Q and A with Andrew Ladd

I did a conference call  interview with new Thrashers forward Andrew Ladd. Below is the transcript of the interview.

This should give you something to read over the holiday weekend. I’m going to enjoy a few days off myself. A happy – and safe – Fourth of July to all.

The Thrashers acquired forward Andrew Ladd from Stanley Cup champion Chicago this week. Ladd talked about coming to Atlanta and his plans for his day with the Cup on July 18th from his home in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

Q. What are your thoughts about coming to Atlanta?

A. I’m excited about the opportunity that’s going to be presented there. Hopefully I can be a big part of that team next year. It’s kind of similar to when I went to Chicago (from Carolina). It’s a young team that didn’t have that many expectations around the league. To have that is kind of fun, to go in there and prove people wrong.

Q. Were you surprised by the trade?

A. No, I knew it was coming. Having talked to my agent soon after we won [the Stanley Cup], we knew they didn’t have enough room under the cap to keep me in terms of what they wanted to do. It was kind of basically sitting and waiting and see where I ended up.

Q. You are never prepared for a trade, and it’s never fun to leave a team that just won a Stanley Cup, but the fact that you are coming with three of your teammates there does that make the transition easier?

A. For sure. Anytime you are familiar with guys going into a team, especially guys you just won a Stanley Cup with, it makes it a lot easier. You are all in the same boat and the same situation. I think we are looking forward to bringing a lot of the experience we had last year and in year’s past to Atlanta.

Q. Do you know anyone else on the team?

A. I played world juniors with Clarke MacArthur, so I know him a little bit. I know Jim Slater a little bit. We used to have the same agent so I met him a couple times.

Q. What do you remember about Atlanta from your Carolina days? There has been a lot of turnover but in general what do you remember?

A. When I was there it was playing against [Ilya] Kovalchuk and [Marian] Hossa and those guys the whole time. It’s a little different makeup of a team. If you look at their team they are kind of deep all the way through. It’s a switch from something I don’t know they had when I was in Carolina. They had their top guys and just filled out the rest of the roster. They seem to have a lot of good young guys that they can build around and hopefully I can be a part of that.

Q. What is your relationship with Rick Dudley?

A. I know he was involved in bringing me to Chicago. Anytime that someone likes you, you kind of figure it’s a place you might end up. I wasn’t sure though when three of your teammates go there before hand, I wasn’t so sure that I would go there too.

Q. What do you bring to Atlanta?

A. Hopefully a lot of things. I think there are a lot of things in my game that I bring to the table.  A consistent two-way game. Hopefully I can provide some leadership with the way I play and the example I set on the ice. Beyond that, I think I’m pretty solid. I can put the puck in the net and play at both ends. Nothing really flashy to my game, but I like to think I can get things done.

Q. Have you had your day with Cup yet and what do you plan to do with it?

A. I have it on July 18. I’m hoping to take it to a children’s hospital. Then, I’m going to do a little thing at the rink where I played minor hockey growing up with the community and a bunch of kids there. Then we are just going to hang out with it with my family and then have a big party at a friend’s house.

Q. Looking at the other guys coming from Chicago with you, what do you say they bring to the team and where do you see them fitting?

A. Buff [Dustin Byfuglien] is a special player. There aren’t too many guys that have that size and skill set and the speed that he has. He’s going to be a guy that is tough to play against. He’ll get to the front of the net. He has a big shot and he’s tough to move. He’ll be fun to watch. Benny [Ben Eager] is one of those guys that was underrated being on a deep team in Chicago. He can play a bigger role. He has lots of speed, has good hands and he has a great shot. He’s a fun guy to watch on the forecheck and plays a tough game. Soaps [Brett Sopel] is kind of a steady, reliable guy back on D. He makes a great first pass. He’s a smart player. Anyone who watched him during the playoffs, he was a big part of our penalty kill in terms of the way he blocked shots. He was kind of nuts the way he got in front of slapshots. He’ll be a big part of the penalty kill.

Q. Speaking of Byfuglien, is there a marked difference between what he did in the playoffs and in the regular season? A reason for the success?

A. I don’t know what it was. He played a lot better. I don’t know if he got a little fire in his belly during the playoffs or what. Maybe he just found his game. He got moved up with [Patrick Kane] and [Jonathan Toews], which probably helped him. If you put him with skill players and he creates so much room out there and when you get him the puck in front he can put it in the back of the net. It could have been the situation he was put it. He really elevated his game during the playoffs.

Q. Rick Dudley has talked about how important it is to know how to win and expect to win, how do you bring that to the locker room?

A. I like to think, a lot of times, it’s your approach to the game and how you play the game. You come to the rink and you play with the attitude to win and to work everyday. If we work as a team and are all on the same page, that’s the best way to be successful.

Q. What’s the rest of your summer like?

A. I actually just got home yesterday.  I’m going to start getting into high gear training and getting ready for another year. I’ve had enough rest and it’s time to get back to work.

Q. Who was your roommate on the road with the Blackhawks?

A. Duncan Keith.

Q. With yourself, and the other guys coming over from Chicago, would you say that there is a lot of grit know – that you guys will be a gritty team that’s tough to play against?

A. I think so. If you look through the lineup you find a lot of guys that have workman-like attitudes and lots of speed, which is huge especially in this league now. You find if you can push their D back and get on the forecheck and create so much just on the speed. Looking at their roster that’s what we have in Atlanta.

Q. Looking back at Carolina days, what did you enjoy about playing in the Southeast Division?

A. The first thing I thought about was the travel is so much easier in the East. The year we won the Cup I think we went out of the time maybe zone once, that was to play Edmonton, the whole year. That was nice. It’s nice to fly an hour here, an hour there and then come home. The style of play in the Southeast in pretty run and gun sometimes and that’s a fun style to play.

Q. You played against [goaltender] Chris Mason a lot. Now that he’s on your team, can you describe what kind of goalie he is?

A. To me, he seems like a really solid goalie. He never seems to let in any weak goals. He made all the right saves. When you have a goalie like that it makes the game so much easier.

51 comments Add your comment

BG33Brown

July 3rd, 2010
3:29 pm

Good stuff, thanks Chris.

JC

July 3rd, 2010
3:30 pm

AW

July 3rd, 2010
3:36 pm

good questions Chris! Looks like we might have a great 2010 2011 year!

The Real Thrash

July 3rd, 2010
3:41 pm

Sounds like a keeper. Hope we can sign him next year after he becomes an UFA.

Smoothie

July 3rd, 2010
4:00 pm

Great job C-Viv! Seems like the consummate pro and he will certainly bring a winning attitude with him to ATL. Always liked his game from the time he played for the Canes.

Thank goodness he’s still only 24 and won’t be UFA for 3 more years. I think Duds will get him locked up for 2 or 3 years easily.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
4:13 pm

I echo the RealThrash, and AW — Great questions and I hope we can give Ladd a team that he will continue to want to be on. It sounds like he brings a very healthy work ethic and good attitude to the rink. That’s huge for Atlanta. And especially for a guy who got TRADED to Atlanta. I really do think he’s happy to have so many familiar faces with him, like Sopel, Eager, and Byfuglien.

This was my favorite Ladd quote, If we work as a team and are all on the same page, that’s the best way to be successful.

GaVaHokie

July 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

Great interview… You gave him a lot of questions! :)

KLS1

July 3rd, 2010
4:51 pm

I like the fact he wasn’t shocked that he was moved…seems like he is taking it all in stride. Plus goin to chi after carloina and then being part of building a winner, seems like he is confident he can help do that here…no doom and gloom.

Swami

July 3rd, 2010
4:54 pm

Andrew Ladd sound like nice guy. Maybe he be like new Kovy. Like Kovy Jr. That be nice. On new subject, I see on Hawks website they have A-Town dancers. Why Thrashers no have A-Town dancers on skates. Make things more interesting. A-Town on ice!

alex

July 3rd, 2010
5:56 pm

talk is cheap, real conversation going to be in october when season begin, we need at least 20-25 from him to compensate 70+ from kovy, max, army and kozy. by the way, espn saying he might need shoulder surgery and could’t able to start the season (like hossa did with chicago).

jack

July 3rd, 2010
6:26 pm

Regardless of what alex says, good interview and I think he is a great fit for our team. Can’t wait until oct 8

Beau Turner

July 3rd, 2010
7:18 pm

Talk is cheap? Hush, or I’ll tell my daddy!!

No where’s my whiskey?

jack

July 3rd, 2010
7:40 pm

Beau I think its your turn to buy the shots :)

nickz

July 3rd, 2010
8:07 pm

whisker…i hardly even know her???

Stat Man

July 3rd, 2010
9:09 pm

I think the most telling thing he said was the part about only having to play against Kovy & Hossa cause the rest of the roster was “filler”.

No longer! And I don’t care what their status was in Chicago, to have 20% of a Cup winning team – I bet there aren’t nearly as many nights coming up like last year when the team showed no heart (late games against Boston & Carolina come to mind).

Go Thrash!

TrueBlue

July 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

I like him already. Seems like an awesome guy.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone seen an interview with any o the other guys (Buff, Sopel, Eager, etc.)??

I have not seen a SINGLE thing about them saying anything about coming here. Any way to set up a similar interview for these guys? Thanks Chris. Excellent interview.

Brendan

July 3rd, 2010
10:08 pm

True Blue, I think we got an “it is what it is,” out of Byfuglien, when asked how he felt about not being able to defend his newly won Stanley Cup title next season, as a Blackhawk. Can’t blame him there, or insinuate that he hates Atlanta, either. “It is what it is” is a statement of fact, not a catch phrase. I cannot name a team that won a title, then got somewhat gutted, and everyone was doing cartwheels that it happened. Indeed, “it is what it is.” The key is to give these ThrashHawks a reason to believe they should stay in Atlanta. That’s on Dudley, Ramsay, and the ownership through Waddell.

GWJ

July 3rd, 2010
11:26 pm

Great interview. Excited about Ladd and the other guys from Chicago!

Wayne stuck in AL

July 3rd, 2010
11:40 pm

How’s Dudley’s search for a scorer–and a center? He coulda had Matthew Lombardi rather cheaply…

J(Z)

July 4th, 2010
1:03 am

Byfugien got phone interviewed at the draft party. Haven’t heard from Eager, Sopel is on twitter and seems to still be in a Chicago state of mind, never once saying a word about ATL. I’m worried about him not wanting to be here.

Alan R.

July 4th, 2010
1:41 am

J(Z) – Sopel is also UFA next year, and if he doesn’t want to be here, we’ve got D who can replace him in the minors.

I may be the minority with that thought, but that’s how I see it.

Hawksfan

July 4th, 2010
9:34 am

I hate this interview because it reminds me of what a gentleman Ladd is. We’ll miss him in Chicago. We’ll miss all of our players Atlanta got and not a lot of people are happy to lose these guys. We all knew changes were coming but we thought we’d at least get SOMETHING for these players. Besides quality players Atlanta fans are getting soft spoken gentlemen who are willing to spend time with fans and want to impress everyone around them. You can’t buy that. I’m just glad we’ll only play “Chicago South” once next season because it’ll be too depressing to watch.

VAThrasher

July 4th, 2010
10:10 am

Wayne – Lombardi isn’t an upgrade over Antropov or Peverley as far as scoring centers go (or Little, should we decide to move him back). I think we’re set with those as C1 and C2 and, unless he goes Bertuzzi on us, I think we’ll all love Cormier as checking (C3) center by year-end – this time last year Devils fans touted him as a combination of Holik and Madden, ready to make the team. That leaves White (who could rebound) and Slater. We’d like to add a wing to provide secondary scoring, but I think we’re comfortable with Little/Buffy/Bergfors/Kane as top 6 with Ladd (former 4th overall draft pick) capable of moving up. This teams primary need is a shutdown defenseman – someone to put out against Ovie/Crosby/Kovy, etc. Not sure Bogosian’s ready for that yet, nor are Oduya/Sopel/Toby/Hainsey capable.

Jen

July 4th, 2010
10:34 am

Nice interview, thanks for posting it. I’m looking forward to what these guys can bring the team.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
11:47 am

This may seem like a slightly unusual line-up compared to what we’ve seen in the past, but I’m hoping to see something similar to this next year:
Bergfors-Little-Byfuglien
Kane-Peverley-Antropov
Ladd-Slater-Machacek(?)
Eager-Cormier-Thorburn
White-MacArthur

Oduya-Bogosian
Hainsey-Enstrom
Sopal-Kulda/Valabik

Alan R.

July 4th, 2010
12:19 pm

Thanks for weighing in, Hawksfan. We hope you watch some Atlanta games along with the rest of us here, and maybe even cheer for us. Or, if nothing else, cheer for the guys like Sopel, Byfuglien, Eager, and Ladd. :)

I wish you all the best of luck next year, and a return to the Cup Finals. If we happen to be there too, however, all bets are off! ;)

Smoothie

July 4th, 2010
12:21 pm

Jameson – I could live with that if we don’t get the veteran scoring winger that Dudley covets. I’m hoping Machacek can really make a mark with his gritty determination and relentless fore-checking. Should we get another winger for the Top 6, just think what kind of damage Little might do playing with Ladd and Slater? Those two might really open things up for Little on the counter-attack. You know how lackadaisical some of the top lines in the East can be when they over-extend on offense. Our 3rd line will need to be able to score some without Kane. Pettersson is a wildcard I believe. Then you will have Machacek platooning on the 4th line…might be better to break him in slowly?

Sage of Bluesland

July 4th, 2010
3:12 pm

This season is looking quite promising! See you in Section 116, gentlemen!

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:39 pm

Smothie- I’m not sure about Machacek on the fourth line. I know he’s an energy guy, but if he can’t handle the third line, I think we should hold off on him, and let Thorbs stick there. He was half decent on the PK last season. It sounds like both Pettersson and Klingberg have a shot at making the roster, but they’re both listed as left wings. I know some players don’t seem to mind which side they play on (e.g. Bergfors), but others can’t seem to adjust (e.g. Sterling), so who knows.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
4:50 pm

I sort of liked the idea of Buff making space for Bergfors and Little to be creative on one line, and Kane crashing the net with Antropov’s size/playmaking and Peverley’s playmaking/scoring touch on the other. I really do think Slater is ready for a bigger role on the team. His rookie season had me a little hopeful for him, but ever since his sophomore year, I’ve said he’ll make a good third line center one day.

I’ve gotta say, sometimes I thought Boults was taking up a spot on the roster that would be better used by someone who needed experiance, but I’m really gonna miss him. Maybe we can bring him back as a pugilism coach.

Jameson

July 4th, 2010
7:37 pm

Of course the most important part of the above lines having any chance of working out is like has been said several times in different ways, Bogo being able to handle first pairing minutes all year.

Smoothie

July 4th, 2010
9:44 pm

Jameson – the nice thing is we’re gonna have some options and flexibility. Even if White makes the team — perhaps we’ll carry 14 forwards and 7 d-men for a stretch — he can be used every few games when he’s completely rested. He’s good in the F/O circle which can be valuable either in the D-zone as a PK’er or even once in awhile on the PP 2nd unit. Obviously, we don’t want White playing a lot and I would feel better if we traded him. But if he’s not overworked, he can be effective in spot minutes every 3rd or 4th game. I agree on Thorburn too. I think he’s earned a spot on this roster with his play last season. We will need his improved PK skills to help somewhat mitigate the loss of Reasoner. The last 2 or 3 roster spots will come down to who can play best on the PK I reckon.

Flagstaff

July 4th, 2010
11:03 pm

SOB– Forgive me, but I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. I would assume so, as Wads is still employed by the ASG, but this was a good interview, the team is looking pretty sharp, and you mentioned section 116 specifically. Any explanation?

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
7:58 am

Sage is coming to a game this season? I am sure many of the posters would like to meet the Sage-while some may not want to meet you!

We pickup up 4 North American players that like the physical game. That aspect has a tendency to open up opportunties for skilled players like Little, Antropov and Bergfors. Now Dudley needs to get some names on long term contracts so we don’t have to spend so much time of talking about losing key players next season and the year after. Keep it going Duds.

World Be Free

July 5th, 2010
7:58 am

Sage is coming to a game this season? I am sure many of the posters would like to meet the Sage-while some may not want to meet you!

We pickup up 4 North American players that like the physical game. That aspect has a tendency to open up opportunties for skilled players like Little, Antropov and Bergfors. Now Dudley needs to get some names on long term contracts so we don’t have to spend so much time of talking about losing key players next season and the year after. Keep it going Duds.

Sage of Bluesland

July 5th, 2010
9:21 am

Let’s just say I’m in a forgiving mood. This just might be the year, even if Waddell is still here, and the view from 116 is pretty nice. See you all there.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
9:28 am

More Sage imposters?

Dan Duffy

July 5th, 2010
10:40 am

Andrew, Great interview and Blueland looks forward to having you. Boys, we have a great young nucleus to build around. Bergfors,Kane,the new kid that was suspended that we got from NJ for Kovy. All the rumors have Kovy leaving NJ for the west coast. Finally, Waddell made a good move got something in return for an elite player. Looking forward to it. Will miss Moose, but didn’t want to post him for 2 years.

Buzzeng

July 5th, 2010
11:51 am

TSN.ca reporting Brett Sterling signed with Pittsburgh.

Alan R.

July 5th, 2010
12:17 pm

He signed with PIT a few days ago.

Brendan

July 5th, 2010
5:44 pm

R.I.P., Bob Probert. You were feared in your day. 3,300 penalty minutes. http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326672. I hope Bob kicked his personal demons before his death. He had well documented difficulties with alcohol and cocaine.

JC

July 5th, 2010
7:01 pm

Thrashers in on Kovy? Eklund has the rumor over on Hockey Buzz. (reliable?)

Beau Turner

July 5th, 2010
7:25 pm

Kovy can come back, but only if he brings his own booze. Damn freeloader. *hic*

jack

July 6th, 2010
10:45 am

Don’t think there is a chance it is reliable.

jack

July 6th, 2010
10:48 am

Brendan thanks for the heads up. Sound slike his past caused him a departure too soon. Sounds like kovy is islander or devil bound. Hopefully islander bound. Also for much less than wha the was originally requesting. Any word on Max?

pensfan

July 6th, 2010
1:37 pm

Wow the Thras sign a Stanley Cup winning solid defenseman and there is no mention of it? Anyone still ocvering free agency?

jack

July 6th, 2010
1:59 pm

pensfan who ar eyou referring to?

Brendan

July 6th, 2010
2:14 pm

Jack, no word on Max Afinogenov. I think if he were coming back, he’d be signed by now. I don’t know what Max’s plans are, but I always got the impression that he wanted to remain in the NHL. Finny certainly showed he still belongs in the NHL last season. I think the issue, with him, is the length of contract. He’s probably looking for 3 years, and not finding takers. Though, I didn’t check the UFA ticker yet today.

jack

July 6th, 2010
2:16 pm

thanks Brendan, Any news on the signings on July 2. Looks like we picked up a samll forward and defensemen

Tom Lysiak

July 6th, 2010
2:57 pm

“Wow the Thras sign a Stanley Cup winning solid defenseman and there is no mention of it?”

Oh no, Chris Chelios again?????