Dudley: Thrashers have begun “preliminary” talks with Byfuglien, Ladd

The Thrashers have begun preliminary contract extension talks with several players, including Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, according to Rick Dudley. The Thrashers general manager sat down with beat writer Chris Vivlamore for an interview Friday.

Q. At the quarter point of the season, we talked about the possibility of the team opening contract talks with Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. Where do you stand in that regard?

A. I would say this, we are in the preliminary stages. We are very early in the process. Have we talked to people? Yes. We have with a number of players who at this point in time we would like to get something done.

Q. Would Byfuglien and Ladd be among those players?

A. That would be fair to say.

Q. Why did you sign free-agent Tim Stapleton with other players available in your minor-league system?

A. We signed Stapleton because we thought, at the very least, he was an excellent depth player. He was on our roster. Almost simultaneously we had an injury. He’s a high-skilled player who can really skate. We wanted to give the coaches a chance to see him. And they did. And they liked him. They now know, when we bring him up, they know exactly what they are getting.

Q. So Stapleton’s signing and stints with Thrashers do not reflect negatively on a player like Spencer Machacek?

A. Absolutely. Nothing like that. To be honest with you, you mention a guy like Spencer. He’s a guy that if we need a guy to fill a certain role, he has the capacity to do that. We look at him more as a third-line, fourth-line guy who can play a little bit of a physical game. We look at a guy like Stapleton as a guy who is an up-tempo speedster who is much more of an offensive player.

Q. You have twice now put Boris Valabik on re-entry waivers. At this point, is that more about giving him a chance to play somewhere else because he doesn’t fit your plans here?

A. Absolutely. Boris is a good guy, a good kid. At one time, we thought there was a market for him. We are at the point where we would like to give him an opportunity, if there is one there. We like Boris. It’s been a tough situation for him. We’d love to give him the opportunity to play somewhere else.

9 comments Add your comment

Puck Like A Porn Star

January 8th, 2011
11:40 am


Keep them in Atlanta, Dudds!!

Alan R.

January 8th, 2011
11:54 am

Resoundingly agree. Get Ladd and Byfuglien signed!


January 8th, 2011
12:14 pm

i hope buff sticks around a loooong time. but we all know the past.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stacy Lymber. Stacy Lymber said: RT @ajcthrashers: Dudley: Thrashers have begun “preliminary” talks with Byfuglien, Ladd http://bit.ly/h1dg4D [...]


January 8th, 2011
6:04 pm

Man I really hope they resign Buff the guy is a leader. I’m surprised he is not the captain of the team. If they signed him long term I would buy his jersey.

Larry The Cable Guy

January 8th, 2011
6:05 pm



January 8th, 2011
10:07 pm

Here’s what I took away from that interview: Dudley doesn’t have any problems ‘negotiating during the season.’ That was a Waddell policy. Trouble is, it doesn’t sound like he has done any specific contract talks, if the negotiations are as ‘preliminary’ as he says. What if … what he means by ‘talking’ is … he’s called the player’s agent, who hasn’t returned the call? Or he’s just casually talked to the player, personally. As in, “Hey (supply Thrasher player name here), when’s your agent going to call us?” What? That’s ‘talking’ to a player about his contract. Are you saying it ISN’T? :D

I’m pleased by this interview, truthfully. The proof in the pudding, however, is the re-signed player. I am very encouraged that Dudley is giving every outward appearance of being willing to write contracts during the season. Very encouraged by that.

I could into who’s a pending RFA or UFA … but you all know who they are. If Eager, or Bergfors, doesn’t want to be here, I’m sure Dudley can move both of them at the trade deadline. Let’s not forget that, for the players who are taking the ‘wait-n-see approach,’ this is a TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY for Bruce Levenson and Michael Gearon to DEMONSTRABLY SHOW how ‘committed’ they are towards winning the Stanely Cup, which … they say … is their stated goal. That’s all fine and good. But do the PLAYERS believe them? I’ll repeat, the trade deadline is a tremendous opportunity for this ownership to show how ‘committed’ they are to giving the Thrashers every resource and opportunity to succeed in the postseason, this year.

[...] on comments Rick Dudley made in his interview with the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore you can expect Stapleton to be put in a more offensive role, potentially filling in for Evander [...]

[...] Saturday, Chris Vivlamore let us know that the Thrashers organization placed defenseman Boris Valabik on re-entry waivers with the intent [...]