Friday, July 3, 2009

Free Agent Madness: Attack of the '08 Leafs

Welcome to the newest Outsider Feature: Free Agent Madness. It'll run as long as it keeps me entertained. Then, most likely, it'll be back to shiny, jingly things like key rings & pocket change - but for now, enjoy & comment.

Hey I'm nothing if not committed – even if it's just to seeing a joke through to the bitter end.

Figured it was a good time to go over the moves made so far.

The Big Trade: Kubina & Stapleton for Exelby & Stuart – I don't exactly have much to add to all of the analysis that has been tossed around, except for this: Stapleton could be a pleasant surprise for the Thrashers. Thanks to the ultra-obsessive TML fanbase (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) (Seriously.), we actually have some info on Stapleton floating around out there:

  • Undrafted thru college, but played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth on scolarship.
  • Signed with Portland Pirates (AHL) in '05
  • Played in Finland for Jokerit Helsinki (SM-Liiga) from 2006-2008, pacing a point per game.
  • Signed w/ Toronto for 08-09 season (one year, one way), and kept up a pace of over a point per game for the Marlies.
Seems the knock on Stapleton is his size and lack of a physical dimension to his game. “Perimeter Player” was a phrase that kept popping up in my reading. But still, a point per game in the AHL is pretty respectable hockey. What if Stapleton had a little more freedom to use his strong skating and his ability to be creative in open spaces? Is Stapleton the new Peverley? Or is he just a solid depth guy, bound for Chicago? Keep in mind too that we only have his rights; who knows if WadDudley plans on signing him?

Oh, and Kubina? Big D-man who was too € for Brian Burke. Oh, and about $2 million too expensive. I think everyone else has got plenty on Big PK, so I'll spare you my ramblings.

The Big Signing: Nik Antropov – Honestly, I'm OK with this deal. He's a top six guy at $4 million/year for 4 years. A little higher than, say, Boston might pay for a guy like that, but that's what you get when your ownership takes it's collective hand off the wheel. And lets your team run off the road, across the median, through the opposing lanes, over the sidewalk, through the yard and into the living room of some sweet old lady's house. Antro doesn't have to be a superstar, he just has to be pretty good.

(EDIT: As I type this, the Falconer over at BWA drops his Antro-knowledge on us.)

Chris Thorburn Re-signs: So... what would you say..... you DO here?

But ya know what? I like yer face, so we'll give you a raise! C'mere ya big lug!

Player I Will Miss, If only for the Pure Joy of Yelling “Matzoh Ball!” - Joe Motzko. I still hold out hope that the lack of a qualifying offer is a negotiating tactic, and young Joseph isn't a sacrifice to the WadDudley. For certainly a player of his stature could... command...

A slim hope it is.

Love you, Motz.

OK, clearly we're done for right now – after all, I do have one more title to make use of; gotta save some for later.

Have a safe & happy holiday weekend, everyone.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Open Letter to Dany Heatley

Dear Dany,

Guess what I did today? I got up, brushed my teeth, put on semi-respectable clothes and dragged my sorry butt to a job I don't always like.

For a LOT less than $8,000,000 a year.


Your friend,
-Aaron @ the Outsider

PS - Good job on that whole "writing your name" thing. TOTALLY worth $4,000,000

EDIT: Please see Down Goes Brown for his thoughts on Heatley.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Free Agent Madness: The Phantom Armstrong Trade

I'm not gonna post anything until the dust settles.

COLBY DON'T GO!!!1!!!!1!!!

@kausatoday - Have it confirmed that there is NO CHANCE the Thrashers will part with Colby Armstrong in any trade. He is considered an essential piece.

False alarm.

Go about your business.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Agent Madness: Return of the Forwards

Welcome to the newest Outsider Feature: Free Agent Madness. It'll run as long as it keeps me entertained. Then, most likely, it'll be back to shiny, jingly things like key rings & pocket change - but for now, enjoy & comment.

Here comes Free Agent Madness: Return of the Forwards. Yea, I did that, and no, I'm not sorry.

Name: Brian Gionta
Current Team:
New Jersey
Current Salary:
$4 million
89 points in 05/06. Stunning. But only averaging about 50/year since. Still, good pace for a second liner (Kozzy/Kane-White-G) , and could be a first liner in a pinch (Kovy-Pevs-G). Gionta's not a big dude, though. Speaking of big dudes....

Name: Nik Antropov
Current Team:
New York
Current Salary:
$2.15 million
Is a big dude. Is capable of showing up big. Why not? Often doesn't show up big. But, Atlanta might be the place for him to get his head focused right, and I can't think of anyone better than Kovy for him to... wait, he wants HOW MUCH?

Name: Maxim Afinogenov
Current Team:
Current Salary:
$3.3 million
I don't know why, but Max's name keeps popping into my head. Played 48 games last year, both due to injury (groin) and to increased press box time. Decent size, has a record of producing, and is looking forward to a fresh start somewhere other than Buffalo. Could be a sleeper.

Name: Marion Hossa
Current Team:
Current Salary:
$7.45 million
...someone should really put the cap back on those Sharpies....

EDIT: I'd just like to say very quickly that I heartily endorse the idea of an offer sheet to that nice young man Phil Kessel. Though he may not be particularly photogenic (think the Hulk at an Olan Mills studio: "Okay, say cheeeeese!" "Graaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhnnnnnnnd."), he has proven himself to be a fantastic winger. He & Bryan Little will enjoy playing Call of Duty and making bunkbeds so they'll have more room for activities & stuff.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Agent Madness: The Defense Strikes Back

Welcome to the newest Outsider Feature: Free Agent Madness. It'll run as long as it keeps me entertained. Then, most likely, it'll be back to shiny, jingly things like key rings & pocket change - but for now, enjoy & comment.

Here comes Free Agent Madness: the Defensemen. These guys might look good in Thrasher Blue.

Name: Mattias Ohlund
Current Team:
Current Salary:
$3.5 million
While everyone is worried about where the Wonder Twins will land, maybe we can sign Ohlund under the radar. A short term deal at a reasonable price would make him a fantastic signing. Hopefully J-Bow hits the market, and everyone balks at “Old Man” Ohlund.

Name: John Oduya
Current Team:
New Jersey
Current Salary:
Johnny D's due for a raise, and would fit in very well, age-wise. This might mean a longer-term deal, and it remains to be seen if the ASG will pony up on that front. Rumors were floating that Sweet Lou had already signed Oduya to the tune of $3 mil/year – if we can get him for $4 mil/year, I'd call that success. Wait, why are you laughing?

EDIT: Sweet Lou does it again.

Name: Greg Zanon
Current Team:
Current Salary:
This one comes courtesy Mr Mirtle. Zanon's a name that sticks out only for its ability to sound like a second-tier comic book villain (try it, “ZANNON!”). Turns out Greggers is a solid d-man. And he looks scary.

Name: Rob Scuderi
Current Team:
Current Salary:
Those Pens fans are too freaking happy.

Draft Weekend Wrapup

Wow. Fantastic time this Friday; everyone @ TJ's did a stellar job pulling this off. A timeline of events for the Outsider:

- Graciously welcomed by Bill Tiller.
- Sat down at a table with Tim & Tom, later learned of a "Six Degrees"-type connection involving a former bandmate, Ole Miss, and geese. Random.
- Saw Grumpy Brian Burke on big screen. Laughed.
- Watched Waddell take podium, reference draft party that wasn't us, and pick Evander Kane. Cheered.
- Rob (the Wings fan) showed up.
- Met up with the Chronicle staff. Long lost family reunion ensued.
- Watched as reports of huge robbery came across the wire. Hope Mrs. Sasquatch likes Philly.
- Saw Grumpy Brian Burke. Laughed again.
- Rob (the Wings fan) won tickets to a future Thrashers game. Protested loudly to no avail. Made my own Grumpy Brian Burke face until Rob said "What? You'll probably be going with me."
- Ate, drank, made merry.
- Ran in fear as politics surfaced.
- Met Dan Bouchard & grandson. Wonderful human being.
- Bid my fairwells, and returned to Outsider Farms to retire for the night.

A wonderful evening. I'm behind the curve on the picks' stats and what have you; may I recommend the ever-vigilant the Falconer for your further reading? Oh yea, seems Marian Hossa's rights may be dealt sometime soon. What? No reason, just sayin.