Ben Maxwell was acquired by the Thrashers in a trade with the Canadiens on Feb. 24. The forward played 12 games and finished with a goal and an assist, both coming March 27 against the Senators.
Maxwell is a restricted free agent this summer.
In the final of a series of interviews with Thrashers players following the 2010-11 season, here is some of what Maxwell said about getting a chance to play in Atlanta and what coaches told him to work on in the offseason.
Q. What did the coaches say to you in your end-of-season meeting?
A. It went pretty well. In the short time I was here things went a little bit more smoothly than I expected. It was a bit of a scramble in the last six weeks for me. I have never been traded before. That was a bit of a different experience but it was fun. It was fun to play.
They told me to work on the compete-level and the penalty kill. And winning battles along the walls. It was pretty positive. They told me to watch the NHL playoffs and see how guys do it. Of course, I would be doing that anyway.
Q. You were getting an expanded role the longer you were here. That’s got to make it encouraging for you knowing you may get a real chance here?
A. Absolutely. Like I’ve said a couple times, it was hard to leave Montreal because it was a great place to play, with great people in the organization, but I think here it’s been better than I could have hoped for. I was getting ice time. I’m actually in the NHL, rather than the minors, which is a huge plus. The people around here are a good group, a really good young team with a lot of talent.
Q. You are a restricted free agent going into the offseason. What are you expecting?
A. Again, it’s the first time I’ve done that too. It’s going to be interesting with the contract stuff. I have no idea how soon things get done. Hopefully, something can get worked out quick.
Q. How would you sum up your time here and how do you think it went?
A. I think it went fairly well. I would have liked to have had better numbers. It was nice to get a goal and an assist and contribute by putting the puck in the net and contribute to the offense. It was a positive experience for sure. It was a big turnaround in my year. At the start of the year, I think I was slow. Up until the point I was traded, things weren’t going too smoothly for me. Finally in the end it turned around.
Q. Do you like coach Craig Ramsay’s ‘Go’ system? Do you think it fits your game?
A. Yes. I think it’s obviously a change and things are different with back checks and everything. I like the speed game. It has always in the past been my game. I think it benefits me as a winger.