03 Mar 2010 Exhale…
Vyacheslav Kozlov

We hope you'll smile again in the ATL, Slava.

Wow.

I never imagined the Atlanta Thrashers wouldn’t be able to offload Slava Kozlov. I am amazed to be sitting here writing that he’s still a Thrasher after all that. Will he play? Will he be waived? That’s what I imagine is going to happen: It’s waiver watch from now on. They can still waive after the deadline, no? (Apologies, I am no expert in this area.)

I am hopeful, ever so hopeful that Slava can get back in the good graces of John Anderson (loathsome man!) and be back on the ice playing like we know he can. I’d hate to see him buried in the AHL.

And could they lose him on re-entry after the trade deadline?  (Or in essence — in a roundabout way — grant his request out of Atlanta by waiving him and, if nobody claims him, subject him to re-entry waivers and pay half the freight of his salary.)   I don’t know the rules on this, unfortunately.  Feel free to comment and set me straight.

The unselfish part of me is sad for Kozlov. I know he wanted out and hoped to be traded.  And a teeny-tiny part of me wishes he’d gotten his wish.

The selfish part of me really wants him to get that one chance and totally play himself back onto the team and prove J.A. wrong because you know what?  J.A. is wrong unless Slava has suddenly become a head case or belligerent. (Maybe he has? Kozlov’s Fall Out With the Thrash. In which case, maybe they are both wrong?)

Nevertheless…

Anything to do with Kozlov is written from my heart, not my head. I love him as a player.  I’ve loved him since NHL hockey appeared on my radar screen back when he was first starting out with the Red Wings;  and I will love him no matter where he goes. Maybe it’s a Goddess kind of thing to say, but I just want this particular person to be happy. I think he’s, as the colloquial saying goes, “good people.”  But you know, I know a man who once told me he cried his eyes out when Wendel Clark was traded from the Maple Leafs, so it’s a God AND Goddess way to feel.  That is, everyone — man, woman or child — has one or two special players that they live and die with.  Slava is mine.

¡Bienvenidos (otra vez)! del Thrashers, Slava? ¡Te amo, mi amor (del hockey)!

Photo: Vyacheslav Kozlov by Goddess Kaat. Copyright 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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4 Responses

  1. 1
    Savvy 

    I just this moment read a comment on Justin Bourne’s blog from someone who reportedly spoke to Slava’s agent who said, contrary to reports, that Slava never requested a trade, and that he might have been willing to waive his NTC, but he was not asked.

  2. 2
    Kaat 

    Interesting. Because D-Wad and the paper in Atlanta (and media outlets from here to Timbuktu) repeatedly reported that Slava requested to be traded and even quoted Kozlov to that effect. Something just isn’t right with this story all around if you ask me. The article I linked above probably holds more answers than I can possibly decipher. But…

    The beat writer in Atlanta quotes Kozlov on February 26, 2010 as saying: “I asked [general manager] Don [Waddell] to find a team,” Kozlov told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday. “I don’t know if I’m going to be on this team or another team. If we can find a team which I like and which is good for me and my family I will go. If not, I’m going to be here. …”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Kozlov requests trade due to reduced role

    I hate to say it sounds like he and his agent are trying to backpedal to save face. And I hate to say that. I really do.

    I just hope Kozzy gets a chance to go out there and kick ass again. ‘Cause he can bring it! Make it rain Kozzy!

  3. 3
    savvy 

    Media reports are always convoluted, and IMHO this time of year they get crazier than ever. From what’s been said here, it looks like semantics. Technically you could argue that asking the GM to “find a team” doesn’t *exactly* mean “I request a trade.”

    If the Thrashers had been actively shopping him, I think the Bruins might have been interested, but reports here indicate that they didn’t hear anything at all.

    I’m sure we’ll never find out what really happened. ;-)

  4. 4
    Kaat 

    Yep. I work in the media, as do you, so I definitely know how it goes. I don’t work for the AJC or have access to their sources or even work in the sports department though. So it’s true, it’s a splitting of hairs — and if you’re a copyeditor, that statement would be argued all day: What does “find me a team” mean? But I am just going by published reports and what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer and even the dude who works for the team’s website reported and that was: he requested a trade. I asked Ben Wright point blank and he said the trade was requested. Don Waddell indicted that in his post-deadline presser. (Not that I usually believe ANYTHING he says, but he’s out there on the record saying Kozlov asked for it.) But it’s like the entertainment world, which I spent years covering, you don’t know who to believe half the time. Personally, my instinct tells me there is a little face saving going on. Very important in that culture — Russian culture that is.

    But, like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop — the world may never know! :-)

    Whatever the real story is, I hope Slava can work his way back into the lineup. I think he’s earned that much and deserves it. But, as ever, I am incredibly biased because he’s my favorite player.

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