Did Dudley do right with deadline deals?

Yesterday, Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley pulled the trigger on a trio of trade deadline day deals. He also re-signed newly acquired defenseman Mark Stuart and snagged a center off the waiver wire.

Here is a brief recap of what went down:

Sent to the Florida Panthers were forwards Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller in exchange forward Radek Dvorak and a 5th round draft pick. Dvorak is 33 and has scored 7 goals and 14 assists in 53 games played. He’ll be a UFA come July 1 and is currently being paid $1.7 million this season.

Bergfors was a part of the deal with the Devils last winter that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey. He scored 11 goals and 18 assists in 52 games and compiled a –11 rating. After coming to Atlanta last year he looked as though he could become a major piece in the Thrashers future, but things started to head south with him and the organization last summer during contract talks and he seemed to reside in coach Craig Ramsay’s doghouse all season. Hopefully this change will bring a new beginning for this promising young talent.

As for Rissmiller…his biggest accomplishment for the Thrashers is that he helped the team send Todd White to the Rangers.

Dudley also shipped Fredrik Modin to Calgary in return for a 7th round draft pick and swapped prospect goalie Drew McIntyre to Montreal for prospect defenseman Brett Festerling.

Lastly, there was the acquisition of Rob Schremp from the Islanders. He was plucked off the waver wire.

Did Dudley do right with his deals over the past two weeks?

  • Yes! the team is better now and the future looks bright (41%, 93 Votes)
  • No! He didn't help the team at all (16%, 37 Votes)
  • Feh...Only time will tell. (43%, 95 Votes)

Total Voters: 225

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All this caps off a very busy two weeks for Dudley and Co. as we have seen several transactions that have modified the team’s roster. Starting with the trade that sent Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik to Boston for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, Atlanta then moved Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to Montreal for Ben Maxwell and a 4th round pick. Then came yesterday’s deals.

What all of that leaves us with is this…

Where there was once Sopel on defense, you now have Stuart. Where there was once Peverley and Bergfors up front there is now Wheeler and Dvorak. Also, where there was Modin we now will see Maxwell/Schremp…at least until Jimmy Slater and Alex Burmistrov get healthy.

I’ll let you debate whether or not the team is in better shape now for a stretch run then they were two weeks ago. Personally I think ultimately that will be decided by how they perform over the remaining six weeks of the season.

However, looking beyond that I think Rick Dudley has done a very good job as far as the future is concerned. He did not deal away any significant prospect for an aging vet with multiple years left on a contract, nor did he conduct a fire sale in which he in essence threw in the towel on this season.

But even more than that, he was able to ink Stuart to a 3-year $5.1 million contract extension that will keep the soon-to-be 27 year old blueliner around here for the foreseeable future. The deal is not only a good one where the team’s payroll department is concerned, but it will also go a long way in helping to solidify the one area of this team that has always been a major issue…defense. Stuart has performed well since coming over here, showing a great deal of hustle and grit, and he can be a vital piece in the puzzle that is the Thrashers future.

Also not to be overlooked is the fact that Stuart was traded here only about a dozen or so days ago, but apparently has already seen enough to say, “Yeah, I like what’s going on here and would like to stick around for a while”.

We in Thrasherville aren’t exactly used to that and it came as very welcome news indeed.

183 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

March 1st, 2011
10:10 am

mat"T"

March 1st, 2011
10:12 am

I like it. Call me crazy, but they seemed to have turned the corner Sunday and with these players we might be able to make a run at the post season! LET’S GO THRASHERS!

J(Z)

March 1st, 2011
10:13 am

I can’t believe it took this long to get a “Dudley Do Right” mention! :)

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:15 am

“All I’m saying is, cutting bait on someone like Antropov now, after major hip surgery, isn’t a good idea. We know what he’s capable of. He needs rest, not a change of scenery.”

Alan – I don’t want to cut bait with Antro either. I just don’t think he should be playing top 6 minutes if he can’t be effective playing against better competition. And I hate the line of Kane-Antro-Stewy as they have given up quite a few more goals than they’ve scored. Antro should be playing 4th line b/w Boults & Thorbs and hope that those two can use their hard work to pry the puck loose for him in the high slot. Other than that, and some “plant your a$$ in front of the net PP mins”, I think Nik should be used moderately unless he’s feelin’ grrrrreat!!

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:15 am

Dudley sucks!!

sorry, just channeling my inner LAC for a moment…okay, I feel better

GSUKEVIN

March 1st, 2011
10:16 am

Wheeler, Stuart, and a signed Dvorak this summer make the Thrashers a MUCH better team next september. Unfortunately the Thrashers never had and still don’t have the guns to compete THIS year, but these deals help “now and in the future” as Dudley said he aimed to do. Dudley did a great job for the franchise with his deals this year.

Stan Drulia

March 1st, 2011
10:17 am

While Dudley didn’t really do much to bolster my confidence for a playoff situation, I have put all my faith in him and I have no reason to stop now. He has made great decision thus far, and while a couple of these moves make me raise my eyebrows, I am confident that he knows what he is doing. God, I hope he knows what he is doing.

As for Bergy… I always had trouble forgetting how terrible his attitude was when he got moved here last year. Will never forget his radio interview and how clearly unhappy he was to have been dealt to us. Granted, it seemed to improve a bit when he realized he was now a medium sized fish in the little pond, I still couldn’t forgive his “it is what it is” statments.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:17 am

Pasted from other blag:

When you cut out all the AHLers, picks, and prospects, what you have is the following:

we got rid of Bergfors, Peverley, and Sopel
we got Wheeler, Dvorak, and Stuart (resigned!)

As far as the rest: we got rid of some guys who just weren’t cutting it. We may have replaced them with guys who just won’t cut it, but even if they are, it’s a wash.

Tom

March 1st, 2011
10:18 am

I truly think that in every scenario you mentioned we have upgraded our team.

It is too bad Bergy never bought in to the team here, but he was pissed the day he got traded to the Thrashers and remained that way till he got the call to go to Florida if I had to guess.

We are bigger, our biggest improvement should be the penalty kill, and we have not lost any offense and may have gained a bit.

Now lets take this momentum and win out the homestand.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:21 am

Oh, and more importantly: Bergfors is the best ‘asset’ we gave up. We didn’t mortgage any of the future, which is incredibly important right now for a team that is short on talent — another Tkachuk or Zhitnik trade would have damaged the franchise irreparably.

Rawhide

March 1st, 2011
10:21 am

hip czech

March 1st, 2011
10:27 am

but things started to head south

I prefer to state it as but things started to head north

Keep The Thrashers in Atlanta

March 1st, 2011
10:29 am

Agree – These moves focus more on the long-term than on the last 19 games of the year, which is the right thing to do. While it may appear to be more of the same this year, the future could be fun to watch here, especially if we can get some new owners.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:40 am

Per @dankamal: Lines @ practice: 16-10-26; 9-14-22; 13-80-20; 36-49-27.

Just move Nik to the 4th line and we are golden. Actually, the speed and hustle of Dvorak may help protect Nik as Kane sometimes overextends and compromises his mates, but I think we’ll see Thorbs or Maxwell play 3rd line minutes at some point if Antro is sluggish again.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:41 am

I think I will play the Powerball with those numbers next time and outbid the “Balkan” to own the team. Everyone on this blog will get free beer and cocktails for the first season under my tenure.

Matt

March 1st, 2011
10:43 am

Dvorak could be a great piece on the third line and penalty kill for years to come…

Dvorak-Slater-Thornburn could be a great grinding line…

In the off-season, the addition of some top 3 offensive talent and perhaps another defenseman could move us up a couple of rungs in the ladder. This team is being built well if you ask me.

Acer

March 1st, 2011
10:45 am

My stance in the Bergfors trade shifted to neutral. I guess that the rumored 2nd rounder was north of his true market value.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:47 am

13 and 20? (blank stare) Ah. Schremp, Antropov, and Dvorak, with Boults and Thorbs rejoined around Maxwell.

Be interesting to see, to be sure.

BMF

March 1st, 2011
10:57 am

I think we’re all a little paranoid here about Bergfors. Yes, he’s a fairly talented young winger, but he isn’t exactly a budding super-duper-star. It’s not like he’s going to go down to FL and score 45 goals for them. He is what he is, a young and useful player. It’s not like he’s going to haunt us in the future by coming into Philips and dropping hat tricks on us. Take a deep breath.

I’m very pleased with Dudley’s body of work over the past couple weeks. Stuart’s already here for the long haul, I think Wheeler will be also, and once we ink Ladd to an extension, we will have what you would call a “foundation” for a solid young team moving forward.

With that said, I’m not throwing in the towel yet on this season. Stranger things have happened. As for if Dudley’s moves makes us a better team TODAY, I say yes. We’ve already seen what Stuart and Wheeler bring to the table, and all that cost us was Peverley and Boris. Instant upgrade. Losing Sopel for a prospect is a slight step back, but we have the depth at D to not miss a beat there. We wish you well Brent. Dvorak for Bergfors, this also makes us a better team today. Dvorak is more versatile, brings more to the table. Modin for a 7th rounder, also makes us better today, because Modin’s minutes will be occupied by somebody else. Addition by subtraction. Nothing personal against Modin, but we can do better.

Let’s take care of Montreal tonight, regulation WIN. Take the games one at a time and see where we are with about 10 games left. Lets GO.

Tom

March 1st, 2011
10:58 am

Moriler = I felt the same way when I saw the numbers on Twitter. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

Michael B. Shapiro

March 1st, 2011
10:59 am

Interesting lines per Dan Kamal. A very young team indeed, with what only 3-4 players 30 or older. There might be a future here, though I doubt a playoff run this season. Tonight will be telling. If all the new folks can gel enough to pull off a winner, perhaps the “enthusiasm” we saw in the 3rd period and OT on Sunday will carry over? Go Blue!

Flames

March 1st, 2011
11:03 am

I like yesterdays moves! I really think Bergfors has a lot of potential, but if the kid doesn’t want to be here then good riddens. Everybody wanted Modin gone. Well your wishes came true… I think the future here is getting brighter! Who would have ever thought Stuart would resign here so fast. I love it…. Now the Captain!

Fan from Carolina

March 1st, 2011
11:06 am

I had to vote ‘NO’. I don’t see much changing to indicate a run to the Cup. Isn’t that what it is all about? What the Caps picked up and what Vancouver did for their 4th line is something that will improve any Cup chances. Thrashers moves? Only bringing players like Hemsky and Richards aboard would have helped this club to higher levels. Yeah, it would have cost the moon but who cares about finishing 10th every year?

Hockey Biltong

March 1st, 2011
11:08 am

Smoothie, you are cracking me up!

Flames

March 1st, 2011
11:14 am

BMF- Well said! I totally agree with you..

Telfo

March 1st, 2011
11:20 am

I thought all of our moves have addressed needs without giving up anything of importance. Peverley and Bergfors were both nothing special and both terrible defensively. Wheeler will at least equal Pevs point output but is also a solid PKer and a little bigger. Bergfors was a waste of space at this point and didnt really fit in anywhere. Dvorak is a solid 3rd liner which is exactly what we needed.

Adding Stuart, Wheeler and Dvorak should make a huge difference with our PK which is the main thing we needed to improve.

Hoof Arted

March 1st, 2011
11:26 am

“As for Rissmiller…his biggest accomplishment for the Thrashers is that he helped the team send Todd White to the Rangers.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
11:28 am

With what Duds has to work with yes. Here’s why I say so….

Bergie wasn’t going to re-up and wasn’t playing hard enough, let alone it was obvious with the regime change that he was not in favor. You could see it as a shame that he A) didn’t play hard enough or B) wasn’t utilized correctly. I just like to say it wasn’t working, so see you later and good luck.

Ridding the roster of Modin was good because it NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Again I invite Duds to post on AJC anonymously when he gets iffy ideas for such free agents like so, “”Hey guys would any of you pick up Modin for your fantasy teams”. Had he done that or even read what I posted as Razorneck13 and others did as well he would have gotten a lamens scouting report of “HELL NO, too injury prone, never going to return to form, this is not another Max situation, don’t do it.” But alas I’m told we’re just a bunch of voyeuristic, know-nothings moaning from outside of the professional hockey world.

Signing Stuart, Excellent. I can just feel the urgent intensity growing on this team, very nice. That’s all I have to say about that.

Rob Shremp, seems much better than some AHLers getting good looks for much of this season. Let’s hope he’s in a better place to reverse that abysmal +/- and that it just reflects having played on the Island.

Dvorak, better than Bergie for this team, so I hear. Others say he’s fierce in the corners and along the boards. I think 33 isn’t too old you could likely get a few years out of him at a good rate and YES I think if he plays well here he’ll sign a contract. The guys been playing in Miami for crying out loud and isn’t getting younger. Again if he digs hard and churns out some decent points (40-50 a year) that’d be swell and I’ll say “good job, Duds”.

Anyone notice that this is ASOLUTELY the most North American this team’s ever been. We even have more Americans than Cannucks to dress right now, another definite first. Grind grind grind.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
11:30 am

To me, the moves are a thumbs up for the following reasons:
* Got slightly younger overall
* Should have gotten better on the PK
* Got bigger
* Got grittier

Also, as someone else mentioned, we signed Stuart for 3 years. Add this to Buff’s, Thorbs and Little (pre-season) 3-year deals…and a hopeful multi-year extension for Ladd and Wheeler. Plus Enstrom, Burmy, Kane, Bogo, etc. This is a great core to build around. Think about it…we haven’t had the same core guys…well, ever. Playing together, learning together, building together. Perhaps for the 1st time ever, we have an identity and have all the guys on the same page. And if we can get Buff to improve his D in Years 2 through 6, we could get better there too. If this team does improve, it could help attract other players to come here too, especially with new owners on the horizon (please).

Obviously, some wishful thinking here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Joe McGrath

March 1st, 2011
11:31 am

If the PK improves, and it plays a big roll in the Thrashers squeeking into the playoffs, then the Dvorak move was genious. But I don’t see him in a Thrashers sweater next season.

What gets me is what got away. Panthers got D Alexander Sulzer for a seventh-round pick. Sulzer would have been a nice addition here. Big kid, rocket shot, plays smart. Preds let him go because they have mucho depth at D. Brad Boyes going to Buffalo for what, a second round pick? We could have used that guy too.

Alas, we get Schremp, Maxell and Festerling, and my glass is always half full, if you know what I mean. I like the piaddition of Schremp just because the best dogs in the world are the ones you get from the pound (usually). Schremp has mad stickhandling skills. Could he develop into that playmaking center we’ve lacked? Meh. Reading up on Festerling, I learned he may not have the physical talent required (yet–he’s still a kid), but he’s smart and has heart–and that’s something that’s been lacking on this squad. If he hits the weights and takes conditioning seriously, he might develop into a nice bottom sixer. Maxwell–he could he be the guy to step in and be the pest this team sorley needs–we need a Ruutu/Tootoo/Avery type guy…somebody to stick (it) to Stamkos, Crosby, Ovechkin, etc.

I’m looking forward to tonights tilt, I just jope Mason has got what it takes.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
11:40 am

Biltong – I am here to do what I can, your humble servant.

I have a good feeling for tonite and we’ll be happy we have Dvorak on the PK versus the Habs. If we can pin them with pressure and make them play in their own end, we should get plenty of rebound chances against them. Questions are how much will they hurt us with their transition game and can we stay off the PK?

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
11:47 am

Speaking of Rissmiller, some of you are seriously underestimating the degree to which the deal with FLA was discounted on account of jettisoning his dead weight to a team that is in salary dump mode. They will probably play him but they really have little use for him beyond a hole-plugger for the end of the season. Had we traded Bergy straight up for a draft pick, it may have been a 3rd rounder. Duds may have been able to squeeze a 2nd out of him, but he knew he wanted help not only on the PK but also w/r/t to 2-way forward play on the bottom lines.

To hell with the draft picks, does anyone honestly think a 2nd rounder would make much of an impact next year or the year after that? The future is now in the form of Kulda, Postma, Klingberg (he’ll have every oppty to make the team), Machacek, and Maxwell & Schremp begin their auditions tonite. Assuming Slater can return healthy, keep in mind that the only spots available going into camp will be 2nd line RW, 3rd line wings (perhaps only 1 if we re-ink Dvorak) and 4th line LW and I reckon we’ll extend a 1 yr contract to Boulton as well. The best part of these moves may be the fact that Maxwell, Schremp and Stapleton are playing for their futures…that can only help in the intensity department.

Dwayne

March 1st, 2011
11:50 am

These first 3 games in March are paramount!!!. I have nothing else to add, just wanted to use paramount in a sentence. Go Thrashers!!!!

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:00 pm

Let me rephrase the Dvorak thing. I think it’d be swell if he plays hard on the 3rd line or so and can churn out 25-35 points a year. That’s more realistic. Doesn’t look too bad on games played either so I assume he stays relatively healthy. Again everyone says he works hard in the corners and along the boards so that’s key, much better than skating around trying to stay open as your teamates are forced to skate out of position and pick up your slack (cough Bergie cough),

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:08 pm

Very curious to see how well Shremp can play with us. If he’s a tough cookie then I’m optimistic, honestly his +/- hasn’t ever been stellar. Let’s see if Rammer can pull another Thorbs kind of career transition on this guy in short order.

I think we have more natural centers than ever before now too, geez that’s a change.

zontar

March 1st, 2011
12:11 pm

***After coming to Atlanta last year he looked as though he could become a major piece in the Thrashers future, but things started to head south ***

This is a common theme for players coming to the thrashers. Players come here as overpaid free agent or in a trade, make everyone get all excited because they put up some numbers and then the next season they show their true colors, back to the mediocre players they were when they were traded, waived, or not re signed by their former team. It’s not just Bergfors, it is all the players. Think about all the players who came here scored a few goals and then next season they were in the doghouse

Cliff Fletcher

March 1st, 2011
12:12 pm

you want an assessment of what dudley is up against? everyone calls nashville “cheap” or “budget-conscious”. the preds spend $52M on salaries, the thrashers $43M, $9M less. now you see what dudley is up against? think about that next time you want to have rick dudley fired, and replaced by whom?

Nate

March 1st, 2011
12:13 pm

Spinning wheels it seems to me…so be it. I predicted 78 points before the season started and I stand by that. If the team makes the playoffs I will happily eat my crow, but this team doesn’t have enough talent up the middle for a playoff run imo.

TruthHurts

March 1st, 2011
12:14 pm

At least with Stuart we have one person that can play physical and “dish it out”. :-) Hopefully he will continue this trend. Finally, more size with Wheeler and this can be a great addition to a consistent line over time (but I always liked Peverly). Dvorak will be solid and help with the penalty kill. Gave youth away for age and too bad Bergfors could not find his place in ATL. Now Schremp is really an unknown. He has flashes of great skill though seemingly lacks full commitment. This could be a positive move for him or just as easy turn in to a bust for ATL.

Please, can we now not place Stapleton in the starting line up from here on out (or ever again) ?

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:24 pm

Cliff Fletcher – Nice assessment, thanks. More proof of the BS from the F.A.S, LLC. I don’t like basketball, but I noticed that the Hawks have nearly the same attendance as the Thrashers, and have a $70 million some odd payroll. That’s something like an increase of $30 million (pretty sure) for the Hawks since they bought them.

DOES ANYONE HAVE SOMETHING STUPID TO SAY IN DEFENSE OF THIS OWNERSHIP? Seriously if you do, don’t bother just keep thinking we’re all stupid mouthy non-business savy people with penchants for conspiracy. It’s called “fudging the numbers” or “cooking the books” for those would be detractors and it’s rampant in unbrella type business ventures. This is a post-2007 world wakey wakey.

swede

March 1st, 2011
12:27 pm

Seriously. Get stapleton OUT of here. What is he doing here? thought he was send down. Having him as 2nd line center is kind of a joke honestly. But hey.. he scored last game, so he should be secured rest of the season.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:27 pm

BTW, I also just read that the NHL has the second highest ticket prices of all major sports, the NFL has the highest. There you go put that in perspective for the Hawks drawing a bit more on average, though their percentage of capacity sold would be EVEN LESS than the Thrashers.

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
12:28 pm

I am thrilled that stuart already resigned here. Hopefully Dudley can do the same with Dvorak. Hopefully Jimmy can make it back next season. Can anyone figure out why Boston traded for a goaltender? Betcha that deal got the wheels moving in Beantown!

Smoothie-totally right on when talking about Rissmiller and getting his dead weight butt out of here.

Bergfors-I would hope somebody would step forward and admit how we screwed up so bad on this guy. I was trying to stay optimistic about him, but totally lost confidence in him as the season progressed. I am still waiting for him to win a battle int he corner-it will be interesting to see Bergie and Stapleton in a corner battle, to see which one comes out with the puck!

ZAvalanche

March 1st, 2011
12:31 pm

I like the deals, a lot. As the blog master said, we gave up no real future talent. What we gained was some grit, youth, and experience. Wheeler is going to kill it in this league, Stuart is solid, Dvorak has experience and is very solid. Combine that with a healthy squad next year and Thrashy is headed to the post season – guaranteed. I will re-post that, the Thrashers are headed to the playoffs next year. Write it down, take a picture, I don’t give a @#$%.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:34 pm

ZAv – Wheeler is monster when rushing the net. I saw his first goal as a Thrasher in person, it was mean.

Rawhide

March 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

For those of you still looking at the playoff picture…Atlanta goes into tonight’s game with 63 points and 19 games left to play. They are tied with Toronto.

Just ahead of them are Buffalo, (9th place in the east with 65 points/61 games played) and Carolina. (8th place in the east with 67 points/63 games played). Both of those teams are on pace for right at 87 points.

Just for grins and giggles, let’s say the bar right now is set at 88 points to overtake the Sabres and Canes and make the playoffs. That would mean the Thrashers need 25 points in there last 19 games…say a 12-6-1 record.

Looking at where they are in a slightly different perspective, the 63 points after 63 games played right now is 3 fewer than this time last season after the same amount of games. In order to simply match last year’s 83-point finish…a.k.a. in the NHL, a “winning” record… the Thrashers would need to net 20 points. That’s 10-9 or 9-8-2 down the stretch.

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

Spector says there was alotta interest in Oduya, next year’s salary a deterrent.

No know what I think will happen this summer? Bogosian to Philly for a package which will include JVR. I just have a feeling-too much money tied up in defenseman, for this team that is.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:36 pm

Gosh, sorry one more after thought if you read some of the posts by Cliff and I. If you’re curious as to where 20 million in losses goes every year read those last posts and see what you think. I’m no add wizard, but I’ve got a good gut.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:39 pm

Rawhide – Good job. Of course it’s possible, but it’s a bet I don’t want to take. Just to avoid sounding too realistic….I digress.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
12:49 pm

“No know what I think will happen this summer? Bogosian to Philly for a package which will include JVR. I just have a feeling-too much money tied up in defenseman, for this team that is.”

WBF – that’s the way to go my friend. Question is would Ramsay let JvR play RW as a lefty in his system? I’m fine with him on the left side if they want to move Kaner to the RW to capitalize on his speed so he can start getting to the inside rather than get pinned and hammered along the boards so frequently. It’ll be interesting to see how much they blow on Ville Leino (hey that rhymes y’all!) and whether they re-sign Carcillo as surely they will tender Nodl (tender noodles!!). They have $4.225 M coming off the books (Zherdev, O’Donnell & Boucher) but they already have nearly $57.5 M committed for next season. Problem is the only affordable option in a swap for Philly would be Bogosian who won’t break the bank as a RFA. JvR & Carcillo for Bogosian?

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
12:53 pm

I think JVR would be a left wing, so do we move Kane back to center, his natural position and teach him how to pass? That’s the place to us his speed, open some holes for his wingers. Plenty of options here; we would need a center from Philly to go with JVR, not sure who that would be at this point. Stirring the pot ! You and K have fun at the game tonight.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
12:55 pm

WBF – one more thing, I’d still go after Glencross as a UFA especially if we don’t re-up Dvorak. He’d be a nice compliment to Cormier and Thorburn on the 3rd line if we go “young” on the 4th with Klingy-Slates-Macho\Stapes.

Tincup9

March 1st, 2011
12:58 pm

smoothie – interesing trade analysis. original thinking. i do disagree with one thing: We still need top line center. Apply within:

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
1:00 pm

No, no, Burmistrov will be your 2nd line C next season. Belieb dat! ;)

This is how I see it:

Ladd – Litts – Wheeler (potentially Kane moving up & Wheeler going down)

JvR – Burmy – Kaner

GlenX – Cormier – Stewy (Dvorak may be able to return to FLA)

Klingberg\Boults – Slates – Thorbs (Stapes & Macho as fill-ins)

Chances are Maxwell and Schremp won’t pan out but it’s good depth to have in the event Slater doesn’t return to form and Cormier needs more time in (Gwinnett??) honing his skills. If we can’t unload Antropov to another team who needs forward depth, then perhaps we let Antro play RW on the 2nd line and move Ladd down to play with Nik & Burmy.

JT from Columbus

March 1st, 2011
1:02 pm

I think if Ladd signs long term Wheeler will sign also. Looks like they have good chemistry together along with Little.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
1:03 pm

tincup – while Little is not ideal as a top line C, keep in mind he is 3rd overall in Takeaways behind only Jumbo Joe and Toews. Give him time to gel with Wheeler and I think that line could be quite good even against top competition over time. Burmistrov will eventually be your top center once he learns how to win F/O. Little’s progressing there but he still has a long way to go.

Sidebar: Burmistrov has missed 6 games now but he’s still T-31st in Takeaways for the year. That’s how good he’s been defensively. Wow.

Dwayne

March 1st, 2011
1:12 pm

8-5-1 for the month of March will get us to 80 pts. yikes.
Leaving 5 games left in April. We need a Nov 19th thru 30th run, yall remember those games. sigh…….

Old Time Hockey

March 1st, 2011
1:26 pm

Iron League, the basketball team earns a substantial amount from the tv contracts. The hockey tv contract earns the Thrashers…..um…nada.

Sage of Bluesland

March 1st, 2011
1:29 pm

As for the trades, meh. Relative junk for junk swap. Bergfors was the ‘crown jewel’ obtained in the Kovy trade, right? Now, he’s gone.

Guess he wasn’t all that, was he? The same will be said for some of the junk we acquired about one year from now, I predict.

Junk-for-Junk. Churning of unwanted, replaceable, parts.

It is what it is.

alex

March 1st, 2011
1:31 pm

all this talk of this trades not make any sense for this season. season already had been lost like previous 8 under this terrible bunch with letters asg. again sometimes miracles happened and thrash still mathematically in playoff run. but i am not believer in miracles. now go to read some of this floggers suggesting how to save thrashers and i totally agree: 1 – new owners here with passion for hockey and deep pockets, 2 – dud have to operate with budget at least 10 mil. more than current to bring 2 or 3 top forwards with skill level higher than captain ladd, 3 – extend ladd contract of course. nothing less is unacceptable for surviving hockey in college football mecca. and with serious salary cap limit we going to able finally judge who is our current gm genius, idiot or just so so.

jimbo

March 1st, 2011
1:31 pm

Moriler- Agree that we did not mortage the future in any of the recent deals and came out stronger with Wheeler and Stuart. Still feel that Antro’s past medical history makes him more of a liability than an asset. The Rangers gave up on him for just that reason. If he had some trade value, we should have taken it. 12-6-1 is a REACH BUT DOABLE. Still hopin.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
1:38 pm

Wheeler and Stuart are junk?

ZAvalanche

March 1st, 2011
1:45 pm

TT, I don’t think either are junk, brilliant pickups.

Sherry Taylor

March 1st, 2011
1:52 pm

It’s good to see so much positive attitude toward the changes of the last couple of weeks, all I saw yesterday was complaints and gripes . . . different group of people, I guess. I agree with most that by sending Peverley and Bergfors off, not to mention Modin, we didn’t lose a lot. Bergfors, as stated by many, just didn’t change his attitude or his play. He reminded me of another flashy, fast player who went north last year when he, Bergfors, came south–both very fast, both capable of scoring but neither could be bothered with defense or any pesky things like that. Bergfors tried the patience of many of us with what appeared as laziness but maybe was just a very long running tantrum and apathy. Peverley brought this team a huge lift when he joined it a couple of years ago. He’d been languishing on the bench in Nashville and not doing much and got his chance here and really made a difference, but that difference was less noticeable lately. He’s a nice guy, and I hated to see him leave, he brought a nice spirit to the team, but spirits don’t score goals evidently and he was in the minus column.

What Dudley didn’t do, and has been done in the past, is mortgage the future seasons for the next six weeks. Yes, it would be great to make it in to the play-offs, but at what cost? Better we keep our eyes not only on the future but the present as well. I think Dudley did that. Amazing isn’t it, being able to know we didn’t come away from three or four trades still the low man on the totem pole.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
1:56 pm

19 games left, 5 with Philly and NJ. If we were to make the playoffs somehow, we’d need to beat Philly in the 1st round anyway, as I don’t see us getting to the #7 spot. So…if we make the playoffs, it’s because we played Philly well to get there….then we have a chance to make a serious run!

OK. That is ridiculous.

If we don’t take 4 of 6 pts. from Philly, we might as well miss the playoffs and improve our draft position. Who’s with me?!

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
2:04 pm

Junk is as junk does! ;)

Anyone want to celebrate the departure of Freddy Modin by toasting a beer tonite at the game?? This is how bad he was: on the PK, which he never should have been on in the first place, the Thrashers gave up as many goals in 40+ mins (12 PP GA) as Burmistrov & Slater did combined in 99.4 mins of SH TOI!! When dividing goals scored by SH TOI to get SH GA / game, Modin was far ahead of the pack at 17.9 G/gm allowed. Our best guys who have played more than 40+ mins of PK are Laddy (7.0), Pevs (7.14) and Burmy at 7.17. Thorbs is at 8.42 just FYI.

A2B

March 1st, 2011
2:08 pm

Umm actually the sticking point on the NJ trade was getting cormier and the first round pick. NJ only wanted to give Atlanta the pick, not both, and Dudley straight up said Cormier is part of the deal or we are taking it elsewhere. Bergie and Oduya were given to us to cover the bump Kovy would get if he signed NJ.

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
2:08 pm

Ladd – Litts – Wheeler (potentially Kane moving up & Wheeler going down)

JvR – Burmy – Kaner

GlenX – Cormier – Stewy (Dvorak may be able to return to FLA)

Klingberg\Boults – Slates – Thorbs (Stapes & Macho as fill-ins)

Cripes, I sure hope you’re wrong on that lineup, but it may well depend on if ASG is still our owner or if we have a new owner ready to compete.

Burmistrov will not be a top center next year, mabye 2 or 3 years down the road, but not next. We need Little at 2nd line center and we need a new top line center. Kane could be ready for top line minutes, but we need another top line winger as well, both Wheeler and Ladd should be on the 2nd line, and if we can get a new owner this summer ready to up the payroll $10m then we should be able to do it, it all really depends on that. If ASG still controls the purse strings next summer, then your lineup above is probably all we could expect.

Cliff Fletcher

March 1st, 2011
2:12 pm

oh no, it’s alive
speaking of junk

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
2:30 pm

“I just have a feeling-too much money tied up in defenseman, for this team that is.”

Ditto. But please allow me to fantasize for a moment that we have a new owner who gives Dudley $10m more that he uses this summer in the UFA market. There’s more d available in the UFA market next summer than quality forwards so let’s say we sign Brad Richards as our top line center at $6m per (3 year deal) and Bieksa at D at $4m per (5 year deal). Team salary is $53m and you move Buf up front and you have this:

Kane-Richards-Buf
Ladd-Little-Wheeler

your d pairs are then:

Bieksa-Enstrom
Bogosian-Oduya
Hainsey-Stuart

if you can’t sign Bieksa, there’s several other quality d out there this summer like Markov, Ehrhoff, etc. (but again, that move only makes sense if you move Buf up front).

Pavelec-Mason

That’s a lineup that could cause some serious trouble.

J-man

March 1st, 2011
2:48 pm

Stuart may just like the security of a 3 year deal as that may be as good or better than he expected to get on the free agent market. I have no problem with the signing but I wouldn’t necessarily conclude from it that he thinks everything here is great. His primary concern is job security.

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
2:49 pm

Let me fill out the rest of my lines:

Kane-Richards-Buf
Ladd-Little-Wheeler
Schremp-Burmistrov-Thorburn
Maxwell-Slater-Cormier

Bieksa-Enstrom
Bogosian-Oduya
Hainsey-Stuart

Pavelec-Mason

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
2:51 pm

Bieksa would be totally cool, one of my favorites and rumored out of Vancouver first 1/2 season because of salary cap concerns. Good offense, hits and fights.

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
2:53 pm

Actually that lineup above would be $55m as Ladd is due a $2m per raise. Are Richards and Bieksa/Markov/Ehrhoff signable for $10m combined.

Bottom line, we need new owners to take the next step but Dudley had done a good job assembling the core, just as he did a good job assembling the core that led to the Tampa Cup and the ‘Hawk Cup (although a different GM put the finishing touches on each).

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
3:00 pm

Shoot, I forgot completely about Antropov, I think he’ll still be here next year and be much improved health wise, here’s with him:

Kane-Richards-Buf
Ladd-Little-Wheeler
Antropov-Burmistrov-Thorburn
Maxwell-Slater-Cormier

Bieksa-Enstrom
Bogosian-Oduya
Hainsey-Stuart

Pavelec-Mason

That’s enough time wasting for me today but I think we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a good young core here, and we’re going to get new owners. It’s no guarantee that the new owner is going to spend the $53m plus necessary to take this core to the next level, but I think a reasonable person would look at the big picture and feel pretty good about the chances a new owner would understand they need to put some money into a beat down product to bring the fans back in.

Hope springs eternal, and there is, for the first time in a long time, real hope here with this franchise. No bad contracts, the cancers have been removed from the lineup, there’s a young core, there’s new owners on the way, of that it’s clear, ASG is done with this club.

Suck an egg, Winnipeg, we’re going to enjoy our runs in the Stanley Cup playoffs right here in the South, this year or next year and then the following year, it’s coming . . .

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
3:27 pm

“Cripes, I sure hope you’re wrong on that lineup, but it may well depend on if ASG is still our owner or if we have a new owner ready to compete”

One thing’s for sure: we’re NOT getting Richards. He’ll probably end up in NY or Dallas. Secondly, Buff ain’t going back to forward anytime soon so you might as well forget that and come up with a trade that will get us a 2nd line replacement for the wing.

There is a dearth of good UFA centers below the age of 29 this summer and good luck winning a bidding war for any of them outside of Connolly maybe. So we might as well get Burmy used to playing top 6 minutes so we can be a serious threat in 2 – 3 years rather than overpay for Richards, who doesn’t really play defense that well. Not that we would, not as long as Joe Johnson is on the dole.

I wish I could be as optimistic as you, but even with new ownership with deep pockets, I think we’ll be rather selective in which UFA’s to consider and look to fill the scoring void without sacrificing too much D and worrying about top-flight centers. I agree with you that Ladd and Little are not ideally suited for top line minutes, but in Ramsay’s system, the top two lines are easily interchangeable and the minutes are spread pretty even.

Connolly might be worth considering because he’d be very useful as a puck handler on the PP, but again, unless you expect Rammer to get canned, I don’t see us deviating too much from the current scheme and plan. Connolly is too soft and doesn’t play the kind of D that Burmy, Little and Cormier play, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much on free-agency.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
3:30 pm

From Ben Wright’s blog and Ramsay’s philosphy in a nutshell, doesn’t sound like somewhere Brad Richards will want to play:

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against. It’s matter of just playing with your teammates. If you get on, get off. Do it fast, play fast, then everything will fall into place. Don’t try to look for anything special- if you get a chance to shoot, shoot. Especially the young players- they want to be a setup man and get it to some veteran player. It’s far more important I believe that they just throw the puck at the net if they get a chance. It might even go in, and if it doesn’t somebody might score on a rebound and then everybody is happy. It’s just a matter of going out and playing.” — Craig Ramsay

GaVaHokie

March 1st, 2011
3:38 pm

Never thought I’d say this, but I would target Brandon Dubinsky this summer in a trade. Every year the Rangers try to replace him as their top line Center, and this summer will be no exception (ie. Brad Richards rumors). Once again Dubinsky will want more money and the Rangers won’t want to give it to him.

Flagstaff

March 1st, 2011
3:42 pm

Random Duds trivia: When he debuted his 1975 single Natural Man, backed by I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore (These songs are so HORRIBLE, they’re AMAZING! I highly recommend them.), he published them under his own Do Right Records label.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
3:49 pm

Old Time Hockey – Ok, thanks for that nugget. So does a tv contract amount to anything that could facilitate a $70 plus million roster? I dunno, that’s a serious question, but I HIGHLY doubt it. That would essentially entail TENS (as in $10 or better) of millions in revenue from said tv contract IF in fact you are insinuating that the tv deal IS the justification is such an astronomical figure. Otherwise what is your justification for such a high number? I haven’t seen the Hawks tv rating, but I doubt they’d be awarded such a handsome some. Speaking bluntly I don’t believe the Hawks are much more popular than the Thrashers and I’ve been here a pretty long time,

Again it’s simple, the Hawks have about $30 million or more in roster overhead then the Thrashers do. They draw about the same in attendance mind you the Hawks have LESS home games and IF league average ticket prices are true to these teams then the Hawks have CHEAPER tickets and sell a smaller percentage of the arena’s capacity. So what’s wrong with this picture besides a tv deal?

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
3:50 pm

$10 million or better (rather)

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
4:01 pm

Hokie:

Tortorella has been playing Dubinsky on the wing during the past month or more because he likes his straight ahead, North-South style. Boyle, Ansimov, Stepan and Christensen are the Rangers centers at this point in time. Another mid-pack team weak up the middle, which is the main reason that Gaborik has been less effective than normal. That and the fact that he just doesn’t get it.

If Little is the Thrashers top line center, then Burmistrov must move up to No. 2 next season so that he can play with more skilled players than what he was paired with this season. If Maxwell or Cormier can hold down the 3rd line spot, then Antropov could conceivably move back to wing, which I believe would be best for him in the long run. I believe Wheeler is destined for the second line, as Kane likely will take over one of the top line wing spots next year. Still need another top-6 forward or two (dreaming) and preferably someone who can dish the puck. Would love to see Radek re-signed for at least one more year.

Again, if the forwards join in the defensive posture, the defensive-6 looks pretty darn good going forward.

Glencross won’t be available to the Thrashers as Cherry has been singing his praises from the rooftops north of the border. His price is likely to be 2.5 times what it currently is, so $3 million for four seasons is my guess. If you re-sign Ladd, Bogosian, Dvorak, Stewart, Maxwell, Schremp and Wheeler, not sure the budget will allow room for Glencross unless you purge Antro or Oduya or Hainsey. His goal totals over the past three seasons have gone from 13, 15 to now 20 this season, and he does a lot more than score too.

While we’re at it, before Oduya enters his final contract year, maybe he will be moved prior to or during the draft?

Niemi signed a $15.2 million, four-year contract extension with the Sharks today.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
4:03 pm

Seemigly wrong about the basketball cpacity. 500 some odd more seats for basketball? That seems low.

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

Iron League

NBA US TV rights pays each team at least $30 million a year! NHL US rights are less than $5 million per team.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
4:14 pm

Where there was once Sopel on defense, you now have Stuart. Where there was once Peverley and Bergfors up front there is now Wheeler and Dvorak. Also, where there was Modin we now will see Maxwell/Schremp…at least until Jimmy Slater and Alex Burmistrov get healthy.

It sure is different. I try to imagine what a productive Rich Peverley might have done for us, this season. I try to imagine what a healthy Nik Antropov could have produced for us, this season. I try to think of what an improved Chris Mason might have done for us, this season. Though, Mason’s recent games have been better.

The year began with Pavelec fainting in the first few minutes of opening night. That’s not the start that he envisioned or Thrasherville envisioned. But Pavelec has displayed moments of brilliance this season, and is largely credited for keeping the Thrashers in the playoff hunt, at all. I’m sorry that he’s hurt (wrist). The task/blame for making or not making the playoffs may now just have to rely on Chris Mason, moving forward.

Rawhide, for me, the most important thing is … that Atlanta still possesses its 1st round draft pick. That pick could be # 5 overall to # 12 overall. Anywhere in that range is ‘fertile ground’ for finding a noteworthy player for the coming years. If it does turn out to be pick # 5, that’s a lottery draft pick. That pick can either be used to draft some 18-year old … or … it can be used to snag a young, fast, highly-skilled, ideally ‘tough’ player aged 24-28, with 4-6 years left on his current contract. It might even be traded for a high-salaried player that some other team with cap issues is now forced to jettison, against their will.

What about the possibility of taking on some bad contracts, around the league? Spezza and Michalek, in Ottawa? Campbell in Chicago? Vanek, Roy or Pomminville, in Buffalo? Jay Bouwmeester, in Calgary? Patrick Elias in NJ? Alexandre Semin in Washington? Scott Gomez or Mike Cammalleri, in Montreal? Dion Phaneuf, in Toronto? Martin Erat in Nashville? How little would the return have to be … for those clubs to be rid of some of those contracts?

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
4:22 pm

Man, what’s the blinding red light and echo I hear???

Is it the goal horn ringning in my ear for the 6 goals we’ll score tonite and the constant whir of the goal lights??

Damn, it’s just Red Light echoing the sentiments I shared above. Thanks big guy, glad you and I agree on something! ;) p Trade Bogosian!! LOL

Zoomo

March 1st, 2011
4:24 pm

Flagstaff with some great trivia. If you’d like to hear Dud’s dulcet tones, they can be accessed here:

http://thatsallritemama.blogspot.com/2009/06/rick-dudley-on-do-right.html

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

The free agent forward market is crap, as my esteemed colleague Smoothie indicated above (as if anybody reads his tripe :) ), HAH!

So, with the UFA market defensemen in great shape, particularly several under the age of 28 (White, Babchuk, Erhoff) to mention a few, maybe it’s the ideal time to use the positional depth to acquire a top-6 forward. Did someone else already day that too?

Brendan: Not sure what your definition of a bad contract is, but I wouldn’t presume to place Vanek, Roy, Semin, Michalek, Cammaleri, Erat or maybe even Pominville in that ilk. And, I don’t think Dudley would have any interest in the others mentioned. Now, if he could steal a guy like A. Kostitsyn for a defenseman, I’d be OK with that because Montreal has a number of expiring contracts on the backline this summer.

If you want to make yourself cringe, go look at CapGeek.com and see just how well positioned, all of a sudden, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, the Rangers, Islanders and Florida have become over the course of the past month. If I am one of the top players available this summer, I am smiling from ear to ear about the cap space all of a sudden available. Very few teams (Philly, Boston, Pittsburgh) are in deep trouble cap wise. GMs have done an admirable job of clearing space.

Should be a very interesting summer!

Zombie Steve

March 1st, 2011
4:50 pm

Some folks don’t seem to want to give up on the whole “move Buff back to forward” argument…

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
4:52 pm

Restore my latest post Oh Mistress of the Atmosphere! Smoothie is chomping for it!

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
4:59 pm

I don’t think Dudley is a guy who is going to take on a “bad contract”. Remember, guys like Kane and Bogo, etc. will need their raises over the next 2-3 years and so you have to save room for their raises.

I like Bogo’s game lately and hope we are seeing the improvement we all hoped we would see at the beginning of the year (the pre-season run-up counted on Zach to be a ‘monster’ this year and step up. Hasn’t happened). The next 19 games could be an audition for him on his future here…or being shipped elsewhere during the summer for a top line center.

Sage of Bluesland

March 1st, 2011
5:04 pm

I seem to recall the acquisition of Bergfors was shouted out to the Heavens by some (umm, here) as a ‘great acquisition’.

Uh-huh.

I’ll start the “over-under” on this recent spate of junk-trading at 12/1/11.

Be wary of false prophets…especially when singing the praises of GMs who have nothing to give….Some even sang the praises of Don Waddell for many years….Laughable, isn’t it?

Thrashy Thrashy

March 1st, 2011
5:04 pm

If Bogo were 24 or 25, I’d ship him out in a heartbeat. He’s 20. He’ll only get stronger and, if he has any interest in the game at all, smarter. He’s a keeper. We don’t like the growing pains because we’ve seen almost nothing but crap hockey from this squad since the franchise started. Most of us have so little patience for those “growing pains” that our view of everything is skewed. I believe this kid is going to be a very good D-man for a long time. I’d rather him do it here than ship him out because he wasn’t a star at age 20.

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
5:07 pm

Sage…Love to hear you weigh in on the recent acquisitions…Like them? Hate them? Uncertain?

Wheeler? Stuart? Dvorak?

Hockey Biltong

March 1st, 2011
5:11 pm

Lightning in a bottle!!! Here we go!!!

jerry

March 1st, 2011
5:11 pm

If payroll is any indication of success on the field and the Yankees appear to be an example that it is, then Dudley must be commended for taking the 29th lowest payroll and turning it into the 11th best team, according to their record, in the NHL.

Hockey Biltong

March 1st, 2011
5:12 pm

Uh Red Light, I believe SOB was quoted as saying,”junk for junk”…

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
5:14 pm

Jerry: They are 11th in the conference, not in the NHL. They are 24th in the NHL currently.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
5:15 pm

Aren’t we more like the 8th or 9th worst team in the league going on records? If the slide continues, we’ll be looking at a lottery pick. Reason enough for Dudley to hold onto it, perhaps he’ll draft the next coming of Brad Richards for Joe Friday! ;)

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
5:16 pm

Alan R.

March 1st, 2011
5:21 pm

One hundred.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
5:22 pm

Why bother asking for intelligent conversation from some bloggers? They would rather stay above the fray so their own comments could never be judged in the future. It’s classic cyber-behavior.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
5:23 pm

The silence is deafening.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
5:24 pm

All I hear is an old adding machine and something about “damn debits and credits!”

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
5:28 pm

Thrasher Tim, I certainly agree that Mr. Dudley is tighter than a mouse’s ear. The organization found another GM who honestly believes that he can “do it on the cheap.” Bouwmeester never forgave Dudley for not making him the # 1 overall pick in the 2002 Draft, because it would set in motion higher bonuses in his contract. Dudley still got his man at # 3. I don’t rightly know how much $$ that actually saved the Florida Panthers, in terms of paid out salary, but why ELSE make the trade with Columbus? I actually don’t mind that a GM intends to be ‘fiscally responsible.’ That actually is the correct way to run a franchise. Paying Scott Gomez or Chris Drury $8 million and $7-something million in cap hit … isn’t the greatest idea of all-time. Certainly, as fans, we wouldn’t want our team to constantly be flush against the cap, with aging, overpaid garbage on the roster. Jay Feaster, meet the Calgary Flames. Calgary Flames, Jay Feaster.

But … honest to Pete … how ELSE is an organization whose ownership is as bad as the Heptacluster … going to land Brian Campbell? Or Mike Cammalleri? Or Alex Semin? Jason Spezza or Marian Hossa? And yes, Hossa’s contract is another “bad” one. But probably one, we would have made, had Hossa been willing to sign it!! The Heptacluster offered Kovalchuk $102 million over 12-years. He said, ‘nyet.’ How and why is it that Hossa and Kovalchuk were okay to spend on like drunken stumblebums during Mardi Gras, but Campbell and Spezza are not?

Unless the argument really is … “We have to pay E. Kane $8.5 million, Bogosian $7.9 million, and Burmistrov $7.25 million in order to keep them,” then there’s PLENTY O’Cap Space available. At what point, as ownership, do we want to announce that the Thrashers are trying to win the Cup? This notion of constantly fielding the league minimum cap, while the ‘best of the AHL’ masquerades as our bottom six forwards … is not going to attract the attention of pending UFA’s or the agents of players who’d have to relinquish an ‘NTC’ to come here.

To the best of my knowledge, we inexplicably have $18+ million in cap room. Surely, that’s enough to re-sign Bogosian, Kane, Burmistrov + this year’s Top 10 pick, through their RFA years, at RFA pricing. At some point … the Thrashers must show some kind of financial PULSE to garner the attention of player agents around the league.

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
5:36 pm

Brendan:

Actually, they have $23 million in cap space for next season!

When Trixie frees up my post, I’ve enlightened you on your prior post.

Badger Bob

March 1st, 2011
5:37 pm

Brendan, I think we can resign Ladd, Wheeler, Dvorak and Bogo and still be within a couple million of the rising cap floor. It’s when we start playing “what if” with an additional $8-10M, to bring us to mid-cap, that you start seeing what this team could be. Two 40 – 50 pt forwards added without having to draft, wait, develop, wait, trade, etc. That mid-cap team should be in the playoff mix all year, paid for with 5,000 season ticket holders coming back into the fold. Count me in for 4 tix if that happens. Just need ownership with some vision and commitment.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
5:38 pm

Thrasher Tim, don’t laugh … but there are actually minions of the team that patrol these boards, researching dozens and dozens of our posts, to then regurgitate the WORST of them back in our faces. Make enough posts, and you’re bound to say something stupid, or proven wrong, over time. Then they pounce on it, repeating it ad nauseum to your “handle.”

It’s gotta be like ‘water off a ducks back.’ Thrasher Tim, if someone gives you crap, ignore them. Stick to the hockey discussions, and people will gravitate to the conversation. It’s a hockey blog. That’s what we’re here for. Talk about the line combinations, someone’s bound to jump in. Talk about the ownership, someone’s bound to jump in. Talk about the Draft, someone’s bound to jump in. Talk about the Frenzy coming this July, and the needs of the team and what’s out there, and someone is bound to jump in. And if they ridicule your suggestions, well … put them on permanent ignore. Or, if you simply must engage them, ask how many ‘professional victories’ they have to their credit as a General Manager or Head Coach. Though, I always detest that as an argument. After all, if a blog were held to that standard, Mike Keenan would be here … all by himself.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
5:40 pm

Red Light, is it really, gulp, $23 million?? Oy Gavult! I think I ruptured a kidney. Tell me that figure is NOT REAL. Someone, tell me it’s NOT REAL.

JT from Columbus

March 1st, 2011
5:46 pm

Has anyone heard how the contract extension for Ladd is going? It’s been quiet for a while.

Greg

March 1st, 2011
5:50 pm

I wonder if Parise will move from the Devils in the off-season. I realize he’s a RFA, but there has been a lot of chatter over the season that NJ will trade him due to cap issues….

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
5:57 pm

The picture for this blog of Stuart is goofy, just sayin. Is it just me or does he not look sort of like one of the Chipmunks (as in Alvin & the Chipmunks)? Happens to us all, nothing personal.

Thrashy Thrashy

March 1st, 2011
5:58 pm

I’m just curious to see who will be owning this team next season. If it’s these guys, we know the money will continue to be tight. If it’s somebody else (and the team is staying here), maybe that figure will go up a bit and make it easier for playoff hockey to be a regular occurrence here.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
5:58 pm

Again I’m talking about the picture not Mark Stuart, just the picture it’s an awkward one.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
6:01 pm

Thrashy Thrash, if the new owners to be have any interest in hockey that’s for certain. Some people don’t like to think about what is in all likelihood going on, which is the Hawks being bankrolled by the Thrashers and probably Philips too. I’ve said enough today, once someone brings this topic up I go apey.

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
6:12 pm

Greg:

Lou has cleared enough space to sign Parise, and if he is traded, one of LAC’s freight cars will be required to bring all what he would bring in return. If healthy again, expect a minimum five-year, $34 million deal for Parise.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
6:13 pm

IL13, I know. It’s a shell game. If we turned Sage of Bluesland loose on their a$$e$, to see the actual books, and how they’re being cooked, it’d probably be a startling discovery that the team, in fact, loses very little. Look at the payroll. It’s below the floor. Plus, there’s roughly $14 million in revenue-sharing from the more successful markets coming back to Atlanta, to offset whatever ‘might’ be their actual losses. If there are any. And just like in baseball, there’s no ‘punishment’ for the owners slipping the money right into their back pockets. There’s no ‘league mandate’ that the revenue-sharing dollars be put back into the next season’s payroll. And if it were proposed to be just that, the owners around the league would vote it down. They’d like the revenue-sharing dollars to go into their pockets. Or, to simply offset their losses, not be OBLIGATED to payroll for the next season. As a fan, I want that revenue-sharing money to go into payroll. I want the owners FORCED to spend more.

But, of course, (grabbing a metal pot and a wooden spoon, banging it until my eardrums bleed to drown out the sound of the next sentence) “spending money doesn’t guarantee success.” God, I never hear THAAAAT enough. Sheesh.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
6:18 pm

Greg, I don’t think Parise is leaving NJ. Lou always have a plan and a way to circumvent the cap. He’ll just stick Brian Rolston in the minors, or loan him to Europe. I wanted Travis Zajac this year, eyeballin’ the cap situation in Devils-Land. But nooooo, Lou Lam found a way to get around the cap, AGAIN. Clearly, this ’stashing of players’ needs to be addressed in the next CBA. I’d propose to solve it by saying, “any and all contracts written by the GM count against the salary cap, provided that they are stipulated at the NHL pay level.” The results? Go ahead, stash a Wade Redden in the minors … or loan Cristobal Huet to some European league … it’s still hittin’ your cap, baby! And the salary ACTUALLY PAID equals the cap hit. No more ‘dollar cost averaging.’ The salary is the cap hit, from now on.

But, of course, the owners and players alike would REJECT that proposal, summarily.

Parker Brothers

March 1st, 2011
6:29 pm

Which railroad is it LAC “owns”? The Reading? The Pennsylvania? The B & O? The Short Line?

I owned Boardwalk AND Park Place once.

glovesave29

March 1st, 2011
6:42 pm

C’mon Brendan…don’t feed our resident troll who ADMITTEDLY knows little about hockey. Let him get his silly little redundant rants out there and we can all ignore it and move on with some intelligent discussions.

I like the moves. Bergies gonna hate the slow it down and let’s all trap Panthers. Let’s build on Hainsey’s big goal and make a push for the playoffs.

Frosty the snowman

March 1st, 2011
6:43 pm

***I seem to recall the acquisition of Bergfors was shouted out to the Heavens by some (umm, here) as a ‘great acquisition’.

Uh-huh.

I’ll start the “over-under” on this recent spate of junk-trading at 12/1/11.

Be wary of false prophets…especially when singing the praises of GMs who have nothing to give….Some even sang the praises of Don Waddell for many years….Laughable, isn’t it? ***

I agree with Sage. These are all junk trades. These players will fizzle out after the novelty of being on a new team wears off. It happens every year. Anyone remember Andy Sutton, how about Hnat Domenichelli, Alexi Zhitnik, how about Erik Christensen, Rico Fata anyone? How could we forget the great Niko Kapanen? Peverly and Bergfors as well. The list could go on and on. Next season we will be parting ways with some of these guys because they are terds. They more score a few goals and get an assist or two and everyone will get all hot and bothered and then when next season comes they will be out there wandering around playing like 4th liners.

Joe Friday

March 1st, 2011
7:05 pm

“These players will fizzle out after the novelty of being on a new team wears off. It happens every year. Anyone remember Andy Sutton, how about Hnat Domenichelli, Alexi Zhitnik, how about Erik Christensen, Rico Fata anyone?”

Dean Sylvester scored a hattie his first game up, we all thought we’d found the promised land!

Hi-evah, if you can’t see that it’s different now and that Dudley has a plan and the ASG will no longer strangle the club financially and a new owner is coming, then I can understand you being jaded from the years of abuse, but I think there really is a light at the end of the tunnel and a solid foundation is in place

Tom Lysiak

March 1st, 2011
7:47 pm

Need to see the replay, but I thought Mase should have stopped that one.

ranallo10 (in AT)

March 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

I’m just happy that Little, Bogosian, Enstrom, Burmistrov, and Kane are still on the roster … in my opinion any deal involving one of them is a losing deal for the Thrashers.

Frosty the snowman

March 1st, 2011
8:08 pm

***Hi-evah, if you can’t see that it’s different now and that Dudley has a plan and the ASG will no longer strangle the club financially and a new owner is coming, then I can understand you being jaded from the years of abuse, but I think there really is a light at the end of the tunnel and a solid foundation is in place***

That is we get owners or owner who wants to spend. We all thought these goofs we have now were gonna do that

Alan R.

March 1st, 2011
8:12 pm

We all thought these goofs we have now were gonna do that

I was happy they were spending more than AOL-TW ever did. My happiness has long since faded.

HabsFanatic

March 1st, 2011
8:40 pm

i love how there is only one post right now about the game, gah what a pathetic fan base, move the team to hamilton
ofcourse no one is in the crowd, or making noise..looks to be more canadian fans than thrashers, what a joke

Sage of Bluesland

March 1st, 2011
8:43 pm

(Hey, it worked the other day when we were down)

We suck. Some “difference” the new ‘junk’ is, huh?

I just wish we could freeze some of the comments and put them in a time-vault for review later. Of course, Joe-Bob-Friday’s comments would be all over the place, constantly bouncing back and forth…while knowing “all along” the flavor of the day…

It is humorous, though….Just think detractors, if even lil’-ol’-me was GM for 10 years, I could have just as many playoff wins as Don Waddell….While I may not know line-combinations or other such minutiae, I know a fraud when I see one.

DWTOO

March 1st, 2011
9:16 pm

Lead cut in half with Antro’s goal -

Thrashy Thrashy

March 1st, 2011
9:27 pm

You can’t play the way this team did for 30 games and deserve anything other than early tee times.

Wayne stuck in AL

March 1st, 2011
9:41 pm

If a fork hasn’t been stuck into this team by now, when???

HabsFanatic

March 1st, 2011
10:03 pm

hahaha trash fans, move the team now, these fans dont deserve their crappy teams support!! all the fans care about is doing their cousins and rooting on michael vick

HabsFanatic

March 1st, 2011
10:03 pm

how many fans tonight atlantans? 5 thousand maybe, id say half that are proud canadians!

goose

March 1st, 2011
10:12 pm

we only won 18 of 53 face-offs yeesh

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
10:15 pm

Ranallo warning, Rawhide?

By the way, welcome back, Ranallo.

LAC

March 1st, 2011
10:22 pm

Where did this season go off the tracks ? We were in the top three in scoring in the entire league
for a couple months. We had cut down GA, quite a bit. We were beating teams and playing with confidence. Then everything has gone wrong. Starting with the 4-1 home loss to St.Louis it began.

Just what has happened ? We are the same team, basically, but we play disjointed game and
just cannot beat anyone it seems. Tonight was the absolute end of any playoff hopes.

We just look like losers, playoff fodder for real winning teams. What happened ???????

The GM has done a little, but not enough. It is just sad to see a season with such hope, burn out
so quickly as it has.

LAC

March 1st, 2011
10:25 pm

Nice to hear all you guys commenting about me, You really show your age, sorry I am sucessful !!!!

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
10:28 pm

Ramsay just rolled Stapeton centering the 2nd, so that bit of asininery and Thorbs’s hustle, plus he (Thorbs) did a bit of centering work early this year, plus he (again Thorbs) just re-upped, plus what can we lose with this top 6? I think that looks about as good as we can get.

Ladd – Antro – Litts
Kane – Thorbs -Wheeler

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:39 pm

Stapleton pretty much outplayed everyone on the ice wearing blue tonite. Too bad Mason’s a freakin’ sieve in every first period he plays and our boys couldn’t find the net even with a GPS tracking device. When is Ramsay going to stop teaching them how to dump the puck in the corner and start teaching them how to make an accurate pass (or catch one on their sticks for that matter) or a deke move without the puck rolling into the corner? I’m so sick of these goal teases firing shot after shot into moderate traffic with no willingness to pay the price for a rebound or any clue as to how to redirect a damn shot to elude a sharp goaltender. Not that it wasn’t already over, but our goose is cooked in a deep frier full of kerosene.

HabsFanatic

March 1st, 2011
10:52 pm

sorry for my inappropriate comments, i love atlanta, and i know you guys are not backwards folks, my immature son wrote those comments, please forgive him, he has much to learn

Michael "The Abbreviation"

March 1st, 2011
10:53 pm

tough loss tonight, keep your heads up thrashers and fellow fans, I just do not see how any of the trades helped our team

Red Light

March 1st, 2011
11:17 pm

So, now we’re going to decide the value of all trades in the span of 24, 48, 72 hours or one week? Using that same barometer, I guess you were thrilled with the Bergfors acquisition last February too?

The playoff talk is Fool’s Gold at this juncture, but the roster is somewhat better equipped past this season and the last time you could have made that comment was entering the 2007-08 season before the Hossa sell-off. Since there are no more Hossas to sell, the outlook is brighter.

R. Stroz could be exactly right, Devils could catch the Thrashers by March 8!

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
11:22 pm

Turn off the red light, the party’s overrrr!! Thanks for comin’ everyone, see ya next year!! ;)

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
11:28 pm

It’s time for another “Onion News Network” update. Take it away, Brooke.

Brooke Alvarez: “Greetings. Grab your hard hat and grit your teeth, you’re now cleared to enter ‘The FactZone.’ We come to you now, with breaking news out of Atlanta. Our reporter on the scene, Jane Carmichael, brings this special report. Jane?”

Jane Carmichael: “Thank you, Brooke. I’m standing here, outside of Philips Arena, after yet another ‘heartbreaking’ loss by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Brooke Alvarez: “What? Again, with the Atlanta Thrashers? Boy, they sure are in the news a lot, Jane.”

Jane Carmichael: “You bet, Brooke. The NHL has built their marketing campaign around Atlanta, declaring them, ‘the most vital market in hockey.’

Brooke Alvarez: “Hmmn. I can see that. Wonder how ‘HockeyTown’ would react to that?”

Jane Carmichael: “Well, the news is NOT sitting well there. Our local affiliate in Detroit, ONN5, caught up with Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch for comments about the Atlanta situation.”

Mike Ilitch: “Well, ya know, I never really like to comment on things that don’t involve the Red Wings, directly. But, c’mon. I’m getting a little bit ’sick’ of this. Do you have ANNNNY idea how much of our suplus revenue has gone to prop up that Chattahoochee berg? Our farm club could beat the Thrashers. So, I’m just callin’ it, right here. Commissioner Bettman, I know you’re out there. My ‘final answer’ is No! No more money for clubs like the Thrashers!! Ya hear me!! We’re keepin’ our revenues for ourselves! If Atlanta needs rescuing, let them rescue themselves!!”

Brooke Alvarez: “Harsh words, from a normally subdued Red Wings owner. Still, you can’t help but feel he has a point.”

Jane Carmichael: “Well, Brooke. I decided to get the other viewpoint. I have an exclusive interview with Thrashers GM, Ric Dudley. Ric, how do you feel about your team, now that the trade deadline has come and gone?”

Ric Dudley: “Well, truthfully, I feel great. We significantly upgraded our team, ditching Sopel for Mark Stuart on our blueline, and Bergfors for Blake Wheeler up front. Plus, I can’t believe I fleeced Calgary out of a 7th rounder for Freddy Modin. And, I don’t mind tellin’ ya. Big sigh of relief on moving that Rissmiller contract out of our coffers. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but ‘toot-toot.’”

Jane Carmichael: “I do seem to recall you once proclaiming that … you’re ‘really good’ at what you do. And that no one can do it better. Respond to the assertion by Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch that he’s ‘no longer willing’ to share revenues with teams like Atlanta. He’s fed up with propping up your market. And he feels his farm club has a pretty good chance to take your Thrashers. Care to respond?”

Ric Dudley: “Jane, GM’s and owners alike to tend to self-inflate what they’ve done. And what they feel they have, organizationally.”

Jane Carmichael: “But not you. Right, Ric?”

Ric Dudley: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Jame Carmichael: “Aren’t you running out of games to possibly be considered a playoff contender? Do you really think there’s enough time left this season to make up the difference?”

Ric Dudley: “Jane, I’ll have you know that we’re going to win all 18 remaining games. We’ll take every, single one.”

Jane Carmichael: “There you have it, Brooke. The Atlanta Thrashers are en route to 99-points this year, and some playoff hockey this spring.”

Brooke Alvarez: “Great job, Jane. And by the way, glad to see you took my advice on finally wearing some eyeliner. Much, much better.”

Jane Carmichael: “Brooke, I’m getting a little ‘tired’ of your catty remarks about my appearance. That’s not a compliment. That’s rude criticism that has no legitimate place in broadcast news.”

Brooke Alvarez: “Jane, it’s not my fault I’ve got the best chin in Cable TV news, and am the # 1 rated female anchor in North America, not to mention the most STALKED TV News personality in history.”

Jane Carmichael: Looks at the camera, disgustedly.

Brooke Alvarez: “Jane. I’m afraid I have to cut you off. We have more breaking news from Philips Arena. We go ‘live’ to Jane Carmichael, being a b1tch. Take it away, Jane?”

Jane Carmichael: “Oof! That’s it! I just can’t work under these conditions. I’m calling my agent! Gary! Gary! Get me the h*ll out of my contract.”

Brooke Alvarez: “Well, good luck with all that, Jane. Sheesh. You’ll be back, and begging to bask in the warming glow that only my shadow casts. Switching gears, Louisiana’s Governor has declared that legalizing gambling and prostitution can only go so far towards improving the lower 9th ward. What’s needed now, is legal, over the counter, heavily taxed freebase cocaine sales within the community. It’s the only fair thing to do … for the disadvantaged area, abandoned by its central government.”

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
11:34 pm

Kari Lehtonen just gave up two “late” goals to the Coyotes. But Dallas has answered back. It’s 3-2, Phoenix, with just seconds left in regulation.

Brendan

March 1st, 2011
11:36 pm

Just kidding. Dallas won, 3-2.

Thrashers27

March 2nd, 2011
1:43 am

LAC, In all seriousness, I’m not trying to take a shot at you here…there are people who can help you with your hostility and unecessary aggression. You don’t have to live out your days being pissed off at the world. Out of concern for a fellow human being, get help.

swede

March 2nd, 2011
4:43 am

Like Carey Price said, “It was busy out there, but it wasn’t a lot of hard shots. We kept most of the shots outside. It’s not hard to stop 40 shots when they’re form the outside.”

R. Stroz

March 2nd, 2011
6:57 am

Hockey 101: SCREEN THE GOALIE

ben

March 2nd, 2011
7:20 am

this team is going to get sold. i mean, look at the contracts getting handed out. the only way that makes sense is if the team is getting sold. i mean, i wouldn’t sign w/ this team, and i’m a native. i just hope that there’s honest-to-god hockey people involved

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
7:36 am

Smoothie, no doubt about it Stapleton works very hard, as hard as anyone maybe. My issue is not about him really, but with the organization, he definitely works his butt off, but again…just can’t produce. I hope he figures out how to capitalize on his chances I don’t know. He’s a fast skater, he shoots when he can, nhe works hard in the corners despite his size, I really do like his play, I at the very lest think he should remain on the 3rd or 4th lines. Maybe he should get a look playing the wings.

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
7:50 am

Congrats to Boomer’s grandson Blake Geoffrion who scored his first-ever NHL goal for the Preds last night.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
8:02 am

Geez, I ope I’m not “our resident Troll”, Glove. I do know a good bit about the game. I was addicted to the sport like nothing else since my first game back in the 80’s (USA vs Red Army exhibition). I tought myself how to skateand stick handle immediately regardless of the fact that playing competitively was difficult in my locale. Without getting into details of how I did this it was my own version of a Joe Mullen and eventually my parents gave into my passion and I played lots of ice and inline. I was pretty good for the leagues I played in too. No, I never played travel hockey, not I’m no brilliant strategist, but I know the game pretty well and I’ve got a pretty good track record for being right when it comes to things like teams and players, that’s not a fluke. Anyways, I hope I’m not this resident troll who “admittedly” doesn’t know about hockey. I do know hockey and admit what level of conversation is above me, that’s more than a lot of other opinionated people do.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
8:03 am

Red Light – Ditto that, isn’t that kid born and bred in TN?

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
8:35 am

Geoffrion was born in Florida but grew up in Brentwood, Tenn. He went Culver Military Academy, the US Development program and then to the Univ. of Wisconsin. He chose to complete all four years at Wisconsin and then had an amateur tryout with the Milwaukee Admirals, made it and then played in a few playoff games last season. His two younger brothers are playing at UAH.

He was the first native of Tennessee to be drafted, to sign an NHL deal and to play in the NHL.

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
8:45 am

Anyone still have any questions about why Buf, who absolutely killed people throwing his weight around while playing for the ‘Hawks, and why our other players don’t hit (Ramsay should have Stuart fixed of that awful habit soon)? Read Ramsay’s comments about Stewart last night taking a penalty for going after the Hab who took the late shot well after the buzzer last night:

“it was close play. So they throw it at the net. You try to teach support. I also try to teach discipline. The game, where it was, you don’t want to be taking that penalty. … “I think you can do and make your point without doing too much.”

Coach Ramsay, teaching a kinder gentler NHL style since 2010.

He gots to go.

EA

March 2nd, 2011
8:48 am

I said this on the other blog–Carey Price earned that win. Read his team mates comments. About the “Canadien Fans”–I sat next to some from Alabama “Quebec” if you know what I mean. This team is young and despite all of the naysayers has a lot of talent. This will not be the year, but unlike years past, this team will mature and do well. If you want to show a prospective buyer that you want hockey in Atlanta, the the team needs support. If not, those poor southern Canadien fans will have to trravel even further to see their Canadiens and Redwings! As for Thrasher fans, there is NOTHING that beats live hockey.

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
8:51 am

Personally, I think Big-Puff’s weaknesses (i.e. lack of fundamentals) have been figured out and completely game-planned for by the opposition…thus, his impact is becoming more and more negligible….Flashes-in-the-pan and Fools-Gold only last for so long without either re-adjustment ability or superior talent.

Big-Puff apparently has neither.

Blame the coaches all you want…but we’ll hear the same tune one-two years into the next regime…

The rot starts at the top–and the very bottom is pretty rotten, too…

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
8:53 am

Big-Puff “dominated” in part due to overpoweringly-talented teammates in Chicago.

He doesn’t have that here.

Is this truly that difficult to see?

(It must be for some.)

EA

March 2nd, 2011
8:55 am

sory for the typos–in addition if anyone listened to the radio show after the game, Dan Kamal took exception with the “fire Ramsay” idea. He called him one of the great minds of hockey with 40 years experience. It sounds like the team really likes playing for him. Dan is a straight shooter. He knows the fans are sick of losing and anxious about the ownership situation. He seems to be the only talking about it. Of course, he said that same anxiety is shared by the players and coaches. He really feels that we FINALLY have the core players for a good team. With maturity comes success.

Associated Press Reporting

March 2nd, 2011
9:18 am

Numerous sources are reporting a long line has formed around Philips Arena. Apparently, several owners of the Atlanta Spirit, including Bruce Levenson, in an attempt to pay for their Johnson, have initiated a fund raising event. For one thousand dollars, each contributor gets to whack a hockey stick over the head of one owner of the contributor’s choice. Being their normal despicable and cowardly selves, the Spirit owners failed to disclose they would be wearing helmets.

However, one fan in his infinite wisdom whacked Bruce Levenson in his groin area. Immediately, Bruce Levenson and the other owners threatened to sue the fan. The fan retorted, “You didn’t specify which head, DEAL WITH IT.”

Alan R.

March 2nd, 2011
9:55 am

APR – I’m surprised Levenson felt anything. I didn’t think he had anything there!

Barry Smelrose

March 2nd, 2011
9:59 am

Sweeping all 18 of the remaining games leaves the Thrashers with a team record of 99 points in one season.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

Red Light – Thanks, I had to run the boy to pre-k so I couldn’t wiki that. Besides his very good bloodline obviously playing a big role, this is PROOF that much of the developmental age going into Prep Hockey, NAHL, USHL, levels ARE working in places outside of traditional locales. It’s funny because it’s not really new to American hockey as there’ve been some players for a while now coming from places like California albeit not many. But just like California, other sunnbelt locales are experiencing the same thing, that’s cool. It’ll probably be a while before this is more common, but promising nonetheless.

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

Dan Kamal is “high” on our young talent, huh? That’s funny!

Kamal is an organizational toad similar to Kincade….I take what either says about anything with a large grain of salt.

Please put the Kool-Aid-Pipe down slowly and step away…

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
10:44 am

Sage, you’re just wacky with tripe, do you watch hockey games other than the Thrash? Chicago had a ton of skill last year, but were having huge problems getting space for Kane and Toews up front until they moved Buf up there to throw his weight around and create space and it worked like magic all the way to hoisting the Cup.

They’re having similar problems this year in Chicago as they lost a ton of grit, the move they made for Frolik from Florida was mind bogglingly stupid, they brought in another skill guy when they needed a banger and grinder instead. I don’t think Frolik has a secondary assist since they brought him in. They miss Buf up front so badly up there it’s sad . . . they kept all the skill and let all the grit go.

We get some of the grit down here, Eager throws his around and Ramsay says see ya, don’t need that in my figure skating squad. Buf is put on the back end and yep, other clubs drape two on him now and deny the puck and he’s neutralized. We have smallish forwards, that Dudley is changing somewhat, but we need size up front and have a perfect candidate to do it, and Ramsay has him sitting on the blue line and not up front throwing his meat on the forecheck and creating space for guys like Little, but no, we can’t even retaliate when our goalie gets run, when Kane gets his clock cleaned, when guys take slappers at us 3 seconds after the period ends. Not in Ramsay’s kinder gentler NHL.

He gots to go. We have a good core here, need a coach and a couple top 6 forwards next year to take the next step. We already have one of those forwards here, seeing how UFA dmen available are plentiful this summer, that’s the way to go to move Buf up front and unleash him from the Ramsay go go go but for good Lord’s sake, don’t touch anyone Squad.

I’m sure Ramsay is a nice guy. Waddell was too. Keeping nice guys around doesn’t work out so well in the NHL. Unleash the Fury, already.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
10:49 am

JoeF – good post and quite passionate without being rantish. I’m done with Ramsay and I was one of his biggest proponents. I don’t know why he wants every one of his players to vie for the Lady Byng. He should know that, from playing with Dudley and Playfair, every team needs villains and tough guys who can deliver justice to the other team even if it means crossing the line a little. Stewart’s adjutication of said “justice” was just plain stupid. He could have been less of a puss and just face mushed Hamrlik but instead they save that kind of aggression for each other in dog pile post-GWG celebrations. Perhaps they should spend less time fellating each other and more time berating one another for stupid mistakes. Where’s the leadership??

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
10:53 am

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
11:08 am

Joe Friday – Ditto what Smoothie said.

EA

March 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

Sage, I don’t smoke any kind of a pipe. I threw Kamal’s comments out for discussion. Do you and LAC feel the need to insult at least one person a day? As much as I agree with some of what you say, your delivery is boorish. However, since you get such a chuckle out of so many of the comments, I get a chuckle imagining you repeating them to people’s faces, especially Buff Puff.

R. Stroz

March 2nd, 2011
11:51 am

The smartest thing Stewart could have done was wait until the next period and shoot the puck into Florida’s bench.

alex

March 2nd, 2011
11:59 am

now see if dud going to upgrade this team for next season to add couple of stars for any cost. he is insane if not. it’s no other ways to survive here. he should be in face of any owners and demand money or quit. be the man dud like Bibby, who sacrificed 6 mil in order to win, not like you friend don who collecting fat checks here for 11 years simultaneously ruining franchise to the ground. dud you got 4 years extension, this mean you have to be stand up man, well being thrashers in Atlanta much more important than you friendship with don loser waddell

ben

March 2nd, 2011
12:19 pm

there’s a story out of ‘Pegg that REGINA, SK is building an arena in hopes of getting an NHL team. These people are crazy if they think that Regina gets a team. On another front, it looks like if the Goldwater Institute gets their way with the possible lawsuit, the ‘Yotes migt have to move whether they go to Canada or not.

So here’s my question. Is there anywhere in the U. S. the ‘Yotes could move to? Vegas seems like a big problem for any pro team as they are a town mainly of transients. Which brings me to where I think they ought to go, TORONTO! Why? Give the Toronto media another team to follow, and I bet that once you put the Isles in Quebec City, all the relocation nonsense goes away. I swear, all this is just griping that gets fanned by a media which is tried to death of following a crappy team which under performs year-in-and-out.

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

I did not see last night’s game, but I have seen most of them in the last several months. Buff doesn’t have a lack of skills – he has a lack of wanting to play hard for an underachieving team.

ben

March 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

@ ZAvalanche: Cam friggin Neeley, Super Mario, and mr. 99 himself wouldn’t want to play for Le Thrash. Expect more of this crap until the team is sold.

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
12:52 pm

Ben – Seattle could support a team.

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
1:03 pm

Red Light, to me, any contract whose performance results don’t correspond to the salary being paid for the performance … is a bad contract. Erat, though I like him, seems overpaid. Semin, though I like him, is overpaid. Brian Campbell is overpaid. Shawn Horcoff is overpaid. Sheldon Souray is overpaid. When a GM has a player who is being paid handsomely, it’s an opportunity to clear cap space and replace that player for similar performance results, for LESS money.

I think overpaid players represent an opportunity for Atlanta to trap a quality, but overpaid player, in our market, for years to come. I’d take Jason Spezza, right frekkin’ now, and his $7 million. I’d take Cammalleri and his $7 million. It’s an overpayment, but how ELSE do you get him here??

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

@ Ben, agreed, they probably wouldn’t WANT to play for Thrashy. But Buffy didn’t have to make the deal to stay. It disappoints me to see guys who can make a difference but take the easy-payday-way-out. It is players like him that should be leading the charge and inspiring the others to bust their a$$ on the ice. I’ve played for some pretty bad teams in various sports, including my own one-man team when I started playing tennis (though I had a rotator cuff tear, I didn’t blame my crap play on it), and nothing helps a slumping team more than sitting there and watching a leader go out actually lead. Point being, the team has cashed in their sticks for the season. They know that it is basically over. Is it sad to see? Absolutely. Rammer, while I respect him, isn’t lighting the fire under their bums. That is his job and he can’t do it effectively right now. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to get into the heads of pro athletes and get them to do what they need to do (though I do think that hockey players are the most grounded of any of the 4 major sports in the US). I would love to have been a fly on the wall at some of the Wing’s practices when Bowman was there. As much as I literally hate that team (i’m talking LAC style vitriol, if not worse), they were damn good and have a formula to continue to be good.

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
1:27 pm

Brendan: Then I have to ask you this question…what overpaid player has gone to a new team and led them to the playoffs, and then to the Cup?

Pavel Bure? Jaromir Jagr? Peter Forsberg? Marcel Dionne? Wayne Gretzky? Jari Kurri?

I know of few… Messier, Bourque, Claude Lemieux and Mogilny, for example, but you have to more pieces around those kind of players to win it all. I recommend getting the other pieces in place first, and then go grasping for Cup straws after that.

There is no way you can convince me that with Spezza or Cammalleri that this current team becomes a contender!

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
1:28 pm

Milwaukee would have a better chance to succeed than Saskatoon!

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
1:41 pm

RL, I am not sure that you can put the Great One and Forsberg in that list. The rest, absolutely. 99 was playing in a different league during that time is was way undersized. The hockey of the later 90’s was ruled by defense and big hitters. Plus, 99 made a huge splash for LA in the playoffs in his second year there. 40 pts in 24 games? Sick.

As for Peter, and I will admit a bit of bias here, he hasn’t been healthy since 2003. A total of 24 surgeries, including a spleenectomy and 11 on his right foot alone, in the span of 5 years. Had he been healthy, who knows what he would have done in Philly and Nashville. And you left off Rob Blake from the “who made it happen” list. Bourque was on the CO team that lost game 7 of the WCF to Dallas (for the 2nd year in a row, Dallas went on to lose to NJ, and the previous year was, well, the non-goal that Hull had against Buffalo to win the cup) and then we picked up Blake the next year to put a MONSTER defense together. Don’t know if you had the pleasure to see those two on the blue line together, but holy sh!t. An embarrassment of riches, to be true.

Rawhide

March 2nd, 2011
2:04 pm

The Thrashers got some good advice from the goalie that beat them last night. And it it came at the right “Price”…free.

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
3:00 pm

Red Light, I can definitely appreciate what you’re saying. Cammalleri and Spezza, by themselves, or even together, aren’t automatically going to put this team into the playoffs. We had Savard, Hossa, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, and Kaberle and Bondra … and still didn’t make the playoffs in 2006.

But my point is, and I should have clarified, is that we need some kind of “pot of hunny” to bring forth more of the “bees.” Do pending UFAs look at Kane, Bogosian, and Burmistrov and think … “those are the ponies to bet on? Better sign in Atlanta?” Add Cammalleri and Spezza to the mix, in Atlanta, and you might have something some UFA might consider.

But I hear ya loud-n-clear … who’s gonna pay for all that? The “pot of hunny” to bring forth all the bees has to be ‘committed ownership’ that bankrolls it all. If Cammalleri and Spezza were our moves, the ownership would stop right there, rather than take it to its conclusion, augmenting defense and maybe even goaltending. But, Red Light, where does it start? When does it start? If we’re stuck with these clowns, at least bad contracts are something we could get without coughing up lottery draft picks or promising prospects.

How did we get Byfuglien here? Answer: Trade.

How did we get Ladd here? Answer: Trade

How did we get Sopel and Eager here. Answer: Trade.

Other than Antropov and Hainsey, both of whom we paid dearly for, our success during the July Frenzy isn’t anything to write home about. (Todd White, Eric Perrin, Max Afinogenov, Chris Mason, etc.) We have had some success making waiver claims. But that CANNOT be our primary strategy.

Look, I’ll admit that bad contracts are a little bit on the stupid side of how to run a hockey team. But honestly, can you think of another way to get better players here? Red Light, you of ALL PEOPLE are the most quoted about the ability of the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club to draft and develop talent. It incubates here, just fine. But it never seems to actually HATCH here.