Dudley doesn’t need to wait for June to use his first round pick

According to the latest weather report, it seems likely that the metro Atlanta area is looking at yet another round of frozen precipitation overnight. What this means of course is that on their way home tonight, the masses will flock to grocery stores and strip the shelves bare of milk and bread. That, plus tomorrow morning local insurance agents busy fielding claims from their clients who went slipping and sliding all over the roads…much like what we’ve seen during previous snow/ice events this winter.

But motorists in and around Atlanta have not been the only ones experiencing slippery conditions this winter. Indeed our Thrashers have been in the process of slip-sliding away from their winning ways of last fall. As of this morning, they we find they have wound up in the ditch with six other teams who currently do not hold a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Given the Carolina Hurricanes overtime loss in New Jersey, they now lead the Thrashers by one point and have two more games left on the schedule than have Atlanta. The rattling sound coming from behind is coming from the Buffalo Sabres who, thanks to their 7-4 win over Tampa Bay, are now three points south of us with four games in hand. Also, the Florida Panther remain within scratching distance…just six points behind the Thrashers having played three fewer games.

All this simply adds to the pucker factor that comes along with Atlanta’s current 5-11-5 slide, one that has seen them win only two…count them, one-two… games in regulation since December 20 of last year.

What it also underscores is the fact that Rick Dudley must do something…and quick…if his team is to regain it’s traction necessary to get out of the ditch and again motor down the road towards the playoffs.

Should the Thrashers use their first round draft pick to trade for needed help?

  • YES! If it helps get a proven commidity, do it! (72%, 133 Votes)
  • NO! The first round pick is more important than making the playoffs now! (28%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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I past years, anytime the subject of trade deadline deals is breached in these parts, there are many in Thrasherville who quickly pipe up to insist that the organization should not “trade away the future” buy including certain prospects or the first round pick in the upcoming summer’s draft. While that’s made a great deal of sense in the past, I don’t necessarily hold fast to that rule now. As such, if a deal were to be had that could bring in much-needed help for the Thrashers…a top-six winger and/or help on the blueline…and in the package heading the other was is included our first round pick in June, I would have absolutely no problem with Dudley & Co pulling the trigger on it.

I my view, the Thrashers as an organization simply have to make the playoffs this season…or at least put forward every effort to do so. Eleven seasons coming and going with but one foray into the postseason and no wins to show for it will makes for quite a cranky fan base. And while most level-headed types out there understand that making moves are no guarantee of success in and of themselves, it’s clear that doing nothing at this time will almost certainly guarantee failure…again.

I know…I know…some of you are afraid that we might spend too much of our future currency for what amounts for a spring rental or that we’ll get “Zhitnik-ed” again. This is obviously understandable given this franchise is still walking with a limp from what happened to us around this time in 2007. But Rick Dudley is not Don Waddell and, as such, I have tried to put aside the fears of being burned once again by way of the GM pushing the panic button. However, I will note that any such trade package that involving our first-round draft pick should preferably be used to procure a player(s) who are signed at least through next season…or at the very least, one who will be an RFA this summer.

Regardless, standing pat prior to the trade deadline will simply not do…unless one is actually of the belief that the likes of Tim Stapleton, Fredrik Modin are the answer here. Given Zach Bogosian’s play for the better part of this year, one might easily add his name to that list as well.

What doing nothing of real consequence over the next two and a half weeks will also ensure is that Philips Arena will continue to look more and more like what the bread and milk aisles at Publix does just prior to the snow falling… empty and barren.

Of course, the same could be said of the words spoken by Bruce Levenson during previous town hall meetings in regards where the franchise finds itself and his appreciation of the paying customer’ concerns …but I digress.

In short, while first round draft picks are nice to have…especially when they come so early on…this time around the GM needs to be more concerned about not “trading away the present in light of the future” than the other way around. This Thrashers organ-I-zation has used up its grace period with their fans and their collective patience has met it’s end waiting for a future that seemingly never materializes. It’s time for those in charge to give them a new sense of hope. And I’m not talking hope for the “future”… but hope for the “now”.

If you want to think of it this way, by trading the first-rounder for a proven commodity, and it helps propel this team into the playoffs, then that’s a good way of using that pick without having to wait until this summer to do so. But doing nothing and possibly finishing south of the playoff line for the fourth year in a row and tenth time in eleven seasons… well, all that will get you is this…

pointing to the empty milk and bread aisle after it’s been emptied by the pre-snow panic

And that’s the way Philips Arena will look…snow or no snow…for a very long time.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

200 comments Add your comment

Hoof Arted

February 9th, 2011
12:59 pm

FIRST! And oh yeah BTW, who started this little “first” thing around here?

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
1:04 pm

Beauchemin to ANA for Lupul, Gardiner and a draft pick.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
1:05 pm

… wonder if we can see anything close to that for Sopel to Chicago?

Chris S

February 9th, 2011
1:06 pm

Brilliantly said.

Best Team Evah?

February 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

Didn’t you say, back in December on this blog, that this was the best Thrashers team we’ve had in ATL?

You should never blog when the team is too high or too low. It leads to embarrassment. Wait a few weeks.

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

It always (almost, i.e. Vancouver) to do something rather than nothing at all. This team is in that position. Somebody needs to be moved for some top talent and it needs to happen PDQ. Shake the place up and rattle some heads.

Nice segues and analogies Bill, well written.

Oh and BTW Thrashy, minus -15 with icy roads and a foot of snow in Denver for the morning commute and it is business as usual so don’t complain :)

Rawhide

February 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

So I see that Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke actually got suspended for 4 games as a result of his game misconduct boarding call. Color me impressed.

But I think what happened was he was offered a choice between 4 games or 4 rounds with Evander Kane. I’d say he chose wisely.

Hoof Arted – The “first” thingy is a holdover from my very first blog posted back in October 2007. When it was announced that yours truly was placed in charge of this little online hockey forum, there was a contest of sorts as to who would be the first ever to post a comment.

For the record, it was Buzilla Baby Blues…now known as Buzilla in CT…I believe. I think I still owe him a beer for that, too.

Hip Czech

February 9th, 2011
1:10 pm

This team currently has:

2 18 year olds (Burmistrov, Cormier)
1 19 year old (Kane)
1 20 year old (Bogosian)

and other youngsters (Pavelec, Little, now Kulda) logging heavy minutes. Not that this is an excuse, but why would we expect this team to be significantly better than say, Edmonton?

I don’t really want to see a trade for trade’s sake involving any current roster player. ESPECIALLY not Enstrom (as some rumors have had it)….with the possible exception of a Bogosian for a Penner or Hemsky type deal.

I say instead acknowledge the youth movement and dump the baggage (Modin). Trading picks I don’t necessarily have a problem with, the cupboard is fairly well stocked at this point. If you package some picks, Modin, and Bogosian see what you can get.

Has Brayden Coburn really turned into a top shelf D-man except for the nice playoff run he had a few years back?

Sage of Bluesland

February 9th, 2011
1:10 pm

I’m generally against it, as it’s too much like ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

I’ve seen it happen so many times in the NFL draft, where that pick turns out to be very high in the round, thus losing out on a consensus star (i.e. Falcons take Ravens’ 2nd rounder in 1999 to draft Reggie Kelly for their 1st in 2000…which turns out to be the 5th pick in the round, leading to Jamal Lewis…Kelly for Lewis?)

Nope, I’m generally against it. I hear what you’re saying–it ‘can’ bring a proven commodity as opposed to a crapshoot. True.

I’m curious what the relative market value of our 1st round pick is this year?

If we were ‘only’ a player away from the top, then that’s one thing (and if we were any good, it would be a ‘late’ 1st round pick, thus eroded of real value to begin with)….We are NOT one player away from being respectable!

We’ve lost just as easily with the vaunted Buff and any of the other Blackhawks our current GM has brought on board…It would take a player of the magnitude of The Great One to make a significant impact on the ice…and we’re not getting anything close to that in return for our 1st rounder this year…

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
1:11 pm

insert “better after always. Having grammar problems today.

Rawhide

February 9th, 2011
1:13 pm

Best Team Evah? – I beleive what I did was ask the question IF this was the best team ever. It was chok-ful-o disclaimers and suggested that it had the “potential” to be so.

Russian

February 9th, 2011
1:14 pm

Dudley has to use 1-st round puck. if we get good player, we can be in PO and we will be somewhere around 16-20 pick. It is not much talent left. I vote to use first round.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
1:18 pm

Sage – your comparison of Scotty Bowman to Bill Belichick in the context noted is as right on as you can get. And I agree, not sure anybody could be successful udner the current circumstances. Started from day one with a very week 1999 draft, aside from the Sedins. Pavel Brendl was a 4th pick in the draft, I saw him playing in the Swedish Leagues when I was in Norway 3 years ago. Tim Connolly has been Ok at best. The negatives just snowballed from there.

I posted the other day that I believe we should be sellers for the balance fo the season. Hip Czech is correct, we have a bunch of young players. Time to school these guys into how to play in the NHL instead of expecting too much from inexperiences youngsters. I like Burmie, but he would have been just as well of with another year in juniors instead of struggling here-his magic has subsided.

So who is going to teach these guys to play in the NHL?
Shoud we call it “The Thrasher Way”?

Best Team Evah?

February 9th, 2011
1:20 pm

Living up to what the genius Spirit marketers came up with, this team is brutally bad.

j nes

February 9th, 2011
1:21 pm

Russian makes a good point. I have not heard that this is an extremely deep draft anyway. We will not be missing out on the next Stamkos even if we hold on to the pick and continue to slide to a higher draft slot.

JB

February 9th, 2011
1:21 pm

im not against using it necessarily but im curious who y’all would let it go for limiting answers to players potentially available. (e.g., not crosby, ovechkin, etc.)

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
1:25 pm

@Best Team Evuh – your critical comparison skills are lacking. How many time have they made the playoffs? Thats right, 1. So WERE this team to make it it indeed would be one of the “best teams evuh” depending on the seeding.

Atladave

February 9th, 2011
1:27 pm

Hip Czech@ Trading picks I don’t necessarily have a problem with, the cupboard is fairly well stocked at this point.

According to Hockey Futures, the Thrashers are ranked 25th out of 30 teams for prospects. I don’t call that a “well stocked cupboard”.

The problem is that until the Thrashers learn how to develop players, Thrasher high round draft picture are going to be a bust or under perform to their true potential. Even the Maple Laughts don’t rush prospects into the NHL.

Hip Czech

February 9th, 2011
1:29 pm

Atladave, OK, I’ve been sipping too much of the Kool-ade :-)

Hip Czech

February 9th, 2011
1:32 pm

But, if you put Burmie and Cormier in the minors where does that put us?

Thrashers

February 9th, 2011
1:36 pm

Will the real sage please stand up!!!

Get The Puck Out

February 9th, 2011
1:41 pm

Looks like some rumor people believe we’ll be dealing with the Oilers. If we do i’m scared what we give up to pull it off. Gotta have D.

da' boomer

February 9th, 2011
1:42 pm

Zoomo

February 9th, 2011
1:44 pm

>>This Thrashers organ-I-zation has used up its grace period with their >>fans and their collective patience has met it’s end waiting for a >>future that seemingly never materialize
Amen, Brother Rawhide. You can only get kicked in the teeth by the same bully so many times before you change your path. My fandom is waning.

Rawhide

February 9th, 2011
1:48 pm

According to Hockey Futures, the Thrashers are ranked 25th out of 30 teams for prospects. I don’t call that a “well stocked cupboard”.

Atladave – Well played, sir. And to think that’s the case after being “blessed” with all top-ten draft picks year in and year out. :roll:

kracker

February 9th, 2011
1:54 pm

I voted to trade the #1 but as always, it is with a healthy dose of I.D.W.T. Unfortunately, every game we lose makes it harder and harder for Duds to leverage that [1st rounder + someone] into a player that will help us now. Look at it this way: The team trading for our #1 isn’t going to want to help our team devalue his just-acquired 1st round pick by trading back to Atl the caliber of player that we need. Good luck, Dudley.

Larry E

February 9th, 2011
1:56 pm

It is not going to make any difference at this point who you trade for. Unless the current players develop some pride and play like they did in the fall. The so-called owners are not going to spend the kind of money it takes to bring in top talent. So deal with what we have and hope we still have a team. The truth hurts.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
1:59 pm

I think we were rated much higher for Prospects when we still had Morin and Vishnevskiy… But I’m all for trading guys that will never see a Thrasher jersey, like O’Dell, Leveille, and Holzapfel.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
1:59 pm

… I meant to further that comment by saying, I’d like to keep our 1st Round Pick.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
2:01 pm

Dudley, I believe, is at the Blues vs. Panthers game tonight… let’s speculate… I’ll say Brad Boyes.

Joe Friday

February 9th, 2011
2:02 pm

Nah, foolhardy to trade the #1 now, UNLESS the return is a young player who has RFA years left, and who’s going to move one of those? Or, UNLESS the return is a solid veteran (either , top 2 dman, top line RW or top line center) who is signed for at least two seasons past this year.

The best move is to let this play out this year, this fanbase can’t be beaten down anymore, the hardest of the dies are the only ones left going to weekday games anyway, they’ll be back. Ramsay isn’t going to get this club in the playoffs and Dudley’s best move is to keep that pick and then trade it at the draft to some cap strapped team for a player like I described above.

Aren’t we already missing our 2nd round draft pick? It’s not like we have solid prospects, we already traded Morin to the ‘Hawks, can’t pass by a whole draft here.

Alan R.

February 9th, 2011
2:13 pm

Thrashers might be ranked low for prospects, but it has nothing to do with the prospects themselves. Nor does it have to do with the number of quality prospects.

We don’t own Chicago. We don’t even have any connections there. We can’t get our guys ice time there. It’s all Krog and Haydar.

Proposal: Move all our prospects to Gwinnett for 2011-2012. If the Wolves want to play Krog and Haydar for 24 minutes a game, while giving our guys five and six minutes, that’s fine. They can do it without our guys. Gwinnett will go undefeated, and at the same time, we’ll make Chicago feel pain.

If at first you don’t succeed, break a few knee caps.

Alan R.

February 9th, 2011
2:15 pm

Hokie – Is that really you, or is Eklund using your name?

Let’s not speculate :P

Hoof Arted

February 9th, 2011
2:15 pm

I’d rather part ways with the first rounder than an Arturs Kulda or Spencer Machacek, especially if we land somewhere in the 10th or higher spot in the draft. Duds has got to do something to add another quality winger and defenseman to this roster.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
2:23 pm

THIS –> “The problem is that until the Thrashers learn how to develop players, Thrasher high round draft picture are going to be a bust or under perform to their true potential”

Well played Atladave. Any #1 pick this year will likely fall into the 8-15 range again and super-star quick fixes are not available beyond the top 3 in most drafts (Jeff Skinner notwithstanding, but he’s not really a superstar yet except in the eyes of 12 y/o girls). If the Stupid Seven ownership clowndom think that reloading with another #1 to bolster this current line-up is going to win back fans’ support, they are sorely mistaken.

Besides, they will likely rush that #1 into action (a la Burmie) rather than wait the requisite 2 or 3 years for that player to enter the NHL. This team, among other things, needs a legitimate threat to score 25-35 goals in its top 6. Ramsay has gotten mixed results with this bunch but the potential is there for a solid supporting cast (Stewy, Thorbs, Slater, Cormier etc) of the young core. But they still need at least 2 players, a legit top 6 forward and probably a top 2 D-man (so Buff can drop to the 2nd pairing IMO) to address our blueline that has potential but isn’t getting it done.

While the odds are roughly 8 in 10 that a first round selection will become an NHLer, the odds of it being an immediate impact player are probably less than 5%. Even Stamkos took a year to get acclimated to the rigors and speed of the NHL. This team has barely enough talent to get into the playoffs IF they can bring in help, and I believe Duds is shrewd enough to make the requisite personnel moves in the next couple of years to reinforce the core. I don’t expect us to challenge for a Cup in 2 years, but I think they can be a factor in the Eastern Conf race for the next couple years if certain key weaknesses are addressed and shored up. But that is a big challenge in the current NHL landscape.

Russ

February 9th, 2011
2:27 pm

I think they should trade the 1st round pick for Alex Bourret.

Seriously though, I generally would not have a problem with trading the pick, but this team isn’t going anywhere anyway, so I would hold onto it.

Sage of Bluesland

February 9th, 2011
2:28 pm

“…According to Hockey Futures, the Thrashers are ranked 25th out of 30 teams for prospects. I don’t call that a “well stocked cupboard….”

As RH pointed out, great comment.

It reminds me of, around 2003, the clownish John Kincade who used to bluster about some service having the Thrashers as having the best under-22 talent in the league, etc. (something like that).

I called him out on it via email–and told him it was because of three players: Heatley, Kovalchuk, and Lehtonen. I said the rest of our “talent pipeline” was nothing but a pipe-dream.

He, of course, attacked me. Naturally, I laughed at him via email years later….

So many things need to be ‘fixed’ in this organization. The minor-league feeder system is yet another big one.

Alan R.

February 9th, 2011
2:30 pm

Hoof – To be honest, I’m not even too concerned about defense at this time.

We’re near the top in blocked shots, but near the bottom in GA. That’s more of a team defense problem. I’d even say it’s more of an offense problem, since we can’t seem to keep the puck in the opposing teams’ zone for any significant length of time.

jp

February 9th, 2011
2:31 pm

the Thrashers are the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL

LAC

February 9th, 2011
2:46 pm

NHL hockey is a MAN’S sport, Too damn bad we do not have Men as owners, Just WTF are they ?

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
2:47 pm

From John Manasso, former beat writer who does work for Fox Sports now: “I think John (Torchetti) is just trying to do what’s best for Zach and everyone. I trust John to pass on the appropriate information in the appropriate way. I think misunderstandings occurred that have been dealt with & I see nothing but good things.” – Craig Ramsay

Spin control or valid explanation vis a vis Bob McKenzie’s article for tsn.ca. I know Bob’s good, but I would tend to lean towards the Canadian media blowing things out of proportion.

Thrashy Thrashy

February 9th, 2011
2:47 pm

If you have Kane, Cormier, Bogo, and Burmistrov down at Chicago, the minor league system looks a lot better. All of those guys are kids. Hell, Pavelec’s a kid at 23. Buff and Ladd are only 25 apiece. Little is, what, 23? I just listed eight guys on the roster.

This is a young team, folks. As much as I’d rather not complain, I think it’s better to be complaining about a young team not getting it done than an older, veteran club. At least there is considerable room for improvement and maturing with younger players.

Nevertheless, a big move or two here for vets who are currently getting the job done at a high level could make this a playoff team this season. That’s what the fans want and need. That’s what the organization needs. Therefore, moves must be made to secure such players.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
2:49 pm

That Prospects list is bull$#!+…

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/nhl_organisation_rankings/

Look at Edmonton at #3 with Eberle and Paarjarvi listed in their Prospects… yet they don’t have Bogosian and Kane listed as Prospects for Atlanta from the same Draft years.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
2:51 pm

Free me from purgatory Trixie…

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
2:56 pm

Edmonton has Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Magnus Paarjarvi listed as their Top Prospects.

Burmistrov is listed for Atlanta, but Bogosian (same draft as Eberle) and Kane (same draft as Paarjarvi) are not listed.

RG

February 9th, 2011
2:56 pm

Kane good vancouver boy..GO NUCKS

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
2:57 pm

Sorry for the double post… didn’t know how long my purgatory was going to last. :)

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

February 9th, 2011
2:57 pm

Mr. GaVaHokie – Your 2:49 pm post has been freed from Blog Purgatory. Of course, I did have to clean it up just a bit, as you can see.

You should know by now I have a very tight spam filter and something like that is going to do nothing but get caught up in it.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
3:00 pm

And here I thought it was the link that held it up. :) I thought fowl language was automatically corrected with PG and NC-17 approved words.

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
3:02 pm

Yes, that is a very bad ranking list. Worst I have ever seen I believe.

Hoof Arted

February 9th, 2011
3:02 pm

Alan R. – Accepting your points, but I would love to see this team get a top-four defenseman. With that you could possibly see Bogosian sitting in the press box more, rotating with Sopel and Hainsey for those bottom 2 minutes. Enstrom, Buff, Oduya and the player to be traded for could then be your top-four.

And yes, we need help offensively as well. I totally agree with you there.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
3:03 pm

Burmistrov & Kane – 19
Cormier & Bogosian – 20 (and Klingberg)
Paul Postma – 21
Arturs Kulda – 22 (and Machacek)
Little, Bergy & Pavelec – 23
Ladd & Buff – 25
Tobes & Stewy – 26
Thorburn – 27
Slater & Pevs – 28

That’s a pretty young team for sure!

Joe Friday

February 9th, 2011
3:11 pm

“I know Bob’s good, but I would tend to lean towards the Canadian media blowing things out of proportion”

Of course, because clearly we can all see that Bogosian’s development shows they’re coaching him up and getting the job done.

Come on, think about it . . . that’s just more of Ramsay “everything is fine, we’re calm and ok, and you’re getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy . . .”

Whoever said above they’ve never seen Ramsay rip on the refs is spot on, he never does it. I’m sure he never dogs his players, or Torch, either. That’s fine, it’s good to be a calm person and encouraging and uplifting (if you’re coaching 4th grade girls bball games, an NHL club though?!?)

ZAvalanche

February 9th, 2011
3:18 pm

Thrashy “Can I borrow you for glass of warm milk? It helps me go to sleep?

Owenership “You can bother me for a warm glass of shut-the-hell up”

Thrashy “Oh my….”

Ownership “You will go go to sleep or I will put you to sleep”

Thrashy “Dear…”

Ownership “Check out the name tag – you’re in my world now grandma”

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
3:22 pm

Joe – it’s not like Ramsay completely denied there was any kind of disconnect. While Rammer may not yell and scream, he has hardly made excuses nor has he sugar-coated the issues. Players keep making a lot of the same mistakes over and over. Is that coaching or coachability? Say what you will about his game management (I think that is open to debate) because it has been suspect, but I tend to side with the HC in these instances if he’s been fairly honest and direct all along. It’s not like he’s been evasive and coming up with ways to sell us a bill of goods. Obviously he’s not going to tell us everything, but he could have flatly said, “there is no issue and there never was one, next question!” Of course, I still fully expect Bogey to get traded as I cursed him by putting his name on my jersey! ;)

HP Drifter

February 9th, 2011
3:23 pm

With this bit of no-game down time can possibly one of our astute and statistically endowed forum colleagues, i.e. Smoothie, Brendan, Red Light, Bill or (?) publish a list of players traded to ATL, offered a contract upon contract expiration, and decided to move on out of town to go elsewhere. Say from the pre-Holik era to current. I believe the list would be interesting to review. Thanks in advance if someone undertakes the task.

Also, would be interesting to see which once and former Thrasher is now not wanted in the NHL and playing in some other non-NHL league.

JPinChi

February 9th, 2011
3:31 pm

@AlanR: Krog and Haydar (by the way, Krog is on an ATL contract) have been split up for most of the season, and have been sprinkled throughout the lineup. Dawes (also on an ATL contract) has been with Haydar for the last month.

How about Atlanta quits signing an overabundance of fringe NHL’ers if they’re so concerned with player development. What forced ATL to offer contracts to Krog, Ross, Dawes, and Stapleton knowing full well they may spend most the year in Chicago? Why did ATL take on Rissmiller’s contract only to bury him in Chicago (and then move him to Lake Erie when he turned out to be a locker room cancer)? Take those away, and you can promote your remaining NHL contracted forwards in Gwinnett to Chicago.

You may be sick of seeing “Krog this” and “Haydar that,” but as a Wolves fan, I’m sick of ATL prospects thinking they have a direct shot to make the NHL on their entry level contract, only to quit caring and give up their development. Why was Coburn traded? Because he didn’t give a *. Why was Guilliame Desbiens never resigned? Because he didn’t give a * and got a wake up call when his phone wasn’t ringing in the off-season.

glovesave29

February 9th, 2011
3:43 pm

Hey, that’s the life of an AHL fan, so ya better get used to it. We dealt with it when the Knights were the top farm club for the Lightning. What’s best for the NHL club may not be whats best for the Wolves…oh, well.

As for trading #1 – yup, if it brings in the right player who’s signed beyond the end of this season, would do it in a minute. As many have reported here, we have a young team already. Some proven NHL vet vs. the crap shoot of the draft? As they said in the movie Fargo…,”yah, you betcha!”

The TSN acticle? Consider the source! Lazy writer pandering to a jingoistic audience.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
3:50 pm

JPinCHI… actually, what we need is Chicago to stop signing their own players like Haydar, Miller, Davies, Ross, Matheson, and Garbutt who have nothing to do with the Atlanta Organization.

That leaves only room for guys who are worthy of a direct call-up, anyone else needing development time gets forced to Gwinnett.

Hockey Biltong

February 9th, 2011
3:50 pm

by jingo, i think i’ll have a double!

Rawhide

February 9th, 2011
4:01 pm

With this bit of no-game down time can possibly one of our astute and statistically endowed forum colleagues, i.e. Smoothie, Brendan, Red Light, Bill or (?) publish a list of players traded to ATL, offered a contract upon contract expiration, and decided to move on out of town to go elsewhere. Say from the pre-Holik era to current. I believe the list would be interesting to review. Thanks in advance if someone undertakes the task.

HP Drifter – That would be an interesting list indeed. Shooting from the top of my head, here’s the three big names I can come up with right now. I’m sure othere will/can add to it.

Marian Hossa, Marc Savard and Colby Armstrong.

Clark McCarthur left when the Thrashers decided not to accept the arbration ruling and other players like Erik Christensen and Anssi Salmela were traded away.

jimbo

February 9th, 2011
4:01 pm

I was encouraged at the start of the year when Ramrod said that we would adjust to the 1-3-1 trap and use our own when we needed to tighten up. Has anyone seen any changing tactic or strategy? I haven’t and I am a long time hockey fan. We are simply terrible on D. And, D-Buff belongs on the wing where he can stir things up and on the point on the PP. He is a liability on D.

Brendan

February 9th, 2011
4:02 pm

I voted AGAINST using the 1st round pick. If we trade that pick, we STILLL might not make the playoffs. Then, we’re outside and there’s no 1st rounder coming back. At least if there is a sale of this franchise in the offseason, the new ownership has that 1st round pick, potentially a lottery draft pick at #5 overall, to make a fresh start.

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t support trading a high-end first rounder. But that’s just meeee. Here are my exceptions: (1) We’re knockin’ on the door of a Stanley Cup title, and have been for YEARS without actually landing the big silver trophy, and moving this pick to a “bottom feeder” type team for their “un-signable in THEIR market” Tier I, pending UFA. In that case, YES! Trade the pick. Our 1st rounder in that scenario will go 20th overall to 28th overall. That’s the “crapshoot” area of the draft anyway. But, we are not in that scenario, WHAT-SO-EVER. So, here’s another exception: (2) we’re landing a young, RFA player in his early 20’s who has already shown flashes of brillance, but his current roster is flush against the cap and there’s just no way that they can afford him, so … they’re shopping him for a high-end (lottery) draft pick. In this scenario, the Thrashers would control this player’s rights for another 4-6 years, while getting a very promising player, as opposed to the “whatever” might be available at the Draft.

That’s about it. This notion of needing to blow the rights to a quality player for the next eight years just so Atlanta can squeak into the playoffs at # 8, just to be swept out by the Flyers … is extremely short-sighted. Think it over. You know I’m right.

Diego from Lilburn

February 9th, 2011
4:04 pm

I’m a little encouraged to see the offense has decided to score more than 2 goals per game again!

They had a 9 game stretch where they only scored 1 or 2 goals. They only won 2 of those contests (duh!).

I think the team needs a veteran or two (defense or offense, I don’t care) who has grit and can be an influence on this very young team. I’m tired of seeing Kane get clobbered and nobody sticking up for him.

glovesave29

February 9th, 2011
4:21 pm

Brendan – its short sided to get a 35 year old rental just to make the playoffs. If the trade lands a guy in his mid to late 20’s who still has a lot to give – not so much.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
4:23 pm

Brendan – how quickly you forget the Canadiens and Flyers advancing to the ECF from the #7 and #8 seeds. And the Canes winning in 2006 from the #6 slot or something like that. And the Oilers were an #8 seed that year. “Knocking on the door” of the Stanley Cup isn’t always obvious. But I know what you mean w/r/t the Thrashers.

Alan R.

February 9th, 2011
4:26 pm

Krog and Haydar (by the way, Krog is on an ATL contract) have been split up for most of the season, and have been sprinkled throughout the lineup. Dawes (also on an ATL contract) has been with Haydar for the last month.

So, you insinuate that I think Krog and Haydar are on the same line, and you come in here to lambast me?

Have a seat, kid.

First and foremost, I made no insinuation that the two were paired up. However, the two are on the same club, and are the Wolves’ leading scorers with 47pts each. Second of all, you must know that Atlanta has stocked your cupboard before. They did so again with signing Krog. Note how Aliu was demoted to Gwinnett due to, as Dudley stated, a lack of ice time. He went further, and said that more prospects may be moved to Gwinnett for that reason.

Our new GM is aware that Chicago is not playing well with our guys, so he’s said he’ll move our guys if that continues to be the case. This organization can bring the pain, and the Wolves are our farm club. They are owned and operated separate from the Thrashers in nearly all aspects, but that doesn’t mean there should not be a good developmental relationship between the clubs.

Alas, there appears to be a gap there. Chicago would rather give tons of time to the leading scorers than work with our prospects. That’s fine, really. They can play all their veterans next season all the time, because I hope the kids are moved to Gwinnett. At least they’re willing to play the kids!

Red Light

February 9th, 2011
4:41 pm

Smoothie said…”That’s a pretty young team for sure!”

What he didn’t say…”That’s a pretty good young team for sure!”

I ask… “On Smoothie’s list, which of those is a dead-sure top-line talent?” Kane? Little?

Fred Brathwaite

February 9th, 2011
4:47 pm

I miss Atlanta!

Smoothie

February 9th, 2011
4:48 pm

R/L – kinda depends on how long you give them right?

I think Kane for sure, but Little may never be a top-line C, a very solid #2 pivot for certain, but it’s hard to say because his linemates often under-perform compared to him (especially Ladd & Bergy). Burmistrov has the skill level to become a #1 C, but it may take him another 2-3 years to not only fill out physically, but round out his game offensively. Kane-Burmy-Little might (emphasis on might) become a very good top-line for years to come.

Guillaume Desbiens

February 9th, 2011
4:49 pm

I played 12 games for the Canucks this season!

Cory Larose

February 9th, 2011
4:51 pm

I’m not related to Chad, but they thought I was!

Nathan Oystrick

February 9th, 2011
4:52 pm

Peoria isn’t as bad as people think.

Brian Sipotz

February 9th, 2011
4:53 pm

My 294 games with the Wolves were a blast!

Patrick Dwyer

February 9th, 2011
4:55 pm

I’ve played all 52 games with Carolina!

Keith Tkachuk

February 9th, 2011
4:56 pm

The worst six weeks of my life.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2011
4:58 pm

I almost forgot about Nathan Oystrick… actually I DID forget about him… funny how they just fade away.

Pavel Kubina

February 9th, 2011
4:58 pm

I’m 13 points ahead of where I would have been.

Acer

February 9th, 2011
4:58 pm

Where did the win-now moves led the Oilers after 2006? They were never able to build on that success.

P.S. Brendan…great post.

Eric Perrin

February 9th, 2011
4:59 pm

Need another fourth-liner?

Joel Kwiatkowski

February 9th, 2011
5:02 pm

And they said I was done! Enjoying life here in Bern after two years in the KHL. Pass the chocolate and give me back my watch please!

Eric Belanger

February 9th, 2011
5:06 pm

I miss Bobby Holik

Niko Kapanen

February 9th, 2011
5:08 pm

Ilya Nikulin and I wish you well from Kazan Ak-Bars.

Kyle Wanvig

February 9th, 2011
5:10 pm

Greetings from Germany. I play for the Augsburg Panthers.

Mark Popovic

February 9th, 2011
5:14 pm

Hnat Domenichelli leads our Lugano team in goals and assists.

Tom Lysiak

February 9th, 2011
5:15 pm

Who is posting as the SOB and not using the automatic buzzwords: “Waddell, ASG, dweaming, spweadsheets and sheep”????

Glen Metropolit

February 9th, 2011
5:21 pm

I play for Zug, also in the Swiss-A League.

Max Afinogenov

February 9th, 2011
5:29 pm

Vitaly Vishnevsky, Alexei Yashin, Sergei Brylin, Evgeny Artyukhin, Petr Cajanek, Denis Grebeshkov, Mattias Weinhandl, Alexei Semenov, Petr Prucha, Andrei Zyuzin, Danil Markov and I don’t miss Nabokov one bit in St. Petersburg!

Greg De Vries

February 9th, 2011
5:33 pm

Don’t forget about me!

Uwe Krupp

February 9th, 2011
5:38 pm

Ich könnte ein Anwärter Charlie gewesen sein. Ich könnte jemand gewesen sein.

Byron Dafoe

February 9th, 2011
5:41 pm

Well, there goes my new suit.

Pascal DuPuis

February 9th, 2011
5:44 pm

Pittsburgh hab been berry berry nice to me!!!

Danny Heatley

February 9th, 2011
5:46 pm

I think the shark, as a fish, is a very good pet..

Mike Weaver

February 9th, 2011
5:46 pm

I’ll see you guys Feb. 27 and March 5. Go Cats.

The Real Dany Heatley

February 9th, 2011
5:48 pm

I spell my name with one “N” and Pascal and I weren’t free agents.

Steve Staois

February 9th, 2011
5:49 pm

Didn’t you see me on right wing for the Flames last week?

Andrew Brunette

February 9th, 2011
5:51 pm

Not to boast, but I have scored 223 goals and added 396 assists since leaving your fine city.

Andrew Brunette

February 9th, 2011
5:52 pm

But, I was too slow and played the same position as Kovalchuk. Funny, but I thought there were four lines in hockey?

Shean Donovan

February 9th, 2011
5:57 pm

Studying to be a dentist, so I can fix my own teeth.

Geordie Kinnear

February 9th, 2011
5:58 pm

I’m an assistant coach with the Albany River Rats. By the way 100th!

Danny Heatley

February 9th, 2011
5:59 pm

I’ve grown since then and opted for a second ‘D’.

Danny Heatley

February 9th, 2011
5:59 pm

I mean n… Pascal is teasing me now…

Niclas Bergfors

February 9th, 2011
6:12 pm

Can I join this list?

Freddy Modin

February 9th, 2011
6:14 pm

Who would want us, Nic?

Big Daddy Dave

February 9th, 2011
6:22 pm

This team is beat and the season shot. Even if by some miracle they make the playoffs, the inconsistencies will guarantee a first round exit. Don’t waste a draft pick. Of course at this point it looks like Stamkos could have prevented this debacle of a team.

Big Daddy Dave

February 9th, 2011
6:23 pm

Correction,”…could NOT have prevented”

LAC

February 9th, 2011
8:27 pm

Bill, can you stop this idiot from posting all this CRAP about being past players, and people talk about Mr.Sage ?????

Puckhead

February 9th, 2011
10:06 pm

Boston- Montreal 157 penalty minutes I wish we played with Boston’s toughness. It would make the losses easier to take and the team would have a personality that would be welcomed in Atlanta.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
10:52 pm

The Boston-Montreal game was great! Old time hockey! Cam Nealy almost jumped out of the press box, on to the ice to knock some heads. Habs-Broones games are always exciting. I was snowed in Boston in 1987 and made my way down to the Gaaarden for Habs-Brunes games with 6,000 other drunks. Goals, hits, fights reminded me of what hockey used to be like before the refs started calling all this garbage. , The big, bad Bruins are back.

Great game Puckhead!

Former Thrasher (and sabres) steve Shileds was the best pure fighting goalie over the last 30 years. Steve could drop ‘em, too bad he had trouble stopping pucks.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2011
10:53 pm

Sage has been good conversation today

Randy Robitaille

February 9th, 2011
10:57 pm

OK LAC, I’ll stop now!

Bill Lindsay

February 9th, 2011
10:58 pm

I’m with you Randy, I’ll stop too!

John

February 10th, 2011
2:32 am

I was sitting in the Auckland, New Zealand airport and they were showing the NHL network replay of the Flyers-Stars the other night, of all things (funny, you have to scratch and claw for a bar stateside to put on hockey, but Auckland, NZ? You betcha!!). I saw Coburn, it made me think of Zhitnik, and I cried.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
7:18 am

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward Michael Frolik and goaltender Alexander Salak from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan.

26 games to go, 34 points likely needed to gain a spot in the playoffs. The Thrashers play Florida twice, Carollina three times, Montreal twice, the Rangers once and Buffalo twice. All of those teams are in the hunt. Regulation wins in 7 of those 10 games are essential.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
7:23 am

Drury is out 6 weeks and has had a nightmare season. Only played 23 games and had four assists.

Anyone notice that Boston is only 4 points ahead of the Habs, but they have a plus-44 goal differential while the Habs are only +6?

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
7:45 am

Red Light, you wonder if father time and his history of gritty play is catching up with Drury. He is a money player, always has been- started with the Little League World Series all the way up to today. It was a very bad day when the Sabres lost Drury to the Rangers. Buffalo has not been the same since losing Drury and Briere-money guys.

Hugh Jessiman-s that THE Hugh Jessiman former no. 1 pick of the Rangers? If so, well the man has traveled quite abit.

h

February 10th, 2011
8:46 am

Isn’t Skille a guy we were supposedly really hot after? Great……tic toc tic toc RD……

GaVaHokie

February 10th, 2011
9:16 am

Not sure Skille brings anything more to the table then Thorburn or Slater would. He’s not the Top 6 guy we need.

Tanguay is injured… there’s another trade prospect gone.

Interesting that Dudley was at the Blues v. Panthers game the night Frolik gets traded.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
9:24 am

Skille is more the king of player the Panthers are looking for. I prefer skill and in this case I think Chicago gets the better end of the deal. Frolik was playing with a bunch of pipe fitters in FLA, he will get more room to work in Chicago.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
9:33 am

Frolik is skilled but has probably suffered from playing in a role he isn’t well suited for. He’s put up decent numbers in three seasons, but Chicago might be the perfect spot for him, playing with more skilled linemates. He got some PP time in Florida, but only played 16 minutes per game. He doesn’t hit, doesn’t block many shots and his shooting percentage was just 5.1.

Skille was only playing 10 minutes per game in Chicago and probably will get twice that in Florida. He does hit and the Panthers sorely need some more toughness up front. He’s got speed and some skill, but he’s no top line guy yet either. He might do very well in Florida.

World Be Free: I spoke at length with Joe Micheletti about Drury, and Joe said he thought Drury was really questioning whether or not he could still play at his prior level. He gets hurt blocking shots and playing all out, but he has slowed down and just isn’t as effective as he once was, except as a leader. Scored some big playoff goals in his hey day but likely was better as a checking line center. It’s a shame for him.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
9:39 am

BTW, the Rangers cap space gets another huge shot in the arm as they approach the deadline because of Drury being out. Now, Sather has more room to get another overpriced European forward who will suck for 27 games, like Hemsky for example.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
9:50 am

Jessiman has never played in an NHL game, but may finally get his chance in Florida before his 27th birthday. Another Sather beauty!

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
9:58 am

R/L – I would not be surprised at all if Sather pulls the trigger on a Hemsky deal. I just hope if Penner is unloaded that we are on the receiving end of that deal. I think he could really thrive here in Ramsay’s system and we need his combo of size & skill to beef up our top line as Laddy is a 2nd liner at best.

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
10:02 am

Frolik makes no sense for Chicago. ‘Hawks are not missing skill, they’re missing grit.

Bad move for the ‘Hawks in terms of helping now, but the goalie might be who they wanted in the deal.

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
10:06 am

Ramsay’s to do/don’t list:

1)Don’t trade Bogosian
2)Don’t trade Bogosian
3)Don’t trade the #1
4)Do trade for top line forward or top 2 d that a cap strapped club is willing to let go of for prospects, this can be a vet signed for at least 2 more years or a younger RFA with time left on his contract
5)If #4 doesn’t pan out now, do play out the string with these guys for the remainder of the year and then move your #1 at the draft to a cap strapped club for a #4 player and get busy on July 1st to plug another hole

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
10:09 am

Forgot #6)Do get a new head coach

Next year’s the year to compete, fellas. I’m afraid it just ain’t happening this year, we’re in a much deeper hole than the pts show right now with the games in hand we give up and Ramsay’s system hit a wall and he’s got no plan B.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
10:24 am

The goalie is only 24, so you could be right Joe. Neither team takes on additional salary, so I have a feeling that Florida isn’t done dealing. Just the beginning. Remember, they haven’t made the playoffs since 2000 and they have played very well in March and April over the last three seasons: 28-20-7.

The Cats have 18 losses by one goal this year, most of any team, had 23 last year, and had 25 in 2007-08.

Get busy July 1? Who’s coming here Joe?

Russian

February 10th, 2011
10:37 am

**to Joe Friday**
Wow. Why do not you like Rammer? What’s wrong with him and his system?
I think your #5 will be our option for rest of the season. :-(

Old Time Hockey

February 10th, 2011
10:39 am

Ok Joe Friday…what prospects dare you trade for a top line forward or top 2 D? Yeah, Machacek and Leveille packaged ought to entice ANY team. If Dudley can pull that off, start building the statue of him outside the arena. Hope he can, but realistically….

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
10:42 am

Russian, plot out our record this year on a chart, and you’ll see why. Started out slow as the guys learned his system, once it clicked, the graph goes up nicely, other clubs took notice, scouted us and instituted a 2 man forecheck or neutral zone trap against us, and the graph has been sloping right back down since then. He’s been unable to counter or change up his system and he never makes in game changes of his system (switching from a hard forecheck to a more passive trapping style to protect leads). His go go go has gone gone gone. NHL is all about schemes and systems from a coaching standpoint and the ability to change on the fly, he hasn’t been able to do it and he’s kind of an old dog, don’t see that changing. He seems like a great assistant, a great teacher, but not a good head coach.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
10:44 am

Leveille is a bit small and frail. Don’t think he’s much of an enticement.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
10:45 am

4)Do trade for top line forward or top 2 d that a cap strapped club is willing to let go of for prospects, this can be a vet signed for at least 2 more years or a younger RFA with time left on his contract

I don’t think this is possible without giving up something of value like a #1 draft pick (since we have no #2) or a young player who also happens to be a RFA (Bergfors!).

I still think Dudley will find someone to take Bergfors for a 2nd round pick and perhaps a young prospect, then get serious about using our 1st rounder to get a top-6 scorer. I don’t see any other way. Yeah, we could wait until the draft and try the same, but I don’t recall too many #1’s getting swapped for top-6 guys who are in their prime. It’s gonna have to be a younger player (think Versteeg as example) who is a RFA and could get blocked on a team with a wealth of top-6 talent (see Lupul). It’ll be interesting for sure. In the meantime, I’m just happy to hear Enstrom is practicing and may be ready to play tomorrow!

Sage of Bluesland

February 10th, 2011
10:46 am

OTH: “…what prospects dare you trade for a top line forward or top 2 D? Yeah, Machacek and Leveille packaged ought to entice ANY team. If Dudley can pull that off, start building the statue of him outside the arena. Hope he can, but realistically….”

A-freakin’-men OTH! It makes me laugh to read how EASY it is, according to some, to trade for all of these assets….If it were only so easy.

What on earth do we have, in terms of minor-league prospects, that any would give us anything for???!!!

In the real world in which I live, I can usually spot a person who doesn’t know what they are talking about when I hear the phrase, “All you have to do is [fill in blank]…” I mimic that phrase to those I hear it from, too–and I enjoy seeing their reaction.

Sure, “all we have to do” is ’simply’ trade for a top-4 forward and a top-2 defenseman…Heck, while we’re at it, I’m sure we can pry Stamkos from Tampa and Staal from Carolina…for a nice mixture of our “Legends of Blueland”, too…

Please, folks–let’s get some perspective in mind here. It’s sounding worse than some of Waddell’s bluster and failed promises at times…

Jason

February 10th, 2011
10:46 am

So it would seem my season ticket price for 11-12 has gone down again…considerably.

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
10:48 am

“what prospects dare you trade for a top line forward or top 2 D?”

The farm is open, the only untouchable we had was Morin and he got moved (and we rec’d good return on that, so that’s fine). You have to remember that cap strapped clubs want to move salary, that’s their motivation to remove high salaried guys and take prospects in return, open up their flexibility to reshape their rosters. But it probably won’t happen in the next couple of weeks so the time to make these moves is at the draft, play out the string and reshape the roster this summer. They made great steps this year already, I was very disappointed with losing our mo we had going in Nov/Dec because that was great hockey the guys were playing with a solid goalie on fire behind them. But Pavs has come back to earth and the system hit the wall, it is what it is, might as well deal with it, it’s not the end of the world if they don’t make the playoffs this spring, that’s not what’s going to save hockey in Atlanta . . .

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
11:09 am

While I agree to an extent that the system has been a bit to rigid — as it is more Ramsay’s paradigm than a system per se — since the losing began in late December, I do not agree that Ramsay’s “system hit a wall”, but rather our players, most of whom are too young to play with such a physical edge for 82 games.

Ladd can do it, but obviously the guy is banged up and exhausted from playing 100+ games during the longest season a guy can have. Buff has shown how prone he can be to mental mistakes that are the result of fatigue and the wear and tear on his body as well. The system works IF IT IS DONE CORRECTLY WITH COMMITMENT FOR THE MAJORITY OF 60 MINS.

The thing that bothers me is that Ramsay himself is guilty of taking his foot off the pedal in the 2nd period (even at home) and they seem to resort to more “trapping” type methods by dropping the 2nd forechecker back into the neutral zone and often times that guy swoops in at the off blueline for a drive-by in case there is an errant or bobbled pass. If there isn’t, he’s rendered ineffective as he is now behind the play having to circle and hustle back into the NZ on the backcheck.

The D-men are supposed to take away the def blueline but as the game progresses they sometimes start to drop back (think Carolina game) when the team isn’t getting a lot of off zone time and feels it must be more conservative. So in effect, the relaxed forecheck leads to a bigger problem by which the D-men stop being as aggressive and then we end up giving up screened shots or too much zone time to the other team. Ramsay’s strategy is predicated on zone time and controlling the puck, but then we often fail to press the issue with our speed and size in the 2nd period because Ramsay knows his bottom lines are vulnerable and takes his foot off the gas to avoid getting exploited during the long-change period.

Sage of Bluesland

February 10th, 2011
11:38 am

…and a high-salaried guy has what motivation to play here (once here not by choice; ask Hossa)? We haven’t even had luck with the free-agents who have ‘voluntarily’ come here (ask Holik)…or even draft picks who had no choice, for that matter (ask Heatley)…

This is so multi-factored and complex it’s not even funny. There are no quick-fixes. This is something that starts at the very top–and is built from the very bottom up.

The malaise which this team and franchise is under will not be broken easily. Unfortunately, other teams’ junk will not fix it. Real leaders are needed–and they will not be exchanged for some of the jokes in our “Legends of Blueland” feeder system…

This ride is going to get bumpier before it gets smoother…With each ‘change’, we get set back further and further…and hope/pray the one making the decisions is wise…Unfortunately, only time will tell…We COULD be back to our next “Five-Year Plan” sooner than you think…

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
12:38 pm

Red Light-thanks for the Joe Mich update-I like Joe’s work.

Drury is a gamer for sure, but he’s not that big and way overpaid to be a 3rd liner. He is a proud professional, probably more upset that he can’t earn his money than anything else. It is hard to see a character player like Chris Drury struggle. Drury and Pat LaFontaine came from the same mold, two players I respect a lot.

Jessman was a terrible pick, not even projected as a first rounder. But he’s big and that’s what Sather liked about him. Sather’s been hit in the head too many times. I have shied away from Hemsky too, I still think we should be seller on 2.28. Garage sale, get what you can.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
12:40 pm

Preds get Mike Fisher? Mike can go home to Carrie every night?
Not a bad gig, wonder if it will impact his “play”?

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
12:47 pm

Sage – there’s no five year plan here-they are working on the five minute plan. Please let me know if you see a detectable pattern here!

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
1:15 pm

The Nashville Predators acquired center Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 conditional draft pick, the team announced Thursday. WOW. Great move for the Preds. Leader. Blocks shots, hits, goals and assists.

Poile strikes again.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
1:23 pm

Great trade for the Preds, looks like it’ll be easy to make NSH my West Conference team when we miss the playoffs! Hope Carrie doesn’t wear him out making up for lost time! ;)

Russian

February 10th, 2011
1:24 pm

What’s Dudley doing? What’s he wait for? We are losing all good trades. Nashville is doing great. They won 2 games against Detroit. They are 5-th in Western Conference. And they are still got good player. Damn. I am not happy now. :-(

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
1:27 pm

crap, Fisher would have fit in great here and he’s exactly the kind of vet I was thinking of (he’d be a #1 center here), as he has 2 years left on his contract and was a salary dump by Ottawa.

Great move by Poile, indeed.

DWTOO

February 10th, 2011
1:40 pm

This is indeeed disappointing – a deal the Thrashers should have/could have made. Beginning to think WBF is right about us being sellers.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
1:40 pm

But Joe, you didn’t want to part with a #1 pick! ;) Would you have done the same if you were Rick Dudley? Like you say, he’d be a great fit here, especially with his declining salary relative to his cap hit.

Get The Puck Out

February 10th, 2011
1:42 pm

Versteeg for Bergfors and ?

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
1:45 pm

I think Fisher had a limited NTC so chances are he wouldn’t / couldn’t have come here, but I love his game. While he may not be the scoring wing we desperately need, his 2-way game would suit Rammer’s regime quite nicely. I think Nashville is poised to make a serious run this year assuming Weber, Suter, Rinne and Sully can stay healthy.

Alan R.

February 10th, 2011
1:46 pm

I’m not sure Fisher is worth a first rounder. Especially our first rounder. Remember, we’re still a “bubble team.” If we give up a first, and miss the playoffs, can you imagine the whining and crying from people here?

Our first is valuable to us, right now, and we’re going to need something in return to justify giving it up. Something more than a Fisher.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
1:49 pm

HP Drifter, I think most people provided the list of players who were traded here, then left. What wasn’t specified is if they were traded out or “walked in free agency.” Or retired from NHL play, like with Slava Kozlov and Scott Mellanby.

Also, there were some who left WITHOUT being offered a contract by Atlanta, in their UFA years. I’m thinking that would include Steve McCarthy (2006 Trade deadline acquisition) and Andy Sutton, who waited until August for Waddell to call, before inking a 3-year deal with the Islanders. Bobby Holik was NOT traded here. He was a straight-up UFA signing.

Some other names traded here, that were then shipped out or merely “walked” were the Hebrew Hammer Matthieu Schneider, who was sent packing to Montreal for a 2nd round pick and a conditional 3rd round pick. Nic Havelid was traded here, signed a UFA contract here, and then got traded to New Jersey. I think deVries walked as a UFA, but someone might have posted under his name already. I don’t think anyone listed Mark Recchi, who was a waiver claim acquisition, who later walked in free agency.

For me, what’s noteworthy isn’t the elongated list of players who said, “thanks, but no thanks,” but quality of the players who said, “nyet.” Imagine if we could have kept Kubina? If we could have kept Recchi, even as a 4th liner? What if we’d been able to hang on to Eric Belanger? He wanted NOTHING to do with Atlanta. And truthfully, I think he felt like he got BLAMED for the Rangers playoff sweep by Waddell.

Now, in the case of our draft picks, that’s maybe the most unpalatable of all. Why? They were ours. They grew up in our organization. They couldn’t wait to leave! Coburn, Kovalchuk, Heatley/Hossa. Letting Top 10 picks escape, and I don’t mean Patrik Stefan, is a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with the franchise.

Beee honest about something. What are the odds Kane and Bogosian will re-sign beyond their RFA years?? To borrow from Waddell, when discussing Kari Lehtonen’s RFA contract in 2009, “we hope we DO get an RFA offersheet.” For Waddell, this is a day at the beach. He didn’t have to negotiate anything. All he has to do is say, “Match the offer, or the player is gone.” And either ownership greenlights the contract or the player walks, with draft pick compensation coming back to the club. If poached by a GOOD team, that draft pick compensation is junk, something like an 18-30th overall pick, in terms of a 1st rounder.

Old Time Hockey

February 10th, 2011
1:50 pm

Was Fisher worth a # 1 and conditional pick? 14 goals and 10 assists? Stats aren’t even as good as Peverly. Either of them worth a first?

Russian

February 10th, 2011
1:56 pm

QUESTION: DO we need Versteeg??? Do we have to trade him to Berg???
This is a stats for bothe player:
Versteeg:
Games – 51
Goal – 14
Assist – 21
+/- – -13
He is 5′10″ and 182 lbs. 24 years old
Salary – $3.1 – RFA after 2 years

Our Berg
Games – 45
Goal – 11
Assist – 18
+/- – -7
He is 6′00″ and 200 lbs. 23 years old
Salary – $0.9 – RFA

Once again: DO WE NEED HIM???
I am saying that I passed for him. Let him stay in Toronto.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
2:04 pm

I am at the point the only thing I want DUD dudley do is RESIGN, he is not up to the job or pressure.
Bring in a REAL GM and go from there. Heck Brenden would be my choice !!!!!

Tony C

February 10th, 2011
2:08 pm

OTH-’zactly. At this point I’m thinking Dudley’s best move is to walk on down to a practice and let everybody know what his plan is-those who buy in, you keep-those who want out-you sell high. I was hopeful about this squad’s playoff potential, still see us with an outside chance, but the players we lost to injury have been key and-here’s the thing-Ramsay’s system demands full-throttle effort by EVERY player EVERY shift. Too much lackadaisical play from guys who are accustomed to being #2 options that our club demands they be #1 options…and even if they won’t meet the demand they are STILL de facto #1 options, so if they’re cruising it really screws the whole thing up

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:12 pm

Outstanding blog going today, all the blasts from the past chiming in was kiling me. Great names dropping. Don’t think we’ve heard from Kelly Buchberger or Ray Ferraro yet…perhaps their internet is down.

Great discussion regarding our tricky relationship with AHL Chicago and the do we or do we not trade a 1st rounder for immediate help. I’ve got some thoughts on both issues:

1. Alan R: really like your idea of getting our top prospects out of Chicago if they’re not getting the ice time they need to develop. Conflicts of interest there. Chicago wants to win and they want to do it their way, fine. I’d rather the coaching staffs in ATL and CHI be preaching from the same Bible but apparently that’s not the case, so yeah, I’m all for moving those kids to Gwinnett. The caliber of play isn’t Chicago but at least they’re close by and can have a much better learning experience. Is there any chance of ending our affiliation with the AHL Wolves? Can we hitch our wagon to another AHL franchise? Definitely worth looking into.
As for trading our 1st round pick for immediate help: NO. We most definitely DO need immediate help, and we have a gigantic asset at our disposal to do so, and that is all the freaking 18M of cap space that we have. Money we’re NOT spending. Ridiculous. Thrashers can’t take that money with them and put it into next season. Use it or lose it. I really believe we can pry some top talent off other teams if the ASG would just open the wallet a little. Surely they’re not stupid and so shortsighted that they can’t distinguish the value of a 1st round pick (for future value if we strike gold on a player) and cold hard cash, just laying in a bank account somewhere). I have no doubt we can get some big time help. Yeah, we might have to take on some overpayed players, but isnt’ that the whole point? Would you rather acquire a player, with a salary of about 5M (but he’s performing at a 1-2M a year rate), over just not acquiring anyone at all? If said 5M player makes you a better team today, and he can be had without giving away 1st rd pick or any young talent from your organization, then why not? All it will cost is money, that’s it. No Coburn-Zhitnik here, just me going to the store and buying a 20-30 goal winger. How much? Fine, pulling out my wallet. I’ll trade you my 2M player for your 5M player, or i’ll just take your 5M player so you dont’ have to pay him anymore. But whatever, I think we’d have done something by now. I know spending money isn’t the only key to building a good team, but it sure does help.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

Smoothie, re: 4:23 PM post yesterday, I always remind people what 6th seeds like Minnesota in 2003 and Calgary in 2004, and 8th seeds, like Edmonton in 2006, and 7th round seeds like Philly in 2010, Vancouver in 1994, Anaheim in 2003, and Buffalo in 1999, can do. The difference is … and let me be clear (Copyright, Barack Obama, 2008-eternity), is that I don’t think Atlanta can win a playoff series, as constructed, this year. It wouldn’t matter to me WHAT their seeding was. I think Atlanta could win a playoff game, perhaps. Is that worth losing a high-end 1st rounder for? Just to get off the Island before Columbus does??

Now, I hear what Glovesave29 is saying, I basically agreed with him with my post yesterday outlining my two (2) exceptions to the trading a 1st rounder rule. If the player we’re coughing up a 1st rounder for … is 22 or 23 or 24 years old, an RFA, who will remain an RFA until age 27, then that’s not so bad. You control a quality player for many years … that you OTHERWISE would not have had.

I still say we ought to look at some of the “bad contracts” that exist out there … and ask ourselves … “would any of these players make our roster BETTER?” GM’s want to ditch “bad contracts” in the worst kinda way. In general, “bad contracts” aren’t anything to which to aspire. But, if you can’t get a player of that caliber any other way … and you HAVE THE CAP SPACE … it’s something to consider. If some GM out there asked Chicago, “Whattaya want for Cristobal Huet?” Chicago might say, “Dinner at Applebees, a bag of pucks, and a 7th rounder.” If a GM asks, “And how much for Brian Campbell, that contract you’re STUCK WITH until he’s 40?” Chicago might say … “Can you dance the Charleston, while singing ‘La Marseillaise?’ If so, I believe we have a deal.” So, the question out there becomes … if you have NO GOALTENDING … is Cristobal Huet an upgrade? If you have incapable blueliners, does Brian Campbell improve your ON ICE product? Yes or no? Yes … or no?

Most teams are trying to win. And “bad contracts,” particularly ones that handcuff the team for YEARS to come, are absurd to consider. But for Atlanta, which doesn’t PRETEND to max out its cap every year, these ‘types’ of contracts are “quick fix” answers. All they really cost … is money. And maybe some ‘throw away’ draft picks that won’t amount to a hill of microbes on an ant hill in Africa.

R.Stroz says that the AS,LLC songbird signs, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.”

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:26 pm

Brendan, I just posted a note (I think it’s hung up right now) but was making the same point. We can take on a bad contract or two, if it helps in the short-term, and all it would cost is money, not our young talent or 1st round pick. Just cold hard cash.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
2:27 pm

I don’t think Dud dudley has any plans… We have fallen on our collective face for a month now and all that happens is a couple callups… That AIN’T getting it done. Can he not see through his glasses ? But please remember, he is a “buddy” of Liar waddell, so that just might be an answer.

With questionable goaltending now rearing it’s ugly head, it looks bleak at the very very best.
I really have to agree NOBODY wants to play here for this group of liar owners. If we could get a commited owner, things would change and change FAST !

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:31 pm

Thank you, LAC. I’d choose “Red Light” as GM, with “Russ” as Associate GM, and “Rawhide” as a special consultant. I’d nominate “Sage of Bluesland” to keep the books, for he’d ATTACK them with the scrutiny that a proper audit deserves!!

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:34 pm

BMF, agreed. If it’s just money … that’s not so bad. Chances are, 8 years down the road, we’re looking at a cap that’s $70 million. A horrible contract like Brian Campbell’s probably wouldn’t impede an ownership group that is ‘committed to winning.’ And if it’s such an impediment, we stash it in the AHL, to blantly circumvent the cap, like the “rich” markets are doing now. (Wade Redden, $6.0 million, in the AHL affiliate.)

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:42 pm

I’ve never liked how other clubs stash away salary in the AHL, basically giving rich teams a way to “cheat” the cap. Me thinks a way to curb that would be to be able to stash the player away, but say, only half of his salary. So, NYR would still be counting 3M of the 6M due to Redden against their cap instead of none of it. A good way to avoid that problem is to not sign players to terrible contracts, but I guess teams like the NYR just do ti anyways, and if it doesn’t work and the player in question doesn’t mind the time in the minors, then they still get all their money. Just the whole premise of that arrangement bugs me. Another idea would be to tax that stashed contract, sort of like a luxury tax that MLB puts on the high payroll team.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:58 pm

I’ve got a better idea, still, BMF. Whatever the SALARY is … the CAP HIT is. No more “dollar cost averaging” to lessen the cap hit. And, finally, no “stashing” period, the end. You can cut the player, but you still have to pay him. That’s GM accountability, right there.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
3:08 pm

BMF-the next collective bargaining agreement has to have better buy out terms than the current agreement. Redden’s contract is actually keeping him from playing in the NHL. I am sure the Rangers are not happy with it either.

Brendan – you would obviously be our legal guy.
Stroz-social director? Sgt at arms? Cowbell ringer?

LAC-Dudley doesn’t have the $$$ to play with or the prospects/picks to deal. Nashville on the other hand has the highest rated proscpects in the league, Poile can trade a pick because his cupboard is already full. Dudley is up against the wall through no falt of his own. Not sure who would step into this situation right now, all things considered.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
3:16 pm

What y’all are forgetting is Dudley has nothing to lose. If he trades the #1 to get a forward in here, and then gets fired, do you think he’ll be out of work long? He’ll always be able to scout. Obviously he is hamstrung by the lousy ASG and their tight-wad budget so I will not be surprised if Duds rolls the dice and tries to get this team in the playoffs and produce some additional revenues for those lousy SOB’s.

Dudley’s never been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal and I don’t believe that he or Ramsay have more than a 3-5 year horizon even if things were to go well in ATL and the team were to have success. I could be wrong but with this draft class not ballyhooed like the most recent classes, I think the risk is lower than it would have been 2, 3 years ago. I have a feeling Dudley is in a holding pattern waiting on one GM to act before he pulls the trigger on another deal. It’s been Dudley’s MO for a long time so until the trade deadline comes and goes, I full expect something to happen at some point.

Rawhide

February 10th, 2011
3:22 pm

The Nashville Predators acquired center Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 conditional draft pick, the team announced Thursday. WOW. Great move for the Preds. Leader. Blocks shots, hits, goals and assists.

Red Light – That is a very good deal for Nashville. It’s a very good deal for Fisher too, given he’s married to Carrie Underwood. I don’ know if she lives there or not, but being a country mucis artist I’m sure she’s there quite a bit. Maybe someone who is more “in tune” with the situation can let us know.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
3:23 pm

Alan R. & Old Time Hockey…

“Our first is valuable to us, right now, and we’re going to need something in return to justify giving it up. Something more than a Fisher.”

“Was Fisher worth a # 1 and conditional pick? 14 goals and 10 assists? Stats aren’t even as good as Peverly. Either of them worth a first?”

First off, he turns 31 in June. Second, he is a consistent performer, year in and year out and offers so much more than goals, assists and plus/minus stats suggest. The guy does everything on and off the ice and offers commitment, leadership, perseverance and a hot wife to sing the National Anthem.

This is exactly the kind of move that good bubble teams make. Nashville was assured of nothing, because despite their 5th-place standing, they are only three points out of ninth. Fisher is owed just $7 million over his last two years of his current deal. He can play in all situations and both center and wing. He has scored more than 22 goals in four of the past five seasons, and he wasn’t exactly playing on a team loaded with talent and something to play for this season.

Oh, and he hits, blocks shots, is decent in the face-off circle, isn’t a jerk and puts his team first.

Something more than a Fisher, like Mike Richards for example, you can’t get for a first-rounder, and a second- or third-rounder. I’d rather than have Fisher for four or five years than waiting on an 18-year old to become an NHL player, if ever. If he was 33, I could see your point, but he’s not.

A solid point by World Be Free. The Preds not only have players waiting, but they also have seven guys on the roster 23 or younger. Sound familiar? They also have $9 million in expiring UFA contracts and this kind of move might entice Weber to re-up long term rather than going to arbitration.

Great value for a great pro, and I think it was well thought out by Poile and Fenton. They’ll have Erat, Hornqvist, Lombardi, Legwand, Fisher, Suter and Rinne back next year, and that’s a nice core group if you add Weber to it.

R. Stroz…More Cowbell!

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
3:26 pm

Bill: I just love country mucis artists! LOL

I wasn’t too legible above either.

Rawhide

February 10th, 2011
3:32 pm

Red Light:lol: … uh, of course that would be….country muSIC artists.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

WBF, Afraid you are right, These owners want the team to tank and do not want to spend anymore $. They, as we ALL know, could care less about NHL hockey. They want to unload it and they, I believe, are 25/75% leaving town, with the 75% leaving. It is so sad, that the Hockey fans of Atlanta have been SCREWED twice. First by that idiot cousins, is that moron still alive ? Hope NOT. Then these lying punks. I don’t see Bettman saving Atlanta, All the other SE teams are solid, you never hear of issues now. Then we are stuck with these idiots. I agree WBF, the Thrashers will do nothing
to improve the team, because the cheap lying owners will not allow it.

So why are they paying waddell a six figure income to do nothing ? Could save a lot by dumping that BUM, and why have a GM etc… Since they cannot do anything, just looks like the beginning of the end of NHL hockey here, and WE, THE FANS, deserve a Whole Lot Better than this CRAP !

JT from Columbus

February 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

Diego from Lilburn

February 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

Brendan, as you staff out the organization, please hire me as “Massage Therapist for the Blue Crew Girls”.

I’ll work cheap. I might even pay you.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
4:30 pm

Too Funny, This little bit was in a report coming out of Ottawa, Canada of all places, Do they know something we don’t ? Is it “that” bad up there ? But I cannot believe the people in Canada who wrote this artical… Believe Ottawa is in the Southeast ????

Hummm…. Moving to Richmond, Maybe Charlotte, no Birmingham, or could it be Savannah or Jacksonville ???? Is Asheville too small for the NHL ???? Those “Canada” fans really need a LIFE !

Nashville currently is five points behind first-place Detroit in the Central. Ottawa is last in the Southeast Division with 42 points.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
5:00 pm

LAC-betcha Dudely could do alot if he could get near $50M. That was the number we all throught we would see spent last summer, remember when we were all guessing as to how much the club would spend?

We all want the team to be better, much better by we are not close to spending what it takes to field a competitive team supported by a farm system that could offer the odd player or two are league minimum or around to bolster the lineup.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
5:03 pm

JT-please don’t let it be Connolly!

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:19 pm

Trato hecho, Diego from Lilburn. But, uhh. No fancy lubes! ?De acuerdo?

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:23 pm

WBF, isn’t Connolly on the last year of his deal, at $4 million, prorated? That might not be horrible. Just don’t give up anything good for him, since he’s one (1) hit away from a permanent drool cup, from concussions.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
5:27 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=6109488

A good read, and a fair assessment of the Thrashers’ bleak existence.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:55 pm

I always enjoy Burnside articles. High praise of Dudley. I don’t know that he’s especially earned that yet. This team has lost 16 of its past 21 games. Is that ‘judging talent?’ Then again, it’s his first season here. The ownership isn’t helping matters. Etc.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
6:07 pm

“Dudley, widely acknowledged as one of the best judges of hockey talent in the game, figures the Thrashers have 14 pieces “of what could be an elite team.”

Hmmm, now that is an interesting exercise to look at the current roster and pick Dudley’s 14 pieces.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
6:27 pm

One day, somebody other than Ramsay or a player will admit to the flaws the organization has and provide an accurate appraisal.

“Yes, we have done some good things, but our fans deserve better than what we have done over the past 11 years, and specifically over the last 18 months. We feel we are making progress, but we have few top players in the minor leagues and our amateur scouting staff needs to find more good players for us to build a winner. Our professional scouts, and that includes me, need to do a better job of identifying players that fit our system and our budget, not only as we approach the deadline, but also in the future.”

That, I believe, is a bit more palatable than the same old drivel.

Lee

February 10th, 2011
6:55 pm

We already have great young talent. In fact, the majority of our team is young. I don’t think it’s wise to get another youngster now. Use the pick as trade bait…1st round is pretty decent and could get us something pretty good from the other teams. I think our main problem spot is leadership. With Enstrom out and all these other key players to our system, you can see a major drop in our playing performance…um, enough said. Getting a veteran just might give us that little extra boost we need.

Hope Duds will make the right choice…

GO THRASHERS

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
8:49 pm

“Hmmm, now that is an interesting exercise to look at the current roster and pick Dudley’s 14 pieces.”

Here’s my thought on his 14 pieces (in alphabetical order, forwards, dmen, and goalie):
Burmistrov, Cormier, Kane, Ladd, Little, Peverley, Slater, Thorburn, Bogosian, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Hainsey, Oduya, Pavelec

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
8:54 pm

Yeah Brendan, Connolly is in the last year of his most recent 2 year deal. Sabres and Timmy will part ways this year anyhow, just hope he does not end up here. Just think, we could have had Tim in the 1999 draft instead of taking Patricia.

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
9:04 pm

So the problem with that is that yes, there’s 14 core pieces to build with, but the fill ins you need are some glaring holes like #1 center and and #1 RW and #1 dman. Now mabye he is projecting Burmistrov as a #1 center, but how far away is Burmistrov from playing at that level? He hasn’t shown me he’s ready to play top line minutes for a couple years at least, mabye he’s projecting this for a couple years from now:

Kane-Burmistrov-RW
Ladd-Little-Peverley
LW-Cormier-RW
LW-Slater-Thorburn
#1 dman-Buf
Enstrom-Bogosian
Oduya-Hainsey
Pavs-G

What top line RW is out there for sale by a cap strapped club out of it? Who’s a top line UFA RW this summer?

Monisha

February 10th, 2011
9:18 pm

What we gonna do?

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
9:33 pm

Such a young team-half my wardrobe is older than this team, alot older.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
9:36 pm

Joe Friday, I hate to keep saying this but nothing happens without more money. I thought we would spend around $48-50 mil this season, which equates to at least 2 of the things you mentioned, a dman, top winger. But instead of Ruth’s Chris we are stuck with a Taco Bell budget.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
10:11 pm

Joe Friday – Been out for a little while.

My first run at it was basically the same, almost. I had included Bergfors and had no room for Oduya. I think Johnny O belongs on it. I know Bergey was on the s- list for some time, but I had him included for his age and potential scoring ability (which might be a need here…..). I can’t argue forcefully either way, but the real call is Duds and I wonder what that is?

The glaring omission on both lists was Antro. I know he is already 30, but he has two more years on his deal I believe. Too bad he has been slowed by that injury all year. I imagine Duds would love to be able to turn him into a good, young asset if he could.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
10:17 pm

Joe – One other thought. What if Duds had actually included a Klingberg or some other recent draftee? As you said, if he is projecting out a couple of years?

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
10:23 pm

Nearly the worst possible of nights. Only the Canes failed to gain a point.
Devils +2
Leafs +1
Panthers +1
Sabres +2
Habs +1
Isles +2
Flyers +2

That’s tough to watch for both the Rangers and the Thrashers when your idle.

Alan R.

February 10th, 2011
11:09 pm

RL – On the plus, the Canes are still only one point ahead, and after the NYR game, we play them.

By the end of the weekend, we could be three up on the Canes.

All that aside, we need to work hard, and all these games are suddenly MUST WIN games. Avoid the three point split if at all possible… but if we have to go there, we gotta take the bulk of ‘em.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
11:25 pm

WBF, correct, I just wish they would Try to win and spend some $.

Red Light spelled it out, more darn 3 point games that are KILLING US. Now NJ is only 10-12 back and coming on strong, see who scored the WINNER in Toronto tonight…. YUCK !

Acer

February 11th, 2011
1:14 am

I think that Buffalo wants NHL bodies back for Connolly. He doesn’t have a good season but he’s part of the secondary scoring department.

Which of Atlanta’s talented youngsters has upside and high potential:
Kane…a 40 G, 80 P scorer in the future, maybe more
Little…ex-30 G man, 60-70 P upside
Bogosian…IMO the player with the most upside. Chelios V2.0
Pavelec…had the ability to build on his success earlier this season.

That’s not a lot of elite talent + some isn’t fully developed, yet. I don’t count Enstrom, Buff and Ladd, because all three are closer to being UFA’s than the rest of the list.

The development (living up to upside) of Bogosian, Burmistrov (IMO not a high scoring upside which is why I didn’t list him) and Little is crucial for the Thrashers. You don’t go very far in the NHL without center & D-man depth. I question the quality of the current prospects, which why I want to retain ATL’s 2011 1st rounder. Currently, that’s the 11th overall pick. Center or D-man would be my ideal choice. Possible names as of right now: Ryan Strome (C), Mika Zibanejad (C), Duncan Siemens (D) or Dougie Hamilton (D.)

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
1:54 am

Rawhide, with your permission, we go to the Onion News Network, for some BREAKING NEWS on your Atlanta Thrashers.

Brooke Alvarez: “Put your hands in the air and spread your legs wide, you’re entering the ‘Factzone,’ where security checks are always mandatory. At the Onion News Network, we’re news without Mercy! We have some BREAKING NEWS for you puckheads out here. Bruce Levenson stunned the world today by ‘coming out’ as a BAD OWNER. Our field reporter, Jane Carmichael, has more. Take it away, Jane.”

Jane Carmichael: “Thanks Brooke. I’m standing here in front of the league offices of the National Hockey League, which was all a BUZZ today amid the shocking confession of Atlanta Thrashers part-owner Bruce Levenson … that he’s a really bad owner.”

Brooke: “I see. Can you shed anymore light on the causes behind this ’startling confession?’”

Jane: “Yes Brooke. I took some time out to interview Bruce. Let’s go to the video footage.”

… “So Bruce, why have you ‘come out?’ Why now? And what’s it like to be an OPENLY BAD sports owner?”

Bruce Levenson: “Well Jane. There’s never really a wrong moment to start telling the truth. I haven’t been forthright about things, for many YEARS, really.”

Jane Carmichael: “I see. Uhh, tell us how you arrived at this personal epiphany?”

Bruce Levenson: “Well, ya see Jane. I’m uhhh … not good. Not good, at all, at what I do. And to cover it up, I sue everyone around me in an attempt to make it appear as if it’s THEIR fault, instead of mine.”

Jane Carmichael: “And how’s that working out for you?”

Bruce: “Well, I don’t like to comment on pending litigation.”

Jane Carmichael: “That’s probably smart of you. By the way, how’s that suit going against K-Mart, for those insufficient in quality and duration … vibrating plastic pony rides they sometimes have in their storefront areas?”

Bruce Levenson: “Asked and answered Jane. I have no comment on pending litigation.”

Jane Carmichael: “Alrighty then. Uhh, so … what’s next for Bruce Levenson?”

Bruce Levenson: “Attorney fees. And more attorney fees, if I lose. Whenever something doesn’t go my way, I sue or counter-sue to recover my losses.”

Jane Carmichael: “Including suing your own counsel??”

Bruce Levenson: “Missteps were made, Jane. By THEM. They must pay, like PizzaHut (TM) just did, when I recovered damages from them over what was ‘a pathetic attempt’ on their part at making a double-cheese pizza.”

Jane Carmichael: “I’m just glad you could reach an out of court settlement.”

Bruce Levenson: “Me too, Jane. Me, too.”

Jane Carmichael: “Well, that wraps it up from here, Brooke. ‘Outed’ bad sports owner Bruce Levenson, a man finally coming to terms with himself. Back to you, Brooke.”

Brooke: “Well, it’s nice to him finally taking some responsibility for his many misdeeds. Any word on an increased budget for his fast plummeting hockey team?”

Jane Carmichael: “Brooke, Bruce said, and I quote, ‘I wouldn’t be ‘a Bad sports owner,’ if I went around FIXING things, or making them better.”

Brooke Alvarez: “Very good, then. That’s a point well taken. Great job, as always. And remember, Jane, smiling too much brings out your crows feet on HD television.”

Jane Carmichael: Jaw agaped, looks disgustedly at the camera, outraged.

Brooke Alvarez: “In a related story, the Florida Panthers said the Atlanta Thrashers are nothing more that ‘copycat wannabees,’ when in comes to being a lousy-run franchise. We’ll be sure to stay on top of that story, as it develops. Stay here, with the Onion News Network. We’re always with you–even when you ‘think’ you’re alone.”

Lee

February 11th, 2011
7:01 am

We’ve been very lucky not to have dropped down any further than we have. We are very thankful that Carolina keeps losing….

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
7:37 am

LAC-when it comes down to it, that missing $7M in payroll is probably what will keep this team from making the playoffs. For me, I would consider the $7M as investment in the future of the team, rebuilding the fanbase and getting the types of crowds the Thrashers had the first 4 years. All this while we have an ECHL team in our backyard. Objective members of the media would then consider Atlanta a legitimate NHL town, not the slander that has been thrown our direction the last 2-3 years. Just trying to look at the big picture.

Acer-not sure what Buffalo wants back for Connolly, I think they would take picks becuase the Sabres have some young forwards on the way up. The kid Byron looks good, Zach Kassian in juniors and Luke Adam in Portland. All depends on who the next GM in Buffalo is-Darcy Regier has 2 more years but I keep hearing Craig Patrick’s name as the next GM or maybe even club president for the Sabres. Look for Buffalo to sign a top line UFA July 1.

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
7:40 am

Red Light-if we are going to make playoffs we are going to have to earn it. And here comes Jersey in the rear view mirror. If the Devils make playoffs from where they were then I will tip my hat to them cuz they would have earned it.

Rawhide

February 11th, 2011
7:43 am

G’mornin’, Thrasherville. Big weekend of hockey on tap for us as the Thrashers look to go from “Rags” to riches.

R. Stroz

February 14th, 2011
8:21 am

Rawhide

February 17th, 2011
10:05 am

R. Stroz – Nope.