Friday, February 5, 2010

Shame on Everyone

“This isn’t a knock on Kovy, but Kovy’s been here eight years and we still haven’t won a playoff game,” Waddell said. “This team has to take a different identity. We’ve built around one player for a long time now. It’s time to build this around a team. I think this gives us an opportunity to do it."

OK. Where to begin? Shame on Don Waddell. I know he has been given some really bad luck. I know he offered a lot of money to Kovalchuk. But, did you read that quote? My response is this: Don Waddell has been here for 12 years and we still haven't won a playoff game. This team has to take a different identity. We've had one GM for a long time now. It's time to build this team with a different GM. I think this gives us an opportunity to do it (this isn't a knock on Don).

Shame on the ASG. Whatever the reality is, the perception is this is a cluster****. And where I come from, perception is reality. The reason Kovy didn't take $101 million is because this ownership is so screwed up and has never put a winning team on the ice. If we had been successful, I really think Kovy would have signed for $101 million a long time ago. So much has been said about the ASG, if I say any more I'll just be repeating myself.

Shame on Kovy. You said all along you wanted to be a Thrasher for life. The little tid bit you left out was, "I want to be a Thrasher for life, but only for the max contract". I'm sorry Kovy, but that information would have been very helpful, oh... say, AROUND A YEAR AGO. It's OK to make as much money as you can. It really is. But he should have been up front about it so we could have dealt with this last summer and gotten a much better return. Is there a difference between $135 million and $101 million? I suppose there is. I just hope his kids have enough to eat.

Shame on everyone. I've been here from Day 1. I've seen all the lows, and I've seen the high (with no s, mind you). I'm not leaving now, but serious changes need to be made. All these new guys, they could turn into something. We could make the playoffs. Or, it could turn out like the Hossa trade. We could easily tank and end up with a top 5 pick. If that happens and we win the lottery, we get to draft Taylor Hall.

And then eight years later we get to hear about how trading Taylor Hall finally gives the Thrashers a shot at an identity. That the spare parts are really going to make us a better team, and that everything is going to be OK.

Do you want to go through that again? Neither do I.


j_barty_party said...

Good synopsis of how badly this was effed up. Well done Shooter.

Fair and balanced. Unlike Jeff Schultz.

Technically, I think you can make the case that the owners are most culpable because they would never have allowed Waddell to begin negotiations with Kovy any sooner than they did due to the constant legal wrangling with Belkin and the ongoing search for investment capital in a dry economy.

The Heatley tragedy seemed like a perfect storm, but at least we got equal return on him in the trade and there was positive momentum until Pasi blew out his knee in Finland in a pick up game and Kari busted his groin a game into the 2005 season. Are we really cursed by a weird place in Finland known as Lahti as opposed to Upper Dildo, New Foundland?

Anonymous said...

What a stupid thing for Waddell to say. It IS a subtle knock on Kovy and I think you hit it spot on Shooter. Don Waddell himself is more to blame for us not winning a playoff game than Kovy is.

A2B said...

So my question is the NHL stepped in and took out the owners of the Lightning... how do we get them to do that here in ATL?

I'm seriously thinking about starting a petition to get it done because they have single handedly screwed this franchise,

j_barty_party said...

Kovalchuk plays the games, not Waddell. But to be fair, Kovy was one of the better performing players against the Rangers in 2007. Had Hossa played worth a damn and Kari didn't crack under the strain of Bob Hartley's mind games, we could be having a much different coversation right now.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Agree 100%, it's all shameful. It's also an orgy of shamelessness: the way the ATL Spirit have thrown Kovy under the bus in their press mutterings is just tacky as hell.

"Dur dur we tried to build around Kovy and couldn't win dur..."

Well whose fucking fault is that?

j_barty_party said...

It's Marian Hossa's fault! Of course. And Alexi Zhitnik's. And Bob Hartley's and Eric Belanger's.

Come on, get with the program!

GoPuckYourself said...

The only positive I can think of this morning is...does this mean we'll FINALLY see Evander Kane playing bigger minutes and get involved on the Power Play?

the jointhead said...

Does anyone else believe that this season would be going different had Kovy signed in november? I do. If he was still playing like captain kovy instead of spoild brat the team would still be reponding just like earlier in the season. This team WILL play better without him if someone steps up and leads. oh and yes, Waddell should have been gone 7 yrs ago. I guess I'm the only one not but hurt that he's gone.

Big Shooter said...

I agree, Jointhead. I think Kovy probably knew in early December he was gone. Is that why the team took a nose dive? Or, maybe they just aren't that good and were playing at max performance in Nov?

And yes, GPY, I can only hope Kaner will get much more ice time.

Speaker, you forgot that it's also Alex Bourret's fault.

Mortimer Peacock said...


Of course it would have been different. But the owners forced Waddell to hold up talks for two whole months, so signing in November was an impossibility.

And the point isn't that everyone is butthurt that he's gone (the majority of people, judging from the message boards, are glad to see him go and think this is a fine trade). Everyone's ass is hurt because this is the crowning failure in the vast melted-ice sea of failures that is the Thrashers' history.

And that's not an opinion. It's an objective fact that the Kovalchuk Era was a failure, given what's happened in the last few months, culminating in last night's trade. The point isn't Kovalchuk so much as the general clusterfuck that this team is.

MAYBE they'll play better without him and make the playoffs this year. Somehow I doubt it. If someone "steps up and leads," maybe, but I don't see us becoming the Nashville Predators anytime soon. TO be the Nashville Predators you need exactly one thing: Barry Trotz. And we're Trotzless.

Big Shooter said...

People on the boards are glad Kovy's gone because they feel betrayed and their feelings are hurt. I understand.

But, what is the biggest problem of this team? Secondary scoring. You know who was considered secondary scoring? Everyone not named Ilya Kovalchuk. Who is now left on the team? Everyone not named Ilya Kovalchuk.

It's one thing to have your feelings hurt. It's another to think we are actually better off without Kovy. They'll figure it out when we start losing because we can't put the puck in the net.

This isn't such a huge news story because Kovy sucks. This is a huge story because he is one of the top 5 players in the world. And he now no longer plays for us.

j_barty_party said...

No Bourret and no Trotz.

We are doomed beyond hell.

At least the PP will be mildly entertaining to watch for a few games until we realize we can't even get the puck across the blueline to set up a play.

Mortimer Peacock said...

I will say this:

The power play will improve. It's been predictable as hell for the last few months.


j_barty_party said...

I'm not convinced he is Top 5 in the world let alone the NHL.

I can name 10 players who are better in the league right now:

Ovy, Crosby, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Thornton, H Sedin, Backstrom, Marleau, Semin, Parise...

...and that doesn't even get into the D-men that are far more valuable to their teams right now.

But that is not just my opinion.

Big Shooter said...

Kovy is better than 7 of those you just named. But that is just my opinion.

The point being, we are not better off today than we were yesterday.

GoPuckYourself said...

I just hope when we play the Devils in April that Boulton goes after Kovy the second the puck drops and beats his face in.

That thought's putting a smile on my face this morning.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Surely it all depends on how you define a "great" player. Kovalchuk can do things no one else can do, but he's not as complete a player as all those Mr. Speaker mentions.

Patrick Marleau is a more rounded player, perhaps, but there's no way I can say he's BETTER than Kovalchuk. In some ways Kovy is analogous to Joe Thornton: they do one thing mind-bendingly well, and they can do some other things pretty well too, but they have holes in their game that make everyone say "You're no Crosby, you're no Datsyuk, therefore you're literally a bad hockey player."

For my money the greatest in the world are Ovy, Crosby, Malkin, Iginla, Thornton, Kovy, Sedins, and Hossa, in roughly that order. Datsyuk would have been on that list until pretty recently but he's on the decline.

j_barty_party said...

All of the players mentioned can score on their back-hand. When's the last time Kovy scored a goal in close on his backhand?

To me, being more well-rounded makes you better at something. Why do you think Roger Federer is the best tennis player in the world? Is it because he has the best serve? No. Because he has the best forehand? Almost. But that's not the reason. He's the complete package. That's all I'm sayin.

No way do I think we are better off today than we were yesterday. We were losing games that we should've won when Kovy played well. Our goaltending has been good in January, but it was miserable in December. This is a slightly better than .500 team WITH Kovy. I don't see how we can be that much better without unless we totally change the philosophy on the ice. I don't think JA's system can be magically transformed into the trap overnight. Bogosian, Hainsey, Peverley and Max will have to play MUCH, MUCH better for this team to win more than it loses.

the jointhead said...

I said earlier that the team would play better not be better. More players will have more opportunities (Kane) to shine, but for that to happen we have to find a leader and fast, smoeone who wants to make this team his own (something Kovy never genuinly did always felt like he was forced into). I also agree that he is not a top 7 player because those are the players that make those around them better, there again something Kovy never really did, he was always the focus and needs great players around him to make the plays and feed him the puck. It will be interesting to see how he fits in in NJ. With all that being said, he sure could score some great goals and take over the game if he was hot and not all pissy that night.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Of course being the most complete makes you the greatest. That's why Bill Shakespeare is the greatest writer ever. Ditto Federer and tennis. And Gretzky and hockey.

There was some entertaining Sports Illustrated article a while back about the "most thrilling" players from each major sport: not necessarily the best, but the ones who could lift you out of your seat with their creativity and blah blah blah. I remember Dr. J and Dominique Wilkins were up there in the Most Thrilling B-Ball Players, but no one would argue that they were better than Michael Jordan (though he was also a wildly exciting player).

In some ways, I think Kovy is the Dominique Wilkins of hockey.

Oh hey here's the article:

Big Shooter said...

If you think Kovy didn't make those around him better, just watch what Antropov is going to look like the next 3+ years.

Mortimer Peacock said...

I might have my Important Hockey Facts wrong, but hasn't Afinogenov been less than impressive since he was taken away from Kovy?

j_barty_party said...

Shooter, I understand your premise but using Antropov is a bad supporting argument.

Why do you think Antropov's + / - is so much better than Kovy's? They've been on the same line basically all season long.

1) Antropov is a better defensive player and as the C, he fully assumed responsibility for protecting Kovy by making sure he got back on D

2) Kovy loves to double and over-shift and you know it. He lingers on the ice too long hoping to catch the other team off-guard or get a more favorable match-up. Teams have been exploiting this a lot this year often times putting their best line out after the initial Kovy appearance. Even without the best competition, how many times has there been a turnover by Kovy going 1 on 3 or 4 leading to a breakaway, odd-man rush, juicy scoring chance or goal?

3) Kovy does not play defense consistently. This cannot be refuted. When he wants to be great, he can be. But I'm not as willing to buy into this on / off switch crap anymore. He had his chance to shine and he blew it many games. Teams have figured him out (that's what coaches do) and he is more of a liability this year than he was in 2007-08 when he was winning games single-handedly while Hossa just watched. But having Hossa still gave Kovy more chances against weaker competition. Now he plays against the best every night (especially on the road). He is not a Top 10 player and it's starting to show.

The Short Handed Mole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
j_barty_party said...

I'm pretty sure Afinogenov has been equally bad no matter what (in terms of overall play). I think he's scored more with Kovy to his left, but thru the Toronto game a couple weeks back, he was on the ice for more GA with Kovy than he was without. And some of those goals were with Antropov, which makes my case for Antropov all the more impressive. Antropov has succeeded statistically in spite of Kovy AND Afinogenov. Unfortunately, I think Dicky Pevs has been the biggest victim of playing with Mad Max.

Mortimer Peacock said...

Top 10:
1) Niclas Bergfors
2 ) Irish whiskey
3) Cigars
4) Butthurt
5) Chalkboards
6) Airport bookstores
7) The Santa Monica Pier
8) Buttsecks
9) Roger Federer
10) Ice hockey

Antropov is a very good defensive player.

j_barty_party said...

Chalkboards eh? Weird, but interesting. That's why I love this blog. And arguing with Shooter about status of the second coming of Pavel Bure in the game of hockey. Did Kharlomov play this kind of D? I mean, hardly any? ;-)

FrenchCatalogues said...

I get back at 5:00 AM. I slept really well, but waking up was wishing it was all just a dream. So when does Joey Crabb come up to grace us with his Crabb shit in this horse face shit house of a situation that I can easily say it very much undeniably fucked.

Anonymous said...

I'm mailing my Kovalchuk jersey to Don Waddell, asking him what I should do with it.

I suggest other Kovalchuk jersey owners do the same. You can send your jersey to Mr. Waddell at:

101 Marietta St.
Suite 1900
Atlanta, GA

Mutton Sourdough said...

I say shame on Mitchell Palmer and Joseph McCarthy for making us not like Russians.

Mortimer Peacock said...

You know, it's funny. Palmer and McCarthy seemed to hate their fellow U.S. Americans far more than they hated Ruskies. Delusions and paranoia can do that.

Mutton Sourdough said...

I wouldn't disagree with that statement. I guess that's one possible outcome for when the masses are afraid and someone who is truly paranoid and truly unstable but able to project stability is heeded...