Radek Dvorak was acquired by the Thrashers at the February trade deadline in a deal with Florida. Dvorak played 13 games with the Thrashers with one assist. He missed the final six games with a concussion. The injury also kept Dvorak from playing for the Czech Republic in the world championships.
The unrestricted free agent forward has expressed his desire to remain in Atlanta.
In the next of a series of interviews with Thrashers players following the 2010-11 season, here is some of what Dvorak had to say about his future plans and the potential of countryman Ondrej Pavelec.
Q. What are your plans considering you are an unrestricted free agent?
A. I haven’t been here a long time, just traded here a month ago. I like it here. We had a great push but obviously it didn’t happen for us. I like the future. We have a great chance. If you look at the team, [there is] a lot of young talent here, great leadership. I just wish I can be here next season. Hopefully we can work something out with Atlanta and I can be here next year.
Q. Will you explore other options?
A. Atlanta is my first option. Like I said, I like it here. I have been here only for a short time but a great experience. I see the future as very bright. They were at the eighth spot for a lot of the season. I strongly believe we have a great chance next year.
Q. What is your relationship like with Ondrej Pavelec? Do you think you could be like a big brother to him?
A. Maybe like his dad [laughing]. I’m getting old now. For years to come he will be one of the key players. He showed this year he can play. He had a great season. Every team needs to have a good goalie and he is one of the better goalies in the league. He will be better every year. With him, it will be better next year.
He’s got size. He’s got strength. He’s got quickness. He showed you guys this year that he can play. With him in the net, when a team has a goalie like him, it’s always easier. I see a bright future with him and a big potential.
Q. Is there pressure to play for a team that can get to the playoffs? It’s been a few years since you’ve been in the postseason?
A. Of course. That’s why I want to sign here. I have a strong belief that we have a great chance to be in the playoffs next year. I want to help this team to make the playoffs. I’ve been in the league a long time. I’ve been to the playoffs. I’ve been on two Stanley Cup runs. I know it takes to make the playoffs. Hopefully I can bring this experience next year and help. That’s why I want to stay here. It’s a great challenge for everybody, especially for me. I’m getting older but this is a great challenge and a great opportunity to do something special.
Q. How many more years would you like to play?
A. A few more years. I think I can still compete with the guys in the league. I think I have a few more years left.
The series will continue through next week. Coming Friday, Tim Stapleton.