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 of the best penalty kills in the National Hockey League. I think he was the second leading minute guy on the Panthers – at least at forward. So we helped our PK and we got a draft pick.

Q. Why the trade of Modin?

A. I think that was a combination of things. We wanted to get [Ben] Maxwell up here and get him playing. We wanted to Freddy a chance to play if he was going to be the odd-man out here we wanted him to have a chance to play. He’s familiar with Jay Feaster. I think he gives them some depth. We got a draft pick back and we did a good thing for a guy.

Q. You said you didn’t want to get another 35-year-old guy and you got Dvorak, who is going to be 34?

A. We added another 24 year old in Schremp. The logic was there if we do the Schremp guy we can give up an equal guy. He’s a little more versatile [than Bergfors]. With Dvorak, it was because he’s played well when we’ve watched him this year and the penalty kill. We haven’t given up on anything. It’s been the bane of our existence this year, our penalty kill. He helps that. [Mark] Stuart helps that. [Blake] Wheeler helps that. A lot of our moves have at least in some part been done to address that.

Q. What about the signing of Mark Stuart?

A. You don’t want to go to the summer with a player like that. … Our choice is clearly that we wanted to keep this player because we would have been looking for someone just like him in a couple of months and we knew that. Instead of doing that, let’s do our best to keep this particular player. We like everything about him.

Q. You’ve done two deals since you started talking to Andrew Ladd. Does that indicate that there has been a slow down there?

A. No. We are still working on that. Obviously, Andrew Ladd is a priority. We are going to keep working on that. Again, it goes back to the desire to be here and our desire to have him here. We think that’s a good match. The numbers have to work out for both sides. We are not so far apart that it’s a chasm. We will keep working on it.

Q. Will the new acquisitions be here by tomorrow?

A. We certainly hope so.

Q. Do you expect scoring depth from Dvorak?

A. Yes. I think he’s a talented guy. I think he’s a very good skater. We have certainly added speed. As we said, he’s a great penalty killer. We think he had 14 [goals] last year. We think he can be that and a 20-goal scorer if he comes in and lights it up and has some fun. I think he will have some fun playing in this system. Speed in an important part of this system and he adds that.

Q. Are 19 games enough for these guys to make a difference for the playoff push?

A. It has to be. We wanted to make changes. We did. I think it looks good, very good. I understand there is a situation where a coach has to teach somebody something in a very short amount of time. I think our coaches can do that.

Q. Were you tempted to make any other trades?

A. Nothing to make us give up something a central piece. There were people who wanted our central pieces. We like the Byfugliens, Enstroms, Bogosians, Burmistrovs, you can go down the list. We like those core players we have.

37 comments Add your comment

woo

February 28th, 2011
4:16 pm

Overall addition by subtraction today, IMO.

MASHAPlayer7

February 28th, 2011
4:20 pm

Well many of the bloggers here wanted Modin gone for a bag of pucks. We got a 7th rounder…just a little better. I think Schremp will surprise….he’ll be our next Rich Peverly but maybe without the defensive prowess. You heard it here first.

Donovan McNubb

February 28th, 2011
4:21 pm

Hate to lose Bergy for such a paltry return. I wish we could have found a way to make that work, because he has scoring talent. But I am not surprised. It’s obvious that Ramsay didn’t share my high regard for the Swede.

Dudley clearly makes it known here that Schemp, not Dvorak, is the “Bergy replacement.” I don’t know much about Schemp but if he can score in the shootout I’d be thrilled.

hip czech

February 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

“We wanted to get [Ben] Maxwell up here and get him playing”

Interesting…sure looks like Slater is shut down for the year.

Thrashers are boss

February 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

Atlanta…Imagine if we could buy alcohol on Sunday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TOM_UuQzc0

East Point Bob

February 28th, 2011
4:35 pm

I am shocked at Dudley’s comments. He does not address Chris’s question about Bergy 24 and Devorak 34. He shifted to Schemp. Made no sense, Dvorak is not the means to the end.
Schemp is likewise. I am, actually now having to question Mr.Dudley and his honesty, said no 35 year old players for young players and he does exactly that. So, by saying that and then making a trade that is a 180*. To be bruitally honest, He has lied to all of us and that is a shame, but right in line with how this franchise operates and treats their customers/fans. I no longer can trust anything Mr.Dudley says and believe he is set on setting this team backwards, not forward.

kent

February 28th, 2011
4:41 pm

Schrempf was a waiver acquisition- he was available to anyone. How does that qualify as an acquisition. A waiver acquisition is superior to Bergfors??? boy that kovalchuk trade was something.

TBradshaw

February 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

E.P. Bob, you could make the case that Dvorak replaces Modin and Schremp replaces Bergfors. Say what you will about the skills of any of the players, age-wise the day’s moves evened out.

Brendan

February 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

Q. Are 19 games enough for these guys to make a difference for the playoff push?

A. It has to be. We wanted to make changes. We did. I think it looks good, very good.

Ummn, well. Dudley stopped short of ‘guaranteeing’ a playoff berth. I must give him credit for that. But the statement, “I think it looks good, very good” sounds a little bit too much like Darren Eliot’s interview with Waddell, when Don stated in 2008, “I think we’re ‘close, real close’ to being a playoff team.”

I, personally, wouldn’t have been livid if we’d given up Nik Antropov to a team already ensconced in the playoffs, for a very nice prospect. On the other hand, I’m glad Nik is still here. He’s a big, power forward who has been injured all season long. If it had been up to me, I would have longterm IR’d him and brought in someone else. But, of course, that takes MONEY and COMMITMENT on the part of ownership. Nik Antropov will be a much better player for us next season, when he is healed up.

Brendan

February 28th, 2011
4:47 pm

I wanted to see Dudley asked if, at any time during the 7-15-6 stretch, he contemplated firing Craig Ramsay. And if so, how did we go from “Ramsay passing the HC interview with flying colors … to a pink slip … in a matter of months.”

Mike

February 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

Wow. Everyone is screaming that Dudley lied and all this stuff, yet you are not looking at all the pieces as a whole.

He wasn’t going to trade for a 35 year old and give up a lot for a playoff run, a la Zhitnik, and he did not do that. So he did not lie.

Did he acquire a 30+ year old player? Yes. Did he get rid of Modin? Yes. So he replaced veteran leadership with someone who is younger, more versatile and less injury prone.

Did he ship out a young player? Yes. However, Bergie hasn’t and wasn’t going to fit in the system, so I agree with doing it. He got a replacement for Bergie in Schemp, not in Dvorak.

You can’t always look at the individual trades but look at them as a whole and see what it does for the Team. We improved our PK, got rid of a guy who wasn’t giving 100%, gained a guy that stays healthy and got rid of a guy who didn’t fit in the system.

Brendan

February 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

EPB, do you ever wonder if the AS,LLC pipes in ‘hallucinogens’ into the air ducts of the GM office space?

chris

February 28th, 2011
4:49 pm

Wow, EPB… are you really that delusional? He clearly explained the thought behind the Bergy trade. By getting Schremp, Bergy could be traded. The fact that we got a fix for the PK was the icing, not the reason for the trade. If you read into what he said, it means that if we had not gotten Schremp, the Bergy deal would not have happened.

Tincup9

February 28th, 2011
4:50 pm

Kent, that was going to be my point. Nice center piece to the Kovy Trade. Building a cup contender through the waiver wire isn’t a good strategy. That deal makes no sense.

kent

February 28th, 2011
4:56 pm

Schrempf couldn’t play for the Islanders – it’s not like we got him from Philly!

Donovan McNubb

February 28th, 2011
4:57 pm

“Schrempf couldn’t play for the Islanders – it’s not like we got him from Philly!”

Detlef?

Blow Up this "team"

February 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

Every year we are giving away our top players and/or signing crap.

kent

February 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

I’ll tell you- Waddell must have pictures on someone. The AJC should do an interview with him to discuss the Heatley, Hossa and Kovalchuk deals in retrospect. How does someone so inept keep his job?

Matt

February 28th, 2011
5:39 pm

Duds stands for DELUDED. This was a whole lot of nothing. We need scoring and did nothing to address that issue.

Glad to See You Are Smarter Than The GM

February 28th, 2011
6:31 pm

Give Duds some credit…I think it is safe to say he knows what he is doing. These moves are more about next year. And what does this have to do with Waddell? His name is not even mentioned in the article. Don will leave right along with the ASG – so quit wasting your energy on him.

Clydelew

February 28th, 2011
6:48 pm

People who want Ramsay and/or Dudley fired need to get a grip. You don’t build a winner by firing a coach every other year and getting rid of a first year gm with a track record of building winners. Dudley’s done a good job of transforming the roster but it’s still a work in progress. Look at the core and picture it next year. As for Ramsay he’s done a good job with a weak shallow roster that doesn’t have one guy who would be a top line player on a playoff team this year. Not one. I know I know 10 years wah wah wah but you can’t do anything about that. This team is moving forward now. The thrashers are no further away from being a perennial playoff contender today than they were before the trade deadline. They may even be a 1/2 step closer.

Bart

February 28th, 2011
6:51 pm

Toby & Buff were both 8th round draft selections; so (even if it’s a long shot) there can be diamonds found in the rough with a 7th round (for Modin) pick. Well done!

William Satterwhite

February 28th, 2011
7:20 pm

“He does not address Chris’s question about Bergy 24 and Devorak 34. He shifted to Schemp. Made no sense, Dvorak is not the means to the end.”

He shifted to Schremp because he’s basically saying Schremp is replacing Bergfors, not Dvorak. Basically, it sounds like the trade was contingent on the waiver claim going through- if they don’t claim Schremp I doubt they trade Bergfors “just” for Dvorak.

East Point Bob

February 28th, 2011
7:37 pm

Good points, But what do we know about Schemp ? remember Bergfors had more assists than Dvorak has points. I was only saying, that after saying no more young players for old ones, he does that. Seems odd to me to do a 180* right after that. Getting rid of Modin cannot be related.
I just look at all the other teams getting stronger, like Washington, and we do little to nothing. These moves do little to nothing to help the club, I am disappointed to say the least.

chief of smoke

February 28th, 2011
7:41 pm

The Bottom Line is our 3rd and 4th lines have produced few goals. What we did today is shake them up. Bergfors, Modin, Malachek are now traded or reassigned. We will see if Dvorak, Schremp and Maxwell can produce some goals. Not sure it will work but worth a try

KLS1

February 28th, 2011
8:23 pm

I Bogosian wakes up next season we could have a real nice defensive core…while giving Kulda or another prospect a good amount of minutes to develop.

Can say as I have ever felt that way about our defense before…

William Satterwhite

February 28th, 2011
8:41 pm

Yeah, I realize it just seems like shuffling chairs on the Titanic but that’s probably all the team can afford to do at this point. If the team were actually in playoff position and fighting to hold on it might have made sense to part with a 1st rounder or something to pick up some of the bigger names available but at this point, Dudley couldn’t really afford to take too many risks. Watching the NHL Network trade deadline special, they said Dudley had basically laid out that if the team had lost yesterday he might have been in full sale mode. They’re kind of in a no-mans land, not much to do but try to shake things up a bit- sure, the team doesn’t really look any different today but maybe a change of scenery will put a little pep in the new guys steps.

woo

February 28th, 2011
9:07 pm

whoever said schremp couldn’t play for the islanders…we aren’t much better than them. that boring idiot on tsn, craig mactavish, didn’t understand what dudley was doing. that’s probably why he doesn’t have a real job in hockey..he is an analyst with ray ferraro and pierre mcguire. d-bag central. i thought it was pretty clear what dudley was doing.

Cornbread

February 28th, 2011
9:14 pm

Bergfors is the softest player in the NHL. Don’t believe me? Look at his real time stats. In 52 games he has 4 hits and 9 blocked shots, all of them by accident. The guy was given a top-line slot yet he wouldn’t shoot, go to the net, get his nose dirty, or back check. In his own end he’d cough up the puck on the half wall before taking a hit. Given every opportunity to score on an offense first team he’d disappear for games at a time and failed to produce. Don’t expect big numbers from him on a defence first and offensively challenged team.

Dvorak gives Atlanta what they needed most and Bergfors was not capable of, a two way grinder that will kill penalties – their weakest link. Funny how everyone complains about ATL’s defence and now it just improved yet everyone still complains.

The Thrashers have been weak up the middle and on the third line all year. All of that has been addressed with the addition of Schremp, Maxwell, Dvorak, Wheeler and the subtraction of Modin, Dawes, and Bergfors.

Cornbread

February 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

woo I heard that too. It just proves that the only thing the “experts” on TSN know regarding Atlanta is the latest moving to Canada rumor. About as reliable as their false tweets. Anyone with half a brain can look and see ATL’s biggest need right now is on the PK. That every TSN analyst missed that with this trade including Chicken Parm proves how biased and inept their analysis is when it comes to all of the NHL.

Joe McGrath

February 28th, 2011
10:12 pm

Cornbread’s correct. We lost Slater January and since then our PK sucks. We replaced that need with Dvorak…we stabalized. Shremp may not pan out, but what if he does turn into another Peverley? What if he puts up 15-20 goals a year and dishes 40+? We gave up nothing to get him. If he doesn’t work out, oh well, we have another Wolf. The guy I’m high on though is Festerling. I think he’s going to come into his own in the over the next couple years. Not saying he’s All-Star material, but I think he’ll become a “plus” stay-at-home D man bringing some grit.

Thrashy Thrashy

February 28th, 2011
10:39 pm

One of the best things about Rob Schremp is that 95% of fans will not be able to spell his last name. I hope he torments blog commenters in Atlanta (not Winnipeg) for many years to come.

Donovan McNubb

March 1st, 2011
12:44 am

If this guy produces, I’ll start spelling his name right!

Are the new guys playing vs. Montreal? Would love to see them in action… Especially Detlef and this guy Maxwell.

Thrashy Thrashy

March 1st, 2011
1:17 am

Maxwell’s silver hammer and Detlef’s spiky Euro flat-top cannot be contained.

Playoffs, here we come.

woo

March 1st, 2011
5:26 am

A day later the moves we made still make sense and I feel like I wasted hours of my life yesterday watching TSN. Our PK was improved on paper. I guess we’ll get our first look at Maxwell tonight also, I liked Schremp’s comments on NHL Live, he knows the book on himself and wants to be known as a complete player, new start, etc etc. He said all the right things basically and having a player with something to prove might be a good thing. We all wanted more out of Bergfors than what we got – both on the ice for us and regarding a trade, but I’m giving Dudley the benefit of the doubt here. We are so used to DW making poor decisions that we seem to over analyze Duds. Duds didn’t trade Bogosian for Dvorak, so I think we can rest assured he’ll at least be active when the right times come to improve a roster with our microscopic payroll. Trust me, Duds has a very tough job at this point, but from a character standpoint and team aspect, I think Dudley has weeded our certain players that didn’t fit and have shown major lapses in effort and that includes Peverley. I know he was well liked, but he took plenty of games off, just like Bergfors, he stood around and rarely battled. Duds has his hands tied with some lingering DW deals still on the roster, the un-tradable contracts of Hainsey and Antro which could have brought a decent return, but we aren’t in that bad of shape, he is building a team, it’s taking time, we have no depth to speak of. Best thing on deadline day was signing Mark Stuart, that’s a sign the organization is headed in the right direction, he wants to be here and plays hard. I’ll take that over players who don’t. See ya Bergfors. Beat Sopel tonight.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
9:14 am

It amazes me that more people don’t step back and look at the picture.

What did we give up? Bergfors, Peverly, Valabik, Dawes, and Modin. Two of those players we’d have let go for a bag of pucks, and a third was never going to leave the AHL.

Who did we get? Schremp, Dvorak, Stuart (RESIGNED), Wheeler, a couple kids, and a couple picks.

How is it not obvious that this was a winning trade cycle for us? The only two assets worth _anything_ that we actually let go were Bergfors and Peverley, and as others have noted: Bergie wasn’t a fit here and he plays softer than your granny’s Depends. Wheeler and Stuart are more than worth the loss of Peverley, especially with Stuart already signed! Heck, if you look at it a different way, we got Wheeler, Stuart, and Dvorak for Peverley and Bergfors. That’s a pretty good trade straight-up, wouldn’t you say?

Red Green

March 1st, 2011
2:30 pm

Thank you Cornbread for pointing out Bergfors’ “soft tissue” stats. I saw earlier in the year he had 0 hits in 20 games. It’s hard work to avoid body contact to that extreme. Don Cherry has a name for those players. He’ll get moved a few more times before he heads for the Swedish Elite League,