Monday, February 28, 2011

Trade Deadline Liveblog, 2011 Edition


You all know the news already, surely? No one needs blogs anymore, now that Twitter has buried the universe.

But let's accept the futility and soldier on anyway, like tragic heroes of fate and destiny, or something. The news so far:

- We've signed Mark Stuart to some sort of contract, which is good.

- We've traded Niclas Bergfors and beloved AHL man Patrick Rissmiller to Florida for Radek Dvorak and a 5th-round pick. Amazing that we could get such a famous 19th century composer for such a reasonable price!


- Man, the Florida Panthers are actually going through with this "blowing up the team" thing. I would too, 'twere I Dale Tallon. Your editor likes the Wideman-to-the-Caps deal. Also: they need to trade Tomas Vokoun, one of Earth's best goaltenders, for a massive return. Surely some playoff-contending out there is smart enough to take him.

- Rick Dudley really loves these guys from his Panther past, doesn't he? God I hope this team gets bought sometime soon.

- Also: You do realize this Bergfors-for-Dvorak trade means that, essentially, Ilya Kovalchuk has become Radek Dvorak.

- Thrashers have picked up Rob Schremp. Hm.

- Goodbye Freddy Modin. Thanks for the memories. Welcome, 7th-round pick (a.k.a. Pavel Datsyuk or Mark Messier or someone like that, probably).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

GAME DAY: Maple Leafs

Happy Sunday morning to the TBC audience. It's going to be gorgeous outside today, so make sure you enjoy the beautiful weather by having an adult beverage or three on a patio somewhere before you come to the Thrashers-Leafs game.

With the ownership situation happily in limbo (thank you Charlie Sheen!), fading playoff hopes (losing 16 of 19 will do that), and rumors abound of potentially good players going to other awful organizations (Bogosian to the Islanders? Um, what?), I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this morning. Reminiscing of all the good times I've had with the Atlanta Sprit, the bad times....actually, it's really only the bad times. Our old friend Colby Armstrong and his Thornburn-esque nose are in town. Didn't we have Joey Crabb and Clarke MacArthur at some point, too? Weird. It's like a middle school reunion and you're having to pay to get in.

Anywho, since it is a Sunday morning, here's The Best Song Ever Written in its acoustic form for your enjoyment. Also, go outside. Stop reading this bullshit. Go get some vitamin D, you pale asshole.



Go Thrashers? I'd think at this point, we shouldn't be telling the Thrashers to "Go" anywhere.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why Does Charlie Sheen Want to Buy the Thrashers?

I mean, really. The man has a lot on his plate.

...



...


wait for it...


...



...



LIKE COCAINE, FOR EXAMPLE. HI-OHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Little ______ Needs to Buy

Fill in the blank, Werner Herzog fans!

Vivlamore sez:

At this point, here is what I can report on the ongoing Thrashers ownership issue. I caution that there is still a lot of reporting to do but according to people familiar with the situation there is an investment group that is progressing in an effort to buy the Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena and will keep the Thrashers in Atlanta.

There is one main investors
[sic] with others in the group, some of whom are from Atlanta. The group is not only interested in purchasing the three properties but there is a “development element” to the deal, possibly involving the area around the arena.

Wow man, wow. Your Chronicle has already revealed important details about this "main investor," here.

Game Day: Panthers



No, it's not a panther. It's Florida's most abundant inhabitant.

Let's pack the arena this weekend to show any potential buyers that we need our team to stay put.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Consideration


Well at least we considered it.

A Children's Treasury of Brent Sopel Memories

You've heard the news. Now let's relive the grand adventure that was "the season Brent Sopel played for the Atlanta Thrashers."

Um...

UPDATE: In all seriousness, Brent Sopel is a good defenseman and he played well for us. He also seems like a nice and charming feller. Montreal, how about that place?

Should Craig Ramsay Be Deposed?

Bold words from our comrade Rawhide:


After last night’s 4-1 loss in Buffalo, which followed a disastrous 5-3 loss to Edmonton last Saturday, Ramsay’s Thrashers have played to a record of 6-15-5 since December 20. In calendar year 2011, they have won exactly three times in regulation and for the month of February they are an abysmal 1-7-1.

Coaches get fired if those types of records come at the beginning of a season.

...

The next time we see Rick Dudley should be when he thanks Rammer for his service, wishes him nothing but the best, reminds us all that it wasn’t all his fault…then introduces the next head coach for the Atlanta Thrashers, John Torchetti.

Really wish that prospective owner would hurry up. This is what happens when you have the lowest payroll in world history.

Interesting



(^---click, for God's sake)



"...steam, steam, a hundred bad dreams/ Going up to Harlem with a pistol in his jeans/ A fifty-dollar bill inside a palladin's hat/ And nobody's sure where Mr. Knickerbocker's at."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

4 Moar Years

As the Sporting News reports:

An NHL source confirmed with Sporting News that Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley will receive a four-year contract extension. An announcement is expected as early as Thursday.

Well how about that? Four more years of video game trades and hair that looks like California skunk.

Your editor was talking about this with Go Puck Yourself earlier, via the Text Machine on the telephone, and GPY made the astute point that it "seems as though everybody who's been signed is on a 5 year plan."

Curious.

GAME DAY: Buffalo Sabres



WHAT TO EXPECT IN TONIGHT'S GAME: Lightsabers, Ewoks, ice, goalies, Rick Jeanneret making those weird sounds that somehow manage to be a combination of a wheeze and a scream, the game of hockey, etc.

You don't need the Chronicle to tell you that this is a Must Win. The Eastern Conference standings are serious business.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Be There Then

(updated below)

Friday, that is.

Whether or not you go to the "Keep the Thrashers in Atlanta" rally (and really, why shouldn't you?), make sure you're physically present at the game this Friday. Try to impress. Cheer; howl; use your energy; drink.

Something important might happen. For hope and the Future.

UPDATE: An important Tweet from an important man...

Why so coy, John?

UPDATE II: It appears the rally has been moved to Sunday. Definitely a good move; 5:30 on a Friday is a pretty bad time for any kind of rally.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Top Secret Blueland Chronicle Exclusive*

(And he's back, folks! Our very own clandestine agent/correspondent the Short-Handed Mole has returned from his travels with some truly bizarre/confusing gibberish. Enjoy! - M. Peacock)

Owls fly from Edessa to Odessa. Wheeling over the plains of Anatolia, following the blue thread of the Bosphorus out to the Black Sea, and landing in the Russian port city on a statue of its namesake Odysseus. Nearby is a bakery. Eating there is a rare delight, or so claim the people who stop there for brioches each morning on their way to work.

Raki is a smooth but strong drink. Often, you’ll find it mixed with chilled water. Freezes the palate then cleanses it. Right after, seafood and mezze. Ephesians would approve.

Dark monasteries. Burnt offerings. Urfa is what they call Edessa now. Loyal to their favorite patriarch, the enchanted fish frighten the fishermen. Lions once drank from the pool. Windstorms haven’t swept them away, because they live under water (as fish are wont to do).

Along the strait, the fishermen drag their nets toward the oyster stalls. Never do they suspect the submarines lurking beneath them.

Thunder over the desert. Sandstorms over.

Tigers once lived in the green hills beyond Jakarta. Hunted, poisoned, and deprived of their favorite meal (the rusa deer), they vanished. Red paws, “No sabe que en el alba han destrozado un hombre.”

“Alba,” the Provencal troubadours called the dawn. So did/do most who speak Romance languages. Haberdashers, tailors, and cobblers as well as sighing, doe-eyed lute-strummers.

Early in the morning, if you rise at the right time, and walk to the top of the mountain, you can still see them. Ranging over the hillsides, slinking into the meadows, drinking from the rivers. So they say.

*

Whut?

John Kincade with a cryptic space telegram:


What does this mean?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Mourning After

So if you watched the debacle that was the Thrashers-Oilers game yesterday, the only person who should've come away with any sense of optimism from that game would be Big Shooter. Mainly because he's an Oilers fan. Sigh.

That 3rd period was one of the most demoralizing periods of what we've been sold as "ice hockey" since the last 3rd period of demoralizing hockey that the Thrashers have subjected us to. The only things I was able to take away from yesterday's game were that there's no question that Chris Mason may have, as the English say, "lost the plot" (translation--Dude can't play shit for goaltender anymore.) Also, Johnny Oduya has even less of an idea as to how to play defense than some of the other "defenders" who currently reside on our blueline. 2 of the 3 goals we surrendered to Taylor Hall were due to Johnny being out of position and refusing to get a hand/stick on Taylor or any other Oilers player. Should we trade Johnny for somebody? I don't know what kind of difference it would make at this point. All I've been able to take away from the Boston trade at this point is that I'll be hoping Ten Gallon Dick wins a Stanley Cup this year with the Bruins.

So try to enjoy your Sunday, forget about your awful hometown hockey club, watch the Heritage Classic (if you still like hockey), listen to this funky little Dredg number and enjoy this fucking AWESOME weather we have. You know, the kind you can't just pick up and move to Winnipeg or Quebec.



Go Thrashers? Sounds a bit silly at this point, doesn't it?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GAME DAY: Edmonton Oilers



Paul Coffey. Watch out for him.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ten Gallon Dick, We Hardly Knew Ye

According to C-Vivs, the newsbreaker, we have traded Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart.

This is a very nice trade, and much needed at that. Perhaps shipping our Dick out of town will be the move that saves this Sad Panda of a season? Probably not. But a great move, indeed. I can only assume this is the final nail in the coffin of TBC's great "Ten Gallon Dick and the Russian". Seeing as how every single character in the movie is no longer with us.

What does that tell you? HEEEENNNNNNGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

BTW... Just where is Mortimer Peacock in all of this? I've got to be pulled out of retirement to break the trade news?!?!?!?!?

Mortimer Peacock appears and sez: HOORAY!

The State of the Thrashers

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Depressing Reading Material

We have some for you. Here, here, and here.

Not to rehash the past, but I found this fragment of the Jeff Schultz article quite interesting:

Over a year ago, when the Thrashers sat down to attempt to negotiate a new contract with Ilya Kovalchuk, ownership was apoplectic that Kovalchuk and his agent addressed potential new ownership and the team’s uncertain future in negotiations. Some wanted to cast the failed negotiations as the pro sports cliché of an athlete just asking for too much money. The fact was that Kovalchuk didn’t want to wake up in two years and find out he was moving to . . . Winnipeg.

When he couldn’t get assurances the team would stay in Atlanta, he played his only bargaining chip: He asked for the moon.

"Goddamn Europeans." GAME DAY: Phoenix Coyotes

I once bought turquoise coyote figurines in Phoenix. That was a long time ago.

Apologies to any Euro's who might be reading and find themselves irked by the post title. We couldn't help but quote the priceless opening line of this new PJ Harvey tune:



Goddamn that new album is good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cause and Effect

All the people weeping into their Haagen-Dazs because the mean old AJC reported this story less than 24 hours after the (on the surface) joyous Byfuglien signing don't seem to have a clear grasp of the situation. The Byfuglien signing and this depressing news item are two sides of the same coin. In other words: they're CONNECTED. Dudley and the Spirit put extra effort/money into signing Byfuglien to make the team more appealing to new investors/buyers, and I wouldn't be shocked if Byfuglien signed because he and his agent knew that the team will soon be in someone else's hands, whether in Atlanta or somewhere else.

The possibility of moving might have made the contract especially appealing. New owners, new market, new fans, new level of fame and success, etc.

Thrashers Might Well Be Moved, Sez Spirit Goblin Michael Gearon

The AJC:

Atlanta Spirit co-owner Michael Gearon said there is now a “sense of urgency” to find additional investors or a buyer willing to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta. If the ownership group does not get additional financial help in the near future the franchise could be sold and moved to another city.

Shit, son.

“If we are faced with that as the only alternative, that’s what’s going to happen,” Gearon told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview Tuesday. “I don’t think there is an ability to stomach another $20 million in losses. We just can’t do it.

“The reality is we need fans showing up and we need investors, or a primary investor.”

Yes, because it really is somehow our fault, isn't it?

Folks, it might be time to accept that we're getting near the end of the line. One can't help but wonder if Dustin Byfuglien's big contract yesterday has something to do with this, i.e. that it's a very real possibility the team will be moved, and that this makes playing for the Thrashers more attractive, etc. It's also a way of sprucing up the team for a potential sale.

There have been good-intentioned calls for Arthur Blank to buy the team, but your editor has a hard time imagining that will happen. But there are many, many extremely rich people in Atlanta, and surely there's someone who's willing to add a money-losing hockey team to their list of responsibilities in a depressed/depressing economy.

No? Then saving the team will require some serious public-spiritedness/civic solidarity. Demonstrations with goofy signs, letter-writing campaigns, raising money, asking the city gubmint to intervene, public ownership a la the Green Bay Packers, etc.

But Green Bay is a small town, and Atlanta is a big city not really known for such stuff. Desperate times.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big Buff Re-Ups



According to Vivlamore over at the AJC, the Thrashers have re-signed Dustin Byfuglien to a multi-year contract.

29 other teams weep.

Details to come.

Craig Custance tweets that the deal is for 5 years at approximately $5mil per year.

Postma Called Up

Apparently the Thrashers have bugged the Chronicle's ritual pre-game staff meeting because on Sunday we discussed Paul Postma and questioned his progress as a prospect. Today we receive word that Postma has been called up from the Wolves where he has had a respectable year with 37 points in 56 games and is a -2.

Postma is a native of Alberta and may get a chance on Saturday to play at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's A Long Long Way From Bollywood to Battersea

Yes, yesterday's game was disappointing, but whatcanyoudo? Can't say I'm surprised by anything Thrashers-related anymore, and I doubt we'll make a season-salvaging trade.

It's a long way, after all.


ALSO: Happy Valentine's Day, you horrible children.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

War All the Time. GAME DAY: Hurricanes


As you all know, the Thrashers and the Hurricanes are tied for 8th place (though not really, because Carolina has one more win than us, which breaks the tie in their favor). Whoever wins this game, etc. etc...

Go the Thrashers.

Friday, February 11, 2011

GAME DAY: New York Rangers


Not a New York ranger, strictly, but definitely the sort of thing you can find if you wander certain areas of Brooklyn, which is New York City's most famous tiger-scarf haven.

The Thrashers play the Rangers tonight. You might say this is a "must win." Especially with Buffalo just cold catching fire. We shall see what happens, together.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Possible Thrashers Theme Song

Or at least a song to play when they skate out at the beginning of the 3rd period, down 5-1 or whatever.


Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bogosian and Torchetti Not BFFs, Sez Bob McKenzie

McKenzie, vis-a-vis these Bogo trade rumors:

What's absolutely certain, regardless of who's right and who's wrong, is that there has been a fractious and counter-productive relationship between new Thrasher assistant coach John Torchetti and Bogosian and it may have festered too long before being addressed internally by the Thrashers.

Really? Did not know this.

But the whole dynamic between Torchetti and Bogosian has been much talked about in NHL circles. As soon as rival GMs saw Bogosian being a healthy scratch and played as a forward, they began investigating the circumstances and sensed an opportunity to perhaps extricate him from there. Hence, the growing crescendo of trade rumors.

Wait, what? When was Bogo played as a forward?

Chronicle Scribes In Your Internet Radio

For some reason, the charming/crazed gents of Up the Pucks invited your editor onto one of their weekly podcasts. If you want to hear M. Peacock mumble about the Thrashers, Atlanta and its music scene, punk rock (I say something about Minor Threat, a band beloved by all the kidz these days, here in 2011), and 'Lil Jon...clickee here.

Official Editorial Position on Trading Zach Bogosian (With Footnote)

Don't be so stupid.*

*This assumes, of course, that there will still be a team in 7 years' time. Even if there is, Bogosian might well be playing for some other team by the time he fulfills his potential. So really, it doesn't matter what Dudley does or doesn't do. Not as long as this team is stuck in a hate-filled marriage with Atlanta Spirit LLC. It matters SO LITTLE, in fact, that if you haven't already sold your season ticket package to a local prison and used the profits to buy a used Vespa, you're already well behind the curve. Haha, what is this, a footnote that's longer than the actual editorial?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Will We All Live in Tipis on the Prairies?

Your Chronicle is aware of the newest rumors circulating about the Thrashers being boxed up and shipped to Manitoba. We're not really talking about it because---in contrast to the olde New York Post report about the ATL Spirit trying to sell the team---the only thing the reports are based on are shadowy "unnamed sources." This is different from the concrete clues that accompanied the NY Post report; there aren't any in this latest rumor, so far.

While You Wait For A Trade

...is it now obvious that everything, everything, is the direct result of the Atlanta Spirit's indifference and lack of investment?

We've thought so, for three (3) years now.

GAME DAY: Maple Leafs


Today's as good a day as any for Phil Kessel to break his goal-scoring drought.

It's also a good day for the Thrashers to head to north Toronto to feast on John Anderson's Chargrilled Hamburgers. John Anderson: what's he doing these days? Probably serving chargrilled hamburgers at his bistro, avec apron and walrus whiskers. Nice guy, John Anderson.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Game Day: A Battle of Who Could Care Less

Alright, so the Thrashers play the Hurricanes tonight to see who still somewhat cares about getting waxed as the number 8 seed in the playoffs. The Hurricanes have struggled recently after going on a tear before the All Star break. The Thrashers have struggled for about 11 years, give or take that "You weren't on LSD, we did make the playoffs in 2007" season.

I'd give a line-by-line breakdown of what to expect tonight...but really, you already know how this one's going to play out.

What you really need to know is Fernando Torres is a cocksucker.

Go Thrashers? I wouldn't bet on it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

One Year Later

As many folks have pointed out, it's now been one year since the Atlanta Thrashers presented Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils and said, "Here you go, comrades; now give us Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, and Patrice Cormier."

What effect, if any, has this trade had on the teams involved?

Let's take stock:

- The New Jersey Devils are terrible. It remains to be seen if this is just a one-year hiccup or their fate for all eternity. They have been winning lately.

- Ilya Kovalchuk is having the worst season of his career. There are innocent souls who think that Ilya's lack of scoring is a permanent condition, that Kovalchuk will Kovalsuck forever, etc. We're somewhat skeptical about this.

- The Atlanta Thrashers are in more or less the same position they were last year. If you want to get pedantic about it, they have one more point than they did this time last year, and are one position higher. It's not hard to see what this means.

- Niclas Bergfors, despite being a decent hockey player, is unloved by both the Atlanta coaching staff and not a few Thrashers fans, who routinely suggest we trade him plus Zach Bogosian plus up-and-comer Freddy Modin for...who, exactly? Ales Hemsky? Devin Setoguchi?

IN CONCLUSION: During his time in Atlanta, many fans deplored Kovalchuk's lack of defensive effort. It could, on occasion, cause problems. But if you want to see what happens when Kovalchuk tries to Be Responsible and Play Defense and other boring things, instead of doing what he's actually good at (being an explosive goal-scoring beast-and-a-half and leaving the defense to someone else), look no further than this year's New Jersey Devils. Paradoxically enough, they're like the Kovalchuk-era Thrashers, minus Kovalchuk.

The Thrashers, on the other hand, are like last year's Chicago Blackhawks, if the Chicago Blackhawks relied exclusively on Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd.

Anyway, a song for the occasion:

Bad Vibes

You can't help but wonder if Philips Arena is haunted by some kind of malevolent energy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Game Day: Flames



If you'll recall, I posted a few weeks ago about the games to watch on the remainder of the schedule. Let's take a quick look at the highlighted games:

Canadiens- 3/1 and 3/29
Rangers- 1/22, 2/11, and 4/7
Hurricanes- 2/5, 2/13, 3/9, and 4/8

So far the Thrashers have played two of those games and have garnered only one point. Dropping 4-1 stinkers to the New York Islanders are also a great way to piss away a playoff berth, so if the guys are hoping to make early tee times in April, they're well on their way.

Here's hoping Calgary will head home after tonight's game with a couple brand new prospects and leave Jarome Iginla here to break in a new Thrashers sweater.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rick Dudley Says Thing

Vivlamore sez:

Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley is actively looking to make a trade to improve a struggling team on the verge of falling out of the playoff race.

Dudley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that there is a heightened sense of urgency following a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday.

As of last night, yes [we are actively looking for a trade],” Dudley said. “Are we looking to do something? Absolutely. We don’t want to let this go. Obviously we haven’t given up on the season. It would be ludicrous. We haven’t given up on improving either. If it doesn’t come from within, it will come from outside.”

"if it doesn't come from within, it will come from outside." Surely that's some kind of Zen koan.

Why Control Damage?

It's been twelve (12) days since that wacky Friday news dump about the Atlanta Spirit trying to jettison their (and our) sad-sack hockey team. Since that report, there have been zero (0) public statements or letters to season ticket holders that acknowledge the news and try to explain the situation. Not that I think a letter or public statement would somehow Make Sense of Everything or be anything other than vaguely-worded ass-covering. I just find it curious that there's been no effort whatsoever to reassure the fanbase and/or acknowledge the human disaster that is this hockey organization.

What they have done, though, is send out season ticket renewal kits. So there will be no public statement/apology/acknowledgement of burning shame, but we do get pleas for season ticket renewals. I think they'll find even the diehard renewals more difficult than they expect/take for granted.

I could end this post with a sentence like "what a fucking joke," or something along those lines, but that would be too obvious, so here's an actual video documentary about the Atlanta Spirit:

Groundhog Meteorologists Leave Thrashers' Fortunes Open to Interpretation



Reuters:

Punxsutawney Phil emerged from a tree stump at dawn and, unusually, did not see his shadow, signaling that spring is just around the corner, according to tradition.

"He found that there was no shadow," said Bill Deeley, president of a club that organizes Groundhog Day in the western Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney. "So an early spring it will be."

Apparently our local groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, didn't see his shadow either. What does this mean for the Thrashers? An early exit from playoff position or a springtime renaissance? We have our ideas...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Hate" Is A Strong Word



Replace "rock n' roll" with something else and you have an approximation of our feelings.

P.S. "Strong words" are popular these days, apparently! We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning for General Lee and Punxsutawney Phil to weigh in on the Thrashers, with their strong words.

Game Day: Islanders



John Tavares, Matt Moulson, and Garth Snow waving around a contract saying "no, really, Nabakov is an Islander!" It should make for an enjoyable Tuesday evening down at Philips Arena for the first post-All Star break game.

Tonight officially marks the beginning of the race to the playoffs. With 30 games remaining in the regular season, the Atlanta Thrashers sit precariously in the final playoff spot. The Carolina Hurricanes however, have been measuring for new drapes in the 8th place office, as they sit just one point behind Atlanta with two games in hand.

Buffalo and Florida are also still in play, six points back with three games in hand on Atlanta. Should the Thrashers fail to keep pace with any of those three teams, it will be an early Summer in Blueland.

However, should the Peachtree Pugilists turn things around and pretend the February is November, they could catch Montreal (59 points, 2 games in hand), the Rangers (61 points, no games in hand), or even the Capitals (63 points, 1 game in hand).

Cliche as it sounds, all of that can only be addressed one game at a time. Right now that one game is one against the New York Islanders.

Maybe the Thrashers will get lucky and Garth Snow will attempt to make a point by hanging a Nabokov sweater from the crossbar to play goal.