Thrashers GM Rick Dudley says he is looking to make trade

Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley is actively looking to make a trade to improve a struggling team on the verge of falling out of the playoff race.

Dudley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that there is a heightened sense of urgency following a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday.

As of last night, yes [we are actively looking for a trade],” Dudley said. “Are we looking to do something? Absolutely. We don’t want to let this go. Obviously we haven’t given up on the season. It would be ludicrous. We haven’t given up on improving either. If it doesn’t come from within, it will come from outside.”

The Thrashers hold a tenuous one-point lead on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have won just seven times in their past 22 games, erasing a once comfortable playoff margin.

Dudley said, ultimately, he would like to add two forwards and a defenseman.

“Those could happen now. They could happen later,” Dudley said. “Obviously we feel a sense of urgency because we think we are a better team than we displayed last night. We think we are capable of making the playoffs but it may take a move here or there.

“I’m not going to jeopardize the long-term future of the organization for the short-term gain. But if there is something that makes sense in both of those cases, long term and short term, we would do that for sure.”

Dudley said he is concerned with the commitment to winning and the loss of tempo the team displayed during a 10-2 streak earlier this season that included wins over Washington, Detroit, Colorado and Boston.

“The people that are here can in some way, shape or form make that decision for us,” Dudley said. “If they play like they did [Tuesday] night, it’s an easy decision. If they play at the level we were at once when we had a tempo that was second to none in the league they make that decision for you because then they are good enough. We have to make decisions on what we see. What we’ve seen so far is that we are not there yet.”

Following the loss to the Islanders, captain Andrew Ladd and alternate Dustin Byfuglien met with coach Craig Ramsay to discuss accountability from the team. Dudley said it’s up to team leadership to step forward.

“There are not a lot of people in the last few games [that played well],” Dudley said. “You better look in the mirror. There is a commitment to be made. There are 29 games left. I believe in my heart that if this team, and I know they are young, but if they got together and said ‘Hey for whatever length of time there is left, we are going to be the best we can be. We are going to take care of ourselves. Work hard. In practice we are going to do everything that our strength coach asks us to do. We are going to stay sharp. We are going to take a little off our having fun time’ … In the long-term scheme of things, it’s a very short time to be the best you can be. There are no shortcuts.”

Dudley said the Thrashers are capable of returning the top-level play as they showed in November and December.

“I don’t believe in overachieving,” he said. “I think what you saw for a period of 20 games was our optimal level or close to it. Nobody every plays at their optimal level but we were at 90 percent. We went through a horrible part of the schedule, lost some things, and now we are at about 70 percent. Seventy percent is not good enough in this league. We have to get back to 90 percent. That will take someone in that dressing room bringing them all together and saying ‘Hey, we can have a good thing here but we have to do it right.’”

49 comments Add your comment

Tom Lysiak

February 2nd, 2011
4:42 pm

Maybe he needs to make an example out of someone. I like what he said though.


February 2nd, 2011
4:43 pm

Bogosian is a train wreck on defense. Making him a forward would at least mean our defense improved.

Personally, I’d package Bogo and Bergfors and a draft pick for Filtatov, Tyutin and one of their top picks in next year’s draft.


February 2nd, 2011
4:44 pm

Why isn’t anyone talking about moving Buff to forward?


February 2nd, 2011
4:44 pm

Andrew Ladd and Rich Peverley are our best forwards… that’s just pathetic.

chief of smoke

February 2nd, 2011
4:50 pm

I agree with Matt. The team has decent defenseman. When Toby gets back moving Buff to forward makes sense


February 2nd, 2011
4:55 pm

A trade will do nothing. This place is a prison for players.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Wright-Thrashers, Matt Reitz, Mislav Jantoljak, MikeyBB, Vivian and others. Vivian said: Atlanta Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley looking to make a trade | Atlanta Thrashers [...]

why not?

February 2nd, 2011
4:57 pm

Don’t do anything. Our offense is going to shooting lights out in a few games.

why not?

February 2nd, 2011
4:58 pm

By the way…rolling our offensive lines is NOT working.


February 2nd, 2011
4:58 pm

there is only one that can improve franchise, just one changing the ownership who care not about litigation’s but about team success. is somebody who wanted to step up to take out team from this idiots. so far no sign, but king III wanted to buy mets. no more comments. Atlanta riches not interesting.

Curious George

February 2nd, 2011
5:02 pm

Anyone say anything POSITIVE on their Thrashers Season Ticket Holder Survey forms received via email last week?


February 2nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Matt – I have to disagree with re: Pev’s….he “is at times” a very good offensive player, however, upon further review, this guy has not been accountable (IMO). He carries the puck too long, tries to make something out of nothing far too often, he makes blind and dangerous passes at the offensive zone blue line, constantly refuses to dump the puck, allowing us to get fresh bodies on the ice, which leads to far too many odd-man rushes, resulting in needless goals against, putting us behind on the scoreboard, on way too many occasions. I would argue thay HE would be a great guy to trade, and frankly where we might get something back of value. Trade him to a team that has too many defenseman and needs an offensive minded forward. There was a reason we got him on waivers, Trotts knew he was not a solid two-way player and would disappear for long stretches at a time. It is time for him to go.

Fan from Carolina

February 2nd, 2011
5:09 pm

This is encouraging news but the trade has to be made for ‘quality’ players, no more 3rd or 4th liners. It needs to be BIG!!


February 2nd, 2011
5:12 pm

Rich Peverly – Duds is talking to you man. Too many shots passed up and too many cross-ice passes that get intercepted. Too many lost battles along the boards.

Although I thought Ladd was a little lackadaisical on the PK when he circled to the high slot instead of challenging the puck carryer. I know he was probably exhausted at that point.

Francis Lessard

February 2nd, 2011
5:14 pm

Please get the “lack of committed” players out of here. Bergfors and Hainsey most notably, Antropov is slow mud and Modin is ancient. The scrubs aren’t cutting it anymore, Stapelton and Stewart are AHL’ers, Thor is a passive beast, Cormier is not the hitting machine he was advertised as, but he won’t be dealt. Pickens are slim, but if we could upgrade any of these roster spots I’d be delighted. Bogo is only 20..I would hope this team learned from the Coburn trade, remember he sucked here also. Getting a new D man will rid of us Freddy Meyer. Thank God.

Big Daddy Dave

February 2nd, 2011
5:14 pm

I suddenly have the feeling that Kane and Enstrom will soon be playing elsewhere given the mentality of management.

Alan R.

February 2nd, 2011
5:16 pm

Why isn’t anyone talking about moving Buff to forward?

Because it’s not going to happen.


February 2nd, 2011
5:17 pm

I would like to think RD is looking for options out there. OR is this coming out saying he is, just a way to get the boys fired up? Word from a reliable source tells me there were a few scouts from other teams at the game last night. Unfortunate it was last night because nobody had a good game. Even the goal scored came from behind the net.


February 2nd, 2011
5:20 pm

Players that I think should be moved, Bogosian, Antropov, Stapleton, Modin and Cormier. Burmistrov should have started this year in the minors. He’s not ready for the NHL. Those other players I mentioned are dead weight. Peverley needs to get his act together or he could be out of here. Ladd needs to step it up and start playing like the captain again. Byfuglien needs to get back on the scoreboard any way he can.


February 2nd, 2011
5:38 pm

Duds has a tough job! Ownership out of cash, and we’re the league ‘bottom-dwellers’ for tradeable talent. Bogo is the poster child for the “I’m-lost-out-here-society,” Antropov is so slow he has to speed up just to stop, Modin should be released, Cormier ISN’T who Dudley thought he was and a waste of a jersey number, Hainsey has under-achieved since he came here, Thorburn wouldn’t dress for most teams – the list goes on. Pavalec should sue for non-support! Where’s the toughness Dudley talked about in preseason? He needs to move about 6 players!

Joe Friday

February 2nd, 2011
5:39 pm

Interesting that it’s Ladd and Buf that went to coach. They know what it takes to be committed, they both played balls to the wall in last year’s playoffs.

“As of last night, yes [we are actively looking for a trade],” Dudley said. “Are we looking to do something? Absolutely.”

Was that Dudley you interviewed or Waddell? “Absolutely” is straight from the Don’s mouth. “As of last night”. Another Waddell special (it’s been obvious for over a month that moves were needed).


February 2nd, 2011
5:50 pm

It’ll be interesting to see what Duds pulls out of his arse this time.

I like Brunette from Minny, Ryan Jones and Penner from EDM and Phillips (Dman) from OTT. Hope he avoids guys like Kovalev, Tanguay and anyone from CBJ other than Jan Hejda perhaps. Perhaps Arnott from NJ but I don’t think they’ll want to deal with us again.

Who knows!?

Sherry Taylor

February 2nd, 2011
6:34 pm

You can second guess till the cows come home, but if the owners don’t release ’serious’ money, any trade will have minimal effect. Kane just returned from an injury and he had an okay game for not playing in a week or two. Stewart can skate as fast as he wants but if he continues to push the puck forward and then try to skate around the defender he will lose the puck every time. He makes the same mistakes every game.

Iron League 13

February 2nd, 2011
6:35 pm

Joe Friday – EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING!!! “As of last night”…WHAT THE BLEEEP!?!?! Man I hope that’s not true. Blog posters shouldn’t be thinking so far ahead of a professional hockey mind at any level. Anyway, nuff said. I’ll try and spare everyone the cynicism.

Iron League 13

February 2nd, 2011
6:46 pm

Big Daddy Dave – Agreed about Kane and Enstrom, but that’s nothing new. This team banks off of draft picks, then the ones that pan out run through their initial contracts and say “hasta la bye bye”. This organization can’t attract good free agents for a reason.


February 2nd, 2011
6:57 pm

What are y’all talking about? Enstrom committed to being here well into his UFA yrs by re-upping for 4 yrs two years ago and Kane essentially can’t leave for at least 6 years unless he wants to defect to the KHL. Yeah, that’s gonna happen.


February 2nd, 2011
7:00 pm

A open note to GM Ric Dudley: During the offseason, you told Jeff Schultz words to the effect of, “I think I’m pretty GOOD at what I do. I think I can do this job BETTER THAN ANYBODY.” Loved the attitude. Loved the swagger. Loved it. That’s our Dudley.

Dudley said, ultimately, he would like to add two forwards and a defenseman. Mr. Dudley, sir, if you’re seriously looking for two (top six) forwards and a (top four) defensemen, you’re going to HAVE TO BE the BEST GM in the NHL, today, to pull that off. Take a GOOD, HARD LOOK at the standings. Done? Who’s going to give you those kinds of assets?? These teams need to try to make the playoffs, too. Twenty-six (26) teams are still in the hunt. And the four that aren’t … are waiting, potentially all the way ’til February 28th, for the DESPERATION LEVEL to “set the market value” for what they’re willing to ditch to you. The longer you wait, the higher their return will be. Plus, three (3) new players take TIME TO GEL with what we’ve got. Chemistry takes time. If you’re the BEST GM in hockey, Ric Dudley, you’ll find a way to do this thing responsibly. Correctly. And with measured accuracy.

I can’t wait to see it, since I’m totally ONBOARD with your approach to running a hockey club. Wanna be the BEST? Great. Here’s your chance to prove it. Here’s your opportunity to shine. Lamoriello, Holland, Rutherford, Burke … Dudley??? We’ll find out.

The other GM’s better NOT be calling Waddell, the Team President. They’re supposed to be calling Richard Dudley. And hopefully, they are. Dudley can then ask Waddell for the money that it’ll take to do it. And hopefully, Dudley is letting the Edmontons, the NYI’s, the Torontos and New Jerseys of the league … know that we’re not going to be fleeced in February. They can sell off their wares … but they’re not going to get more than the market value.

Iron League 13

February 2nd, 2011
7:14 pm

Smoothie owned me. Well they won’t sign again, so there.

World Be Free

February 2nd, 2011
7:24 pm

Brendan, I think Dudely can swing the deals if he gets the juice ($$$) to work with. If he does, well we won’t see any significant trades. Not sure what the dollar guys are thinking right now, but I say the team needs to win now and forgo thoughts of building for the future. We need to make playoffs and it will take investment for that to happen. I am holding my breathe!

Matt-I said the same thing at the game in the 3rd period last night, when it was clear that the team was on life support. Nobody can move Buff so put him in front of the net. Hope Toby is back early too.


February 2nd, 2011
7:34 pm

I’ve stayed out of the trade talks for most of the year except to defend a certain young player. But now is the time to either make the deal or make players think they just might be dealt if they don’t step it up.

BnS and TT you are exactly right. Peverly is on the hot seat. No way should a top line center in this league have the ugly numbers he does. And it’s his play and lack of commitment to the system that have led to it.

Bergfors is still probably on the hot seat as well because he is so soft and does not check when he doesn’t have the puck. But, could the real problem with him start with Peverly?

Antropov is a proven vet who may finally be warming up. Could he go back to center? The only way he is moved is if the Thrashers get something greater back. But, who is going to take him given his slow recovery unless another piece is moved with him?

Stewart is not going anywhere unless it is for a veteran forward. He is the exact type of big and fast north/south forward this team needs along the wall. His game this year proves it and he is only going to get better given the opportunity.

No one is going to take Modin. Again, he is a veteran that could fill in nicely down the stretch as a part time wing on the third line. The Greek Gods? No way. You would have to get something huge if Thorburn was even considered part of a package. He is the type of guy that can play anywhere for a long time and is a huge piece of the puzzle. No one has been as versatile in his multi-roles as he has. Every team needs a guy like that and he’d be a huge loss. Slater is damaged right now and it is apparent how much he is missed.

What forwards does that leave? They are either rookies, call-ups, or in the minors. Kane and Little are completely off the table as they are part of the future of the franchise.

The only D-men I see moving are younger guys in the system. Unless Oduya, Hainsey, or Sopel are moved for a top shut-down and penalty killer. Meyer is the perfect number 7 for the Thrashers. He could help a team less deep defensively and play a bigger role but for who? Trade Bogosian? Please.

Anyone watch the late game on Versus last night? Eager had a nice game and contributed in their comeback. A change of scenery can help sometime.


February 2nd, 2011
7:37 pm

Well yeah, there’s that. Toby and Kane will want to walk if this team doesn’t start showing some semblance of success not only in making the playoffs but also winning and of course, advancing.

WBF – I agree with you that the future is now. Regardless of whether the ASSG wants to sell, a new investor or better yet new owner will want to see some potential for success w/r/t the roster. This isn’t an established market like Buffalo where fans will remain loyal and passionate thru much adversity. The Thrashers need to win sooner than later or else new fans will never materialize. This transient town loves a winner and that’s it. Other than some loyalty to the Braves and the rabid obsession with UGA football, there isn’t enough of a groundswell to keep this team here through a slow, hard build that will take 4 to 5 yrs. Anything beyond 2013 will be too late. This franchise is treading water as it is and we don’t need to tempt fate, and Bill Daly, with more utter failure.


February 2nd, 2011
9:55 pm

Just tossing this out there, but if it really is true that it’ll take 3-straight years of playoffs before we’ll see BETTER than 11,000 fans on a Tuesday night game, during a playoff chase, then we’d better get in now. That streak has to start now.

Of course, I don’t accept the premise. All I think this team has ever, ever needed was an owner to care for it and accountability takes care of the rest. It’s that simple. A fan doesn’t have to be a Phi Beta Kappa to know when ownership CARES and management is effective, or removed if ineffective. I do wonder, sometimes, what Red Wing message boards look like? I’m sure there’s a few crazies who question whether Ken Holland is still a great GM or if the Ilitch Family is still ‘committed’ to the pursuit of the Cup. But they’re dismissed as whackos, who only appear when the Red Wings lose. But honestly, I think Red Wings fans leave “The Joe” after a loss with a “So what?, that was one game” attitude. “We’ll win the next one. And if not, four of the next six. Or five of the next seven.” And that’s exactly what happens.

I doubt Red Wings leave “The Joe” after a loss, even a bad loss, thinking … “we need new ownership, a new GM, and new scouts.” It must be nice to have unwavering trust in the machinations of the Red Wing franchise. They don’t have to worry. But here … in Atlanta … where you couldn’t find ACCOUNTABILITY with a map and binoculars, this kind of talk is ‘common place.’ And who could question it? One playoff berth in 10 completed seasons, with no playoff wins. If fans didn’t question how the team was run … then they’re really falling down on the job, as fans.


February 2nd, 2011
10:19 pm

How can anyone say Filatov with a straight face that guy is a train wreck he has barley played in 44 games through 3 NHL season tallying a whopping 6 goals and 7 assists. As bad as Bogo has been he has been way better than Filtatov

Hockey Biltong

February 2nd, 2011
10:59 pm

Brutally scary right now.


February 2nd, 2011
11:06 pm

Good post Cornbread. I think the guys Dudley would move, in which we could get some decent return, would be Bergfors, Peverly and Hainsey. Hainsey might be tough to move due to his high $ contract.

Zombie Steve

February 2nd, 2011
11:16 pm


February 2nd, 2011
11:50 pm

“We are going to take a little off of our having fun time”–that line speaks volumes.


February 3rd, 2011
8:19 am

Peverley was waived in Nashville because they had a player coming back from injury (Sullivan?) They were hoping to send him back to the minors and possibly call him back up. Nashville liked Peverley.

Old Time Hockey

February 3rd, 2011
8:44 am

Call up Boris and let him kick some a$$ in front of our goal. This team needs some toughness…ok, the need a lot of toughness. On versus last night they discussed the Thrashers and what the problem is. Milbury lobbied for the job himself by saying Ramsay is too soft. He’s an idiot, but Keith Jones brought up the fact that Kane has been knocked out of the lineup twice this year with high (clean) hits and NO ONE stepped up to defend him. That shows a big lack of commitment. Very disappointed in Thorburn’s physicality this year. He’s got a lot of talent, but being physical should be number one, and it’s not. After 50+ games, if you are not getting the level of play/commitment you need from players, send them packing. Hope SOMEONE is throwing some chairs in the locker room. I want to see a little fire in their eyes.

[...] struggling to maintain the edge-of-their-seats pace that helped them become a dangerous team. General manager Rick Dudley told Chris Vivlamore that he might consider making a trade or two if the…. “I’m not going to jeopardize the long-term future of the organization for the short-term gain. [...]

HP Drifter

February 3rd, 2011
9:09 am

Sorry, but Peverly should not be traded. Package Bergfors/Hainsey out of here.

Not Blind

February 3rd, 2011
9:37 am

Like somebody above said, this place is a prison sentence for players. Eager is probably estactic about being moved.

Why do we need to make any trades? If this group of players would get back to playing like they did earlier in the season it would be sufficient to easily make the playoffs. There has to be something terrible going on in the locker room. I think I would rather see the C on Buff instead of Ladd. Ladd’s leadership isn’t working. Why do you need to go see the coach about accountability ? Just stand up in the room and start naming names.


February 3rd, 2011
10:21 am

Thrashers should reinvigorate the careers of Eric Lindros, Keith Premieu, and Scott Stevens. I think these 3 guys could make a big impact on their line-up. There’s 1-2 guys in the Atlanta men’s league that could probably make the cut too. Derek Nesbitt of Springfield in the AHL lives in Atlanta and I’m positive he’s a better players than a few of our bush leaguers… Start having random call ups from the Gladiators just to embarrass the players on the Thrashers and show them they aren’t worth the money they’re paid.

Old Time Hockey

February 3rd, 2011
11:18 am

Tony, as poorly as some of the guys have performed, there is a reason some guys are in the minors. They’re not good enough to play in the big league. And, trust me, no one in the men’s league can even carry an NHL’ers jock strap. Would be like a middle schooler stepping in. As much as the Knights are held in high regard in this city and people talk about how good they were, the reality is that the level they played at was not all that good compared to NHL (I was at every game). That’s why it’s so hard to improve a team during the season and why you see the same guys constantly getting shipped around the league. If the lower level guys could just step into the NHL you would see it happen a lot more. Stapleton and Dawes are our best “fringe” players, so that gives you an idea as to how good the guys below them are.

[...] could happen now. They could happen later,” Dudley said of potential trades in a story by Atlanta Journal-Constitution beat writer Chris Vivlamo…. “Obviously we feel a sense of urgency because we think we are a better team than we displayed [...]

[...] Atlanta Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley looking to make a trade | ajc.comThey’re wheelin’ and dealin’ in Atlanta… is there a deal to be made there with Nashville? [...]

[...] in a candid interview with Atlanta Journal & Constitution beat writer, Chris Vivlamore, Dudley laid out his thoughts about the current state of the Thrashers. In so doing, he did not mince words or filter his [...]


February 4th, 2011
12:47 am

I just read all the comments. Impressed, I add my own. Three hours from Atlanta. If I lived in Atlanta I would attend as many games as my budget could withstand. I have gone to one game only and somehow the seats I hoped were good ended up in one of the nosebleed sections. I watch Atlanta games on FSS or SS or Versus or the NHL Channel. I am considering Directv and NHL Center Ice. I am a long time fan of NHL hockey. All the empty seats are an embarrassment. No, I don’t agree with many that think Atlanta cannot support an NHL team. Tampa Bay and Carolina fans are very supportive. An energized or winning team brings out the fans. A couple of years ago there was talk of moving Nashville but that seems to have quieted and the fans now enjoy their team. Phoenix plays well but isn’t a front runner and nor are the LA Kings but when they were winning, the fans were excited. Similary when Atlanta was winning the fans here were more excited . The new coach and manager were the talk of the town when they and the team were more successful. Yes, success brings out the fans. I thought that bringing in half of Chicago’s Stanley Cup championship team was really going to work for Atlanta. It took a little time for the team members to get to know one another but did team chemistry ever develop? I noticed the same thing that Versus’ Jones noted. They only go through the motions when a team mate scores. There is a lack of team chemistry. That’s unfortunate because that is the glue that makes them a team. Now your going to disagree with me. I notice how scruffy many of them look. That’s a personal thing not a team thing. Some need haircuts again personal versus team appearance of professionalism, as in “look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp”. I know I could be wrong but they could get haircuts, clean up, go to a local resort together even families could be invited if necessary but they need to come together as a professional team. The coach can holler all day long but it won’t do any good until they start harmonizing together. More of my questionable thoughts: Something that they do not have too much control over is the NHL decision to change the home jersey to solid color rather that what used to be the home jersey white. I watch Atlanta play and I do not like the solid colored jersey being worn as the home jersey. The NHL should change back to the way it was whoever made the decision to change has caused me to have a very difficult time switching the jerseys in my mind from home team is white to the now practice. Yes I know there is the center ice emblem that identifies the home team but I still have trouble. I know I will take a lot of criticism for my comment (s) but I add that a light blue ice surface was tried but the idea faded away it seems. Atlanta could gain from a blue ice surface playing with its white jerseys (the crease area could be the same or a darker shade of blue). I believe that the Blue Land at Phillips would become even more advertised as a part of the Thrashers’ game. Also the glare from the current ice surface would be decreased. Every team that comes to play (Visitor) has on a white jersey versus Atlanta’s dark, solid colored jersey. Change back to home white and the variety of incoming team jersey colors certainly would improve variety for the home fans. Why did they ever change it in the first place? Third jerseys can be worn whenever they choose. Some games I have watched and they reversed the current practice so it can be done. The announcers need to be enlightend as well. They try hard but they need to listen to some of the past experienced announcers like Danny Gallivan of the Montreal Canadiens. Hockey is for everyone and Atlanta certainly can do a better job of supporting their team otherwise they will lose the team as they did before to Calgary that played tonight and beat them. Calgary is having its own problems and many of the Canadian teams are struggling as well. It wasn’t long ago that Philadelphia was struggling and Buffalo was then one of the better teams. Boston went through its struggles its just the way it is. The Atlanta Falcons performed well this year and like the Indiannapolis Colts they stumbled when it counted. Its a sport and there are no garantees. Fans will support a winner.The Atlanta Thrashers can be a winning team. Team chemistry and postive thinking such as comments I read, may be the answer.

[...] • Changes are a-commin’ for the Atlanta Thrashers, or GM Rick Dudley’s putting that out there to light a fire under the team? [AJC] [...]