Bergfors and Oduya coping with ‘it is what it is’ situation

During his intermission interview during last Friday’s game in Washington, newly acquired forward Niclas Bergfors was asked his thoughts about being traded the day before from the New Jersey Devils to the Thrashers.

Johnny Oduya, celebrating his first goal for Atlanta, has 8 SOG and is a +1 in his two games since the trade (AP Photo/John Amis)

Bergfors, celebrating his first goal for Atlanta, has 8 SOG and is a +1 in his two games since the trade (AP Photo/John Amis)

Incorporated in his response was the phrase, “It is what it is”.

To be honest… Johnny Oduya, who also came to the Thrashers in the deal that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey, as well appeared less-than-thrilled with the transaction. Oduya and Bergfors both looked like soldiers who had just been re-assigned from a base in Key West, Florida to somewhere in Siberia. Oh, they were polite and all…gave the customary “Want to help my new team succeed” kinda responses…but there wasn’t a whole heckuva lot of joy plastered across their faces in doing so.

Yesterday during a brief interview on NHL Live, heard on XM’s Home Ice Channel, Bergfors was asked the same question and he again used the “It is what it is” line a couple of times…hardly a ringing endorsement of the situation he finds himself in.

“It is what it is” is a phrase that pretty much means, “I don’t like the situation…I would rather not have to deal with…I do not care for the circumstances I find myself in…but I accept the fact that there is nothing I can do about it and so I’ll tough it out”.

I use it quite a bit myself, much to the dismay of the Divine Mrs. R. She normally hears me use the phrase after asking what I thought of the latest chick flick I was forced to endure with her.

What do you think of Oduya and Bergfors so far?

  • Thumbs up (69%, 110 Votes)
  • Thumbs down (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Jury is still out (28%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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Now, one can understand why Bergie and Johnny might be somewhat disappointed in last week’s transaction. They were sitting atop the Atlantic Division with the Devils and certainly on the way to post-season play. In Bergfors case, New Jersey was the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2005 and Oduya was leaving the only NHL team he’d played for… even though Washington selected him back in 2001.

Then they learn they’re departing the “first class organization”…as Ilya Kovalchuk put it…to play for a team that is run by Donnie and the Great Octocluster. And with that comes no guarantee of playing beyond the scheduled 82 games.

“It is what it is” certainly could sum up one’s feeling given the situation.

But if Bergie and Johnny were in fact upset about the trade…they certainly have not allowed that to affect their play for their new team. Oduya has stepped in and made a big impact on the Thrashers blueline and Bergfors has hustled his butt off on the other end of the ice…taking eight shots on goal and scoring the game winner last Saturday against the Panthers. In doing so, both have shown a great deal of maturity and professionalism.

Those are qualities this squad needs as much as their talent… and it goes a long way towards winning over both your new teammates and the fans.

Oduya defends against Alex Ovechkin. Johnny has averaged 20:42 TOI while with the Thrashers (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Oduya defends against Alex Ovechkin. Johnny has averaged 20:42 TOI while with the Thrashers (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Ya know, if…if…IF…IF…the Thrashers are able to pull off a successful playoff run after the Olympic Break, it is entirely possible that New Jersey and the Thrashers could square off in a first-round matchup. The Devils currently lead the Atlantic Division and Atlanta could only hope for a low-seeded position in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

That would be interesting, eh?

And if…if…IF…IF…the Thrashers were to pull of the upset in that series, I could just imagine…while the two teams are going through the post-series hand shakes…as the two players pass, Kovy would remark to Bergfors, “So, who would have thought this would happen last February”?

Bergie could then look Ilya in the eye and reply with a smile, “Well you know…it is what it is”.

122 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
11:28 am

FIRST, just for Wayne Stuck in AL.

Bob

February 9th, 2010
11:39 am

I also hate the “it is what it is” comment and I only use it when asked a question that I don’t want to answer, for fear of insulting the questioner.

That’s why the talk about which player we want to sign, what player can we bring in here, is all moot. This club is Siberia to NHL hockey players, unless you’re a Slava Kozlov type who is shy and looking for somewhere out of the way to collect his final paychecks until he retires.

It is what it is, is the answer to wondering about the fortunes of this club and what players we can retain and or sign, until Waddell is gone and we get a real GM who can build a club.

Brett

February 9th, 2010
11:42 am

You can only imagine the disappointment those two felt after they recieved the “call”. Oduya who played top 4 minutes will continue to do the same here. But you hope Bergfors realizes the opportunity that he has been given to play top line minutes. Hopefully he will take this opportunity and turn it into something positive for the Thrashers and himself. It would be the ultimate face wash to meet the Devils in the play offs and defeat them. We can always dream!!

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
11:52 am

Two big thumbs up! I like the players, and I like their contracts. The duration of contract Bergie is willing to sign this summer will be a big indicator of what he thinks of the franchise. You can’t expect either of these guys to be happy – heck, they helped put the Devils in the comfy position they now are. Some of their “is was it is” may be a little anger at sweet Lou for not feeling they were key to the Devils future success.

Hopefully they’ll start to enjoy the advantages of being a Thrasher – anonymity away from the rink, golf on off days in March, twice the house for the same price in Jersey. Any word on where Bergie is living? Has Moose taken him in, like he did with Toby?

Eileen

February 9th, 2010
11:59 am

Bill, as always, you give me a good laugh. Unfortunately, I use “it is what it is” to accept the things I cannot change. It doesn’t mean it is all bad, it just not what I expected or wanted. Hopefully it will work out well for these players and the Thrashers team. For my 2 cents, I thought they were very impressive the first night. They also received an extremely warm welcome. If I had been given the microphone at the STH, my question was to ask what DW thought of the interviews the previous evening, particulary the comment, “it is what it is”. It didn’t happen.

Saga of Bluecheese

February 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

Word is the two are in an apartment in Atlanta. Bergy will look for an abode while Odouya will be in Olympics.
Keep in mind these two might be pleasantly suprised at the atmosphere in the locker room and in the attitude of the team in general. It is a very close environment and without Kovy may be a little lighter and brighter!!!! So, give it some time. If this team keeps competing, which no doubt it will, these new guys will be right there putting it on the line.
On another note, I’d love to see Ponikarovsky traded to Atlanta!!! i think it’d make Nic a very happy boy!!!!!

TableHockey

February 9th, 2010
12:02 pm

Wow – did any of you guys catch Salmela get clocked last night? That was a brutal hit – not sure he even got to see his short-handed bid make it to the back of the net.

I haven’t had the chance to look at the Devils blogs but I’m sure they are less than thrilled this morning with the 1-2-0 record the team has since adding Kovy. He looked right at home on the left key firing his one-timer too high as time expired on their two man advantage…

Russian

February 9th, 2010
12:06 pm

**to Rawhide**
This is a BRILIANT
“And if…if…IF…IF…the Thrashers were to pull of the upset in that series, I could just imagine…while the two teams are going through the post-series hand shakes…as the two players pass, Kovy would remark to Bergfors, “So, who would have thought this would happen last February”?

Bergie could then look Ilya in the eye and reply with a smile, “Well you know…it is what it is”.”

I love your POST. :-)

Russian

February 9th, 2010
12:07 pm

But it will not happend :-(

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

There are 2 types of players that get traded-

1. Players that are on the way out of an organization, expecting a trade or
2. Players that are emerging in an organization, on their way up.

Both Johnny and Bergfors are clearly the latter, expecting to stay in New Jersey for some time. Johnny even re-upped in NJ over the summer, when he had chances to go elsewhere. So the sting for him has to be twice as bad.

We are talking New Jersey here folks, chemical dump central, located in the dark shadow of New York City. As previously noted, the New Jersey Devils were once coined a “Mickey Mouse organization” by Wayne Gretzky. Lou Lam and 3 Stanley Cups later, NJ has evolved into a first class organization, a preferred destination to play hockey. What does this prove? It is possible to go from M Mouse to first class, with the right management and ownership.

We MUST make Atlanta a preferred destination for players. This is a responsibility of management; so are they up to the task? We need to change the line from “It is what it is” to “Man, I am excited to be in Atlanta and a member of the Atlanta Thrashers”.

Maybe I am just dreaming…..

Hockey Biltong

February 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

Tough hit on Salmella. Most guys lay off after the puck goes in. I would look to extend a retaliatory hit sometime in the near future, sumbitch.

Hockey Biltong

February 9th, 2010
12:22 pm

WBF, it is possible. The ASG has got to get their sh*t together now. And we need to get some deals done. As mentioned in other posts, we have the $$. Deal the folks who don’t fit and bring inthe ones hungry for it. This team could make 1st rd. playoffs without Kovy.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2010
12:26 pm

I’d say there is a good chance Armstrong goes to Toronto for Ponikarovsky.

I’d like to see Lehtonen go to Phoenix for Peter Mueller.

ben

February 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

Orgs go up and down. I’ll follow Kovy on Center Ice, but I won’t pay money to see the T-Birds until Waddell is gone.

Bob

February 9th, 2010
12:34 pm

“It is possible to go from M Mouse to first class, with the right management and ownership.”

Yes, yes it is, and I have the same dream. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel that keeps me following our team (well, that and I’m a puck head to the max, best sport there is).

Hokie, I can’t see any return for Kari, I really really would like to see them let him play a game for us this week and see how he does. He’s really our only chance of making the playoffs, I think.

R. Stroz

February 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

GaVaHokie – If you’re able to bring in Poni, would you do so to form a new Russian(or formally a part of Russia in Antropov’s case) line?

Also, do you do so in anttempt to keep Mad Max for the next two or three seasons?

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

WBF – You have a dream. It is a beautiful one. And it has been done many times in pro sports (the Devils, as you noted; at the same time the Dead Things went from hockey h*** hole to Hockeytown). Absolutely starts with ownership and management.

Eclipsed by the Kovy “first-class organization” quote is possibly an even more disturbing one from Anssi to Lou Lamoriello: ‘I’m coming back. I told you I’d be back.” I guess that means he knew he wouldn’t re-sign with Atlanta in 2011. Hopefully the player additions this summer will keep Bergy and Johnny from having the same attitude.

http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2010/02/nj_devils_didnt_want_to_part_w.html

New Jersey is awsome!

February 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

Not a single player will ever want to play in Atlanta. And who blames them? At lease not until some red neck players are drafted…

New Jersey is awsome!

February 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

It might really re-invigorate (although he seemed quite motivated in doling out 3 assists the other night) Nik Antropov if DWad were to go out and pry Poni from Burke. Army + a prospect might be a sufficient price to pay for reuniting Felix (Ponikarovsky) with Oscar (Nik). I would love to see it and having Nik in the fold would certainly help us in negotiations to keep Poni.

GVH – hate to say it man, but we’ll be lucky to get a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Kari Lehtonen. That’s why I don’t see any reason not to keep three goalies for the duration unless someone REALLY wants to overpay for goalie insurance (Moose) cuz we could probably lure Moose back as our back-up.

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
12:50 pm

NJ, you are absolutely right, except for Reasoner. Oh, and Peverly. Well, Hainsey and Hedberg, too. And Kozzy, of course. And I guess Antropov. I suppose Toby signed for longer than he had too… but then again all those guys must be red necks.

Eileen

February 9th, 2010
12:51 pm

I read the blogs abuot Kovy in N.J. Everyone remains quite optimistic. He is really being treated like the saviour. I hope he likes all of the attention.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

Badger-we have a part in this too, by continuing to demand first class hockey-keep the heat on. I still believe the hiring of Dudley was a REAL positive decision that could pay dividends for years. He chose to come to the Thrashers. Let’s hope we get a chance to see the fruits of his work.

I remember when the Detroit Red Wings were horrible. Marcel Dione couldn’t wait to get out of Detroit, to play in a hockey outpost like Los Angeles. Remember when Walt McKecknie was Detroit’s number one center? Jim Schoenfeld and Danny Gare were furious with Scotty Bowman for trading them from BUF to Detroit? Furious for having to leave Buffalo? Now Detroit is “Hockeytown” where a hometown discount is expected to stay in a first class organization.

Army for Poni-I’d do that one. I am still not sold on getting rid of Kari, simply because we do not have a replacement.

Eileen

February 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

On the hit to Anssi, the NJ coach said it was a good hit and that Jeff Carter is not a dirty player.

jimbo

February 9th, 2010
1:01 pm

Rawhide- Love the reference to the “Great Octocluster”. I see no big deal in the “is what it is” line. They’re both Swedish and I suspect that they tend to use English terms that they’ve heard from others. At least we didn’t hear the Ilya line “it’s just a business”. Maybe that’s why he seemed to play with so little emotion. His only displays were when a goalie robbed him.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2010
1:04 pm

Bob, Smoothie… I think packaged with picks, Lehtonen might have more return then you think… it may be for someone else’s over priced garbage… like Svatos in Colorado. But I think there is a worthwhile trade somewhere out there for Kari.

Stroz… absolutely you put Poni on a line with Antropov… Max on the RW makes the most sense… so I guess, yes, another Russian line, but this one should work more efficiently.

Wayne stuck in AL

February 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

“It is what it is”

I didn’t know Bergfors was learning English from Chris Dimino…

Riceowls8891

February 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

Why would anyone want to play in Atlanta? Hmm, lets see: Couldn’t be the lack of 20 inches of snow? Or sub zero temperatures? or not seeing a headline that reads “No heart, no hope” when you are in first place (Ottawa Sun)? or going to dinner with the family, quietly and not discussing why you lost last ight? or having to discuss whether you went out last night (Philly and Montreal)? or housing prices/taxes? Nah, none of that could be appealling.

Granted, Atlanta does need to win to attract players. No argument there. But there is lots to like about this hockey market from a player’s perspective.

And I like the honesty of “It is what it is.” 2nd to 12th has got to hurt.

GaVaHokie

February 9th, 2010
1:10 pm

Perhaps Armstrong and Kari to Phoenix for Peter Mueller, and see if we can get Burke to accept NJ’s first round pick for Poni.

Again, just speculation on two players I’d like to have and what it could possibly take to get them.

Viking

February 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

Generally speaking, Swedes are not big BS’ers. When I moved over here, I was astonished by all insincere invitations from folks I had just met. A gullable Swede might show up… Or the “How are you” greeting without any interest in your answer also used to puzzle me. I quickly learned to avoid giving an assessment of stomach ailments or whatever truly described how I felt. However, 21 years later, I still will not BS and rather resort to a neutral statement. Hence the “It is what it is” from Bergfors.

Likely, Bergfors’ comment reflects the disappointment of being traded (by a play off bound team), but also has a good portion of “not yet formed opinion about my new team” included.

Additionally, aside from the hockey part of it, who would like to have to move unexpectedly unless you were in prison or otherwise hated your previous situation. Perhaps there is an American girlfriend involved? Who knows what is in his mind.

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

No matter what, getting traded has got to suck to some degree since you have to uproot yourself in the still of the night and report to a new city, new rink, new team! That has got to be incredibly stressful. All things considered, I think Johnny and Nicky have both handled it with aplomb and with more than just stone-faced resignation. I think we’re reading into things a bit much at this point. We need to give it some time to form any judgments. Then again, we’ll never really know what’s going on behind the scenes. But under the circumstances, I think we should be happy that they didn’t say “yeah, it’s tough to be traded and I’ll really hate missin’ out on the fun in Jersey!”

Midfield

February 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

Viking, any player without the NTC has it in the back of his mind that he could be packing his stuff in February. Atlanta would probably be considered a much better destination than Calgary or Edmonton, had it not been for the ASG and unsinkable Don.

Tim

February 9th, 2010
1:31 pm

GaVaHokie, Phoenix have a 1st Class Goalie already. i doubt they will be interested in Kari, especially Salary Wise. If they looking for one of our goalie, I bet they would look to have Moose instead to back up Bryzgalov.

Tim

February 9th, 2010
1:31 pm

About Bryzgalov, Burke put him on waiver not so long ago,…. we could have had him for free. haha

Alan R.

February 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

I saw it, TableHockey. Carter’s response was typical. “It wasn’t dirty. I’ve never been suspended. It was shoulder to shoulder! I am a clean player!!1!”

Also, you gotta give Kovalchuk a chance to mesh with the Devils. Their last 10 games haven’t been all that great, either, going 3-6-1.

World Be Free

February 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Biltong-it could happen. We are waaay overdue!

Rawhide

February 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

All things considered, I think Johnny and Nicky have both handled it with aplomb and with more than just stone-faced resignation.

aplomb (a pläm′, -plum′)
noun self-possession; assurance; poise
Etymology: Fr, lit., perpendicularity, equilibrium < à, to + plomb, the metal lead: see plumb

Smoothie – I’m very impressed. Well done.

Bill, as always, you give me a good laugh

Eileen – Oddly enough, that’s exactly what Debbie Hesslefielder used to say to me back in the 11th grade everytime I asked her out. :lol:

Smoothie

February 9th, 2010
1:51 pm

Thanks Bill, but the second part of that isn’t so great as we may be plubming the depths as we sink like lead after this road trip! Gotta get 3 or 4 points at the least to have a chance for 88-91 points. Preferably 4 or 5, but I’d settle for 3 with the favorable schedule we have in March. Plus, playing WSH & PIT, while tough, in April when they are all but on cruise control may benefit us rather than hurt us.

Paminski

February 9th, 2010
2:01 pm

I agree that “It is what it is” is a comment you make when you don’t want to say something bad and/or when you haven’t yet formed an opinion. It’s also a good comment when you’re still stunned like a stick just got broken over your head. I mostly just hope these guys will be more professional than our former coasting captain.

Rawhide

February 9th, 2010
2:07 pm

Gotta get 3 or 4 points at the least to have a chance for 88-91 points. Preferably 4 or 5, but I’d settle for 3 with the favorable schedule we have in March.

Smoothie – 88-91 aren’t out of the question…consider that Atlanta has 58 points after 57 games(54-24-8). Last season they had only 45 after that many played, (20-32-5). That means we are 13 points ahead of where we were a year ago.

If the Thrashers finish simply 13 points better after 82 games…they’ll have 89 points.

Just sayin’…

neil marlowe

February 9th, 2010
2:10 pm

“it is what it is” – perhaps the dumbest expression ever invented by humans. it says nothing. it reflects on the user; it demonstrates the inability to express oneself. why not just say “duh”!!

NYC

February 9th, 2010
2:25 pm

WBF – ever been to Colts Neck NJ? Summit?? Freehold??
Not exactly a “chemical dump” as you put it.

mickey mouse

February 9th, 2010
2:29 pm

Gretzky called the New Jersey Devils a ‘Mickey Mouse’ organization after a 13-4 shellacking the Oilers put on the Devils in 1983.

“They had better stop running a Mickey Mouse organization and put somebody on the ice.”

Reacting to Gretzky’s comment, Devils fans wore Mickey Mouse apparel when the Oilers returned to New Jersey.

Turned out OK for the Devils. Two years later they won the Cup.

Tony C.

February 9th, 2010
2:35 pm

Mr. T- Can you or Vivs, let the Octo-Cluster know that Bob Gainey’s out of a job.

I mean I doubt very seriously we’d be he first choice, but uhhh the laissez-faire attitude towards GMs here must be appealing after the pressure-cooker of MTL.

Debbie Hesslefielder

February 9th, 2010
3:05 pm

Bill, do you remember what your hair looked like in the 11th grade? Give yourself a break – you are now a handsome, sexy and successful man that I regret turning down.

LAC

February 9th, 2010
3:06 pm

I thought the two new guys were shown at an Iraian jail about to be hung or something, they looked bad.

But I remember long ago when the Braves stunk the house out, one fall night… when it was GA vs Alabama on TV only 500 showed up !

Nobody wanted to play for the Braves, then enter Ted and, it took time, but it did change and for about 15 years it was GREAT, now reverting back to the days of yesteryear… under corporate ownership.

Same here, NO star players will ever come here while this clown group is in control with the worst GM in pro sports, but The Commissioner IS
watching and HE can force change if this asg Mickey Mouse operation continues. Wouldn’t it be great for the NHL to take over and Gary call don for a “meeting”… Well don, I have some BAD news for you, we are heading in a new direction, one that is not constantly in reverse, so we are letting you GO ! I’d tie one on if that happened…

But like sands through the hour glass… Time IS starting to run out on this asg group, it is only a matter of time now !

Badger Bob

February 9th, 2010
3:08 pm

Mickey, it actually took the Devils 12 years to climb up from that ignoble state to the Cup. Ignoble? Yikes, you’re rubbing off on us, Smoothie!

kracker

February 9th, 2010
3:11 pm

NJ fans commented on Vivs blog that Bergfors never said much whenever he was interviewed as a Devil. He is just not a big talker, at least not in English. Johnny O is a well paid professional under contract for 2+ years. Bergy has an opportunity to show if he is ready and able to be a top 6 scorer.

I expect the shock was considerable to both players but after the trauma of the first three days: getting traded, rushing to DC to play w/ no practice, traveling thru the Great Snow Storm to play (and win) in Philips, things have to look a lot better today for both our new players. After all, the Devils really sucked for the last month (hence the trade) and they are now valuable cogs on a new team and they are still in the playoff hunt.

Third Man In

February 9th, 2010
3:16 pm

Ignoble? That’s where they held the 1968 Winter Games, right Badger Bob?

J-man

February 9th, 2010
3:16 pm

Lets wait and see. I am concerned that after only 2 games, one of which is a loss, that a large number of fans are already counting on playoff tickets this season. That is not logical. I remember that the early returns on the Hossa trade looked good too, but by early in the next season things were already going awry. This trade still has the potential to be very bad for the Thrashers with both Bergfors and Oduya ending up being a lot less than they seem to be right now. One year from now the fans may be complaining about how Bergfors only has 10 goals, Oduya is pretty ordinary, Cormier looks like a future 4th line player at best and the 1st round pick got wasted on another high risk player who isn’t panning out. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t get too excited. Everybody was pretty high on Christensen too when he first got here and we all saw how that worked out.