Zach speaks … on his offseason

Just got finished with my draft preview story, which should be online soon. I spoke to Zach Bogosian, who is in town working with the Thrashers youth camp, for the story. I’ll fill you in on what he said in a little bit.

First, I’d like to address something from my last blog. Some felt I may have been harsh with my answer to one post who questioned the AJC’s hockey coverage. Let me say I don’t have a problem with people wanting, and expecting, more coverage from the paper. As the Pro Sports Editor, I lived that every day for five years. It’s tough to please everyone. The fact is that hockey is not the biggest draw here right now. The franchise is only 10 years old. The TV ratings are poor for the Thrashers. The online numbers are not high. Coverage gets caught behind the more popular Falcons, Braves or UGA. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want, and get, more coverage.

But here is the thing folks. Let’s be constructive about it. If you want to take shots at me for going on vacation and sharing a photo, if you want to make fun of the AJC’s name, if you want to lash out in an immature manner, I’m going to call you on it – especially when you offer the great insight our pal Joey did.

This is a blog for folks who want to talk about the Thrashers and hockey. Hopefully, I can give you some insight from my day-to-day coverage of the team. Most of you are as, or more, knowledgeable than me about the team and sport. That is great. We can all share ideas and views. We will not always agree.

Here’s what I can promise. I will give you as much insight as I’m able – about why something was covered the way it was, where something ran in the paper, why I chose to focus on one particular thing in my story, etc. We can talk about that all day long as far as I’m concerned. Let’s just keep it constructive.

On to hockey.

Bogosian said he has been back in his hometown of Massena, New York. After the World Championships, he spent a week in Barbados and then took another week off before he started training again. He’s lifting weights and doing cardio work. He said he won’t get on skates again until next month.

Here’s some other things he said about the World Championships:

“Obviously I didn’t play as much as I would have liked. Obviously, it’s a learning experience and it’s not like they told me I was going to play a lot and I didn’t play. It was a learning experience for me and I took a lot out of it. It was my first international event. It was a good deal for me.
“It was a new experience because it was bigger ice, different style of play, different countries. Pretty much in the NHL everyone plays the North American style. You go over there and it’s a different type of play and a different type of offense. It takes you a while to adjust. You have to get used to the food and the time change. It was good for me. It’s definitely a different experience than the NHL.
“There are a lot of skill guys in the NHL, but over there it’s like everyone was skilled. It’s not like there was a four-five crash and bang line, it was a four-five skill line. It was just different. I’m not used to playing against a team with four skill lines and six puck-moving defenseman. It was a little different, but it was cool.”

On his celebrity back home:

“It’s been pretty crazy. It’s a small town so I can’t really walk anywhere without getting noticed. It’s cool that I have a lot of fans. Everyone up there has been really respectful. They don’t keep me around and try to talk to me for five hours. I had it a little bit last year because of the hype of the draft. I had my name out there a little bit. After my first NHL season, I can definitely say it’s picked up a little bit. It’s good for the community because it’s a small town. It’s good to see little kids running up to you and showing support.
“In Atlanta, I’ve only been approached a few times.”

On last year’s draft:

“I never really got caught up in the hype. Everyone was talking about top-five picks all from the OHL and there all supposed to go in the top five. Luckily, I was playing in Peterborough and most of those kids ranked up there with me were all Canadian. They got all the attention so I slipped by. I didn’t let it get to my head. I tried to take it as it came to me and never really think about it much or go on the internet and check rankings. I’m my own person. They might have better things than me and I might have better things than them. It was never really something that I thought about.”

I hope to be catching up with other players in the near future. Also, the developmental camp is next month and I’ll report from there. Perhaps we’ll see how close Angelo Esposito is to the NHL.

If you’ve read Rawhide’s blog, you know I’ll be stopping by TJ’s in Alpharetta for a little while before the draft. Please drop by and give me your thoughts if you are so inclined. I’m sure I won’t be able to use all the material I gather from the interviews with Don Waddell and the draft pick in my story, so I will pass on the extra in another blog tomorrow.

Again, thanks folks.

28 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

June 25th, 2009
5:37 pm

Well done Chris


June 25th, 2009
6:06 pm

Way to hang in there. Maybe see you tomorrow at TJ’s. Hopefully this will be the year the Thrashers generate the excitement for increased coverage.

Wayne from AL

June 25th, 2009
9:46 pm

A REAL beat-writer would be at the scene of the draft (Montreal).


June 25th, 2009
9:50 pm

I agree with Chris. Sure, we’d all like to have more coverage, but although hockey is my fav sport (hockey, football-the real kind where they don’t fall down when their pinkie gets bumpted, baseball, and bball in that order), it’s not everyone’s favorite sport. In fact, it’s probably 6th in this town.

College Football
College Bball
High School Football

it is what it is, we should be thankful they still cover the sport.

There’s a reason ESPN doesn’t carry the sport anymore

Hockey Biltong

June 25th, 2009
10:25 pm

boo ya, Chris..Stuff ‘em if they can’t take a joke…


June 26th, 2009
12:10 am


June 26th, 2009
12:32 am

I’ve never understood why posters come here to dump on the beat writer. The one person is a position to get testimony right from Waddell’s mouth. If hockey isn’t the biggest IMPACT sport in Atlanta, is it Chris Vivlamore’s fault? Hardly. He’s not the GM, in charge of forging a team Identity, with 100% oversight of the franchise, as “Hockey Czar.” Chris Vivlamore isn’t going to be standing at the podium, in Montreal, announcing the Thrashers draft pick. But he will still be able to dial up Waddell’s cell phone and get comments. Which is something none of us can do. I hardly think he should be brow-beaten for it. If the AJC is short of travel budget, I don’t blame Vivlamore. The AJC’s bread doesn’t get buttered with hockey articles. If the AJC’s politics were different, perhaps its circulation would improve. But I digress.

So, I’m grateful for what a beat writer can provide. And on the Fan blogger side, we’re unbelievably spoiled with Rawhide. His dedication to his AJC post is Herculean. Not to be disrespectful, but I think many of us remember “Ice Princess,” and her one FAN blog every 3 weeks, describing how she listened to the game on the radio, while working. Want that back??

Anyone want that back? Allright then. We’re lucky to have Vivlamore. When Craig Custance left, this blog could have greatley declined. Mike Knobler did a pretty decent job trying to fill those shoes. And Vivlamore hasn’t seen an “Opening Night” yet, so … jumping all over his case during the dog days of Spring, when we were at Day 53 of no Marty Reasoner re-signing didn’t seem apt, either. If Chris has a good rapport with Waddell, he’ll get all the stories about what Atlanta was offered and rejected for pick #4 and #34, and #45. And likewise, whatever trades Atlanta does happen to make.


June 26th, 2009
9:24 am

Don’t dish it if you can’t take it. I’m happy to see a beat writer who serves it back rather than taking it on the chin.


June 26th, 2009
9:47 am

Zach will be our stud D for the next 10-15 years. He’ll get those points if he can move up to the 1st PP unit.

Funny story- I saw Zach and a female friend sit down at a neighborhood restaurant a couple of months ago. I could keep my eyes off – no not his girlfriend, but Zach. My wife thinks it’s funny I developed my first ever man-crush. But seriously, it’s amazing that this 18 year old kid was playing amongst men – and was as good or better than most, especially in that 2nd half of the season.


June 26th, 2009
10:06 am

Wayne, beat writers report from where they are sent. If the AJC isn’t sending him to Montreal to report on the draft, that is not Chris’ fault.

You have to understand, the problem here is twofold:

1. The NHL draft isn’t exactly something a lot of people here care about. We care about it, but we are also die-hard hockey fans. The NHL in Atlanta is more a niche than it is a popular pro sport, but it’s only that way because the team has stunk practically since inception. Is the tide turning? We have to wait until October to find out.

2. Noting the above, the AJC doesn’t exactly have the money to spend on sending a beat writer to cover a niche event of a niche sport in a city where the team has stunk for years and doesn’t draw well as a result. The AJC would be more likely to send a beat writer to cover the NFL draft.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 26th, 2009
11:11 am

Outside of the top 15 picks, is there a particular player(s) that you are following in this draft?

Personally I’m following Palmieri and Klingberg in the mid to late first, and I’m also keeping an eye on goalies Bobkov and Lehner in the mid second round. I wouldn’t mind seeing a goalie drafted that early by the Thrashers, especially considering the pipeline will likely be thinned by one during this offseason.

Are there any prospects that jump out to you all, outside of the relative consensus players?

Tony C.

June 26th, 2009
11:38 am

Whup ‘is Aiisss Chris!


June 26th, 2009
12:27 pm

Chris-Tell DW to move up one spot, or do a deal with LA to move down one for one of their forwards. We want some action!… a good way.

Tony C.

June 26th, 2009
1:00 pm

Bobkov is going to be good methinks.


June 26th, 2009
1:28 pm


College Football
College Bball
High School Football

Spud Webb

June 26th, 2009
2:11 pm

Chris, I was just jealous that you were on vacation!!!!!!
hope to meet you tonight.
Heres to hoping we (the thrashers) do some good things!!! PLEASE DW!!!!!!!!!!!!


June 26th, 2009
2:29 pm


Wow. You sure do list a whole lot of boring “favorit” sports before you get to the real exciting one.

By the way, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but just because ESPN televises poker tournaments does not mean poker is a sport. “NASKAR” is debatable, but I wouldn’t call it a sport either.


June 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

Congratulations, Chris, you made your bones with the community. (source )


June 26th, 2009
4:20 pm

Chris truly is a friend of ours, Tom. :D


June 26th, 2009
8:53 pm

Alex: 7/16th of inch to the caps lock key. TURN IT OFF.

hawks & thrash

June 26th, 2009
10:04 pm

why is it that atlanta sports fans must be so negative. im gonna enjoy going to the thrashers games this year whether they are winning or not mainly because i love hockey.


June 26th, 2009
10:36 pm


Most papers do not send a beat writer to the NHL draft unless it’s a Canadian paper. I was just checking out the New York papers and they didn’t even send anyone and a New York team had the number one pick in the draft. The New York, LA, Boston, and Chicago up until this last season hardly covered the NHL. Hell Boston sports radio makes fun of hockey fans when they called in about the Bruins. Hockey is a niche sport throughout the United States, not just Atlanta.


June 26th, 2009
10:37 pm

And before I forget great pick by the Thrashers. Finally get a good center who likes to play physical and is not afraid to drop the gloves. I think the Thrashers are finally on the right way to being a playoff team. It only took 10 years but it’s nice to see it’s hopefully finally happening.


June 27th, 2009
12:28 am

Kane is going to play RW. Still need that center.

Adam Dunn

June 27th, 2009
3:30 am

Kane will play Left Wing on the 2nd line with Whitey and Little on RW
Kovy, Pevs, and free agent rw will be top line…

World Be Free

June 27th, 2009
7:20 pm

Nice job Chris.

Finally, a writer that speaks to the fans, compared to the other writers that speak down to the fans, or those who have personal agendas. A hockey writer. You are rare my friend.

Keep up the great work.

World Be Free

June 27th, 2009
7:31 pm

I really don’t care if hockey is the #1 sport, #10 or anything in between. I cannot control where we sit in the pecking order.

I can tell you that a number of the other Atlanta teams on Alex’s pecking order above hockey STINK! I would not walk across the street to see them play. So Alex (and his friends), if you want to watch crap, enjoy the teams and sports on your list.

The Thrashers were alotta fun to watch last year and more will come back next year. One reason-the Thrashers may have the best coach in the city. Anderson does not get enough credit for turning the team in the right direction 2nd half of the season. The last game was great, the place was pumped. We all wanted more.

If you want to list baseball and those sorry Braves as more desirable, then please move over to the Braves’ blog.

I have to admit, I was a Thrashers’ fan the first 3 season, then I left for awhile. I am back and happy to be back. Let’s hope July 1 gives us more positive news to talk about.

Chris, you next article should be an indept review of our prospects, one by one. Which youngster has a chance of breaking the lineup next season, similar to the TSN review on their web site. I think you can do a better job, with your knowledge and expertise.

Now I better watch some old hockey games before my wife starts cleaning out my TiVo.


October 29th, 2009
6:34 pm

’scottbravesfan’- “Hockey is a niche sport throughout the United States, not just Atlanta.”

This statement is only partially true. I’m a native of Minnesota and hockey is not a niche sport there, in fact, it is almost a way of life. It’s the only state that I know of that has a state wide
almost-holidaylike event each year called “hockey” day Minnesota. It’s basically the movie, Mystery Alaska, but in Minnesota.

I have been living in Georgia for the last year and have gone to multiple Thrashers games and it’s night and day for the fans. I think the biggest problem with ALL the sports in Atlanta is the fact that Atlanta has such a diverse community that no one sport can TRULY be the “#1 sport of Georgia”. Even though college football seems to be the #1 sport I don’t think it would be considered the “#1 Sport of Georgia” hands-down. However, I could see Football as a whole being the top rated sport.