Tag-Archive for ◊ trade deadline ◊

04 Mar 2010 Mr. Mueller Goes to Denver

Peter Mueller poses for a picture at the NHL YoungStars Game in 2008.

As Goddess Sasha mentioned yesterday, our good pal Peter Mueller was traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Colorado Avalanche with some other guy for Wotek Wol… Wole… Something Polish. As a long time fan of #88, I was a bit shocked that Don Maloney would ship him out; but to be honest, I think it is a very good thing for him and his development.

I first got to know Peter as a rookie in the WHL as a member of my hometown Everett Silvertips.  The fact that he came to play here in Hooterville was a bit of  a shock to most folks who follow junior hockey; and it was a really big shock to the folks at the University of Minnesota as he had already committed to play there and had a scholarship. However, once he got a little older, he changed his mind and felt that major junior would be a better road to The Show than college.

So, he came to town and proceeded to not only have a great rookie year with 58 points in 52 games, but he went home to Bloomington with the WHL Rookie of the Year award and WHL Top Draft Prospect award as well as several other team awards during the season.  For an encore, he scored 78 points in 51 games during the 2006-2007 season and helped Team USA’s U-20 squad to a bronze medal at the World Juniors after being selected 8th in the 2006 draft.  It helped that he was alongside Zach Hamill, who now is Boston Bruins property; and that the Tips had a phenomenal season on the way to winning the WHL version of the President’s Trophy. Unfortunately the playoffs weren’t as good as they could have been thanks to one Mr. Devin Setoguchi and the Prince George Cougars, but I digress.

There was a lot of talk in the late summer of 2007 about whether Peter would make the Coyotes squad or would he come back to the Tips for another season, as he had two more years of eligibility. I would have liked for him to come back, partly because he’s a good kid and would have helped the team out tremendously; but you could see at the end of the season that the WHL pond was getting to be a bit too small for our boy from the land of 10,000 lakes.

However, I don’t know if dear Pete really realized just what being a full time NHL player would be like. Yes, he had youth and a whole bundle of talent; but without a taskmaster coach like Kevin Constantine, I can see how hard it might have been to stay the course with all the goodies an NHL contract brings with it.  Yes, he had a very good rookie season and was even voted for a few times for the Calder; but a rookie season does not a career make, nor does it guarantee even a good second season and #88 in your program was proof of this. True he had some issues with injuries; but I think if he had been with a different team with a different coach and more stability, things might have been a little better.

However I try to be optimistic and I really think if last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks is any indication, things are looking up for our good pal Pete. He scored a goal, tripped a Duck and generally looked happy, which makes my little black heart happy too.

Photo: NHL



03 Mar 2010 An Old Twist on the New Avs

Peter Mueller warms up in one of his last games as a Coyote.

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised, or saddened to see Wojtek Wolski go. I know many Avalanche fans were hoping for Ruslan Salei or John-Michael Liles to be traded, and if Wolski had to go, they wanted a veteran in return.

I, for one, am happy to see the less-than-physical player leave our ranks. Rumors were that Wolski didn’t see eye-to-eye with the Avs management, and that he was on his way out. I take that to mean, they asked him to put his big body in front of the net and he didn’t want to take the beating.

Most Avs fans don’t watch a whole lot of other hockey, except what’s force-fed to them on the networks. That means, they don’t know a whole lot about the Phoenix Coyotes and Peter Mueller. I’m sure Goddess Amy will weigh in on this, since she saw him during his Junior days in Everett when he played for the Silvertips, but I really think this guy is going to be great. The Avs needed another center, and why not grab a young guy with tons of talent, a good work ethic and is easy on the eyes? ;-)

Getting rid of Liles would have been ideal. However, no one was going to pick up his inflated salary. The general public may not have been watching him the past couple of years, but the scouts were and he just doesn’t fit into too many team’s plans. After all, you can only have so many Mike Greens in the league.

Salei? Yeah, he’s carrying a bit of a salary, but for those people who never watched more than a couple of Ducks or Panthers games, they don’t understand what a talented, smart and crushing player he can be.  In his first game back this season, he threw some punishing hits and got an assist, looking as if he hadn’t missed a beat, and ended up +2 in a 3-2 loss. He is most physical defenseman next to Adam Foote, and he’s a smart player and great skater to boot. Why anyone would want to deal him is beyond me. I’d get rid of Brett Clark and even my lovely Scott Hannan before I’d ditch Salei.

Teasers:  I’ve promised KHL reporting and I will deliver soon.  Also, look for more rants on what else? Colorado Avalanche fan experiences.  Suffice it to say, we will not be renewing our season tickets next year.

Photo: Peter Mueller by Goddess Sasha. Copyright 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.



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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03 Mar 2010 With Bated Breath
Vyacheslav Kozlov

Kozlov chats with our very own Goddess Sasha.

The hockey world doesn’t anxiously await his fate.  Probably about  21 other people are as desperate to know where he’ll land.  But my favorite player, one Slava Kozlov, is on the block (by his own request).  I am sad he’s going, but D-Wad actually acknowledged yesterday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was trying his best to honor his request to be traded to a contender out of respect for what Kozlov has done for the franchise.  


    “The asset value back is minimal vs. how much he’s done for this franchise. If I can find him a home, I’m happy to do it.”

    – Don Waddell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 03/01/2010


Hell, it could all be lip service, but I want to drink this Kool-Aid for once and believe the Thrashers value everything he’s brought to the table — and it’s been significant over the years.

Slava:  I loved you before you joined the Thrashers and, as REO Speedwagon well put it in the 1980s, “I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you.”  

Bonne chance mon amour (d’hockey)!

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

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