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Wild Defensive Prospect A.J. Thelen Now UFA

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Old
06-02-2007, 04:27 PM
  #1
nyhiflyer
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Wild Defensive Prospect A.J. Thelen Now UFA

Minnesota Wild failed to sign former 2004 first-round pick (12th overall) A.J. Thelen, a 6' 3" defenceman who was a second-team All-American as a freshman at Michigan State, got kicked off the team for underage drinking incident, then played two years in the Western Hockey League, where his team, the Vancouver Giants, won the Memorial Cup. Whether he is a UFA is disputed and may end up in arbitration. Reportedly, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers all have shown interest. Should the Flyers? If no, why not? If yes, at what price?


Last edited by nyhiflyer: 06-03-2007 at 06:46 AM. Reason: add info re UFA dispute and underage drinking
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06-02-2007, 04:39 PM
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MiamiScreamingEagles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyhiflyer View Post
Minnesota Wild failed to sign former 2004 first-round pick (12th overall) A.J. Thelen, a 6' 3" defenceman who was a second-team All-American as a freshman at Michigan State, got kicked off the team for underage drinking, then played two years in the Western Hockey League, where his team, the Vancouver Giants, won the Memorial Cup. Reportedly, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers all have shown interest. Should the Flyers? If no, why not? If yes, at what price?
Seems like there is a legal matter on the horizon:

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_6043925

Wild opt not to sign Thelen
Ex-first-round pick can re-enter draft

BY BRIAN MURPHY
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 06/02/2007 01:23:08 AM CDT


A.J. Thelen might make it into an NHL arbitration hearing, but he will not suit up in a Minnesota Wild uniform.

As expected, the Wild elected not to sign the 2004 first-round pick to an entry-level contract Friday and thus relinquished their rights to the 21-year-old defenseman.

As compensation, the Wild will receive a second-round pick (42nd overall) at the June 23 entry draft in Columbus, Ohio.

Thelen, who grew up in Savage, declined to comment about the decision. So did general manager Doug Risebrough. Thelen is the only first-round pick the Wild have been unable to sign since they joined the NHL in 2000.

Under terms of the old 2004 collective bargaining agreement, the league stipulates Thelen can re-enter the draft. But agent J.P. Barry argues his client should be an unrestricted free agent because he transferred to college from juniors in 2005.

Barry wants to enlist the Players Association to challenge the rule. If Thelen and the league can't reach an expedited agreement, the case could wind up before an arbitrator.


Severing ties with Thelen closes the book on a saga that began in June 2004, when the Wild drafted the Michigan State freshman and second-team All-American 12th overall.

But an underage drinking episode in March 2005 got Thelen kicked off the Spartans. He languished with lowly Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League before being traded to the Vancouver Giants in January. He played well in helping the Giants win the Memorial


Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 06-02-2007 at 05:39 PM.
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Old
06-02-2007, 04:39 PM
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It would be stupid for the Flyers not to want in on that, but I think the bidding war will pass them by.

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06-02-2007, 05:16 PM
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It would be stupid for the Flyers not to want in on that, but I think the bidding war will pass them by.
we shouldn't be getting outbid on any entry-level contract... i might be wrong, but as this is his first contract i would imagine he's under the same rules as any other draft pick. he can sign wherever, but he's capped at 980K a year....

he may not be interested in being a Flyer, but i don't think it will be because of money.

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06-02-2007, 05:20 PM
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Yes try to get him. Young, strong, offensive defenseman. Exactly what we are looking for. Question does he back into draft because he was unsigned? or is he too old, and therefore a UFA?

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06-02-2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
we shouldn't be getting outbid on any entry-level contract... i might be wrong, but as this is his first contract i would imagine he's under the same rules as any other draft pick. he can sign wherever, but he's capped at 980K a year....

he may not be interested in being a Flyer, but i don't think it will be because of money.
He can only sign an entry level contract, but other teams might be willing to give Thelen more in bonuses than Holmgren would.

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06-02-2007, 05:31 PM
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he's got off-ice issues, attitude problems

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He allegedly blew off a semester of classwork, argued with coaches at practice and in general showed a lack of maturity and character. The public drinking incident was the last straw.

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06-02-2007, 05:33 PM
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Jester
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He can only sign an entry level contract, but other teams might be willing to give Thelen more in bonuses than Holmgren would.
bonuses are REAL limited for these guys now... i would also wager the bidding for a guy with his record isn't going to get too out of control. this organization shouldn't have a problem when it comes to laying out money for quality young players... if they feel he's going to be a problem as a person, that's another story... we shouldn't get outbid if he's good, however, as he won't be on the cap.

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06-02-2007, 06:35 PM
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Thelen regressed as he got older, and attitude problems came after.


I'll pass. We don't need someone like that here.

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06-02-2007, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by _Flyers_ View Post
he's got off-ice issues, attitude problems
He was a 19 year old college sophmore. That's semi-normal behavior.

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06-02-2007, 08:06 PM
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he's got off-ice issues, attitude problems
As someone already said, sounds like a college student. I'd be more curious to hear how he behaved during his two years in Vancouver.

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06-02-2007, 08:41 PM
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Here's how I see it:

Vancouver won with him (Good for him.)

Michigan State won without him (Apparently, they didn't really need him.)



Yes, he was being a college student, but he was still breaking the law. Isn't underage drinking against the law? Many many people drank underage. He just got caught. There's the 2nd strike already. He was dumb enough to do it and then dumb enough to get caught doing it.

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06-02-2007, 08:47 PM
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It has been a struggle for the Savage, Minnesota-native almost ever since the Wild drafted AJ Thelen with their 1st round pick in 2004. The first sign of trouble occured shortly after being drafted when the 6′3″ 212lbs defenseman was kicked off his Michigan State squad when he refused to testify to whether his underage teamates were drinking, causing Michigan State Spartans Head Coach Mike Comley to pull his scholarship in mid-season.
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"His play was pretty solid. I didn't see anything dramatically different," said the Wild's Tom Thompson, who scouted the tournament. "His poise was better than ever before."
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I stand by what I said earlier. Thelen just seems to be a kid who got caught in a bad situation on more than one occasion; Like Downie, I think he could turn into something special, given a proper surrounding.

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06-02-2007, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GarryGalleysGalley View Post
He was a 19 year old college sophmore. That's semi-normal behavior.
sure is, even for a 23 year old senior. take a shot nothing but money and creates assets in that area. lwo risk high reward. looks liek a stand up guy to me, wouldn't rat otu his teammates knwoing what the probable consequences were. so he got caught drinking a few times underage, big deal.

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06-02-2007, 11:12 PM
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Toews got caught underage drinking also, and I would sure as hell take him on the Flyers.

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06-02-2007, 11:13 PM
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I would not mind Flyers taking a shot at him. Cought underage drinking... not a big deal if he can play I would take him.

Hopefully Devils will not pick him up or anyone else in Atlantic.


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06-02-2007, 11:20 PM
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As a college student who goes to a school that is notoriously hard on underage drinking, I have to say that you must be a retard to get caught. I mean, I don't know if I could get caught if I tried and my school is hard on alcohol.

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06-02-2007, 11:29 PM
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Just as a matter of fact: Paul Holmgren was twice caught driving drunk and with a suspended license. The first time when just post-Head Coach/turned Scout for the Flyers and the other was when he was the GM of the Whalers.

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06-03-2007, 02:42 AM
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I drink underage nearly every day. Infact, i am right now. Woopdie-doo

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06-03-2007, 04:09 AM
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Winston Wolf
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Screw all of the underage drinking stuff, I'm more concerned that a 21 year old, 12th overall pick was a # 3/4 defenseman on any CHL team.

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06-03-2007, 06:01 AM
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As a college student who goes to a school that is notoriously hard on underage drinking, I have to say that you must be a retard to get caught. I mean, I don't know if I could get caught if I tried and my school is hard on alcohol.
getting caught everywhere is a matter of bad luck... and a-holes being the ones catching you. one of my favorite (after the fact) moments was a bunch of cops walking into my sophomore dorm room (20 at the time) about 20 minutes after a beer run... we had at least 8-10 bottles of liquor and about 5 cases just sitting there... i had a drink in hand and was playing video games with a friend of mine. somehow... this ended well.

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06-03-2007, 10:39 AM
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getting caught everywhere is a matter of bad luck... and a-holes being the ones catching you. one of my favorite (after the fact) moments was a bunch of cops walking into my sophomore dorm room (20 at the time) about 20 minutes after a beer run... we had at least 8-10 bottles of liquor and about 5 cases just sitting there... i had a drink in hand and was playing video games with a friend of mine. somehow... this ended well.
We used to be careful, but by the end of the year, we didn't even care anymore. It probably helps that our RA was pretty easygoing, but people would be walking in, our door would be wide-open, and alcohol would just be everywhere.

Our suitemate probably thought we were a bunch of drunks, but I don't drink that much personally. Most of the people I know who get caught though are the ones making all kinds of noise or walking around being obviously drunk. As long as you just chill in a room and don't get too loud, you should be fine.

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06-03-2007, 10:39 AM
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What ever problems he might have, and he'll start off on the Phantoms so it's not like he'll disrupt the Flyers or anything. Signing Umberger worked out for us. At worst we waste some money on a guy who doesn't make it. At best we turn out with a good defenseman. I don't see how sign him could be a bad thing.

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06-03-2007, 10:45 AM
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Fedoruk was an alcoholic.. I remember his interview 3-4 years ago before we traded him for 2nd round pick. I am not concerned with alcohol. Now if it was something else then I would think about it.

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06-03-2007, 12:55 PM
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I drink underage nearly every day. Infact, i am right now. Woopdie-doo
Oh, you're soooo badass!! Fight the system, brother!

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Screw all of the underage drinking stuff, I'm more concerned that a 21 year old, 12th overall pick was a # 3/4 defenseman on any CHL team.
Agreed.

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