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: