Thrashers UFAs: Should they stay or should they go?

With the Thrashers 2010-11 season coming to a merciful end this week, we once again set our sights ahead towards a new season and fresh start next fall. One of the first steps in doing this is to take a look at those on the current roster who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and consider whether or not they should be re-signed or allowed to skate off into the Thrasherville sunset.

There are three such Thrashers players slated for UFA status this summer…Eric Boulton, Radek Dvorak and Freddy Meyer. No, they’re not exactly the types you expect on the top of anyone’s UFA wish list. But nonetheless, they become our participants in this year’s “Should They Stay or Should They Go” free agent debate.

Eric Boulton

  • He should stay (57%, 175 Votes)
  • He should go (43%, 133 Votes)

Total Voters: 308

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Eric Boulton:Finishing his sixth season as a Thrasher, Boulton has found a niche as the team’s enforcer over the years. He’s been involved in some of the most memorable, and sometimes lengthy, fights during his time here. That, plus he’s become somewhat of a fan favorite in these parts. He is coming off a contract that paid $650,000 this season.

Boulton has played in 375 games here scoring 21 goals, 34 assists with a –17 rating and has racked up 625 PIM. Also, it can be noted here that he along with Anthony Stewart have been the only two to score hat tricks for the Thrashers this season.

My take…given Bolts celebrates birthday number 35 in August, I would not be surprised if we are watching the last few games with him on our roster.

Radek Dvorak

  • He should stay (28%, 85 Votes)
  • He should go (72%, 215 Votes)

Total Voters: 300

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Radek Dvorak: Along with a fifth-round draft pick, the 34-year old Dvorak came over in the deal that sent Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller to the Florida Panthers back at the trade deadline. The 10th overall pick in the 1995 draft has had a respectable career…playing in 1,118 NHL games scoring 215, 341 assist with a +1 rating. 

For the season, one in which he was paid $1.7 million, he has 7 goals, 14 assists and is a +2 in the 66 games split between the Thrashers and Panthers.

Unfortunately, none of the goals have come in the 13 games played here since the trade.

My prediction here is that he’ll skate away somewhere else this summer. If so, then the Thrashers will be left with Florida’s fifth-round draft pick as the only token for Rissmiller and Bergfors’ departure.

Freddy Meyer

  • He should stay (14%, 40 Votes)
  • He should go (86%, 256 Votes)

Total Voters: 296

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Freddy Meyer:This undrafted defenseman inked a one-year, $600,00 contract with the Thrashers last August. He played in 15 games before being placed on injured reserve on February 4 withan upper body injury. He’s scored one more goal than Dvorak in just two more games played, has added an assist and is a –7 with 8 PIM.

Meyer has more or less been what many might call “serviceable” for the Thrashers. But with defensemen like Arturs Kulda, Paul Postma and Andrei Zubarev waiting their turns, I’d image Freddy will be playing elsewhere next fall.

And of course, you’re more than welcome to discuss the unrestricted free agents that make up a portion of the Thrashers roster depth. Those players include Jason Krog ($550,000), Noah Welch ($525,000), Jaime Sifers ($525,000), and Jared Ross ($500,000).

Or you could discuss last night’s 6-3 pounding at the hands of the Predators.

135 comments Add your comment

Barry

April 6th, 2011
2:13 pm

They all can go along with Stapleton, A. Stewart, and Antropov. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Bogosian traded for a young top 6 forward as well.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2011
2:14 pm

“Eric Boulton is one Hell of a (limited) hockey player, but he is all class, hustles his butt off and will pound your face in.”

Cornbread, there you go man, I corrected and expounded upon your sentiment. Wow, talk about grandiose exaggerations! :)

Matt

April 6th, 2011
2:14 pm

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought Ladd was also a UFA. Hopefully, we can hammer out a deal with him before heading to the arbitration table (or whatever it’s called when the salaries for RFAs are negotiated)… Clarke MacArthur is coming to mind and I know Ladd would receive a MUCH healthier compensation.

I’d like to keep all three actually. Boulton is a tough presence and an enforcer or a team in desperate need of one, especially with all of our super young guys. They need to be protected by someone other than the refs.

I think Dvorak brings a desperately needed veteran presence to the team and could be solid on the PK for us. Our team has plenty of youth, we need to bring experience here now.

Meyer, I could take or leave, but it’s nice to have another option for the blueline in case of injury, or an underperforming player.

What I really want to see are some veteran free agents get signed. I have no idea who’s going to be available and if we can afford them, but I’d like to see some guys in their early 30’s come here. Still young enough to contribute and old enough to know better. This team doesn’t seem to gel and just lacks leadership on and off the ice. I’d like to bring in a veteran scorer NEAR (but not AT) the end of his career that can provide leadership and an offensive punch. Really, I’d like to see a couple of those come here.

The draft is not the answer for this team. We’ve got a solid core of young (under 30) players (and I’m just talking about skaters here, for better or worse, I don’t think goaltending is the real problem, or at least not one that needs to be addressed THIS off-season) in Ladd, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Little, Wheeler and Kane. I think it’s too early to give up on Bogosian yet (dude’s still not old enough to buy a beer).

If I were Rick Dudley (and honestly, I’m glad I’m not), I’d be looking for two veteran forwards. Preferably, one being a relatively big splash in the FA market and the other, a solid roster piece and one more veteran defensive defenseman.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2011
2:20 pm

Easy to dominate a third period when you’re down 4 to 0. You have absolutely nothing to lose. However, they did outskate NSH in the 1st period, but couldn’t bury any chances. Man, how many times can we say that about a 1st period? End of the 1st was dreadful (Zubarev was awful and had no cohesion with Stuart; in fact it looked like Stu had no desire to pass the puck to him beyond the middle of the 2nd period) and the 2nd pretty much sucked too. Although the Wheeler line had good energy from start to finish. Too bad Ladd can’t keep up with Little and Blake. Next year, I wonder if Kane should be 1st line LW with Laddy playing with the slower Antro and Burmy.

Michael "The Abbreviation"

April 6th, 2011
2:43 pm

who cares just sell and move the team.. we got no one anyway

SomaAtl95

April 6th, 2011
2:49 pm

Here is an “abbreviated” reply – WE CARE! TEAM NEEDS TO STAY HERE! BUFF, LADD, KANE ARENT NOBODIES!

james c.

April 6th, 2011
2:50 pm

Man,talk about apathetic remarks.Next go the Hawks…then you become Seattle with only two major pro teams.

ThrasherTim

April 6th, 2011
2:54 pm

Another post from two sets of initials who shall remain nameless saying the same thing over and over again. ZZZZ.

Boulton – I don’t think we need him any more as Maxwell should take his place. Maxwell can skate better and has more offensive upside.

Meyer – It should be time to use either Postma, Kulda or Zubarev next year.

Dvorak – I would be OK with 1-year deal max. We didn’t see him healthy and we surely need help on the PK. I would assume that the idea would be to give Little and Ladd less time on the PK next year with Slater’s return and Burmistrov playing here more. Am a little concerned about being another Modin, though. Hurt a lot.

Someone mentioned Stapleton gone. He signed a 2-year deal back in the fall and is insurance against injuries again. He should work on his PK skills too.

R. Stroz

April 6th, 2011
3:40 pm

Time to Rant

Are you kidding me “a good loss”? And some of you buy this CRAP.

1) Just because Bogosian plays number one minutes doesn’t mean he’s a number one defenseman in this league any more than putting Todd White on the top line meant he was a number one center in the NHL. Either the coaching staff wants Bogosian to “learn “on the job” or the coaches think the rest of our defense really sucks.

Putting Todd White on the top line showed this organizations ineptitude to draft and develop a top line center in the same way putting Bogosian on the top defensive line shows the organizations ineptitude to draft and properly develop a top line defenseman.

Dan Marr and Don Waddell are to blame for this perpetual poor stewardship of top ten draft picks.

2) A “good loss”? Were some of you people front row sitting, butt kissing teacher’s pets who sought little more than a “gold star” while you were being picked last on the playground team? Or is it that you inhaled too often and closest thing to putting your feet on the ground was “orbiting the rings” of McDonalds late a night while hungry? Does everything just seem really groovy?

This team is LOSING, AGAIN AND AGAIN. Good teams find ways to WIN no matter which way the ball bounces. WINNERS FIND SOLUTIONS, losers find excuses.

This isn’t a eight year old tee ball team. The goal isn’t ICE CREAM and SELF-ESTEEM TROPHIES.

THE GOAL IS TO WIN.

3) Could you imagine a coach in Philly, Pittsburgh, or Boston spouting this psycho babble, “a good loss.” Come on, the fans would put the coach’s head on a stick and march it around town with pride.

Many of you have learned TO ACCEPT MEDIOCRITY AS A GOOD THING.

PLEASE WAKE UP, PUT THE BONG DOWN, AND DEMAND MORE!

ManUp

April 6th, 2011
3:47 pm

Sorry but if Stapleton is part of a future, well then, that’s too bad. He is not a NHL-level player and should have never left the AHL in reality. At least Enstrom turns a disadvantage into an advantage but Stapleton is one-dimensional, if that. But he is a body and they got him cheap –same as it ever was.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
4:07 pm

Alan, not a fan of Tootoo but a BIG fan of Cole-money player.
Cornbread-Bogo has had his moments, just a few. I have not been in favor of trading him unless the value coming back will pay immediate dividents in more than one player.

Meyer’s spot has to go to a kid. Zubarov’s debut was back luck, inexperience and playionmg for a team that slept through the first 45-50 minutes of the game.

Alan R.

April 6th, 2011
4:08 pm

I hereby officially nominate R. Stroz’s post, on this day of April 6th, 2011 at the time of 3:40 pm for blog comment of the year.

Alan R.

April 6th, 2011
4:10 pm

WBF – My post was mostly tongue in cheek, with regards to the players who always seem to screw us whenever we make a dumb mistake.

Niittymaki isn’t mentioned because he’s out west. No longer our problem.

jonathan

April 6th, 2011
4:39 pm

does it really matter who they let go or bring in the trashers are good as gone.

Old Time Hockey

April 6th, 2011
5:20 pm

Waaaaaaaahhhhhhh. That’s easier than writing all that whiny BS (note above). If Boulton was a good enforcer, teams would be less likely take privileges with our goalies after the whistle, less of our guys getting run in the corners and generally just getting pushed around. Don’t see it. If your enforcer doesn’t enforce, then he’s just a tough 4th liner. If he instilled fear in other teams, I’d be all for it, but even though his fights are entertaining, not enough demolition to intimidate. I don’t think ANY team in the league thinks…oh my Boulton is playing tonight…we better watch our backs. Go with a young, tough kid. If Dvorak wants to stay for say 600k and play 4th line and kill penalties, then yes, if not, see ya. Meyer: As stated above, too many young’ens coming up for that to be a tough decision.

LAC

April 6th, 2011
5:27 pm

I have not seen zach play hard all season. He is 99% of the time out of position and so on and so forth, he can bring some scoring for us… when he is TRADED. Cannot happen soon enough.cornbread, what you see in him is baffling, he is Terrible and has stunk all season, Please quit proping him up, it really makes YOU look bad.

I agree Sage, I have forgotten which five year LIE it really is for waddell !!!!!

Joe McGrath

April 6th, 2011
5:28 pm

The NHL isn’t a league of skill, it’s a league of effort. The Thrashers lack effort.

hockeymom92

April 6th, 2011
5:32 pm

As I spend my time rooting for the “under dog” in sports and those that are “old” and just because I like him, I would keep Boulton at least for one more year. Yes, I know it is purely a sentimental thing….

As for the other two, I have not seen anything that says to me please don’t leave us. But then again, every year is a new slate and it would be our luck if they leave they would end up having the ultimate year. And we would find ourselves sitting here next year whining about why did we let them go? If only a crystal ball really did work…

Brendan

April 6th, 2011
6:30 pm

Erik Cole is on my wish-list for the offseason. Dvorak … meh … I could go either way. But I’m leaning towards letting him go. He didn’t do anything, while here. Re-signing him would do what, for the Thrashers? Especially, if he wants to leave.

Freddy Meyer is just lost in the shuffle. If he’s a big offseason re-signing, we’re in trouble. Boulton, well … I won’t cry if he leaves. But neither will I cry foul if he stays, especially if you’re the sort that thinks line continuity is important. He’d be reunited with Slater and Thorburn on the 4th line. $700,000 probably brings Boulton back for another year. I don’t want to do two years, but if we had too, then 2 years/$1.2 million sounds about right.

I still want to pursue trade options, with this 7th or 8th overall pick. Let it be know that it can and will be traded, to the highest bidder, for high salaried roster players.

Perhaps, pursuing some overpriced players, with many years left on their deal, is another way to get talent here. Who wants Brian Campbell? What would Chicago want in the return? Would Huet help us in net? I’m just asking questions.

Sage of Bluesland

April 6th, 2011
7:11 pm

I’m getting bigger and bigger laughs from Joe-Bob-Friday-Revisionist-Historian’s comments lately…I’ve got a prediction for next year ‘at this time’: we STILL will not make the playoffs.

Blame it on the coach all you want–but until these ingredients improve, the meal will remain the same….Of course, the kitchen management/ownership is pitiful–but, hey-ho, blame the cook if it makes you feel better…

Savannah Blueland Fan

April 6th, 2011
8:04 pm

My unsolicited opinion……SHOW THEM THE DOOR!!!! (Except Boulton…he may not be a marquee player…but he has earned my respect!!!!!!!!!!). Thank you.

Flagstaff

April 6th, 2011
9:00 pm

I hereby second Alan R.’s nomination of R. Stroz’s 3:16 post for Comment of the Year.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2011
9:29 pm

That was priceless Stroz, bravo!

KLS1

April 6th, 2011
9:29 pm

Tell me there is something more in Chicago…after all it wouldn’t take much to replace 10 goals 12 assists and 50 PIM. That is what a farm team is all about after all right to develop talent?

I like bolts and his effort, but much like Slater…effort is not enough, we need more at all positions.

Tom Lysiak

April 6th, 2011
10:02 pm

Well, the Devils have leap-frogged right over us with tonight’s win. We’re now sitting on the 6th pick I believe. Who would have ever believed in December that NJ would catch us?

Tough to think of letting Boults go, with the overall team-toughness of a girl’s volleyball team.

Cornbread

April 6th, 2011
10:51 pm

Not a very good or fair analogy Stroz comparing a 35 year old undrafted center to a 20 year old taken 3rd overall. But, the bottom line is that Todd White did put up 73 points as a first line center. I’m no defender of bringing him here but he did put up top pivot numbers during his second season because he had the ability to do so.

As for Bogosian, playing top minutes, this is not the first that has occurred. He has been put in that position several times this year and performed very well. I’m not advocating he be the number one next year but the fact is he is proving he has the potential and ability to be a top pair guy. And, he is only 20 years old. He played great last night. Did you even watch the game?

I love Mark Stuart’s game. He is a defenseman’s defenseman. I don’t think there are too many D-men out there who don’t like or appreciate his game. But the fact is, he never has or never will be able to do some of the things Bogosian has shown he can do as a blueliner. You may have an argument if there comes a day when Stuart is the Number 1. You can’t teach raw talent. Will Bogo be the number 1 eventually? I don’t know but top 2 definitely. The past 3 years he has been given bigger roles each season. Over the past two months he has been given the opportunity to show what he can do as the top guy and gain the experience he needs. That is not bad development given the situation. Bad development would be not playing him or burrying him as the number 5 like he was his first year.

Amongst the dozen or so peers he is compared to, only Doughty sees more even strength time. He also gets more PP time than Bogo as do most of the others. I’d say that’s a pretty tough situation for Bogosian to be in – big ES numbers and not a lot of PP time to bag points – and his numbers reflect it.

As far as the coaches in Boston, Pitt, and Philly saying what Ramsay and I say about losses being well played by the team, no I can’t imagine that. But I can’t imagine any of those elite teams being loaded with teenage and 20 year old rookies learning to play the game either. No one ever claimed or expected the Thrashers to be at those teams’ elite level. What I expected was a well coached team that plays smart hockey and employs a good repeatable system. The Thrashers got that this year more so than they have any year except for maybe the Hartley days. There is no comparison to this year’s system and the last 3 for example. This year’s has been far superior. They are young and they made foolish mistakes or got beat by more experienced players. They may not have gotten the results they deserved more often than what they did, but, this team played some of the best hockey I have seen any Atlanta Thrashers team play not only in most of those losses but all season. And, most importantly, these young players still have respect for Coach Ramsay.

What was laid this year was a good foundation of a good system with good young talent. There is HUGE potential with not only Bogo but Little, Kane, Burmi, and Pavs along with the older 20 somethings Ladd, Wheeler, Buff, Stuart, Thorburn and Enstrom. That is a solid young core to build off of. Add a couple of missing pieces and they will start getting closer to those elite teams. I will expect much better of them next season and in the coming years. If not, maybe then I’ll demand more and expect nothing less than what I do from my Flyers.

ZAvalanche

April 6th, 2011
10:55 pm

WOW, Toronto screwed St. Louis badly on that goal call. Regardless of the fact that it didn’t cross the line, it was obviously kicked in without hitting the stick. Grrr, Toronto. Get it right.

Alan R.

April 6th, 2011
11:01 pm

But, the bottom line is that Todd White did put up 73 points as a first line center.

Second line center. Between Kozlov and Little.

Thats whats call a fluke.

The comparison is apt due to the terminology used. Age and position has nothing to do with it.

sisu

April 6th, 2011
11:48 pm

As much as I would love to see riverman (jokinen) here the team has shown no love for Finnish players recently. Only two forwards have been here and they are long gone.

I would like to see a big push for Richards this summer, get him away from Dallas might be though but think of the experience and talent he would bring in the SE alone…

I have a feeling Bolton is done, his ice time has gone down and he has served his role well here but I think he will be gone.

sisu

April 7th, 2011
12:01 am

Brendan, I could see Cole as a player to bring in but Campbell, not so much. Remember he took less money to go to Chicago rather than sign here so I can’t imagine why he would have changed his mind now…he chose the Blackhawks over Thrashers originally.

A supporting point of this being the last season for Boults is that last night he was wanting to fight Tootoo when thrashers were down 4 – 0. A little too late for that and little chance that an experienced NHL guy would be willing to “dance” with his team having all the momentum.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2011
12:15 am

Cornbread – If the coach put a mule on ice skates and left him in the game for 30 minutes, would the mule be the team’s top defenseman?

Your definition of “top defenseman” seems to be predicated on ice time. My contention is simply the following, the amount of ice time and situations the coach chooses to place a player in, do not in and of themselves, make that player what you proclaim he is. For example, Todd White was not a top line center in the NHL, even though Don Waddell proclaimed him to be so at the time of his signing. Yes, he had one good season. BIG DEAL. Boogie Oogie Oogie was a top hit by a Taste of Honey in 1978, were they a great band in the 1970’s? Nope, a one hit wonder.

Bogosian is NOT CURRENTLY the best defenseman on this team or a top pairing defenseman in the NHL. At some point, with the proper tutelage, Bogosian MAY become a top pair defenseman, but he isn’t currently. I wish the young man the best from the standpoint of his career. However, I prefer to look at reality and recognize Bogosian as a “work in progress” and currently far from a top pair defenseman in the NHL.

In regards to the following:

but, this team played some of the best hockey I have seen any Atlanta Thrashers team play not only in most of those losses but all season.

That’s the scary part. It makes my point about settling for MEDIOCRITY. BTW, where were you during the 05-06 and 06-07 seasons? If the team had progressed thoughout the season, I could understand some of your unbridled optimism. However, the team has regressed. The question is why? Is the regression the players or the coach’s fault? It has to one or the other.

Now if I remember correctly, you stated earlier in the season that the Thrashers are better than Tampa Bay. How has that prediction faired? Who is ahead in the standings? If the Thrashers team is better, then whose fault is it that they are currently behind Tampa in the standings, the players or the coach? Once again, it has to be one or the other. And please, don’t blame injuries, every team has them.

The Thrashers had a good start to this season, but as the season wore on, something wore out. The question is what and why? There are problems. They must be solved and they haven’t been. The system has been scouted and stymied. There has been no counter. The team has been losing at a greater rate in the second half of the season. There is no debating that fact.

Cornbread – I prefer to look at the reality of a situation. Being the 24th team in the league isn’t good. Yes, the team is young, but instead of progressing, they’re regressing. Bogosian isn’t a top pair defenseman yet, no matter how many minutes he is on the ice.

BTW, to close, Don Waddell admitted to me and several friends that he shouldn’t have pitched Todd White as a top line center. Eventually, the truth is always evident.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2011
12:35 am

I will expect much better of them next season and in the coming years

If I had a dollar for every blogger that made that statement and went away to never be seen or heard from again over the past ten years, I could buy the Thrashers.

R. Stroz

April 7th, 2011
12:45 am

For those of us who thought a 7th round pick in return for this guy was a bad trade, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ5VdO-GaUE&NR=1

World Be Free

April 7th, 2011
7:26 am

Anyway, back to the Stewart brothers, looks like we have the wrong brother.
Chris Stewart made a beauty of a play last night to tie the Blues-Hawks game, splitting 2 defenseman to score a big goal in the 3rd period. Wonder if Anthony was watching?

Player to be named later

April 7th, 2011
7:37 am

I wanted to cry after the Nashville game. The Preds are a pretty high class organization compared to Atlanta. Shows you what a team can do with the right man at the top running the hockey operation, even with a limited budget. Nashville is not a hockey town, but players still want to play there. Preds lose players, but have young prospects groomed to take the departing player’s spot in the lineup playing the Predator way.

GaVaHokie

April 7th, 2011
8:46 am

Brendan… Dvorak didn’t do anything?! Did you not see the much improved PK with him and Wheeler?

The Thrashers penalty kill has allowed one goal in the past 19 times shorthanded over seven games. They have killed 26 of 30 over the past 10 games.

We need more help on the Top 2 lines… people are too focused on points with regards to the 3rd and 4th line. For me, there is no question that Boults-Slater-Thorburn is an excellent energy line. They gotta stop breaking that line up. Stop trying to increase Thorburn’s role. Anytime you break that line up, you’re doing the team and those players a disservice.

Next, build a good 3rd line that includes Dvorak… hopefully in training camp we can see some chemistry with Dvorak and Cormier.

Smoothie

April 7th, 2011
9:27 am

Just a quick point of clarification: Bogosian was never lower than a #4 after Schneider was traded in January of 2009. After that, he was paired with Enstrom on the top line and he flourished. Perhaps he and Toby were not playing against other team’s top lines (but I doubt it was Hainsey & Valabik), but Bogey seemed to have no problem finding his groove playing with Toby that 2nd half. Since then Bogosian has regressed steadily with the occasional flash of greatness this spring since his minutes have been increased to “number one” status in terms of ES minutes. Color me unimpressed as he still gets way too fixated on the puck, forgets to boxt out, and too often gets sucked too far to the strong side thus leaving the top of the crease. How many times have loose pucks been banged in behind Bogosian because he was overly engrossed with the point of attack? His reaction time just needs to be better, period.

sisu

April 7th, 2011
10:15 am

so where does the development of Burmi and Cormier fit in all this? I think Burmi has earned more ice time, he could easily play on the 2nd line next season or one after. If you look at the typical lines in NHL you would end up with top players on #1 line, second line scoring and a shutdown (defensive line) on third and energy on fourth. If Thrashers were following this model then it was good to protect Burmi with Bolts. As to Cormier, he did not impress me with his limited time here, hope he gets better with another training camp.
The one wild card could be Klingberg, wonder if he makes the team next season since he is playing for the Wolves now…

LAC

April 7th, 2011
10:53 am

Bogosian has to be history, if you have a flat tire do you keep driving ? zach has cost us TOO much this season, he, like Smoothie said… Has regressed to the point he is no longer worth keeping when we can get other assets in return that might help in scoring for one.

I am sick and tired of watching him flub passes, not hit anyone and coast every night and NOT play Hard hockey. The sooner he is GONE, the better the tean will be.

The other area of MAJOR concern is the goaltending, after this season, I say dump both of them.
Neither has been good, and we have got to get an established NUMBER 1 goalie here.
These guys we have are backups at the very best. I bet we lead the league in goalies being pulled this season, it’s shameful at best.

Lastly we need a COACH who will not be happy after losses. The comments about the Nashville game being a good game, were akin to saying a headon collision was not that bad, because no hazardous chemicals spilled, but no mention of the fate of the crews… Gee Whiz !!!!

Brendan

April 7th, 2011
10:59 am

Hokie, I did say I could go either way. But I’m leaning towards letting him go, especially if he wants to leave. And if he does want to leave, no amount of money will keep him here. It’s true that our PK unit was lacking and that Dvorak’s contributions helped that. We do have to look beyond points production. But neither should we excuse a lack of points production. Is this not the reverse Kovalchuk argument? Kovy scored all the time for Atlanta, and was a -88 in his career, or some egregious figure like this. I think … we need to look to the ‘totality of the player’ before we re-sign.

If Dvorak gets re-signed, I’m not going to SCREAM IN CAPITAL LETTERS in protest. It will be what it is. And I’ll wish him well, and continued effectiveness on the PK unit, in hopes that his offensive production improves, as well. If Boulton returns, I likewise can’t scream about it. I just don’t want a 2-3 year deal, at his age. Another year is acceptable.

Sisu, the primary reason Chicago might trade a Campbell or a Huet is to simply get that contract off their books, so they can use that money to go spend it elsewhere. With that in mind, and knowing that it wouldn’t cost that much, in terms of what we must give back to Chicago, the real issues are his NTC and the cost of the contract. We must ask ourselves, do players ‘like’ a Campbell or a Huet … help us and make us better? If the answer is “yes,” then it’s something to consider. After all, the goal ought to be to improve our roster, to the point where we can compete with the rest of the league, past New Year’s Day, when all the NHL’s teams have their ’sea legs’ under them, and are gearing up for playoffs. We have the money. Cap room, we got. Owners willing to spend it, in pursuit of playoff revenue, we don’t. Not yet, anyway.

Red Light

April 7th, 2011
11:23 am

Did you know that one of the Western Conference teams conceivably could miss the playoffs despite posting 97 points, which would eclipse Colorado’s record of 95 points and failing to qualify.

Red Light

April 7th, 2011
11:31 am

You have to give Cory Clouston some credit for steering Ottawa to a nice finish despite a horrible season overall. The Senators are 13-8-1 in their last 22 games, and beat the Flyers, Devils and the Lightning twice, and the Rangers, Leafs and Caps once.

Alan R.

April 7th, 2011
11:36 am

EJ McGuire has lost his battle with cancer today. He was 58.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=558573

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
11:44 am

RL, it is crazy isn’t it? In the West I mean. This could be a record year for points earned and not making the post season.

Tom Lysiak

April 7th, 2011
11:45 am

“zach has cost us TOO much this season, he, like Smoothie said… … Has regressed to the point he is no longer worth keeping when we can get other assets in return that might help in scoring for one.”

Well, which one is it? Has he regressed to the point where he is really no longer worth keeping? Or, can we somehow get assets in return for him that might help in scoring?

If he has regressed to a level where “he is really no longer worth keeping”, what makes you think anyone would give you a decent return that would be able to help your team? Do you think you see failure in him that professional scouts and evaluators somehow might miss? In your line of thinking a team would only trade back assets they no longer value worth keeping. And, by extension, they damn well wouldn’t be real scoring help. Good grief.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
11:49 am

Brendan, did you see Stewy battle off 2 defenders to score last night? Incredible. This is a win-win trade for both teams, and Shatty is out-performing McClement right now.

World Be Free

April 7th, 2011
12:22 pm

So sorry to hear the news about EJ McGuire-what a great, great guy.

I met EJ in the early 70’s and kept in touch with him through the years. He was one of the hardest working guys in the game. You think some of these positions with the league are glamorous, but I will tell you EJ worked so hard all the time and earned everything he ever got. He dedicated so much to his passion, the game of hockey from his early days at Brockport, working with Mike Keenan in Rochester and in so many other stops along the way.

A sad day, we have lost a great hockey man and a great guy.

Red Light

April 7th, 2011
12:27 pm

Thanks for sharing WBF.

Joe McGrath

April 7th, 2011
1:19 pm

My concern now is that ownership change isn’t going fast enough as there’s been no news as of late. So if a deal does spark during the off season, it’s likely to drag on for quite sometime, correct? So once again we’ll see Duds trying to fill a roster with the same shoe-string budget? If this thing is drawn out over a year, and you’re Dud’s, what would you do? As a fan, what will you accept? I think staying the course is what’s in store for 2011-12, and honestly, I’m OK with that. Keep our picks and acquire more picks by shipping off Oduya and Stewart (while their stock is still high), ask Boulton to retire and take a position with the franchise, if he wants to stay play one more year, keep him–you know what you’re getting with Boulton and his salary is nominal. However, we would need to lose Dvorak, Meyer, Stapelton, etc., to clear room for one $3.5 Million forward signing (personally, I’d be happy with Scottie Upshall or Eric Cole. Then comes the hard part–explain to Buff that he will be utilized at forward this year. If he whines and complains, make a note of it for future reference. That gives us a top line of Wheeler, Little, Ladd, a second line of Kane, Schremp, and Upshall/Cole; a third line of Buff, Burmistrov and Antropov and a fourth line of Cormier, Slater and Thorburn. Our two gaping holes are on defense, which would be filled with Kulda and Postma, both of whom appear ready to step up. Fill in with Maxwell, Machacek, Koper, Pettersson, Klingburg, Albert, Redmond, etc., as needed. COncerning the goalie tandem, play Pavalec as much as 50 games. If 2012 is a bust, send him elsewhere.
Does this look very different from today’s line up? No, not really. However, 2011-12 for the Thrashers would ride on IFs and as a fan, I’d be happy knowing we were keeping prospects in the system and counting on IF Buff accepts his role, IF Bogosian screws his head on tight and steps up, IF Schremp decides he wants and NHL career, IF Cormier comes out of his shell and IF Pavs steps it up, etc., we will move forward toward another 2012-13 season which might see an additional $10-20 mil in salary, which would mean a huge push forward.

Sage of Bluesland

April 7th, 2011
1:20 pm

“If I had a dollar for every blogger that made that statement {I will expect much better of them next season and in the coming years} and went away to never be seen or heard from again over the past ten years, I could buy the Thrashers.”

There is your blog comment-of-the-year, hands-down.

In memorium of the countless sheep who have come and gone…blustered and then disappeared…prepared spweadsheets and then stopped gracing us with their presence and “wisdom”…

To the many–of the past, the current, and soon-to-be future…sheep….To you!