Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NHL Offseason Housekeeping

A little more housekeeping this morning.

The Atlanta Thrashers have promoted Don Waddel to President and Rick Dudley to GM. They have also fired the entire coaching staff, including former NHLer Randy Cunneyworth.

I don't have any opinions on the promotion of Don Waddel. I do think that Rick Dudley will be a good fit in helping the Thrashers rebuild. After all he was part of helping to bring the core of the Tampa Bay Lightning that won a cup. More recently, he helped build the core of the Chicago Blackhawks, as well as stints with other teams in the NHL and IHL (remember that league?).

Although I can't disagree with the letting go of the former GM and coaching staff, I can speculate that Atlanta had a lot going on to detract from the team troughout the season. We can't help but think that the whirlwinds that surrounded the attempted resigning of Ilya Kovalchuk, up until just before the trade deadline/olympic break, caused the team to lose some focus. In defense of the GM and coaching staff, the team played well down the stretch without Kovalchuk in the line up. Also, despite Ilya saying that he wanted to stay in Atlanta, it's pretty evident that he was going to walk once the season ended anyways. It's good that they were at least able to get a solid d-man in Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, and a couple picks in the 2010 draft from New Jersey.

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