Dudley gets four-year contract extension

BUFFALO – The Thrashers agreed to a four-year contract extension with general manager Rick Dudley, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The team will make an official announcement Thursday. News of the extension first appeared in the Buffalo News Wednesday.

Dudley took over as Thrashers general manager this season after one year as assistant to now-president Don Waddell.

Dudley, with over 40 years of hockey experience as an NHL player, coach and executive, also served in the front offices with Chicago, Florida, Tampa Bay and Ottawa.

After taking over as general manager on April 14, 2010 – two days following the end of last season – Dudley began reshaping the franchise. He hired head coach Craig Ramsay and significantly reshaped the team’s roster. His moves included bringing in four players from last season’s Stanley Cup champion Chicago.

Dudley helped build two eventual Stanley Cup champions, although he left the franchises before they reached the pinnacle. As assistant general manager in Chicago, Dudley helped build the Blackhawks roster, including acquiring Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. As general manager in Tampa Bay, Dudley helped build the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004, two years after he left the organization.

Dudley played six NHL seasons with Buffalo and Winnipeg, appearing in 270 games with 131 goals, 146 assists and 516 penalty minutes.

44 comments Add your comment


February 23rd, 2011
2:13 pm

Does he have a home in Winnepeg?


February 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

Or Winnipeg?

Altlanta #2

February 23rd, 2011
2:17 pm

No but he will next year….. LOL

Uncle Milty

February 23rd, 2011
2:30 pm

Former Winnipeg Jet player Rick Dudley get a 4 year extension from the franchise! Hmmmm.


February 23rd, 2011
2:33 pm

Did Winnipeg brass sign off on this?

Gwinnett Fred

February 23rd, 2011
2:35 pm

Let’s recap:
Things done to improve fan interest: zzzzzzzzzz

Things done to make team easier to sell: Stabilize front office by resigning the GM after he had gotten teams best player to sign an extension.

Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out the way the ASG thinks and acts (or lack of action as the case were).


February 23rd, 2011
2:37 pm

First Big Buff, now Dudley and Ladd any day now. Something is very fishy. This is not at all how we have operated in the past. Maybe this is how Dudley operates vs. Waddell. Waddell never could get deals done period, let alone during the season. I can understand why Dudley re-upped, but from a players perspective what do they have to lose by waiting and testing the waters. Buff could have easily gotten that kind of dough from a contender. I can respect that they like living in Atlanta but with all the uncertainty surrounding the team and the very real prospect of no playoffs again…it just does not add up…unless they all know something we don’t. Can’t help but be pessimistic with the way things are going. I hope I am wrong and this is a real positive step in how the team is being run.


February 23rd, 2011
2:54 pm

I think Dud’s still have an ice fishing shack in winterpeg, he can live there next year while building Chateau de Dud


February 23rd, 2011
3:02 pm

If you believe John Kincad, there may be a buyer who wants to keep the team in atlanta. He said yesterday on the radio that they’re beyond “kicking the tires” stage.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian Metzer, Shawn Lavigne and theotherund, Chris Vivlamore. Chris Vivlamore said: Dudley gets four-year contract extension http://bit.ly/glkgXz [...]

cousin Eddie

February 23rd, 2011
3:09 pm

I smell smoke but can’t tell where the fire is coming from.

Puck Like A Porn Star

February 23rd, 2011
3:10 pm

How soon before they announce that Waddell was fired?


February 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

Does Gary Bettman allow them to relocate? That’s the question.
Can’t have a product in the South without having a product in Atlanta.

Puck Like A Porn Star

February 23rd, 2011
3:20 pm

If Atlanta loses another team while Florida still has two, then screw the NHL.

Coach Jimmy Johnson

February 23rd, 2011
3:27 pm

Congratulations, Rick Dudley.

In a semi-related story, I just got a 4-Inch extension.

Altlanta #2

February 23rd, 2011
3:28 pm

I hope the new owner is kicking the tires because the new car will need a whole new paint job (Jerseys/ team name) for Winnipeg neat year. I used to go hunting with Duds…… he loves Winnipeg……… ask him about it!


February 23rd, 2011
3:33 pm

I think I saw Duds hunting squirrel at the Cheetah.


February 23rd, 2011
3:34 pm

Duds also loves to travel, he’s a damn vagabond who lives out of a suitcase. He cares not where the team is located. He owns a house in Lewiston (Maine?) and I doubt that will change any time soon, Winnipeg or NOT!


February 23rd, 2011
3:34 pm

Something smells like fish

The Real Thrash

February 23rd, 2011
3:39 pm

How are you going to blame the NHL for the dud as owners we have?
We sold the teams to the wrong people!

Iron League 13

February 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

Coach JJ – You just gave me both piss shivers and the giggles. Congrats, that’s a helluva combo/


February 23rd, 2011
3:54 pm

is there anything else to do in winnipeg or is the only hobby trolling thrashers blogs?


February 23rd, 2011
4:05 pm

Amanda, the nice thing about the internet and blogs is that anyone can participate – why does it matter if someone from Winnipeg or Timbuktu decides they have something to add or say to the forum? We’re all fans of hockey. This is a hot button issue for lots of people and communities involved. I remember when the Jets left, and it was before the internet was a big deal, so we had to resort to other ways of rallying around our team at the time. Be thankful you guys have this blog, Facebook, Twitter etc to spread the word. While I want an NHL team here in Winnipeg, I don’t like doing it at another city’s expense since we went through the same tough situation in 1996.


February 23rd, 2011
4:23 pm

The sad thing is our own continue to feed the trolls from Winnipeg.

fo real?

February 23rd, 2011
4:26 pm

extension? are you serious? the thrashers suck and the GM is getting a longer contract? No wonder the team is so messed up.

Bernard Shakey

February 23rd, 2011
4:36 pm

I find it very very odd that GB and the NHL are doing nothing about saving the ATL franchise… with so much uncertainty witht this team it does seem strange to be signing big contracts extensions etc… Buff could have gone anywhere in the league and he chose to stay with Thrashe? Very odd. Doesn’t prove anything but i certainly can’t it ignore it. A team is coming to the peg, its just a matter of which one.

Bernard Shakey

February 23rd, 2011
4:41 pm

Good for you guys for rescheduling the rally,… it would have been a total failure with FLO… leafs will help draw fans, and i suspect a sellout. I’m a little bothered by Mr. Kincade, i know nothing about him but as a fan of the NHL and if i was living in ATL i would not appreciate a person making such claims of “real potential new ownership etc” and being all secret about it… acting like a gate-keeper of information. Seems manipulative in many ways… just my thoughts.


February 23rd, 2011
4:46 pm

Not sold on anything at this point…Dud’s included.

Taco Mac Meeting Spot Sunday's Game

February 23rd, 2011
4:59 pm

The event on Sunday is simply a way to (a) get fans down to the game, (b) get fans down to the game early, (c) encourage fans to make signs, wear mullet wigs, wear masks, anything to show our shared love of the great sport of hockey. The “event” on Sunday is also a way for all of us to meet, connect, and swap ideas about how to protect our team. If we build it up to be something that it is not, the media will say “we failed”. We want people to come on Sunday and have fun, but we really want people to go to the game. The term “rally” may not fit what we are doing on Sunday – there will be no microphones, podiums, or bunting. Just hockey fans getting together.

day old fries

February 23rd, 2011
5:05 pm

i had no idea atlanta had a hockey team until i read this

Get The Puck Out

February 23rd, 2011
5:16 pm

Dof = DUMB^SS!


February 23rd, 2011
5:25 pm

Sounds a lot like a golden parachute to me. Take care of upper level management in anticipation of the upcoming sale. When the sale is completed and said management is fired they have a nice little severance paycheck headed their way.


February 23rd, 2011
5:33 pm

I’m supporting my team by up-grading partial flex

I’m there most of the time anyway….. have held off previously because my schedule is irregular.

“Live Hockey, Love Thrashers!”

Big Bill Dromo

February 23rd, 2011
5:34 pm

Let’s see: Buff is from Minnesota, just over the border from Manitoba…Rick Dudley used to play in Winnipeg, still goes hunting up there in the summer…I could stomach losing the Flames to Calgary in 1980, similar size cities (at the time and besides, Dan Bouchard tells of a back story that seldom gets mentioned) but geesh, losing a team to Winnipeg just because ASG couldn’t hire a decent lawyer is just too hard to swallow! Gary Bettman- you are a disgrace to the NHL and Cornell!

And Mr. Assassin, how about you and me headlining Wrestlemania when it comes to town in April so we can show all those posers how to rassle when the match isn’t fixed!


February 23rd, 2011
5:53 pm

I agree with Bernard. For a franchise that is folding from within it is certainly strange to be seeing this level of activity… wish NHL could be more direct with their fans. On another note, reported that the Tea Party is looking to file a civil suit in gongdale.

Furious George

February 23rd, 2011
6:03 pm

Dear God, enough with all the Winnipeg crap already! Whenever something happens, let it be. For now this is a good day for Thrasher fans. We now have what we did not have in the 10 year Waddell regime, and that’s some form of front office stability – and we’re seeing it with the Buff extension and the liekly Ladd extension as well. I know cleaning up DW’s messes will gradually take time, but Duds is clearly putting his stamp on the franchise and slowly but surely making this a place that players want to come to and stay. That can only mean good things down the line.

Oh and my two cents on this stupid Winnipeg thing: I still say that once Phoenix finally gets resolved, if a buyer can’t be found soon, the NHL will take over operations until one can be found. He won’t let go of this market without a fight.

Ox Baker

February 23rd, 2011
6:14 pm

I’m coming with the “heart punch”, so you better run!!!


February 23rd, 2011
7:12 pm

Winnipeg would have lost this franchise 3 times already with the disgraceful manner in which it has been run. It really sucks that the NHL would use Atlanta like a nursing dog to pups if this team really leaves in the dead of summer.


February 23rd, 2011
7:15 pm

AND….my guess is that Kincade is using his made up “rumor” to the fullest to show the owners and 680 that he can draw fans and listeners like magic so that he can get in with the Hawks when the Thrashers leave. Even this city of garbage media outlets would have somebody poking around asking questions.


February 23rd, 2011
8:51 pm

The truth is that is sad to see Thrashers play home for a crowd of a couple thousand. I guarantee that if the stands were filled with fans they would never think about move the team.
Talking about ownership…. Arthur Blank would be a great owner for this franchise.


February 23rd, 2011
9:45 pm

Keep the faith. I believe we have hope on the horizon. I don’t think the Brown Thrasher is the State bird of Winnipeg.


February 23rd, 2011
11:07 pm

Congratulations to Rick Dudley. I must say, I’m stunned at the length of the deal. And the team hasn’t exactly made the playoffs yet, this year. The AS,LLC is somewhat known for ‘jumping the gun.’ Remember the big winning streak right after Bob Hartley was fired? Can’t remember the record anymore, but it lead the AS,LLC to give Waddell a 3-year contract extension in 2008. Of course, the team would finish with just 76-points in 2008, and 2009, and faired not much better last season.

So, when is Waddell leaving?

[...] Rick Dudley has officially been extended by the Atlanta Thrashers [AJC] [...]


February 24th, 2011
2:52 pm

The man that sells a very mediocre team as the future stanley cup winner gets a 4 year re-up. Good for him. He doesn’t have the fans fooled, but he sure has fooled his owners. The hype on this guy is surreal. In the real world we have to prove ourselves before we earn our just desserts. All Dudley has to do is talk a good game.