Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This. Is. So. Over.

At this point we've all heard from various folks who aren't demented rumor-mongers that Ilya Kovalchuk will be traded. 680 The Fan's John Kincade, who I've never particularly liked but who also isn't one to manufacture rumor hysteria just for the publicity-generating hell of it, is certain that Kovalchuk will be gone within the week.

What can we learn from this? The central lesson from the Kovalchuk fiasco, at least from my limited and marginal perspective, isn't anything to do with the fact that Kovalchuk hasn't played well in the last month or so (though he hasn't) or that acquiring good young players like, say, Jack Johnson, would be a nifty thing (though it would).

Whatever you think of Kovalchuk, the central facts are that the Thrashers
1) haven't ever seriously contended with a player of his calibre in the lineup,
2) haven't convinced him to re-sign, and
3) allowed this whole horrific situation to drag on for months when it became clear he wouldn't re-sign.

How does this not spell out in stupidly obvious detail that the management of this team is a colossal failure? It seems the reason Kovalchuk won't re-sign has nothing to do with wanting gazillions of dollars and not even that much to do with wanting to play for an elite team; he won't re-sign because he's not convinced about the stability or viability of this organization in the near future. To put it more simply: he knows the Thrashers are very poorly run, so why the hell would he want to re-sign with a skating disaster of an organization?

The Thrashers have had some terrible luck over the years. But part of good management is knowing how to respond to the bad luck that everyone, organization or individual or whatever, inevitably faces at different points along the way. The Thrashers have never known how to respond to bad luck.

Apparently some consider Kovalchuk's departure an example of bad luck and not bad management ("it's not OUR fault he won't sign! We offered him the biggest UFA contract ever, after all"). Just for the sake of argument, let's grant that premise. It still remains unlikely that Don Waddell will get any high-impact players in return for Kovalchuk. It's fine if you think that Kovalchuk is useless; but to think that we're going to trade him and get a Cup-contending, franchise-jolting package in return is ahistorical and almost delusional.

One more thing. In normal life, if a person in a position of authority presides over nothing but a series of catastrophic failures, they lose their job, the end.

P.S. This trade will make the entire Hockey Internet, including this blog, officially unreadable. Log off while there's still time, for your own good. Everyone will start talking about "goals" (in all meanings of the word) and "cap space" and "North Americans" and "fighting in the corners" and "pieces" and "young core" and blah blah blAHHHHH THE HORROR...


the jointhead said...

I for one will be glad to see him go. This isn't because he's not a two way player and blaa blaa. Its because he played like a golden god when we stamped that C on his chest last year. He played like a golden god early this year when what he said he wanted was a viable playoff team to play for and this team responded even picking up the slack when he was injured. And how did he respond? He didn't sign, went shit can, and drug this team down with him. He was never going to sign, I don't think he will sign with a NHL club. He has had an unimaginable deal in hand from mother russia since the beginning and we have been played the fool. When he is gone I hope we immediatly name a capable captain, and I belive this team will play much better. Not BE better mind you, just PLAY better.

h said...

If we trade him for decent assets and then try to add another piece or two I think we could be a better team....seriously....I've said many times that I think Kovy is one of the 6-7 best offensive gifted players in the game and can win a game for you if he wants to. The question has laways been "if he wants to". In fact, you watched him back-check in the Philly game and the first thing that came to my mind was "why can't you do that even 60% of the time". Now that it is inevitable, let's get as much as we can for him and let's get it fast. It is looking bad, but this team is still in it. Did anyone notice Kovy breaking his stick on the goal after the game last night? Was he mad that they lost? or mad that some fans were yelling at him? This all needs to be over soon cause it is making me sick.

GoPuckYourself said...

Last night's game should have been for the team what this past weekend's Canucks-Leafs game was in Toronto. We all saw how the Leafs reacted after their 3 goal collapse, and they ended up with a potential franchise defender and legit goaltending.

I'll bet the farm we end up doing nothing...not even trading Kovalchuk, which NEEDS to happen now.

Side note--Pleasure meeting you guys last night. Too bad the game sucked.

j_barty_party said...

Nice meeting you too GPY! Sorry I was in such a miserable mood by the end of the game. The play on the ice, coupled with my frustration on account of that mediocre goalie named Antero!, and mixing lots of Bud Light with brown spirits left me feeling foul.

The saddest thing about the recent string of games is that we can't put the biscuit in the basket consistently. Other than the WSH debacle, the goaltenders have been good enough to win 60% of the games at least. If we could have maintained just a 9% shooting percentage while holding a .73 shots / game advantage over 15 games, then we would have scored 6 more goals than our opponents. Instead, we are at a net deficit of -2 goals (not counting WSH). That's a swing of 8 goals and probably gets us over the top in half of these 1 goal losses and loser points in others. 6-8 more points would mean the #7 seed right now and probably some distance between us and FLA & TB.

Razor Catch Prey said...

GPY- good to meet you, too. Sorry that it was on a night we were all mired in depression over the combination of Kovy's looming departure and Nittymaki's 16th straight win over the Thrashers.

There is an eerie lack of news out there. Nobody is talking about it on Twitter. The guys on Hockey This Morning talked about it for all of five seconds.

Last night there was some activity with Falconer predicting a trade to LA, McKenzie shooting that down, and Eklund playing with himself, but nothing substantive.


GoPuckYourself said...

Speaker-No worries. If I hadn't been driving, I'd probably have ended up in the exact same state.

But as a little pick-me-up this AM, I've found somebody that's more cursed than our beloved Thrashers.


Daculafan said...

Don't even know where to start with Kovy and Waddell and the whole cluster fuck known to us as the ASG.

Cut Kovy loose...fine with me..overall I think he's overpriced for what he puts on the ice. He's a one way player and just about wherever he lands in the NHL he's going to get blasted as soon as they get a taste of his "don't give a shit" on the defensive end of the ice.

D-Wad and ASG need to learn the definition of insanity..because we're still doing the same thing and hoping we'll make the playoffs...guess what folks...ain't happenin'

We really need to change management. Not just for the direction of the team, but because at this point it may be all that saves the core fan base from fleeing with their wallets to pursue such other interesting diversions in Atlanta like the international grass growing competitions..or worse...NASCAR.

Fact is that stars come and go...I'm not stuck on the fact that Kovy is leaving...I'm more struck on the fact that it's a symptom of the malignancy of the management of this team

Thrasherhell said...

We have to ingore this bullshit once and for all. I hope we get a two way 30 goal scorer and prospects at this point.I love watching guys like Kane, Slater and Max guys that WANT to be here.Lets go the route of L.A. build around youth and a strong goaltender. Players that work the boards and crash the net and BACKCHECK what a NOVEL IDEA this cherry picking bullshit doesn't work. Lets move on from Kovy say Fuck you very much and call it a day.

j_barty_party said...

Dacula - right on dog, right on.

You are spot on. End of story.

Fire Waddell today, put Dudley in charge and let's see what we can get for Kaptain Koastalchuk. I can't stomach anymore missed nets from inside of 30 feet and looks to the rafters like someone is cheating him by shrinking the goal in between periods.

Realistically though, I don't see how we'll trade him before the Olympics. The only teams desperate enough might be Boston (sinking fast) or NYR. CGY has nothing left that we need (well, Hagman might not be a bad fit, but c'mon) and LA is playing too well. They'd be better served chasing Kovy in FA after they tell Frolov, O'Donnell and Randy Jones to take a hike.

Razor Catch Prey said...

Thrasherhell- I agree it would be a great idea to build around youth with a solid goaltender. Do happen to have a solid goaltender laying around we could have? Moose is too old to build around and neither Kari nor Ondrej fit with what Mr. Webster tells me "solid" is supposed to mean.

Speaker- spot on analysis of our chances of trading him before the Olympics. As Shooter and I were discussing last night, it's a gamble between waiting until after the Games to make a trade and you risk another team swooping in and taking him. If you trade for him before Feb 12, he could get hurt in the Olympics and not play a single game for you before becoming a free agent. And no, CGY has nothing left to offer us except maybe Robin Regher and draft picks. LA has too much chemistry to mess with it right now. I could see San Jose, Vancouver, or even Phoenix trying for him. They've all got to do something to compete with Chicago.

Boston would have to give us Lucic and Toronto's first rounder at the very least. Otherwise I don't deal with them. In fact, I would threaten to deal with Montreal instead and see what the B's do.

I don't know what the hell this is even supposed to mean from the Twitter wire: "Eklund As of yesterday, theIslanders &Thrashers had yetdiscuss Kovalchuk with each other. internally, its become a running joke with them now."

What running internal joke? Is DW going around saying he's going to trade Kovy for Tavares and Okposo while Garth Snow laughs about the 597 year deal he's going to offer Kovy?

GoPuckYourself said...

Per Twitter...
Dan Kamal-"Had a chance to tell Ilya Kovalchuk today that - no matter what happens - it's been a privilege watching him play for 8 years. And it HAS."
Darren Dregar-"Following up on the RDS story. Don Waddell met with Kovalchuk today to tell him he should expect a trade. 5 or more teams still in."

Mortimer Peacock said...

Got to get this over with.

A fancy pleasure meeting you last night, GPY, a fancy pleasure indeed.