Monday, July 6, 2009
Something has got to give. Too many goalies. Not enough nets to put them in. I will put it in a way that might be even EASIER to understand. My fellow "Word On The Bird" contributor Meek put it like this: "well you don't go out and buy more beer unless you plan on drinking the beer you have already". I know I can understand the thought process on that one.
So who is getting traded? Kari? Moose? Pavelec? If it was up to me it would be Moose. He has already reached his potential and he could be a solid back up for another NHL team. We already have the top 6 forward and top 4 defensive player everyone has been wanting. If it was me I'd trade Moose for a PK specialist. It is another one of the much needed missing pieces to the Thrashers "my first playoff win puzzle" that we've been trying to put together for 10 years now.
Something is about to happen...hide and watch...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
The other day my friend and co-Bird is the Word blogger and I were discussing the recent playoff action. See I’m from
Let’s get the obvious out of the way.
Henrik Zetterberg 1999: 7th Rnd, 210th by DET
Pavel Datsyuk 1998: 6th Rnd, 171st by DET
Johan Franzen 2004: 3rd Rnd, 97th by DET
Thomas Holmstrom 1994:10th Rnd, 257th by DET
Jonathan Ericsson 2002: 9th Rnd, 291st by DET
Nicklas Lidstrom 1989: 3rd Rnd, 53rd by DET
The Wings ability to find these players late has allowed them to stay competitive over the years. They keep their younger players in the AHL and wait until they are ready instead of forcing them into the lineup and making them take on a role they can’t handle. A lot of guys wouldn’t be patient and might try to play somewhere else (Pavelec anyone?), but the fact that they are successful gives them the benefit of having guys want to play for them, thus they are willing to wait until they get their chance. I’ve included an article that speaks about the things I’ve mentioned here.
The next part of my article brings me to the Thrashers. Let's take a look at some of the Thrashers draft picks and their status with the team. I've included a list of the teams complete draft history as well.http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr001790.html
- 1999: Patrik Stefan (first overall) Gone
- 2000: Dany Heatley (second overall) Gone
- 2001: Ilya Kovalchuk (first overall)
- 2002: Kari Lehtonen (second overall) & Jim Slater (30th overall)
- 2003: Braydon Coburn (eighth overall) Gone
- 2004: Boris Valabik (tenth overall)
- 2005: Alex Bourret (sixteenth overall) Gone
- 2006: Bryan Little (twelveth overall)
- 2007: none
- 2008: Zach Bogosian (third overall) & Daultan Leveille (twenty-ninth overall)
Name Selection# Round# Year
Exelby 217 8 1999
Heatley 2 1 2000
Kovalchuk 1 1 2001
Lehtonen 2 1 2002
Enstrom 239 8 2003
Coburn 8 1 2003
Little 12 1 2006
Now the disturbing trend that I see here is that out of 82 picks in our history I only feel like there have been 7 that had any real impact or help to the team. Let me say that again. 7 out of 82. I'm sure some of you will argue that there are other guys worthy of mention but I ask who? The large majority of our picks have long left our team or our system.
Another thing that bothers me is when looking at the players I've listed you'll notice that all but 2 were in the first round and our first selection. Personally I think that if you pick a guy with your first pick of the first round he should have talent. I know some might turn out to be a bust but you should have a higher percentage of success than failure in that round. Only 2 of these players were late round selections or "gems" if you will. Enstrom certainly falls in this category as it looks like he was a steal in the draft. I gave Exelby a mention since he's been with the team since we drafted him and overall has been an ok player but, I wouldn't look at him as a steal.
Now compare this to Detroits history of drafting and notice their ability to find special players late in the draft and our inability to do the same. Are they consistently lucky in this category? I actually think it speaks volumes about our scouts and or managements drafting decisions. Perhaps it comes down to the development of our players. I know there are some guys in Chicago that have been there for a while and I applaud Atlanta for not rushing them into action but, is it because they aren't ready for the NHL or that they just aren't NHL caliber players? I get the impression by looking at the ages of some of the guys in Chicago that they might not ever turn out to be consistent NHL players. Maybe it's not a lack of development but a lack of skill keeping them from cracking the lineup. Once again this comes back to our scouting and draft selection.
I talked before about how Detroits AHL team runs the same system as their NHL team. Why don't we do the same? Even Bryan Little talked this year about how having Anderson come in really boosted his confidence due to him knowing what was expected of him out on the ice. It's a huge advantage for younger players making the transition and I feel a big problem with our orginization. Unfortunately Chicago isn't directly controlled by the Thrashers. All in all I feel like we might be on the right track. Bryan Little has gotten his game going and has a chance to emerge as a very solid player. We've seen flashes of good play from the likes of Stuart, Pavelec and Oystrik. We brought in Anderson and he's running the system that many of our prospects are familiar with. One would think that could only help our younger players as they move into the roster. My only hope is that whoever we draft this year is given the chance to refine his game and build confidence before we shove him into the spotlight. Here's a quote that I think really typifies a lot of teams in the NHL including ours.
"We want to give guys a chance to grow and have a chance for success," McCrimmon said. "There's a whole bunch of teams where there's a lot of pressure to put in their draft picks, for marketing reasons, or because you don't have the depth that you can say you don't need that kid right now. All of a sudden, he's on the second line."
Let's not make the same mistakes. Give our kids a chance and build the team from within. Lord knows I can't stand another 9 years of this.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
For those still not that familiar with him here is a short video with some awesome cheesy music:
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
See the rationale that I've read, even from Waddell himself, is that the Thrashers have depth at goalie and its a way we could trade for the talent we need to show Kovalchuk the Thrashers are going to do what it takes to be a serious contender. Now while I agree with getting more talent on the team not only for that reason but for just plain ''getting talent'' purposes go, I argue that trading away any of these goalies might hurt us in the long run.
The last thing I want to see the team doing right now is mortgaging the future for today. I hope we learned our lesson with the whole "Coburn fiasco of 2006". I would really hate to see us trade away our goalies for a minimal return that only leaves us up the creek when one or two of them gets hurt and we need a back up. Its happened before, had we more depth in goal in the 2005-2006 season we might have made the playoffs.
Also, and I give credit to the Atlanta Thrashers message board poster "Zim" credit for this: a number of elite goaltenders have struggled in the NHL at Pavelec's age and gone on to great success (examples include Broduer, Belfour, Hasek, & Nabakov). Do we want to see Pavelec move onto another team only to see him gathering 30 wins only a couple of years from now?
Another point would be that we need to stop rushing our prospects into the league and let them come up when the time is right and not always when we need them due to not enough depth. I know that Pavelec, or his agent, supposedly threw a fit earlier in the year about being sent back to Chicago but that is what happens to prospects. You get sent down until you are ready for the big show. He is going to have to get used to that. It would probably have happened on any other NHL team as well.
To me, and I've read something where Waddell said the same, the team would have to get another goalie who is NHL ready if they were to trade away any of the 3 goalies. You just have to have the back up plan in place should the worst case scenario occur.
If it was my decision, and I'm sure "THE WAD" will call asking for advice, I would keep all 3. Pavelec still has much potential and so does Kari. Moose is the guy everyone likes to have in the locker room and seems to serve as a good mentor to the younger players, which we have many of right now. I do not think the return we would get from trading any of them would justify the trade. Don't forget that Lethonen is still young. There is obviously the health issues but I say sign him for 1 or 2 more years and give him one last shot. If he is able to improve his focus and be the kind of goalie that we have seen glimpses of he could be our guy for a long time to come. He's just gotta stay off the IR for long enough to prove it. While I know that Atlanta has not been a major destination for free agents lately I really hope that Waddell is able to lure a couple solid players to the team. Hopefully, that will mean we don't need to give up any of them at all. Last but not least, don't forget this is the final year of Hedberg's contract and I do not expect for him to be resigned. One more year in the AHL could be just what the doctor ordered for Pavelec.
Unfortunately I view this as a "damned if you do, damned if you don't'' situation. If we do decide to trade Pavelec or Lethonen and down the road they end up playing great for another team then we'll be kicking ourselves. But how much longer can Atlanta fans sit around waiting for success?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Just read this on the blueland blog:
Apparently Enstrom lost some teeth as a result of his collision with the boards and has a facial fracture below his orbital bone which is being surgically repaired today. He is expected to make a full recovery. All of this is from Kevin Allen at USAToday.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Most people know by now that he is the little brother of the young Maple Leafs stand out Luke Schenn. He plays an aggressive style game much like his brother. I have heard people compare him to being like Thornton and Cheechoo. He describes himself as a 2 way forward and he was named WHL rookie of the year in the 07-8 season. Schenn also led his team in points this year, was 7th in the WHL, with 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists).
I think he would be great on our team and add some much needed toughness in our top 6. I could see him playing on any line from our top line all the way to the 4th. Personally, I would love to have a kid like this on the Thrashers. He can put the biscuit in the basket and on top of that he hits like a freight train. If you don't believe me watch the videos below.
Showing more of his scoring and passing ability
First up is Matt Duchene.
This kid has great hands and possesses one of the best shots in the OHL, with a very quick release. He's labeled as a pure sniper. One of the best skaters in the 2009 draft he has the ability to accelerate and change gears instantly ala Kovalchuk and Ovechkin. Speed like that can back off defenders and create a lot of problems. Can you imagine Kovy and Duchene racing down the ice together? Although rumored to be a decent passer he has the ability to be a game breaker with his offensive talent. Offense aside he's said to be a solid 2 way defender. Something Atlanta poorly needs. At 5'11" and 198 and only 18 this kid could still get above 6' and around 210 easy. That's some pretty decent size to go along with that speed. His downside seems to be that he needs to learn to use his size to shield the puck a little better, especially along the walls. That's something that can be worked on and corrected over time. Personally I would love to see this kid Centering a line with Kovy and say Little on the wing.
Next up is Jared Cowen
Here's what I like about this kid. SIZE, SIZE and SIZE. At 6'5" and 218 pounds this kid is a beast and he's only 18. He's a very fluid skater and has an impressive wingspan that he uses to immobilize forwards. Aside from his stature his strong suit is his positioning and discipline. When a defenseman has good positioning they usually don't take a lot of penalties and it shows by his 45 PIM this year. Cowen likes to jump up into the play so he would fit nicely into our system. He isn't going to bring the same kind of offensive production that bogosian does but he's a big kid who plays very physical in front of the net. Often used to shut down the oppositions strongest player he could eat up a lot of ice time as well. This year he placed 3rd in hardest shot at the skills competition. That could bode well for playing the point on our PP. The down side is he's coming off of a knee injury and that could scare some scouts. Prior to the injury he had never missed a game due to being hurt and was often talked about as the number 3 pick in the draft. A good video can be seen here. www.whl.ca/whl-player-profile---jared-cowen-p126885/t-webTV
Last but not least. Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi
Magnus is an extremely fast and fluid skater. He's 6'1" and 200 pounds. He likes to use his size to attack the net and back up forwards. He has great hands and his offensive upside has been compared to Markus Naslund and Matts Sundin. Magnus has managed to work his way into a potential top 5 pick this year. Good on the breakaway and a tremendous playmaker he could be a great set up guy for Kovy. Downfalls are that he apparently shy's away from physical play and his defensive game needs some work. I'm not sure if we need another guy who can score but can't play in his own zone.
This season he was the 4th leading scorer in the WHL league with 96 points (48 goals, 48 assists). He is currently ranked 6th by the International Scouting Service and is expected to go anywhere between 3rd and 7th in the draft. Like the nearly undisputed first choice of the draft, Tavares, Kane has a great shot and great puck handling skills. But he is also a solid two way player and plays with an edge that the Thrashers sorely need. He will score, he will pass, he will hit, and he will fight. What more can you ask for? Evander has been compared to Iginla and that's not bad company. He likes to go into the corners and battle for possession and knows its his job to score. Not only does he know its his job but he wants the puck when the game is on the line. You gotta like that.
On top of all this it should be mentioned that he is African-Canadian (yeah funny word for us Americans to hear). Yeah, that's right, he's black. It's pretty obvious that could be a big deal considering the sizeable black population here in Atlanta is a giant untapped market by the Thrashers and hockey in general. He has even already interviewed with the Thrashers. Want to hear what he had to say about being a draw for the black community here?
“I did speak with Atlanta. And I suppose going to the United States, of course there are a lot of African Americans. But I would be happy to play anywhere in the NHL. If it were Atlanta, well yes, you’re correct on that note and I guess that’s all part of the job and I would be very happy doing it.”
With all the positives that I've written about him here you might wonder what his downside is? It seems to be size. Some sources have him listed as small as 5 foot 11 and 160 lbs. Others, which I assume are more up to date, have him listed as 6' 1'' and 185. Either way, he would have to put on some size to be able to continue to play the same game he has in the WHL. If we end up with him I hope he is ready to play next year because the Thrashers could use more grit in their top 6. On top of all this he is named after fellow Atlantan, Evander Hollyfield, which is hilarious.
Here is a highlight video of Evander Kane:
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
There is a rumor floating around that the Thrashers young goalie prospect is going to have surgery in the off season. Supposedly he was not diagnosed properly months ago and it is going to require surgery to repair his knee. With that being said, he must have been playing hurt for a while. This could explain his poor play nearing the end of the season. Looks like we are going to have to put a hold on our having 3 goalies situation a little bit longer...
Friday, April 10, 2009
1. Kovalchuk - so far he has proved to be exactly what this team needed this year (and hopefully for years to come) as far as a captain goes. I know it is still up in the air what he does when his contract comes up for renewal this year but I'm holding my breath that he will re-sign with the team. He was presented the "Heineken 3 stars award" last night, for player who was picked for the most 3 stars of the game honors this season. He scores, he can pass the puck, and apparently after watching last night he can fight. I love watching him wave on the crowd afterward. So he is not only a Captain but a man who likes to put on a show.
2. Bogosian - Anyone who reads this blog will know that I have a massive semi-romantic man boner for Bogosian. He continues to impress. Last night was no different, the sombitch had 2 goals! It really is awesome to watch him play. He seems to get better every game and I notice every player on the ice looking to pass to him when its time for a shot. Even more so than most of the forwards on the team.
3. Players Player Award - This year the award went to Marty Reasoner. This season he put up a career best for goals scored and played his ass off every shift. Sounds like the kind of guy that you want coming back next season doesn't it?
4. Draft Lottery - With the loss last night, the Thrashers have solidified their position with the 4th position in the draft lottery. Anyone who was worried about their late run in the season possibly changing where they end up drafting does not have to worry anymore. They still have the outside chance of ending up with the 1st overall pick if the lottery goes their way. Thats right, the Thrashers have a 10.7% chance of getting the #1 pick in the draft. For those scoring at home, that is a 8.5% better chance than TripleLindy has of getting laid in 2009.
We should know what pick they end up with by about 8:30pm on April 14th. Cross your fingers!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"I wasn't a big fan of that. If they want to mock their own players, fine -- go ahead and mock their own players like that. But people pay a lot of money for these commercials, and I didn't think it was in very good taste when they did the stuff with Alex."
Come on Brucey, stop being such a douche...
Here is the video in case you have yet to see it.
Monday, April 6, 2009
They get the chance to avenge their loss tomorrow night and possibly put a damper on Washington's hopes for finishing 2nd in the Conference. They are leading the Devils by only 2 points and it sure would be great if they could screw that up for them.
One point about yesterday's game.... It was interesting to see how effective the Capitals forechecking was in the beginning of the 3rd period. They completely shut the Thrashers offense down and in turn created some good scoring chances. It was also kind of shocking that the Captials scored 6 goals and none of them were from Ovechkin (he did however have 2 assists). 11 shots and not a single goal. Obviously it wasn't from a lack of trying.
With Washington being one of the best power play teams in the league, the Thrashers penalty kill is going to have to be better to stop the Crapitals from dumping on them again tomorrow night.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
For the month of March Hainsey has 0 goals, 4 assists and 0 PP points. That's ZERO PP points. For someone logging so much ice time I would expect a little more. The man I heard many proclaim should be our Captain because of his strong play early in the season has dropped off as of late. Now what's to attribute to this you ask? I honestly wish I knew. Could it be that Bogosian has really stepped up so much that we don't notice Hainsey like we used to? Could he just be going through a funk right now? Who's to say other than Hainsey himself. I'm glad to see that the team is winning without him performing up to par. I liked the addition of Hainsey and I hope he can be a solid contributor next season. Let's pick it up a little Ron!!
I just read the re-cap of the game on AJC.com and it quotes Kovy as saying that J. Anderson has proven that the can take the team to the playoffs next year. He says something else in defense of J.A.'s rough first half of the season and sounds pretty content overall... dare I say that it sounds like we actually have a chance of Kovy re-signing over the summer??? If that happens I will parade around the streets naked. Seriously.
I watched the game last night with JimLongo and we were both blown away by Bogosian's presence on the ice. To think that the kid is only 18 and playing like that is unbelievable. His offensive awareness and grit are that of a seasoned veteran in the league. He seems confident and ready to accept his role on the first D pairing. He is willing to protect his teammates and use his strength to intimidate the opposing team in front of the net. It's gonna be great seeing him get even more confident as the years go on.
With that being said, what is the deal with Hainsey lately? He just seems not in sync with the rest of the team. I recall a couple passes he made last night that were so far off target he could have been attempting to get a beer vendors attention.
Also have to mention that Kovalchuk is on fire the last half of the season. He is on a 6 game point streak and now has a point in 18 of his last 20 games. Anyone looking for a reason as to why the Thrashers have been hot lately can chalk that up as a big help. Anderson is quoted as saying "when he does well, our team does well". What does Kovy have to say about his coach? “It’s his first year in the NHL. It’s tough to be the coach in the NHL,” Kovalchuk said. “He’s shown everybody he’s the guy who’s going to take us to the playoffs next year.”
I'm gonna be crossing my fingers that the Thrash are able to get their hands on another forward this off season through either free agency or in the draft that can be just as important to the teams success as Kovalchuk. Even though the team is playing well on their current streak, its a long season. I think they are going to need a little more talent in the top 6 in order to make that run for the playoffs that the fans here in Atlanta are sorely needing.
PS. If we ever meet the Sabres in the playoffs there is gonna be a riot in Phillips.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I hate the Red Wings.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I try not to ride the wave of ups and downs that a season filled with. I try to look at the bigger picture of a season broke into quarters or so. With that being said, it is difficult not to be excited about what the team is doing right now. Not only have they won six games in a row (franchise record) but the last 2 games and part of a 3rd were without Kovalchuk. They are also doing it while bringing new and young talent into the mix (Machachek, Salmela, Sterling). If you were to add another solid veteran presence on the team next year in our top 6 and possibly a - ***crosses his fingers*** - top 5 draft pick who is NHL ready next season, then this could really be a team that would give some top teams in the league a headache.
I have one final word before finishing this post and it is....BOGOSIAN! When the season first started he seemed just what he probably was, a nervous 18 year old kid. Within the last couple weeks he has already shown that he is ready to play with the big boys. Registering a point in games more often than not and showing the physical presence that the Thrashers sorely need. His offensive instincts on when to bite down and take the shot or break into a defense to make a quick pass are something to see. The future of our blueline is looking brighter every day....no scratch that... lately (and I must say lately) the future of the WHOLE TEAM is looking brighter every day.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Remember when the Oilers coach Craig McTavish used to play for the Flyers and was, I believe, the last player to opt not to wear a helmet? I used to think it was funny to see a hockey player that looked like he blow-dried his hair between periods. Nancy-boy McTavish. Sorry you lost.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Draft picks are great, and I hope we get a high pick this year, but not at the cost of all self-respect and dignity that our team has. Anyone who thinks otherwise can lick my balls.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
If you won a contest and got to pick any beer you wanted to be served at Phillips arena what would you choose? Leave your answers under the comments section and at the end of the week we'll make a list of some of the best ones and email them to Phillips. The drinkers have a voice!!
The Atlanta Thrashers have recalled defenseman Anssi Salmela (AN-see sahl-MEHL-ah) from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
No doubt this means he will be in Tuesdays game against Colorado. Personally in a dwindling season with not much to look forward to I welcome the chance to see someone new in action. Now I'm not sure whether or not Waddell did the right thing in acquiring him, but the fact remains that he's on the team now so let's see what the kid can do. Like I said in a previous post, he is a bit small for a defenseman, but apparently plays a very physical game. I'm expecting him to come in and play very aggressive in order to make a good impression. He has to look at this as a good opportunity to stay up in the NHL. Let's face it, we have some openings and if he comes in and shows good promise I think he's got a shot at some regular playing time. Here's hoping he puts someone through the glass in his first game.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
First, Upshall seems like the better player. Second, I know Carcillo gets the PIM; but with Riley Cote and Scott Hartnell(dick) on your team already, who needs that. Do the Flyers just want to cement their position in history as being the biggest jackass, dirty team ever??? I can't wait to see Dr. Hook McCraken and Ogie Ogelthorpe the next time the Flyers come to Atlanta.
Fuck the Flyers!!!
Now we get to wait out yet another prospect. We keep trading for younger and younger players that we have to just hope make the cut. I know that's called rebuilding but with the Thrashers every year is a rebuilding year. If we keep this trend, everyone watch out for that 2050-2051 Thrashers team!!!
On the bright side, O'Dell has earned more points in two seasons in the OHL then Christensen has in 4 in the NHL. Sorry, I'm trying to be optimistic here! Best I could do.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Meek makes some very good points about Salmela but I have to give my two cents. Every owner and GM in the league now knows how to trade to
And if that weren’t enough, we give more! We give up forward Myles Stoesz in the deal. Now I don’t know about this Stoesz guy but if he has two arms, two legs, and at least knows how to tie his own fucking skates he should have never been in that deal! Next deal will be Enstrom for a fucking puck bag and some jocks.
We should have gotten more than that. Havelid is not a huge point guy (for
There are many teams trying to make a playoff run here and Havelid had some value. I think Waddell made another foolish, short-sighted move. I’m not looking for a Lidstrom or a Boyle here but come on. I would just like to once open up atlatnathrashers.com a see something where I’m like “hell yeah, that was an awesome move!” Jesus, help us… help us Lord!!!
Oh, and Atlanta Spirit can suck a fat one! Those bastards need to sell to someone who actually gives a shit.
Disclaimer: If you do see Todd White please do not call the cops. This was a joke. Please do make fun of his enormous forehead though. Thank you.
I mentioned earlier today that Eric Perrin was on waivers. I also mentioned some other names on waivers and a great idea hit me. Why don't we pick up SATAN?!?!
I mean I don't think anyone is using the number 666 currently and how could Lucifer not help on the power play?
By the way doesn't that guy who is supposed to be satan above look like a gay Dom Deluise?
I'm sure you've all heard about the trade sending Havelid to the Devils. I'm not here to report on that but I do want to talk about this Salmela kid. Here are some of the basics.
Place of Birth: Nokia, Finland
HT: 5-11 WT: 190
Now in looking at this the first thing that concerns me is his size. He's not very big for an NHL defenseman. Then again neither is Enstrom. Seeing how he is 24 he's obviously not going to get any bigger. Sure he could put on some weight but I can't imagine he'll put on much more. Word is he has a lot of offensive upside and should net more points than Havelid. He did have 16-16 for 32 points in 2007-2008 so that's encouraging. From what I've read he plays a very physical style of D and has good speed and hands. Now I'm all for having a young mobile defensive unit. I think in todays NHL you have to have good puck moving defenseman. The offense starts from the back end and if you can move the puck out of the zone quick then you'll get a lot of chances to score. All in all I think we did ok with this trade. We lost probably our most solid D man but he was 35 and a UFA this summer. In return we get a 24 year old kid who is NHL ready and might be able to help us now and not 2-3 years from now. Obviously the jury is still out but as of now I'd have to say I like it.
Could the waiving of Perrin be a sign that Waddell is going to be making a trade or some how bringing in a new forward? We should learn more in the next 48 hours.