All-Trade Friday: Should the Thrashers deal Ilya Kovalchuk?

This has Marian Hossa written all over it, only in larger letters. The Thrashers dumped their second-best player at the 2008 trading deadline because they knew they couldn’t re-sign him. Their best player is about to enter the final season of his contract, and Don Waddell shouldn’t let Ilya Kovalchuk enter it as a Thrasher.

Kovalchuk was the NHL’s 11th-highest-paid player in 2008-2009, and some club will make him one of the top five come 2010-2011. It would be an upset if that team is the Thrashers. And if they can’t keep him, they should trade him.

Last month Waddell, the Thrashers’ GM, told esteemed colleague Chris Vivlamore he wouldn’t trade Kovalchuk this summer or at the deadline or ever. “[Both parties] will both know where we are way before the season starts, if it is going to happen,” Waddell said. “That doesn’t mean it can’t happen once the season starts. My mission is to keep Ilya Kovalchuk here.”

That, alas, seems a mission impossible. If you knew you’d have better options as a free agent, would you choose to remain a Thrasher? And for Waddell to proclaim he’ll never trade Kovalchuk only sets this franchise up for more disappointment and even deeper failure.

Should the Thrashers trade Ilya Kovalchuk?

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Kovalchuk is coming off the best all-around season of his career. He finished sixth among league scorers and grew into his rank of team captain. But there’s no reason to believe a serious hockey player would seriously consider re-upping with the only team in the league that, at season’s end, had a payroll under $40 million — the big boys had payrolls over $60 million — and there’s no reason to believe the Atlanta Spirit is going to start splurging. Not on this sport.

We have to remember that the Spirit owns two teams, and the Hawks are demonstrably the better of the two. The Hawks face an even more momentous offseason: Four of their top eight players are free agents of some stripe, and the chief voices of the Hydra-headed Spirit — the Gearons — care more for basketball.

In an ideal world, Kovalchuk would stay here and everyone would live happily ever after. But this is a niche team in an uncertain market, and he deserves a bigger stage. And the Thrashers need to clear the air and start rebuilding around someone else. Grand as he is, Kovy needs to go now.

Other installments: Should the Braves trade Jeff Francoeur? And also: Should the Hawks trade Josh Smith?

84 comments Add your comment

Ted Striker

June 12th, 2009
3:10 pm

Man, I don’t know about any of this but I wouldn’t trade Bradley for all the tea in china. (Do they still make tea in china?)

[...] next: Should the Thrashers trade Ilya Kovalchuk? Should the Hawks trade Josh [...]


June 12th, 2009
3:26 pm

Those salary cap numbers at are wrong because they don’t include Schneider’s salary for more than half a season here, which was between $3-4 million. is a better source.

Kovy wants to win, for sure, but he can be re-signed if the organization is serious about trying to win. I’ve been to the ex-USSR and I’ve got friends there and let me just succinctly say that MONEY is the number 1 factor with these people. As long as Kovy feels like the owners are trying and they pay him enough, he will stay. Hossa didn’t want to stay here at any price. Kovy is not like that, but his motivations are very different than Hossa’s were.
I used to be a partial season ticket holder and I did not renew a year ago over dissatisfaction with the team’s off season moves. All I can say is that trading Kovy for anything is not going to get me to consider renewing my partial season tickets again. I might not even go to any games and I at least went to a few this past season.

Thrashers Season Ticket Holder

June 12th, 2009
3:29 pm


Please leave the Thrashers articles to RAWHIDE, Bradley.

Hey, here’s an idea: Why don’t you and Schultz go write yet ANOTHER Vick piece ?


June 12th, 2009
4:02 pm

I see where you’re going … lazy Friday, got to stir something up for web coverage. But this one doesn’t fit as much as your other two ideas (Frenchy, J-Smooth). Atlanta might as well close the rink for good if you trade Kovy. I can only think of a handful of players that would bring both a name recognition and talent in return. Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin and maybe Datsuyk, but none of those guys are going anywhere. You need a new GM (sorry Don, it’s time) a new coach and then see what happens. This can be a hockey town. Certainly it starts with ownership, which is non-existent.


June 12th, 2009
4:03 pm

Unless Ilya says he wants OUT, if the Thrashers deal him I’m done with being a Thrashers fan. Call me more of a casual fan, I attend 6-8 home games per year and watch games starting in January on TV locally. I have Thrashers merchandise, I’ve supported the team by purchasing t-shirts, caps and a jersey.

I will NOT support this franchise if they deal their best player, my favorite player on the team.

That will be like the Braves trading Chipper Jones after the ‘99 season, when he won the MVP, carried the team to the WS and single handedly beat the worms that are the NY Mets.

Ilya Kovalchuck is the face of the franchise. Why trade him? Why not just man up, and sell the team to ownership that will

1. spend money
2. prioritarize hockey
3. actually give a frak about the fans


June 12th, 2009
4:07 pm

Everyone knows Kovalchuk could leave. But the time to trade him is at the trade deadline, of 2010, and that’s only as a last resort. Kovalchuk is not Marian Hossa. Hossa wasn’t drafted here and never agreed to sign here. Hossa re-signed with Ottawa. And it ‘may’ be true that Hossa’s intention, all along, was to play in Detroit first chance he got. I don’t know Marian Hossa to know that. But the speculation isn’t entirely baseless, either.

Kovalchuk, I suspect, likes it here*. The asterisk refers to his lifestyle. There’s probably something really neat about being an elite player in the NHL who also enjoys a measure of privacy. Ask a famous person if there was price tag that came with that, and they’ll likely say, “Yes,” citing their privacy and personal freedoms, etc.

Kovy’s next deal … won’t leave him hurting, financially. Ever. Does he really need “endorsement” deals? Shrugs. Well, he’s even got AirTran and others, probably, too. All that Kovalchuk truly needs, honestly, is to play for a team with committed ownership, towards winning Stanley Cups.

That’s the only ‘uncertain’ thing about the Atlanta hockey market. If pressed for an answer, I’d say it’s ‘certain’ that Atlanta’s hockey market hasn’t even started yet. We’ll measure how well Atlanta fans react to hockey in this town (1) when the team is good, (2) when the team is consistently in the playoffs, and (3) by the attendance for those playoff games.

Think about it. Have the Thrashers EVER had good ownership? No. Not unless you want to count the beginning of the 2005-06 season’s maxed cap budget. Or it’s eventual cap limit budget of 2006-07. The rest of the time, it was either Time-Warner or the Spirit, LLC. And well, all parties concerned left Don Waddell in charge. And your dog knows what the results were. It’s a symptom of bad ownership. Or ‘non-committed’ ownership.

But I won’t call Atlanta’s hockey market ‘uncertain.’ The only two playoff games ever played at Philips Arena were sellouts. And by not Ranger fans. I counted six (6) jerseys for the opposition at Blueland. And there were not even one (1) chant of “Let’s Go Rangers!” that could be heard in the house. It was packed the rafters with Thrasher fans.

I’ll readily call Atlanta’s hockey fans “bad” if the team is intelligently constructed, with committed ownership, and has a roster that’s competitive with any elite team … while fans sit on their wallets. That’s the moment when we declare Atlanta to be a “bad hockey market.” Not before then. Not before. The Braves couldn’t sell out NLCS games, much less NLDS ones, unless or until the fans of the other team bought up the remaining tickets.

Hockey fans, in Atlanta, aren’t like that. Give them the REASON TO BE THERE … and they will come. What you’re seeing now … is the only form of protest left for the Atlanta hockey fan. Mark Bradley, ask a Thrasher fan to explain why Waddell’s still here. They’ll give you FINANCIAL REASONS, not sports ones. And they’ll give you a tree’s leaves worth of excuses. (Excuses are like leaves on a tree. Every tree’s got them. Some trees more than others. But I digress.)

Kovalchuk should NOT be traded. UNLESS he, flatout, tells the team, “I won’t re-sign. Don’t bother trying to appease me. I’m committed to playing in another market in 2010.” If that’s the case, then the argument becomes, “Will Atlanta get more than a 1st and 3rd round pick this year, plus a 2nd rounder next year, as well as some prospect or conditional 1st round pick NOW as opposed to the Feb/March trade deadline in 2010. (That’s about the going rate for a premier player at the trade deadline, give or take a little.)

If the answer is, “Yes, you can get more now than by waiting until 2010, … ANNNNNNND … Kovalchuk says ‘there’s nothing you can do, I’m leaving,’ then yes, you trade him now. I don’t know what the truth is. If it’s true that Kovalchuk CAN BE APPEASED, by making the right moves, then that’s what they should try to do. If the organization is UNWILLING to try to make concessions to retain Kovalchuk, it’s ALMOST same deal as if Kovy won’t re-sign. Once again, it comes down to “what can we get for him now, as opposed to later.” But BEAR IN MIND, the Spirit is about the money. So, if the return isn’t “wow-worthy,” they’ll hang on to Kovalchuk just to sell as many tickets as they can. And that’s means … Kovy gets traded at the trade deadline.

Any time Kovy gets traded, it’ll be sad. The lone exception, if Kovy’s trade turns into a “rental situation.” In other words, hallucinating now, if Kovy was dealt to a contender at the deadline, for 3 picks and a prospect, then re-signed with Atlanta on July 1st, I think that would make Thrashers fans happy. How likely is that??

Final thought: The “Teflon Don,” a moniker I gave him in 2005, that has amazingly stuck, will lose some of his ‘non-stick’ abilities if he’s the GM who trades Kovalchuk. I really don’t think Waddell wants his legacy, such as it is, to be further compounded by his being known as the GM who sent Kovy packing. That’s a tough sell for Thrasher fans.


June 12th, 2009
4:08 pm

I think they need to trade Waddell. If they Thrashers win the fans will show up. Get some support for your stars and watch the seats fill up. If the Spirit group doesn’t want the Thrasher then sell them to a hockey owner and show those idiots that hockey can thrive down south.


June 12th, 2009
4:19 pm

Agree with J-man and others. What’s the point of trading him unless he demands it, or you don’t plan on doing anything to make him believe anything’s changed. I trully believe Kovy wants it to work out here. Let’s see how the offseason goes. If it goes anything like the past, then the article should not be about trading Kovy, it should be about this ownership giving up the business of running a hockey team in Atlanta.

One main ingredient for success for any Atlanta sports team is star power. If you trade your only current hockey star because you’re too cheap to field a competitive team for him, then sell the team. And selling it with him still a part of it would probably help.

I really can’t stand our ownership.

World be Free

June 12th, 2009
4:31 pm

Kovy is the heart and soul of this team.

Are we commited to having a team in Atlanta? If so, Kovy is the man and there is nothing available to replace him unless his name is Ovechkin.

Mark Bradley

June 12th, 2009
4:39 pm

Thanks, Ted.

And Kovalchuk is indeed the heart and soul of the team. But what if he leaves this team? And what if the Thrashers have nothing to show for his leaving? Would that be in the best interests of the franchise?

If they think they can keep him, then they shouldn’t trade him. (Duh.) But I’d be surprised if he stays. At some point a guy wants to win, does he not?


June 12th, 2009
4:47 pm

You know Mr.Bradley as a regular blogger, this type artical is NOT what we need right now.

What you and others need to do is go after and try to rid the
BIGGEST failure this team has, STUPID don waddell, The Worst GM in professional sports ever.

OR…. These little WIMP owners who have SCREWED everything up because
as they say, There’s too many Chiefs and not enough Indians…

They stink and are ruining the team. Go after the REAL two problems, not saying trade #17, and I also agree…. Leave the REAL hockey stuff to Mr.Rawhide, he does it better than ANY ajc writer could ever come close to !


June 12th, 2009
5:19 pm

Trade Don Waddell to Detroit for there assistant general manager not Kovy he is the one player who you pay to see play.

[...] Other installments: Should the Braves trade Jeff Francoeur? And also: Should the Thrashers trade Ilya Kovalchuk? [...]


June 12th, 2009
5:47 pm

if u believe kovy is only after the money, then there’s no reason why he wouldnt want to re-sign. the team has as much cap space as any other team out there that might be interested in signing him. so there’s really only 2 reasons to trade him:

1. he doesnt want to play in atl anymore
2. the team doesnt want to pay him

if 2, why wouldnt u trade him? whats the point of keeping him around knowing he’ll walk away at the end of the season for nothing even if he’s the only reason fans are coming to games? at least they’ll get something in return that can hopefully help the team.

but if 1, the question then is why not? if its for non-hockey reasons (he doesnt like the city, he wants to be closer to his family), nothing u can do about that. trade him. if its because he wants a chance to win the cup, then ownership has to step up, commit to winning and give him some decent players to play with. if they’re not willing to do that, sell the team to someone who does want to win. the team doesnt stand a chance of survival in atl if its gonna be a consistent loser.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 12th, 2009
5:48 pm

I wouldn’t blame Kovalchuk if he left. I’m sure he wants his name on the cup like everybody else. If he does leave though they might as well just go ahead and move the team cause it’s done.

Hockey Biltong

June 12th, 2009
6:20 pm

You are muckraking, sir…..


June 12th, 2009
6:31 pm

Brendan — On behalf of all Thrashers fans, let me say “thank you!!!”.


June 12th, 2009
6:57 pm

Mark Bradley
“And Kovalchuk is indeed the heart and soul of the team. But what if he leaves this team? And what if the Thrashers have nothing to show for his leaving? Would that be in the best interests of the franchise?”

And when, pray tell, has this organization thought about the best interests of the franchise? Trade the only player that keeps me coming back and I’m outta here for good.

The Truth

June 12th, 2009
7:23 pm

They won’t trade Kovalchuk. They traded Hossa because he was causing trouble on the team, and didn’t like the coach. Kovalchuk is an actual leader, and they need him to keep the Thrashers together.


June 12th, 2009
7:24 pm

Our esteemed regular blogger Brendan has explained the Kovalchuk situation as thoroughly and intricately as possible. To summarize: Kovalchuk IS the Atlanta Thrashers and it is solely up to him if he is going to stay or not. Kovy holds all the cards and Donnie W knows it.

Even the ASG isn’t stupid enough to low-ball Kovalchuk (assuming of course that they plan to be the owners of this going-concern for any length of time). However, if they are simply “holding on for dear life” until their 8 year “promissory note” — the owners signed a covenant with the NHL that does not allow them to even consider selling / relocation of the franchise — runs out in four years, then all bets are off.

But the Thrashers are so intrinsically tied to the arena by virtue of the Philips naming rights deal that selling the Thrashers would be damned near impossible. Having said that it becomes quite clear that the ASG would ruin themselves financially (in my opinion) if they fail to offer Kovy fair market value or attempt to trade their most valuable asset prematurely (in other words before the 2010 trade deadline).

The fans may not even tolerate a deadline trade because there is so much passion tied to the “face of the franchise”. But based on every quote I’ve read — Russian media included — from the man himself so far, there is no indication from Ilya that he has nothing less than every full intention of staying in Atlanta long-term.

At the very worst I think we’ll see a “temporary stay of execution” in the form of a 2 year deal worth $8.5 – 9.25 M per season so Ilya can further evaluate the direction and progress of the team before committing for the long haul. In this scenario, Ilya would still be 29 y/o in 2012 at the end of a 2 yr contract with plenty of suitors begging him to leave Atlanta.

pond scum

June 12th, 2009
7:32 pm

Mr. Bradley and all other fellow fans,

Do any of you happen to remember the 2nd half of this past season? Any at all? We actually had a team GOOD ENOUGH TO CHEER FOR!! I’m VERY excited from what I seen in those last 3 months of the season……. am I alone?

The Thrashers competed and beat on a regular basis good teams,beat the teams they in some folks opinion “should” beat. We all know that NHL games are much tougher to win in those last 2-3 months of the season due to teams trying to make the postseason. It showed that DW ACTUALLY made a good choice for the coaching position IMHO. Reasoner was just quoted in the paper when he resigned that he “BELIEVED” it would be FUN to be a part of a team that goes from a doormat to a winner. That is also proof of good coaching,it’s obvious Anderson has won him over to feel that he should stay 2 or more seasons with this team,that it’s going in the right direction.He could’ve very easily waited a couple more weeks and got offers then bolt,but he didn’t and it wasn’t just over mere money.

No, I’m certainly NOT DW’s biggest fan….. but we did see some real progress. Instead of going for the “name” coach,he went and got Anderson. That looks like a real good choice,as he implemented his style and system with HIS CHOICES of assistant coaches except Weeks. Think about this, Anderson himself was a “rookie” NHL head coach,and even though this team stumbled out of the gates and by midseason was ready to pull it’s own hair out at times……. the coach actually instilled some pride,dedication,passion and want in a team that by it’s record and previous showings,could’ve easily tanked the rest of the season and not gave a care of winning some “FOR THE FANS”. I know,i know,some of you say “well, that’s what they are paid to do.” But c’mon folks,this is PRO sports we are talking about here.

This teams achilles heal has always been it’s lack of defense. While MANY fellow fans wanted to send Coburn packing for a PP QB in Zhitnik from Philly to help get the team into the postseason FINALLY,they now wished they hadn’t wanted it so badly. Lightning is trying it’s best to strike twice in the same place with the pick last summer of Zach Bogosian,and IMHO feel he’ll be a better all around player anyways. Just think if he hadn’t missed the majority of the season with that broken leg? Man, I’m EXCITED to see #4 suit up for next season right now and hope we get a healthy season for him to really show what he’s capable of. Speaking of defenseman with some upside,what about Boris Valabik? Some fellow fans are ready to toss him aside very easily just like Coburn. But if this ENTIRE franchise,including the fans don’t learn from past mistakes….. we MIGHT miss out on a possible Chara reincarnation. It did take a COUPLE seasons for him to start showing what he could do,primarily due to his lanky frame and skating ability. He was drafted in the 1st round(Valabik),why not give him a “real” chance? Then Toby Enstrom finally got out of Havelids shadow,paired with Bogo, and showed alot of promise as well. Hopefully he is healed up, and from sitting around doing so,fattens him up so he can take the punishment it takes to go into the corners and win. Almost forgot about Anssi Salmela,who as his icetime grew also showed good upside promise. Excelby too played much better this season compared to the previous one and then Hainsey our big freeagent signing last summer put up some good numbers except that +/- rating,which could be helped by the NEXT D-man signing in just a few more weeks.

I don’t think anyone could be upset at the offensive output this team had for the season either. Bryan Little bustin out with 30+ goals or Todd White having a solid season (hmmm,wonders what gettin out of a trap/defensive minded system in Minnesota can do for a player), a rejuvenated and healed up Kozlov, a waiver wire pickup buried on the depth charts center in Rich Peverley, the “real” return player for the Hossa deal Armstrong having also a good season and showing promise of “yet to come”,the “players player” award winner Marty Reasoner having a solid season as well (and FINALLY a new deal in place), the display of some of our other forward youngsters in Stuart,Crabb,Machachek(my spelling sucks sometimes,sorry!),Bolts throwin down and doing his job respectably,and a Jim Slater finding his “real” role,as well as a decent all around game of Chris Thorburn making our 4th line one of the best in the entire NHL. Still some work to do with these forwards,and hopefully putting in another forward some where in the top 6 to enhance the scoring prowess of our team.

Then, you have a still very young,maturing Kovy being named the captain and truly leading by example midway thru the season. He also, a rookie at wearing the “c”, took the role very well and showed us some passion we haven’t seen from him in awhile. As was pointed out above,he had his best “all-around” season to date. He is after all NOW ,the voice of this team. He was man enough to say what was on his mind, let’s keep adding pieces to the puzzle and plug away at this and build it as a winner. Not a “flash in the pan” hope of fools gold, but a team ready to take steps forward to win alot more than it has in the past.

Hossa and Kovy ARE 2 VERY DIFFERENT people. A VERY good point being that Kovy was drafted by us and has sipped alittle postseason with ONLY this team. That does bold well for the team. He’s asking for help,instead of like Hossa….. being quiet about it and just waiting for his flight out of here. Hossa wants his cake and eat it to,which he may get later tonight. But Kovy IMHO,isn’t no where even close to that same kind of mentality towards this franchise……. yet. He is the face of this franchise,the captian,the leader. Hossa NEVER was. He’ll be reupped (Kovy) and we’ll move on. Kovy has FAR more REASONS to actually stay,but they can be cemented alot more by getting more help that we all agree he needs. Isn’t that what a member of a team should want or feel? To have the “best” chance to win?

Instead of beating ourselves up,throwing pity parties and needing some mental therapy over whether or not he stays…. how about putting your focus on the up coming entry draft and free agency,the places where u can get help for Kovy,this team,us fans. Bradley,you have NO business writing about sports what so ever,as you have NO clue to it’s concepts.

Your merely the “Jim Jones” kool-aid maker who stirs the “bad,sad” half empty glass of negative,downtroding,depressing kool-aid that too many of my fellow fans are drinking. There is MUCH to be excited about with the Thrashers and I’m very proud to say I’m one who feels this very way!

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 12th, 2009
7:46 pm

You guys write too much. I need to print your “War and Peace” pieces and read them in the can.


June 12th, 2009
8:23 pm

No, Kovy can’t leave the Thrahers. Not now, since they made him the team Captain. That was a brilliant move by the big brass. So clever, in fact, that it probably came directly from the ASG.


June 12th, 2009
8:38 pm

This negotiation should be simple. Sit down with Kovy and his agent and let them know what amount ownership is willing to spend on total team payroll. Then let Kovy choose what percent he would like. If he really wants to be on a competitive team he will pick a reasonable percentage recognizing that a competitive team requires a balanced payroll. Call it the Tom Brady approach.

Mark Bradley

June 12th, 2009
8:54 pm

Wonder if Leo Tolstoy had a blog, Ogie.

And StateBird might be on to something.

Nil-nil in Detroit after the first period, FYI.

An Old Flame

June 12th, 2009
9:02 pm

I thought Ilya Kovalchuk was a character on The Man From UNCLE?

I watched it as a kid. It was more fun than ice hockey.

Mark Bradley

June 12th, 2009
9:26 pm

I loved “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” — United Network Command for Law Enforcement, as I recall. And now I’m older than Mr. Waverly.

Two-nil to Pittsburgh, and I’m excited. I haven’t cared for the Wings since Alex Delvecchio and Frank Mahovlich split up.


June 12th, 2009
10:15 pm

Pond Scum, do YOU remember what 76 points ???

We cannot go into next season with the same players we had LAST season it will be MORE of the same !

If want the same type season next year ? No Me !

Since professional sports came to Atlanta in 1966 we have had ONE Championship, ONE, Braves could havehad a couple more, Falcons made it to Superbowl once, butour indoor teams are at or near the bottom of the league on a consistant basis.

The people who have owned teams here have never shown, I’m speaking Hockey & basketball, a willingness to put the type team needed to produce a championship.

Wehave had worthless GM after worthless GM and don waddell sits at the top of the list. Until the Thrashers get ONE COMMITED OWNER they will NEVER win under these crybaby owners who are off sucking their thumbs and a GM who cannot zip up his pants !

pond scum

June 12th, 2009
11:03 pm

I hope that kharma tastes well Hossa,you got what you deserved in the end LMFAO!!!

Lac- it’s gotta START somewhere…… nobody starts at the top of the mountain.

Your right,76 points isn’t nothing to write home about. I also said that some pieces needed to be added here and there. Last seasons second half team is no threat to win it all. But when was the last time you felt any kind of real “progress” was made and it was sustained for more than just 5-6 games with this team? C’mon man,try to look at the positives some also instead of always doom and gloom.

B. Thenet

June 12th, 2009
11:23 pm

It is too depressing to talk about the Thrashers the night another team wins the Stanley Cup.


June 12th, 2009
11:46 pm

Bill, you’re welcome. Hope you enjoyed Game Seven tonight. Congratulations to the Penguins. Mark Bradley, the Pittsburgh Penguins just a few years ago were in bankruptcy, and there was a very real chance the team could have moved. Look where they are now? They drafted 1st overall, then 2nd overall, then 1st overall, then 2nd overall. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Pittsburgh fired coaches and “ate” contracts, including former Coach Michel Therrien’s, this year. Guess what else they did, Mark Bradley? They fired their GM during that building process, bringing in Ray Shero.

Tonight, Pittsburgh went into Hockeytown and won the Cup. Even more impressively, they won four of the last five (4/5) games in the series to do it. When the Red Wings won Game 5, 5-0, I think, it looked “over.” But remember the rule, either (1) you win, or (2) you don’t. Up 2-0, you have to keep winning. Or you lose. It’s going to be a frustrating offseason for Detroit. But really, they had a fantastic year.


June 12th, 2009
11:50 pm

It’s simple. Resign Kovy or sell the team. No one is going to consider the Thrashers to be serious about competing if they lose Kovy.


June 13th, 2009
12:48 am

Hossa…Karma is a biatch! Prove that you can’t “sell your soul to so called top tier teams” to chase some elusive dream, you go from ATL, to PIT to DET and nothing.


June 13th, 2009
2:27 am

They trade Kovalchuk there will be no reason to watch this team. They should just move the team to another city if they are going to trade Kovy. God I hate the Atlanta Spirit.


June 13th, 2009
6:28 am

Well don waddell should be now the pens won lord stanley last night and hossa watch as another team wins his stupid fault he was offerd what pens said but he went to detroit to watch pittsburgh win…..ha ha as for Don(i gave half team to pittsburgh) waddell. He should get a ring n a thank u note from the pittsburgh owner thankin him for bein a loser n givin pittsburgh there stanley cup 2009 chanps


June 13th, 2009
8:45 am

If Waddell determines that Kovy will choose to go elsewhere, then absolutely we should trade him. However, the first option has to be trying to re-sign him….the sooner the better.


June 13th, 2009
8:45 am

Can we put Waddell up on the trading block instead? Why the hell this franchise has kept that idiot all this time I will never know. But I do know that the Thrashers would be in a much better place without him.

Ogie Oglethorpe

June 13th, 2009
8:58 am

AGT sez it well-just resign the guy and let’s move forward. I have no interest in talking about how bad this team has been in the past.

The 2nd half of last season was great. The team played hard for a LEADER (Kovy). They beat playoff teams and teams that were trying to make playoffs.

Ya’ll can sit around and talk about Heatly, Mary Ann Hossa and the past as much as you want. The future is here and now, players WANT to play her (Marty and others). Now let’s use our advantage (cap space) and go get the players, so we can stop sitting around watching other teams go deep into the post season. Our seasons have been too short.

And please do not mention Jeff Francoeur in the same article as Kovy. One is a leader, the other a loser.

Get The Puck Out

June 13th, 2009
9:05 am



June 13th, 2009
9:44 am

ya well if they named him team captian then hes probably gonna stay and i mean like COME ON y would u trade ur captian and who would be the new one??? i mean no one else is good on our team.


June 13th, 2009
9:59 am

Bradley, I’ve been reading yesterday’s posts. What strikes me is that after Brendan posted his business case exactly laying out the existing situation and what may lay ahead at 4:07 PM, about 30 minutes later you posted your rhetorical questions yet again – completely ignoring what Brendan pondered on Lord knows for how long just to write it here. Perhaps, as in that joke, you’re just a writer, not a reader. But I suggest – just to favorably contrast yourself against ASG suits – for you to show some respect toward some very knowledgeable hockey followers. The description you’ve yet to earn, you know.


June 13th, 2009
10:08 am

The Spirit Group proved they knew nothing about hockey when they let Savard go. Why would Kovy want to remain here? He will never have a good team around him. I like the Thrashers, and want Kovy to stay, but I just do not see it happening. Kovy knows he deserves better!


June 13th, 2009
10:08 am

I print these long winded, same ole same ole blogs, by the same ole same ole people, take them to my “throne” and wipe my rear end with them.


June 13th, 2009
10:10 am

Heather, no one else wants the job because the ASG is the worse owners ever, in all of sports, badmiton included.

Mark Bradley

June 13th, 2009
10:33 am

Let’s say Kovalchuk doesn’t sign a new contract this summer. How much conversation next season regarding the Thrash will hinge on will-he-or-won’t-he? Sixty percent? Seventy-five percent?

As much as the Thrashers might say, “It won’t become a distraction” … how could it not? Was Teixeira a distraction to the Braves last summer? Absolutely, and he’d been here only a few months. Kovalchuk is the face of the franchise, a lifer.

I say again: If it’s going to happen — him leaving, I mean, and I contend it is — make it happen now. (And I know Waddell is trying to find another first-rank forward to pair with Kovalchuk, but I also recall that a similar hunt in 2007 yielded Todd White.)


June 13th, 2009
10:42 am

What’s needed in this town is new ownership of the Thrashers and Hawks. These guys are pathetic and a complete embarrassment with their legal disputes, their infighting, their miser-like approach to business… I mean, I understand it’s a business and you have to keep costs down, but owners of sports franchises are also suppose to maintain the public trust. The Spirit couldn’t care less about building two top-notch franchises… they just want to turn a decent profit. Sad…


June 13th, 2009
11:15 am


Right on with your post about the ASG.


Only if Arthur Blank liked the NHL and Hockey…we’d set!:)


June 13th, 2009
11:31 am

Why don’t we trade Mark Bradley for a columnist to be named later who actually has a grip on reality. It’s columns like this that give the hockey folks in the “traditional markets” ammo in which to “justify” their dislike of teams in “nontraditional markets”. These sort of columns hurt more than they help.

B. Thenet

June 13th, 2009
11:32 am

Mark, you are right.

No matter what DW says, if Ilya does not re-sign this summer his status will be the first thing anyone talks about when discussing the Thrashers. He will be in the middle of a trade rumor frenzy that will dwarf anything we saw during the Hossa saga. To imply it will not be a distraction for the teams captain to be in the middle of trade rumors all season long is insanity, and it is hard to believe that any serious hockey executive can convince themselves that is the case.

The only problem is that if we do want to trade him, we have Don Waddell and his “brain trust” calling the shots. Let’s hope we don’t target any more useless bums like Erik Christensen IF these guys try to trade Ilya.

It is lose lose for Thrashers fans. We trade Ilya, we lose him. We trade Ilya, and we have to live with whatever scraps Don Waddell can get for him.

My hope is that due to the financial crisis, Ilya will settle for a 2-3 year deal and then look for a long term deal once the cap goes back up so he can get an even larger payday.