Five Questions With … Andrew Ladd

Andrew Ladd is coming off a career season after being traded to the Thrashers weeks after winning the Stanley Cup in Chicago. He was named team captain and set career highs in goals (29) and points (59).

It will be a busy offseason for Ladd. The restricted free agent will play for Canada in the World Championships and get married in July.

In the next of a series of interviews with Thrashers players following the 2010-11 season, here is some of what Ladd had to say about his playing in Atlanta and his contract status.

Q. What are your overall impressions of your first year in Atlanta?

A. The start was great. The first half we proved that we can play with any team in the league. Throughout the year, I thought our best games were against top teams. We showed we could skate and play with anyone. That was exciting to see.

Obviously its disappointing not making the playoffs and really thinking we had the group here to get in there and do some damage. You have to use that disappointment and frustration as motivation to come back next year and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Q. The number of close, even one-goal, losses hurt you this season. Is that a matter of learning how to play in those games?

A. I think so. I think sometimes we were trying to do too much. That is something you learn. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes you don’t need to make those plays when you are in a tight game. You have to wait and wait for your chances and when it pops up you have to take advantage of it.

Q. You have been in talks about a new contract for awhile. Will it be easier to get it done now that the season is over?

A. I don’t know. We’ve been working on it for awhile. For me, I want to be here. I’m committed to being a part of this and getting it to where it needs to be. I love the group. I love the city. I want to be here so I’m sure we’ll get something done.

Q. Can Atlanta, a major city with the nice weather and such, be a major selling point for this team?

A. I think so but again the biggest thing is to know that you are coming to a successful team, a team that is headed in the right direction. I don’t think it matters much to anyone, the weather is nice, but at the end of the day winning hockey games is far more important. It takes a toll on you, mentally, losing. As a player, for me, it’s frustrating. It’s a tough year to go through, losing games. It’s not as much fun coming to the rink. When you are winning games, it’s fun coming to the rink. You have an extra kick in your step. That’s the most important thing for guys coming here.

Q. One of the things coach Craig Ramsay has said several times this season is that he likes the players talking on the bench and holding each other accountable. Are you one of those players that will say something there?

A. Yes, I think so. I’m pretty emotional throughout games and sometimes I should probably bite my tongue. But definitely, when you are that emotional and that involved it’s a good thing. There always has to be talk. For the most part, I thought we did a really good job of being positive on the bench. That’s a big part of being a good teammate and creating a good atmosphere.

The series will continue over the next couple of weeks. Coming Wednesday, Bryan Little.

22 comments Add your comment

The Real Thrash

April 19th, 2011
8:05 am

Stop being a tight wad and get this done!
Oh I forgot it’s the Thrashers.

Dwayne

April 19th, 2011
8:07 am

Hey Andrew, how many times did you holler at Bogo for screwing up?

Smoothie

April 19th, 2011
8:38 am

Sounds like Ladd is quite committed to being a part of this burgeoning group of young players who have the potential to do great things. But its becoming apparent these owners don’t want to pay him market value. Looks like Ladd is holding out hope for new owners just like the rest of us. Let’s hope something positive happens on that front in the next couple months. Andrew can always sign another 1 year deal as a RFA if things don’t go quickly and then sign an extension when new owners take control.

[...] Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Thrashers forward Andrew Ladd on whether contract negotiations will be easier to get done with the season being over, “I don’t know. We’ve been working on it for awhile. For me, I want to be here. I’m committed to being a part of this and getting it to where it needs to be. I love the group. I love the city. I want to be here so I’m sure we’ll get something done.” [...]

TableHockey

April 19th, 2011
9:20 am

Hope you’re right Smoothie – extended Ladd is key for this team. Hopefully his fiance likes ATL!

Jimbo

April 19th, 2011
9:55 am

Ladd says exactly what most of us have been saying for many years- produce a consistent, winning team and fans will come out in numbers. Stop the baloney about being headed in the right direction and prove it by signing him and getting a top 6 center and a top 4 d’man. Waddell and the other geniuses can’t get it right. Get someone who can.

hockeygoon79

April 19th, 2011
10:13 am

Re-signing Ladd to a 4 or 5 year deal is priority 1 for Dudley right now. Adding him to the list with Buff, Stuart and other players this franchise can actually build around is key.

Keep up the great work, C-Viv.

ThrasherTim

April 19th, 2011
10:29 am

After all the talk about Kovvy’s wife liking Atlanta as I reason for why he might sign an extension with us last year, I think what Ladd said says it all “the biggest thing is to know that you are coming to a successful team, a team that is headed in the right direction.”

We need to stop pretending that the city means a lot to high-end players. Saying the city and weather are great is simply a polite thing to say when there isn’t much else positive to discuss…like a winning tradition and committed owners.

Sam

April 19th, 2011
10:35 am

Ladd scored 17 goals last season and 29 this year. He is the team’s top scorer (followed by 2 defensemen in Buff and Toby). He earned the title of captain. So Andrew’s earned some bargaining leverage, too. But, at the same time, he wouldn’t be on many other teams’ top lines, so he wouldn’t be getting the ice time he gets in ATL, or the scoring opportunities.

I’d say this is a case of both sides needing each other. A deal will get done. He’s an RFA…a deal HAS to get done. In Ladd and Byfuglien, Dudley chose and traded for 2 really excellent, competitive, sklled and motivated players. Ladd totally exceeded my expectations of him, and was an example of consistency and excellence for this young team. I trust Dudley will get his captain signed, and I look forward to who he brings in next.

Bobby G

April 19th, 2011
2:35 pm

sign him long term!! PLEASE!!

Kurious Kathy

April 19th, 2011
2:44 pm

Andrew Ladd –

Where do you plan on playing next year, since you obviously want to get the [Jeff Schultz] out of here?

wingsrule

April 19th, 2011
3:21 pm

Sign him. Solid, solid player to build with. 3, maybe 4 good additions & we make post season.

EA

April 19th, 2011
3:42 pm

Winning player, winning attitude. We need him here for a long time.

jimcee

April 19th, 2011
3:48 pm

NHL just announced a 10 year deal with NBC reportedly worth $2 billion.Great news which should help the Thrashers and others long term.Now let’s get out and buy season tickets for 2011-2012!

Puck Like A Porn Star

April 19th, 2011
4:02 pm

Any confirmation on status of local buyers for the team (or all the hideous red jerseys being burned before next season)?.

Barry

April 19th, 2011
4:06 pm

Ben at thrashers.nhl.com confirmed there will be no third jersey next year.

jimcee

April 19th, 2011
4:10 pm

I think the red jerseys have already been discontinued from what I’ve read on the various blogs.They were truly hideous…how could they have been approved?!!!

Unfortunately all quiet on the Balkan Front! I just have to think the NHL doesn’t want to lose Atlanta a second time…hopefully some good news soon.I mean the last six or seven games had very respectable announced crowds of 15,000-16,000+….not too shabby for a team out of the playoff race.

KLS1

April 19th, 2011
4:26 pm

Ladd gets it…on and off the ice. We need him on this team desperately for veteran leadership…who else is there?

Best wishes on the wedding Andrew…Buff for best man?

Big deuce

April 19th, 2011
6:09 pm

—–I think so but again the biggest thing is to know that you are coming to a successful team, a team that is headed in the right direction. I don’t think it matters much to anyone, the weather is nice, but at the end of the day winning hockey games is far more important. It takes a toll on you, mentally, losing. As a player, for me, it’s frustrating. It’s a tough year to go through, losing games. It’s not as much fun coming to the rink. When you are winning games, it’s fun coming to the rink. You have an extra kick in your step. That’s the most important thing for guys coming here—–

This says it all! Why did Kovy leave? Why did Hossa leave? Why do so many players not sign here? Read the above statement by our current captain. I dont think Ladd re-signing is a money issue, it is an organization issue, the way its run and the culture of it ( loserville). Read his statement again, it says everything.

Brendan

April 19th, 2011
7:10 pm

My only question is this: Is Andrew Ladd an “arbitration eligible” RFA? If the answer is, “yes,” we run the risk of losing the player, even though he’s restricted. Ladd, if arbitration-eligible, can be lost if the arbitrator’s award is more than the Thrashers are willing to pay. If that happens, Ladd becomes an unrestricted free agent, able to sign anywhere that offers him a contract to his liking.

If Ladd is NOT arbitration-eligible, he is TRAPPED here, bound by the rules of restricted free agency. Unless, of course, he wants to thumb his nose at the NHL and go play in Europe. Which isn’t very likely.

Re: Ladd’s comments, they are encouraging. However, he is only saying what must be said, during contract negotiations. Didn’t Kovy say he loved the weather, loved the City, loved the fans, etc? Well, what ELSE can he say?, while Atlanta holds rights to his contract, that doesn’t make him into a monster.

For whatever it’s worth, I think Ladd is sincere in his desire to stay. However, like any player, he’s got to look out for his own interests. He’s only bound to the Atlanta Thrashers until he reaches unrestricted free agency, by age 27, with 4 years of NHL tenure, or any age with seven years of NHL service. Ladd is a keeper. By that, I don’t mean he plays goalie. But rather, that Atlanta should endeavor to make him a contract that makes sense for him. It’s not time to nickel-n-dime our star players. These players command what the market will bear for their services.

So, anyone know if Ladd is arbitration-eligible?

thrash head

April 19th, 2011
7:44 pm

Not a big fan of the light blue jerseys either. Throw in a little pink and they would be perfect for a female team. Go back to the old jerseys. MUCH better than this Blueland crap.

Ben

April 19th, 2011
8:31 pm

Need to bring back Hossa.