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.