Congrats to Hossa, Toews, Kane, Keith, Campbell, Byfuglien, etc on winning the Cup. Now we can finally get down to the business of the offseason.
As you all know, Jimmy Slater was the first pending free agent to re-sign with our Atlanta Thrashers. Hopefully we will see a few more soon, though Rick Dudley obviously has a lot on his plate with the search for a new head coach, our pending free agents, potential free agent or trade targets, and the draft.
Speaking of the draft, that's the next set-in-stone event we have to look forward to this offseason. Two weeks from tomorrow night all 30 GM's will be in the City of Angels talking trades and picking prospects. Will Dudley use two first round picks, or will he send one afar to bring in tested talent?
Just six days after the draft we will witness the opening day of free agency. I still predict that Kovy will wait several days before agreeing to a contract either in the NHL or the KHL. My theory is he will take all offers, then use the KHL as leverage to haggle for more money/years from the highest couple of NHL bidders. He has no incentive to jump at an early bird. We will also get to see just how active Rick Dudley is in the free agent market. Thus far he has underwhelmed us here at TBC with his one year offers to players who deserve better. Is he saving up for something impressive on July 1?
After the initial surge of free agent signings in early July things will die down for a month and a half of so as our beloved winter sport goes into summer hibernation. Just three months from now, however, teams will be hitting the ice for preseason games once again.
We have a lot to look forward to between now and mid-September as Thrasher fans. Free agent re-signings. The draft. New free agent signings. A new coach. New assistant coaches. A bold new direction for marketing hockey in Atlanta? We can hope.