Ladd, Thrashers closing in on new deal

As I reported last week, the Thrashers and Andrew Ladd continue to work on a new contract. Ladd said Monday that the two sides are “on the same page” and that he wants to remain with the team.

“We are still talking,” Ladd said. “We are still working on it but both sides are on the same page for sure.

“I want to be a part of what we are doing here. We kind of need a couple guys to stay and say this is a good place and we’ve got a good thing going here. It will help out a lot.”

Ladd, 25, is scheduled to be a restricted free agent following the season. He will earn $2.35 million this season. He leads the Thrashers with 21 goals, a career-high.

Last week, the Thrashers signed defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year, $26 million deal.

In other news from Monday’s practice:

* The list of players sidelined grows. Eric Boulton missed practice with an illness. Patrice Cormier also did not participate. He is classified with an upper-body injury, which is likely a concussion suffered in Thursday’s game at Phoenix. Also  still out are Alexander Burmistrov (foot), Jim Slater (concussion), Fredrik Modin (upper-body) and Freddy Meyer (upper-body).

* With a shortage of forwards, defenseman Johnny Oduya skated up front on Monday. Following practice, coach Craig Ramsay said he could dress seven defenseman, as he did Saturday against Edmonton, and one could play up front. He was very clear that Byfuglien would NOT be one of the defenseman to see time at forward.

* It looks like newly acquired Blake Wheeler will start as a right wing, a position he says he has played the least in the NHL but is his favorite. He practiced on the top line with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little Monday. I’m working on a story on Wheeler that will be posted later today.

* The remainder of the line combinations were:

Kane-Antropov-Stewart

Oduya- Stapleton-Machacek

Bergforws -X-Thorburn

27 comments Add your comment

MrMatt1112

February 21st, 2011
3:08 pm

thrash head

February 21st, 2011
3:11 pm

Silver Medal – 2nd

waiting4hockey

February 21st, 2011
3:12 pm

It would be nice to get the Captain signed to a long-term contract. Hopefully they will be around long enough for us to see him play through it.

Gotta admit Saturday was a tough game to watch.

Matt

February 21st, 2011
3:13 pm

wait, we’re skating Oduya as a forward as opposed to Buff? WTF?

KLS1

February 21st, 2011
3:19 pm

Ladd and Buff could save this franchise…just hope it is in Atlanta. Why not call up a forward from Chicago…give prospects a chance instead of moving D-men to forward.

Smoothie

February 21st, 2011
3:24 pm

Love how we trade Peverley because we’re concerned about our lack of size up the middle and then move Wheeler to RW. The list of mind-boggling decisions never ends. Antropov should be the 3rd center until we get healthier. Stapes is your 4th C and the 4th line should get no more than 8 mins depending on PK time for Stapes.

Ladd – Little – Stewie

Kane – Wheeler – Bergy

Dawes – Antro – Thorbs

Boults? – Stapes – Macho

Why did we return Dawes if Boulton might be sick and Cormier is likely out for awhile (bet it’s another concussion)? Oduya at forward is certainly not the answer. Although it’s better than Oduya on the PK right now. At least the lineup above gives you 2 scorers on each line with similar speed & skills and one guy with size who should help win puck battles. Oh wait, Antro and Stewy don’t hit so who cares?

The Real Thrash

February 21st, 2011
3:41 pm

Makes it easy to sell the team…
Darn!

Puck Like A Porn Star

February 21st, 2011
3:43 pm

Exelby is playing Center? Way to go, Rammer!

Go Thrashers!!

February 21st, 2011
3:44 pm

PLEASE LET THIS TEAM STAY IN ATLANTA!!!!! PLEASEEEEEE!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEEEEEE!!!!!! :’(

darren

February 21st, 2011
3:44 pm

Smoothie, ANYTHING would be better than oduya on the pk, although ive made it known I haven’t liked him this season for a while

h

February 21st, 2011
3:46 pm

One thing for sure…..that is the ugliest botoom 6 of any team in NHL…..Oduya stopped paying defense 8 weeks ago, so you might as well let him skate as a forward.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by atl sports fan, Andrew Duncan and Mr Poopypants, Chris Vivlamore. Chris Vivlamore said: Ladd, Thrashers closing in on new deal http://bit.ly/dTGW3g [...]

Bomb Canada

February 21st, 2011
3:58 pm

why did we RETURN Dawes? seriously..someone asked that? Dawes is worse than Stapleton, that’s why..and Stapleton is barely good enough for the AHL. Dawes = ECHL. the real question is why we give either so many chances.

Tony C

February 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

Why not call up Holzapfel? last time I looked at his numbers he was decent on draws and with Slater out and Richie traded, we don’t have anybody I feel good about for key faceoffs…Nik has improved, but he has never been what I’d consider ‘good’ @ faceoffs.

Really don’t like this concussion news about Cormier…

Tony C

February 21st, 2011
4:08 pm

Not that Litts is bad-but again, not somebody I feel super positive about for key draws…. Jimmy is pretty darn good, and I think even a lot of our critics will have to admit his absence from the lineup has been pretty costly.

Iron League 13

February 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

Ok, first off DO IT LADD!!! Hopefully I can make it Friday to show my support along with numbers of others. Pretty please with a mothertrucking cherry on top, sign.

Now that I’ve commented on the main topic at hand let’s talk lines. WTF!!! C’mon Ramsay for Pete’s sake. Why would you put Oduya up instead of Buff? Why? I’m seriously begining to question Ramsay’s judgement. Hell, I’d have moved Buff up before the Stuart acquisition, now? What the Hell? BUFF TO THE WINGS, PRONTO!!!

Flagstaff

February 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

A source says that they are about to sign him for 5 years, $20M.

Iron League 13

February 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

beginning (rather)

Rob

February 21st, 2011
6:06 pm

Arrrrgggghhh. This is frustrating because this team is actually close to being a playoff team.

Glad to hear they’re close to a new deal on Ladd. I want to see this team make a run, I just don’t see how its going to happen this year. The team is thin on scoring talent when everyone’s healthy, but now we have Tim Stapleton playing third line center because he’s NOT a defensive liability. 23 games and no goals, yet he continues to collect an NHL paycheck.

Hopefully resigning Ladd and Buff, along with having a really good goalie will make players want to stay in Atlanta and keep fans coming.

It’ll be interesting to see if they trade Sopel for a pick/propect this week, pending free agent and another loss may trigger it.

Brendan

February 21st, 2011
7:09 pm

We need Ladd. Market conditions might be ripe for signing him. After all, there could be a lockout in 2012-13. Players might want to secure their contracts now, at inflated prices, just in case they have to rollback 24-percent, like before.

Smoothie

February 21st, 2011
7:16 pm

Well, if the “source” is right, that’s about as high as they should go per year. Ladd is worth b/w $3.25 & $3.5 M on the open market, at best, but he’s worth an extra $250K as capt and $250-500K for the credibility he brings as a gritty, scoring winger with 2 Cups.

Rob

February 22nd, 2011
6:10 am

Smoothie – why do you care about the salaries that billionaires are paying millionaires? The Thrashers are $19mil under the salary cap. Remember, Ryan Malone got $5mil/year to go from a Stanley Cup champion to a bad Lightning team at the time, this is the same situation.

Joe McGrath

February 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

They’re calling up Rissmiller from Lake Erie (AHL). Why don’t they give Jared Ross a call-up. I mean, c’mon…Flyers used him to supplement their roster (last 2 seasons) when hit with the injury bug. If he’s good enough for the Flyers, he’s got to be good enought for the Thrashers, right?

ThrasherTim

February 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

Despite the free fall of this team over the last 2 months, signing Buff and Ladd is really good news for a franchise that has never signed a player longer than 4 years. Now we just need the franchise to stay in ATL.

I think trading Sopel for some assets (forward/center) is a definite possibility now that Stuart is here. Plus, we have Kulda and Postma ready to come up from the AHL.

Smoothie

February 22nd, 2011
11:09 am

Rob – I care because I follow the team. And if our owners were billionaires, we wouldn’t be worried about relocation rumors.

Big Daddy (formerly waffleboy)

February 22nd, 2011
4:39 pm

Is anyone else concerned that all of these signings are happening while the team’s ownership is “in flux?” Could it be a buyer is already locked in and he’s the one approving thee long-term deals? Why would Buff and Ladd sign long-term deals unless they knew where they were going to be living? These singings, along with last week’s article that the team has one foot out the door, are making me very nervous. If a local owner was the locked in, we’d already know about it, so that’s out. Anyone else uncomfortable with this?

[...] Thrashers’ beat writer, Chris Vivlamore, Ladd has gone on record to relate the following about his prospects for a long-term future in Atlanta: “We are still working on it (new contract), but both sides are on the same page for sure. I want [...]