A few quick shots from snowbound Thrasherville

So what have you been up to during Thrasherville’s Snow Jam 2011 so far? Last night the Divine Mrs. R and I engaged in about 3-1/2 hours of Wii Sports activities with the two tax exemptions. The one game I’m any good at…100-pin bowling. I scored a 1,888 leaving only two frames open.

The one game I completely send the Suckometer spinning off the carts is the archery competition. After the first round where you’re right up on the target, I could barely even hit the dang thing.

Tonight, it’s Raving Rabbits. I’m pretty good at that one!

Anyway…ere are a couple of quick news stories to discuss and debate while we wait for the snow and ice to clear out.

Thrashers Practice Cancelled

The Atlanta Thrashers have joined local school kids in getting another day off. As Phil Foley reported last night, the team originally pushed back this morning’s practice until noon. But upon further review today, they simply scrapped the practice all together.

Thrash has some experience  maneuvering the Zamboni around the steets in Duluth. I wonder if he could...nahhhhhhh (Thrashers.NHL.com)

Thrash has some experience maneuvering the Zamboni around the steets in Duluth. I wonder if he could...nahhhhhhh (Thrashers.NHL.com)

Hmmmm…I wonder if my ‘ol pal Thrash could get his hands on a Zamboni and clear a path to the Duluth Ice forum for the guys?

Further down in the report you can read where Nigel Dawes the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week honors. Dawes finished last week with 5 goals, an assist and was a +4 in three games played.

For the season, Dawes has 19 goals, 13 assists and has an EVEN +/- rating after 36 games played.

Bye-Bye to Ben?

After last Friday’s fiasco involving Ben Eager, I made it clear that I would not mind one bit if he never played in a Thrashers uniform again. Well it looks like I, and those who agreed with me, may just get our wish. In the team report on Yahoo Sports, the writer wondered how long it would take for the scrappy forward to make his way back into coach Ramsay’s lineup adding, “there’s a strong possibility he could also be traded in the meantime”.

The Long Goodbye for Boris

Last Saturday, Chris Vivlamore let us know that the Thrashers organization placed defenseman Boris Valabik on re-entry waivers with the intent to allow another team to pick him up, This is the second time this season the team has sought to rid part ways with the 2004 first-round draft pick in the manner.

But just like last time, there were no takers…even though a team could have done so having the chance pay only half of what remains on his $762,500 salary.

Valabik will be an RFA this season and so far in Chicago he has 7 assists in 36 games. He’s EVEN in the +/- column and leads the team with 119 PIM.

Preliminary Talks Begin With Ladd and Byfuglien

Also in C-Viv’s report last weekend is the confirmation the team has begun talks to extend the contracts of Dustin Byfuglien and captain Andrew Ladd. The two lead the Thrashers in goals scored, Buff with 16 and Ladd with 14.

To me, even before any trades that could be made to bolster the team’s roster, this is priority number 1 and 1A for this organization. The pair have provided the leadership and excitement the team as sorely needed in the wake of Kovalchuk’s departure last year and has given the fanbase here a genuine reason to feel optimistic not only about this season’s playoff prospects…but for years to come as well.

Locking these players up for three to five years would be just what we need in Thrasherville so…get ‘er done Dudley!

And Finally…

Just a reminder that there are still great offers on good seats for Thrashers games this month. Simply click –>HERE<– and use promo code RAWHIDE to get yours.

Also, there are just a few more tickets available for Friday’s game against Philadelphia in section 205 for just $31. These are normally $57 seats. To take advantage of this offer, simply call Karin Beckman at 404-878-3781 or e-mail her at karin.beckman@atlantaspirit.com and ask for my POM-POM special.

48 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

January 11th, 2011
10:30 am

That would be amusing. You know. “Thrashers practice cancelled due to ice.”

Marcus Valdes

January 11th, 2011
10:49 am

Cabin fever is mitigated with Center Ice. Anyone watch Bruins beat the Pens in the last three minutes of the game last night?

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
10:52 am

Very disappointing that Ben has not been able to make a contribution to this team, but we also have to realize that he is a fourth liner on a team that already has a 4th line left winger in Bolts. Duds like tough players, but he is not fond of cheap shots. I guess we should be happy that Colby CheeseHead was the recipient of Eager’s cheap shot.

Ben will garner a 4th round pick at best.

Mike W

January 11th, 2011
10:59 am

Agreed with not wanting to see Eager in a Thrashers uniform again. Same goes for Bogosian. Kid is horrible. Need to package him and Eager up, and send them somewhere else.


January 11th, 2011
11:03 am

Marcus Valdes – I watched the disappointing game in LA last night where the leafs beat the Kings. Yeah, NHL Center Ice is a godsend right now.

Red Light

January 11th, 2011
11:04 am

It’s a slow day, so here’s some other food for thought.

Since World Be Free brought it up, there are only two bonafide sellers at this juncture in the Eastern Conference, New Jersey and the Isles. Out West, right now it’s Edmonton. That means the next month of play is crucial for all “pretenders.”

Calgary is still within 9 points of the 8th spot, Columbus 6 points, etc. In the East, Toronto, Florida and Ottawa are within 11 points, while Buffalo is within 8 points. Now, few if any of these teams have a realistic shot at making a good run for playoff position, but none can give up that hope. But, over the next month, we’ll see some drop out of the race for good and that means looking to acquire future assets.

So, taking a look at soon-to-be free agents from those teams provides the following trade opportunities for the buyers. The ones with asterisks are those who should be the hottest commodities in my opinion.

F *Iginla age: 33 Two more years at $7 million per season
F Tanguay age: 31 UFA
F Glencross age: 28 UFA
D *Regehr age: 30 Two more years at $4 million per season
D *Sarich age: 32 One more year at $3.3 million
D *Babchuk age: 26 UFA

D Commodore age: 31 Two more years at $3.75 million per season
D *Tyutin age: 27 One more year at $3.425 million
D Hejda age: 32 One more year at $2 million
G Garon age: 33 UFA

D *Vandermeer age: 31 UFA
F *Penner age: 28 One more year at $4.25 million
F Hemsky age: 27 One more year at $5 million

F Connolly age: 29 UFA
F Grier age: 36 UFA
F Niedermayer age: 36 UFA
D Rivet age: 36 UFA
G Lalime age: 36 UFA
D *Montador age: 31 UFA

F Stillman age: 37 UFA
F *Higgins age: 27 UFA
F Dvorak age: 33 UFA
F Reasoner age: 34 UFA
G *Vokoun age: 34 UFA

New Jersey
F Arnott age: 36 UFA
D *Greene age: 28 UFA

Salary Dump Possibilities
Zubrus age: 32 $3.4 million for two seasons
Zajac age: 25 $4.5 million next, $4.8 million in 2012-13
Elias age: 34 $5 million for two seasons, No-movement clause. Reportedly turned down a trade to the Kings.
Rolston age: 37 $5 million for next season and no one will take him

NY Islanders
F *Mouslon age: 27 UFA
D Martinek age: 34 UFA

F Ruutu age: 35 UFA
G Leclaire age: 28 UFA
D *Phillips age: 32 UFA
F Kovalev age: 38 UFA

F Sjostrom age: 27 UFA
D *Kaberle age: 32 UFA
G Giguere age: 33 UFA
D *Beauchemin age: 30 One more year at $3.65 million

Red Light

January 11th, 2011
11:05 am

List was longer than I thought. Sorry Bill!


January 11th, 2011
11:30 am

Rawhide, I sure hope you watched the Avs – Wings game, it was a burner! Anyhow, I don’t even see how we could trade Eager for anything more than ticket to a Karaoke competition right now, he is tarnished. Better to let him build up a bit of stock after his suspension ends and then dish him. Or even better, send him down to the minors and let a kid who WANTS to play come up.

Red Light – nice list. I like Bouchamin and Ruutu (I really don’t like Ruutu but he is good and would really help with physicality). Most of the other guys on that list are a bit old and Ramsey seems to want a fast, young team, which I like. Iginla could have a resurgence to his career if he came over (kind of ironic don’t you think – hockey fans will understand what I am talking about) but I don’t think the Atlanta, errr, Calgary Flames will give up their franchise player. He is a gem to watch though.

I think the Thrashers should cancel their practice, this team is beat tired right now and that might be the best thing for them as long as they don’t go out and get sauced before the next game. It is amazing what a day can do to a tired body – especially when you are in your early 20’s.

Hope you all are dealing with the weather well, woke up to -9 F this AM, a foot of snow and they didn’t cancel a damn thing!

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
11:32 am

Great list Red Light, thanks! Kinda supports the belief that there’s not much out there that can help us unless we are willing to move a top 9 forward or top 6 defenseman. I have been against moving Bogosian all along, believing he is too young to give up on. He was rushed into the league before he was ready, so giving up on him is not adviseable. I am not even certain of his value right now, so giving him away would be double the pain.

We need a left winger for the 3rd line, so I would consider Dustin Penner as the guy to key on. So what will it take to get get Penner? We don’t have much to deal with, but if the move is to be made, we need to make it in the next 2-3 weeks to get him in here to work with his linemates. The salary dump possibility is Zubres, NJ is desperate to move dollars and would take a pick or prospect to move his salary. Zubres is alot like Antropov, a big guy that has a tendency to not play big. But Antrpov, Zubres, Burmie might be a real nice line. Those are really the only 2 possbilities I see from this list.

I still see L.A. and Phoenix making more deals since they have the same pressures we have to make playoffs in non-traditional hockey markets. Buffalo may end up dealing all the guys you have listed if they don’t get back into the playoff hunt soon. Sabres have a new owner coming in that may want to reshuffle the management deck anyhow.


January 11th, 2011
11:33 am

Oh, and BTW, still ticked about BCS championship game, can’t believe the NCAA fanned on suspending $cam Newton. Sorry Ducks.


January 11th, 2011
11:37 am

WBF – I agree on Bogo, he has been playing fairly well in the last few games. You are right that he was moved up a bit too soon but there is no substitute for experience and he is getting it in bunches, Rammy knows this. Unless an Eastern Conference team is basically eliminated you won’t be trading with them.


January 11th, 2011
11:52 am

Buff & Toby make the all stars…but no Pavs

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
12:03 pm

Z-Avs-Avs/Wings game was real good last night, I really enjoy watching both teams play. Avs play the up temp and the Red Wings are well, the Red Wings. Every team should be pattered after Detroit. You never have to worry about Wings’ players not putting out or playing as individuals.

The worse thing about last nights BCS game was having to listen to the ESPN talking heads fawn all over Auburn. Is that the best ESPN can put on for a championship game? Herbsteit has actually improved, but nowhere near championship game material. Where are you Keith Jackson. Amazes me that Oregon did not throw more against that Auburn secondary.

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
12:04 pm

Marcus-always cheer against the Pens, too bad it was the Broones beating them.


January 11th, 2011
12:13 pm

WBF you are so right; the Wings have the template for making an awesome team. Seems like every single year they are in contention for the cup. Their farm system is amazing. But that was a great game and I am a bit surprised that the Avs went defensive after being up – totally not our strong point. Budaj was fantastic and had a career game against one of the best top lines in the league.

I had to turn off the sound for the BCS game, I am so sick of the SEC and really wish NCAA had done the right thing.

Alan R.

January 11th, 2011
12:18 pm

I think it’s good Pavs didn’t make the cut. He needs some rest.

Sage of Bluesland

January 11th, 2011
12:19 pm

It seems as if the lessons of the past go unheeded, yet again. When will the sheep learn that a good November does not a season make?

Remember the heady Audette-Brunett days, when we had a wonderful stretch…only to return to where the talent-level really allows?

(Next, Joe-Bob-Friday will be saying he told us “all along” about the impending disaster…Uh-huh…and then someone will prepare her spweadsheet-special in a vain–but laughable–attempt to prove the Titanic really isn’t sinking…I do love it, though!)


January 11th, 2011
12:37 pm

Zoomo – Yes indeed… as C-Viv reports, Byfuglien and Enstrom are All Stars. Too bad for Opie, but I’m glad he’ll get that weenend off. We’re really gonna need that kid rested and sharp down the stretch.

Red Light – Thanks for that list. there’s some good names there. I certainly think the Thrashers will be “buyers” as the deadline nears…exactly for what and for who we’ll see as that date approches. However, I just don’t want done to this team what was done back in ‘07 when Waddell hit the panic button and….and…

…oh, I’ll not go there again.

Big difference between now and then…the man with the letters “G” and “M” in front of his name now.

ZAvs – Another foot of snow there, eh? Yes…that’ll shut this place down for quite a while. But as you know given your time here, the metro Atlanta area lacks the necessary equipment to deal with that much frozen precip. Just not cost effective to keep the amount of snow plows,etc. around given the fact we can go years between just such an event.

I din’t see the Avs-Wings game, but did look at the highlights of NHL’s On The Fly. Looks like it was a real hum-dinger!


January 11th, 2011
1:10 pm

While I think all-star games are silly, unecessary risks for any sport (a la pre-seasons), I do see the value in having honorary declarations of sorts for outstanding play midseason as we have awards post-season. Now, I don’t recall this happening, but how crappy would it be to lose an all-star caliber player because they took partook in an all-star game.

That said, congrats to both Toby and Buff. I’m damn proud of those two and I’m especially happy that Toby’s been acknowledged (bout frickin’ time).

Regrettably, I think the fans/league got it right. Not trying to sound pessimistic or berate O.P., but he’s tailed off this last month or so in quality and consistency, he’s allowed plenty of goals from run of the mill shots/situations. Just sayin’…he’s still pretty rad and I’m glad he’s ours.

Hockey Biltong

January 11th, 2011
1:13 pm

Nice list Red Light.
The Fourth Period has us rumoured to be looking at Moulson, Tanguay and Langenbruner[sp]. But Lang is gone.
Penner might be a good prospect for us. How about Iginla? He could work with a bunch of permutations offensively.And only two years.It’s only 7mil a season…


January 11th, 2011
1:17 pm

Congrats to Buff & Toby. Too bad for Pavelec, but he’s seen enuff pucks for a while. He’s really saved our bacon. Hopefully, see y’all there on Friday night to see the home team beat the Flee-ers. Stay safe and WARM.

Go Thrashers!

Hockey Biltong

January 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

Oh, and Burmi was not included in the rookie skills competition. I think that sucks as he is really a fabulous skater. Too many Thrasher haters making decisions…


January 11th, 2011
1:22 pm

I think it’s ironic that we’ve gone from having Heatley/Kovy or Kovy/Hossa all-star forward tandems to having a Toby/Buff all-star defensemen pairing. Definitely telling of what we’ve become. Anyways.. In all seriousness they’re the best two blueliners in the NHL right now…IMO.

David R

January 11th, 2011
1:34 pm

If the flames traded iggy I think there might be a mutiny among the season ticket holders here in Calgary. Much as I would love to see iggy in a thrashers uniform I just don’t see it happening even with him saying he will do hats best for the team. Plus at his age I don’t really see it being a good thing either. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he retires in 2 years either.

Marcus Valdes

January 11th, 2011
1:43 pm

Congrats Toby and Buff. Anyone got ideas for how to score All Star Game tickets? I’m going for the Fan Fare and don’t hold out a lot of hope, but it would be great to attend!!


January 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

OP should have gotten a nod for the ASG, he has been very good. Glad to see Buffy and Engstrom in the game, big boost for the franchise.

Rawhide, yeah, another foot of snow would cripple Atl and you are right on the financial aspect, just not cost effective to keep that many plows around plus all the gravel and liquid melting fluid (magnesium-something) around. We are handling it just fine, but we have 100 times more plows than you do :) and CO drivers know how to drive in the snow. The heavy rain is a very different story. Just be safe and go slow if you need to go out.

Would love to see Iginla in an Avs or Thrashers jersey, but it definitely won’t happen in Denver and I don’t think that the Flames will ditch him.

Red Light

January 11th, 2011
2:13 pm

I see that my post last week about six guys who should be named to the All-Star team, Enstrom, Eriksson and Kesler were named, while Quick, Brown and Liles were not. Kindly tell me how Elias and Mike Green make the team, and the Caps’ Backstrom and the Flyers Mike Richards doesn’t?

Spud Webb

January 11th, 2011
2:17 pm

Sage, it never gets old…looking forward to a nice win streak, keeps the likes of you and stendek off the blogs!!
RL…backstrom I’m not exactly sure how he’s not on the team. Green on rep???? Elias, good grief, i have no idea.
I love mike richards.

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
3:36 pm

Avs-the classic Detroit example is Ruslan Salei. Can you believe how well this guy is playing? I thought his career would have been over, but he goes to Detroit and he is rejuvenated. Their support players are incredible. Youngsters that are schooled the Red Wing way. I am not a Detroit fan, but I have complete admiration for how they conduce themselves from top to bottom.

Hey Biltong, I’ll take Iginla but I don’t see Calgary trading Jerome. The only way you will get him out of Calgary is with a top prospect and two number ones, maybe more. He is an institution in Calgary.

SOB-wondering what team you really cheer for-is there a team?


January 11th, 2011
3:36 pm

Red Light, couldn’t agree more. It seems to be somewhat arbitrary (the whole all-star selection). Besides the games being soft, pointless and risky for players, unlimited fan voting is obviously not accurate, if that is actually all they go by. It all adds up to being juvenile fanfare in my book. I’m sure it pays out, but I don’t get it.

I will say the skills competition used to be rad, then they botched the fastest skater thing BIGTIME!!! Remember how Kovy supposedly lost when he was clearly the fastest skater (or very close)? I think Brian Campbell or Duncan Keith won that thing. Don’t quote that, but neither of them are faster than Kovy. They didn’t even review the races once whatever the technology was failing. I don’t care to watch unfair competitions run by apathetic officials.

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

I refuse to watch all professional all star games. They ware supposed to be for the fans, but most real fans don’t care about them anymore. I haven’t cared about an all star game since Reggie Jackson hit a home run over the right field roof and hit the transformer atop Tiger Stadium in 1971.

I enjoy the real games.


January 11th, 2011
4:39 pm

A fairly lucid article on why Winnipeg is not going to get the Thrashers anytime soon.


What is truly amazing is that it comes from a Winnipeg newspaper.

If the Thrasher’s can get to the playoffs this season it should squash the discussions about our team racing north of the border anytime soon.


January 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

Oh, well on a plus side to the skills comp, it proves that the ever-inflating costs of professional hockey equipment don’t mean a damn thing so far as making you more gnarly, only more broke. Why? Well, if care to know…

Mike Gartner – fastest guy record holder, by a good margin (well under 14 seconds TWICE). He never wore a silly RBK Edge uniform, he had oldschool Bauer Supremes or CCM Tacks made out of leather, weighing about twice as much as a new pair and costing about 1/3 of the price. Oh, so did Sergei Fedorov and Scott Neidermayer when they won the comp (the only other guys ever to get near Mike Gartner)

Al Iafrate – hardest slapshot ever recorded, period. Iafrate’s got the real record at over 105. mph, Al McCinnis was way up there too, both of whom used about $100 sticks (ie; lumber), not a $300-$700 composite sticks (ie; overpriced slingshots) like Zdeno Chara had when he BARELY “broke the record”.

Why am I saying this, I dunno…just sayin’. I think the rapid evolution in hockey equipment and the ballooning costs associated with it over the last 10-12 years is a farce. A very profitable unnecessary farce.

Well, that was pointless entertainment, sorry.


January 11th, 2011
5:30 pm

Well I like to say WAR EAGLE!! My college team wins, next I like to see the falcons get to the super bowl, the thrashers make and win some playoff games, This would be a great 2011 . I am glad to see Ben Eager getting traded soon why did we sign this guy this stats look like crap. I hope the game is played friday I got tickets.


January 11th, 2011
5:37 pm

Razorneck – the composite sticks really helped with snap and wrist shots – but not so much slap shots.

I like ASG’s…we had a great time when the NHL held theirs at Philips and would go again if the opportunity arose.

The funny part about that Winnipeg article is that the readers are po’d because some one peed in their corn flakes. Did not pander to them a la Mike Brophy. I still maintain that the league will not let us lose this team…unless there is a great product and we still cannot fill the arena. The powers that be are certainly aware of the situation here…

World Be Free

January 11th, 2011
5:38 pm

Razor-the Iafrate 105 mph shot was a big surprise to me.

We keep talking about Bogo being too young for the position, Iafrate is a classic example of a guy being brought up to the NHL to play defense before he was ready. The Leafs did everything they could to ruin him, but he did survive and finally grew up as a person and as a player.


January 11th, 2011
7:00 pm

Dustin Byfuglien may very well win the hardest shot competition this year – if he gets a couple of good ones off. I don’t think I’ve ever heard as many audible gasps from opposing home teams’ fans as I have this year when he lets one rip.

As for those high tech sticks, they are expensive but even the RBK 11K’s MSRP is under $300. One can be had for about $225. I use two-piece combos. It lets me change the blades out easier. I think Buff uses two-piece as well. Still, the blades I use cost 60 bucks a piece. Never going back to wood though.


January 11th, 2011
7:38 pm

They should have never let me out of jail. I iced the whole city.


January 11th, 2011
7:48 pm

Yeah, composite sticks have lots of pros, cost not being one of them. Lack of durability plus high price points…I can’t recommend them to working/middle class amateurs. I’d love some stats for stick budgets in the last 20 years from CHL, NAHL, USHL on up. Something tells me itd be staggering.

Still, transition in materials and cost of skates is pretty unbelievable too. I remember back in the day when $200-300. was what bought you professional skates. By the time I was a young adult (a decade ago) my CCM 1052s were I wanna say $500.00 and I didn’t have a new edge in those than I had in my old 652s. I dunno if I can name the website (I’m not paid by em), but there’s one joint that’s the got the best deals so far as skates are concerned. The trick is that now that skates have turned into a year specific model gimmick, wait a year or more and get them new, but for WAY LESS sometimes less than half of the original price. So, odds are good that if you already skate a specific brand that works, you may not need to try em on (and yes, they’re returnable). Anywho, that’s the only way I’ll do it from now on.


January 11th, 2011
8:17 pm

Hey, try being a goalie. Talk about expensive.


January 11th, 2011
8:42 pm

Glove, I feel for you. I know your pads are off the charts. I still think the way to go for people that are on a budget (most of us) is to walk into your local shop(s), try certain high end gear on, pretend you don’t like it and leave. Now go home and buy the same model online, but from a year or two ago for probably much much less even after shipping (may even be FREE). Models tend not to change so much year to year except for cosmetics (thoroughly research the products to find out).

I’d like to appologize to any local hockey equipment mongers that I may have offended with such advice. Maybe you’ll get some more skates sharpened and rockered as a result, who knows.


January 11th, 2011
11:21 pm

Congrats to Buff and Toby!

This is one weird winter … a hockey team that’s probably the best we’ve ever seen in this city, complete with two All Stars …

And this :


on Peachtree Street


January 11th, 2011
11:26 pm

Razorneck13 – there is no shame in saving money by being savvy. I bought two one-piece sticks that promptly broke, costing me well over $300. Went back to using my Grip Lite which I have had for 10 years and it is still rocking strong. Nothing wrong with saving $$.

The older lumber does deliver a harder slapper, but the stiffness of the sticks these days does make a difference. The composite stick is WAY better for the wrister or snap shot. If you are a D man, you need a composite stick of 110 + stiffness rating. I personally like the 2 piece sticks as when I break a blade I only just have to buy the blade. But then again, I am not an NHL player and don’t get all of my stuff for free – while making $600K +.

I really don’t think that any trades are needed at this point unless it is your personal trainer, so, Thrashy Nation, relax. The team is good and I can’t wait to watch you in the playoffs, or as Rawhide so gracefully mentioned, Avs vs Thrashy in the Stanley Cup Final, grr, that would be an offensive battle. Go Avs (BTW, we took down one of the best teams in the league the other night!). Go Thrashy!


January 11th, 2011
11:28 pm

I hear that some of the local rinks will match or beat internet pricing.


January 11th, 2011
11:51 pm

I used to coach youth hockey and would plea with parents not to waste money on these composite sticks. But to no avail.

I wish the NHL would have limited sticks to wood only, like Major League Baseball does with bats. But the genie has been let out of the bottle. The equipment manufacturers have invested too much into them.


January 12th, 2011
7:11 am

G’morning gang. I’ve just posted a new blogity-blog for ya. but please let me give you fair warning…you’re about to have a major info-bomb dropped on you.

R. Stroz

January 15th, 2011
9:59 am


January 15th, 2011
10:06 am

R. Stroz – Nope.