Friday, March 6, 2009
GAME DAY: Montreal Canad---SEASON TICKET HOLDERS TOWNHALL DAY
The game tonight--against Mathieu Schneider and the Habs--will be broadcast on the NHL Network. Pretty cool I think, because there will probably be a fair bit of people there, AND the Network gives the revolting season-ticket holders a national stage.
All sorts of chatter about mild protests against the Atlanta Spirit tonight. Your editor hates to see civic unrest, but I think a full-scale Peasants' Revolt has been inevitable for a while now.
Moving on the the season ticket holders' townhall meeting with Don Waddell tonight. The Chronicle is, for once, going to try to be a sober voice for reason and moderation. Let's review what DW has done this season and in seasons past that might be directly affecting the Thrashers' play right now:
1) Picked up Rich Peverley, who's helped considerably and could be a key player for a while.
2) Got a young defenseman for Niclas Havelid (I'm still agnostic about Salmela, but I have a hard time believing he'll be an outright disaster; in fact, he'll more than likely be decent).
3) Got a decent prospect for Erik Christensen (I'm becoming more convinced that O'Dell might make a difference, so hooray).
4) Got a 2nd-rounder for Mathieu Schneider.
5) Brought in Marty Reasoner, who's been our best player (in terms of doing what he's supposed to do) all year. Even better, Reasoner looks like he wants to sign a longer contract with us in the summer.
6) Brought in Jason Williams, who was a total disaster.
7) Brought in John Anderson (make of that what you will; I still think, despite some problems, that Anderson is basically a good coach with an unfortunate roster).
8) Got Mathieu Schneider for nothing. Didn't play particularly well for us, but apparently invaluable to the development of our future top defenseman Zach Bogosian.
9) Didn't happen this year, of course, but DW and/or some exceptionally sharp scout brought in Tobias Enstrom, who's been a VERY solid defenseman most of this season (particularly recently) and will only get better.
10) Got Christensen and Colby Armstrong for Marian Hossa. At last year's season ticket holder meeting, we'd just traded Hossa and gotten those two, and no one was quite sure how they would perform. We've had a full year to see how that trade panned out. Colby Armstrong can be an effective role-player, Christensen was more or less a bust. Well, no, not "more or less." He was a bust. A bust with some talent and potential, but a a bust nonetheless.
11) Did you know he once traded Braydon Coburn for Alexei Zhitnik?*
12) Didn't get anything by trading Bobby Holik at last season's trade deadline. But perhaps it doesn't matter, since Marty Reasoner seems like he wants to stay.
13) Has made it clear his #1 priority is to re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk.
14) Did you know the Thrashers could have had Devin Setoguchi or Marc Staal?
15) Brought in Eric Perrin, who was at first supposed to be a third-line guy, then a top six forward, then a fourth-line guy, then a guy on waivers. As the Pensblog might say: Confusion City.
The short version: we of the Chronicle aren't honest if we don't admit that DW has done some things this season that will likely help the team. The question is whether his good moves will cancel out his (justly) famous bad ones. About that your Chronicle can't be certain. I mean, who do we look like, a blog of Criswells? Ho ho hee!
I hate hammering away at this same point ad nauseum, but I still think the Thrashers' main problem is the Atlanta Spirit. I very much want a new General Manager, but I'm convinced that even a competent and able new GM would have his hands tied by the ownership and thus have to restrict his moves in the same way as Waddell.
So try to be sane tonight. And that goes for DW too (I know you're reading, Don): be honest and forthright with the STHs; don't say insane things about how "close" we are, etc. I'm glad that Waddell has to answer to the fans (if only in this ritual, cosmetic way); it appears that at this point the ATL Spirit don't even offer the appearance of caring what the season-ticket holders think.
To the barricades, then.
*Under serious pressure from the owners.