Q and A with Thrashers co-owner Bruce Levenson

Here is the transcript from my interview with Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson done Wednesday night after the franchise promoted Don Waddell to president, promoted Rick Dudley to general manager and did not retain its coaching staff.

Q. Why the organizational changes? Why now?

A. We obviously had this in mind when we brought Rick [Dudley] in a year ago. We thought it was a wise investment to have another voice at the table that had achieved a fair amount of success in this league. We wanted to get to know him and it was an opportunity to do that. He’s a rink rat and I mean that in a very flattering way. It was an opportunity for him to do that and see how it goes. We talked about it over the course of the year and in recent weeks it just all came together. If we were going to do this, this was the time. Way ahead of the draft. The decision was made to go into a different direction with the coaching staff and we wanted Rick to head up the effort in putting a new staff together. The timing just seemed right. Over the year, I had the opportunity to see Rick in action. Trade deadline day. It was an opportunity for me to watch him up close over the course of the year. The whole [Ilya] Kovalchuk negotiation and ultimately the trade. I had a really, really good feeling about this and so did Don.

Q. How soon after the season did you decide to go in a different direction with the coaching staff?

A. There is an on-going assessment of this coaching staff throughout the season. At the end of the season, there is a more thorough assessment that culminated in a discussion Monday in which this was the recommendation of our hockey operations people and I agreed with that recommendation.

Q. Waddell has taken a lot of criticism as GM. What was the thinking of moving him to the business side? Was it as much to get him out of the GM position or keeping a loyal person who has worked for you as long as you’ve owned the team?

A. I get a lot of e-mails from fans and season-ticket holders, all very passionate about team and wanting as much success for the team as I want. The e-mails, I’ve never done an actual count as there are hundreds and hundreds of them, run about 50-50 with some saying if you don’t remove Don as GM I’m not going to renew my season tickets. And there are others that say if you do remove Don as GM I won’t renew my season tickets. It’s kind of 50-50. Don has burned a lot of bridges in this town and his built an enormous amount of bridges. I’ve been around professional sports for a couple of decades and of the general managers that I have gotten to know, he brings a pretty unique skill set. He has the hockey personnel piece and he also has a business side to him that I haven’t seen in any other GM. It started to make sense. We need to rebuild both here. We need to rebuild the business side and we obviously need to rebuild the on-ice product. But are pointed in the right direction now and Don has a terrific relationship with our business partners. I spend a fair amount of time with our business partners with Don. So I’ve seen the relationships he’s built over all the years here. Nobody wants more for the success of the Atlanta Thrashers than Don Waddell. We think this is an opportune time for him to channel that passion and his business experience into bringing fans back into the stands. It obviously has to go hand in hand with the on-ice product that we can be proud of and our fans can be proud of.

Q. How will his role be different than that of Bernie Mullin?

A. Since Bernie left, Don took on some of Bernie’s responsibilities. This is really a focus. We have to focus our sales, our marketing, our sponsorship relationships, our season-ticket plans. All of that now is going to get a focus at the very top of the organization. I think that’s needed if we are going to turn this thing around.

Q. How frustrating is it as an owner to see where the Thrashers are as compared to where the Hawks are?

A. It’s been six years [since Atlanta Spirit has owned the franchises]. We have learned an enormous amount. We came in as rookie owners six years ago. We’ve learned an enormous amount about building a sports team. We’ve made mistakes along with way with both teams. We also did some positive things with both the teams. The goal from the beginning, and we said this then, was to bring a quality product on the ice and a quality product on the court. We understood that was what was needed for us to achieve success here. It is gratifying on the one hand to look at what we’ve done with the Hawks. I’m extremely proud of that. We’ve had an improved every year that we’ve owned the team. I don’t think any new ownership group in the history of professional sports has had the string that we’ve had on the Hawks side. That’s gratifying. But yes, it’s been unbelievably frustrating. I can look back at mistakes that we’ve made and wish that we haven’t made them. But it’s been extremely frustrating. After we got as far as we got (in making the playoffs) we hit a wall. We had to start over. Nobody likes to take two steps back, but we had to take two steps back. I’m a three-quarters full guy. I don’t want to overhype the direction I think we are headed in, but based on what we’ve learned over the six years, I feel good about the direction that the hockey team is headed right now.

Q. Do you consider this one-step back?

A. I think this is an important step forward. I think we now have a guy that’s going to be focused on the business side and I know from working with him very, very closely over six years that he’s very good at that. And we have a guy that’s going to be focused on the hockey side, on the personnel side that A has a resume, but resumes and only take you so far but B I’ve had the personal experience of working with him for a year whom I also feel very good about.

Q. How is the ownership currently working? There is still the on-going litigation. Can you also speak to how the search for investors is going?

A. It’s working as its worked. And it has worked. It’s worked fine. It has not had any impact. I can understand how a fan could look at it and say Geez, this is dysfunctional group, a bunch of wealthy guys fighting with each other. We have a legitimate dispute between two sides that’s been working its way through the legal process. I would dare you to find one example where that has impacted any of the decisions that we have made on the Hawks and in hopefully rebuilding the Thrashers. It doesn’t impact. It has no impact. It will ultimately come to a conclusion. It’s pretty much disappeared, I think, from the public psyche. It just never did have an impact. We have been ideally looking for an investor to come in and play a role in the Atlanta Thrashers – ideally a local investor who would give us more financial muscle, if you will, in this community. We haven’t found that person yet but we are continuing to look.

Q. If that person comes in, is it to keep the team here? Or could that person come in with majority ownership and move the franchise?

A. We bought the Atlanta Thrashers. In doing that we signed agreements with the NHL. Even if we wanted to talk to somebody about moving, we are forbidden from doing that under our agreements with the NHL. Even if we wanted to talk to somebody who wanted to move it, it’s clearly stated in our agreements. We are forbidden from doing that. We’ve never had those discussions. Every rumor that’s been published, and I’ve seen rumors we were moving to Quebec, to Hamilton, to Winnipeg, Seattle, they’ve been 100 percent unfounded and unfair.

Q. You have 10 unrestricted free agents, how do you see the payroll changing? You are in the bottom third in the NHL in payroll. Do you expect it to stay there? Is there a budget in place?

A. We were running right near $50 million. I hope we can achieve with the Thrashers what we’ve been able to achieve with the Hawks — to build a winning team in a financially responsible manner. That’s what we’ve done with the Hawks. There are ways to measure that like payroll dollars per win. We are at the very top of the NBA and there are a lot of jealous owners with what we’ve been able to accomplish there. I hope we will be able accomplish that. We don’t have an unlimited budget here unfortunately to spend on players. That would make it much easier so we are going to try to do that in a responsible way.

143 comments Add your comment

Lee

April 15th, 2010
3:33 pm

The 8 stooges.

tom

April 15th, 2010
3:36 pm

This is not fact, just a really good guess. No GM in the history of the NHL has survived all the losing seasons and no playoff wins and kept his job as long as Mr. Waddell. I doubt the owners comment about 50% of his emails want to keep Mr. Waddell. Don’t want to call him a liar, just acting like a politician who knows you can’t check to see if he is telling the truth.

GaVaHokie

April 15th, 2010
3:39 pm

Chris Vivlamore

April 15th, 2010
3:41 pm

Sully: Really? I transcribed a 30-minute taped interview and you find one word out of place and the janitor edited the piece? Good for you.

The tough questions? Why don’t you get rid of the stupid phrase Welcome to Blueland? That would be your first question? You’re a great hockey mind. I think fans were much more interested in why the Thrashers made the organizational moves, why Don Waddell was kept?, why the payroll is in the bottom third of the NHL? Those questions. Maybe I should have asked him why they don’t change the color scheme.

I’ve read the rules and regulations. And the collective bargaining agreement. And many other league documents. I’ve spoken to commissioner Gary Bettman about the state of the franchise and the league’s intention to keep a franchise in Atlanta. You obviously haven’t.

Spud Webb

April 15th, 2010
3:45 pm

PS Chris, Great job with all the interviews. Hope you enjoy some down time!!!

Cletus Dooley Earnhardt SR.

April 15th, 2010
3:54 pm

wake cletus up when summer praktice in athens startts

Sage of Bluesland

April 15th, 2010
4:01 pm

The sheep never fail to disappoint!

They just want to bewieve so BADLY–they’ll take any morsel of information and spin it to their delusion, all the while trying to argue with facts in a condescending manner…I love it.

My favorite was the oaf who talked of how he would trust Don with his kiddies…Well, isn’t that just great! As soon as “the children” are brought into the “logic”, I know where that is going–right where Donnie used to sell (i.e. his port-a-potties).

…That and when the sheep continue to bluster about Donnie being such a “nice guy”…That and a dollar gets you a cup of coffee…but no playoff wins, apparently…

Wake up–but most importantly–grow up. Please.

Viva Le Vivs

April 15th, 2010
4:01 pm

Chris: you’ve been on fire lately! Looking forward to your blogs from now on.

Sage of Bluesland...

April 15th, 2010
4:02 pm

continues to be right.

Joe Friday

April 15th, 2010
4:07 pm

I’m guessing Chris just finished his taxes…I feel your pain, brother!

Smoothie

April 15th, 2010
4:10 pm

C-Viv, indeed. You’ve been doing great work this past week and change getting all of this commentary and dialogue from players, coaches, GM’s and now owner. While many of us certainly doubt Levenson’ sincerity in many things he says, it would be very unprofessional of any journalist to stop him and badger him on something seemingly unimportant to the real issues at the heart of the matter. Like Levenson is going to tell us, “oh yeah, you got me man…what was I thinking? I don’t give a crap what our fans think cuz Waddell is going down with me when this ship sinks!” Obviously they have their reasons, good or bad, for keeping Waddell but from the tenor of the conversation, I got the feeling they are finally starting to realize Don was being asked to do too much. Rather than take the chance of suffering a PR disaster by giving Waddell another vote of confidence, they are doing the polite thing by moving him into a more focused role where he can enjoy some level of success if and when this franchise gets turned around on the ice by Dudley. Bringing in Duds was a calculated and shrewd move last spring and I doubt it was strictly a matter of Don going to the ASG and saying, “look guys, I’ve screwed up big time and I need help.” It was probably more a matter of Barry going to Don and saying, “look Don, I am running out reasons to keep you; it’s time to bring in some help and a possible successor for you as GM.” If some of the folks on here constantly criticizing and complaining would listen to other hockey people and read other opinions, they’d see that there isn’t some great conspiracy at play here to rankle the hearts of disgruntled Thrashers’ fans. I guaran-damn-tee you that if this next chapter isn’t a successful one for Duds and the gang that Gary Bettman will be shifting his focus to Atlanta and how to rescusitate a struggling franchise.

Whitaker77

April 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

Ice Man you are correct any city in Canada could fill an 18,000 seat arena, heck they could fill a 24,000 seat arena. The Problem was and still is there is not enough corporate sponsorship to build and support a team hence why the teams moved from Canada to the US.

I think Canada should have and could support one more team up there, but as it is the league would have to move a team and then redo the divisions probably too much work. If they did I would say move Tampa or Florida, they seem like the easiest to move.
Hockey would not be leaving the state completely
The “new” team is kept in the East, then and added to the Northeast Division (Montreal,
Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, “new Team)
Boston is moved to the Atlantic (Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Bruins, and Penguins),
Move either PA or NY team, I would move the Flyer to the Southeast (Tampa, Atlanta,
Washington, Carolina, and Philadelphia)

That is how I would do it, but it still would suck to take hockey away from any fan.

Richham

April 15th, 2010
4:14 pm

50/50 on the emails he received about whether to keep DW versus fire him? Anyone believe that big, huge load of crap?

You know actually that does make sense because there are actually still Thrasher season ticket holders. These are the same people that believe in leprechauns and unicorns I guess.

ChippersLoveChild

April 15th, 2010
4:20 pm

I didn’t mean any disrespect, and I certainly appreciate all the work you’ve been doing throughout the season and since it ended. I just thought it seemed like he gave you the opportunity to expand on that statement, because as a fan I feel the ASG has never really been held accountable at all when I’ve heard them give interviews, and it reads more like you went in with a list of questions and followed the questions then held him to the fire. I’m just nitpicking though, didn’t mean to come off as someone who doesn’t appreciate what you do.

Richham

April 15th, 2010
4:21 pm

I haven’t met a single person who thinks DW has done a fair to average job while the Thrashers GM.

I’ll say one thing for Donnie W, he must be able to sell a truck full of sh#t like its diamonds and gold.

Albert Buckenberger

April 15th, 2010
4:24 pm

Do you guys know why there are not many people in Atlanta going to the Atlanta Thrashers hockey games? I’ll tell you guys why there are not many people going to the Atlanta Thrashers hockey games. It’s because the season tickets are so expensive that the people cannot afford. If I was the owner of the Atlanta Thrashers, I would cut down those ticket prices so that way people would go to see their games, and there are no sales taxes so that they can afford to buy the season tickets. There is one another thing that is in my mind. If I was the Atlanta Thrashers owner, I would care about the fans not money. If you guys don’t agree with me, please feel free to e-mail me at albertbuckenberger@firebettman.com. I’ll be looking forward to hear from you guys soon. Take care.

[...] has list of things to do as Thrashers general manager“- Chris Vivlamore, AJC – “Q and A with Thrashers co-owner Bruce Levenson” – Chris Vivlamore, [...]

Game On

April 15th, 2010
4:57 pm

Chris you do a great job. I think Chippers Love child need to go back to the Braves blog, and continue to kiss Chippers feet. I thought it was interesting that here is a contract stating they can not move the team. That should relieve many of the Thrashers fans. Is there any more info that you can shed about the terms regarding to if the ASG sell the Thrashers. Go Thrashers and go Chris!!!!!

Game On

April 15th, 2010
5:00 pm

Well said Albert. A couple years ago if you had seaason tickets you could but another for $99 a seat(max 2). I think ownership should relook on doing this again. There are so many of my friends, especially those with sons that want to go to the games but they do not have a money tree in there back yard.

The Real Thrash

April 15th, 2010
5:06 pm

Were his lips moving?

Ice Man

April 15th, 2010
5:08 pm

Spud Webb, you’re right. Hockey in Phoenix would be alive and well if the franchise hadn’t been so badly mismanaged. The city did have successful hockey teams in the past ie the 1960s Western Hockey League Road Runners, the 1970s World Hockey Association Road Runners, and the early 1990s International Hockey League Road Runners. As for the Coyotes recent past, Wayne Gretzky was a great player, but let’s be honest, he is a terrible owner/manager/coach. I give Arizona fans credit; they don’t worship the ice this guy used to skate on, unlike Canadians, who mistakenly think this guy is GOD.
Whittaker 77, you’re also correct about corporate support. That’s the unfortunate aspect of professional sports these days. Butts in the seats means nothing: The old Quebec Nordiques had nothing but standing room only sell outs but without corporate “welfare” the team was not financially viable in a city of 800,000.
I suppose that’s where the current economic climate comes into play. Corporations have to examine where they’re spending their sponsorship funds, and these days hockey is not a very effective advertising medium. If some of the weak southern NHL franchises lose some of their corporate sponsors, re-location to the Great White North will suddenly become the prudent thing to do. Note that the current owner of the AHL Manitoba Moose, Mark Chipman, has backing from the owner of the MTS True North Centre, David Thomson, the Canadian media magnate, whose family is said to be the 33 wealthiest in the world. NHL hockey in Winnipeg would work; 15,000 sell outs every game, backed by the Thomson family, who own and operate the CTV and TSN tv networks. 15,000 in “small” arena is better than 7,000 to 8,000 in a southern 20,000 arena.

Hope

April 15th, 2010
5:12 pm

Just renewed

BehindEnemyLines

April 15th, 2010
5:59 pm

re: those alleged emails — Most people wouldn’t count the ones coming from DW’s family nor the ones from opposing GM’s and opposing teams’ fans.

Lee

April 15th, 2010
6:01 pm

Sully – Wow…let’s see you have a GOOD conversation with Levenson. You’d probably ask questions like: “Will you change the color of the tickets?” “Will you add another Carvel Ice Cream?”

Chris – Don’t let these scumbags interfere with your writing. They are just ungrateful people that don’t appreciate your work. I’d like to see them have a 30 minute interview with Levenson, or the new “President, or the new GM. I appreciate your work.

Jack

April 15th, 2010
6:18 pm

AMEN LEE!!!!

jerry

April 15th, 2010
6:19 pm

Season ticket sales are now down 50%. That’s official.

Thrashers Family Man/Fan

April 15th, 2010
6:29 pm

Sage: Still upset Donnie didn’t answer your 3 e-mails 8 years ago, huh? Let’s see…You wanted him fired as GM ever since George Dubya was just settling into his first term. If anyone should be jumping up and down and shouting AMEN! it seems it would be you.

And I completely understand why you’re jealous that I’d trust my kids with Don Waddell for the weekend since they won’t allow you to have minor visitors over the weekend there at Central State in Milledgeville, right?

polskidawg

April 15th, 2010
7:35 pm

Chris – your interview and questions are dead-on. Great Job, as always.

Mr. Levenson – I’m ready to buy that oceanfront property in Kansas from you….

East Point Bob

April 15th, 2010
7:40 pm

I believe LAC that Chris V. is a tool of ASG, and is their little yes man. No tough questions here people, just marshmellow’s thrown around. I am not impressed Chris V. with your interview…

Lee

April 15th, 2010
8:33 pm

Be grateful that Mr. Vivlamore actually took his time to post news for us.

Just Curious

April 15th, 2010
9:42 pm

OK SAGE OF BLUELAND

That makes TWICE today I’ve read something about you swearing off the Thrash because you wrote Don Wad and he wouldn’t respond to your e-mail. SURELY THIS ISN’T TRUE! It also said this happened like 8 yrs ago. SURELY THAT ISN’T TRUE EITHER!

I simply can’t believe you would have the nads to come on here day after day, season after season and call fans of the team “SHEEP” and ridicule them and stuff knowing YOU haven’t been to a game for 8 yrs because Waddell ignored your e-mails? WTH is up with THAT?

You need to get back on here and RESPOND to this madness. I just can’t fathom that someone would quit supporting a team for nearly a decade because the GM didn’t reply to an e-mail! That’s just INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE, dude!!!!! If it is true, aren’t you at all embarrassed by that? Is it something you’d call normal behaviour?

RESPOND SAGE OF BLUELAND! I don’t beleive these lies. They are lies aren’t they? You need to come on here and set the record straight about this or you should NEVER come back and post anything mocking the real Thrash fans ever, ever again! I still don’t beleive it. But YOU need to say it ain’t true.

Sage of Bluesland

April 15th, 2010
10:19 pm

That’s just more sheep-spin on the “whole” reason–i.e. because Donnie didn’t respond to my emails. The sheep will do anything to tear me down–as that’s all they’ve got, apparently.

How about this reason, geniuses: THE RECORD. It’s the record, stupid(s).

How about this reason, geniuses: THE DRAFTING/PLAYER ACQUISITION-DEVELOPMENT. It’s the “Legends of Blueland” tripe, stupid(s).

How about this reason, geniuses: THE BLUSTERING LIES. It’s the intelligence-insulting bluster year after year, stupid(s).

That’s just off the top of my head, and I grow tired of pandering and entertaining the short-bus crowd.

However, it MUST hurt to know I’ve called it for about eight years now (it was at the 2002 draft I was convinced)…You’ve tried to ridicule me–but look who was right all along!

(It hurts, doesn’t it?!)

Kirk P

April 15th, 2010
10:22 pm

Chris-great job. Nice response to Sully the bird-brain!

lord stanley

April 15th, 2010
10:55 pm

I see east point has no clue. Not sure whats going on with East point but I think he is sniffing too much of that Airline fuel . Great job chris, if it wasn’t for Chris we would have any inside scoops,

Just Curious

April 15th, 2010
10:58 pm

SAGE, in 2002 you didn’t know for sure what the records were going to be or who would be drafted or what lies would be told every year for 8 years into the future. So you’re saying it’s true that you e-mailed Waddell in 2002 and he never responded to you? Have you been to any games at Philips since then? Don’t you plan to go to any games next year since Waddell isn’t GM any more? Are you still “mad” at Waddell because he didn’t answer you way back when?

CrazyDiamond

April 15th, 2010
11:50 pm

We are so screwed. Again.

Atlanta Spirit = morons, as stated above many, many times. All the suckers who paid good money to watch a “trial season” for Dudley and Anderson are also morons. Vote with your wallet, forgoodnesssakes. The ASG votes with their wallet – that you are stupid suckers, hockey wise. The confirm their opinion of the fans when they say that the Don Waddel poll was 50 – 50. No way.

Hockey in Atlanta is a money looser. NHL is in for more bad economic woes going forward as well. (Can you imagine if Phoenix – owned by the league – wins the Cup?) NHL and Atlanta Spirit have been caught in a bad economic situation like all of us. ASG wants so bad to sell to get some of their cash back you can smell it. And it stinks. We are so screwed.

Joyaman

April 15th, 2010
11:53 pm

As a regular critic of Don Waddell as a GM, and as a former STH, I am now willing to spend my money on Thrashers tickets again (BL: note that I didn’t say “season tickets”). While I think the spin surrounding the recent moves is total BS, I’ll look past this weak and transparent attempt at face saving and focus on the on-ice product.

After reflecting on this for a day or so, I’m now not as skeptical as some about the spectre of Waddell continuing to pull the strings on personnel moves from behind the scenes. The reason is simply that now that there’s an experienced, qualified person sitting in the GM’s chair, there’s no way Waddell’s amateur-hour notions will be taken seriously any more. RD’s not going to stick his neck out for the same random BS moves that sent this team in 25 different directions over the last 10 years. Duds will rise or fall based on his own moves and would not have taken the job to be DW’s puppet.

I look forward to seeing many of you again next season at Blueland as we give the new regime our support. Who knows, with a credible GM and his hand-picked coach in place, we may actually have a chance to re-sign Kane, Enstrom and Bogo in their RFA years.

Go Thrash!

Just Curious

April 16th, 2010
1:43 am

CrazyDiamond,

I’m Just Curious. Is there ever a time in your feeble little world when we AREN’T screwed? Are you afraid to leave your house because you’ll be screwed again? Are you afraid to go out in the sunlight because you’ll be screwed again? Do you wash your hands every 5 min because you’re terrified those little buggers are gonna get you and you’ll be screwed again? Do you never pick up the phone because once you do they’ll “get you” and you’ll be screwed again?

You know what…..I’m starting to believe you really ARE CRAZYdiamond, with the emphasis on CRAZY. You’re obviously quite depressed (or you pretend to be) about ever single thing that has to do with the Thrashers, and then some. You aren’t Jeff Schultz trolling the boards again are you? That would explain alot. What’s difficult to explain is WHY you’re a one trick pony. Can’t you come up with some NEW material. Or is “we’re screwed again” just easier for you to remember or cut&paste? If the Thrashers make you so TERRIFIED of being screwed all the time, why don’t you just WALK AWAY from them? You know, block your PC from accessing the AJC Blogs? You add nothing to any discussion just claiming “we’re screwed” all the time, or isn’t that even apparent to you? Do you happen to know Chicken Little?

This is by no means a definitive list….But I’ve never been screwed so much in my entire life according to you and your dim outlook on life as a Thrasher fan. Not even when I was in college! Let’s have a look-see, shall we?

John Anderson answers back | Atlanta Thrashers
Apr 12, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. April 13th, 2010 2:15 am. We are so screwed.

Thrashers playoff hopes slim | Atlanta Thrashers
Mar 13, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. March 13th, 2010 7:25 pm. We are so screwed.

Boris Valabik placed on injured reserve | Atlanta Thrashers
Feb 9, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. February 9th, 2010 11:48 pm. We are so screwed.

Is Cox taking a gamble in suggesting raising price of lottery …
Mar 12, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. March 12th, 2010 2:26 pm. We are so screwed.

Evander Kane disappointed by foot injury | Atlanta Thrashers
Mar 10, 2010 … Link; Report this comment. CrazyDiamond. March 10th, 2010 8:43 pm. We are so screwed.

Lehtonen trade is another blemish on Thrashers’ draft history …
Feb 9, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. February 9th, 2010 11:54 pm. We are so screwed.

Christoph Schubert out three weeks | Atlanta Thrashers
Mar 9, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. March 9th, 2010 3:16 pm. We are so screwed.

Heard this before? Thrashers scrambling and star unsigned | Jeff …
Jan 26, 2010 … CrazyDiamond. January 27th, 2010 12:31 am. We are so screwed.

It’s November you turkeys! – ABQ chat thread – Page 4 …
22 posts – 9 authors – Last post: Nov 26, 2009
Last edited by crazydiamond; 11-21-2009 at 10:20 AM. …. We are so screwed.

I doubt it’s possible to be screwed so much if we all spent the weekend at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch! REALLY, dude. Give it up or at least get some new material. Everyone started ignoring Chicken Little too…….Hint, hint.

Chris Vivlamore

April 16th, 2010
7:37 am

ChippersLoveChild: I hear you. Thanks. Didn’t mean to sound aggravated – although I did recently send in my taxes.

World Be Free

April 16th, 2010
7:56 am

I just scanned over most of the posts, since they are from the same grioup of whiners.

Turn the page boys and girls, Dudley is here. Duds is one of the best hockey minds in the league. We got a man who has a proven track record.

Half the teams in the NHL have owners who are out of tune. I have used Buffalo as a prime example of 2 owners that are totally clueless in a town where the rink is full every night!

Let Dudley do his job.

GaVaHokie

April 16th, 2010
8:08 am

Sage suffers from delusions of grandeur… he thinks he’s a profit or something. *snicker*

Jack

April 16th, 2010
8:59 am

Chris its the playoffs no reason to defend. You are definetly in the right.

Thrashy Thrashy

April 16th, 2010
9:40 am

Dudley’s a better personnel guy than Waddell. As long as Dudley is handling the personnel, I think we’ll be fine. His big question will be this:

Can he find a coach who can get this team to play a well-rounded game?

If so, the Thrashers will be in the playoffs next season. If not, Dudley will be just like his good buddy.

GaVaHokie

April 16th, 2010
10:18 am

Not only what Coach he can bring in, but also what “Joe Nieuwendyk” type player he can bring in.

Patrick Marleau? Patrick Sharp? Maybe an early exit for San Jose will warrant a Joe Thornton trade? Brad Richards?

Gobbledygook

April 16th, 2010
10:34 am

Attempting to analyze and critique Levenson’s words is a complete waste of time. Are we more informed now than before the interview? You are never going to hear the real story in a public interview. The truth will only be revealed to the public if someone happens to run into the owner in a bar after he has had a few too many, e.g. – Jerry Jones.

Joe Friday

April 16th, 2010
10:39 am

“although I did recently send in my taxes.”

I figured, and you’re rightly pissed off like most of us are, just “Remember in November!”

Alan R.

April 16th, 2010
11:28 am

It’s gonna take a lot of “November” to fix this broken system, Joe Friday.

Joe Friday

April 16th, 2010
11:42 am

All I know is I’ve been tread upon too much, Alan. I think they have awaken a lot of passion and I have great hopes that our great country will rise up in November and begin to get us back on the right path, much like our Thrashers hopefully have.

I like this from Chris’ interview with Dudley. Sounds like a man with a plan and I never heard these type of things from Don, mabye Don was “too nice” and we need a rougher edge kind of guy like this:

“I coached for a long time and I was a pretty technical coach. I think I can ask someone questions that perhaps someone else couldn’t. That gives me a unique perspective. I think I can talk to a coach that I don’t know well and by the time I’m done, I’ll know if he knows what he’s talking about.

“That may be a little daunting to some people, but by the same token if they do know what they are talking about, they might be able to blow me away.

MB

April 16th, 2010
11:49 am

Agree with you, Joe, re: the Dudley interview. While I, too, am disappointed that Waddell remains with the organization, I’m going to keep an open mind during this critical off-season. It does sound like Dudley has a good plan…let’s hope he’s allowed to work it (Levenson’s budget comments are a concern here).

Hokie, I’m interested to see what kind of Andreychuk (sp?) player Dudley has in mind, though I’m fairly confident it won’t be Marleau. Nice player, no doubt, but he didn’t exactly excel when put in a leadership role with the Sharks…and our needs would seem much greater than theirs.

Jimbo

April 16th, 2010
12:00 pm

Chris: Continued great job. Time to move on. Dudley’s also got a good rep at being able to sell his ideas and team. That will be invaluable in the retention of key players like Kubina and Bergfors. Also in recruiting UFAs. I am happy to see Teflon Don out as GM and Johnny Boy as coach. Hope springs eternal and I now plan to renew my season tix.

Question- Do whiner get fruit and cheese with their whine?