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Making Kovy Happy a Byproduct- Not Motivation

July 8, 2009

I’m confused by Rory Boylen of The Hockey News. In his free agency preview on his blog he said the following about the Thrashers needs:

“To improve the roster – and fast – if they are to keep star Ilya Kovalchuk around longer than one more year. With a chunk of change available for free agents, GM Don Waddell must bring in one or two scorers to play with Kovalchuk and support him from the second line.”

That was on June 30. Nine days later he wrote the following:

“And now, because the GM has to impress his star player – Ilya Kovalchuk – to convince him to stick around, Waddell has spent $4 million on a flat-footed Nik Antropov and traded for a $5 million cap hit contract on Pavel Kubina, though the blueliner is only tied up there for one year. When those two are the “biggest acquisitions at this time of year” your team has ever made, as Waddell noted, and the main thing Antropov has going for him is that he is a “friend of Ilya’s” the formula being put together won’t prove to be a long-term success.”

First he said Waddell and hi staff should bring in help for Ilya, then he criticizes them for bringing in help for Ilya.

Boylen seems to think that by bringing in Kubina and Antropov something has been sacrificed, when in reality nothing has aside from ownership’s money. Both players make this team better and no young core players were traded to bring in either one of them. Antropov is still under 30 and Kubina has one year left on his contract, so even if he doesn’t work out for some reason we’re not saddled with a long-term contract. It’s a mistake to think that these moves were made purely for the sake of pleasing Ilya. they were made to make the team better, and anything that makes the team better should make Ilya happy. He, like every other player in the NHL, wants to play on a competitive team. Adding Kubina and Antropov makes the Thrashers more competitive, and that should be the standard by which all player acquisitions are judged.

  1. Daculafan permalink
    July 8, 2009 11:57 am

    I take what most sports writers say with a huge grain of salt anyway. Nobody can predict or state that the moves made are going to hurt or help with any degree of certainty. I can say as a fan I feel pleased by the off season moves made by management much more than last year’s off season, and I’m excited to see this product on the ice. I agree that these moves weren’t made just to satisfy Kovy, rather to improve the team and that makes our captain that much happier.

    One thing many hockey writers fail to look at or take into account in my opinion is where that player was used and who their line mates were, this tends to affect performance more than many people realize. I think we’ve added size and grit on both sides of the ice and with the John Anderson style of hockey these guys are going to be great additions. If nothing else I look forward to making the playoffs so the nay sayers will have to eat crow.

    Believing in Blueland always!!

  2. Jonathan permalink
    July 8, 2009 12:41 pm

    I never completely believe what sports writers say. They dont just focus on one team, they have to know whats going on in every team in the sport they are covering. They are bound to get things wrong and contradict themselves.

  3. Jim Wright permalink
    July 8, 2009 2:04 pm

    I believe that the article is stating that the two acquisitions are inadequate; and isn’t necessarily stating that the Thrashers shouldn’t have added depth. In any event, it’s all just opinion that is printed for the purpose of entertainment. Time will tell, as it always does. Did any of these experts pick Atlanta to win the division in 2007? I rest my case.

  4. Kevin Kim permalink
    July 8, 2009 2:57 pm

    I see us getting the 5 or 6th spot in the playoffs and miss winning the divison by 3points. I believe in blueland this year after thinking of the lines. Just seeing that people have to fight for the 4th line makes me happy. With the chances of having Angelo,Kane,Krog,Crab, and others, this might be fun watching them work their butts off.

  5. aroha permalink
    July 8, 2009 6:15 pm

    regardless of what he’s trying to say, his run-on sentences are annoying to read. I don’t think the additions of Kubina and Antropov have made us any WORSE so as long as Kovy’s happy, I’m happy. I hate to even think of a Kovy-less Thrashers.

  6. Michael Long permalink
    July 8, 2009 9:58 pm

    let me first say thank’s for resigning slater(like some one would of sign him else where)now for the kovy happy thing, great got nik now who is going to center that line Don,? let’s see how about a grity sneaky player like savard but a little younger let say comrie his stock is down the price is right for the cheep people who run the organization A.S.G plus he is a great defencive minded center that can run the P.K for you now that(yes thank god he gone)eric perrin is gone via F.A. He just big enough to rub it in the corner’s with the best and small enough to get lost with kovy & Ant on the ice. Hope you can see the logic in my thought’s till this year i thought don done lost his mind second line little pev kozlov third line kane white afenagenof fourth line thorton slater colby i’d trade off a couple d’s and a rockie or two and the moose to keep the youth in goal!!!

  7. frank permalink
    July 9, 2009 1:26 pm

    can anyone translate what Michael Long is trying to say for me?

  8. Dave permalink
    July 9, 2009 2:33 pm


    I think the point that is trying to be made is why wait until Kovy’s contract year to make the team more competitive. The last few years there have not been solid free agents or big name players brought in from trades.

    If they (management) had done things like this to make the team competitive two or three years ago, it would be a different story. But since they waitied until now to make solid trades and signings to make the team more competitive, it appears that they are doing it just to appease Ilya. If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, then it must be… a rat!

    That being said, I am looking forward to the season! 6-7 spot in the East.

  9. ex-STH permalink
    July 9, 2009 5:49 pm

    Hell, I’d take the 8th spot in the east. Look what Anahiem did in the playoffs….everyone was scared to death to play them! Carolina even had momentum going into the playoffs. Its all about keeping the team in a position to play well the last 4 – 6 weeks. Last season had a great final push. Just convince Kovy of this and make sure he is signed BEFORE camp begins. Look how the team played after Hossa wouldn’t stay and was dealt the year prior. Sign Army for a 3 -5 year deal and Kovy for a 5 – 8 year deal (Nash got one!). Make 1 more trade in dealing one of our 115 goalies and throw in a White or Slater or Thorburn and get one more decent 4 – 9 forward.


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