OT win in Montreal helps to highlight online MVP debate

Saturday morning I asked you to tell us who you thought the Thrashers MVP was for the first part of the season. After offering up Dustin Byfuglien as my choice, the debate was on. Some agreed with me…however, most opined that it was goalie Ondrej Pavelec who was the team’s top performer over the first 41 games.

The discussion so far has been lively, to say the least…both in the blogosphere and in the twitterverse. Shortly after posting the piece, Thrasher TV contributor and 680 The Fan’s John Kincade tweeted to me his feelings on the matter.

“Is that REALLY a question? Buff is great but OP is the MVP, without him they are not in a playoff position!”

Evander Kane manages to get the puck past Montreal goaltender Carey Price despite being knocked to the ice by Candiens defensemen (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Evander Kane manages to get the puck past Montreal goaltender Carey Price despite being knocked to the ice by Candiens defensemen (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

As I stated earlier, there were many like Kincade who cast their vote for Opie. And those who posted comments in support of the netminder did so with very, very compelling arguments. And while I still stand by my choice of Byfuglien for MVP over the initial 41 games, no one can dispute the fact that Opie’s play between the pipes has been nothing but MVP-esque.

And like I stated in the previous blog, “…if he performs at the same level from here on out, don’t be stunned if he winds up as this team’s Most Valuable Player.”

There were also some who pointed out that Toby Enstrom should get some MVP love from Thrasherville as well. “He is the guy that allows Buff to push up”, frequent blog contributor Tom pointed out. “He is the guy who makes the best breakout passes on the team. He is the foundation of the power play”.

Cornbread even offered up a “none of the above” vote for a hard working forward who may not get the headlines but works his butt off night after night when he wrote, “Though the MVP candidates are all great choices. I’m going to vote ‘Other’ and go with a blue-collar type. The non-skilled player who epitomizes the way Coach Ramsay would like for all his players to play – listening Bergfors? – is Chris Thorburn”.

“I really liked what I saw last season and this year he has continued to grow and step up his game”, Cornbread continued. “Chris Thorburn is becoming one Hell of a Hockey Player.”

Our good buddy World be Free agreed and added, “[Thorburn] kills penalties, block shots, challenges forwards and pointmen in the defensive zone instead of standing there and letting them make plays.”

Captain Andrew Ladd got some MPV consideration, as did Bryan Little. But most votes when to Opie, Buff and Toby…in that order.

Now, the reason for this review of the hypothetical first half MVP from the previous blog is because of how Sunday afternoon’s game in Montreal played out. During the 4-3 overtime win over the Habs, it seemed like all the players we considered for the honors were doing their part to justify why they deserved to be a part of the debate.

Evander Kane celebrates with his two teammates that set up his second period goal, Chris Thorburn and Patrice Cormier. For Cormier, it was his first NHL point (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Evander Kane celebrates with his two teammates that set up his second period goal, Chris Thorburn and Patrice Cormier. For Cormier, it was his first NHL point (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

First, there is The Buffinator scoring yet another game winning goal in overtime. That’s the third time he’s done so in the extra period and the sixth time he’s played the hero by notching a game-winner. It was also his sixth power play goal of the season.

If he continues on this pace, he is going to wind up with about 30 goals and 82 points. That, plus he’s a +8 after 42 games.

Then there’s Toby Enstrom who dished out, not one…not two…but three assists in the win. The first one came on a nice give-n-go play with Rich Peverley on his first period goal. Toby paid the price for the pass as he simply got rocked at the blueline just after dishing it back to Pevs. The last one, of course, was on Byfuglien’s game-winning blast in overtime. And as Tom would remind us, it came while on the power play.

Enstrom is currently on pace for 50+ assists on the year.

Not to be overlooked here is Captain Ladd’s goal with just second remaining in the second period gave the Thrashers a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission. Late period goals are among the timeliest and, as things turned out, it was the goal that allowed them to get to overtime one period later.

Prior to Ladd’s goal, Thorburn’ work behind the net drew the attention of an extra defenseman which led to Evander Kane’s…scored as butt was in contact with the ice. Thorburn’s effort proved to be just enough for Patrice Cormier and Kane in front of the goal to get the job done.

For Cormier, earning the primary assist on the goal was his first-ever NHL point.

However…

None of this would have mattered one hill of beans if not for the continued amazing play of Pavelec, who was called upon 50 times he was called upon to turn aside a Canadiens’ shot…and 47 times he did so. He was assaulted with 16 SOG in the first and third periods, 17 in the second. Time and time again he denied Montreal the chance to take the lead and gave his skaters the chance to ultimately steal two points from a game they very easily could have lost.

Opie tied his career season win mark at 14 with the victory and he now has a .936 SV% and 2.14 GAA.

Ondrej Pavelec knocks aside one of the 50 Montreal shots he faced. The 47 saves made helped the Thrashers to their 21st win of the season and equaled his personal career mark in wins of 14 (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

Ondrej Pavelec knocks aside one of the 50 Montreal shots he faced. The 47 saves made helped the Thrashers to their 21st win of the season and equaled his personal career mark in wins of 14 (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

“[Pavelec’s] great every night”, Byfuglien said of his teammate. “He’s been stopping pucks for us all year long and that’s what we need. He gets the first one and we get the second one for him”.

“Our team’s all about having fun, working hard and playing together”, Buff added. “We’ve been doing all right this year”.

So, while we may continue to debate just who might or might not be the Thrashers first half of the season MVP, the same cast of characters have already begun to make their case for the second half and overall season MVP.

But one thing that cannot be debated is this: If Pavelec continues to kick out pucks to the degree he’s been doing… and Byfuglien continues to score big goals…. and Enstrom, Ladd, Thorburn, Little and [fill in any Thrashers player’s name here] continues to contribute their parts as well…we’ll be able to not only continue this debate for another three months and into April, but we’ll be able to argue which one was “most valuable” in getting this team into the playoffs.

Not a bad debate to have amongst friends, is it?

120 comments Add your comment

Joe McGrath

January 3rd, 2011
3:18 pm

How about the Anti-MVP? For me it’s 1. Bogosian–he is becoming more and more a liability every shift of every stinking game, he’s just plain lazy. I think he simply doesn’t process information too fast.
2. Mason–he’s soft. 3. Tie betwen Modin & Antropov–however its not all Antro’s fault, I think he returned too early from his injury. Modin is currently doing a good job deflecting and occasionally scores, but it’s agonizing to watch him play. I’m not hating, really. I am simply looking at the liabilities and these guys seem to need some attention, and maybe some shake-up. I think the idea of swapping Hainey and Bogo is a good idea. Ufortunatley, we’re stuck with Mason, and if OP goes down–the ship sinks. There’s 3 months left in this thing and we need to beat Flyers, Lightning, Caps and Pens, not just Leafs, Sens and Isles.

Hollywould

January 3rd, 2011
3:25 pm

Joe, I laughed on ” I think he simply doesn’t process information too fast.” He has to pick it up
and fast. You are right. He is a liability.

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2011
3:37 pm

Speaking of Calgary, eventhough they’ve been winning of late, I could see them being a potential trade partner if they start to falter again. Two guys I wouldn’t mind having would be Cory Sarich (D) and Curtis Glencross, who would help us alleviate our scoring depth problem on the 3rd line. Although he isn’t a RW, he is a solid two-way forward with good size, respectable speed and the ability to score 15-20 goals on an aggressive, more offensively geared team.

Don’t laugh. Dudley once traded with Buffalo to get Sarich in Tampa and he helped them win a Cup as part of their 2nd pairing I believe. He’s a right-handed shot which we’d need if we’re gonna carry 8 d-men as Meyer is a lefty. But Sarich is a very solid stay-at-home guy who can add some bulk and toughness in front of the net. Bogosian doesn’t seem to use leverage in his lower body very well to move bodies from the crease and I’d like to see a guy like Sarich to free up Oduya from having to do so much heavy lifting. Bogey should honestly get some games at forward for reasons I mentioned on the previous blog.

We’ve got some prospects Cgy might be intrigued by and unless Feaster is going to be a complete dick to Dudley (as he has already crapped on him in the press), I think there might be some room for a deal to help both teams. The salaries aren’t ridiculous and Sarich has another year left on his deal. Make the deal in the next couple of weeks and the ASG would only be on the hook for roughly 1/2 the $5 M in salary they make combined. Our line-up might look like this (oh yeah, bring up Spencer Machacek and say goodbye to Stapleton for good).

Ladd-Little-Antro

Glencross-Pevs-Stewy

Kaner-Cormier-Thorbs/Bogey

Boults-Burmy/Slates-Modin/Thorbs

Co-MVP’s not named Pavs

Oduya & Sarich

Hains & Sopes

Also, this allows you lots of flexibility in giving Sopel, Sarich and even Hainsey some nights off when there are 3 games in 4 or 5 days. Bogey can play some D and some forward as well as Meyer who hasn’t really been that effective. Then again, perhaps Meyer should go back in the trade with Cgy for their depth.

Jake

January 3rd, 2011
4:22 pm

I’m still shocked at the number of shots the Thrashers are allowing. They are habitually outshot, and over a full season that has to hurt their prospects for the playoffs. Obviously Ramsey’s got a plan offensively, but who’s minding the store on defense? If it keeps up at this rate, Pavelec will have to be treated for Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome.

Alan R.

January 3rd, 2011
4:25 pm

a. I noticed a little funny business with the shot clock in MTL yesterday. We somehow only registered five shots in the first, and four in the third. Now, MTL had quite a bit of zone time, but we certainly had more than nine shots in those two periods.

b. I completely understand picking at Bogosian, but picking the Montreal game to do it is bad timing. Bogosian made some good plays yesterday breaking up a couple odd-man rushes that could have found their way into the back of our net. I’m not saying Bogosian is a hero in this game, mind you. He had problems. But picking this game to rag on Bogosian makes the arguments look rather silly, at best.

Rawhide

January 3rd, 2011
4:57 pm

Cornbread – Your Brendan-esque novel just got freed from Blog Purgatory. :lol:

iamtheratio – Try the RAWHIDE ticket offer link now. Looks like they got the kinks worked out. Thanks again for the tipoff on that.

Joe McGrath

January 3rd, 2011
5:14 pm

@Alan R., not picking on Bogo cuz of his play yesterday, I didn’t see the game. I’m simply amazed at some of the things he just doesn’t do, like take a body moving ion on net. He has flashes of briliance. But one thing is a constant, that in nearly every game, he WILL miss the trailer and as that trailer scores, Bogo is usually standing there, alone and usually about eight feet away from the goal, looking at the shiney red light.

Joe McGrath

January 3rd, 2011
5:31 pm

@Smoothie, absolutely, but I don’t think we need Glencross–we just need Bergfors to do whatever the heck it is Rammer wants him to do. Just Sarich would be enough to make me happy. Sarich instead of Bogo might even solve the Mason problem. FOr now, I’d be happy with calling up Kulda and sitting Bogo for a 3-4 game stint (just to see what happens). And for all you who think “dumb arse with another 30 year old D for our young D guy.” Let me tell you that the day I found out we shipped Coburn to Philly made me vomit. That move was simply tragic. Imagine if we had Coburn right now–just imagine. But I digress. Bogo is OK as a D, a 3rd pairing D man, but he’s ok and he’s got several years to develop and hopefully he will. I just think our D needs tightening. We ARE taking WAAAAAAy to many shots. Fact.

Red Light

January 3rd, 2011
5:50 pm

Smoothie:

World Be Free and I discussed Sarich at length in the distant past and you’re right on target with him. Glencross not so much! His offensive production continues to slip during the past three seasons as has his propensity to hit.

And just so I go on record with my thoughts about Enstrom (and to infuriate Joe Friday a bit more) I just posted “Six NHL Players That Deserve All-Star Recognition”

http://sportssoutheast.com/index.php/red-light-report/59-nhl/240-six-nhl-players-that-deserve-all-star-recognition

Lastly, the Rangers sent down d-man Michael Del Zotto today and recalled Ryan McDonagh. What will they think of next?

Cornbread

January 3rd, 2011
6:59 pm

Thanks Rawhide. Whew! That was a long one. So that is why posts get sent to time-out?

There’s lots of talk today about D-men and high number of shots against. Buried in that novel, I posted some very insightful information from Coach Ramsay on cutting down shots and scoring chances. Yes, playing D has a lot to do when the puck is in your zone but just as if not more important is keeping the puck out. Elite teams and defensive oriented teams do this quite well with three and four guys clogging lanes in the neutral zone. They cause turnovers and go back on the attack. The Thrashers never have and right now, mainly do to fatigue and lack of practice on their system, they are letting the puck in far too often and easily. This not only puts pressure on the goalies and D-men but it tires out the forwards who can’t go back on the attack.

The D men certainly play a role in keeping the puck out by holding the blue line and keeping the gaps tight in the NZ but it takes support from all of the forwards. They have to have the jump to get back. The third man needs to be high so he can cut-off the the break-out on the half wall or cover for a pinching D-man going down the wall on the forecheck. The weak side wing needs to be in position to get ahead or pressure from the side once they do break-out into the NZ. When did you ever see Kovy do any of this?

Fatigue causes guys to collapse and getting too low makes the D-men back out early and allow the opposition space and speed through the NZ. Then the fowards have to race to the other end of the ice behind the play and often don’t have the energy to gain the red line when they do get possesion. Shots and scoring chances pile up. Fatigue is a viscious cycle. The best way to prevent it when you are tired and broken like the Thrashers have been is to play D in the other two zones besides your own.

Coach Ramsay is aware of this and it is just the next step in making this team better. Thankfully they will now have the time needed to rest, work on their structure, and adjust by implementing new systems. Let’s hope it’s soon because as an old D-man, I’m getting tired of all the D bashing. Bogo will benefit the most from this. Trade Sopel? Please.

Alan R.

January 3rd, 2011
7:15 pm

McGrath, my comment wasn’t necessarily directed towards you. I was just pointing out that last game, he actually looked better than he has.

It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

Rawhide

January 3rd, 2011
7:15 pm

So that is why posts get sent to time-out?

Cornbreadshrugs…Gee, I wish I knew. No swearing, no inappropiate context…you haven’t been blacklisted for foul and/or abusive context.

It was rather long, but the again, Brendan’s get through…pow-ZING!. I kid, I kid, B-Man.

It has caught a nuber of what we refer to as faux-posts. Those are automated posts that are designed to link to advertisement. They go something like, “I like your post. You are saying very interesting facts. I will fllow more. You may read more here [and then there's a link to some sight in a far off land soliciting God knows what].

The spam filter picks that kinda crap up pretty good. But sometimes it also gets “normal” and appropriate posts too on occations.

Joe McGrath

January 3rd, 2011
8:04 pm

Alan R., didn’t take it directly. I really like him and wish him the best of luck, but he’s been so disappointing. Now with the advent of DVR, me and McGrath jr. scope out who is ultimately at fault for GAs. Sometimes the opposition just out hustles. But we’ve noticed lately (this season really) that he just doesn’t play the body–he approaches a step slow then attempts a stick check. I guess I always thought he’d develop into a Scott Stevens style D man, but he just doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct. Eff it. I’m done bashing on ZB. I pray to my Hockey God that he comes into his own this next half, and that OP stays healthy.

Hokie P. Clisters

January 3rd, 2011
9:41 pm

Rammer stated that one of his biggest concerns was not getting enough rest for Ladd, Peverly, etc. Said these guys were playing too much. Injuries (Antro) and other things have hampered his plans. Coach was certainly upfront with his assessment. Not sure if this means that Bergie, Eager and/or Meyer will play more or that the schedule just slows down somewhat in January from Nov/Dec’s hectic pace. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Rammer doesn’t seem to have alot of confidence in playing the above three guys (they usually only play now out of dire neccessity). Bogo could give Buff a break on more PP. Buff looks totally gassed out there at times. Bogo has the shot and has performed there fairly well in the past. I’m sure Rammer is concerned with Burmy playing a full NHL schedule. Cormier can give us a lift plus more minutes if he continues to progress. I believe that Thorburn will get more minutes. Unfortunately there is no option available to rest Toby….Coach would have to drag him off the ice anyway.

Nate

January 3rd, 2011
9:55 pm

Evander Kane on NHL LIve tomorrow on NHL network at noon. Just a heads up.

Hokie P. Clisters

January 3rd, 2011
10:05 pm

OP is the current MVP. Pavs has always proved to be durable (except for your isolated faintng spell) but hopefully Malarchuk is watching him like a hawk. Got to ride a hot goalie but would be nice if Mason warmed up.

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2011
10:37 pm

“This Coach knows that and he knows how to get it done from everyone. What’s more important is this team will listen to him – no more crying about rolling four lines. They now have the time to work on their game and get back to Atlanta Thrashers’ hockey, unlike the ridiculous schedule of the past month that took not only a physical toll but also caused them to get away from all those “little things” and revert back to bad habits.”

Cornbread – very astute comments for sure. I watched the 2nd part of the DVR’ed interview with Rammer and it was reassuring to hear his comments. As someone above pointed out, he mentioned how Pevs, Ladd and Little have had to play too much. There is no doubt about that. You just know Laddy and Buff are gassed after playing what amounts to another 1/2 season after April 12th and they carried our butts to 1st place (albeit briefly) with their play.

Another reason I want to get defensive depth — aside from losing confidence in ZBo — is that Sopel can’t keep going without losing his effectiveness I’m afraid. He looked very tired in the Montreal game and that was the worst I’ve seen Hainsey & Sopes look in quite awhile. What’s frustrating the most about Bogosian is that he is getting pigeon-holed as the “stay at home” guy because Oduya is the better stick-handler and a very good skater. Zach skating is better than average but he doesn’t have the elusiveness unless at top speed of a JO or a TE. It’s no wonder that his best play was alongside that tiny Swede who gets tiny credit too much of the time.

Byfuglien has been amazing, no doubt about that. But if you watch your DVR’d games — what? you don’t watch them two and three times like me!! ;) — and just iso Toby, you’ll see that he rarely makes a boneheaded play, the wrong pass, coughs up the puck, misses a check, misses a stick etc. He’s almost always doing his job at a high level. The only time he gets abused is on the PK when he has to be stationary for long periods and gets outmuscled in front (he can’t help that), but he more than holds his own with his stick-work, extremely strong legs and quickness. I’m always amazed at how physical he is in the corners and how well he separates the puck carrier from the puck. Bogey, Hainsey and even Big Buff at times need to learn to do this better if we want to be more than just a “playoff appearance” team.

R/L & WBF — glad you intelligent fellas agree with my take on Sarich. May be a bit pricey for the ASG though. Is there a guy out there like him or a Beauchemin who makes less than $3 M / year? BTW, I think Glencross has some good hockey in him but he’s had no reason to play with extended periods of passion for how long now? Since CGY got bounced by CHI two years ago in the playoffs, they’ve been pretty much awful. I bet he’s sick of playing for conservative, play-not-to-lose teams like CBJ’s and CGY. I think the change of scenery could help him a la Jason Chimera. We need his size and speed. He’s more skilled than Eager and 10 goals for the 2nd half would be a nice obtainable stretch goal playing with Pevs and/or Little.

Smoothie

January 3rd, 2011
10:43 pm

Bill, your spam monster is HOOOONGRAY!! Good Lord I lose every post it seems. Alas, it was as long as one of Brendan’s! ;-)

R/L — looks like Moulson is auditioning for us in CGY tonite with 2 goals already. He was only signed for one year, correct? I don’t think they could come to terms on a LT deal, imagine that? Wang Chung tonite.

PS — just think of how good our team could be if Duds could’ve gotten a Dennis Seidenberg or someone of his ilk to play with Oduya on the 2nd pairing. But we’ve got too much invested in Bogosian and it’s time for him to elevate his game. I said at the beginning of the year that we could be a playoff team if he could play more like a bonafide top 4 guy and not a developing rookie. We see flashes and glimpses, but as Mike del Zotto would tell you, learning this blueline business ain’t easy as such a young whippersnapper!!

Red Light

January 3rd, 2011
11:18 pm

Moulson is a finisher more than a playmaker, like a left-handed Bergey with a bit more gumption. But, at $2.45 million for one year and a late blooming 9th-rounder to boot, I’m just not certain what the upside is. I like the kid but wonder what his ceiling might be? Last year’s 30-goal campaign. I gotta go back to wanting a bonafide playmaker, like I have said before.

If Buffalo doesn’t improve its standing in the next month, I’d say it’s high time to go after Montador. Only 31 and $1.55 million!!!

He’s World Be Free Approved.

Red Light

January 3rd, 2011
11:19 pm

BTW, Moulson is 27

hockeyguru

January 4th, 2011
6:05 am

Tie between Pavelec and Byfuglien–the goaltending to give us the chance to win, and the scoring/leadership/toughness to produce the win. Both players have been absolutely essential to us in the first half of the season–and will be crucial in the second half.

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
8:57 am

Hey guys, Montador was the defenseman Buff undressed on the OT goal against the Sabres. Buffalo is looking to deal a defenseman, especially if they continue to slide. Sabres have a knack of not making a move to improve when they need to. Roy leaves a big hole at center, especially since Connolly is once again coming off injury.

Cory Sarich-now there is a defenseman, good hitter and physical all around. Overpaid (a bit) in Calgary, as the Flames have a tendency to do. Hated when the Sabres traded Cory and he would be a fine addition here. But we have to subtract to make space for him.

Matt Moulson would be a rental, great to think of him long term. We have to see if the boys with the money pony up for Ladd and Buff. Get Moulson, if for his name if nothing else.

Smoothie

January 4th, 2011
10:15 am

If there is a defenseman named Labatt, I’m all in for Moulson and Labatt!

Moulson would be a fine rental, but NYI would probably want our #1. Don’t know how the 2011 draft class stacks up but I haven’t read where anyone says it’s deeper than 2010. It might be worth the risk to trade for Moulson at the deadline if we are still top 8. His hands would be real nice complement to Pevs’ passing and Stewy’s speed.

Ladd — Little — Antro

Moulson — Pevs — Stewy

Kaner — Cormier — Thorbs

Boults — Burmy — Slates/Modin

Problem is, in Ramsay’s system where he prefers having 4 lefties and 4 righties to play on the wings, we would need a RW and Moulson is left-handed right? Hard commodity to come by. Oh wait, what about this Bergfors fella? He did seem to play better when reunited with Ladd and Little.

Tom

January 4th, 2011
10:42 am

A letter to the Thrasher’s fan went out today from the Atlanta Spirit Group:

My response concerning the Thrashers is, if you want us to come to the games and your goal is the Stanley Cup, you have the start making the financial investment into the team and not be the 30th team in payroll. Sign Buff and Laddy and the core long term and see if you can land a free agent.

You do this Phillips will be full all season long:

The letter:

As we begin 2011, we wanted to take time to express our appreciation for your support of the Hawks and the Thrashers, and to look forward to what the future can have in store for us.

We are fortunate to have had your support during a very unique set of circumstances and we thank you for sticking with our teams through it all.

The Hawks are the only current team in the NBA that has improved five years in a row and we’re excited about how the team has performed under Coach Drew’s new offense. We reshaped the Thrashers over the last year with a new, aggressive, gritty style of hockey, and we are proud of Coach Ramsay and our young team which is receiving recognition throughout the NHL for their success on the ice.

As we look to the second halves of the 2010-2011 NBA and NHL seasons, our goals remain the same as when we bought these teams: to bring Stanley Cups and NBA Championships to the fans in Atlanta. We dream of being a part of the crowd and the city that rallies with pride around the excitement that comes with being a part of the hometown team.

The players say that nothing gets them going more than the roar of the crowd, the crowd that so many of you have been a part of with us. So we cheer. And shout. And roar. Come roar with us. Come be part of the dream.

We hope your holidays were joyous and that you have a great New Year.

Bruce and Michael

Joe Friday

January 4th, 2011
11:13 am

I liked the letter. Kind of a fresh start from them, a softer and more positive tone. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and remain optimistic that some more salary will be brought on at the trade deadline time. Over the next few months I still look for a new investor for the Thrash or an outright sale of the team with the stipulation that they’re kept in Philips.

I look for the boys to come out flying tomorrow and take it to the Panthers. It’s a big game to set up our next run. Ramsay’s go, go, go system coupled with all those games in a compressed time took their legs away. This club has to go and skate hard to make the system work, and when their legs went, the system broke down and that’s what we saw over the past few games. That stretch is over, I expect the boys to be back playing at the level we saw in games 15 through 35 or so through the rest of the season.

Tom

January 4th, 2011
11:29 am

Joe, I liked the letter too, don’t get me wrong. It is great ownership is coming out of their bunker.

The ownership group needs butts in the seats to attract investors and keep the team here. We all understand that.

But it is not a one way street. They have to get rid of the shoestring mentality if they are going to tell us that their goal is the Stanley Cup, not tell us that we owe them patronage to the team.

Step up, invest in the personnel, prove to us that you will not let this group dissolve with penny pinching payroll tactics, and you will see a whole new wave of fans arrive and stay. I don’t expect ownership to spend to the cap, that probably will never work in Atlanta. But staying at the minimum is not the recipe for the Cup no matter how great the coaching is.

So Bruce and Michael, the players have stepped up, the coaching has stepped up, and management has stepped up, and the fans are stepping up looking at attendance the past few weeks. It is time for you to step up and invest in your ATLANTA THRASHERS to show your commitment to the team and the city.

That is all I ask of ownership.

Dwayne

January 4th, 2011
11:43 am

To Bruce and Michael,
Fire Wadell and Sage will buy a ticket.
Thank You

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
12:03 pm

Moulson is left handed-I was hoping he would be the left wing for Burmie and Antropov.

Time to use the excess cap room this season for pick up the missing piece. I am not into playoff rentals at the trade deadline. Look at the renatls that changed hands at the deadline last season, few of them had enough time to make an impact on their new teams. You have the make the move in January to allow the players time to get accustom to each other.

The longer the season progresses, the more a player’s salary is paid making it easier for cap stressed teams to make moves. The cap stressed teams are not in a position today to acquire players-we are. Butch Goring maybe?

Joe Friday

January 4th, 2011
12:11 pm

“But it is not a one way street. They have to get rid of the shoestring mentality if they are going to tell us that their goal is the Stanley Cup, not tell us that we owe them patronage to the team.”

I hear you and completely agree, they need to show us the money. I have a feeling there’s already money available to Dudley to be spent and Dudley is keeping it in reserve to use to add a key piece, keep in mind he’s also trying to sign Ladd and probably Buf as well (although I hold less hope for a long term deal for Buf).

“You have the make the move in January to allow the players time to get accustom to each other.”

Agreed and Brendan has long pointed out that Rutherford in Carolina is very good at doing precisely that.

Smoothie

January 4th, 2011
12:13 pm

“You have the make the move in January to allow the players time to get accustom to each other.”

WBF – yup! Make the move before January 15th so it can pay greater dividends. It’s only 42-45% of the player’s salary so why not go after a guy who makes as much as $5 M / year unless the contract is a LT albatross longer than 2 years remaining.

Red Light

January 4th, 2011
12:57 pm

SportSouth will be adding the Atlanta Thrashers’ January 7 game vs. Toronto to its TV schedule while dropping the April 5 game at Nashville.

Red Light

January 4th, 2011
12:58 pm

They must be expecting a good crowd Friday night!

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
1:05 pm

Smoothie-the other thing to consider here are the caps-stressed teams that want to move players now so they can be a “player” at the trade deadline. There are so few teams that are out of the hunt by the deadline that the booth is crowded with teams that want in on a specific player. Lou didn’t wait until the deadline to get Kovy last year. Could we have fetched more for ovalchuk by waiting until the deadline?

I think the deal we make will come out of nowhere.

Tom

January 4th, 2011
1:20 pm

Smoothie, here is a dumb question.

The Thrashers having played 42 games this season trade for a player on Edmonton who has played 37 games. Are they liable for 40 games worth of pay or 45 games of pay?

Zombie Steve

January 4th, 2011
1:38 pm

LOL at the OctoDouches for calling their feud that nearly brought down 2 franchises: “a very unique set of circumstances.”

Smoothie

January 4th, 2011
1:40 pm

Tom, I’m pretty sure they go by the number of days left in the season so they’d be on the hook for 186 days – X number of days elapsed * pro-rated salary amount.

Are you thinking about a certain guy whose name starts with D and ends in R? We could use another Dustin in the lineup!

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
1:45 pm

More than 82 games in one season-that happened in the 80’s when Brad Marsh was traded in the middle of the season. Back then it was an 80 game season and Marsh played 84 games because the team he was traded to had played less games that season.

Tom

January 4th, 2011
1:47 pm

That would be nice. Some grit and skill. Edmonton is building around youth and low salaries, even though they are a Canadian team that will support hockey in their bones, just like Quebec and Hamilton and Winnipeg. Trading a high salary for a couple of young guys that could crack their lineup from the Wolves and maybe Bergy would be a win win.

Tom

January 4th, 2011
1:49 pm

WBF, I wonder what that would do if the person won the scoring race by 1 goal and played 85 games. Would it be an asterisk situation?

The only guarantee is if the loser was Cindy Crosby he would whine about it. http://nhl-red-light.si.com/2011/01/04/crosbys-whine-is-hard-to-swallow/?utm_source=bleacherreport.com

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
2:00 pm

Tom-Bergie would fit Edmonton’s payroll and their offensive style. Don’t think it would be an asterisk situation, since the situation wasn’t the players doing.

LAC

January 4th, 2011
2:35 pm

I cannot believe how we get ignored time and time again by this versus channel and other national outlets. The team has played very well and are in excellent position to make the playoffs. I just
wish the national outlets would give us more press as I for one am so SICK AND TIRED of having
that cindy Crotchby crammed down our throats every time I see a game or ad. If is SICKING !

These IS more to the NHL than that little clown. We deserve more credit than we are getting and
it’s time for the NHL network and versus to MAN UP and show Atlanta more thn they do.

Lastly, I read the so called “letter” from those two GOOFS. What a COMPLETE JOKE !
They look like idiots in the photo’s, and it is STILL a damn shame these LOSERS in life have control of the team. Maybe if I win mega millions I will buy the team and fire waddell and really turn it around… But what a WISH that is !!!!!

Atl 3 Fl 2 in OT Wednesday night.

Red Light

January 4th, 2011
3:28 pm

When the schedule went to 84 games, Jimmy Carson and Bob Kudelski played in 86 games each. Carson in 92-93 and Kudelski in 93-94. More recently, the following players have played in more than 82 games. Just here to help!

1997-98 Mike Keane 83
1998-99 Robert Reichel 83
1999-00 Claude Lemieux 83  
2000-01 Bill Guerin 85
2001-02 Sandis Ozolinsh 83
2002-03 Rem Murray 85
2003-04 Marcus Nilsson, Derek Morris 83
2005-06 Niklas Hagman 84, Mark Recchi 83
2006-07 Sean Avery 84
2007-08 Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern 83
2008-09 Jordan Leopold 83
2009-10 Ian White 83

Red Light

January 4th, 2011
3:31 pm

That means that one players has played in 83 games or more in 12 straight seasons. But, the record of 86 games could be tough to break unless things fall correctly.

AtlFlamesFan

January 4th, 2011
3:37 pm

Let’s all agree that if any of us win the lottery tonight, we will rescue the Thrashers from ASG.

Red Light

January 4th, 2011
3:48 pm

The better business move, and less expensive, would be to buy Winnipeg the city!

Rawhide

January 4th, 2011
4:21 pm

AtlFlamesFan – I’ve already informed the Divine Mrs. R that when I win that loot tonight, the Octocluster is history.

World Be Free

January 4th, 2011
4:22 pm

Leighton is gone, looks like Philly is preparing the ground for a move. Not a Flyers fan, but I sure do respect their constant desire to get better.

Red Light is like ask and you shall receive-great numbers.

LAC-VErsus is allot like all the networks, especially ESPN, higjlights and games from the teams that will give them numbers. they are selling Crosby and Ovechkin, or the Rangers, Flyers or Black Hawks.

Dwayne

January 4th, 2011
4:22 pm

330 million, get maybe 175 million, spend 60 million for part ownership of Thrashers, fire wadell and hire some of yall to market the team.

Dwayne

January 4th, 2011
4:23 pm

Stroznadamus, what are the winner numbers to the Mega millions lottery tonight??????

litz

January 4th, 2011
4:27 pm

Don’t forget … Uncle Sam gets its 50% of whatever you win …