Monday, June 22, 2009

Focus on a Thrasher: Rich Peverley

Who? Who did we claim off waviers? Why? Is he any good? Do they really think this is going to fix our problems? These were some of the the many questions buzzing around Thrashers fans' minds when we heard on January 10, 2009 that we had acquired Rich Peverley.

I'd seen him a few times in Nashville, but honestly didn't remember him or know much about him.

Our season was in the toilet and we were looking for some action. Many fans felt like this was a feeble effort to acquire talent. They didn't think this right shooting center being claimed off of waivers from Nashville amounted to much.

HA! Boy was everyone happy to see those people eat their words when Rich showed us what he could do. Nashville was a little clogged with centers. With Arnott, Fidler, and Legwand all playing center, they didn't have much room for Pevs. Don Waddell said that the Predators thought they were going to sneak Peverley down to their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals late on a Friday afternoon. The Thrashers office saw the transaction and snapped him up. As John Anderson was an AHL coach previously, he had seen Rich play and knew what he was capable of. Not only did we think he was worth claiming off of waivers, we thought he was worth putting with our golden boy, Ilya Kovalchuk.

The story also goes that Rich's wife was driving him to the airport in Nashville so he could go to Milwaukee. Before he got on the plane, he got the call telling him that he had been claimed by Atlanta.

So Rich was claimed on waivers on Saturday, January 10. On Sunday, January 11, he was at the Thrashers Casino night! Poor guy. He's been in town probably less than 24 hours and he's already tossed to the mercy of us fans.

Shauna and I walked by his table and it was dead. We decided to stop by and say hi to the new guy. We welcomed him to Atlanta and Shauna played a few hands of black jack. He was pretty good to her. His table had heated up by the end of the night.

Good story, eh? (that was my Canadian impersonation)

Let's find out a little more about Rich.

Rich was born in Guelph, Ontario on July 8, 1982.

Pevs was a college boy. He played four seasons with the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence University. Also attending St. Lawrence at the same time was the Tampa Bay Lightning's call up goalie, Mike McKenna.

After college, Peverley was undrafted and made his start for the 2004-05 season in the ECHL for the South Carolina Stingrays. Pevs played 69 games with the Stingrays and accumulated 58 points. In a very odd turn, Pevs played ONE game for the AHL Portland Pirates. He scored no points.

In 2005, Rich started the season playing with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. Rich played in 11 games before moving up to to Milwaukee Admirals. Once with the Admirals, Rich played in 65 games and scored 46 points during the remainder of the season.

I love this picture! I love that you can see the puck by Ozzy's leg. Almost, Pevs!

The 2006-07 season started with Pevs playing in Milwaukee. He appeared in 66 games and scored 68 points. (NICE!) The Nashville Predators couldn't ignore that he was leading the Admirals in points 1/2 way through the season and signed him as a free agent on January 17, 2007. He appeared in 13 games with the Preds that season.

Rich split the 2007-08 season between the Milwaukee Admirals and the Nashville Predators. Rich played 45 games in Milwaukee that year scoring 54 points.

Rich also played in 33 games for Nashville for that season scoring 10 points and playing in all 6 play off games against the Detroit Red Wings.

Rich started the 2008-09 season with the Nashville Predators. He played 27 games and only scored 9 points. Then on that fateful Friday afternoon they tried to slide him by on waivers and we snapped him up! Pevs wore 37 in Nashville but changed his number to 47 when he became a Thrashers. I'm sure after the tragic death of Dan Snyder, no Thrasher will ever wear that number again.

Anderson was dead-on with recommending we pick up Rich. Rich appeared in his first game as a Thrasher on January 14, 2008 against the Ottawa Senators. Since becoming a Thrasher, Rich has played in 39 games and scored 35 points.

Once arriving in Atlanta, Pevs was put on the line with Ilya Kovalchuk. He and Kovy had fantastic chemistry and Pevs' speed allowed him to keep up with Kovy making them quite a team. Peverley set a team record at the end of the season for centers by finishing the season as a +13, previous record was set by Jim Slater (+8). Marian Hossa has the record for any position with a +18.

We are thrilled to have Peverley here. I can't wait to see what he does in the new season!


aaron June 24, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

Awesome Pev-cap, and sweet new layout!

Sunshine36616 June 24, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

Thanks, aaron :) Glad you like the post and the new look!


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