Monday, August 29, 2005

 

Bondra, Kovalchuk, and Waddell

I am hearing from several sources that Peter Bondra could come down today or tomorrow...Philly, Was, and NJ the favorites...

Interesting article by Larry Brooks saying that the Rangers should go after Kovalchuk...I agree with him on this one firmly...Kovalchuk may be the most dynamic star out there and draft picks, in this day and age of falling free agency ages, are not as important....

From Brooks' article...
"Joe Thornton won't be available next summer, and neither will Vincent Lecavalier. Martin St. Louis and Marian Hossa are locked up, too. In other words, all that cap space the Rangers will have available for a franchise player in 2006 is looking more and more as if it will be nothing more than vast, empty air. Moreover, it is likely to remain that way in 2007 and 2008. Liberalized freedom in the NHL has essentially erased the distinction between restricted and unrestricted free agents. If a new paradigm has been established in this first capped off-season in league history, it's that teams will pay whatever is required to keep young, marquee talent off the open market. Which, among other reasons, is why the Rangers should immediately extend a six-year, maximum-contract offer sheet of $7.8 million per year to Atlanta's unsigned Ilya Kovalchuk, the 22-year-old left winger who, three seasons into his career, has emerged as the NHL's most dynamic goal scorer."

He speculates, as I do, that Atlanta would match in all likelihood.

On Atlanta, they are a very classy organization. Don Waddell has done a great job at building a team that the city can be proud of. In the new NHL, they will be a force and, I predict a contender...The best example of this class is the latter Waddell posted to fans following last Tuesday's trade...this should serve as an example of how teams should always communicate with their fans...

"To the Atlanta Thrashers Fans,

It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you of a very significant player move that the Atlanta Thrashers made today by acquiring one of the game's elite players, winger Marian Hossa and veteran defenseman Greg de Vries from the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for Dany Heatley.
 
Today's trade came about quite suddenly and was set in motion by Dany's request to be traded to another team. When Dany called me on August 9th to inform me of his desire to leave, he assured me that his decision was not based on his contract negotiations with the team, the Thrashers organization, or the incredible fans in our great city. Rather, he described the extreme difficulty he has playing here due to his emotional ties surrounding the tragic accident that he and the Snyder family endured almost two years ago.
 
Our entire organization is thrilled to add a highly-skilled, proven scorer in Marian and a solid veteran defenseman such as Greg who has Stanley Cup winning experience. We have now significantly upgraded our roster with six new, key veterans (Hossa, de Vries, Holik, Modry, Havelid, Mellanby), each of whom possess the qualities that will help us become an upper echelon team for many years to come.
 
Marian is arguably one of the top players in the world and is always a scoring threat. He consistently places among the league leaders in all offensive categories and holds several of Ottawa's team records. He also competes hard on every shift and sets the tone for his teammates. We believe he is the type of exciting player you will want to come out to Philips Arena and watch.
 
He has enjoyed a very successful career and at 26-years old, he has already scored more than 30 goals in the last four consecutive seasons, including 45 in 2002-03. He was named to the NHL's 1998-99 All-Rookie Team and finished second in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year. He has also represented Slovakia in 11 international competitions, including the 2002 Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
 
Greg de Vries possesses the intangibles you need to achieve success. He comes highly recommended from Coach Bob Hartley, whom he shared a Stanley Cup with at Colorado in 2001, and adds another significant element to our already bolstered defense.
 
Over the past few seasons we have whole-heartedly supported Dany, and our decision to honor his request is based on what we believe is right for him while protecting the best interests of our franchise. It is both Dany's, as well as our hope, that a fresh start will enable him to continue moving forward with his career, and more importantly, his life, in a positive way. Click here to read a message that he asked us to send on his behalf to each of our fans.
 
This trade represents a pivotal moment for our franchise. Both players are under contract for multiple years (Hossa - three, de Vries - two) and are an important part of our future. We have significantly upgraded our roster and have provided Bob Hartley and his coaching staff with a team built for short and long-term success.
 
We look forward to seeing you soon at Philips Arena, and again thank you for your unyielding loyalty and commitment to being "True Blue" fans.
 
Sincerely,

Don Waddell"



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