Atlanta Roller Coaster and Chicago’s Dilemma

So the past few weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for Thrashers fans.

Before the Olympics, the team traded away Ilya Kovalchuk. That was a little sad.

Then, GM Don Waddell said the team would be buyers at the trade deadline, rather than sellers. And that had to make the fans happy.

But then, the Thrashers signed Chris Chelios, age 48. And that had to be a huge disappointment.

Chelios is basically injury insurance, but I can’t believe there wasn’t a player of similar quality available for a similar salary, but at half the age. Or even less than half the age.

It’s just a very odd signing. Like instead of making a big move to substantially improve the team, Waddell decided to make a big move everyone would talk about.

Of course, he succeeded. But he would have been just as successful if had signed someone from the Braves to an NHL contract.

Speaking of GMs, it’ll be interesting to see what Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman does at the trade deadline.

Last night’s loss to the Islanders seemed to be Olympic fatigue meeting shaky goaltending.

Will the Blackhawks try and upgrade their goaltending? Will they stand pat (they traded for defenseman Nick Boynton but sent him straight to the NHL) and hope that everyone gets rested?

One theory is the Blackhawks will use their defensive depth to make some big deadline deals. But without a significant goaltending upgrade, and I’m not sure there’s anyone available who’s much better than goalie Cristobal Huet, any defensive sacrifices are going to pretty much lead straight to goals.