Update II: Ladd named Thrashers captain

The Thrashers have a captain.

Andrew Ladd was named to the position Thursday. The move comes nine months – and a new season – after the team’s last captain Ilya Kovalchuk was traded.

“It’s a huge honor for the coaching staff to have the confidence in me to lead this team,” Ladd said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to do that.”

Ladd, 24, joins a growing group of young captains in the NHL. Among them Chicago’s Jonathan Toews is 22, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby is 23 and Carolina’s Eric Staal is 26.

Ladd has served as one of three alternate captains for the Thrashers this season. Also named to new positions Thursday were Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom, who will serve as alternate captains.

“Andrew Ladd will be that guy,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said when asked about the team’s leadership. “It’s an enormous responsibility but he’s well respected. He has stepped up his commitment to himself to make sure he’s ready to play every night and his commitment to the team has been so evident. He’s earned that. I didn’t know who to pick at the start of the season and he’s earned that opportunity.”

Ladd becomes the eighth and youngest captain in franchise history. He currently leads the Thrashers with 18 points. He is tied for first in goals (7) and tied for second in assists (11). He leads the team’s forwards with an average ice time of 18:50.

Ramsay said the decision wasn’t based on Ladd being the team’s best player, although he has been just that in several games.

“I just think he’s the right guy,” Ramsay said. “I’ve seen lots of captains in my day but he’s a well-respected person, which to me is absolutely vital in that role. I think it’s a flaw if you just make your best player the captain. In this case, we picked the player that’s played great. He’s been our best player on many nights. He’s been as committed a player as I’ve seen in a long time.”

Not bad for a player the Thrashers acquired in an off-season deal with Chicago for defenseman prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second-round draft pick.

Ladd already owns two Stanley Cup championships, one with Carolina in 2006 and one last season with Chicago.

“I don’t know if it was a goal to be captain, but it was definitely a goal to be a leader on this team,” Ladd said. “We have a lot of great older guys that have been around that I’m going to be able to lean on throughout the year.”

Nik Antropov and Johnny Oduya were alternate captains since the start of the season. Ramsay had initially said he intended to rotate the positions throughout the roster. That was until Ladd took over.

“We were hoping from the start of the year that somebody would step up and say ‘Hey, I’m the guy. I want to be that guy.’” Ramsay said. “When you go out on a 2-on-1 are you the shooter or always the passer? You want to be that guy that makes the big play. He wants to be that guy and he’s shown it with his play. We’ve talked about it and this is a good time to reward him for what he’s done and his commitment. The time just seemed right.”

Ladd said he will lean on the experience of playing under such captains as Rod Brind’Amour in Carolina. He will also take something from being around Toews last season, to see how the young player handled the position.

Ladd said he expects an easy working relationship with Byfuglien and Enstrom, the defensive pair who are the team’s only players on the 2011 NHL All-Star fan ballot.

“They are easy guys to talk to,” Ladd said. “The passion that both those guys have for the game and, obviously, what they’ve brought to the table early on has been exceptional. Buff I’ve know for a long time. He’s definitely come a long way in his approach to the game. He’s a guy that’s been consistent for us on a nightly basis. So has Toby. He’s been here a long time and he’s excited about the changes going on here and to be part of leading the way.”

41 comments Add your comment

Russian

November 18th, 2010
2:55 pm

Sherry Taylor

November 18th, 2010
2:56 pm

Finally, some real leadership. Perhaps now we can move forward in more ways than one! I agree with Coach Ramsey, Ladd has earned this designation, as do Byfuglien and Enstrom.

Russian

November 18th, 2010
3:00 pm

I think next step will be sign Ladd for Long Contract. He got $2.3 mil now. I think $10 for 4-5 years will be perfect for him.

Telfo

November 18th, 2010
3:03 pm

great decision and just what the team needs. hopefully we see a nice jump in play

Mike

November 18th, 2010
3:04 pm

Good to hear

English Teacher

November 18th, 2010
3:06 pm

It’s about time! That is terrific news. I really think this is a big puzzle piece the team needs.

KovyArmy

November 18th, 2010
3:14 pm

This is LONG over due! Ladd has exhibited everything you could want in a leader and captain… his Restricted Free Agent Status is the ONLY reason he wouldnt be named captain and i am confident he will be resigning due to his much bigger role with the Thrash then some of his previous stops (Car, Chi). I am sure while all the boys were screaming at each other last night pointing fingers at who was to blame Laddy was the one trying to get them to get on the same page rather than playing the blame game. This is FANTASTIC move by Ramsey and could not come at a better time, with the long home stand someone other than the coach must hold EVERYONE accountable and Laddy is the man to do it. His effort is consistant night after night and should be the standard ALL other players are held to. I am sure this is what Coach Ramsey had in mind with this move and i applaud the timing of it. Losing Big Buff for even 1 game is going to seriously hurt the teams success as well as confidence and hopefully with this move it can be covered up a bit.

Ro

November 18th, 2010
3:15 pm

How does this effect Antropov? I’m not a follower of the Thrashers, but was Nik always looked at as a place holder? Is there any type of controversy here?

KovyArmy

November 18th, 2010
3:20 pm

Nah, no controversy, Big Nik is still hobbled and just starting to get back to form, plus he is more of a laid back guy, cant see him pulling a Bobby Holik in the locker room, Nik would rather have a coke and a smile then call someone out, which is fine with me, you are what you are, Hoping for a very strong second half for Anthro (tho i am biased as i drafted him for my fantasy team, Hebrew Nationals for LIFE!)

:)

November 18th, 2010
3:22 pm

NHL Ready

November 18th, 2010
3:26 pm

Ro, Nik’s play has been slow this year not the same guy as last year. Could be his injury or has the Blueland Blues just like every other good player we have had.

Alan R.

November 18th, 2010
3:32 pm

Great to see Laddy get the C, along with Enström and Byfuglien being his alternates!

HP Drifter

November 18th, 2010
3:35 pm

Finally !…..and good choice to give Enstrom the assistant captaincy. He is one of the smartest players on the ice. Now, wouldn’t Torchetti make a great head coach ;-)

waiting4hockey

November 18th, 2010
3:43 pm

smokeybear

November 18th, 2010
3:47 pm

Hoorah, too bad the ship is already sunk.

Frontman

November 18th, 2010
3:48 pm

If “Big Nik” is playing hurt, then that explains some things; if not, he is a dog that in no way would ever deserve to be a C. He has been nothing short of awful this year.

puckhead

November 18th, 2010
4:09 pm

The ship maybe sunk but we’re still reading water. As long as your breathing you have a chance. Go Trash!

puckhead

November 18th, 2010
4:09 pm

that should be Treading water

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
4:17 pm

Can I get an Amen? And a please God, let this work. I think our troubles do run a little deeper such as a lack of overall talent. But, Ladd is the right guy to transform this into a blue collar team. Pretty boy prima donnas be forewarned, your time may come to an end with Ladd, Rammer and Duds in the house.

Hopefully, assuming there is still a team here in 3 or 4 years, Burmistrov will be ready for one of the ‘A’s. Then again, he may be ready by Christmas of this year!!

BG33Brown

November 18th, 2010
4:17 pm

Great News. All 3 choices are fantastic. Hopefully we can see that leadership from the players, that Ramsey’s been talking about, start to show up.

Zombie Steve

November 18th, 2010
4:30 pm

All hail Capt Ladd!

Now start bustin’ some heads!!

Bruno Smedley

November 18th, 2010
4:32 pm

Ladd is a great choice for now. So sadly, he will be leaving next year as all our captains do. Bogo shouldn’t be upset about losing the A.. He should be happy he’s still playing in the NHL. His play has been sub par at best.

Smoothie

November 18th, 2010
4:41 pm

Hey Bruno, get a clue. He’s only 25 and a RFA. He’d have a hard time leaving even if he wanted to. He’d have to sleep with Dudley’s wife probably to get traded or cut.

Atladave

November 18th, 2010
4:53 pm

The curse of the captain. How many Thrasher captains have last more than one full season after being named captain? None. That means Ladd will be gone by the end of 2012-13 season. Too bad because I like him and his play.

Old Time Hockey

November 18th, 2010
5:07 pm

Great move! Now let’s get to work on the contract.

Enstrom sure seems intelligent, but not enough to know when to SHOOT THE PUCK!

Great effort by Kane last night. THAT’s what we should see from him every night.

Burmistrov will be a perennial all-star. I’m REALLY impressed with that rookie!

Let’s see if Ladd can get the team to play for the whole 60!

Thrash1980

November 18th, 2010
5:12 pm

new coach same results at 7-9-3. Still plenty of hockey left but EVERYONE needs to step up. Some of these +/- are flat out ugly kane -14 big nik -13 thats completely unacceptable. Bogosian needs to stop having mental lapses on the ice. He flat out missed Dvorak that’s why the panthers made it 2-1. Pavelec has some tremendous improvement. Last year he would give up 4 goals on average. This year he’s looking sharp. Thrashers need to limit opponents to 20-25 shots per game. 40 shots allowed per game is flat out pathetic. STEP IT UP THRASH or else attendance can slip to 1,000.

KICK SAVE

November 18th, 2010
5:27 pm

ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT GUY TO LEAD THIS TEAM!!! CONGRAT’S ANDREW LADD!! SAY CHRIS ANY WORD ON BIG BUFF??!!

Supes

November 18th, 2010
5:32 pm

Hmmm…this would have been the chance to name Evander Kane captain…but…maybe next year?

Quencies78

November 18th, 2010
5:57 pm

NOPE! Kane is not ready for the “C”.

Don’t get me wrong, he will be, but he is still a bit young and emotional right now. He really showed his emotions the other night and took a bad penalty as a result.

He will mature and will be our next captain I believe.

[...] The Atlanta Thrashers named former Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd their new captain, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

Quencies78

November 18th, 2010
6:26 pm

By “next captain” I mean if the position is vacant in two years or so, in response to the post stating that Kane should have been named captain.

I understand that Ladd is now the current captain.

Flames

November 18th, 2010
6:44 pm

Great News! Ladd will make a great Captain…. I love the choices for the Alternates.

alex

November 18th, 2010
7:06 pm

fair, wright sign for thrashers, still hope this spring see much more important sign from asg “for sale” and this would be real celebration.

Dwayne

November 18th, 2010
7:50 pm

xm had Duds on today, cut and a deep contusion on the back of Buffs knee, doubtful for next game.

Curious George

November 18th, 2010
8:58 pm

Is the morning after the Head Coach calls his team’s quitters in his post-game press conference REALLY the best time to be rewarding a player from said group of “quitters” with the role of Captain?

Sage of Bluesland

November 18th, 2010
9:59 pm

Wow…as if this makes a hill-of-a-beans worth of a difference! Wake up, folks–and stop spewing the embarrassment!

Please, for the sake of the continued insult to intelligence, stop putting the ‘Smoothie’ on the deck chairs of the Titanic….

(Oh the humanity…)

Season Ticket Holder

November 18th, 2010
10:59 pm

This team needs to get its act together fast.

Zombie Steve

November 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Curious George – yes, yes it is the right time.

Hockey Biltong

November 19th, 2010
11:30 am

Hockey Biltong

November 19th, 2010
11:32 am

Kudos to Thorburn for a valiant defense the other night…. he showed grit and determination,something lacking in our D….
And Burmistrov is going to be really, really good…

[...] Atlanta har precis utsett en ny kapten efter att inte haft någon sedan Ilya Kovalchuk försvann till New Jersey förra säsongen. Den nya lagkaptenen heter Andrew Ladd och är en av det fyra spelarna som kom från Stanley Cup vinnarna Chicago inför den här säsongen. Dustin Byfuglien och Tobias Enström är de nya assisterande kaptenerna. [...]