Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can Tavares Save The Thrashers?

If you didn't see tonight's 7-0 Thrasher loss to the Flyers, the bounces certainly didn't go Atlanta's way but the score still didn't reflect their utter incompetence. Philly scored seven, SEVEN, goals and Mike Richards missed a penalty shot to boot! The listed attendance was just 13,207, and we all know how inflated attendance numbers are - especially when teams that average less than 14,000 lose their share of the league's revenue.

They are a terrible team in a weak market and will certainly challenge for the top overall pick in the 2009 draft. So what would happen if they actually got it?

The top candidates for that pick are center John Tavares and defenseman Victor Hedman, and I would have to say that it is almost assured that the Thrashers would pick Tavares. They picked a blueliner last year (Zach Bogosian) and, more importantly, Atlanta hasn't had a center to compliment Kovalchuk since Marc Savard left. With Kovy due to become a unrestricted free agent after next season, Tavares might just be the deciding factor to keep him in the Dirty Sow.

So many questions arise out of the possibilities. Could history repeat itself and we see another Lindros-esque deal where one team gets the pieces to a championship and the other gets the name they crave? Tavares, for his part, just wants to get the hell out of the OHL so it doesn't appear that he will turn down a deal from whichever NHL team picks him. On the other side of the coin, could Atlanta get the pieces to a championship for young Mister Tavares? Toronto will certainly have the assets and the interest. Would Atlanta rather go for the game-breaking talent and hope that it is enough to entice Kovy to give up his freedom and sign a long term deal?

And the most interesting question that came to my mind is will Gary Bettman bully influence the Thrashers' decision and force them to keep Tavares? He is on the record with his dedication to keeping these 30 cities, no matter how little they support hockey and Crosby got the Pens to stay in Pittsburgh.

But think of it, Tavares/Kovalchuk could make for a helluva marquee in Vegas. Bettman's ego would take a large hit since he swore up and down that the cap would bring stability to his 30 teams but perhaps the obvious revenue gain would be enough for him to suck it up? I doubt it.

We will just have to wait and see but in the meantime I have one more question: if the Rangers defeat the Thrashers by anything less than seven goals on Thursday, will it be a disappointment??


Brother P said...

I have one more question: if the Rangers defeat the Thrashers by anything less than seven goals on Thursday, will it be a disappointment??

Answer: you don't get anymore then 2 points if you win by 7 or win by 1. So no it will not be a disappointment. Win the game and move on.

nyrmike21 said...

It doesn't matter how much they win but, they just need to win. Last year they gave up points to teams they should've easily beaten and this year has to be different.

Sean Leahy said...

a fix wouldn't be in for Atlanta, that's a dying market. no one can save them and Kovy can leave after next season anyway.

if they want to fix it to save a franchise, might as well do it for the Isles.