Apologies to those who have been wondering about my take on the Nicole Kidman-Keith Urban nuptials -- I've been working on a longer writing project, which with some luck, will be complete today. After weeks of desperately needing rain, the last three days have brought Biblical torrents, which is conducive to staying inside and typing (presuming the Virginia-Highland neighborhood is not washed away).
On the Thrashers side of things, I only noticed today that TSN has lists of the teams' salary commitments for 2006-07; I've been looking for something like this for a while. A couple things stand out: with Štefan and Savard gone, the only two centers currently under contract are Holik and Slater, neither of which impresses me as even a shadow of a number one; and even with Modry gone, the Thrashers have six defensemen under contract for next year (seven, once Steve McCarthy is re-signed). This doesn't thrill me-- I'd like to see a vacancy that can be plugged by someone better. I don't have much use for Sutton, Exelby, or Hnidy, and hopefully we'll see some more trades soon. The Thrashers' payroll is in the $29-$30 million range now, without Kari Lehtonen under contract. Next year's salary cap is $44 million. My math skills aren't great any more -- that's why I majored in journalism -- but even with a trade, I don't see them being able to grab a top-flight center and a stud defenseman, but I'm going to continue dreaming of Zdeno Chára as a Thrasher.
Meanwhile the AJC has an article on Štefan's lowered expectations in Dallas, and a bit on Don Waddell's negotiations: qualifying offers for Lehtonen, newly-acquired Niko Kapanen (also a center, also not first-line material), and McCarthy, and negotiations to bring back 58-year-old Scott Mellanby.
Tomáš Klouček becomes an unrestricted free agent next week, barring some sort of surprise. I collect game-worn hockey jerseys -- something I'm not totally proud of, as it's hard to explain to girls, but there you are -- and until TK has a new contract next season, my mini-collection of Klouček jerseys will be sitting Shiva on the wall (is that even possible?). I considered a hunger strike, but this is less drastic.