Did Dudley do right with deadline deals?

Yesterday, Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley pulled the trigger on a trio of trade deadline day deals. He also re-signed newly acquired defenseman Mark Stuart and snagged a center off the waiver wire.

Here is a brief recap of what went down:

Sent to the Florida Panthers were forwards Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller in exchange forward Radek Dvorak and a 5th round draft pick. Dvorak is 33 and has scored 7 goals and 14 assists in 53 games played. He’ll be a UFA come July 1 and is currently being paid $1.7 million this season.

Bergfors was a part of the deal with the Devils last winter that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey. He scored 11 goals and 18 assists in 52 games and compiled a –11 rating. After coming to Atlanta last year he looked as though he could become a major piece in the Thrashers future, but things started to head south with him and the organization last summer during contract talks and he seemed to reside in coach Craig Ramsay’s doghouse all season. Hopefully this change will bring a new beginning for this promising young talent.

As for Rissmiller…his biggest accomplishment for the Thrashers is that he helped the team send Todd White to the Rangers.

Dudley also shipped Fredrik Modin to Calgary in return for a 7th round draft pick and swapped prospect goalie Drew McIntyre to Montreal for prospect defenseman Brett Festerling.

Lastly, there was the acquisition of Rob Schremp from the Islanders. He was plucked off the waver wire.

Did Dudley do right with his deals over the past two weeks?

  • Yes! the team is better now and the future looks bright (41%, 93 Votes)
  • No! He didn't help the team at all (16%, 37 Votes)
  • Feh...Only time will tell. (43%, 95 Votes)

Total Voters: 225

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All this caps off a very busy two weeks for Dudley and Co. as we have seen several transactions that have modified the team’s roster. Starting with the trade that sent Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik to Boston for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, Atlanta then moved Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to Montreal for Ben Maxwell and a 4th round pick. Then came yesterday’s deals.

What all of that leaves us with is this…

Where there was once Sopel on defense, you now have Stuart. Where there was once Peverley and Bergfors up front there is now Wheeler and Dvorak. Also, where there was Modin we now will see Maxwell/Schremp…at least until Jimmy Slater and Alex Burmistrov get healthy.

I’ll let you debate whether or not the team is in better shape now for a stretch run then they were two weeks ago. Personally I think ultimately that will be decided by how they perform over the remaining six weeks of the season.

However, looking beyond that I think Rick Dudley has done a very good job as far as the future is concerned. He did not deal away any significant prospect for an aging vet with multiple years left on a contract, nor did he conduct a fire sale in which he in essence threw in the towel on this season.

But even more than that, he was able to ink Stuart to a 3-year $5.1 million contract extension that will keep the soon-to-be 27 year old blueliner around here for the foreseeable future. The deal is not only a good one where the team’s payroll department is concerned, but it will also go a long way in helping to solidify the one area of this team that has always been a major issue…defense. Stuart has performed well since coming over here, showing a great deal of hustle and grit, and he can be a vital piece in the puzzle that is the Thrashers future.

Also not to be overlooked is the fact that Stuart was traded here only about a dozen or so days ago, but apparently has already seen enough to say, “Yeah, I like what’s going on here and would like to stick around for a while”.

We in Thrasherville aren’t exactly used to that and it came as very welcome news indeed.

183 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

March 1st, 2011
10:10 am

mat"T"

March 1st, 2011
10:12 am

I like it. Call me crazy, but they seemed to have turned the corner Sunday and with these players we might be able to make a run at the post season! LET’S GO THRASHERS!

J(Z)

March 1st, 2011
10:13 am

I can’t believe it took this long to get a “Dudley Do Right” mention! :)

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:15 am

“All I’m saying is, cutting bait on someone like Antropov now, after major hip surgery, isn’t a good idea. We know what he’s capable of. He needs rest, not a change of scenery.”

Alan – I don’t want to cut bait with Antro either. I just don’t think he should be playing top 6 minutes if he can’t be effective playing against better competition. And I hate the line of Kane-Antro-Stewy as they have given up quite a few more goals than they’ve scored. Antro should be playing 4th line b/w Boults & Thorbs and hope that those two can use their hard work to pry the puck loose for him in the high slot. Other than that, and some “plant your a$$ in front of the net PP mins”, I think Nik should be used moderately unless he’s feelin’ grrrrreat!!

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:15 am

Dudley sucks!!

sorry, just channeling my inner LAC for a moment…okay, I feel better

GSUKEVIN

March 1st, 2011
10:16 am

Wheeler, Stuart, and a signed Dvorak this summer make the Thrashers a MUCH better team next september. Unfortunately the Thrashers never had and still don’t have the guns to compete THIS year, but these deals help “now and in the future” as Dudley said he aimed to do. Dudley did a great job for the franchise with his deals this year.

Stan Drulia

March 1st, 2011
10:17 am

While Dudley didn’t really do much to bolster my confidence for a playoff situation, I have put all my faith in him and I have no reason to stop now. He has made great decision thus far, and while a couple of these moves make me raise my eyebrows, I am confident that he knows what he is doing. God, I hope he knows what he is doing.

As for Bergy… I always had trouble forgetting how terrible his attitude was when he got moved here last year. Will never forget his radio interview and how clearly unhappy he was to have been dealt to us. Granted, it seemed to improve a bit when he realized he was now a medium sized fish in the little pond, I still couldn’t forgive his “it is what it is” statments.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:17 am

Pasted from other blag:

When you cut out all the AHLers, picks, and prospects, what you have is the following:

we got rid of Bergfors, Peverley, and Sopel
we got Wheeler, Dvorak, and Stuart (resigned!)

As far as the rest: we got rid of some guys who just weren’t cutting it. We may have replaced them with guys who just won’t cut it, but even if they are, it’s a wash.

Tom

March 1st, 2011
10:18 am

I truly think that in every scenario you mentioned we have upgraded our team.

It is too bad Bergy never bought in to the team here, but he was pissed the day he got traded to the Thrashers and remained that way till he got the call to go to Florida if I had to guess.

We are bigger, our biggest improvement should be the penalty kill, and we have not lost any offense and may have gained a bit.

Now lets take this momentum and win out the homestand.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:21 am

Oh, and more importantly: Bergfors is the best ‘asset’ we gave up. We didn’t mortgage any of the future, which is incredibly important right now for a team that is short on talent — another Tkachuk or Zhitnik trade would have damaged the franchise irreparably.

Rawhide

March 1st, 2011
10:21 am

hip czech

March 1st, 2011
10:27 am

but things started to head south

I prefer to state it as but things started to head north

Keep The Thrashers in Atlanta

March 1st, 2011
10:29 am

Agree – These moves focus more on the long-term than on the last 19 games of the year, which is the right thing to do. While it may appear to be more of the same this year, the future could be fun to watch here, especially if we can get some new owners.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:40 am

Per @dankamal: Lines @ practice: 16-10-26; 9-14-22; 13-80-20; 36-49-27.

Just move Nik to the 4th line and we are golden. Actually, the speed and hustle of Dvorak may help protect Nik as Kane sometimes overextends and compromises his mates, but I think we’ll see Thorbs or Maxwell play 3rd line minutes at some point if Antro is sluggish again.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
10:41 am

I think I will play the Powerball with those numbers next time and outbid the “Balkan” to own the team. Everyone on this blog will get free beer and cocktails for the first season under my tenure.

Matt

March 1st, 2011
10:43 am

Dvorak could be a great piece on the third line and penalty kill for years to come…

Dvorak-Slater-Thornburn could be a great grinding line…

In the off-season, the addition of some top 3 offensive talent and perhaps another defenseman could move us up a couple of rungs in the ladder. This team is being built well if you ask me.

Acer

March 1st, 2011
10:45 am

My stance in the Bergfors trade shifted to neutral. I guess that the rumored 2nd rounder was north of his true market value.

moriler

March 1st, 2011
10:47 am

13 and 20? (blank stare) Ah. Schremp, Antropov, and Dvorak, with Boults and Thorbs rejoined around Maxwell.

Be interesting to see, to be sure.

BMF

March 1st, 2011
10:57 am

I think we’re all a little paranoid here about Bergfors. Yes, he’s a fairly talented young winger, but he isn’t exactly a budding super-duper-star. It’s not like he’s going to go down to FL and score 45 goals for them. He is what he is, a young and useful player. It’s not like he’s going to haunt us in the future by coming into Philips and dropping hat tricks on us. Take a deep breath.

I’m very pleased with Dudley’s body of work over the past couple weeks. Stuart’s already here for the long haul, I think Wheeler will be also, and once we ink Ladd to an extension, we will have what you would call a “foundation” for a solid young team moving forward.

With that said, I’m not throwing in the towel yet on this season. Stranger things have happened. As for if Dudley’s moves makes us a better team TODAY, I say yes. We’ve already seen what Stuart and Wheeler bring to the table, and all that cost us was Peverley and Boris. Instant upgrade. Losing Sopel for a prospect is a slight step back, but we have the depth at D to not miss a beat there. We wish you well Brent. Dvorak for Bergfors, this also makes us a better team today. Dvorak is more versatile, brings more to the table. Modin for a 7th rounder, also makes us better today, because Modin’s minutes will be occupied by somebody else. Addition by subtraction. Nothing personal against Modin, but we can do better.

Let’s take care of Montreal tonight, regulation WIN. Take the games one at a time and see where we are with about 10 games left. Lets GO.

Tom

March 1st, 2011
10:58 am

Moriler = I felt the same way when I saw the numbers on Twitter. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

Michael B. Shapiro

March 1st, 2011
10:59 am

Interesting lines per Dan Kamal. A very young team indeed, with what only 3-4 players 30 or older. There might be a future here, though I doubt a playoff run this season. Tonight will be telling. If all the new folks can gel enough to pull off a winner, perhaps the “enthusiasm” we saw in the 3rd period and OT on Sunday will carry over? Go Blue!

Flames

March 1st, 2011
11:03 am

I like yesterdays moves! I really think Bergfors has a lot of potential, but if the kid doesn’t want to be here then good riddens. Everybody wanted Modin gone. Well your wishes came true… I think the future here is getting brighter! Who would have ever thought Stuart would resign here so fast. I love it…. Now the Captain!

Fan from Carolina

March 1st, 2011
11:06 am

I had to vote ‘NO’. I don’t see much changing to indicate a run to the Cup. Isn’t that what it is all about? What the Caps picked up and what Vancouver did for their 4th line is something that will improve any Cup chances. Thrashers moves? Only bringing players like Hemsky and Richards aboard would have helped this club to higher levels. Yeah, it would have cost the moon but who cares about finishing 10th every year?

Hockey Biltong

March 1st, 2011
11:08 am

Smoothie, you are cracking me up!

Flames

March 1st, 2011
11:14 am

BMF- Well said! I totally agree with you..

Telfo

March 1st, 2011
11:20 am

I thought all of our moves have addressed needs without giving up anything of importance. Peverley and Bergfors were both nothing special and both terrible defensively. Wheeler will at least equal Pevs point output but is also a solid PKer and a little bigger. Bergfors was a waste of space at this point and didnt really fit in anywhere. Dvorak is a solid 3rd liner which is exactly what we needed.

Adding Stuart, Wheeler and Dvorak should make a huge difference with our PK which is the main thing we needed to improve.

Hoof Arted

March 1st, 2011
11:26 am

“As for Rissmiller…his biggest accomplishment for the Thrashers is that he helped the team send Todd White to the Rangers.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
11:28 am

With what Duds has to work with yes. Here’s why I say so….

Bergie wasn’t going to re-up and wasn’t playing hard enough, let alone it was obvious with the regime change that he was not in favor. You could see it as a shame that he A) didn’t play hard enough or B) wasn’t utilized correctly. I just like to say it wasn’t working, so see you later and good luck.

Ridding the roster of Modin was good because it NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Again I invite Duds to post on AJC anonymously when he gets iffy ideas for such free agents like so, “”Hey guys would any of you pick up Modin for your fantasy teams”. Had he done that or even read what I posted as Razorneck13 and others did as well he would have gotten a lamens scouting report of “HELL NO, too injury prone, never going to return to form, this is not another Max situation, don’t do it.” But alas I’m told we’re just a bunch of voyeuristic, know-nothings moaning from outside of the professional hockey world.

Signing Stuart, Excellent. I can just feel the urgent intensity growing on this team, very nice. That’s all I have to say about that.

Rob Shremp, seems much better than some AHLers getting good looks for much of this season. Let’s hope he’s in a better place to reverse that abysmal +/- and that it just reflects having played on the Island.

Dvorak, better than Bergie for this team, so I hear. Others say he’s fierce in the corners and along the boards. I think 33 isn’t too old you could likely get a few years out of him at a good rate and YES I think if he plays well here he’ll sign a contract. The guys been playing in Miami for crying out loud and isn’t getting younger. Again if he digs hard and churns out some decent points (40-50 a year) that’d be swell and I’ll say “good job, Duds”.

Anyone notice that this is ASOLUTELY the most North American this team’s ever been. We even have more Americans than Cannucks to dress right now, another definite first. Grind grind grind.

ThrasherTim

March 1st, 2011
11:30 am

To me, the moves are a thumbs up for the following reasons:
* Got slightly younger overall
* Should have gotten better on the PK
* Got bigger
* Got grittier

Also, as someone else mentioned, we signed Stuart for 3 years. Add this to Buff’s, Thorbs and Little (pre-season) 3-year deals…and a hopeful multi-year extension for Ladd and Wheeler. Plus Enstrom, Burmy, Kane, Bogo, etc. This is a great core to build around. Think about it…we haven’t had the same core guys…well, ever. Playing together, learning together, building together. Perhaps for the 1st time ever, we have an identity and have all the guys on the same page. And if we can get Buff to improve his D in Years 2 through 6, we could get better there too. If this team does improve, it could help attract other players to come here too, especially with new owners on the horizon (please).

Obviously, some wishful thinking here, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Joe McGrath

March 1st, 2011
11:31 am

If the PK improves, and it plays a big roll in the Thrashers squeeking into the playoffs, then the Dvorak move was genious. But I don’t see him in a Thrashers sweater next season.

What gets me is what got away. Panthers got D Alexander Sulzer for a seventh-round pick. Sulzer would have been a nice addition here. Big kid, rocket shot, plays smart. Preds let him go because they have mucho depth at D. Brad Boyes going to Buffalo for what, a second round pick? We could have used that guy too.

Alas, we get Schremp, Maxell and Festerling, and my glass is always half full, if you know what I mean. I like the piaddition of Schremp just because the best dogs in the world are the ones you get from the pound (usually). Schremp has mad stickhandling skills. Could he develop into that playmaking center we’ve lacked? Meh. Reading up on Festerling, I learned he may not have the physical talent required (yet–he’s still a kid), but he’s smart and has heart–and that’s something that’s been lacking on this squad. If he hits the weights and takes conditioning seriously, he might develop into a nice bottom sixer. Maxwell–he could he be the guy to step in and be the pest this team sorley needs–we need a Ruutu/Tootoo/Avery type guy…somebody to stick (it) to Stamkos, Crosby, Ovechkin, etc.

I’m looking forward to tonights tilt, I just jope Mason has got what it takes.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
11:40 am

Biltong – I am here to do what I can, your humble servant.

I have a good feeling for tonite and we’ll be happy we have Dvorak on the PK versus the Habs. If we can pin them with pressure and make them play in their own end, we should get plenty of rebound chances against them. Questions are how much will they hurt us with their transition game and can we stay off the PK?

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
11:47 am

Speaking of Rissmiller, some of you are seriously underestimating the degree to which the deal with FLA was discounted on account of jettisoning his dead weight to a team that is in salary dump mode. They will probably play him but they really have little use for him beyond a hole-plugger for the end of the season. Had we traded Bergy straight up for a draft pick, it may have been a 3rd rounder. Duds may have been able to squeeze a 2nd out of him, but he knew he wanted help not only on the PK but also w/r/t to 2-way forward play on the bottom lines.

To hell with the draft picks, does anyone honestly think a 2nd rounder would make much of an impact next year or the year after that? The future is now in the form of Kulda, Postma, Klingberg (he’ll have every oppty to make the team), Machacek, and Maxwell & Schremp begin their auditions tonite. Assuming Slater can return healthy, keep in mind that the only spots available going into camp will be 2nd line RW, 3rd line wings (perhaps only 1 if we re-ink Dvorak) and 4th line LW and I reckon we’ll extend a 1 yr contract to Boulton as well. The best part of these moves may be the fact that Maxwell, Schremp and Stapleton are playing for their futures…that can only help in the intensity department.

Dwayne

March 1st, 2011
11:50 am

These first 3 games in March are paramount!!!. I have nothing else to add, just wanted to use paramount in a sentence. Go Thrashers!!!!

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:00 pm

Let me rephrase the Dvorak thing. I think it’d be swell if he plays hard on the 3rd line or so and can churn out 25-35 points a year. That’s more realistic. Doesn’t look too bad on games played either so I assume he stays relatively healthy. Again everyone says he works hard in the corners and along the boards so that’s key, much better than skating around trying to stay open as your teamates are forced to skate out of position and pick up your slack (cough Bergie cough),

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:08 pm

Very curious to see how well Shremp can play with us. If he’s a tough cookie then I’m optimistic, honestly his +/- hasn’t ever been stellar. Let’s see if Rammer can pull another Thorbs kind of career transition on this guy in short order.

I think we have more natural centers than ever before now too, geez that’s a change.

zontar

March 1st, 2011
12:11 pm

***After coming to Atlanta last year he looked as though he could become a major piece in the Thrashers future, but things started to head south ***

This is a common theme for players coming to the thrashers. Players come here as overpaid free agent or in a trade, make everyone get all excited because they put up some numbers and then the next season they show their true colors, back to the mediocre players they were when they were traded, waived, or not re signed by their former team. It’s not just Bergfors, it is all the players. Think about all the players who came here scored a few goals and then next season they were in the doghouse

Cliff Fletcher

March 1st, 2011
12:12 pm

you want an assessment of what dudley is up against? everyone calls nashville “cheap” or “budget-conscious”. the preds spend $52M on salaries, the thrashers $43M, $9M less. now you see what dudley is up against? think about that next time you want to have rick dudley fired, and replaced by whom?

Nate

March 1st, 2011
12:13 pm

Spinning wheels it seems to me…so be it. I predicted 78 points before the season started and I stand by that. If the team makes the playoffs I will happily eat my crow, but this team doesn’t have enough talent up the middle for a playoff run imo.

TruthHurts

March 1st, 2011
12:14 pm

At least with Stuart we have one person that can play physical and “dish it out”. :-) Hopefully he will continue this trend. Finally, more size with Wheeler and this can be a great addition to a consistent line over time (but I always liked Peverly). Dvorak will be solid and help with the penalty kill. Gave youth away for age and too bad Bergfors could not find his place in ATL. Now Schremp is really an unknown. He has flashes of great skill though seemingly lacks full commitment. This could be a positive move for him or just as easy turn in to a bust for ATL.

Please, can we now not place Stapleton in the starting line up from here on out (or ever again) ?

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:24 pm

Cliff Fletcher – Nice assessment, thanks. More proof of the BS from the F.A.S, LLC. I don’t like basketball, but I noticed that the Hawks have nearly the same attendance as the Thrashers, and have a $70 million some odd payroll. That’s something like an increase of $30 million (pretty sure) for the Hawks since they bought them.

DOES ANYONE HAVE SOMETHING STUPID TO SAY IN DEFENSE OF THIS OWNERSHIP? Seriously if you do, don’t bother just keep thinking we’re all stupid mouthy non-business savy people with penchants for conspiracy. It’s called “fudging the numbers” or “cooking the books” for those would be detractors and it’s rampant in unbrella type business ventures. This is a post-2007 world wakey wakey.

swede

March 1st, 2011
12:27 pm

Seriously. Get stapleton OUT of here. What is he doing here? thought he was send down. Having him as 2nd line center is kind of a joke honestly. But hey.. he scored last game, so he should be secured rest of the season.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:27 pm

BTW, I also just read that the NHL has the second highest ticket prices of all major sports, the NFL has the highest. There you go put that in perspective for the Hawks drawing a bit more on average, though their percentage of capacity sold would be EVEN LESS than the Thrashers.

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
12:28 pm

I am thrilled that stuart already resigned here. Hopefully Dudley can do the same with Dvorak. Hopefully Jimmy can make it back next season. Can anyone figure out why Boston traded for a goaltender? Betcha that deal got the wheels moving in Beantown!

Smoothie-totally right on when talking about Rissmiller and getting his dead weight butt out of here.

Bergfors-I would hope somebody would step forward and admit how we screwed up so bad on this guy. I was trying to stay optimistic about him, but totally lost confidence in him as the season progressed. I am still waiting for him to win a battle int he corner-it will be interesting to see Bergie and Stapleton in a corner battle, to see which one comes out with the puck!

ZAvalanche

March 1st, 2011
12:31 pm

I like the deals, a lot. As the blog master said, we gave up no real future talent. What we gained was some grit, youth, and experience. Wheeler is going to kill it in this league, Stuart is solid, Dvorak has experience and is very solid. Combine that with a healthy squad next year and Thrashy is headed to the post season – guaranteed. I will re-post that, the Thrashers are headed to the playoffs next year. Write it down, take a picture, I don’t give a @#$%.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:34 pm

ZAv – Wheeler is monster when rushing the net. I saw his first goal as a Thrasher in person, it was mean.

Rawhide

March 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

For those of you still looking at the playoff picture…Atlanta goes into tonight’s game with 63 points and 19 games left to play. They are tied with Toronto.

Just ahead of them are Buffalo, (9th place in the east with 65 points/61 games played) and Carolina. (8th place in the east with 67 points/63 games played). Both of those teams are on pace for right at 87 points.

Just for grins and giggles, let’s say the bar right now is set at 88 points to overtake the Sabres and Canes and make the playoffs. That would mean the Thrashers need 25 points in there last 19 games…say a 12-6-1 record.

Looking at where they are in a slightly different perspective, the 63 points after 63 games played right now is 3 fewer than this time last season after the same amount of games. In order to simply match last year’s 83-point finish…a.k.a. in the NHL, a “winning” record… the Thrashers would need to net 20 points. That’s 10-9 or 9-8-2 down the stretch.

World Be Free

March 1st, 2011
12:35 pm

Spector says there was alotta interest in Oduya, next year’s salary a deterrent.

No know what I think will happen this summer? Bogosian to Philly for a package which will include JVR. I just have a feeling-too much money tied up in defenseman, for this team that is.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:36 pm

Gosh, sorry one more after thought if you read some of the posts by Cliff and I. If you’re curious as to where 20 million in losses goes every year read those last posts and see what you think. I’m no add wizard, but I’ve got a good gut.

Iron League 13

March 1st, 2011
12:39 pm

Rawhide – Good job. Of course it’s possible, but it’s a bet I don’t want to take. Just to avoid sounding too realistic….I digress.

Smoothie

March 1st, 2011
12:49 pm

“No know what I think will happen this summer? Bogosian to Philly for a package which will include JVR. I just have a feeling-too much money tied up in defenseman, for this team that is.”

WBF – that’s the way to go my friend. Question is would Ramsay let JvR play RW as a lefty in his system? I’m fine with him on the left side if they want to move Kaner to the RW to capitalize on his speed so he can start getting to the inside rather than get pinned and hammered along the boards so frequently. It’ll be interesting to see how much they blow on Ville Leino (hey that rhymes y’all!) and whether they re-sign Carcillo as surely they will tender Nodl (tender noodles!!). They have $4.225 M coming off the books (Zherdev, O’Donnell & Boucher) but they already have nearly $57.5 M committed for next season. Problem is the only affordable option in a swap for Philly would be Bogosian who won’t break the bank as a RFA. JvR & Carcillo for Bogosian?