To boo Kovalchuk or not to boo – That is the question for you, Thrasherville

To boo or not to boo, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler to make known a fan’s anger and frustration towards one player’s actions of a year ago with audible sounds of displeasure…or to cheer loudly for him to convey appreciation for his services when here…or to simply sit quietly as said player toils in futility as he currently plays for a once-proud franchise now mired in a troubled season.

Tomorrow night, Ilya Kovalchuk returns to Philips Arena as the Thrashers take on the New Jersey Devils. It will be the second return appearance for Kovy since last winter’s big trade. Last spring, Kovy and his new team made their way to Atlanta and the first overall pick by the Thrashers in 2001 then suffered the slings and arrows of a feisty crowd…most of whom were bent on letting the Russian forward just what they thought about how things went down two months prior.

While most booed Kovalchuk, some did cheer for him when he popped out of the visiting locker room…expressing thanks to him for the years of service to the team before heading out of town on the same rail Marian Hossa had two years prior.

Me…I did neither. My feelings were that Ilya Kovalchuk had made his decision, turning down as much as $10 million a season to remain here, and was simply a member of the visiting team the Thrashers were playing that night. It is what it is…and we move on.

Ilya Kovalchuk was then…and to me remains still…nothing more and nothing less than simply a member of the opposing team. Not worth booing but certainly not worth wasting any breathe on cheering for.

Of course, circumstances are somewhat different now then they were during the final week of last season when the Devils last made there way down to Georgia. Then, New Jersey was 45-26-7 coming into that game and currently on their way to yet another Atlantic Division championship. They earned the second seed in the east for the playoffs.

The Thrashers on the other hand…they were once more banished to viewing the playoffs from the comfort of their couch and planning early-spring golf outings. Same story…different verse.

New Jersey then used that lofty second seed position to win one whole game in postseason, being kicked to the curb by the Philadelphia Flyers in five games. They were the only team of the 16 that qualified for the playoffs to not win at least two games.

And now, as the current NHL campaign has unfolded, it is New Jersey that finds itself having to take up arms against a sea of troubles and look up in the standings to find the Thrashers. In gaining another shootout loss consolation point, Atlanta currently finds themselves ensconced in second place in the Southeast Division and sixth place overall in the Eastern Conference. They are but one point off the division lead and two behind the fifth-place New York Rangers.

This has many residents of Thrasherville looking forward to the much coveted spring campaign for Lord Stanley’s Cup, the portion of the season that only 16 teams are allowed to take part in…an undiscovered country ventured into but once by this franchise and even then, they returned from no games victorious.

Do you plan on booing Kovy Saturday night?

  • Yes! Goodbye and good riddance (29%, 71 Votes)
  • No! He's a great player and we were lucky to have him here (24%, 59 Votes)
  • Ilya who? (47%, 115 Votes)

Total Voters: 245

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The Devils, on the other hand, carry with them a 9-19-2 record going into tonight’s game against visiting Nashville. And if it weren’t for the New York Islanders, they would be the bottom dwellers of the NHL. In beating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-0 Wednesday night…a game in which Kovalchuk potted a pair of goals…the Devils snapped a five game losing streak. They had dropped 9 of their last 12 as well prior to that win.

They are an offensively-challenged bunch, these Devils. The 56 goals scored to date are the fewest of any team in the league. The Islanders are on the next rung up on that ladder, having scored 62 but played one fewer game than has New Jersey.

For his part, Kovalchuk has 7 goals, 9 assists and is a –17.

In contrast, the Thrashers have 8 players on their roster that have at least 16 points…Dustin Byfuglien, 33…Andrew Ladd, 29…Toby Enstrom, 22…Rich Peverley, 21…Evander Kane, 19…Anthony Stewart, 18…Nic Bergfors, (who was a part of the Kovalchuk deal), 18…and Nik Antropov, 16.

Truly this Devils team has found itself having to grunt and sweat under a weary life in a manner we’ve not seen in many a year. And for some Thrashers fans, it’s almost a joyous sight to behold given the ransom paid for the service of Mr. Kovalchuk. Given the current state of affairs with the two organizations, there will no doubt be a great deal of those Thrashers faithful that will take tomorrow’s opportunity to not only boo #17…but rub things in a bit with their calls from the stands.

I take no issue with that, mind you…you pay your money, you cheer, boo, scream, holler as you see fit. It’s a fan’s right after all. But again, I will simply save my energy for rooting on the home team. Do what you will…do what you may.

However, if one Mr. Johan Hedberg gets the start tomorrow night…well, that’s one Devil I have no problem at all showing some emotion for. I’ll stand a clap for him with all the vigor I can muster up.

196 comments Add your comment

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
11:59 am

Boo his ass out of the rink. I hope Bergfors gets a hat trick

Mike W

December 17th, 2010
12:00 pm

I personally think we all should cheer very loud when he gets the puck

Zombie Steve

December 17th, 2010
12:01 pm

J(Z)

December 17th, 2010
12:02 pm

Don’t boo him!!!! Just laugh at him!!!!
New Jersey 9-19-2
Kovalchuk 7 goals, 9 assists, -17!!!!!
That’s just funny!!!!!

The question is do we MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE if he plays and makes a save? I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

Red Light

December 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

To boo the all-time leader in goals and games played for this franchise would be a shame. Could he have been better while he was here, sure. Could he exited under better circumstances, of course. Would rather see people cheer for their current Thrashers rather than waste energy on former players in another uniform.

Be loud for your team, keep him off the scoresheet, win the game, get the two points and move on.

J(Z)

December 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Rawhide, can you get Trixie to recover my post?????

Alan R.

December 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

I still love and cherish that Kovalchump photo that Tony so kindly snapped and provided you with in April, Bill. ;)

Alan R.

December 17th, 2010
12:04 pm

Be loud for your team, keep him off the scoresheet, win the game, get the two points and move on.

Pretty much the same sentiments we shared on Twitter this morning. ;)

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

How about we chant “Mickey Mouse…Mickey Mouse.”

Let’s see how many of you remember the reference to the Devils organization.

J(Z)

December 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

Thank you sir :)

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

December 17th, 2010
12:05 pm

Mr. J(Z) – Your 12:02 pm post has been freed from Blog Purgatory.

h

December 17th, 2010
12:08 pm

I agree with Red Light….let’s focus on cheering really loud for our boys…..the ones in Blue. Thanks to Kovy for scoring all of those goals when he was here, but he’s gone. He’s a Devil for th enext 100 years, so let’s all move on. Seriously, he did us a favor in hindsight. Let’s focus on making our arena really loud and drowning out any Devils fans that dare to show up. Let’s win this game handily and then go up to Tronna and kick their butts too. 8 games left in 2010, and I expect us to win at least 5-6 in regulation.

Alan R.

December 17th, 2010
12:08 pm

do we MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE if he plays and makes a save?

He’s not wearing Thrashers colors, so he’s not worth cheering for. Applause for his years of service at the beginning of the game, sure, I’m all for that. Once the puck drops, though, he’s our enemy and we must violate his weaknesses.

AngryRedMarsWoman

December 17th, 2010
12:09 pm

I was in NYC recently and caught a game between the Devils and Flyers. In his own “house” they were booing him (at least the Devils fans in my section were) by mid-way through the second period. Throughout that entire game all I saw was “Kovy has the puck…excitement…he razzles…he dazzles….he loses the puck (or an edge)….slowly skates back into the defensive zone…skates to the bench.” That is what they bought for 10 years. Kovy’s problem is that when he is good he is great, but when he is not he really sucks and brings the rest of the team down…IMHO. Oh well…I never boo anyone on the ice except the zebras.

litz

December 17th, 2010
12:10 pm

I say we don’t bother … why waste the energy?

I’m sure he’s getting enough of that on his (new) home ice.

As for the team … we need to learn shootouts. We need to learn them FAST.

Otherwise the bird is gonna be in jail a long, long time …

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
12:12 pm

I did not boo him either when he came back the first time. But the B.S. concerning the contract soured me on Kovy and Lou. I hope they in last place for a decade.

Mr. Heat Miser

December 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

Extreme heckling during warmups. Can’t wait!

Stan Drulia

December 17th, 2010
12:20 pm

I don’t think he deserves constant booing… dude is probably about as down as he has ever been in his life. His scumbag agent is the one that deserves the boos and projectiles thrown. I have never personally met a pro sports agent… and for that I am very thankful. I am about 90% sure that Kovy really did think that he was going to stay here… it’s not cool that he wanted more money than we were willing to give, but whatever. His agent is clearly pulling all the strings – I mean, he came up with a contract that was flat out rejected by the NHL for being preposterous!!! All’s I know is that I totally enjoyed watching Kovy play here all those years and will not forget some of those highs. Nor will I forget the insane frustration I felt during some of his lows. A ton of fans booing Kovy everytime he hits the ice makes it seem like we are hurt by him leaving.. I was hurt – but not anymore with 19 points!!!

DWTOO

December 17th, 2010
12:22 pm

Moose gets polite applause when introduced. Kovy gets ignored. The team in the blue sweaters gets cheered loudly.

Side note – opinions as to what has put Bergfors in Ramsay’s doghouse. He has 18 points and at least appears to play effectively. And he only was on the ice for 7:40. Even at his worst Bergie’s a better option than Modin or Stapleton?

Chris

December 17th, 2010
12:25 pm

Kovalchuk made the supreme error of making a deal with the Devils without having read Goethe’s Faust beforehand.

At this point, booing would just be piling on.

R. Stroz

December 17th, 2010
12:30 pm

Anyone planning on tossing their Kovy jersey over the glass?

Vitamin Z

December 17th, 2010
12:33 pm

No booing. He is the guy who spend the prime of his career with this sh!ty “organization”, often pulling the team on his shoulders. Last year was an exception. Why boo him for that!? We should boo Don Waddell instead.

Riceowls

December 17th, 2010
12:37 pm

I’ll second the “Thank you Kovy” chant someone mentioned in a prior blog for giving us Bergfors, Oduya and the first round pick that helped us land the Chicago boys.

“Mickey Mouse” a close second. (Thank you Wayne)

Hoof Arted

December 17th, 2010
12:39 pm

Holy cow. Did the BlogMaster just drop some Shakespeare on us? Quite the sophisticated crowd he must feel we are.

As for Kovalchuk, I have but one word…..

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Joe Friday

December 17th, 2010
12:42 pm

Nope. This isn’t a Heatley situation. Kovy was driven away, like so many former season tix holders, by one Don Waddell. I think he would have stayed here if Waddell was removed as GM prior to last year, but whatever.

We’re a better team without him, I wish him well, just not tomorrow night.

Mrs. Zoomo

December 17th, 2010
12:49 pm

slightly off topic – do we have an update on Thrash? I thought it was cute that Freddy Falcon, Harry Hawk, and Homer subbed for him at the game last night!

AtlFlamesFan

December 17th, 2010
12:54 pm

The first time Kovy steps on the ice, the organist should play:
“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?”
During breaks, they could put clips from the old Mickey Mouse Club shows! “ANNETTE!”

AtlFlamesFan

December 17th, 2010
12:55 pm

For the first 10,000 fans, hand out Mickey Mouse ears!

RS

December 17th, 2010
12:57 pm

You have to keep one thing in mind here. Kovalchuk plays his best when he’s pissed off. Why fire him up?

georg

December 17th, 2010
12:58 pm

To boo him is disgraceful just because the cheap owners we have could not make him a good offer so therefore you lost yourself a good player just like Hossa. This town sucks when it comes to Hockey the fans are sorry just like the media no decent coverage what more do you poeple want blood……

canofpeas

December 17th, 2010
12:59 pm

why boo? we have been better off without him. this is a much different situation than heatley.

Tony C

December 17th, 2010
12:59 pm

DWTOO-he’s not Canadian. Just look at who they sent out for the shootout-all North Americans (Antropov became a Canadian citizen while playing for the Leafs)-yes the Byfuglien is from Minnesota, but c’mon, that’s pretty much Canada…also nary a dangler after Antropov (who I don’t think of as a dangler per se)… I just don’t understand sending Little in during the skills competition (PLEASE let’s not bicker about that-it’s not fair to end a team game that way-but we are however stuck with it, I think you should do your best to win) the guy’s almost as bad as #17 in the shootout. A natural breakaway, I’d say Little is a lead-pipe cinch to score…the shootout? Not so much.

Seems like Bergfors, and Burmistrov are/did displease Ramsay-Bergfors got maybe 8 minutes of ice time the whole game-the guy is trade bait; coach doesn’t like him, and front office didn’t really seem all that anxious about getting him signed…

but I betcha if Ramsay would’ve sent Burmistrov & Bergfors out for that shootout, we wouldn’t have lost it in the first three rounds-I’m all for rewarding/disciplining players via their ice-time, but with the game on the line? Let’s not put a guy who’s 3-for-15 (Little) out there as our 2nd shooter when the other guys are countering with THE preeminent shootout specialist in the league (Jussi) as their 2nd shooter. Especially when it’s a division game after we lost in the shootout against a division foe the night before.

As far as #17, I’ll cheer when he hits the ice, and then probably be too busy cheering for our boys to really worry about the guy standing at their blueline doing the ” !Ole’! ” defense he’s famed for.

Tony C

December 17th, 2010
1:01 pm

but booing Kovalchuk is tacky-try and resist.

Rawhide

December 17th, 2010
1:02 pm

Mrs. Zoomo – Thrash is still in the GWEEE-nett hooscow. But we are getting closer to his release.

Remember, if you wanna help the Thrashers raise his bail money…and get a great deal on tickets…simply click HERE and enter the promo code RAWHIDE.

…thanks for the setup, Mrs. Zoomo…

JB

December 17th, 2010
1:07 pm

i would certainly cheer for moose during warmups. i think in the interest of not instigating a reaction that would likely end up in the back of our net, it’s best to ignore #17 tomorrow. I appreciate his long and distinguished service to our team but I loathe the season or more of lies about wanting to re-sign here.

js

December 17th, 2010
1:08 pm

This team deserves our undivided attention. Cheer for them loudly and make all the others that left sorry for their decision. The building is slowly filling. Last night was not too bad for a Thursday night after the freeze warnings. It was probably the best mid-week attedance yet. Let’s keep the momentum going in the right direction. Go Thrash.

Toby

December 17th, 2010
1:09 pm

Dude went on for months saying how he loved Atlanta and wants to stay and then declines 10 years/$100 mill (even $10 each year, too). My love for Kovy is long gone.

Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt

December 17th, 2010
1:09 pm

Some of you act like Kovy was your ex that slept with someone else… sports are a business, sorry your heart was broken when he left, but the man gave us many great years of his service. He wanted to win and the money and took an offer he thought would give him both. It hasn’t worked out like that for him yet, but I’m nothing but grateful for what he did while he was here.

Thrashers27

December 17th, 2010
1:12 pm

NO BOOING!!!

JUST POINT AND LAUGH EVERYTIME HE TOUCHES THE PUCK!

Imagine: the entire crowd stands, points and laughs hysterically at Kovy every time he touches the puck. We do this not out of spite to Kovy, but out of spite to those who thought this team would be nothing without the “legendary #17″ and out of spite of those who think this team isn’t backed by the fans.

Thrashers fans are here and we back our TEAM. We no longer have to back a team built around a player, we have a TEAM to back. So, let’s stand, point and laugh at Kovy and Lou and the entire “top-notch organization”…or whatever it was that Kovy called the Devils.

———–> #17 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zombie Steve

December 17th, 2010
1:13 pm

“Hide – I see your blog got some love on the front page of AJC!! Congrats!

Matt

December 17th, 2010
1:15 pm

I’m laughing…. at Thrashers27’s idea… we aren’t even half way through the season, the Thrashers aren’t in the playoffs, yet… I’m not laughing at anyone until we are Stanley Cup Champions, when that day comes I might chuckle.. among 100 different other things.

Thrashers27

December 17th, 2010
1:16 pm

Oh yeah…Gotta cheer for Moose when he’s introduced. We still love you Moosie!

DawgDad

December 17th, 2010
1:18 pm

I never bought into the whole Kovalchuk superstar thing. Nice piece for the power play, but really, what else does he do? He’s a liability 5-on-5. Just thankful we have team management now that understands how to build a TEAM and get them to play together.

About as pitiful as Kovy and New Jersey’s current record is the image of Waddell holding a handwritten sign on TV encouraging people to buy tickets. So much for building your team around a figure skater, Don. Now you’re reduced to immitating the guys the local restaurants hire to put on clown suit and wave a sign by the side of the road.

Thrashers27

December 17th, 2010
1:24 pm

get a sense of humor Matt…and see Toby’s sentiments just above yours…If Kovy doesn’t blow smoke up our collective rears for a season before leaving then fine I hold no ill-will toward him, but he did feed us full of crap, even going so far as to do “signing” on the ice in celebration of a goal. Total BS.

We all went through this same argument with Hossa. Not really worth debating further, but you’re entitled to your opinon and everyone else theirs… but come on…You gotta see that Kovy bolting from a losing team in the Thrashers to go to what is one of the league’s perrenial powerhouses only to see them turn into a steaming pile on the ice is hugely ironic and comical.

Hokey P. Clisters

December 17th, 2010
1:25 pm

Crazy times……..Thrash in the jailhouse and Kovy in the doghouse.

Jeff

December 17th, 2010
1:29 pm

Seriously, if you could command that kind of money and play for a serious contender for the Cup year in and year out, would you really stay with the Trashers and their skin-flint ways??? I love the boys in Blue, but I didn’t blame Hossa and I certaly didn’t fault Kovy for bolting to better climes.

DawgDad

December 17th, 2010
1:34 pm

27: Ironic? Sure, but predictable. There are big-name players who make teams better (Chris Pronger immediately comes to mind, being a long-time Blues and Pronger fan), and there are those who pile up stats at the expense of shots and goals against. It was NO surprise to me when Philly knocked those guys off last year.

World Be Free

December 17th, 2010
1:37 pm

I think we will find that Kovy has 100,000,000 reasons to be able to take our abuse. Loudly cheering Moose will be like piling on Kovy. Moose deserves the cheers, that is for sure.

JB

December 17th, 2010
1:39 pm

Jeff – I see your point certainly. But isnt it funny that now he left a team that looks destined for the playoffs to join one that likely will be seeing the golf course sooner than later. Someone said it earlier… i don’t blame him for taking the money and running; it was all the equine excrement he fed to everybody about wanting to stay in Atlanta before he did skip town that ticked alot of us off.

OmniFan

December 17th, 2010
1:41 pm

1. Yes to big hand for Moose before game but not during.
2. When #17 skates out for NJ, PA should play “I want to be a billionaire”
3. Anybody playing the right side for Thrashers should be salivating over being able to enter the offensive zone uncontested. Buff especially should be able to unload from the blue line all night.