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

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
7:36 am

Smoothie, no doubt about it Stapleton works very hard, as hard as anyone maybe. My issue is not about him really, but with the organization, he definitely works his butt off, but again…just can’t produce. I hope he figures out how to capitalize on his chances I don’t know. He’s a fast skater, he shoots when he can, nhe works hard in the corners despite his size, I really do like his play, I at the very lest think he should remain on the 3rd or 4th lines. Maybe he should get a look playing the wings.

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
7:50 am

Congrats to Boomer’s grandson Blake Geoffrion who scored his first-ever NHL goal for the Preds last night.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
8:02 am

Geez, I ope I’m not “our resident Troll”, Glove. I do know a good bit about the game. I was addicted to the sport like nothing else since my first game back in the 80’s (USA vs Red Army exhibition). I tought myself how to skateand stick handle immediately regardless of the fact that playing competitively was difficult in my locale. Without getting into details of how I did this it was my own version of a Joe Mullen and eventually my parents gave into my passion and I played lots of ice and inline. I was pretty good for the leagues I played in too. No, I never played travel hockey, not I’m no brilliant strategist, but I know the game pretty well and I’ve got a pretty good track record for being right when it comes to things like teams and players, that’s not a fluke. Anyways, I hope I’m not this resident troll who “admittedly” doesn’t know about hockey. I do know hockey and admit what level of conversation is above me, that’s more than a lot of other opinionated people do.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
8:03 am

Red Light – Ditto that, isn’t that kid born and bred in TN?

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
8:35 am

Geoffrion was born in Florida but grew up in Brentwood, Tenn. He went Culver Military Academy, the US Development program and then to the Univ. of Wisconsin. He chose to complete all four years at Wisconsin and then had an amateur tryout with the Milwaukee Admirals, made it and then played in a few playoff games last season. His two younger brothers are playing at UAH.

He was the first native of Tennessee to be drafted, to sign an NHL deal and to play in the NHL.

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
8:45 am

Anyone still have any questions about why Buf, who absolutely killed people throwing his weight around while playing for the ‘Hawks, and why our other players don’t hit (Ramsay should have Stuart fixed of that awful habit soon)? Read Ramsay’s comments about Stewart last night taking a penalty for going after the Hab who took the late shot well after the buzzer last night:

“it was close play. So they throw it at the net. You try to teach support. I also try to teach discipline. The game, where it was, you don’t want to be taking that penalty. … “I think you can do and make your point without doing too much.”

Coach Ramsay, teaching a kinder gentler NHL style since 2010.

He gots to go.

EA

March 2nd, 2011
8:48 am

I said this on the other blog–Carey Price earned that win. Read his team mates comments. About the “Canadien Fans”–I sat next to some from Alabama “Quebec” if you know what I mean. This team is young and despite all of the naysayers has a lot of talent. This will not be the year, but unlike years past, this team will mature and do well. If you want to show a prospective buyer that you want hockey in Atlanta, the the team needs support. If not, those poor southern Canadien fans will have to trravel even further to see their Canadiens and Redwings! As for Thrasher fans, there is NOTHING that beats live hockey.

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
8:51 am

Personally, I think Big-Puff’s weaknesses (i.e. lack of fundamentals) have been figured out and completely game-planned for by the opposition…thus, his impact is becoming more and more negligible….Flashes-in-the-pan and Fools-Gold only last for so long without either re-adjustment ability or superior talent.

Big-Puff apparently has neither.

Blame the coaches all you want…but we’ll hear the same tune one-two years into the next regime…

The rot starts at the top–and the very bottom is pretty rotten, too…

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
8:53 am

Big-Puff “dominated” in part due to overpoweringly-talented teammates in Chicago.

He doesn’t have that here.

Is this truly that difficult to see?

(It must be for some.)

EA

March 2nd, 2011
8:55 am

sory for the typos–in addition if anyone listened to the radio show after the game, Dan Kamal took exception with the “fire Ramsay” idea. He called him one of the great minds of hockey with 40 years experience. It sounds like the team really likes playing for him. Dan is a straight shooter. He knows the fans are sick of losing and anxious about the ownership situation. He seems to be the only talking about it. Of course, he said that same anxiety is shared by the players and coaches. He really feels that we FINALLY have the core players for a good team. With maturity comes success.

Associated Press Reporting

March 2nd, 2011
9:18 am

Numerous sources are reporting a long line has formed around Philips Arena. Apparently, several owners of the Atlanta Spirit, including Bruce Levenson, in an attempt to pay for their Johnson, have initiated a fund raising event. For one thousand dollars, each contributor gets to whack a hockey stick over the head of one owner of the contributor’s choice. Being their normal despicable and cowardly selves, the Spirit owners failed to disclose they would be wearing helmets.

However, one fan in his infinite wisdom whacked Bruce Levenson in his groin area. Immediately, Bruce Levenson and the other owners threatened to sue the fan. The fan retorted, “You didn’t specify which head, DEAL WITH IT.”

Alan R.

March 2nd, 2011
9:55 am

APR – I’m surprised Levenson felt anything. I didn’t think he had anything there!

Barry Smelrose

March 2nd, 2011
9:59 am

Sweeping all 18 of the remaining games leaves the Thrashers with a team record of 99 points in one season.

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
10:05 am

Red Light – Thanks, I had to run the boy to pre-k so I couldn’t wiki that. Besides his very good bloodline obviously playing a big role, this is PROOF that much of the developmental age going into Prep Hockey, NAHL, USHL, levels ARE working in places outside of traditional locales. It’s funny because it’s not really new to American hockey as there’ve been some players for a while now coming from places like California albeit not many. But just like California, other sunnbelt locales are experiencing the same thing, that’s cool. It’ll probably be a while before this is more common, but promising nonetheless.

Sage of Bluesland

March 2nd, 2011
10:11 am

Dan Kamal is “high” on our young talent, huh? That’s funny!

Kamal is an organizational toad similar to Kincade….I take what either says about anything with a large grain of salt.

Please put the Kool-Aid-Pipe down slowly and step away…

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
10:44 am

Sage, you’re just wacky with tripe, do you watch hockey games other than the Thrash? Chicago had a ton of skill last year, but were having huge problems getting space for Kane and Toews up front until they moved Buf up there to throw his weight around and create space and it worked like magic all the way to hoisting the Cup.

They’re having similar problems this year in Chicago as they lost a ton of grit, the move they made for Frolik from Florida was mind bogglingly stupid, they brought in another skill guy when they needed a banger and grinder instead. I don’t think Frolik has a secondary assist since they brought him in. They miss Buf up front so badly up there it’s sad . . . they kept all the skill and let all the grit go.

We get some of the grit down here, Eager throws his around and Ramsay says see ya, don’t need that in my figure skating squad. Buf is put on the back end and yep, other clubs drape two on him now and deny the puck and he’s neutralized. We have smallish forwards, that Dudley is changing somewhat, but we need size up front and have a perfect candidate to do it, and Ramsay has him sitting on the blue line and not up front throwing his meat on the forecheck and creating space for guys like Little, but no, we can’t even retaliate when our goalie gets run, when Kane gets his clock cleaned, when guys take slappers at us 3 seconds after the period ends. Not in Ramsay’s kinder gentler NHL.

He gots to go. We have a good core here, need a coach and a couple top 6 forwards next year to take the next step. We already have one of those forwards here, seeing how UFA dmen available are plentiful this summer, that’s the way to go to move Buf up front and unleash him from the Ramsay go go go but for good Lord’s sake, don’t touch anyone Squad.

I’m sure Ramsay is a nice guy. Waddell was too. Keeping nice guys around doesn’t work out so well in the NHL. Unleash the Fury, already.

Smoothie

March 2nd, 2011
10:49 am

JoeF – good post and quite passionate without being rantish. I’m done with Ramsay and I was one of his biggest proponents. I don’t know why he wants every one of his players to vie for the Lady Byng. He should know that, from playing with Dudley and Playfair, every team needs villains and tough guys who can deliver justice to the other team even if it means crossing the line a little. Stewart’s adjutication of said “justice” was just plain stupid. He could have been less of a puss and just face mushed Hamrlik but instead they save that kind of aggression for each other in dog pile post-GWG celebrations. Perhaps they should spend less time fellating each other and more time berating one another for stupid mistakes. Where’s the leadership??

Joe Friday

March 2nd, 2011
10:53 am

Iron League 13

March 2nd, 2011
11:08 am

Joe Friday – Ditto what Smoothie said.

EA

March 2nd, 2011
11:28 am

Sage, I don’t smoke any kind of a pipe. I threw Kamal’s comments out for discussion. Do you and LAC feel the need to insult at least one person a day? As much as I agree with some of what you say, your delivery is boorish. However, since you get such a chuckle out of so many of the comments, I get a chuckle imagining you repeating them to people’s faces, especially Buff Puff.

R. Stroz

March 2nd, 2011
11:51 am

The smartest thing Stewart could have done was wait until the next period and shoot the puck into Florida’s bench.

alex

March 2nd, 2011
11:59 am

now see if dud going to upgrade this team for next season to add couple of stars for any cost. he is insane if not. it’s no other ways to survive here. he should be in face of any owners and demand money or quit. be the man dud like Bibby, who sacrificed 6 mil in order to win, not like you friend don who collecting fat checks here for 11 years simultaneously ruining franchise to the ground. dud you got 4 years extension, this mean you have to be stand up man, well being thrashers in Atlanta much more important than you friendship with don loser waddell

ben

March 2nd, 2011
12:19 pm

there’s a story out of ‘Pegg that REGINA, SK is building an arena in hopes of getting an NHL team. These people are crazy if they think that Regina gets a team. On another front, it looks like if the Goldwater Institute gets their way with the possible lawsuit, the ‘Yotes migt have to move whether they go to Canada or not.

So here’s my question. Is there anywhere in the U. S. the ‘Yotes could move to? Vegas seems like a big problem for any pro team as they are a town mainly of transients. Which brings me to where I think they ought to go, TORONTO! Why? Give the Toronto media another team to follow, and I bet that once you put the Isles in Quebec City, all the relocation nonsense goes away. I swear, all this is just griping that gets fanned by a media which is tried to death of following a crappy team which under performs year-in-and-out.

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

I did not see last night’s game, but I have seen most of them in the last several months. Buff doesn’t have a lack of skills – he has a lack of wanting to play hard for an underachieving team.

ben

March 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

@ ZAvalanche: Cam friggin Neeley, Super Mario, and mr. 99 himself wouldn’t want to play for Le Thrash. Expect more of this crap until the team is sold.

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
12:52 pm

Ben – Seattle could support a team.

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
1:03 pm

Red Light, to me, any contract whose performance results don’t correspond to the salary being paid for the performance … is a bad contract. Erat, though I like him, seems overpaid. Semin, though I like him, is overpaid. Brian Campbell is overpaid. Shawn Horcoff is overpaid. Sheldon Souray is overpaid. When a GM has a player who is being paid handsomely, it’s an opportunity to clear cap space and replace that player for similar performance results, for LESS money.

I think overpaid players represent an opportunity for Atlanta to trap a quality, but overpaid player, in our market, for years to come. I’d take Jason Spezza, right frekkin’ now, and his $7 million. I’d take Cammalleri and his $7 million. It’s an overpayment, but how ELSE do you get him here??

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

@ Ben, agreed, they probably wouldn’t WANT to play for Thrashy. But Buffy didn’t have to make the deal to stay. It disappoints me to see guys who can make a difference but take the easy-payday-way-out. It is players like him that should be leading the charge and inspiring the others to bust their a$$ on the ice. I’ve played for some pretty bad teams in various sports, including my own one-man team when I started playing tennis (though I had a rotator cuff tear, I didn’t blame my crap play on it), and nothing helps a slumping team more than sitting there and watching a leader go out actually lead. Point being, the team has cashed in their sticks for the season. They know that it is basically over. Is it sad to see? Absolutely. Rammer, while I respect him, isn’t lighting the fire under their bums. That is his job and he can’t do it effectively right now. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to get into the heads of pro athletes and get them to do what they need to do (though I do think that hockey players are the most grounded of any of the 4 major sports in the US). I would love to have been a fly on the wall at some of the Wing’s practices when Bowman was there. As much as I literally hate that team (i’m talking LAC style vitriol, if not worse), they were damn good and have a formula to continue to be good.

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
1:27 pm

Brendan: Then I have to ask you this question…what overpaid player has gone to a new team and led them to the playoffs, and then to the Cup?

Pavel Bure? Jaromir Jagr? Peter Forsberg? Marcel Dionne? Wayne Gretzky? Jari Kurri?

I know of few… Messier, Bourque, Claude Lemieux and Mogilny, for example, but you have to more pieces around those kind of players to win it all. I recommend getting the other pieces in place first, and then go grasping for Cup straws after that.

There is no way you can convince me that with Spezza or Cammalleri that this current team becomes a contender!

Red Light

March 2nd, 2011
1:28 pm

Milwaukee would have a better chance to succeed than Saskatoon!

ZAvalanche

March 2nd, 2011
1:41 pm

RL, I am not sure that you can put the Great One and Forsberg in that list. The rest, absolutely. 99 was playing in a different league during that time is was way undersized. The hockey of the later 90’s was ruled by defense and big hitters. Plus, 99 made a huge splash for LA in the playoffs in his second year there. 40 pts in 24 games? Sick.

As for Peter, and I will admit a bit of bias here, he hasn’t been healthy since 2003. A total of 24 surgeries, including a spleenectomy and 11 on his right foot alone, in the span of 5 years. Had he been healthy, who knows what he would have done in Philly and Nashville. And you left off Rob Blake from the “who made it happen” list. Bourque was on the CO team that lost game 7 of the WCF to Dallas (for the 2nd year in a row, Dallas went on to lose to NJ, and the previous year was, well, the non-goal that Hull had against Buffalo to win the cup) and then we picked up Blake the next year to put a MONSTER defense together. Don’t know if you had the pleasure to see those two on the blue line together, but holy sh!t. An embarrassment of riches, to be true.

Rawhide

March 2nd, 2011
2:04 pm

The Thrashers got some good advice from the goalie that beat them last night. And it it came at the right “Price”…free.

Brendan

March 2nd, 2011
3:00 pm

Red Light, I can definitely appreciate what you’re saying. Cammalleri and Spezza, by themselves, or even together, aren’t automatically going to put this team into the playoffs. We had Savard, Hossa, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, and Kaberle and Bondra … and still didn’t make the playoffs in 2006.

But my point is, and I should have clarified, is that we need some kind of “pot of hunny” to bring forth more of the “bees.” Do pending UFAs look at Kane, Bogosian, and Burmistrov and think … “those are the ponies to bet on? Better sign in Atlanta?” Add Cammalleri and Spezza to the mix, in Atlanta, and you might have something some UFA might consider.

But I hear ya loud-n-clear … who’s gonna pay for all that? The “pot of hunny” to bring forth all the bees has to be ‘committed ownership’ that bankrolls it all. If Cammalleri and Spezza were our moves, the ownership would stop right there, rather than take it to its conclusion, augmenting defense and maybe even goaltending. But, Red Light, where does it start? When does it start? If we’re stuck with these clowns, at least bad contracts are something we could get without coughing up lottery draft picks or promising prospects.

How did we get Byfuglien here? Answer: Trade.

How did we get Ladd here? Answer: Trade

How did we get Sopel and Eager here. Answer: Trade.

Other than Antropov and Hainsey, both of whom we paid dearly for, our success during the July Frenzy isn’t anything to write home about. (Todd White, Eric Perrin, Max Afinogenov, Chris Mason, etc.) We have had some success making waiver claims. But that CANNOT be our primary strategy.

Look, I’ll admit that bad contracts are a little bit on the stupid side of how to run a hockey team. But honestly, can you think of another way to get better players here? Red Light, you of ALL PEOPLE are the most quoted about the ability of the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club to draft and develop talent. It incubates here, just fine. But it never seems to actually HATCH here.