Fear not Thrashers fans. You have a new beat writer.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Chris Vivlamore and I will be your connection to the Thrashers. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I have been at the AJC for more than six years. For the last five years I have been the Pro Sports Editor at the paper, overseeing coverage of the Thrashers, Hawks, Braves, Falcons and a little golf now and then. That means at one time I supervised former Thrashers beat writers Mike Knobler, Craig Custance and John Manasso – names you might be familiar with.
I am originally from upstate New York. West Point and the United States Military Academy would be the nearest landmark. My parents grew up farther north, 15 miles south of the Canadian border – one town over from Zach Bogosian’s hometown. So, I grew up playing a lot of pond hockey where old couch cushions served as goalie pads. I also spent more than one Thanksgiving morning at 5 a.m. renting out the local civic center for games. When there was no ice, I spent many a Saturday playing street hockey. That would be where I earned the nickname “Viv the Sieve,” presumably for my less-than-adequate goaltending abilities.
I was around for the New York Islanders’ Drive for Five era, watching the likes of Mike Bossy. However, I adopted the New Jersey Devils when they moved from Colorado, mostly because the Meadowlands arena was a mere hour south (58 minutes in a friend’s Chevy Chevelle) and tickets were easy to come by. I once had to move seats because the goal judge (remember them?) was blocking our view.
Before moving to Atlanta, I worked in the Philadelphia market for nine years. I was around for the Flyers and Eric Lindros’ Stanley Cup Final run in 1997. That would be when the infamous “choking situation” led to a sweep by the Detroit Red Wings.
I am married to wife Barbara and we have a 12-year old daughter Emma. My wife’s one connection to hockey is that while in college she was once thrown out of Herb Brooks’ seats at a University of Minnesota hockey game – by Brooks himself.
Enough of my background, let’s look forward. We have the draft coming up in June. Oh, and there is that little matter of what will happen with Ilya Kovalchuk.
I will continue to bring you a mix of coverage – news when I get it, features on the players and hockey trends. I will ask the tough questions when needed. My priority is you the reader and providing as much insight as I can.
Also, I want to hear from you. I will make it a priority to return to the blog to answer questions. Please let me know your ideas and opinions.