A matter of introduction

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.

114 comments Add your comment


April 21st, 2009
2:54 pm

Welcome aboard tough guy! First on the new beater’s blog?


April 21st, 2009
3:05 pm

Welcome to the lunatic fringe. You’ve seen this one before. Don Waddell stinks. ASG stinks worse. Losing Kovy would be even worse, if not the death knell of the Thrash. But other than that, all is right with the world.


April 21st, 2009
3:06 pm

Welcome! Credentials stamped and approved. Good luck.


April 21st, 2009
3:10 pm

Welcome aboard Chris.

Chris Vivlamore

April 21st, 2009
3:12 pm

Thanks very much folks! It looks like we are a success so far. I’ve posted a blog and now a comment. Here we go.

Tony C.

April 21st, 2009
3:14 pm

Looking forward to your material Chris!

Wayne from AL

April 21st, 2009
3:19 pm

Congratulations, but don’t plan on having a long stay: the typical beat-writer for the Thrashers has lasted, on average, only ONE YEAR.

Hope you have backup plans.

WNY Native

April 21st, 2009
3:22 pm

Welcome Chris. Did you every freeze your backyard? Sorry to hear about your time in Philly!! Good to see things have improved since then.


April 21st, 2009
3:23 pm

Chris, what is your favorite sport? What else do you like in this life?


April 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

So if I say Cornwall, Ogdensburg, and cheesecurd….

Tim Fabiniak

April 21st, 2009
3:28 pm

Hey Chris! Welcome!

I’m sure you probably hear this all the time, but you ought to join Twitter. There’s a decent Thrashers fanbase there that would love to have you.


April 21st, 2009
3:29 pm

WOOHOO! Thanks Chris!!!


April 21st, 2009
3:32 pm

Welcome! hopefully you are responcible for fixing the bad link error Thrashers beat blog link.

Chris Vivlamore

April 21st, 2009
3:33 pm

Deano: Cornwall, in Canada. Had a great aunt and uncle that lived there. Ogdensburg, not far from my parents home in Malone, New York. … And cheesecurd is absolutely one of the best things on the planet. Bring back a pound of it any time I get back there.

Tim: I’m fast getting pulled into the new age. I plan on setting up a Twitter account also. Looking forward to following you all.

BN: I’m a big sports fan. Like pretty much them all. I’m a pro guy. I know I’m in the south, but can’t get into the college game as much. I play a little golf and a little basketball.


April 21st, 2009
3:34 pm

A hearty welcome, Chris! A lot of us check in here most every day so help us pass the long summer, please.

Rawhide just today pointed us to an new bit of info on Ben Wright’s Blueland blog. Owner Gearon said on 790 this morning that Kovalchuk has “spoken bluntly” to the owners about the Thrashers needing “more help” and adding “key pieces over the summer.” It’s quite interesting that Gearon is publicly admitting that.

Chris Vivlamore

April 21st, 2009
3:38 pm

kracker: I heard Gearon this morning. I know Kovy has been pretty straight forward all along about the need for help. He told Knobler that more than once. In my opinion, it will be the No. 1 reason whether he stays or goes.

William Thrasher

April 21st, 2009
3:39 pm

You’re HIRED!


April 21st, 2009
3:51 pm

Welcome Chris… I was about to dog you for saying you’re from Upstate NY until you qualified it with Malone. :) My wife is from Gouverneur, up near Alexandria Bay… she always gets mad when people from Albany say they’re from Upstate. :)

Mr. Heat Miser

April 21st, 2009
3:53 pm

Welcome to the Jungle


April 21st, 2009
3:53 pm

Welcome aboard Chris!

Oberservation from my seat-I took advantage of some free tix to the Hawks playoff game Sunday night. I noticed Levenson and Gearon Jr. throughout the game fistpumping, highfiving, and seemingly really into the entire game courtside. I can only hope the ownership group recognizes for certain the rewards and importance of putting a true winner on the ice for the Thrashers. Based on Gearon Jr. admitting what Kovy said to him personally, reported by Ben Wright on his blog, I hope they finally turn the page and get dead serious about making the team better.

Props to Rawhide for posting this on his blog earlier.


Maybe his comments, along with what the owners short term plans with Waddell are, would possibly be ideas to write your first Thrasher story about Chris?


April 21st, 2009
3:54 pm

Welcome aboard. Sounds like you have more on-ice experience than anyone who has ever covered the Thrashers in their entire history.

Chris Vivlamore

April 21st, 2009
4:02 pm

You are right, GaVaHokie, although my sister and brother live in Schenectady and my parents retired to Clifton Park. You are not in upstate New York until you hit the Adirondacks.


April 21st, 2009
4:11 pm

Who will Atlanta Pick in the draft?Why


April 21st, 2009
4:12 pm

Wow… Finally… Maybe the Thrashers may actually be mentioned in the Paper…? hmmm?

I mean… they may have some challenges, but in my opinion they still deserve to be mentioned! give them SOME recognition!

I hope you do great man!


April 21st, 2009
4:15 pm

Chris those are big towns compared to La Fargeville, NY. Welcome.

David Hutchison

April 21st, 2009
4:21 pm

Are you still a goalie? Would love to connect – http://inGoalMag.com is a project I collaborate on with others for goaltenders.


April 21st, 2009
4:22 pm

Hi Chris…were you like me and used a baseball glove for your trapper, and two shoe box tops stuffed with old newspapers and glued to a mitten for your blocker for all those saturday street hockey games?


April 21st, 2009
4:34 pm

Welcome to the beat! I look forward to some great articles as the draft approaches.

Chris Vivlamore

April 21st, 2009
4:35 pm

Glovesave29: Used a baseball glove and for a blocker – a piece of plywood with a leather strap nailed to the back. It never held. Had to stop the game when the nails came out. Baseball chest protector. Lots of holes.


April 21st, 2009
4:57 pm


April 21st, 2009
4:59 pm

Great news that you’re the new beat writer, and it’s a big plus that you know the game. That’s very interesting news about one of the owner’s admitting what Kovy has asked for, you wouldn’t think he’d admit that unless they planned to follow through on it.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

April 21st, 2009
5:24 pm


Here’s my question. Any word on Angelo Esposito? Wasn’t he hurt?


April 21st, 2009
5:44 pm

Viv, welcome! Your not upstate enough to be a Buffalo fan of any type right?


April 21st, 2009
5:50 pm

Great to see with all the changes at the AJC they have put a knowledgable pro on the Thrasher beat. Good luck in your new assignment and here’s hoping you get to write Thrasher playoff articles in 2010!


April 21st, 2009
5:58 pm

Welcome aboard, Chris. Sounds like you’ve got the right creds! And asking “tough questions” to boot! I like it!


April 21st, 2009
6:13 pm

Chris – Welcome aboard!!! I’m looking forward to following your coverage during this offseason and through what should be a very good season coming up!

Again…welcome and congrats!


April 21st, 2009
6:48 pm

Welcome, Chris!


April 21st, 2009
7:47 pm

Awesome, good to have you aboard… really good to have anyone aboard, I was afraid the AJC would be cutting the Thrashers beat writer position entirely! As far as what I want or expect from your coverage: quotes, quotes, and quotes. Let the players, coaching staff, and organization in general write as much of your columns as you can- opinions and second guessing are great, but concrete answers from the beast itself are best. Again, welcome aboard and good to have you :)


April 21st, 2009
8:07 pm

Welcome Chris, I hope they aren’t going to make you pull double duty; but if so, glad we got someone with some hockey knowledge covering the team.

Toxostoma Rufum

April 21st, 2009
8:35 pm

Welcome Chris! I’m looking forward to your writing, and thanks for all you’ve done working with past ajc Thrasher writers.


April 21st, 2009
8:58 pm

Welcome. It’s great to have you on board. Hoping to see more thrash news in the AJC. And by the way, how about some Gladiators coverage every once in awhile. They just ended a run in the playoffs and, unless I missed it, there was nothing in print about it. The more hockey the better.

Terrible T

April 21st, 2009
9:56 pm

Welcome aboard. I am glad that we have a beat writer in time to cover the draft. I’d like more Thrash coverage in the paper as most of the hockey community would like. Why not consider an Inside the NHL part of the Sunday Sports section during the season again if you can squeeze it in. If anything, cut out some of the girls sports and HS football in the lower GA counties that nobody in ATL cares about.


April 21st, 2009
9:59 pm

Anyone watching this AWESOME Hurricanes/Devils game? Carolina led, 3-0. But Shanahan scored his 60th career playoff goal, to make it 3-2. And Clarkson has added the equilizer. There’s a minute left in regulation. Could it be a 3rd straight overtime? Brodeur’s record in overtimes isn’t stellar.

Carolina scores!!!! with 1 second left!!


April 21st, 2009
10:03 pm

Officially, it was 0:00.2 left on the clock. Brodeur was miffed.


April 21st, 2009
10:04 pm

Welcome aboard Chris! Suggestions? I would love to see the Thrashers get a bit more “airtime” on the AJC. I think the responsibility of supporting a major pro sports team is in the hands of not only the players and owners, but also the fans and the media.

I grew up in New England but spent alot of time in Glens Falls, New York watching the Adirondack Red Wings in the AHL and watching people race cars on a frozen Lake George!

If you still want to try on your street hockey skills, you should check out Atlanta’s organized street hockey league, the Metro Atlanta Steet Hockey Association (www.mashahockey.com). It’s a fun, competitive league.

One more comment – I hope John Anderson sent the Thrashers players home this summer with some homework. How’s this for a homework topic? Every player should bring back a list of 3-5 intangibles that playoff hockey teams do to win games. There are so many little things that some of these teams that playoff hockey teams do not! (finishing checks, controlling the puck on the lower boards, putting a man in front of the net at all times, etc.).

Evan Foudoulis

April 21st, 2009
11:27 pm

Welcome Chris. I would love for you to follow up a few questions with regards to the thrashers offseason:
1. Contract situation regarding Kovalchuk and Lehtonen. Also whom they are unlikely to sign (Perrin?Thorburn?)
2. Free agent situation. Will the owners splash the cash and make a legitimate effort to sign some supporting cast for Kovalchuk. What areas does John Anderson think that the team needs to improve.
3.Find out will the team will pursue Ilya Nikulin to sign a contract with Thrashers. Is it a priority for Don Waddell?
Thanks and all the best. I look forward to reading you columns weekly.


April 21st, 2009
11:33 pm

Welcome CV – I think you’ll find the Thrashers blog full of vocal, knowledgeable and passionate Thrasher and (or) hockey fans. Count me as a passionate fan. We look forward to hearing the news and getting the scoops on Thrasher hockey – we’re counting on you! There’s nothing worse than reading a generic AP release to hear what happened with the Thrashers, so stay on top of the stories for us and you’ll have as loyal a following as your able predecessors! Good luck and Go Thrashers!


April 22nd, 2009
12:13 am

welcome! so what is the word on Pavs after his surgery?


April 22nd, 2009
6:10 am

viv the sieve. hahahaha. hope you’re a better sports writer than you were goalie eh?


April 22nd, 2009
6:54 am

Welcome Chris!
Sounds like you can continue the efforts of prior Thrashers beat writers in keeping this a very active blog. I’m a long time Atlanta hockey fan dating back to the days of Flames through the Knights age to the current Thrashers. Looking forward to what you can bring to us as we strive to keep you on your toes!