Archive for February, 2011

Q&A with Rick Dudley about trade deadline

Here are excerpts of Thrashers GM Rick Dudley’s meeting with the media following the busy trade deadline day.

Q. Can you give an overview of what you did today and what you accomplished?

A. We improved our penalty kill. We got a little younger. We think we added pieces that can help us. We think we added versatility. We allowed a couple of things to happen for a player who might have been the odd-man out. We added some depth on the blue line. We are pretty happy with what we got accomplished.

Q. Did Bergfors just not fit in here?

A. He’s been struggling. He had one goal in his last 14 games. Bergy is a streaky player. We were in a situation where we needed him to be streaky the other way. We anticipated that and put in a claim on Rob Schremp. He is similarly gifted player but is much more versatile in that he can play all three forward positions. That’s an asset especially with the ins and outs we’ve had at center.

We also got Radek Dvorak, who’s played on if not the best one …

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Thrashers-Canadiens preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: vs. Canadiens

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers are coming off Sunday’s come-from-behind win over the Maple Leafs snapping a five-game losing streak. The Canadiens are coming on Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes.

* Former Thrashers defenseman Brent Sopel will return to Philips Arena after being traded to the Canadiens on Feb. 24.

* The Thrashers have not allowed a power-play goal in the past three games, killing all 12 man-disadvantages.

* Andrew Ladd has six of the Thrashers’ last 13 goals.

* Ondrej Pavelec is questionable. Alexander Burmistrov, Patrice Cormier, Freddy Meyer and Jim Slater are out for the Thrashers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Final update: Thrashers obtain Dvorak for Bergfors on busy day

The Thrashers have a new look for the 19-game push for the playoffs.

In: Radek Dvorak, Rob Schremp, Ben Maxwell, Brett Feasterling. Out: Niclas Bergfors, Fredrik Modin, Patrick Rissmiller, Drew MacIntyre.

The team made several moves at the NHL trade deadline Monday with the biggest the acquisition of Dvorak from Florida. To obtain the forward, and a fifth-round draft pick, the Thrashers sent forwards Bergfors and Rissmiller to the Panthers. The Thrashers also sent Modin to Calgary for a seventh-round draft pick. They claimed Schremp on waivers from the New York Islanders. In a final trade of mainly minor-leaguers, they sent goaltender MacIntyre to Montreal for 24-year-old defenseman Feasterling.

In the first move of the day, the Thrashers signed newly-acquired defenseman Mark Stuart to a three-year contract worth $5.1 million.

“We improved our penalty kill,” Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said. “We got a little younger. We think we added pieces that can help us. We …

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Ramsay gives simple locker room speech

When asked what he told his team during the second intermission, down 2-0 to the Maple Leafs, this is what Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said.

“I told them they were doing everything correctly. They just had to trust and believe. Those were our words for the day. You can’t keep looking for perfect. Keep doing what you are doing and good things will happen. We are not changing anything. Trust yourself and go play.”

Must have worked. The Thrashers won 3-2 in overtime after tying the score with two third-period goals. The Thrashers finished with over 40 shots on goal for the second straight game.

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Thrashers get much needed win on Hainsey’s heroics

Here is my game story from the Thrashers  3-2 overtime win over the Maple Leafs Sunday for those who would like to comment.

Ron Hainsey set off one wild celebration.

This one had it all – joy of a dramatic victory, enthusiasm of a playoff race re-entered and a collective sigh of relief from a team desperate to taste victory again.

Hainsey scored 2:31 into overtime to give the Thrashers a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Toronto Sunday at Philips Arena. The defenseman was mobbed by teammates for delivering the team’s second win of the month.

“I know I got one in the American League but that was awhile ago,” Hainsey said of scoring a game-winning goal. “It wasn’t in overtime. That’s the first overtime one since I was like 10 [years old].

The Thrashers (26-26-11, 63 points) broke a five-game losing streak and won for the second time since returning from the all-star break. They had just six wins in their previous 27 games and had fallen out of playoff position.

That’s …

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Thrashers still active in trade talk

The Thrashers have already made two deals in advance of the NHL trade deadline.

You can expect more.

The league trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m. and general manager Rick Dudley recently said he expects to be involved in additional talk.

“I’d like to win a championship,” Dudley said late last week. “I’d like to do it over a period of time. I can’t say right now that we are a Stanley Cup favorite so any deal we make the definition of it has to be both present and future. We won’t do anything to take away from our chances to make the playoffs this year. We also won’t trade for a 35-year-old player either. If a deal comes up that meets that criteria we will certainly entertain it.”

Dudley made no secret that he wanted to add two two-six forwards and a defenseman. He got two of those when he acquired forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart from Boston on Feb. 18. The Thrashers also traded veteran defenseman Brent Sopel to Montreal on Feb. 24 for minor-league …

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Updated: Thrashers sign Thorburn to three-year deal

Imagine Chris Thorburn’s surprise when the Thrashers approached him about signing a contract extension earlier this season.

“It’s never happen to me before,” Thorburn said. “I’ve read about guys signing extensions but for them to come to me is unbelievable. It’s a dream come true.”

Thorburn signed a new three-year contract  Saturday that will pay him an average salary of $867,000 per season.

Thorburn was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the season. The forward said the team approached him early in the season but the deal finally came together in the last few days.

“It feels good,” Thorburn said. “Personally, it’s something I’ve always strived for. It gives me a little bit of security. I love the organization. I’ve been here for four years and am planting some roots. I want to be part of the rebuilding and putting a solid team in Atlanta.”

Thorburn has done a little bit of everything for the Thrashers this season. He has played all three forward …

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What’s wrong with the Thrashers?

Those were the days. Remember?

On Dec. 20 the Thrashers decisively beat Toronto in the 35th game of the season. Two months into the season they had a 19-11-5 record and were firmly in playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Many were calling the Thrashers the surprise of the NHL. Not any more.

Since that win over the Maple Leafs, Sunday’s opponent, the Thrashers have won just six times in the past 27 games. A dismal 6-15-6 recorded has yielded just 18 of a possible 54 points. They have fallen to 11th in the conference, six points out of playoff position, with 20 games remaining. They are on the brink of missing the playoffs yet again, an all-too familiar refrain.

“I believe this team is capable of much more,” Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley said. “Maybe they have to learn that it isn’t acceptable to lose as we have lately. Someone has to step up and say ‘This is not good enough guys.’ It has to come from within the dressing room. This is not …

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Thrashers-Maple Leafs preview

Next for Thrashers

Who: vs. Maple Leafs

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

TV; radio: SPSO; 680 AM, 93.7 FM

* The Thrashers’ freefall continues. They have lost five straight games and have one win in the past 10. Since Dec. 21 they have six wins in a span of 27 games.

* The Thrashers have fallen to 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points behind the eighth place Hurricanes entering Saturday’s NHL schedule. At 61 points, they were tied with the Maple Leafs, who played the Penguins Saturday.

* Andrew Ladd had a four-game goal streak snapped Friday but has six goals in the past seven games.

* Bryan Little has one goal in the past 14 games.

* Alexander Burmistrov, Patrice Cormier, Freddy Meyer and Jim Slater are out for the Thrashers.

- Chris Vivlamore

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Thrashers lose again, this time in shootout

Here is my game story from the Thrashers’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Panthers Friday night for those who would like to comment.

The Thrashers need to find ways to win.

They didn’t again Friday night.

Florida got a sixth-round shootout goal from Steve Bernier for a 2-1 victory Friday night at Philips Arena.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Thrashers (25-26-11, 61 points), whose playoff hopes are fading fast. The Thrashers are 11th in the Eastern Conference, six points behind eighth-place Carolina. The Thrashers have only six wins in the past 27 games and are 1-7-2 in the past 10.

“We found a way to play another great game,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “Forty-six shots. We did what we wanted to do. We were very aggressive. We showed some real speed up the ice. Then, pucks didn’t go in again.”

The Thrashers got a huge effort from goaltender Chris Mason, who entered the game to start the second period for Ondrej Pavelec. Mason stopped all 25 shots he …

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