Morning Skate 513: Peverley wants Thrashers to stay

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Morning Skate 513: Peverley wants Thrashers to stay

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Plenty of relocation talk in Atlanta over the last week where Twitter rumors and Internet whispers are running rampant that the Thrashers organization is preparing itself for a move to Manitoba. Thrashers blogger and team employee Ben Wright actually went on Twitter himself to debunk the rumors and assure that there were no organizational meetings taking place about a potential move to Winnipeg this summer.But theres little doubt Atlanta could be ripe for the relocation picking with the Phoenix Coyotes sticking in Arizona for another season, and the toxic cocktail of ownership problems and attendance issues crushing a flagging hockey franchise in an incredibly indifferent sports city.Bruins winger Rich Peverley played parts of three seasons and only one full campaign where he blossomed into a bona fide NHL forward with 22 goals and 55 points last season in Atlanta, and was clearly bothered by talk that the NHL wouldnt extend the same league protection to that city as theyve done for Glendale throughout their lengthy battle to remain in Phoenix.Just as Gary Bettman and the NHL acted as foster parents for the Coyotes over the last couple of seasons, Peverley rightfully asks why a Thrashers team with young stars like Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane couldnt have the same sort of efforts extended toward them.It would be a shame if they moved," Peverley said. "I think that situation with the organization can be resolved. If you only make the playoffs one out of ten years its obviously tough. With the ownership the situation of going to court for five years it really hampers the organization. What the NHL did for Phoenix hopefully theyll do the same thing for Atlanta because I think its a market that could definitely work.Some guys say it didnt bother them at all and during the season you dont think about it because youre not going anywhere. But some of the guys in the offseason, its in the back of their minds, and especially so for guys that have really planted roots there and have homes. I think that is something Thrashers players really do think about it.The real or imagined specter of relocation is looming over the heads of all Thrashers players, and that cant be a good thing for anybody.On to the links:One day after potting a hat trick against the United States in world competition, Jaromir Jagr-mania is running wild in the New York Times.Pro Hockey Talk has the story on the Mayor of Atlanta staunchly refusing to go through the same steps as Glendale to keep the Thrashers in the fair state of Georgia.Friend of Haggs (FOH) John Manasso has more on the Thrashers potentially uprooting from Atlanta for Manitoba, but says that the situation hasnt even begun to develop at this point.The Boys at Days of YOrr had way too much time coming up with a new billboard for the BruinsLighting series.A piece from TheHockeyWriters.comon whether the Bruins should consider benching Tomas Kaberle for the next round of the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Thats just not going to happen after the kings ransom Peter Chiarelli paid to Toronto for his services, and it absolutely wont go down against the trap-happy Lightning.The Wall Street Journals Kevin Clark searches for answers during a crazy, great Stanley Cup playoff season for the NHL.Steve Yzerman gives credit to the Tampa Bay Lightning ownership group for helping lift the Bolts out of the hockey dust bin this season.TSNs Darren Dreger has plenty in his latest report including the Atlanta situation, a landing spot for Jagr and what on earth the Flyers plan to do about their atrocious goaltending situation?WEEI.coms D.J. Bean said that David Krejci and the Bruins found inspiration in Journeys Dont Stop Believing. Dont stop me if you havent heard somebody get inspired by Steve Perry hitting his high notes before.NHL.com is kicking off their mock draft season, and it looks like the Bruins will be getting themselves a defenseman with their first round pick. I think Ryan Murphy to Boston has a nice ring to it.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while thinking about and praying for the people of Manchester, England. It’s obviously an evil, cowardly act to bomb any public place, but to do it at a concert filled with women and children is the lowest of the low.

*The Capitals players are acknowledging that there’s some kind of mental block with the Stanley Cup playoffs. CSN Mid-Atlantic has all the details.

*It’s been a very odd postseason for the NHL where there are so many non-traditional teams still alive with the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Fina, and the Ottawa Senators fighting for their lives in the Eastern Conference Final. On that note, there is a ton of disappointment at the empty seats at the Canadian Tire Centre for Ottawa’s home games in the playoffs. It sounds like there are going to be empty seats tonight for a do-or-die Game 6 in Ottawa. That is an embarrassment for a Canadian city that’s supposed to pride itself on their love of hockey. Let’s hope the Senators fans have a last-minute surge to buy tickets and show some appreciation for a Senators team that’s given the Ottawa fans a totally unexpected ride through the postseason this spring. I mean, Erik Karlsson at the top of his game is worth the price of admission all by himself.  

*The Pittsburgh Penguins have the Senators on the ropes, and it’s been an impressive showing given that they’re doing it without Kris Letang.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the ownership for the St. Louis Blues giving their GM Doug Armstrong a vote of confidence.

*Another early exit from the playoffs is going to start making some players expendable on the New York Rangers roster.

*Here’s a good piece on how David Poile built the Nashville Predators, who have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. Give credit where it’s due: He manned up and made a big move dealing away Shea Weber straight up for PK Subban. It’s really worked for Music City as they’ve stepped to the next level.

*Speaking of Nashville’s rise this spring in a wide open Western Conference, Pekka Rinne has silenced the critics he might have had by carrying his team to the Cup Final.

*For something completely different: Boston law enforcement is on high alert after the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in the UK.

 

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right.