Johnny Oduya was one of three Thrashers to play every game this season. He finished with two goals and 15 assists and was a minus-15. Both goals came against the Islanders on Dec. 11.
Oduya, who started the season as an alternate captain, will become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
In the next of a series of interviews with Thrashers players following the 2010-11 season, here is some of what Oduya had to say about his season and what he will work on for next year.
Q. Overall, what are your thoughts about the season?
A. I think there was some improvement. We are still a younger group learning how to play together. Every experience is going to be vital for next year. We wanted to make the playoffs. It’s the most exciting and fun part of the game to play playoff hockey. That’s obviously something we are going to push for next year.
Q. How about personally? How would you say your year went?
A. I guess it was OK. I always think I can do better. I will take this with me and go back in the summer time, work hard and come back in good shape and be prepared for next year.
Q. How big of an adjustment was it with coach Craig Ramsay’s system?
A. It wasn’t that bad, actually. I think it is a good system. We use the capacity we have speed wise, skating wise. For sure, we are going to keep working on it and get better. I think it’s going to work.
Q. Defensively the team cut down on the shots against and scoring chances over the second half of the season, even though you weren’t winning. What was they key there and what was the change to get better in your own end?
A. It starts with having the puck. I think we put more pressure on other teams in their end. The defense was a little more aggressive trying to cut plays off. Earlier, maybe we sat back a little more. It’s something that we talked about. I think we are pretty good and will try to get better.
Q. What did Ramsay and the coaching staff tell you to work on in the offseason?
A. There are a bunch of things they want me to do. Overall conditioning. For me, I hit 30 (years old) next year so staying in shape, staying healthy is key. I played all the games this year and I intend to next year as well. The better physical shape you are in prepares you for the year. I like working out. It’s not a problem for me. That would be the biggest thing.
The series concludes this week. Coming Wednesday, Rob Schremp.