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Atlanta Thrashers -> Zhitnik
 
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  TheDowman
 
March 12, 2008 3:16:37 pm
 
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quote:
Holland said...
quote:
Valabiktorian said...
Colby Armstrong, Eric Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first round pick



three firsts and a third.


Two of those firsts are already contributing significantly on offense.

Too bad none of the rest of the team is.

 
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  Holland
 
March 12, 2008 3:22:29 pm
 
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quote:
TheDowman said...
quote:
Holland said...
quote:
Valabiktorian said...
Colby Armstrong, Eric Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first round pick



three firsts and a third.


Two of those firsts are already contributing significantly on offense.

Too bad none of the rest of the team is.



They are... Each in their own special way.

 
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  Rasp
 
March 12, 2008 4:14:36 pm
 
  Floppy

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quote:
3putt said...
Well, I am bad at digging up old quotes, but I remember being PISSED at both the Zhitnik deal and the Tkachuck deal. How the **** Tkachuck is worth more than Hossa, I have no idea, at the time it seemed very high and the poison pill felt wrong. I understand the GM wanting to kick the players in the pants with the complacency, but the Zhitnik deal looked like pandering to the coach rather than a development deal. I liked BH but he never seemed to give kids a chance unless their names were Kari or Ilya. He wanted a team of vets and we got old fast last year.

Over all, my thoughts last year at the deadline were the same as now. If your team can not make the playoffs then it is not ready or not being developed correctly. Deadline deals with rental players are not for bubble teams and Vets for developing players are also not for bubble teams.



I know people were unhappy about the trade as it happened. But after Zhitnik came in, the defense seemed to solidify some and he went on a tear. 14 points and 8 of those on a PP that had been in torpor all season. After the end of the year last year, I think a lot of people felt better about the trade. Certainly nobody foresaw him being a healthy scratch this year.

 
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  clambake
 
March 12, 2008 4:16:31 pm
 
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quote:
Holland said...
quote:
clambake said...
but we don't have DuPuis anymore either.



Dupuis' a UFA. Before the deadline, DW approached his agent about a new contract. His asking price was too high. If you're going to have to enter into tough negotiations with him, why wouldn't you wait until after the season and get an asset for him in the meantime? It's not like we need him in the interim.

Plus, PIT asked for Dupuis or Perrin... You'd rather give up Perrin?



Yeah, yeah, I read your Town Hall meeting post. That wasn't my point. The point was that people calling the Dupuis deal good (or bad) doesn't really mean anything, since he's not here anymore.

 
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  Holland
 
March 12, 2008 4:17:55 pm
 
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quote:
clambake said...
quote:
Holland said...
quote:
clambake said...
but we don't have DuPuis anymore either.



Dupuis' a UFA. Before the deadline, DW approached his agent about a new contract. His asking price was too high. If you're going to have to enter into tough negotiations with him, why wouldn't you wait until after the season and get an asset for him in the meantime? It's not like we need him in the interim.

Plus, PIT asked for Dupuis or Perrin... You'd rather give up Perrin?



Yeah, yeah, I read your Town Hall meeting post. That wasn't my point. The point was that people calling the Dupuis deal good (or bad) doesn't really mean anything, since he's not here anymore.




 
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  THRASHERVILLE
 
March 12, 2008 6:37:13 pm
 
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quote:
fatschoonerrat said...
If you really want to cry in your beer, just consider how we passed on Phaneuf for Coburn in the first place.



Drop it! Since this was my draft year, I paid close attention to the player rankings and wish I could find them somewhere. Braydon Coburn was THE TOP RATED NORTH AMERICAN DEFENCEMAN in that draft whereas Phaneuf was projected as a top 10 pick (I recall talk of Chicago wondering if he'd be available at 13 or 14 or so). Coburn was considered a leader and a top pairing stay-at-home guy, Phanuef a physical guy with an offensive upside. If I recall correctly Coburn was rated the 6th overall NA skater, followed by Suter then Phaneuf, but any team looking for a blueliner would have been equally happy with any of them.


 
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  fatschoonerrat
 
March 12, 2008 7:17:38 pm
 
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quote:
thrasherville said...
quote:
fatschoonerrat said...
If you really want to cry in your beer, just consider how we passed on Phaneuf for Coburn in the first place.



Drop it! Since this was my draft year, I paid close attention to the player rankings and wish I could find them somewhere. Braydon Coburn was THE TOP RATED NORTH AMERICAN DEFENCEMAN in that draft whereas Phaneuf was projected as a top 10 pick (I recall talk of Chicago wondering if he'd be available at 13 or 14 or so). Coburn was considered a leader and a top pairing stay-at-home guy, Phanuef a physical guy with an offensive upside. If I recall correctly Coburn was rated the 6th overall NA skater, followed by Suter then Phaneuf, but any team looking for a blueliner would have been equally happy with any of them.




Okay ... but why do you think Coburn for Zhitnik seemed like a good idea to DW at the time?

 
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  dunwoody_joe
 
March 12, 2008 9:32:30 pm
 
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quote:
fatschoonerrat said...
quote:
thrasherville said...
quote:
fatschoonerrat said...
If you really want to cry in your beer, just consider how we passed on Phaneuf for Coburn in the first place.



Drop it! Since this was my draft year, I paid close attention to the player rankings and wish I could find them somewhere. Braydon Coburn was THE TOP RATED NORTH AMERICAN DEFENCEMAN in that draft whereas Phaneuf was projected as a top 10 pick (I recall talk of Chicago wondering if he'd be available at 13 or 14 or so). Coburn was considered a leader and a top pairing stay-at-home guy, Phanuef a physical guy with an offensive upside. If I recall correctly Coburn was rated the 6th overall NA skater, followed by Suter then Phaneuf, but any team looking for a blueliner would have been equally happy with any of them.




Okay ... but why do you think Coburn for Zhitnik seemed like a good idea to DW at the time?



In my opinion, DW/Bob wanted a vet defenseman for a playoff run and as a short-term boost to a sagging defense corps. Bob always wanted vets and didn't seem to think Coburn was ready. Philly was dumping salary cap and looking to pick up young players to rebuild for the future. Voila, deal time.

The problem I always had with the deal was the short-term desperate nature of DW's move. I think DW was feeling major pressure to make the playoffs last year and he leveraged too much for that run. Sure the Thrashers made it in...but nobody should have expected much. So, DW traded off a young and talented defenseman just starting to reach his prime for an over-the-hill vet with little in the tank.

Now we pay the real price. Zhitnik is a high priced, healthy scratch in DW's doghouse with another year on his miseable contract. Coburn is playing like a top pairing 23 year old whose high upside is still ahead of him--and 2 more years on a reasonable contract. He's the big, smooth skating, outlet passing d-man DW had envisioned when he drafted him--only now wearing a hideous orange and black sweater.

People can argue that the economics of those 2 home playoff games make a difference but I will contend that it is decisions like this that rock an organization for years (and cost GMs their jobs). In terms of mistakes--this was big!

 
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  Rasp
 
March 13, 2008 11:23:20 am
 
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quote:
dunwoody_joe said...

In my opinion, DW/Bob wanted a vet defenseman for a playoff run and as a short-term boost to a sagging defense corps. Bob always wanted vets and didn't seem to think Coburn was ready. Philly was dumping salary cap and looking to pick up young players to rebuild for the future. Voila, deal time.

The problem I always had with the deal was the short-term desperate nature of DW's move. I think DW was feeling major pressure to make the playoffs last year and he leveraged too much for that run. Sure the Thrashers made it in...but nobody should have expected much. So, DW traded off a young and talented defenseman just starting to reach his prime for an over-the-hill vet with little in the tank.



Like you said, there was a lot of pressure to make the playoffs. There's more that goes into that as well. If this teams gets a pass on making the playoffs, so does BH. If BH gets a pass, he might have been kept longer than he was (which I think was a bit too long). So we lose last year and this year as playoff hopefuls. Where does that put the team? Likely in the same spot we're in now: No playoff sand a crappy team.

quote:
Now we pay the real price. Zhitnik is a high priced, healthy scratch in DW's doghouse with another year on his miseable contract. Coburn is playing like a top pairing 23 year old whose high upside is still ahead of him--and 2 more years on a reasonable contract. He's the big, smooth skating, outlet passing d-man DW had envisioned when he drafted him--only now wearing a hideous orange and black sweater.

People can argue that the economics of those 2 home playoff games make a difference but I will contend that it is decisions like this that rock an organization for years (and cost GMs their jobs). In terms of mistakes--this was big!



Yes, it was a lousy deal. But it looks a lot worse now because of the drop-off of Zhitnik and the emergence of Coburn. If anyone could have forseen this, the trade wouldn't have happened. OTOH, since plenty of people think DW is a crappy drafter, I don't see how so many people could have not liked this trade.

 
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  dunwoody_joe
 
March 17, 2008 6:37:31 pm
 
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quote:
Rasp said...


Like you said, there was a lot of pressure to make the playoffs. There's more that goes into that as well. If this teams gets a pass on making the playoffs, so does BH. If BH gets a pass, he might have been kept longer than he was (which I think was a bit too long). So we lose last year and this year as playoff hopefuls. Where does that put the team? Likely in the same spot we're in now: No playoff sand a crappy team.


...so we get to the same place minus a potential top 4 defenseman entering his prime and instead with an end-of-his career, overpaid healthy scratch. The future looks dimmer today but good thing about those two home playoff games last year, though.



quote:
Rasp said...
Yes, it was a lousy deal. But it looks a lot worse now because of the drop-off of Zhitnik and the emergence of Coburn. If anyone could have forseen this, the trade wouldn't have happened. OTOH, since plenty of people think DW is a crappy drafter, I don't see how so many people could have not liked this trade.


As many have said right here, the Zhitnik drop-off was very predictable; although I honestly thought it would be at least 2 years before we saw the glaring reality of this trade--it only took 6 months. The Thrashers will be reminded of this trade regularly over the next 10-15 years.

DW is a crappy drafter but that's a whole other problem that deserves its own thread.


 
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  Rasp
 
March 17, 2008 9:47:21 pm
 
  Floppy

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quote:
dunwoody_joe said...
DW is a crappy drafter but that's a whole other problem that deserves its own thread.




Seven years I've been waiting for that thread.

 
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  dmatos
 
March 17, 2008 11:48:07 pm
 
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quote:
dunwoody_joe said...

...so we get to the same place minus a potential top 4 defenseman entering his prime and instead with an end-of-his career, overpaid healthy scratch. The future looks dimmer today but good thing about those two home playoff games last year, though.




The upside wasn't supposed to be for the fans, it was for the owners who got a ton of cash per home playoff game.

 
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  ducksthrashers2002
 
March 18, 2008 12:09:17 am
 
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The issue with the Zhitnik trade is and has always been why a former first round pick was sent to Philly, when the Flyers had acquired Zhitnik only a few weeks early for a third and Freddy Meyer.

It was just another example of DW's lack for foresight. The defence was always lacking, even while the team was winning early last season. Instead of going after Zhitnik when the Isles were dealing, DW elected to wait, and then had to overpay near the deadline.

Did Zhitnik all of a sudden get that much better playing for a last place Flyer team over four weeks?

In a similar vein, DW went after Ivan Majevski and gave Florida a second, when the Panthers had drafted him in the 8th round the year before. This was a Panther team that was so mediocre on defense that they still could give up Majevski guy without blinking.

 
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  fatschoonerrat
 
March 18, 2008 12:27:11 am
 
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quote:
dmatos said...

The upside wasn't supposed to be for the fans, it was for the owners who got a ton of cash per home playoff game.



Disagree. That's chump change for them. They wanted us to win and build a fan base. Nobody really expected a first-round sweep.

Nevertheless, it was very short-sighted. You don't give up prospects who had been proving themselves.

 
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  The Falconer
 
March 18, 2008 12:54:23 am
 
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quote:
Rasp said...
quote:
3putt said...
Well, I am bad at digging up old quotes, but I remember being PISSED at both the Zhitnik deal and the Tkachuck deal. How the **** Tkachuck is worth more than Hossa, I have no idea, at the time it seemed very high and the poison pill felt wrong. I understand the GM wanting to kick the players in the pants with the complacency, but the Zhitnik deal looked like pandering to the coach rather than a development deal. I liked BH but he never seemed to give kids a chance unless their names were Kari or Ilya. He wanted a team of vets and we got old fast last year.

Over all, my thoughts last year at the deadline were the same as now. If your team can not make the playoffs then it is not ready or not being developed correctly. Deadline deals with rental players are not for bubble teams and Vets for developing players are also not for bubble teams.



I know people were unhappy about the trade as it happened. But after Zhitnik came in, the defense seemed to solidify some and he went on a tear. 14 points and 8 of those on a PP that had been in torpor all season. After the end of the year last year, I think a lot of people felt better about the trade. Certainly nobody foresaw him being a healthy scratch this year.



I'm too busy to go look it up, but if I recall correctly the Thrashers were in the midst of a tough part of their schedule immediately prior to the trade deadline (which was a good part of the reason for their struggles IMO) and then right after the deadline they played a bunch of non-playoff teams--not so surprisingly they went on a tear. Last year the Thrashers winning percentage was determined to a good degree by their opponents strength.

Personally I wasn't blown away by Zhitnik. I remember sitting in the stands thinking "well I hope he has more to show us than this" but he didn't get a lot of attention since the team was playing well. When the team struggles you tend to notice who is up and who is down.

On another Zhitnik related point. I was working on a forecasting model during the pre-season and no matter which method I used to model the defensive side of things Zhitnik's performance in 2006-07 simply wasn't that special. I kept thinking that my model was wrong, so I never put it up on the blog, but I had the Thrashers finishing in 10th I think. I should go dig that up when the season ends.

 
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  dunwoody_joe
 
March 18, 2008 6:57:01 am
 
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quote:
dmatos said...
quote:
dunwoody_joe said...

...so we get to the same place minus a potential top 4 defenseman entering his prime and instead with an end-of-his career, overpaid healthy scratch. The future looks dimmer today but good thing about those two home playoff games last year, though.




The upside wasn't supposed to be for the fans, it was for the owners who got a ton of cash per home playoff game.



I'm beginning to understand this to be true...and then it all starts making sense!

 
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  dunwoody_joe
 
March 18, 2008 6:59:15 am
 
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quote:
ducksthrashers2002 said...
The issue with the Zhitnik trade is and has always been why a former first round pick was sent to Philly, when the Flyers had acquired Zhitnik only a few weeks early for a third and Freddy Meyer.

It was just another example of DW's lack for foresight. The defence was always lacking, even while the team was winning early last season. Instead of going after Zhitnik when the Isles were dealing, DW elected to wait, and then had to overpay near the deadline.

Did Zhitnik all of a sudden get that much better playing for a last place Flyer team over four weeks?

In a similar vein, DW went after Ivan Majevski and gave Florida a second, when the Panthers had drafted him in the 8th round the year before. This was a Panther team that was so mediocre on defense that they still could give up Majevski guy without blinking.



Spot on!

And I'll refain from jumping in again on the Majesky deal other than to say it is another example of asset mismanagement by DW.

 
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  CheapSeats
 
March 18, 2008 7:03:25 am
 
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quote:
fatschoonerrat said...
quote:
dmatos said...

The upside wasn't supposed to be for the fans, it was for the owners who got a ton of cash per home playoff game.



Disagree. That's chump change for them. They wanted us to win and build a fan base. Nobody really expected a first-round sweep.

Nevertheless, it was very short-sighted. You don't give up prospects who had been proving themselves.



FWIW - I seem to remember everyone thinking Coburn was a semi-bust who was going to take a lot of work to make it to the NHL. We were getting reports out of Chicago that he was unimpressive.

Swapping that for a true NHL d-man with more years on his contract who'd been pretty damned good and was playing on a**** team didn't seem like that bad a deal at the time.

 
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  dmatos
 
March 18, 2008 8:09:32 am
 
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I don't remember the Flyers being a sh!tty team, so much as playing sh!tty together (see the 03-04 Rangers). They had a ton of talent, none of which worked well together. That team should have had more than 54 points, thing is that they new they needed to rebuild and did it quickly. If the Thrashers sucked that bad no one would have been there last year and no one this year until they proved themselves. The Flyers sucked bad, their management quickly fixed it and now they are in the playoff hunt (apparently "were", see the thread on "the flyers mean business").

Sounds kinda familiar except the "quickly fixed stuff"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006-07_Philadelphia_Flyers_season

With the team clearly on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, Holmgren set his sights on rebuilding the team and preparing for the future. Forsberg, unwilling to commit to playing next season, was traded to Nashville for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and 2007 1st and 3rd-round draft picks. Veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for prospect defenseman Braydon Coburn and disappointing off-season acquisition Kyle Calder was sent to Detroit via Chicago in exchange for defenseman Lasse Kukkonen. The Flyers also acquired goaltender Martin Biron from Buffalo for a 2007 2nd-round pick. Given wide praise for his efforts, the Flyers gave Holmgren a two-year contract and removed the interim label from his title.


 
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  Rasp
 
March 18, 2008 11:04:11 am
 
  Floppy

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quote:
ducksthrashers2002 said...
In a similar vein, DW went after Ivan Majevski and gave Florida a second, when the Panthers had drafted him in the 8th round the year before. This was a Panther team that was so mediocre on defense that they still could give up Majevski guy without blinking.



This would be the same Panther team that traded Dan Boyle to Tampa for almost nothing the year before, right?

Say what you want, but Majesky was a big, tough defenseman (6'5") who played in all 82 games the previous year. He was competing with the likes of Richard Shmelik, Safronov, Ben Weaver and The Terrible T's for a job. The Thrahsers defense was atrocious; mediocre would have been an updgrade. The previous season, the team gave up a league high 284 goals. 31 goals more than the next worst team. 03-04 they lopped 40 GA off that. Yes, DW paid too much, but he got an NHL player to come in and try to help bail out an awful defense.

DW had to do something. All you people kept pissing and moaning about how Florida had gone to the SCF in 5 years and why couldn't the Thrashers?

 
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