent some very fine hockey talent.

But what do the names above…and possible the others that might come to your mind… have in common? I mean, besides the fact that they represent the Retention Deficit Disorder that this organ-I-zation has suffered from for the past decade.

Yeah, they are all forwards.

If you put your mind to it, I’m quite sure you could come up with 12 forwards who have played for Atlanta that could comprise a theoretical Thrashers All-Time Offensive Team. Some would be considered more “shoe ins” for the honor than others, but I’m certain the debate would be quite …

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