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

shootoutloss

April 6th, 2011
7:37 am

Wtf is a Dvorak?

Matt

April 6th, 2011
7:57 am

Ladd? Anything happen with him?

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2011
8:02 am

I’d like to keep Boults… I’ll always wonder what this year would have been like with the Greek God line intact all year.

I’m one of the 2 people that voted to keep Dvorak… I think he’s very important to the PK. Do whatever you need to the top two lines for scoring, but we need efficient PKers.

Meyers let me down this year after being one of my favorites during training camp… he can go.

Not even going to pretend to want any of those Wolves UFA’s.

boults stays

April 6th, 2011
8:02 am

re-sign boults!

Dwayne

April 6th, 2011
8:12 am

bye bye to all 3 of ‘em

Red Light

April 6th, 2011
8:14 am

Character. Professionalism. Leadership. Clearly there is no place for those kind of players on this team. Let them walk.

LAC

April 6th, 2011
8:20 am

Devorak trade was THE WORST since Colburn/Zit, and came after DUD dudley said there would be
would NOT trade for older players, young players or draft picks, Yet ANOTHER LIE from the GM of this franchise, seems no matter who it is and I mean IT rather than a person who is good at their job.
Because DUD is Terrible !, and dishonest to us Fans !

dudley should be fired and get a REAL hockey guy in here, free from the waddell connections and tear this mess apart and start over. There is little to work with and The First to go should be little
zach B. I am tired of watching the past two seasons of BAD defense from him, and I mean BAD BAD BAD !!!

The Real Thrash

April 6th, 2011
8:23 am

Voting results show a part of why are are the bad team we are. Keep Bpoulton? Are you kidding?
The Dvorak trade shows that Dudley can make trade duds as well as Waddell. Something for nothing.

The Real Thrash

April 6th, 2011
8:25 am

Red Light

April 6th, 2011
8:14 am
Character. Professionalism. Leadership. Clearly there is no place for those kind of players on this team. Let them walk.

How about players with a positive plus/minus?

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
8:31 am

Dvorak will be staying-I would like to see him here for an entire season, no matter what others may think of him and regardless of his age. I don’t envy any tarde deadline player going to any club. He will be here, 1 year deal.

Bolts-he will probably hang ‘em up on his own after this season and hopefully find a place in the organization in some fashion. Anyone who lasts as long as he has deserves a shot to show others that you can succeed with limited talent, though I would be the last person to tell him of his talents to his face. Excellent fighter, no visor makes him a fave in my book.

Bye, bye Freddy-give one of the kids a chance at his spot.

Bogo last night-so who thought he would be better in last night’s game after being rotten for the past few weeks?

boults stays

April 6th, 2011
8:36 am

yeah why keep an enforcer in a league where people elbow players into concussion-ville nearly every game, why keep a guy who gives a consistent effort on every shift unlike the vast majority of our players, why keep a guy who took less money to stay here..a player who wants to play in ATLANTA and makes his home here and does tons of great community work. good point. boulton is one one of the better playing enforcers in the league and what an atlanta thrasher should be, why keep a player like that.

real thrash, do you even watch the games? have you ever noticed we don’t win many battles and that toughness is an issue every year..so your soultion is to get rid of our toughest player. yikes.

criag from twiggs

April 6th, 2011
8:38 am

if they go they will be replaced with other 4th line ahl players. If they stay then we will still be stacked with ahl players, so it doesn’t make a difference if they stay or go.

Last night was a joke, ahl team vs. nhl team

Jameson

April 6th, 2011
8:41 am

Matt- I believe Ladd is a RFA not an UFA.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
8:45 am

One positive (just one)-
We have so few UFAs while other teams have quite a few.
The opportunity to pickup quality players for free, if, IF Dudley gets the money to do so.
That’s the big if-we are an AHL team for a number of reasons, one of which being we have an AHL payroll.

Rawhide

April 6th, 2011
8:53 am

Matt - Ladd is an RFA and from what I hear he and the Thrashers are close. My guess is that he and/or the team have decided to finaize it once the season is done.

Red Light - I will not argue with you at all about either of their character or committment to effort. However, this is a results oriented business. Would I have an issue with the Thrashers re-signing, say, Boulton for another year at $600K or so? Nope…not at all. But I also would understand if they decided now was a good time to part ways with all 3 of them.

The Real Thrash - I think the positive showing for Bolts in the Fan Poll has a lot to do with what I said about him in the post above. He’s a true fan favorite, and for very good reason. I’m not at all surprised by it.

Fan from Carolina

April 6th, 2011
8:55 am

That was an easy one. Thumbs down to them. They are too used to losing and are not the answer for the rosters of the future. Pick up players, like Ladd, and Buff, from the teams competing for the Cup this year. They will help mold a winning attitude as soon as next season, if the payroll can somehow increase.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
8:57 am

Rawhide, the real issue for me is who do we repalce these 3 guys with?
The business end of this team has suffered from day one because of a lack of commitment, character and quality players. Can’t see how this team is better off without Bolts, though I still think he’s going to hang ‘em up on his own.

Joe Friday

April 6th, 2011
9:09 am

Boulton is a keeper, a player’s player, keep him on the 4th line. Meyer is not needed. Dvorak is far over the hill and was supposedly a PK specialist now, but he’s horrible on the PK, some of the weakest clearing attempts all year were from him, just brutal. If we keep the likes of him for our PK, we’re having similar discussions this time next year instead of scoreboard watching to figure out who our 1st round opponent will be.

Fan from Carolina

April 6th, 2011
9:12 am

Please, no talk of plus/minus players. It is such a horrible way to gauge a player’s importance and Cup history. I remember Joe Sakic winning the Conn Smythe award back in the ‘95-95 season I believe. He was a +14 player. Not bad but is that outstanding? The next year he was -10. Did he stink? Of course not, he was a superstar and anyone would have loved to have him. Look at the recent Red Wings blowout to the Blues, 10-3. What did that do to plus/minus stats on that club? Are they now bad players? Just for grins I just looked at the 5th place Lightning roster since they have been blown out numerous times this season. They have only 7 players that are on the plus side, not one on of them is named Vinny, Marty, Gagne, Malone, or Moore. Sorry, I still want them on my playoff club along with their minus ratings. Let’s lose that stat when picking players up.

Red Light

April 6th, 2011
9:35 am

Solid point Fan from Carolina. You want to talk about plus/minus, the last thing you want to do is bring up checking line forwards or disturbers. The Real Thrash apparently is a bit misguided because…guys like Bolts and Dvorak don’t score many goals so they get few plus ratings. They are on the ice against other team’s offensive players fairly often, so they do get minuses.

BTW, Andrew Ladd is -10. Want to ship him out too? Nah, didn’t think so.

Russian

April 6th, 2011
9:41 am

I want to keep only Ladd, Wheeler and Bogus at this summer, everybody else can go. But First of all WE NEED a NEW OWNER.

Red Light

April 6th, 2011
9:54 am

Stephane Yelle is the classic example of a defensive forward. Played on two Cup winners in Colorado. His first season he had 27 points and was plus-15 when the Avs won the Cup in 1995-96. The next time they won the Cup in 2000-01 he had 14 points he was -3. Was he any less effective in his 14 plus minutes of ice time? He had seven minus seasons in his 14-year career.

Dvorak has had a minus rating in eight seasons in 15 seasons, but his overall rating is +1 for his career. He has played on bad teams for much of his career, only making the playoffs four times. When you play on good teams your plus/minus soars. It’s usually that simple and it’s a horrible stat when you look at it by itself.

Boulton is -20 for his career but he has played on only one playoff team in his 10 seasons. He is a decent checker but he’s not going to score goals or be on the ice for many at all. He’s a good guy for your 12th or 13th forward. He’s not going to be anything but that.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
9:57 am

Suppose we had the money to acquire players-anyone out there that’s a UFA July 1 of interest? These 3 guys are not as significant as the players we might be able to sign.

Let’s dream for a moment-dream that we had $7M to sign UFAs to improve this team.

Anyone out there?

Toby

April 6th, 2011
10:01 am

Yep…Have to keep them if our cap is once again at the floor. If we get an owner willing to add another $10-$15 mil, then all of the bottom six (except Boults, Antro, and Thorby) can get the boot.

SomaAtl95

April 6th, 2011
10:03 am

Boults is a fan favorite, chances are the Thrashers let him walk, along with the other two. Professional sports is a business and the only 2 way loyalty this club has shown in the past decade is between Ownership and Management, which is why after so much futility management was given a promotion(?!?!?) and ownership has shown that asking the DIY Network to help “Flip my Franchise” didn’t quite work the way they expected.
If I had my choice, sign Boulton for one more season and let the other 2 walk away. Chances are however that all 3 will be gone and we will do our usual “Try to fill gaping holes through the draft” routine we seem to be famous for.
Regardless of what happens I am and will always be faithful to the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. I hope and pray that new ownership comes along and invests in the team and the distraction that derailed the second half of this season is gone.
If I were faced with the possibility of being forced to play/live in Winnipeg, I’d let it distract the daylights out of me and I feel that is one of the major causes of our second half meltdown.

hockeygoon79

April 6th, 2011
10:05 am

Why would you want to get rid of Boulton when he’s as close to an enforcer as we have on this team? Sure Stuart will have a go once in a while but you don’t want a d-man in the box for 5 minutes on a regular basis.

The other two may go.

Rawhide

April 6th, 2011
10:14 am

Rawhide, the real issue for me is who do we repalce these 3 guys with?

WBF – Logical question, of course. But another one would be, “What exactly have we won with these three”?

hockeygoon79 – I don’t think I said that’s what I “wanted” to happen…I just gave “my take” on what I think will happen.

This isn’t personal…it’s strictly business.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
10:22 am

Rawhide-we have won very little with these 3, others included. I guess my point here is it is OK to ;et them go if Dudley has a plan and the means to carry out this plan. No laughing please…..

james c.

April 6th, 2011
10:28 am

All the comments about the Thrashers being an AHL level team are pure nonsense from people who don’t truly know hockey.An AHL team would not beat the Philadelphia Flyers three times! Wake up! Yes, this team needs some more aggressive defensemen and some more forwards with a scoring touch but please don’t compare the Thrashers to players in a development league…come on, this team narrowly missed the NHL playoffs!

GaVaHokie

April 6th, 2011
10:40 am

Honestly, I have to see that we still have a team this summer before I truly care about any of these guys.

But…

Every year we pick up 4th line scrubs like Rissmiller and Dawes with the expectations that they’ll replace Boulton… every year, Boulton wins his job back. How about the organization realise this for once, and use that money towards something we really need this summer?

Fan from Carolina

April 6th, 2011
10:45 am

Thank you Red Light. More excellent examples. I’m glad not to be alone in this thinking.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
10:50 am

James c>- I think what people are saying here is that we have players on our current roster that are of AHL quality, not that the entire team is AHL. Also, at times the Thrashers as a team play like an AHL team rather than an NHL team. This is also years of frustration seeing the same old garbage recycled year after year. Especially when we see a team like Nashville develop and fly past us as a comparative organization.

Smoothie

April 6th, 2011
10:57 am

“Dvorak will be staying-I would like to see him here for an entire season, no matter what others may think of him and regardless of his age. I don’t envy any tarde deadline player going to any club. He will be here, 1 year deal”

Interesting take WBF, but I’m undecided on Dvorak. He was banged up when he came here and he started to skate like his normal self for 3 or 4 games before getting the concussion. Bigger question is will he come back as a shell of himself due to the concussion like symptoms he’s suffering from? I’d like to think there is someone out there, at a younger age, who can do the job he was brought in to do. Perhaps a guy like Jussi Jokinen, who is only 28 and relatively cheap at $1.7 M. Carolina won’t want to spend much more on him so perhaps we can pluck him from a rival. Plus, I just want to be able to say, you must be “jokinen” when we give up yet another dumbfounding PK goal! :cool:

As for Boultsy, I love him to death, but how much did his presence as an “enforcer” really help us attitude-wise and from a team chemistry standpoint? He didn’t fight as much and the team has lots of young players who will play with fire in their bellies (Kaner, Lits, Ladd, Burmy etc) regardless of Boultsy’s efforts as a team “policeman”. Plus, Stuart, Thorburn and even Laddy has shown a willngness to drop the gloves and defend a teammate. Still wish we hadn’t given up on Eager as he was Burmy’s bodyguard for the first half of the year. I’d probably give Boultsy a one year deal with a 5% raise and tell him the 13th forward job is his to lose.

PS – I really like Maxwell’s game, he’s a very good skater, smooth passer and hustles his butt off when he’s out there. In an expanded 4th line role next season, I think he could really flourish as Boultsy’s replacement. But it’d be good to have Boultsy in the fold in case Maxwell needs a game here or there for maintenance, slumps etc.

As for potential UFA’s I’d think about signing for a good price: Jokinen, Vrbata, Upshall, Glencross, Kopecky (don’t see him leaving his buddy Hossa in CHI) and perhaps even Morrison (Brendan) as he might give us the perfect veteran presence on the 3rd line next year playing with a healthy Antropov and either Cormier or perhaps even Klingberg. I do like the potential of a Kaner-Burmy-Antro line next year, but Morrison can still get it done in the F/O circle and might be a valuable add for the PP and at the defensive end of the ice.

Hoof Arted

April 6th, 2011
11:08 am

“I thought we played a real good game”, Craig Ramsay

“I’ve never seen this team quit. Not once this year”, Nik Antropov

Read and re-read those two quotes after loss in Nashville and then look no further for an explanation as to what the problem is here.

Lets see, fall behind 3-0 after 1 period and the 5-0 in the second then 6-1 in the third. Claw your way back to a 6-3 loss. That’s playing a “real good game”? I beg to differ.

And that was what, the 8th or 9th time we gave up 2 goals in under a minute this season? Gee Craig, you haven’t been able to address this yet?

And if Antropov has never seen this team “quit” this season, maybe he has spent too much time looking at the ice girls during games. They’ve quit many, many times in games this season.

Boulton? Dvorak? Meyer?

Gone, gone and gone.

As BlogMaster points out, what have we won with them? I like EB and think he’s done a fine job in his role. But we don’t need a 35 year old player simply to provide quality fights.

Meyer actually impressed me some nights, but we have to find a way to get some of these prospects ice time here.

Dvorak? Well, let’s just say we gave up on Bergfors way too soon. Crying shame too.

james c.

April 6th, 2011
11:14 am

WBF fair comment.What I will also say is that part of the problem is I am sure Thrashers players don’t feel as motivated playing in front of a half full building some nights compared to an arena packed with fans.Yes, this is an under achieving team but the average Atlanta hockey fan has to be willing to endure years of frustration like other cities (Chicago,Buffalo,Pittsburgh,St.Louis,Detroit,Boston,Toronto,Washington) did and in a few short years miracles can happen! I still can’t believe there aren’t 15,000 people in greater Atlanta willing to support this team night after night.I am convinced a full building would make a huge difference in the play of this team.

drajax

April 6th, 2011
11:22 am

bolton plays a crucial role in the game for us, plus he is a great teammate. dvorak provides stability and experience. they both should be kept. I believe this years demise started when Slaton went down and the greek gods line had to be rebuilt. We were never the same. I’m not sure why that line was so important but it seemed that Dudley spent players trying to replace it. I’d be interested in what others think about that.

hockeygoon79

April 6th, 2011
11:32 am

Point taken, Rawhide. But I still think Bolts has another year of quality service in him. $650K buys a lot of heart and effort with him.

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
12:19 pm

James c-you offer a lot to talk about.
People in the house-hockey is like any other sport, it’s entertainment. Thrashers’ fans turned out the first 4 years despite really bad teams. But it became clear over time that there were major issues that needed to be addressed. Bad draft picks, poor development and the flow of quality talent out of town deflated this fan base to its current size. Consider the first 11 seasons of mostly agony; if you do then you should salute the fact that people are still loyal to the team and start counting the thousands that have tuned out.

Consider all the cities your listed except Tronna; all these hockey cities have had periods of poor fan support. As a Buffalonian, I can remember several periods when Sabres’ fans were turned off to the product and stayed away. Take the first 11 seasons of this team and put it in any of the cities you noted and you would get the same support. People want value for their money. Commitment and dedication-it has to be a two way street.

As for the players, they are paid to play and perform. If the players need the fans to motivate them, then there is something wrong with the players.

Mitch4404

April 6th, 2011
12:21 pm

Keep Boults , I think he fits in well with the unit we have here and I think he would be flexible on salary to stay here. Of everyone on the roster Boults , Thorburn & Mason bring it every night! DVorak might develop for us but I think everyone expected more . Freddy can go

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
12:21 pm

Smoothie-I like your list if UFAs, nice start. Carolina has a couple UFAs and they will not be spending more next season.

I may be wrong about Dvorak coming back-I just have a feeling.

Stan Drulia

April 6th, 2011
12:22 pm

Hoof – I agree completely. Those two statement this morning are just ridiculous. Ramsey saying that we played a good game is just insulting to me as a fan. I will admit, I didn’t even watch the game last night – it wasn’t televised and honestly my interest in the remaining games isn’t high enough for me to go to my favorite bar to watch their satellite feed. This season got my hopes us so high that I am just tired now… tired of the whole season. Ready for next season I guess, though right now even that is hard to get excited about. Go Braves?

World Be Free

April 6th, 2011
12:24 pm

Hoof – I don’t feel bad about giving up on Bergfors, I am more upset about over valuing him to begin with. Bergie’s only asset was working in tight within 10 feet of the net. Problem is, he did not have the willingness to go in the 10 foot zone too often-not willing to pay the price.

Back from NJ

April 6th, 2011
12:49 pm

Mitch – Did you really mean Mason? Surely you meant someone else. I’d have to consider Mason to be one of the year’s biggest busts…..Oh to have Moose back. I know part of his great stats this year is because of NJ’s system, but he played better for us last year than Mason did this year.

Sage of Bluesland

April 6th, 2011
12:59 pm

Wow. What a sad topic. The cupboard isn’t great, is it?

I’m sure we’ll get things straightened out in this third installment of Don Waddell’s “Five-Year Plan”.

What an utter joke this organization is; what a joke this topic is with these three “players” (and I use that term very loosely). Not the blogmaster’s fault–but this is all we have to talk about.

The rest is further subsidization of the incompetence…Don Waddell thanks you for your support. He’s a weally nice guy, too.

Cornbread

April 6th, 2011
1:03 pm

Eric Boulton is one Hell of a hockey player. He was the last player in the league to finish a game a minus, scored a hat trick, and had one of the best bouts of the year. The guy plays smart and can still skate and hit. He’s number a 12 or 13 and I did not expect him to play as many games as he did on the 4th line. Shows how ineffective some of the callups were this year.

Dvorak was brought in for one reason, kill penalties. The guy was the number two on the best PK unit in the league. He still has got wheels and plays a more responsible and physical game than Bergfors ever did. He’s not here to score. Put him on the fourth line and use him defensively.

Meyer is gone. Too many prospects that will be ready to fill the number 5-7 role.

Alan R.

April 6th, 2011
1:10 pm

WBF, Bill — To me, the replacements are logical.

Keep Boults, replace Meyer and Dvorak with Tootoo and Cole. Atlanta Thrashers win in 2012!

[/sarcasm] ;)

Cornbread

April 6th, 2011
1:24 pm

WBF I predicted yesterday that Bogo would have a great game and skate as the number 1 D-man last night. He has played some great hockey down the stretch including all 3 games in March against the Flyers. The rotten games tend to obscure everything that he has done well.

As for Zubarov’s debut, has there been an unluckier or crazy NHL debut? The first 3 goals there is no way he was at fault. He was actively and physically involved in all of them and had some of the craziest bounces go against him. The fourth goal of the game that he was also on the ice for was his fault. He was way too high at the point and out of position badly. It is the one thing I noticed about his game last night, he was higher than his partner and not offering good support for a D to D pass. It was good to see Coach Ramsay and Torchetti continue to give the kid ice time and play over 20 minutes and that he eventually was on the ice for a Trashers’ goal.

New roles for lots of players. Burmistrov centered Kane and both had over 20 minutes. They played very well together.

If you watched the game you would have seen that the Thrashers dominated much of the play. Mason had to get a handle on or stop the first 3. Just crazy goals.

Daculafan

April 6th, 2011
1:31 pm

The big reason why management can never be a fan is because then the heart begins to influence what would otherwise be a cut and dried business decision. That’s why I could never be a GM.

I would take Boults back because he’s one of my favorites on the team and I wouldn’t take Dvorak or Meyer because I just don’t see any real up side to it. I guess to try and temper my blind willingness to take Boulton just because he’s a favorite. I’d wait to re-sign him until right before camp. If he shows up for camp in good shape then I sign..another 1 year deal..if he’s not in good shape..sorry dude.

The upside to Boulton is that he provides more than just a set of fists out there. He’s actually pretty good for a grinding forward, he fights..he’s veteran locker room presence and he’s actually usually pretty healthy during the season. He doesn’t usually spend much time on the IR.

Like I said…I’m glad I’m not a GM..I’d make terrible decisions based on how I like players

Rawhide

April 6th, 2011
1:39 pm

Daculafan – Hey buddy….

Everyone – If you’re planning on going to either of the games this weekend, check this out.

Also, you can still get tickets using the special promotion set up for readers of this blog. Simply click –>HERE<-- and use promo code RAWHIDE.

SportsFan

April 6th, 2011
1:56 pm

Unless a new owner shows up (pardon by I hardly think “THE BALKAN” is a legitimate possibility) we’re as good as gone. I don’t see how ASG goes on another year…so until then..UFA’s are not likely to show interest….

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!

SomaAtl95

April 7th, 2011
1:46 pm

Even though I’m not a big fan of the Clash I don’t think I saw anyone answer Bills question… Should they stay or should they go? If they go there will be trouble, if they stay there will be double, So c’mon and let us know, Should they stay or should they go?

Cliff Fletcher

April 7th, 2011
2:55 pm

sage///

thanks alot for your daily flush

Frosty the snowman

April 7th, 2011
3:10 pm

Tom, I believe the problem is that thrashers dont have a good track record of developing talent. If we traded Bogosian, which I am not saying I want, I think we would get a good return because they COULD develop him

World Be Free

April 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

Frosty-our track record is absolutely horrible.
Betcha Coburn would have half as good here as he turned out in Philly.

So had we kept Coburn, who is to say he would not have been a flop, in the same position Bogo is right now?

jimbo

April 7th, 2011
4:02 pm

Boulton is -17 and a few of you want to keep him? Better to bring White back.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
4:10 pm

Sage got into the Kool-aid again.

GaVaHokie

April 7th, 2011
4:17 pm

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”…

Ummm… I don’t think that’s why people leave and don’t comeback. At least not me personally… this blog has been overrun with “experts”.

http://www.getoutdoors.com/goblog/uploads/farside_push.gif

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
4:22 pm

GaVaHokie, LOL! thanks for the cartoon, made my day!

Tom Lysiak

April 7th, 2011
4:44 pm

Frosty – I couldn’t agree more with what you are saying. My point is how ridiculous it is to rant over and over how bad a 20-year old player sucks, how he has cost us the season, how he is a bust, how he coasts, how he doesn’t hit anyone. Then in the next breath, you say let’s trade him for some good assets. You can’t have it both ways. Either he sucks and you wouldn’t get anything at all back in return. Or, he is just not working out and let’s sell while his value is still high. If he really sucks, the people who make their money in the hockey business would not give you squat back for him.

Tom Lysiak

April 7th, 2011
5:13 pm

Trixie, do I have one hung in blog purgatory??? If you could set it free I would appreciate it!

HookyBob

April 7th, 2011
5:19 pm

For what it is worth: Game 1 of the frozen four semis is currently on ESPN-2. Later tonight it’ll the UND and Michegan. Final is Saturday.

Bit of a topic change,..but I sure hope we can beat the Rangers tonight. After being swept by them a few years back,..few things in hockey would give me more pleasure than to help them miss the play-offs. Also, wouldn’t mind helping the Canes slip into the 8th spot. Guess that would mean losing to them tomorrow,…eh?

Go Blue,..tonight anyway.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

April 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

Mr. Lysiak – Your 4:44 pm post has been freed from Blog Purgatoy.

Red Light

April 7th, 2011
6:05 pm

This season and last, Eric Boulton is -1. Not sure where you got your figures jimbo!

Red Light

April 7th, 2011
6:33 pm

Who said the Thrashers wouldn’t be playing meaningful games in April? Too bad they aren’t meaningful for them.

Brendan

April 7th, 2011
6:59 pm

Anyone remember the 2007 playoffs? I do. Wouldn’t some revenge on the Blueshirts be nice? I think Carolina can still catch them for 8th. Someone double-check that.

Brendan

April 7th, 2011
7:03 pm

ZAvalanche, I really feel we must give that Blues-Avs trade a full three years. Otherwise, after every game when McClement outshines Shattenkirk, or Stewart does Erik Johnson, we’ll be changing opinions of the trade. In the end, and this is just meeee, I think it’s far more difficult to find a Tier I blueliner, who can play 23-25 minutes a game … than it is to find quality 3rd line Centers and 3/4 defenders. So, in my way of thinking, Colorado won the trade, conceptually, since I don’t buy into this “Johnson is the second coming of Patrik Stefan for a BUST of a 1st overall pick” thinking. Three years from now, if Erik Johnson is in the minors somewhere, then we know the Avs messed up, bad. But if he’s anchoring their blueline, playing the lion’s share of the minutes, then I’d say they faired very well.

Fan from Carolina

April 7th, 2011
7:05 pm

Brendan, yes they can, and I’ll be pulling for the Canes if they can sneak in. The only trouble is that they would be playing the Caps in the 1st round. Bye bye.

LAC

April 7th, 2011
7:25 pm

I could not believe my ears just a few minutes ago… When Sam Rosen quoted Craig Ramsey as saying, “He thought the Thrashers had played BETTER the second half of the season, than the first.”

WHAT ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Is that for real ? If so I am all for getting rid of ramsey, that is unbelievable, totally.

We need a Winner as coach… Not a whiner !

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
7:38 pm

Nice couple of plays by Bobo on the PK.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
7:40 pm

Brendan – I agree. And they will build the D around Johnson. I was just saying what a nice play Stewy had to beat off 2 D and score and how well Shatty played.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
7:51 pm

If Dallas loses one of their last 3, in regulation, and Chicago gets at least one pt then Dallas is out. If Chicago gets zero pts in their last 2 and Dallas gets 4 pts in their last 3 then Dallas is in by virtue of tie breaker. Gonna be a big game tonight for Dallas with the Avs in town. At least both of my teams are trying to play spoiler :) .

Alan R.

April 7th, 2011
8:05 pm

My concern now is that ownership change isn’t going fast enough as there’s been no news as of late.

Seriously? It takes a lot of time to sell one hockey franchise. In the Sabres sale, there was nine months of silence before things were finalized.

Now, that’s just one hockey team. Throw in a basketball team and an arena.

People who think this is supposed to be quick, like a trip to Rite Aid, is mistaken.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
8:14 pm

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
8:15 pm

And AGAIN!!!!!! Ranger Fan is nervous.

Tom

April 7th, 2011
9:09 pm

Boults WANTS TO STAY! GOAL!!!!

I have to say the Thrashers are playing some excellent hockey against some very hostile refs. The waved off icing and the offsides are amazing not to mention the mystery calls on Buff. Even the announcers are having a hard time justifying the calls.

R. Stroztradamus

April 7th, 2011
9:30 pm

I predict Jethro will be eliminated from the points contest tonight.

jim

April 7th, 2011
9:42 pm

Bettman was on his weekly XM radio show today and in response to a question regarding the Phoenix situation he responded that “the NHL doesn’t give up on its fans in the markets we are in and that we absolutely try not to move teams if we don’t have to.” I assume that includes Atlanta and hope that there is at least another positive update one of these days.

LAC

April 7th, 2011
9:51 pm

I rarely watch versus, I did tonight, with Atlanta playing. Where on Earth they found this keith jones, PLEASE go stick him back in his HOLE, this guy may as well just come out and say something like this… “I hate Atlanta, Their team, The city and really HATE their fans.” He comes across as a complete one sided goof as I ever saw. It was ALL Rangers tonight, he even had the GALL to start talking about their (NY) two best defensemen. And their goalie is SO good, HA !

Who took the season series ? Who scored More Goals ? Who played BETTER in this series and esp tonight, Atlanta. I know this jones is from Philadelphia, but the hate in his comments, saying Carolina should win Friday night… keith jones you scum, get off the air, because YOU $UCK !!!!

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
9:58 pm

LAC, I saw the same game and I don’t recall hearing Keith Jones saying anything inflammatory. You just have to realize that the NHL has their “princess” teams, just like every other sport, and they are going to talk up to the larger markets.

Alan R.

April 7th, 2011
10:12 pm

Also, remember that Versus picked up the MSG feed tonight. All NY, all the time.

World Be Free

April 7th, 2011
10:22 pm

The Versus guys are not accustom to seeing ATL play on their network. I am not a Keith Jones fan anyhow. Thre things come to mind-

1-Most bloggers giving Dudley a hard time when he picked up Schremp. Looks not too bad out there, the last chance Robbie may have needed to get it going.
2-Great seeking Pavs back his old confident sell-he was very good tonight.
3-If that’s Bolts last NHL goal, well let’s say is was a beauty, nice feed from Johnny.

Now let’s knock off Carolina, that would be a great win.

Rawhide

April 7th, 2011
10:33 pm

New blog time, kids as the Thrashers leave the New York Rangers hoping for a repeat perfomance Friday night.

ZAvalanche

April 7th, 2011
10:38 pm

I am not a big Keith Jones fan either, even though he is an ex-Av. But like I said, the league announcers have their “princess” teams. I wish the announcers would be objective and give props to the team that is smoking the other team – Atl looked good tonight, wish it would have happened 2 months ago. The Rangers are in a tight spot and didn’t compete. Conversely, Dallas is in a tight spot and is taking it to Colorado tonight in a must-win game. This game has a very exciting way of separating the good from the bad. Love it.

R. Stroz

April 9th, 2011
8:46 am

Rawhide

April 12th, 2011
9:28 am

R. Stroz – Nope.