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What did Donald Audette mean to the early Thrashers?

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11-30-2010, 08:10 PM
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manifestodestiny
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What did Donald Audette mean to the early Thrashers?

Hey guys. I've been a fan of the Thrashers for a while; however, I was not around during the early years. I've been reading through an old statbook and saw his 00-01 season statistics (64 games 32 goals 39 assists 71 points), which was quite impressive. I've alway been flustered with the trade, and how little we got back. But what was the story of Audette beyond the statline?

Thanks

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11-30-2010, 09:10 PM
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Well he was on a terrific line with Ray Ferraro and Andrew Brunette. The FAB line, the first real offensive threat the team ever developed.

Audette was terrible defensively but had a damn good shot. Thrashers fans made a big stink when we traded him instead of trying to sign him to an extension. He ended up getting a very bad injury with Montreal and was really never the same after that and his career fizzled out.

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11-30-2010, 09:13 PM
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He was one of the few early bright spots for the team. He and Brunette were 2 guys i always felt the team should have held on to.

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11-30-2010, 09:14 PM
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Donald Audette was part of the first genuinely good line in Thrashers history: Andrew Brunette - Ray Ferraro - Donald Audette. They were the only bright spot for the team the time they played together. The story beyond the stat line? There is none, really, because he brought nothing else to the team. Brunette and Ferraro brought some heady play, hustle away from the puck, and personality in the locker room but Audette was the consummate mercenary that seemed interested only in his stats and his paycheck.

Dealing him away was no big deal, despite the stink a lot of fans made at the time. That might have been Waddell's first controversial move as GM. Letting Brunette walk was the second one. We should have kept Bruno for another few years, but letting Audette walk was smart given the big pay raise he wanted. His agent proclaimed Audette wouldn't take one nickel less than what he was worth. I can't remember what he ultimately got but it was an overpayment for sure. He didn't come close to recreating the production he had here. The only thing noteworthy he did was make Sportscenter for getting his wrist sliced open by some dude's skate blade.

Yeah, we didn't get much for him (though Kamil Piros's hat trick at Philips was memorable) but what do you expect for a middling UFA that's had a career year?

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12-01-2010, 04:05 PM
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I see. So he was pretty much a small offensive player with little intangibles or defensive ability? A bit depressing that he did not care for Atlanta, but I guess it is to be expected.

Out of curiosity, what was the reasoning for leaving Brunette walk? Contract issues or was it Waddell being Waddell?

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12-01-2010, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by manifestodestiny View Post
I see. So he was pretty much a small offensive player with little intangibles or defensive ability? A bit depressing that he did not care for Atlanta, but I guess it is to be expected.

Out of curiosity, what was the reasoning for leaving Brunette walk? Contract issues or was it Waddell being Waddell?
It was Waddell being Waddell. DW was concerned that Bruno might have gone to arbitration and been awarded a decent salary so he wasn't even qualified. DW also continued saying that there wasn't room in the lineup for Bruno with all of the young talent coming up. He was wrong on both accounts

As for Audette, he was acquired from the Kings, where he had landed in the dog house, along with Frank Kaberle for Kelley Buchburger and Nelson Emerson around the trade deadline of the team's inaugural season. In the full season he was a Thrasher (trade deadline to trade deadline) he scored 39 goals. He was the first guy the franchise had who could legitimately put the puck in the net regularly and score on a break away. He was the first Thrasher player who could bring fans to their feet. Thrasher fans overvalued him because of that. We'd never seen a goal scorer before.

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12-01-2010, 04:40 PM
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I was only a tween in the early day of the Thrashers...I'd like to hear from an adult perspective what people though of Hnat Domenchelli and Steve Guolla( these guys were on our 2nd line right?) What about Tomi Kallio, always was a fan of his too.

Was Petr Buzek a legit top 4 D man? Yannick Tremblay? Jiri Slegr?

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12-02-2010, 05:39 PM
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I was only a tween in the early day of the Thrashers...I'd like to hear from an adult perspective what people though of Hnat Domenchelli and Steve Guolla( these guys were on our 2nd line right?)
Domenichelli was OK, nothing special. Guolla wasn't even that good. I honestly don't remember much about Guolla except we used to make lots of hair jokes about him. I don't think those two played on a line together - at least they weren't known as a line in the sense Ferraro, Brunette, and Audette were.

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What about Tomi Kallio, always was a fan of his too.
Kallio was a promising player. Nice skill level and a little bit of chippiness to go with it. He had a decent rookie season then I think early in his sophomore year he was boarded pretty hard headfirst into the endboards at Philips and had a nasty concussion. He was never the same player after that.

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Was Petr Buzek a legit top 4 D man? Yannick Tremblay? Jiri Slegr?
He was legit top four ... for us. Laugh out loud. Buzek was OK. Kinda like Kallio in that he showed some early promise that he might be a keeper but it fizzled out eventually. Tremblay was pretty bad - had a big shot that generated a little bit of scoring from the blueline but nothing else. Slegr wasn't here long enough to develop a full impression it seems. At the time he was the most creative defenseman we'd ever had as far as generating offense goes but that's not saying much. For as stout as he was physically I don't recall him being much of a force defensively.

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12-02-2010, 05:59 PM
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yeah, Jiri Slegr was pretty soft. for someone that big, you really expected him to be a bruiser. he wasn't tall, but he was built solidly.

I always thought that Kelley Buchberger should have been brought back. yeah, he wasn't exactly a lamp lighter, but he was a tough dude who provided some grit the early Thrashers needed. It would have also been a consistent Captain presence that the team needed at the time. Instead Steve Frickin Staios became captain.....Ugh....

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12-02-2010, 06:02 PM
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Guolla wasn't even that good. I honestly don't remember much about Guolla except we used to make lots of hair jokes about him.
Guolla was a scoring fourth-liner, if such a thing exists. I don't think he was really an NHL-caliber talent. I recall Scott Ferrall, who was doing radio play-by-play back then, liking to say his name.

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Kallio was a promising player. Nice skill level and a little bit of chippiness to go with it. He had a decent rookie season then I think early in his sophomore year he was boarded pretty hard headfirst into the endboards at Philips and had a nasty concussion. He was never the same player after that.
It was really a decent half of a first season. He scored some goals and helped create a second scoring line after the FAB line. He got hurt around mid season and when he came back he couldn't duplicate his earlier success. Then, the concussions came.


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He was legit top four ... for us. Laugh out loud. Buzek was OK. Kinda like Kallio in that he showed some early promise that he might be a keeper but it fizzled out eventually.
Buzek was actually projected as a top-10 draft pick in 1995 but then he got into an awful car accident. He fell to the third round. He was OK here, but concussions killed his career. I'm still pissed that Brendan Witt, when he was with the Caps, got away with boarding Buzek and ending his season without anyone ever going after him.

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Tremblay was pretty bad - had a big shot that generated a little bit of scoring from the blueline but nothing else.
Tremblay was awful. It was rumored that someone (Philly?) offered An(d)y (D)elmore straight up for Tremblay. Waddell probably should have taken it.

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Slegr wasn't here long enough to develop a full impression it seems. At the time he was the most creative defenseman we'd ever had as far as generating offense goes but that's not saying much. For as stout as he was physically I don't recall him being much of a force defensively.
The Thrashers picked up Slegr from Pittsburgh on the cheap as Pittsburgh was starting to have money issues in the post-Lemieux era. He was a decent offensive defenseman, but really poor defensively. DW called Slegr his "riverboat gambler" because of the chances he took. I always remembered how he had no idea how to handle a forecheck. He always managed to pass the puck directly into the skates of the man pressuring him, resulting in many a turnover.

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12-02-2010, 06:04 PM
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yeah, Jiri Slegr was pretty soft. for someone that big, you reI always thought that Kelley Buchberger should have been brought back. yeah, he wasn't exactly a lamp lighter, but he was a tough dude who provided some grit the early Thrashers needed. It would have also been a consistent Captain presence that the team needed at the time. Instead Steve Frickin Staios became captain.....Ugh....
According to the rumors at the time, Buchburger approached DW and asked for a trade, saying he couldn't take all the losing, so he was traded to LA who were then a playoff club.

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12-02-2010, 06:50 PM
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I've been wondering this for a while. Why did Ray Ferraro sign with us in 1999? Did we overpay him, or did he legitimately want to "build" the Thrashers?

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