Yes, you. Stand still Laddy…while we put a C on your chest

The Atlanta Thrashers entered into the 2010-11 NHL season without a team captain, instead opting to rotate alternates while they decided just who should wear the C. They’ve gone 19 games that way and, given their 7-9-3 record, many had started to wonder if part of the problem was due to a shortage of leadership.

After all, how can you expect to win when the effort level isn’t there night in and night out?

And how can you expect effort when there’s no accountability?

How can there be accountability with no leadership?

How can you have leadership with a captain?

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

Andrew Ladd has made quite an impression on everyone in Thrasherville this season, so much so that he was named the eighth team captain in franchise history. Here, he makes an impression of Minnesota's Nick Schults on the glass with a nice check against the wall (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Andrew Ladd has made quite an impression on everyone in Thrasherville this season, so much so that he was named the eighth team captain in franchise history. Here, he makes an impression of Minnesota's Nick Schults on the glass with a nice check against the wall (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

OK, while maybe that last question hasn’t been raised here in Thrasherville, I do have news for you Sunshine. Finally there has been a player picked to fill the empty spaces of team leadership… Andrew Ladd, who at the age of 24 will become the youngest to captain this team.

Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom were selected as alternates.

Coach Craig Ramsay said Ladd “earned” the right to wear the C by way of his play and his commitment to the team. “It’s an enormous responsibility”, Ramsay said. “But he is well respected. He has stepped up his commitment to himself to make sure he’s ready to play every night and his commitment to the team has been so evident”.

Ladd, the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, came to the Thrashers last summer as part of the trade with the Blackhawks that sent defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second round pick to Chicago. Vishnevskiy, as you’ll recall, became Thrashers property when Kari Lehtonen was sent to the Dallas Stars last February.

So in essence… where there was once frustration with an oft-injured keeper chosen with the second overall pick in 2002, there is now a forward who has not only proven his worth as a player, but also is regarded high enough by the players, coaches and management to be the on-ice leader of the team.

Laddy has already been through the trail of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has lifted the Cup triumphantly over his head twice already. As such, he falls right into that “been there, done that” category of players that Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay seek to have on their roster.

Now whether or not having a captain or not will directly affect the play of the team has been debated recently in this online forum. But I hardly think that this is merely a ceremonial coronation meant to simply provide a popular player an honorary title. Certainly it’s not intended as a bribe to convince the player to sign a lengthy contract extension, and it’s not being handed out to someone who is happy simply being just another brick in the wall of this team…filling a spot on the roster and biding his time until his contractual obligations are fulfilled.

Instead, I believe Ladd’s presence in the locker room and play on the ice has won over the respect and trust of not only his teammates, but he’s also done so with the coaching staff of this Thrashers team. As captain, they will look to him to quell any personal conflicts that may arise within the ranks and provide the occasional application of a boot to butt when a teammate is playing as if they were comfortably numb…saying, “This will not do”.

But they also know he can be counted on to help them to carry the load and implement their system of play. A liaison, if you will, between those behind the bench and the players who put the system into action.

Last summer, Ladd spent some time alone with the Stanley Cup atop Crown Mountain in British Columbia. It was the second time in his NHL career he was able to have a day with the Cup (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,  Mark L. Johnson)

Last summer, Ladd spent some time alone with the Stanley Cup atop Crown Mountain in British Columbia. It was the second time in his NHL career he was able to have a day with the Cup (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Mark L. Johnson)

One other thing I’m firmly convinced of is that the timing of this announcement could not have come at a better time. The Thrashers have lost three straight and five of there last six and are skating on the thin ice of falling into a deep hole considering their upcoming schedule. They face the likes of Washington, Dallas, Montreal, Boston, Colorado and Pittsburgh in the coming days after netting but 5 of a possible 16 points in the month of November thus far.

And after their most recent loss…a 2-1 defeat at home to the Florida Panthers…their head coach flat out and directly accused them of quitting.

So, if there is ever a time when a team captain was needed to help bring the boys back home to playing a solid sixty minutes of hard-nosed, high-energy hockey in which they again run, or shall I say, skate like hell…well, certainly this might just be that time. These birds of Thrasherville need to be given a renewed strong urge to fly.

With that said, I’d like to congratulate Andrew Ladd as he now takes his place alongside of Kelly Buchberger, Steve Staios, Ray Ferraro, Shawn McEachern, Scott Mellanby, Bobby Holik and Ilya Kovalchuk as players who have sported the C on a Thrashers jersey. Maybe…hopefully…prayerfully…Laddy can help lead this team to levels the previous captains did not, or could not, and he can skate the Cup a third time in his career while a Thrasher.

If so, that would surely be among the happiest day of our lives.

62 comments Add your comment

Alan R.

November 18th, 2010
10:22 pm

Excellent write-up, Bill! I’m happy with the selection of Ladd for C. Byfuglien and Enström were shoe-ins for the A.

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!.jpg


November 18th, 2010
10:29 pm

These previous Captains will be a tough act to follow. I thought Kovy was the 8th Captain…..Oh, now I remember – he was the figure 8 Captain.


November 18th, 2010
10:43 pm

Nice reference to one of my favorite albums/bands of all time.

As for the Thrash, they need to stop this streak NOW, before it turns into “another brick in the wall” of shame.


November 18th, 2010
10:57 pm

Ladd is a good choice for Captain. I’m happy to see it. Ladd, through his interview comments, has been the most positive of any of the players who were recently traded here.

It’s a tough patch of schedule upcoming … just getting to .500 would be a fine achievement. Segue, did anyone else hear a Thrashers radio spot where the announcer exclaims, “Help the Thrashers skate their way to the Stanley Cup this season?” Or words to this effect. I think such a radio ad would be appropriate in Detroit. In San Jose. In Chicago. In Pittsburgh. You get the point. This is a franchise still looking for its first-ever playoff win. To imply that it might be a Cup-winning season is a slap across the face of anyone who follows this team. I hope they change that to something like, “Help our Thrashers push towards the playoffs.” That’s, at least, not insulting.


November 18th, 2010
11:23 pm

My facebook status update: Congratulations to the new Atlanta Thrashers Captain Andrew Ladd! We fans all wish you good fortune and the energy, wisdom and chrisma to lead and represent the team each night. Go Thrash!!!


November 18th, 2010
11:29 pm

Excellent post! Forget past Thrasher captians as a tough act to follow, what about his captain in Carolina, Mr. Brind’amour. He’s gotten some fine pointers I’m sure from playing with him.


November 18th, 2010
11:30 pm

Need an edit button!


November 18th, 2010
11:45 pm

Well done Bill, well done. Bravo! You may have your pudding now.

We all hope that Laddy is the right man to bring this team back from the dark side of the moon.

Shine on you crazy diamonds!

Curious George

November 19th, 2010
1:25 am

Is the morning after the Head Coach called his team quitters in his post-game press conference REALLY the best time to be rewarding a player from said group of “quitters” with the role of Captain?


November 19th, 2010
1:43 am

If Ladd reads some of the AJC comments he must be asking, “Mother will they put me in the firing Line?”

And Alan, I took no offense to your comments previously. I was just explaining where I was coming from.

Red Light

November 19th, 2010
6:08 am

And hopefully, prayerfully, Ladd will be around a lot longer than all of the previous captains, most of whose tenures didn’t last more than one season.

Always Hoping

November 19th, 2010
6:12 am

As for Hainsey and Bogo…….”We’re just two lost souls skating in a fish bowl year after year.”

The Real Thrash

November 19th, 2010
6:44 am

Nice Pink Floyd reference!


November 19th, 2010
7:14 am

I hope Ladd has a fine career as the Thrashers coach. He’s a fine choice.

Just read something that will delay my return to Philips,..

From a WSB article titled “Weak Draft Beer Found At Several Local Venues”,…this line caught my attention,..”Philips Arena had the most draft beer choices with most costing $7.25 a glass. It’s also where testing found some of the lowest alcohol contents.” The link is below.

Go Thrashers beat the Caps.


November 19th, 2010
7:19 am

Rawhide, with all the Floyd references, did you make it to the Roger Water concert last night? I was so disappointed that I couldn’t make it.

Great choice in Ladd.

Hoof Arted

November 19th, 2010
7:20 am

Maybe one day Ladd can sit with the Stanley Cup on top of Stone Mountain.



November 19th, 2010
8:29 am

Well, lets hope Ladd does not follow the other who have worn the “C” and “Run Like Hell”.

For some reason i’ve always like “The Trial” off of The Wall….”Good morning, worm, your honor…..”

World Be Free

November 19th, 2010
9:01 am

I’d rather have “Dark Side of the Moon” references then “Wish You Were Here” quotes-but it good to have “Floyd” on a Friday. Never heard of a team going deep in the playoffs that didn’t have a captain, so this makes sense.


November 19th, 2010
9:10 am

Hey You! Your writing gets better all the time.

Several Small Species of Furry Animals in my kitchen heard me exclaim “at last, a Captain: this morning. I have High Hopes this is character move. Here’s hoping he brings some of the leadership, gritt and class Brind’amour always had in Carolina.

Spent $.50 of my own Money Wednesday night. There were many Echoes and Empty Spaces.
Seemed there was Nobody Home
Is there anybody out there? Only a few Sheep.
Oh well, The Show Must Go On

Thorburn’s injury and stickless minute and a half shift were the high point.
It was an Us and Them confrontation.
He was Fearless in the face of potential Brain Damage from Pigs on the Wing

This is getting way out of hand.
I must be Off to the Grand Vizier’s Garden Party.

Zombie Steve

November 19th, 2010
9:43 am

Hookybob – that’s nothing a flask and some Jim Beam can’t fix. I’ve been boycotting the $8 beers for awhile now.


November 19th, 2010
10:08 am

We have dropped to 11th and with the Crapitals in tonight dropping down to hell with the devils is in sight.

Zombie Steve

November 19th, 2010
10:22 am

Dwayne – you’re a poet and didn’t know it!


November 19th, 2010
10:23 am

Maybe someday our opponents will call home before they play us and ask “Mother do you think they’ll try to breaks my balls”


November 19th, 2010
10:40 am

I think the Thrashers arena management needs to look no further than this blog for some good customer research. Nothing but Floyd being pumped through the loudspeakers now! On a side note, at least they’re playing more of the hard stuff this year.

Putting On The Foil

November 19th, 2010
10:52 am

With Hainsey on the ice, Pavs says ” Mother should I build a wall?”

Putting On The Foil

November 19th, 2010
10:54 am

WBF- Will we ever have a cigar and ride that gravy train?


November 19th, 2010
11:02 am

With a new captain it’s time for us to go on a run!

Also, the Greek God line is back in play. The ladies will be swooning!!!

Also, if the numbers didn’t make sense, that was Burmy playing center and Nik playing right wing together with Eager on the left flank.

Gonna be fun tonight. I have some plans of my own. Expect to see my helmet come off in spectacular fashion if somebody will agree to dance. Oh yes, the ladies will be very happy!!!


November 19th, 2010
11:13 am

Buff migth play today. We need him.

Hockey Biltong

November 19th, 2010
11:23 am

” You better look out,there may be dogs about”….

Joe Friday

November 19th, 2010
11:37 am

What a show last night, best I’ve ever seen, bar none. I could do without all of his iPolitics, but whatever. Looking forward to a third night in a row at Phillips tonight, I feel a breakout game here if Ladd can teach the boys that together we stand, divided we fall.

Get The Puck Out

November 19th, 2010
11:45 am

The only comparison i can make is the reason the Thrashers are where they are is because ASG did there shopping at Wal-Mart when they should have been shopping at Macy’s. You get what you pay for.


November 19th, 2010
12:50 pm

BG33Brown – I wish I were down there last night…schedule simply did not permit. I know Joe Friday was in the house though.


November 19th, 2010
1:22 pm

Before the season, the talk was how big and tough this team was going to be. How hard it would be to play us. Just not seeing it. Big bodies that seem to shy away from laying a hit on someone. Speed and size…..hit the opposition a few times and give them something to think about BEFORE trying the finesse game. We don’t have enough raw talent to finesse games. When we are playing uptempo in your face hockey we look great. Get fancy and lazy and…..well we see what happens, the wheels come off.
Here’s to hoping Ladd can show that HARD WORK is the ONLY way this team succeeds. No time off, commited play only…..might it be time for a call up? C’mon guys, get it together!!!!

World Be Free

November 19th, 2010
2:23 pm

Foil-the question is, will the Thrashers “go far”?

World Be Free

November 19th, 2010
2:27 pm

“Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb? Mother will they tear this little boy apart?”


November 19th, 2010
3:09 pm

Anybody notice this team doesn’t hit, like never? This is the least physical Thrashers team I have ever seen and that is saying something.

I believe that is why we cannot force our style of play on opposing teams…other teams just push us around and play their game off the forecheck.


November 19th, 2010
3:16 pm

World Be Free

November 19th, 2010
3:59 pm

KLS1-yeah we have been talking abiout that off and on recently. Lack of hitting translates to lack of energy which causes crappy games like Wednesday night’s debacle against Miami.

Red Light

November 19th, 2010
5:11 pm

I think this guy is still well worth cheering for…a feature on Darcy Hordichuk.


November 19th, 2010
5:57 pm

Laddy- Kovy was the figure 8 captain. LOVE IT! He also threw in some Lazy 8’s as well. Happy for Ladd. He is a keeper. But the D. is pathetic and Bogo and Hainsey wouldn’t be the #1 pairing on the Wolves. Get Bogo’s attention by giving him some time in Chicago.


November 19th, 2010
6:48 pm

R/L – look forward to reading your articles when I get some free time here on the road in North Carolina. Visiting the family this weekend so free-time is scarce. Wish we still had Darcy, great energy guy. And boy can he hold his own in a donnybrook…didja see the bout he had with Thornton last nite? He bludgeoned his nose good with a quick jab and then they went at it…better than Boults v. Erskine even.


November 19th, 2010
7:22 pm

I think the issue with defense is going to be adressed by the coaches soon enough. there having a hard enough time getting our forward lines to really click. as for bogo I think the young guy has taken too much “advice” from hainsey last year. it honestly looks like hes trying to read the play too much getting lost in it and not being a part of the actual action. ramsay not only has to remove the anderson system on d but remove that thinking as well. I think. Oh grats to Ladd best overall choice for captain, this guy is the real deal.


November 19th, 2010
9:55 pm

Wow!!! Now that’s what I’m talking about!!! That last goal by Brumy was a thing of beauty.

Thrashy Thrashy

November 19th, 2010
10:01 pm

Ol’ Craig Petrino must’ve gotten through to them gutless bestards tonight, eh?

Easily the most complete game of the season by Ze Trasher. Coming on the heels of their coach calling them out, you’d have to say that they responded in the most appropriate way against the team with the most points in the league.

Hockey Biltong

November 19th, 2010
10:25 pm

I miss a game and what the ?????


November 19th, 2010
10:33 pm

How do you guys like me now?

B. Thenet

November 19th, 2010
10:36 pm

That was one hell of a performance. Top to bottom, start to end.

The Burmistrov goal was the cherry on top.


November 19th, 2010
10:44 pm

Was nice to see tonights game. Well done from top to bottom :)


November 19th, 2010
10:51 pm

What a start for our new Captain. Maybe the lack of leadership was holding us back. Great game all the way around. What a move by Burmy!


November 19th, 2010
11:26 pm

Where are all the “negative nelly’s” tonight? Oh, I guess it’s kinda hard to participate when they don’t have anything to “betch” about. Good win boys!