Updated: Ramsay: Offense will be team effort; Bergfors one-year deal agreed upon

Before we head off to Duluth for Day One of the Thrashers rookie camp, let’s delve into another part of my interview with coach Craig Ramsay from last week. (I still have a half hour of tape to transcribe).

We’ve documented much of the plan for the defense with Dustin Byfuglien coming to camp on the blue line and Ramsay’s plan to get some scoring from his defense.

I did ask Ramsay about the offense. Specifically, where will it come from this season? Ilya Kovalchuk is gone and, for now, there doesn’t seem to be a 50-goal scorer on the roster.

Here is his answer:

“[Bryan] Little should score again. [Evander] Kane should score. Nik [Antropov] should score. The most important thing to me is, again, getting scoring from everyone. Every line is responsible to try and score a goal. I said this earlier, but it’s hard to believe you have to tell a player to score. You think everybody wants to score but they get into a role, like I’m just a checker. [Eric] Boulton can score. [Chris] Thorburn can score. Maybe [Alexander Burmistrov] might score, maybe he’ll play and he’ll score. Everyone is responsible to try to do that.

“So, five guys up trying to score and five guys back to try to get the puck back and get going again is true. We need to get everybody trying to score.

“We would really like to be good on the power play. You need to be good in your special teams. There is no reason you can’t score some goals while you are killing penalties. If you think about it and want to do it, you can score goals while you are shorthanded and put some pressure on the other team. You can be good on the power play. So our special teams must be good. That’s a huge part of our business now.

“When you start to go through [the roster], Freddy Modin can score. He’s got a big shot, so if we can get him in the right positions and he shoots the puck, why not? While we might not have that 50-goal scorer, I think we have a bunch of guys that can score goals.”

What do you think about Ramsay’s team-scoring philosophy? Will it work? Will it work with this roster? Let me know what you think.

In other news;

*As I first reported this morning, the Thrashers and restricted free agent Niclas Bergfors agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $900,000 Monday.

Bergfors was acquired by the Thrashers in February as part of the trade that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey. The rookie scored 21 goals last season, including 13 in 54 games with the Thrashers.

The Thrashers made Bergfors a qualifying offer following the season. Negotiations were slow and general manager Rick Dudley said last month that the two sides differed terms of a new contract. They settled on a one-year deal just five days before the start of training camp.

The team signed restricted free agent forward Bryan Little to a three-year, $7.15 million deal last month.

Also, expect the Nigel Dawes signing to be official very soon. Remember, they agreed to terms last week, but the final details had to be settled, paperwork signed and turned into the league for approval. That’s why it takes a few days for an official announcement.

*  Look for a Fredrik Pettersson story from camp today. Told me coming back for another shot at the NHL was the easiest decision of his life.

* Stop and say hello if you are at the IceForum over the next few days (or once training camp begins).

47 comments Add your comment

TableHockey

September 13th, 2010
9:16 am

Wow – Bergfors for just 1 year. Would have liked to have seen a 2-3 year deal but maybe he wants to see what the new team plays like?

kracker

September 13th, 2010
9:25 am

Uh oh…two new blogs! Plus, rookie camp begins today. There might not be a lot of work getting done in my cube today lol

Joe Friday

September 13th, 2010
9:37 am

Another 1 year deal? I guess they couldn’t get the Thrashers to cough up big money that they felt he’s worth, so Bergfors and his agent opted to try to bank some numbers this year and then get a large arb. award

HP Drifter

September 13th, 2010
9:42 am

It better be a team effort because like it or not, with Kovalchuk’s absence, there is a big gap to fill — easier said than done.

Russian

September 13th, 2010
9:43 am

Berg did not trust Dudley and Ramsay. OK. We will see what happend. He can be good traid bait at February.

GaVaHokie

September 13th, 2010
10:19 am

I hate when I’m right on these deals… I knew they were looking at $1 million range for this year. The team wanted to give him a longer deal but couldn’t agree on $ values during UFA years as rumored. This has nothing to do with trust or “wait and see how the team plays” before people start spitting it out.

This is about overpaying a player before he proves his consistent worth.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
10:23 am

As much as I love young talent, you can’t run a team in any sport if you consistently have the tail wagging the dog. How many snot-nosed kids are gonna dictate terms to Ken Holland? Even very talented snot-nosed kids? You already know the answer: 0

kracker

September 13th, 2010
10:27 am

C’mon, Hokie, of course how the team plays will affect future player negotiations, from several standpoints. Just as how the coming play of Bergy, Ladd, Bogo, Kane, Buff, Eager will effect those same negotiations.

[...] Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay says offense will be team effort … [...]

Jeff97

September 13th, 2010
10:31 am

I would not worry about the 1 year deal for Bergors. Thrashers still own his rights for at least another 3-4 years before he can become UFA. If he steps up and gets 30+ goals this year, he will get his money next summer. simple as that.

Jeff97

September 13th, 2010
10:31 am

oops..Bergfors…sorry about that Bergie

kracker

September 13th, 2010
10:37 am

To make the above a bit clearer, I do agree w/ not over-paying for too-young RFA talent. Unless the player involved is an obvious phenom, the young RFA needs to perform well and fairly consistently for multiple years to begin the road to earning top line or top pairing money. (The obvious phenoms have no problem with performing consistently, they just do it)

Jack

September 13th, 2010
10:41 am

At least we signed him. On the scoring concept by Ramsay, this is my thought

DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are good coaches I hope they are right, but I just don’t see the production levels that we need.

Dan Duffy

September 13th, 2010
10:48 am

We obviously need more scoring. Could of used Max for another year or 2. We lost 80 goals between Max and Kovy…

Zombie Steve

September 13th, 2010
10:54 am

Yeah, Jack… if everyone is scoring – who’s playing defense?! Ramsey’s ideals don’t seem grounded in reality… then again, it IS Ramsey talking here. Perhaps there’s a method to the apparent madness?

kracker

September 13th, 2010
11:00 am

Not that we need more confirmation….

Real_ESPNLeBrun Bergfors’s agent J.P. Barry of CAA Sports confirms his client Bergfors has agreed to one-year, $900,000 deal with Thrash

kracker

September 13th, 2010
11:04 am

Reply to several posters….The scoring by committee plan usually looks better on paper than it does on ice. We need at least three scorers to notch 30+ because most of our 5-10, 10-15 and 15-20 goal scorers will remain just that.

Cornbread

September 13th, 2010
11:10 am

The Thrashers finally have scoring Depth. They will score plenty of goals and give up a lot less. They had pure goal scorers before; where did that get them?

Jack

September 13th, 2010
11:36 am

Cornbread I hope you are correct.

GaVaHokie

September 13th, 2010
11:50 am

Again, Boston was 30th in league last year in scoring and made the Playoffs.

GaVaHokie

September 13th, 2010
11:52 am

C’mon, Hokie, of course how the team plays will affect future player negotiations, from several standpoints.

Well yes, but I’m saying this particular instance had to do with Bergfors individual valuation.

GaVaHokie

September 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Kracker, just to clarify, I was trying to head off anyone trying to say Bergie isn’t happy here and was trying to sign single year contracts to leave early like Army,

gretschdrum

September 13th, 2010
12:02 pm

I’m fine with this deal. The other way of looking at this is that Bergfors is giving this franchise the benefit of the doubt and is buying in for a year. He’ll show what he has to offer and then he can back that Brinks truck up to Philips for the next few years.

Regarding the scoring by committee, you need to give this staff the benefit of the doubt for now. The old concept DID NOT WORK. You had Kovy for years and you didn’t win. He was a minus player and until the Devils whip him into shape (playing both ends of the ice) he will continue to be a defensive liability. At this stage of his career and the length he’s been in the league, I think you’ve got what you’ve got – he’s not changing. Sure he’s exciting but I always thought he was much more frustrating to watch than anything else. Good riddance. That contract will be an albatross around the neck of sweet Lou and the Devs. Book it.

Smoothie

September 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

We have 8, perhaps 10 (if you count Dawes & Pettersson) guys who are capable of scoring 15 or more goals. We have 5 that have actually scored 20 goals or more in a season. And we have another 2 or 3 that are certainly capable to eclipsing 20 or more. But can we get 5 or 6 guys to all flirt with 25 in the same year? If so, we’ll be fine. If not, then we better play some very good team defense so we can keep the goal differential down below 20 or so (say 200 GF vs 220 GA). Tall order either way, but I really think Kaner is going to explode this season. Ladd has the talent and will score 20+ with the minutes. And if Modin, a big IF, stays healthy, he will pot 18-22 I believe. He could be the key to our PP along with Big Buff.

kracker

September 13th, 2010
12:54 pm

I should add that if our scoring committee does only get their career numbers plus 10% or so for good team play, that can still be OK if the defense is more solid (trap?) and Mason remains a solid goalie.

ss

September 13th, 2010
1:42 pm

What kind of system is this team going to try and run this year?

J-man

September 13th, 2010
1:48 pm

I’ve got news for Ramsay. Boulton and Thorburn can’t score. Well, if you by “score” you mean score between 1 and 5 goals a season, yes they can do that. If by “score” you mean score 10+ goals a season, no they cannot do that.

The signing of Bergfors is good news. It means that he isn’t opposed to playing here.

Brendan

September 13th, 2010
2:33 pm

I’m glad Bergfors signed. That was a big hurdle overcome. We’ll have to evaluate his longterm future with the team later on.

KLS1

September 13th, 2010
3:29 pm

Good to have Bergfors back…I think he can chip in 30 goals this year playing on the power play etc…

Remember, there were a lot of one year deals out there Buff/Ladd. I like it, if they play well re-sign them if not we are no worse.

swede

September 13th, 2010
3:55 pm

Here is what Bergfors agent had to say: – We had hoped for a bit longer contract. But now, we still chose to run a year, so we go back in a year, “said agent Peter Werner Bergfors to HockeyExpressen.se.
- We are verbally agreed and are just waiting for that contract will come, “says Niclas Bergfors agent, Peter Werner HockeyExpressen.se.
- It has taken time for the hearing, we obviously had different views on Niclas value. But while Niclas said that he is hockey player and his only dream is to play hockey. He does not want to risk anything before this season, “said agent Peter Werner on the agreement.

Lee

September 13th, 2010
4:08 pm

Good signing. Bergfors is a great fit for his team. I expect him to be one of our best scorers this year….

BG33Brown

September 13th, 2010
4:53 pm

Thanks Swede….its good to hear that. Hope he has a 25+ goal season and get the pay day he deserves and a multi year contract.

[...] • Restricted free agent Niclas Bergfors and the AtlantaThrashers ended a lengthy contract negotiation this summer with a one-yearcontract worth $900,000. You’ll remember Bergfors as the rookie who came overin the Kovalchuk trade, and then nearly outscored him in goals. [AJC] [...]

sisu

September 13th, 2010
6:42 pm

One year deal is cool with me, why over, commit? He can shine and collect his money next year. Chris, you may want to see about your spell checker? “[Byran] Little should score again???

I am sure it was an honest mistake :)

sisu

September 13th, 2010
6:48 pm

Only thing that concerns me is the number of Swedish players on the possible roster, let’s hope they are tough enough to handle the NHL. Some are really good skaters but lack toughness over all, but maybe with the new big guys this is no big deal…so this season has brought changes everyone wanted since the previous way of doing things did not work so well!

HillMan

September 13th, 2010
7:07 pm

In 2009-2010 Thrash scored 230 goals and had 250 the year before. Goals against last year were 250 and 279 the year before. If we cut the goals against by another 10% to around 225 and score 235 we would have a good shot at a playoff spot. That would mean 5 guys (Buff, Bogo, Modin, Slater, Ladd) would need to contribute 15+ and 5 guys would need to be at 20 (Bergie, Kane, Pevs, Little and Andro) and all others would need to score 60 goals (or 5 goals average assuming a total of 22 guys get to play during the season). Doable, but not much room for error – all guys need to contribute.

With that said we need look for low scoring, griding hockey this year if we hope to make the playoffs. If we try run and gun hockey, this team will be out gunned.

alex

September 13th, 2010
7:41 pm

last year we lost a lot off games 3:4, 4:5, 5:6 this year coul be losses like 0:1,1:2, 2:3. what the differences it’s still losses. compare with tampa, they improved on defence with kubina on offencive with gagne they kept ufa lecav. and st louis. we lost ufa kovy, army, max, kubina, new addition ladd , buff. eager, sopel. in my opinion advantagr tampa. but will see whwn the season start.

alex

September 13th, 2010
7:43 pm

oops, sorry for wrong spelling

kracker

September 13th, 2010
8:00 pm

Wow, NJ got whacked!! awwww….lol

tweet – TSNBobMcKenzie NHL release now out: $3M fine, the max, plus a first rder in one of next four years and 3rd rder in 2011.

Cornbread

September 13th, 2010
8:00 pm

Tampa has an impressive top 6 and top 3 on the blueline. They are half a team. After that who do they have? The Thrashers are the far deeper team all around.

Jack

September 13th, 2010
8:11 pm

So sorry to hear about the Devils, may have to go into counceling for depression. Where do I send the sympathy card. :)

Jack

September 13th, 2010
8:12 pm

alex hopefully we will not have any more 8-0 losses anymore.

Hockey Biltong

September 13th, 2010
8:14 pm

Ok, bourbon and coke coming soon!

kracker

September 13th, 2010
9:23 pm

Make mine a double, plz!

Sara

September 13th, 2010
9:56 pm

Hey sisu – the Wings do just fine with a roster full of Swedes. ;) <3

Tim

September 14th, 2010
12:02 am

Here’s my take on Ramsay’s comments:

I don’t know his sense of humor or how well he responds to stupid questions but… what’s he supposed to say?

“Where are you going to get your scoring this season?” means the reporter thinks it’s rude to say “you don’t appear to have enough goals in your locker room.”

I wish he’d have answered, “Wayne Gretzky” or “the guys with the sticks” or “are the Sedin brothers available?”

Adam

September 14th, 2010
9:26 am

Hi Chris, I know this is off topic. Would you look into having the people at AJC remove the articles from Bradley & Schultz? I know they are the lead sports writers but if they aren’t going to write anything new why even have them up there. At the very least Bradley needs to removed.