Niclas Bergfors: From Dog House to Litter Box

Updated: February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am by Alexander Monaghan

Back in December, USA Today’s Kevin Allen released the news that the Atlanta Thrashers want to move Niclas Bergfors.

After coming over to the team in the infamous Ilya Kovalchuk deal, the young Swede failed to impress new head coach Craig Ramsay, leading the bench boss to benching him. Since December, Bergfors has alternated between the press box, the first and the third line. The report, which comes courtesy of our friend Laura Astorian,  stated the Thrashers want either a pick or prospect which they could later move for a spare part at the trade deadline.

Today, the Thrashers got that spare part.

Atlanta gets veteran Radek Dvorak and 5th-round pick in exchange for Bergfors and minor-leaguer Patrick Rissmiller.

In Dvorak, the Thrashers get a hard working veteran who is very good on the penalty kill — a move the team desperately needed with the 28th best PK, behind only Edmonton and Colorado. Ideally, he is one of the better third line players in the League as he holds the ability to pot 10-15 goals per season and regardless of his age still has the legs to keep up with the Thrashers’ up-tempo style of play.

Nevertheless, despite their improvement on the PK, the centerpiece to this deal remains Bergfors.

After trading away the talented Michael Frolik and letting Michael Grabner slip through waivers, the Panthers were short on skill as their current roster boasts such names as Hugh Jessiman, Bill Thomas and Scott Timmins. While Bergfors may be a similar player to the aforementioned, he represents a change in guard and yet another player that Dale Tallon wanted to acquire.

Similar to the Jack Skille trade, Tallon is building a roster of “his players.” Although the Cats have been “rebuilding” for years, this is only the first season of Tallon’s reign so a true fire sale and shake up should be expected, and continue to be expected until 3PM.

In summary… (line changes)

Thrashers: Bergfors lined up on the third line right wing spot, the Thrashers likely prefer the veteran Dvorak in that spot.
Panthers: On the other hand, the Panthers probably use Bergfors on a scoring line, possibly even on the top line. Rissmiller will definitely help the big club as the team recently dressed Jessiman on their fourth line. Considering the NHL club looks similar to their AHL affiliate, it makes sense for Tallon to acquire a veteran minor leaguer.

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