Rissmiller waited – patiently – for chance to return to NHL

Patrick Rissmiller was waiting for a chance – to leave the New York Rangers and get an opportunity to return to the NHL.

The big forward – 6-foot-4, 215 pounds – got his wish in early August when he was traded to the Thrashers as part of the deal that sent Todd White to the Rangers.

“Excitement,” Rissmiller said Tuesday of his reaction to the trade. “ I’m very excited and looking forward to an opportunity. I’ve been hoping for something like this for a little bit. Since I signed in New York it didn’t go well. I’m looking forward to camp and getting a chance.”

Rissmiller left San Jose and signed a three-year deal worth $1 million a season with New York in 2008. He played just two games for the Rangers during the 2008-09 season. He spent the majority of the season at AHL Hartford.

He spent the entire 2009-10 season in the AHL, splitting time between Hartford and Grand Rapids. It was a long way from his days in San Jose, where he was spent four seasons. He played  79 games for the Sharks in both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. In that time he totaled 15 goals and 24 assists.

“I signed in New York two years ago and for whatever reason never really got a chance,” Rissmiller said. “I’ve was waiting and being patient but it’s not easy moving guys in this cap era. I was trying to be as patient as I could. When I got the news [of the trade to the Thrashers], I was very excited. I feel like a little kid.”

Rissmiller, who is from just outside Boston, knows the challenge ahead. There are a couple open roster spots at the forward position with several young players in the mix. Players like Angelo Esposito, Patrice Cormier, Alexander Burmistrov, Fredrik Petterson and Spencer Machacek have a similar opportunity as Rissmiller.

Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said Tuesday that with the added NHL veterans on the roster – such as Fredrik Modin signed Monday – some of the young players are showing a bit more nervousness about what’s at stake once training camp begins next week.

“I’ve been in this spot a couple of times,” Rissmiller said. “Nothing is guaranteed. People in my spot, you’re always battling for a spot and I understand that and know there is competition. I’ve played enough at this level to know what to expect. I’ve played enough in the playoffs. I think I’m prepared. You always have competition. There are always younger guys and other guys that want to take your position. That’s the way the business works. I’m not going to be too concerned with what else is going on, just be ready to play and hopefully take advantage of the opportunity. …

“It’s been a couple of years since I’ve played at this level. I think it’s normal to have a little bit of nerves, a little bit on anxiousness. It won’t be in a bad way where it will affect my play. I think it will be helpful. When I was in California, I was always battling for a position. I will embrace the opportunity.”

In other news from Tuesday’s workout:

* I asked Dudley for an update on the contract negotiations with restricted free agent forward Niclas Bergfors. He reported that talks continue but “nothing pending.”

* A large contingent skated on Tuesday with several players making their debuts, including Johnny Oduya and Andrew Ladd. Jim Slater was at the IceForum and reports that he will be on the ice Wednesday. Here’s a list of the players that skated (in the order I wrote them down): Boris Valabik, Angelo Esposito, Chris Thorburn, Anthony Stewart, Arturs Kulda, Rich Peverley, Fredrik Peterrsson, Patrice Cormier, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Evander Kane, Akim Aliu, Johnny Oduya, Eric Boulton, Ben Eager, Andrew Ladd, Ron Hainsey, Chris Mason, Ondrej Pavelec, Spencer Macachek, Riley Holzapfel, Bryan Little, Alexander Burmistrov and Patrick Rissmiller.

* The story I wrote on new strength and conditioning coach Barry Brennan should be posted later today.

We are back at it tomorrow.

23 comments Add your comment


September 7th, 2010
4:18 pm

Good stuff Viv, thanks… I’ll predict that Sopel is the last guy to show up. Nothing to his character, just have that feeling.


September 7th, 2010
4:28 pm

Wow, the ice rink is getting awfully crowded!!

Can you ask Barry Brennan how he plans on keeping Freddy Modin healthy? Oh wait, nevermind. ;-)


September 7th, 2010
4:29 pm

Oh yeah, can you get a few quotes from Laddy and Oduya in the next couple of days? Would like to hear what they are thinking. Thanks!


September 7th, 2010
4:38 pm

Thanks for the report Chris.

When you speak to Dudley again, would you ask him if Modin is the top six 15-25 goal scorer he was looking to add to the roster and if he is still actively interested in making another deal(legit top six or top two dman) before training camp?

Michael B. Shapiro

September 7th, 2010
4:42 pm

Can we get Nik Bergfors signed please?


September 7th, 2010
6:19 pm

there is patern in this organization year after year – when we sign roll guys like rusmiller, slater, bolton etc. they always excited because nobody wanted them, when we want to sign premier players like kovy, hossa, heatley even bergrows they not excited they wanted out. this is the reason thrashers worst hockey team in nhl during 11 years existence (you can check the record) i be more happy if real players be excited but this question you should address to mr levenson and mr. waddell


September 7th, 2010
6:28 pm

Would like to see him get a shot on the PK.

Sage of Bluesland

September 7th, 2010
7:51 pm

I’m waiting patiently for Don Waddell to consummate our relationship.

East Point Bob

September 7th, 2010
8:18 pm

Comments from TSN 2010/2011 team report… Not Good !

Biggest issue facing the team:

The departures of Max Afinogenov, MacArthur, Colby Armstrong, Slava Kozlov and White means there will be plenty of forward spots up for grabs in training camp. While there are some promising prospects on the horizon it will be difficult to fill the skates of the departing veterans, no matter how many bit pieces from the reigning Stanley Cup champs are brought in. This team is going to have a great deal of difficulty scoring. While both Evander Kane and Niclas Bergfors are expected to improve on solid rookie seasons, it would be a stretch to suggest that they would be able to carry the Thrashers into the playoffs. This was not a terribly good team to begin with and they have yet to really compensate for all of the off-season losses. With the Lightning drastically improving, the Hurricanes on the comeback trail and the Capitals as strong as ever, the Thrashers are likely to battle the Panthers all year for the basement of not just the Southeast, but likely the NHL.

Hockey Biltong

September 7th, 2010
10:09 pm

Well, then that is it. I wont go to any games now,EPB.


September 7th, 2010
11:47 pm

Well, Rissmiller used the words excited and excitement in his quotes about being here. That can only be a good thing. When I got the news [of the trade to the Thrashers], I was very excited. I feel like a little kid.” I kinda hope Rissmiller makes it here. His quotes sound as positive and upbeat as Andrew Ladd’s did. Ben Eager is another story. I can only hope the Bergfors situation is truly over money, and not about an unwillingness to play here.

Rissmiller, welcome to Atlanta. I hope you make the most of this chance. Anybody this happy to be here … is welcome to stay. Of course, I do hope this player can contribute.

East Point Bob

September 8th, 2010
7:08 am

Hey “hb”, This is what TSN is saying, get out of the fog DA !


September 8th, 2010
7:41 am

Rissmiller was so “good” that he played his way out of the NHL. If he makes the Thrashers, mark my words – the Thrashers will be in the lottery for the top pick in next year’s draft.

Kari's Groin

September 8th, 2010
9:28 am

And what happens when he doesn’t make the team and is sent packing to Chicago?


September 8th, 2010
10:58 am

…because TSN is always right in their hockey predictions.

Whatever EPB, why don’t you move to East New Brunswick, Canada if you hate the Thrashers this much.


September 8th, 2010
11:16 am

is schubert still alive/ if so, still in the country? does anyone know? does anyone care?

Hockey Biltong

September 8th, 2010
11:24 am

eh, wot’s yer pernt , Bobbo?
You bein a mouthpiece of negativity or you really think that rot is fair dinkum???
I bet you’d jump off the QE II, as soon as it left the harbour…


September 8th, 2010
12:01 pm

I have been wondering about Schubert also?


September 8th, 2010
12:19 pm

no one seems to know or care. very strange. i wonder if he’s back in europe.

Full Disclosure

September 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

We picked up a lot of players in the offseason. Who is going to get cut? Has Mad Max been signed or has he bagged this crap hole team. Promote DW NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tyrone shoelaces

September 8th, 2010
12:57 pm

In eastpoint bob’s world, the asteroids hit the earth today….


September 8th, 2010
1:37 pm

c’mon EPB, keep it in perspective. It was just a hockey hack at TSN writing about a SE Division team.

1.) In general, SE Division teams (other than the current Caps) get litttle respect in the pre-season from any Canadian hockey writer and/or publication.
2.) Because the Thrashers are the team being discussed, they dole out even less respect to us than for other SE teams. (The Thrashers are moving to Canada, did ya hear the news?)
3.) TBL is the chosen SE Division (not Caps) team this off-season to get a few favorable comments because their GM is Yzerman.

Hockey Biltong

September 8th, 2010
3:47 pm

If we had Yzerman, we’d definately be getting the pub.
Scouring the comments from the aforementioned article about Le Thrash, most were optimistic. Not all, but most folk who commented felt that our coaching and player moves went in the positive direction.
In this situation, being under the radar may not be the worst situation in the world.