Go Thrashers!!

Hurray!!

The Atlanta Thrashers have won the Southeast Division and secured the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference of the NHL playoffs!

Hears Jim Mora Sr. stick his head in the door: "Playoffs?!!  Playoffs?!!  Did you say, playoffs?!!"

Why yes, I did.

Thrashers trade Stefan before NHL draft.

Forward Patrik Stefan, Jaroslav Modry

ATLANTA (June 24, 2006) -- The Atlanta Thrashers have acquired forward Niko Kapanen and a seventh-round selection, 210th overall, in today's 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Patrik Stefan and defenseman Jaroslav Modry, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Kapanen, 28, set career highs with 14 goals and 35 points in 81 games with Dallas last season. The 5-9, 180-pound center earned one assist in five playoff games in 2005-06. He recorded 42 points (nine goals, 33 assists) in 44 games with Zug of the Swiss National A League in 2004-05.

The native of Hattula, Finland, has earned 76 points (20 goals, 56 assists) and 98 penalty minutes in 239 NHL games with the Stars. Kapanen, who earned nine points (five goals, four assists) in 18 playoff games with Dallas, registered a career-high 29 assists in a career-best 82 games during his first full NHL season in 2002-03. Kapanen, who was selected in the sixth round, 173rd overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, spent five years with the Stars organization.

Prior to joining the Dallas for the 2001-02 season, Kapanen spent six seasons in the Finnish Elite League with HPK Hameenlinna and TPS Turku from 1995-2001, notching 166 points (60 goals, 106 assists) and 165 penalty minutes in 258 regular-season games, and 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 36 playoff contests. He topped 30 points in each of his final three seasons in Finland.

Stefan, 25, was the first draft selection in Thrashers history after being taken first overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and the team's lone remaining player from the 1999-2000 Inaugural Season. The native of Pribram, Czech Republic, collected 177 points (59 goals, 118 assists) in a franchise-record 414 games from 1999-2006. Modry, 35, has earned 223 points (47 goals, 176 assists) in 569 NHL games with New Jersey, Ottawa, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
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NHL draft is at 6:00 PM Eastern tonight.

The NHL draft is at 6:00 PM tonight. The Thrashers have the #12 pick.

Who or what kind of player should the Thrashers be looking for? I think the defense is finally starting to rise through the ranks so I'm thinking Centermen. What do you think?

Will you watch, check in at the end or do you have any kind of interest in the Draft?
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Game 3 is tonight at 8:00 PM.

Well the series shifts back to Edmonton. If the Oilers are going to have any shot at winning the Cup they've got to win these two games at home. They got behind in game 2 and were pressing way hard and hung their back up goalie out to dry. They really got hammered. I don't think they'll win two games much less four of the next five, but if they want to have any hope at all they need to win tonight.

You know the NHL execs are about to lose their power lunches over this. After not being visible for a year, then signing a television network deal with a station (OLN not NBC) that can't be found on a LOT of the U.S. they are facing a marketing nightmare. Not only do they not have a big powerhouse draw for the ratings (i.e. Detroit, New York, Boston, Colorado) they have two small market teams in Raleigh (which even though they in the Cup for the second time in four years a lot of people think an NHL team belongs in North Carolina and Edmonton (the NHL's equivalent of the Green Bay Packers in Canada) but there is the threat of a sweep and the early exit of the Finals from the TV marketplace at all.

Game time is on NBC at 8:00 PM.
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the NHL playoffs

I got back from watching the sneak peak of X-men 3 last night just in time to see the last ten minutes of game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals between Carolina and Buffalo. I am pulling for Buffalo and they won, but man what an entertaining series the two conference finals have been. Edmonton is leading their best of seven against Anaheim 3-0 but man those games have been excellent and tight as well. Lots of good hitting, play making, goal tending, up and down the ice action in both series, especially with Edmonton. I said it before I love to see this team play but my GOD how can anyone be an Oiler's fan and not have a heart attack? Playoff hockey is back and man is it great so far. Thank you God. I still trying to decide if the NHL and the teams it has left playing is a good thing or a bad thing for their recovery. Good to see small market and Canadian franchises make the finals to show anyone can do it and it's exciting when someone other than the same traditional teams make the finals. But on the other hand you wonder if a big major and/or perennial powers showdown with their large markets (Detroit, Boston, Montreal, New York Rangers, Colorado, New Jersey) would be a more successful option for the league and it's recovery and ratings? I don't know the answer to that. For me as a much more than casual fan I like the different teams and will watch anyway. I don't think the NHL pulls in as many casual fans other than it's hard core traditional fanbase as say basketball does (and in no way even approaches the level that the NFL pulls in casual fans) so maybe there aren't that many casual or new fans to pull into the league to begin with. Anyone else's thoughts on the matter?
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The Playoffs roll along.

Well, looks like Ottawa got knocked out last night.  Sorry Scott.  I was going to pull for whoever won that series (them and Buffalo) anyway.  Can't stand the Hurricanes and don't care much for the Devils either.  I am quite surprised at the way Carolina opened an early 3-0 lead in their series.  NJ won the last game but it'd be hard to win 3 more in a row.  The Devils just look like they are asleep out there.  Like someone woke them from a nap. Out west I don't think they'd make it, but I got to admit I'm pulling for Edmonton.  Man, are they exciting to watch.  Up and down, wide open...I don't know how an Oiliers fans can survive a season without having a heart attack.
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Who you pulling for now?

Now that Atlanta didn't make the NHL playoffs is there a team you're pulling for or a team you're pulling against in the playoffs?

Pulling for: Detroit, Ottawa, Buffalo

Against: Dallas and Colorado (hey, best thing about their series, one of them has to lose and get knocked out), Carolina and Montreal (ditto, hate them both. Respect Montreal's tradition, hate the team).
Philadelphia
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Go team USA!!

USA Hockey's Mens team takes on the Swedish team today at 11 AM ET in the Olympics. It looks like the Swedes are getting Peter Foresburg back. That's going to be tough. The US really needs a win to keep their hopes of a chance of a Medal alive.

Good luck guys.

I still can't believe the Swiss beat Team Canada.
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