Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Thrashers Trade Talk/DW about to be fired?

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch beat blog writes:
Howson has spoken with numerous GMs around the league, letting them know what the Blue Jackets have to offer and what they want. Toronto, Ottawa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders have been contacted by Howson. It is likely that other teams have heard from him, as well.
The problem is that center is a prime shopping target for Columbus and the Thrashers have their own needs at that position. Aaron Portzline then goes through each of these teams and tries to sniff out what might be up. His comments on Atlanta are most interesting:

Atlanta: This one doesn't make much sense, plus there's lots of talk that Atlanta GM Don Waddell is soon to be fired, that he can't make any moves right now if he wanted to. The Blue Jackets don't want Todd White. The Thrash won't move Brian Little, a 21-year-old with 19 goals.
(emphasis added)
If ownership is thinking about making a change at the top of the organization (and why wouldn't they at this point) that certainly makes the trade deadline more complicated. Would they tell DW he can only move veterans for draft picks? If you don't have full confidence in your GM's ability to evaluate talent (and who would) then you might not want him dealing Thrasher veterans for prospects/players either.

In terms of trading with Columbus the Blue Jackets sit just 2 points out of a playoff spot today (although their playoff odds are just 34%). In seems more likely that Columbus has made phone calls about pending UFA wings and defensemen such as Jason Williams, Nic Havelid and Mathieu Schneider who might be added for the playoff push in that city.


  • How does the salary cap work in regards to dropping below the floor during the season? I can't see the Thrashers making any moves as moving the veterans will drop them below the floor. Trade a veteran, pay an end the year salary cap penalty. I'd love to see a few of the veterans traded, but am worried that ownership is between a rock and hard place (by their own doing).

    By Blogger Andrew, at 9:36 PM  

  • I know that the NHL office will not approve any transaction that puts a team OVER the salary cap--it is unclear if the same is true about going under the cap.

    I could swear that at some point I read that any team under the cap at the end of the year has to write a check to the NHLPA to make up the difference but now I can't find anything to confirm that.

    But the Thrashers could easily pick up some contract of a pending UFA that a team wants to move just to keep themselves above the floor.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 10:12 PM  

  • I don't know. I fully support trading the veterans for draft picks and prospects, but not exchanging them for another high priced, soon to be UFA. I don't see any advantage in that scenario.

    I just don't know about this team. This is the third coach in two years, and nothing has changed. So it appears that the problems (on the ice) are due to the players. ASG doesn't have the money or backbone to place decent players on the ice. I don't see a solution for this franchise and I fear it's time in Atlanta is growing short.

    There's one constant in Atlanta, if you don't put a winning product in the arena it will not be supported (no matter the sport). Saving money on salaries may seem like a good idea, but it's a losing proposition in this town. I believe there's money to made in sports in this city, but you have to spend money to make money.

    I was expecting to see decent hockey this year and a .500 team. This is extremely disappointing.

    My random thoughts for the day.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 6:28 PM  

  • I think the only time they would fire Waddell would be during the All-Star Game; otherwise, we're stuck with him for the rest of the season.


    By Anonymous Wayne, at 10:08 PM  

  • This summer, with a new coach to hire and 2 first round draft picks a new GM would have been able to have the maximum immediate impact on the team. If ASG was unwilling or unable to replace Wadell this summer, why on earth would they do it now?

    Bruce Levinson and ASG raised prices and insulted fans, allowed DW to coach the team through last season and rebuild the team this summer. Trying to blame him now is nothing but scapegoating.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 11:47 PM  

  • Bring in Pat Quinn!!! If nothing else, he can smoke cigars with Beau Bock and hang at T.J.'s bar in North Fulton...

    By Anonymous Wayne, at 1:26 AM  

  • I have never been so down on one of "my teams" as I am this year with the Thrash. (And I have supported some BAD Kings teams in the past). There just seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Even if we get rid of The Wad, we still have our worthless owners. And I am not sure that we could find new owners that wouldn't look at the situation and insist on moving the team. What wouldn't I give to find a local Sugar-Daddy owner like Arthur Blank or Ted Turner to buy this team and give it some pride.

    The way I see it, at this point if we fire DW, I don't see how it would be any more damaging to the team than letting him screw up potential trades the rest of the season. We are at rock bottom, and changes need to happen yesterday. The Thrashers need a Falcon-like turn-around, but I just don't see it.

    By Blogger Thrashers_R_Brown, at 3:56 AM  

  • From Bleacher Report:

    As much as I agree with the article:
    1. Trading Eel-ya will send up a white flag to the fans from Atlanta De-Spirit-ed, and:
    2. I don't want Waddell around to make the trade.


    By Anonymous Wayne, at 11:22 PM  

  • already paying two coaches, why not pay for two GMs. Less money for players (along with letting the arena fall apart) seems to be part of the ASG strategy for boning the value of the team to minimize the buy out cost whenever the lawsuit gets resolved.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 2:49 PM  

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