Mike Knobler has bonus features up from his Levenson interview. I believe I've officially changed my stance on Levenson. What I read in this and the original article tells me he's a guy who knows how to run a business, and is learning how to run a hockey team. Understanding that this whole interview thing is probably the brainchild of some PR person, there is still a tremendous amount of contrition and owning up to mistakes here; it takes some stones to go to a major print publication and say "hey, I screwed with stuff, found out that wasn't a good idea, and now we're trying to fix things." From the first article:
"I think you’ll see most teams be fiscally prudent because of the uncertainties of the economy. Just as we have done in past years, including right before this season, if there are opportunities that we think justify us increasing our spending, we’ll do that."I read: this season is an anomaly as far as payroll is concerned. The ASG wanted to build a contending club, and then the realities of the Belkin situation caught up with them. In hindsight, I'd be in a pretty bad mood if I were in a similar situation; maybe even a bad enough mood to call a contentious STH a not-nice name. But hey, that's me. I'm a jerk like that. From the second article.
What kind of hockey team do you want the Thrashers to be? Do you want it to be a 2-0 team or the kind of team it was trying to be at the start of the year, when it was a little more open?
“I want them to win. That’s what I want. It’s the coaching staff’s job and the GM’s job to match the talent to the style of play. That’s another interesting mistake we may have made in the early days. Coming out of the lockout the rules were changed. It was going to be faster. It was going to be higher scoring. My thing was, let’s be the fastest highest-scoring team. It sounded good on paper. That’s not necessarily the right recipe for success.”
Either Brucie's copping to being the sous chef that spoiled the main course, or he drew the short straw in the fall-on-the-grenade lottery. Either way, I give him props. It doesn't take much of an active imagination to conceive of Levenson issuing orders to assemble a team he'd like watch, while Donnie's thinking "Are you kidding me??" Not to mention the absurdity of trying to build a team like that with Bob Hartley at the helm. Next year, the cap comes down, we lock Kovy up with a nice long deal, trade someone for someone else.... all is well in Blueland. Hey, we may even decide we want to keep Waddell around.
That sounded convincing, right?
They see me LoLin, they hatin....
John Anderson's comments on Kovy (AP Wire, via Yahoo Sports)
“We don’t want to say too much right now because we don’t know for sure,” Atlanta coach John Anderson said. “He’s day to day as we speak right now. He had a little problem yesterday and I didn’t practice him. He said he was OK to go today and obviously he wasn’t, but I’ve got to give him credit for trying.”Scott Cullen over at TSN.com has a pretty comprehensive list of potential UFAs. Add that to your Armchair GM arsenal. (Hey Scotty, Re: Who has $12mil for two top-line players? Hmmm... lemme think about that...)
What?!?!?! A Canadiocentric media outlet reporting "Kovalchuk LIKES Atlanta"!?!?!? You made that up. (Thanks Wayne for hitting me up on that link).