Thursday, December 4, 2008

What to Do?

Some fellow named Mark Bradley adds his voice to the "Trade Kovalchuk Now" chorus:

On sheer talent, Kovalchuk is among the world’s five best players. The Montreal radio crew was buzzing over his skill in Tuesday night’s game, and in Montreal they’ve seen their share of hockey players. But the Thrashers lost to the Canadiens, and the Atlanta angle from that game wasn’t that Kovalchuk looked spiffy with a stick in his hands but that he’d been demoted to a checking line by coach John Anderson.

If you’re counting, Anderson is the fourth Thrashers coach who has tried to turn Kovalchuk into something more than a solo artist, but it seems clear he’ll only achieve true greatness by joining a team with other great players. The Thrashers are not that team and won’t be anytime soon. So why hang onto an ongoing distraction?

Now then. Like I said after that very same Montreal game, there are plenty of teams that would be willing to trade for the Czar. I mentioned Jeff Carter from Philadelphia being a fine return for Kovy, and I should add that if the Thrashers traded him to Montreal we could get Andrei Markov plus Alex Tanguay and/or Christopher Higgins, at the very least.

Looking elsewhere, it's possible Los Angeles could offer the Czar a new home. Put him on a line with Kopitar and give us Dustin Brown, Patrick O'Sullivan, and Jack Johnson. Or simply do a Kovalchuk-for-Kopitar-and-someone-else trade.

Or send him to Edmonton for all of their young guns. Unlike a lot of other outcomes (particularly outcomes involving Philly or Dallas or Detroit) I wouldn't be totally sick seeing the Czar wearing an Oilers uniform.

This is probably impossible, given cap considerations, but a trade to San Jose could bring us wild riches like Joe Pavelski, Ryan Clowe, and Devin Setoguchi. But the Sharks have no compelling reason to alter their current line-up...but then again, the prospect of Kovalchuk playing on a line with Joe Thornton, and possibly Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, might be too much to resist.

There's always the possibility that the Czar will stay, of course. I'm not sure why Bradley insists on the Czar's departure being inevitable; if TSN's recent interview is any indication, it's not inevitable at all. It's simply not the same kind of situation as Heatleygate or Hossagate.

My main objections to trading the Czar right now are twofold:

1) I want the Czar to stay, assuming he means what he says and he does like it here.

2) I have no confidence that Don Waddell would pull off a good trade.

Instead of trading the team's lone superstar, Waddell and the Atlanta Spirit need to call a special press conference and address the fans directly. Whatever they plan on doing, they need to make it clear that they realize nothing is going right, and that they'll take measures to improve the situation.

The ASG won't do this, of course, because they don't really seem to care what happens to the Thrashers, so long as they bring enough people into Philips Arena to buy food and drinks.

There's no easy way to sort this team out. At the moment I'd favor trading Kari, but for him to increase his trade value he needs to actually, you know, play.


aaron said...

Havlat & Patty Sharp from Chicago. This would give them a natural winger and we'd only have to see him twice a year.

aaron said...

natural *left* winger

Razor Catch Prey said...

The only way I trade Kovy is in an 11 team deal bringing us Iggy, Dion, Nabby, Cheechoo, Grier, Cole, 3 Staals, Drury, Pominville, Vanek, Miller, Bowmeester, Roenick, Laraque, and Sean Donovan.

The other 10 teams can share the Czar.

Big Shooter said...

It does seem a little silly to trade Kovy when he actually wants to be here. Then again you could get MASSIVE return for him.

That said, I'm not in favor of it at the moment. I am in favor of firing DW. If we were not before, we are now officially a joke.

You want a wake up call to the team, fans, and entire NHL... fire the guy that is responsible for this mess.

And get new owners while you are at it.

The Short Handed Mole said...

I know a guy who knows a guy who was supposed to buy the team from that David McDavid.


Anonymous said...

or we could just show up every night to kick ass and chew bubble gum but forgets our gum.(wishful thinking i know)

Anonymous said...

I was in Montreal and Kovy made a couple of nice moves. He also fanned on the clearing pass that led to their 4th goal. In fact, he's been fanning more than Reggie Jackson. His body language is terrible, he's given up. Time to let him go.

But I agree with those who say that Waddell would mess this up. I've been a hockey fan for 40 years and I can't recall any GM getting as many chances to screw things up. The ownership doesn't care, so we the fans pay the price.

Very sad. Sell the team and let them move to Kansas City where they will have a chance to be grow and be appreciated.

Mortimer Peacock said...


The tragedy is that there's plenty of potential for them to grow and be loved here in Atlanta, as ATL is much bigger than Kansas City. But the management might have screwed things up irreversibly.

Like you said, very sad.